UFO FILES. WHY I THINK THE MAJESTIC 12 IS A HOAX, BUT NOT THE REST OF THE UFO CLAIMS. #TRUMAN, #EISENHOWER, #PROJECT #BLUEBOOK, AND THE #SPACERACE

The alleged Majestic 12 – the secret group for investigating UFOs in the U.S. military.

UFO in the 1940s – 1960s in the U.S.

Recently, for the purposes of my sci fi novel ‘329 Years Awake’ I’ve been researching various UFO themes, and I am particularly fascinated with the 1947-1963 period. Let’s recap what was going on in the U.S. history during that period.

During Truman administration, in 1947, near Roswell New Mexico, we all know what happened. At least we know that something definitely happened. Namely, something crashed on a farm, and the rest is history. High ranking military looked into that crash and briefly it created hype in the media. Thanks to that event, good ‘al folks in Roswell still have jobs selling UFO merchandise. The official version of the events: a weather balloon crash. The two unofficial versions state that it either was a top secret military object or the extraterrestrial UFO.

Here’s what happened next, in pure facts. The Roswell and other lesser known UFO claims led to creating a military Project Sign (1947-1949), and it’s successors Project Grudge (1949-1952) and the most famous one Project Blue Book (1952-1969). These are the facts. Also the fact is that plenty of cash and manpower was allocated for these research projects.

During the Sign era, each air force base had a Sign officer designated with special authority – to question anyone on the subject of UFO suspicion and not to follow the proper chain of command. This is a rather unprecedented scope of authority which points to the seriousness of Truman’s perception of the situation.

In March 1952, began the new era of the UFO investigation, namely the revamped Project Blue Book.

In July 1952, a famous incident of numerous UFO sightings in Washington DC was recorded. Apparently, in Washington DC, over a period of Jul. 12-29, numerous sightings of UFOs were repeatedly confirmed by:

  1. The air traffic controllers on the radars;
  2. The radars of at least two air bases USAF F-94 in Delaware whose jets were in the sky repeatedly trying to chase the thing and USAF Andrews whose servicemen traced it on the radars;
  3. Pilots on the runways of the Washington DC National Airport (now Reagan); and
  4. Numerous eyewitnesses on the ground.

The ‘lights’ were spotted over the White House, the Capitol and Pentagon. This scare lead to creation of the Robertson Panel on the request of the CIA and the Truman administration. Officially the panel debunked the event saying it was an unusual weather pattern.

Project Blue Book produced a famous Report #14 written by then head of the Project Edward J Ruppelt. According to the report, of the thousands of ‘cases’ (the UFO claims), about 23% could not be explained away with any natural or logical phenomena (and I suspect they tried hard to debunk them). Ruppelt ended up writing a book ‘The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects‘ which is in public domain and free on kindle. I just picked it up yesterday, but the summary claims that the work on the Sign and the Blue Book made him if not a devout believer, but at least an entertainer of the possibility of the extraterrestrial origin of at least some of the claims.

On Jan. 20, 1953 Dwight Eisenhower takes the presidential office. Eisenhower was a five star general, and according to some rumors personally witnessed something of an unidentified origin, perhaps a UFO. According to some sources, in 1952, when on a boat USS Rosevelt, he observed a bright light for over 20 minutes. As a U.S. president, Eisenhower certainly received an access to all the UFO materials. Not only he continued the Project Blue Book, but he took it further.

Consider the historic context. The Cold War. The Space Race. In 1957, the USSR launches first two satellites – Sputnik 1 with a beacon and Sputnik 2 with an unfortunate passenger on board – a stray dog named Laika. Laika dies within five hours from heat exhaustion and perhaps stress, because by all means the ride to the orbit was bumpy, but it symbolically stakes the supremacy of the Soviets in delivering a living thing to the orbit.

Now we have some evidence that Eisenhower was aware of the Soviets’ capacity to deliver a small payload to the orbit, but he played a smart chess move. Allowing the Soviets to access the space first, we now have a precedent that anyone can go to space without the permission of the UN or NATO or anyone else. The game was on.

DARPA on the Fringe of Science

In 1958, Eisenhower establishes at least two agencies that changed the space exploration and the world of technology forever. First one was NASA and the second one was DARPA. While NASA was concerned with space exploration, DARPA was a an agency where science fiction became reality. It’s mandate was described as ‘high risk – high gain’ fringe science exploration to establish military and technological superiority of the U.S. not only for the immediate needs, but also for the future.

DARPA is extremely important in understanding of the Project Blue Book, and, perhaps, the Roswell events. The UFO proponents bring forward eye-witness accounts of the 1947 wreckage containing unique, never before seen materials, pieces of some aircraft, and even perhaps several, presumably alien, bodies. What DARPA has to do with any of this? Check out this video. Over it’s lifetime DARPA is responsible for radical revamping of the way we do technology, internet and GPS being only a few of it’s accomplishments.

There’s a curious fact about DARPA’s establishment. It’s first director was a former General Electric CEO Roy Johnson, who went from making $160.000 to $18.000 a year at DARPA. What would compel a well-off businessman to make such a career move? If only perhaps a promise of discovery so grandiose that rendered money irrelevant. Hypothetically, would an opportunity to reverse-engineer alien technology be a good enough reason? I leave this question for your consideration.

If DARPA’s quantum leap in technology is not impressive, think about one of it’s more obscure accomplishments: the Arecibo communication array. According to the DARPA website, “Located in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, the Arecibo Observatory houses the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope. The giant telescope “dish” is 1,000 feet (305 meters) in diameter, 167 feet (51 meters) deep and covers an area of approximately 20 acres (0.08 square kilometers). Development of the Arecibo facility was initially supported by ARPA in the 1960s as part of the DEFENDER Program, a broad-based missile defense program. It was intended for study of the structure of the upper ionosphere and its interactions with electromagnetic signals and communication.”

In the pop culture, Arecibo is known for the first attempt to communicate with the aliens. According to SETI website, “In 1974, the most powerful broadcast ever deliberately beamed into space was made from Puerto Rico. The broadcast formed part of the ceremonies held to mark a major upgrade to the Arecibo Radio Telescope. The transmission consisted of a simple, pictorial message, aimed at our putative cosmic companions in the globular star cluster M13. This cluster is roughly 21,000 light-years from us, near the edge of the Milky Way galaxy, and contains approximately a third of a million stars.”

Why M13 21.000 lightyears away? Why not something closer? But this is not even the most important question. Although the Project Blue Book is officially closed by 1969, in the 1970s, the U.S. government, which officially does not believe in aliens, persistently attempts to communicate with them. The most notable and expensive projects, of course, are the Voyager 1 and 2 crafts with the ‘message in the bottle’ on board – the so-called golden records. Read about some other messages and time capsules here.

Why spend money on something you don’t believe in? Eisenhower was sighted once saying “Anyone who would spend $40 billion in a race to the moon for national prestige is nuts”. This line is usually interpreted as a buyer’s remorse for the NASA budget that grew out of control. Indeed, Eisenhower was a fiscal conservative, but he was the vehicle behind creating NASA and any technological advancement the U.S. can get it’s hands on. In this light, perhaps this quote should be interpreted as an acknowledgement that the U.S. is in the space race for a much greater goal, unlike the narrow-minded and ego-ridden USSR.

Credibility of the Majestic 12 Leak

Now, to the Majestic 12. In 1984, a bundle of the allegedly ‘leaked’ photocopies of documents surfaced in the ufologist circles. The two documents are usually sighted:

  1. Dated 18 Nov. 1947 and signed by Truman order to create a top secret research group on the subject of the UFO, allegedly in the wake of the Roswell incident and others. The group was supposed to have the highest clearance and consist of the military and civilian experts.
  2. The memo on briefing of the future president Eisenhower, also signed by Truman, on the subject of the Majestic 12 activity.

There are a few reasons why I think this particular ‘leak’ is a hoax.

First, the way it surfaced was not credible. Allegedly a movie director who was working on the UFO movie received an anonymous envelope with a roll of film. When it was developed, it contained photocopies of these documents. If I was a credible person who wanted to make an important UFO information public, I would use a more credible source, like the national media, and not one, but many, and would perhaps include more information than just this film.

Second, it is unclear what was the relation of Majestic 12 and the leadership of the Project Sign which we know officially existed. Also, it seems redundant to have both Sign and Majestic 12 when the goal is to limit the exposure to sensitive information.

Third, it is claimed that the Majestic 12 refused to let Eisenhower in on the secret, and only after a threat to bring the National Guard to the air force base which served as the headquarters for the group, they caved in. This is such a silly and unnecessary plot twist that makes the whole story not credible. Why would they refuse to brief Eisenhower if they suppose to directly report to him?

Take this article with a grain salt, of course. I am fascinated with this period of history, the space race, and I love sci fi. I don’t know what actually happened in all of these famous UFO sightings, but I think that the hoax like the Majestic 12 leak is removing us further from the truth and ridiculing the subject entirely. I am exploring these themes in my novel ’329 Years Awake’ for the purpose of pure entertainment, and hope that you will enjoy it with me. You can sign up for the free ARC copy on http://www.jalapenopublishing.com, on my page and see how these themes will play out in my story. Also I’d love hear your comments about all of this.

Live long and prosper, my friends!

Copyright 2016 Ellie Maloney

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#Free #SciFi Short Story from Me! Please Leave a Quick Review!

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My short story Tsunami. Sci fi, alien, speculative fiction.

Friends, for your consideration is my short story TSUNAMI. Some of you have read it and commented on the formatting issues, for which I am super grateful. Hopefully I resolved these issues – and now I am offering the story in both ePub (for Mac devices) and PDF – for the rest of the devices. If you have no preference – choose PDF as it supports images.

Unfortunately, the WordPress does not support the ePub upload, so if you need one, please download it from the Jalapeño Publishing web site.

Also, I’d like to ask for a huge personal favor! Please consider writing a quick review on this web site ! I will be super grateful!  

Here’s the PDF for you! Enjoy! tsunami-pdf

Also, since I’ve been discussing the Ulysses app, I’d like to inform you that the ePub is created in the Ulysses. Unfortunately, other images except the cover, did not show up so I had to remove them. I was able to insert hyperlinks and create simple structure. The PDF version was created in the LucidPress online program, which I’ve been using lately a lot. I will write a detailed review later.

Sincerely,

E.M.

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Thanks #Ulysses! Short Story Finished! & #Scrivener #Review #amwriting #scifi

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Opening paragraphs of the short story I  just finished. Check out that word count!!

It’s kind of a bragging slash review update post. I just finished a 8.000 word short story in the Ulysses and wanted to update you on my experience with  the app. In short, the Ulysses app so far still rocks. It crashed once for an unknown reason, but  I suspect it is more of my  old laptop issue that the app itself. I was in the middle of writing and lost only a few words. The autosave works great. I found a bunch of useful features too – little optimization tools that just make the whole app experience even better.

What could improve the app?

MOBI file export option. It has the ePUB and adding MOBI seems to make a lot of sense.

That being said,  I downloaded the Scrivener as well. And the first minute impression could not be starker. One word – complicated. Lots of instructions. But! If you persevere  through it, it has definite benefits over the Ulysses.

Benefits of the Scrivener over the Ulysses:

  1. Has more export options, including MOBI, and they are more robust.
  2. Has more templates – the ‘looks’ of how your files come out, and all geared toward writers, all the useful stuff.
  3. Has the option of non-linear writing. This is an option that is useful for long-form writing. You can start chapters and pieces of writing in separate ‘files’ or ‘cards’, and you can shuffle them however you want, and when you export they will seamlessly come out as a single document.
  4. Offers the Screenplay format.
  5. It has the option of virtual pin-up board for outlining scene by scene. If you are that type of a person – Scrivener is your choice.

But! And there is a big but.

Benefits of the Ulysses over the Scrivener

I feel reluctant to really explore Scrivener yet because it is so robust. I probably need to study it. Like, read the actual instructions. Also, the interface is not as clean and not as nice. The interface font is so small. It’s kind of the difference between artsy and less functional mac and less artsy and more functional microsoft that has loads of stuff you never use, if this makes sense. Also, the Scrivener takes up more space, it’s the bigger file. Also, Ulysses notes management sidebar is absolutely superior. This may be just my subjective opinion, but I feel pretty strong about it.

Conclusion:

If you can, and finances allow, perhaps use both. If you have to pick:

  1. Scrivener – if you want a robust all-inclusive option. If you need to write screenplays. If you need PDF, WORD, MOBI and EPUB files as the result.
  2. Ulysses – if you want a distraction-free simple writing environment well integrated with the main social media. If you can get away without the MOBI format.

In terms of price they are identical.

As for my story, I am really psyched about it. It’s different, its speculative fiction heavy on the mix of history and  fiction. I think it’s an exciting story. And it’s about alien abductions!   I’ll keep you posted when and where you can read it.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment. Anyone else is a fan of the Scrivener? I’d like to hear from you.

Copyright 2016 Ellie Maloney

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My First Impression from the #Ulysses #Writing #App. #Review

Screenshot of my writing in the Ulysses. This is a weird sci fi story that I just started. It’s about aliens and Renaissance figures. 

Recently I posted about my issues with writing productivity when I write outside of the WordPress environment. Initially I thought that I get energized from the feedback I receive when I post my writing, but as  Candace Vianna suggested in her comments that it might be my attachment to the simplified WordPress environment that helps minimizing the distractions. Since I am currently involved in a few promising writing projects and am intended to finish some of them by the end of the year, I need to figure out this problem as soon as possible. I researched writing that minimize distractions.

There is some plausibility in suspecting that I am an easily distracted writer. For once, my desktop is always littered with images and documents that I am working on, even though I clean the desktop regularly. It is just a terrible file management habit I developed, and I suspect that I am easily distracted because of all this stuff on my desktop which serves as my pin-up board and a to-do list all at once.

Yesterday I uploaded the desktop app Ulysses and worked in it all day today. I must say, for the WordPress bloggers it should take little to no time to get used to.

My positive first impressions after one day of using it:

  1. Simple to use even without reading the instructions. Yes, I am one of those people who read the instructions only when confronted with an unsolvable problem. The fact that I haven’t yet read any instructions testifies about the intuitive design of the app.
  2. The interface is really clean, and you can minimize it down to the bare worksheet.
  3. It constantly autosaves (by default backup is enabled, so make sure not to switch this function off).
  4. It has a very handy ‘goal’ icon that shows you how far away you are from the intended progress. If the word count performance stresses you out, you don’t have to use it and you can hide it at all.
  5. My favorite feature is the right sidebar that allows keeping multiple notes and images. The ones you are currently not using may be collapsed, as you can see on my picture.
  6. It is a desktop app and works without the internet connection.
  7. It has nice but basic features of exporting your documents as PDF, ePUB, DOCX, HTML, and TEXT, and also to publish to the WordPress directly from the Ulysses app, which I am intended to check out as soon as I am finished with typing. (Update: works like a charm). By the way, when it comes to the ePUB, you can also add a cover image, but not a lot more than that, so don’t expect churning your e-books in this app.
  8. You can create structure in the document by assigning various levels of headings, creating tags and such, but these options are hidden enough and won’t distract you.
  9. Not sure, but it seems like the app is blocking the pop-up notifications. At least it seemed this way, because I normally get a lot of those, and I didn’t notice them this time.
  10. Probably one of the better features is that despite being a desktop app, Ulysses is not a memory hog. I have a wee 4 GB Mac Book Air, which is regularly overworked, so lately memory consumption is a consideration for me.
  11. Bonus: Integrated spellcheck.

So that’s eleven positives after the first day. As to the negatives (or shortcomings) they are the following.

  1. It is very basic. To my current knowledge, you cannot write screenplays or see the page layout. The worksheet layout looks just like the WordPress in a sense that it just scrolls down forever.
  2. There are no fancy fonts, which is probably for the good, but I thought I should point it out.
  3. Compared to the Scrivener, it is roughly equally priced ($45 for Ulysses and I believe $38 for Scrivener) wile offering twice as little features. Bottom line: expensive and less functional tan the next competitor.
  4. I haven’t found a way to use hyperlinks in the document yet.
  5. Can’t find the ‘undo’ button! Exercise caution when deleting stuff.

That’s about it from the negatives. However, those negatives may actually be positives, considering that I spent no time at starting working in the app and already loaded all my current projects. The notes and images sidebar is brilliant. I think it will help me to keep my desktop cleaner.

Hope this information was useful to someone. I am very interested in writing optimization tips, so please feel free to jump in on the conversation. What are your favorite efficiency tools?

Copyright 2016 Ellie Maloney

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#Free #BookAds in the Magazine! Apply Now @ScaffoldingMag web-site!

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#Free #BookAds in the Magazine! Apply Now @ScaffoldingMag web-site!

As you know, in December the first issue of the Scaffolding Magazine will see the world. The file of the magazine is almost assembled. I have a few small vacant areas, just big enough for a picture of a book cover and it’s 50-word description. So I thought why not support my indie friends here! I know many of you, and I know about your books, but I don’t have time to write short descriptions of your books and hunt down the book covers. So, please feel free to apply on the submissions page (pick the ‘other’ as the type of submission), and I will stick as many ads as I can. Please send them over ASAP, it’s first come first served. But no later than November 1.  I am sending it to print in November.

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My Angry Rant About #Google, #Facebook, #Apple, #Twitter and Everyone Else Who Insists on My Phone Number

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Google, facebook, apple, youtube, social media. No privacy. Stop Asking my phone number! Image credit: Pixabay.com, CC license, no attribution required. 

The trigger for this angry post is that my mac updated me to the new OS and changed the apple ID access rules. Now it requires my phone, like everyone else. The problem is that I live and work now outside of the U.S. And there is no such country or country code in the drop-down menu. This is a major problem. I am staring at my other laptop that doesn’t let me in.

For years I have been declining Facebook’s attempts to gauge my phone number, and it goes out of it’s way to make it difficult to ‘Skip’. I manage, but what if one day the ‘skip’ option is unavailable? Remember how the Facebook forced the Messenger app on us? At first, you could decline it, but then it was no longer an option.

Twitter is perpetually paranoid and often blocks me out of my account and insists on sending me text messages to unlock it. What’s wrong with my email? And when I leave from this country and change my phone number I will have to go through all the hassle of updating it everywhere.

We really don’t have any privacy left. The major internet giants collect our data and use it to send us customized ads. And if they change their lengthy terms and conditions in the middle of you using the service, you are screwed. There has to be a way around the major corporations owning us! Come on, this is a real nightmare, worse than anything a sci fi writer can come up with.

Also there is another reason why I am against all these services collecting my phone number. What if some people have speech disability? What if someone doesn’t speak good English? What if someone has hearing disability? What if someone just doesn’t want to use the phone, maybe even for health reasons. We all read about the suspicions of cancer links to the smartphones, but we have no choice other than dismiss them. We are screwed, my friends. We are just cogs in the machine, and any attempt at privacy and individuality is trampled.

I love typewriters. I grew up when they already became a relic of the past, but I dearly love their beauty and quiet abitlity to allow me to be me. The problem is that we cannot go back to the pre-internet society. Everything hangs on being plugged in, wired, connected. I don’t see any other way out of this nightmare than to perhaps to create a petition on the grounds of the disability legislation. It would make a case that requesting a phone is a discrimination on the basis of disability. But I do not have any disability. I just hate to be treated like a data point. Any thoughts?

Please comment and share!

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I Have a Productivity Problem

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Beautiful graffiti, typewriter, street art, ‘citizens of the world’.  Image credit: Pixabay.com CC licence, no attribution required. 

The problem is simple: I cannot write without blogging.

I started this blog in Jan. 2016, and around February I started blogging a sci fi series that I made up episode by  episode. I hardly had any followers (even now I don’t have very many), but by March 18 I had a complete first draft of a short novel. Fast, isn’t it? Of course it wasn’t all that perfect, I am not John Scalzi and I do need to rewrite, especially considering that I figured out the story as I wrote it.

So  I took it off the blog and decided to rewrite, then gave to a few beta-readers. Now I am extremely close to completing it, so close in fact that I am planning on self-publishing it no later than Jan. 2017. I know I can do it. But I am faced with a strange phenomenon: my creative brain doesn’t work as well if I don’t post my progress online! What does it mean?

Apparently I benefit from immediate gratification of a project broken down to manageable pieces. On the other hand, I feel like I am doing myself a poor service by spilling everything online first, with typos, unresolved plots and such. And especially this worries me because I need to get to writing the second book (probably the final book in the Mazula series). I really want to publish it online episode by episode, but I know that if I end up rewriting it, readers may get confused. Any advice?

P.S. Check out my free short story TSUNAMI. On this web site you can either read it on the ISSUU  web site or download a pdf.

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