Who wants to take UFO sightings more seriously?

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt:

Among my friends and acquaintances, the best predictor of how seriously they take the matter is whether they read science fiction in their youth. As you might expect, the science-fiction readers are willing to entertain the more outlandish possibilities. Even if these are not “little green men,” the idea that the Chinese or Russians have a craft that can track and outmaneuver the U.S. military is newsworthy in and of itself. So would be a secret U.S. craft, especially one unknown to military pilots.

The cynical view is that the science-fiction readers are a bit crazy and are trying to recapture the excitement of their youth by speculating about UFOs. Under this theory, they shouldn’t be taken any more seriously than Tolkien fans who wonder if orcs are hiding under the next stone.

The more positive view is that science-fiction readers are more willing to consider new ideas and practices. This kind of openness presumably is a good thing, at least in general, so why aren’t the opinions of more “open” observers accorded more respect? Science-fiction readers have long experience thinking about worlds that are very different from the current one, and perhaps that makes them more perceptive when something truly unusual does come along.

Some of the individuals who were early to see and point out Covid-19 risk, such as tech entrepreneur Balaji Srinivasan, also have taken the UFO reports seriously, perhaps due to the same flexibility of mind.

Do read the whole thing, the column does not excerpt easily.

Comments

You should have crossed checked Bigfoot beliefs.

Given the large contingent of sci-go nerds who thought a female Dr. Who was implausible or completely against... I don’t know what... I kind of stopped listening at some point. Given that, a blanket description of sci-fi fans as “open” seems... well... far-fetched.

Say, Tyler, aren't you an atheist?

Nobel prize winner Dr. Paul Krugman is a Science Fiction fan. The genesis of his greatness.

(Yes, I know the economics prize is not a real Nobel. But it is still better than a Noble.) (No, I am not a troll. Trolls are in fantasy, not Sci-Fi!)

I love science fiction. Have since I was 10 or 11.

Would love to find alien life, intelligent or not.

These ain't that.

https://www.metabunk.org/home/

The debunking has been around for years. That Mr. Srinivasan is unaware ought to cause some doubt about how hard he has looked into it.

Same here. I also grew up with science fiction. And just like Chinese SF is seems optimistic nowadays, in those days Czech and Polish SF was much more optimistic and technology loving.

I still miss the romance of reading John Keel's "Operation Trojan Horse".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Trojan_Horse_%28book%29

I don’t think the author’s premise would hold up to scientific rigor, but is purely anecdotal. The other thing about some who read science fiction as children, is they remained interested in actual science as they got older, and maybe also learned to think skeptically. For example, if they read Sagan’s Contact, they maybe also read The Demon Haunted World, which thoroughly examines the case for UFO’s and solidly debunks the extra terrestrial visitor claim.

They would therefore find the case for UFO’s being actual visitors from other world to be pretty thin, not impossible, but highly improbable based on the available evidence, and underlining hurdles to interstellar travel.

We never get the starship landing on the White House lawn with the alien saying “ take me to your leader”
Instead , we always get the blurry picture/video or the scared out of its wits guy on a lonely road at night kidnapped for 24 hours.
This hasn’t changed much in the last 60 years it seems.

And, of course our expectations on the behavior of aliens are HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT.

Our atmosphere is 21% very reactive corrosive o2 and we have viruses running around, they'd be crazy to come down here. Wink

The conceit of Earth as a death world is a popular topic on Tumblr, although subject to the abysmal writing found on that site. I personally view it as unacceptable anthropocentrism.

“Bah, I have Chinese viruses waaay worse than this on my home planet.”

'Credible observers, reporting incredible sightings'. Sightings of these kind have been reported for many years now. If these are real, and are the result of some secret US Govt initiatives, surely this is going to upset a number of aerospace experts (and taxpayers)? If true, then considerable time and effort has been spent on incremental improvements to what would be a set of essentially legacy technologies. It would almost be as if the jet engine was developed in the early 1900's and then kept secret.

Catinthehat:
"instead , we always get the blurry picture/video"

==

yup, Today's world overflows with smartphone video/pic capability and all manner of sophisticated sensors -- yet there is total absence of any clear evidence of valid UFO recordings.

Extraordinary Claims REQUIRE Extraordinary Proof

(but we don't have even ordinary proof of alien UFO presence)

This is a good critique of most 'paranormal' phenomena, but it doesn't seem to hold in the case of UFO's. Instead, with the increase of aerial technology we seem to be getting more and more evidence and with increasing levels of refinement.

Credible reports of UFO's from credible people have been occurring since at least World War Two, when we first gained a wide spread ability to send people at high altitudes over long distances.

Now with a fleet of fighter jets constantly scrambling over our skies, some of the most advanced machines ever created, we're getting access to evidence of even more phenomena that perhaps was always there, but previously beyond our reach.

The evidence for stuff like cryptids or psychic events has stayed static, which is discrediting. With UFO's we're just getting more and more data to suggest we might be on the trail of something real and otherwise unexplained.

Or not. As the Metabunk video explains, in the link upstream, the reason you get more and more UFOs is due to the limits of camera technology. I recall about ten years ago NASA found the earth seemed to be bombarded constantly with large globs of what looked like water. Again, optical illusions. A flock of birds at the limit of a fighter jets camera can seem like a UFO that goes against the wind and so forth.

Bonus trivia: how many of you UFO believers (as in aliens among us) DON'T believe the Covid-19 virus was a chimeric virus released from the BSL-4 lab in Wuhan? Now that would be an unexplained eye opener to me.

Would an optical illusion be tracked by multiple radar systems as in these cases?

Probably not, but is this not more plausible than little green men?

Actually, we are getting far more evidence of at least one kind of "psychic event" (not even sure what that is supposed to mean, anyway). But near-death experiences are way up, as more people have survived heart attacks and similar medical conditions that shut down their CNS.

They often describe, in great detail and accuracy, the events surrounding their resuscitation and many of the medical professionals who hear their stories become convinced that human consciousness survives death.

Ray - I give aliens among us a significant chance of being true, and I don;t believe the Covid-19 virus is "chimeric" : virologists have persuasively explained that if it was "chimerically" (dread word, but yours) created by humans, it was created by humans who made it look like it was not created by humans (well, they said it was not created by humans, but I know how to interpret how that sort of person says what they want to say).

There is no evidence that this was not either a bat or pangolin feast gone wrong (poor bat, poor pangolin, poor us), or one of the scrubs at the lab was in a rush to meet her date, slipped out of her protective gear a little too quickly, and kissed the poor fellow after she took an insufficient shower (one assumes, as in the Karen Silkwood case, that a hand with an ominous recent contact with one of Mankind's greatest enemies (Silkwood - radiated poison, Wuhan, a few thousand innocent little coronavirus individuals) had brushed against lips that were not properly drenched with cleansing water before

the catastrophe .

By the way, when reflecting on the possibility of aliens having found a way to communicate or visit, you might want to reflect on the near-infinite "possibility space" of potential near-perfect chess games, then reflect on the best of the best, and then reflect on how the least Morphian (Morphyesque to the cognoscenti, but how many cognoscenti read what I have to say????? the question answers itself (or does;t, to tell the truth I am not sure) of those games would have been improved by after that being once again more Morphian, and then again even more Morphian. The numbers are staggering if looked at with an awareness of how many exponential and specific grounds of improvement I just mentioned. (one exponential expansion at each of the following phrases: "near-perfect", ",then reflect", "and then reflect", "least ... of those ... improved ... once again", "then again even more". One could go on.
AMDG, as always.

also, the Chinese are good-hearted people, and if this actually was a traditional bat or pangolin feast gone wrong, it is as much the fault of Americans who eat factory farmed animals who lived lives of great fear and pain and FAILED TO SET A GOOD EXAMPLE as it is of the Chinese, who pride themselves on their struggles against poverty and who can hardly be expected to be kind to animals when RICH PEOPLE FROM A RICH COUNTRY IN OUR TENS AND HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS JUST KEEP ON EATING PIGS WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING (as God is my witness, I know how mean pigs can be when they are hungry, unlike bats and pangolins, but this is a pro-pig comment and the tendency of the hogs in Laura Ingall WIlder's day to eat any baby that fell into the hog pen is not the issue here ---- that is another issue irrelevant here) ABOUT THE SADISTIC CONDITIONS AT MANY FACTORY MEAT FARMS

and since I am in a "caps lock" mood tonight, IF THIS WAS AN ACCIDENTAL RELEASE FROM WUHAN LAB WELL REMEMBER THE WUHAN LAB WAS NOT A CCP THING IT WAS AN INTERNATIONALIST THING .... the 20 or 30 day coverup is on the CCP, of course, but they were literally frightened out of their wits in those days, and that can be forgiven .... but the people who funded the girl who slipped out of her PPE too quickly and did not take a thorough enough shower and kissed her boyfriend with her coronavirus lips , her boyfriend who was hungover the next day and coughed all over the Wuhan market and many of its human denizens, whether at the market or not (super spreader is the dread word) --- those people (the funders of the Wuhan lab) had and have just in much in common with the world power elite as with the CCP elite, and neither the world elite nor the CCP elite represent the good-hearted Chinese people.

@EP42 - what, no quoting of Scripture? Did you turn into an atheist between your medications? As for your hypothetical girl, patient zero, she does in fact exist, she's a woman, a lab worker from Wuhan's BSL-4 WVI, and despite Western reports to talk to her she's been disappeared. You can Google this on some of the conspiracy sites, which are ahead of the curve on this topic. The WVI says she's not interested in talking to the press, hence her silence, which may be literally true.

Don't be rude, Ray.
I don't take medications.
I knew more about that woman than you ever did, don't worry, people will always know who she is, the evildoers did not need to disappear her or silence her (not that you care much, my poor young friend, even if it is not your fault you no nothing about Asiatic languages or the culture of those ancient lands).
There is no conspiracy site that is ahead of the curve on any subject I have put effort into understanding, trust me, Ray.
Thanks for reading, and please do not ever respond to me again unless you are willing to do so in a spirit of mutual respect.
Proverbs 8, if you read it again and again, has all the info you need in order to respect your fellow humans.

I wish they'd get here already.

Some of the individuals who were early to see and point out Covid-19 risk, such as tech entrepreneur Balaji Srinivasan, also have taken the UFO reports seriously, perhaps due to the same flexibility of mind.

It seems many of those who were most resistant to the coronavirus being a threat are the same ones rejecting the latest UFO evidence.

I think flexibility of mind is a good theory. Many folks are terrified to think that there could be be another significant variable in the world. If this happens then a lot of things are going to change. And a lot of people hate change.

I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords, but they are slow to actually knock on my door.

Insects? Phssst. I, for one, welcome our new VIRAL overlords.

“Even if these are not ‘little green men,’ the idea that the Chinese or Russians have a craft that can track and outmaneuver the U.S. military is newsworthy in and of itself. So would be a secret U.S. craft, especially one unknown to military pilots.”

More likely it’s the U.S. Air Force messing with the U.S. Navy.

Regardless, though, all of the above solutions are interesting in that they specifically don’t warrant an investigation, because if it’s a situation where “we” would already know the answer. It might not be public, so that the collective we know the answer, but the “we” who pays for all this stuff knows.

Historically Russian incursions of North American air space have been tests of our interceptor capability or opportunities to show off new tech. They haven’t needed a Russian U-2 or SR-71 because it’s pretty easy to overfly most of the US with a camera. I suppose it’s possible that has changed and it isn’t public. Or that it was never true that the Russians avoided overflights and the US just had reason (like an embarrassing lack of air defense) to suppress the information.

It could also be something more mundane, as most UFO sightings are. Perhaps this is most likely.

It requires a strange combination of beliefs to postulate an alien species that could travel interstellar distances and yet be vulnerable to a Super Hornet’s camera. That’s Independence Day thinking, not hard sci-fi. An entity that can travel between the stars is likely to be effectively magical to the likes of us.

I try to stay away from these comments, but like a car wreck at the side of the road, they demand attention. I think that it is informative that Tyler stays away, for the most part.
I, too, grew up reading science fiction (among other genres). I would love to entertain reports of UFOs more seriously, but I grieve that the operative verb here is "entertain". When I'm doing the regression analysis, I don't think that "willingness to entertain the existence of extra-terrestrial life forms" is the best data point.

I was a young officer in the USAF in the 60s. My work was studying missile reentry physics. I had witnessed dozens of them. One afternoon I was walking between two buildings with a colleague when we saw a strange object in the New Mexico sky. It was flitting above the mountains to the East in formation going way over 10, 000 miles per hour. I was used to seeing missiles going that fast. But only in one direction. This went on for over a minute. Then it sped off over the horizon. My colleague and I were aghast. We looked at each other and swore ourselves to secrecy as we knew if we reported it our lives would be changed drastically.
So I believe something is out there but I’m not too worried.

I believe in UFOs like what might have explained the males in the US having severe breathing problems requiring hospitalization on ventilators in the spring and summer of 2019, now suspected to be vaporized Vitamin C oils from vapping.

And in UFOs like what might have explained the males in the Wuhan having severe breathing problems requiring hospitalization on ventilators in the winter of 2019/2020, now believed to be SARS-Cov2 (not all victims had their blood sequenced to find the cause, which could be a flu virus or a result of vapping).

If you are Trump you reject UFOs as real if you think it threatens your world view, or embrace them if you think they prove Obama is not a US citizen.

I want to see, for instance, the incidents recorded in the F-18s investigated, because it would be good to figure out what phenomena can cause those results. But I’m confident it will turn out to be some kind of glitch in the aircraft sensor systems; the violations of various and sundry lawns of physics - e.g., a substantial material object sustaining 30 times the speed of sound in the Earth’s atmosphere with no aerodynamic heating, no shock wave, etc., is nonsensical on its face. If somebody - whether ET or human - can do that, they can prevent being sighted altogether, or just come in and take over.

And things like the Betty and Barney Hill story, alien abductions, extraterrestrial spacecraft at Area 51, etc., are obviously risible and shouldn’t get one iota of serious attention.

and these glitches started appearing almost exactly when regular opposition air forces finally developed stealth technology, and almost exactly when our warfighter plane sensors were fitted with kludges to track regular opposition anti-stealth technology - amirite

that being said, the likelihood of alien intelligence, IMHO, is much higher than the average commenter here thinks it is. and if there is alien intelligence, and given the fact that there are, if one is a pure materialist, literally trillions of "future" years full of contemporary physics to play around in, and literally billions of years and billions of planets in the past, any alien civilization arising anywhere in this galaxy, or even in a neighboring galaxy, in the last few billion years could have foreseen and targeted the menagerie among which we live.

ymmv but for me AMDG

Aw, hell, they came in search of intelligent life, took one look, and high tailed it out of here!

5,000 years for a robot to travel from the nearby stars?
Not unreasonable for a dedicated race.

If I look into the sky and see a plane but can't identify what type it is, I can't determine it's altitude or velocity. But if I can see whether it is a light single engine plane or a jet airliner then I can have a rough idea.

When observers give altitude, speed, length and other figures for an unidentified object it is an indication of how human perception likes to "fill in the gaps". While they may feel confident of the results of their gap filling, that information is not there.

As I explained yesterday: economists are just frustrated fiction writers.

No, non-economists are frustrated by scarcity! :-)

Of course there are UFO's, there is simply too much evidence that there are unidentified objects that are flying.

Which all somehow always outside our range of actually identifying them.

Doesn't mean its aliens. It might just be perfectly normal things, birds, clouds, where at a long range along with air currents, atmosphere, and distortion effects cause us to be unable to identify these objects properly. The atmosphere does a lot of weird things to vision and camera, especially for long range cameras. If you want to prove its aliens, well, that is going to require extreme evidence.

But hey, I suppose History got another episode of Ancient Aliens out of this whole mess.

Hope it is true.

It would mean that things like a warp drive or wormhole or whatever your preferred science-fiction method of FTL propulsion can actually exist. And that the speed of light thing that comes out of Einstein's theories is not real.

But I don't believe it. No LGMs for me.

You are either looking at interdimensional technology, or some thermodynamic system that can absord quantities of heat that we cannot really imagine - the air resistance alone from going 42k mph near sea level is almost unimaginable

And then there is no visible form of propulsion. So we are also looking at interdimensional tech, gravity manipulation, or perhaps harnessing a force we are not even aware of.

Yeah, when the facade had crumbled too far to spackle over with new improved communist zeal, they trotted out stories about UFOs and physic power in the Soviet Union as well. They are still doing it in Russia.

Here's my 2017 column on these videos:

https://www.takimag.com/article/the_ufo_menace_steve_sailer/

It's not that the navy videos aren't impressive, if you had showed them to me out of the blue and asked me to give a plausible mundane explanation I would have shrugged my shoulders. But just because I can't explain how a magician is pulling rabbits out of his at doesn't mean he or his assistant are some sort of bunny god. So far these things have always turned out to be a fake, a mistake, or at best too blurry to make out what it could be. People who are more knowledgeable about these things have given what seem like plausible mundane explanations for them. I doubt they will turn out to be anything else based on past experience.

Given the thousands of hours the US military probably produces a day, the real question we should be asking is why aren't we seeing more of this mysterious videos? Is their security that good they can stop amusing videos of random weird stuff being passed around?

Has anyone read journalist Annie Jacobsen's book Area 51? There are plenty of details regarding what UFOs may be based on freedom of information requests and interviews. I'm skeptical but open minded to it.

What does it mean to take seriously?

I take them seriously for what they are: unidentified flying objects. Is that serious enough? At this point, they're nothing more than anomalies. Unless they somehow pose a threat or offer something of great promise, my seriousness makes me think the best course of action is to ponder the wonder of what they may be, and perhaps take a second look on the occasion we happen to observe them.

I think this is Straussian. I think

Belief in UFOs is positively correlated with high GRE scores.

Its aliens.

The only realistic possibilities are China, secret US weapons, or aliens.

China can't properly put AIDs in the flu, I assure you that they aren't 3-5 generations ahead in physics.

Its not the US. These craft seem to break laws of physics, thermodynamics. Is there a single academic in history who would - for more than a year or two - eschew the accolades of exceeding Einstein?

That leaves aliens.

Next questions:
1. Have they always been here, and we are just now getting the tech to notice them? Or are they new arrivals?
2. Are they actually focusing on the US military, or is the monitoring pervasive and the US military is the only outfit capable of detecting them?
3. If they are focusing observations on the US military, what does that say about their intentions?

We can introduce our orange man to the green men.

Okay. As you say. this seems odd, so I'll take it seriously.
The next thing I want to do here is ask the question of evidence: how much more likely am I to see this if there are alien craft on Earth, vs if there aren't?
If there are aliens, why are they here? Why are they apparently ok with being found out?
If there aren't, how easy would it be to fake this? Could someone outside the military convincingly fake this and have the military duped? Alternatively, would the US military be able to fake this, and if so, why would they? (I'm assuming faking is more likely than errors etc at this point).

Neither of these make sense, and both my priors for aliens and the military faking aliens are pretty low. Aliens seem less likely, but more important.

What I want to know next is, how fakeable is the evidence we've seen? How easily can you trick e.g. a radar into seeing stuff like this - including the reported speed? What about a person?

I didn't expect to be pitting aliens against a military conspiracy today, but if the evidence suggests either....

Who wants to take UFO sightings more seriously
ufo british circa 1970 26 episodes Georgina Moon!

In a Bayesian framework, these videos should obviously increase our prior for ‘aliens visit earth regularly.’. But shouldn’t it also increase our priors for other plausible explanations of the videos, eg. ‘top secret government aircraft exist’ and ‘billion dollar cameras can still be buggy?’ So the relative probabilities of these more-or-less plausible explanations don’t change all that much.

‪Wanted: A Science of UFOs | Alexander Wendt | TEDxColumbus‬
https://youtu.be/u_RquOChJuE

Sightings of aliens are like sightings of the Messiah: those doing the sightings have higher status. The opposite is also true: there is no status if hundreds, or thousands, had sightings. Sightings of the resurrected Messiah by His Disciples conferred status on the Disciples, but then along came the author of First Corinthians (that would be Paul) who claimed sightings by over 500. Why would Paul want to diminish the status of the Disciples? Because Paul wasn't a Disciple and nobody believed Paul when Paul claimed he saw the resurrected Messiah. When I was a child I had a sighting of a cross between an alien and the Messiah: Elvis. The sighting conferred status.

In 1983 the best radar satellites that the Soviet Union could afford identified 5 flying objects as ICBMs. This was during a period of increased tensions with the US (this being the Reagan/Andropov era) with intermediate missiles spreading throughout Europe.

Here we have a situation where we had high end military hardware. We had every possible incentive to get it correct. And the observations were erroneous. But what was misidentified as ICBMs, something with a well known flight profile?

Reflections of sunlight off clouds at a particular angle given the warning satellites' orbits.

This suggests to me that the failures are easy, even for militaries at the technological frontier with high stakes in play. Further, it suggests that the failure modes of sensors cover a wide area of possible outcomes: birds, nuclear missiles, or physics defying craft would all be possible.

And as a science fiction reader, I know there are many possible version of aliens. Some robotic Von Neuman probe. A spaceship with warp capabilities. A wormhole in the outer solar system. And of course the aliens might have all manner of motives: religion, curiosity, profit (dubious), or fear. And we see UFOs, that if you squint correctly, meet any or all of these.

Which is part of my trouble thinking these are indeed aliens. We see not one continuous archetype of alien be it with grainy video or first hand accounts, but many if not every imaginable type. Whatever the odds are that some alien invested whatever resources are required to span interstellar distances, the odds that two or ten different forms have is that much lower.

Sensor ghosts can arise from many tricks of the light and seem to be more common (like UFOs) in areas with poor referents and without concurrent high fidelity observation with multiple modalities of observation (e.g. video, radar, audio, IR). It further stands to reason that things which would require whole new physics are much more likely sensor ghosts.

Reading science fiction as a child correlates most of all with reading science fiction as an adult, with a side-effect of becoming the couch potato connoisseur of a truly vast quantity of pop culture. That the fans Tyler encounters are more open-minded might also correspond to the selection effect of being Tyler's friend, a Tyler Cowen version of the anthropic principle. A Straussian take would locate the open-mindedness (and even the interest in the UFO incidents) entirely within Tyler, the projection of curiosity onto an otherwise null field. The Golden Age of science fiction is twelve, and twelve is forever.

Taken at face value the videos/data are pretty clear evidence of super-human intelligence (assuming the objects are real and not just an optical phenomenon).

But clearly the government hasn’t released all the available data. Some people have access to this data, however, and it seems unlikely that they could/would suppress this information if there were not a more mundane explanation which explained the videos.

It is somewhat telling that a science fiction author, Arthur C. Clarke, absolutely dismissed the whole UFO fantasy as unmitigated nonsense. So I don’t buy the whole premise of this argument.

I suspect the UFO stuff is nonsense too. However, Clarke, despite his scientific knowledge, is a bit problematic. He may have been a pedophile who pursued young boys. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/arthur-c-clarke-case-investigated-1145468.html

Tim, what about the cover-up of reports of allegations that Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Angel Merkel, and Winston Churchill are part of a secret cult that celebrates their acts of evil by feasting on the limbs of crushed human babies garnished with savory sauce of toads? Why is no one addressing this cover-up?

I don't think the allegations about Arthur C. Clarke being into young boys is fanciful. Some say that was the reason behind why he lived in Sri Lanka in the first place (lax laws). However, the government there said he was not guilty of the crimes. But it did lead to a real investigation: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-03-24/arthur-c-clarke-not-a-paedophile-sri-lanka/1081914

I have said this before, but what strikes me is how hard to visually interpret the videos are. They have very little detail and little or no visual context. The only thing that gives them interest is that pilots were puzzled and the Navy seemed to have considered them a mystery, at least for a time. Supposedly there have been lots more radar contacts and sightings, but eyewitness accounts are unreliable, and descriptions of the radar information that I have read are so extreme that technical error seems by far the most likely explanation.

It is worth investigating puzzling observations; every so often you will learn something important. And, as a species, we can't help it. Enough of us are curious enough that all public data on UFOs will get scrutinized by somebody.

It's clear that Tyler operationally likes to weight low-probability things more than the average person does, I think he is generally right to do so, and this is an example of that. But I still think this will turn out to have a collection of boring explanations.

I was skeptical of mundane reasons to explain unidentified object sightings until it happened to me.

There I was, an aerospace engineer, standing on the steps of the local post office talking to a couple of neighbors I had run into. As we chatted, I spotted something over their shoulders. As it grew in size, it took on more and more of the classic shape of a flying saucer. I was in a quandary: at what point do I interrupt the conversation and say "holy cow, look at that!"? I mean it was getting obvious. Just as I was about to speak up, the object turned slightly and took on the shape of a common airliner (a DC-9 Super 80, to be specific). Exactly how it had been aligned to look like a flying saucer, I don't know, but it was VERY obvious in the sky. If I had had a camera with a good lens, I would have a nice picture today.

I wasn't exactly a trained observer, but I had spent a lot of time around airplanes at that point. I just can't explain how this fooled me for at least 15-30 seconds.

Since this incident, I've been a lot less skeptical of mundane explanations for UFOs.

The Science fiction wonks may believe these are UFOs, but the remaining majority likely believes the truth: these UFO sightings are acts of God! Just because SF fans are non-believers do they fail to see the truth. Even the US had a project called "rods from God" a while back, that seems to fit the observations on the ground.

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