Tag Archives: Extraterrestrial

Mystery in the Southwest: A Look Inside the Infamous Bradshaw Ranch

From the Phoenix Lights to the Mogollon Monster, Arizona has long been known as a mecca for the strange. According to the Mutual UFO Network’s reporting archives, Arizona ranked as one of the top three states in the country for UFO sightings per capita in 2013. Arguably, one of the most concentrated areas of reported anomalous activity is centered in Yavapai and Coconino counties. This area was first inhabited by indigenous tribes including the Anasazi, Hohokam, and the Sinagua, all of whom were deeply rooted in the belief that their ancestors came from the stars. Petroglyphs dot the canyon walls, hinting that visitors from other worlds had wandered amongst them and many locals maintain the belief that otherworldly visitors remain attracted to this unique area.

Sedona, a small city located within this region, has roughly ten thousand residents and attracts more than four million tourists annually. Some come solely for the natural beauty of the unique red-colored sandstone formations while others come to explore the mystical and spiritual implications of the area. Known for its vortices (sites where the energy of an area is allegedly magnified), metaphysical bookstores, crystal shops, and aura readers, the city openly embraces its eclectic personality. In fact, these traits, combined with the abundance of UFO sightings, have prompted many paranormal researchers and enthusiasts to relocate here permanently.

Just outside of Sedona down a long, rough, dirt road winding through the desert lays an expansive ranch that currently sits quietly deserted. The weeds are overgrown and the ground is parched. In the distance you can hear the eerie squeak of the windmill slowly turning. The gate towards the main ranch house is closed and a small sign indicates that trespassing is illegal as the property is owned by the United States government, specifically the U.S. Forest Service. Hiking trails line the outside of the perimeter, though they seldom see many visitors. But the ranch wasn’t always this way and there are some who firmly believe that this serene piece of land isn’t as quiet as we’re led to believe. 

Bradshaw Ranch

In 1945, Bob Bradshaw, a budding photographer and actor, moved to Oak Creek Canyon to alleviate seasonal allergies. Soon after he opened a Kodak licensed photography shop and quickly established himself as a pillar in the community. It was during this time that Hollywood gained significant interest in using the majestic red rocks as a backdrop in Westerns, television programs, and commercials. Bradshaw became integral in their productions.

Part of a western set used in commercial shoots at the Bradshaw Ranch. (Credit: Sedona Monthly)

Part of a western set used in commercial shoots at the Bradshaw Ranch. (Credit: Sedona Monthly)

In 1960, Bradshaw acquired a large parcel of land covering 140-acres. At the time, the only remaining structure was an old adobe house. He quickly put to use his Hollywood contacts and utilized the ranch as a filming destination. According to ADayintheWest.com, the tour company operated by the Bradshaws, Bob worked on twenty-eight films, nineteen television shows, and seventy-seven commercials during his lifetime, and the ranch itself hosted five films, two television series, and numerous commercials. An old western town movie set was erected on the grounds during filming of the 1967 Elvis Presley film Stay Away Joe, and remained a fixture of the property until the 1986. Bitter Creek, as the town was known, was rebuilt in the mid 1990s. It was during this time when John Bradshaw took over management of the land and utilized it as a dude-ranch: a tourist destination for horseback rides, cookouts, and jeep tours. Bradshaw Ranch wasn’t all Hollywood glamour though; it hosts an obscure history that revealed itself suddenly, though for those involved, not unexpectedly. 

Strange Anomalies Plague the Bradshaw Family:

Dirt road leading to the ranch.

Dirt road leading to the ranch.

It was in 1992 that Bob Bradshaw Jr.’s wife Linda, along with several of her sons, began to catalog unusual activity on the property. It began slowly with sightings of unusual lights in the clear desert sky and escalated into tales of Bigfoot, UFOs, extraterrestrial beings, dinosaurs, and strange creatures. The experiences she reported, along with other witnesses, border on the strange side, even for the UFO community.

Linda firmly believed that the ranch was home to what she referred to as a light portal. She inferred that whatever the anomalous and strange activity occurring was due to an inter-dimensional window to which creatures benign and benevolent could freely travel from one dimension to another. This is not a new notion however; in 1975 the interdimensional hypothesis (IDH) was presented as a favorable theory by Jacques Vallée in his collaboration with Dr. J. Allen Hynek, The Edge of Reality: A Progress Report on Unidentified Flying Objects. IDH states that UFOs and related paranormal phenomena are not visitations from other planets, but from other dimensions that coexist as separate entities alongside our own.

In 1995, Linda, along with her close friend and UFO researcher Tom Dongo, published a book filled with their alleged encounters and photographs they claim are otherworldly beings, strange flying craft, and unexplained light anomalies. Merging Dimensions: The Opening Portals of Sedona was a book they thought would change the world, but they were both disappointed and frustrated that it released to little fanfare.

One encounter Linda described was that of being woken by one of her sons, who was in the company of a woman and her daughter, in the early hours of the morning. She alleges that at approximately 2:45 a.m. her son and the woman not only spotted an unidentified craft but had an encounter with extraterrestrial beings as well. She describes:

Strolling past the window were four short-statured aliens wearing tight-fitting one-piece uniforms of a light tan color. They were what are typically called the Zeta Reticuli (also known as the Grays), only these appeared to be a bit more ashen-colored, almost white. Once the beings were out of sight and the witnesses recomposed themselves, the three of them jumped into their car and sped to the house where I was sleeping. I remember so vividly how my son vigorously shook my arm to wake me up. I can still hear the trepidation in his voice as he said, “Mom, wake up. They’re here!” I raised up and said, “Who’s here?” He exclaimed, “The aliens, Mom.”

The encounter further evolved when Linda saw one of the beings outside, and resolved to investigate further the following day. Small unexplained footprints were spotted in the dirt and the evidence was documented via her son’s video camera. If the story is to be believed, the strangest turn occurred when the witnesses spotted what they referred to as a dinosaur in one of the washes. Two of the witnesses described a dusty-colored, five foot, lizard-like dinosaur that stood erect, while the other two only made it in time to see a long tail vanishing into the bushes. In future encounters, they would discover large reptilian-like prints on a reoccurring basis.

The strange sightings persisted, and Linda continued to document to the best of her ability. She would take photographs in random areas to see if things would develop on film that she could sense but were invisible to the naked eye. The photos were taken on 35mm film and developed at a local photo processing center. She amassed a large collection of photos of light anomalies, what she believed to be alien beings, as well as various unidentified craft. She also captured and had interactions with a Bigfoot she referred to as “Big Girl” and believed that she was in the company of young offspring as well.

As a self-described animal lover, Linda became increasingly agitated that some of her dogs and horses were falling ill with tumors and other maladies the vet could not rationally explain. She was also disturbed to discover that someone or something had torn the manes off several of her horses. She was perplexed, stating, “Her lovely, long golden mane was missing. The mare’s mane was not cut off evenly. It looked as if it had been torn off, resulting in extremely jagged edges.” She surmised that it could not be the work of humans, but what ripped the hair and the purpose of the action remains a mystery to this day.

The unusual activity on the ranch continued to be an almost everyday occurrence until the late 1990s when it seemed to stall quite suddenly.

Rumors of a Cover-Up

On September 22, 2000 in a USDA Forest Service Release, Bill Kusner, spokesperson for Keep Sedona Beautiful, alluded to the government’s interest in the property. He stated,

These public purchases will serve to preserve the spectacular open landscape well known throughout the world, to provide opportunities for additional access for recreation, and to protect archaeological resources. Keep Sedona Beautiful is hopeful that a $3.5 million appropriation in FY 2001 will allow for the purchase of 90 acres in Yavapai County locally known as the Bradshaw Ranch.

US Forest Service sign at Bradshaw Ranch. (Credit: Cottonwood Hotel)

US Forest Service sign at Bradshaw Ranch. (Credit: Cottonwood Hotel)

After years of property tax hikes and the government’s pressing interest in the property, the ranch became another parcel of federal land, acquired by the U.S. Forest Service. In May of 2003, the Bradshaw’s vacated the property.

Conspiracy theorists were quick to dismiss Kusner’s words, and insinuated that the ranch was really purchased in order to conceal the powerful inter-dimensional portal alleged to exist on the property. Others speculate that it was a tactical maneuver to conceal a top-secret military base and an even larger extraterrestrial cover-up.

There have been rumors for decades of the existence of top-secret underground bases and an elaborate tunnel system, which some suggest is used by both extraterrestrials and the U.S. military. They vary in location, and some believe there to be entrances at a large cement plant in Jerome, beneath Bradshaw Ranch, and in various canyon areas around Sedona. Numerous reports of hikers encountering and being threatened by heavily armed soldiers with no visible insignias on their uniforms have strengthened this opinion in believers. UFO researcher Tom Dongo expands on these ideas in his book Mysterious Sedona: Year 2000 edition:

A machine gun, usually an M-16 (or in some cases semi-automatic pistols) is then leveled at the hikers. By the tone of the voice of the “soldiers” the hiker(s) is left with no doubt that he will be shot on the spot if he does not turn around, retrace his steps, and rapidly leave the area . . . every single one of these gunpoint encounters has taken place along the route of the probable tunnel system.

Those looking for hard evidence of these claims won’t find it. There are plenty of stories of suspicious activity, missing persons, and aliens and UFOs spotted in conjunction with soldiers, but no substantiated evidence exists to prove these theories. Military activity in the area could very well be routine training exercises and those hikers asked to turn around may be done for their own safety.

The Ranch Today

There are a variety of researchers and authors who supplement their time by providing UFO and vortex tours in the area. Several of these tours include a visit to Bradshaw Ranch for those hoping to catch something out of the ordinary. Tourists can venture out with Sedona resident Jocelyn Buckner, who wrote a guide specifically focused on the ranch. She urges visitors to respect the fence-line and claims, “There’s no reason to trespass. Invite the ‘unseen others’ to visit you. You will hear, see, or feel them if you remain open.”

The most reported “sightings” during these tours are photos of “orbs.” The orbs are not visible to the eye, but show up on photographs often looking as if they are attracted to certain individuals. The orb phenomenon is an extremely controversial topic with proponents offering up the “it’s not dust” mantra. Opponents and many professional photo analysts surmise that the majority of objects referred to as orbs have very simple, terrestrial explanations. Objects appearing in the circle of confusion, or the point where the lens of a camera cannot focus, and dust, moisture, and other particles in the area can form this optical illusion.

The ranch continues to attract international recognition as a paranormal hotspot through various television programs, books, and websites. In April of 2013, Discovery Channel’s Uncovering Aliens filmed multiple segments at the ranch. During filming, self-described extraterrestrial contactee Steven Jones alleges that he experienced his own bout of the unknown. While an interview was being conducted with Dongo, Jones had wandered off on his own, past the properties windmill above the fence-line on the hill. Jones returned thirty-or-so minutes later, interrupting the crew, flustered, asking the time and yelling for everyone to look at his wristwatch. It had stopped. He recounted that he had heard unusual voices or odd whispers coming from somewhere around him, experienced a brief period of missing time, and visually pointed out the electrical disturbance of his watch. The experience was not aired on television, and we can only speculate as to what really happened when Jones was alone in the desert.

Conclusion

Bradshaw Ranch is set to remain an enigma. The likelihood that any serious investigation could take place, akin to the in-depth scientific endeavors of the National Institute for Discovery Sciences (NIDS) at Skinwalker Ranch in Utah, is slim. The U.S. Forest Service maintains a strict no trespassing policy in order to protect the historic and anthropological landmarks on the land.

This small piece, as well as the expansive canyons surrounding Sedona, will continue to be shroud in mystery and attract the curious and likeminded. Its residents will continue to defend their experiences and beliefs wholeheartedly and unapologetically. If you do take a trip out to Bradshaw, you may not see anything mysterious, but there is a calm quiet, an eerie breeze, and maybe, locals will tell you, something watching unseen in the distance.

This story originally appeared in the last issue of Open Minds Magazine.

 

Read More

Spielberg offered to aid in United Nations UFO effort during Close Encounters era

Steven Spielberg is really into UFOs. This is not too hard to imagine given movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, ET: The Extraterrestrial and his mini-series Taken, among others. In a recent interview with journalist Lee Speigel, I discovered that he also lent a helping hand in a 1970s effort get the United Nations to investigate UFOs.

Devils-Tower-UFO-ftr

Devils Tower National Monument. The location of a UFO rendezvous in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. (Credit: Alejandro Rojas)

Lee Speigel

Lee Speigel

I am currently in Hulett, Wyoming, where I can see Devils Tower National Monument, which was popularized by the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Tomorrow, I will be doing a talk about Spielberg and his history of interest in the UFO phenomena at the Devils Tower UFO Rendezvous which commemorate the 40th anniversary of the movie. In my talk I will be playing a clip of Speigel describing a meeting with Spielberg who was interested in his effort to display the best UFO evidence at a general session of the United Nations.

Speigel was a young New Yorker at the time who had just put together a record album documentary on UFOs. He realized there were a lot of credible people talking about UFOs and pitched the project to CBS Inc., who liked the idea and sent him around the country to interview these people. Among those he interviewed were scientists, politicians, law enforcement and an astronaut, Gordon Cooper, who relayed his personal UFO experience.

Dr. Wernher von Braun and Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper during the MR-3 (Freedom 7) mission on May 5, 1961, which put the first American, Alan Shepard, in space. (image credit: NASA)

Dr. Wernher von Braun and Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper during the MR-3 (Freedom 7) mission on May 5, 1961, which put the first American, Alan Shepard, in space. (image credit: NASA)

A couple years after producing his record, Speigel heard about an effort to get the United Nations to officially look into the UFO issue. The effort was initiate by Grenada’s Prime minister, Sir Eric Gairy. He decided that what the effort needed was a presentation with the likes of the credible people he had in his record. So, with the confidence of a young New Yorker, he contacted the ambassadors to Granada and offered his services. The government of Granada liked his idea and the event planning began.

Two of the people Speigel enlisted for his presentation were Dr. J.Allen Hynek and Dr. Jacques Vallee. Hynek was a well-known astronomer who acted as a consultant to the U.S. Air Force’s official public UFO investigations from their inception in 1947 to their end in 1969. He then went on to form his own civilian UFO investigation organization, and is arguably the father of modern civilian UFO research. The later, Vallee was a student of his at Northwestern University, and went on to become an author and UFO researcher as well.

Hyenk and Vallee also played important roles in the conception of the movie Close Encounter of the Third Kind. Hynek actually developed the Close Encounters UFO sighting categorization system, and was a consultant for Spielberg on the movie. Vallee, being French, was the inspiration for one of the lead characters in the movie, Claude Lacombe, played by French director Francois Truffaut.

J. Allen Hynek's can be seen in a scene towards the end of the Close Encounters movie.

J. Allen Hynek can be seen in a scene towards the end of the Close Encounters movie. (Credit: Columbia Pictures)

“It was amazing,” says Speigel. “One day I got a call from Spielberg’s publicist to see if I wanted to go out to Hollywood to meet with Steven, Dr. Hynek and Dr. Vallee.”

Speigel’s first response was, “Why do you want me there?”

He didn’t think anyone knew who he was. He was told that Spielberg had heard of his upcoming U.N. presentation and he wanted to talk to the group and offer his assistance.

Speigel says the three men did meet with Spielberg to talk UFOs. Understandably, he says it was an amazing experience. At the end of the meeting, Spielberg said his office would help with anything they needed, and Speigel says they did provide some graphics and information that was incorporated in the U.N. presentation.

So what happened with the U.N. and UFOs? Well, on November 27, 1978, Speigel, Hynek, Vallee, Gairy, Cooper and other credible witnesses and researchers did put on a presentation that included photos and video.

As a result, the U.N. passed a decision on UFOs, which holds less weight than a resolution, but is official none the less.

Their decision included this verbiage: “The General Assembly invites interested member states to take appropriate steps to coordinate on a national level scientific research and investigation into extraterrestrial life, including unidentified flying objects, and to inform the secretary-general of the observations, research and evaluation of such activities.”

Meeting at the UN on UFOs. Clockwise from left: astronaut Gordon Cooper, astronomer Jacques Vallee, astronomer/astrophysicist Claude Poher, astronomer J. Allen Hynek, Grenada Prime Minister Sir Eric Gairy, UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, Morton Gleisner of the Special Political Committee, Lee Speigel, researcher Len Stringfield, and University of Colorado psychologist David Saunders (Credit: Lee Speigel)

Meeting at the UN on UFOs. Clockwise from left: astronaut Gordon Cooper, astronomer Jacques Vallee, astronomer/astrophysicist Claude Poher, astronomer J. Allen Hynek, Grenada Prime Minister Sir Eric Gairy, UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, Morton Gleisner of the Special Political Committee, Lee Speigel, researcher Len Stringfield, and University of Colorado psychologist David Saunders (Credit: Lee Speigel)

The U.N. was to follow up on Granada’s UFO request the following year, but by then Granada had undergone a coup that unseated Gairy and the subject was dropped.

You can read more about the U.N. event at Lee Speigel’s website, and on various interviews on the Open Minds UFO Radio Podcast. It is also part of my presentation on Official Government UFO Agencies seen below.

Read More

UFO News, Mysterious Space Signals and Mars – September 5, 2017

OMRadio_logo_2Open Minds UFO Radio: Alejandro and Martin discuss the latest UFO news, including the recent detection of mysterious signals from space and humanity’s plans for Mars. No special guest in this episode, besides the always special ufo news presenter Martin Willis of Podcast UFO. Martin and Alejandro talk at length about some of their favorite topics that have recently made headlines and/or were featured articles on OpenMinds.tv. This includes the discovery of signals from space by an organization searching for intelligent extraterrestrial life. Signals that some scientists speculate could be the result of advanced extraterrestrial technology. We also discuss Mars, Alejandro’s visit to the set of the National Geographic Channel’s Mars TV show set, and current plans to get humans to Mars within the next 10 years!

Read More

New mysterious signals detected by search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) project

New unidentified signals from deep space have been detected by the Breakthrough Listen project, an attempt to detect evidence of an extraterrestrial civilization. Similar signals have been detected before, but more signals than ever were recorded recently, and, according to the Breakthrough Listen project, an intelligent extraterrestrial civilization has not been ruled out as a potential source.

The type of signals recently observed are called fast radio bursts (FRBs). They are extremely short bursts, but also extremely bright. Most of the FRBs detected thus far have been singular events, which is not so mysterious. Scientists often discover mysterious radio transmissions, but they are typically due to cosmic events. What makes the newly discovered signals mysterious is that they repeat, unlike a cosmic event which sends out one large signal when the event takes place.

FRB 121102 was discovered on November 2, 2012, giving it its name. In 2015, it was found that FRB 121102 repeats, then in 2016 it was traced back to a galaxy billions of light years away. However, scientists know of nothing in that area which would be creating a repeating signal.

On August 26 of this year, scientists with Breakthrough Listen used the Green Bank Telescope to observe FRB 121102. They recorded ten 30-minutes scans and detected 15 bursts. This may not sound like much, but up until this point there had been less than two dozen FRBs recorded.

The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Radio Telescope (GBT) focuses 2.3 acres of radio light. It is 485ft tall, nearly as tall as the nearby mountains and much taller than pine trees in the national forest. The telescope is in a valley of the Allegheny mountains to shield the observations from radio interference. (Credit: National Radio Astronomy Observatory)

The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Radio Telescope (GBT) focuses 2.3 acres of radio light. It is 485ft tall, nearly as tall as the nearby mountains and much taller than pine trees in the national forest. The telescope is in a valley of the Allegheny mountains to shield the observations from radio interference. (Credit: National Radio Astronomy Observatory)

So what could these FRBs be?

“Several explanations for FRBs have been suggested,” explains a recent article in Newsweek. “One is a cataclysmic event, such as a neutron star collapsing into a black hole. But such an event would produce only one burst and therefore does not explain the repeating pattern of FRB 121102. Another possible explanation is that they are coming from a young, highly magnetized neutron star, but so far nothing like this has been detected in this region of space.”

After acknowledging the mystery of the discovery, Newsweek goes on to conclude, “Despite widespread speculation, the possibility of the signals coming from an advanced alien civilization has been largely ruled out.”

Of course, not everyone agrees. A recent article in New Scientist covers some ideas scientists have come up with which would include potential alien sources for the signals.

Breakthrough Listen is part of what is called the Breakthrough Initiative. It is financed by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner. While Musk, Bezos and Bigelow have decided to spend their fortunes on building spacecraft and/or habitats for humans to get to and inhabit space, Milner has decided to look for aliens.

Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking announcing the $100 million Breakthrough Initiative in London. (Photo via Breakthrough Initiative)

Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking announcing the $100 million Breakthrough Initiative in London in 2015. (Photo via Breakthrough Initiative)

There are thee parts to the Breakthrough Initiative. The first two announced were Listen and Message. The first aimed at listening for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations, much like what the SETI Institute is known for. The second, Breakthrough Message, entailed a $1 million prize for the creation of messages to send to space. However, the messages will not be sent, probably because Stephen Hawking, an associate of the initiative, has expressed concern about what will happen if aliens find out we are here.

The third, Breakthrough Starshot, plans to send hundreds of tiny spaceships to the closest star system, Alpha Centauri, to look for signs of life. These spacecraft would largely consist of sails that are pushed along by lasers here on Earth. Once they reach their destination, the little spacecraft will have a few hours to record video and whatever other telemetry they will be able to obtain. The data will then be sent back to earth via lasers. However, because we are talking about such vast distances, the data will take four years to reach Earth, even at the speed of light.

Artist depiction of Breakthrough Startshot. (Credit: Breakthrough Initiatives)

Artist depiction of Breakthrough Startshot. (Credit: Breakthrough Initiatives)

Coincidentally, or not, the New Scientist article explains that this type of spacecraft could be responsible for the FRBs.

The article posits:

…maybe they are using these powerful radio beams to power light sails, which push spacecraft along by bouncing light off a large, reflective sheet. A sail that requires a beam as powerful as an FRB would be much bigger than any we’ve ever considered making on Earth. Such an alien light sail could carry almost a million tonnes – in contrast, the International Space Station only weighs about 420 tonnes.

If there were many extraterrestrial civilizations with colossal alien cruise ships, there could be many powerful radio beams sweeping through the sky, each following the path of a sail. When the beam’s path intersects with the Earth’s, we’d see a bright but fleeting burst of radio waves.

The Breakthrough Initiative’s press release includes this bit of speculation In their recent announcement on this latest discovery. According to the Breakthrough Initiative press release, “Possible explanations for FRBs range from outbursts from rotating neutron stars with extremely strong magnetic fields, to more speculative ideas that they are directed energy sources used by extraterrestrial civilizations to power spacecraft.”

So, in the end, we can not be sure what is causing the FRBs, but an alien civilization is not being ruled out. At least not by everyone, especially the Breakthrough Initiative.

A technical summary of Breakthrough Listen’s discovery has been releases in an Astronomer’s Telegram, and will be released in further detail in an upcoming article in a scientific journal.

Read More

Daily UFO Headlines 8/16/2017

Read More

Daily UFO Headlines 8/15/2017

Read More

Daily UFO Headlines 8/14/2017

Read More

NASA hiring Planetary Protection Officer and USAF seeks to create Space Corps. Who are the enemies lurking in space?

NASA’s recent job posting for a Planetary Protection Officer and the House approving a plan to create a Space Corps in the U.S. Air Force have made worldwide headlines.  It is not hard to understand why. They are exciting pieces of news that make space nerds like me giddily feeling like our sci-fi fantasies have come true.

Could it be that the time has come for us to defend ourselves from a threat from beyond? Perhaps the recent meeting by the Mutual UFO Network focused on a secret space program was not as farfetched as I thought. While it may be fun to think this is the case, the threats these positions are focused on are not alien invaders, well, not the sci-fi kind.

The USAF already has a Space Command and Space Wing. This graphic details the 50th Space Wing's locations. Click to enlarge. (Credit: USAF)

The USAF already has a Space Command and Space Wing. This graphic details the 50th Space Wing’s locations. Click to enlarge. (Credit: USAF)

As NASA recently pointed out, in a response to a nine-year-old would be “Guardian of the Galaxy,” the Planetary Protection Officer position has actually existed since the 60’s. According to the job posting, this position is “concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration.”

Or, as they described to the nine-year-old applicant: “Our Planetary Protection Officer position is really cool and is very important work. It’s about protecting Earth from tiny microbes when we bring back samples from the Moon, asteroids and Mars. It’s also about protecting other planets and moons from our germs as we responsibly explore the Solar System.”

They make it seem kind of boring, but these sorts of protocols would have helped the space colonists in the latest installation of the Alien franchise when (spoiler) they got infected by the weird pollen-like substance that turned some of them into deadly xenomorphs.

Contamination of space colonists in Alien Covenant caused slight discomfort for those infected. (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Contamination of space colonists in Alien Covenant caused slight discomfort for those infected. (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Although the knowledge I just imparted might make it seem like I could be a good candidate for the job, watching sci-fi movies and having watched every episode of X-Files several times is not what NASA is looking for. They would prefer someone with an advanced degree in engineering, physical science, or mathematics. I guess I am out.

So is Jack Davis. Davis is a fourth grader who, like me, felt he was more than qualified to do the job. He sent NASA a one paragraph resume/cover letter, and actually got a response. It is even posted on NASA’s website.

Jack wrote:

Dear NASA,

My name is Jack Davis and I would like to apply for the for the planetary protection officer job. I may be 9, but I think I would be fit for the job. One of the reasons is my sister says I am an alien. Also I have seen almost all the space and alien movies that I can see. I have also seen the show ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and hope to see the movie ‘Men in Black.’ I am great at video games. I am young, so I can learn to think like an alien.

Sincerely,

Jack Davis,

Guardian of the Galaxy

Fourth Grade

The kid had me convinced. However, as NASA Director of Planetary Science Division Dr. James L. Green explained, there is a bit more to the job than meets the eye.

Dear Jack,

I hear you are a “Guardian of the Galaxy” and that you’re interested in being a NASA Planetary Protection Officer. That’s great!

Our Planetary Protection Officer position is really cool and is very important work. It’s about protecting Earth from tiny microbes when we bring back samples from the Moon, asteroids and Mars. It’s also about protecting other planets and moons from our germs as we responsibly explore the Solar System.

We are always looking for bright future scientists and engineers to help us, so I hope you will study hard and do well in school. We hope to see you here at NASA one of these days!

Sincerely,

Dr. James L. Green

Director, Planetary Science Division

Dr. Green makes it seem like the Planetary Protection Officer position is a tough gig to land. But there may be hope. Jack and I may have a shot to gallivant around space saving the universe as members of the USAF Space Corps. This sounds like a job more likely to include laser blasters, and the House really did pass a defense spending bill approving their creation.

Young Jack Davis' letter and NASA's Dr, Green response. (Credit: NASA)

Young Jack Davis’ letter and NASA’s Dr, Green response. (Credit: NASA)

There are just two problems that may prevent Jack and I from receiving our standard issue laser blasters. The first is that although the House approved the bill, the Senate is more skeptical about the need for the Space Corps. Many feel it might be premature to create the department.  In fact, according to the New York Times, the White House has said the proposal is “premature,” and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis essentially laughed it off.

It’s true that there is little evidence we are in imminent danger of being invaded by an alien force, but that is not really what the Space Corps is for anyway. The Space Corps’ proposed purpose, as the New York Times puts it, is to “oversee military operations in that emerging, and important, domain of military competition.” Specifically, competition from the Russians and Chinese.

Fourth-grader Jack Davis got a special call Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, from NASA’s Planetary Research Director, Jonathan Rall, congratulating Jack on his interest in serving as the agency's planetary protection officer. (Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

Fourth-grader Jack Davis got a special call Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, from NASA’s Planetary Research Director, Jonathan Rall, congratulating Jack on his interest in serving as the agency’s planetary protection officer. (Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

The sorts of weapons currently residing in space are satellite signal jammers.

“What hasn’t happened is the kinetic part: blowing up satellites,” Brian Weeden, director of program planning for Secure World Foundation, an organization that studies the international use of space, told the New York Times.

So we are not in a time where we need the Guardians of the Galaxy… yet. This dashes my hopes of becoming a space cadet, but lucky for Jack, the future is coming very quickly. It would be wise for him to take Dr. Green’s advice, because our activity in space is sure to become even more exciting and sci-fi-like in the near future.

 

Read More

Daily UFO Headlines 8/10/2017

Read More

Daily UFO Headlines 8/9/2017

Read More