Alien Abductions

January 27, 2010


Do not be fooled. This picture is not a fake.

How do I know this? Because according to the Stop Alien Abductions website - 

  • The photo was found by the wife of a special operations officer in the Air Force after he died. She did not know he had it until she had permission to review his papers. The photo was obtained from another investigator.

  • There is an area 51 tag on the alien which may be hardly visible on the screen but can be seen better in the original photo.

  • The photo is cropped but the real background is steel sheets and a chain link fence which look hastily erected, the kind that would be found in a military facility outpost.

  • There is a dent in the plastic shroud around the alien which is not faked, indicating some kind of accident in transporting the creature.

If that doesn’t convince you of the veracity of the photograph, nothing will.

I had not realised that abduction and sexual assaults by aliens was such a huge problem until alerted to the issue by my daughter. She was clearly worried that I was not fully protecting myself from alien abduction with a Thought Screen Helmet


It appears that any hat will do as long as it looks silly, but the key ingredient is lining which is a volume-conductive, carbon-impregnated polyolefin called Velostat. (Don’t ask me what that means – ask 3M)

Apparently it works very well according to the anonymous testimonies on the website. A man in Kentucky has not been bothered by alien thought control since he has been wearing his helmet and women pictured below in the very fetching bonnet is quoted as saying  – "I have been abducted by aliens  for years and found by a happy coincidence. The Thought Screen Helmet, invented by an expert, has stopped the unwelcome visitations and has raised me  and my family’s quality of life. Therefore I highly recommend it."


According to the website, there have only been four recorded failures of the helmet and in two of those cases the abductors were alien-human hybrids for which the helmet is ineffective. It appears that these hybrids can pull the helmets off!

We know quite a lot about aliens and their evil motives thanks to Sean Casteel who describes himself, on the world’s worst designed website, as the world’s most respected UFO journalist. I am slightly confused by this epitaph, given that on his website Sean Casteel describes Budd Hopkins as the world’s foremost expert on UFO abduction. Which is better – respected or expert? Anyway, if you can find your way around the site you will discover many stories of alien abduction.

For anyone crazy enough to want to read more, there are the fabulously po-faced International Centre for Abduction Research, Alien Abduction Experience and Research, and The Intruder Foundation, as well as the slightly disturbing Aliens and Children which bases almost all its evidence for alien abduction on some crude drawings by a child.


There is a great deal of wonderfully colourful testimony on these websites but so far I have been unable to find any information on the fundamental questions – who are these aliens, where do they come from, and how do they manage to disregard the basic principles of science? Oh and the other question – why are aliens almost singularly only interested in Americans?


I have already confessed earlier that I am an unapologetic nostalgic. That doesn’t mean that I think that everything old is good. There were some things that were horrible in their time and are still horrible now.

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And then there are the silly things such as the Teasmade (or Teawaker as I now discover is the generic name) which were amusing in their time …


… and are amusing still.


But the one that amuses me most though is the Lava Lamp.

image    image    image

Amusing because these pictures are from the current catalogue of the company that originally produced the Lava Lamp (also known under its original name the Astro Lamp) in the 1960 and still does. The shape of the glass is based on the shape of the Tree Top Orange Squash bottle which caught his fancy.

As a small aside, Edward Craven Walker who invented the Astro Lamp was a keen nudist and in the 1960’s produced a number of naturist films under the pseudonym Michael Keatering.

From Hero to Zero

January 13, 2010



Consider the case of Thomas Midgley Jr. An obviously brilliant engineer turned chemist, Midgley was awarded a number of prestigious medals for his work as a chemist and was president and chairman of the American Chemical Society and held over 100 patents. And yet, Midgely may be regarded in some way as the greatest single enemy of the environment.


Midgely’s two greatest claims to fame as a chemist are the introduction of lead to petrol and the invention of Freon, an ozone-depleting CFC used in refrigerants and aerosol propellants. Both of these are regarded as prime culprits in the destruction of the earth’s atmosphere. How should history remember him? One could forgive the CFCs as their effect has only recently become known, but lead was still used in petrol over 70 years after Midgley poisoned himself in a ‘safety demonstration’ of tetra-ethyl lead. One could blame the petrol industry for that, but I can find no record of Midgley speaking out against the continued use of leaded petrol.

imageThere is another quirky aspect to Midgley that appeals to my warped mind. He is listed as one of the ‘10 Inventors Killed By Their Inventions’ on the wonderfully instructive website Listverse. Not only did Midgley manage to give himself lead poisoning, but after contracting polio he managed to kill himself by becoming entangled in the ropes of the pulley system he built to help him be lifted from his bed.

Listverse contains hundreds of top 10 lists of varying quality from the fascinating Top 10 Common Faults In Human Thought to the trivial Top 10 Filmable Batman Villains via the odd Top 10 Interesting Facts about the Scythians

There are too many fabulous lists to include here. Go and have a look for yourself. Here is one to get you started – 10 Urban Legends that Caused a Moral Panic