Mysterious Object is 570 Billion Times Brighter than the Sun

So bright that it pushes the energy limit of physics.

Billions of light years away, there is a giant ball of hot gas that is brighter than hundreds of billions of suns.  It is hard to imagine something so bright.  So what is it?  Astronomers are not really sure, but they have a couple theories.

They think it may be a very rare type of supernova — called a magnetar — but one so powerful that it pushes the energy limits of physics, or in other words, the most powerful supernova ever seen as of today.

Continue reading Mysterious Object is 570 Billion Times Brighter than the Sun at Alien UFO Sightings.

National Security Agency (NSA) Employee Manual

Background

The NSA leads the U.S. government in cryptology that encompasses both signals intelligence (SIGINT) and information assurance (IA). The SIGINT mission collects, processes and disseminates intelligence information from foreign signals for intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, and to support military operations. The IA mission is to prevent foreign adversaries from gaining access to sensitive or classified national security information.

Back in 2009, I went after a copy oft the official employee manual. It was released to me in 2011.

Document Archive

 National Security Agency (NSA) Employee Manual (2011 Release) [130 Pages, 19.2MB]

Unable to display PDF
Click here to download

 



(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The post National Security Agency (NSA) Employee Manual appeared first on The Black Vault.

Alien-Hunting AI Detects Mysterious Deep Space Radio Signals

Ah, artificial intelligence. Is there anything it can’t do? Aside from learning to feel human emotions and generally haunting the nightmares and waking thoughts of any rational forward-looking person, artificial intelligence has now officially joined the search for aliens. Already, this use of AI is generating results, as a new set of mysterious deep space radio bursts was just detected by a revolutionary new machine learning algorithm, better known as an “intelligent computer program soon to enslave humanity.” Is there anything at which humans are better than machines machines anymore?

 

Maybe feeling sorry for ourselves as we gawk in awe and horror at the endless wisdom of our future overlords. However the AI uprising will end, this news is at least a bit of hope that we might at least discover alien life before being turned into human batteries. Scientists with Breakthrough Listen have used a powerful new machine learning algorithm (AI) to analyze a data set made in 2017 using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. While researchers had previously felt like all of the important discoveries had already been gleaned from this data, UC Berkeley PhD student Gerry Zhang coaxed this AI network into discovering 72 new radio bursts which were originally not detected in the analysis of this Green Bank Telescope data.

The first fast radio burst was discovered in 2007. Since then, dozens of sources have been located - but not identified.

The first fast radio burst FRB) was discovered in 2007. Since then, dozens of other FRB sources have been located – but not always identified.

This discovery already shows that artificial intelligence could revolutionize the search for alien life. Who knows – overlooked proof may already exist in previously analyzed data. “Not all discoveries come from new observations,” says Pete Worden, executive director of the Breakthrough Listen and other Breakthrough Initiatives, “In this case, it was smart, original thinking applied to an existing dataset. It has advanced our knowledge of one of the most tantalizing mysteries in astronomy.”

The mystery Worden refers to is FRB 121102, one of the most active sources of unexplained fast radio bursts. While many astronomers believes these bursts to be caused by natural sources, others still hold out hope that they may be alien in nature. FRB 121102, a source of radio waves some 3 billion light-years away in the constellation Auriga, has been observed emitting bright pulses of radio emission since 2016. Could this be a distant civilization attempting to make first contact, or is it just some dumb dying neutron star like always? An incredibly intelligent computer will likely solve that question soon – just before it sends the Terminators to do their thing.

A Mysterious Lost Race of Little People in Iran

Out in the desert wastelands of the the Lut Desert, in the Shahdad region of South Khorasan Province, Iran, is a tiny village known as Makhunik. In the present day it looks very much like any other village in the sparsely inhabited region, and on the surface there might not seem anything strange or remarkable about this place at all, yet looking around you will find elements of Neolithic architecture and tunnels hinting at the area’s ancient past, and indeed lying under this modern village lies something far more ancient and mysterious. More intriguing still is the fact that the ancient structures here, which are still used, all seem to have been built for residents much smaller than modern human beings, possibly constructed by a long lost race of little people and earning this mysterious place the nickname Shahr-e Kotouleha, or the “City of Dwarves.”

The ancient city itself had long remained buried and forgotten in the desert for millennia before being unearthed in the 1940s by baffled archeologists who had until then not thought that any civilization had ever called this bleak, forbidding landscape home. The site, believed to date to at least the 4th millennium BC, generated a lot of attention at the time and was considered a major archeological discovery, and when the it was more thoroughly examined beginning from 1948 it was found to be even stranger still. Many of the artifacts, tools, and furnaces here, as well as the height of doorways or ceilings and the width of tunnels, and the numerous stone and clay houses were all found to have been made specifically for inhabitants estimated to have averaged only around 3 to 4 feet in height, a veritable real life race of dwarves, although no one knows who they were or why they should have been of such diminutive stature.

Makhunik

Adding to this mystery even further was that this ancient civilization was found to have suddenly and inexplicably abandoned the city sometime in the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC, for reasons that are still unclear. The only thing that can be said about this mass exodus is that it was very sudden, with belongings abandoned and left behind, and with some of the doorways oddly intentionally sealed and covered with mud. Although it is speculated that these ancient people left due to severe drought, and that had planned to return, it is still largely unclear as to why they fled in such large numbers. The Iran Daily has said of the odd city:

A significant aspect about Shahdad is the strange architecture of the houses, alleys and equipment discovered. The walls, ceiling, furnaces, shelves and all the equipment could only be used by dwarfs. After a lapse of 5,000 years since the departure of dwarfs from the city, a large swathe of this prehistoric region lies buried in soil and the migration of Shahdad’s dwarfs remains clouded in mystery.

Of course the idea of a mysterious ancient lost vanished race of little people out in the desert is an alluring one, and it has sparked all manner of wild speculation as to who these people were, such as that they were merely stunted in growth due to nutritional or environmental factors, or that they were another race of miniature humans or even aliens. More skeptical archeologists have been quick to point out that such rumors have been blown out of proportion, that the low ceilings of the dwellings were possibly caused by natural factors that caused them to become lower over the millennia, and the low heights of these mysterious residents exaggerated. One skeptical Iranian archeologist with the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Kerman province has said of the site:

We cannot say for sure that the region of its discovery in Kerman province was the city of dwarfs. This is a very old region, which has been buried due to geographical changes. Besides technology was not so developed at that time so people may not have been able to build high walls for their houses.

Makhunik

The debate as to who or what these miniature people were, or if they ever really existed at all, still rages, and in the end it has remained an unsolved mystery, made worse by the fact that no bodies of the dwarfs have ever been found. However, in August of 2005 the discussion and debate on the Dwarf City of Makhunik received more fuel for the fire when what appeared to be the mummified body of a strange individual measuring only 25 centimeters in length was found here. Initial analysis would show that the remains seemed to be those of someone who had been an estimated 16 to 17 years old at the time of death, making is quite a puzzling find indeed.

The discovery of this mysterious corpse took the media by storm, and was widely held up as proof of an ancient lost race of little people in the region. After years of only long abandoned miniature sized ruins, here was seen to be the final physical evidence of these tiny people, but later analysis would show that it is probably only around 400 years old, and more likely the body of a premature baby that had been mummified through natural environmental processes. Nevertheless, of course there are conspiracy theories that the corpse is indeed real and is being played down and covered up.

The mysterious mummy

Whether there really ever was some village of dwarfs living in Iran, it is intriguing that it fits in very well with the worldwide phenomenon of legends of little people in general. In almost every culture one can find such stories, and although they often seem to be represented in a way that suggests pure myth this is not always the case, and there have been similar ruins, artifacts, tunnels, and ancient structures claimed to have been crafted by them and which remain largely unsolved mysteries. Even if it is all mere legend and lore, there is still the fact that these myths often are born from some grain of truth, and it is intriguing that such tales are so pervasive across far-flung cultures. Why should that be?

There has been speculation in recent times by some researchers that this is indicative of some far-reaching race or races of mysterious little people who once inhabited the world alongside normal sized people at one point far back in the mists of time. The idea of such creatures existing contemporaneously with modern humans has gained a bit more credence with the discovery of Homo floresiensis on the Indonesian island of Flores, which were small species of early human ancestors that stood only 3 to 4 feet in height and have been speculated to have very well survived to the point where they co-existed with Homo Sapiens. Considering reports and tales of such diminutive humanoids from all over the world, is it possible that something like this was once more widespread than we think, and could this have birthed the tales of little people and discoveries of “dwarf ruins” such as those of Makhunik and others like them?

In the end there is not enough hard evidence to show that this was ever the case, but yet these stories persist across cultural boundaries and vast geographical distances, leading one to wonder if there is perhaps some basis for it all. With ruins such as Makhunik, what could be behind this? Was this merely the effects of the elements, geographical phenomena, and a bit of rumor and wild speculations? Or was this perhaps really once the home of an enigmatic miniature race of people? Is so, then who were they and why were they so small? Indeed, where did they go and why didn’t they leave behind any specimens for us to study? Perhaps such bodies do exist out there, buried under the earth for thousands of years just as their domain was, waiting to be dug up and brought into the light of day once more. Until then, we are left to wonder.

This Is The Very First Image Of A Black Hole

Image credit: Jean-Pierre Luminet

Black holes are so outlandish that the scientists who first thought them up figured they couldn’t possibly exist in reality. They form from massive, collapsed stars and are so dense that nothing can escape their gravitational pull, including light. Black holes mess with spacetime so badly that scientists have long wondered: How do these things look, exactly?

We may be on the cusp of seeing one thanks to the Event Horizon Telescope, but back in 1979, Jean-Pierre Luminet created the first “image” using nothing but an early computer, lots of math and India ink.

Continue reading This Is The Very First Image Of A Black Hole at Alien UFO Sightings.

Scientists Say They’ve Found The Driver of False Beliefs, And It’s Not a Lack of Intelligence

This is why some people are so confident in their “facts”.

Why is it sometimes so hard to convince someone that the world is indeed a globe, or that climate change is actually caused by human activity, despite the overwhelming evidence?

Scientists think they might have the answer, and it’s less to do with lack of understanding, and more to do with the feedback they’re getting.

Getting positive or negative reactions to something you do or say is a greater influence on your thinking than logic and reasoning, the new research suggests – so if you’re in a group of like-minded people, that’s going to reinforce your thinking.

Continue reading Scientists Say They’ve Found The Driver of False Beliefs, And It’s Not a Lack of Intelligence at Alien UFO Sightings.

Aliens May Be Using Star Collisions to Send Us Messages

Not counting the Olympics opening ceremony or the World Cup finals, there are few events in the universe more spectacular than the collision of two stars. We know this because it was just one year ago that astronomers for the first time witnessed the collision of two neutron stars – a binary couple of extremely dense white dwarfs that send out gravitational waves and possibly gold. While waiting patiently for a shipment of gold to arrive from this merger located about 130 million light-years away from the galaxy NGC 4993 in the constellation Hydra, astronomers may want to first listen for messages from extraterrestrials. A new study proposes that other species seeing this spectacular collision may be intelligent enough to produce a signal near it that other awe-struck observers would see since we and they are staring in that general direction. Far-fetched? Like the philosophy of SETI, it’s worth listening to.

In a paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, physicist Yuki Nishino from Kyoto University begins by marveling himself at the neutron star collision witnessed after its gravitational wave GW170817 was detected on August 17, 2017. That wave, first picked up by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the U.S. and the Virgo Interferometer in Italy, pointed astronomers to the neutron star collision that created it.

“We were really impressed by the rapid growth of multi-messenger astronomy associated with [the neutron star merger detected last August], and started thinking about interesting possibilities far beyond traditional astronomical studies.”

He and co-author Naoki Seto speculated that civilizations far more advanced than us (not a stretch of the imagination) would not only see the neutron star collision after it occurred but are probably smart enough to see the build-up to it. Knowing that the spectacular event would be bright enough and powerful enough to be observed throughout the universe, they could conceivably started considering how a technologically advanced alien civilization beyond our galaxy might piggyback on the bright signals created by colliding neutron stars to catch our attention.

OK, so an advanced civilization might figure out how to predict binary neutron collisions and send messages coordinated with the event to any other civilizations watching. One question is … why? Would it be a warning to watch out for flying debris? Astronomers believe these explosions could spit out entire planets. Could they be letting us know there’s a shipment of gold and other metals on its way? If they’re really advanced, they’re probably sending us a bill for the gold.

Perhaps the message is a “goodbye” or “We were here!” epitaph to let others know of their existence. Nishino tells Space.com likes that one.

“I think one of the basic grounds for developing an advanced civilization is a profound desire to leave behind information.”

If that’s one of the basic grounds for developing an advanced civilization, what messages are WE leaving behind?

Meteorite Hits International Space Station and Creates Leak

Houston, we have a different problem.

It’s the stuff of thriller movie plots and space travel nightmares. A meteorite crashed into the International Space Station and pressure started dropping on the Russian side as oxygen began leaking out of the hole. A good screenwriter could spin this opening scene into 90 minutes of heart-thumping action, but NASA decided to let the crew continue to sleep and deal with it in the morning. Does NASA Need better technicians or better screenwriters?

“As flight controllers monitored their data, the decision was made to allow the Expedition 56 crew to sleep since they were in no danger. When the crew was awakened at its normal hour Thursday morning, flight controllers at Mission Control in Houston and at the Russian Mission Control Center outside Moscow began working procedures to try to determine the location of the leak.”

The current ISS crew consists of station Commander Drew Feustel, Flight Engineers Ricky Arnold and Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency and Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. Upon awakening (to the music of “Fixing a Hole” by the Beatles?), NASA sent them all over to the Russian side to look for the leak. Really!

Soyuz spacecraft

And? They found it! The hole was no more than two millimeters (.078 inches) in diameter and located not on the ISS itself but in the Soyuz spacecraft currently docked to it. That spaceship has been attached there since June, so it’s considered part of the station. The hole appeared to have been caused by a micrometeorite impact and was apparently found by ESA astronaut Gerst who reportedly … get ready for this … put his finger over the hole! The little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike would be so proud.

It gets better. The space news website NASASpaceFlight.com was monitoring communications between ground support and the crew gave these updates on the initial repairs:

“Russian ground controllers say they are now into a deep dive evaluation of the hole. Sergey Prokopyev is still trying to hunt down a repair kit. They have taped the hole as a band aid. Plan is to clean up the area and add more permanent patches.”

Tape! Patches! And then …

“Now told to use a toothpick on the hole (likely to aid photography and scale). Then will apply sealant and cover it with a patch. General ISS pressure is holding stable now.”

Toothpicks! Glue!

This is no space thriller movie … this is a sitcom for aliens watching Earthlings in their feeble attempts at space travel.

We’re glad the crew is safe and the hole is repaired. This shows how risky space travel is and how dangerous even a tiny meteorite or piece of debris can be. A permanent fix will most likely have to be made from the outside on a spacewalk.

NASA has probably already put in orders to ship up some Bondo, sandpaper and paint.

Archaeologists find an ‘underground world’ of a lost civilization of Peru

Researchers have discovered in Peru a complex underground world belonging to the ancient Chavín culture, which has been identified as burial chambers that date back thousands of years.

The culture developed in the northern Andean highlands from 1,300 and 550 BC. El Chavín also extended its influence to other civilizations along the coast.

The ancient Chavin civilization developed advanced knowledge not only in metallurgy, but also in welding and temperature control. 

Continue reading Archaeologists find an ‘underground world’ of a lost civilization of Peru at Alien UFO Sightings.

Mysterious Big Cat Spotted in Pennsylvania

They’re panicking in PA and screaming in Scranton as reports and photos are coming in of what appears to be a big cat roaming through neighborhoods more used to seeing kittens than cougars – yes, this feline looks large enough to be a mountain lion or at least a big bobcat. One wildlife official even suggested it could be a mutant. Are the Nittany Lions playing at home this weekend? If you’re in northeastern Pennsylvania, bring in the pets and the kids (not in that order) and read on.

“When I first saw it, I was like, ‘Wait, is that a mountain lion? No, they don’t live around here.’ Then I saw and was like, ‘It could be a bobcat, possibly mountain lion,’ “

Nick Dodge made that comment after looking at footage from his home surveillance camera which showed a large cat outside his chain-link fence on August 25th. He sent the photos to local station WNEP which posted them on Facebook. While no other neighbors or residents of Clarks Summit, a suburb of Scranton, reported seeing the cat, many were taking up arms (or at least baseball bats) and debating whether it was indeed a mountain lion – something that has not officially been seen in Pennsylvania for over 100 years – or a bobcat, which have been known to live in the area and hunt in a nearby swamp.

Bobcat

While Clarks Summit is a long way from State College, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions, actual Nittany lions or Eastern cougars or eastern pumas (Puma concolor couguar) were common in the area until the late 1800s. they’re now officially extinct and any sightings are attributed to bobcats, lynxes, exaggeration or possible escaped pet lions. Most school historians agree that the name “Nittany” most likely comes from the mythical tale of Native American princess Nita-Nee who lead her people to the fertile land of what is now central Pennsylvania. It was said that when she was buried, Mouth Nittany rose in her honor. If you don’t like that story, another involves an Indian maiden also named Nita-Nee who fell in love with a white man who was chased out of town by her seven brothers and died in Penn’s Cave crying out her name.

If you don’t like either one, blame author Henry W. Shoemaker who admitted making them up in 1903. Despite that, another story arose of Penn State baseball player Harrison “Joe” Mason, Class of 1907, who bragged to some Princeton players that a Nittany lion was stronger than a tiger (Princeton mascot). Penn State won and the Nittany Lion became the unofficial mascot until 1942 when it was adopted.

Nittany Lion Shrine

Is the Clarks Summit cat a long-lost Nittany lion? Not likely, according to Dan Taylor, a San Diego-based wildlife biologist and former Philadelphia resident. He told PhillyVoice:

“The coloration and the shape of the head lean toward mountain lion (Felis concolor) but they have a tail that’s almost as long as their body, and this animal clearly is lacking a tail. Also, pretty sure there is color variation in a bobcat’s fur color, so what I’m thinking is a good-sized, tawny colored bobcat. Nothing to see here folks, move along …”

Move along? Pretty arrogant, aren’t you Dan? Why don’t you come back to PA and say that to the people worried about their poodles becoming cougar chow? If you do, stay away from Nick Dodge’s neighbor, Ann Marie Flora.

“I was out yesterday night and this morning with a baseball bat in case I saw something. Don’t know if I’d been brave enough to use it.”

Maybe not on a cougar …