'The Day After Roswell' - book review Part II

After writing my recent review of 'The Day After Roswell' by Philip J. Corso, I remembered two more interesting things in the book that I didn't cover in my first review. Neither of them are actually about U.F.O.'s or aliens, which, I think, shows how much stuff is present in Corso's book; it really is a treasure trove of thought-provoking material.
First off, in between the hard-to-believe alien stuff in Corso's book, Corso also touches on an oddity in America's space exploration programme; why haven't the United States put a base on the moon? I wrote an article on this subject a while back. In the article, I described some of the military benefits of having a base on the moon and why it is a major mystery why the United States or Russia still don't have a base on our moon.

In his book, Corso discusses, at length, the U.S. military's interest and plans in setting up a moon base, a plan hatched in the late fifties and designed to be completed by the mid-sixties. Corso makes it clear that General Trudeau, his commanding officer, was involved in a plan to land on the moon and then establish a base there, with the moon landing being simply one step in a larger process. The reasoning laid out in Corso's book is more extensive than my comments in my article, which not surprisingly for a major U.S. military project, but the essential premise is the same. The moon is the high ground and anyone who establishes a base on it will have a huge military advantage. Corso dedicates an entire chapter to the project and adds an appendix with photocopied briefing documents, detailing what became known as Project Horizon. But, as we all know, there is no moon base. Corso explains why; his answer is logical but it involves UFO's, so its veracity is a matter for debate. Read More...

'The Day After Roswell' by Philip J. Corso - book review

A few months ago, I began a fresh look into the U.F.O. topic, as a result of aimless youtube wandering. It was a very interesting experience. After watching several of the Sirius Disclosure testimonies, I was amazed at the number of testimonies from respected professional, educated, senior people, including a Rear Admiral, stating that U.F.O.’s do exist but that the secret services and military sections of the major governments of the world have been hiding the facts from the general population for the last seventy years (or more).
Following on from that surprising claim, I sought out and read ‘The Day After Roswell’ by Colonel Philip J. Corso. This book is about the United States' military’s encounters with U.F.O.’s since the Second World War and, in particular, Corso’s own involvement. By his own, account, Corso was very much in the thick of it. He received artefacts from crashed alien spacecraft and passed them on to private defence contractors so that they could examine the advanced technology and replicate it, thereby developing valuable new technologies. All of this was done in secret and, according to Corso, was responsible for huge advances in key technologies on Earth. It’s astonishing stuff and I can imagine many people would simply reject it as a lie. But is it?

Let's be logical

Corso' book is certainly official 'kook' territory but, before judging and sentencing it, let’s think rationally about the likelihood of its key assertions. Firstly, it's become clear to all of us in recent years that the intelligence agencies and militaries of the world are definitely hiding things from their citizens. After Edward Snowden’s recent revelations about the N.S.A. and G.C.H.Q.’s email and phone snooping, along with a whole host of recent scandals in which the western military and spy establishments ignored laws, due process, peoples’ lives and other rather important things, it’s pretty much a ‘given’ that our spooks are hiding stuff from us.

Military physics and Paul Czysz

While trawling through youtube recently in the search for some solid UFO material (something I discussed in this earlier blog), I stumbled upon some fascinating interviews with several U.S. military engineers and physicists. This article is about one of them, Paul Czysz.

Paul Czysz was a Saint Louis University professor emeritus and alumnus who taught in the department of aerospace and mechanical engineering at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology for more than 10 years. He died on Aug. 18th 2013. He was 79. He spent much of his career working for the McDonnell Douglas Corporation and in the U.S. Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. In 1986, Czysz was named a McDonnell Douglas Fellow for his work in hypersonic aircraft concepts. As far as I can tell, he gave the interview below shortly before his death.


SpaceShipOne - it's a nail-biter

Here's another good documentary from YouTube. This one's about Burt Rutan, a famous airplane designer, and his efforts to win the X-prize, the competition set up in the U.S. to reward the first private company to take passengers into space on two separate trips, less than a fortnight apart. In other words, a competition to encourage the development of a privately designed, constructed and tested commercial spaceship.

I only knew a little about the SpaceShipOne project before I watched the video, and I had no idea how they had got on with their craft, so I found the documentary both exciting, intriguing and a complete nail-biter. I really didn't know what was going to happen at any point in the documentary and because they were doing a lot of the project work on a shoe-string, with an entirely new design of craft, without wind-tunnel testing or advanced simulations or an exhaustive series of tests to cover every possible potential problem, it really felt as if there could be a disaster at any point in the story. Gripping stuff (Note: it's not 1080p and it's actually only an hour-and-a-half long).

Travel to the stars by exploding atomic bombs

I discovered this fascinating programme on youtube yesterday. It's an old BBC4 documentary about Freeman Dyson and his project to design a spaceship that travels into space, propelled by detonating a series of nuclear explosions.

I found the documentary both engrossing and bizarre. Throughout the program, the people involved in the project were convinced that it was a viable and brilliant way to send humans into space and the other planets in our solar system. They pointed out, sensibly, that rocket motors did not produce enough power to effectively fling humans to the edges of our solar system, or our nearby astral neighbours. Chemical rockets were good enough to go to the moon, but that's about it.

This all made sense, but at no point in the documentary did anyone say 'wait a second, how on Earth are you going to accurately steer this craft as you explode nuclear weapons under its 'spring plate'? Also, how are you going to safely detonate a whole series of nuclear bombs under this 'spring plate' without them frying the crew with radiation or running the risk of one of them blowing up while it's still inside the bomb bay? The practical problems seem endless, and yet they carried on with idealistic zeal. Fascinating stuff.

Warp drive isn't science fiction!

Since I've been knee-high to a grasshopper, I've been a huge fan of Star Trek, both the original series, the Next Generation series and the recent J.J.Abrams movies. Quality stuff. But recently, since I've becoming a budding science fiction writer, I've felt duty bound to write science fiction that is based on solid science. In other words, if the technology in a story is not evidently scientifically sound or no attempt is made to explain how it is scientifically sound, then I can't write about it as it's not science-fiction, it's fantasy fiction.

This is where Star Trek has become a big problem to me, because Einstein, in his famous Theory of General Relativity, makes it clear that no material object can go faster that the speed of light. Knowing this, it becomes obvious that travelling between the stars is an impossible task. You either go so fast that you're rapidly smeared all over your pilots chair like a coating of gravy, or if you go slow enough to stay in one piece and end up dying of old age or being turned into a biological colander by endless cosmic ray bombardment, or both, or all three. We all may be used to the crew of Star Trek zooming between the stars in a few hours, enough time to develop a slow-burning romance, or play an odd version of chess, or play an instrument that neatly doubles up as a kitchen implement, but that doesn't mean it's scientifically okay. Read More...

Kit will save us!

Back in the 1960’s, when skirts were short and architecture was Lego-like, Freeman Dyson, a physicist and engineer, came up with the idea of a Dyson Sphere. The idea was straightforward; a sun gives out lots of energy but planets only get a fraction of it. What if you built a sphere entirely around the sun and made the inside surface of that sphere like a planet? That way, you’d have an enormous area of land to use which would all be getting sunshine. You could house a squidgillion number of people that way. Sorted! The idea was intriguing, memorable and cropped up in a slightly altered way in Larry Niven’s very successful science fiction novel ‘Ringworld’.

The idea also cropped up more recently in a
New Scientist magazine article. The article’s author reported attempts underway by scientists to find Dyson Spheres out there in the Milky Way. The logic of the article was as follows: By the laws of probability, there should be many advanced civilisations out there in our galaxy. If there are, some of them should have built Dyson Spheres (or similar enormous engineering constructions) in order to house their expanding populations and help their expansion through the Galaxy. There should therefore be Dyson Spheres out there, encasing stars; it’s just a case of spotting their heat signature, shape, E/M emissions etc. Read More...