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Red Pills of the Week — June 8th

Greetings, fellow Coppertops! This week’s edition of your favorite MU column will bring you collisions with UFOs & Jedi drone tricks, Vegan babies & primeval primates. And as we observe the start of the long-awaited trial against Bradley Manning, we’ll join our brothers in Turkey trying to reclaim their freedoms in an increasingly monitored Brave New World. I couldn’t help noticing a woman with a red dress among the Turkey protesters, which makes me suspect our friend Mouse might be behind all this.

10  Our first stop begins with a follow-up to a story mentioned on this column last year, involving the efforts of a non-profit foundation named The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which seeks to recover the remains of Amelia Earhart’s plane, so that a 74 year-old mystery can finally be put to rest. As discussed by Aaron & Elliot on the last episode of MU, TIGHAR has recently announced the may have spotted the fuselage of Earhart’s plane on the sonar.

If you look closely, you can totally see Amelia waving back... Wait... No, that's a pixel.

If you look closely, you can totally see Amelia waving back… Wait… No, that’s a pixel.

This landing spot for the putative fuselage matches an overall theory of how the plane might have broken up against the reef. The recovery team also said the anomaly appears to be the correct size.

In order to confirm the finding TIGHAR’s divers must return to the spot pinpointed by their sonar. And also their data must be verified by independent experts. But something tells me we may finally close the chapter on this aviation enigma.

Stay tuned.

9 7 decades can see the rise of all kinds of outlandish theories meant to explain Earhart’s disappearance. It should not surprise us that even time slips & alien intervention have been invoked occasionally –which was even the basis for an episode on the Star Trek: Voyager TV series.

lesliekeaneResearcher Leslie Kean is not known for paying attention to such hyperbolic speculation, but even her grounded approach to investigate UFOs doesn’t prevent her from discussing some concerns re. the risks unidentified aerial phenomena may represent to commercial air flight. I personally don’t share those concerns, considering how in the history of aviation travel we don’t seem to have one single case in which a UFO actually caused any serious damage to a passenger aircraft.

Until now, perhaps: Our good friends at Who Forted? report that a Chinese airliner suffered a high altitude collision with “an unknown object,” forcing the return of the plane to its departure point.

When the aircraft landed, and the passengers were safely escorted off, maintenance crews noticed a huge dent in the nose of the plane, prompting an internal investigation into the incident that remains ongoing.

There’s been a lot of speculation about whether or not a bird could have caused a dent of that size, but according to aircraft control, the collision occurred at around 26,000 feet, an altitude with far too little oxygen for anything to survive unaided. Furthermore, there isn’t a drop of blood anywhere near the point of contact, something that occurs in almost every case of plane vs. bird collisions.

The rather perfect elliptical shape of the dent observed in the photos provided by Greg Newkirk on his post, leads me to suspect the object was about 2 or 3 feet in size, collisioned the Chinese aircraft from something close to a 45°angle, and that the object was not stationary & might have at least matched the speed of the plane –but don’t quote me on that, since I’m hardly an avionics expert. If you think I’m talking out of my ass, feel free to do so on the comments section.

8 Of course that we shouldn’t jump to the “…therefore aliens” conclusion on the last case, since the skies of the world are becoming ever more crowded with the emergence of aerial drones. The problem is that even with their high maneuverability & array of sensors, commercial UAVs are still hard to operate.

But there may come a day when drones will be commanded by the mere action of thinking about it: Researchers from the University of Minnesota have developed a computer system enabling a person wearing a commercially-available EEG headset to control the movements of a quad-rotor drone, by way of traducing the thought patters into control commands compatible with the drone’s software –something easier said than done, apparently!


The idea is not new, as can be seen in this article showing Chinese researchers working on the same technology in 2012 –well well now, we seem to have returned to China!– but all these independent lines of research clearly shows the day when disabled people will be able to control a mechanical exo-skeleton, which will retrieve to them their long lost motility, is just around the corner.

And then we get to have Jaegers, baby!!

7 Getting to control the movements of a giant mecha is easier than getting your child to eat its meal, as any parent will be quick to remind you. But sometimes the innocent protest of the toddlers can turn from adorable to down-right inspiring, as was the case with this Brazilian Vegan boy whose video has become viral  –that enough B’s & V’s for you??


I hope this kid’s never seen inside a Mc’Donalds, or his fans are gonna be pissed!

6 Vegans might argue that their proposed diet conduces to a more harmonious relationship with the planet, but there’s just not denying the fact that without the proteins that are found on meat, our hominid ancestors would not have been able to grow their brains to the size exhibited by our species.

Speaking of primeval primates, archeologists in China have discovered the oldest primate skeleton known –we just can’t get away from China this week, can we?– and even though this new species do not belong to the branch which eventually gave rise to modern apes & humans, it’s still significantly important since its pushes back the separation between the anthropoid line & the tarsiers –small, tree-dwelling & long-tailed– to at least 55 million years ago.


By analyzing almost 1,200 morphological aspects of the fossil and comparing them to those of 156 other extant and extinct mammals, the team put the ancient primate near the base of the tarsier family tree. Dubbed Archicebus achilles, the creature’s genus name roughly translates as ‘original long-tailed monkey’, whereas the species name is a wry nod to the creature’s anthropoid-like heel bone.

Imagine: Just 10 million years after the dinosaurs space-born Armageddon, Mother Nature was already experimenting with new alternatives, which eventually gave rise to us.



But sometimes old primates refuse to die off: That seems to be the case with the infamous Zahi Hawass, who quickly fell out of grace after the disintegration of  Mubarak’s regime, but according to the Smithsonian magazine is plotting his return from the dead –just like Osiris …although I hope Zahi manages to keep his penis intact.

Now Live Science has posted an interview with the former Egyptologist-in-Chief, now free of all legal accusations against him, in which he mentions his belief that there’s still a secret chamber to be discovered deep inside the great Pyramid:

“I really believe that Cheops chamber is not discovered yet and all the three chambers were just to deceive the thieves, and the treasures of Khufu [are] still hidden inside the Great Pyramid, and these three doors could be the key to open this burial chamber,” he said in the interview.

“There is no pyramid of the 123 pyramids in Egypt that have these type of doors with copper handles,” he added. “Really, I believe they’re hiding something.”

My friend & mentor Greg Taylor has followed the saga of the doors for the last 10 years at The Daily Grail –ironically enough, back when Rudolf Gantenbrink first discovered these mysterious blockages, the big Z was adamant in his opinion that ‘they were not doors’ & that there was nothing left to discover inside the great pyramid. Greg believes that perhaps these recent remarks by Hawass are intended to bring much needed funds to Egypt. I don’t see anything wrong with that, but I do take issue with Zahi’s evident belief that Egypt, a beacon of civilization for at least the last 5 millenia, can’t possibly go on without him. But if coping with his pharaonic ego means we get to finally discover Enoch’s hidden library –as von Däniken thinks– then I’m all for it.


Our evil reptilian overlords.

Our evil reptilian overlords.

If Big Z thinks himself indispensable for Egypt’s future, the same megalomania can be found exponentially multiplied among the attendees to the Bilderberg meeting. This time however, the annual reunion of some of the most wealthy & influential power-brokers in the planet seems interested in doing a bit of PR work –after all, if all these dignitaries & barons of industry are secretly getting together to discuss the fate of the entire world, it’s OBVIOUS they have our very best interest in mind, right?– so that’s why these year the full list of attendees was released. Some names are not that surprising (Eric E. Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google Inc.) along the list of usual suspects (Henry Kissinger), but others are rather intriguing to me —David Petraeus, disgraced former head of the CIA? mingling with the big boys, are we now?

But perhaps, in light of the next pills to come, I shouldn’t be that surprised…

3 Given the amount of secrecy surrounding them, it’s hard not to see the Bilderbergs as the stereotypical Bond villains, meeting in a hidden lair to discuss the enslavement of the world –although the picture would be more complete if instead a boring European hotel they chose a hidden island with an extinct volcano. Nevertheless, that much concentration of power in the hands of such few individuals will naturally trigger some apocalyptic scenarios among those with the more fervent imaginations.

Which is perhaps the reason why doomsday series are so popular in mainstream pop culture; and few TV series have achieved the success of The Walking Dead, a show depicting the downfall of every societal structure after a plague of zombies is unleashed on to the world.


The Walking Dead managed to make headlines this week and not because of its ratings, but because one of its cast members –actress Shanon Richardson– was arrested by the FBI for allegedly sending letters laced with ricin to both president Obama & New York mayor Michael Bloomberg:

[…] [T]he actress – who has had roles on shows like “The Walking Dead” zombie extravaganza – allegedly attempted to impart revenge on her estranged husband by sending the letters and then contacting authorities and pointing blame at her husband. Her husband, Nathaniel Richardson, filed for divorce a day before his pregnant wife’s arraignment, after telling authorities she was “intentionally misleading” them. The couple was married in the fall of 2011.

The member of a TV show dealing with survival in a world without authority, arrested for threatening the most important authority in the world? the Matrix is going haywire!


Image292But if you need further proof that our current version of the Matrix is about to collapse, just remember that after 3 years of being arrested & kept in inhumane conditions, the trial against Bradley Manning has finally started. And if you need some reminding on why Manning will eventually become one of the most influential figures in this century –and NO, I don’t think I’m over-hyping it here– The blog The Political Freakshow has a nice list with “The Ten Revelations from Bradley Manning’s Wikileaks Documents. Among them are:

  • The U.S. Embassy in Paris advised Washington to start a military-style trade war against any European Union country that opposed genetically modified crops, with U.S. diplomats effectively working directly for GM companies such as Monsanto.
  • British and American officials colluded in a plan to mislead the British Parliament over a proposed ban on cluster bombs.
  • In Baghdad in 2007, a U.S. Army helicopter gunned down a group of civilians, including two Reuters news staff.

1 “Information is power.” No matter how cliched we may think this statement is, or  how many times it’s repeated on everything from videogames to X-Files episodes, it doesn’t stop being true. If the XXth century taught us something, is that information is all it takes to topple entire empires; and if the XXIst century has given us any lessons yet, is that rapid access to information is the most empowering defense citizens can have against totalitarian regimens.

Which is why the Turk government is so keen to throw its full weight against Twitter users, accusing them of “inciting riots.” But this feels like amateur stuff when compared to the lengths the US government has reached, in order to monitor the information flowing across the globe: First we were shocked by The Guardian’s revelation on how the government was collecting the metadata on all the calls of every Verizon client. And then to dwarf this intrusion came PRISM, an NSA secret data mining program which has the allegiance of the major Internet companies, intended to collect the e-mails, audio files, video & photos of all foreign citizens living outside the USA.

"All your bytes are belong to us"

“All your bytes are belong to us”

It’s not that the news was that surprising. After all, we already knew about the ginormous data center built by the NSA in Utah, capable of storing yottabytes of information –and I don’t even know what the FRAK a yottabyte is, but I bet that’s a lot of Instagram pics!– not to mention all those rumors in the 1990s about something called Project Echelon, a super-secret program capable of snooping at all the electronic communications in the world.

But Project Echelon was Alex Jones-type stuff, and the NSA data center was only discussed by the geeks reading Wired. Now PRISM is being discussed by all the major news outlets in the planet.

Shit just got real, yo!

And I’m sorry if you think this batch of red pills turned too overtly political, but unlike some students of the Unknown I refuse to perceive the Fortean mysteries as existing within a vacuum. Whether we like it or not current political trends have a direct impact on how we perceive the world around us, and that includes the so-called ‘Paranormal’ phenomena.

Whether you like it or not, if you’re reading this then you are the Resistance.

Until next time, this is RPJ jacking out, encouraging you to keep fighting the powers that be.


Miguel Romero a.k.a. Red Pill Junkie is a cartoonist and fortean blogger who writes at Mysterious Universe
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