Throughout the ages, Unidentified Flying Objects have been spotted around the world. They are more commonly referred to as UFOs, a term coined by the United States Air Force in the 1950’s.
Although these UFOs are commonly associated with possible alien life from another planet, the term UFO simply means that an object that was seen in the air could not be identified. A large number of UFO sightings are often able to be explained when relevant information to the event is collected from sources such as local residents or airfields.
Quick Facts about UFOs
- They are often described as metallic or disk-like with the ability to move in unearthly ways.
- According to the data from the National UFO Reporting Center, there have been 84,794 reports of UFO’s since 2000.
- Famous pop star Nick Jonas claims to have seen three UFOs from his backyard in Los Angeles.
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind was a hit 1977 movie about a fictional UFO encounter. It starred Richard Dreyfuss and was directed by Steven Spielberg.
- In April of 2020, the U.S. Navy declassified three videos showing strange encounters with objects that could not be identified.
- One of the most famous UFO sightings in history was the Belgium Wave in 1989. Over 13,000 people around Belgium reported seeing large triangular shapes at various times from November 1989 to April 1990. At one point, fighters were scrambled to try to identify the objects, but were unable to spot them.
While the term has only been around since the 1950’s, there have been numerous sightings throughout the centuries. Some people believe that UFOs are depicted in historical works of art, such as the Svetishoveil Cathedral Fresco or the Baptism of Christ by Aert De Gelder in 1710.
The first modern UFO official sighting was made by a private pilot named Kenneth Arnold in 1947. On June 24, he was on a flight from Chehalis to Yakima in Washington State. While on the flight, he received information about a C-46 that had crashed and a reward for anybody who found it. It was during this detour that he witnessed a chain of metallic objects in the sky, many of which were brightly reflecting sunlight.
The famous Roswell incident occurred shortly after. On July 8, Roswell Army Air Field public information officer Walter Haut released a statement that a flying disk had been recovered from on private property near Roswell. The object was moved to Fort Worth Army Air Field, where it was determined to be a weather balloon. These two incidents sparked a rash of UFO sightings and reports over the next few years, and are still discussed and debated among UFO enthusiasts today.
The idea of UFOs has certainly passed into modern popular culture. Usually, these are depicted as space ships– often harboring intelligent alien lifeforms. This has played out in popular shows such as “Roswell” and the “Alien Nation” franchise. The series “X-Files” was built around the premise that the truth was out there. Sometimes, the intentions of alien visitors are portrayed as sinister such as in “Falling Skies.”
What do they look like?
UFOs are generally described as disk-like metallic objects. Some people have reported seeing strange lights on them, or seeing them in strange formations, such as the large triangular pattern seen in Phoenix in 1997.
Other reports tell of UFOs rapidly moving from one place to another in the sky, in ways that current technology possibly could not achieve. What are these strange phenomena that people are seeing?
What are UFOs?
The “what” behind UFOs in the real world is debated. In some instances, explanations such as weather balloons or meteors have been found for the sightings. An example of this is the 1980 Rendlesham Forest Incident, which is sometimes called “Britain’s Roswell.” In that case, it turned out to be a prank perpetrated by the U.S. soldiers on the British military.
However, there are many other instances where the question remains as to what the person or persons saw. In reality, there are many questions surrounding UFOs. Some of these sightings have been accompanied by a phenomenon known as “missing time.” These tales are sometimes accompanied by often vague memories of abduction by alien lifeforms.
One such instance happened in 1966 in Massachusetts to an Airman named Robert Matthews. He was headed to report for his first tour off duty when he experienced a strange occurrence at a remote bus stop.
The young soldier made a call from a pay phone to let base know that he had arrived and was awaiting transport. While waiting for the truck to come pick him up to take him to base, he saw strange lights. He placed another call for the truck. He was told that the driver had already been through to pick him up after his previous call but could not find him.
The time that had elapsed between Robert Matthews’ first phone call and second felt to him as though it had only been a few minutes. However, in reality, an hour had passed.
Other such tales have been told of UFOs. It is a part of the stories that surround UFOs that have not been entirely explained. While some of these sightings have clearly been pranks, weather phenomenon, meteors, aircraft, or the like, there are others that leave questions that have not been so easily answered.
In recent years, the U.S. military has confirmed the existence of UFOs. For instance, in April 2020, the Navy released footage of fighter pilots encountering something that has not yet been identified. This comes just a few years after the 2013 declassification of information pertaining to Area 51.
The debate surrounding UFOs has gone on for a long while, and it appears to be a long way from being settled. That is something to keep in mind while looking up at the night sky– and wondering if someone is looking back.
Have you ever seen a UFO? Tell us your stories in the comments below!