Deathbed Revelations: Extraterrestrial Spacecrafts Powered by Mind. Sounds Crazy, But Tech is Real
Many people were shocked by the deathbed revelations of Ben Rich, the former director of Lockheed Skunk Works (a secret research and development facility). Rich claimed that UFOs were alien spacecraft and that extraterrestrial visitors were real. Furthermore, he stated that their craft were in some way controlled by the powers of the mind, through a combination of ESP (extra-sensory perception) and psychokinesis (the ability to move objects with the power of thought).
Naturally, the skeptics scoffed at his claims. This is understandable, since the idea that spacecraft could ever be controlled by thought alone certainly sounds preposterous. But in recent years, R&D projects exploring the integration of mind with machine have progressed by leaps and bounds, revealing the possible legitimacy of science-fiction scenarios such as the one proposed by a dying Ben Rich.
One intriguing result of this research is the creation of a small, high-tech helicopter that can be guided and propelled through the intentional regulation of brain waves. . Whether mind-controlled UFOs are real or not, we can now say with certainty that thought-powered flight is both a possibility and a reality.
Mind Control in Flight
In 2013, a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Engineering in Medicine wanted to test the theory that thought patterns could be detected and decoded by computers, and then used to direct mechanical responses. To achieve their goals, they built a tiny four-blade helicopter designed to be controlled exclusively by thought—in a manner of speaking.
This experiment in advanced robotics was not motivated by a desire to harness latent psychic powers. Instead, its purpose was to reveal how brains can be linked to computers through software that interprets information contained within brain waves. Subsequently, that data can be used as a guide when sending instructions to remotely-controlled mechanical devices, telling them where or how to move, or telling them to perform some other type of action.
To facilitate the mind-computer interface, subjects were fitted with specially designed caps that could measure brain wave activity, generating data in the form of an EEG (electroencephalogram). The EEG is normally ordered as a medical test for neurological disorders, but in this case the data collected was redirected by a wireless signal to an electronic control system inside the helicopter. This system was programmed to respond to the thought patterns revealed by the EEG, and after some trial-and-error -style learning it was up to the human controllers to change their thoughts to receive the required responses.
After some practice, the five test subjects who volunteered for this study managed to navigate the helicopter through foam rings scattered around an indoor course. Visual feedback was provided by the helicopter’s on-board camera, and by following images projected on a screen the subjects were able to move the helicopter horizontally and vertically, right or left, simply by focusing their minds (and thoughts) on the task at hand.
“Our study shows that for the first time, humans are able to control the flight of flying robots using just their thoughts, sensed from non-invasive brain waves,” proclaimed Bin He, a professor in the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering and the lead scientist in the study.
While these results generated much publicity, this research project was not the first to demonstrate the capacity of the human brain to control flying objects remotely. In 2012, scientists at Zhejiang University in China designed an EEG-based computer interface that allowed test subjects to control the flight of a hovering drone.
Inspired by both achievements, private-sector developers from the Portuguese tech firm Tekever launched a project called Brainflight in 2015. Using an EEEG-based control system, test subjects were trained on flight simulators for both manned and unmanned vehicles. Eventually, they were able to translate their newfound mind-over-matter skills to control the flight of a real unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). T
Tekever hopes its brain-computer-machine interface technology can eventually be applied to other types of transportation, including conventional aircraft (airplanes and helicopters) cars, boats and trains. One advantage of such a system is that it could be used by people with physical disabilities, whose minds remain unaffected by their other limitations.
Mind Control in Robotics
Three years after successfully teaching volunteers to fly a tiny helicopter with the power of their minds, Bin He and his research team at the University of Minnesota achieved yet another important milestone. Applying the same brain wave detection technology to robotics, they taught eight subjects how to manipulate a robot arm with nothing more than mental input .
Fitted with EEG caps that could transmit signals, the subjects were able to move the robot arm by imagining the movements of their own arms. Over time they learned how to control the hand movements of the robot arm as well, which allowed them to pick up objects and move them to new locations.
“This is the first time in the world that people can operate a robotic arm to reach and grasp objects in a complex 3D environment, using only their thoughts without a brain implant,” Bin He declared.
“Three years ago, we weren’t sure moving a more complex robotic arm using this brain-computer interface [the one developed for the mini-helicopter] could even be achieved,” He continued. “We’re happily surprised that it worked with a high success rate.”
A year after Bin He and his research team announced these results, engineers and developers affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Intelligence Lab decided to take things one step further . They used EEG-based interface technology to train volunteers to direct the activities of a full-sized robot named Baxter, who had been designed to perform a variety of physical tasks. This project proved highly successful, showing that brain-computer-machine interface systems can be scaled up to a more complex level.
Expanding the Horizons of the Mind
The implications of this type of technology are limitless.
A mind-computer-machine interface could be used to assist or augment cognitive or sensory-motor functions in those with disabilities, either in coordination with prosthetic devices or through “mind-to-mind” relationships established with helper-robots. Such an interface would allow for remote control of machines assigned to tackle tasks that carry high risk for humans. Additionally, it could be used aboard spacecrafts to help astronauts carry out a wide variety of assignments, with the assistance of sophisticated machine technology that could be deployed outside the craft or down on planetary surfaces.
What we’ve been exploring here is quite different from psychokinesis, or from UFOs controlled directly by thought. Nevertheless, a fully-developed technology that integrates thought with computer with machine would expand human capabilities far beyond anything previously imagined. The outcomes it could produce might be just as impressive as anything imagined by any science fiction writer or paranormal enthusiast, once the technology is perfected.
By Nathan Falde