Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Issue #7 Magnetism: Fields Vs. Force

This weeks installment is a review of the effects magnetic fields and forces display, and the differences between them.

The force that attracts or repels at a distance is called magnetism, and is due to a magnetic field that is caused by moving electrically charged particles. Magnets have two opposing poles, and the flow of electrons from one pole to the other is what causes a field. This flow of electrons is called the lines of flux.

Lines of flux

One thing that is really cool about fields, is that it is still a mystery just exactly what they are made up of, but we do know that it is a special property of space! If two objects with magnetic fields come near each other, they can create a force. This force is called magnetism. Depending on whether the poles of two objects are like (N, N) or dislike (N, S) they will either repel or attract respectively.

To demonstrate the differences I am using a liquid with magnetic properties known as ferrofluid, and three neodymium magnets with insulators in between them.

Ferrofluid, and three neodymium magnets with insulators.

When the group of magnets was applied with the end towards
the fluid, spikes appear indicating the lines of flux.

Here's where it gets interesting! When all three magnets are facing
the fluid, the interaction changes, and in between the two outside fields
a force was created!

Here is one of the best examples of a "force" field your likely to see...since like gravity it is invisible! Something to keep in mind when out in the field using a Tri-Field Meter.

I hope this weeks installment was helpful, and please share with everyone! See you next week!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Issue #6 The Tools You Can't Buy

In this issue I'm going to talk about a particular sighting I'm researching, and the way that I uncovered certain facts in the case.

I live in San Luis Obispo, California, and it's a small town of only about 12.9 sq. mi. at an elevation of 233 feet. One of our most prominent features is a chain of volcanic plugs that stretches towards Morro Bay known as the "Nine Sisters", or the Morros.

On July 7, 1967, a UFO was photographed somewhere over San Luis Obispo. The picture appears online in many collections of old UFO photographs, but no information is ever given along with the photograph.

After a lot of searching, I ran across this copy of the same photograph. I also was able to find out, that it was part of a Project Bluebook investigation, file #11864, which consisted of 17  pages, only five of which were declassified!

Okay so that left me knowing that it was a valid case, but I still had no idea where it occurred, or  who had taken the pictures. I thought maybe a trip to the San Luis Obispo Historical Museum might shed some answers.

The people I met with there were very nice, however they had not ever heard of the sighting before I walked in and showed them the pictures. Needless to say they were amazed and very curious about the subject by the time I left. They did provide me with a clue to follow up on at the local library, so I thanked them for their time and promised to let them know what I find out.

Here's where serendipity came in to play. My wife had come with me since she too had some business downtown. For those of you who don't personally know me, I can find the cheapest way to do just about anything, so when parking downtown I like to park in the high-rise parking structure because the first hour is free, so if I'm quick enough I don't have to pay to park! My wife wanted to read while I walked over to the museum, so I had to find a parking spot in the 5-level structure where there was enough light for her to read. We were on our way up to the roof when she spotted a space that had lots of light on the 3rd level, so I pulled in, parked, and left for the museum. When I came back I was wondering how I was going to find where the picture was taken from. Where I was parked I had a clear view out of the parking structure of Bishop Peak, and I couldn't believe what I was seeing! I quickly jumped back out of my van with my iPad, and looked back and forth from the picture on my tablet to the mountain in front of me. It was the same mountain, at the same angle! I never would have seen it if I hadn't parked right where I did! Synchronicity like that you just can't buy!

I'll end this weeks installment with two pictures I took of Bishop Peak from the downtown parking garage using the Theodolite App for iPad, which gives the relevant information to help match the location of this sighting. I 'll keep you all updated on my S.L.O. UFO research, and don't miss next weeks installment!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Issue #5 Why Investigate?

 Early in my childhood an event occurred that would forever change the way I viewed the world around me. I won't release all the details yet because quite honestly I'm still investigating the incident, and until I know for sure what happened and have some verification, I'm not going to say anything that might turn out to be completely wrong. I've had some people say, "Well, it happened to you, who else would know any better?", and to them all I can say is that the only things I remember in full detail are the onset of the incident, and the next thing I remember is being under my aunt and uncles bar stools screaming in terror at thunder and lightning...the rest I'm still searching for answers to.

 This brings me to the topic of this weeks issue, "Why Investigate?". Many people are under the impression that there is nothing to investigate. Often one will hear remarks such as; "If there was anything to these reports, our military would know about it", or "Project Blue Book was closed years ago, and they determined there was nothing to this nonsense!" These, and any similar statements are clearly wrong, and in some cases (as in the case of the Air Forces "conclusion") flat out lies. Due to national security issues in fact it is impossible for them to say anything regarding the truth of ETs and extraterrestrial spacecraft! Anyone who knows how security regarding documents works knows that you can't even reference a document that is cleared "Top Secret" in a document that is only classified as "Secret". No big cover-up there, that's just how security works, and for good reason. Secrets are kept to keep information out of the hands of our enemies.

 That is why MUFON has taken the scientific approach to the study of this subject. Evidence that is collected using proper procedures, that is well documented as to the chain of custody, and evaluated under strict laboratory conditions is pretty hard to deny. Witness testimony is also supremely valuable. Debunkers would try to tell you that only kooks and misfits see UFOs or aliens, while the truth is actually the opposite! According to all research done, it is apparent that the higher the education level, the better the quality of the sightings are! If witness testimony is good enough to put people in prison, one would think it would stand up in this case as well.

 The public sentiment has certainly changed with time as well. Back in the 60s you just didn't talk about flying saucers or little green men (the prevalent terms back then), and if you did, you would certainly be eating your lunch alone in the cafeteria...I know. The effort to squash any talk on the subject was definitely successful...for a while. I credit the "break-in-the-dam" so to speak with the CBS movie about Betty and Barney Hill "The UFO Incident" based on the book "An Interrupted Journey". It was aired in 1975, and certainly started a lot of conversations that weren't heard publicly before least not in such numbers.

 Nowadays we are flooded with UFO shows, on such notable networks as The History Channel, A&E, The Science Channel, Discovery...the list goes on. Apparently the subject has gained some credence! With all the cases reported worldwide, it is truly worth wondering why the subject is still treated with ridicule by the media! From what I can tell, the only people still supporting the notion that UFOs and ETs don't exist are the kooks!

 In general there are millions of reasons why we need to investigate these otherworldly encounters, from solutions to our energy needs, to ways to better take care of our planet and learning to live in peace with each other. There are many lessons to be learned if we are to grow and eventually join the cosmic neighborhood. As MUFONS mission statement says we are dedicated to "the scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of mankind." Is there a better reason?

 I hope you enjoyed this weeks issue, and it inspires all to learn more! Please share with all, and follow my blog if you like it! See you all next week!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Issue #4 My Field Kit

Now that we have covered some of the basics, let's take a look at what I personally carry with me into the field. Not everyone will feel the need to carry everything I do, but my philosophy is that it's always best to be prepared for anything.

Let's take a look at the evidence kit first.

This is the evidence kit available from MUFON, and it can be ordered on our website in the store. I augmented it with an L-scale that I ordered from a C.S.I. supply warehouse, and some waterproof index cards that I got from the local Army surplus store Camp and Pack here in S.L.O., along with a waterproof pen (not shown). It includes a bag of arrowstone for taking casts, which is a lot better to work with than plaster of paris. It also comes with a variety of sample containers and evidence bags, and tamper-proof evidence seals.

This is the gear that I keep in an extra crate, and take with me as needed. Most of the evidence kit I keep in a nice, small-sized watertight case, 
and keep it stored in my closet until needed. I don't recommend keeping any of your equipment in your vehicle all the time. The heat isn't good for most items, and some of the stuff is rather pricey if you have to replace it due to someone breaking in your car! Notice next to the caution tape I also have a roll of "Danger" tape. Some people aren't stopped by the word "Caution". I find "Danger" works better.

When I leave my vehicle in the field, if it's not on my back it's in my duffel or evidence kit.

Extra items are carried in my "Alice Pack", also from S.L.O. Camp and Pack. It includes a tent that can be set up in seconds in case of sudden 
bad weather, that is big enough for two people and their gear, a sleeping bag rated at 27 degrees with a liner that's good for another 10 degrees, camp shovel, machete, 2,000,000 candle power spotlight, full face shield, and a welders helmet (if something is too bright to see you'll be glad you have it).

This brings us to the last, and one of the most important items...radios.

Communications in the field can be of utmost importance, so it's important that you have reliable radios that you can trust. Mine have a 36 mile range, but keep in mind that range is dependent on "line-of-sight". Anything in the way such as hills or buildings will drastically cut down the distance you can talk, so in some instances you might need to have a person in a "relay" position. I also prefer to use the headsets so my hands are free. They can be set for either VOX or PTT.

I hope this weeks installment was useful! Please share with all your friends, and subscribe or follow! If you email me, I can even make sure it comes to your inbox! See you next week...enjoy!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Issue #3 The iPad And You

The most used tool that I have is my iPad. I resisted buying one for years, and now I can't go a day without it. There are quite a few apps for the iPad that are perfect for investigations and I want to cover a few of them here today.

One of the best apps that I have on my iPad is called Theodolite.

As you can tell from the screenshot, there is all the information one might need in a very user-friendly interface. Any photographic evidence using this app would be pretty hard to dispute. Theodolite is available in the App Store. It was created by Hunter Research Technologies Inc. and is 
available for $4.99...well worth every penny.

The next app I'd like to recommend is called Stellarium. This app is recommended by MUFON and is available in the App Store. It is a free app, and it is invaluable for determining what is in the night sky. I have used it quite a bit to determine if something is a star or planet, and with my telescope to determine what else is in my viewing area.

SeeLevel is a great free app that serves as an inclinometer or level. It can also be used to measure distances, and is also available in the App Store.

Triangulex is the perfect app for either triangulating the position of an object or place. Simply place the cross-hairs on a distant landmark, then on the object or area in question. It couldn't be easier.Triangulex is also a free app available in the App Store.

Of course there are too many apps to cover all of them here, but a search through the App Store will find many tools that will be indispensable to you once you learn to use them.

Besides all the great apps, the iPad does everything that a laptop can do. From Skypeing in the field to taking field notes, this is the one tool I don't want to go out in the field without!

I hope this weeks installment is helpful and inspires people to find out how useful the iPad can be in the field. Don't forget to share this with others and PLEASE subscribe/follow! See you all next week!