NEW SCIENTIST: FBI Opens Up Official Site: The Vault, Under The Freedom of Information Act


Gird yourself for a whole new wave of alien conspiracy theories: the FBI has placed hundreds of pages of information on its past UFO investigations online in a new, searchable database. It means that documents on UFO sightings - and the feverish correspondence between concerned members of the public and the bureau - can now be easily mined for fine-level data.
Called the Vault (I can almost see Fox Mulder yanking its door open as Scully looks on), the FBI’s new site gathers together documents frequently requested via the Freedom of Information Act  - and is designed in part to reduce costs in answering such FOIA requests. It covers many popular subjects - from Al Capone to Marilyn Monroe - and the UFO info is under the heading “unexplained phenomena”.
 
The Vault does not contain any previously unreleased information, an FBI spokesman toldNew Scientist today. So what’s really new (and powerful, in my view) is the ability to search the unstructured, often handwritten and/or smudgily typed text.
What immediately grabbed news media attention today is a 22 March 1950 memo about anincident in Roswell, New Mexico in June or July 1947: an FBI special agent called Guy Hottelcites an unnamed US air force (USAF) source revealing the recovery of three flying saucers - each peopled by three-foot-tall humanoids dressed in “metallic cloth”.
I also played with the Vault myself. Entering ”Socorro” in the search box brings up a 147- page document in which the 1964 case of police patrolman Lonnie Zamora in Socorro, also in New Mexico, is mentioned. Zamora saw an O-shaped UFO on the ground with two beings in white coveralls beside it. They disappeared by the time he parked, whence the craft supposedly departed.
The detail people will now be able to glean with this facility will doubtless spawn new theories. Similar information releases in the UK and France have added fuel to the fire, too.
The balance of probabilities is not really on the side of the UFO believers. In USAF’s finalProject Blue Book report, it revealed how many “UFO” sighting it had investigated between 1947 to 1969, in the white heat of the Cold War. Of 12,618 sightings only 701 could not be explained. But of course, that’s just a conspiracy.

NEW SCIENTIST: FBI Opens Up Official Site: The Vault, Under The Freedom of Information Act

Gird yourself for a whole new wave of alien conspiracy theories: the FBI has placed hundreds of pages of information on its past UFO investigations online in a new, searchable database. It means that documents on UFO sightings - and the feverish correspondence between concerned members of the public and the bureau - can now be easily mined for fine-level data.

Called the Vault (I can almost see Fox Mulder yanking its door open as Scully looks on), the FBI’s new site gathers together documents frequently requested via the Freedom of Information Act  - and is designed in part to reduce costs in answering such FOIA requests. It covers many popular subjects - from Al Capone to Marilyn Monroe - and the UFO info is under the heading “unexplained phenomena”.

 

The Vault does not contain any previously unreleased information, an FBI spokesman toldNew Scientist today. So what’s really new (and powerful, in my view) is the ability to search the unstructured, often handwritten and/or smudgily typed text.

What immediately grabbed news media attention today is a 22 March 1950 memo about anincident in Roswell, New Mexico in June or July 1947: an FBI special agent called Guy Hottelcites an unnamed US air force (USAF) source revealing the recovery of three flying saucers - each peopled by three-foot-tall humanoids dressed in “metallic cloth”.

I also played with the Vault myself. Entering ”Socorro” in the search box brings up a 147- page document in which the 1964 case of police patrolman Lonnie Zamora in Socorro, also in New Mexico, is mentioned. Zamora saw an O-shaped UFO on the ground with two beings in white coveralls beside it. They disappeared by the time he parked, whence the craft supposedly departed.

The detail people will now be able to glean with this facility will doubtless spawn new theories. Similar information releases in the UK and France have added fuel to the fire, too.

The balance of probabilities is not really on the side of the UFO believers. In USAF’s finalProject Blue Book report, it revealed how many “UFO” sighting it had investigated between 1947 to 1969, in the white heat of the Cold War. Of 12,618 sightings only 701 could not be explained. But of course, that’s just a conspiracy.



This Is Informative, You Should Watch It of the Day: From the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts comes the whiteboarding of experimental psychologist Steven Pinker’s illuminating talk, “Language as a Window into Human Nature,” which asks and answers the question “why do we feel more comfortable being indirect when there is no uncertainty about what we really mean?”

(Make sure to stick around for the bonus relevancy @ 8:05: “Why are political revolutions triggered when a crowd gathers in a public square?”)

[misterhonk.]



infographic: The Growing E-Waste Situation: As we throw out more and more electronics, where do we throw out our old ones?

infographic: The Growing E-Waste Situation: As we throw out more and more electronics, where do we throw out our old ones?



GOOD Magazine has some seriously interesting and informative, and impressively designed videos posted to their YouTube Channel.  This one, titled “Jailbirds,” takes a closer look at prisons, revealing shocking statistics and thought-provoking data, all in 2:54 minutes of captivating design. 

I also very much enjoyed “Immigration" and "Cornography



How facts backfire

How facts backfire: Researchers discover a surprising threat to democracy: our brains