Sunday, April 24, 2016

The personal effects of pseudoscience

My son Nick!

We're all aware of the numerous themes that encompass the use of pseudoscience.  As a refresher, pseudoscience is the claim, belief or practice presented as science, yet devoid of any validation through the use of scientific methodology.

There are numerous examples of pseudoscience and rather than list them, it's easier to search on-line and find a comprehensive listing.

I have a 27 year old son who has autistic traits.  He's on the spectrum, not having full blown autism, yet readily noticeable when having a conversation with him.  To make it easier for everyone else, my wife and I will tell people that he has autism, because that term is readily known and easier to intellectually digest, but to explain the spectrum traits tends to be somewhat of a challenge.

My son is considered high functioning.  Through years of early interventions and forcing school districts to provide quality IEP programs for special education, my son is on the verge of receiving his AA degree through one of the local community colleges.  It's been a long arduous road for him.

My son knows that he is "different."  His ability to learn, process and retain information is slowed.  Abstract thoughts for the most part is fleeting, as he is still (probably always will) a concrete thinker.  Despite these intellectual challenges, he is like any normal individual who harbors common hopes, dreams and desires.  His thought process and content tend to be in the present tense, as the future is too abstract of a concept to logically contemplate.

He is a computer savant.  He cannot read an English essay or short story for comprehension, but he can read a computer tech manual word for word.  Digest the conceptual aspects and discuss the concepts in a logical and meaningful manner.  He has built his own computer from scratch always chasing that mythical and allusive high clock speed.  Yet his down fall in the abstract world of computer hardware and software is the concrete idea that "more is better."  The glass is always mentally perceived as half empty.

Those who have autistic traits tend to be overly obsessive-compulsive and somewhat ritualistic.  My son is no different as his OCD traits gravitate towards collecting data...lots of data.  He is a data miner.  He mines for data that is mostly irrelevant to my wife or myself, but has significant meaning for him.

Despite the above, and like I stated, my son knows that he is different.  He looks for science to cure his autistic traits.  He has researched the future for the use of biological nanobots to repair damaged parts of his  brain.  Yes, I've told him that such things may be in the offering, but this technology may still be years in the research phases and still may offer no curative measures for him.

Last night, while at work, he calls me and tells me that he has watched the most amazing video that may offer hope and it was from a gentleman named Bruce Lipton who stated that people such as my son can alter their core genetics and DNA through a person's beliefs.  

Lipton? Warning bells went off in my mind.  I quickly pulled up Lipton and his work on my computer and my suspicions were confirmed.  My son was pulled into the lure of pseudoscience's siren call.

Here is Lipton's wiki page. Plus a simple Google search brings up much more.

"Lipton remains on the sidelines of conventional discussions of epigenetics, basically ignored by mainstream science.[13]
Surgical oncologist David Gorski has described Lipton as a crank who misunderstands evolutionary biology. He notes that some of Lipton's ideas start out based on research from epigenetics but he twists them into a "woo-sphere".[14]

Lipton's cure is merely another remedy from new age alternative medicine.  Or as most like to coin, "integrative medicine."  Lipton's work has been discredited by his peers as lacking any scientific proof of efficacy.  He offers fool's gold to those such as my son.

As I explained to my son, there is no cure at this time for those who are autistic or are on the spectrum.  There may be in the distant future, but as of now there is none.  I provided him the analogy of a traffic accident on a high speed interstate highway where traffic back and forth are at a stand still.  In order to mitigate the back up of traffic, detours are put in place to allow traffic to go around the accident.  These detours may not be as efficient as the interstate, but it allows traffic to flow around the accident.  

By the use of early interventions and special education programs, these "detours" are the new information pathways that have formed in my son's brain.  Some may use the term as rewiring, but nonetheless, these new pathways allow the processing of information.  It may not be efficient, but it does get the job done in a long roundabout way.

I do not discourage my son from researching for new methodologies.  I only ask that if he finds something of interest that we both look into it.  I'm a man of complete optimism and instill in my son that his future is still bright and that I will walk down this path with my arm around his shoulders. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Brian Bell proposes an interesting theory about the 1947 Roswell incident

I saw this over at Rich Reynold's UFO Conjectures regarding a series of comments posted by Brian on Kevin Randle's blog.

Brian, who has commented a few times here, proposes an intriguing theory about Roswell. Brian writes that he is not sure that this had been proposed in the past. [I've not seen this either]

Hopefully Brian won't mind if I take the liberty of posting his comments.

Blogger Brian Bell said...
@ Anthony -

Indeed. You wrote:

"So I think that we are at the point where to argue for a conventional explanation we need a specific proposal with some actual evidence to support it."

I'll offer yet another proposal that I doubt has ever been considered. If it has I'd be surprised.

Yes this one is based on documented facts, although the speculative portion is simply mine. It may sound to some as impossible, but no more impossible than the speculations that aliens crashed near Roswell. At least we have facts that could support it.


1) In 1943 Stalin wanted to pursue the development of a long range multi engine strategic bomber.

2) During 1944 and 1945, three intact US B-29's and one wrecked one were interned with their crews after landing near Vladivostok after bombing raids on Japan.

3) Stalin immediately ordered his aviation industry to "reverse engineer" the B-29 in no more than two years (1947). The project was the TU-4.

4) The TU-4 project was well underway early in 1945. An increase in quality control and sheer perseverance moved things along. The end of the war with Japan made no difference in the production effort. It was full speed ahead. The U.S. had previously not believed the Russians had the capability to clone the B-29, it seemed totally inconceivable. The public Russian debut in the Aviation Day parade in August 1947 changed their minds. The U.S. found itself in a panic situation when they learned the TU-4 was indeed a reality, capable of hitting any target in the U.S. There were reports of “one way” missions by hundreds of TU-4s carrying nuclear bombs attacking the U.S. This forced the U.S. to beef up their Radar systems, surface to air missiles, and interceptor jet fighters.

5) The initial production TU-4's were first flown in May 1947 several months ahead of the July 7 Roswell incident. The US had no knowledge they existed at that time thinking the Russians could not reverse engineer the aircraft.

6) The Soviets were challenged by the complexity of the bomber, and it drove them to evaluate how to develop new alloys and composites to keep the aircraft within targeted weights - they had to come up with ways of making things lighter, which they achieved within 1% of the B-29's weight.

7) The Soviets captured a great deal of German Luftwaffe industrial technology at the close of WWII. That included experimental aircraft material including advanced composites (plastic impregnated wood) and titanium alloys.

8) It is well known that during the Cold War Soviet aircrews and allied communist nations defected by flying their aircraft to the West. The first officially reported incident of a Soviet defection occurred October 9, 1948 when Piotr Pirogov and Anatoly Barsov defected by flying their TU-2 bomber from the USSR to Linz, Austria.

8) The Soviets also began their own atomic weapons research in 1943. US intelligence predicted the Soviets could not achieve the bomb until 1952 while Britain predicted 1953.

9) With the help of German scientists captured at the close of WWII (Soviet Alsos) the Russians shocked the world when they detonated their first A-bomb in 1949. This achievement was facilitated by acquisition of plutonium and uranium between 1945 and 1947.

10) The TU-4 was being developed simultaneously with the Soviet A-bomb and Stalin's plan was to use the reverse engineered plane as the delivery vehicle for his A-bomb over US territory. The TU-4 was intended to be a "one way" non-return strike bomber that could hit any target in the US. It did prove to have the range to accomplish this.
April 8, 2016 at 8:23 AM
Blogger Brian Bell said...

1) A Soviet TU-4 was flown from Russia to the US in July 1947 by a flight crew intent on defecting to the West. The planes had already been in full production for two months before the incident and aircraft were available to do so.

2) The aircraft had full capability of accomplishing this long-range flight, and could be flown successfully with a crew of four men (not the full compliment of eleven) consisting of pilot, copilot, navigator, and flight engineer.

3) Soviet aircrews trained in the captured US B-29s beginning in 1945 and had the skill to accomplish this mission since that was what they were intended to do if deployed - a one-way trip.

4) The TU-4 entered US airspace undetected. As an exact clone of the B-29 it was visually not identified as a Soviet aircraft.

5) The Soviets were well aware of the 509th being located at RAAFB and its significance in the Cold War. The defectors were intent on landing their atomic capable TU-4 as close to the 509th as possible and deliver it into the hands of US intelligence.

6) Fuel loss and weather conditions forced the aircraft to land short of RAAFB. The aircraft attempted to ditch but hit the ground once and bounced leaving portions of the fuselage scattered over the Foster Ranch. Perhaps one crew member was even thrown out of the aircraft onto the ranch due to the impact or faulty decompression during decent (hence the rumors Brazel also saw a body in the debris field).

7) The pilot flew several miles more before crash landing near Corona. The plane disintegrated and despite near empty fuel tanks partially exploded leaving a burn mark and the burnt remains of three or four crew members. Perhaps one even survived.

8) Not understanding what they had discovered in the debris field, and concluding no one was looking for this aircraft, Marcel thought the material found was from one of the many saucers currently being reported. Cyrillic symbols or Russian markings on composite wreckage compounded the problem.

9) Following the discovery of the primary crash site, intelligence quickly reversed the initial disc report to mislead the press concerning their discovery.
April 8, 2016 at 8:32 AM
Blogger Brian Bell said...

10) The Pentagon chose to hide the truth to avoid war panic and embarrassment that their strategic bomber was copied by the Soviets and had entered US airspace undetected.

11) The subject remains classified to this day as a matter of breached US national security, our inability to prevent Soviets from entering our airspace, and pride and embarrassment. Furthermore the records were destroyed just as reported by the USAF and GAO.

12) The testimony of Chester Barton is correct, but he saw the broken remains of a Soviet copy of the B-29.

13) No B-29 crash was reported since it wasn't our aircraft. So it can't be found in USAF crash records.

14) Barton's claim about radioactivity warnings were correct because they didn't know if this plane was carrying the A-bomb or was an attempted preemptive strike against our base at RAAFB.

15) Material was crated and shipped to Wright Field since Air Technical Command is were all foreign material was sent for evaluation. Even the bodies.

16) David's Ramey memo is correct. The "disc" reference in parenthesis is a covert recall to Haut's initial claim it was a disc, and the "victims of the wreck" are the Soviet flight crew.
April 8, 2016 at 8:48 AM

Brian provides an interesting hypothesis that is based on factual accounts of the Soviet's reverse-engineering of the B-29.  The old Military Channel devoted some years ago a whole segment pertaining to this effort.

Now Brian actually goes against the grain concerning those who have supported a Mogul or Mogul-like balloon theory, so it will be equally interesting how those individuals respond as well as the Roswell faithful.