Last week, the Navy released some UFO videos.
The videos have stoked quite a mystery.
First, the backstory.
The stated reason for the Department of Defense (DoD) opting to release the videos consisted of wanting to set the record straight about the authenticity of the videos, doing so because the videos had prior been surreptitiously leaked, garnering outsized attention as possibly being fakes, plus some worried that if they were real camera images they might contain Top Secret material, divulging something that should not have been revealed.
Start a Homeland Security degree at American Military University.
Per the Pentagon statement that accompanied the official release of the videos: “After a thorough review, the department has determined that the authorized release of these unclassified videos does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems, and does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena.”
In terms of secrets, some initially believed that the surreptitiously leaked videos might have inadvertently revealed advanced flying craft that the military might be devising and foolishly tipped our hand to enemies and the like.
Others said that the flying craft shown in the videos wasn’t the issue, and instead, it was that the jet fighter plane cameras and the pilot maneuvering proficiency were perhaps considered a confidential matter, thus unintentionally showcasing our existing flight technology and aerial combat techniques.
In any case, the videos were purportedly recorded by Navy pilots, doing so in January 2015 and in November 2004, and indicate what appears to be fast-moving objects, somewhere in the sky and somewhere over an ocean, respectively, portrayed in grainy black-and-white video snippets.
You cannot readily discern what the objects are, nor what they might be doing, and instead, it is essentially some blobs that steak across the screen.
What adds to the heart-pumping viewing of the now-presumed real videos is the chatter by the Navy pilots and co-pilots, including their excitement and awe at witnessing the UFOs (without their banter, the videos would be quite tame and seemingly unrecognizable as portraying anything of particular interest or novelty).
Upon the formal release of the videos, there were immediately some that came out and proclaimed that this is official proof that UFOs do exist.
Well, let’s clarify what that means.
There are those that equate UFOs with alien creatures, and therefore, they assert that the UFOs demonstrate “proof” of aliens being on earth and presumably able to travel at unimaginable speeds.
This is a leap in logic, for sure.
All that we can say is that the videos appear to display something that whisked along at high speeds, and otherwise, we do not know much of anything else about the matter.
Were those blobs being flown by alien beings from Mars or elsewhere?
Nobody knows, and the “evidence” of the videos does nothing to support any such contention.
Are those blobs possibly some mankind-built capabilities?
Nobody knows though it is a possibility, despite the surprise of the Navy eyewitnesses, since they might be unaware of something else being created in clandestine research labs or that might be underway in another country altogether.
Could the blobs be some other kind of anomaly?
Sure, it could be that the blobs were a natural phenomenon that simply appears as though they might be man-made or possibly alien-crafted (the video was recorded via infrared sensors and there’s always a chance of a sensor issue or other askance aspects). There is the possibility that the equipment on-board the jet fighters somehow misrepresented what was spotted and gave an unearthly semblance to the matter.
Conspiracists have jumped on the bandwagon and offered their two cents.
Maybe the DoD wants us to think these are aliens, doing so to spark more funding for the Navy and get some added research dollars.
Or, perhaps the Pentagon knows these are aliens, hiding in plain sight, and by releasing the videos we are being played, namely that the act of withholding the videos would dramatically stoke curiosity and imply they must indicate alien beings, while by letting the videos go public the military has cleverly defused the matter and nobody will realize that skulduggery is still underway.
Pick your choice of such theories.
Let’s shift gears and consider the key factors of what can be seen via the videos.
Assuming the objects are real, here’s what we seem to know:
- The objects moved very fast.
- The objects appeared to be evasive in their actions.
- Seemingly, after being detected, they scooted away.
- The objects were seen only at a distance.
- The amount of time they were spotted is very short (a few seconds).
- They were hard to track.
- Their make and structure were not particularly discernable.
- There was nothing to indicate their intentions per se.
- No visible markings or anything else offered clues to their origins.
We can argue somewhat about the aforementioned, but I think most would “reasonably” agree that the proffered statements are apt and accurate.
Are the objects acting in a purposeful manner or are they random in their actions?
We don’t know.
You could just as easily explain the objects and their movement by claiming they were random as you could assert that they were intentionally being driven or guided. One supposes the fact that they seemed to go away from the Navy aircraft might suggest an intention of wanting to be unseen or escape, but that’s again a leap of logic that doesn’t especially hold water.
In addition, it doesn’t seem that the objects were aiming to attack the Navy planes, which might have provided added consideration to what the objects are about, and we must, therefore, include the facets of what the objects did not do while trying to interpret what they actually did do.
In short, these UFO videos are regrettably unable to clear-up our ongoing itch that needs to be scratched and offers little new insights about the overall nature of UFOs.
On a related topic, you might find of interest the story about a former astronaut that believes there are likely alien beings indeed living here on earth (see my explanation and analysis at this link here).
That being said, it’s nice anyway to have these UFO videos now formally in the public domain, in case we can possibly piece them together with other UFO sightings, and maybe gradually start to pull together a bewildering and mounting jigsaw puzzle to discern a bigger picture.
Speaking of piecing together a bigger picture, if we could get more videos of UFO sightings, it would likely help in trying to unwrap the mystery of what they are about.
The videos though would need to be ones that we could believe to be valid. I say this because there are too many staged videos and it is simple with today’s Photoshop capabilities to make as many UFO videos as you might wish to spend the time doing.
So, our problem is that we don’t have enough reliable videos and we need to find a means to be able to do more video capturing.
Furthermore, since we don’t know where or when the UFOs will appear, the video capturing can’t be stationed in one particular place and nor undertaken at one particular time. The Navy pilots just perchance (presumably) happened upon the UFOs, and we got lucky that the fighter jets had the kind of equipment to record the sightings.
No, we need something else that can be relatively ubiquitous, capturing video, reliably, nearly everywhere, and nearly all of the time.
This brings up an interesting question: Might the widespread advent of AI-based true self-driving cars be an added means of serving up the capture of those vaunted UFO videos and do so in a reliable way and in a ubiquitous manner?
The answer might very well be yes.
Let’s unpack the matter and see.
The Levels Of Self-Driving Cars
True self-driving cars are ones that the AI drives the car entirely on its own and there isn’t any human assistance during the driving task.
These driverless vehicles are considered a Level 4 and Level 5, while a car that requires a human driver to co-share the driving effort is usually considered at a Level 2 or Level 3. The cars that co-share the driving task are described as being semi-autonomous, and typically contain a variety of automated add-on’s that are referred to as ADAS (Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems).
There is not yet a true self-driving car at Level 5, which we don’t yet even know if this will be possible to achieve, and nor how long it will take to get there.
Meanwhile, the Level 4 efforts are gradually trying to get some traction by undergoing very narrow and selective public roadway trials, though there is controversy over whether this testing should be allowed per se (we are all life-or-death guinea pigs in an experiment taking place on our highways and byways, some point out).
Since semi-autonomous cars require a human driver, the adoption of those types of cars won’t be markedly different than driving conventional vehicles, so there’s not much new per se to cover about them on this topic (though, as you’ll see in a moment, the points next made are generally applicable).
For semi-autonomous cars, it is important that the public needs to be forewarned about a disturbing aspect that’s been arising lately, namely that in spite of those human drivers that keep posting videos of themselves falling asleep at the wheel of a Level 2 or Level 3 car, we all need to avoid being misled into believing that the driver can take away their attention from the driving task while driving a semi-autonomous car.
You are the responsible party for the driving actions of the vehicle, regardless of how much automation might be tossed into a Level 2 or Level 3.
Self-Driving Cars And Detecting UFOs
For Level 4 and Level 5 true self-driving vehicles, there won’t be a human driver involved in the driving task.
All occupants will be passengers.
The AI is doing the driving.
Okay, so how does an AI-based self-driving car somehow aid in deciphering the mysteries of UFOs.
Assume that we gradually accept the use of true self-driving cars, which seems like a reasonable assumption to make (there are those that remain skeptical and insist we won’t be able to make self-driving cars safe enough, but this seems like a question of timing, rather than a question of feasibility).
Step by step, we’ll begin using self-driving cars, and opt to not use our conventional cars. Those conventional cars will be mothballed and tossed onto the junk heap.
In the United States today, there are about 250 million or so conventional cars.
We don’t know how many self-driving cars will be needed, and some argue that it would be a lot less than the number of today’s conventional cars since presumably, the self-driving cars will be ride-sharing and not per se individually owned and used (see my contrarian view at this link here), while others claim that we will see a huge increase in people using cars overall due to the immense popularity of using a self-driving car and therefore we will need a tremendous number of self-driving cars.
For sake of discussion, assume that we’ll have 200 million or so of the self-driving cars in our midst.
Another facet expected about self-driving cars is that they will be running nearly 24 x 7, being put into use throughout the day and night, each day of the week.
This makes sense in that the cost of the self-driving car will presumably require that it be earning money a lot of the time, plus there is no longer a constraint on finding a driver since the AI system is doing the driving. In addition, the AI system won’t get tired, won’t need to take breaks from driving, and otherwise can drive whenever and wherever you want to go.
Keep in mind that to undertake self-driving, the AI system relies upon a slew of sensors on the self-driving car. There are cameras that capture video images and allow the AI to “see” what is surrounding the vehicle. For most of the self-driving cars, there are other sensors too, such as LIDAR, ultrasonic, infrared, radar, audio, and the like.
Are you with me so far on this?
I believe that the setting established seems reasonable and sensible.
There’s an added twist that many aren’t yet thinking about.
The aspect of having all those self-driving cars that are roaming around our streets and byways is going to be a boon in some ways and a tremendous privacy intrusion in other respects.
I’ve been calling this the roving eye problem (see my analysis at this link here).
If you collected together the data from the sensors of all those self-driving cars, you could potentially stitch together our daily lives.
Think about how many cars go past you while you are walking down a street or playing with your kids in your front yard. All of those cars, once they are self-driving cars, will be recording everything they see. With a bit of effort to pull together and coordinate the data from across multiple fleets, you could possibly know where anyone has been and where they have gone while outdoors.
This data could be used for good, perhaps allowing us to know where best to provide pedestrian pathways and how to arrange our world to accommodate human needs, or it could be used in nefarious ways, such as keeping track of our everyday movements and activities (Big Brother finally brought to fruition).
There’s another use for the roving eye.
Use it to capture video of UFOs, which would be a natural byproduct of having self-driving cars and not require any extraordinary effort to have undertaken (as explained next).
The beauty of this would be that the odds are any such video capture would be seen from multiple angles and captured over time.
Imagine a UFO flying over California, Nevada (maybe even the notorious Area 51, where some think there might be true self-driving cars already perfected, see my piece on that topic at this link here), and Arizona.
The self-driving cars in those several states would potentially capture video of the sighting (for those self-driving cars that happened to be within the path of the objects) and would do so at the point in time that the objects flew overhead in their area.
Each of the resultant videos would be timestamped and uploaded from the self-driving cars, using their OTA (Over-The-Air) electronic communications and up to their cloud servers that are used for the respective fleets. OTA is intended to be a two-way electronic transmission capability. Via OTA, the latest updates and code patches can be downloaded into the self-driving car. In addition, the self-driving car can upload raw data from the sensors, allowing the cloud-based system to do an analysis of the data.
In fact, via the use of Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL), the expectation is that the massive data being uploaded will be crunched and analyzed by the ML/DL, looking for patterns in driving behaviors. This will allow the AI to be adjusted and enhanced for driving purposes, and the resultant updates would be pushed out to the self-driving cars for roadway use.
Why not leverage all of that collected data and the ML/DL to be on-the-look for UFOs, in addition to doing the usual efforts of enhancing the AI driving systems?
The video would be considered generally reliable, more so than if people were individually crafting their own videos that purported to showcase UFOs.
The videos could be cross-checked against each other, thus, if some self-driving cars didn’t “see” the object and yet presumably should have (since they said within the pathway), it would raise questions about the veracity of the ones that did spot it.
Even more crucial, perhaps, the amount of time that a UFO would be spotted is increased, going from a scant few seconds to possibly minutes or even hours.
This longer timing of capturing the imagery of the UFOs would certainly allow for greater analysis. For example, it might allow us to have the ML/DL ascertain patterns of UFO behavior, allowing us to predict when they will next appear, and presumably allow for preparation in anticipation of a next appearance.
Overall, by the mere act of our adopting self-driving cars, we might be leading ourselves simultaneously toward being able to finally crack the mystery of UFOs.
There won’t be any places left for the UFOs to fly around and not be spotted unless of course they end-up going to remote locales that don’t have self-driving cars.
I realize that some of you that are versed in self-driving cars are potentially yelling foul.
Today’s self-driving cars have cameras and sensors that are looking forward and to some degree behind the vehicle, but decidedly not up and above the car.
Yes, that’s a consideration.
First, you could still use the images captured and likely spot flying objects, though not as well perhaps as if the cameras and sensors were also aimed directly upward.
Second, with the expected advent of autonomous drones, some are expecting that we will eventually have drones that will be landing on the rooftop of cars (see my analysis of how this is already being explored, at this link here), providing delivery services to people inside self-driving cars.
Some believe that self-driving cars will inevitably need to add upward pointing sensors, doing so to enable the autonomous drone landings and coordination.
Third, the autonomous drones will likewise be collecting data and thus we can add their video to the footage that comes from self-driving cars.
Another objection or concern that might be voiced is the oceans, namely that we won’t have self-driving cars sailing along on the oceans, and therefore UFOs won’t be spotted there.
Well, we are going to have self-driving ships and self-driving submersibles, or more properly referred to as autonomous ships and autonomous submersibles. Their footage can be added to the other footage from land-based and air-based autonomous systems.
All told, it seems that UFOs are going to be cornered.
With lots and lots of sightings, from many angles, throughout the day and night, it is bound to give us substantive clues about what they are and how they have come to be.
That being said, it also means that we humans are going to become part of the massive detection efforts, since those cameras are equally pointed at ourselves, and thus the very cameras we might be using to find out whether there are aliens on earth could be used to ensnare ourselves into giving up our sense of privacy and personal freedom of movement.
Which is it, discover those aliens and yet possibly give up our privacy, or dispense with worrying about UFOs and try to stop the coming roving eye?
As they say, you always need to be watchful of whatever you ask for.