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IBM Targets UFOs, Ghosts, and Goblins With Search Tool

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the isn't-halloween-over dept.

IBM 192

coondoggie writes "IBM wants to help you find out if UFOs are real. Well, sort of. With UFO sightings seemingly on the rise, Big Blue is teaming with The Anomalies Network to offer UFO Crawler, a new search engine specifically tuned to search for information about the paranormal, unexplained or just plain bizarre. The search tool employs IBM's OmniFind Yahoo! Edition enterprise search software and the UFO Crawler should help users precisely target and gather information from relevant sources, including thousands of documents and files collected in the vast Anomalies Network archive, as well as multiple global resources across the Web on topics such as such as ghosts, conspiracy theories and extraterrestrials."

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Military projects (3, Insightful)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279796)

Presumably the most stealthy plane form is a saucer. The idea of many is that these flying saucer sightings are nothing but X-projects. I don't see why this isn't likely to be the case.

Re:Military projects (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280216)

It only takes one incident to be extra-terrestrial to be some huge bombshell that shakes up our perception...

There are probably a lot of sightings of stuff that are really just exotic aircraft and military projects. And then 80% of the reported UFOs are probably easily explainable as common stuff. I'm picking that number out of my ass but it's IIRC from some of the UFO documentaries I've seen.

I think it is highly plausible that if there was some sort of contact with not-of-this earth beings and technology that the government would hide it, and try to take whatever they could for military advantage. Some of the reports I've read about secret budgets and groups seems highly plausible to me.

I know there is so much noise and disinfo in this field that it is a nightmare to try and figure out what is going on. And I think it is intentional. It attracts the crazies. Then people who want to keep things secret or hidden (whether alien or military tech or whatever), run interference. Then most of the documentaries that hit History/Discover/Sci-Fi channel skip over some of the more hardcore info that can be found if one digs.

I hate to say I disagree with the "mainstream" of this fringe group of UFO sorts. I don't really believe in spacemen from other planets visiting use in their saucer shaped tin cans at this point. I'm more for interdimensional entities, and something that is much more difficult to nail down with any definitive language. But then again maybe there are spacemen hanging out in some secret underground base. Maybe we are a genetic experiment conducted and managed by aliens. Maybe we are a genetic alien hybrid race seeded here and monitored. Etc etc. So many theories. I do think SETI is kind of wasting their time. I think contact has already been made, but I'm still not certain if the world is ready to know about it. One way or the other pressure seems to be building and this stuff seems to be getting more mainstream...

Oh yeah and after the silly "terrorists are gonna get yah" nonsense for the sake of fear and control, next it's gonna be, "the ETs are gonna get us, we must defend planet earth". So of course we need a central one world government and space based weapons that will presumably be an effective defense against beings that could be millions or billions of years ahead of us technologically. Uhm yeah... : ) Back to our regular missile reseach program.. ahem *cough*

PS: How about them alien moon bases and the censored NASA photos eh?

Re:Military projects (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280276)

Wow man, it's a good thing you aren't one of those "crazies" that you talk about or you would have posted some bizarre rant about one world government and interdimensional beings instead of this well-thought-out rational discourse.

Re:Military projects (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280224)

Conspiracy theories don't work like that. Conspiracy theories employ a sort of reverse Occam's Razor: do not accept the simplest logical explanation if a needlessly complicated conspiracy can be made to fit the same facts.

Re:Military projects (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280534)

Prokofy's Razor: Given two equally predictive theories, choose the most complex conspiracy.

Re:Military projects (0, Troll)

Spunkee (183938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280818)

Actually, it's fewest assumptions -- not "simplest logical explanation". This invalidates the remainder of your post, but I'll bite anyway.

911 for example... 12 uneducated Muslim extremists hijack 4 aircraft simultaneously and manage to crash 3 of them into buildings. They use box knives for this. They were able to fly the aircraft with pinpoint precision with only commercial pilot licenses at best (airline transport licenses really are required for this level of precision).

They were in fact so precise that they managed to hit the Pentagon at 530 mph without even grazing the lawn. Just look at the pics. No conspiracy here. No doctored pics. Further, they managed to vaporize all but a supposed APU wheel. They managed to lower the melting point of titanium. The one piece of wreckage with an AA logo they did find had no scratches or fire burns. Amazing.

Try that in Flight Sim X with a 747 (smaller than the 757 that hit the Pentagon). I would bet you cash money that you overshoot or undershoot it your first 10 tries. These guys had one shot at it. Remember, you have to do this while avoiding the lawn entirely.

In fact, I don't think you'd even be able to pull off the turn toward the Pentagon without going into a high-speed stall.

Also, one of the hijacker's passport managed to fly out of the aircraft, out of the trade tower, onto the sidewalk below, where it was conveniently found... Hmm.

All of this in the most secure nation on Earth.

Now that's an awful lot of assumptions. If we went over everything in the 911 Omission Report, we would find even more.

The alternative explanations (that I won't bother reiterating here) make far fewer assumptions.

Re:Military projects (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281048)

The problem with conspiracy theorists is they insist on sticking to their theory even when several aspects of it are empirically shown to be false. The 9/11 conspiracy theories are a great example of this.

For example: you say the hijackers were uneducated, but that's demonstrably false. Mohammed Atta, for example, had a Master's degree.

Also, the Boeing 747 [wikipedia.org] is quite a bit larger than the Boeing 757. [wikipedia.org]

As for the Pentagon hit, there was tons of debris [abovetopsecret.com] , and they DID hit plenty of other things on the way in, including several fences, cars, and a generator.

As for the crack about the "most secure nation on Earth," maybe you missed all the news stories for years after 9/11 about how most of our highest value targets (power plants, water treatment, etc, etc) are still completely open and vulnerable to attack.

So in this case, it's not a conspiracy that can be made to fit the facts, it's a conspiracy that will fit the "facts" that were made up to fit the theory.

Re:Military projects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281666)

Such a shame. Straw men are easy targets. You know that Atta had a Master's degree, but could you name the age of each of the hijackers? How about half of them? Or could you tell me why we aren't interested in figuring out as much as possible about them? You say a Boeing 757 is much larger than a 747, when the fact is three of those flipping planes could have hit one of the towers, and they would not a turned to powder, or melted the steel. I'm sure that DC has the most secure air space on earth. That place is covered with SAM's, as it was before 9/11. How is it we didn't get a shot off, though we knew a plane was coming for an hour? I mean, come on, this isn't really the place to expose what what really happened, but it is a place where people try to use some logic. Your logic is so flawed, it's clear that you don't reason the way most of the developers here.

Re:Military projects (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281470)

Where to begin with the errors in this post. Let's start with:

"12 uneducated Muslim extremists"

Uneducated? Is that what you called Mohamed Atta with his Architecture degree from Cairo Univeristy and his Masters degree obtained in Germany? Or Abdulaziz al-Omari, also with a University degree? Many of the hijackers were educated. Not that all of them needed to be to wield a box cutter and cut up a few flight crew members in order to execute someone elses well-conceived hijack plan.

"They were able to fly the aircraft with pinpoint precision with only commercial pilot licenses at best (airline transport licenses really are required for this level of precision"

Wrong. ATP certificates are required to act as pilot in command of an airliner, but most flights you can take on an airline are flown 50% or more by the First Officers (copilot) who only have commercial pilots certificate. They will frequently fly one entire leg of a flight from takeoff to landing and let the captain fly the next leg. This is how they build the flight time to become an ATP. You must have already demonstrated proficiency in precision instrument flying and high performance manuevers to get your commercial certificate. There are no additional "precision" maneuvers learned for an ATP cert. It is only a matter of hours (1500 PIC) and an additional flight and written test. As a licensed Private Pilot, I have to say you sound like you know little about the subject. It is more difficult to fly precision manuevers in a Cessna 172 than in the airliners flown by these pilots, which are far more stable and easy to manuever, particulary when already in flight and trimmed for cruise. Nothing but throttle, yolk, and rudder were needed to accomplish the 9/11 hijackers task, which are the most elementary flight controls. Most home 'pilots' flying a computer flight simulator at 100% realism settings can accomplish the same feat with ease after a little practice. The hijacker pilots had real flight training by comparison. Now if you want difficuly, try shooting an ILS approach in a Cessna 172 in IFR conditions with winds gusting and moderate to heavy turbulance. Once you can do that, then you can discuss this with me from a position of authority.

"Further, they managed to vaporize all but a supposed APU wheel. "

Yeah, that and the other few thousand other pieces of wreckage, including the landing struts, engine sections, larger pieces of fuselage, etc. I guess you missed the photos of the other parts, so that means they don't exist, right? I mean if a website you found says there was only one piece of wreckage and has a picture of it, that must be right, huh? By the way, you don't have to melt aluminum or titanium in a high speed collision with reinforced concrete. It will mostly atomize into dust upon impact, as can be see in decades old military crash test videos found all over the net.

Let's see if you can count more than one piece of wreckage here:

http://www.rense.com/general32/phot.htm [rense.com]

And learn what happens when jets meet reinforced concrete walls, like those in the Pentagon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--_RGM4Abv8 [youtube.com]

Re:Military projects (2, Interesting)

thrawn_aj (1073100) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280476)

Somehow, the idea of "top-secret" government projects (called X-projects for some strange reason *roll*) that can do the things that people claim they do seems as much of a conspiracy theory as the whole UFO paranoia. I think people are taking that old bromide about there being a kernel of truth inside every legend a little too seriously :P. People are foolish enough, or attention-starved enough or diseased enough, or naive enough to get there on their own. One can summarize this lunacy in a simple (albeit fuzzy) equation: Search for meaning + lack of scientific tools = significance junkie (religious or pseudoscientific). Of course, I personally encourage the UFO nuts to continue with their fairly harmless obsession. Keeps them out of trouble. I mean, really, it's no different from collecting stamps is it?

Re:Military projects (2, Interesting)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280602)

I typically hear them refered to as black projects, and skunkworks type stuff, and the only place I have seen X anything is in regards to eXpierimental aircraft. The X-2 for example was the 1st plane to break the sound barrier, X-15 is in that realm of sound barrier breaking research as well, the X-35 is just the Joint Strike Fighter thats all the rage in the news.

Aside from that, I have often wondered if the 'conspiracy' is government supplied. Think about this, you are doing top secret research during the cold war era, spies everywhere. Something bad happens, there is a mishap, and now there are a bunch of people that saw it, and even more people (important ones, not just your average paranoid schmuck) that are terribly terribly interested in what you were doing. So you tell a weak story and then sow the seeds of alien/UFO conspiracy. Almost any form of HUMINT is going to be completely and utterly worthless as every man, woman, and child is talking about the alien spacecraft and not a top secret research project mishap.

ohh, look, I can be insightful too! (3, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280802)

Presumably the Flying Spaghetti Monster's appendages are saucer shaped. The idea of many is that these flying saucers are nothing but the ends of his noodly appendages. I don't see why this isn't likely to be the case.

Welcome to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280840)

...Project Big Blue Book!

Nothing New - A Real Yahoo! (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279810)

The search tool employs IBM's OmniFind Yahoo! Edition enterprise search software

Nothing new here, you always had to be a real "YAHOO!" to believe in UFO's anyway.

Re:Nothing New - A Real Yahoo! (1)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280020)

if they were smart, they would use this to find a new business plan.

Re:Nothing New - A Real Yahoo! (4, Insightful)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280978)

Want a a business plan?

1. Attract gullible people around paranormal search engine.
2. Use advertisement space to sell magnetic healing jewlery, talismans, tin-foil hats and other crap.
3. Profit!

Correction (4, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280210)

UFOs exist, that is a fact. A UFO is by definition an unidentified flying object. Hundreds of cases of aerial objects that can't be immediately identified have been reliably documented (and by qualified observers).

What you choose to "believe" or not believe is what UFOs represent. If your position is that it would be irrational to assume these represent alien spacecraft, then the correct statement would be "you always had to be a real "YAHOO!" to believe UFOs were alien spacecraft."

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281658)

I have a hunch that some "UFOs" aren't flying at all. I'm thinking of mirages at night which allow the viewer to see some campfire, headlights, or whatever beyond the horizon. Seemingly impossible aerial acrobatics by the UFO could be explained by the shifting of the mirage.

Re:Nothing New - A Real Yahoo! (5, Funny)

JohnnyLocust (855742) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280284)

Maybe we could use it to find Duke Nukem Forever

Re:Nothing New - A Real Yahoo! (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280286)

Nothing new here, you always had to be a real "YAHOO!" to believe in UFO's anyway.

Why, UFO's most certainly exist. All they have to be is unidentified and flying.

Now, wether or not they're aliens is a different story. But, 'UFO' doesn't directly imply that.

Cheers

Re:Nothing New - A Real Yahoo! (1)

dctoastman (995251) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280364)

So, if you can't identify it, it's flying, and you are sure it is from a foreign nation, can we start assuming aliens then?

Re:Nothing New - A Real Yahoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280358)

You have to be a REAL "YAHOO!" not to know what a UFO is.

Re:Nothing New - A Real Yahoo! (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280608)

Wouldn't Yahoos explain most UFO sightings as Laputa?

Hey! I know!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279814)

Let's make a TV Show out of this!

While... (4, Funny)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279816)

While I understand that this is probably good for pageviews and thus revenue, do we really have to encourage these people?

Haha mod parent up (0, Offtopic)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279894)

lol.

Re:While... (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280072)

I'd type up a witty reply, but the Government is watching me.

Re:While... (1)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280166)

do we really have to encourage these people?

Unquestionably there's a lot of crap out there on these topics. But what we can probably all agree would be nice is if there were some site which organized such things with the ability for user moderation to raise the better material above the crap.

(Unfortunately this does not seem to be what Yahoo has in mind...)

Re:While... (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280636)

While I understand that this is probably good for pageviews and thus revenue, do we really have to encourage these people?

Yes, we should. There is a part of me that would love to have the cash to just throw up a DVR security system for 1.5-2K with 4 cameras and record everything that flies over head or also cars passing by my house. I'd want to be able to have pics/videos of what passed, and a date/time stamp, with the GPS cordinates, of my home. To me, every plane flying over my home is a UFO and every car that passes infront of my house is a UDO (UnId'd Driving Object.)

If I had a setup recording that type of data, I'd be willing to exchange it with others to ID all those objects. I'd like to know the ID for every plane, car, or just jogger that passes by my house.

Don't click the link! (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279828)

That's what they want you to do!

Re:Don't click the link! (1)

VEGETA_GT (255721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280022)

set your in foil hats to maxumen people

Re:Don't click the link! (1)

Mercuria (145621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280168)

It doesn't matter anyway. The fnords will prevent anyone from successfully aggregating any data about what's really going on.

Is this really a good use of resources? (2, Interesting)

Tokimasa (1011677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279830)

Sure, it might be interesting. But why isn't IBM devoting resources to actual space research? Or even something more earth based?

Re:Is this really a good use of resources? (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279884)

It is called capitalism. IBM has a service for "tuned" search engines. Some organization was willing to pay IBM to tune it for paranormal searches. IBM took their cash.

I;'d argue it is a wonderful allocation of resources. Idiots gave their money away. Intelligent people will then get to use it for something more purposeful. What is wrong with that?

Re:Is this really a good use of resources? (1)

Tokimasa (1011677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279914)

After re-reading both the story here and the article linked to, it doesn't say anything about IBM being hired or paid to do this. In fact, the use of "teaming up" makes it seem like it wasn't about the financial gain for IBM. If this was a normal contract, then it would be different. But I don't see why IBM would want any part of this unless they were doing something for their gain. I'm failing to see how IBM will gain from this.

Yea. I could have saved them... (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280666)

lots of time and expense.

The work has already been done. [forteantimes.com]

Mulder would have been happy.... (2, Funny)

rd (30144) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279838)

I'm sitting here on the couch watching X Files thinking that this may have made Mulder and Scully's job a bit easier...

Re:Mulder would have been happy.... (2, Funny)

BendingSpoons (997813) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280304)

Scully, I've received another report of spontaneous human combustion. Quick - to the IBM's OmniFind Yahoo! Edition enterprise search software with UFO Crawler!

With any luck, we'll find a few geocities pages documenting this bizarre phenomenon. If we're extremely lucky, we might even come across a few poorly animated gifs of the combustion process.

How many people really believe in these things? (1)

kiyoshilionz (977589) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279866)

Honestly. I'm a skeptic of religion because it proclaims that some invisible "being" is responsible for our world. There's no physical evidence to back that up (I don't want to start a debate here though, this is just my opinion). For the EXACT SAME REASON I feel like UFO's, extraterrestrials, ghosts, poltergeists, etc. are all not real. Nothing to really back it up. Am I the only skeptic or do people actually believe in this ish?

Simple flame-free answer (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280004)

Am I the only skeptic or do people actually believe in this ish?
You're not the only skeptic, and there are people who believe in this "ish."

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280026)

Okay, time to play devil's advocate as it were.

You don't believe in some invisible entity being responsible for life on this world. That means that you believe in evolution, yes?

Now, let's say that, theoretically, that this is not the only world out there capable of sustaining some form of life. Say there's one in every three planatary systems just for the sake of argument.

On some subset of those, there must be some form of life. On some subset of *that* it must have evolved into intelligent life. It then stands to reason that at least a few of *those* have evolved to the point of travel outside of their world - possibly even outside of their solar system.

Therefore it only makes sense, given the above, that it is indeed possible that UFOs are real.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280154)

There's a huge difference between "believing UFOs are real" and "believing UFOs are possible". People like you who lump the two together indistinctively cause a great deal of confusion in the debate.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (2, Insightful)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280388)

Actually, proving something is possible is a large step on the way to proving something exists. That doesn't cause confusion unless you don't realize that the two are in fact, connected.

The words Necessary but not Sufficient come to mind.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280996)

Finding a necessary but not sufficient condition for something is not generally a "large step on the way to proving something" in mathematics(which it seems like you're referencing). It could be a proof that something is false(if we already know the condition does not hold), but it is otherwise unhelpful.

A demonstration of this: 3 > 2 is a necessary but not sufficient condition for 3 > 4(assuming we already know that 4 > 2). Nevertheless, proving 3 > 2 is not a "large step on the way" towards proving 3 > 4.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (5, Interesting)

morsdeus (1059938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280186)

I think the distinction is that while intelligent, civilization-forming extraterrestrial life may be not only real but abundant on cosmic scales, the likelihood that any intelligent lifeform smart enough to develop an economical method of traveling interstellar distances within a reasonable timeframe would have any desire to come to Earth is exceedingly low. And even if they did, it further stands to reason that they would either interfere with us outright, or be completely undetectable, that any experiments they performed would not be half-assed jobs that left people running around with partial memories chatting about it, and they would certainly not be allied with, much less occasionally overpowered by, the US government/military.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (2, Insightful)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280318)

Disclaimer: I'm just continuing the logical argument and not expressing my own beliefs.

By the same token, you could consider our wildlife tagging and study methods to be half-assed. I mean, after all, we aren't undetectable to the animals in question. The people doing the studies just don't think the animals are intelligent enough to be phased by the actions being performed on them.

Who says we aren't experiencing the same thing from the animal's point of view?

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (2, Funny)

ShibaInu (694434) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280908)

To quote the Simpsons: We have reached the limits of what anal probing can teach us!

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280984)

Animals aren't intelligent, and we don't have to cross several lightyears in order to study them. If we had the capability to speak to the animals, and had to travel interstellar distances before we could even look at them, do you really think we'd bother tagging them?

You'd have to be a bit crazy to suggest that a species which has perfected space-travel to the extent needed to make interstellar research viable could learn ANYTHING by sticking glorified thermometers up the asses of rednecks and certifiable lunatics.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281480)

Animals aren't intelligent

I wouldn't be so quick to jump to that conclusion. I've seen quite a few examples of intelligent animals. The two that come to mind off the top of my head are my cat and dog.

My cat has figured out how to lock the door to my house and enjoys doing so every time I step outside if I've made him angry. It has gotten to the point that I take my keys with me if I go to check the mail.

My dog, on the other hand, figured out how to undo any lock we attached to his collar. The only thing that kept him at the house while he was alive (he died of old age several years ago) was his desire to be there. He would literally let himself loose, run around for a while and then come back, knock on the door and follow you into the back yard where he was tied out.

Even if you don't consider those things to be signs of intelligence, there have been stories recently (I believe one even made it on here) of primates using tools in order to hunt. There have been reports at zoos for years that they used them to gather food, and I think we can safely say that tool use is a sign of intelligence.

Personally, I think that your assertion that animals are unintelligent is pretty well shot...

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

morsdeus (1059938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281298)

Hmm. That's fairly reasonable, but I'd still contend that there's a fundamental divide of sapience, awareness, and technology between humans and most lower animals that makes fully direct analogies to our treatment of them not totally accurate.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

Trails (629752) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280640)

No it doesn't. What you've laid out is the possibility of intelligent life on other planets.

You haven't addressed some of the other very real challenges, e.g. the prohibitiveness of interstellar travel, statistically insignificant chance of "them" finding "us", etc..., you've just assumed intelligent life on other planets implies the possibility of UFO's.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281154)

What you're exploring has been standardized in the drake equation:
http://www.activemind.com/Mysterious/Topics/SETI/d rake_equation.html [activemind.com]

Note that I think ne is ridiculous, I would expect that to be a fractional quantity.

You have to make a slight modification if you want to find out if there are alien visitors in UFOs hanging around (add a couple of extra fractional multipliers).

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280034)

I imagine the number of people in the world who don't hold some sort of irrational belief based on no evidence whatsoever is so incredibly small that we may as well call it 0. I like to think that my own superstitions or irrational behaviors are slightly less crazy than believing that there are extraterrestrials flying around in Earth's atmosphere all the time who only ever make contact with random nutjobs out in the boonies and the whole thing is covered up by a really good conspiracy, or that there's some invisible man in the sky with infinite power controlling everything, but I'd say that when Aristotle claimed that man is a rational animal he was pretty much completely wrong.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280042)

Am I the only skeptic or do people actually believe in this ish?


I believe in UFOs but not the other stuff. Why? Because there are UFOs. There are many things we see in the sky and record which, after exhaustive analysis and investigation, cannot be explained. Thus, they are Unidentified Flying Objects.

Even Project Blue Book, for the scam that it was, had a small percentage of cases which could not be explained.

Does this mean that these are crafts from another planet? Maybe, maybe not. All we know for sure is that they are Unidentified Flying Objects.

Besides, what is the difference between believing in UFOs and life on another planet? In neither case do we have proof but in both cases we can say that more than likely, such things exist.

And before you Taliban types start chiming in, in both cases we can test whether either is true. In the case of life on another planet it's simply a matter of finding such a place. In the case of UFOs, we either shoot one down or find one that crashes or, in a neat way to answer both questions, one lands and out steps creatures from another planet.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280132)

But if you shoot down a UFO, and then identify it, it is no longer a UFO.

I think this is the big problem - every time one is shot down or analyzed it loses the "U" from its designation.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280164)

True, but if we did shoot one down, it would answer the other question.

It's like anything which is unidentified. Once we figure out (or think we figured out) what it is, it's no longer unidentified.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280338)

If it was shot down, it would also lose the F, and it would just be an O.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (2, Funny)

Zephyros (966835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280410)

When you shoot one down, you tend to lose the "F" as well. Which pretty much just makes it an object.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

Zephyros (966835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280472)

Bah. I guess that's what I get for not refreshing right before posting.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280298)

Of course for all of the above a wise saying bears repeating:

Absence of Proof, is not Proof of Absence.

And of course, we cannot find anything if we do not seek it. Which is exactly what this is. I suppose you don't believe in the higgs boson either [wikipedia.org] ?

Now you *can* logically argue that we are unlikely to find these things, or its not economically in our interests to devote resources to the search for them. But Please, if you're going to be a "skeptic" at least base your skepticism in something more "scientific" than absence of proof.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

proxy318 (944196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281034)

Absence of proof is not proof in itself. The basis of science is that you only accept hypotheses once you have evidence to support them. Arguing "it's real because you can't prove it isn't" is just silly. I can't prove Santa Clause isn't real, so he must be, right?

Prove that I'm not queen of the purple unicorns! (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281100)

Absence of proof is what all scepticism is based on. When you investigate 9,000 cases of reported UFO sightings, or reported "miracle healers", or "psychics", "fortune tellers", "dowsers", and "honest politicians", and EVERY SINGLE ONE turns out to be a fraud, does it really make sense to believe that case number 9,001 will turn out to be the real deal? Not bloody likely. You, like many other people before you, have raped the phrase "absence of proof is not proof of absence". It absolutely does not apply in the way in which you are attempting to use it. Being a skeptic means demanding proof. Believing things on faith alone is religion, not scepticism.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

Chemkook (915402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280366)


There is lots of evidence.

It's just that NASA is hiding it from you and you have not made an effort to look.

Just search for "NASA UFO" on YouTube or Google Video.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

milesObrien (707364) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280380)

I've never seen this site referenced here, so I'll post: http://www.ufoevidence.org/ [ufoevidence.org] If even a small percentage of the most credible accounts here are true, then the Earth has been regularly visited by unknown entities for a long time. Yes, there are a LOT of mistaken observations, hoaxes, etc. But it is also true that the HUGE number of highly credible reports (Pilots, police, first responders, educated, articulate people, etc) in databases like these indicates that something beyond the capabilities of human tech is going on. ...and just because Coelacanths were unknown to official science until the mid 20th century, does not mean they didn't exist.

No more unbelievable than the Big Bang (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280752)

With any belief system, there are always some axioms - weasle words you just have to accept otherwise the system, and thus any framework for discussion/debate, falls down.

God made the Universe: Ok then, so where did God come from? Well He's always been there... So if God has always been there why can't the Universe have always been there? Nope, God existed before everything else.

The Universe was created by the Big Bang: OK what was there before the Big Bang (ie. where did all that energy come from)? You can't ask that, because the concept of time is meaningless before the Big Bang.

Re:No more unbelievable than the Big Bang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280916)

With any belief system, there are always some axioms - weasle words you just have to accept otherwise the system, and thus any framework for discussion/debate, falls down.
Except pragmatism [wikipedia.org] , which pretty much states that the truth a of a set of beliefs can be indicated by its usefulness in helping humans cope with a particular context of life. This system can be applied to bleifs from the scientific to the spiritual, ensuring that if something does fall down as described above, it's no longer useful and you're better off without it.

Re:How many people really believe in these things? (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280990)

My thought is that the word Belief is problematic. To believe is the same as to not believe--it means that you pre-choose a position and start discarding evidence that my come in to support the opposing position.

To be able to state what you know without going into what you believe would be much better.

There is no evidence about God one way or the other... You are welcome to choose to believe something, just remember that it's your personal opinion and not a fact--unless you have personal evidence.

When it comes down to it--the word Belief should be very close to the word "Imagine" or "Dream", if you actually have personal proof, it's not a belief it's a fact or knowledge (at least for you). There are a few things I have personal proof of that are outside the belief structure of a typical skeptic, so I get really nervous when I see that word--skeptics are believers as well, they have faith in the fact that a lack of physical evidence can imply something--The original "Flat earthers" were absolutely skeptics.

seriously? (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279880)

IBM is actually seriously interested in this? Is there actually any money to be made? Its not April 1st is it?

Re:seriously? (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279960)

Well, it's been said that a fool and his money are soon parted... and it occurs to me there's more than enough people who believe in UFO's, angels, haunted houses, etc. Search-engine-wise, it's an untapped market.

So does this mean... (0)

Bardez (915334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279892)

... that goatse and/or tubgirl will be included in their "just plain bizarre" section?

IBM (0)

i_dream_in_black_and (1011287) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279928)

Integrated Bullshit Management

ufologist (5, Funny)

BigHungryJoe (737554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279946)

I'm a trained Ufologist and I'm thinking I would NEVER trust a search engine from IBM - that would be like giving me a UFO search engine written by the US gov't. I *KNOW* where the files I need to see are - they are in gov't bldgs at Area 51 and I don't need a search engine to tell me that.

Re:ufologist (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279962)

I *KNOW* where the files I need to see are - they are in gov't bldgs at Area 51

At what point in your investigation did you become certain the files were at Area 51?

Re:ufologist (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280084)

I'm a trained Ufologist

What exactly is a "trained Ufologist"? As far as I'm aware, there are no degrees or otherwise officially recognized courses that would lend themselves to being referred to as "training" Ufologists. Which means that most Ufologists are of the self-taught persuasion.

Not that I'd mind being proven wrong. I'm just not aware of such a thing as you describe.

Re:ufologist (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280824)

This reminds me of the time I was watching a show on Discovery about "lay lines." They were talking to a guy who was the world expert in them, and I could have sworn I had seen him before. Then they showed a clip of him driving a school bus, and it hit me: He drove my bus in elementary school!

So, really, a "trained ufologist" could be someone who is really interested in their hobby of looking at grainy photographs of saucer-shaped things.

Re:ufologist (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281234)

The roswell ufo museum and research center offers accreditation as a ufologist. I got mine there.
http://www.roswellufomuseum.com/ [roswellufomuseum.com]

Re:ufologist (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280102)

So what accredited university has a degree plan in unidentified flying objectologoy?

I mean, really, wouldn't xenology sound better?

Re:ufologist (1)

Y-Studios (988661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280114)

All right Mr."My Favorite Martian" Give me the links to theses files!.....

wow, me too! (4, Funny)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280848)

I'm a scientician with a BS in ufology! We should team up!

Found on google maps (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279972)

OK I give up Re:Found on google maps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280498)

Can someone explain to me why google maps has a high-resolution image that is about the size of a trailer home somewhere in the middle of Chad? This one spot we can almost count the hairs on the camel. But anywhere beyond there we can't see squat for squat.
Google maps doesn't even have satellite images this high res for my own neighborhood!

Re:OK I give up Re:Found on google maps (2, Interesting)

schnipschnap (739127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280874)

See here [googlesightseeing.com]

I recently got DSL ==\^_^/==

Re:Found on google maps (1)

golgoj4 (993133) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280986)

the bigger question is why are those guys looking up?

UFO's, Ghosts . . . Meteor Freaks? (4, Funny)

e_armadillo (14304) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280088)

Hmmmmm, a searchable "Wall of Weird", cool.

Well, this accomplished one thing... (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280174)

IBM is sure getting word of mouth advertising out of this for their 'tuned search engine' services.

"NASA UFO" on YouTube and Google Video (1)

Chemkook (915402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280272)


People,

Just check out the "NASA UFO" videos on YouTube and Google Video.

STS-75 and STS-80 are amoung my favorites.

The one where NASA can't find Mir is good too.

Oh, and by the way, the more research you do, the more you will realize that
the whole moon landing thing was faked.

Thank you everyone. (2, Funny)

bigwhatever (1073404) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280344)

My faith in humanity is restored, temporarily.

For the first time in my life, I'm seeing a crowd that doesn't wonder if Egyptian hieroglyphs, crop circles, and the Xbox 360 all have the same origin. (link [cropcircleconnector.com] )

goaT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280412)

Targeting Ghosts 'n Goblins? (2, Funny)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280424)

Good luck, IBM. I don't think even Blue Gene could beat that video game.

Rob

We already KNOW there are UFOs (1)

shoolz (752000) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280558)

We've seen them:
  • They are (U)nidentified;
  • They are (O)bjects;
  • They (F)ly.

Who wouldn't agree that people frequently see flying things that they can't identify? Only CRAZY people wouldn't agree.

Re:We already KNOW there are UFOs (1)

Y-Studios (988661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280638)

I don't agree but, you know it's a conspiracy theory, it's all fake and made up. *Waiting to Get Attack...*

Sorry, no. (1)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280746)

What you've identified are clearly "U OFs." There is at least one in every state.

Something needs to to be blamed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280600)

when the Christians are raptured

Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280810)

...to recap yesterday's stories, thanks to IBMs keen sense of prioritization of providing tools to researchers:
AIDS has been erradicated,
Alzheimers is now a thing of the past,
Global Warming has been brought to a halt,
clean drinking water is available to everyone world-wide,
all forms of cancer are treatable with a pill that tastes like skittles,
Iran and Israel together brought democracy to North Korea,
...,
...,
...,

Paranormal web crawler? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280838)

What a great, new idea!

http://paranormal.newsbot.gotdns.org/ [gotdns.org]

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18280942)

A use for the wi-fi I installed in my aluminum hat!

So, IBM can tell us... (1)

curecollector (957211) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281326)

...what the queers are doing to the soil?
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