The Blip


When I was in high school, I took a class in television production. We were always given creative assignments to work on and the class was given a grade based on team effort and the professionalism with each project. Right before the Christmas break, we were asked to create a video Christmas card that could be shown to the student body on closed circuit TV. It had to be a very short video presentation with either a humorous or a serious Christmas message.

I was usually called upon to come up with the class concept and write the production script. After three days I came up with a script entitled “The Blip.” The title didn’t sound at all like it would have a Christmas message but it kind of did. It was a dark, humorous look at how NORAD tracks Santa every year on Christmas Eve. The story was about a newcomer to NORAD who was on duty during Christmas Eve. As he was watching the radar screens he noticed a red blip on the screen coming from Greenland and moving quickly towards Nova Scotia. He panics and notifies the commanding officer that a bogey is seen moving quickly towards the eastern seaboard and that jets should be scrambled to intercept the intruder immediately.

The commanding officer enters the room and tells the newcomer to calm down and reminds him that it is Christmas Eve and that he should be mindful of the fact that every year, as a publicity stunt, NORAD tracks Santa and his sleigh from the North Pole and that they issue updates to the media on his whereabouts.

The newcomer feeling a bit embarrassed apologizes to his superiors and they all have a good laugh. The commanding officer encourages him to grab some eggnog, relax and then come back to finish his shift.

As we hear Johnny Mathis sing “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” we fade to a scene in a big city where aliens are invading and mercilessly firing their laser weapons on store fronts as shoppers run for their lives.

We then end it with “Peace on Earth, Merry Christmas.” Sure, it is some twisted, dark humor but we all got an A and there were many students and teachers that liked it.

The reason I am bringing this up now is because over the weekend was looking over some old Christmas-themed notes I had and I stumbled on an old article about NORAD tracking Santa Claus. It was an article that came out right after Barack Obama was elected president. The article spoke of how Obama was not about to allow Santa to be attacked by terrorists and so Santa would be escorted by fighter jets to prevent him from any terror attack. He would be under surveillance with cameras and four high tech surveillance satellites during his journey. The story was irritating because it was some very sophisticated psychological manipulation selling the public on the surveillance state.

The push of an armed escort into Santa’s itinerary seemed over-the-top and darkly comical. It actually sounded like a programming mechanism taken right out of the psychological operations manual which gives instructions on how soldiers and armed personnel can befriend children in order to recruit them for duty at a later time.

I can imagine an impressionable child thinking that one day he too could be a Air Force pilot protecting Santa at Christmas time.

I also remembered about how cynical I was when I read the article. Sure, it is all well and good that Santa gets full protection with jets against terrorists.

Especially when NORAD told planes to stand down during the September 11th attacks.

We can be all glib about a surveillance state looking out for a mythological being like Santa when we know that the NSA and other alphabet agencies are watching you, knowing when you are sleeping, or awake or whether or not you are being good or bad – or maybe even suspicious.

Anymore, we don’t even know what being ‘suspicious‘ means, because we are all seeing something an when we say something we too are suspected so we are forced to be cautious about what we do or do not say.

We have illegal wiretapping going on, we have monitoring of texts and social network posts all feeding into a brain center in Utah, tallying up all of the so-called suspicious talk that is flagged and investigated.

The national security apparatus is becoming so proficient in protecting us from ourselves that they seem to be ignoring the idea that we may have real enemies waiting at our borders and, in some cases, testing their weapons in plain sight.

The security apparatus is so good at selecting suspects from their own style of homegrown paranoia that they pour a great deal of money into projects that violate civil rights while above us the skies are wide open for unforeseen events. Budgets that would protect us – from the various fireballs, UFO’s and weapons tests that people are now seeing, reporting, and being told to shut up about – have been cut.

The debate continues over exactly what the truth is behind the sightings of anomalous objects that are above the Earth. The U.S. Air Force has explained on many occasions that a lot of what is seen can be explained. However, with the obsession of extra-terrestrial mythology and reality, every bright light, shooting star, experimental plane, and weather anomaly can end up on the front pages of tabloid newspapers and on special fringe news programs labeled as bona fide extra-terrestrial craft with the acronym UFO attached to it.

Even the acronym of UFO has been designated as a fantasy, because people are asked if they “believe” in them rather than whether or not they observe unidentified objects above them and whether or not they could very well be an indication of impending disaster or even a possible weapon’s test or perhaps an isolated attack.

It was unfortunate that after the anticipation of the Comet ISON surviving its trek around the Sun, NASA was unable to give us any straight answer as to whether or not the ‘comet of the century‘ survived its visit around the sun.

Discover Magazine wrote: “After ISON failed to show up in images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft, NASA itself was busy writing the comet’s death certificate: “The comet is believed to have broken up and evaporated,” the agency said… Or as Karl Battams, an astrophysicist with the Comet ISON Observing Campaign put it in a headline on one of his fabulous blog posts, maybe it is “Schrödinger’s Comet,” meaning it is alive and dead at the same time…

Schrödinger’s thought experiment in quantum theory dealt with a cat that was sealed in a box with a vial of a radioactive substance. The theory was that there is a 50/50 chance that radioactivity will kill the cat. And we can’t know whether it is dead or alive until we open the box.

Was ISON alive or dead? Whatever the answer was, NASA seemed to keep everyone in the lurch.

I guess for most people it really doesn’t matter to them, unless of course the fireballs continue to explode over populated areas or when debris pushed in a sweeper effect falls to the ground and does property damage. Many people are saying that it is highly unlikely, even after what happened in Russia in February.

I often wonder if NASA thinks that we are that stupid. I am beginning to wonder if skeptics and cynics want to somehow champion the idea that science is correct, when they can’t even tell us if a comet is alive or dead.

You would be better off assessing the probability of Santa Claus using Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle before you get the real truth about what is happening in space.

Meanwhile UFO reports continue, but of course now we have to be careful about using the term ‘UFO’ because it will immediately conjure tales of aliens and give the mainstream media an opportunity to dig out ‘The X-Files’ theme song and say through their sickening smirk that “the truth is out there.”

The “truth” is far from out there and the unfortunate thing is how it is all being buried in disinformation and amateur speculation lost somewhere between Planet X and the wonderful land of Oz.

No wizards are going to grant us the brains and courage to step up and try to assess the real dangers that are above us at this moment. Chicken Little can no longer be a metaphor of ridicule as the video footage of fire balls and curious contrails pile up, along with the suspicion over what is really happening. This sparks a great deal of conspiracy yarns that may, or may not, be true.

On Wednesday, November 20th, 2013, photojournalist Mike Warner, employed by Portland, Oregon’s KATU Channel 2 television, pointed his camera towards a suspicious cloud formation that looked like a corkscrew. Warner reported a fiery UFO in the sky over Clackamas County, Oregon.

KATU reported, “According to U.S. Strategic Command, no man-made objects reentered the atmosphere in our area on Wednesday, which excluded the possibility that some space junk fell to earth.

After the initial report, there were other observers that also snapped picture of the UFO and the trail it left behind. Of course, the scientists stepped in claiming it was a fireball or meteor. After that report, meteorologists stepped in and said that their radar did not pick up on anything entering into the airspace. The radar then picked up on a blip at about 30,000 feet.

The object came from out of nowhere.

Once again, the blip in the sky becomes as elusive as Santa Claus and the theories are right up there with whether or not the cat is dead, alive – or somewhere performing with Miley Cyrus at the American Music Awards and getting better reviews than she ever could.

The incident seems to bear an uncanny resemblance to an event that occurred in November of 2010 where a KCBS television helicopter pilot spotted – what he claimed was a – missile launch off the coast of California.

KCBS first reported that what was seen was a missile launch 35 miles west of the coast of California. Some 36 hours later, the Pentagon did damage control reporting that what was seen was not a secret missile launch but a Hawaiian Flight 808 on its way to Phoenix, Arizona.

Many reports of the possible missile launch are now difficult to obtain three years after it was first reported.

However, Ground Zero was able to obtain a copy of the Notice to Airmen and Mariners that stated that there would be a possible missile launch and that no one should be in the area to avoid any kind of hostile response. The report has been removed from Naval servers but remains on the Ground Zero site embedded in the article “Broken Arrow: The Nuclear Fear-For-All.”

The notice clearly shows that a NOTAM or a “Notice to Airmen” was posted by the FAA just hours before the missile was filmed by the KCBS Helicopter pilot in Los Angeles. The NOTAM stated that, “Due to an activation of W537 by the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, the following restrictions are necessary. For the security of all non-participating pilots are instructed to stay away W537. IFR traffic by ATC provisions should wait until the W537 is released

W537 is a wide strip of the Pacific Ocean, which extends southwest from Los Angeles to Santa Catalina, and the Channel Islands. The FAA notice was posted at12:52 Pacific Time.

The speculation then is that China launched a missile and that the Pentagon had a reason to cover it up. It needs to be pointed out that in both the recent Oregon case and the November 2010 incident, both suspicious trails were spotted by television helicopter pilots, both cases were at first dismissed as fireballs or meteors and both were eventually written off by observers as backlit contrails left by commercial aircraft.

The only difference is that now we have been witnessing many spectacular near-earth objects exploding in the sky and we are also hearing about rumors of war brewing with China and Japan.

Beijing has now set up a new air defense zone over the East China Sea. In dispute is whether or not China can set up this air defense zone over an area that is called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. wrote, “China and Japan have been pursuing an increasingly angry dispute over the ownership of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, which are under Japanese administration.

The worries began when Japan scrambled two F-15 fighters to intercept two Chinese aircraft that approached the islands.

The US Air Force flew two B-52 bombers from Guam into the area with no reaction.

The Chinese Defense Ministry is demanding that aircraft entering the zone must provide a flight plan, maintain two-way radio communications and clearly identify their country of origin. Aircraft that ignore these specific regulations would be subject to what are being called “defensive emergency measures.”

Tokyo instructed Japan Airlines and all Nippon Airlines to ignore the zone when flying through it. Now the world is waiting for the other shoe to drop.

In the meantime, there has been a bit of disinformation floating around the Internet that the Oregon sighting of the fireball was a Chinese missile test. While there is no word on the truth behind the possibility, there is a compelling argument that the United States seems to be negligent in identifying and warning people about incoming objects from the sky.

Like it or not, they are UFO’s… and they need to be looked at without the smirks and cynical comments. If they can be identified, then we need clear reasons as to why they are identified.

Equally, we need to curb our enthusiasm for being the first person to get light in the sky on our smartphones and later YouTube, declaring it an alien spacecraft.

The UFO acronym needs to be refreshed to only designate unknown aircraft and near-earth objects and there needs to be some specificity regarding whether or not the person reporting it believes that it is piloted by extra-terrestrials.

Identifying UFOs as flying saucers most definitely makes it an identified flying object – in the same way meteors, asteroids and missiles eliminate the use of the letter “U” in UFO, as well.

However, it is unfortunate that none of this criteria has been applied to critical thinking and analyzing the many different UFO’s out there that may just be the next threat to national security – or even human existence.

You might as well just be looking for Santa Claus when ‘the blip’ shows up on the radar screen.

NASA and the military industrial complex always seem to get better and better at fairy tales, especially ones that deal with their lack of ability to keep track of all of the surprises that come from the sky.