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not quite MM, I had long discussions about that when I was a student of physics with my professors.
We came to the conclusion that while c is disallowed speeds over c are not (at least in theory).
While some formulae will have to be expanded outside the realm of real numbers, that causes no theoretical problems.
Given the nature of nature it's even quite possible that what we now know of physics is flawed, and matter and energy start behaving quite differently as speeds approach c from what we've observed so far on the subatomic particle scale, and might even behave quite differently at speeds in excess of c, voiding our known formulae which are all callibrated for speeds that are a mere fraction of a percent of c.
It just makes things VERY weird at speeds in excess of c, but that's to be expected :)

Ender, I've no idea how to achieve that skip. We're talking about pure theory here, it may be practically or even theoretically impossible for anything in one realm to reach the other but that does not mean the other realm does not exist.

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Do UFOs exist? Yes.

UFO is Unidentified Flying Object. It is something seen in the sky that nobody has identified yet.

Ironically (for the UFO "buffs"), if an alien space ship is ever positively identified, it ceases to be a UFO. It is an AFO (alien flying object).

The reality is that most UFO cases are eventually solved as being a misinterpretation of a conventional object. The reasons are perceptual:

1. NOBODY can determine the distance, size, altitude, or speed of an unknown object more than 30 feet away that is seen against the sky. The human vision system is not equipped to make those measurements.

2. Nobody can tell whether a point source light is brightening or dimming, or moving radially with respect to the observer. Both give exactly the same visual stimulus.

3. Many people don't understand wind direction. All weather services always report wind direction as the direction the wind blows from. Laymen tend to assume the opposite.

4. Some people don't want the truth about a sighting to be found, including people making profit from mystery, people trying to win tabloid prizes, tabloid newspapers getting revenue from mysteries, UFOlogists wanting the ET hypothesis to be true, Hoaxers and pranksters, in trouble with the law if discovered, Publicity seekers, Tourist businesses, the military covering up observed secret aircraft, and UFO authors.

5. Information obtained from "official sources" is misleading. Officials won't admit that they don't know what's going on. Or they might be misleading people to protect government secrets.

6. Asking an airport what was in the sky produces a report for only the kind of aircraft using that airport. Commercial, private, and military airports don't know about each other's planes. And none of them know about Visual Flight Rules planes.

7. UFOlogists cloud the issue with irrelevant "facts" that mislead:

- UFOlogists assume that air traffic controllers identify each object in the airspace, instead of keeping those objects from crashing into each other.

- They assume that air traffic controllers would not report unidentified objects for fear of being fired. But a UFO could be an unlisted flight, balloon, military secret, or severe weather. These must be reported to keep planes away from them. Controllers don't have time to gather data for a UFO report - they have many planes to keep apart.

- UFOlogists assume RADAR is like a TV view of what's in the sky. They forget multiple echoes, ground reflections, anomalous propagation, ducting, birds, insects, and weather. RADAR has "unidentified" targets all the time.

- They ask why big telescopes don't photograph or try to identify UFOs. But big telescopes can't focus anywhere near the Earth.

- UFOlogists ask witnesses questions designed to identify a space ship, so they miss data relevant to the actual identity of the object.

- A witness who "decides" a UFO is a space ship makes assumptions that color the data. UFOlogists assume these data are fact, and so rule out the real identification.

- They assume that witnesses know the size, distance, speed, or altitude of the UFO, rather than that the data are from previous assumptions.

- UFOlogists wrongly believe that a UFO is an alien space ship until proven otherwise.

- When a UFO is identified, many UFOlogists still list it as unidentified.

- Many "believers" put up vigorous arguments to "save" their "favorite sightings" from identification, including my identification of the 1964 Socorro NM sighting as a manned hot air balloon.

8. Some flying objects look like flying saucers:

- Night advertising planes look like rotating disks with lighted rims when seen edge on.

- Fire balloon pranks look like erratically moving orange glows that suddenly zoom away.

9. Many UFOs remain unidentified because nobody put enough effort into finding the correct identity.

10. The cases where government tried to persuade witnesses to be silent were sightings of the U2 or SR-71 spy planes.

11. It has been found out that most of the "men in black" were tabloid reporters trying to obtain the original photos or evidence.

12. Other odd causes of UFO sightings I have encountered include:

- Party hypnosis (caused the "pancakes from space" case)
- Alibi (such as being late for work)
- Drugs or drunkenness
- Bets
- A kid making a "target for planes" with Round-Up in the back yard (circle on ground)
- Winning tabloid cash prizes
- A man riding a motorcycle in circles in the yard while waiting for his date (circle on ground)
- A farmer burning the chaff from his field
- Ultralight aircraft
- A radio-telescope antenna seen at night
- Solar radiation experiments in space
- Skywriters
- LASER light shows
- Spotlights on clouds
- Mental illness
- Advertising blimps
- Kites
- Fireworks
- Special lights on booms for night work.

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THE FRANK EDWARDS UFO SIGHTING

Solving this case was simple - I saw it too.

October 12 1961: News commentator Frank Edwards saw a UFO that looked to him like a rotating sphere with a belt of white lights around the middle, a red light on top, and some green lights on the bottom. He was in a multistory building in downtown Indianapolis Indiana, looking southeast. As a result of his reaction to (and broadcasts about) this sighting, he was fired from his job at WTTV TV. He then started on his first UFO book, "Flying Saucers - Serious Business."

On that date, I was with my family at the Twin Aire drive-in movie on the southeast side of Indianapolis (corner of Keystone and Hoyt, now the site of Canby Park). We were watching the Disney film "Pinocchio". There, I saw a row of bright white lights with a red light over it and two green lights under it, in the sky behind the car. The white lights seemed to appear at the right end (my right), move across, and disappear at the other end. There were gaps in the lights. The whole thing looked like a slowly rotating disk with white lights around the rim.

I asked my father what it was. He said to keep watching it and I would find out. It flew closer, and I could then see that the lights formed capital letters, moving across the sky. It was an ad for the Autorama car show at the State Fairgrounds. The lights were on an electric sign attached below the wings of a small airplane. The red light was on the top of the plane's cabin, and the green lights were on the landing gear.

I did not find out about the location and date of the Frank Edwards sighting until 1996 (35 years later). When I did find out, I remembered the date, as my sighting was on Columbus day (this was before Monday holidays). I triangulated his sighting data, and it showed that what I saw was the same UFO Frank Edwards saw that day. The description, date, location, and time all match.

Frank Edwards started writing his book after he lost his job. Meanwhile, we went to that Autorama car show in the ad. There, they had the "car of the future". It was a hovercraft. It looks more like a "flying saucer" than the one Frank Edwards saw. And he said flying saucers were "serious business".

I guess it was "serious business" after all. It was an advertisement!

-----

One other fact is quite interesting. Up to that point, I had not been exposed at all to the concept of UFOs or flying saucers from outer space. I had a Wham-O Pluto Platter (the predecessor of the Frisbee) and a turbine kite, but I didn't connect either with outer space. They were both aircraft. They needed air acting on their surfaces to be flown.

All of my thoughts of "spacemen" were based on either the fictions of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers comics (with their finned rockets and aliens looking like men with different colored skin), Rocky Jones, and My Favorite Martian, or on the real Project Mercury (Alan Shepard flew earlier that year, and Gus Grissom flew two weeks after this sighting). And I had thought that my two earlier "sightings" were man-made aircraft or rockets before I found out what they were.

Yet, when I saw this weirdly lighted object, the first thing I thought of was a spaceship full of aliens. Why? I don't know! It doesn't make sense.

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not quite MM, I had long discussions about that when I was a student of physics with my professors.
We came to the conclusion that while c is disallowed speeds over c are not (at least in theory).
While some formulae will have to be expanded outside the realm of real numbers, that causes no theoretical problems.

This is a new discovery. ALL objects travel at c. There is no possible other speed - just other directions of motion.

Objects appearing to go slower (such as a car going 55 mph) are just following almost parallel paths. Acceleration changes the angle of motion, not the actual speed. This changes the visible speed. A visibly stationary object is moving parallel to the observer in the time dimension at c.

We can't see the time dimension, because it is contracted to zero observable length. We experience our motion at c as the passage of time.

This new version of relativity neatly explains WHY all of the effects of relativity occur, including the fact that each observer sees the other observer's clock slowed down when they are moving relative to one another. It also explains gravity.

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I think that the speed limitation a spacecraft will have is the very possible collision with an object. Space is not a giant void, it is full of small matter (dust). Even at speeds far below the speed of light, a collision with a small object, let's say the size of a grain of rice, would be deadly. In relatively short time the spacecraft and its cargo would look like swiss cheese.

Even if you had a mystical energy deflector shield, the energy needed to neutralize such impacts would be prohibitive.

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I dunno gravy...

If you had a grain of titanium, perhaps. But a grain of, say, warm sponge cake... nah. That's not even going to puncture a fast traveling waterfall of warm chocolate sauce.

Sure we all know we're going to make use of worm holes anyway and learn to bend and warp them to our needs, thereby bending the space-time continium and going from A to B quite slowly but in little time.

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A grain of, say, warm sponge cake can puncture a 2 foot concrete wall at the right speed. After all, very high speed water is used as an industrial cutting tool.

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I think that the speed limitation a spacecraft will have is the very possible collision with an object. Space is not a giant void, it is full of small matter (dust). Even at speeds far below the speed of light, a collision with a small object, let's say the size of a grain of rice, would be deadly. In relatively short time the spacecraft and its cargo would look like swiss cheese.

Even if you had a mystical energy deflector shield, the energy needed to neutralize such impacts would be prohibitive.

A number of hypothetical extrasolar drive mechanisms seem to rely on picking up that dust (mostly for hydrogen, if I recall correctly) and using it as fuel. At what speeds would it become impossible to do so?

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a UFO cannot exist, as it is always identifiable by the person who threw/is flying/is flying in it.

It's all relative you see.

But, then again I suppose if the extra terestrial pilot is of a certain gender it is well known they often can't identify their vehicle beyond it's colour. So... yeah maybe there are UFO's.

I guess I'm on the fence with this one for now.

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But, then again I suppose if the extra terestrial pilot is of a certain gender it is well known they often can't identify their vehicle beyond it's colour. .

Must be referring to me. I only bought my car because of its color; I always buy yellow cars :)

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I heard a rumour once that yellow cars are cheaper to insure because they are easily seen and statistically participate in fewer accidents. :)

And just to clear up my typo, that should have been extraterrestrial not extra terestrial. - doh!

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I love that documentary. It never ceases to amaze me though how little deviation there isis in the size of the aliens they encounter, and that they mostly speak english.

Well it does state somewhere (cant remember off the top of my head) that there is a universal translator built into their communicators so they can understand what they are saying. This was a good solution to the coming up with five hundred languages for each race they incountered.

Anyway, I thought that documentary had some scientific points and fictitious points but was alround good.

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I have watched Star Trek "The Motion Picture" a few times. There the living thing is the spaceship itself, hard to miss since it is about the size of Texas. Interesting concept. Something like this might be possible.

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I have watched Star Trek "The Motion Picture" a few times. There the living thing is the spaceship itself, hard to miss since it is about the size of Texas. Interesting concept. Something like this might be possible.

That movie kind of blows your mind! Brings up the thought that the visitor really does not have to be our size or shape. Life could be nano size or the size of Texas.

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there are things in the sky that are at some stage unidentified, these are UFOs.
Once they are identified (as they invariably are) they're UFOs no longer.
So yes, there are UFOs but no, they're not extraterrestrial spaceships.
And yes, there's likely life on other planets but no, they're not going to come here to snoop around.

I thought I saw a UFO, but it just turned out to be Superman.

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I thought I saw a UFO, but it just turned out to be Superman.

I once saw a UFO sitting in a vat at a fast food place. No telling how long it'd been there, really.

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there are things in the sky that are at some stage unidentified, these are UFOs.
Once they are identified (as they invariably are) they're UFOs no longer.
So yes, there are UFOs but no, they're not extraterrestrial spaceships.
And yes, there's likely life on other planets but no, they're not going to come here to snoop around.

My friends and I witnessed a UFO once, but then they found out that is was just a bunch of Martians in their spaceship snooping around.

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A number of hypothetical extrasolar drive mechanisms seem to rely on picking up that dust (mostly for hydrogen, if I recall correctly) and using it as fuel. At what speeds would it become impossible to do so?

Actually, the faster the ram scoop travels the more efficient it is -- at some point the increase in efficiency will intersect the increase in mass as the vehicle approaches the speed of light (somewhere below .9c) and the acceleration will drop to zero and the speed will remain pretty constant (Larry Niven has a couple of short stories that use this idea).

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Indeed. In fact the reverse is the problem, the scoop is ineffective below a decent fraction of lightspeed. Depending on the design you need something over 0.1c at least I believe.
Remember that current propulsion systems can't reach more than about 0.01c...

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Anyone else out there?

The universe is a pretty big space. It's bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So, if it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space, right?
-- Carl Sagan

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Indeed. In fact the reverse is the problem, the scoop is ineffective below a decent fraction of lightspeed. Depending on the design you need something over 0.1c at least I believe.
Remember that current propulsion systems can't reach more than about 0.01c...

0.01 c would be 10,792,528 km/h, I don't think any man-made vehicle has even come near to that speed!

Just to show what has been achieved:

British RAF pilot Andy Green holds the land speed record for a motor powered vehicle at 1,228 km/h (763 mph).

The Lockheed SR-71A holds the present speed record of 3,326.60 km/h (2,193.16 mph
or Mach 3.3) for jet-powered aircraft.

Spacecraft/Probe Helios2 reached a travel speed of 241,350 km/h, which is still the present speed record for man-made vehicles. It took the gravitational pull of the Sun to achieve this.

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Interesting that a Signourney Weaver movie is one of the ads showing up in this thread! There's someone who knows how to deal with alien life.

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Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own set of laws.
~~~ Douglas Adams

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Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own set of laws.
~~~ Douglas Adams

Inaccurate statement. According to fictional philosopher Lin Ty Wheedle, Royalty travels faster than light. After all, you can't have two legitimate kings at the same time, but when the old one dies, the new one becomes king instantly, no matter how far away he (or she, in the case of queens) was from the original at the time.

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But wasn't the new king/queen already Royalty? He/she simply experienced a change in state. That change of state doesn't occur until the new king/queen is aware of the death, such knowledge requiring time for transmission.
-OR-
Does the new monarch in fact become the monarch instantly? There's usually some investiture ceremony involved, until such act isn't the heir apparent still just the heir to the throne? (UK readers will be most up on this, I'm sure.)

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But wasn't the new king/queen already Royalty? He/she simply experienced a change in state. That change of state doesn't occur until the new king/queen is aware of the death, such knowledge requiring time for transmission.

Even assuming that he/she were already Royalty, the state shift would be instantaneous; even if they were not aware of it, anyone directly in contact with the previous King/Queen would be. So the only limiting factor seems to be awareness of the previous monarch's passing; if no one is aware, then perhaps the state does not collapse.

Although, in fairness, I note that Wheedle is also supposed to have hypothesized a particle, dubbed the 'Republicon', which might be able to interfere with the transmission and/or state shift...

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