UFO and Parable of Speed

The video shared in the NYT yesterday of an alleged encounter with a UFO is an example of not knowing really what we see in video form anymore like with the Face Swap or Face Swap Video or Face0ff apps. This was elegantly raised by the late William J. Mitchell in his prescient 1990s (and out-of-print) book, The Reconfigured Eye: Visual truth in the post-photographic era.

If you keep that in mind when you watch this video footage, you start to scratch your head and just wonder out loud whether this is real or not.

In any case, my big takeaway is this quote by one of the pilots:

“Speed doesn’t kill you. Stopping does. Or acceleration.”

Lieutenant Ryan Graves

And regarding the alien-quality of the objects:

“These things would be out there all day. Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy. With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect.”

Lieutenant Ryan Graves

Takeaway? There’s an increasing amount of things to see out there — but in the same way we’re not sure what we read is true or not, we’ll have to wonder whether what we see is true or not, too.


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