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Red Pills of the Week — July 21st

Greetings, fellow Coppertops! On our weekly sojourn through the Fortean Matrix, we’ll bear witness to the ingenuity of our species & our capacity to manifest our most awesome dreams, as well as our most horrific nightmares. We’ll encounter ultra-fast levitating trains & human-powered helicopters, the greatest predator in all history & the world’s oldest calendar. And as we try to have a glimpse of any alien space probe scanning our planet, we’ll say adieu to every conspiracy theorist’s favorite secret installation. Apologies for my absence last week, but it seems someone aboard the Nebuchadnezzar  accidentally triggered the EMP button –yes lieutenant Elliot, I’m looking at you!!

10 So I finally stopped my usual procrastination & purchased my plane tickets to attend the Paradigm symposium next October. From Mexico city to Minneapolis is not the longest of flights, and yet it’s quite an ordeal if your body frame doe not exactly conform within the standard size airlines would like all their passengers to have –I can only imagine what poor Aaron went through last year!– Oh, if there only was a faster, more comfortable AND cheaper way to travel…

Sign me up!

Sign me up! ~ E

Turns out there could be, if we just bothered listening to what Elon Musk has to say: The CEO of Tesla Motors & Space-X wants to bypass the XXth-century-based tech of conventional ‘bullet-trains’ already in use in Europe & Japan, with a sort of Futurama-esque vision he calls Hyperloop, which would carry passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in half an hour (!). My travel to Minneapolis would potentially take just a little over 2 1/2 hours, which sounds SAH-WEET!

How this transit system is exactly going to work is anybody’s guess at this point, though Musk has hinted that an engineer called John Gardi has come pretty close with a diagram he posted through his Twitter account. Musk promised he will release the plans on August 12 & that he will make them open-sourced, which means potentially any agency or private citizen could contribute to bringing this ambitious project into fruition.

As some people have already pointed out, plans for high-speed underground systems –and everyone thinks underground would be a necessary factor for this kind of transportation– have already been proposed since the mid 1970s. And if you’re a seasoned UFO buff then you’ve probably heard of all these stories of secret underground bases, which are interconnected by an astounding grid of ancient tunnels supposedly running all across the entire planet.


Whether these stories have a grain of truth to them or are all pure baloney, I can’t really say. All I know is that at this point the task of building a Hyperloop with our current technology, seem much more daunting than building a space elevator— unless we give the contract to the Deros.

9 Unless Musk is channeling the Hyperloop plans directly from the Akashic records, it’s safe to bet it will employ some sort of magnetic levitation system. Which is all well & good, since we all agree that magnets are awesome. But even more awesome would be if we could do our levitatin’ business old-school style: through acoustics.

If you read Nick Redfern’s book The Pyramids & the Pentagon, then you know the US government looked into the accounts of how the ancient megalithic sites were (perhaps) erected through some arcane use of acoustic levitation, to see if they could reverse-engineer the process. And by the looks of the progress reported by a group of researchers in Switzerland, our modern technology is starting to catch up with the ancients.

Sure, scientists have shown how to levitate frogs & fish in the past, but what makes this new achievement remarkable, is that the team lead by Dimos Poulikakos of ETH Zurich have figured out how to MOVE small objects in mid-air, which could have potentially endless applications in different industries, like pharmaceutics & electronics. The type of revolutionary materials that could only be produced in zero-g aboard the ISS? done right here, thanks to this new(?) technology.


Poulikakos compares the previous state of acoustic levitation — without the airborne motion control — to a luxury car kept permanently in park. “We could walk around it and enjoy it, but we could not drive it,” he said. “Now we can drive it.”

Dude, where’s my acoustic levitator?

8 Perhaps it will take 100 years before we can figure out how to levitate something as heavy as a human being using nothing but harmonic sound waves. A short time-span, if you consider it took us five centuries to bring Leonardo da Vinci’s dream of a human-powered helicopter into reality: The Canadian startup AeroVelo has become the winner of the 33-year-old Igor I. Sikorsky’s Human Powered Helicopter Competition with their quad-rotor Atlas, powered by a single human being riding a bike.

To qualify for the prize the aircraft had to hover within a 10 metre-square area for 60 seconds and rise to an altitude of three metres.

American Helicopter Society (AHS) and Sikorsky Aircraft announced last week that AeroVelo had successfully met the requirements and won the $250,000 Sikorsky’s Prize. “It’s been 33.3 years in the making. Today is the day,” tweeted Sikorsky Aircraft.


Somewhere out there, Leonardo is smiling with approval.

7 And even the 500 years separating this remarkable achievement from the Italian genius pales in comparison to the age of our next Red Pill: Archeologists believe they have discovered the oldest calendar in the world, created in Scotland around 10,000 years ago –way before Mesopotamia or the cities in the Indus valley were erected. That should make us reconsider the knowledge of ‘primitive’ hunter gatherers…


The calendar consists of 12 pits which seem to mimic the phases of the moon. The pits may have contained a wooden post just like in Stonehenge, and they also aligned on the Midwinter sunrise to provide a correction due to the seasonal ‘drift’ of the lunar year.

Vince Gaffney, Professor of Landscape Archaeology at Birmingham, led the analysis project.

He said: “The evidence suggests that hunter-gatherer societies in Scotland had both the need and sophistication to track time across the years, to correct for seasonal drift of the lunar year and that this occurred nearly 5,000 years before the first formal calendars known in the Near East.

“In doing so, this illustrates one important step towards the formal construction of time and therefore history itself.”

6 If these nomadic hunter-gatherers already had such a sophisticated notion of the passage of time, does it mean they already had some sort of oral or pictographic history? Did they have tales & myths of how the world came to be, and how long their ancestors had been roaming through the land, in search of sustenance & purpose?

Thanks to our cumulative knowledge we now possess a very accurate description of our Universe’s birth, and our instrument readings are also hinting to how it will inevitably come to an end. Since the years of Hubble, astronomers interpreted the Doppler effect of distant galaxies as evidence of cosmic expansion –much to Einstein’s chagrin– but a new theory proposes that instead of expanding, the Universe is just getting fatter!

According to Theoretical astrophysicist Christof Wetterich, the atoms in the Universe are increasing their mass, which would affect the energy of electrons, thus accounting for the red-shift illusion we now interpret as receding galaxies. Thus, Wetterich is dismissing the Big Bang entirely, and posits the Universe could be essentially static, or even in a process of contraction.

Currently the theory cannot be put to a test, yet I still think it’s cool that some theoreticians are not afraid of thinking outside the box. Which still leaves us with a tiny enigma: where is all the extra-mass coming from? to which I speculate: is our Universe fond of Mexican food?


Because frankly, WHO ISN’T?



Answering my own question, I can think of an exception to enchiladas addiction: Tyrannosaurus Rex. Poor T-Rex became extinct before a Chipotle franchise could open in Pangea.

At least we can now dismiss the rather heinous notion that the undisputed star of Jurassic Park was only a brutish scavenger, as was proposed some years ago –the idea being Rex was way too big & heavy to be a successful hunter. But now paleontologist David Burnham & researcher Robert DePalma are able to give the matter a killing blow thanks to a duckbill dinosaur fossil they found with a Tyrannosaur tooth embedded on its tail:

“Our evidence is new because we have a T. rex tooth inside a duckbill dinosaur, that bit it so hard and so viciously that the tooth broke off, the duckbill dinosaur got away, and over the next few years, the wound healed,” Burnham explained.

He determined that the duckbill lived long after the attack by comparing the time it took for the bone to heal around the wound with studies done on modern animals.

“Before our evidence, everybody was looking at bite marks and tooth punctures on dinosaur bones and using that evidence for both theories of predation and scavenging. They were using the same bit of evidence to argue both sides,” Burnham said.

Baby’s got bite!



Michael Thomas Boatwright

Michael Thomas Boatwright

“When he woke up, the dinosaur was still there,” written by Augusto Monterroso, was credited as the world’s shortest story –this before Twitter was invented, people. I’m sure that if I ever saw a live dinosaur I’d have such a shock I’d end up soiling myself, instead of forgetting Spanish & speaking only in Swedish; yet that’s exactly what happened to Michael Thomas Boatwright, who is now being attended at a Palm Springs hospital. Furthermore, the 61-year-old man has absolutely no recollection of his past, cannot even recognize his own reflection in the mirror, and now answers by the name of Johan Ek.

The man was found unconscious in a Motel 6 room on Palm Canyon Drive at noon on Feb. 28, said Lisa Hunt-Vasquez, the social worker assigned to track down next-of-kin information and help to piece Boatwright’s story together.He had with him a duffel bag of casual athletic clothes, a backpack, five tennis rackets, two cell phones, some cash, a set of old photos and four forms of identification: a passport, California identification card, veteran’s medical card and a Social Security card. Each of them identified him as Michael Thomas Boatwright.

Michael (or Johan) has turned into an absolutely mystery for his doctors. They haven’t been able to find one single living relative or acquaintance. They only know he served as an aviation mechanic in the Navy from 1971 to 1973 –curious, if you consider his last name, ‘Boatwright’. He also seems to have been a self-taught computer graphics artist on his previous life –his CGArena portfolio shows images that were all uploaded on February 11, 2011 –02-11-2011, a palindrome— using the e-mail account [email protected]kors means ‘cross’ in Norwegian, not Swedish– and he might have worked as a tennis coach in Hong Kong, even though he can’t access his Chinese bank accounts.

It all sounds like something out of a Tom Clancy novel, which kinda begs the question: Is Boatwright the victim of a complex psychotic breakdown, or a nepharious mind control program?

3 Who knows if the US government is still continuing with the MK-Ultra experiments they were carrying out in the 50s. We do know the Obama administration is fully invested with their UAV (drone) program, which has many citizens worried about their privacy –and they are willing to fight back.

The town of Deer Trail, Colorado is considering issuing licenses to shoot down government drones, with a bounty of $100 for presenting identifiable parts of the downed vehicle. And given the recent news of an Air Force drone crashing in Florida, perhaps someone else had the same idea?

QF-4 drones are refurbished F-4 Phantoms

QF-4 drones are refurbished F-4 Phantoms

Controversies about the limits of federal authority aside, what interests me about these sort of news is that they help us evaluate some of our assumptions about the UFO phenomenon. Many researchers seem rather willing to concede that secret experimental aircraft, either manned or unmanned, are responsible for a big slice of the UFO pie. Such ideas have been proposed as an explanation for the famous Belgian wave of the late 1980s for example.

And yet what these ideas don’t take into account is the inherent danger of deploying experimental technology over populated areas. Even fully-disclosed stealth aircraft have suffered accidents, so it stands to reason that if most UFOs were secret black projects, then we would observe more reports of crashed UFOs than the ones we have –especially if those vessels are flying over urban centers.

Black projects are part of the puzzle no doubt. But they shouldn’t be seen as the final answer.

2 Yes, I do think that even after your leave the usual misidentifications & the black projects out of the equation, that a substantial portion of truly enigmatic UFO cases are left waiting to be acknowledged. And even though I’m no longer the conventional nuts-and-bolts enthusiast I used to be in my youth, that some UFOs are the result of extraterrestrial intervention cannot be ruled out entirely.

In a study published in the Journal of Astrobiology, mathematicians Duncan Forgan and Arwen Nicholson have proposed that self-replicating alien space probes could already be studying our solar system, using a technology that would render them invisible to us.

The paper raises the question of whether alien races could have used the gravity of stars to “slingshot” probes in order to gain speed: a technique humans already use for probes, such as the Voyager. The Voyager space probe uses a ‘slingshot’ technique but uses planets rather than stars as the Scotland-based mathematicians suggest.

The researchers also analysed how a fleet of probes could ‘self replicate’ and build new versions of themselves from dust and gas while traveling through space.

Arthur C. Clarke called. He wants his theory back.

Arthur C. Clarke called. He wants his theory back.

1 We are far away from having the ability to turn gas giants into stars –Oops! spoiler alert– but some conspiracy theorists like to think we already have the capacity to control the weather of our own planet. Of that & many more terrible things they have accused the HAARP installation located in Alaska, thanks to its alleged capacity to heat a localized portion of the ionosphere –which would presumably render a rather hefty power bill.


Alas, Jesse Ventura’s fans will have to find something else to blame: The U.S. government has announced its plans to shut down the HAARP program due to a lack of funds. Seems that power bill was even heftier than we thought!

“Currently the site is abandoned,” [HAARP’s program manager, Dr. James Keeney] said. “It comes down to money. We don’t have any.” Keeney said no one is on site, access roads are blocked, buildings are chained and the power turned off. “Everything is in secure mode,” he said, adding that it will stay that way at least for another 4 to 6 weeks. In the meantime a new prime contractor will be coming on board to run the government owned-contractor operated (GOCO) facility.

As things stand, the Air Force has possession for now, but if no other agency steps forward to take over HAARP, the unique facility will be dismantled, Keeney said.

Here’s a thought, Dr. Keeney: move your operation to the private sector. I’m sure Monsanto would be delighted to have the capacity to screw with the weather of any nation opposing their GMO seeds!

Until next time, this is RPJ jacking out; reminding you that for a conspiracy to work there needs to be people willing to believe it.


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