back to article Astroboffins say our Solar System could have – wait, stop, what... the US govt found UFOs?

Our Solar System may have been born from bubbles of material hurled from a colossal Wolf-Rayet-type star, according to a theory published Friday. Scientists studying the origin of our system generally believe – no, wait, sorry. Stop. You know 2017 has been a bonkers year when the New York Times reveals a classified $22m US …

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  1. K Silver badge

    Oh go on then..

    You deserve it... $22 Million Zimbabwe dollars have been deposited to your account, as promised!

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "$22 Million Zimbabwe dollars have been deposited to your account, as promised!"

      And that's why contracts with the USG are a 1000 pages long.

    2. Oh Homer Silver badge
      Alien

      The paranoid obsession with extraterrestrials

      The fact that there are other people on this planet, some of whom are allegedly of a different "race", does not somehow send me into hysterical fits of panic. The fact that there are more entire species of living organisms on this planet than there are individual humans in Switzerland, also does not send me into an apoplectic tizzy.

      So why the fuck should it be such a big deal that there are organisms living somewhere other than on this rock?

      Of course there are. Why wouldn't there be?

      Apparently there are people living in China too, which is very far away from me. Should this fact bother me somehow? Should it bother me if they lived even further away, such as 10,000 miles above the surface of the Earth? How about 20,000 miles? How about 1,000,000?

      Seriously, what difference does it make? It's just distance, and the variance between species is just biology. Why the paranoid hysteria? Why the obsession?

      "They" are out there, somewhere, in fact everywhere, where "they" comprises everything from slugs to Germans to some currently undocumented, perhaps humanoid species of life on other planets.

      Deal with it!

      1. daemonoid

        Re: The paranoid obsession with extraterrestrials

        Because if alien food is half as good as Chinese food then I can’t wait for first contact...

        1. Wandering Reader

          Re: The paranoid obsession with extraterrestrials

          "Because if alien food is half as good as Chinese food then I can’t wait for first contact..."

          Alien food tastes a lot like pork, apparently. And the aliens are keen to experience the new ingredients available on Earth.

          1. VultureTX

            Re: The paranoid obsession with extraterrestrials

            "Alien food tastes a lot like pork, apparently. And the aliens are keen to experience the new ingredients available on Earth."

            Well the name of their cookbook translates to " How to serve man", xenophiles are quite encouraged by their willingness to help.

        2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: The paranoid obsession with extraterrestrials

          Because if alien food is half as good as Chinese food then I can’t wait for first contact...

          Make sure they don't try to pawn off any of that half-dead Gagh on you. It needs to be fresh and still wriggling.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The paranoid obsession with extraterrestrials

        With regard to paranoid hysteria, I speculate that it's the socially-conditioned response that is optimal for people in power to stay in power - it's not the fact that it's a different species that frightens those in power, but the fact that the extraterrestrial species might see the pathologically insane way they stay in power. And might have a way to stop it.

        So, continuing with this paranoid notion, pitting humans vs. extraterrestrials means that even if the extraterrestrial species WANTED to help humans, they couldn't do it safely. Fear is a powerful motivator, and people's motivations can be subject to the various tones broadcast by media. Then again, this is speculation presupposing that the extraterrestrials even cared to interact with us.

        On the far end of the paranoid spectrum, and I mean WAY far end, if you have something that looks "alien-ish", like the B-52 Bomber during the Civil War era? It means that you can create a reason to pour TRILLIONS of dollars, like the entire funds of the entire Earth, into a program to defend against things like it.

        Again, all speculation. But, follow the money?

      3. Manu T

        Re: The paranoid obsession with extraterrestrials

        Just as Marvin said: "Incredible.... it's even worse than I thought it would be." :-)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=162&v=Eh-W8QDVA9s

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The paranoid obsession with extraterrestrials

        "The fact that there are other people on this planet, some of whom are allegedly of a different "race", does not somehow send me into hysterical fits of panic."

        But that we apparently have time travellers that still reside in the Middle Ages is more commonly a concern!

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Oh go on then..

      "You deserve it... $22 Million Zimbabwe dollars have been deposited to your account, as promised!"

      Ugandan Dollars, surely?

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Credulous or corrupt?

      Robert Bigelow has said he was absolutely convinced there were alien visitors to Earth. He founded the National Institute for Discovery Science to investigate anomalies. The Deputy Administrator of the institute appears to understand the difference between unidentified and extraterrestrial (the first requires the absence of evidence while the second requires strong evidence - some UFOlogists get this backwards). The institute was disbanded in 2004.

      According to the article the idea for the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program came from within the Defense Intelligence Agency. Pentagon officials went to visit Bigelow presumably because he has money and a desire to believe stories about extraterrestrial visitors. Bigelow took this to Harry Reid (D NV) presumably because he had power and a desire to believe stories about extraterrestrial visitors. Reid went back to the pentagon officials then roped in two more senators: Ted Stevens (R AK) and Daniel Inouye (D HI). The three senators got the funding approved, much of which went to Bigelow. All three senators did not want public discussion of the project or its funding. Pick a reason: embarrassment, to avoid being deluged with crank calls or corruption.

      In Bigelow's place, I would have spent a pittance on evidence of a serious investigation, sent some campaign contributions to the senators and put the rest in my pocket. There is evidence of a serious investigation. Bigelow is the sort of person who would actually spend this money on the reason it was paid to him. I looked for campaign contributions back to the senators, but found nothing related to Bigelow (would not be hard to hide this from me as it is not something I do for a living).

      Funding began in 2007 (I would like to blame Bush but I am sure he knew bugger all about any of this). The project officially ended in 2012 (I would like to blame Obama but I suspect the real reasons are that Stevens died in 2010 and Inouye died in 2012). The project has trundled on without funding for another five years and has hit the news because Luis Elizondo (project leader in the Pentagon) resigned to protest excessive secrecy and internal opposition.

      It is possible the investigation caught evidence of secret aviation research or military aircraft where they were not supposed to be. In Elizondo's place I would welcome the secrecy to hide the fact that my department had nothing to show for $4.4M/year and to fuel support from conspiracy theorists.

      So far, the story is consistent with people spending tax payers' money on a genuine attempt to investigate unidentified flying objects. If you have actual evidence of corruption (or extraterrestrials visiting Earth), please post it.

      1. Paper

        Re: Credulous or corrupt?

        Even if I literally saw aliens waving from a flying saucer, there's no way I think that it warrants spending $4.4 million a year. It's lunacy! If aliens managed to get all the way across the universe to our solar system, they'll likely say hello, Or integrate us into the borg collective.

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Paper

          My expectations of what governments do with tax payers' money are so low that I call $4.4M out of the $580G military budget not spent on killing, maiming and making enemies a win.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Credulous or corrupt?

          "If aliens managed to get all the way across the universe to our solar system, they'll likely say hello, Or integrate us into the borg collective."

          The only examples we have even close to that scenario is slightly more advanced human civilizations "discovering" other slightly less advanced human civilizations. The less advanced ones have almost always come off much, much worse than the advanced ones, either through conquest, culture shock or disease, even when the discovers had good intentions.

          I'd like to think that there is a "Federation" out there with a strict non-interference policy and UFOs are just rich kids breaking the rules and buzzing the natives for a laugh.

          1. Tom 64

            Re: Credulous or corrupt?

            > "UFOs are just rich kids breaking the rules and buzzing the natives for a laugh."

            In that case, we're probably doubly screwed if they do decide to make contact.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Credulous or corrupt?

          "Or integrate us into the borg collective."

          Maybe Google are in fact an alien intergalactic advertising organisation?

      2. Shadowmanx2012
        Meh

        Re: Credulous or corrupt?

        So far, the story is consistent with people spending tax payers' money on a genuine attempt to investigate unidentified flying objects. If you have actual evidence of corruption (or extraterrestrials visiting Earth), please post it.

        The problem here of course is what constitutes "evidence"? What exactly are people looking for? If it is evidence of unknown flying objects, then depending on your personal view, there is some evidence to suggest that at least some of the objects seen in the sky are under intelligent, if unusual, control.

        Does this constitute "evidence"? To some yes to others no.

        I do know this, even if there were "real" alien craft moving around and the various governments as many suspect know this, then they (governments) wouldn't admit it.

  3. Mephistro Silver badge
    Pint

    Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

    And Merry Christmas to you and fellow commentards!

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

      I was going to write similar - I liked her writing style here.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

        Yeah, it was the best article she's written for El Reg. Not just because it was funny but because I think she got the science right.That or I was too distracted by aliens to notice she'd screwed it up.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Alien

          Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

          BBC America has been playing a constant marathon of Dr. Who and it is my pleasure to recognize that in many parts of this article, the author did a pretty good impersonation of The Doctor's thought patterns, at least once or twice, or maybe 3 times... it doesn't matter.

          And how many of those UFO pics were of a small blue box that said "Police" on it...

          /me queues up theme song

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

            "/me queues up theme song"

            Cues. <Sticks tongue out>

            (Although, technically, you might be adding it to a queue on a media player, so maybe you're right and I'm wrong - admit it or take the escape clause. It's Christmas and I'm in a generous mood).

            1. Phil W

              Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

              Cueing it into a queue of music to cued?

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

                Cuedos!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

            "BBC America has been playing a constant marathon of Dr. Who"

            Enjoy it while you can. It's been ruined for me by BBC political correctness since the last series (i.e. filling it with as many minority types as possible and then rubbing your face in it - e.g. how many times in one series can a character tell you they don't date a specific sex?! ), and to cap it off now it's become Nurse Who.

            1. Trollslayer Silver badge
              Flame

              Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

              Re. the "Nurse Who" comment.

              You really are scared of women aren't you?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

                >>You really are scared of women aren't you?

                This is like the BBC producing Romeo and Juliet as Juliet and Juliet. It's just ridiculous political correctness for the sake of it. Agree 100% with the OP. There is no shortage of novels with female leads for the BBC to make into a series.

                1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

                  Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

                  is like the BBC producing Romeo and Juliet as Juliet and Juliet

                  They could do an adaptation of the webcomic "Romeo X Julien". I could just see John Barrowman as Julien.

                2. lorisarvendu

                  Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

                  Yeah but "Nurse Who"? Really? 2/10. Can Do Better.

                  Do you not realise that both professions of Doctor and Nurse have practitioners of both sexes, and have had since before the Classic series of your (alleged) favourite TV programme ended? My mum was a senior staff nurse in the 1970s and frequently referred to the many male nurses she worked with jokingly as "brother".

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

              "filling it with as many minority types as possible and then rubbing your face in it - e.g. how many times in one series can a character tell you they don't date a specific sex?!"

              Absolutely agree. Even in the Christmas episode the Doctor's companion finds it necessary to twice make it clear she is a lesbian. I don't remember any character EVER finding it necessary to point out they were not gay. It's completely lefty BBC politics in play. And quite offensive to many as it's broadcast when children might be watching.

              1. lorisarvendu

                Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

                " I don't remember any character EVER finding it necessary to point out they were not gay."

                Well certainly not in Doctor Who, where prior to the new series the subject of romantic or sexual relationships was strictly off-limits, but scenes where a heterosexual character has to continually fight off persistent advances from a stereotypical gay character who won't take no for an answer were 10 a penny on US and UK TV even as late as the 1980s (particularly in comedy shows). Characters like Bill Potts are simply redressing the balance.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

                  "Well certainly not in Doctor Who, where prior to the new series the subject of romantic or sexual relationships was strictly off-limits,"

                  So the OP is correct - this was basically never before mentioned in Doctor Who.

                  "characters like Bill Potter are simply redressing the balance"

                  No because as your own statement makes clear, there was never a balance to redress in Doctor Who. This seems to clearly be a case of pushing an offensive gay leftwing agenda where it doesn't belong.

                  1. Kiwi Silver badge

                    Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

                    This seems to clearly be a case of pushing an offensive gay leftwing agenda where it doesn't belong.

                    I'm both gay and pretty much a lefty at that (left of centre with right-wing traits sure, but mostly lefty).

                    I am quite happy to say such stuff as what has been discussed here does not belong in Dr Who. They started this stuff with Eccleston(sp), continued it to some degree under Tennant, I don't recall much of it under Smith of Capaldi but by the time we got through half of the Capaldi stuff that was it for me+Dr Who. There's the old series around, and I'd rather watch an episode made up from poor quality still pictures where the audio is more hum than speech, where it's been through several VCR's and the early text to describe what was going on has largely lost its definition (and is thus unreadable) than watch the modern versions. I quite liked most of the writing during Tennant's tenure, didn't mind Eccleston or Smith, but the first season with Capaldi was just too much (it's not really him as an actor, though how he portrayed the Dr may've had a bearing - but actors can only do so much with that level of crap writing!).

                    I think it was the one with the monster hatching from the moon and laying another egg that instantly became a new moon that finally stopped us watching.

                    1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

                      Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

                      The problem with todays Doctor Who revival is simply a lack of Tom Baker. And decent plot writing.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

                      "I am quite happy to say such stuff as what has been discussed here does not belong in Dr Who."

                      Glad to hear that. Forcing that theme on people in utterly unrelated content will just end up alienating people who are otherwise neutral or supportive...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

      "And Merry Christmas to you and fellow commentards!"

      I take it the down votes are from the same type of twits that say the lame "happy holidays"?

      Christmas is the reason for the season. Even if it's not for your particular sky fairy!

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

        "I take it the down votes are from the same type of twits that say the lame "happy holidays"?"

        You mean the established church?

        "Merry Christmas" as a greeting is relatively newfangled and is typically associated with Christmas cards and other commercialism of what was previously a purely religious holiday.

        Not to mention that the root of the word 'holiday' is (fairly obviously) 'holy day', and that for most people Christmas time is a holiday season (in either meaning of the word).

        Anyway, given that the bloody Christmas music and shop displays seems to start in flipping September these days, can you blame people for wanting as little to do with it as possible?

        PS, I won't even start on the pagan origins of Yule, or indeed people celebrating Christ's birth in the winter, despite the information in the bible pointing to a warmer time of year.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

          "You mean the established church?"

          No, the established church goes along with Merry Christmas since the 19th century as per your own link.

          ""Merry Christmas" as a greeting is relatively new-fangled"

          Since < 1843 isn't relatively new-fangled to most of us. Do you own a Delorian?!

          "can you blame people for wanting as little to do with it as possible?"

          When it's the reason for having Christmas holidays on most of the planet, I think trying to ignore that fact is pretty pedantic and pointless. I don't believe in a Sky Fairy, but it's still Christmas.

  4. HildyJ

    The Booboisie

    The unwashed masses won't read a science story that doesn't reference 'aliens', 'asteroid impact', or 'super volcano'.

  5. mics39

    Aluminum . . .

    That’s certainly alien. But not so exotic.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Aluminum . . .

      Is it transparent?

    2. Pete4000uk

      Re: Aluminum . . .

      What about aloominum?

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: Aluminum . . .

        "What about aloominum?"

        When correctly pronounced it rhymes with Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Lithium, Barium, etc. etc. etc.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alien UFO's are Real - True / False...

    Its disappointing how fast pushing towards 2020 we still know absolutely nothing except conjecture. Where is the 'Wikileaks' for leftover captured pieces of Roswell? Why is every video blurry and lacking detail (despite all the mass sightings and high quality cams we carry around in our pockets).

    Perhaps Occams razor is right as always. Harry Reid just wanted to funnel money to a friend with an expensive hobby. If not, where's the secret alien material hiding in Vegas, that supposedly we can't defend ourselves from?

    Whenever I see Giorgio Tsoukalos' stupid head on the History Channel, plugging ancient astronaut theories, I'm sure we're lost now more than ever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alien UFO's are Real - True / False...

      The problem with paranormal phenomena is that proponents and skeptics are not playing on a level field.

      One side says that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, which proponents have yet to supply. But proponents say they have many cases that haven't yet been dis-proven by skeptics, and that even a single case that withstands disproof is in effect proof of the case. Naturally the cases now run into the thousands.

      So skeptics are put in the position of having to dis-prove all claims, which is impossible in the real world, and this is put forward as 'evidence' that there is Something Real Going On.

      Thus we are forever doomed to endure half-baked claims about UFO's, bigfeet, ghosts, chemtrails, 20,000 year-old pyramids, faked moon landings, and computer OS'es that don't suck. And once in a very great while, one of those claims will turn out to actually be true! Don't hold your breath tho...

      1. Paper

        Re: Alien UFO's are Real - True / False...

        It's not so far fetched if you think about how many people, probably including readers on this very site, who believe in god because of so many circumstantial, hear-say and personal revelations. Yet not one solid scrap of evidence to show that a god exists.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Alien UFO's are Real - True / False...

          > "Yet not one solid scrap of evidence to show that a god exists."

          I disagree on principle. Reality is inexplicable. No way it got like that by accident. ;-/

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