Your UFOs. Giff dem to me.

By Phil Plait | December 24, 2008 8:30 am

[Update: the io9 article I quote now is updated saying this was not part of the TV show TSCC. Check the comments below the article to keep up with the latest on this.]

Do you remember back in May 2007 when there was a spate of weird UFO sightings in California? Pictures surfaced of a spiky drone-like thing hovering in the sky. Here’s a shot to tickle your memory:

UFO drone over California

The pictures made me laugh. I have always said the best UFO shots were always fuzzy, but here was one in very crisp super-hi-res detail. I laughed because this was so obviously a hoax. It’s a good one, sure, but the thing is, it looked to me like what a Hollywood special effects guy would build to look like an alien craft, as opposed to what one would actually look like. I mean, right down to the Klingon-esque script on it. Totally cool, and well done, but it really rang my hoax-alarm. I never really talked about it on the blog because I figured, correctly, it would blow over.

Well, it did, but now it’s back… but not in the way you’d think. It looks very much like this whole thing was a viral marketing scheme for "The Sarah Conner Chronicles", the TV series about Terminators. The long time between the "sightings" and the show would be due to the writers’ strike. And of course, the whole TV look to the drones would then make a lot more sense, too.

This hasn’t been verified yet, but it looks pretty clear. You can read more at Screen Rant.

Photo from, which may or may not have been part of the hoax/scheme the whole time.


Comments (81)

  1. Philly

    It has been known for a long time that this was a viral marketing ploy.

    I’m curious: why do you bring this back up?

  2. Just like with Carlos, crop circles, etc, even when the entire hoax is exposed, people will chose to be skeptical of the actual explanation, but be woo-bound to the supernatural explanation… I suppose it’s because this stuff really seems to sell (especially when the economy tanks).

    Good job by the producers though. They seem to know their woo!

    P.S. JREF Forums still down? I thought maintenance would be done by now.

  3. kuhnigget

    See, this (amongst other things) is what pisses me off about the UFO nutters. They seem to live in a world completely isolated from all other human endeavors: marketing, pranks, pop-culture…all these things that create and shape our perceptions of what a “spaceship” is supposed to look like.

    I’m sure after this campaign got underway, all of a sudden a large percentage of the nutter “sightings” were shaped like this thing. Just like, years ago, all aliens suddenly started having big baby doll eyes, which I’m sure was just a coincidence that Kelly Freas had been painting them that way for the covers of sci-fi magazines for years.

  4. Joe Albietz

    Ha, I somehow missed the original “sightings,” but this is the exact model used in The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It was featured several times in the mid season finale.

  5. Philly, this is the first I had heard of this being viral, obviously, which is why I am posting it. if you have information and links, then please share them.

  6. As a fan of the show, when I saw the picture for this post, I thought you’d be talking about the show itself. I’d never heard of the viral campaign.

    Getting harder to judge Hollywood-generated fakery as opposed to just-plain-wingnut fakery…

  7. Timothy from Boulder

    It looks like it’s very easy to fall into post hoc ergo propter hoc even when your intentions are good. The links supplied point to a comment purportedly from the Sarah Conner Chronicles creator claiming that the similarity of the images was because the show copied the earlier image because it fascinated him so much.

    So, the origin of the earlier image remains unclear. And this is an excellent example of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy that Phil often cites, and how *extremely* careful one must be in drawing conclusions about what causes what.

  8. A little slow on the uptake, I thought the post title was a play on LOL Cats, not T1

  9. rob

    nah, this is just a picture of a new commercial commuter aircraft. i took one last week on a business trip. i thought it was a little weird that the only refreshment they offered was mutilated cow. the vegetarians on the flight were a little upset. instead of pillows they offered complementary anal probes and tinfoil lined baseball caps.

  10. I”ve never seen the show, but I am familiar with the “Drone UFO’s”. I seem to recall that there were several different designs. I”m not sure if they were CGI, or actual radio controlled models. Without the writers strike, this probably would have been a far more effective marketing campaign. By the time the episode aired, I think most people had forgotten about it. (Except the UFO nutters who are now claiming that the producers of the show got the idea from what they claim to be genuine UFO drones).

  11. Javi

    hey Phil,
    I believe it was part of the halo3 viral marketing campaign. I do remember reading, that those objects have writing on them, that gives the objects the power to travel great distances, etc.
    Thats the link to the research reports on them, its part of the viral marketing. All the best.

  12. James Allen

    According to the io9 post, one of the designers for SCC is claiming they were just incorporating the image into the show because they liked it. The’re not the ones that originated it.

  13. kuhnigget

    @ Michael:

    They were CGI. The credits name Zoic Studios (sp?), which is a CGI group in L.A.

  14. Julian

    From the second link.

    A woman from London contacted a couple of private investigators to try and locate this Raji person…The two investigators either found or were contacted by a man named Isaac who claimed that he was part of a top-secret government program in Palo Alto, CA – which devised commercial technology from extraterrestrial artifacts confiscated by U.S. scientists.


    Is there anything Fox won’t do for ratings?

  15. Alan French

    That’s the problem with many people who believe in UFOs – they almost never say, “Oops, we’d better forget about these sightings because they’ve been explained.” And then they wonder why other people are so skeptical.

    Clear skies, Alan

  16. Gary Ansorge

    I get so tired of the “nutters” , be they creationists, UFOlogists, anti-vaxers, etc, etc, etc,,,ad nauseam.

    How about a change of pace? Like a little hard science anticipation of what COULD be,,,
    Here’s a link to Mike Combs site, where he links to a really cool animated fly through of the RAMA object (by Arthur Clark) which is a pretty good example of what we space freaks mean when we’re talking about space colonies. Check it out. It’s an amazing animation,,,then check out some of Mikes short stories about the High Frontier. My favorite is “Eyes, Shining Back From the Dark”.

    Gary 7

  17. zyggy

    “This hasn’t been verified yet, but it looks pretty clear.”

    …actually, I’m fairly sure that it was validated by anyone who watched last week’s episode of ‘the Sarah Conner Chronicles’. They had at least two shots (one at the beginning – in the future, and another at the very end) that showcased this ship and another that looked of similar design.

  18. Law Mom

    It even has the three dots on the right arm :.

  19. The Mad LOLScientist

    @ Tom Hill: all ur evryfing is blong 2 LOLcats. =^..^=

  20. kuhnigget

    @ Alan:

    “That’s the problem with many people who believe in UFOs – they almost never say, “Oops, we’d better forget about these sightings because they’ve been explained”

    Almost never? When have they ever fessed up to their nonsense being exposed for anything non-alien spacecraft related?

    Krikee, you can show them exactly how something was done and they still go on about ” oh, well, you just have a closed mind…”

    I’d say it’s like arguing with a fence post, but that would be seriously insulting the intelligence of dry wood.

  21. theinquisitor

    Maybe now they’ll stop leaping to the conclusion that unidentified objects in the sky are necessarily alien spacecraft. They’re obviously robots sent from the future!

  22. Che

    It’s like Javi said, this was viral marketting for Halo 3. The writing on the craft is the Forerunner language. The spacecraft design itself IS a forerunner symbol.

    If it was on Sarah Conner Chronicles they probably borrowed the design.

  23. Alan French


    After I wrote “almost,” I started wondering if there actually were any cases that had been dropped from the evidence list. Although I couldn’t recall a specific case, I believe there is some disagreement among the believers over the veracity of specific sightings.

    If they’d just drop the Roswell nonsense, they’d look a lot more credible (like that’s going to happen!).

    Clear skies, Alan

  24. Renée

    It’s a good one, sure, but the thing is, it looked to me like what a Hollywood special effects guy would build to look like an alien craft, as opposed to what one would actually look like.

    Ok, I have to know, what would one actually look like?

    I don’t believe in UFO’s but who’s to say what one does and doesn’t look like?

  25. Nick

    The one thing i cannot stand is everyone who leaves a comment here acts as if they absolutley know the truth about these pics. It was absoultely not viral marketing for halo 3 and it was borrowed for the Sarah Connor chronicles, the maker of the show sent out a message verifying that it was borrowed. Im not saying i believe these are real genuine images, but i am saying all of you are wrong and theyre creator is still a mystery (possibly a very talented graphic artist who just likes causing a stir)

    Heres a link from another news site proving that this was not viral marketing for the Sarah Connor chronicles

    “UPDATE: It turns out that the designers at SCC did not invent these images after all. In fact, as I suggested above, they “simply used images they’d found online.” SCC Producer Josh Friedman piped up in comments below to say, in part:

    I’m not sure if this will put an end to this but I will assure you that the incorporation of drone-like imagery into TSCC should not in any way suggest there was/is a relationship between the original drone images and our show. The drone images are as much a puzzle to me as to anybody else…Maybe more so, as my obsession with their mysterious origins led me to go on and on about them in the writers’ room…So much so that we ultimately used the mystery as a platform for “Earthlings Welcome Here.””

  26. You

    Anyone else think that it looks really small and close rather than big and far away?

    It looks like it’s just above the wires, like a few inches. Maybe it’s me, but whoever made that has a poor sense of depth perception.

  27. kurt_eh

    I think it’s actually the Statue of Liberty’s crown going on vacation.

  28. MarkH

    (/sarcasm) What Phil, you finally get a crystal clear photo of what is obviously a UFO and still you cry hoax… fake… not real. Let the truth be known, aliens are visiting us and Dr. Plaitt is just another stooge for the Gov’ment. (/sarcasm off)

    Still looks pretty cool. :)

  29. @kuhnigget

    Zoic, eh? So, Loni and Summer both. Maybe I should start watching Sarah Conner.

    And of course, there’s this homage to Summer Glau. Not that everyone here hasn’t already seen it. Still, more Summer is never a bad thing.

  30. kuhnigget

    @ Nick:

    Methinks you should take a crash course in entertainment marketing, reviewing in particular the chapter on “Publicity and How to Get It.”

    After Blair Witch Project, everything changed.

  31. Jeff Vachon

    This one is most definitely a hoax. I could have tossed up a garbage can lid and madeone more authentic looking. However, the UFOs sighted by dozens of astronauts, scientists, air force pilots, governors, police officials and ordinary citizens (who we probably shouldn’t mention because they are not ‘reliable’) are worthy of investigation.

  32. ian

    weak photochop on the utility lines.

    nice cg though.

  33. Alan French

    # kurt_eh Says:
    December 24th, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    “I think it’s actually the Statue of Liberty’s crown going on vacation.”

    Weird. I showed the photo to my wife earlier, and she said “The Statue of Liberty’s crown?”

    That couldn’t just be a coincidence .

    Clear skies, Alan

  34. Alan Haggard

    I have seen legitimate cases of UFO sightings, however when these photos first emerged I was instantly skepticlal of them for various reasons. The photos themselves look digitized and out of scale. I wouldn’t even consider this a convincing photo, but rather an photoshop attempt to get attention. There are of course plenty of hoaxes going around, as always. The problem is too many people focus on the hoaxes (skeptics and ‘believers’ alike) rather than moving on to more convincing evidence and scrutinizing that further instead (as they should be).

  35. Alan Haggard
  36. Alan Haggard

    For the record, kuhnigge, it’s not wise or reasonable to label all individuals who happen to believe in the existance of non-terrestial UFO’s as “nutters” or anything of the sort. There are plenty of UFO freaks out there who fit into that category, of course, but that does not mean all of us (who do not share your views) are so easily going to fit into your narrow-minded deminutive stereotype. So let’s keep the name-calling to a minimum and try to be mature, for once, shall we? Also, you shouldn’t let their views anger you so easily. There are always going to be people with views contrary to your own. It’s inevatible, and no reason to mock them (including myself) for one’s beliefs. Did it ever occur to you that perhaps there’s a reason I’ve arrived at the conclusion I have? And that there are others who have arrived at the same conclusion for the same reasons, and are not all just ignorant morons believing every hoax or misidentification they see. There is ample evidence to support the existance of non-terrestial UFO’s. Look for it, there’s volumes of it out there, and try not to get too wrapped up in the hoaxes and wackos spewing their nonsense. It’s best to ignore that and focus on the facts. Thank you, and have a Merry Christmas (or Hanukkah, Festivus, etc.).

  37. kuhnigget

    @ Alan Haggard:

    Um…where exactly is that “ample evidence to support the existance of non-terrestrial UFO’s”?

    Volumes of it, eh? I’d settle for a small booklet. Specifics, please? And don’t point me to MUFON or any other nutter (oops, sorry) website.

    BTW, why do you think I get angry at UFO nutters (damn!) anyway? I save the really good vitriol for the creationists.

    Happy Christmas to you, too!

  38. That’s pretty funny, because when I first saw the image, my first thought was, “Hey! That totally looks like the craft from TSCC!” and then ‘lo and behold. It was.

  39. This is Bruce Simmons. I wrote the original piece of detective work that io9 was working off of from

    I’m not one to take mere words on a blog as gospel and tried to hunt down the executive director of The Sarah Connor Chronicles to prove to myself it wasn’t just words some wayward commenter put out there.

    In an email exchange he did indeed verify with me that the original CA Drone scenario was not their own viral campaign, but what they had was a variation of the CA Drones. Oh well.

    Just thought you’d like to know.
    Inquiring minds and all…


  40. I’ve been following the CARET/Drone saga since last May. While I am convinced it’s a hoax, I also believe that the two commercial examples we have seen (Alienware used the “Isaac” documents as inspiration for a marketing campaign about a year ago) have borrowed from this, not created it.

    I also believe the following things:

    (1) It is not viral marketing for Halo 3. There are few similarities between the forerunner script and the characters on the drones. It looks to have been heavily cribbed from katakana.

    (2) Drone Team, by and large, are not behind the hoax. To paraphrase Shepherd Book, they believe, and they believe hard. That’s not to say that the hoaxer hasn’t joined the Drone Team, as a great way to keep the hoax alive would be to egg on the most fervent believers, but if the hoaxer is part of the drone team, the bulk of the team is unaware of it.

    (3) Kris Avery, the animator of the music video, is also not behind the hoax. He has led the effort to expose the hoax as CGI, and has come under attack from some quarters for his troubles.

  41. haha

    I don’t think it was a ‘viral’ marketing campaign.
    Also, there have been other reports from credible witnesses. Finally, if someone makes a tv show that is inspired by some phenomena, it doesn’t mean that the inspiration was “viral marketing” for the program.

  42. Alan French

    @Alan Haggart

    What do you consider the good cases that provide “ample evidence to support the existence of non terrestrial UFOs?”

    Clear skies, Alan

  43. Gary Ansorge

    ,,,Y’All will have to excuse me now.

    I have a guest that just slid down my chimney and he demands cookies and milk,,,


    GAry 7

  44. kuhnigget

    @ Bruce:
    I presume you’ve been around the entertainment industry? So, what is the likelihood of television executives (used to dealing with nuisance lawsuits on a daily basis levied by people claiming they “stole my idea!”) to approve the use of a CGI design that the director found on the web and was “fascinated by”? I’ll venture an answer: not bloody.

    A proposed sequence of events: images generated by noted CGI house in L.A., per scripts of sci-fi TV show; viral marketing team sees images and plants in media, then generates fake websites creating backstory for same (gee, is that why the original poster of the image cancelled his email account shortly after starting the whole business? maybe, gosh! he was one of the marketers?); images and story generate publicity, including lead stories in the Calendar section of L.A. Times; publicity continues to grow as countless UFO fans (notice I didn’t say n—–s) glom onto the story; makers of TV show/video game behind the campaign play along, thus keeping the publicity rolling. Woo hoo!

    Now happy christmas, everyone, I’d prattle on a bit more, but that clown who invaded Gary’s house seems to be hovering his drone over mine. Paw, wher’d ya done hide the 12 gauge?

  45. fred edision

    Summer Glau was the main reason I watched TSCC. What an enjoyable way to be terminated that would be. :-) Of course, my incurable crush of Summer started with the engaging and entertaining Firefly series.

    The person who started these drone photos was a supposed hobby photographer posting his photos on a photography forum, did he/she ever make his/her real identity known? I don’t believe that they did, and that alone makes me highly suspicious. Isaac/CARET, I don’t believe the identity of that “person” was revealed. If you don’t know who someone is it’s difficult to investigate their personal and employment background or validate their credibility as a witness. It makes it easier for other people to add their own witness story to it.

    As it stands today, there are too many shadow people and too few physical people to back up these drone photos and claims. I have to side with Phil and call it a hoax. I think it was perpetrated by one or more people in the initial stages, and could have easily been embellished upon by people not associated with the original photos and story. Therefore, it’s worthless without anything to verify the details about it.

  46. Gary Ansorge


    About UFO fans,,,
    one should note the origin of FAN doesn’t mean someone who moves a lot of air(though I suppose it COULD). It comes from FANATIC,,,

    Gary 7

  47. Gary Ansorge


    Perhaps we could use,,,aficionado,,,as in,,,,I am an aficionado of the music of the Dead,,,(but really I’m a fanatic).

    GAry 7

  48. Kyle

    Actually as CGI there is a glaring error. Note the thick wire at the bottom is misaligned as it crosses the “drone”. Pretty obvious mistake and one the believers won’t notice.

  49. kuhnigget

    Gary: You listen to dead people playing music? Now that’s a nutter! :)

  50. Alan Haggard wrote,
    /Um…where exactly is that “ample evidence to support the existance of non-terrestrial UFO’s”?
    Volumes of it, eh? I’d settle for a small booklet. Specifics, please? And don’t point me to MUFON or any other nutter (oops, sorry) website./

    Apparently you’ve never read Jacques Vallee’s books. Trained as an astronomer, he did some of the first work creating computerized databases of UFO sightings in the 1960’s. He is scientific, skeptical, thoughtful, thorough and credible. Only his conclusions are incredible. His life’s work is summed up in three volumes: Revelations, Dimensions and Confrontations. Pushing 70, he continues to be one of the most lucid writers on the subject.

  51. kuhnigget

    Actually, Malcolm, that was me asking for the volumes of evidence.

    Vallee. Hm. Yes. Interesting man. I rather like this quote:

    I have never been comfortable with an arbitrary separation of the world into the physical universe (which is presumably what science studies) and the psychological, social and psychic side of life. To me that arbitrary separation is the major weakness of our intellectual system.

    I can see how it would be hard to gather evidence if the phenomenon in question were outside the physical universe.

    On the other hand, he’s got some things spot on:

    The potential for contagion of absurd beliefs is a real one. In the hands of people who might deliberately use the Internet to create an epidemic of irrationalism we might see the emergence of a whole new class of very dangerous, powerful cults with all the trappings of high technology.

    Now back to the turkey…

  52. Greg in Austin

    I like this photo. It shows us some of the very basic problems with photographs and the perceptions of the human eye.

    Let’s play along and assume this is a real photo of a real observed object. (Let’s also assume the telephone pole itself is real, AND that its not a scale model, which you cannot prove with this one picture.)

    1) How big is this object? If it were attached to the top of the telephone pole, one could measure it to be slightly longer than 2x the length of the cross poles. Therefore, it is at least 16-20 feet long.

    2) How far away is this object? If it were attached to the top of the telephone pole, one could estimate that it is at least 40 feet off the ground.

    That’s pretty much all you can say about it, with certainty. Without additional photographs from another angle, there is no way to measure the size or distance of the object.


  53. Gary Ansorge


    Yeah and not only that, they’re GRATEFUL!
    WoW! Who’da thunk it?

    Gary 7

  54. Greg in Austin

    @Alan Haggard,

    You’ll have to do better than that. Remember, if you’re making the claim, you have to provide the evidence.


  55. kuhnigget

    @ Greg:

    There’s a little more you can glean from a photo like this, but it has nothing to do with what you actually see in the image (well, it does, but indirectly.)

    First and foremost, context is all. What else is going on around this image? Anyone who has even a passing interest in pop culture knows about tv shows, movies, and video games. Anyone who knows a bit more, knows about CGI, maybe knows about a few of the people behind the scenes, and the business in general.

    So, what’s the context of this specific image? The most important bit is the TV show, “The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” which continues the story started in the “Terminator” movies. Since T2, these movies – and now the TV show – have relied heavily on computer generated images for their FX. So there are a lot of people out there who routinely use software such as Lightwave and other 3D modeling and animation programs to create robots, aircraft, and other cool looking stuff to fit in this series’ universe. These same people also know about and work on other projects, and so continue the tradition of building in gags and other “homages” to other properties. (Note: this is a fine old FX tradition predating CGI by a long time. Note that the model makers who built the mothership in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” added texture to the model by sticking on miniature R2-D2s, airplanes, graveyards, anything and everything. A model of the Millennium Falcon can be seen as one of the “buildings” in “Bladerunner.” And so on.)

    There are also several websites out there (Google the subject) that incorporate wireframe, pre-rendered images of the “ufo” in question, clearly grabbed from a Lightwave or similar CGI tool.

    Then you move on to the nature of the entertainment industry. After the success of “Blair Witch Project” and its (brilliant) viral marketing campaign, publicists and marketers learned the value of this sort of planted story, especially among the rabid fans in the sci-fi and FX world. Believe it or not, there are still people out there who believe “Blair Witch” is a real documentary. Many of the same people probably bought in to the similar type of campaign launched for “Cloverfield.”

    Finally, you actually turn on your TV set and watch “Sarah Connor Chronicles,” the special effects of which were done in part by Zoic Studios, which just happens to be a flashy CGI house that does effects for commercials and TV and, like all CGI companies, employs lots of people who are sci-fi geeks and computer geeks and video game geeks. (I use geek in a positive manner.) In watching the show, you see an episode where these drone things are buzzing around…and hey! They’re the exact same computer models! The markings are exactly the same! (Including the inside joke of incorporating the “language” from the Halo video game on the wing thingy of the drone).

    Now, knowing the entertainment industry and how it loves its moneys, you have to ask, Would a studio like Fox use a design “borrowed” from the web on its very expensive and high-profile TV series? Would it risk the inevitable lawsuit brought someone claiming they ripped off their design? No…freaking…way. More likely, the CGI images – probably from an early test composite – were given to the publicists (did I mention Zoic does a lot of commercials?), and from there they made their way to the web at the start of a very successful publicity campaign, which just happened to get messed up a bit because the show went into hiatus for a while because of the writer’s strike in Hollywood.

    So, while it’s true that you cannot prove anything about this image, what you can do is make some very educated speculations about it, above and beyond what you actually “see” in the picture.

  56. Papa Surf

    The music video at:
    features wire frame models of this “UFO”. That is all the evidence I need to understand that it was created by an eathling and how it could easily be rendered into photo and video.
    Jolly Times.

  57. Papa Surf

    The music video at:
    features wire frame models of this “UFO”. That is all the evidence I need to understand that it was created by an earthling and how it could easily be rendered into photo and video.
    Jolly Times.

  58. Greg in Austin


    Easy for you to say! 😉

    Actually, I’ve never seen a single episode of TSCC, despite thoroughly enjoying 2-and-a-half of the Terminator movies. (T3 had some good elements, but overall was not on par with the others.) I’m still waiting for the last season of Battlestar Galactica.


  59. Is this a hoax OR is it man made reverse engineered?

    I don’t know? If these drones that “hover” are real, then they do so by means of unorthodox propulsion, and I would say magnetic in origin. AND not everyone who witnessed the “drones” has simply vanished.

    There can be no doubt that these drones are man made, because they have human hand written all over them, either in CAD or real photos, even the so called alien writting actual looks to much like us, so is anyone really ready to concede CARET cannot be real?

    It can not be too hard to imagine that binary code must be written in only 0 and 1’s? That there is no other language in math that could apply. That binary code is not in fact, just baby steps, at least for us?

  60. Ae7flux

    I tend towards the leaked images theory. The CG is of a very high standard but the compositing is less so. Whoever did the latter forgot to add in the necessary atmospheric haze which is why the craft appears small and close. That was something that puzzled me when I first saw the images – so good but so obviously fake, though I had briefly toyed with the idea that it was a member of the G’Gugvuntts and Vl’hurg fleet captured moments before being swallowed by a large dog.*

    *obligatory Douglas Adams refernece

  61. icemith

    Ever noticed that each generation of “UFO”s has the design artifacts and trends of that generation? The so-called “Chariots of Fire” of the Old Testament used the then current mode of transport, (though of course only used by the very rich, or the Military: the Romans’ or the Pharoh’s elite battle vehicles). (Can’t find a dictionary for the spelling of the head honcho of the Egyptians, even on my daughter’s pc thing! I’m visiting, and I’m the only one awake.)

    Then there are the strange Earth-bound three-legged (very long) craft from the master H.G. Wells, and he did not see any reason to add “flight” as a necessary attribute for conquering the world, as heavier-than-air craft were still considered somewhat fanciful. Later when Science Fiction became more well known, it was the familar globe shape and later again, the ubiquitous disk shape that were popular. Presently the vehicle of choice is a huge “hole” in the air that one enters and is magically transported to “Wherever”!

    Oh, and I nearly forgot, “Beam me up Scotty!”

    The common feature here is that the present technology at the time is the basis of the idea for “Spaceships”, but given a magical ability that is the “wow” factor for the reader or viewer. Flying fast, and with utmost control, and even hovering, gave way to HUGE craft that were even capable of music renditions. Then of course we had to have the Space Westerns – the stories were little different from common Western stories, only riding in space fighters, and guess what? all wrapped up in a mystical philosophy, but still fighting territory wars.

    Have we really come a long way? Nah.


  62. Alan French

    I seem to recall that some 19th century reports were of blimp or balloon like craft.

    Clear skies, Alan

  63. Buzz Parsec

    I’m pretty sure it’s a high-tech orange juice strainer. I think I saw one just like it in Crate and Barrel when I was Xmas shopping last week.

  64. Check out Starfire Tor’s in depth article from 2007 revealing the truth about the aerial drone viral marketing campaign!

  65. Alan French

    Re: Starfire Tor

    Wow – to put it kindly – there is one credulous individual!

    Clear skies, Alan

  66. Why do you say that, Alan? Did you actually read the article, or anything else she has researched?

    credulous –adjective
    1. willing to believe or trust too readily, esp. without proper or adequate evidence; gullible.
    PART I – Page 3
    “Shortly after Whitley Strieber introduced me to the ‘aerial drone’ mystery, I was approached by a group that wanted me to investigate the authenticity of the ‘aerial drone’ and related claims. I took on the task, and this report is an authorized abridged version of my confidential in depth report on the ‘aerial drone’ and related claims of 2007.”

  67. Alan French

    I read some of it. Then I looked at her main page, hence my comment. Definitely not someone I would describe as a reliable source of information (and, again, I am being kind).

    Clear skies, Alan

  68. Thank you Alan for your reply. I think I better understand your POV now. I disagree with your world view. There is so much more in heaven & earth than we can ever understand. There are a few exceptional people who have the ability to see & know more & stretch our minds & horizons. I choose to be stretched.

    Happy New Year! May 2009 treat you kindly.

  69. Alan French

    Thanks for your reply and your best wishes. I wish the same for you.

    I used to believe there must be something to all the UFO reports and accept the idea people might have psychic abilities. The more I read, the more skeptical I became. Although UFOs are tough to pin down, psychic abilities can and have been tested, and the results have been negative. Indeed, there would be a lot of folks getting grants money if there was any evidence for such things.

    Personally, unless it is an article of faith, like religion, I think we can understand and unravel the world around us. It is a fascinating and wonderful place even without UFOs, psychic abilities, Time and Reality Shifting, and other such things.

    Clear skies, Alan

  70. Greg in Austin


    I followed that link. Surely you don’t consider that website “the truth”, do you?

    You said,

    “There is so much more in heaven & earth than we can ever understand. “

    I disagree. It would be more accurate to say, “There are many things that we can never know, based on the limitations of our reach.” Anything we can get our hands, eyes and ears on we can learn to understand. Most of the observable universe (other stars, galaxies, etc.) will be forever out of reach/out of time, but eventually we can come to understand just about everything going on around us right here on Earth.

    If you think there’s something right here we cannot understand, please give an example.


  71. Alan wrote:
    “…psychic abilities can and have been tested, and the results have been negative.”

    Evidently you aren’t aware of the studies of psychics done by Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D. who is director of Human Energy Systems Laboratory at the University of Arizona. Some interesting books he’s written are: The G.O.D. Experiments, The Energy Healing Experiments, The Truth About Medium, The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death, The Living Energy Universe.

    Greg wrote:
    “I followed that link. Surely you don’t consider that website “the truth”, do you?”

    Every bit of it, Yes! Starfire Tor uses Scientific Methods to study & research each of these subjects.

    Time Shifts, Reality Shifts, Co-Existing Time Lines, Multiple Dimensions, Vortex Portals, Time Travel, Time Wars, Psychic, Prophetic, Lucid Dreaming, Visions, Astral Travel, Out Of Body Experiences, Bi-Location, Near Death Experiences, Telepathy, ESP, Remote Psi Viewing, Angels, Spirit Guides, Beings Of Light, Miracles, Healing, Paranormal Phenomena, Apports, Telekinesis, Poltergeists, Ghosts, Hauntings, Reincarnation, UFOs, ET Encounters, Earth Enigmas, The Occult, Demonic Activity, Psychic + Energy Vampires, Mind Control,,, all of these subjects are part of our Unseen Reality. I don’t Think they are Real. I Know they are Real. I have had Personal Experiences with almost all of these. For me the Unseen Energetic Realms are more real than the Physical.

    But, until you can have First Hand Experiences with the Other Realms, it’s best to be Skeptical, otherwise it’s just another “Religion” & Belief System.

  72. Alan French


    The fact that someone like Gary Schwartz claims to have found scientific evidence for psychic abilities does not mean he is right. You might want to read the links in the Wiki article under “criticisms” …

    If anyone could clearly demonstrate any of the various paranormal abilities under carefully controlled testing, they might have taken James Randi up on his challenge…

    Alas, scientists are a lot harder to fool than magicians.

    Perhaps Starfire Tor would be up to the challenge. Easy money if any psychic abilities are real.

    BTW, I do believe in lucid dreams.

    Clear skies, Alan

  73. @lorerainbow,

    If you read it on the internets, then it MUST be true! *sarcasm*

    I want to believe. Please show me your proof that ghosts exist. What methods did you use to test for the presence of ghosts? How can I repeat your tests myself, to see if I get the same results?


  74. kuhnigget

    C’mon Greg! The man was introduced to the “aerial drones” by Whitley Strieber! What more evidence of truthful, non-fictional, hype-free science do you need?

  75. kuhnigget

    Sorry, should have said, “The woman was introduced…”

    My apologies, Ms. Tor.

  76. Alan French


    Richard Hoagland?

  77. KommanderAdama

    I like Bruce however I think he made a mistake when taking Josh Friedmans word. He can avoid direct questions faster than a greased hog going thru a picket fence..

    IGN TV: So is that true that you haven’t locked picture on any show but the first?

    Friedman: Yes.

    IGN TV: And you’ve not been back since this started?

    Friedman: No, I’ve not been back.

    – IGNJosh Friedman with star Lena Headey.
    IGN TV: It seems a bit strange, because we saw you some time ago and you were shooting episode four at the time.

    Friedman: Well, I think because we’re a mid-season show, we’ve had some extra post (production) time. We’re also a very post-intensive show because of the CGI. I think we’ve just been a little slower to actually lock. We’ve been going back and getting a few pickups here and there. The day that I left, all of the sudden we were talking about having a “saga-sell” or recap, which was going to add time and I was going to have cut. So when I left I’d thought we had cut at least the first episode, but then I found that we had not. It’s very nerve wracking. I have a very good non-writing producer, who is in there doing the best that he can. But editing is writing and it’s another way to make your vision known. It’s very frustrating for me not to be there. I have the choice. I can be there per my contract, but to me everything comes from writing and I just can’t imagine walking past writers who aren’t getting paid in order to pick up my producing paycheck. That just seems immoral.

    ( yeah right Josh )

    Josh Friedman: There will be Terminators. There will sometimes be pursuit. There will be Terminators in a lot of it, and there’s also a Skynet component to the show. There’s a detective; an FBI guy. Richard Jones’s character will be looking for them. I have some really kind of big ideas that I’m not gonna share yet, but I think people who are fans of the series will really be excited about it. Stuff that I know people have been wanting to see for a few years I think we’re gonna take a crack at, at some point. Some really cool stuff. “”
    (So hes plug his show same time Drones are coming out of wooedwork around him.)
    IGN TV: How did you come to be involved in this series?
    Friedman: They came to me a little over a year ago. Warner Bros had the TV rights, and I’d written a TV script for them before. We’d always wanted to work together, but I had told them I didn’t want to really do anything with them unless they had something that was just great and that everyone was excited about and I wasn’t about to twist anyone’s arm to get on the air. And I got a phone call one day that was like, “So… We are gonna do The Terminator after T2, with Sarah Connor.” “Oh! Yeah, that sounds like something I might be interested in!” And I went in and talked to them, kind of laid out some ideas for them, and we went from there. So it’s been a long time in the making.
    That means they were talking may 2006, and actually..signed deal august 28 2006.

    (The Fix was In a long time)

    Now, Let’s stop for a second and reflect on what the custom is movie business.
    when using a similar story star trek
    Scroll down to Production
    “According to an account by Herbert Solow in the book “Inside Star Trek, The Real Story”[1], the relation to Brown’s story may have been an unconscious inspiration. After Coon had written what he thought was an original script, Desilu’s research department noted the similarity. It was therefore agreed that Desilu’s Business Affarirs office would call Brown and offer a fair price for the story, before it was shot and broadcast. Brown agreed without knowing that the story had already been written.”

    Now to re emphasize Brucsimms point, as well as mine, and several other sites, but which most devotees here know very well is you just don’t take someone elses script posted at dedicated website, and it does read like a script, ….change a name, barely modify the craft..and incorporate it into your show without even a credit acknowledgement..unless its possibly your to begin with by pen in hand or by purchase.

    So we know that a writer of Joshs caliber, the Showrunner, The man in charge, with a fundamentalist persective, on writers rights.. would never violate a writers code, the episodes up to four had already been done and in post production by the time of writers strike..Thanks to that interviewers question and Joshs almost convoluted answer.. at IGN..
    And we know that the at least one of skynet craft he alluded to on June 20,
    2007 is imo, that craft we saw recently on the end scene..of chronicles
    The same 2week period Drones were popping up .

    He then makes this statement in letter to Bruce..
    “”It never occurred to me that anyone would use their inclusion in our show to cast any doubt onto the drones authenticity””

    Now, This is so patently false for a man in the business because thats Thats one of first things people will think and did..they said aha viral!
    They may be a hoax–it’s ultimately a matter of faith for many–but the fact that the drones are discussed on TSCC is only a testament to their hold on my imagination.” is about the only credible part.
    Just like he did with that IGN interviewer asked why he was shooting a scene during the writers strike, he carefully sidestepped, that it was for production already and went on to say how terrible for writers not to get their rewards.

    This is how good liars mix half truth and half lies and ommissions , Its the essence of their business in sci fi, even some journalism and PR when doing damage control.
    But to say he never thought anyone would think that is an insult to everyone! But its a good way to avoid being called a liar..
    Just that he couldn’t recall that at the time.

    If anyone knows the value of internet buzz its him when he created buzz for the movie Snakes a Plane
    He is a heavy blogger and buzz fanatic.
    Thus the reference to that Blogger Abraham in that episode. A tongue in cheek reference to might say.
    His writers did not remove the name Isaac until that episode was shot.
    It was in play all along.

    How do we answer that question?
    ..How could he do that and take a legal risk not be sued?
    A. it was his story possible.
    He is a heavy blogger and buzz fanatic.
    Thus the reference to that Blogger Abraham in that episode. A tongue in cheek reference you might say.
    His writers did not remove the name Isaac until that episode was shot.

    B. The materials and elements were already Warners
    The marketing and design studio and writers like Josh whedon have worked on Terminator, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, X files, Star Trek
    therefore making it simple to draw things such as design, alien fonts, etc.
    No need to reinvent the wheel. No need to get permission..if there was ever a need because
    because it was already there before that silly site, started by a Lawyer, with no prior history in UFOs
    no less..
    It helps if the 2 biggest promoters of the drone LMH and Strieber, worked with Warners in prior deals
    . As that will help them in future deals with same people. in fact. Strieber signed a contract for a separate movie on June 15 2007, with Warners.
    LMH and c2c George Noory with show appearances on sc-fi .

    It helps if do interviews just before the comicon conference in July 2007.
    who’s kidding who folx. After July the CA drones never came back to haunt us except thru TSCC.
    Deja Vu indeed.

    c. Some combination of the two
    I would not doubt in the least.

    Some references to Zoic
    Thanx to SPF33 at OM

    zoic studios is credited on serenity and tssc for effects. and many other joss whedon projects – buffy the vampire slayer, angel.

    scrolling through thousands of screencaps for Firefly(2002), Serenity(2005) and the latest whedon project Dollhouse(2009) gives a bit of insight into the design aesthetic of zoic and whedon.

    this site has screencaps posted for every episode of Firefly (the tv show that birthed the serenity film). take a look while keeping the california drone and lap aesthetic in mind.

    from the drone-like ship to the inside doorhandles to the sun-back chair at the table to the pattern on the girl’s shirt; a motif of a circle with radiating lines is shown all over the place;

    that’s just one episode. this motif is played out again and again through the series.

    serenity(screencaps) being the film continuation of the canceled tv show firefly shares much of the same circleradiating arm theme. not to mention the symbol on the door that appears to be the straight from the lap.

    thinking this might just be sci-fi genre design coincidences i looked for some screencaps of the latest whedon project dollhouse, which i don’t watch and don’t know what it’s about.

    here are the screen caps for dollhouse episode 1.

    circle. radiating arms.

    after seeing this i then learned zoic also does the effects for dollhouse.

    and of course zoic is credited on tssc.

    too much drone on the brain?

    zoic studios.
    rectangle. radiating arms. literally.

  78. Albert

    I have only come across this blog discussion while doing a further look at the aerial drone hoax. The reason I am convinced it was a hoax is because of the excellent and accurate investigation by Starfire Tor. She broke the case in 2007. I’m disappointed at the prejudice shown Ms. Tor since it is clear that the snide remarks were made by those who have admittedly not read her aerial drone report. Perhaps had you it would have been clear that her scientific application to the aerial drone mystery is what broke the case. Of course for those who chose not to deal with the actuality of the report and would prefer to speak from a position of ignorance, you have identified yourselves. I suggest, that instead of belittling someone based on your being under informed and prejudice, you judge the person based on her in depth aerial drone investigation. There was even a remark that she should not be respected or believed because she was first alerted to the aerial drones through Whitley Strieber. This, of course, is not relavent. What is relavent is that Ms. Tor proved that the aerial drones were a hoax and Mr. Strieber chose to ignore the evidence and continue promoting the aerial drones as real. Perhaps those bashing Ms. Tor are really people who want the aerial drones to be viewed as real? This would make more sense in the attitude I have read here. Thinking honest people would have read Ms. Tor’s aerial drone report and discussed that, instead of what I have read here.


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