Sep 16, 2013 I Miguel Romero

Red Pills of the Week — September 14th

Greetings, fellow Coppertops! This week we've been ordered by Zion to investigate ancient Stargates & suicide missions to Mars; along with UFO hoaxes, Stonehenge solstice alignments, and comments made by one of TV's most iconic personalities in favor of the Abominable Snowman. And as we analyze the claims of British scientists about the discovery of alien life --right here on our planet-- we'll say Bon Voyage (again) to our (now official!) first emissary to the stars. I want to be quick about the mission, so after it's over we can plug into Garibaldi plaza, where the famous Tenampa salon is located. What could be better than enjoying a shot of tequila & a cold cerveza while hearing a song by José Alfredo Jiménez? Maybe having all that while riding a jet-ski...



Man, how does time fly when you're inside the Matrix! 20 years ago an obscure TV show named The X-Files took our collective imagination by storm, and pop culture was never the same again. In many ways Chris Carter's Magnum Opus embodied the zeitgeist of an entire era, when the world was entering the uncharted waters beyond the Cold War, and a growing sense of mistrust in government agencies & corporations was starting to take a hold in our minds.

Not to mention all the times TV networks have exploited its soundtrack when covering some damn UFO story.

I remember when I first started watching Mulder & Scully via Mexican cable. At first I thought it was like a grown-up version of Scooby Doo, with this pair of raincoat-clad agents chasing after monsters & aliens on dark alleys. I also found it curious how the people in charge of dubbing the episodes for Mexican television, had chosen for the voice of Fox Mulder the same guy who also voiced Ren in the Ren & Stimpy cartoon! Later I also recognized that the Mexican voice of the Cancer Man was also the voice of Montgomery Burns in The Simpsons, a detail I personally find oddly synchronistic, seeing how 'burns' might allude to Mulder's nemesis always burning his lungs with those Morley cigarettes...

Here at MU, my colleague Michael Rose has started a series of posts with his list of favorite (non-canon) X-Files episodes (season 1) (season 2). Here's hoping he continues with the good work.

9 You guys remember the episode Space, from season 1? It was inspired by Carter reading about the 'face' on Mars in the newspaper. Will we have to face angry alien ghosts should we finally decide to set a colony on the Red Planet?

That's probably the least of the concerns of the more than 200,000 people who have submitted their application on the Mars ONE website, in order to have the chance to win a one-way ticket out of this rock.

Mars One reported that the applicants came from 140 countries, with about a quarter coming from the United States, 10 percent from India, and 6 percent from China. Brazil, Great Britain, Canada, Russia, and Mexico, each put up about 4 percent of the applicants.

The Las Vegas Guardian Express have collected a few samples of the more... shall we say, peculiar applicants. But here's hands down my personal favorite (h/t the Grimericans):




Of course, the premise of Mars ONE would seem a hell of a lot more feasible, if the US Military finally decided to lend us the Stargate portal they've kept secret all these years.

Wot, you think that was just a TV show? Bitch, please!

Another one who didn't think it was just a TV show is Stargate's creator, Roland Emmerich, who's planning to reboot the franchise with a movie trilogy. Something SG fans might not be too pleased with, since Emmerich doesn't think of the several TV versions of his original universe as 'canonical.'

Roland is also currently working on a sequel to his most successful film, Independence Day, which will be set (and released) 20 years after the defeat of the alien invaders --let's  hope humanity still knows how to whoop ET's ass.

7 Despite the fact that Emmerich's career is full of hits & misses, I can't help feeling respect for a man who's willing to share his inner convictions about the Fortean mysteries with moviegoers --even if that means scaring the crap out of them with 2012 doom porn.

Risking failure takes a lot of balls; which make for great filmmakers & entrepreneurs, but for lousy fathers. That's at least the conclusion behind a rather controversial scientific study lead by James Rilling, an anthropologist at Emory University in Atlanta. The idea being that larger testes account for a higher sperm count & increased promiscuity, something easily observed with our nearest cousins, the bonobos; male gorillas are polygamous but don't have to face a lot of competition, hence smaller testicles --though I wouldn't dare to mock a gorilla on its face.

But with us humans, having more 'change in the coin purse' could also mean --aside from awkward glances at the beach if you're wearing a Speedo-- a lack of interest in child-rearing, which is a big deal because for most children the male role model is given by the parent, and if you are raised up by a lousy dad there's a good chance you'll have a harder time in becoming a well-balanced adult.

However, Dr Rilling said that the conclusions of the study assumed that testes size was not changed by the act of becoming a father. "We're assuming that testes size drives how involved the fathers are," Dr Rilling said.

"But it could also be that when men become more involved as caregivers, their testes shrink. Environmental influences can change biology. We know, for instance, that testosterone levels go down when men become involved fathers,” he added.

doctor with gloves
...Or maybe you should just check the THERMOSTAT in your office, doc.



Any single mom trying to raise a kid on her own is a Wonder Woman in my book, even if they don't own a golden lasso or an invisible jet plane. Speaking of which, the star-spangled amazon might give her seal of approval to the architectural firm GDS Architects, who are planning to build an invisible skyscraper near the Incheon airport, just outside of Seoul Korea.

An invisible tower near the landing path of airplanes... what could possibly go wrong?



Is building a mimetic building with XXIst century tech easier than building a site like Stonehenge with Stone-age tech? It's possibly impossible to answer, but one thing we do know is that the Stonehenge builders chose the location in Wiltshire for a reason: because its geographical features aligned with the solstice axis.

Just below the tarmac, Parker Pearson has found naturally occurring fissures that once lay between ridges against which prehistoric builders dug ditches to create the Avenue. The ridges were created by Ice Age meltwater that happen to point directly at the mid-winter sunset in one direction and the mid-summer sunrise in the other.

Parker Pearson said: "It's hugely significant because it tells us a lot about why Stonehenge was located where it is and why they [prehistoric people] were so interested in the solstices. It's not to do with worshipping the sun, some kind of calendar or astronomical observatory; it's about how this place was special to prehistoric people.

"This natural landform happens to be on the solstice axis, which brings heaven and earth into one. So the reason that Stonehenge is all about the solstices, we think, is because they actually saw this in the land."

Parker Pearson said the findings backed theories that emerged in 2008 following exploration of a narrow trench across the Avenue. "This is the confirmation. It's being able to see the big picture."

Could there have been other reasons behind the builders' decision, though? such as a confluence of telluric currents at Stonehenge's site?

4 Whether out of practicality or due to other more arcane reasons, it's no mystery to Forteans that Stonehenge is a hotspot for UFO activity & weird phenomena. Last week Canadian baseball fans thought their favorite sport was also effective in attracting ET's attention, when during the sixth inning of a game between the Vancouver Canadians and the Everett AquaSox at Scotiabank Field's Nat Bailey Stadium, some of the attendees began noticing a strange object in the sky.


The pics & videos taken by the fans soon went viral, but eventually it was revealed the UFO was actually a sophisticated hoax. But the most shocking thing about it? the hoax was perpetrated as PR stunt for a local planetarium. Astronomers faking flying saucers?? Lawd have moicy!!



With all those fake UFO videos on Youtube, sometimes it feels like the sensible thing to do is to hang the tinfoil hat & call it quits.

Then something like the next Red Pill comes up, and the fires of Forteana are rekindled in this old Mexican heart: Sir David Attenborough, a man whose face is linked to nature documentaries in the minds of millions of TV viewers across the planet, has recently claimed he thinks the Yeti might be real:

"I believe the Abominable Snowman may be real. I think there may be something in that," he said. "There are footprints that stretch for hundreds of miles and we know that in the 1930's a German fossil was found with these huge molars that were four or five times the size of human molars. They had to be the molars of a large ape, one that was huge, about 10 or 12 feet tall. It was immense."

Attenborough also went on to provide his views on how a creature like the Yeti may have survived for so long without being officially discovered and recognized by science.

"If you have walked the Himalayas there are these immense rhododrendron forests that go on for hundreds of square miles which could hold the Yeti," he said. "If there are some still alive and you walked near their habitat you can bet that these creatures may be aware of you, but you wouldn’t be aware of them."

I assume the molars 87-year-old Attenborough might have referred to, were the ones found in Hong Kong by Ralph von Koenigswald, which called his discovery Gigantopithecus, considered by many to be the best candidate for an actual ancestor of the Yeti & Bigfoot in the fossil record. Here's hoping Sir David might still be able to shoot a documentary about these elusive cryptids, once they're finally discovered.



And since we're at it with our wishing list, I hope I'm still around to watch the first TV documentaries on alien life. Something that might come sooner than we realize, if a group of British scientists from the University of Sheffield are proven right. The team sent a balloon 27 km into the stratosphere and captured microscopic algae using sterile microscope slides, during the latest annual Perseid meteor shower. Their conclusion: the micro-organisms could only be the result of panspermia, a term co-developed by Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, who lead the Sheffield team.

If the name sounds familiar to you, it's because Professor Chandra has been mentioned in this column previously, when in January he made a similar claim re. a meteorite from Sri Lanka where he found fossilized diatoms of (alleged) non-terrestrial origins. It's interesting to note here that diatoms are also a form of microscopic algae.

Chandra's findings were the subject of many attacks in January and it's been no different for this latest claim, with skeptics saying that the algae could have been transported to the stratosphere by volcanic eruptions. But even if these micro-organisms turn out to be terrestrial in origin, it would still give credence to one of Charles Fort's (and Ivan Sanderson's) weirdest assertions: the idea that entire ecosystems could exist in the top layers of our atmosphere that we had no previous knowledge of... until now.

Perhaps Chandra's algae are the plankton on which the sky jellyfish feed?

1 But what if Chandra is right, and "the seeds of life" are plentiful throughout the Cosmos? That would obviously mean that great adventures --and challenges-- await us if we, like Bilbo Baggins, decide to be taken by our feet once we step outside our doorstep.

If Earth is Bag End, then Voyager 1 has officially reached the edge of the Shire (our solar system): that's the ground-breaking announcement given by the Voyager team of JPL in Pasadena last Thursday. And I for one am willing to accept it, mainly because I'm sick & tired of returning to this story again & again. So SCREW YOU, Oort Cloud! You're the gas station lying outside of the system as far as this column is concerned.

And in case you're wondering what the edge of our cosmic backyard sounds like, wonder no more:


Vaya con Dios, V'ger!

Until next time, this is RPJ jacking out. Reminding you that a journey of a thousand miles begins with choosing the right kind of shoes.

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

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