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Alexandra Bruce
February 22, 2015

When I was 13 years old, shortly after my stepfather got a new job, which brought our family to Sao Paulo, Brazil, I was standing in my neighbor’s driveway, having just given her a tap dancing lesson. It was a school night, so it was going to be time for dinner soon, but we lingered in her driveway, while we cooled off and our sweat dried up.

Then, we noticed a VERY red star in the sky. Over the course of the next 15 minutes, it grew in size, as it descended straight over our heads and revealed itself to be something that looked akin to the International Space Station – but one that had silent, anti-gravity properties – and this superstructure of fine girders.

It was cylindrical, with a scaffolding-like superstructure, dotted with regularly-spaced red lights, just like radio antennae and it had what looked like a huge satellite dish on one end, from which a very bright white light shown from the center of the dish. It looked like a giant flashlight in the sky, with no tail numbers or markings.

For 45 minutes, we looked at this mind-boggling object with both our naked eyes and through high-quality Zeiss lens binoculars, which amplified exactly what we were seeing. It was a nuts-and-bolts aircraft that appeared to be manmade.

It parked itself in the landing pattern of the local airport and hovered over what was then the third largest city in the world. Today, Sao Paulo is the largest city in the Americas, with a greater metropiltan population of 20 million inhabitants and it’s the 12th largest city in the world. Interestingly enough, most Americans have never even heard of this place.

The first words out of my mouth were: “It’s the Russians!” (this was during the peak of the Cold War) then I thought about for a few seconds more and I blurted, “It’s the Americans!”

Not knowing what we were looking at – but it having the appearance of being in the landing pattern for Congonhas Airport, it looked to be at an altitude of 1,500-2,000 feet (409-610m) and a bit bigger than a Boeing 747.

After we’d seen enough of it, my neighbor and I took our eyes off of the object and lapsed back into conversation. When we looked up again, it had completely vanished, which was very strange – as if the entire event wasn’t strange enough!

We felt like we had seen a rather newsworthy item and expected to see it on the front page of all the newspapers and to be the leading story of every television and radio news broadcast, the following day – but there was no mention of this amazing event in the media, whatsoever.

The next day, at school, I mentioned it to a few people. One kid said his mother had witnessed the same exact object from her penthouse, from the other side of town, about 20 miles away from where my neighbor and I had seen it.

Everything I’ve just written is the truth. As a result of that experience, I realized at the age of 13, that virtually everything that I’d ever been told, my whole life was a lie.

The physics they were teaching us in school were lies. The entire history of humanity was a lie. I realized that, as humans we all lived in an elaborate tapestry of lies. This was a shocking revelation, which has informed me for the rest of my life:

I just don’t buy it!

Which brings us to this brilliant clip.

SciShow’s Hank gets into the dirty details behind humanity’s lying ways – how and why such behavior evolved, how pathological liars are different from the rest of us, and how scientists are getting better at spotting lies in many situations.

The scientific references for this episode of SciShow can be found here:

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Alexandra Bruce

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