UFOs revisited.

Let me take you to the edge of a rabbit hole.

As a kid back in the late 1970s I used to have a great interest in UFOs.
I would enthusiastically devour any books or magazines I could find on the topic and I would always be glancing upwards in the hope I might spot one myself.
I was pretty certain these phenomena were of extraterrestrial origins and that the US government was covering up the extent of their knowledge about the whole thing.

As I grew older any hard indisputable evidence never seemed to materialise, yet the grainy photos of UFOs became more suspicious and the magazine articles increasingly leant towards the wildly woo-woo preposterous (beware the anal probe).
I became more sceptical. If we were being visited by extraterrestrials, by now some substantial evidence (photographic or otherwise) would have been captured by somebody. Why haven’t the aliens yet attempted some form of contact?
Eventually, my interest just petered out and I stopped paying attention to the whole thing.

Recently, I decided to revisit the UFO ecosystem.
Surely I thought, with most people walking around with high quality video recorders in their pockets, if there is anything still going on UFO wise, somebody would have caught some decent video of it by now.

After going down the rabbit hole of UFO videos, I can report on a few of my observations:

First up. if you are going to explore these videos for yourself (for example), start by turning the sound off. Many of the clips have bad soundtracks added supposedly for effect, or totally distracting narratives. Just stick with the actual sighting. Don’t get caught up reading comments or accompanying narratives….or you will end up going waaaaaay too far down the rabbit hole.
Watch the clips. Critically appraise them. Be sceptical.

Be prepared to get frustrated. Apparently, there is not a single person on the planet who can hold their smartphone still whilst filming UFOs. Many cannot resist zooming in and out nauseatingly. Out of focus, jolty, could-be-anything clips are common.

So. Now I am an expert, I would place the videos I have watched into 4 categories:

  1. Obvious fakes (including impressive motherships flying over cities and aliens prancing around outside their landed vehicles).
  2. Probably identifiable objects. Often filmed in good faith as being something extraordinary, but on critique, these are in all probability identifiable as escaped children’s silver balloons, meteors, weather balloons, drones, flares, aircraft, or other terrestrial phenomenon.
  3. Passive anomalies. These often appear as lights (during the day or night). They seem to be stationary or moving slowly in non-extraordinary ways. Sometimes they seem to split into separate objects. Sometimes they seem to be discharging or dropping materials. They may strobe in different colours or disappear after a time.
  4. Active anomalies. These may be lights or more solid appearing objects. Move at obvious high speeds, making sudden changes in direction and or speed that would not be possible by man-made craft.

So. What do I really think they are?

I have no idea. But amongst all the noise of conspiracy theories and fakes and misinterpreted natural phenomenon, I think there is some evidence of something unusual taking place in the skies above us.

1970s me would have definitely thought: aliens!
But today, I am completely unsure as to what it might be.

Post script:

There is a lot of excited chatter on the UFO inter webs that the US intelligence agencies are planning to release new information (at least new to the general public) on UFOs by June 2021.
Apparently, the request was made by a senate committee following the now famous tic tac videos that appear to show the Navy pilots interacting with ‘UFOs’ from 2004 and 2015

The senate intelligence committee requested the report include “detailed analysis of unidentified phenomena data” in restricted US airspace, as well as data and intelligence collected or held by the Office of Naval Intelligence, and an analysis of potential threats posed by “unidentified aerial phenomena to national security, and an assessment of whether this unidentified aerial phenomena activity may be attributed to one or more foreign adversaries.”

If any such information is in fact released (and if it is the amount that is redacted due to national security issues) has yet to be seen.

But interestingly there has been some ‘unofficial’ disclosure around this as recently as last week.

John Ratcliffe served as the director of National Intelligence in the USA from May of 2020 to the end of President Donald Trump’s term in office in January of 2021.
He was recently interviewed on Fox News and asked about his knowledge of UFOs.
Putting aside the track record of Fox News in delivering evidence-based accurate information for a moment, Mr Ratcliffe’s responses were quite remarkable (and from the expressions on the face of the interviewer, quite unexpected).

Remember, this person was the director of National Intelligence, and privy to a level of exposure to any UFO information that few others have access to. Why would he come out on prime time TV to make statements like this? I don’t know.

We always look for a plausible explanation, you know weather can cause disturbances, sometimes we wonder whether or not our adversaries have technologies that are a little bit further down the road than we thought, or that we realised. But there are instances where we don’t have good explanations for some of the things that we’ve seen.

John Ratcliffe.
Ian Miller

4 thoughts on “UFOs revisited.

  1. I worked in the DoD back in the mid 1980s and one day the UFO files, which has been unclassified and released to the public but was classified as RESTRICTED at the time, plopped on my desk. My colleagues and I decided to have a look and 99% of what was in the two bulky files was utter rubbish – albeit with wonderful imagination. However, there were one or two incidents that piqued my interest. I recall one where a pilot (I can’t remember if military or commercial) saw something unidentified and this was also picked up by ground radar.

    An article about this can be found here: https://www.smh.com.au/technology/secret-ufo-files-released-20120804-23mhq.html

    My own feelings are governments are notorious for NOT keeping secrets. If there was a huge coverup of something real, it would have come out by now. Also, the fact they are going to release the information means, to me, there’s nothing to be seen. I find myself, these days, in the position of Enrico Fermi who famously asked: “Where are they?” Fermi’s Paradox can be summed as: “the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence for extraterrestrial civilizations and various high estimates for their probability (such as some optimistic estimates for the Drake equation)”.

    The point is UFOs are only one bit of evidence. If there was extraterrestrial life, then we should see evidence of it from our observations over the last (near) century of radio telescopes and orbital ones. But we don’t. Anywhere. Are we alone or are we, as Carl Sagan opined, like ancient peoples listening for drum beats over the hills while radio waves course through their bodies?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Stuart, great to hear from you (we MUST catch up again soon!).

      Totally agree with everything you say. In fact when I think about the topic of UFOs I always remember you talking about our cognitive framing of the whole thing. If we were back in ancient times we would be thinking these events were gods or demons, later in history, we might be thinking angels, in today’s techno-centric society it is natural to assume aliens.

      I also believe there is stuff going on in the universe that we do not (yet) have the instruments to understand (cognitive, intellectual or technical), and I feel there is some sort of phenomenon that is being captured on video here.
      Multiverses, Boltzman brains, living in a simulation, quantum entanglement, toast always landing butter side down…. we live in deliciously strange times.

      PS I miss Carl Sagan’s writing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oddly enough, I believe it was *your* Carl Sagan book I borrowed — I hope I returned it. “Cognitive framing” – ha ha, I’m sure I never used those words, although I recall bits and pieces of our lazy afternoon conversations on this.

        Indeed, we must catch up!

        Like

    2. It’s not as simple as you think. These can come in and out of our visual spectrum, and are accompanied by high strangeness phenomena. So it goes beyond “people from other planets”.

      Liked by 1 person

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