Friday, December 11, 2015

Probably No Battle Cruisers Either

Here's an odd story that's been circulating on the Internet recently. Gary McKinnon broke into a NASA computer system ten years ago and claims to have found evidence of a "secret space program" run by the Navy which basically consists of a fleet of interplanetary battle cruisers. Here's his evidence for the secret space fleet:

Gary McKinnon believes he found evidence of a secret American space programme run by the Navy – with what sounds like warships in space.

He reveals all in a long video interview on UFO channel RichPlanet TV saying, ‘I kept going for months and months. I kept thinking, ‘They’re going to close this door’.

McKinnon has spoken out about his finds before, but rarely in such depth. He says, ‘I used a program called Landsearch, which could search all the files and folders. ‘But I scanned and looked for documents, I found an Excel spreadsheet which said, ‘Non-terrestrial officers’.

‘It had ranks and names. It had tabs for ‘material transfer’ between ships. I took that to be, they must have a ships based in space – the names started with U.S.S.’

The problem there is that "non-terrestrial" can also mean "not stationed on land." It seems to me that would apply to officers permanently posted on aircraft carriers, submarines, and any other sort of ship that stays out at sea rather than docks regularly. As a funny coincidence, the names of those ships all start with the letters "U.S.S." and they are run by the Navy. Material is also transferred between them because they don't necessarily dock to pick up supplies.

So we're left with two choices. Either (A) the Navy (why the Navy?) has a fleet of space warships, or (B) Gary McKinnon's reading comprehension skills are poor. Given the fact that building space warships is incredibly expensive and hard to hide, and the fact that stupidity is incredibly common, I know which one my money's on.

It always surprises me when I come across people with poor English skills who are good with computers. I mean, aren't commands and programming statements words? Apparently, though, there are at least enough people like that out there to make the "Weird News" pages.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble


Scott Rassbach said...

The difference is, computer languages have syntax error warnings, so as you're learning them, you know what works, and what doesn't.

The target systems of English (and other languages) don't have error warnings, as the target systems often fill in missing commands and information. Tht's why y cn rd ths. t s pssbl t typ wtht vwls nd stll b ndrstd. You fill in the missing information that I'm not providing.

Thus, the ability to program and the gap in language skills.

Scott Stenwick said...

I suppose so. It just always surprises me that there is not more overlap. Personally, I always have been good at both and find some of the associated skills to be related with each other.

Charles Rae said...

It may be relevant that Gary has Aspergers's syndrome, which means that he can become obsessive about matters, and this could lead to him not considering other possibilities when confronted by the word "non-terrestrial".Asperger's syndrome individuals can be like a dog with a bone.