Thursday, November 19, 2015


New faces have been seen on Mars.
Even a mouse!
  Once again we have "proof" that "beings" lived on Mars.
  Now, if we can just stop humans from blowing each other up here on Earth, we might have the time, energy, and money to go to Mars and dig around, and find out what the dickens happened (AND is happening!) up there. 


[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

The term pareidolia (pronounced pæraɪˈdoʊliə) describes a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant.
Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, and hearing hidden messages on records played in reverse.
The word comes from the Greek para- —"beside", "with" or "alongside"- meaning, in this context, something faulty or wrong (as in paraphasia, disordered speech)—and eidolon—"image" (the diminutive of eidos—"image", "form", "shape"). Pareidolia is a type of apophenia.


I’m not one who lives and breathes superstition.

I don’t dine on dogma or drink religion.

I’m as at home with Lewis Thomas, Poe, Shakespeare, Vachel Lindsay, Emily Dickinson, Yeats, Baudelaire and Sandburg as I am with Dean Koontz.

But there are many bumps and curves on the Road of Existence.

What may appear to be true may not be.

What something seems may be something else.

I am quite skeptical when cute little faces of Jesus or the Virgin Mary (as if we knew what their faces looked like) appear on (or in?) objects and food.

The powers of human projection can put people on pleasant paths of self-fulfillment and delusion.
“That cloud looks like a poodle”.
“It sure does. Yesterday I saw a cloud that looked like an elephant.”

We see what we want to see whether what we see is there or not.

What we think we see may not be seen by others.

If it makes you feel good…

Then see it?

Nonetheless, as the above pictures indicate, I am a observer and collector of strange, weird, and arcane images.


I began a serious search for answers about the enigma of UFOs in 1982, buying every book I could find on this phenomenon.

One book with the word phenomenon in it---Anatomy of a Phenomenon by Jacques Vallee---was my primer on the entire subject.

When time and relevancy to the curriculum permit, I give my English classes a short presentation on UFOs.

[I just wrote a letter to Gore Vidal, telling him that I always have my English classes read his play Visit to a Small Planet.

In my letter I asked if he had the Roswell crash in mind when he wrote his play.

I hope Mr. Vidal answers my question.  Unfortunately, Mr. Vidal didn't get back to me. 

 And may he rest in peace.]


There is an universal tendency among mankind to conceive all beings like themselves, and to transfer to every object, those qualities, with which they are familiarly acquainted, and of which they are intimately conscious. We find human faces in the moon, armies in the clouds; and by a natural propensity, if not corrected by experience and reflection, ascribe malice or good- will to every thing, that hurts or pleases us.
David Hume

Pareidolia is a type of illusion or misperception involving a vague or obscure stimulus being perceived as something clear and distinct. For example, in the discolorations of a burnt tortilla one sees the face of Jesus Christ. Or one sees the image of Mother Teresa or Ronald Reagan in a cinnamon bun or a man in the moon. Under ordinary circumstances, pareidolia provides a psychological explanation for many delusions based upon sense perception. For example, it explains many UFO sightings, as well as the hearing of sinister messages on records played backwards. Pareidolia explains Elvis, Bigfoot, and Loch Ness Monster sightings. It explains numerous religious apparitions and visions. And it explains why some people see a face or a building in a photograph of the Cydonia region of Mars. Under clinical circumstances, some psychologists encourage pareidolia as a means to understanding a patient, e.g., the Rorschach ink blot test.Astronomer Carl Sagan claimed that the human tendency to see faces in tortillas, clouds, cinnamon buns, and the like is an evolutionary trait. He writes: “As soon as the infant can see, it recognizes faces, and we now know that this skill is hardwired in our brains. Those infants who a million years ago were unable to recognize a face smiled back less, were less likely to win the hearts of their parents, and less likely to prosper. These days, nearly every infant is quick to identify a human face, and to respond with a goony grin.”



"Why do people see faces in nature, interpret window stains as human figures, hear voices in random sounds generated by electronic devices or find conspiracies in the daily news? A proximate cause is the priming effect, in which our brain and senses are prepared to interpret stimuli according to an expected model. UFOlogists see a face on Mars. Religionists see the Virgin Mary on the side of a building. Paranormalists hear dead people speaking to them through a radio receiver. Conspiracy theorists think 9/11 was an inside job by the Bush administration. Is there a deeper ultimate cause for why people believe such weird things? There is. I call it 'patternicity', or the tendency to find meaningful patterns in meaningless noise."
"Traditionally, scientists have treated patternicity as an error in cognition. A type I error, or a false positive, is believing something is real when it is not (finding a nonexistent pattern). A type II error, or a false negative, is not believing something is real when it is (not recognizing a real pattern—call it 'apat­ternicity'). In my 2000 book How We Believe (Times Books), I argue that our brains are belief engines: evolved pattern-recognition machines that connect the dots and create meaning out of the patterns that we think we see in nature. Sometimes A really is connected to B; sometimes it is not. When it is, we have learned something valuable about the environment from which we can make predictions that aid in survival and reproduction. We are the ancestors of those most successful at finding patterns. This process is called association learning, and it is fundamental to all animal behavior, from the humble worm C. elegans to H. sapiens."


Patternicity: Finding Meaningful Patterns in Meaningless Noise

Why the brain believes something is real when it is not

By Michael Shermer


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