Definition: Acronym for “Unidentified Flying Object”, a UFO is an object or light in the sky that is not readily explainable by the observer. 1,2
UFOs: Explained or Unexplainable?
Daytime UFO sightings are often discounted as reflections of the sun’s rays from airplanes, weather balloons, or other known objects and night sightings are dismissed as fireballs, meteors, or weather related phenomena. Yet, although they represent a small percentage, some sightings remain unexplained.2 As late as 1969, 30% of UFO cases remained unsolved.3 However, with modern technology, the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) reports that today less than 10% of UFO sightings are unexplained.6
According to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 57% of Americans believe UFOs exist. Both former US Presidents Carter and Reagan believe they have seen a UFO.3 However, although they are among the most prestigious UFO sighters, they certainly aren’t the first!
UFO sightings may have occurred throughout history.
Medieval paintings, tapestries, frescoes and other art objects portray airborne saucers and the same domed saucer shapes that are similar to current UFO reports. Perhaps one of the earliest UFO sightings in the US occurred in Texas, described in the January 25, 1878 issue of The Denison Daily News. It was reported that local farmer, John Martin had seen a large, dark, circular object, resembling a balloon, flying “at wonderful speed.”4 Nearly three-quarters of a century later, pilot Kenneth Arnold estimated the speed of a similar object at 1000 MPH.
The 20th Century Brought UFOs to the public eye.
WWII was the advent of modern day UFO reports when Allied airplane crews reported seeing “foo-fighters”, blobs of light or fire in the Pacific and European theatres. Thought at the time to be the Axis’s “secret weapons,” the origin of foo-fighters remained unexplained at the end of the war.
In 1947, UFOs first made the... [continues]
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