The Oxford English Dictionary defines a UFO as "An unidentified flying object; a ‘flying saucer’." The word was first used in print by Donald Keyhoe in 1953. The acronym "UFO" was coined by Capt. Edward J. Ruppelt, who headed Project Blue Book, then the USAF's official investigation of UFOs. He wrote, "Obviously the term 'flying saucer' is misleading when applied to objects of every conceivable shape and performance. For this reason the military prefers the more general, if less colorful, name: unidentified flying objects. UFO (pronounced Yoo-foe) for short."  Other phrases that were used officially and that predate the UFO acronym include "flying flapjack", "flying disc", "unexplained flying discs", "unidentifiable flying object", and "flying saucer". The phrase "flying saucer" had gained widespread attention after the summer of 1947. On June 24, a civilian pilot named Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine objects flying in formation near Mount Rainer. Arnold timed the sighting and estimated the speed of discs to be over 1,000 mph. He described their movement like "a saucer skipped across water," leading to newspaper accounts of "flying saucers". (see Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting for details). In popular usage the term UFO came to be used to refer to alien spacecraft. and because of the public and media ridicule associated with the topic, some investigators prefer to use such terms as unidentified aerial phenomenon (or UAP)or anomalous phenomena, as in the title of the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena or NARCAP. The equivalent acronym for UFO in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian is OVNI (Objeto Volador No Identificado, Objeto Voador Não Identificado, Objet volant non identifié or Oggetto Volante Non Identificato), pronounced as one word (ov-nee). Studies
Studies have established that the majority of UFO observations are misidentified conventional objects or natural phenomena—most commonly aircraft, balloons, noctilucent clouds, nacreous clouds, or astronomical objects such as meteors or bright planets with a small percentage even being hoaxes. After excluding incorrect reports, however, most investigators have acknowledged that between 5% and 20% of reported sightings remain unexplained, and therefore can be classified as unidentified in the strictest sense. Many reports have been made by such trained observers as pilots, police, and the military; some have involved simultaneous radar tracking and visual accounts. Proponents of the extraterrestrial hypothesis suggest that these unexplained reports are of alien spacecraft, though various other hypotheses have been proposed. While UFOs have been the subject of extensive investigation by various governments and although some scientists support the extraterrestrial hypothesis, few scientific papers about UFOs have been published in peer-reviewed journals. There has been some debate in the scientific community about whether any scientific investigation into UFO sightings is warranted. The void left by the lack of institutional scientific study has given rise to independent researchers and groups, including NICAP (the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena) in the mid-20th century and, more recently, MUFON (Mutual UFO Network)  and CUFOS (Center for UFO Studies). The term "Ufology" is used to describe the collective efforts of those who study reports and associated evidence of unidentified flying objects. According to MUFON, as of 2011 the number of UFO reports to their worldwide offices has increased by 67% from the previous three years and now averages around 500 reported sightings per month. UFOs have become a relevant theme in modern culture, and the social phenomena have been the subject of academic research in sociology and psychology. Early history
Unexplained aerial observations have been reported throughout history. Some were undoubtedly...
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