Friday, 17 June 2011

What is the truth about flying saucers?

The Truth, so the saying has it, is Out There.

But what is the truth and, more specifically what are people reporting when they witness a UFO or alien encounter. Therein lies one of the central problems of the entire UFO and Alien Encounter enigma. We are, by and large, dealing with what people report that they have seen and what has happened to them. Nobody has ever publicly produced an alien being or an alien spacecraft. There are occasional marks left by UFOs and aliens in passing, but no direct and incontrovertible evidence.

It is also important to recognise that the UFO experience is not entirely new. It was Kenneth Arnold’s sighting in 1947 and the widespread publicity it gained that pushed UFOs, or flying saucers as they were then known, into the public arena. But reports of UFOs and ufonauts have been around for centuries. These pre-1947 reports were generally interpreted as sightings of fairies, goblins, trolls or angels. Those inclined to believe in such entities took the reports as fact, those who did not dismissed them. Clearly whatever the truth may be, it has been around for a very long time.

Probably the most productive first step is to be clear over what we are talking about. As we have seen in the course of this book, there are several inter-related phenomena to be covered.

In the first instance there are flying objects that seem to be neither natural nor man-made. There is no acknowledged, rational explanation for these flying objects, which generally go by the name of Unidentified Flying Object, or UFO. These objects are sometimes seen during the day, sometimes at night. The objects may be picked up on radar, but often are not. Some of these objects are seen at remarkably close quarters and a few have a direct and observable impact on their surroundings.

Seen in connection with some of these objects are a variety of apparently intelligent life forms. Most of these are humanoid in form - having two arms, two legs and one head - but a few are not. Sometimes these entities ignore the humans who see them, sometimes they react. On a few occasions the creatures are reported to communicate with the humans who encounter them. In the Alien Abduction experience the communications are not always pleasant and the results for the humans can be distressing in the extreme.

There is nothing to prove that all these phenomena are related to each other. The strange lights seen in the sky at night are not necessarily the same things as the discs and other UFOs seen by daylight. Nor is it certain that all the flying objects contain life forms. Nor is it certain that the entities that arrive in UFOs are those that carry out abductions.

The various elements to the enigma have become linked largely because they seem to be so. But when evaluating the evidence it is as well to keep in mind that we might well be dealing with two, three or even more quite distinct phenomena.

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