You guys are goingÃ‚Â to kill me.
I know that you’re all waiting for a report on the LSE/BO, so I feel really badly that Motoko forgot to grab the spare keyless remote before leaving for work this morning in order to satisfy the silly test conditions. Therefore, the LSE/BO has been postponed once again until tomorrow.
Instead, I bring you the story of the man who found PROOF of the existence of UFOs and who is now being prosecuted by the US government for his discovery.
Well, not exactly. Wired News offers an interview with Gary McKinnon, a man who hacked into US governmental computers looking for proof of conspiracies, making the key mistakes of a.) not covering his tracks and b.) doing all his hacking around September 11, 2001. The Wired News interview has Gary at his conspiracy theorist-best, claiming to have seen pictures of alien space ships such as
It was a silvery, cigar-shaped object with geodesic spheres on either side. There were no visible seams or riveting. There was no reference to the size of the object and the picture was taken presumably by a satellite looking down on it. The object didn’t look manmade or anything like what we have created.
Emphasis mine. It all seems rather damning until you check out an interview Gary gave last year with Jon Ronson, one of my all-time favorite writers. In it, Ronson relates the following:
At the Johnson Space Centre [McKinnon] spied on photographs of cigar-shaped objects that might have been UFOs but – [McKinnon] says – were probably satellites.
Emphasis mine again. How things change in a year! McKinnon also admits that while he was hacking, he was constantly high. I have a friend who got high once and found evidence that his landlord was stealing his teacups when he wasn’t home, but maybe that was because he was affected by the common side effect of marijuana known as paranoia. Or maybe his landlord just really coveted his teacups.
McKinnon also admits to Ronson that he unsuccessfully tried to blackmail the US into dropping the charges by suggesting he knew more about secret conspiracies than he really did:
There is a silence.
“I had very little evidence,” he admits. “It’s not a very good bargaining chip at all, really, is it?”
For those of you who suspect that perhaps Ronson merely downplayed what McKinnon found, I suggest you check out his books Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men who Stare at Goats Ronson unflinchingly enters the world of the weirdos, fully immersing himself in their particular brands of crazy by taking them seriously, getting them to fully detail their theories, and then occasionally digging up grains of truth contained within those theories.
In summary, it’s just been another day during which a media outlet (Wired News in this case) gaveÃ‚Â someone a nice, credulous bit of exposure.