Monday, December 29, 2008


Well, according to Twitter Grader I am now ranked 777,641 out of 806,421 with a grade of 3 out of a possible 100. Some improvement possibly needed. Like me actually using it, one would presume.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Naming those Pesky Flying UFO Objects

One of my guilty pleasures is an interest in the whole flying saucer malarkey business. Equally, it's also something which annoys me intensely. The whole subject seems to have gone off the boil (to regurgitate a phrase) in recent years, with only a fairly recent pick-up.

Not much has been happening (and to the hardcore skeptic, never happened in the first place) until the last year or so. I find this Interesting, because of the fascinating history which I think was kicked off for me with a Swap Shop special in 1976. I find this annoying because the bar for explanations seems to have been set so low; i.e. anything slightly odd couldn't possibly be anything other than aliens.

Anything can indeed be pressed into use as a UFO, which itself is an indictment of the terminology used. “UFO” was created in, I believe, 1955 by a USAF Captain, Edward J Ruppelt. The U in UFO means unidentified, not that the sum entirety of the public has any truck with such technicalities. UFO equals aliens. Last year's release of the MOD's Condign Report made a point of describing reports as UAPs - Unidentified Atmospheric Phenomenon. UFO has become too broad a brush.

So, sitting on a bus one day, which can sometimes be great for thinking off at tangents, I realised that if there were really any solid mysterious craft buzzing around in the air – as opposed to misidentified sightings of the Moon, plastic bags floating in the air and so on, they'd need a different categorisation. Taking a leaf from the book of monster hunters (yeah, yeah, I know) who describe their field as cryptozoology – crypto means hidden after all – a hidden craft would have to be a crypto something.

And this is where the freeform thinking on a bus comes into its own, because I'm rather fond of the old-fashioned names for certain classes of aircraft. An aerodyne is a normal aircraft, a gyrodyne is a particular kind of helicopter and so on.

So I thought an excellent name for nuts and bolts mysterious craft in our skies, both stealth fighters and – hey, alien spaceships why not? - would be Cryptodynes.

Feel free to spread the word. (Yeah, right!)