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1 décembre 2010 3 01 /12 /décembre /2010 02:50

Unidentified flying object (commonly abbreviated as UFO or U.F.O.) is the popular term for any apparent aerial phenomenon whose cause cannot be easily or immediately identified by the observer        (Dell XPS M1210 Batteryhttp://www.hdd-shop.co.uk .

The United States Air Force, which coined the term in 1952, initially defined UFOs as those objects that remain unidentified after scrutiny by expert investigators, though today the term UFO is colloquially used to refer to any unidentifiable sighting regardless of whether it has been investigated     (Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery)      .

UFO reports increased precipitously after the first widely publicized U.S. sighting, reported by private pilot Kenneth Arnold in June 1947, that gave rise to the popular terms "flying saucer" and "flying disc." The term UFO is popularly taken as a synonym for alien spacecraft and generally most discussions of UFOs revolve around this presumption       (Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery)     .

UFO enthusiasts and devotees have created organizations, religious cults have adopted extraterrestrial themes, and in general the UFO concept has evolved into a prominent mythos in modern culture.Some investigators now prefer to use the broader term unidentified aerial phenomenon (or UAP), to avoid the confusion and the negative connotations that have become attached to UFO (Dell Vostro 1710 Battery) .

Another widely known 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)   (Sony VGP-BPS13 battery)   .

Studies have established that the majority of UFOs are observations of some real but conventional object—most commonly aircraft, balloons, or astronomical objects such as meteors or bright planets—that have been misidentified by the observer as anomalies, while a small percentage of reported UFOs are hoaxes     (Sony VGP-BPS13/B battery)     .

Between 5% to 20% of anomalous sightings can be classified as unidentified in the strictest sense (see below for some studies).

The likelihood that all UFO sightings are misidentifications of known phenomena inspired some debate in the scientific community about whether any scientific investigation was warranted given the paucity of available empirical data      (Sony VGP-BPS13/S battery) .

Very little peer-reviewed literature has been published in which scientists have proposed, studied or supported non-prosaic explanations for UFOs. Nevertheless, UFOs as a cultural phenomenon continues to be the subject of serious academic research and amateur investigators continue to advocate that UFOs represent real and unexplained events, whether or not they are associated with alien encounters     (Sony VGP-BPS13A/B battery)      .


Unexplained aerial observations have been reported throughout history. Some were undoubtedly astronomical in nature: comets, bright meteors, one or more of the five planets that can be seen with the naked eye, planetary conjunctions, or atmospheric optical phenomena such as parhelia and lenticular clouds         (Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery)       .

An example is Halley's Comet, which was recorded first by Chinese astronomers in 240 B.C. and possibly as early as 467 B.C. Such sightings throughout history were often treated as supernatural portents, angels, or other religious omens     (Sony VGP-BPL9 battery)      .

Current-day UFO-enthusiasts have noticed similarities between some religious symbols in medieval paintings and UFO reports though the canonical and symbolic character of such images is documented by art historians whose commentary and scholarship is generally ignored by enthusiasts     (Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery)      .

  • Shen Kuo (1031–1095), a Song Chinese government scholar-official and prolific polymath inventor and scholar, wrote a vivid passage in his Dream Pool Essays (1088) about an unidentified flying object. He recorded the testimony of eyewitnesses in 11th-century Anhui and Jiangsu (especially in the city of Yangzhou)        (Sony VGP-BPL11 battery)     ,
  • who stated that a flying object with opening doors would shine a blinding light from its interior (from an object shaped like a pearl) that would cast shadows from trees for ten miles in radius, and was able to take off at tremendous speeds      (Sony VGP-BPL15 battery)      .
  • On January 25, 1878, The Denison Daily News wrote that local farmer John Martin had reported seeing a large, dark, circular flying object resembling a balloon flying "at wonderful speed." Martin also said it appeared to be about the size of a saucer, the first known use of the word "saucer" in association with a UFO     (Dell Inspiron E1505 battery)      .
  • On February 28, 1904, there was a sighting by three crew members on the USS Supply 300 miles west of San Francisco, reported by Lt. Frank Schofield, later to become Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Battle Fleet. Schofield wrote of three bright red egg-shaped and circular objects flying in echelon formation that approached beneath the cloud layer (Dell Latitude E6400 battery)  ,
  • then changed course and "soared" above the clouds, departing directly away from the earth after two to three minutes. The largest had an apparent size of about six suns.
  • 1916 and 1926: The three oldest known pilot UFO sightings, of 1305 cataloged by NARCAP. On January 31, 1916, a UK pilot near Rochford reported a row of lights, like lighted windows on a railway carriage, that rose and disappeared     (HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery)     .
  • In January 1926, a pilot reported six "flying manhole covers" between Wichita, Kansas and Colorado Springs, Colorado. In late September 1926, an airmail pilot over Nevada was forced to land by a huge, wingless cylindrical object          (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery)      .
  • On August 5, 1926, while traveling in the Humboldt Mountains of Tibet's Kokonor region, Nicholas Roerich reported that members of his expedition saw "something big and shiny reflecting the sun, like a huge oval moving at great speed. Crossing our camp the thing changed in its direction from south to southwest    (Sony VGN-FZ31S battery)      .
  • And we saw how it disappeared in the intense blue sky. We even had time to take our field glasses and saw quite distinctly an oval form with shiny surface, one side of which was brilliant from the sun.”   Another description by Roerich was, "...A shiny body flying from north to south. Field glasses are at hand. It is a huge body   (Hp pavilion dv6000 battery)    .
  • One side glows in the sun. It is oval in shape. Then it somehow turns in another direction and disappears in the southwest."
  • In the Pacific and European theatres during World War II, "Foo-fighters" (metallic spheres, balls of light and other shapes that followed aircraft) were reported and on occasion photographed by Allied and Axis pilots      (SONY VGN-FZ38M Battery)  .
  • Some proposed Allied explanations at the time included St. Elmo's Fire, the planet Venus, hallucinations from oxygen deprivation, or German secret weapon.
  • On February 25, 1942, U.S. Army observers reported unidentified aircraft both visually and on radar over the Los Angeles, California region      (SONY VGN-FZ31z Battery)     .
  • Antiaircraft artillery was fired at what was presumed to be Japanese planes. No readily apparent explanation was offered, though some officials dismissed the reports of aircraft as being triggered by anxieties over expected Japanese air attacks on California      (Sony VGN-FZ31Z Battery)     .
  • However, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George C. Marshall and Secretary of War Henry Stimson insisted real aircraft were involved. The incident later became known as the Battle of Los Angeles, or the West coast air raid       (SONY VGN-FZ31E Battery)  .
  • In 1946, there were over 2000 reports, collected primarily by the Swedish military, of unidentified aerial objects in the Scandinavian nations, along with isolated reports from France, Portugal, Italy and Greece, then referred to as "Russian hail", and later as "ghost rockets"    (SONY  VGN-FZ31J Battery)   ,
  • because it was thought that these mysterious objects were possibly Russian tests of captured German V1 or V2rockets. Although most were thought to be natural phenomena like meteors, over 200 were tracked on radar and deemed to be "real physical objects" by the Swedish military       (SONY VGN-FZ31M Battery)     .
  • In a 1948 top secretdocument, the Swedish military told the USAF Europe in 1948 that some of their investigators believed them to be extraterrestrial in origin.

The Kenneth Arnold sightings

The post World War II UFO phase in the United States began with a famous sighting by American businessman Kenneth Arnold on June 24, 1947 while flying his private plane near Mount Rainier, Washington     (SONY VGN-FZ31B Battery)     .

He reported seeing nine brilliantly bright objects flying across the face of Rainier.

Although there were other 1947 U.S. sightings of similar objects that preceded this, it was Arnold's sighting that first received significant media attention and captured the public's imagination       (SONY VGP-BPS13 Battery)        .

Arnold described what he saw as being "flat like a pie pan", "shaped like saucers and were so thin I could barely see them… ", "half-moon shaped, oval in front and convex in the rear. … they looked like a big flat disk" (see Arnold's drawing at right), and flew "like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water"        (Dell Inspiron 1320 Battery)         .

(One of the objects, however, he would describe later as crescent-shaped, as shown in illustration at left.) Arnold’s descriptions were widely reported and within a few days gave rise to the terms flying saucer and flying disk. Arnold’s sighting was followed in the next few weeks by hundreds of other reported sightings, mostly in the U.S., but in other countries as well      (Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery)   .

After reports of the Arnold sighting hit the media, other cases began to be reported in increasing numbers. In one instance a United Airlinescrew sighting of nine more disc-like objects over Idaho on the evening of July 4. At the time, this sighting was even more widely reported than Arnold’s and lent considerable credence to Arnold’s report     (Dell Inspiron 1464 Battery)       .

American UFO researcher Ted Bloecher, in his comprehensive review of newspaper reports (including cases that preceded Arnold's), found a sudden surge upwards in sightings on July 4, peaking on July 6–8. Bloecher noted that for the next few days most American newspapers were filled with front-page stories of the new "flying saucers" or "flying discs"    (Dell Inspiron 1564 Battery)      .

Reports began to rapidly tail off after July 8,when officials began issuing press statements on theRoswell UFO incident, in which they explained debris found on the ground by a rancher as being that of a weather balloon.

Over several years in the 1960s, Bloecher (aided by physicist James E. McDonald) discovered 853 flying disc sightings that year from 140 newspapers from Canada, Washington D.C, and every U.S. state except Montana    (Dell Inspiron 1764 Battery)       .


UFOs have been subject to investigations over the years that vary widely in scope and scientific rigor. Governments or independent academics in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Peru, France, Belgium, Sweden, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, Spain, and the Soviet Union are known to have investigated UFO reports at various times    (Dell Studio 1450 Battery)       .

Among the best known government studies are the ghost rockets investigation by the Swedish military (1946–1947), Project Blue Book, previously Project Sign and Project Grudge, conducted by theUnited States Air Force from 1947 until 1969, the secret U.S (Dell Studio 1457 Battery) .

Army/Air Force Project Twinkle investigation into green fireballs (1948–1951), the secret USAF Project Blue Book Special Report #14  by the Battelle Memorial Institute, and Brazilian Air Force Operation Saucer (1977). France has had on ongoing investigation (GEPAN/SEPRA/GEIPAN) within its space agency CNES since 1977, as has Uruguay since 1989    (Dell Latitude D610 Battery)      .

A public research effort conducted by the Condon Committee for the USAF, which arrived at a negative conclusion in 1968, marked the end of the US government's official investigation of UFOs, though documents indicate various government intelligence agencies continue unofficially to investigate or monitor the situation     (Toshiba NB100 Battery)     .

Allen Hynek was a trained astronomer who participated in Project Bluebook after doing research as a federal government employee. He formed the opinion that some UFO reports could not be scientifically explained. Through his founding of the Center for UFO Studies and participation at CUFOs he spent the rest of his life researching and documenting UFOs  (Toshiba Satellite M65 battery) .

The movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind had a character loosely based on Hynek. Another group studying UFOs is Mutual UFO Network. MUFON is a grass roots based organization known for publishing one of the first UFO investigators handbooks. This handbook went into great detail on how to document alleged UFO sightings  (Toshiba Satellite M60 battery)     .

Jacques Vallée, a scientist and prominent UFO researcher, has argued that most UFO research is scientifically deficient, including many government studies such as Project Blue Book, and that mythology and cultism are frequently associated with the phenomenon        (Dell Latitude D830 Battery)      .

Vallée states that self-styled scientists often fill the vacuum left by the lack of attention paid to the UFO phenomenon by official science, but also notes that several hundred professional scientists continue to study UFOs in private, what he terms the "invisible college"       (Dell Latitude D620 Battery)       .

He also argues that much could be learned from rigorous scientific study, but that little such work has been done.There has been little mainstream scientific study of UFOs, and the topic has received little serious attention or support in mainstream scientific literature. Official studies ended in the U.S. in December 1969, subsequent to the statement by Edward Condon that the study of UFOs probably could not be justified in the expectation that science would be advanced       (Dell Studio 1735 Battery)    .

The Condon report and these conclusions were endorsed by the National Academy of Scientists, of which Condon was a member. However, a scientific review by the UFO subcommittee of the AIAA disagreed with Condon's conclusion, noting that at least 30% of the cases studied remained unexplained, and that scientific benefit might be gained by continued study    (Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Battery)      .

It has been claimed that all UFO cases are anecdotal and that all can be explained as prosaic natural phenomena. On the other hand, it has been argued that there is limited awareness among scientists of observational data, other than what is reported in the popular press    (Sony VGN-FW11S Battery)        .

Controversy has surrounded the Condon report, both before and after it was released. It has been claimed that the report was "harshly criticized by numerous scientists, particularly at the powerful AIAA…  recommended moderate, but continuous scientific work on UFOs"        (Sony VGN-FW11M Battery)     .

In an address made to the AAAS, James E. McDonald stated that he believed science had failed to mount adequate studies of the problem, criticizing the Condon report and prior studies by the US Air Force for being scientifically deficient. He also questioned the basis for Condon's conclusions  and argued that the reports of UFOs have been "laughed out of scientific court         (Dell Studio 1555 battery)       ."

J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer whose position as USAF consultant from 1948 made him perhaps the most knowledgeable scientist connected with the subject, sharply criticized the report of the Condon Committee and later wrote two nontechnical books that set forth the case for investigating seemingly baffling UFO reports      (Dell Latitude E5400 Battery)       .

No official government investigation has ever publicly concluded that UFOs are indisputably real, physical objects, extraterrestrial in origin, or of concern to national defense. These same negative conclusions also have been found in studies that were highly classified for many years, such as the UK's Flying Saucer Working Party        (Dell Latitude E4200 Battery)       ,

Project Condign, the US CIA-sponsored Robertson Panel, the US military investigation into the green fireballs from 1948 to 1951, and the Battelle Memorial Institute study for the USAF from 1952 to 1955 (Project Blue Book Special Report #14 ) (Dell Vostro A840 Battery)   .

However, the initially classified USAF Regulation 200-2, first issued in 1953 after the Robertson Panel, which first defined UFOs and how information was to be collected, stated explicitly that the two reasons for studying the unexplained cases were for national security reasons and for possible technical aspects involved, implying physical reality and concern about national defense, but without opinion as to origins     (Dell Inspiron 300M Battery)    .

(For example, such information would also be considered important if UFOs had a foreign or domestic origin.) The first two known classified USAF studies in 1947 also concluded real physical aircraft were involved, but gave no opinion as to origins. (See American investigations immediately below) These early studies led to the creation of the USAF's Project Sign at the end of 1947, the first semi-public USAF study        (Dell Studio 1737 battery)    .

Project Sign in 1948 wrote a highly classified opinion (see Estimate of the Situation) that the best UFO reports probably had an extraterrestrial explanation, as did the private but high-level FrenchCOMETA study of 1999     (Dell Inspiron E1505 battery)  .

A top secret Swedish military opinion given to the USAF in 1948 stated that some of their analysts believed the 1946 ghost rockets and later flying saucers had extraterrestrial origins. (see Ghost rockets for document). In 1954, German rocket scientist Hermann Oberth revealed an internal West German government investigation, which he headed, that arrived at an extraterrestrial conclusion, but this study was never made public   (Dell Latitude E6400 battery)    .

Classified, internal reports by the Canadian Project Magnet in 1952 and 1953 also assigned high probability to extraterrestrial origins. Publicly, however, Project Magnet, nor later Canadian defense studies, ever stated such a conclusion.

Another highly classified U.S. study was conducted by the CIA's Office of Scientific Investigation (OS/I) in the latter half of 1952 after being directed to do so by the National Security Council (NSC)      (Dell RM791 battery)        .

They concluded UFOs were real physical objects of potential threat to national security. One OS/I memo to the CIA Director (DCI) in December read, "...the reports of incidents convince us that there is something going on that must have immediate attention... Sightings of unexplained objects at great altitudes and traveling at high speeds in the vicinity of major U.S. defense installations are of such a nature that they are not attributable to natural phenomena or any known types of aerial vehicles     (Dell XPS M1530 battery) ."

The matter was considered so urgent, that OS/I drafted a memorandum from the DCI to the NSC proposing that the NSC establish an investigation of UFOs as a priority project throughout the intelligence and the defense research and development community. They also urged the DCI to establish an external research project of top-level scientists to study the problem of UFOs, now known as the Robertson Panel, to further analyze the matter       (Dell XPS M2010 battery)     .

The OS/I investigation was called off after the Robertson Panel's negative conclusions in January 1953.

Some public government conclusions have indicated physical reality but stopped short of concluding extraterrestrial origins, though not dismissing the possibility       (Dell Vostro 1000 battery)      .

Examples are the Belgian military investigation into large triangles over their airspace in 1989–1991 and the recent 2009 Uruguay Air Force study conclusion (see below).

Some private studies have been neutral in their conclusions, but argued the inexplicable core cases called for continued scientific study. Examples are the Sturrock Panel study of 1998 and the 1970AIAA review of the Condon Report    (Acer Aspire One battery) .

American investigations

Following the large U.S. surge in sightings in June and early July 1947, on July 9, 1947, Army Air Force (AAF) intelligence, in cooperation with the FBI, began a formal investigation into selected best sightings with characteristics that could not be immediately rationalized, which included Kenneth Arnold’s and that of the United Airlines crew      (Toshiba Satellite P10 Battery)   .

The AAF used "all of its top scientists" to determine whether or not "such a phenomenon could, in fact, occur". The research was "being conducted with the thought that the flying objects might be a celestial phenomenon," or that "they might be a foreign body mechanically devised and controlled  (SONY VGN-FZ210CE Battery)       ."

Three weeks later in a preliminary defense estimate, the air force investigation decided that, "This ‘flying saucer’ situation is not all imaginary or seeing too much in some natural phenomenon. Something is really flying around        (Dell Precision M70 Battery)  ."

A further review by the intelligence and technical divisions of the Air Materiel Command at Wright Field reached the same conclusion, that "the phenomenon is something real and not visionary or fictitious," that there were objects in the shape of a disc, metallic in appearance, and as big as man-made aircraft     (Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery)        .

They were characterized by "extreme rates of climb maneuverability," general lack of noise, absence of trail, occasional formation flying, and "evasive" behavior "when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar," suggesting a controlled craft. It was thus recommended in late September 1947 that an official Air Force investigation be set up to investigate the phenomenon    (Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery)    .

It was also recommended that other government agencies should assist in the investigation.

This led to the creation of the Air Force’s Project Sign at the end of 1947, one of the earliest government studies to come to a secret extraterrestrial conclusion        (Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery)    .

In August 1948, Sign investigators wrote a top-secret intelligence estimate to that effect. The Air Force Chief of Staff Hoyt Vandenberg ordered it destroyed. The existence of this suppressed report was revealed by several insiders who had read it, such as astronomer and USAF consultant J. Allen Hynek and Capt. Edward J. Ruppelt, the first head of the USAF's Project Blue Book (Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery) .

Project Sign was dismantled and became Project Grudge at the end of 1948. Angered by the low quality of investigations by Grudge, the Air Force Director of Intelligence reorganized it as Project Blue Book in late 1951, placing Ruppelt in charge. Blue Book closed down in 1970, using the Condon Commission's negative conclusion as a rationale, ending the official Air Force UFO investigations  (Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery)   .

However, a 1969 USAF document, known as the Bolender memo, plus later government documents revealed that nonpublic U.S. government UFO investigations continued after 1970         (Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery)      .

The Bollender memo first stated that "reports of unidentified flying objects that could affect national security… are not part of the Blue Book system," indicating that more serious UFO incidents were already handled outside of the public Blue Book investigation. The memo then added, "reports of UFOs which could affect national security would continue to be handled through the standard Air Force procedures designed for this purpose    (WD  passport essential (500GB/640GB) ."

In addition, in the late 1960s, there was a chapter on UFOs at the U.S. Air Force Academy in their Space Sciences course, giving serious consideration to possible extraterrestrial origins. When word of the curriculum became public, the Air Force in 1970 put out a statement the book was outdated and that cadets were now being informed of Condon's negative conclusion instead    (WD   passport essential (250GB/320GB) .

Use of UFO instead of the popular flying saucer was first suggested in 1952 by Ruppelt, who felt that flying saucer did not reflect the diversity of the sightings. Ruppelt suggested that UFO should be pronounced as a word — you-foe. However it is generally pronounced by forming each letter: U.F.O    (WD  passport essential SE (750GB/1TB) .

His term was quickly adopted by the Air Force, which also briefly used "UFOB" circa 1954, for Unidentified Flying Object. Ruppelt recounted his experiences with Project Blue Book in his memoir, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (1956), also the first book to use the term   (WD  passport elite(250GB/320GB) .

Air Force Regulation 200-2,  issued in 1953 and 1954, defined an Unidentified Flying Object ("UFOB") as "any airborne object which by performance, aerodynamic characteristics, or unusual features, does not conform to any presently known aircraft or missile type, or which cannot be positively identified as a familiar object     (WD  passport elite(500GB/640GB) ."

The regulation also said UFOBs were to be investigated as a "possible threat to the security of the United States" and "to determine technical aspects involved." As to what the public was to be told, "it is permissible to inform news media representatives on UFOB's when the object is positively identified as a familiar object," but "For those objects which are not explainable, only the fact that ATIC  will analyze the data is worthy of release, due to many unknowns involved     (WD  passport studio for Mac(320GB/500GB) ."

Well known American investigations include:

  • Project Blue Book, previously Project Sign and Project Grudge, conducted by the United States Air Force from 1947 until 1969
  • The secret U.S. Army/Air Force Project Twinkle investigation into green fireballs (1948–1951)
  • Ghost rockets investigations by the Swedish, U.K., U.S., and Greek militaries (1946–1947)
  • The secret CIA Office of Scientific Investigation (OS/I) study (1952–53)  (WD  passport studio for Mac(500GB/640GB)
  • The secret CIA Robertson Panel (1953)
  • The secret USAF Project Blue Book Special Report No. 14 by the Battelle Memorial Institute (1951–1954)
  • The Brookings Report (1960), commissioned by NASA
  • The public Condon Committee (1966–1968)
  • The private, internal RAND Corporation study (1968) (WD  Elements series(250GB/320GB)
  • The private Sturrock Panel (1998)

Another early U.S. Army study, established sometime in the 1940s and of which little is known, was called the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit (IPU). In 1987, British UFO researcher Timothy Goodreceived a letter confirming the existence of the IPU from the Army Director of Counter-intelligence, in which it was stated   (WD  Elements SE(500GB/640GB) , "

… the aforementioned Army unit was disestablished during the late 1950s and never reactivated. All records pertaining to this unit were surrendered to the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations in conjunction with operation BLUEBOOK." The IPU records have never been released     (WD Elements SE(750GB/1TB) .

Thousands of documents released under FOIA also indicate that many U.S. intelligence agencies collected (and still collect) information on UFOs, including the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), FBI,CIA, National Security Agency (NSA), as well as military intelligence agencies of the Army and Navy, in addition to the Air Force   (WD  Elements desktop(500GB/640GB) .

The investigation of UFOs has also attracted many civilians, who in the U.S formed research groups such as National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (NICAP, active 1956–1980), Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO, 1952–1988), Mutual UFO Network (MUFON, 1969–), and Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS, 1973–)     (WD  Elements desktop(750GB/1TB) .

Famous American cases

The Battle of Los Angeles in 1942, where an unidentified flying object sequently was thought to be part of a Japanese airstrike.

The Roswell Incident involved New Mexico residents, local law enforcement officers, and the US military, the latter of whom allegedly collected physical evidence from the UFO crash site    (WD  Elements desktop(1.5 TB/2TB) .

In the Kecksburg Incident, Pennsylvania residents reported seeing a bell shaped object crash in the area. Police officers, and possibly military personnel, were sent to investigate.

The Betty and Barney Hill abduction was the first reported abduction incident       (WD  passport essential SE (750GB/1TB)--USB 3.0) .

1975 Travis Walton abduction case: The movie Fire in the Sky was based on this event, but embellished greatly the original account.

The "Phoenix Lights" March 13, 1997

Canadian investigation

The Falcon Lake incidentreport filed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on Stephen Michalak claimed incident with a UFO  (WD  passport essential (500GB/640GB) .

In Canada, the Department of National Defence has dealt with reports, sightings and investigations of UFOs across Canada. In addition to conducting investigations intocrop circles in Duhamel, Alberta, it still considers "unsolved" the Falcon Lake incident in Manitoba and the Shag Harbour incident in Nova Scotia     (WD  passport for Mac(320GB/500GB) .

Early Canadian studies included Project Magnet (1950–1954) and Project Second Story (1952–1954), supported by the Defence Research Board. These studies were headed by Canadian Department of Transport radio engineer Wilbert B. Smith, who later publicly supported extraterrestrial origins   (WD  passport for Mac(640GB/1TB) .

Famous Canadian cases

In the Shag Harbour incident, a large object sequentially flashing lights was seen and heard to dive into the water by multiple witnesses. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and many local residents also witnessed a light floating on the water immediately afterward, and a large patch of unusual yellow foam when a water search was initiated    My book essential 4 generation  (640GB/1TB).

Multiple government agencies were eventually involved in trying to identify the crashed object and searching for it. Canadian naval divers later purportedly found no wreckage. In official documents, the object was called a "UFO" because no conventional explanation for the crashed object was discovered      (WD  My book essential 4 generation( 1.5TB/2TB) .

Around the same time, both the Canadian and US military were involved in another UFO-related search at Shelburne, Nova Scotia, approximately 30 miles from Shag Harbour.

French investigation

On March 2007, the French Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) published an archive of UFO sightings and other phenomena online      WD  My book elite( 1TB/1.5TB) .

French studies include GEPAN/SEPRA/GEIPAN (1977–), within the French space agency CNES, the longest ongoing government-sponsored investigation. About 14% of some 6000 cases studied remained unexplained. The official opinion of GEPAN/SEPRA/GEIPAN has been neutral or negative  WD  My book studio(1TB/2TB) ,

but the three heads of the studies have gone on record in stating that UFOs were real physical flying machines beyond our knowledge or that the best explanation for the most inexplicable cases was an extraterrestrial one        WD  My book essential 4 generation( 1.5TB/2TB) .

The French COMETA panel (1996–1999) was a private study undertaken mostly by aerospace scientists and engineers affiliated with CNES and high-level French Air Force military intelligence analysts, with ultimate distribution of their study intended for high government officials      WD  My book elite(640GB/2TB) .

The COMETA panel likewise concluded the best explanation for the inexplicable cases was the extraterrestrial hypothesis and went further in accusing the United States government of a massive cover-up    Seagate  expansion portable (750GB/1TB) .

British investigation

The UK conducted various investigations into UFO sightings and related stories. The contents of some of these investigations have since been released to the public        Seagate  expansion portable (320GB/500GB).

Eight file collections on UFO sightings, dating from 1978 to 1987, were first released on May 14, 2008, to the UK National Archives by the Ministry of Defence. Although kept secret from the public for many years, most of the files have low levels of classification and none are classified Top Secret. 200 files are set to be made public by 2012     Seagate  expansion (1.5TB/2TB) .

The files are correspondence from the public sent to government officials, such as the MoD and Margaret Thatcher. The MoD released the files under the Freedom of Information Act due to requests from researchers. These files include, but are not limited to, UFOs over Liverpool and the Waterloo Bridge in London    Seagate  Freeagent Desktop (500GB/1TB) .

On October 20, 2008 more UFO files were released. One case released detailed that in 1991 an Alitalia passenger aircraft was approaching Heathrow Airport when the pilots saw what they described as a "cruise missile" flew extremely close to the cockpit. The pilots believed that a collision was imminent. UFO expert David Clarke says that this is one of the most convincing cases for a UFO he has come across       Seagate  Freeagent Go(250GB/320GB) .

British investigations include the UK's Flying Saucer Working Party. Its final report, published in 1951, remained secret for over 50 years. The Working Party concluded that all UFO sightings could be explained as misidentifications of ordinary objects or phenomena, optical illusions, psychological delusions or hoaxes       Seagate  Freeagent Go(500GB/640GB) .

The report stated: "We accordingly recommend very strongly that no further investigation of reported mysterious aerial phenomena be undertaken, unless and until some material evidence becomes available."

A secret study of UFOs was undertaken for the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) between 1996 and 2000 and was code-named Project Condign     Seagate  Freeagent Go(750GB/1TB) .

The resulting report, titled "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK Defence Region", was publicly released in 2006, but the identity and credentials of whomever constituted Project Condign remains classified. The report confirmed earlier findings that the main causes of UFO sightings are misidentification of man-made and natural objects     Seagate  Freeagent Goflex(250GB/320GB) .

The report noted: "No artefacts of unknown or unexplained origin have been reported or handed to the UK authorities, despite thousands of UAP reports. There are no SIGINT, ELINT or radiation measurements and little useful video or still IMINT     Seagate Freeagent Goflex(500GB/640GB) ."

It concluded: "There is no evidence that any UAP, seen in the UKADR [UK Air Defence Region], are incursions by air-objects of any intelligent (extraterrestrial or foreign) origin, or that they represent any hostile intent      Seagate  Freeagent Goflex(750GB/1TB) ."

Famous British cases

In the Rendlesham Forest incident of December 1980, US military personnel witnessed UFOs in the forest near the air base at Woodbridge, Suffolk, over a period of three nights. The sighting was the subject of an official memo to the UK’s Ministry of Defence    Seagate  Freeagent Goflex Pro(500GB/750GB) .

Famous Swiss cases

The Swiss contactee, Billy Meier, famously took over one thousand day and night photographs of UFOs, mostly during the latter half of the 1970s, allegedly with the full cooperation and assistance of the extraterrestrial pilots. It is a widely held view that some of these photos are possibly the clearest and most highly detailed photographs taken by anyone to date     Seagate  Freeagent Goflex desktop(1TB/2TB) .

Many witnesses also saw these craft, or evidence of recent activity by these craft, themselves. The UFO researcher, the late Lt. Col. Wendelle C. Stevens, investigated The Meier Case, as it came to be known, during the 1970s and 80s and remained convinced of the authenticity of it until his death in 2010   Seagate  Freeagent go for Mac(320GB/640GB) .

Uruguayan investigation

The Uruguayan Air Force has had an ongoing UFO investigations since 1989 and analyzed 2100 cases, of which they consider only 40 (about 2%) definitely lacking any conventional explanation. All files have recently been declassified     Samsung  G2 protable (250gb/320GB) .

The unexplained cases include military jet interceptions, abductions, cattle mutilations, and physical landing trace evidence. Colonel Ariel Sanchez, who currently heads the investigation, summarized their findings as follows: "The commission managed to determine modifications to the chemical composition of the soil where landings are reported    Samsung  G2 protable (500GB/640GB) .

The phenomenon exists. It could be a phenomenon that occurs in the lower sectors of the atmosphere, the landing of aircraft from a foreign air force, up to the extraterrestrial hypothesis. It could be a monitoring probe from outer space, much in the same way that we send probes to explore distant worlds    Samsung  S2 protable (160GB/250GB) .

The UFO phenomenon exists in the country. I must stress that the Air Force does not dismiss an extraterrestrial hypothesis based on our scientific analysis."

Astronomer reports

The Air Force's Project Blue Book files indicate that approximately 1?%  of all unknown reports came from amateur and professional astronomers or other users of telescopes (such as missile trackers or surveyors)     Samsung  S2 protable (320GB/500GB) .

In 1952, astronomer J. Allen Hynek, then a consultant to Blue Book, conducted a small survey of 45 fellow professional astronomers. Five reported UFO sightings (about 11%). In the 1970s, astrophysicist Peter A. Sturrock conducted two large surveys of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and American Astronomical Society       Samsung  S1 Mini (120GB/160GB) .

About 5?% of the members polled indicated that they had had UFO sightings.

Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, who admitted to six UFO sightings, including three green fireballs, supported the Extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) for UFOs and stated he thought scientists who dismissed it without study were being "unscientific"      Samsung  S1 Mini (250GB/320GB) .

Another astronomer was Lincoln LaPaz, who had headed the Air Force's investigation into the green fireballs and other UFO phenomena in New Mexico. LaPaz reported two personal sightings, one of a green fireball, the other of an anomalous disc-like object. (Both Tombaugh and LaPaz were part of Hynek's 1952 survey      Samsung  story station (1TB/1.5TB) .)

Hynek himself took two photos through the window of a commercial airliner of a disc-like object that seemed to pace his aircraft.  Even later UFO debunker Donald Menzel filed a UFO report in 1949.

In 1980, a survey of 1800 members of various amateur astronomer associations by Gert Helb and Hynek for the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) found that 24?% responded "yes" to the question "Have you ever observed an object which resisted your most exhaustive efforts at identification    Samsung  Story station (1.5TB/2TB) ?"

British records on UFOs

In August 2009 The Black Vault internet archive announced the release by the British government of more than 4,000 pages of declassified records     Samsung  story station Esata(1TB/1.5TB) .

The records include information on theRendlesham Forest incident, crop circles, a UFO attack on a cemetery and even reports of alien abduction claims.

On 1 December 2009, the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) quietly closed down its UFO investigations unit     Samsung  G3 station (1TB/1.5TB) .

The unit's hotline and email address were suspended by the Ministry of Defense on that date. The MoD said there was no value in continuing to receive and investigate sightings in a release   Maxtor one touch 4 mini (250GB/320GB) . stating

"... in over fifty years, no UFO report has revealed any evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom. The MoD has no specific capability for identifying the nature of such sightings. There is no Defence benefit in such investigation and it would be an inappropriate use of defence resources. Furthermore, responding to reported UFO sightings diverts MoD resources from tasks that are relevant to Defence."  Maxtor  one touch 4 plus (500GB/750GB)

The Guardian reported that the MoD claimed the closure would save the Ministry around £50,000 a year. The MoD said that it would continue to release UFO files to the public through the National Archives      Maxtor  one touch 4 plus (1TB/1.5TB) .

Winston Churchill

According to records released on August 5, 2010, British wartime prime minister Winston Churchill banned the reporting for 50 years of an alleged UFO incident because of fears it could create mass panic     Maxtor  black diamond (320GB/500GB) .

Reports given to Churchill claimed the incident allegedly involved an RAF reconnaissance plane returning from a mission in France or Germany toward the end of the Second World War. It was over or near the English coastline when it was allegedly suddenly intercepted by a strange metallic object that matched the aircraft's course and speed for a time before accelerating away and disappearing     Maxtor cool black(640GB/1TB) .

The plane's crew were reported to have photographed the object, which they said had "hovered noiselessly" near the aircraft, before moving off. According to the documents, details of the coverup emerged when the man wrote to the government in 1999 seeking to find out more about the incident     Maxtor  Black diamond (320GB/500GB) .

He described how his grandfather, who served with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the Second World War, was present when Churchill and U.S. General Dwight Eisenhower discussed how to deal with the UFO encounter. The files come from more than 5,000 pages of UFO reports and letters and drawings from members of the public, as well as questions raised by MPs in Parliament      Hitachi  simple touch (250GB/320GB) .

They are available to download for free for a month from The National Archives website.

Identification of UFOs

Fata Morgana, a type of mirage in which objects located below the astronomical horizon appear to be hovering in the sky, may be responsible for some UFO sightings    Hitachi  simple touch (320GB/500GB) .

Fata Morgana can also magnify the appearance of distant objects or distort them to be unrecognizable.

Studies show that after careful investigation, the majority of UFOs can be identified as ordinary objects or phenomena (see Identification studies of UFOs). The most commonly found identified sources of UFO reports are     Hitachi  life studio (250GB/320GB) :

  • Astronomical objects (bright stars, planets, meteors, re-entering man-made spacecraft, artificial satellites, and the moon)
  • Aircraft (Aerial advertising and other aircraft, missile launches)
  • Balloons (weather balloons, prank balloons, large research balloons)  Hitachi  life studio (320GB/500GB)
  • Other atmospheric objects and phenomena (birds, unusual clouds, kites, flares)
  • Light phenomena (mirages, Fata Morgana, moon dogs, searchlights and other ground lights, etc.)
  • Hoaxes  Hitachi life studio platinum (250GB/320GB)

Lenticular clouds have been reported as UFOs due to their peculiar shape.

A 1952–1955 study by the Battelle Memorial Institute for the US Air Force included these categories as well as a "psychological" oneHitachi  life studio platinum (320GB/500GB) .

However, the scientific analysts were unable to come up with prosaic explanations for 21.5?% of the 3200 cases they examined and 33?% of what were considered the best cases remained unexplained, double the number of the worst cases. (See full statistical breakdown in Identification studies of UFOs)     Hitachi  life studio desk (500GB/1TB) .

Of the 69?% identifieds, 38?% were deemed definitely explained while 31?% were thought to be "questionable." About 9?% of the cases were considered to have insufficient information to make a determination      Hitachi  life studio plus (320GB/500GB) .

The official French government UFO investigation (GEPAN/SEPRA/GEIPAN), run within the French space agency CNES between 1977 and 2004, scientifically investigated about 6000 cases and found that 13.5?% defied any rational explanation, 46?% were deemed definitely or likely identifiable, while 41?% lacked sufficient information for classification    Hitachi  life studio plus (320GB/500GB) .

An individual 1979 study by CUFOS researcher Allan Hendry found, as did other investigations, that only a small percentage of cases he investigated were hoaxes (<1?%) and that most sightings were actually honest misidentifications of prosaic phenomena. Hendry attributed most of these to inexperience or misperception    Hitachi  X mobile (250GB/320GB) .

However, Hendry's figure for unidentified cases was considerably lower than many other UFO studies such as Project Blue Book or theCondon Report that have found rates of unidentified cases ranging from 6?% to 30?%. Hendry found that 88.6?% of the cases he studied had a clear prosaic explanation     Hitachi  X mobile(320GB/500GB) ,

and he discarded a further 2.8?% due to unreliable or contradictory witnesses or insufficient information. The remaining 8.6?% of reports could not definitively be explained by prosaic phenomena, although he felt that a further 7.1?% could possibly be explained, leaving only the very best 1.5?% without plausible explanation         Hitachi External HDD –XL (1TB/2TB) .

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