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unidentified flying object (UFO), also called flying saucer, any aerial object or optical phenomenon not readily identifiable to the observer. UFOs became a major subject of interest following the development of rocketry after World War II and were thought by some researchers to be intelligent extraterrestrial life visiting Earth.
Flying saucers and Project Blue Book
The first well-known UFO sighting occurred in 1947,
when businessman Kenneth Arnold claimed to see a group of nine high-speed objects near Mount Rainier in Washington while flying his small plane.
Arnold estimated the speed of the crescent-shaped objects as several thousand miles per hour and said they moved “like saucers skipping on water.” In the newspaper report that followed,
it was mistakenly stated that the objects were saucer-shaped, hence the term flying saucer.
Sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena
Sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena increased, and in 1948 the U.S. Air Force began an investigation of these reports called Project Sign.
The initial opinion of those involved with the project was that the UFOs were most likely sophisticated Soviet aircraft, although some researchers suggested that they might be spacecraft from other worlds,
the so-called extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH). Within a year, Project Sign was succeeded by Project Grudge,
which in 1952 was itself replaced by the longest-lived of the official inquiries into UFOs, Project Blue Book, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
From 1952 to 1969 Project Blue Book compiled reports of more than 12,000 sightings or events, each of which was ultimately classified as
“identified” with a known astronomical, atmospheric, or artificial (human-caused) phenomenon or “unidentified.” The latter category, approximately 6 percent of the total, included cases for which there was insufficient information to make an identification with a known phenomenon.
The Robertson Panel and the Condon Report
An American obsession with the UFO phenomenon was under way. In the hot summer of 1952 a provocative series of radar and visual sightings occurred near National Airport in Washington, D.C. Although these events were attributed to temperature inversions in the air over the city, not everyone was convinced by this explanation. Meanwhile, the number of UFO reports had climbed to a record high.
This led the Central Intelligence Agency to prompt the U.S. government to establish an expert panel of scientists to investigate the phenomena. The panel was headed by H.P. Robertson, a physicist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, and included other physicists, an astronomer, and a rocket engineer.
The Robertson Panel met for three days in 1953 and interviewed military officers and the head of Project Blue Book. They also reviewed films and photographs of UFOs.
Their conclusions were that 90 percent of the sightings could be easily attributed to astronomical and meteorologic phenomena (e.g., bright planets and stars, meteors, auroras, ion clouds) or to such earthly objects as aircraft, balloons, birds, and searchlights, there was no obvious security threat, and there was no evidence to support the ETH.
Parts of the panel’s report were kept classified until 1979, and this long period of secrecy helped fuel suspicions of a government cover-up.
A second committee was set up
A second committee was set up in 1966 at the request of the Air Force to review the most interesting material gathered by Project Blue Book. Two years later this committee, which made a detailed study of 59 UFO sightings,
released its results as Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects—also known as the Condon Report, named for Edward U. Condon, the physicist who headed the investigation. The Condon Report was reviewed by a special committee of the National Academy of Sciences. A total of 37 scientists wrote chapters or parts of chapters for the report, which covered investigations of the 59 UFO sightings in detail.
Like the Robertson Panel, the committee concluded that there was no evidence of anything other than commonplace phenomena in the reports and that UFOs did not warrant further investigation.
This, together with a decline in sighting activity, led to the dismantling of Project Blue Book in 1969.
It’s perhaps a philosophical question for some — are humans the only form of life in the universe?
For the layman, maybe it’s a more direct question — are aliens real?
People may joke about the existence of aliens,
while others truly believe they do, in fact, exist.
It’s a debate that does not have a definitive answer. Harvard professor Avi Loeb went on record stating aliens do exist and stated they passed by Earth in 2017, according to several published articles, including one in the “Scientific American.”
The mystery has not escaped the Brainerd lakes area.
White lights were seen during the early morning hours Sunday, May 9, dashing across the dark sky over the area, causing at least one local resident to ponder the philosophical question once again.
The white lights that flew in the sky may have been, and certainly met the definition of, a UFO — an unidentified flying object. Or, most likely, they may have been low-flying satellites launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX as part of its Starlink internet service.
According to CNN
According to CNN, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has deployed about a 1,000 Starlink satellites that will provide high-speed broadband internet service to billions of people around the world.
The satellites whiz around Earth at more than 17,000 mph as they beam the internet to high-tech antennas mounted on people’s houses.
This project’s mission is to reach people in rural areas who have problems accessing high-speed internet.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the satellites at different times, with the last one launched May 8. Callers swamped TV stations from Texas to Wisconsin reporting the lights and musing about UFOs, according to one TV station in Philadelphia.
The lights caused a bit of a stir May 8-9 in the Brainerd area.
A Facebook community group called “Actual Community Happenings” featured a post entry that read, “Big line of lights in the sky above Merrifield. I guess they’re satellites, but that’s what they want you to think,” with an alien emoji included. A few comments under the post included ones that said, “China also has a out of control rocket falling back to earth;” “‘.. it really worked!!! Thanks to everybody involved in the car horn event, our alien ancestors have come upon us to gift us with their knowledge” to a few stating it was the Starlink satellites.
Brainerd resident Russ Anderson had a different experience. He was on his way to work just before 5 a.m. May 9 when he saw a white flying object in the night sky. He stopped to film it around the intersection of Red Pine Road and Two Mile Road, just east of Brainerd.
Anderson guessed the object passed him going about 30-40 mph traveling about 200-500 yards to his north and about 1,000 feet above the forest canopy. Anderson described the object as disc shaped with a dark border around it and it was the size of a competitive pool.
Anderson believes the object is a UFO, as it also hovered from side to side while changing direction and elevation before disappearing into thin air.
“I saw it with my own two eyes and clearly in the video there was no rocket momentum or any other explainable propulsion being used for a craft that big to only go as slow as it did and behave the way it did,”
Anderson said. “It was too close and personal for me to pretend my eyes didn’t see what I saw and my phone captures enough to keep me believing my testimony is real and unexplainable by current aerospace activity.”
Anderson called the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport and Camp Ripley and staff at both reported no aerial activity at that time from their data in the lakes area. Anderson said he also reached out to a pilot friend,
who also could not explain how the aircraft was able to stay adrift without enormous amounts of energy expulsion and noise.
Steve Wright, Brainerd airport manager, could not verify what the white object was that Anderson spoke to him about. Wright said he can only speak facts and wasn’t going to speculate.
Wright did confirm that there was no aerial activity in the lakes area during that timeframe Anderson provided him.
David Kobilka, a geoscience instructor at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, 100% agreed with Anderson. After watching his video of the white object, his final analysis was it most definitely is a UFO.
“I don’t know and I can’t say with any kind of certainty what it might have been that he saw,” Kobilka said. “This person (Anderson) kept saying in the video, UFO … and that’s us being human.
It’s not saying it’s an alien spacecraft … and if he is implying that it’s an unidentified flying object he’s absolutely right.
That’s what it is and that’s what it remains to be and that shall be what it remains to be forever, as we’ll never really know for sure.
“If anyone who sees this video and thinks it’s an alien spacecraft,
I can say they’re probably unequivocally absolutely wrong. There’s no evidence for that ever happening on Earth. And moreover, it’s just the human tendency to see something and automatically think, ‘Oh, I see this thing. I don’t know what it is, therefore, it must be something extraordinary.’ But there’s this saying in science that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. … This (white object in the sky) could be something between extraordinary to all the many, many things in between … but this video is not evidence of existence of ufo .
How ufos attracted attentions?
On the clear bright summer afternoon of 24 June 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold was flying above the Cascades,
a mountain range in Washington, USA, when he saw nine bat-wing shaped objects that “flew like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water”.
Arnold’s sighting 74 years ago, and the famous ‘Roswell incident’ that followed two weeks later, gave birth to the age of the ‘flying saucer’, a phrase coined by a newspaper sub-editor. The pilot’s story went viral and prompted thousands of others to report their own observations of strange flying objects that many believed were craft piloted by advanced, intelligent beings from other words.
More than seven decades later, fascination with UFOs is still attracting international attention – the latest from former US president Barack Obama.
When did our fascination with UFOs begin?
Interest in the existence of extra-terrestrials can be traced back to ancient times. But the idea that mysterious flying objects, UFOs, are alien craft visiting Earth – and this fact has been covered up by successive governments – can be traced to beginning of the Cold War
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