On April 12th, 1961 The Soviet Union launched the world’s first spacecraft to take a man into space.
The spacecraft’s name: the Vostok 1
Her pilot: A man by the name of Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin.
America responded within weeks, and on May 5th, 1961, the United States launched its first person into space. A man by the name of Alan Shepard in the spacecraft named Freedom 7 became the second man in space. .
Both spacecraft were flown without computer navigation, since computers were unavailable at the time. With this: all calculations for flight, trajectory, re-entry, life support, telemetry and more were preplanned as extensively as possible. Should the vehicles have experienced any variance in-flight, it was expected that the extremely well trained astronauts would become responsible for making the final in-flight adjustments.
It’s absolutely amazing these spacecraft actually worked.
Science and math are great for prediction, but with so many variables going into such a complex enterprise level mission like this, engineers will perform what’s tongue-in-cheek known as a ‘postmortem’ once a mission has completed – failure or success. A postmortem is traditionally done on a corpse to determine cause of death, and similarly, the engineers will evaluate a project that’s “In the bag” to ascertain questions such as how’d we do, what went right, what went wrong, and what have we learned for subsequent missions that we can pass on to our progenitors?
The post-mortem serves as a way for engineers to ‘feed back’ information to scientists, who then sometimes have to revise their own theories and calculations based on an ever changing world and the actual application of their theories, calculations, and ideas ‘in the wild’ .
It’s a yin/yang relationship.
Going back to the manned missions into space though, engineers on both continents were poring over their data received from the missions.
And at first glance, they found something which seemed improbable even to them:
Glitches in tried and true radio telemetry recordings.
This was first brought to the attention of just the right man – the lead engineer and scientist in Russia responsible for the program, a one Sergei Pavlovich Korolev.
Here’s Sergei, pictured here:
A little background information on Sergei:
On June 22 1938, in something called ‘The Great Purge’ in Russia – Sergei had been imprisoned – accused of the ridiculous claim of ‘delaying technological progress’. A lover of technology, he refuted the claims and over his six years of imprisonment he was provided ample time to question his government and came to have some very strong feelings against the leading party who perpetuated the accusations – the Politburo.
The Politburo sees itself as a “vanguard of the people” and from that stated position they felt they were legitimized enough to lead the state. This executive ownership – led by fear and intimidation of the political state thus became the law.
Dissenters or those individuals the state was paranoid about such as Mr Korolev wound up in the Gulag – forced labor camps. All it took were two accusations, without basis, and you were off on your own private retreat.
For a couple years, Sergei worked his ass off in horrible conditions in Siberia, then in 1942 Sergei orchestrated a move to work on ‘acquired rocketry technology’ while working with a labor camp. Finally, in 1944, Sergei was paroled.
Unbeknownst to Sergei, on the other side of the globe – in August of 1945, Harry Truman signed a Presidential order authorizing something called ‘Operation Paperclip‘. This order was simple: With the rapid advances of technology by Germany that led to World War 2, a technological race was expected to occur by the United States with Russia with Germany out of the picture. Operation Paperclip contained a list of ‘high profile’ targets who had a reputation in their awareness of technology, and one way or another, Operation Paperclip gave Presidential authority to recruit these individuals, voluntarily, using whatever means possible.
Operation Paperclip is responsible for recruiting people like Einstein and Wernher Von Braun to both develop AND backwards engineer exotic ‘found’ technology.
So when September 8, 1945 came around, the day Sergei was sent to Germany to work as liaison for technology there, the same day the atomic bomb exploded over Nagasaki, Sergei was approached by US Military Intelligence.
His name was on Operation Paperclip’s list.
While Sergei was not in favor of overthrowing his country’s leadership, his disdain for the Politburo combined with a short but simple message sent by foreign intelligence to avoid mistranslation had him intrigued enough to want to listen to what they had to say.
“Ваша страна не свой собственный.”
Translated, that means “Your country is not your own.”
Within weeks, with the West and East segregation rapidly closing off the borders and checkpoints between East and West Germany, Sergei found himself being snuck out of Berlin and into Frankfurt, Germany for a private meeting with the man in charge of Operation Paperclip, General Dwight D Eisenhower himself.
According to Eisenhower, Stalin himself had worked with the United States to put Sergei’s name on that list. The proposal Eisenhower had AND the true reason Operation Paperclip was created was more than just recruitment.
As Sergei was about to learn, it was simple distribution of technology.
“Do you, of your own free will, want to work with the United States in a secret capacity unknown to anyone but your commander-in-chief to create and build a space program using your unique perspective, ideas and technological awareness with the United State’s scientific support to put the first man on the moon?”
Sergei kept diaries for everything, and later wrote “Я был, кроме меня. Здесь я бы учили бояться врага, и враг только что предложил дать нам – дать мне – возможность я не мог сопротивляться. Я с подозрением.”
Translated, this means: “I was besides myself. Here I’d been taught to fear the enemy, and the enemy had just offered to give us – to give me – an opportunity I could not resist. I was suspicious.“
About then, as if predicting Sergei’s inbuilt paranoia, Eisenhower produced a sheet of paper thin material that was stronger than steel.
Sergei wrote this about it:“Это было невероятно. Мы все знали, работы, проделанной на западе с использованием композиционных материалов. Но это. Был совсем другое. Сильнее стали. И тонкий, как волос все же я не мог проколоть его с письмом нож.”
Translated, this means:
“It was incredible. We all knew of work done in the west using composite materials. But this. Was something entirely different. Stronger than steel. And as thin as a hair yet I could not puncture it with a letter opener.”
Sergei was not allowed to keep the material, and on asking where the material came from, Eisenhower simply smiled and said – in Russian – in his clearly practiced lines which were reportedly horribly off:
“Читайте американские газеты. Вы увидите.”.
Translated to mean:
“Read American newspapers. You’ll see”
Sergei agreed to work as partners with the United States, under one condition – that no one would know of his involvement with the United States until 40 years after his death. As of today, March 6th, 2014, he passed away on January 14th, 1966 – so it has been 48 years since his death, so his request has been honored.
Within months of his decision, Sergei was handpicked by Stalin himself to lead the State Union Scientific Research Institute – an institute devoted to advanced propulsion and rocketry. This allayed any doubt Sergei had over his leader’s ratification of his ‘secret activities’.
On July 8th, 1946, Sergei was dismantling the V2 rocket when there was commotion around him – news had broken in America and he soon found out why when an American Newspaper landed in his lap.
Here’s the front cover:
And as the article continued, here’s what he saw:
As Sergei wrote in his diary: “Я не мог поверить своим глазам. То же самое расширенный материал, который коснулся руки был найден американцами в удаленном месте в разбившегося космического корабля. Я знал, что это не было от нашей Земли сразу же, когда я увидел эти образы. Это было неоспоримо.”
Translated to mean: “I could not believe my eyes. The same advanced material that touched my hands was found by Americans in a remote location in a crashed space ship. I knew it was not from our Earth right away when I saw those images. It was undeniable.”
Sergei gained a bit of seriousness to his role and responsibility for his country, and worked hand in hand with Eisenhower and his scientific informants. By then he’d learned the reasons behind the odd relationship were simply to promote a competitive element outside the United States. By then, he’d come to look at nature’s demand for competition among and between species, and saw this as a similar process being reinforced through human behavior, as he found himself often criticizing Darwin in his diary:
“Дарвин предполагает эволюция не имеет границ. Люди, кажется, действуют, как будто они были содержится в естественном системного мышления они имели свободную мысль, когда они четко руководствоваться более высокой эволюционной того у них не было никакого контроля. Являются ли эти люди глупы, или частью чего-то я не понимаю, или то и другое?”
Translated to mean:
“Darwin suggests evolution has no boundaries. People seem to act as if they were contained within a natural system thinking they had free thought when they are clearly guided by a higher evolutionary order they had no control over. Are these people stupid, or part of something I do not understand, or both?”
Over the next 15 years, with Sergei’s guidance and Stalin and America’s discrete support, Russia developed the first satellite to be put in orbit, Sputnik, and sent the first man to space.
But something happened on April 12th, 1961 that threw everything off.
Glitches in tried and true radio telemetry recordings.
An old school scientist who grew up on the gadgets of yesteryear, Sergei quickly figured out – it was not encrypted at all.
It was Russian Morse code.
“Ваша страна не свой собственный.”
Translated, again, to mean “Your country is not your own.”
But there was more:
“Мы не из вашей планете. Пожалуйста, ответьте нам конечный пункт назначения, чтобы удовлетворить ваши динамик.”
This time questioning his leadership, Sergei took a sojourn to East Germany, and unknown to his chain of command – exited the country going straight to President Eisenhower with the message he’d received.
To his team, he simply explained the finding away as ‘just noise’.
As it turned out. America had received exactly the same message.
Sergei’s English was better by that point, and Eisenhower read it aloud:
“Your country is not your own. We are not from your planet. Please reply us final destination to meet your speaker.”
On March 2nd, 1961, President Eisenhower, Sergei Korolev, and a handful of Secret Service agents formally made first contact with an off planet species just outside of New York City at 7:21pm.
Here’s one photo, as the ‘visitor’ deboarded it’s vessel:
Here’s another photo including the visitor, with Eisenhower poorly pictured just behind it, and Korolev is seen pretty clearly shaking the hand with the first publicly documented first contact encounter.
Through translational devices which provided a poor English and Russian translation, Eisenhower and Korolev were both made aware that Earth had not been scheduled for first contact until the year 2063 in Bozeman, Montana.
What was unusual was – they apologized for how they looked, as they preferred making first contact in a form that was more appealing and similar to the species they were making first contact with. They explained that through their prior experiences, the ‘shock’ of a young species discovering a sentient species so entirely different than their own caused more problems than it was worth.
Accordingly, the amount of time they had scheduled would land them with a form similar enough to humans by the year 2063.
Sergei wrote about this in his diary:
“Я был смущен. Вот у меня был четко передовые формы жизни прямо перед моими глазами, которые имели возможность изменять их внешний вид любыми средствами они имели. Тем не менее, это займет более ста лет для них, чтобы достичь этого? Я сразу почувствовал что-то я – или они – не понял про самого времени.”
Translated: “I was confused. Here I had a clearly advanced life form right in front of my eyes who had the capability to change their appearance by whatever means they had. Yet it would take more than a hundred years for them to achieve that? I immediately felt there was something I – or they – did not understand about time itself.”
The visitors continued to explain their early presence…
Earth had a ‘bug’. A bug so severe that the entire planet Earth had actually been quarantined, and so severe that the entire planet was placed off limits for any interaction after this visitation. As was detailed by the visitors: this bug was affecting the minds of leaders and organizations around the world, robbing them of choice.
The visitors delivered an ominous message: If Earth could not resolve it’s own problems, then in precisely 50 years Earth time, the planet was slated for incineration.
Then – to allay any thought of Sergei’s suspicion that something was amiss about the way the visitors perceived time. They precisely defined the final date for Earth’s resolution of the problem and subsequent demise: June 17th, 2011.
A little bit more than 3 1/2 months off of a 50 year mark. Not much. But significant enough to be imprecise by a species which claimed to work off precision.
Now both Eisenhower and Korolev later disclosed they left the meeting with two initial thoughts for two very different reasons.
Both considered the distinct possibility this was a test. That this was a method devised to ascertain a species’ willingness to commit to working together in order to achieve a higher level goal. Historically, Humans had a tendency of defining motivation by creating enemies and hunting them down. This test provided an altogether different ambition, reinforced collaboration to preserve the peace.
That seemed to be the most logical. But Sergei thought there was more to it than that. He asked Eisenhower one simple question:
“What if there is something fundamentally different with the way they perceive time and the ‘bug’ as they describe it is based on their perception of time itself?”
Eisenhower, clearly not a scientist, didn’t understand. Instead, he responded with a typical military response: What if they’ve set us up for failure intentionally, and we present a threat to their rule, or worse, what if they are already here, and watching us to determine our own tactics?
He’s a great military leader led by his nose through paranoia. This makes for a pisspoor diplomat and president by that remark alone.
Fortunately, they both agreed on the need to create a multilateral agency. This was a planet-wide issue, and as a result, the entire planet needed to be involved in the resolution. Even if there was a difference of opinion on the motivation.
Eisenhower, being a man of the military, created an organization named Section 31 as a tongue in cheek reference to Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Article 31 states simply: “No person subject to this article may compel any person to incriminate himself or to answer any question the answer to which may tend to incriminate him”
His analogy he drew from his military references were pretty clear: The organization had to be absolutely predicated on plausible deniability of why it had been founded. It turned out to be a brilliant move, because at its roots, the organization was founded on intentional cultural obscurity.
Naming the organization was one thing, but then President Eisenhower had one major cause for concern – what if some right wing nutjob who wanted to see the world burn got a hold of the controls of this multilateral organization? They could easily capsize the entire ‘boat’ and have the entire planet destroyed through simple inaction.
To Eisenhower, this meant the organization had to be above and beyond subsequent Presidential control, an autonomous agency on it’s own that the president would not be made aware of unless absolutely necessary.
To Eisenhower, saving the planet was priority number one for this agency. With poor translation and lack of understanding of what the visitors meant by ‘bug’, they were on a hunt for an enigmatic enemy.
Sergei, while agreeing to the need for secrecy, didn’t quite share the paranoia. Recognizing the need for a non partisan non governmental agency for secrecy sake, as both a scientist and having had endured many relocations during the war, he immediately saw the same need for this agency.
Under wraps, Section 31′s commenced organization, with Sergei adding a now clearly necessary secondary mission knowing that Earth was not alone – the secret non-government agency would also be responsible for policing extraterrestrial alien refugees which might choose to reside on Earth and disguising themselves as humans, created in 1961 after the first contact.
To assist with this mission, the CIA had been experimenting with mind control methods and technology in a project called MK Ultra, and Eisenhower shared this technology with the organization – a device later dubbed a ‘neuralyzer’ – to be used on witnesses’ memories of alien sightings, maintaining the secrecy of the presence of aliens and of the agency itself.
At last count, Section 31 monitors about 1500 aliens around the world, most of them in the vicinity of New York City.
No surprise there, right?
Since the inception of Section 31, a movie has been made about it which detailed the agency’s existence, it’s role, and actually featured the original untouched images of then President Eisenhower and Sergei Korolev’s first contact meeting. This movie documented the agency’s first major ‘case’ albeit with a Hollywood ‘spin’ and a different interpretation of the actual bug they encountered – and provided subtle detail to what gave the agency its acceptance not just in the world’s intelligence communities, but the universe’s.
The movie became quite popular.
You might have heard about it. It’s called Men In Black.
And as for the bug.
As it turned out, both Sergei Korolev and President Eisenhower were right about their suspicions.
On November 22, 1963, John F Kennedy was killed.
Not long after, the visitors unexpectedly recontacted Korolev and Eisenhower – this time an urgent request for help.
“We think the bug is on our end. John F Kennedy was not supposed to die.”
As Sergei explained in his diary: “Вот мы только что сказали, что наше будущее были заложены для нас – планируется в некоторой степени – на инопланетной расы, которые, казалось, не демонстрируют основное понимание человечности или перекосе времени с их точки зрения на нашу. Трудно было поверить, что это уловка, но они получают через точку, что мы должны понять природу самого времени – что или стоять потенциал, не имеющие никакого реального свободную волю и выбор самостоятельно, поскольку наша судьба была запланирована на нам этими существами, которые не могут понять, нам столько, сколько мы не понимали их.”
“Here we had just been told that our future had been laid out for us – planned to some extent – by an alien race who did not seem to demonstrate the basic understanding of humanity or the misalignment of time from their perspective to ours. It was hard to believe this was a ruse, but they did get the point across that we need to understand the nature of time itself – that or stand the potential of having no real free will and choice of our own as our destiny was planned for us by these beings who may not understand us as much as we didn’t understand them.”
Both Korolev and Eisenhower suspected something … weird .. was going on.
This time the visitors had brought with them a gift.
They had brought with them a translation of their language to English.
The very next year this language was delivered to the public:
Basic Computer Language (1964): BASIC stands for Beginner’s All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. Designed in 1964, this program boasts that it is easy to use and easy to navigate through. It set a higher standard for computing technology which paved the way for bigger and better devices and innovations.
The bug, as they put it, was in their language.
In their source code.