Tag Archive: NASA

Notre Dame Ufo 3

As thousands of Notre Dame football fans watched the Fighting Irish battling it out with the University of South Florida on Sept. 3, a fierce lightning storm approached the Indiana stadium, leading the crowd to evacuate. And while the game was in delay mode, many people caught sight of several unidentified flying objects darting around the lightning bolts in the sky.

Video captured bright orb-like objects as well as tube-shaped elongated ones circling in the sky above.

UFO aficionados have questions. Were the objects merely part of the storm as debris flying about in the wind? Balloons or birds caught in the ongoing turbulence and seen on video? Or were they alien gridiron fans looking to watch a big game from above while refueling their planet-hopping propulsion systems?

“Since it was at a stadium, it would be astonishing if there weren’t 20 videotapes of it,” said NBC News space consultant and UFO skeptic James Oberg. “In a case like this, you start out looking for other images and go from there.”

Oberg, a former NASA rocket scientist and author of numerous books, including “Star-Crossed Orbits: Inside the U.S.-Russian Space Alliance,” says there’s enough teasing behind UFO reports in general, “and I wish we could filter out the good stuff, but so far we haven’t.”

Another doubting eye on the Notre Dame reports comes from Robert Sheaffer, a longtime skeptical investigator of UFO claims.

“Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell how far the object is from the camera,” Sheaffer said. “You can clearly see the raindrops coming down, illuminated by the stadium lights. When the object’s apparent motion is fastest, it looks very much like the so-called ‘Roswell Rods‘ that Jose Escamilla has been promoting.

“The angular motion of the object is too fast for the video to capture it clearly. The frames are too slow, and so the object blurs and stretches out into a rod,” added Sheaffer, author of the new book “Psychic Vibrations: Skeptical Giggles From The Skeptical Inquirer.”

Oberg said the proliferation of digital cameras should make the identification process of UFOs easier these days.

“In a lightning storm, there’s always interesting, if bizarre, lightning phenomena, and you wish you had better documentation and multiple cameras and an ability to establish what particular origin that this kind of light would have,” he said. “With so many cameras out there now, it’s getting harder and harder to make excuses for the absence of corroborative photographs.”


Oberg’s skeptical colleague, Sheaffer, agrees that the evidence from Notre Dame is currently too scant to suggest extraterrestrial influence.

“I think that the [Notre Dame] object is a bit farther away than that. It could easily be a piece of wind-borne debris, maybe cardboard, spun around by the severe winds of the thunderstorm. It could also be a bird, frantically trying to make its way to safety,” he said. “Without distance information, we can’t say for sure what it is. There’s no reason to think that it represents any kind of alien activity.”

What do you think? Was this an ET visitation, storm-driven debris or insects flying very close to the camera? Send us a comment below.

By the way, USF beat Notre Dame, 23-20 — in case you’re keeping score.

Getty Images

We all know that recycling is a good thing. But recycling sewage water?

According to Discovery News, the drought in Texas has gotten so desperate that the town of Big Spring is considering recycling toilet water for its 27,000 residents.While it sounds unusual (and more than a little gross) it’s not that uncommon. NASA for example, has a system where they filter urine directly to salvage water. 

(PHOTOS: Drought in China)

However, the process in Texas would work a little differently than NASA’s system. “We’re taking treated effluent (wastewater), normally discharged into a creek, and blending it with (traditionally supplied potable) water,” Big Spring’s district manager, John Gran, told Discovery.

Which might not be enough to reassure the squeamish, but with less than 0.1 inches of rain in the region for months, you do what you have to do.

Space X

At an August conference hosted by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed plans for how they hope to get humans on Mars within the next 20 years.

In order to get to , they need to be able to transport a significant amount of cargo and people and this, according to Musk, will require a fully reusable rocket and they are working to make their Falcon 9 rocket just that. The Falcon 9 rocket is designed to generate 1700 metric tons of thrust which would make it easily capable of transporting satellites, cargo and humans.

Unfortunately creating a fully reusable rocket is not proving easy. With just 0.3 percent of the Falcon 9 launch cost being propellant, the target is to create a complete launch system that is fully reusable in order to reduce the cost of launches. So far engineers have not been able to provide the level of protection needed to be able to reuse the first and second stages.

On paper, they have created something that they hope will prove effective. They are looking at restarting the engines in order to slow down the first stage and shed some of the velocity. However, in order to do this, they have to look at payload loss of fuel in orbit, better thermal shielding and increased structural margins for recovery.

Musk announced plans to demonstrate a new Falcon Heavy rocket in the later part of 2012 or the first part of 2013. This rocket will be capable of delivering 10 to 15 metric tons, but they hope to make it capable of delivering 50 metric tons and be fully reusable in the future.

They are discussing a project with  to use their Dragon capsule and Falcon rocket for an exploratory mission to Mars and they hope to be ready for this mission by 2018.

This image of an exquisite puff of interstellar gas, resembling a union of soccer ball and jellyfish, was released July 25 by the Gemini Observatory.

Exhaled by a dying star, the newly-discovered planetary nebula, Kronberger 61, is named for its finder: Austrian Matthias Kronberger, member of the amateur astronomy group Deep Sky Hunters.

Kronberger found the luminous bubble by searching a section of sky near the northern constellation Cygnus with Digitised Sky Survey data. This sliver of the sky is also covered by KeplerNasa’s space telescope charged with finding habitable planets.

Curious about the role of nearby stars and planets in shaping the elaborate forms seen in many nebulae, professional astronomers have teamed with amateurs to scan this region.

A new planetary nebula is a rare and valuable find. Without amateur help the discovery “would probably not have been made before the end of the Kepler mission,” said George Jacoby, a Kepler astronomer who requested the help of Deep Sky Hunters, in a press release.

Gas in the image above has been emitted by the small, blue-tinted star in its center. Jacoby will now lead a follow-up investigation of the star to determine if it’s part of a binary system.

Source: Wired.com


When former astronaut Story Musgrave addresses an expected huge throng of UFO believers in California next week, he’ll delight the crowd when he tells them he believes we’re not alone in the universe.

But then he’s going to tell members of the Mutual UFO Network — the largest UFO research organization in the world — just what they don’t want to hear: Earth has probably not been visited by extraterrestrials.

And that’s bound to disappoint many of the paying crowd at the 42nd annual MUFON Symposium in Irvine, Calif. The gathering will feature nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman, former Air Force intelligence officer George Filer and other prominent UFO researchers.

“I’m going to tell them that, for me, and my interpretation of everything that’s come my way, I cannot arrive at the idea that we have been visited — either in the past or now,” Musgrave told The Huffington Post.

Musgrave — who logged 25 million miles during six space shuttle missions and who developed the spacesuit that was used by shuttle astronauts for space walks — says that, despite dozens of military eyewitnesses, photos, films and corroborating radar reports, he’s still not convinced.

“Some astronauts have been quoted as saying they think they’re [aliens] out there — I have seen their evidence, and for me, it’s not evidence,” he said. “Other astronauts were not able to provide me with any empirical evidence, either.”

Musgrave is the keynote speaker at the MUFON event. During his many years with NASA, he says he actually looked for evidence of a UFO conspiracy from within the space agency and the government.

“I’ve been as deep in the military as you can go. I was Marine Corps and Air Force and spent all this time with the government — I was on two classified department of defense missions, which got me as deep in the bowels of the military and the intelligence community as you can go,” he insisted.

“I found no conspiracy in terms of covering up information about extraterrestrial visits. I simply didn’t find it!”

The theme for the upcoming UFO symposium is “ET Contact: The Implications for Science and Society” and features a roster of speakers presenting subjects such as UFO disclosure, life on Mars, time travel, anti-gravity propulsion systems, government conspiracies and how alien contact would affect science, technology and religion.

MUFON’s international director, Clifford Clift, isn’t concerned that Musgrave’s not supporting the aliens-are-here theory.

“Sometimes we get too close to the subject and should realize that we need to step back and look at the different approach to the science of this,” Clift told The Huffington Post.

“I think Story will enlighten us that way. That doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, because I’m quite certain that he’s going to say he’s never seen [a UFO]. But that’s okay. If he stays around for the rest of the conversations and talks to some of the witnesses, he might have a little different approach to it.”

But while Musgrave doesn’t think Earth has been a vacation spot on any alien itinerary, he’s pretty adamant that intelligent beings are thriving elsewhere in the cosmos.

“I feel that they’re everywhere out there and they’re doing interstellar travel — we’ll think differently about ourselves once we accept that,” he said.

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