We are all familiar with the three dimensions of length, width, and depth, but how can we begin to think about higher dimensions? The illustration from Flatland is helpful. Just like a square living on a sheet of paper would have no concept of depth, we may be similarly unaware of unseen dimensions. Extrapolate the Flatworld epiphany forward, and you have the basic concept behind braneworld theory. Braneworld cosmology posits that our four-dimensional spacetime is like the sheet of paper, a membrane or “brane” that is simply a subspace of a larger, multidimensional space. The big idea is that our visible, four-dimensional spacetime universe is restricted to its own brane inside a higher-dimensional space called “the bulk.” The bulk could contain other branes that are, for intents and purposes, parallel universes. While it is hard to conceive, a parallel universe might be present only a micron away from this universe. We cannot see it because its photons of light are stuck to its brane just like our photons are stuck to our brane, but, even so, scientists theorize that gravitational forces can reach from one membrane-universe to another. If so, we should detect the existence of other braneworlds.
This might sound like science fiction, but concepts of higher dimensionality, once considered on the fringes of cosmology, have entered the mainstream. Paul J. Steinhardt is the Albert Einstein Professor in Science at Princeton University, where he serves on the faculty of both the physics and astrophysics departments. Best known for his work in theoretical brane cosmology, he explains, “Our three-dimensional world can be viewed as a membrane-like surface embedded into space with an extra, fourth spatial dimension.”[i] Thus, our universe is one “brane world” and there exists another brane world, a parallel universe, less than an atom’s width away. This is likely a strange domain where the laws of physics might be entirely different. Does this seem too much like a science fiction novel? Not so fast; Steinhardt believes we have already quantifiable evidence for it.
Scientists have come to the troubling realization that they can only account for a small percentage of the observed gravitational effects in space. In the last decade, astronomers have discovered that every galaxy is surrounded by super massive, yet unseen, sources of gravity. They know this because galaxies rotate far too quickly given the amount of matter we see. Something huge and invisible is exerting a powerful gravitational force on these star clusters. Because we cannot see it, it is called dark matter. David Spergel, a leader of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe space mission, divulges:
“From our experiments, the periodic table which comprises the atoms or normal matter that are said to make up the entire universe actually covers only 4.5 percent of the whole,” lead theorist Spergel said. “Students are learning just a tiny part of the universe from their textbooks. It would be dark matter and dark energy that comprise the next 22 percent and 73.5 percent of the universe.”[ii]
This is an astonishing admission of ignorance. It seems the recent, high-handed pronouncement by Stephen Hawking in The Grand Design concerning the Creator was based on an incomplete data set.
Accordingly, dark matter suggests greater humility is in order because scientists now admit they only have a working knowledge of a very small percentage of reality. How does dark matter provide evidence for braneworld cosmology? Steinhardt argues, “Although we can’t touch feel or see any matter on the other brane, we can, nevertheless, sense its existence because we can feel its gravity.”[iii] He is arguing that there is no dark matter within our universe after all; rather, it is matter existing in a parallel universe. A nearby parallel reality, immune from our light, is producing gravitational effects. This readily explains dark matter, an otherwise cosmological conundrum. More interestingly, Steinhardt proposes that these two membranes might even touch at points, transferring matter and radiation from one to the other. This suggests that black holes may, in fact, be points of connection between parallel braneworlds. If an excess of matter collects at one point on either brane, its gravitational field becomes so strong that it draws the other brane towards it, and what is a black hole on one side is a white hole on the other. In this way, black holes might be gateways to a parallel universe. This idea from mainstream science seems remarkably similar to the IDH and offers a solution as to the perplexing origin of RUFOs.
Another astrophysicist, Bernard Haisch, a principal investigator on several NASA research projects who served as the scientific editor for Astrophysical Journal for ten years, has suggested that RUFOs could indeed represent visitations from a parallel brane world. On his website, UFOSkeptic.org, he accounts for the seemingly impossible maneuvers exhibited by RUFOs in terms of braneworlds cosmology:
Perhaps it is possible to lift off the membrane-universe constituting our four-dimensional spacetime, move in one of the additional dimensions where speed-of-light limits may not apply, and reenter our membrane-universe very far away. All of this is speculation of course, but it is worth noting that disappearing in place, changing shape or sometimes jumping discontinuously from location to location is frequently reported in UFO observations. Such behavior could conceivably be associated with motion into and out of a perpendicular dimension.[iv]
Haisch’s theory makes sense of otherwise baffling behavior. It seems that most open-minded scientists who study the RUFO evidence come to similar conclusions.
Of course, this begs the question: If otherwise skeptical scientists can so readily embrace such otherworldly concepts, then why are they so opposed to belief in God, miracles, and supernatural phenomena? Christian apologist Dinesh D’Souza made this point in his 2008 bestseller, What’s so Great about Christianity?:
It seems worth pointing out here what Harvard astronomer Owen Gingerich seems to be the first to have noticed: anyone who can believe in multiple universes should have no problem believing in heaven and hell. Just think of them as alternate universes, operating outside space and time according to laws that are inoperative in our universe. Even the atheist should now be able to envision a realm in which there is no evil or suffering and where the inhabitants never grow old.[v]
Indeed, the New Testament testified that our observed reality is merely a subset of a larger unseen one: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).We suppose it is refreshing that twenty-first century astrophysics is finally catching up to the Apostle Paul.
Dr. Hugh Ross is somewhat unique in that he is an astrophysicist with a biblical worldview. Thus, he is more qualified than most to assess ideas on the fringe of science and theology. Although they often are conflated, Ross draws a distinction between interdimensional and extradimensional:
In the end, it seems best to abandon the ETH and consider the second option: the interdimensional hypothesis, or IDH. While in its more popular versions the IDH departs from verified and verifiable reality, the extradimensional hypothesis holds promise. And here the investigator stands on firmer ground, scientifically speaking. The space-time theorems show that supernature must exist, because nature was plainly originated by something beyond itself. Therefore, a scientifically credible possibility exists that RUFOs come from beyond the four familiar dimensions of the universe.[vi]
Ross is drawing a distinction between the paranormal approach and the extra dimensions posited by String theory. Even so, braneworld cosmology seems to have room for elements of both. Quite interestingly, two ongoing cases from 2012 display the sort of preposterous performance that has led so many scientists to embrace some variant of the IDH.
The Chilean Air Force Gets Buzzed: Berserkers or Bumble Bees?
The first case was broken worldwide by Leslie Kean in a March 13, 2012, piece in the Huffington Post: “UFO Caught On Tape Over Santiago Air Base.”[vii] On the sunny afternoon of November 5, 2010, the Chilean Air Force put on an air show celebrating a change of command at El Bosque Air Base in Santiago. The show offered the typical fare of acrobatics and screaming flybys. Naturally, many in the exuberant crowd had their cell phones and video cameras trained on the aviator acts of daring. All seemed to go as planned, and no one noticed anything peculiar. That is, not until later when an engineer from the nearby Pillán aircraft facility examined his digital camera footage. When viewing the video in slow motion (the low-altitude, overhead flyby made by F16, F5, and Halcone jets), the engineer was shocked to see the high-speed jets being shadowed by a peculiar, erratically moving UFO!
The silvery looking saucer, which seemed to reflect sunlight in a few frames, flew past the jets so fast that no one on the ground was able to see it. It literally seemed to be running circles around the high-tech military fighter planes, perhaps toying with them. The aviation enthusiast turned his footage over to the Comité de Estudios de Fenómenos Aéreos Anómalos (“Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena,” [CEFAA]), the Chilean government’s official investigating unit, for analysis. According to Kean, the CEFAA collected seven videos of the UFO taken from different vantage points. In examining videos from multiple angles of the same event, the initial panel of experts came to a consensus:
Each video included three different, mainly horizontal loops flown by the UFO within seconds of each other. The object made elliptical passes either near or around each of three sets of performing jets. It flew past the Halcones, F5s and F16s at speeds so fast it was not noticed by the pilots or anyone on the ground below.[viii]
The skipping-stone-like flight pattern of the craft is really too peculiar to describe in words, so we suggest you journey to the Huffington Post online article, where you can watch the footage in slow motion. One digital-imaging expert, Alberto Vergara, observed, “When we examine the whole scene frame by frame, we have been able to realize that [the object] has, apparently, moved at a speed far superior to any flying object of known manufacture.”[ix] Truly, this seems to be yet another example of the law-defying aerial acrobatics associated with RUFOs that continually confound investigators and suggests exploitation of extra dimensions.
Of course, a case like this involving Air Force personnel and footage from multiple angles deeply challenges the worldview of the skeptic. Accordingly, Internet debunkers were quick to argue that the inexplicable anomaly was simply an insect flying close to the lens. Yet, these skeptics were only viewing one of the clips in isolation. The CEFAA is taking the case seriously, because the UFO appeared on multiple videos taken too far apart to capture the same insect. Kean went so far as to enlist the expert opinions of a few entomologists. Brett C. Ratcliffe, professor at University of Nebraska Department of Entomology, concluded, “No idea what it is but it does not seem to be an insect.”[x] The CEFAA enlisted two expert studies in order to reach a more scientific conclusion as to what this might be.
Bruce Maccabee, retired Navy physicist, and Richard Haines, chief scientist for the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP), painstakingly analyzed the tapes. The fact that the anomaly was caught on more than one camera is the operative factor in verifying that it is not insects flying close to camera lenses giving the false impression of distant object flying at super high speed. Both experts sought to find instances in the video sources that showed the same Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP) from distinct, far-removed, observational perspectives (i.e., Camera 1, Camera 2). While Maccabee was unable to decisively determine, Haines documented an instance of multiple camera corroboration. He explains, “It has been shown that the UAP recorded by both cameras…was at least 42 feet from Camera 1 and probably much further. This would effectively eliminate all flying insects since they don’t fly at 90 mph.”[xi] In his conclusion, he drives the point home:
Could all of the UAP here be flying insects? On balance, the answer is very likely no because of the linearity of their flight, their high angular velocity, their occasional spontaneous and unexpected appearance within a video frame, their apparent trajectories relative to the different airplane formations, their almost consistent oval shape and nearly horizontal orientation, their lack of any color other than gray and white and perhaps most importantly, for one UAP…its relatively large distance from the two cameras.[xii]
The CEFAA issued this statement: “After hearing from the entomologists who have looked at the images, we at the CEFAA agree that these photos do not show anything which allows for the conclusion that they are bugs.”[xiii] As of November 2012, the case is still categorized as officially unsolved.
Pleiadean Berserkers Buzz the Mile High City?
On November 8, 2012, a local Fox31 affiliate KDVR in Denver, CO aired a news story, “Mile High Mystery: UFO Sightings in Sky Over Denver” by investigative reporter Heidi Hemmat, and subsequently published it to their website.[xiv] Because we were then closely following the above Chilean case, this one caught our eye. The UFO spotted in this video is remarkably similar with its agitated, lightning quick, almost violent manner of flight. Exactly as in the Chilean case, the entity is not visible to the naked eye but appears only when the video is slowed down. Even more astonishingly, this case also has multiple videos of the same phenomenon.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO
OVER 10 YEARS IN THE MAKING! DOCUMENTARY FEATURES PENTAGON INSIDERS, SCIENTISTS, THEOLOGY EXPERTS ON UFOS AND THE COMING GREAT DELUSION (COMING IN AUGUST)
As a reputable journalist, she was necessarily dubious when first approached by a local man (who remains anonymous) promising footage of a genuine UFO. To her amazement, she watched a bullet-like entity takeoff from within the city and dart about the Denver sky with impunity. The witness froze the frame to point out an apparent burst of fire as it executed a hairpin turn. The acrobatics continued, weaving in and out of frame, until it surreptitiously returned to the apparent point of origin within the Denver metro area. The video was shot atop a hill in Federal Heights, celebrated for its scenic overlook of Denver to the sSouth. During the news story, the unnamed, blacked-out videographer is heard marveling that before going public, he caught the same mysterious airborne performance between noon and 1:00 p.m. regularly for the preceding several months! In analyzing the brief clips in the news feature, pause the video at the 1:43 mark as the object ascends. Notice it appears to turn and reflect sunlight. Pause again at 1:47, this time on a downward trajectory, and observe another reflective flash. This reflectiveness supports a substantive, external object rather than an internal camera anomaly or digital artifact. Better still, this case boasts an unprecedented corroborating video independently shot by KDVR photojournalist Noah Skinner. The professional video journalist set up at the exact same spot and shot during the designated time slot. He did not notice anything unusual. To his surprise, while reviewing the footage in slow motion, he saw the same UFO! His footage is also available on the KDVR website below the original story. At the very least, independent corroboration demonstrates the original footage is legitimate. Of course, the identity of the entity buzzing Denver remains unresolved. To that end, KDVR consulted Steve Cowell, a former commercial pilot, flight instructor, and FAA accident prevention counselor. After scrutinizing the video evidence, Cowell seemed bewildered that a conventional explanation was not forthcoming. He laments, “It’s very strange; that is not an airplane; that is not a helicopter; those are not birds…hmmm, I can’t identify it.”[xv] Appearing perplexed, he surmises that its incredible velocity allows it to evade naked eye detection and public scrutiny. Speaking directly, the expert clarifies, “As it fits the definition, it is an Unidentified Flying Object.”[xvi] According to the reporter, he also said it was definitely not an insect. Since it flies so frequently during a specific time slot, perhaps it has been captured on radar?
The station checked with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), who denied having any information whatsoever, as well as consulting the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), located eighty miles away in Colorado Springs, who responded, “Our command center reviewed their records and they did not have any noted air activity in the Denver area during the times you indicated.”[xvii] After the initial story went viral on the Internet, the station was inundated with inquiries, and hundreds of folks offering various explanations, including windblown debris, remote-controlled aircraft, a government surveillance drone, and top-secret military aircraft. While the station didn’t say, surely someone proffered extraterrestrials? A plethora of possibilities aside, the most popular conventional explanation was, as with the Chilean case, insects flying close to the lens that appear to be distant, fast-moving objects. Despite aviation expert Steve Cowell’s denial, the prevalence of the bug hypothesis warranted analysis by an entomologist and other experts.
After the aviation expert, a retired military drone expert, and other investigators unanimously dismissed drones and radio-controlled aircraft, the journalists took the video to Mary Ann Hartman, a professional entomologist employed as the vice president of science and conservation at nearby Denver Butterfly Pavilion. After viewing the video many times, she offered her professional opinion: “After watching the various shots, I would have to say, ‘no.’ I do not believe it’s an insect. The shape is inconsistent with an insect.”[xviii] Even so, this has not satisfied the skeptics, and, as this book goes to press, controversy still rages. In closing, a few observations are in order.
1: The original cameraman, who has spent months studying the phenomenon, believes the UFOs are launching and landing near 56th Avenue and Clay Street in Denver. The fact that the phenomenon is somewhat predictable and originates and returns to the same location belies the insect hypothesis.
2: He went to the area and watched for anyone operating a remote-control aircraft and interviewed the neighbors as well—to no avail.
3: The craft appears to rotate and reflect sunlight as it crosses the frame in several of the shots. This is not consistent with a bug near the lens.
4: At 1:06 in the original newscast, something akin to a jet thruster burst concurrent with an acute change of direction. Surely, skeptics must admit that insects do not emit visible energy bursts as they execute midair, right-angle turns.
5: The news reported that the “T” intersection of 56th Avenue and Clay Street (shown below) was a residential area, but they neglected to mention the nearby Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses compound at 2675 West 56th Avenue with additional facilities located directly across the street.
While adequate evidence is lacking, the investigator is convinced that the UFO regularly originates and returns to this location. As documented in the bestselling book Exo-Vaticana, the founders of Jehovah’s Witnesses held beliefs remarkably similar to nineteenth-century occult groups and modern UFO cults. The proximity of the UFO’s observed trajectory to the Kingdom Hall compound is at least suggestive that this is a paraphysical spiritual entity.
UP NEXT: The REAL Berserkers and the Coming Eschatological Judgment of God
[i] Paul Steinhardt transcribed from: Through the Wormhole, season 2, episode 10. “Are There Parallel Universes?” (Original air date: August 3, 2011), Discovery Channel.
[ii] “WMAP Space-Mission Survey of the Universe After the Big Bang Completed—Its Results Hint at a Far Stranger Cosmos,” The Daily Galaxy, October 8, 2010, http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2010/10/-wmap-space-mission-survey-of-the-universe-after-the-big-bang-completed-but-its-results-may-hint-at-.html.
[iii] Paul Steinhardt transcribed from: Through the Wormhole, season 2, episode 10. “Are There Parallel Universes?”
[iv] Bernard Haisch, “Extraterrestrial Visitation: The Speed-of-Light-Limit Argument,” UFO Skeptic, last accessed January 16, 2013, http://www.ufoskeptic.org/.
[v] Dinesh D’Souza, What’s so Great about Christianity (Washington, DC: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008), 85.
[vi]Hugh Ross, Kenneth Samples, and Mark Clark, Lights in the Sky & Little Green Men: A Rational Christian Look at UFOs and Extraterrestrials (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2002), 168.
[vii] Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal, “UFO Caught On Tape Over Santiago Air Base,” Huffington Post March, 13, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leslie-kean/the-extraordinary-ufo-sig_b_1342585.html.
[ix] Leslie Kean, “Update on Chilean UFO Videos: Getting the Bugs Out,” Huffington Post, April 13, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leslie-kean/update-on-chilean-ufo-vid_b_1424008.html.
[x] Brett C. Ratcliffe, as quoted in Leslie Kean, “Update on Chilean UFO,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leslie-kean/update-on-chilean-ufo-vid_b_1424008.html.
[xi] Richard F. Haines, “The El Bosque Video Case: A Preliminary Study of Anomalous Objects in Active Airspace,” International Air Safety Case Report IR-5, 2012, 94, http://www.cefaa.gob.cl/web/videosfinal/halcones/NARCAP%20IR%2015a.pdf
[xiii] Leslie Kean, “Two New Reports on the Chilean ‘UFO’ Videos Produce Conflicting Result,” Huffington Post, November 15, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leslie-kean/ufo-chile_b_2123947.html.
[xiv] Heidi Hemmat, “Mile High Mystery: UFO Sightings in Sky Over Denver,” KDVR, November 8, 2012, http://kdvr.com/2012/11/08/mile-high-city-mystery-ufo-sightings-in-sky-over-denver/.
[xv] Steve Cowell, statements during KDVR video interview, “Mile High Mystery,” 2:17–2:30, http://kdvr.com/2012/11/08/mile-high-city-mystery-ufo-sightings-in-sky-over-denver/.
[xvi] Ibid., 2:50.
[xvii] NORAD statement in response to KDVR station inquiry, “Mile High Mystery,” 3:25, http://kdvr.com/2012/11/08/mile-high-city-mystery-ufo-sightings-in-sky-over-denver/.
[xviii] Heidi Hemmat, “Insect Expert: UFOs Over Denver Not Bugs; Images On Video Remain a Mystery,” KDVR, November 20, 2012, http://kdvr.com/2012/11/20/insect-expert-ufos-over-denver-not-bugs-images-on-video-remain-a-mystery/.
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