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This question has baffled humans ever since prehistoric man noticed the bright stars in our sky. There are around 200 billion galaxies out there and smart(better word) people estimate around 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets overall. Are we really the only planet with intelligent (again, debatable) life on it? We have been fascinated by the bizarre, and alien sightings are top on that list. From them taking over the world, to government conspiracies, many “knowledgeable” people have tried explaining such phenomenon.
Here are a few popular encounters of the third kind.
The most popular one is the Roswell incident which occurred in 1947. Rancher William “Mac” Brazel discovered mysterious debris in one of his New Mexico pastures, including metallic rods, chunks of plastic and unusual, papery scraps. When Brazel reported the wreckage, soldiers from nearby Roswell Army Air Force Base were called in to retrieve the materials. News headlines claimed that a “flying saucer” crashed in Roswell, but military officials purported that it was merely a conventional weather balloon. Interest subsequently waned until the late 1970s, when ufologists began promoting a variety of increasingly elaborate conspiracy theories, claiming that one or more alien spacecraft had crash-landed, and that the extraterrestrial occupants had been recovered by the military, who then engaged in a cover-up.
In the 1990s, the US military published two reports disclosing the true nature of the crashed object: a nuclear test surveillance balloon from Project Mogul. Nevertheless, the Roswell incident continues to be of interest in popular media, and conspiracy theories surrounding the event persist. Roswell has been described as “the world’s most famous, most exhaustively investigated, and most thoroughly debunked UFO claim”. But the UFO mania was first set up by an incident which occurred earlier that year with Kenneth Arnold who claimed to see 9 blue glowing objects flying in a ‘V’ formation almost approximately at a speed of 2700kmph, which was three times faster than any manned aircraft in 1947. When he described their motion as similar to “a saucer if you skip it across water,” the media coined the now-ubiquitous phrase “flying saucer.” Soon, other reports of a group of nine UFOs cropped up across the region, including sightings by a prospector on Mount Adams and the crew of a commercial flight in Idaho.
The government never had a true explanation for the sightings—it simply claimed that Arnold had seen a mirage or was hallucinating. Almost all sightings have a similar explanation which is never satisfying. I personally very much believe that aliens exist and the government surely has a lot which has been covered up. For the past 44 years the National UFO Reporting Center has been doing the job of meticulously taking any story if someone sees anything strange. Right now, they receive between 10-20 written reports in a day through the website. But those sightings are going up. Most of them have mundane explanations or just cases of seeing a type of object that the witness was unable to identify himself. The most reliable reports involve multiple witnesses who corroborate each other’s sightings. NUFORC believes serving as a listening ear is one half of the job. Presenting those stories as publicly-available reports is the other. People should have access to information about extraterrestrial activity, “without having to rely on a government which is lying to all of us about the UFO phenomenon.”
Another incident which was very poorly explained by the government is The Lubbock Lights which occurred in 1951. Three science professors from Texas Tech were enjoying an evening outdoors in Lubbock, when they looked up and saw a semicircle of lights flying above them at a high speed. Over the next few days, dozens of reports flooded in from across town—Texas Tech freshman Carl Hart Jr., even snapped photos of the phenomenon, which were published in newspapers across the country and Life magazine. According to Dr. Grayson Mead the lights “appeared to be about the size of a dinner plate and they were greenish-blue, slightly fluorescent in color. They were smaller than the full moon at the horizon. There were about a dozen to fifteen of these lights, they were absolutely circular, it gave all of us an extremely eerie feeling.” The Air Force initially believed the lights were caused by a type of bird called a plover, but eventually concluded that the lights “weren’t birds but they weren’t spaceships either, the Lubbock Lights have been positively identified as a very commonplace and easily explainable natural phenomenon.” However, to maintain the anonymity of the scientist who had provided the explanation, the Air Force refrained from providing any details regarding their explanation for the lights. How lame can explanations get?
The Tehran incident of 1976 is one of my favourite. An F-4 fighter jet was sent to investigate when they received reports of a bright light in the sky. But as it neared the object, its instruments blacked out, forcing the pilot to return to base. A second F-4 took its place, and as it neared the unusual light, it achieved radar lock. But then, according to the pilot, the UFO released a glowing object—the pilot assumed it to be some sort of missile headed straight for him. As he prepared to fight back, the pilot experienced malfunctions with his instruments, and he witnessed another bright object released from the UFO that headed straight toward the ground. He safely returned to base, despite the faulty equipment. On contacting the United States for help in investigation, they got explanations for nearly all of the incidents. Firstly, the bright light seen, they say might’ve been Jupiter. Secondly, the second F-4 jet had a long history of electrical problems, meaning that the instrumentation might have failed regardless of a UFO situation. It also could explain the radar lock-it might simply have been a malfunction. The first F-4, was never turned in for maintenance following the incident (despite such a major mysterious event which took place), so there’s no official indication that its instrumentation failed.
And finally, as for the “alien missiles,” there was a meteor shower that night, which could easily account for the sightings. Too many coincidences, don’t you think?
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