UFO History & Folklore
(Dedicated to Annie)
Unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, have long occupied the imaginations of men, women, and children. UFOs are generally associated with extraterrestrial aliens, though the term "UFO" itself does not necessitate alien involvement. It simply refers to something flying through the air that cannot be identified as any known object. The alien association with UFOs is largely due to the fact that many people who have seen UFOs also claim to have seen aliens or even to have been abducted by aliens. Thus, UFOs are often believed to be evidence for creatures that appear in works of science fiction and have inspired Halloween costumes. Science fiction, however, is not the only literary realm in which UFOs appear, for some modern UFO enthusiasts believe that evidence for UFOs and aliens exists in ancient documents such as the Bible's Book of Ezekiel. Beginning in the middle of the 20th century, an increasing number of alien sightings led many people to rethink whether human beings are the only life in the universe. The debate continues, with many people on each side of the issue.
For someone to profess that they have seen a UFO is not necessarily convincing evidence for the existence of aliens. After all, those who report such sightings might be hallucinating or lying, or they might be misled. Actual pictures of UFOs, on the other hand, make these stories more convincing. Many pictures of unidentified flying objects exist. Some of these photos have explanations that surfaced months or years after they were taken. Others remain unexplained.
Almost as common as reports of UFOs are reports of alien abductions. Several individuals have told stories of the harrowing encounters they have had with alien beings. During these encounters, they speak of being interviewed and/or experimented upon. Some researchers associate these stories with false memories. Others are convinced that something strange and otherworldly actually happens to many of those who make such claims.
Many of those who report being abducted by aliens also say that the creatures have placed implants in their bodies. Some people who have been abducted have even tried to prove that they have had a tracking device or other such thing placed in their bodies. Evidence for such implants remains scant, but that has not stopped people from making the claims.
One of the most well-known accounts of alien sightings is associated with Roswell, New Mexico. Several individuals have alleged that an alien spacecraft crashed near Roswell in 1947 and that the U.S. Air Force has covered it up. The U.S. Air Force has reported that no aliens ever crashed there, but that has not stopped people from making the claim. Descriptions of the Roswell "aliens" continue to serve as the basis for many alien Halloween costumes.
The Roswell incident is perhaps the most well-known story of military UFO cover-ups, but it is by no means the only account. Conspiracy theories regarding the government's hiding of evidence for aliens and UFOs abound. Even astronauts have alleged that organizations such as NASA are hiding something when it comes to UFOs. That the government is known to have hidden information about other things from the public serves to give life to these allegations, even if the government has never encountered UFOs or extraterrestrial lifeforms.
Even those who are the most skeptical about UFO and alien encounters do not necessarily discount the possibility of extraterrestrial life. In fact, there are many scientific searches already being conducted with the hopes of finding alien lifeforms. These searches may not return the "little green men" that have served as the models for many Halloween costumes, but they are intriguing nonetheless. Moreover, interest in UFOs continues, with the number of resources devoted to studying UFOs continually increasing.
World UFO Day: 10 Baffling UFO Sightings Around The World
Written by Trusha Navalkar | New Delhi | Published: June 24, 2016
World UFO day is observed on June 24 to mark the day of the first UFO sighting by aviator Kenneth Arnold. UFO stands for unidentified flying object, most of which just happen to be defence aircraft of a country straying into the air territory of another. However, before it can be identified as such, the UFO alarms already start ringing, giving rise to modern-day urban UFO legends. However, 5-20 per cent of sightings go unexplained each year. Here are some of the most baffling — some unexplained — UFO sightings in history.
1. Roswell Incident (1947): The most popular of UFO-lore, it is the first recorded ‘UFO crash’ outside a ranch in Roswell, New Mexico. Speculation spread like wildfire for a pre-Internet time. Alien invasion theories floated around until the US military stepped in and clarified that the debris came from a crashed experimental weather balloon.
World UFO Day, UFO sightings, UFO legends, Roswell Incident, UFO sightings in India, unsolved UFO cases, unexplained UFO sightings, UFO in Kolkata, what is a UFO, famous UFO sightings in history, famous UFO sightings Until their deaths in the 1990s, Evelyn and Paul Trent earnestly insisted that the photos they captured were of an actual UFO. (Source: WP:NFCC#4/Wikimedia Commons)
2. McMinnville incident, Oregon, Canada (1950): Evelyn Trent first spotted a silvery, metallic disk in the early evening sky when she was outside feeding her rabbits. Her farmer-husband watched for a couple of minutes and then decided to take two pictures before the UFO disappeared. The Trents shied away from all publicity and refused to sell the pictures to the media, preferring to keep the news private to avoid getting into trouble with the government. Only one local reporter got lucky. While attempts have been made to examine the photographs for any trickery, none has succeeded so far. Until their deaths in the 1990s, Evelyn and Paul Trent earnestly insisted that the photos were of an actual UFO.
3. Manbhum, Bihar, India (1957): At least 800 villagers of Kadori, Borsa and Mangalda came out of their huts to witness a sight very strange to them. A flying-saucer-like UFO descended to a height of 500ft above ground, whirring like a motorcar engine. It hovered mid-air for a few minutes and took off at an incredible speed, leaving behind a lot of smoke.
4. Barney and Betty Hill (1961): Barney and Betty Hill reported ‘symptoms’ of alien abduction after sighting strange lights on a trip back from Canada. Investigation — which also involved hypnosis — came to the conclusion that they were subject to various lab tests by the aliens. Both of them recounted experiences of being examined by grey aliens.
5. The Canary Islands sightings, Spain (1976): Residents of Las Rosas, Gran Canaria, reported seeing a gigantic, translucent blue sphere hovering just above ground level. They saw two figures in the gigantic sphere, measuring 30m in diameter. The figures looked like humanoids. The sphere grew larger and larger before ultimately disappearing into the sky. At 9.27pm on the same night, the Navy personnel reported a strange light travelling along the horizon that later split into two distinct objects.
6. Iranian UFO chase (1976): On September 19, 1976, the Iranian air force received frantic calls about a strange light shining in Tehran. Fearing an enemy attack, the Iranian air Force dispatched two F-4 pilots for initial investigation. The pilots reported strange technical activity upon return. The first pilot’s aircraft system began to fail as he approached the UFO. Deciding to abort the mission, the aircraft regained full functioning capacity as soon as he returned. It gets even bizarre with the second one. The UFO launched a defensive attack — a bright beam of light — on the aircraft, which missed due to an evasive manoeuvre executed by the pilot. Tehran was witness to the typical alien-invasion signs — knocked out communications systems, loss of power supply and widespread mayhem on the ground — as the UFO continued to chase the aircraft across Tehran’s skies
7. Rendlesham forest UFO landing (1980): Jointly operating US-UK air bases at Bentwaters and Woodbridge in the UK were on alert upon being buzzed by a UFO for several nights in 1980. On 27 December, the UFO seemed to have closed in for an encounter at Rendlesham forest as the locals started reporting strange lights in the area. The security patrol on duty found a saucer-shaped craft hovering a short distance off the ground. Moreover, they even saw grey aliens who seemed to be working on it. Those who did approach closer to investigate reported experiencing symptoms of altered reality — such as time displacement, “reality bending” phenomena and bizarre atmospheric anomalies.
8. Hudson Valley, New York sightings (1981): What makes this one stand apart are the sheer number of people who reported them, and the fact the flying saucers in this case weren’t circular discs, but triangular in shape. What made it eerie was that these UFOs didn’t make any sound as they hovered over the city. Some of them were reportedly so large that witnesses described them as a “floating city”.
9. Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 (1986): The crew of the Tokyo-bound flight from Paris was accompanied by more than one UFO for almost an hour as the Boeing 747 cargo carrier transited the skies over Alaska. The UFOs made motions that suggested gravity had no effect on them whatsoever. Air traffic controllers were not able to detect any UFO activity around the Boeing despite repeated assurances by the crew. The pilot, Captain Kenju Terauchi, is as credible a source one could find as he had served as a fighter pilot and logged more than 10,000 hours in flight.
10. Kolkata, India (2007): A straight-out-of-a-Sci-Fi-movie fireball terrorised the residents of Kolkata in 2007. At 3.30am on October 29, witnesses described the gigantic object as a shape-shifting, vanishing ball of fire streaking over the sky. Scientists tried to pin a natural-cosmic-phenomenon tag on it — including a meteor — but ultimately agreed the shape-shifting ability made it hard to identify its origins.
Six Of The Most Widely Believed Alien
1. Skyline was the most pointless movie ever
There's a crowded field when it comes to pointlessness in movies, but alien invasion flick Skyline broke from the pack with its unfunny vacuity. Do not despair, though. It was just awful enough to have so-bad-it's-good potential. Spoilers!
Skyline was like a Syfy Original Movie, but with a kind of pernicious, humorless stupidity at its heart. It's got that B-movie "all we need for this plot is a giant monster" sensibility, but without any awareness of its own silliness. Which, as I suggested, makes it ripe for consumption as pure cheese.
You've got to hand it to the Brothers Strause, who directed: They don't really waste time on plot, or continuity. Here's what happens: Jared (Eric Balfour) and Elaine go to LA to attend the birthday party of Jared's old friend Terry, who has become a rich something in Hollywood - producer? director? musician? special effects artist? It's never clear. There's a party, women are treated like objects (more so than in most B movies) and Elaine barfs. Then just when we really want to murder everyone for being shallow, boring stereotypes, a bunch of alien ships zoom out of the sky, shoot light everywhere, and start harvesting human brains by the hundreds of thousands.
In 1947, the Roswell Air Force Base issued a press release saying that they'd found a mysterious metallic disc on a nearby ranch. The press was, of course, intrigued, but the base quickly changed their wording slightly: they'd found what appeared to be the remnants of a weather balloon.
The change was not quick enough, of course: the local papers ran giant headlines saying that the air force had recovered a crashed alien spaceship. And in the years since, that story has stuck, as accounts surfaced from employees at the base that include multiple crash sites, massive cover-ups, and even a reported alien autopsy (a film released in 1995 purported to depict the actual autopsy, but it its creator admitted that "most" of the footage was fake, thereby sort of discrediting all of the footage).
Die-hards still stand by these scant accounts of fishy dealings at Roswell. The supposed cover-up has permeated public perception of the base, leading to a Star Trek plot, a Futurama episode, and even an entire TV series, among many others. It also launched a veritable squadron of alien conspiracies. Some still believe that the spaceship remnants and alien bodies have been squirreled away in some sort of secret military enclave.
3. Area 51
And Area 51 might just be that military enclave. The actual base has long been a very closely-guarded secret, including wide "trespassers will be shot" stretches around the base itself and a large no-fly zone surrounding it.
According to theories, what we can see of Area 51 is just the tip of the paranoid iceberg. The base allegedly features elaborate underground labs, hidden tunnels, a dedicated extra-terrestrial runway that can disappear and reappear, and research programs dedicated to reverse-engineering alien technology.
In one particularly colorful and alluring detail, two different alleged former Area 51 employees reported working side-by-side with an alien being named "J-Rod" on cloning alien viruses and on a telepathic translator device.
And the mystery of Area 51 is still only one example of the vast network of supposed government cover-up of alien contact.
4. Project Blue Book And The Majestic 12
The government has been relatively transparent with Project Blue Book. It was an endeavor for the US government to catalog and examine every instance of supposed alien contact, visitation, and spacecraft reported to them. The project spanned years (and many incarnations), and its official result was that there existed no substantial evidence that these incidents were the result of alien visitation.
But that didn't stop conspiracy theorists. In addition to challenging the rigor of the study, some "experts" on the subject stand by the claim that Blue Book became a distraction and cover-up from the reality of alien visitation, which included a top secret international squad called Majestic 12 to perpetrate the elaborate smoke-screen. Amongst the alleged weaponry of this massive cover-up are disinformation campaigns, character assassination, and elaborate webs of government lies.
Another weapon in the cover-up arsenal is the network of supposed Men in Black responsible for doing the actual dirty work. You've seen them in Will Smith movies and on the X-Files, but die-hard alien conspiracy theorists claim they're everywhere, as CIA agents, or as shape-shifting aliens, or even inter-dimensional beings. Some even report encounters with these men in black (like the account in the video above), and some say they have the smashed cameras and bruises to prove it.
But WHY would the government try to cover up alien invasions? Just what are they hiding?
5. The Reptilians
The cover-up might just be so that world leaders can hide their true reptilian nature. Conspiracy theorist (and very creative thinker) David Icke is the man primarily responsible for the paranoia about secret shape-shifting reptile-like aliens invading Slitheen-style and replacing high-ranking political leaders. There are countless videos and images all over the internet purporting to depict these reptilians slipping and revealing their true selves.
One of my favorite details about Icke's worldview is that of the Red Dresses. These are personality-less software constructs of the reptilian invaders installed at high rank to facilitate the aliens' plans. This particular theory is what leads to stunning images like the one above, which reveals a few of the "red dresses" in their true form.
Another proponent of this reptilian-invasion worldview recently gained a bit of notoriety when discussing her own version of the conspiracy. Her name is Colleen Thomas, and she wants to warn us all of the impending shadow-government dirty bombing and a Draconian-Reptilian invasion.
An important update on the secret alien war in America
If you're wondering what the Draconian secret government is up to, and what it has to do with…
These reptilian usurpers and shape-shifters are supposed to have been around for millennia, manipulating all of human history for their own gain. But Icke and his reptilian cronies aren't the first to propose alien invasions in ancient history.
6. Ancient Astronauts
As long as we're talking about extraterrestrials secretly influencing human history, we have to talk about the "ancient astronauts." Erich von Däniken, in his landmark (in certain circles) book, Chariots of the Gods?, posits that Earth has been the frequent recipient of alien visitors. These visitors have brought with them advanced technologies, some of which helped build the pyramids, the Moai statues on Easter Island, Stonehenge, and more.
Many religions have developed as a response to this particular theory. Hidden histories like this tend to have religious implications. But, as the next item demonstrates, they sometimes have unexpected political implications.