A Peek Behind the Circular Curtain
[Editors Note: Dear Readers, It is our pleasure to introduce to you this very interesting new VT writer]
… by Daniela Giordano
Those mysterious agriglyphs that crop up almost routinely in (mostly) British farmland cannot escape the same kind of critical analysis applied by seasoned critics to various products of creativity — exploring the how and the why of the product’s elements by focusing, in part, on its style.
In the artist’s mind, pictorial expression comes first conceptually, then becomes realized. But every touch, each brush stroke, each light-dark feature invariably will have the personal flair of the artist’s own vision.
That particular imprint is called style. The style presents itself in every product of a creative mind. It remains the constant set of an artist’s individual characteristics.
Without having to compile an exhaustive list, we can see this concept inherent in photos, fashion, jewelry, drawings, literature, and music composition. We even can recognize the style in archeology so as to distinguish, in tablets engraved thousands of years ago, one scribe from another.
Thanks to these differences in style, we do not confuse Renoir with Picasso or Michelangelo with Bosch. But can such differentiation be applied to something anomalistic and still offer useful information? Advanced research into this subject matter can bring us closer to some answers.
Almost everyone, for better or worse, knows or has heard about the so-called crop circles, those elaborate designs appearing annually in early summer, mostly in southern England but also, since 1996, in the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Australia, Brazil, Japan, and recently in Indonesia.
The authentic ones, those incorporating features such as chemical changes in soil as well as biological and electromagnetic effects, display enormous beauty and geometric harmony.
Early on, from a cursory view of these phenomenal icons, one might have concluded that they have absolutely no meaning. Upon their initial appearance in early 1975, they were just simple round marks in the ground; then, circa 1990, the icons grew more complex, eventually morphing into real pictograms, sometimes of remarkable dimensions.
Today, now that we have a more global view of their whole, we carefully can analyze their evolution over time as we perceive at first glance their complexity of design. Many of them embody stunningly beautiful graphics.
But who can draw something so special without at the same time revealing something about its originator? For persons accustomed to seeing portrayals on canvas or film (for example), the work’s personal touch from its creator tends to skip past the eye, beyond the work’s intended meaning.
One’s carefully observing the pictograms of the past 20 years could result in discerning at least four or five different styles. This finding might mean that their intellectual conception probably derives from four or five different individuals (or teams).
But if the circles’ designers are attempting to “make contact” with Earth-bound minds, our observation, cataloguing, and analysis of their shapes and patterns must lead us to deduce that many pictographs, or crop circles, have their own particular style: a style that could be attributed to groups of different pictograms. And this categorization suggests creations of “art” from different minds.
Thus far, the origin and purpose of these naggingly persistent icons remain unknown. But recently some scientists in their on-site investigations have identified, independently of one another, certain (organized) elements of mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, and biology. This ongoing research, however, provides only a partial picture of exceedingly complex data yet to be acquired and analyzed.
Most of the scientific community has chosen to ignore the phenomenon (at least officially), given the topic’s “slipperiness.” But it’s almost certain that a tiny segment of this community has accepted responsibility for interpreting these intriguing symbols.
After years of speculation and hypothesizing, we’re starting just now to understand that the crop circles could be scientific “communication” of some sort — often astronomical or mathematical, as in the case of the formation known as the “Mandelbrot Set” or the spectacular “Julia Set” crop, named after the two scientists (both mathematicians): Benoit Mandelbrot and Gaston Julia.
Mandelbrot is known for his work on fractal geometry that has developed based on the mathematics of Gaston Julia, thus leading to the inception of computerized graphical representation of equations. Mandelbrot is the founder of what today is called fractal geometry.
Indeed, what better point of reference for an “exchange” of information than this circle-borne embodiment of mathematics, chemistry, or astronomy?
As the late anomalist Charles Fort noted, “One measures a circle, beginning anywhere.” Someone could give us information that our scientists barely understand.
But the exciting challenge lies in the potential for broader knowledge to be bestowed upon us. And why would it be thus imparted?
Probably because the circle-eers wish to converse on safe grounds (aware, as they are, of our relatively primitive behavior); and they can pursue this rapport only if they have (and can share) mutual knowledge.
Someone must’ve noticed the need for dialogue if a little-known Malaysian astrophysicist, Dr. Mazlan Othman, responsible director for the UNOOSA, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Vienna, Austria (which promotes international cooperation on peaceful uses of outer space), has been granted a “joke” that inadvertently propelled her to the forefront in the international media; the issue: contact.
Had she not (wittingly or otherwise) perched on that slippery limb, no-one but a small elite of the scientific community would’ve ever known that the prestigious Royal Society had organized, in London, a seminar/discussion on “The Detection of Extraterrestrial Life and the Consequences for Science and Society.”
Prof. Othman’s introduction at the seminar highlighted her proposal: not the individual nations but the office of the United Nations and the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) would be more appropriate to handle a global response to the discovery of extraterrestrial life, and be able to tackle scientific problems as well as certain social, legal, and ethical issues that certainly would emerge.
Judging by some of the ensuing headlines, and considering the names and qualifications of the other speakers, it is clear that the concern over what to do in case of “contact” by “different” beings is a reality that most people prefer to disregard.
Here, for example, are only some of the topics discussed:
The Evolution of Organic Matter in Space– Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund, George Washington University e Università di Leiden, The Netherlands (Paesi Bassi);
Predicting What Extraterrestrials Will Be Like, and Preparing for the Worst – Prof. Simon Conway Morris, FRS, Università di Cambridge, U.K. (who is convinced that “if the phone rings it’s best not to respond,” echoing the same line of Stephen Hawkings, one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists of our time);
Extraterrestrial Life in the European Space Agency’s Cosmic Vision Plan and Beyond – Dr. Malcolm Fridlund, European Space Agency (ESA), Divisione Astrophysics Mission, The Netherlands (Paesi Bassi);
The Search for Life in our Solar System and the Implications for Science and Society – Dr. Christopher P. McKay, NASA Ames, Space Science Division, USA;
The search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence – Dr. Frank Drake, SETI Institute, USA;
The Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life for Religion – Prof. Ted Peters, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, USA;
Fear, Pandemonium, Equanimity, and Delight: Human Responses to Extraterrestrial Life – Prof. Albert A. Harrison, University of California, Davis, USA;
Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life: Assessment by Scales of Its Importance and Associated Risks – Prof. Ivan Almar, Observatory of the Hungarian Science Academy, Hungary.
Thanks to a report from seminar attender Nick Pope, a former official with the British Defence Ministry, we learn that the speakers, although in a typically British way, were not devoid of heated discussions leading to warming of the meeting place’s atmosphere.
A month after this Royal Society-sponsored event, another international meeting of experts took place. Though it was just as important as — and in some ways more disturbing than — the seminar, this latest gathering elicited little attention from the hoi polloi.
In Saudi Arabia’s capital city of Riyadh, from January 22–25, 2011, the invited participants converged at the Fifth Annual Forum on Global Competitiveness. Among the luminaries on hand were such former heads of state as Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and Jean Cretien, a former Canadian prime minister.
The forum’s deliberations were directed at the top executives of the most innovative organizations and international corporations; among the attenders was Alberto Pirelli, vice president of the Italian company bearing his family name.
The forum sought to have participants address not just existing challenges but also the need for developing future innovations as they try to find the right balance of economic growth and sustainability through competition.
In this context, the forum convened a plenary session focused on input from some of the planet’s top UFO experts. Their discussion topic: “Contact: What Can We Learn from Outer Space,” its initial title being “UFOs and Innovation.”
True, it was only a small group of UFO-E.T.-oriented speakers who held forth, but their message reflected their high caliber of experience, knowledge, and commitment.
Responding to this historic occasion were nuclear physicist Stanton T. Friedman; Nick Pope, in his omnipresent authority drawn from service at the “UFO desk” during his 21 years with the British Ministry of Defence;Jacques Vallee U. S.-based astrophysicist and mathematician; Michio Kaku, astrophysicist and science writer; and the Egyptian Zaghloul El Naggar, professor of earth sciences and member of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs.
Note: by their own presence, Pope and Vallee added depth to the forum because of their status as venture-capital investors, whereby they help fund startups or support other growth in areas of high potential for development.
So the participants were treated to not only a healthy (and free) sampling of UFO info, as a laymen might say, but also to updates on science and high finance.
The occasion succeeded in having the experts’ contributions shared with selected world leaders as to how (and why) certain fundamental aspects of UFO reality and extraterrestrial life have an impact on economic competitiveness.
Therefore, according to prospects of a future energy shortage (and there were a number of oil producers at the forum), it would behoove us to invest in researching advanced propellants and “different” propulsion systems. By this time, say, in the next year or two, will more of the scientific community come to realize that extraterrestrial life and technology are inextricably linked — and that international businessmen are seeking to capitalize on how UFOs operate so as to improve our industrial competitiveness?
While at the popular level we continue debating the question of whether some UFOs truly exist as alien spacecraft, and continue to welcome TV shows airing guests’ opinions for and against, or it is reduced to making it an article of faith, our captains of government and private industry have embarked upon a mutually beneficial path toward a positive transformation of our civilization as we know it.
We can only hope that progress will come slowly and evenly to the major powers; otherwise, we once again will undergo serious communicative conflicts over the pursuit of technological advancement that perhaps we do not deserve yet. — D. G.
Editing: Jim W. Dean