Visitors from SPACE

July 07, 2017 12:00 am | Updated 04:50 am IST

Flying saucers, aliens, extraterrestrial life —all flying around in space! Will there be a traffic jam?

Photo: iStock and Special Arrangement.

Photo: iStock and Special Arrangement.

Ever found yourself looking at the skies, spotting something you have never seen before? For all you know, you’ve probably spotted an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO).

July 2 was World UFO day. The general definition of a UFO is something that is seen in the sky which cannot be identified.

The Roswell mystery

On July 2, 1947, Mac Brazel, a rancher, was taking care of his sheep, about 75 miles from the town of Roswell, New Mexico, when he discovered something unusual — metallic sticks held together with tape, plastic, scraps of glossy, paper-like material, in a mess. Baffled and unable to identify the strange objects, the rancher called Roswell’s sheriff, who called officials from the Roswell Army Air Force base. Officials searched the field, gathered the debris and took it away. It was suspected to be a flying saucer. But the excitement fizzled out when, a few days later, an air force official said that the “flying saucer” which had crashed was actually only a crashed weather balloon. Gradually, interest subsided.

Then, in the late 1970s, ufologists (people who study UFOs) began claiming that one or more alien spacecraft had crash-landed, and the extraterrestrial occupants had been recovered by the military, who then covered it up.

In the 1990s, the U.S. military published two reports explaining the true nature of the crashed object — a nuclear test surveillance balloon from Project Mogul — a top secret project by the U.S Army Air Forces that can detect sound waves generated by Soviet atomic bomb tests.

But even these explanations did not satisfy people, and the Roswell incident continues to be of interest, and conspiracy theories are still being formed. The Roswell case has been described as “the world’s most famous, most exhaustively investigated, and most thoroughly debunked UFO claim”.

Do we need a day?

Yes, because this days helps answer some of these questions.

Do UFOs exist? Are they intelligent beings from outer space?

Must governments keep people informed about sightings?

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