UFOs and Close Encounters
The summer of 2008 will go down as, “The Summer Aliens (Almost) Invaded the UK.”
It started in May, when the British Government released previously secret UFO files to the National Archives. The files included corroborated reports from reputable sources of UFOs hovering over British cities.
In one amazing incident from 1984, air-traffic controllers describe a, “brilliant solid ball of light, bright silvery in colour,” land on a runway in front of them, then takeoff in a near vertical climb. These stories appearing in both the national press and on TV caused quite a stir.
What happened next depends on your point of view. In one narrative, worried by their pubic exposure, the UFOs decided to step up their invasion plans, with the UK the center of the attack.
Another point of view has it that once UFOs became newsworthy, UFO stories multiplied. When people saw these reports, things they once dismissed as mundane they now perceived as UFOs. With more sightings publicized, people become more likely to report their own experiences, as they were no longer are worried about being labelled as “weird.” It was a self-reinforcing process.
Whatever the reason, by mid-summer, UFO sightings had rocketed (excuse the pun). Malcolm Robinson, the founder member of Strange Phenomena Investigations, told the normally staid Daily Telegraph, “Something very bizarre is happening in the skies over the UK.”
The national press ran stories on a “glowing” disc spotted above the M5 motorway, on fleets of objects hanging in the sky above an army barracks and of a police helicopter chasing a UFO.
In one famous story, a man calls the police to report a mysterious light hovering above his house, only to have the Police identify it as the moon when they arrived at the scene.
My hometown, Stevenage, has not been immune. A sighting in August was the first UFO sighting in the town in 32 years. The local Comet reported multiple-sightings of between two and seven orange spheres, travelling silently in a parallel course to the local airport’s flight path. One group of 10 people at a barbecue took photos, which also appeared in the paper.
A week later, the paper provided the explanation. Someone had been letting off Chinese lanterns in the town. Chinese lanterns are baby hot air balloons about the size of a dustbin liner. The local airport was not amused. Pointing out that anyone releasing such objects needs to get clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority first.
Not everyone I know accepts this explanation, conspiracy and cover-up are suspected. “I believe,” and, “the truth is out there,” they mutter.
Now September has arrived, the new soccer season has started and UFO reports have died down. With a new cold war looming and the UK facing its worse recession in 60 years, we may be looking back with fondness to the summer of 08. When all we had to worry about was ET stopping by for some barbecue chicken.
…and are peeking through bedroom windows.
Shot in Nebraska on July 17, 2003 via The Independent.
The film shows a bobbing head. It was taken by a camera set up by Stan Romanek, after he became concerned that someone was peering in at the window of his teenage daughters’ bedroom.
Jerry Hufmann, of Colorado Film School examined the film. He believes that it to be genuine and un-doctored, but has no opinion of what it actually shows.
The film was screened at a press conference in Denver, Colorado by Jeff Peckman. Only limited portions of the whole film were shown, as Mr Romanek is set to air a documentary containing the video and an agreement is in place limiting the film’s exposure during negotiations for the documentary.
Mr Peckman is currently campaigning to have Denver set up an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission, which would help ensure public safety, “when the need arises.” He has no doubts as to what the film is “irrefutable evidence” of a visit from another world.
A more sceptical person might wonder:
- Why would an alien want to peep into human’s bedroom window?
- Why that particular bedroom window?
- How come, a civilization with the technology to travel between stars does not have any decent remote sensing technology?
- Why is the film receiving publicity now, nearly four years after it was shot?
Steven Hawkins famously asked, “If intelligent aliens are visiting Earth, why do they only call on cranks and weirdoes?” That is not to say that Mr Romanek is either. He is more likely the victim of a practical joke aimed at his daughters.
He certainly appears to be making the most of his five minutes of fame.