Air Raid from the Future

From Salon letters about the Air France/Brazil crash:

somthing stinks
"The captain of a Spanish airliner claimed to have seen "an intense flash of white light" in the area where the plane was lost"

Yeah, 'cause no-one would EVER describe a flash of lightning as "an intense flash of white light".

You do love your conspiracy theories.

-- Lynx

Move along
The "white light" was probably just the people of the future travelling back in time to harvest the passengers, since they were going to die anyway.

They obviously need to re-seed humanity with people who haven't yet ceased being able to reproduce due to pollutants and whatnot. I think this was the subject of a documentary film.

See--much more plausible than "lightning." Who ever heard of lightning occuring in a thunderstorm?

-- Kevin C

@Kevin C
Not quite a documentary film. A terrific science fiction short story by John Varley that was published in a compilation called "The Persistence of Vision". Great book, by the way. I'm pretty sure that they didn't put out a flash of light, though. The whole point of the kidnapping was to do it secretly because if anybody found out the entire thing would not have happened.

-- jebldmm

Had not heard of the Varley yarn. The short story was "Air Raid," and the ideas were developed in the novel Millennium, made into a movie with Kris Kristofferson. Here's the Wikipedia synopsis of the book:

Millennium features a civilization that has dubbed itself "The Last Age". Due to millennia of warfare of every type (nineteen nuclear wars alone), the Earth has been heavily polluted and humanity's gene pool irreparably damaged. They have thus embarked on a desperate plan; time travel into the past, collect healthy humans, and send them to an uncontaminated planet to rebuild civilization.

The time travelers can only take people that will have no further effect on the timeline - those who have vanished without a trace, or died without being observed - otherwise they would be changing the past, which risks a temporal paradox and perhaps even a catastrophic breakdown of the fabric of time. Though they collect everyone they can, they exert a great deal of effort on those destined to die in various disasters such as sinking ships and crashing airplanes (and once a century of Roman soldiers lost and dying in the North African desert). As such incidents leave no survivors to report interference and change the timeline, they can freely remove the living but soon-to-die victims, and replace them with convincing corpses they have manufactured in the future.

The novel deals with several of the raids, their inevitable discovery in the present day, and the fallout that results from changes to the present day reverberating into the future.