Shocker: alien video is useless

By Phil Plait | May 30, 2008 3:07 pm

Sigh.

Jeff Peckman stood before the citizens of Denver and showed the video. What it had on it we don’t know, because he would only allow certain members of the press to see it, and no video of his video was allowed to be taken. Evidently, Peckman is part of the Bush Administration.

Anyway, his video was supposed to show an alien looking in a bedroom window. He said it would have cost thousands of dollars and take a Hollywood studio to fake it. However, members of the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Society were able to create a fake video in a few hours and for under $100, which looks "slightly more animated" than the real thing. That’s according to someone who saw both, writing for the Rocky Mountain News (link above).

The fake video is all over YouTube already, and of course some people are claiming it’s the real thing. It’s not. Below are stills from the real footage and the hoaxed one (well the admitted hoax). The one on the left is from Peckman’s footage (posted on the Rocky Mountain News site), the one on the right is the claimed hoax.

The differences are obvious — most notably the shape of the head, and the mullions (crossbars) in the window. Now go to YouTube and watch the footage people are claiming is the real thing.

Oops. It’s the known hoax.

So where are we? We have a video few people have seen, a claim it couldn’t be easily faked, proof it could be easily faked, and the fake video being claimed as the real one on the ‘net.

Still with me?

The dumbosity of this is climbing faster than even I thought it could. One thing is clear to me, though: Jeff Peckman is very, very good at wasting peoples’ time. And people are only too too happy to throw it at him.

And now here I am, taking ten minutes to write this, and that’s ten minutes I’ll never get back. Feh.

Comments (114)

  1. Mark

    Not quite a “rational” response, but I feel it’s somehow adequate…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPz-j3bfq3E

    :)

  2. Ty

    I am really surprised this got so much attention in the first place. All these different articles around the net stating “Video with PROOF Aliens exist” and such. Ridiculous. It doesnt matter what type of photo, video evidence you have now a days. If its about aliens the majority of people will just not believe it. And that is completely understandable.

  3. Robert Madewell

    Well, it’s a video that he won’t let everyone see. He’ll only let who he wants to see it, see it. He won’t let the media air clips from the video. Yep, sounds real to me!

  4. B13

    Evidently, Peckman is part of the Bush Administration.

    Well, he could have shredded it. Then he be more like Clintons.

  5. I truly wish I could say I was surprised.

  6. Dan

    Alien or not, I know that look. It says “Get off my lawn!”

    I suppose this is proof that my grandmother was an alien.

  7. Jeffry White

    Well, I’m convinced…

    …that these people are gullible.

    And so the “fake” is actually better? The “fake” looks pretty obvious as it is.

  8. Nicole

    Awwww it’s so cute!!!

    My favorite YouTube comment on the video: “It’s real, if you look close enough you can see a bag of Reeses pieces in his hand.”

  9. BoxerShorts

    The known fake does indeed look better than the supposedly “real” footage.

    Which is quite telling.

  10. justcorbly

    Here’s the takeaway from this:

    Aliens are Peeping Toms!

    If it’s possible to go zipping about the galaxy in vehicles that travel faster than the speed of light, it surely can’t be an inexpensive or easy enterprise. If you’re going to go to all the trouble to vist Earth (why?) surely you’d have something else in mind other than staring through some guy’s window.

    Here’s a question: If, just suppose, our solar system was regularly traversed by alien ships traveling faster than the speed of light, and if they never dropped to a speed below that, would we be able to discern their presence? (Assuming they didn’t leave behind long trails of exhaust or some such other evidence.)

  11. John Hart

    ufo/alien folks really come out of the woodwork around the end of May….remember 2-3 years ago the prophet yahweh in las vegas? He would get somebody to launch balloons across town and claimed they were ufo’s he was able to summon down from the skies?

  12. Tom Marking

    I’m really disappointed in the level of hoaxing these days. When Doug Bower and Dave Chorley invented their crop circles in the 1970’s they were true artists. They produced something that fooled people for decades. This clown puts a puppet on a stick and shakes it around for several minutes, and then he wants government funding. If the dude is going to make a hoax the least he can do is to make a professional hoax and not some joke that a three-year-old could pull off.

  13. Ian

    So sad. The Roswell autopsy video really upped the ante on these things. He’s gotta do better than an anmolous reflection in a window.

  14. Jason W

    Wow, that still from the ‘real’ video is hideously pixelated. I feel like I’m looking at pareidolia example more than anything..is it a dog’s face? The light part of some guy’s t-shirt design (especially given that the whole reason the video was made was because the dad thought there was someone stalking his family, according to the article).

  15. Jason W

    Sorry for the double comment, but a few coworkers and I keep looking at the image from the newspaper, and the more we look at it, the more it looks like someone wearing a Punisher t-shirt:

    http://www.everytshirt.com/Products/Purple-Skull-Punisher-t-shirt__096PUNI01.aspx

  16. And now here I am, taking ten minutes to write this, and that’s ten minutes I’ll never get back. Feh.

    Or ten minutes where you could have been making your own fake!

  17. “Evidently, Peckman is part of the Bush Administration.”

    Oooh, your incisive mind encapsulated everything that’s wrong with the Bush years in that short sentence. Brilliant! Really! Most people wouldn’t have dared be so pithily vacant.

    But. You. Dared!!!

    That ranks right up with your deconstruction of the Dreamworks animated logo and the snarky hairpulling you engaged in with Michelle Malkin.

    Really, this blog could write itself, it’s certainly become self-parody.

  18. Stupendous Man

    I honestly cannot make out the “alien” in the first still image…

    I see what MIGHT be something, but it’s not clear enough to be conclusive.
    They should consult with Jesus to get some lessons on appearing in a way that is easily identifiable.

  19. Rob

    Why the heck would an alien come all this way, gazillions of miles or light-years or parsecs or whatever, just to peek in someone’s window?

    I think they would have just nuked the whole place from orbit, just to be sure.

  20. Michelle

    Oh, so that was a fake I seen?

    *eyes the “real” one* the fake one is more convincing. Aliens suck at Special Effects.

  21. Robert

    It seemed obvious to me it would have to be a fake when they wouldn’t allow the news conference to be recorded. I turned channel 4 on for the noon news especially to see just how bad it would be, and when they mentioned not being allowed to tape the conference, I realised that it must be really bad. What some people will claim!

    Keep up the good work Phil.

  22. jeffw

    Wow, funny stuff… aliens travel light years to peek in windows… you’d think that if you could get all the way here, you’d have something techie like a spy camera that would let you peek in a window without getting mud on your feet, tentacles, hooves or what-have-they.

    Interesting that this ‘concerned citizen’ is planning to create a documentary about alien visitors using this footage as evidence. He’d hate to get too much news coverage. ;-)

  23. Chris Christner: Hahaha! Ha! You have certainly brought me down low, sir.

    Still, if you have paid any attention at all in the past seven years, you may have noticed an occasion or two where just maybe Bush and his lackies have perhaps manipulated the media a little bit, and had press conferences where they stacked the room with people they hired, or funded shady operations to shill certain stories to the press, or talked only to people they knew would support them, or made up stories out of whole cloth, or lied brazenly to the American people.

    Any attention at all may have just perhaps a little bit tipped a rational person off to that. So the joke is pertinent.

    It’s also funny.

  24. Surely that’s Stewie Griffin in the ‘real’ window?

  25. Drat! I’m too late! The video is no longer available.

  26. Terri Cherri

    The fact that people are taken in by this sort of thing (sadly) doesn’t surprise me. Folks are willing to believe anything that’ll make their lives more exciting. Take, for another example, the selections for ” ‘Best’ Photos” on UfoEvidence.org, especially this one ( http://ufoevidence.org/photographs/section/topphotos/Photo9.htm ), which looks like an ordinary bubble that can be made with soap and a plastic wand.

  27. Mark Hansen

    It’s funny how Peckman says that only Hollywood with it’s legions of special effects guys and mountains of money, coupled with eons of production time could make something that would look like it. Gerry Anderson was doing stuff like this in the 1960’s. Perhaps the video shows a visitation from International Rescue? Or, FSM forbid, the Hood?

  28. Chip

    You all want to see aliens in the window? OK then, but be careful what you ask for! Here you go:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qxWGr8VhzQ

  29. TomC

    I swear I saw the video a few weeks ago and it must’ve been on YouTube. When the news came out that Peckman had a video showing an alien blinking it jogged my memory and I was waiting to see the video or a still from the video to confirm my recollection. Yep, it’s the same, and it looks just as fake now as it did then.

  30. Hoonser

    I can do a better hoax video. And it didn’t cost me one red cent.
    Plus it’s way more authentic looking.

    http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Gt-GY2y0o

  31. Mark Martin

    Give the guy a break. It’s perfectly normal for someone to just happen to have a video camera resting on a rock-solid mount pointed at a window with only darkness outside at the exact minute an E.T. happens to be peeking in.

  32. Matthew

    Mark Martin, just what you said, give the guy a break.

    The story goes that Stan (guy who actually took the video) that he was suspicious of a peeping tom or an intruder around his residence.

    After consulting someone he setup the camera trap inside, on a night that he was suspect of something or someone around the house he setup the camera, left the room and when he returned after noticing the flashes low and behold we have our “creature in the video”.

    I mean it’s one thing to be skeptical about this thing but i don’t see how the poster came to the conclusion that the video is useless? I’m not saying it’s real or not and the still frame picture isn’t obviously the so called “smoking gun” but isn’t good science waiting untill all the evidence is in?

    Wether or not you believe shouldn’t effect the scientific process right? I don’t particularly want to start any kind of name calling or wild conjecture but to say this is a hoax and that the people involved are lieing when there’s still further information to be released regarding this case.

  33. Mena

    I still think that the admitted hoax alien looks like a bald earless cat. The other hoax alien looks like the reflection of a distant couch with two pillows on it.

  34. Utakata

    Forget that…

    …I found this alien footage really disturbing:

    http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=eBGIQ7ZuuiU

  35. Kevin

    The fool is on Larry King right now.

  36. Mark Martin

    Matthew,

    It’s a known fact that this can be faked, trivially easily. There’s no good reason to waste brain power wondering if it’s the real thing. It’s a lot like all those e-mails you get from deposed Nigerian royalty. For all you know, one or more of those might be the real thing. But are you willing to waste your time finding out?

  37. space cadet

    a couple of posts ago I wanted to suggest that Dunkin’ Donuts’ decision to pull a tv ad had a lot more to do with economic values than personal ones. It was long and boring, so I wasted it. Now, we see someone with an implausible claim based on evidence he’s shown a select few, that he’s probably talked about to no end on the intertoobs. I’m naive and stoopid and understand little, so I wonder how this guy’s gonna market this?

    waaaay back up there, Tom Marking said something about guvment funding to study junk like ths. Do we really fund studies on woo like this? Wait – I’ve been reading SBM too much: we do.

  38. Yeah, this guy was on Larry King sitting next to someone so deep in his own bulls… hit… that even Stan was ashamed to be sitting next to him. A’course the first Skeptic to speak said we’re “Schooled in cynicism”, which doesn’t help our cause at all (not to mention it aint true, either!), but none of them really rabidly pursued the guy. Well, the guy from the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Society was nice to listen to and was able to lay his foot down and say the video is a fake, though he raised the interesting point that the whole ordeal may be a hoax -on- Stan. Then again, the way Stan was saying “There are scientists looking at this video and doing their analyses and they don’t want it released to the public yet” basically says he knows it’s a hoax. That and Mr. King did a wonderful job of pointing out the idiocy in the idea of an alien coming down and “peeping in the window of a guy in Denver.”

    ‘Nuff said.

  39. fred edison

    The Rocky Mountain News people must be enjoying the web traffic. Isn’t this ‘peeping ebe’ guy who filmed it supposed to be an abductee/contactee? I thought he had been visited before. This guy should be on the lookout for the MIB. They show up after alien/UFO visitations. Keep the camera rolling, dude.

    What I find amusing, in a human sort of way, is when people say ETs would never do this or that. I don’t think we can assume how they’d act with any degree of certainty. We have no idea what they would think or why they would do what they do.

    What I found immediately suspicious as soon as I heard about this story is how the mass public can’t see it, unless they cough up some green and see it on the documentary they have to buy. Hello? If this video is real and the guy who shot it thinks it’s real, then it’s one of, if not the greatest story of all time. Where is ‘do the right thing’ and an individual’s small sacrifice for the good of all mankind here? This video and the reputed alien in the window screams money hungry and human greed.

  40. Radwaste

    You know, this is one of those cases where it isn’t even necessary to get “a scientist” – or some other authority figure – to study the picture.

    Glass reflects quite a bit of IR. That’s why IR cameras built for the purpose, such as the one at work for doing quality-control inspections of loaded electrical distribution panels, have synthetic sapphire lenses.

    D’oh!

  41. Why can I see the interior of the room reflected in the glass? It just looks like ambient light rather than Infrared – or did he just turn on the “night vision” setting on his video camera and forget that he should have turned the room lights off……

  42. Quiet Desperation

    Aliens are Peeping Toms!

    Well… that’s the whole point, right? To observe.

    And give anal probes.

    You know, I dated a dominatrix a few years back. I should hook them up with her.

    Hey yo!

    [Applause]

    Disclaimer: I was her boyfriend, NOT a client.

  43. Tig

    So the possibility of a bipedal alien is pretty low, and rather egocentric, if we look at it. What are the possibilities that another alien race has developed as a bipedal intelligence capable of interstellar travel? Really? I would be more apt to believe this if it were some very unusual form of intelligence that seemed more advanced that a common voyeur.

  44. Michael Lonergan

    Guys… the alien was not in Denver, but Nebraska. That does make a difference ya know.

  45. You know it’s got to bad when psychic-friend Larry King is the voice of reason.

  46. Mark Martin

    Tig, you raise a good point. Richard Feynman addressed this same issue in one of his books. Back in the ’60s there were fake Mayan codexes in circulation, hoaxes. One thing that was characteristic is that they’d never have anything in the writing that wasn’t already known about Mayan culture from what very little remained of their records. The hoaxers played it too safe. It would’ve been more convincing to have the writings say something new, something rather unexpected. It’s just like with a new scientific theory. If it says only what the old theory says, then it’s at best redundant. If it makes a prediction that the old one doesn’t, then there’s something which can be tested.

    And so it is with fake E.T. movies. They never seem to show anything that’s not already expected by those with a predilection for such things to begin with.

  47. JB

    That’s no alien! That’s Jebus!

  48. I’ve performed some image enhancement to allow us all to see this little alien visitor in much more detail.

  49. Jeremy

    I think the “real” picture looks like one of those wrinkly dogs.

  50. It’s very telling that the video produced by the Paranormal society is actually IR – I’m assuming they used the IR LED light on their camera to illuminate the dummy’s face – the interior of the room is not illuminated – this would be how it really would be if someone had set up a camera to ‘trap’ a peeping tom – leaving the lights on seems a little counterintuitive!

  51. Mike in Montana

    There’s an alien looking thru my window RIGHT NOW!
    He’s gotta shiny bald head like me
    and deep set eyes like me
    same damn brand of laptop computer too!

    UNearthly!

    If he wasn’t so ugly, I’d swear it was a reflection.

  52. tom

    You should all know that’s not that actual video, it’s a spoof by these guys: http://www.rockymountainparanormal.com/

    See this: http://www.rockymountainparanormal.com/ufo/alienkitchen.mp4

    I’m not saying the still image is legit, but the *video* that was released isn’t what that Peckman nut is saying is his video.

  53. Hannu Siivonen

    I can’t believe it wasn’t real! I was so sure…

  54. akari_house

    No no no, this is the real video, the blinking eye proves it can’t be faked:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM62TXYoHkg&NR=1

  55. Will

    To start, despite what I’m about to ask, I’m actually very much a skeptic, and I’ve never met a UFO report that I believed. However, all of this stuff about the (obviously fake) video made me wonder exactly what it is that all of us are expecting to see as “proof.” It’s obvious that no number of videos or first hand accounts will get the job done, nor will formerly classified military documents. I guess what I’m trying to ask is, what would make my fellow skeptics out there believe in aliens?

  56. Will

    evilhuman,

    The description you just gave makes me wonder if it really is just a marketing campaign for the X-Files movie like some people suggested…

  57. Zucchi

    Here’s something I’ve never understood. Let’s stipulate for the moment that the “real” video is entirely genuine. Given that, explain this logical sequence: “1) I see a figure in the window; 2) I can’t identify it as anything I’m familiar with; 3) ergo, I’ll assume it came here from light years away.” I can’t quite make the leap between 2) and 3).

  58. Diego

    I agree with Zucchi. Even if by some miracle that video turned out to be real. What makes people think we’re looking at Aliens?, UFO believers just lack rational thinking.

  59. JamesTCA

    Sure that isn’t Michelle Malkin looking in the window?

  60. BaldApe

    One really big problem is that when you show a true believer how easily something like this is faked, their response may be “OMG! There are aliens in your house too!”

    Conan Doyle was convinced of all kinds of loony things. Here’s a quote from the Wikipedia article on Conan Doyle:

    Although Houdini insisted that Spiritualist mediums employed trickery (and consistently attempted to expose them as frauds), Conan Doyle became convinced that Houdini himself possessed supernatural powers, a view expressed in Conan Doyle’s The Edge of the Unknown. Houdini was apparently unable to convince Conan Doyle that his feats were simply magic tricks, leading to a bitter public falling out between the two.[9]

    I read an article (Skeptical Enquirer maybe?) that described how Houdini did a magic trick for Doyle, which he then explained to him. Doyle still insisted that it had been real magic.

  61. joker

    Oh what a suprise! … NOT!

    Dodgy UFO / alien video turns out to be a useless fake proving pretty much squat.

    Who would’ve guessed .. * rolls eyes *

  62. MercenaryMuffin

    Ugh. Phil, Phil, Phil.

    I love ya to death, buddy, but you gotta stop with the two-bit political jabs! I come hear for interesting and entertaining news on Life, The Universe, and Everything, not yet another eye-roll-worthy comment.

    Every other blog in the world is lame and political, so keep the politics here to a minimum, hmm? Pleeeeease?

    Oh, and: Fake video is fake.

  63. MercenaryMuffin

    err, here*

    Typos > me

  64. Mr. LAME

    the comedy in real life
    i love it

  65. Chris Obonsawin

    If only those intrepid and sexy astrophysicists from “Star Party” were here to help us!

  66. I’m surprised any press group is giving that amount of coverage to it…at least surely they’d check it out first for some sort of legitimacy before going public with it.

  67. And now you’ve made me loose 5 minutes of my life, between the post and the video ><‘

    Now you owe me big time Phil!

    A hard copy of Dead from the skies will suffice tho :D

  68. JB

    am I the only one not seeing anything in the picture? looks like a picture of a black window to me….
    **Goes back to look at the picture again..**

  69. Billy Bob

    I think everyone needs to chill until the “documentary” comes out. Also wasn’t his video shot in infrared. At least that’s what the original Rocky Mountain News post said if I’m remembering correctly. And unless I’m mistaken infrared is not black and white, which throws out the still.

  70. Billy Bob

    Well then never mind…Haha I didn’t see that the still was from the RMN site…Hmm…

  71. Michael

    I doubt this is for the X-Files, since the movie apparently does not follow the alien theme this time.

  72. Tom Marking

    “I guess what I’m trying to ask is, what would make my fellow skeptics out there believe in aliens?”

    The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan, p186:

    “Since the middle of the twentieth century, we’ve been assured by proponents of the extraterrestrial hypothesis that physical evidence – not star maps remembered from years ago, not scars, not disturbed soil, but real live alien technology – was in hand. The analysis would be released momentarily. These claims go back to the earliest crashed-saucer scam of Newton and GeBauer. Now it’s decades later and we’re still waiting. Where are the articles published in the refereed scientific literature, in the metallurgical and ceramics journals, in publications of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, in Science or Nature?

    Such a discovery would be momentous. If there were real artifacts, physicists and chemists would be fighting for the privilege of discovering that there are aliens among us – who use, say, unknown alloys, or materials of extraordinary tensile strength or ductility or conductivity. The practical implications of such a finding – never mind the confirmation of an alien invasion – would be immense. Discoveries like this are what scientists live for. Their absence must tell us something.”

  73. Tom Marking

    “No no no, this is the real video, the blinking eye proves it can’t be faked:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM62TXYoHkg&NR=1

    That’s an OBVIOUS fake! The bunny rabbit isn’t even moving under its own power.

    Now here’s a video of a true alien intelligence operating under its own power and performing a variety of experiments on an earthly fruit in order to report back to the High Council of Zeta Reticuli 1c:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIr3c_tVsOM

  74. Phil, Phil, Phil.

    I love ya to death, buddy, and you gotta keep it up with the incisive political jabs! I come here for interesting and entertaining news on Life, The Universe, and Everything, including The Big Picture.

    The right-wing hacks own the corporate media: we have our choice between the Conservative News Network or FoxLies. Like with the old Model T’s: any color you want, as long as it’s mindless Administration propaganda.

    Your analysis is a consistent thread in your tapestry of science advocacy and skepticism. It’s your blog, your space, urinalysis. D-oh! I meant your analysis! (C’mon; it was too good to pass up.)

    Oh, and: Fake video is fake.

  75. themadlolscientist

    Evidently, Peckman is part of the Bush Administration.

    Actually, he’s in cahoots with Mark Mathis.

  76. themadlolscientist

    p.s.: alien invayzhun. ur doin it rong.

  77. wotthe7734

    Here’s a poll in dire need of crashing: Do you believe in UFOs?

    The results so far:
    Yes 68% 501 votes
    No 31% 230 votes
    731 total votes

    Unfortunately, it won’t let you stuff the ballot box. But so few people have voted so far, we might be able to swing this one.

  78. Rik

    Since all the major news stations are covering this guy it must be true. This is the reason why I turned down the journalism scholarships. If I was told to cover this guy my head would have exploded.

  79. Ronn Blankenship

    wotthe7734 wrote:

    “Here’s a poll in dire need of crashing: Do you believe in UFOs?”

    Yes, I believe in UFOs. I have seen objects in the sky which I could not immediately identify, which made them by definition unidentified flying objects. To date I have not seen any that did anything that suggested that the most likely identification of them would be as alien spacecraft, however . . .

  80. Beth Katz

    You know the inmates are in charge of the asylum when the 5pm EDT version of CNN’s Headline News mentions this video and does NOT mention that the space shuttle mission is set to launch at 5:02pm. Nothing. No mention that it launched successfully when it did. Argh!

  81. “And unless I’m mistaken infrared is not black and white, which throws out the still.”

    Most consumer IR cameras are near-IR, since this doesn’t require an expensive chilled sensor. This just sees light (almost) invisible to us – its not heat vision. Most image sensors can detect near-IR already – they just try to filter it to so as not to produce wierd looking images. But some of it still gets through – point a IR TV remote at a video camera and push buttons.

  82. Diego

    If I ever had the opportunity to catch an Alien on tape, I would probably lock the Alien somewhere to then talk to the press and become Rich, instead of making a lousy video that proves nothing.

  83. Tom Huffman

    Somebody mention alien autopsies? This is one of the sites that will show you how to make your own authentic, fake alien corpse.

    Be the first on your block to autopsy an alien right at home.

    Your friends will say: “Ewwwww! Gross Dude!”

    Your father will say: “How much money did you waste on that?”

    Your mother will say: “Get that thing off my kitchen table!”

  84. Keith

    Actually, I’m kind of hoping the claim is that it’s thermal infrared instead of near-infrared, because that would make it freaking hilarious.

    Hint for those who haven’t had the opportunity to use a thermal imager: point it at a glass window and you see a reflection of what’s generating heat on your side of the window. Window glass is opaque to thermal IR systems.

    It can also not see through walls, all those TV shows and films to the contrary.

  85. MercenaryMuffin

    The Conservative News Network?

    *facedeskfacedeskfacedesk*

    Anyone who thinks CNN leans to the right needs to have their head examined. With a power drill.
    In fact, that may be the funniest claim I’ve seen all day. Good show, sir, good show.

  86. MercenaryMuffin

    Ugh. Looks like BA has become like Youtube: A great place, so long as you avoid the comments.

    But then, anyone who takes such a hateful site as dailykos seriously needs to be beaten with a dead cat.

  87. Ann

    Personally, I liked the Jeff Peckhman Alien Video – Best Quality. at the you tubes. I laughed out loud through the entire thing and it is the best comment yet on the original video itself. Excellent!

  88. allen

    In view of the fact that no one’s advanced a compelling reason for space aliens to cross light years of space to visit our humble planet I think peeping in windows is just as good a reason as any I’ve heard. That would certainly answer the question of why they don’t just land on the White House lawn – the Bush girls bedrooms are on the second (or is it third?) floor.

  89. Zucchi

    I saw a beautiful UFO back in the 1970s in Texas. A shape high in the western sky at dusk, looking like a glowing amber orb, seemingly motionless. So I took a look through my refracting scope, and once I remembered that the image was inverted, saw that it was a mylar weather balloon, still bathed in sunlight at high altitude long after it was dark on the ground. But if I hadn’t been able to identify it, “alien spaceship” would have been way, way down on my list of possibilities.

  90. Daffy

    Mercenary Muffin,

    I know…anything remotely critical of any Republican is simply part of the liberal media conspiracy, right?

    Life must be so easy when you surrender all your intellect to the will of a political party.

  91. patschican

    The thing that really gets me about all of this is you don’t even have to show how easily something like this can be faked to debunk it. All you need to do is know a bit about evolution. To wit:

    If it has a “standard” face (i.e. two eyes, a nose, a mouth, in the standard places), it’s from Earth. And if you don’t understand why, you don’t understand evolution.

    So all of these nonsense photos or concepts floating around mean squat if you really understand evolution. Richard Hoagland can bray about the “face” on Mars all he wants, or the “robotic head” on the moon, but the fact that both appear to have the “standard” facial structure means that, even if they are more than just natural rock formations that look like faces (as ridiculous as that concept is), they’re still from EARTH.

  92. bubba

    I once watched a group of 20-something kids stare up at the night sky and convince themselves that jupiter was a ufo. To listen to them, it was moving all over the place. After I explained what it was some of them actually thought I was wrong and they continued on and on about how it was moving around, blah de blah blah.

    And that’s why the world is the way it is.

    >>>>Anyone who thinks CNN leans to the right needs to have their head examined. With a power drill.>>>> M. Muffin

    Well, they do let Glenn Beck have a show. I don’t know if that is pro-conservative though. They might just be using him a running gag.

  93. Ozzy Rules

    1. I don’t believe we are alone in the universe.
    2. I consider advanced civilizations to be so far and few between that we might as well be alone in the universe.
    3. Therefore, we are not being visited by alien life and if it did happen I think the scenario would be closer to “Independence Day” than to “E.T. the Extraterrestrial”.

  94. Ade

    A mate of said it looks like some dude stood in front of the window, dressed all in black, wearing a Punisher t-shirt. Actually, it really does… this isn’t an exact match, but you can see where we’re going with this ;)

  95. Tim

    Sorry that you’ll never have that ten minutes back, but it wasn’t entirely lost — I learned the cool new word “mullions”. Hope that makes you feel better.

  96. Zucchi

    Well, an alien species *could* have a recognizable face. It makes sense to have sensory organs clustered at an extremity; and everything has to breathe and eat. Eyes are really useful, and two of them give binocular vision (in theory; doesn’t really work for me). There are a lot of possible configurations, but two eyes, some kind of nose and some kind of mouth doesn’t seem that unlikely.

    Granted, though, all the popular conceptions of “aliens” tend to be distorted versions of the human face and figure.

  97. MichaelS

    Ade: So the peeping Tom was wearing a Punisher shirt, and is now laughing very hard at what he has caused without even getting caught. . . I think that’s the best explanation yet. It takes all the elements and ties them in pretty neatly. And I’d bet the “blinking” could be easily caused by the shirt wrinkling as the guy moved around.

  98. Zucchi,

    The probability of evolution creating a “standard” face elsewhere, completely independent of the variables that existed on earth that played key roles in our facial formation, are so low as to be negligible. Yeah it’s possible, I suppose, just as it’s possible for me to toss a coin one hundred times and have it come up heads all one hundred times, however, Bayesian statistics states that the odds of that happening are so low, the question changes to, “what are the odds that it’s not a fair coin?” — which has much better odds.

    Sure, creatures are going to have developed senses, but (1) assuming the senses are going to be our senses is presumptuous at best (perhaps they will have a more developed ability to sense electromagnetic fields, like sharks have, or some sense we have yet to perceive), and (2) assuming their sensory detectors will be similar in looks to ours, or on a face similar to ours is practically preposterous. (ah, alliteration)

    So I continue to maintain that, if it has a standard face (two eyes on top, a nose in the middle, and a mouth below), it’s an Earthling.

  99. Tom Marking

    “So I continue to maintain that, if it has a standard face (two eyes on top, a nose in the middle, and a mouth below), it’s an Earthling.”

    I used that argument in a thread not too long ago. What I kept getting thrown at me was “convergent evolution”. The trouble is in order to have convergent evolution you have to have the same ecological niche towards which to converge to. How likely is it that some other extraterrestrial planet has the same ecological niche under which hominids evolved? The likelihood is infinitesimal.

  100. F.I.D.O.89

    I know it’s true-Coast to Coast said so !

  101. Convergent evolution isn’t sufficient explanation. Even if you had a nearly identical niche, there’s no good reason that other arrangements couldn’t handle things just as well. For example, why always have the eyes above the mouth? You could flip the order without too much trouble. And why always two eyes? While two eyes is the minimum to get decent distance vision more could have definite evolutionarily benefits even in niches very close to that of humans. For that matter, there isn’t much in our niche that requires us to have eyes on our heads at all. You could have something in the human niche with eye stalks or eyes on the ends of tentacles and that would work pretty well also.

  102. I’m with Tom and Joshua — convergent evolution is insufficient explanation. Honestly, if science discovered alien life that had an earth-like facial structure, I would abandon evolution and camp out with the IDers.

    This is getting tangential, but I would love to discuss it some more. Tom, where were you discussing this earlier, and is the discussion still going on?

  103. Axlotl

    This is amusing and directly related to the topic:

    http://www.smbc-comics.com/comics/20080529.gif

  104. Buckaroo Banzai

    Dumbosity isn’t a word you illiterate ignoramus. If you are going to post an article like this shouldn’t you at least proof read or spell check it first? YES, you should. I find it very hard to take anything with made-up words seriously. Does anyone else agree with me here?

  105. Ain’t that a pokemon?

  106. Lascas

    Ah cmon guys, cant u see that’s Roger from America Dad??
    Obviously not a fake!

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