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On the 12th anniversary of his mother's disappearance, Zahn makes his annual trip up to an island summit -- only to be awoken by a brilliant object thundering.
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That day they killed hundreds of bats. And then they ate them. A few days later, on Christmas Day, a little boy called Emile Ouamanou fell ill with a fever and diarrhea. Then Emile died. Along with my producer, Sasha Achilli, I spent almost six months in West Africa attempting to re-trace the path of the virus, in an effort to understand the story of what happened before the world started paying attention, and to unravel the combination of bad luck, mistakes and complacency that led to so many deaths.

We were filming in the middle of an ongoing infectious outbreak, so from the beginning we were careful to the point of paranoia. Ebola may not be as contagious as many people think — the virus spreads through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected, symptomatic person — but the risks were nevertheless real.

Our team had one very simple rule — no physical contact. As we were not dealing directly with patients, there was in fact a very low risk that either of us would get Ebola. But what was perfectly possible — and genuinely frightening — was that one of us would get malaria, or dysentery, both common in West Africa and both of which share early symptoms with Ebola. That could result in being carted off to a holding center with other suspected Ebola patients — where there would be a very real risk that we would end up contracting the virus. So we were extraordinarily careful about our health.

A trio of ASU experts give their thoughts on recent UFO reports

I took my temperature several times a day, constantly on the lookout for early symptoms of the virus. We were in West Africa pretty much constantly from September through till February, although I came home every few weeks to be with my family. What happened back in the United Kingdom was fascinating and infuriating. My wife and children were very understanding — they knew what I was doing, they understood how Ebola transmits, and they understood that it was extremely unlikely that I would get sick.

But outside of my immediate family, I was an outcast. Parents backed away from me in the school playground. Our social life dried up. Still now, months after I came home for good, there are people who quite obviously make a hasty exit when I enter a room.

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A: My sense is that unless evidence of ET life were linked to a direct threat that we should not expect negative emotional reactions. This what a team of students and I, led by Yul Kwon, found in a series of studies focused mostly on reactions to microbial ET life among Americans. And in a pilot study conducted later and presented at AAAS, we did find evidence of more positive versus negative reactions in media coverage of the Oumuamua-as-spaceship hypothesis. More recently, when we asked large samples in five countries about how they would react to a hypothetical discovery of intelligent ET life, we saw the same pattern of more positive versus negative emotional responding.

I think that an announcement of ET life's discovery is something that would make us feel good for a number of reasons. It would be interesting, novel and, on a deeper level, might make the universe feel like a less lonely place.

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That said, of course if we discovered a hostile armada of alien warships heading toward Earth with the intent to destroy or conquer us, we probably would feel quite differently about it. Michael Hampshire center , ASU faculty associate with aviation programs at the Polytechnic School, looks on as students in the King Air twin-engine simulator take part in an air navigation and airline instrument procedure class.

Hampshire is a U. Air Force veteran with decades of experience. He has been with ASU since as a ground school and simulator instructor. A: It was interesting. You see unusual things all the time as a pilot. They had info about direction, where things were going, but not how far away they were. A: Things get reported all the time. For instance, a lot of pilots mistake Venus for another airplane.

Venus is usually low on the horizon, so the refraction off the atmosphere causes it to flash red and green like an airplane.

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It came up really low so it looked a lot bigger because of the atmosphere. That night, somebody reported the moon as a UFO. So you see all kinds of things, but generally they become explainable.

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Q: In your experience, was there ever reason to be reluctant to report having seen a UFO? A: You get stories that people are reluctant because the military might chastise them.


A lot of my time in the military was in the air defense. We were the ones who got launched on UFOs, to go check them out. And if you see something, you report it, no matter how fantastic it was. Q: Could you venture a guess as to what might be the explanation for the UFOs in the videos? A: The military is working to make drones small enough that they can be deployed from an aircraft dispenser, be given a mission, go out and do the mission and then be recovered.

They are well controlled, and they fly in patterns. He uses computational modeling of perception-action in dynamic, natural environments, with specialties that span sports, robotics, music, navigation, animal behavior and multisensory object perception. A: There are two aspects of UFOs.

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And the other is the tendency of some people to say this is proof that aliens are here. Q: You study perceptual distortions and illusions. A: This is part of what makes this a really interesting and difficult problem. Knuckleballs change directions; curveballs curve in weird ways. So how do you figure out how much of that is an illusion and how much is actual ball trajectory? We also know that people sometimes do hallucinate. But we hear well enough to react to most things that are important to us in our environment. The same is true with mice. The New York Times report mentioned that the pilots had used radar to lock onto some of the objects because they were beyond human visual capabilities.

A: At the end of the day, it looks like there are some sophisticated people in the government who have measured some things that are unidentifiable. Dangerous radiation is a fact of life in space. Astronauts are exposed to 50 to 2, milli-Sievert of radiation while in orbit, or the equivalent of to 6, chest x-rays — well beyond the recommended lifetime dose.

Electronics, though hardier than humans, also suffer from the harmful effects of radiation aboard the spacecraft and satellites that make space exploration possible. Hugh Barnaby, Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, has made a career out of developing ways to protect electronics in harsh environments.

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Scientists mimic long-term space missions by conducting experiments with comparable radiation sources such as gamma rays over periods of months, but this gets very expensive. Shorter-term tests that save time and money are possible, but a mysterious effect arises. The Enhanced Low Dose Rate Sensitivity effect, called the ELDRS effect, describes a phenomenon in which a small dose of radiation over a long period of time is more damaging to electronics than a larger dose all at once. Scientists have well-established theories on why this effect occurs, but there is little data from electronics in space to confirm the effect.

The mission will help study the effects of space radiation on satellite electronics.