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.
Scientists Captured UFO At Hessdalen Observatory
Researchers at the Ostfold University College in Norway reportedly captured on camera in September 2007 a UFO that people in the area had been reporting for years.
The researchers captured the mysterious aerial phenomenon, known as the Hessdalen lights, using equipment at the university’s Hessdalen Interactive Observatory, reportedly the only “official 24-hour observatory in the world.”
According to the Ostfold University College researcher Professor Erling Strand, scientists decided to investigate after locals began reporting frequent sightings of UFO light phenomenon in 1981.
Residents reported sighting colored — yellow, red, and bright white — lights floating in the dark over the valley nearby. Duration of sightings varied widely from seconds to hours. Witnesses reported watching the lights hover, move to and fro or at great speed over the valley.
Although there had been reports of sightings of UFO lights in the area since the 1930s, there was a dramatic increase in sightings between December 1981 and the middle of 1984 when daily sightings peaked at 20.
Residents reported seeing the lights in the valley but sometimes the lights approached their homes. The sightings caused local residents concern because they were unable to explain the source. Concern about the nature of the lights has grown lately because scientists are unable to explain the sightings despite three decades of research.
Researchers have proposed a number of obscure theories, including unexplained combustion processes involving sodium, oxygen, and hydrogen, due probably to deposits of scandium in the area. Others suggested the lights could be due to plasma generated by ionization of atmospheric gasses. Yet other researchers suggested the lights could be due to forms of electricity generated by crystal rocks.
Scientific investigators and students at the Ostfold University College decided to investigate the phenomenon using monitoring equipment at the Hessdalen Interactive Observatory.
“The light phenomena here in Hessdalen in Norway started in late ’81 with a lot of sightings, at the most it was 20 sightings a week.”
The researchers obtained the first footage of the lights on the fourth night after they set up the equipment.
The YouTube (see below) shows a documentary produced by the award-winning Norwegian filmmaker Terje Toftenes, titled The Day Before Disclosure. It includes footage (48.35-51:37) of the Hessdalen light phenomenon captured by scientists at the Ostfold University College.
The documentary expresses faith that with recent dramatic increase in reports and documentation of UFO sightings around the world, we are approaching full UFO disclosure.
“This is the story of the witnesses that were laughed at, researchers and reporters that weren’t believed and the government and military personnel that were sworn to silence. A story that alters the foundation of everything you thought you knew…,” the video description says.
According to UFO enthusiasts, the footage, being scientifically “verified,” offers proof of the existence of mysterious UFO phenomenon.
“The light phenomena here in Hessdalen in Norway started in late ’81 with a lot of sightings, at the most it was 20 sightings a week,” Strand said. “The local people here started to see the light down in the valley, sometimes close to their houses and they were wondering what this could be.”
According to UFO researchers, while governments pretend to be uninterested in UFO phenomenon, the truth is that behind the scenes, military and intelligence agencies pay close attention to reported cases of UFO sightings, also known as Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP).
Governments maintain top-secret programs to study the phenomenon using ground and airborne military radar facility. Official investigations of reports by credible witnesses are also conducted.
Hundreds of credible witnesses, including civilian and military pilots, have reported sightings. Many UFOs have also been tracked by military radar.
Evidence of government interest in UAPs is revealed in recently declassified UFO files. Some of the documents show that governments are concerned and worried about the implications of UFO sightings to national security.
The Inquisitr reported in February that classified documents released in 2012 by the U.K. Ministry of Defense revealed military officials urging the government to investigate UFOs as a “matter of priority.” “If they do exist we do not know what they are, their purpose or if they pose a threat to the UK,” an official wrote. “If the sightings are of devices not of the earth then their purpose needs to be established as a matter of priority.”
“Behind the scenes, high ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about UFOs,” former head of the CIA Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter said in 1960. “But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense.”
“The U.S. Air Force has constantly misled the public about UFOs. I urge congressional action to reduce the danger from secrecy,” he added.
The widespread use of phone cameras and the emergence of the Internet has led to widespread reports and documentation of sightings. The Internet is making it increasingly difficult for governments to deny the existence of UFOs, enthusiasts say.