Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Churchill Accused of Sealing UFO Files, Fearing Public Panic

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the truth-is-out-there-in-that-filing-cabinet dept.

Sci-Fi 615

Newly released secret files show that Winston Churchill ordered a cover-up of an alleged encounter between a UFO and a RAF bomber because he feared public panic. From the article: "Mr Churchill is reported to have made a declaration to the effect of the following: 'This event should be immediately classified since it would create mass panic among the general population and destroy one's belief in the Church.'"

cancel ×

615 comments

blah (4, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152146)

FTFS:

This event should be immediately classified since it would create mass panic among the general population and destroy one's belief in the Church.

One can take the bolded section in one of two ways:

1. If you believe in god, why would the existence of aliens prove that god doesn't exist?

Or

2. Why would you deny evidence in front of you?

Re:blah (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152204)

Because religious bigot are usually stupid, with a hard belief of that shitty "BELIEVE WITHOUT SEEING" propagandha used by every cultist to force people onto their sect.

Re:blah (2, Interesting)

ashkar (319969) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152418)

Admirable as it is that you chose not to retain your culture's superstitions and follow a more logical path, I'm sure that your ignorance shines through in many other areas. I'm just trying to suggest that you be a little less critical and quick to judge. Most people follow a faith because it provides them with direction and meaning, not because they necessarily believe everything they are taught. I generally support religion for this very reason. Nihilism in our lower classes leads to much worse situations than a little faith.

Re:blah (2, Funny)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152488)

And then there are some who, when confronted with incontrovertible evidence of the existence of a God, accept it. Yes, there are a few, and yes, they were faced with even physical evidence. YMMV.

Re:blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152676)

Even if this were true (which I'll remain neutral on), when they go to tell others, they're presenting nothing more than hearsay.

(Isn't it interesting how "hearsay" and "heresy" are so similar-looking?)

Re:blah (0, Flamebait)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152734)

Except there is no such evidence, because there is no god.

Re:blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152508)

I would like to note that you used nicer words but have the same opinion as your parent.

Re:blah (1)

ashkar (319969) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152672)

I might have the same opinion about God, but the key difference is that I preach against religion. Tolerance for others' views is something this world sorely lacks.

Re:blah (-1, Flamebait)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152510)

I'm sure that your ignorance shines through in many other areas..

A lack of spirituality is common in non-religious people. Disturbed spirituality is common in Atheists (for example, the guy that sued the school board because the Pledge of Allegiance contains the word "God" and he doesn't want his daughter to hear THAT WORD).

As such, these people tend to be extremely ignorant in cultural topics. They sometimes study religions without actually understanding, as they have no spiritual system to translate onto. Otherwise, they're just hostile to any beliefs that don't mesh with theirs-- often including academic beliefs.

Re:blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152664)

We could use some made up statistics here. Please deliver.

Re:blah (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152724)

Not that it matters much, but I am a highly-spiritual atheist...or at least, "atheist" is what most people label me as. My definition of god isn't the same as that of most religions' definition, hence the label.

god to me isn't a discernable being, but rather an abstract idea. I don't refer to all objects as god (like most religious philosophy), but rather only the connection between them. My primary argument that I use against the common religious definition of god comes from, strangely enough, an extremely scientifically inaccurate movie:

"god must be greater than the greatest of human weaknesses and, indeed, the greatest of human skill. god must even transcend our most remarkable-to emulate nature in its absolute splendor. How can any man or woman sin against such greatness of mind? How can one little carbon unit on Earth-in the backwaters of the Milky Way, the boondocks-betray god, ALMIGHTY? That is impossible. The height of arrogance is the height of control of those who create god in their own image."

 

Re:blah (-1, Troll)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152952)

Not that it matters much, but I am a highly-spiritual atheist...or at least, "atheist" is what most people label me as. My definition of god isn't the same as that of most religions' definition, hence the label.

That's not surprising or uncommon. "Atheists" are highly religious-- note the mention of the extremely offended fellow reacting in much the same way to a mention of God as a Muslim would to "Draw Mohammad Day."

Spirituality doesn't need a worship to a religion or a higher power; there are many ways to classify spirituality without a soul or spirit energy, as a facet of applied psychology more or less. It's also possible to believe there is "something" out there (a god; gods; just an unlimited flow of spiritual energy that shapes and powers life; Karl Jung's collective unconscious; etc), without ascribing any specific assumption to it.

Non-religious and strict Atheists tend to have a strong aversion to anything that exists on "faith" and denies reason in strict scientific terms. These are the kinds of people that absolutely won't believe in the medicinal properties of herbs (really, how do you think medicine got invented? We noticed X + Y vegetable cures chronic pain, and 2000 years later some scientist isolated chemicals that he packaged into a pill as a pain killer...), won't believe that meditation helps reduce stress (non-scientific bullshit, you could just sleep...), etc; anything that doesn't sound like it came out of a lab coat is obvious bullshit.

Thus these people are ignorant to the portion of the world that has not yet been explained. These people would have been ignorant to the concept that the earth rotates around the sun 500 years ago-- I mean shit, look at the sky, the sun starts at one point in the sky and winds up on the exact opposite side. Obviously it goes around the Earth! And all contemporary reasoning has not explained how in the fuck the earth could be going around the sun, or spinning, so such claims are bullshit.

Because these people have no tolerance for anything that isn't physical, proven, and accepted by hard reasoning, they have no spirituality. They are programmed machines with an inherent inability to grasp subtle, non-scientific concepts; particular to this example, I was intending to point out that they can only see any sort of religion or other spiritual belief as "ignorance" and, similarly, ascribe all related social bonding as "cultist behavior."

Re:blah (2, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152776)

Well, we all suffer from a lack of "spirituality" because there is no such thing as a spirit.

We are animals. We do not have souls or spirits. What you call "spirituality", I call childish superstition.

The guy that sued the school board was doing the right thing. I don't have kids, but if I did, I wouldn't allow anyone to try and teach them lies at school.

Re:blah (5, Interesting)

darien.train (1752510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152790)

It's not that he didn't want her to hear the word. He didn't want her pledging to a god neither he nor she believed in. Apparently the religious are extremely ignorant in legal matters (see it sounds stupid the other way around too.)

Re:blah (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152224)

Aliens would substantiate the theory of evolution, which uses as an implicit premise that God doesn't really exist, it was just all random chance, we're all just a bunch of molecules, blah blah blah.

Never mind that evolution is a theory ...

Re:blah (1, Insightful)

Soilworker (795251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152260)

But creationism is not even a theory, it's a child's bedtime story.

Re:blah (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152392)

Most childrens bedtime stories have more truth to them than the theory of evolution.

Re:blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152504)

Yeah, it's far more plausible that Homo Sapiens materialised from thin air into their present form.

Re:blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152646)

Both theories are impossible and preposterous; at least the Bible claims to have a God that can do things we consider impossible and preposterous.

Re:blah (3, Interesting)

rgviza (1303161) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152662)

Darwin's theory of evolution is a conclusion based on a collection of empirical observations. Darwin never theorized why or how it occurred. He never theorized about it beyond "evolution happens, here's what I've observed that makes me think so". Knowledge of DNA and mutations were still quite a way off in the future.

So in reality there's a lot of truth to it. He didn't make up his observations. They can still be observed today. Selective breeding artificially creates evolution every day. Has been for thousands of years since man domesticated the dog. Evolution can be demonstrated. If you own a dog you own a product of experimental evolution since without man that dog would still be a wolf.

Why and how it occurs in nature is still relatively unknown.

Re:blah (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152846)

As to why evolution occurs, it is because the laws of nature are such that it must occur. Any deeper theological or philosophical reason is beyond the scope of science. I think a lot of people misinterpret evolution, I know I did until only a few years ago. For example the phrase "survival of the fittest" can be misinterpreted as though species "want" to survive or survival is a "good" thing. The correct intepretation, however, is that species/individuals with attributes that happen to be suited to survival (through random mutation) survive and thus those attributes are passed on while less "desirable" attributes die out. The only logic or reason behind it is in our own minds.

As to how it occurs, this is well understood (it follows from natural law) until you get down to the mutation level. I am not a biologist so I am not sure how well the mechanisms involved in individual mutations are understood.

Re:blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152276)

Aliens would substantiate the theory of evolution

No they wouldn’t. If they exist, God created them too.

Re:blah (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152722)

Ah yes, Scientology
Perhaps you can discuss this at TomCruise.com

Re:blah (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152822)

Aliens would substantiate the theory of evolution, which uses as an implicit premise that God doesn't really exist, it was just all random chance, we're all just a bunch of molecules

Why is a belief in God/higher-power and evolution incompatible? $Deity could have established the laws of nature [wikipedia.org] and allowed nature to run its course. Mind you, I'm not a particularly religious person (though I'm no atheist either) but this seems like a perfectly acceptable way to reconcile the two, IMHO anyway.....

Re:blah (4, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152836)

No, it is not "just a theory".

You might question the specifics (For example, what species in particular do we come from, what methods are involved in evolution, or even if natural selection works at all the way it's been described). But there are NO DOUBTS about a very simple fact: Animals fuck, and their offspring is a combination of their DNA. After a long time, species change, new species are created, other disappear. That process eventually created us. That is the simple truth. And we can prove it any way. Just watch two dogs fuck, wait nine months, and tell me what you get. There you go, proof of evolution. Does your son look similar to you? bam! evolution. Kiwi is proof of evolution.

You might question the specifics, and they might even be wrong, but that doesn't deny the principle behind evolution. "You don't have enough fossils, therefore god created adam and eve" is just plain stupid.

Re:blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152236)

Since one supposes God created the Earth then He went on with His other businesses (except for the casual interferences in earthlings' lives), one might say God is actually extraterrestrial.

Re:blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152262)

I guess its harder to think of oneself as being the center of the universe ("creating us in his own image" ...blah blah), when there is actual proof that you are not?

Re:blah (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152432)

According to most reports aliens still have one head, two hands, two legs, two eyes etc. So, basically it might be a slightly different implementation of the same Interface. Hopefully e better one.

Re:blah (1)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152830)

Just to be clear we are talking about WWII Era England. I do believe in the US most people who are spiritual would not find this to be an conflict of beliefs. Also, keep in mind many spiritual people are not members of the Westboro Baptist Church as much as anyone who believes in science is not a Scientologist.

A lot of us don't find science and spiritualism any where more mutually exclusive than food and sex. Keep in mind that many people who are spiritual/religious are not hardline Christians (or even Christians).

Re:blah (3, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152416)

1. If you believe in god, why would the existence of aliens prove that god doesn't exist?

Read Genesis. God created the heavens, the Earth, Man and assorted other critters and varmints. God creating aliens is never mentioned. And the Bible is infallible, so UFOs with an alien crew would put theologists in a bit of a bind. And in the part about Noah's Ark, it is never mentioned that Noah rounded up two aliens.

2. Why would you deny evidence in front of you?

Unfortunately, religion is not about evidence, it's about faith. Which is why religion has caused humanity so much suffering over the milleniums.

Re:blah (3, Interesting)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152540)

"Unfortunately, religion is not about evidence, it's about faith."

True, but some come to faith by evidence.

"Which is why religion has caused humanity so much suffering over the milleniums."

Suffering is the human condition. Religion is merely one of the 'causes', and perhaps not the most common or greatest.

And some believers find solace and comfort, even relief, from their religion.

Re:blah (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152778)

No one comes to faith by evidence. Calling stupid insane delusions "evidence" serves only to cheapen the term.

Re:blah (2, Interesting)

rolandog (834340) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152606)

And in the part about Noah's Ark, it is never mentioned that Noah rounded up two aliens.

Why would the aliens have needed to be inside Noah's Ark to survive? They were else-where, cruising through the Universe...

Re:blah (2, Informative)

et764 (837202) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152780)

God creating aliens is never mentioned. And the Bible is infallible, so UFOs with an alien crew would put theologists in a bit of a bind.

The Bible being infallible doesn't mean it is an unabridged compilation of all that is knowable. It simply means it is accurate on the subjects it addresses. The Bible primarily with things such as why are we here and how are we to treat each other. Apparently the existence or non-existence of aliens is not important to those questions. If we ever do discover aliens, it would be reasonable for Christians to conclude that God created them too, but their existence isn't something we need to know about to please God.

Unfortunately, religion is not about evidence, it's about faith. Which is why religion has caused humanity so much suffering over the milleniums.

True faith is based on evidence, not opposed to evidence. If you look at the teachings of the apostles in Acts, for example, their message rested on the fact that there was a man who everyone had seen or heard of, who had done impressive miracles that many people have seen, was put to death in a very public fashion and then seen by many people alive afterwards. Surely, if these things were true, the faith that results from believing them would be one based on evidence and not warm feelings, right? Today our evidence primarily deals with the question of whether these accounts have been reliably preserved and recorded by credible witnesses. You may not find this evidence compelling, but I hope you can at least admit that there are Christians today who have come to their faith for better reasons than because their preacher said so.

Re:blah (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152788)

Just because something isn't mentioned in the Bible, doesn't mean it didn't happen or exist.

Did the Bible explicitly say that God created other nations of people after creating Adam and Eve? Or that they didn't have dozens of children after Cain and Abel? Yet the Bible mentions that Cain had a wife, even though it doesn't explicitly say that God created her, or that she was born. This isn't a contradiction, it's just a detail that wasn't important.

The Old Testament focuses on the lineage of Jesus Christ. From the first man, down to Abraham, down to David, and so on. If a person, or nation, wasn't important within this lineage, or directly affect the people of this lineage, then it was glossed over or simply omitted.

If I were to write a book about baseball, I would focus on it's precursor games, how it developed, and maybe a little of the physics involved. Would I discuss gravity as it pertains to the Earth and Moon interacting with one another? Absolutely not. I would probably discuss it very briefly with regard to pitching, and how a ball is thrown toward a point higher than it crosses the plate at, but if certain aspects of gravity have nothing to do with baseball, then why would I write about it?

So too with the potential for alien life. If it exists, it wouldn't greatly affect the faith of true believers. If there are intelligent aliens, but they were not involved in the lineage of Jesus Christ, then why would they be in the Bible? They would be irrelevant. I'll tell you one thing about how it would affect true believers, though. If the aliens were to have a soul, then they would share the gospel with them, and baptize them into Christ. The only issue would be, "how can you tell if they have a soul?"

Re:blah (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152910)

Did the Bible explicitly say that God created other nations of people after creating Adam and Eve? Or that they didn't have dozens of children after Cain and Abel? Yet the Bible mentions that Cain had a wife, even though it doesn't explicitly say that God created her, or that she was born. This isn't a contradiction, it's just a detail that wasn't important.

Not that I don't agree with the premise of the Bible not necessarily needing to mention every little thing for it to be true, the prevailing opinion of the church goers when I was growing up (I haven't been in many years now) was that there were no other nations (or people) directly created - Adam and Eve were first and every other group is descended from them. Their children interbred with each other at first, which was seen as an accepted form of incest in their view as there was no other option.

As with all things religion though, opinions and interpretations will vary. And before anyone attacks me, I'm not claiming the above as an opinion I hold - just relaying the popular opinion held by the religious community where I grew up.

Re:blah (4, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152886)

Absolutely. What I don't understand is why all the crackpots that believe in the invisible space-jew would actually care about aliens. Hell, the bible has been proved wrong so many fucking times we've lost count. Dinosaurs, for instance. They would just say "The devil created those aliens" or "god put those aliens there to test your faith", or some other bullshit, just like they do now with all the rest of the stuff they were wrong about.

Re:blah (5, Interesting)

kalirion (728907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152478)

One can take the bolded section in one of two ways:

1. If you believe in god, why would the existence of aliens prove that god doesn't exist?

Or

2. Why would you deny evidence in front of you?

"Belief in God" is quite different from "Belief in what the Church tells you."

Re:blah (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152640)

Because it might validate theories such as this [wikipedia.org] , which scares the hell out of established religion. [wikipedia.org] Which all more or less ignores the fact that almost ALL regions before modern religions, had the same beliefs with only variations in back history and that these back histories clearly document both technology and aliens; aka gods of the stars.

Re:blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152698)

Belief in the Church is different from belief in god(s).

Re:blah (1)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152898)

Sitting in church doesn't make a person anymore religious than sitting in a garage makes a person a car.

I forget where I read that, but makes me lol.

Re:blah (3, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152712)

Well, There is no god, and just about everything that surrounds us is conclusive proof that there is no such thing as a god.

Regarding why anyone would deny evidence ... that's what religious people do. The only way to believe in a magic flying jew that is his own father is to deny logic, science, and any kind of common sense.

Re:blah (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152924)

The only way to believe in a magic flying jew that is his own father is to deny logic

That which is significantly technologically advanced is indistinguishable from magic. And if we run with your logic, all air passengers are magical. As such, if you're willing to admit that the possibility of aliens exists, then you're forced to admit "magic, flying jews", are at least within the realm of possibilities. At least so say logic and science.

Re:blah (5, Funny)

Alyred (667815) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152726)

Of course, it could also be that he was so ahead of his time he referred to himself as "The Church, yo".

Re:blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152750)

Because for the church boys God created the Earth.

Re:blah (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152896)

I took it as meaning Churchill became an atheist after reading the report.

Re:blah (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152926)

1. If you believe in god, why would the existence of aliens prove that god doesn't exist?

The "God" he was talking about was the God of human subservience and awe of military might and the eternal existence of the sovereign nation.

Churchill wasn't worried that people would stop worshiping, just that they would stop worshiping nations and borders.

Oh, and they might not continue to make working and shopping their number one reason for existence.

Can someone tell me how the release of evidence that Winston Churchill sealed the records of a military confrontation with a UFO belongs in the entertainment category?

Bad summary (4, Informative)

Jay L (74152) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152186)

Summary says:

Newly released secret files show that Winston Churchill ordered a cover-up of an alleged encounter between a UFO and a RAF bomber

It should say:

Newly released secret files show that the grandson of Winston Churchill once claimed that Churchill ordered a cover-up of an alleged encounter between a UFO and a RAF bomber"

Kinda different.

Re:Bad summary (5, Informative)

Runefox (905204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152234)

Actually, it should say:

Newly released secret files show that the grandson of one of Winston Churchill's personal bodyguards once claimed that Churchill ordered a cover-up of an alleged encounter between a UFO and a RAF bomber"

Re:Bad summary (1)

northernfrights (1653323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152308)

Yep you're right, the correction was still way off.

Re:Bad summary (-1, Troll)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152414)

And, just because I have karma to burn, your comment title is poorly formed. In would be more correctly worded as:

"Badly written summary", "Poorly written summary", or in a pinch, just "Misleading summary". The phrase "Bad summary" would be more appropriate in a phrase like "Did you just poo on the carpet Summary? Bad Summary! Bad!">

I await your various "Hey jackass! That's how language changes...blah blah" responses. :)

Re:Bad summary (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152522)

The title of the post you replied to is "Re: Bad summary" - the same as your post...

Re:Bad summary (1)

al3k (1638719) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152462)

So let's say, hypothetically, that I'm the grandson of Lee Harvey Oswald's landlord and I made claims that she once overheard Oswald conspiring with others, that I could get my report in a secret file too!?

Even worse post. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152312)

It should say:

Newly released secret files show that the grandson of Winston Churchill once claimed that Churchill ordered a cover-up of an alleged encounter between a UFO and a RAF bomber"

Kinda different.

Different yes, but how would making it more wrong be better? (Churchill's grandson died last year, and never made any such claim - and isn't even mentioned in the article.)

Re:Bad summary (2, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152920)

>Kinda different.

The real question is why does shit like this get posted here? I see "OMG READ UFOES!!" stories on slashdot and io9 more often than I like. Actually, I'd like it to be never. Unfortunately, conspiracy theories and wishful thinking get ad impression from morons. Considering there's no shortage of paranormal shows on television and that the "History" channel is little more than the conspiracy theory channel, we might be entering a new age of ignorance and superstition. So much for the whole information age revolution. Turns out the information most people crave is almost always bullshit that appeals to their existing biases and general craziness.

He saves the human race time and time again . . . (5, Funny)

rev_sanchez (691443) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152194)

and still the doctor never gets any credit.

Re:He saves the human race time and time again . . (5, Funny)

romu (907976) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152402)

Doctor who ?

Re:He saves the human race time and time again . . (1)

theVP (835556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152412)

"Have a cigar!"

Re:He saves the human race time and time again . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152442)

and still the doctor never gets any credit.

the daleks too... don't forget them

Re:He saves the human race time and time again . . (1)

blindbat (189141) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152498)

Knock Knock

Who's there?

The Doctor

The Doctor Who?

Just the Doctor!

Re:He saves the human race time and time again . . (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152602)

No credit is needed. Just the knowledge of doing his favorite species a favour. Even though we do look exactly like Gallifreians. That, a sonic screwdriver, a stolen TARDIS Type 40, and some of the hottest assistants ever, who needs thanks? A oddly long scarf and a card would be nice though.

Well, sure. (3, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152206)

True, the nation might be responding to bitter human enemy's nighttime heavy bomber raids with a stiff upper lip, but I say! An extrasolar tourist on a sightseeing holiday? That is really terrifying.

Evidence (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152218)

A letter written by the grandson of a bodyguard of Churchill. That's all.

It's probably total nonsense.

It's probably the safe thing to do (5, Interesting)

joeflies (529536) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152228)

The world is too caught up that the Earth is the one place for any type of life in the universe, we're not prepared to deal with other possibilities. I think that even the course that NASA is demonstrating now - proving that it's possible that there was water on Mars, opening up the possibility of a discovery of some type of life perhaps long extinct - is preparing the general public to slowly get ready to the idea that there's the existiance of extraterrestrial life. Tin foil hat time - Perhaps NASA already knows that this life exists, but they need to get the public ready for acceptance of it by slowly introducing more and more evidence so that society doesn't lose its marbles.

Re:It's probably the safe thing to do (5, Insightful)

timholman (71886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152546)

The world is too caught up that the Earth is the one place for any type of life in the universe, we're not prepared to deal with other possibilities. I think that even the course that NASA is demonstrating now - proving that it's possible that there was water on Mars, opening up the possibility of a discovery of some type of life perhaps long extinct - is preparing the general public to slowly get ready to the idea that there's the existiance of extraterrestrial life. Tin foil hat time - Perhaps NASA already knows that this life exists, but they need to get the public ready for acceptance of it by slowly introducing more and more evidence so that society doesn't lose its marbles.

I would argue that the boom in popularity of science fiction/fantasy movies and TV (e.g. E.T., Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, Stargate SG-1, etc.) over the past 40 years has done more to prepare people for the possibility of extraterrestrial life than any NASA press release.

Re:It's probably the safe thing to do (1)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152586)

idea that there's the existiance of extraterrestrial life

We still don't know that, so the idea could be premature. UFO's are merely unidentified, they could come, say, from a parallel universe. Big Foot does not seem to be equipped for interstellar travel either.

Re:It's probably the safe thing to do (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152632)

People would be fine. If NASA did have actual evidence, they would anouce it and then get a big fat increase in funding.

In other words, it's in NASAs best interesting to make it public knowledge.

Stop being stupid.

Did people panic when they found the Chinese? American Indians? did the church collapse when they found groups of people who had never heard of God or Jesus?

Re:It's probably the safe thing to do (-1, Flamebait)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152704)

Tin foil hat time - Perhaps NASA already knows that this life exists, but they need to get the public ready for acceptance of it by slowly introducing more and more evidence so that society doesn't lose its marbles.

You're an idiot.

What possesses you to believe that a peaceful, non-economic race of beings with super-light travel actually exists? Any race of beings with interstellar space flight capability would want trade or conquest; allowing beings such as ours to evolve naturally is a waste of resources that could be accessed now, instead of in 5000 years.

Re:It's probably the safe thing to do (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152868)

allowing beings such as ours to evolve naturally is a waste of resources

Maybe we don't have any resources that are of value to them? Maybe they don't believe in genocide and would rather not get bogged down in their version of the Vietnam war for the next hundred years? Maybe they are already among us and regard us as mostly harmless?

Re:It's probably the safe thing to do (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152746)

Seriously? You don't think the stories and TV shows and movies for the last century have prepared us for how to deal with aliens?

I'll tell you how to deal with aliens. If they come in small ships and repair things [wikipedia.org] , let them keep fixing stuff, they'll change your life. If they are short and ugly and ride flying bikes, direct them to the nearest phone booth, they just wanna go home. If they are living in cocoons in the bottom of swimming pools, whatever you do try to swim in it!

For defense, if they are green and leave crop circle signs, all you need is water. Nevermind that the atmosphere is full of the stuff, it'll work. If the hover over cities in 15 mile disks, all you need is crop-duster pilots to fly your jets and take them out. And if they are ugly, black, and have vagina heads, then you can nuke them from orbit.

Really, a good portion of the population still believes in ghosts and magic. The idea of aliens is just one more weird thing in a universe of things we don't understand (and if you think religious people will have trouble with the idea of aliens, you need to talk to more religious people. Some even believe that Christ was an alien. True story).

Consider that... (5, Funny)

minogully (1855264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152248)

Winston probably called himself "the Church".

Re:Consider that... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152796)

That could be true.

-The Smith

Re:Consider that... (1)

minogully (1855264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152860)

I hate to reply to myself, but...

Along that line of reasoning, he was probably an alien.

Well (3, Interesting)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152250)

They told the London populace that German V-2 impacts were 'gas pipe' explosions to keep panic down.

Re:Well (3, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152376)

and the germans had secret experimental jet and stealth aircraft at the time that were never produced in volume due to the allies bombing the germans' industrial capabilities. Northrop had test versions of what is now the B2 back before world war 2 but it had problems back then which is why it took so long to finally make a flying wing design.

Panic (5, Insightful)

ADRA (37398) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152266)

This could be:
a. Yet another part of the ever growing, ever large conspiracy to cover up the existence of seeming observational aliens
b. A maneuver by Churchill to silence a few pilots who didn't want to fly the channel anymore and made up a story to get out of getting themselves blown up. If the story had gotten out (true or not), it would've caused possible panic and more importantly a good reasons for pilots to refuse to fly, this with the backdrop of the a truly catastrophic war.

Read the article and find that the story is told by the grandson of a guard who overheard a conversation. Wow, that is just brilliant.

Authoritative Sources (4, Insightful)

Jodka (520060) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152278)

Nope, no room for doubt here. From the article:

The allegations involving Churchill were made by the grandson of one his personal bodyguards, an RAF officer who overheard the discussion

Apart from telling his daughter – the scientist’s mother – about the incident when she was nine, the bodyguard, who was “greatly affected by his experience”, only disclosed the details to his wife on his deathbed in 1973.

The scientist, also an expert in astronomy who said he developed software for use in "spacecraft thermal engineering", was told years later by his mother.

Stressing he was not a “crackpot”...

Let's be clear (3, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152288)

Even assuming this nth hand story is true, UFO aliens. It could just as easily be one of Hitler's various secret experiments or any number of less exciting things.

Re:Let's be clear (2, Funny)

Jarred Capellman (539779) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152456)

That or the Planet Express ship getting sent back in time again...

I see (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152320)

So after reading TFA, all we have is the word of what one person's mother was allegedly told by Winston Churchill's bodyguard about what Sir Winston apparently did to an alleged report by two crewmembers.

Unfortunately there's a lack of any kind of "evidence" that said incident even took place, since any possible files with reference to the alleged event were destroyed 60 years ago. So, what was the news here again?

Re:I see (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152390)

That Slashdot really is going down the crapper?

Re:I see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152876)

Well, UFO sightings were so common by WWII air crews, they were called, "Foo Fighters"; from which the rock band gets its name. Almost without fail, all sightings were classified and air crews were forbidden from discussing. Foo fighter sightings were in fact, one of the reasons Project Blue Book [wikipedia.org] and others were created. About half way through project bluebook's life, they had enough unexplained sightings, the project was officially turned into a disinformation project for the government.

To this date, a huge share of Foo Fighter sightings and a modest number of Project Blue Book sightings have been been properly explained.

Lastly, do keep in mind, a fair number of Foo Fighter sightings might only be able to be explained via modern day technology - if so.

The masses fear the anal probe... (1)

strangeattraction (1058568) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152340)

The masses have always feared the anal probe even before Roman times. He was correct in not disclosing the massive probe potential that alien civilizations posses. Only when have erected gigantic probe defenses should we contact alien worlds.

Contributor Summary is Incorrect (2, Informative)

tkjtkj (577219) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152468)

Summary said: "t should say: Newly released secret files show that the grandson of Winston Churchill once claimed that Churchill ordered a cover-up of an alleged encounter between a UFO and a RAF bomber" Kinda different." And Summary is incorrect: the person making the claim is the grandson of one of Mr. Churchill's bodyguards. He, the grandson, is a respected physicist and an expert in Astronomy. Please re-read the link in the /. article.

What UFOs couldn't do to belief in God... (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152496)

...the passage of decades managed to accomplish.

First thing that comes to mind (1)

Arrow_Raider (1157283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152502)

Obligatory: I would like to call attention to the radio abridged reading of War of the Worlds and the panic that ensued when people thought it was a news broadcast.

Re:First thing that comes to mind (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152718)

IO would lie to call toy Your attention some facts.

1) The story was about Aliens attacking
2) We where in a real threat of being bombed by the Germans.
3) The 'panic' was from people who tuned in mid show and only heard the part about bombing and burnings. They assumed the Germans had attacked.

In short, if aliens landed and did attack, people would flee for there lives.
Whether those were Aliens from Germans or outer space. wouldn't matted in that case.

Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152532)

Light reflected of swamp gass, and collided with a weather balloon.

A Politician *did* cover-up to prevent mass panic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152560)

The problem is that it's an allegation by the grandson of Churchill's bodyguard.

Too many degrees of separation--although there are similar stories of government
cover-ups intended to prevent mass panic of a UFO sighting. Former Arizona Governor Fife Symington III did
just that in 1997 and explains why he did it (and how it's changed his perception of the topic) in a book
about to be released in a matter of days.

The book is by Investigative Report Leslie Kean
The foreword is written by John Podesta (Obama Transition Co-Chair, and former Clinton White House Chief of Staff)
Her other backers include: former CNN Sci-tech Correspondent Miles O'Brien, and String Field Theory Pioneer Michio Kaku:

http://www.amazon.com/UFOs-Generals-Pilots-Government-Officials/dp/0307716848

Why the big fuss? (3, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152568)

WWII produced quite a lot of UFO stories, and the event in the article sound pretty much like a foo fighter [wikipedia.org] , which are a pretty well-documented, if unexplained, phenomenon. In other words, there are dozens of similar stories which nobody has made any effort to cover up.

Also, the article annoys me greatly be implicitly equating UFOs with extraterrestrial spacecraft throughout:

Another person at the meeting raised the possibility of a UFO

Really? During a meeting discussing an unidentified flying object?

The comment about the Church implies that the object was assumed to be extraterrestrial, which is perhaps the least plausible bit: why would a group of military experts assume such a thing?

Re:Why the big fuss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152890)

the event in the article sound pretty much like a foo fighter, ... The comment about the Church implies that the object was assumed to be extraterrestrial, which is perhaps the least plausible bit: why would a group of military experts assume such a thing?

Probably to throw a Monkey Wrench into the allegations.

Re:Why the big fuss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33152968)

> sound pretty much like a foo fighter, which are a pretty well-documented, if unexplained, phenomenon.

Pesky extraterrestrial tourists...

What's the big deal? (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152576)

Regardless of whether or not this story is BS, which I'm rather certain it is, I fail to see why it would be catastrophic to the human race to learn that extraterrestrials do exist, assuming they're not bent on our destruction. It would undoubtedly have profound implications on humanity, but I have a hard time believing that it would provoke mass panic.

Additionally, why would such an event instill doubts in religion? Any logical religious person would simply see this as a sign that god is even more awesome than they had imagined. And if the aliens have their own religion it wouldn't render Earth religions any less relevant. Unless they had conclusive, irrefutable evidence about how the existence of God and the nature of the universe. But then it wouldn't be religion, it would simply be fact.

Undoubtedly there would be some initial resistance, there might be some limited panic, some threat of violence but for the most part I think it would be a very enlightening experience for humanity. But then again, what aliens would want to meet us? Spend 15 minutes on Youtube and Earth ends up looking like the toilet of the universe. Some would probably even consider us a threat to the universe, worthy of destroying.

Re:What's the big deal? (2, Insightful)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152940)

A non-trivial percentage of the human race freaks out if women don't cover themselves in a tarp. So yes, I think aliens may ruffle some feathers.

Don't land in Arizona (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152658)

hey you space aliens, don't land in Arizona or you'll be in big trouble! another question: how come you all are racist pigs? only ones that can qualify for your astronaut corps are those who are little, green, and men.

Re:Don't land in Arizona (0, Troll)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152814)

I hope they do land in Arizona with the intent of abducting cheap labor to build things and pick crops on their home planet. They can have all of our illegal Mexicans free of charge! All they would have to do is stop by almost any street intersections, Home Depot, and Lowes and pick them up.

Re:Don't land in Arizona (1)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152936)

another question: how come you all are racist pigs? only ones that can qualify for your astronaut corps are those who are little, green, and men.

As it turns out, some of them are women. Do NOT ask them to show you how to tell the difference.
*shudders*

Remember (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152690)

I've seen a lot of alien invasion movies, and all you need to remember is that if you spray an alien with salt water, they will melt. They are a lot like wicked witches in that regards.

"...and destroy one's belief in the Church.'" (1, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152856)

Like that would have been a bad thing?

'The Church' (1)

imaswinger (592216) | more than 3 years ago | (#33152882)

is that a nickname for himself or did he mean organized religion?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...