September 9, 2023

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


UFO Tales and Witness Credibility Falling Apart After Congressional Hearings (Art Levine, Sep 8, 2023, Washington Spectator)

Among these findings: two of the leading ex-DOD officials, Christopher Mellon and Luis Elizondo, who successfully promoted UFO "disclosure" legislation, face a potential SEC investigation for alleged investor fraud in a UFO-hyping company they helped lead; and none of the military witnesses at the hearing have ever offered verifiable evidence to back their claims.

Equally important, many of the key findings in the ground-breaking 2017 New York Times article on the Pentagon's $22 million secret UFO "research" program that helped launch today's alien mania in Washington have been discredited.

(The three Navy "UFO" videos published by Times starting in 2017 that augmented the UFO frenzy have also been thoroughly debunked by visual expert Mick West, and in large part recently by the Pentagon and a NASA panel for having prosaic explanations, including camera artifacts.)

As documented by several critics, including Greenstreet, that original bombshell Times article notably hid the program's real paranormal agenda from the public. Most of the Pentagon research was actually devoted to chasing down werewolf-type creatures, poltergeists and ghosts on the Skinwalker Ranch in Utah, owned by the Pentagon contractor Robert Bigelow. I spoke in confidence with a congressional aide before the recent hearings who indicated that all this eminently available information was unknown to members of the committee. (Pro tip: add "skeptic" to your google search).

The new hearings were sparked by David Grusch, the former military intelligence officer who came forward in June with startling and increasingly bizarre new claims. He was widely and uncritically publicized after his claims -including stashed alien bodies and their retrieved crafts -- were aired in an obscure pro-UFO publication The Debrief and a third-tier cable news network, NewsNation.

NewsNation, in turn, has been riding UFOs hard since snaring exclusive interviews with Grusch. The ratings boost for NewsNation has been so great it even beat CNN during its special on Grusch, as noted recently by The Washington Post. The broadcast stories on Grusch have been led by Ross Coulthart, a disgraced Australian journalist. Along with hyping other repudiated stories, Coulthart once relied on discredited witnesses to make bogus pedophile accusations against members of the UK parliament, leading to a fruitless $4 million police investigation. So, despite that questionable background, he remains a leading UFO conspiracist.

Still, in the weeks since the hearings, Grusch's credibility has eroded on several fronts -- even as most media outlets and members of Congress have paid little attention to the details undermining his shocking tales. As The Washington Spectator recapped last month, he has asserted that the government has been hiding a secret alien crash retrieval program; the Pope tipped off the United States to a UFO retrieved by Mussolini (a long discredited hoax); alien corpses have been recovered by U.S. officials; and humans have been killed by aliens.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


If Anxiety Is In My Brain, Why Is My Heart Pounding? A Psychiatrist Explains The Neuroscience And Physiology Of Fear (Arash Javanbakht, 9/07/23, Discover)

If your brain decides that a fear response is justified in a particular situation, it activates a cascade of neuronal and hormonal pathways to prepare you for immediate action. Some of the fight-or-flight response - like heightened attention and threat detection - takes place in the brain. But the body is where most of the action happens.

Several pathways prepare different body systems for intense physical action. The motor cortex of the brain sends rapid signals to your muscles to prepare them for quick and forceful movements. These include muscles in the chest and stomach that help protect vital organs in those areas. That might contribute to a feeling of tightness in your chest and stomach in stressful conditions.

The sympathetic nervous system is the gas pedal that speeds up the systems involved in fight or flight. Sympathetic neurons are spread throughout the body and are especially dense in places like the heart, lungs and intestines. These neurons trigger the adrenal gland to release hormones like adrenaline that travel through the blood to reach those organs and increase the rate at which they undergo the fear response.

To assure sufficient blood supply to your muscles when they're in high demand, signals from the sympathetic nervous system increase the rate your heart beats and the force with which it contracts. You feel both increased heart rate and contraction force in your chest, which is why you may connect the feeling of intense emotions to your heart.

In your lungs, signals from the sympathetic nervous system dilate airways and often increase your breathing rate and depth. Sometimes this results in a feeling of shortness of breath.

As digestion is the last priority during a fight-or-flight situation, sympathetic activation slows down your gut and reduces blood flow to your stomach to save oxygen and nutrients for more vital organs like the heart and the brain. These changes to your gastrointestinal system can be perceived as the discomfort linked to fear and anxiety.

All bodily sensations, including those visceral feelings from your chest and stomach, are relayed back to the brain through the pathways via the spinal cord. Your already anxious and highly alert brain then processes these signals at both conscious and unconscious levels.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Brazilians in Nashua celebrate their homeland as they look forward to upcoming American elections (Gabriela Lozada,  September 8, 2023, NHPR)

Members of New Hampshire's Brazilian community celebrated that country's independence Thursday at Nashua City Hall. Mayor Jim Dochness offered a proclamation noting Brazilians' fierceness in breaking free from Portuguese colonialism. He highlighted the country's cuisine, businesses, and the popular Brazilian Fest, which gathers hundreds of people at Greeley Park every summer.

The Brazilian flag has an inscription that reads "Ordem and Progresso, which comes from French philosopher Auguste Compte's motto of positivism, "Love as a principle and order as the basis."

For Bruno Barreto, love is indeed a force that guides him. He is a Christian and a mortgage broker who talks passionately about his purpose of helping people find a home. He has lived in the U.S for 23 years and sees the Brazilian flag raised at City Hall as a stepping stone to building multicultural inclusion.

First realized this community existed at a youth soccer tournament, where 8 year olds were whipping in crosses like Beckham. At half-time the dads and brothers took the field and mesmerized.