Jan 21, 2014 I Miguel Romero

Red Pills of the Week — January 19th

Greetings, fellow Coppertops! Are you all ready for our next mission? I should warn you beforehand that it shall be a dangerous affair; for what is more dangerous than to question your own concept of Reality? The moment you start doing that everything starts crumbling down, and if you keep at it long enough the veil finally starts to lift from your eyes. The Red Pills I offer you this week range from the quantum mechanics operates in Nature, calls for open-mindedness toward ESP, and even bizarre explanations to some of the most famous cases in Forteana. And after we review Dr. Greer's recent interview with maverick news anchor Abby Martin, we'll evaluate whether the most powerful nation in this planet is being secretly controlled by nefarious off-world forces. All I offer is the Truth, yes, but the Truth will eventually set you free --if you let it, that is...

10 The world, my friends, is far stranger than we could possibly imagine. And even phenomena we think we understand fairly well can still surprise us from time to time. Just look at these astonishing images of  volcano Kawah Ijen in Indonesia, whose amount of sulfurous content paints its lava with an eery blue color.

Typical blue flames of sulfuric gaz Kawah Ijen

If you feel the images look as if taken on the surface of another planet, and even experience an odd sense of deja-vu, then perhaps it's the result of Stanley Kubrick's brilliance on his magnum opus 2001: A Space Odyssey. 




Speaking of Sci-Fi films, even though many criticized James Cameron's Avatar for its predictable plot & lack of depth, there's no denying he did a wonderful job transporting the audience to a lush alien landscape, full of exotic creatures & gorgeous bio-luminescent plants. If you were one of those who experienced Avatar-Induced Depression after abandoning the movie theater, here's some good news for you: Soon you'll be able to grow your own little patch of Pandora thanks to Bioglow, an American bio-tech company which will soon start to sell what they call the 1st bio-engineered glow-in-the-dark ornate plants in the world.


Whether owners will be able to psychically hook up with their pet plants using their pony-tail terminals seems to be absent in the press brochure, though...



Yet even without the bio-luminescent feature, plants are among the coolest organisms in this planet. Take for instance the phenomenon of photosynthesis, the process which converts electromagnetic radiation --i.e. light-- into chemical energy: Recently it had been speculated that photosynthetic efficiency was the product of quantum entanglement, thereby linking a theory which was the exclusive province of physicists with the 'messy' realm of Biology. Many biologists remained unconvinced, though, but now comes new evidence suggesting the photosynthetic process occurring inside the plant's light-gathering macro-molecules cannot really be explained with classic physics alone:

In the new study, however, UCL researchers identified a specific feature in biological systems that can only be predicted by quantum physics. The team learned that the energy transfer in the light-harvesting macromolecules is facilitated by specific vibrational motions of the chromophores.

"We found that the properties of some of the chromophore vibrations that assist energy transfer during photosynthesis can never be described with classical laws, and moreover, this non-classical behaviour enhances the efficiency of the energy transfer," noted supervisor and co-author Alexandra Olaya-Castro in a statement.

The vibrations in question are periodic motions of the atoms within a molecule. It's similar to how an object moves when it's attached to a spring. Sometimes, the energy of two vibrating chromophores match the energy difference between the electronic transitions of chromophores. The result is a coherent exchange of a single quantum of energy.

"When this happens electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom are jointly and transiently in a superposition of quantum states, a feature that can never be predicted with classical physics," explained study co-author Edward O'Reilly.

Sorry, Biology undergraduates. Looks like you'll have to take Quantum Mech 101 after all...

7 Are there other biological processes intrinsically connected with the spooky world of the quanta? Many readers of this column will no doubt be familiar with the controversial theory popularly known as Quantum Consciousness proposed by Stuart Hameroff & Roger Penrose --he coined the term "orchestrated objective reduction" ('Orch OR') for it-- which would rely on some strange 'microtubules' inside the neuron's structure, where quantum vibrational computations would allow the rise of integrated consciousness.


Hameroff & Penrose have recently published a paper in Physics of Life Reviews, in which they try to review & update 'Orch OR' by pointing to recent discoveries which (they claim) substantiate their theory.

Orch OR was harshly criticized from its inception, as the brain was considered too "warm, wet, and noisy" for seemingly delicate quantum processes.. However, evidence has now shown warm quantum coherence in plant photosynthesis, bird brain navigation, our sense of smell, and brain microtubules. The recent discovery of warm temperature quantum vibrations in microtubules inside brain neurons by the research group led by Anirban Bandyopadhyay, PhD, at the National Institute of Material Sciences in Tsukuba, Japan (and now at MIT), corroborates the pair's theory and suggests that EEG rhythms also derive from deeper level microtubule vibrations. In addition, work from the laboratory of Roderick G. Eckenhoff, MD, at the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that anesthesia, which selectively erases consciousness while sparing non-conscious brain activities, acts via microtubules in brain neurons.

"The origin of consciousness reflects our place in the universe, the nature of our existence. Did consciousness evolve from complex computations among brain neurons, as most scientists assert? Or has consciousness, in some sense, been here all along, as spiritual approaches maintain?" ask Hameroff and Penrose in the current review. "This opens a potential Pandora's Box, but our theory accommodates both these views, suggesting consciousness derives from quantum vibrations in microtubules, protein polymers inside brain neurons, which both govern neuronal and synaptic function, and connect brain processes to self-organizing processes in the fine scale, 'proto-conscious' quantum structure of reality."

After 20 years of skeptical criticism, "the evidence now clearly supports Orch OR," continue Hameroff and Penrose. "Our new paper updates the evidence, clarifies Orch OR quantum bits, or "qubits," as helical pathways in microtubule lattices, rebuts critics, and reviews 20 testable predictions of Orch OR published in 1998 -- of these, six are confirmed and none refuted."

Critics would no doubt point out to the fact that discovering quantum processes in the neurons, DOES NOT necessarily imply these are the root of consciousness. We should also be mindful of relying too much in current scientific jargon to explain away what are lazily called 'paranormal phenomena' --and let's face it: Consciousness is the ultimate mystery of them all!-- But at the same time I'm glad Hameroff & Penrose are still trying to gain more adepts in their attempt to bridge Mysticism with modern Science.

6 The fact of the matter is there are still many scientists who want to explore the mysteries of consciousness & ESP, and move beyond the current materialistic paradigm which flat-out refuses any discussion of PSI phenomena. A group of 90 or so modern Brunos & Galileos, led by professor of Psychology Etzel Cardeña of Lund University, have recently published & signed an open letter published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, calling for support of open and honest investigation of parapsychological topics, and related mysteries of human consciousness.

  1. Research on parapsychological phenomena (psi) is being carried out in various accredited universities and research centers throughout the world by academics in different disciplines trained in the scientific method (e.g., circa 80 Ph.D.s have been awarded in psi-related topics in the UK in recent years). This research has continued for over a century despite the taboo against investigating the topic, almost complete lack of funding, and professional and personal attacks. The Parapsychological Association has been an affiliate of the AAAS since 1969, and more than 20 Nobel prizewinners and many other eminent scientists have supported the study of psi or even conducted research themselves.
  2. Despite a negative attitude by some editors and reviewers, results supporting the validity of psi phenomena continue to be published in peer-reviewed, academic journals in relevant fields, from psychology to neuroscience to physics.
  3. Increased experimental controls have not eliminated or even decreased significant support for the existence of psi phenomena, as suggested by various recent meta-analyses.
  4. These meta-analyses and other studies17 suggest that data supportive of psi phenomena cannot reasonably be accounted for by chance or by a “file drawer” effect. Indeed, contrary to most disciplines, parapsychology journals have for decades encouraged publication of null results and of papers critical of a psi explanation. A psi trial registry has been established to improve research practice.
  5. The effect sizes reported in most meta-analyses are relatively small and the phenomena cannot be produced on demand, but this also characterizes various phenomena found in other disciplines that focus on complex human behavior and performance such as psychology and medicine.
  6. Although more conclusive explanations for psi phenomena await further theoretical and research development, they do not prima facie violate known laws of nature given modern theories in physics that transcend classical restrictions of time and space, combined with growing evidence for quantum effects in biological systems.

Science should not be a popularity contest or run like a democracy, thinking the majority's consensus is always right. The value in this latest effort, is in pointing out how there are still some academicians who consider there's a great untapped potential in tackling with what many of their peers consider nothing but woo woo hogwash; perhaps if those denialists bothered to examine the available evidence with an open mind, we wouldn't see so many unfortunate episodes like the recent onslaught of vitriol unleashed by NPR's interview of Dr. Jim Tucker, who continues the re-incarnation study started by his mentor Ian Stevenson.

5 But if you want to solve these mysteries by playing Science's game, then I'm afraid you have to follow the rules. The Australian website news.com.au offers a new update on a story we discussed last year: that of the two amateur egyptologists --Dominique Goerlitz and Stefan Erdmann-- who allegedly vandalized the cartouche of King Khufu inside the Great Pyramid, in order to prove the last 7th Wonder of the Ancient World was not built by the Egyptians but by a much older civilization --Atlantis, perhaps?

The article is unnecessarily harsh of alt-history fans IMO, even though I still think Goerlitz & Erdmann's actions will eventually do more harm than good to those trying to challenge the orthodox interpretation of Egypt's ancient past. Even though the pair has repeatedly tried to make amends with the  Egyptian authorities, the current Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim seems determined to make an example out of them --perhaps fueled by a desire to prove Egypt is still capable of safeguarding their heritage in a post-Zahi era...


BTW during the 1st Paradigm Synposium, the father of Ancient Aliens  --Mr. Erich Von Däniken himself-- was able to blow my mind when he suggested the Great Pyramid's purpose was to preserve the ancient records of our long-forgotten past. I wonder what he thinks of this recent scandal --perhaps I'll be able to ask him this year...

4 Speaking of rewriting old mysteries, the WTF story of the week was this cryptic little article published on the February edition of Soldier of Fortune, in which the author proposed an explanation for the famous Mothman sightings in 1967, which would have made even John Keel do a double take! According to author Harold Hutchison, the inhabitants of Point Pleasant were confused by some secret military testings of a new parachute that would be deployed in Vietnam, and the green berets conducting the exercises were misidentified for an interdimensional interloper on account of the glowing paint they used in order to keep track of them during the night-time jumps.


Not even our pal Nick Redfern, who doesn't shy away from considering more mundane explanations for hallowed Ufological cases once in a while, is convinced by this 'explanation'. In a recent exchange on his blog, the Joey Ramone of Forteanism pointed out to me how the reports described Mothman as having glowing red eyes, NOT a glowing body --also, the eyes were too wide apart for a human head as well. And call me a hopeless woo woo fanatic, but I don't think a green beret would be able to run fast enough to catch up with an automobile either...

mothman car chase
"Oh Hai!"

The thing bothering me the most about this story is... Why now? Why try to come up for an explanation of a case only tinfoil hat-wearing UFO nutters care about?



Classic cases are always fun to revisit, but yours truly is always on the hunt for fresh Forteana. This news about a triangular lunar anomaly recently discovered by a user of Google Moon seems to hit the bill quite nicely:


'The regularly spaced, circular promontory shapes which make up the seven points on the perfectly formed triangle wedge seem to be intelligently designed.

'To date, no other feature has ever been discovered which matches this shape on the moon, or any other planet observed by satellite or exploratory rover.

'The anomaly is so huge, it's possible it is some sort of moon base used as a facility for storing and launching alien UFO spacecraft.'

The same YouTube user also claims to have found a similar mystery structure on Earth, nestled under the ice in Antarctica.

'It is also a triangular shape, measuring 125 by 90mtres.

'It is unique in the area,' he said.

Tricks of light in space photography have led to a number of excited reports about alien life in our solar system.

In November, paranormal researchers found what they believed to be evidence of a fossilised iguana on the surface of Mars.

Even though I'm not ready to conclude this is positive proof of extraterrestrial intervention in our natural satellite, I neither consider this triangular feature to be akin to the pareidolia suffered by many arm-chair enthusiasts, who keep pointing to odd rock outcroppings as evidence of life on Mars.

But don't let me have the final say on this! Share your thoughts on the Comments section.

2 The trick here in this field, is suppress the urge of jumping into unsubstantiated conclusions. Unfortunately the people displaying uncertainty are not the ones who get to be interviewed in front of a camera. On the popular online news program Breaking the Set, Abby Martin recently interviewed one of the main spokesmen of the controversial UFO Disclosure movement: Dr. Steven Greer.


When compared to Paul Hellyer's interview, Greer is a slight improvement in delivering the message of a need to address the UFO problem by mainstream media & official institutions; but there's still that disturbing need for protagonism displayed by Greer --in any interview you can find of him in Youtube, try to count the amount of times he says 'I' or 'me' in comparison to 'we' or 'our'-- along with this snake-oilish promise that Disclosure = Free Energy for All! Hopefully Breaking the Set will try to cover other more credible figures to discuss the phenomenon --If you're reading this, Abby, Leslie Kean would be an excellent choice.

1 The last Red Pill makes even someone like Greer look objective & down to Earth, though! The (semi) official Iranian news agency FARS recently run a story involving the NSA, UFOs, the US government & the 3rd Reich: The agency claims the documents leaked by Edward Snowden & which --according to them-- were shared with the Russians, prove the US government is being secretly controlled by an evil race of tall white extraterrestrials, who once backed the Nazis during World War II.

There are so many wonderful details here. As proof that aliens were secretly behind the Nazis, the report explains that Germany built hundreds of submarines toward the end of the war, far more than would have been possible with mere human technology. It does not explain why aliens with access to interstellar travel built subs that were so grossly incapable against the British navy, or why all-powerful extraterrestrials were unable to help the Nazis resist an invasion by Allied forces that are mere cavemen relative to their own technology. So far, these are pretty unimpressive aliens.

In any case, after losing the war, the aliens apparently installed themselves as the secret force behind the United States government. President Obama is said to be a tool of the aliens, though anti-alien factions within the U.S. government are fighting to topple him. Their present aim is to install a global surveillance system that will, somehow, allow them to finally impose a one-world government and enslave humanity.

If you feel this story is nothing but a FARS(e), it's because once again our old friend Paul Hellyer is involved. According to the Iranians, he was the one who 'confirmed' the veracity of the information tying Obama, Hitler & the aliens. So much for double-checking your sources, guys!

Max Fisher, the blogger for The Washington Post who was the one reporting about this story on  American media, observes a troubling trend in the Iranians' attempt to alienate their political foes, in this case understanding the term as a way to regard the 'other' as completely strange & unknowable entity, thus forfeiting any possibility of sharing a common ground.We fear the most that which we don't understand.

And yet this is hardly something new: there's been countless books trying to make sense of the Nazi party's meteoric rise & brutality by viewing Adolf Hitler as some sort of modern warlock, possessed by demonic forces who used him as a puppet in order to unleash the tragedy of the Holocaust. But maybe we shouldn't look for some preternatural external agency, and just realize we humans always make the mistake of underestimating our own capacity for cruelty.

Until next time, this is RPJ jacking out. Always remember: Freeing Zion starts from within.

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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