Posts Tagged ‘conspiracy theories’

Poltergeists on Mars

January 21, 2014

Mysterious forces and poltergeists are at work  on Mars (which in due course will be found not to be so mysterious after all). But stories about moving rocks, and possible aliens are not new. The latest however is just doing the rounds based on the pictures SOL 3528 and 3540.

Rock appears mysteriously in front of Mars Opportunity rover

Rock appears mysteriously in front of Mars Opportunity rover

( lead scientist for NASA’s Mars rover exploration team (Steve Squyres) has announced that recent images beamed back by the Opportunity rover show a rock sitting in a place nearby where there wasn’t one just twelve days prior. The image, he says, has caused quite a commotion with the rover team as possible explanations for the sudden appearance of the rock are bandied about. The announcement was part of a meeting at California Institute of Technology to celebrate a decade of service by the tiny rover. …… 

….. How it got there has NASA’s best scratching their heads. Thus far, they have two main likely explanations: either the rock was tossed to that spot after a meteorite impact nearby, or far more likely, it came to rest there as a result of clumsy maneuvering by Opportunity itself. The rover is having trouble getting around these days as one of its actuators has failed. This means one wheel winds up scrapping the ground during turns, producing what Squyres described as “chatter” which he said could have caused some debris to be flung to where the rock is now.

But these stories have been appearing since – at least – about 2009 (based for example on pictures SOL 1833 onwards). Moving rocks on Mars have a long history of fanciful – and some not so fanciful – notions. A whole bunch can be found here and here. But it would seem that most of the conspiracy theories and “Life on Mars” stories are connected to the selling of particular books.

As far as stories are concerned, the first ever fictional account of Mars was probably Across the Zodiac (1880) by Percy Greg. But for me, The War of the Worlds (published in 1898) by H. G. Wells  and Edgar Rice Burroughs and his Martian Trilogy – published between 1912 and 1943 and which I first read in 1959 – are not easily surpassed.

Paradigm shift: Proof is only needed if Osama is alive – his death no longer does

May 5, 2011

The ground has shifted.

The default position has changed to be that Osama is dead. No further evidence is necessary  or can actually contribute further to that default position. The decision not to release any photographs for now makes sense. The additional benefit it can provide is marginal. No doubt the conspiracy theorists and many others will screech and wail about this lack of evidence and how it may be that Osama was not killed.

They miss the point. The “Kill Osama” game is over.

The common perception and consciousness is  that he is now dead.  It is no longer politically tenable to demand that “something be done about Osama” or to criticise the US administration for not having done enough to achieve justice for 9/11. The burden of proof is no longer on the US Administration to show that Osama is dead but is on those who wish to show that he is alive.

Perception is reality.

President Obama can no longer be criticised for any sins of omission regarding the hunt for Osama bin Laden. A partial closure of events of 9/11 and the “War on Terror” has been achieved.  US foreign policy has been a hostage to the events of 9/11 for almost a decade. Some of the constraints are now removed. It frees Obama’s possibilities for actions which were unthinkable as long as the common perception was that Osama was still alive and 9/11 was an open wound. The wound has not healed yet but it now begins to close. A withdrawal or partial withdrawal from Afghanistan now becomes politically possible. US policy can now begin to look beyond what was possible with the shackles of 9/11.

Whether all this was intentional or just a happy coincidence will never be known.

Perception is reality and the perception now – with or without any further evidence –  is that Osama is dead. From the view point of foreign policy development this is not just a shifting of ground – it is a magnitude 9 earthquake. It can allow a freedom of thought in US domestic and foreign policy which has not been possible for this decade of the “War on Terror”.

This represents a fundamental paradigm shift.

Osama is surely dead but “evidence” is now irrelevant and The New Great Game goes on

May 4, 2011

The information / misinformation is building up.

The truth will probably never be known but this is the region where truth itself is never certain. From the time of Alexander and Darius this is the region of the world where nothing is as it may seem, where there are more layers of intrigue and deceit and lies and misinformation than on the largest onion imaginable. Truth is undefined. Memories are selective. Reality is whatever perception says it is.   History will record whatever comes out in the TV documentary / soap opera that is probably already under production. With the developments in North Africa and the Middle East, a new path to revolution and reform has developed and has proven to be far more effective in meeting the aspirations of people than the mindless violence of Osama.  Maybe I am just an optimist but I think this confirms that Al Queda and their methods are becoming irrelevant.

  • He was armed – He was not armed.
  • He used one of his wives as a body shield –  He did not.
  • She was killed – She was not.
  • She was shot in the leg – She was shot in the head.
  • He was killed in front of his daughter – He was alone.
  • The Pakistani ISI knew where he was – They did not.
  • The Pakistani Army knew where he was – They did not.
  • Photos will be released (CIA) – Photos are too gruesome to be released (White House).
  • His body was dumped from a helicopter – He was put in a coffin and cast into the sea from a warship.
Al-Qaeda: The next generation; An al-Qaeda training camp outside Mogadishu, Somalia. Jihadists are expected to wage a long war of attrition against the West; AP

Al Queda - now without a cause

On consideration I now think the hasty burial at sea and the lack of photographs and the “conflicting” stories and the general mystery have worked very well. If it was an intentional strategy to surround the “evidence” with mystery then it has probably been very clever. Myths may continue but they would have continued anyway no matter what evidence were produced. Strangely the burden of proof has now shifted to those who may wish to claim that he is alive. If the world acts as if Osama is dead then he will be effectively impotent and dead even if he is skulking in some cave in Afghanistan or some ISI safe-house in Pakistan.

Osama bin Laden is no more but The New Great Game goes on.

Food for conspiracy theories — Osama bin Laden “buried” at sea

May 2, 2011
A still of 2004 Osama bin Laden video

Image via Wikipedia

The New York Times reports that Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea.

In a dramatic late-night appearance in the East Room of the White House, Mr. Obama declared that “justice has been done” as he disclosed that American military and C.I.A.operatives had finally cornered Bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader who had eluded them for nearly a decade. American officials said Bin Laden resisted and was shot in the head. He was later buried at sea.

If anything will feed all the theories that Osama died a long time ago, or that he was / is a US agent, or that he has been supplied with a new identity and is living safely in luxury somewhere in the Americas, it is the news released by the US Administration that he has been buried at sea. Now he can live forever!

It does seem strange that after a man-hunt for the most wanted man ever and which has lasted almost ten years that the evidence was disposed off so easily and so quickly and without any fanfare. Something smells.

The picture of the dead Osama on Pakistan TV seems to have a beard which is identical to that from a picture taken many years ago (2004?). It is plausible that the picture of the dead Osama is a montage. That the position of the open mouth, the teeth and the beard could be identical in 2 pictures taken years apart with one in life and one in death does strain credulity. 

Photo of dead Osama seems to have been photoshopped

Somebody was buried at sea. But whether it was Osama or somebody else is open to question.

A remarkably inept piece of PR – or perhaps the conspiracy theories do have some basis and this is actually a remarkably clever piece of misinformation.

Some of the conspiracy theories doing the rounds:

Version1: Somebody else was buried at sea and

  • Osama’s body is being secretly transported to the US where it will be minutely dissected, or
  • this covers up the fact that
    • Osama died a long time ago, or
    • Osama was a US agent and is living with a new identity, or
    • the terrorist known as Osama never actually existed and was created after 9/11.

Version 2: Osama died a long time ago – whereabouts unknown – and President Obama released this information at a time when he needed some good news for domestic politics and the body had to be “disposed off” quickly to make the story “unverifiable”.

Version 3: The persona known as Osama bin Laden had to be “killed off” so that the person acting out the Osama identity (name unknown) could be groomed to take over in Saudi Arabia when the monarchy falls.

Related: Osama bin Laden dead – but he changed our world

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