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noorie
post Jul 6 2007, 12:43 PM
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That's just the title! tongue1.gif

Saucers in the sky

By Finlo Rohrer

It's 60 years since the term flying saucer was coined and the most celebrated "extraterrestrial" episode - Roswell. Alien believers are dismissed as cranks, but even the earthly explanations of objects in the sky are fascinating.

Sixty years ago Kenneth Arnold saw something which changed his own life and the lives of millions of others, and impacted on popular culture like a shockwave.

Flying his plane near Mount Rainier in the US state of Washington, he observed a line of strange objects either crescent-shaped or disc-like, flying with the motion of a saucer skimming on water.

Arnold's sighting, quickly picked up by the press, was followed a fortnight later by the revelation of perhaps the most notorious episode in the history of UFOs, at Roswell in New Mexico.

FAMOUS SIGHTINGS

1980, Rendlesham Forest: US airbase staff see strange lights in woods
1957, RB-47 encounter: US jet followed by UFO for 700 miles
1979, Livingston: Forestry worker sees dome-shaped object
1950, McMinnville: Farm couple photograph saucer
1961, Betty and Barney Hill incident: Couple see UFO and under hypnosis describe abduction


Having announced it had recovered a "flying disk", the Army airfield backtracked and referred only to a weather balloon.

What followed was perhaps one of the greatest conspiracy theories of all time, involving post-mortem examinations of swollen-bellied grey aliens, the cloning of sophisticated extraterrestrial technology and an epic cover-up. Or not, as the case may be.

In the 60 years since 1947's first major wave of sightings, thousands of ordinary people have claimed to have seen inexplicable objects in the sky.

When the Ministry of Defence released papers on its own investigations into the phenomenon in 2006, it was revealed more than 10,000 eyewitness accounts had been collected.

And for every sceptic who prefers explanations of weather balloons and freak atmospheric conditions there is someone who genuinely believes intelligent life is visiting the planet.

Alien belief

A national newspaper survey in 1998 suggested 33% of men and 24% of women thought aliens had already visited the earth.

Such polls are testament to the powerful impact of six decades of media coverage, disputed science, heated mythology and Hollywood films. We have now completed six decades of projecting our hopes and fears onto the UFO phenomenon.

David Clarke, a lecturer in journalism, has spent 30 years studying UFOs and the sociology of the flying saucer sighting.

He is no believer in little extraterrestrial men, but believes mainstream scientists should recognise the rational explanations for sightings are themselves worthy of study.

"They wouldn't touch it," he says. "It's got such a bad press. Anything that people don't have an immediate explanation for - it must be little green men."

The "ufologists" who study the phenomenon comprise both sceptics and believers. They seek to "resolve" each incident, explaining away each aspect. And there is a wealth of explanations for most sightings that is as fascinating for sceptical enthusiasts as the notion of space visitors.

Cold War projection


Sundogs, or strange refractions of the sun in another part of the sky, burning space debris, weather balloons, ball lightning, meteors, disc-shaped or lenticular clouds, mirages, even the planet Venus low in the sky, are all classic methods of resolving UFO sightings.

But underlying them is a need also to explain people's desire to believe that a UFO sighting can be explained by alien activity. The timing of the start of the golden age of the UFO, in a Western world recovering from World War II and gearing up for the start of the Cold War, is significant.

"We were projecting things to reflect our fears and concerns about the Cold War," Mr Clarke says.

EXPLANATIONS

Sundogs: Refracted image of the sun
Space debris: Burning satellites or rocket fragments
Meteors: Such as bolides or fireballs
Clouds: Lenticular or disc-like
Mirages: Hot or cold-air induced images
Stars/planets: Such as Venus
Planes: Such as experimental aircraft
Ball lightning: Unpredictable brilliant spheres
Weather balloons: Classic explanation
Hallucination: Viewer under stress
Mass hysteria: Early explanation
Earthlights: Caused by electromagnetic fields in seismic activity areas


"Organised religion was in decline but when worried or concerned it is comforting to feel there is a greater power looking after us. It is quite nice to think there is another civilisation that has been able to overcome the things destroying our civilisation."

The UFO phenomenon is also linked with the modern reliance on conspiracy theories, a mixture of a need to believe in something more than the mundane in an increasingly rational world and an all-pervading distrust of authority.

As the Fortean Times, which this month dedicates an entire issue to the UFO anniversary, puts it: "UFOs fill a niche in the human spirit that thrives on wondrous ideas." wub.gif

Earlier generations had also seen UFOs but without the term flying saucer in existence, they were labelled as other things.

UFO students say there are peaks and troughs in sightings that are probably based on cultural, social and political trends.

Golden age

Expert Paul Devereux says a new golden age during the 1990s, particularly after the broadcast of the cult television series the X-Files, has given way to a current wave of indifference.

Mr Clarke concurs, suggesting: "It could be the case that post-9/11 people are more concerned about the threat from terrorism or the environment."

Mr Devereux has drawn on the work of controversial Canadian academic Michael Persinger and believes many unresolved UFO sightings can be explained by "earthlights", clouds of plasma being charged by strong electromagnetic fields occurring in areas of seismic activity.

Having witnessed a UFO that could not initially be explained, Mr Devereux has dedicated his life to research.

"It bugged the hell out of me, almost gave me a mental breakdown. I couldn't make it fit into the everyday mundane world view."

Pilot Ray Bowyer was the principal witness to the most recent publicised UFO sighting in the UK.

Flying a commercial plane from Southampton to Alderney in the Channel Islands in April this year, Mr Bowyer saw two objects up to a mile across in the sky over Guernsey.

"I saw a bright yellow object, a light in the sky some miles ahead. I could see this specific shape of a flattened disc, like a CD on its edge, slightly tilted."

He says some of his passengers, as well as another pilot, saw the objects and he has been told they were picked up on radar.

Mr Bowyer's sighting may be a prime candidate for the "earthlights" theory, coming just days before the Dover earthquake. He accepts this as a possible explanation.

"I'm open-minded about everything. It would be a fairly perverse universe if we were the only inhabitants."

Despite the drop-off in interest in UFOs, the ufologists and their acolytes carry on their work, and the UFO-loving public continues to believe in conspiracies.

"No matter how much material the authorities produce and release the people who want to believe a conspiracy to hide aliens will never be satisfied," Mr Clarke says.

"It is such an emotional thing. They are convinced they are here, that they are walking among us." closedeyes.gif

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Reeth
post Jul 6 2007, 03:12 PM
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QUOTE(noorie @ Jul 6 2007, 12:43 PM) *

That's just the title! tongue1.gif

Saucers in the sky

By Finlo Rohrer

It's 60 years since the term flying saucer was coined and the most celebrated "extraterrestrial" episode - Roswell. Alien believers are dismissed as cranks, but even the earthly explanations of objects in the sky are fascinating.

Sixty years ago Kenneth Arnold saw something which changed his own life and the lives of millions of others, and impacted on popular culture like a shockwave.

Flying his plane near Mount Rainier in the US state of Washington, he observed a line of strange objects either crescent-shaped or disc-like, flying with the motion of a saucer skimming on water.

Arnold's sighting, quickly picked up by the press, was followed a fortnight later by the revelation of perhaps the most notorious episode in the history of UFOs, at Roswell in New Mexico.

FAMOUS SIGHTINGS

1980, Rendlesham Forest: US airbase staff see strange lights in woods
1957, RB-47 encounter: US jet followed by UFO for 700 miles
1979, Livingston: Forestry worker sees dome-shaped object
1950, McMinnville: Farm couple photograph saucer
1961, Betty and Barney Hill incident: Couple see UFO and under hypnosis describe abduction


Having announced it had recovered a "flying disk", the Army airfield backtracked and referred only to a weather balloon.

What followed was perhaps one of the greatest conspiracy theories of all time, involving post-mortem examinations of swollen-bellied grey aliens, the cloning of sophisticated extraterrestrial technology and an epic cover-up. Or not, as the case may be.

In the 60 years since 1947's first major wave of sightings, thousands of ordinary people have claimed to have seen inexplicable objects in the sky.

When the Ministry of Defence released papers on its own investigations into the phenomenon in 2006, it was revealed more than 10,000 eyewitness accounts had been collected.

And for every sceptic who prefers explanations of weather balloons and freak atmospheric conditions there is someone who genuinely believes intelligent life is visiting the planet.

Alien belief

A national newspaper survey in 1998 suggested 33% of men and 24% of women thought aliens had already visited the earth.

Such polls are testament to the powerful impact of six decades of media coverage, disputed science, heated mythology and Hollywood films. We have now completed six decades of projecting our hopes and fears onto the UFO phenomenon.

David Clarke, a lecturer in journalism, has spent 30 years studying UFOs and the sociology of the flying saucer sighting.

He is no believer in little extraterrestrial men, but believes mainstream scientists should recognise the rational explanations for sightings are themselves worthy of study.

"They wouldn't touch it," he says. "It's got such a bad press. Anything that people don't have an immediate explanation for - it must be little green men."

The "ufologists" who study the phenomenon comprise both sceptics and believers. They seek to "resolve" each incident, explaining away each aspect. And there is a wealth of explanations for most sightings that is as fascinating for sceptical enthusiasts as the notion of space visitors.

Cold War projection


Sundogs, or strange refractions of the sun in another part of the sky, burning space debris, weather balloons, ball lightning, meteors, disc-shaped or lenticular clouds, mirages, even the planet Venus low in the sky, are all classic methods of resolving UFO sightings.

But underlying them is a need also to explain people's desire to believe that a UFO sighting can be explained by alien activity. The timing of the start of the golden age of the UFO, in a Western world recovering from World War II and gearing up for the start of the Cold War, is significant.

"We were projecting things to reflect our fears and concerns about the Cold War," Mr Clarke says.

EXPLANATIONS

Sundogs: Refracted image of the sun
Space debris: Burning satellites or rocket fragments
Meteors: Such as bolides or fireballs
Clouds: Lenticular or disc-like
Mirages: Hot or cold-air induced images
Stars/planets: Such as Venus
Planes: Such as experimental aircraft
Ball lightning: Unpredictable brilliant spheres
Weather balloons: Classic explanation
Hallucination: Viewer under stress
Mass hysteria: Early explanation
Earthlights: Caused by electromagnetic fields in seismic activity areas


"Organised religion was in decline but when worried or concerned it is comforting to feel there is a greater power looking after us. It is quite nice to think there is another civilisation that has been able to overcome the things destroying our civilisation."

The UFO phenomenon is also linked with the modern reliance on conspiracy theories, a mixture of a need to believe in something more than the mundane in an increasingly rational world and an all-pervading distrust of authority.

As the Fortean Times, which this month dedicates an entire issue to the UFO anniversary, puts it: "UFOs fill a niche in the human spirit that thrives on wondrous ideas." wub.gif

Earlier generations had also seen UFOs but without the term flying saucer in existence, they were labelled as other things.

UFO students say there are peaks and troughs in sightings that are probably based on cultural, social and political trends.

Golden age

Expert Paul Devereux says a new golden age during the 1990s, particularly after the broadcast of the cult television series the X-Files, has given way to a current wave of indifference.

Mr Clarke concurs, suggesting: "It could be the case that post-9/11 people are more concerned about the threat from terrorism or the environment."

Mr Devereux has drawn on the work of controversial Canadian academic Michael Persinger and believes many unresolved UFO sightings can be explained by "earthlights", clouds of plasma being charged by strong electromagnetic fields occurring in areas of seismic activity.

Having witnessed a UFO that could not initially be explained, Mr Devereux has dedicated his life to research.

"It bugged the hell out of me, almost gave me a mental breakdown. I couldn't make it fit into the everyday mundane world view."

Pilot Ray Bowyer was the principal witness to the most recent publicised UFO sighting in the UK.

Flying a commercial plane from Southampton to Alderney in the Channel Islands in April this year, Mr Bowyer saw two objects up to a mile across in the sky over Guernsey.

"I saw a bright yellow object, a light in the sky some miles ahead. I could see this specific shape of a flattened disc, like a CD on its edge, slightly tilted."

He says some of his passengers, as well as another pilot, saw the objects and he has been told they were picked up on radar.

Mr Bowyer's sighting may be a prime candidate for the "earthlights" theory, coming just days before the Dover earthquake. He accepts this as a possible explanation.

"I'm open-minded about everything. It would be a fairly perverse universe if we were the only inhabitants."

Despite the drop-off in interest in UFOs, the ufologists and their acolytes carry on their work, and the UFO-loving public continues to believe in conspiracies.

"No matter how much material the authorities produce and release the people who want to believe a conspiracy to hide aliens will never be satisfied," Mr Clarke says.

"It is such an emotional thing. They are convinced they are here, that they are walking among us." closedeyes.gif


Interesting stuff noorie..... smile.gif
Sometime back we had some discussion about this subject right here at this place.......




The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives
by altering their attitudes of mind

-William James
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noorie
post Jul 8 2007, 03:51 PM
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And.....?

Any interesting stories tongue1.gif that I have missed out on?

Noorie

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Mandrake
post Jul 8 2007, 04:24 PM
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Logic says that extra-terrestrials MUST exist. Among them, many must be like us, and many very different.
Mytholgy too speaks very clearly of other universes that co-exist with us, with similarities and with differences.

Self - belief is the most potent force.
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noorie
post Jul 8 2007, 10:49 PM
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QUOTE(Mandrake @ Jul 8 2007, 04:24 PM) *


Logic says that extra-terrestrials MUST exist. Among them, many must be like us, and many very different.
Mytholgy too speaks very clearly of other universes that co-exist with us, with similarities and with differences.




I agree Mandrake! smile.gif Then what do you think might be the reason 4 the cover-up by the govt's of the developed world countries? They might as well go public with their findings; and it cudn't be that all of the UFO sightings so far would turn out to be false, could it?

Noorie

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Mandrake
post Jul 8 2007, 11:06 PM
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I'd look at it rather simplistically. I think there is no cover up. Whatever has happened has happened in different places, with the sightings in the USA mainly getting a lot of publicity and hype.
Now when a government has to respond, it has to do it very responsibly. It cannot speculate like others. So it only gives out statement that are based on cold facts, evidence and scientific basis. Since the sightings could not be verified and corroborated by the government agencies, they did not confirm the sightings.

Project Bluebook is a classic example of this. This project was launched with the express aim of studying the UFO sightings. But since they could not definitively conclude that UFOa were a certainty, they did not endorse them.
One has to also see it from a ruling party's viewpoint. If they actually endorse or speculate things based on unsubstantial proof, imagine the panic that can set in among the citizens. If the situation gets out of control, there could be complete anarchy.

Self - belief is the most potent force.
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noorie
post Jul 8 2007, 11:13 PM
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QUOTE(Mandrake @ Jul 8 2007, 11:06 PM) *

I'd look at it rather simplistically. I think there is no cover up. Whatever has happened has happened in different places, with the sightings in the USA mainly getting a lot of publicity and hype.
Now when a government has to respond, it has to do it very responsibly. It cannot speculate like others. So it only gives out statement that are based on cold facts, evidence and scientific basis. Since the sightings could not be verified and corroborated by the government agencies, they did not confirm the sightings.

Project Bluebook is a classic example of this. This project was launched with the express aim of studying the UFO sightings. But since they could not definitively conclude that UFOa were a certainty, they did not endorse them.
One has to also see it from a ruling party's viewpoint. If they actually endorse or speculate things based on unsubstantial proof, imagine the panic that can set in among the citizens. If the situation gets out of control, there could be complete anarchy.


Wouldn't that be more preferable than people weaving conspiracy theories that constantly express themselves through Hollywood movies? tongue1.gif

Noorie

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Mandrake
post Jul 8 2007, 11:27 PM
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Real life anarchy preferable to hollywood fantasies? ohmy.gif
I guess you haven't lived in a time when curfew can keep you hungry for days because rations have run out and the shops are shut because the police can't allow normal activities...

Self - belief is the most potent force.
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noorie
post Jul 8 2007, 11:45 PM
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QUOTE(Mandrake @ Jul 8 2007, 11:27 PM) *

Real life anarchy preferable to hollywood fantasies? ohmy.gif
I guess you haven't lived in a time when curfew can keep you hungry for days because rations have run out and the shops are shut because the police can't allow normal activities...


Mandrake, all I said was that the public should have the right to know about the origin of these mystery craft's; what if it was the govt that's behind it all? And in actual those U.F.O 'sightings' are of govt spy planes or balloons!

How's that 4 a conspiracy theory? tongue1.gif

You're right, where I live I've never had 2 experience a 'curfew'; that's something I've read only in the papers. Your description of it doesn't seem to be any more pleasant than what I've read in the papers. sad.gif

Noorie

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Mandrake
post Jul 9 2007, 08:22 AM
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This 'I've the right to know' bit has always puzzled me.
Yes, I agree that the govts might be behind these UFOs. I've always thought that these are super-advanced aircraft being secretly tested by certain nations. That has always made the maximum sense, considering that he max sightings have been done in the USA tongue1.gif
At the same time, I would not expect that the public has a 'right to know' everything at the very moment. Once the testing is done and the product is successfully inducted, then the public can be informed.
That's what I think... smile1.gif
As regards the curfew, yes, it is the most unpleasant experience.

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Reeth
post Jul 9 2007, 02:48 PM
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found on the net...

Could we be alone?

Although we keep hearing more and more on a possible upcoming declaration that we are not alone,
some people just feel that we really are alone in this vast Universe. To be precise, not only have we
never been visited by another intelligent race of beings, but we never will be, simply because we are
the only intelligent beings in this Universe.

Many God-fearing individuals will agree with this assumption because the Bible makes no mention
of beings not of this Earth, except for angels, and they don't count. They have been with the Creator, or
were created by Him, and only inhabit His domain.

The Good Book only mentions God's creation of this Earth, and His "breathing the breath of life" into Adam.
No mention of any aliens from Mars, no alien bases on the Moon, nothing about Adamski's Venusians,
or Zeta Reticula beings.

I think that we really limit our own possibilities by thinking on such a narrow plane, however. I recall in
the Old Testament that, and I am paraphrasing here, God once said, "Some things are given unto man
to know, but some are not." So, we can go only so far with what we know, and there are many other
things that we do not know. So, don't close the outside door just yet.....

Can UFO's be Invisible?

There are two different avenues to go down to fully answer this question.

One is that most of the UFOs that are seen and then photographed could have been seen by anyone
if they were looking at the right place at the right time. But, the newer digital cameras have such a
good eye that they will capture an object that is so small that the majority of people don't notice it
at the time. Had someone else pointed out the object to them, and they had binoculars or a telescope,
they COULD have seen it.

Secondly, there are reports from sane individuals who state without pause that they have seen UFOs
which seem to appear and disappear right in front of them. Some researchers propose that UFOs
possess a "cloaking" device, like something right out of Star Trek, which enables them to render
themselves visible or invisible at will. This could explain some of the photographs where the UFOs
were not seen by human eye, but were visible to the electronic eye.....

smile.gif


I wonder if there is an explaination offered by the other religions......I think we have metion of this in Hinduism in almost all the Great epics be it Ramayana or Mahabharata......



The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives
by altering their attitudes of mind

-William James
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