By Rob Cooper
Last updated at 11:28 AM on 20th August 2011

A UFO has been filmed speeding across the sky over a motorway - close to where a BBC reporter spotted another mystery object just days later.
The clear footage shows a white ball of light darting through the air over the road which is close to Stansted Airport, Essex.
Several orbs appear to dart away from the central light in different directions across at high speed.
The video was filmed on the M11 on the Essex and Hertfordshire border close to where BBC Radio 5 Live sports journalist Mike Sewell told listeners he saw a disc-shaped aircraft.
The cameraman, who uploaded the footage onto YouTube, can be heard saying 'Oh my God' as the white balls of light dart across the sky.
However, critics were suggesting that the UFO can easily be explained - it is a hoax.
Nevertheless, the video, was uploaded on July 29 five days before the BBC reporter said he saw a similar mystery object.
The video was posted online by 36-year-old 'alvinol' on the southbound carriageway of the motorway.
UFO expert Nick Pope told the Sun: 'It's a really interesting video. Assuming it's genuine, it's one of the most bizarre pieces of UFO footage I've seen in a long time.'

Strange: Four more balls of light can be seen - in a perfect square. It was uploaded five days before BBC sports journalist Mike Sewell saw another UFO.

Odd: There are no military installations close to the spot where the UFO was spotted

BBC reporter Mr Sewell, 41, said he saw a bright light descending towards the ground as he returned to the Midlands in the early hours of the morning.
'I was probably about 15 or 20 miles from Stansted at 4.15 in the morning and there was this big bright light in the sky descending towards the road,' he told Radio 5.
'As it got closer it then banked to the left, and as it banked to the left and went across the countryside I could see underneath it.
'It wasn't an aeroplane, and it wasn't a helicopter. Certainly of a kind of - and I dread saying this - disc shape. It had several lights flashing all around it.
'It was not the shape of a normal aircraft it was a big disc, round-shaped craft and it didn't leave.
'I watched it for two or three minutes before I eventually lost sight of it. I decided to go back again through the village.
'It's a very quiet area and I've spoken to someone who knows it very well and they said there's no military installations in that area so I would be intrigued to hear if anybody else saw it.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2028109/Mystery-UFO-filmed-flying-motorway-close-BBC-reporter-saw-disc-shaped-aircraft.html#ixzz1WCTHXgzl

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A man comes face to face with an alien for the first time in this illustration from H G Wells's The War of the Worlds. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

The more we consider the possible consequences of contact with an alien intelligence, the better prepared we will be.
"No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's"

So starts H G Wells's 1898 novel The War of the Worlds, which continues with a military invasion by Martians. While contact with aliens may be a common theme in science fiction, could it also be a serious topic in science?

Indeed it could. Ever since 1960 with the first serious search for radio transmissions from other civilisations (known as SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), scientists have been thinking about what would happen if evidence for ET were found. Examples of their efforts include the 2010 Royal Society conference on "The detection of extra-terrestrial life and the consequences for science and society".

Last week the Guardian reported on a recent paper led by Seth Baum of Pennsylvania State University on this topic, categorising some of the possible consequences – ranging from beneficial through neutral to harmful.

So what's the point? We have never seen these Little Green Men, so why expend effort thinking about what might happen?

Scientists have already had to face this problem in real life. An early occasion was in 1967 when astronomers at Cambridge University using a new radio telescope detected regular blips coming from deep space. They were puzzled because no known source should do that. One possible explanation was ET and the director of the group, Nobel prizewinner Sir Martin Ryle, suggested that they should keep quiet about their discovery and dismantle the telescope, because if it was ET then sooner or later someone on Earth would start signalling back, alerting a possibly evil-minded alien intelligence to our existence.

Fortunately, they soon concluded that it was a natural source – they had in fact discovered pulsars. But there is a continuing controversy in the SETI community about whether it is wise to try and contact ET by sending out messages. For example, the main SETI searchers have agreed a protocol for how to spread the news if and when they discover ET, but have not yet been able to agree a common position on the wisdom of sending out messages.

The main problem is the nature of ETs. What are they like? To be able to influence us, they must be more advanced than us, so will they be wise and benevolent, since otherwise they would have destroyed themselves by now? Or perhaps as a result of a Hobbesian all-against-all struggle the only ET now out there has become dominant by destroying any potential competitors. But even if they were evil would they be able to get at us given the vast distances between the stars?

And it goes wider. Is it wise even to use our radio telescopes to try and detect ET? In 1962 the famous astronomer Fred Hoyle and John Elliot dramatised the risk in a TV series "A for Andromeda" starring Julie Christie. A message from ET was detected which turned out to contain instructions for building a computer. After this was assembled it set about destroying the human race, before being thwarted by the scientist hero.

Considering dangers like that, and applying the precautionary principle, should we shut down all our SETI searches?

Can we tell anything about ET that would guide us, first of all in deciding whether to search at all, then in matching our searches to its nature, and finally in whether to send out signals? My own position, as I argued in a paper presented at the Royal Society Kavli Centre last year, is that our total ignorance about the nature of ET means that we cannot say whether listening or talking is good or bad.

For example, sending a message may cause an evil ET to come and destroy us. Alternatively it may preserve us from destruction by an ET that has become aware of us from seeing our cities and is worried by the aggressive nature of new civilisations, but would be reassured by the peaceful content of a message.

We cannot tell which of the many possible benefits and dangers are more likely, and so we SETI folk can go about our business without reproach. But the more thinking, such as the Baum paper, we do about possible outcomes, the better prepared we may be for the actual outcome after the day of discovery, if and when it ever comes.

It may be good to do this, but is it worth spending real money on? Well, in fact very little money is spent on SETI. There are probably about the equivalent of 20 full-time people worldwide working on SETI, most funded from private sources, together with a little money from individual universities, supplemented with a very small amount from governments. And like all high-tech work it has spinoffs, most noticeably the Berkeley BOINC distributed computing system which started as Seti@home, but is now used widely from biotechnology to meteorology. SETI is used as part of university teaching in the sciences, and it provokes thinking in allied sciences from sociology to linguistics.
Regardless of the chances of success, SETI is of real value. But here in the UK, practically no private or government money goes into it. With around 0.5% of the government funds that now go into astronomy (the 1-in-200 effort, I call it) the UK could make a big splash in the Seti world.

Alan Penny is an honorary reader in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews, using the Lofar telescope to search for low-frequency radio signals from ET

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The Earth could find itself with a 'second sun' for a period of weeks later this year when one of the night sky's most luminous stars explodes, scientists have claimed.
The supernova could provide the biggest light show since Earth was formed, and will be so bright that night will become like day for one or two weeks, experts said.

Betelgeuse, which is part of the Orion constellation 640 light years away from Earth, is a red supergiant, meaning that it is nearing the end of its life and is due to explode.

When it does do, it will burn so brightly that the earth will appear to have two suns in the sky, the Daily Mail reported.

What is less certain is when it will explode.

Brad Carter, senior lecturer of physics at the University of southern Queensland in Australia, said the explosion could take place before the end of the year – or indeed at any point over the next million years.

By Lee Moran
Last updated at 11:33 AM on 20th August 2011Article Source: LINK

Religious sect celebrates the new year (a little bit late) with ritual dance and song on Bulgarian mountain top

Swaying gently from side to side in what looks like human crop circles on top of a Bulgarian mountain, it's a far cry from how most people see in the New Year.
Instead of drinking until dawn, members of the White Brotherhood today celebrated the passing of the summer season and the start of a new 12 months.
Thousands of followers, who practice a synthesis of Christianity and Hinduism, dressed in white and sang spiritual songs as the sun came up over the Rila Mountains.

Spiritual: The White Brotherhood performs its ritual dance near Babreka Lake, in Bulgaria's Rila Mountain, to celebrate the start of its New Year
Harmony: The movement is a synthesis of Christianity and Hinduism, with a heavy emphasis on brotherly love, a healthy diet and living alongside nature.
They then performed a sacred dance, called Paneurhythmy, which pays tribute to the movement of the planets and stars.
The event has been taking place each year since 1929. The movement, also called Beinsa Duno, was founded by Bulgarian Petar Deunov, who died in 1944.
Followers place a heavy emphasis on brotherly love, a healthy diet and living in harmony with nature.

Teaching: The movement's founder is Bulgarian Peter Danov, who started the dance ritual in 1929
High in the sky: Peter Danov laid out his teachings in a series of 7,000 lectures