Almost every civilization in history that has kept a written history has recorded the sightings of strange objects and lights in the skies. These objects have been described as glowing wheels, colored balls of light and disk shaped objects. Today unexplained aerial phenomena are generally referred to as unidentified flying objects (UFO's) or flying saucers.
The effects of extra-terrestrial sightings can have an adverse effect on people if influenced the wrong way. No solid proof has shown that UFO's are real, but many sightings cannot be proven otherwise. The media, stories, or one's own experience may often influence what one believes. The government once stated that they had captured extraterrestrials. (60 minutes, CBS) On the contrary, most scientists now agree that almost all sightings and stories of extra-terrestrials are not authentic.
The United States government has records of thousands of UFO sightings since 1948, including photos of alleged UFOs and interviews with people who claim to have seen them. Since UFOs were considered a potential security risk, the report on these sightings was originally classified as secret. When the report was later declassified it showed that 90 percent of all UFO sightings could be easily explained. Most of the sightings turned out to be celestial objects, such as stars or bright planets like Venus, or atmospheric events such as auroras or meteors falling through the atmosphere. Many other sightings turned out to be objects such as weather balloons, satellites, aircraft lights or formations of birds. Often these sightings were accompanied by unusual weather conditions. Only 5.6 percent of these cases were not explained.
Testimonies by people are often very inaccurate and dramatized. People have the tendency to explain everything they see which is not usually completely accurate. The unaided human eye can be tricked into hallucination and has an inaccurate depth perception. Reflections from windows and eyeglasses can provide an optical illusion of a UFO. Radar is much more reliable to identify objects, but it cannot detect many characteristics that separate natural phenomena and physical objects.
Radar often picks up ionized gas, rain, or thermal discontinuities. Electronic interference is also a frequent problem. Either way, scientists are left with many unanswered questions. There are many mysteries about UFO's with many indefinite answers. Many investigators have tried to solve some peculiar questions about UFO's, but many of their conclusions cannot be proven. In 1968 the United States Air Force asked Edward U. Condon, a physicist at the University of Colorado, to head a panel studying the claims of extraterrestrial crafts. The committee's final report was reviewed by a special committee of the National Academy of Sciences and released in early 1969. The 37 scientists who contributed to the report interviewed UFO witnesses and studied physical and photographic evidence. The report, also known as the Condon Report, concluded that not only was there no evidence of extraterrestrial control of UFOs but also that no further UFO studies were needed. Their advice was accepted by the United States, but for other independent laboratories it was not enough.
Whether or not a person believes UFO's are, in fact, real or not is probably because of influence from the media. For instance, the smash hit movie Independence Day was a movie about aliens attacking Earth so they can keep it for themselves. The company that made the movie, FOX, has been promoting extra-terrestrial ideas to bring media attention to UFO's. The company bought the stretch of highway 375 outside the mysterious secret military base named Area 51 which plays an important part in the movie. In it, several aliens were captured and stored along with their aircraft. In fact, the government has announced that it has captured aliens and their aircraft, but that was later denied. This has been said to be the cause of the vast amount of UFO reports since 1948. The government also denied that Area 51 even existed for several years even though it had been photographed many times.
Today, the military base is thought to be a very heavily guarded test sight for many stealth planes in development for the military, including some possible flying saucers. This sight is responsible for several of the military's top planes used today. Local residents persist that they have never seen any UFO's that couldn't be explained by the military's aerial experiments. Tourists swear they have seen several UFO's that couldn't be anything else but extra-terrestrial. Many magazines and tabloids visit the area to report about such sightings and print their own far-fetched ideas.
People interpret these articles in many different ways. Because there is no true proof of any extra-terrestrial crafts, people are forced to make their own decisions about reality. For instance, in March 1997, thirty-nine people committed suicide to join with TI AND DO, two UFO forces. Printed on their page on the Internet, it stated, "Our 22 years of classroom here on planet Earth is finally coming to conclusion - graduation from the Human Evolutionary Level. We are happily prepared to leave this world and go with Ti's crew. Such cases like these are extreme, but recent studies have shown that fifty percent of America does believe that there is life on other planets that may be trying to visit us. However, the majority of these people do not worry about any unwelcome situation.
Opinions may vary, but until any conclusive evidence can be shown that life is visiting Earth from somewhere out in space, it is safe to say that humans are alone in their home planet. It is possible that this theorem will be proved wrong in the future, but until then all any person can do is guess, hope and wait. What the future holds for Earth may not be what is expected, but until then scientists will be examining all the evidence to help provide a better future for the home to life as we now know it.
Unidentified Flying Objects - World Book Encyclopedia