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Suicide watch

This morning I woke up to the news that Jeffrey Epstein managed to kill himself in his jail cell in Manhattan. In a way it did not surprise me, he had tried to kill himself less than 3 weeks ago as well and in his situation he did not have much to lose anymore. However, what struck me is that he was on suicide watch. How is that possible?

When you are on suicide watch you should not have the possibility to commit suicide because you don’t have the means to do so. At the same time you should be under constant surveillance, so that whatever you try can be stopped on time. Wikipedia describes it as follows:

People under suicide watch are put into an environment where it would be difficult for them to hurt themselves. In many cases, any dangerous items will be removed from the area, such as sharp objects and some furniture, or they may be placed in a special padded cell, which has nothing outcropping from the walls (e.g., a clothes hook or door closing bracket) to provide a place for a ligature to be attached, and with only a drain-grill on the floor. They may be stripped of anything with which they might hurt themselves or use as a noose, including shoelaces, belts, neckties, bras, shoes, socks, suspenders and bed sheets. In extreme cases the inmate may be undressed entirely.

Suicide watch generally involves the subject’s being under continuous or very frequent watch of a guard who will intervene if the subject attempts to harm themselves.

To me something seems not right here. A super high profile offender who already tried to kill himself 18 days ago manages to commit suicide while on suicide watch? Like I said on this blog before, I am not a big believer in conspiracy theories, but even for me this is a bit too much. Maybe other news will come out that will ‘explain’ how this was possible, but let’s just say that this is very convenient for many other high level people (including Donald Trump -who called Epstein a ‘terrific guy’- and Prince Andrew, but also Bill Clinton) that were directly and indirectly implicated in the case against Jeffrey Epstein.

The criminal case will now be dismissed, although civil cases against his estate will still continue. We will likely never know how he made his money  and I wonder if we will ever hear what was on the compact discs with videos and pictures (allegedly labeled with the names of young girls and older men) that were found in his safe.

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Twitter messing around with my new account?

Not sure what is going on, but a day after I wrote a blog post about the Twitter issues with my old Twitter account, my new Twitter account started having issues. I posted a tweet about Bitcoin dominance with a picture of how Bitcoin dominance changed over the past years. Shortly after that someone replied that Twitter had marked the tweet as ‘potential sensitive content’.

No idea why that’s the case, there is nothing sensitive about it. Is someone at Twitter messing with me or is this just a simple glitch? A good thing is that none of my other posts so far show the same message, on my old account none of my pictures or with or links to other sites were visible anymore. So my assumption is that it is just a piece of artificial intelligence software playing up. If it happens again I’ll post it here.

See below for pictures of the Twitter post, first the way the post looks now for people whose settings do not allow to see sensitive content (=anybody who does not specifically allow it) and below the post as I posted it, with a in my opinion not very sensitive screenshot.

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Interest free mortgages

You know a financial crisis is around the corner when interest rates on all government bonds are negative. This happened in the Netherlands this week, when the coupon rate on every duration of government bonds turned negative. It means that if you buy a Euro worth of 30-years government bonds you will get less than one Euro back in 30 years. That’s not good news for investors, but they still buy these bonds simply because they think it’s less risky than buying other investment instruments. They prefer to get a small negative return, but one where they know they will get their money back (assuming governments never default on debts, in my opinion a big IF in the high debt world we live in), to investing in other assets that may give even lower returns.

But what does this mean for consumers who take out loans? Well, if you are in Denmark and you are looking to get a 20-year fixed rate mortgage, you can now get one where you pay 0% interest. So you borrow $100,000, you pay no interest and after 30 years you pay back $100,000. Crazy? Yes, but it gets even better. For a 10-year mortgage you can actually get a -0.5% rate, meaning that you borrow say $100,000 but after ten years you only have to pay back $95,111. In reality it is a bit more complicated of course, with some additional costs and monthly payments, but you get the gist.

The only reason this is possible is that investors (who underwrite these mortgages) are willing to accept negative returns, because they see no better investment opportunities. Investors are scared of the current situation in the financial markets and think it might take a very long time to improve.

If I would live in Denmark I would not hesitate to apply for a mortgage at these rates: you get free money and because of negative rates it is likely that the demand for homes will go up, leading to future higher housing prices at the same time. This has not happened before, it is the new economic reality. Central banks now have even less tools to play with, so to me it is clear how this will end.

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A new Twitter account (@marcvanderchijs) because of Twitter’s censorship

About 2 years ago my Twitter account suddenly started behaving strangely. If you searched on Twitter for my name the account did not show up and when I posted links to other sites my followers got the message that the tweet contained potentially sensitive information. My number of followers suddenly stopped growing and even went down a bit.

I did not understand what was going on, but after doing some research I realized that my account was flagged by Twitter for containing sensitive content (there is a setting that was marked by Twitter and I could not turn it off). My assumption was that it was likely related to me writing about Bitcoin and other crypto-related topics or because of my criticism of Trump. I also assumed this would be a temporary thing, so although I found it annoying I did not think about it too much. However, after a couple of weeks nothing had changed, so I decided to get in touch with Twitter.

Well, I won’t go into too many details, but it’s impossible to get in touch with anybody at Twitter. The company does not reply to emails, it does not reply to tweets and there is no phone number or chat option available. There is an online tool to report a problem, but it only has limited selections and I was not able to report my problem there (I tried, but also never got a reply). Eventually I got in touch with the former country manager of Twitter in the Netherlands who I happened to know. He put me in touch with some people in Paris, but also there I never got a reply. Very disappointing, and it says something about the culture at Twitter: users are not important.

At the same time I started digging deeper into why my account could have been censored. I don’t know for sure, but a short while before the semi-ban started I remember having an online discussion with a Republican state senator who was (obviously) very much pro-Trump. I have no patience for supposedly smart people who still support the con man in the White House (I can’t blame the average Joe for voting for Trump, simply because most people just don’t realize they get conned – but that’s a different story). I don’t think the discussion was out of line and I remember blocking the senator after our Twitter exchange, but maybe he used his political connections to silence me? I don’t know, but I would not be surprised. Twitter never told me why it happened, I still have not heard anything from them.

Because of this I finally decided to stop using my old account (@chijs) and go back to another Twitter account that I had not used for 10 years (@marcvanderchijs). A few weeks ago I made the change and went from almost 15,000 followers on my old account to less than 100 followers on my new one. I am over 1000 followers now on the new one, but conversations are not as interesting yet as they were on my old account. I had to manually follow most of the people that I had followed on my old account. There did not seem to be a tool for that so I semi-automated it by exporting my followers to an Excel sheet and then re-adding them with 2 clicks from there. Of course Twitter does not like you to add a lot of people quickly, so I was stopped from doing that a few times as well, but most of the people I followed I now follow on the new account as well.

What I learned from this is that centralized social media companies do not work. You can’t build a brand on a communications platform if they can all of a sudden start censoring you. Worse, you don’t even know why they do so and to top it off you have no way to get in touch with them. I am pretty disappointed in Twitter, to me it’s clear that their staff does not care about its users. Because of this I have been looking at decentralized versions of Twitter (Gab.ai is one of the companies that I like). It’s hard to disrupt Twitter, but I believe it may eventually happen when they censor too many users or just plainly refuse to communicate.

The only reason I stayed on Twitter and started all over again is because it’s still one of my main sources of news. I learn new things on Twitter every day and tweets often inspire me and give me new ideas. That’s the power of Twitter and that’s what gives it its value. But it’s also a big media company that does not care about its users, actively censors people that have different opinions, and in the end only thinks about its bottom line. I hope a new decentralized, immutable (not for profit?) initiative will emerge that might be even better than Twitter.

If you don’t follow me on my new account yet go here and click the follow button. Thanks!

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Bitcoin: older vs. younger investors

Bitcoin has steadily been going up since it was released in 2009. Of course with some serious downturns in between, but always recuperating from these downs and eventually hitting new highs. What’s interesting is that Bitcoin is going up when stock markets are going down. What happened on Monday this week was a good example of that: while global equities tanked Bitcoin was up close to 10%. Just like gold has been a safe haven for centuries, Bitcoin is slowly becoming a safe haven as well. A volatile safe haven, so one you want to keep in your portfolio for more than just a few weeks. But also one that might eventually replace gold as a store of value.

But it seems many old skool investors don’t seem to get that yet. An example is this article today on Coindesk about Shark Tank host Kevin O’Leary, who does not seem to understand that Bitcoin is becoming a safe haven. To be fair, the discussion with Morgan Creek’s Anthony Pompliano (@APompliano) was more about how much you should put in Bitcoin (Pomp has 50% of his assets in Bitcoin), and Kevin feels you should never put more than 5% in one asset. However, if you feel markets are at risk of imploding and you want to protect your investments, should you not put more than 5% in one asset class? I am sure he would feel different about cash or gold.

It’s really a generational thing in my opinion. Over the years I have preached the crypto gospel to many investors and investment managers and it’s always the younger ones that get it. The older ones often don’t even want to listen and immediately start with main-stream media remarks like “Bitcoin is not backed by anything”, “governments will block it”, or “you can easily start a new Bitcoin”. They don’t want to hear your arguments that in fact the dollar is not backed by anything (some people still think it’s backed by gold…) and that your dollars go down in value about 5% per year (real inflation is much higher than the official 1-2%), simply because they don’t see the world has changed.

The younger managers (roughly the ones below 35) have grown up with computers and digital assets. They seem to get it because they are more open to new ideas and understand digital, but they often can’t make the decisions yet. I don’t think guys like Kevin O’Leary or Warren Buffett will ever understand crypto assets nor invest in them, or possibly only once it’s worth $100,000 per coin. Just like Warren Buffett only started buying Apple last year (at prices similar to the current stock price) instead of when it was clear the iPhone was a winner 10 years ago, when the stock price was 90-95% lower than today’s price.

The good thing is that the younger generation will take over and they will buy Bitcoin for themselves or for their investors. Just this additional demand will automatically lead to a price increase (Bitcoin has a fixed supply, so more demand means higher prices). I will keep spreading the word about Bitcoin because I understand its fundamentals and how it’s changing the world, but it is frustrating to see how long it takes ’smart’ older investors to get it.

Note: this is my personal opinion and not investment advice. Diversification is a good strategy for investments, so never put all your eggs in one basket. And never invest money you are not prepared to lose.

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Climate crisis business opportunities

A couple of weeks ago during a business dinner with a banker the topic of climate change came up. Over bottles of red wine we discussed ways of reducing CO2 and methane emissions and realized that it will be virtually impossible to get this done on time. We have about 11 years left until the CO2 level hits 450 ppm, by which time the arctic will melt and huge amounts of methane will be released into the air, causing an unstoppable cycle of increasing temperatures, crop failures and sea level increase.

The problem is that right now the only way not to reach 450 ppm is by severely limiting our CO2 emissions. The longer we wait the more we will need to reduce the emissions. For a while I thought that governments may be able to force us to change our lifestyles, but during the dinner I suddenly realized it will likely be too late for that. People may be able to cut their CO2 emissions by 20-30% (if we are lucky), but we won’t be able to get down by 80% or more, which would be needed. There are simply no substitutes for our lifestyles yet and governments will get voted out if they try to push for more. I am an optimist (otherwise I can’t be an entrepreneur), but I am also a realist.

I don’t believe it’s realistic to force people to give up meat, even though it would be best for the planet. Cows emit large amounts of methane (through burps), so reducing the number of cows on earth would help to stabilize the climate (methane is 30-40 times more dangerous as a greenhouse gas than CO2). Also people won’t stop flying completely within a few years, it’s too much part of (business) culture. It may happen eventually, but not in 11 years and not before there are decent substitutes.

Therefore it’s most important is that we develop alternatives for our lifestyles. We need electric planes and electric boats, but commercially viable solutions won’t be here by 2030. Maybe the hyperloop can be a solution, but whether we will have tunnels below the ocean bottom within the next decade remains to be seen. For sure we will start to travel less when we realize the climate crisis is getting out of hand, but we need better incentives to do so.

For meat, companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods produce decent meat replacements. I regularly grill Beyond Meat burgers and I am surprised how good they are (my son hates them though and I can’t trick him to believe that it’s real meat). But the food additives in Beyond Meat burgers (such canola oil, sodium, and methyl cellulose) may be worse for humans than not eating meat, so I have some doubts about the long term viability of this. That’s why I am looking at companies that create lab-grown meat, but I am also looking at alternatives that will reduce the amount of methane that cows emit (e.g. adding sea weed to cow feed).

But most likely the holy grail will be companies that take greenhouse gasses out of the air. The technology is there, although it has not been done at scale yet. It will be extremely expensive (think in the trillions of dollars), but it’s feasible. The ‘good’ thing is that we can keep on living similar lifestyles to our current ones, until viable alternatives have been developed. In a way this will reward oil companies (they will get a life extension), but I hope we can force them to scale down significantly with taxes: offsetting their carbon emissions with carbon credits. This could lead to a huge cycle of innovation, when companies that develop these carbon reduction innovations can create carbon credits and sell them to oil companies and other bad actors.

I see major business opportunities in this space and I spend a lot of time talking to people, meeting companies and doing research to develop a thesis on what will happen over the next 5 years.

More soon…

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Climate crisis activities

Over the past couple of months I started to look at Climate Crisis projects, next to my work at First Block Capital and crypto-related investments. While sailing last week I was reading the weekly (Dutch) Future Affairs newsletter by journalist Wouter van Noort, in which he mentioned that he was reading The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells.

That was the book that really opened my eyes to what is happening in the world and especially about the fact that time is running out. So I decided to drop Wouter a line about the book and how it changed the focus of my investments (Wouter has interviewed me in the past). I did not intend him to talk about my activities in his latest newsletter, but he did and I really appreciate it. I want to spread the word about the climate crisis and I hope it will inspire people to become active in the space as well.

Because the newsletter is in Dutch, below a rough translation of the paragraph in which he talks about my activities:

This tech millionaire jumps on the climate change bandwagon

Sometimes reactions from readers are worth a separate item. Marc van der Chijs, who made his money as co-founder of the Chinese videosite Youku Tudou and became even richer with cryptocurrencies, is now focusing on technologies to stop climate change. He emailed me that after reading the (also for me relatively shocking book) Uninhabitable Earth, he decided he had to do something.

He sees a lot of potential in Carbon Engineering to take CO2 out of the air. He is also looking to set up a company that will do large scale farming of a specific kind of seaweed that, when mixed with cow feed, will sharply reduce the methane emissions of cows. When I read about this it looks like both technologies are very early stage and it is very much the question whether these innovations will be able to turn the tide. In Nature researchers called technologies to remove CO2 from the air ‘magical thinking’. But maybe we need some magical thinking especially now, and I think it is excellent that people like Marc use their money and brain power to fight climate change.

Thanks for the shout-out Wouter. If anybody has interesting projects I should look at, feel free to share: marcvanderchijs (at) gmail (dot) com . I don’t do a lot of investments yet, but that may change sooner rather than later. And if you want to sign up for the newsletter you can do so here.

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Quantum computing and the risks for Bitcoin

This week I was interviewed on the Cryptocast podcast (sorry, it’s in Dutch) and one of the questions during the one hour program was about Quantum Computing and Bitcoin. I only gave a short answer there, but think it’s an important topic so I decided to go a bit deeper in a blog post.

I have been following Quantum Computing (QC) for years because it’s a fascinating technology with huge implications for cryptography. Even though I I only have a basic understanding of how QC works, I at least try to understand what it could be used for. About 5 years ago I for example looked at using quantum computing for Bitcoin mining, but after discussions with scientists from UBC, QC not only seemed too far off, it also turned out that the machines could not be optimized for mining (meaning there would not be a huge advantage for using QC compared to ‘regular’ chips).

Simple quantum computers have been around for years, but ‘real’ RC was always expected to be here around 2025 at the earliest. Real QC meaning computers with enough qubits to do meaningful computations. It’s hard to explain it here (and like I said, I am no expert at all!), but qubits are similar to bits in a normal computer, but instead of being either 1 or 0, they can be in a 1 or 0 quantum state, basically 2 vectors in a 2D space perpendicular to each other (“a coherent superposition of both” is the term used in QC). When measured the result is either 0 or 1, however, just by measuring it the state gets destroyed and the result can change. There is a ton of information on the Internet if you want to better understand how this works, I won’t even try to do that here.

Interestingly, QC is suddenly developing much faster than anybody had expected. Google has shown some out-of-this-world results: Its quantum processor doesn’t just show exponential change (like in Moore’s Law), but double exponential change! What does that mean? Well, suppose you have 5 iterations of improvements, then in classical computers the computer would be 5 times as fast, with exponential change it would be 2^5=32 times as fast, and in the double exponential change it would be 2^2^5=4.2 million times as fast. That is hard to comprehend for human beings.

To quote from the article: “In December 2018 they were able to reproduce the quantum processor’s computation using a regular laptop. Then in January, they ran the same test on an improved version of the quantum chip. This time they had to use a powerful desktop computer to simulate the result. By February, there were no longer any classical computers in the building that could simulate their quantum counterparts. The researchers had to request time on Google’s enormous server network to do that. Somewhere in February they had to make calls to say, ‘Hey, we need more quota.’ They were running jobs comprised of a million processors.”

If this is true the world will see some radical changes in computing power over the next couple of months already. Real quantum computers will be here this year instead of somewhere in the next decade. It’s quite amazing how fast this is going.

Now keep in mind hat QC is fairly limited in what it can do. What it can do, however, is integer factorization, which determines the security of public key cryptographic systems. Ordinary computers can’t do this for large numbers, say products of 2 multi-hundred digit prime numbers. A quantum computer could efficiently solve this problem using Shor’s algorithm to find its factors. This ability would allow a quantum computer to break many of the cryptographic systems in use today, including potentially Bitcoin wallets.

So when I read the article I immediately thought about the implications for Bitcoin. I had done research on that years ago, but at that point I wasn’t that worried about it, simply because QC seemed at least a decade away. Now that that timeline had moved forward significantly it was time to look at it again.

It turns out that Bitcoin in its current state is not QC proof. However, that does not mean that your coins are at risk right away. What it means is that if you follow the recommended practice of only using your Bitcoin addresses one time, you should be fine. In that case your public key is only ever revealed at the one time that you spend bitcoins sent to each address. A quantum computer would need to be able to break your key in the short time between when your transaction is first sent and when it gets into a block (normally less than 10 minutes, depending on the mining fee you are willing to pay).

However, older addresses are still at risk. For example, Satoshi’s coins are all stored on (old) P2PK addresses instead of (new) P2PKH addresses, meaning that they are immediately vulnerable to a quantum computer attack. So you will have proof that real QC exists once Satoshi’s coins start moving!

The good thing is that a new public-key algorithm can be added to Bitcoin as a softfork. For a Bitcoin user this would mean the creation of a new address type, and everyone would need to send their bitcoins to this new address to achieve quantum security.

Am I worried about QC and Bitcoin? Not really. Even though QC seems to be just around the corner, there are solutions to make Bitcoin QC proof, and as long as you do not use addresses more than once you should be safe. Moreover, there are much better targets than the Bitcoin network for anybody controlling a QC network, Bitcoin will certainly not be on top of the list. Once a government has a functioning network it would want nobody to know that they have it, so using it to hack Bitcoin would probably be the last thing they would want to do. So nothing to worry about for now, but it’s certainly something we should pay close attention to.

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The world of UFOs

In the early 1990s my parents were living in a house on a small hill in the woods in The Netherlands. One night I was visiting them with my girlfriend when we saw some strange lights in the sky. My girlfriend and I decided to check it out and we walked to a moor a few hundred meters from the house where the views were unobstructed by trees. What I saw that night I have never forgotten: there were different coloured objects erratically hovering in the sky. They seemed to move up and down in a random way. I had no idea what I was seeing, but because there was a military base close by I assumed it was some kind of military exercise. However, after a few minutes the lights suddenly flew away at an incredibly high speed. To me it seemed impossible that an airplane could all of a sudden fly this fast after hovering for quite some time.

I found it interesting but did not think about it until the next morning when the paper arrived and I saw an article on the front page about UFO sightings around Amsterdam. Amsterdam was about 100 km from my parents’ house at the time, but this could not be a coincidence. I still thought it was most likely related to the military. So I discounted the news report, but kept an open mind about it.

Fast forward 25 years. I am living in Vancouver and have a hot tub on my roof top terrace where I regularly relax late at night before going to bed. The house overlooks the sea and several islands in the distance. At night it’s quite dark (there is not much light pollution here) so you have an incredible view with thousands of stars above you. While sitting in the hot tub I regularly observe hovering lights above Bowen Island and Keats Island. At first I thought they might be drones, but they appeared almost every night and they moved erratically. They also changed colours sometimes, very similar actually to the lights that I had seen in The Netherlands years ago.

Once again I sort of dismissed it, but then I started paying more attention to it in other locations. I realized I could also see them while sailing and I occasionally even saw them from the marina in Vancouver late at night. Over the years I have seen them in Napa Valley and even on China’s Hainan island earlier this year. I showed them to other people but many thought they must be drones, satellites or distant airplanes. Sometimes they moved away very fast, however, and I was not so sure if any of these things could do that. I was mainly surprised that most people had never seen them. It seems most humans don’t pay a lot of attention to what’s in the skies above us or they just assume it’s something regular.

I started doing some research and found many videos online of similar objects in the sky. Many were shot around Vancouver and interestingly one article even mentioned Keats Island as a ‘nest of UFOs’ (not sure how serious that source is though). People call them UFOs, which to me means a flying object that I can’t explain. I did not necessarily think they would be alien objects, but assumed they would be military equipment using advanced technologies. I guess I am quite rational and have a problem with most conspiracy theories, simply because I want to see proof and do not want to rely on all kinds of (often absurd) assumptions. Like I said, I always keep an open mind and believe that one day it would become clear what these objects are. Maybe that day has come already.

A few weeks ago Netflix added a documentary called Bob Lazar, Area 51 & Flying Saucers. I saw some positive comments about it on social media, but when I watched the trailer I was not too impressed. I decided to put in on my watch list for the future. Then last week I was going through my podcast feed and saw that Joe Rogan had just interviewed Bob Lazar on his podcast. I respect Joe a lot, he is a great personality and a very good interviewer (check out his podcasts with Elon Musk and with Naval Ravikant as well!). So I decided to start listening to the podcast while doing chores around the house. Within minutes I was hooked and almost decided to binge-listen the whole 2.5 hour interview. But because the interview was based on the Netflix documentary I decided to stop listening after 30 minutes and watch that program first.

The documentary is interesting, it tells the story of Bob Lazar who in 1989 works for the US Navy at S4 (an area south of the well known Area 51 in Nevada). There he works on reverse engineering propulsion systems from UFOs until he gets fired for filming flying UFOs at night close to the base and discussing them with others. He is worried and decides to talk to the press as an insurance policy. I had heard this story before and didn’t really believe it, but this documentary started to change my mind a bit.

Seeing Bob speak about it 30 years later and explaining the physics behind the spacecraft makes a lot of sense to me. Not only did he never change his story in 30 years, a lot of things that he talked about in 1989 turned out to be correct (especially Element 115 that was used in the anti-matter reactor and that was only discovered in 2003 or gravitational waves that were only reported in 2016). It’s hard to believe that someone could make up these things and that they suddenly turn out to be true decades later. I won’t go into too much detail, if you are interested in this topic you should watch this documentary and decide for yourself.

After watching the program I went back to the podcast and listened to it. The podcast changed my views on Bob Lazar. He is either a super smart liar who was lucky with some of his predictions or he is for real. I have seen a lot of bullshitters in my (business) life and he does not seem like one. I think I believe him, especially after it turns out that people (the US government?) has been trying to erase his past. Not only did Los Alamos deny that he ever worked there (interestingly the documentary maker found evidence in a personnel directory that Bob indeed worked there), but also Caltech and MIT could not find proof that he studied there anymore, and even his birth certificate disappeared. It could all be a coincidence of course, but at a certain point the odds are that more is going on.

If you believe Bob it suddenly becomes clear what these hovering objects in the sky are. They are most likely not alien spacecraft, but reverse engineered flying objects using technologies that have not been publicized yet. What these UFOs use is a propulsion system based on anti-gravity. Basically a bubble is formed around the spacecraft that lets it move through space using gravity (compare it to 2 magnets that push the other away when you get too close). This could explain the hovering and the very fast movements (gravity could change space time as well, meaning that what you see could happen at a different time) of the objects. Crazy? Maybe. But I believe it could very well be true. I have seen too many of these UFOs to know that there are things out there that we can’t explain based on our current understanding of physics.

The biggest problem I have is the fact that Bob Lazar is the only person who has come forward with this story. That is just very difficult to understand and it is one of the main reasons why I don’t believe most conspiracy theories. For example, if you believe 9/11 is a set up, do you really believe that nobody would ever come forward with the real story? At least a few people must regret what they did and want to come clean, even if only on their death bed. The same with Bob Lazar’s story, there were a lot more people that interacted with the UFOs and that worked on the technology. I understand the secrecy and the fact that you only got very compartmentalized information, meaning you often did not know enough to put one and one together. But more people would know about the 9 UFOs in section S4 and nothing was ever published. Are people worried they would not be taken serious? That’s the main thing I could imagine that would stop people from speaking out. I know from personal experience that many people already find it strange if you mention regularly seeing UFOs, let alone when you should mention that you worked on them. Maybe fear of retribution plays a role as well, but on your death bed that should not be an issue.

If it is true I hope the government(s) that managed to reverse engineer this technology will use it for the good of mankind. Stable anti-matter reactors basically make fossil fuels redundant, meaning that we can go to a zero emissions world in a short period of time. I realize that that is not in the interest of the extremely powerful oil and gas industry, so that may be a reason why we have not heard much of it yet. Or maybe there are other downsides that we don’t understand yet (e.g. radiation and clean nuclear power). Actually, after some research I found that the US Secretary of Navy actually filed a patent for an anti-gravity aircraft in 2016, so who knows.

To me the topic is fascinating. I do believe we don’t know everything and maybe there is a good reason for that. But social media is powerful and if Bob Lazar’s story is indeed true more stories may eventually come out. In 1989 you needed TV programs and newspaper articles to spread the word, now anybody can publish anything and reach a huge audience in a matter of hours. For sure traditional media are more open to talk about it, for example the New York Times had an article about UFO sightings by fighter pilots a few weeks ago. And just last week Vanity Fair reported on US congress wanting to learn more about UFO sightings from the Pentagon. I am certainly looking at the UFOs in Vancouver’s night sky in a different light.