Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Drones Are Back

This topic just won’t die. Gawker Media’s blog, proclaimed: “New UFO pictures” on Friday last. The posts author, Annalee Newitz, believes that the drones are viral marketing. How much misinformation really is out there? Read the comments. For the uninitiated, the Drone flap started last summer. Photos of sightings were sent to Coast to Coast radio, Linda Moulton Howe, and others. Each new set of photographs revealed machines with increasing complexity. As with any flap, the debate was on.

For months, arguments were put forth as to whether the Drones were a hoax or not. A lot of people were screaming CGI,( computer generated imaging). Many were talking about Photoshop. A couple of very talented computer people made videos using the pictures as a basis. There was one camp advocating viral marketing for ______ (fill in the blank here). The discussions became pretty heated, resulting in people getting banned at one site and migrating to other boards.

MSM has also picked up this story. For the most part I think that the media is still treating the whole thing as entertainment vs. real news.

Here are some resources that can help interested parties get up to speed. Earthfiles has a rough timeline of events. Ongoing discussions can be found at ATS and OMF. A commenter using the name Leviathan showed up on ATS claiming to have some information but wasn’t willing to share. Leviathan has been at all of the boards, and has a blog. I am not sure what to make of Leviathan…Too soon to tell.

As far as I am concerned there are only a few facts about this whole affair.

First, none of the videos are real. They are all hoaxes.
Second, no one has been able to reproduce the drones in CGI.
Third, some of the photographs have not been proven hoaxes.
Fourth, no one has come forward to claim ownership of the Drones.

So what is this all about? Presently I am nursing an idea that this is one great psychology experiment designed to gauge how information of this sort is handled on the internet.

Perhaps that’s all life is …One big Skinner Box. Comforting thought, that.


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