Orbs of Intuition
"Plasma may behave as a highly cooperative structure."
When former AATIP director Luis Elizondo brought up the idea of multiple "mankinds," he elaborated on how the definition of “human” may not require the physical aspects of our bodies. Elizondo emphasized that having two arms and two legs doesn't necessarily define our current experience as conscious beings, and that perhaps "what it means to be human" is a far more existential question than we can currently fathom.
Many, including myself, have interpreted the phrase "mankinds" to mean multiple species of hominin. Others took it to mean there were some other variations of Homo sapiens seeded to other planets.
But Elizondo's suggestion that we don't need bodies to experience “humanity” is what now sticks out to me the most after all this time. What could that possibly mean, and could we even comprehend the implications given our limited knowledge of the universe?
I have written previously about the hypothesized existence of life as we don't know it. The concept of a shadow biosphere has been debated and by people much smarter than myself, and misunderstood on an even larger scale as a means to describe inter-dimensional entities that exist in the reality outside our standard sensory perception.
More scientifically-minded individuals researching this topic have speculated about lifeforms that may harvest energy in ways we may have not yet considered, or perform quasi-biological processes using chemical makeups we don't currently view as compatible with “living.”
But an even more exotic notion of what may constitute a sentient organism has intrigued me more recently.
A Different Kind of Solar System
When it comes to defining life, more abstract interpretations have been explored by serious scientific minds in recent years.
In a paper titled Can Self-Replicating Species Flourish in the Interior of a Star?, scientists from the City University of New York have argued "that an advanced form of life based upon short-lived species can exist inside main-sequence stars like our Sun."
If one accepts that life is merely self-replication with mutations that leads to the increasing complexity through natural selection, any system capable of such processes can be viewed as a form of life.
As an example, self-replicating robots assembling themselves in the environment that can be vastly different from the ambient conditions we are used to have long been considered one such possibility. More concretely, life needs at the minimum these three hypotheses:
The ability to encode information.
The ability of information carriers to self-replicate faster
than they disintegrate.
The presence of free energy: at the minimum, ∆F=T∆S, needed to constantly create order out of the disorder by decreasing entropy S through self-replication, where T is the temperature of the system.
Armed with this extreme reasoning, we ask whether some form of life could flourish deep inside the core of main-sequence stars like our Sun. We speculate that it is possible to satisfy hypotheses 1 and 3…
The authors of the paper then go on to describe how a star's plasma may formulate single- and double-chain structures capable of encoding information, and how the resulting composition might be comparable to DNA.
As the language in the paper is quite dense, I will cite an article that lays out the theory in simpler terms.
"Information stored in the RNA (or DNA) encodes the mechanism of self-replication," Chudnovsky told ScienceAlert.
"Its emergence must have been preceded by the massive formation of random RNA sequences until a sequence was formed capable of self-replication. We believe that a similar process would occur with necklaces in a star, leading to a stationary process of self-replication."
Strings and monopoles are thought to have emerged in the early Universe, as it cooled down from the Big Bang, and the particle soup of quark-gluon plasma that filled it underwent a symmetry-breaking phase transition and condensed into matter - like vapour condensing into liquid.
Although we have yet to detect cosmic strings (one-dimensional linear objects) or monopoles (elementary particles with only one magnetic pole), a lot of thought has gone into how they might behave.
In 1988, Chudnovsky and his colleague, theoretical physicist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University, predicted that cosmic strings could be captured by stars. There, the turbulence would stretch the string until it formed a network of strings.
According to the new study, cosmic necklaces could form in a sequence of symmetry-breaking phase transitions. In the first stage, monopoles emerge. In the second, strings.
This can produce a stable configuration of one monopole bead and two strings, which in turn could connect to form one-, two-, and even three-dimensional structures - much like atoms joined by chemical bonds, the researchers say.
Symmetry breaking appears to play a massive role in the creation of the universe, and particularly in the “design” — or lack thereof — of life itself.
Breaking it Down
In an interview with Quanta Magazine, MIT physicist Nikta Fakhri spoke about extracting physics knowledge from the study of biological organisms — specifically using a number of live starfish she keeps in her lab.
Fakhri says analyzing the development of starfish embryos can shed light on how symmetry-breaking in physics might help define life beyond our current interpretation.
The most important broken symmetry is time.
I always start my talks with a video of an embryo developing, but I play it backward. When I show it to biologists, right away they’re like, “This isn’t right. Cells never merge.”
Zoom in, however, and the arrow of time isn’t so sharp. As a postdoctoral researcher, I studied the motions of carbon nanotubes inside human cells. To the naked eye, their jiggling looks random, the same whether you play the video forward or backward. But when we measured the jiggling of the nanotubes in detail, the fluctuations seemed to be much higher than what you’d expect to see in equilibrium at room temperature.
They moved as if the cell had a temperature of 1,000 degrees. Where were these extra fluctuations coming from? They had to be related to the fact that, unlike a magnet at equilibrium, the cells were continuously consuming energy and using it to live, to establish an arrow of time.
In an even more intriguing discovery, Fakhri observed how proteins activated right before cell division would cause ripples across the cell.
Fakhri says these ripples appeared to behave like charged particles.
We found that if we recorded a movie of the ripples and zoomed in on just one pixel, its brightness rose and fell like a wave. The neighboring pixel did too, but its wave was a little out of step with the first one. After some trial and error, we chose to use how much these two waves were out of step as our order parameter.
Here’s where it gets interesting. We found that there were spots where the wave just stops. Now, I love this. These spots behave exactly like charged particles, which physicists have lots of experience with. It’s as if they had a charge of plus or minus 1 depending on whether they rotate clockwise or counterclockwise. Sometimes oppositely charged pairs get created, and sometimes they annihilate each other.
Now we have this whole language to explain how this system is self-organizing in space and in time. We believe that these particles are the organizing centers of force generation. They control the properties of the waves that tell the cell when and where to divide.
So as the cells keep dividing, the symmetry is broken down further and results in the creation of an arrow of time.
Perhaps this is the reason living organisms experience time linearly, and this experience is a major part of what makes up what we consider to be consciousness.
But what if this symmetry that is broken in the context of our current definition of biology happened in a similar manner, long ago to another area of the universal primordial soup?
Lights on the Ground
Similarly to the paper written by the authors at CUNY, another scientist has explored the possibility of "nuclear life" in what he calls the Intelligent Plasma Hypothesis.
In a paper on anomalous light phenomena, also known as "earthlights" in the context of UFO lore, astrophysicist Dr. Massimo Teodorani postulates that these ball lightning-like phenomena are products of seismic piezoelectricity due to the frequency of sightings around fault lines.
One of the major issues that stumped Teodorani during this examination of these earthlights was the ability of these "mini-stars" — seemingly made of plasma — to maintain their cohesive state for as long as they do at low temperatures.
The main difficulty is to try to deduce what is the inward force: we know that in stars this is the gravitational force, but we do not know what the counterpart in these plasma balls is.
Let’s now consider a plasma sphere that, as it is extremely probable, contains its own magnetic field with its own pressure.
It is not unreasonable to suggest that one possible cause is a mechanism to accelerate particles, possibly produced when high-energy electrons are extracted from a high-temperature plasma by an enhanced magnetic field whose morphology turns from spherical to cylindrical when the plasma ball collapses and starts to rotate faster.
We do not know yet how this symmetry change may occur in this kind of plasma concentrations, but we do know that observed light balls are often subject to shape change (Teodorani, 2004), including the one from spherical to cylindrical or other elongated shapes.
In particular, the presence of quartz, iron, copper, hematite, when subject to tectonic stresses of several kinds (such as seismic or simple dilation/compression of rocks from daytime to nightime due to temperature differences, for instance) may trigger piezoelectric or similar effects that are able to produce sufficient voltage to trigger the formation of plasmoid forms in the low atmosphere.
Cosmic rays, particularly during active phases of the sun, may in principle work as a possible ionizing factor, which must be carefully taken into due account
Teodorani's speculation that these spheres of light have their own magnetic field holding them together is quite intriguing when considering the larger reality of the UFO phenomenon.
However, this does not explain how these craft — or orbs, as are reported by many experiencers — maneuver in such an elaborate and calculated fashion.
This is precisely where Teodorani's Intelligent Plasma Hypothesis comes in.
Many years ago David Bohm’s first theoretical physics studies dealt with plasma. He discovered that plasma may behave as a highly cooperative structure, like if particles (ions and electrons) that are even very far away from each other are able to “feel” instantaneously what happens to one of them.
This gives to plasma – at least qualitatively – a structure of coherence that is not dissimilar to the coherence found in quantum objects. Therefore the many particles composing plasma behave like if they were only one entity and not separated from each other, in such a way that any action done on a group of particles is just “felt” by another group of particles composing the same plasma agglomerate.
At this point it is not so difficult, at least qualitatively, to find a strict similarity between plasma particles and the microtubules inside brain’s neurons. The previously amply discussed “OrchOr” Penrose-Hameroff theory about the brain states that microtubules and tubulins therein act like only one entity described by the same wave function.
When – according to Penrose’s physics model – the wave function spontaneously collapses a moment of consciousness is generated, in such a way that an average human being is able to experience at least one million moments of consciousness daily.
We have said that what we consider as consciousness can be strictly related to the idea that we have of “spirit”, in the ambit of a model (following also Bohm’s concepts about implicate and explicate orders) in which consciousness/spirit and its neural correlate (the brain) are strictly linked together in a way that the one cannot exist without the other.
Let’s now come to plasma. Can be the elementary particles constituting a plasma compared to microtubules in order that such particles, by composing a cooperative entity described by only one wave function, when working in unison all together can give rise to the emergence of consciousness?
We are simply hypothesizing that some plasma balls might work at certain circumstances as a brain capable to produce moments of consciousness. But being a brain implies being a form of Life. Is it possible that a life form made of plasma exists? It seems so, according to some studies simulating its behavior.
This leaves us with a few questions to ponder before continuing on.
If this “plasma life” exists, could it be possible for it to visit Earth and display itself as an object?
If Teodorani's observation that these earthlights have a maximum "lifespan" of only a few hours, how would an intelligent plasma lifeform survive long enough to interact with our species?
And would these earthlights be able to evolve to the point of advanced intelligence if they were allowed to exist in the vacuum of space — in other words, are these phenomena the plasma equivalent of Nikta Fakhri’s starfish embryos?
To answer these inquiries, let's turn to a rather unlikely source for comprehensive data on the UFO phenomenon: the DoD's All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office.
In a presentation during his lackluster public Senate hearing, AARO director Sean Kirkpatrick provided a slide with data so limited it felt borderline insulting. A pie graph outlining the shapes of reported UAP collected by his office showed that 52% of the craft observed made up the "Orb, Round, Sphere” category. None of the other shapes — oval, cylinder, disk, etc. — were over 3% of the total.
Even more confusing to was the word he used to describe the one anomalous video he decided to reveal to the public.
Kirkpatrick labeled a video of a floating metal sphere captured by a drone as an "orb." I personally wasn't sure if he was just trying to obfuscate, as most people I know refer to the more luminescent objects — perhaps those demonstrated by the manifestation of Teodorani's plasma spheres — as orbs. What was shown in AARO’s video, however, was obviously metallic.
After months of trying to reconcile this orb dilemma, I came across a device that may potentially lead to an adequate explanation.
According to Wikipedia, a Penning trap "is a device for the storage of charged particles using a homogeneous magnetic field and a quadrupole electric field." Penning traps are commonly used in science fiction, due to their potential ability to store large quantities of anti-matter.
In a paper titled Nonneutral Ion Plasmas and Crystals in Penning Traps, the authors describe how ions in the trap form a nonneutral plasma if the ion density is high enough or it's stored at sufficiently low temperatures. Penning traps are typically cylindrical in shape and are used in laboratories all around the world, including at CERN.
One aspect of this paper stood out to me, however, and has some rather startling parallels to certain aspects of UFO lore.
A few experimental simulations on certain plasma dimensions showed the plasma rotation transitioning into a crystal "shell structure."
A number of computer simulations with less than a few thousand cold ions in a trap found something quite different than bcc order. The ions eventually froze into concentric, spheroidal shells rather than bcc planes. Each spheroidal shell consisted of a distorted two-dimensional hexagonal lattice. There was no well defined liquid-solid phase transition; the freezing occurred over a broad range of couplings…
Qualitative agreement was observed with the simulations, except that, in some cases, open-ended cylindrical shells were observed in the experiments. At present there is no convincing explanation for the open-ended cylindrical shells. One possibility is that shear in the plasma rotation might produce such a structure…
Taking all this into consideration, one has to wonder whether the anomalous "metallic orbs" seen around the world as described by Sean Kirkpatrick are really intelligent plasma lifeforms inside a metallic crystal shell.
Perhaps this shell is what provides the "inward force" that eludes Teodorani and is due to piezoelectricity from the crystalline metal surrounding the plasma, rather than its own internal magnetic field.
Interestingly, one of the "Navy UFO patents" filed by engineer Salvatore Pais appears to describe exactly that — spherical shell and all.
The electromagnetic field generator includes a shell, an electrostatic generator, a power plant, a thermoelectric generator, and an electric motor. The shell has embedded polycrystalline ferroelectric ceramic material which is polarized such that the ceramic material exhibits strong Piezoelectric Effect properties thus inducing high frequency vibrations.
The shell may be further doped with radioactive elements which under high frequency vibrations induce gamma ray emission. The electrostatic generator is for charging up the shell and is disposed within the shell. The power plant is to generate thermal power, and is disposed within the sphere. The thermoelectric generator is to convert the thermal power generated by the power plant to electrical energy.
The electric motor powered by the electrical energy generated by the thermoelectric generator, and supplies input voltage such that the shell spins at high angular speeds, vibrates at high frequencies, and generates an electromagnetic field.
Pais's inventions continue to pop up in my research, and were even cited in the patent for the recently disappointing LK-99 superconductor that took the internet by storm a few weeks ago.
I will pause here for a moment and reiterate the fact that I do not claim to be anything close to a physicist. This plasma-crystal connection is being put forward and based on words interpreted by a layman, so I would not be surprised in the least if the theory was shot down immediately by someone slightly more educated on the subject than I am.
Luckily, a hypothetical plasma lifeform exhibiting a metallic-like appearance doesn’t rest on this theory alone.
A Structural Mirage
Another notable entry into the literature of these enigmatic orb sightings was put forward by researcher Paul Devereux, in his aptly-titled book Earth Lights Revelation.
Devereux addresses the commonly reported appearance of structured craft in the final chapters, and why this largely daylight-centric visual interpretation of UFOs may be misleading.
Almost all UFO sightings are of lights, usually seen at night. It seems some earth lights can move together as if choreographed — an interesting characteristic in its own right — and this can readily be interpreted in a night sky as lights on some huge, fantastic dark object. Again, lights of odd and amorphous shapes, or even regular light balls that change colour or have spots of activity on them, could become perfect stimuli for confabulation — the seeing of 'windows' for example.
In daylight, UFOs appear primarily as metallised discs or cloudy, 'soft' cigar shapes. Are these necessarily structured craft? The daylight discs may not be of metal at all: when the Norwegian Institute of Scientific Research and Enlightenment investigated Hessdalen they considered that they could identify conditions that would produce balls of plasma. They made interesting observations on the appearance of such plasma balls in daylight:
In daytime, they often look like metallic balls or discs surrounded by a glow or halo. When such lights are seen they often look as though a metallic object has been placed in the light. Such a description is quite fitting with light from plasma. It is the glowing ionised gas which looks like a metallic fuselage.
A more familiar example to many people of a false metallic appearance caused by one medium suspended in another is the silvery sheen on air bubbles seen underwater.
…So it can be seen that the small number of accounts of 'structured craft' have to be taken very cautiously indeed. All may not be what it seems, by the time we have taken into account the mysterious properties of genuine anomalous phenomena themselves, and the peculiarities of human perception and psychology. But the lights may interact with witnesses to create further illusions.
Human perception is inherently subjective, but these common descriptions of “structured” craft in the daytime and hovering lights in the night sky may well be a species-wide interpretation of the same plasma phenomenon.
But when it comes to AARO’s own definition of the worldwide floating orb problem, we are still left with several unanswered questions.
Could these "metallic orbs" that Kirkpatrick has so obnoxiously dubbed 52% of UAP actually be exactly the same thing as they're normally referred to, just within a crystal shell — or simply by giving off the illusion of a structured craft?
If what we are detecting visually of these orbs in the daylight is indeed a metallic crystal shell, could the structure be topological in nature as I have written about previously?
And what other connections might there be between plasma and the UFO phenomenon?
Let's take one final look at this hypothesis, as postulated by a physicist well-known within the UFO community for his theories on the behavior of this seemingly non-human intelligence.
Dr. Eric W. Davis, — a highly regarded figure in the UFO community, and known for his conversations with high-ranking officials about UFO crash retrieval programs — had a lot to say about the potential for plasma consciousness in the foreword he wrote for the book Starlight Starbright: Are Stars Conscious?
In his introduction, Davis talks about many ideas that could be considered paranormal in the context of the larger universe. He emphasizes his research on the sub-quantum world and hypothesizes that there lies a deeper fundamental information domain.
He also speculates that if stars — and therefore, plasma — are conscious, they might be capable of some rather supernatural abilities.
Stars might be conscious? That sounds patently absurd. But this is only absurd at face value given the long-cherished scientific assumption that only living beings are conscious and not nonliving matter, much less a massive astronomical-sized, hot, dense ball of plasma that is undergoing nuclear fusion.
How can stars be conscious if they are not living beings? That is precisely the question that this book addresses, and the authors take the risk of seriously considering the evolving astronomical evidence for anomalous kinetic stellar motions in our galaxy that could turn out to be volitional. If real, then such stars might be using psychokinesis to project unidirectional jets of plasma in order to produce thrust. We do not yet have a physics theory of consciousness so the long-held paradigm that nonliving matter cannot possibly be conscious could be wrong.
If an intelligent plasma is capable of PK as Davis postulates, could that potentially explain the telepathic communications and other high strangeness that for so many are inextricably linked to UFO sightings?
Returning once more to Paul Devereux and his analysis of these earthlights, he quotes physicist Dr. Harley Rutledge in a report on luminous orbs during the 1973 Piedmont, Missouri UFO flap.
Rutledge describes the witnessed phenomena as having an intelligence about its maneuverings — displaying attributes that some might say borders on consciousness.
Thirty-two Project cases of apparent reaction or awareness have been counted…On the second night I was at Piedmont, experiences suggested to me that…the UFOs were aware of our presence, that the UFOs may have purposely attracted our attention, and that they may have reacted to us — although at the time I did not label the sightings as UFOs…
How did the UFOs react to us? They turned lights off, on, moved away, shot away, changed course, changed brightness, and the like…
A relationship, a cognizance, between us and the UFO intelligence evolved. A game was played. In my opinion, this additional consideration is more important than the measurements or establishing that the phenomenon exists.
This facet of the UFO phenomenon perturbed me... It is an aspect I cannot really fathom — and I have thought about it every day for more than seven years.
This clear, deep impact on Rutledge’s psyche is caused by an unmistakable aspect of these interactions that many witnesses report, myself included. There may not be a more succinct description of this intuition than that of “a game being played.”
There is a lot to ponder throughout the previous paragraphs, and I admit these ideas are extremely speculative. But when you have credentialed academics exploring subjects like universal consciousness — and a potentially intelligent plasma lifeform developing within a star — it's hard not to get excited over what we might learn in the future.
For now, I will leave this discussion here and depart with a quote from Thomas Kuhn, cited by Davis in his foreword as we teeter on the precipice of a potential paradigm shift in our understanding of reality.
Discovery commences with the awareness of anomaly, that is, with the recognition that nature has somehow violated the pre-induced expectations that govern normal science.