I’ve been closely following the Nebula Creativesfundraising campaign for the past few weeks, and I am nothing short of impressed about the way this team works. They are professional, dedicated, and always in good spirits. I know how challenging it is to start a business because this year I myself established a publishing company and a magazine. And although the effort is definitely rewarding, it is not easy to stay 100% positive and optimistic. These days artists are forced to become shrewd entrepreneurs, something that is by a definition an antithesis of creativity. This is why those artists who manage to master the business side should earn our admiration.
INTERSTELLAR WINDS, THAI FOOD AND SCIENCE FICTION.
Fundraising is not easy. People who used to enjoy talking to you all of a sudden feel uncomfortable, because now you are asking for money. It is unfortunate because we don’t always think how much effort goes into a decent fundraising event. Even from my limited experience with fundraising, I was called a bot, a spammer, a beggar, a shameless self-promoter… This much is enough to get you down, but the artists must carry on disregarding all the negativity and cynicism.
Although I am not raising money for anything personally, I would love to talk about Nebula Creatives and their cause. Their IndieGoGo campaign is currently at the 60% and on it’s final day. With a flexible goal of $5000, this is not too much to ask for an original comics and a movie that is coming up afterwards. And actually you don’t have to just give up your hard-earned money. You are getting loads of fun perks in return. I ordered one myself. For $35, Oscar Joyo created an alien version of me! If you saw the original picture, it’s amazingly similar, yet … alien :). Also I am getting a gorgeous comics book – first issue in the mail. So excited about it. When my family found out, they all decided to become Lab 99 aliens, so I ordered four more $35 perks. Folks, this is better than the ugly Christmas sweater! Check it out, my name is among the backers of the campaign. I also know that for the Nebula Creatives even $1 will mean a lot.
In his interview, Christian Stanfield confessed that the upcoming movie will be something of a cross between the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Hunger Games. I am so sold at this point! Plus, the comics feature a lot of Thai motifs, which is amazing, because we all can agree that diversity in sci fi is not overdone. For Lab 99 creators, diversity is not a selling point, it is an authentic expression of another author, Rujanee Mahakanjana who was born in Thailand. Rujanee is an accomplished filmmaker, but Lab 99 is her passion. Please at least check out the campaign, you are not obligated to contribute, but at least learning about the project will make the Nebula team’s efforts worthwhile.
“There is another world just above our heads. A world both comfortingly familiar and completely alien. Look in just the right direction at just the right time, and you may catch a glimpse of this parallel universe”. – From ‘Lab 99′ Comic Book
I have to admit, I have an interesting life. Social media became such a big part of it, and even if I sometimes consider it overbearing, more often I cannot go without it. Twitter is particularly fascinating to me. Nobody knows what it is exactly. I am new to this platform, and just about six months ago I was putting it down as a meaningless stream of blurbs that do not communicate anything in particular. Look at me now! Over one thousand tweets and counting!
Once I started paying attention to the constant stream of twitter chatter, I started noticing how many phenomenal ideas and people are there! All this Twitter ode is because through Twitter I discovered Lab 99, a fantastic indie comics series, a brainchild of the Nebula Creatives studio.
Lab 99 is a comic book written by Rujanee Mahakanjana and Christian Stanfield. It is based on a screenplay of the same name by Rujanee.
From far in the night sky on a nearby arm of the Milky Way galaxy, the interstellar space laboratory known as Lab 99 watches over our species and our solar system. Set 30 years before the events of the screenplay, the comic book follows the alien (Eddie) as he returns from a mission to the Earth, to unexpected news. – From ‘Lab 99’ Comic Book
Rujanee and I hit it off because of some parallels between her screenplay (and yes, folks there will be a movie!!) and my upcoming novel ‘329 Years Awake’. We are both in love with space, we want to know how the universe works (you can check some of my crazy ideas here), and we both love Thai food! Although obviously Rujanee, who was born in Thailand, gets the level of guru and I am still learning what a good pad thai is like!
Watch the Lab 99 Teaser!
After reading the first issue, I asked Rujanee a few questions, and I am sure I will have many more with time.
Ellie Maloney: How did you come up with the Lab99 universe?
Rujanee Mahakanjana: I am fascinated by the unknown aspect of space and how vast it really is. Also, the International Space Station and NASA TV! When some life-changing events happened to me in 2010, I started exploring deeper into the meaning of who we are and what we do as humans living on this planet. I also like to think in scale, meaning that when I observe a group of ants, I often wonder if they ever wonder who or what I am to them.
E.M.: Tell us about the premise of the galactic winds and the ‘science’ / ‘structure’ of your universe.
R.M: I like to think that the space and the oceans have a very similar premise. They both are old, huge, mysterious, and have currents, turbulences, waves/winds, black holes vs sea trenches. Certain types of fish and sea creatures swim or follow specific currents to travel from one area to another (I learned this from Finding Nemo, my favorite animation of all time!) Same goes with the ionized particles and stardust that burst and follow gravity, other forces and currents in space. E.M.: What exactly happened to Eddie at the end of the 1st issue?
R.M.: Eddie has to leave to find and rescue another lab 99 alien. At the departure dock where he is about to take off, he falls in the galactic turbulence unprepared (think jumping in the middle of the ocean for a dive on purpose versus accidentally falling in from a boat). Because it was an accident he ends up in the the Chao Praya River, the main river that runs through the city of Bangkok in Thailand. Water is acidic to Lab 99 aliens so he is either going to burn and die in the river or someone will have to save him (Will have to find that out in the 2nd issue) 🙂
E.M.: There seems to be an environmental message in your story, or at least in the 1st issue. What ‘big picture’ messages did you incorporate in the the Lab99 universe?
R.M.: The environmental message is one of many things I want to discuss as part of what humans have done to this planet and themselves. Today, everyone lives selfishly. People don’t care about anything else but their own well-being. Lab 99 also suggests the idea that together we create great things and can solve a lot of problems in our society and the planet. There’s also a message about capitalism and greed of corporations. But we will discuss this later when we get to that point.
E.M.: When can we expect the second issue?
R.M.: When we reach our fundraising goal, we will start the production of the 2nd issue right after the holiday, and work on it intensely for a release in April or May.
E.M.: Where can your fans interact with your team? R.M.: For $250 contribution, we can have a spectacular hangout with the fans! Give it a try! The $250 and $2500 are the ones that offer direct communication with the team.
E.M.: Tell us about the ultimate perk in the fundraiser.
R.M.: For $2500, you contribute to the project in a big way. Because you believe in us and the project, you will be credited on our Lab 99 IMDb page, as “Executive Producer” in addition to all of the other perks above. When the film, Lab 99, is produced, your name will also appear in the opening credit. A full page color ad of your business placed on back cover of the 2nd issue and monthly update meetings with the team (in-person or Skype) will be also be included.
If Lab 99 aliens are just as much fun as their creators, sign me in! I want to be a part of this project!
By the way, do you know, which perk I personally found the most amazing? As cool as it sounds to be an Executive Producer of the movie, I’d much rather be a character in the comics! Yes! For $35, you can become an Alien!
You give us a chance so you contribute to the project in a big way. Because you believe in us and the project, you will be credited on our Lab 99 IMDb page, as “Executive Producer” in addition to all of the other perks above. When the film, Lab 99, is produced, your name will also appear in the opening credit. A full page color ad of your business placed on back cover of the 2nd issue and monthly update meetings with the team (in-person or Skype) will be also be included. – From the Indiegogo page.
I thought this is just too good to pass, so I signed up. And not only I donated $35, I started practicing being an alien!
That being said, I am a hard judge of comics. On this blog, I reviewed only one comic book, The Black Science, to which I was drawn because of the intricate artwork and the Sliders-like multiverse premise.
Lab 99 resembles the Black Science, and in my opinion is even more interesting.Lab 99 has intriguing premise, a blend of multi-cultural aspects and philosophic ideas, and wonderful artwork. I was immediately drawn into the story and was shocked how fast the issue was over. I wanted more! I loved that scenes take place in unique places on Earth. I am looking forward to see more!
About the Lab 99 Creators:
Lab 99 is a production of Nebula Creatives, a Chicago-based film production company. It is written by Rujanee Mahakanjana and Christian Stanfield, with artwork by Oscar Joyo.
Rujanee: Growing up watching a good amount of Japanese animated television shows in the 80s and 90s, I have always been fascinated by existential and philosophical stories with science-fiction elements. Lab 99 started off as a 20-year collective personal journey, and it has now turned into something much more than passion. It’s an enlightenment of what humanity is about and anyone can relate. My goal is to show the audience how to appreciate and embrace what we are while understanding our differences and choices we make towards changes and transformations.
Christian: I’ve always been a fan of mystery and science fiction from an early age, especially stories with philosophical and social commentary elements to them such as the Twilight Zone. What drew me to Lab 99 was the concept of an alien coming to Earth with incredibly advanced technology and the ability to cure all of our diseases, and the idea of what that would really mean for the human race and how we would really react. I’m also a big fan of movies with a witty and quirky sense of humor, especially when combined with science fiction such as The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, and that’s another thing that drew me to Lab 99.
Oscar: Born to a Malawian family, I was introduced to art at a young age through animation, comic books, video games and film. Anime, surreal art, and music have always been a driving force in my work. I hold a BFA in life drawing at the American Academy of Art. Technical training in traditional drawing skills from the Academy led me to find interests in professional illustration, graphic design, photography, and fine art which I am heavily influenced by, to create a variety of visually striking imagery. I have been involved in many artist exhibitions around Chicago, including showcases outside such as The Society of Illustrators in New York and the Congressional Art Exhibition and Digital Arts Showcase in South Korea.
Hi there! I finished the sequel to TSUNAMI. If you are a subscriber, you should receive the email. If you want to get it, please subscribe to the ARC here – a subscription box at the top.
Jeroen’s Diary is a historic fiction that advances the plot of TSUNAMI, but it is somewhat different. The best I can describe it, it’s a cross between the Da Vinci code by Dan Brown (because of the historic facts and mysteries) and the X-Files (because of the alien conspiracies). I am very excited about it because this is my first shot at historic speculative fiction and I can’t wait to hear what you think about it.
Plus, if you ever wondered about the mysterious Voynich Manuscript, Jeroen’s Diary offers an answer!
Otis Solarin: in mid 40s, in a great shape, black male, originally from West Africa. Intellectual, measured, authoritative. Professor of space history.
Ny: mid-40s, black female from West Africa. Professor as well.
Ennuturat: an alien, cranky, curt, dismissive, a scientist of the Unkari species. Age in human frame of reference: mid-50s.
Hundigar: young alien, arrogant, with lightly veiled contempt to his older colleague Ennuturat. Age in human frame of reference: early 30s, with a rapid career above his age. Dies in a spaceship crash because of his careless mistake.
Immirtau: an alien elder, in 80s, weak, shaky voice, wise counselor.
OUR IDEAL CANDIDATE:
Male, 30-45, strong actor. Level of experience: beginner to medium. Must possess a demo reel of previous work or record a few paragraphs from the beginning of TSUNAMI (the final text may be slightly edited based on the suggestions of the voice actor). Must possess access to a professional studio. Non-union voice actor.
We are looking for a male actor able to read all these parts with distinction. The project may have continuation and the actor selected for this project will be our first pick to narrate the entire audiobook.
Submission deadline: December 15, 2015.
Location: Remote Recording.
Rate: $150 full buyout. No agency fee.
USAGE: Broadcast via youtube and other platforms. Actor gets full credits and may use the resulting product for self-promotion. The video will be distributed free of charge.
In the type of submission pick ‘other’ and mention the ‘VO for TSUNAMI’ in the cover letter. In the cover letter: list studio equipment; your experience in VO acting, agency/rep name/email/cell-phone; links to audio work, headshot.
Only qualifying talent will be emailed with further questions.
Commercial Flight Air Japan enroute Paris-Tokyo Over the Alaskan Air Space
“Anchorage, do you read me?”
“Yes, Japan 1628. Loud and clear.”
“Anchorage, eh… do we have traffic intersecting our trajectory?”
“Ah… Negative…” Sh-sh-sh.
“Anchorage, we have a visual on a… perhaps an aircraft carrier.”
“Beg your pardon?”
“Well I can’t tell exactly, but there is something there. My copilot and other crew confirm the visual…”
Sh-sh-sh – click – crack – crack – click
“Japan 1628, ah… we stripped filters from the radar data… On the raw data we … ah… confirm an object in your relative proximity, 3-4 km North West.”
“Well, Anchorage, do you know what is it? My passengers are edgy. I can’t prevent them from taking the pictures, you know…”
“Can you describe it?”
“Well, it is cigar-shaped… With the lights evenly spaced along the hull. It looks like it’s matching our speed and staying dead ahead of us, within the visibility range from the cockpit and the A isle, the window isle I mean.”
Sh-sh-sh. Click Crack.
“Stand by Japan 1628. We will contact the Air Force Base.”
“Anchorage, Anchorage, this is a distress call!”
“Come in Japan 1628.”
“We may be under attack!”
“We are reading two small crafts following you on the sides. What’s your visual?”
“They have separated from the mothership…” crack “Anchorage, they moved in leaps, not as any aircraft I can think of. What’s the update from the Air Force?”
“Eh..It’s not theirs. I mean, they know nothing about it.”
“Do you think it is hostile? God help us, Anchorage, I have a full aircraft of passengers.”
“We can’t say. Try evasive maneuver. We suggest dropping the altitude. Standby for the course correction.”
“We read you. Dropping the altitude to the mark.”
“Japan 1628! We follow your maneuver on the radar. The small crafts matched your position. Do you read me, Japan 1628?”
The com channel was open, but the pilots were not responding. The Anchorage air traffic controller’s booth was flooded with the high-pitch sound from the com.
“Sanders!” Yelled the Fairbanks airport shift leader Mitchem. “Get the fucking Air Force on the line!”
While Sanders was patching thought to the base, Mitchem was watching the Japan 1628 on the radar firmly locked between two small unidentified crafts. Regardless of the maneuver the passenger craft took, the two satellites seamlessly matched the trajectory and speed.
“1628! 1628, come in! What’s your status?” Insisted Mitchem biting the skin around his big fingernail.
Sh-sh-shhhhhh click click
“Anchorage!” Came through agonizing cry of the 1628 pilot. “We are blasted…” sh-sh-sh “…light… heat….flooded…” sh-sh-sh “and heat, like a furnace… bright light penetrated the walls!”
“1628, perform emergency landing. Confirm!”
“Negative! We have lost control. The electronics is not responsive.”
“Let us try to override it from here!”
Mitchem tried to take over the flight control, but his attempts met an unusual firewall.
“1628… Unfortunately we cannot take over control… How are you holding up? What is your status?”
The 1628 took longer than usual to respond. Mitchem gnawed at his fingernail a bit too hard drawing blood from the cuticle. Finally the com channel lit up green.
“Anchorage… ah… what’s the status on your radars?”
“1628, I no longer see them on the radar. Do you have the visual?”
“Ah… negative… They are gone….”
“Can you control cruising?”
“Take course on the emergency landing. We opened a lane for you.”
“The course for the emergency landing is established.”
“1628… What’s the status of the passengers and crew? Any … eh… casualties?”
“We are still checking, but the quick assessment is that everyone is fine. Minus a few hysterical ones, but that’s understandable considering.”
“Good to hear. Ehhh…. 1628, safe flight.”
“Yeah right. Over.”
“How many times do I have to repeat myself?” Pleaded exhausted Japanese pilot of the flight 1628 Ichiro Akiyama.
“As many as we require.” Flatly hissed the man in a civilian suit and shaded aviator glasses, although the room was dim as the devil’s soul. The man, who introduced himself as a liaison from the Reagan administration, took the last drag from his sig and squeezed the butt in the filthy ashtray, the only decor attribute in the entire interrogation room.
Upon landing, the crew was whisked away by the U.S. military cogs and transported to the unknown location in the vehicles with two-way shaded windows. Akiyama only knew that he was a forty minute drive from the Fairbanks International Airport.
“Am I under arrest?”
“On what? I am a Japanese citizen. I need a lawyer.”
“Mr. Akiyama. We found illegal narcotic substance among your personal belongings.”
“As a captain of the airplane, wouldn’t you say that you receive reduced security attention when you are boarding?”
“This is nonsense. I need a lawyer.”
“Just. Answer. The. Fucking. Question!” At that last word, the bureaucrat smashed his fist at the desktop suspending the ashtray in a momentary zero gravity spilling half of it’s pungent content.
Akiyama’s neck muscles went stiff.
“Perhaps. This doesn’t mean….”
“So you were aware that the security is unlikely to check you with scrutiny. How long have you been on cocaine, Mr. Akiyama?”
“Never! I have never consumed cocaine or any other recreational drug!”
“Perhaps the blood test will testify otherwise”, smiled the nameless bureaucrat with the corner of his mouth.
“What do you want? Where is this all going?” asked Akiyama in a defeated voice.
“Glad you want to go straight to business, Mr. Akiyama. Your choices are limited. We may arrest you right here for international drug trafficking. We have just the right criminal ring to connect you to. It is a federal crime, and you may forget about extradition.”
“I’d prefer a different option.”
“Alright. You go back on the plane, you fly your passengers home, and you live happily ever after.”
“I like that. But what is the catch?”
“You change your testimony. There was never a UFO, there were never two aircraft that ceased the cruise control, and there was never a supernatural light show.”
“What do you know about this? What happened to us there?”
“Mr. Akiyama, we requested medical records from all passengers and the crew. We know that you were diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.”
“We know that there were two other persons on board with the same condition. We cannot guarantee you, but chances are, and your physician will confirm, that you are in a remission.”
Akiyama stared at the bureaucrat speechless for some time and then broke in tears. Those were the tears of confusion, hope, fear, but mostly of extreme exhaustion. The prospect of the ordeal to be over destroyed all the bravery Akiyama worked so hard at keeping up.
“Alright. I’ll sign whatever you need me to sign. But tell me what happened out there. And don’t insult my intelligence by the unusual weather patterns.”
“That is exactly what happened, Mr. Akiyama. That is all you need to know.”
Ichiro Akiyama never flew again. At least not in the pilot capacity. His brain scan indeed confirmed an unprecedented remission. Akiyama’s doctor kept pressing for the information where he received such an effective radiation treatment, but Akiyama only laughed it off.
His luck did not last forever. In two years, the tumor returned to active growth phase, and his time on Earth came to an end.
You were reading an excerpt from ‘329 Years Awake’, my upcoming #scifi #novel. I just finished writing this piece and couldn’t wait to share with you. What can I say, I have a problem with delayed gratification ;). If you are interested, you can sign up for a #FREE advanced reader’s copy here. http://www.jalapenopublishing.com/ellie-maloney.html
All you need to do is to want the book and sign up with your email address. I will not spam you with anything that is not related to this book, promise. I don’t have time for that. Thanks for reading! Please comment and share!
Nearly complete, in the final revision state after several beta readers.
329 YEARS AWAKE
Sci fi, (literary/commercial), speculative fiction, with LGBT/diversity themes.
Year 2585. The Earth Nations are on the brink of war with the Unkari, an alien race from Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy. Captured during a failed reconnaissance mission, Lt. Mazula and En. River are in the thick of the conspiracy. History of humanity comes to light. Shocking realization that our destiny and evolution was never our own.
Year 2275 The Unkari Research Lab. Atlantic Ocean, Earth
“Master Ennuturat! You need to see this! I have identified a research subject that is going through the final stage! Look at his brainwaves during the sleep period!”
Old Ennuturat slowly got off his reclined chair and proceeded to the monitor, where his young assistant was pulling up various databases on someone named Otis Solarin.
“Hmm” The coefficient of the thalamus activity correlated with the oscillation ability is extremely high. “Are you sure he has the gene?”
“Positive! I am so excited! This is the first time we received this good of a result since the subject named Carl Jung, although the gene was not passed onto either of his five offspring. I’ve been monitoring Otis Solarin since birth. The gene runs in his family.”
This youngster was too much like the foolish Hundigar, with all his excitement and exuberant youth. Obviously, it was not a compliment in Ennuturat’s vocabulary. He looked thoughtfully outside the large transparent force field of the research lab that separated them from the ocean. A large school of fluorescent fish hurried by, casting shadows on the rippled sandy ocean floor, lit up with the green lights surrounding the lab building. He would never admit it to anyone, but he had grown to love this view and the serenity of the ocean floor. Sometimes he would open the sound channel and flood his personal quarters with the sounds of the ocean. The songs of the aquatic species worked miracles for his old body.
“Presuming it is so, and all checks out, do you think he can oscillate when awake?”
“Hmm. I don’t know, master. We haven’t found anyone who could yet. But I know someone on Erinozhan who is creating an artificial field that would amplify the brain waves and simulate the collective network effect of their ancestors. Perhaps he could oscillate in the field. But in any event, his descendants, a generation or two away, will be able to. The projections are unanimous.”
“We need him then. As soon as possible.”
“Is this going to be an ethics lecture?”
“Master, you know as well as I do. Abductions are ruled illegal by the Council.”
“Black hole on their heads! When we are so close, they decide to fall for this ‘human rights’ nonsense.”
“I know, master, it is extremely frustrating, but we have to follow the protocol.”
“So what do we do?”
“Well, we discussed the First Contact for some time now. Maybe this presents a good reason to officially introduce ourselves. This Otis Solarin may agree to join our research project willingly. With a little white lie of course, but willingly nonetheless.”
Ennuturat was old school. Negotiating with the lab animals was beyond his comprehension, but he knew one thing for sure: this universe belonged to the new guard, for better or worse. And the new Unkari, with their evolved vision of these humans, would have to deal with their dangerous ability. Looking towards eternity, Ennuturat had resigned to this new vision, no matter what he personally thought of it.
“First Contact you say. That should be fun. I’d like to see their reaction when we come out of the ocean,” said the old Unkari with a mischievous smile. “Alright, send a memo to the Council. If they approve, we’ll have some fun before I drift into eternity.”
“Don’t say that, Master. You have many galactic rotations ahead of you,” coaxed the young Unkari scientist, fully aware that he was lying. But what’s a little white lie, when someone’s peace of mind is at stake?
TO BE CONTINUED
Download the first chapter, ‘TSUNAMI’ in a PDF document:
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:
The air traffic controllers on the radars;
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;
Pilots on the runways of the Washington DC National Airport (now Reagan); and
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:
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.
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.