From the X Files Dept: China’s UFO Frenzy -Will it Go Viral?

DxdqjSCMqmel 2010 is apparently the year of China's UFO sightings- most recently when an unidentified flying object shut down a Chinese airport on Sept. 11. Newly released footage (of unconfirmed authenticity) shows what appears to be a classic UFO and has gone viral the Web as you'd expect. Including this mysterious sighting, which reportedly caused flights to circle the Baotou airport for about an hour last month, Chinese airports have been shut down because of UFOs three times this year. There have been eight reported mysterious sightings since June.

Wang Sichao, a research fellow at the Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, who started work on UFOs nearly 40 years ago, according to the Beijing Review, has predicted that "great events" concerning UFOs were going to come out in the country in the next two years. "First, I'd like to say something about the conception of great events about UFOs. It does not mean large numbers of UFOs but refers to events of credible facts backed by observation," he said. "But these facts cannot yet be explained by existing scientific knowledge or natural phenomena." 

Signs are accumulating that China is experiencing a growing fascination with UFO's.After the UFO was detected in July blazing through China's Hangzhou airspace, dozens of inbound flights to nearby Xiaoshan Airport were diverted. Explanations have ranged from an alien spacecraft to "sunlight reflected from planes" to military trials to, but there's no official statement yet from the Chinese government. 

A number of people had apparently seen a white glowing object proceeding rapidly across the evening skies over Xiaoshan, near Hangzhou in Eastern China. Panic broke out – and the authorities decided to close the airport just in case. This is the most recent example of a fast-growing accretion of UFO stories in the People’s Republic, with four reported sightings in the last month.

Last year the expatriate Chinese writer Xiaolu Guo published a novel called UFOs In Her Eyes, relating how the sighting of a flying saucer in a Chinese village leads to great publicity, large new developments and the ultimate destruction of the village and the lives of its poor inhabitants. A plausible scenario, one suspects. 

The UFO area of the internet, wedged firmly between (and overlapping with) the paranoid conspiracy section and the Star Trek fan-fiction boards, was clamoring last summer that the Chinese Purple Mountain Observatory lived up to its name by observing an actual Unidentified Flying Object. Reports Great Britain's Telegraph and Daily Mail lent a credence not usually found in the insaner online reporters (like the "All News Web" which not only reported on the UFO, but identified the exact species of alien involved. "Axthadan", if you're interested). 

The articles featured photographs, even videos of mysterious saucer-shaped splodges in the sky – along with confirmed statements from real scientists that they'd seen something. Except for the small fact that the scientists were not real -they were fabricated. 

One of the world’s preeminent astrophysicists, Carl Sagan, believed that “the interest in unidentified flying objects derives, perhaps, not so much from scientific curiosity as from unfulfilled religious needs.” 

No one could have foreseen the extent to which the idea of would pervade popular culture prior to the publication in 1897 of H.G. Wells War of the Worlds and Kurd Lasswitz’s On Two Planets –both the vanguard of an enormous number of treatments of the alien theme in science fiction. 

The modern UFO era and the birth of the extraterrestrial hypothesis began on June 24,1947, when Kenneth Arnold, flying his private plane near Mount Rainier in Washington, reported nine disk-shaped objects flying in formation at speeds he estimated to be over 1,000 miles per hour. Arnold, a respected businessman and deputy U.S. marshal, was taken seriously and his description of the objects as flying “like a saucer if you skipped it across the water” led to newspapers to coin the term “flying saucer.” 

The alien hypothesis first officially emerged in 1948 with the Air Force "Project Sign," which concluded that UFOs were of extraterrestrial origin. The report was later declassified and burned by General Hoyt Vandenburg. 

If UFOs exist, how do they traverse the universe? According to conventional wisdom, one can only travel through time in a linear fashion at no faster than the speed of light. At that rate, it would take millions of years to traverse the universe, and who has time for that? If there’s a way to manipulate space and time curvatures, then we have all the time we need. In sync with India’s love-affair with UFO’s, a recent editorial in a popular Indian news site, UFOs, singularity, time folding (and just about every other theory ever proposed) are a complete given. After all, one aspect of quantum physics is that in an alternate universe, anything could happen. While several advanced theories do have some solid ideas to back them up, others seem a bit far-fetched—even for those willing to accept that there may be upwards of twenty-six dimensions, rather than the standard four. 

So what current theory is the most likely to someday satisfactorily explain the science of UFO’s? Though it may seem like pure fiction, it is commonly accepted that wormholes are possible within the framework of general relativity. Although folding space has yet to be documented, there continues to be a healthy debate in the scientific community about their possible existence. If they do exist, it would explain how something or someone could traverse huge distances very quickly. 

Stephen Hawking gave a lecture, which discussed the possibility of wormholes in folding space. The implications of human travel through these wormholes could result in “short-cutting” through vast distances and even time itself. While scientists currently have no realistic method of finding a wormhole (nor proof that they even exist), there is no reason why they couldn’t. In fact, their existence would certainly help make sense of some current paradoxes in the world of physics. While the answers aren’t quite here yet, the questions are being asked. If wormholes are proven to exist, the possibilities will be literally endless. Who knows, maybe an advanced civilization in a parallel universe speaks Chinese. 

Casey Kazan with Rebecca Sato and Luke McKinney



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