1. CAUS believes that this planet, and the people on it, are interacting and in contact with a non-human form of intelligence;
2. CAUS is against any and all secrecy surrounding, involving and relating to this contact;
3. CAUS believes that the people have an absolute and unconditional right to know about this contact; and
4. CAUS believes that it is through the judicial process that the truth will be set free and secrecy ended.
Given the leap of faith needed for point 1 above this doesn't seem too unreasonable.......then you look around the site. Much prominence is given to Richard (Face on Mars) Hoagland and his fantasies of cities and pyramids in the Cydonia region of the Red Planet. (As enshrined in Mission to Mars - Hollywood's latest failed attempt at science fiction) When recent high quality images from the Mars Global Surveyor craft revealed these "artifacts" to be geological features cries of cover-up came from the Hoagland camp, to no one's great surprise. Face it, if Daniel Goldin, NASA's beleaguered boss thought there was any real mileage in this Face stuff (ie extra funding) he would have jumped at it.
The CAUS cause (sorry) is also little helped by offering such delights as a "Personalized Numerology Report", "Soul Mate Relationship Report" and, best of all, "Edgar Cayce Past Life Profile". Cayce you may recall claimed there was a hidden Hall of Records beneath the Sphinx which would be revealed before the turn of the century - that was a few months ago - funny, I must have missed it. For more on this see past View from #80, Prophets, Cretins, Skeptics on Morgana's Observatory.
(For real Mars images including the "City" in Cydonia take a look at http://barsoom.msss.com/ )
The Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence assumes, like CAUS, that there IS something to study. Their main project, as I understand it, is the Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind Initiative. (Steven Spielberg covered Kinds 1, 2, and 3 but where did 4 go?). Naturally the core principles of the initiative start with
" 1. ETI and Extraterrestrial Transports (UFOs) have been and currently are in contact with human society."
and proceed from there. They seem to have a deal in common with CAUS although as far as I can make out they don't mention each other. Perhaps there is a case here for Contact of the Sixth Kind - if we don't communicate down here I don't hold out any great hope for meaningful dialog with creatures that likely have been evolving in their own way for the past few billion years (you'd have more chance chatting to a squid). To hope for Contact of the Zeroth Kind (with reality) would be really pushing it.
The man behind the CSETI site and initiative, Dr Steven M Greer seems eminently well qualified for his self-appointed mission. I quote "Dr. Greer is widely regarded as the world's foremost authority on the subject of extraterrestrial intelligence...." and " Dr. Greer, as director of CSETI, has led research teams throughout the world investigating the existence of ETI, and on several occasions has successfully established preliminary contact and communication with extraterrestrial spacecraft at close range. He has met with and provided briefings for senior members of government, military and intelligence operations in the United States and around the world, including senior CIA officials, Joint Chiefs of Staff, White House staff, senior members of Congress and congressional committees, senior United Nations leadership and diplomats, senior military officials in the United Kingdom and Europe, and cabinet-level staff members of the Japanese government, among others." Wow! This is an unworthy thought, but do you reckon he writes this stuff himself ? Nah.....
The CSETI list of supporters includes ex- Apollo astronaut Ed Mitchell (long time telepathy advocate) and, bizarrely, Burl Ives, deceased "folk Legend". And yes, before you ask, the Roswell "incident" is cited as part of Greer's evidence. Ho-hum...........
After that brief but heady dip into the world of UFOs and the like it is with pleasure we rejoin the real world with The Astronomy Picture of the Day Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. This site has a huge archive of past pictures but not an alien in sight. A joint project of NASA and Michigan Tech U. a site such as this makes the web worthwhile. Here is all the mystery and awe of our universe as seen by astronomers without the need to invoke faith, pseudoscience or flim-flam.
I have mentioned the Encyclopedia Astronautica before and make no apology for doing so again. Mark Wade has put together a wonderful resource on all aspects of spaceflight. Recent highlights have been a study of the Soviet manned Moon effort and how and why they failed to beat Apollo. Also the latest on the secretive Chinese manned space program - how much of their effort is off the shelf Russian technology and how much is homegrown ? (America has astronauts, Russia has cosmonauts and soon China will have taikonauts. The French have spationautes but sadly no spaceships. At least they are keeping US linguistic imperialism at bay!) Also featured is the story of Buran, the craft the press wittily dubbed Shuttleski, that made one unpiloted orbital test flight and never flew again. In fact one of the Buran test craft is now doing service as a not very successful theme restaurant in Moscow!
The last site, Ad Access, is a collection of over 7000 ads from 1911 to 1955. The categories are Beauty and Hygiene, Transportation, Radio, Television and World War II. All of the ads are from the US and are a form of history more immediate in some ways than text or film, touching very much upon everyday life. If you want to get under the skin of a culture, past or present, see how it sees itself and its aspirations as reflected in advertising. This is a simply laid out site with nothing in the way of bells and whistles but full of information. The ads featured are downloadable and are usually available in two different resolutions to suit connection, modem speed etc. Fascinating stuff somewhat off 80's usual track - all the more welcome I hear you say.