It Was A Hologram


Jeffrey Stanley
Photo via The Independent.

I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist but — oh heck, I’m a conspiracy theorist and I love it so I’ll just come out with it. Now lemme get this straight:

2011 — “floating city” appears in the clouds over a village in Nigeria, twice. Also a floating city appears in the clouds over the Xin’an River in China

October, 2015 — “floating city” appears in the clouds again in China, twice.

According to this week’s flurry of articles, most of which blatantly copy each other’s content verbatim, unnamed “scientists” say these sightings were all rare “fata morgana” optical illusions, which apparently aren’t so rare after all because they keep happening.

I put the word scientists above in quotes because I still can’t find one article that actually names who the “scientists” are who say these specific cases are all just illusions. Can you? If so please post links. I’ve only seen “according to Wikipedia” (and linked to a generic definition of fata morgana that isn’t directly related to these sightings) and “according to Wired” (and pointing to a Wired article from 10 months ago that again only describes the fata morgana phenomenon and which has nothing to do with anyone analyzing footage of these recent sightings) and, “experts said…” (again not in reference to recent events but only speaking generally about optical illusions). The only other time I’ve seen so many nameless “scientists” and “experts” thrown around so haphazardly in so many articles at once was in a typical issue of the Weekly World News.

In other words, the journalism here stinks. The first question to ask should be, is it possible to project a large, lifelike optical illusion onto clouds? The next question should be, has anyone with deep pockets, like a large corporation or, I don’t know, say, a major government’s military R&D wing, ever been caught developing large-scale holograms as a possible means of crowd control?

The answer to both questions is a resounding yes. None of these recent articles have bothered mentioning the creative collaboration between an artist and a scientist in Project Nimbus, in which the creators openly discussed that their inspiration was a US weapons research paper stating that holograms have been in development since the Vietnam era.

“Lynch was inspired by a paper he read, entitled Non-lethal Weapons: Terms and Reference by Dr. Robert J. Bunker [currently a researcher at the US Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute]. There was a section detailing weapons from as early as the Vietnam War, in particular, a part on hologram projection, in which the military had proposed projecting ‘the image of an ancient god over an enemy capitol whose public communications have been seized and used against it in a massive psychological operation.’”

Furthermore, while the fata morgana optical illusion may explain how a portion of a city’s skyline is reflected up into a cloudy sky on a misty day in urban China, it doesn’t explain how a city appears over a rural Nigerian village. One eyewitness described the floating cities as follows: “a large mass of something that looked like a cloud appeared from nowhere and flew slowly over the village just at the height of an average tree. The cloud was transparent and I saw beautiful tall buildings inside it, and tarred roads and cars.” Hundreds of eyewitness reported seeing the same sights, which they concluded was a miraculous act of God. This religious reaction to a large-scale hologram is exactly what is hoped for in Dr. Bunker’s paper.

So hey, call me a crazy conspiracy theorist but I’m rolling with the Chinese or US military hologram experiment theory. Maybe these most recent Chinese occurrences were us taking a cat swipe at the Chinese military in retaliation for their recent hacks.

Jeffrey Stanley

Written by

Fulbright Scholar, NYU and Drexel U. film & theatre faculty. JefeVonStanley is a nickname given by college friends. It stuck.

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