What is an UFO ?
An U.F.O.... But what is it? Quite simply, it's an acronym of : Unidentified Flying Object. As its name suggests, it stands for something you see in the sky that doesn't meet any known criteria. I'm sure I haven't taught you anything with these few lines. However, this phenomenon known since antiquity has just undergone an incredible upheaval: 2 high authorities have just authenticated its reality only a few months apart.
After all these years, you can finally consider the incessant mockery when you broach this subject in the evening or during family meals as definitively over. The phenomenon is real: the U.S. Navy announces it in September 2019 and the Pentagon certifies it in April 2020.
UFO = Alien ?
Did you witness a light in the night sky? Not a star, not a plane: something radically different from what we are used to seeing? It was moving at a disconcerting speed, pulsating with a brilliance that was beyond anything you'd ever witnessed before? Four letters immediately enter your mind to describe this strangeness: UFO.
Technically and according to the definition seen above, an Unidentified Flying Object can be anything that flies that you can't determine its origin. Yet the term has become synonymous with extraterrestrial spacecraft.
Presumed and documented mass sightings began to appear in the 1950s and continue to this day around the world. There are, however, strong suspicions of appearances in other eras more or less distant from our own, which can be found in historical accounts or artistic works. Exact descriptions of extraterrestrial spacecraft often vary from one account to another, but witnesses most often describe a luminous object capable of gliding silently and zigzagging through the air before disappearing in an instantaneous and unbelievable surge of acceleration.
The technology of such a flying device and the ability of a living passenger to survive the observed acceleration forces (g-force) are far beyond current human technology.
Moreover, given the enormous distance between star systems, such vessels would have to travel at impossible speeds or with a patience of its occupants that dazzles the imagination.
Unless, in our logical reasoning, we miss something as yet unknown that would make such travel possible (cryonics, use of wormholes, multidimensional travel, perhaps even humans from the future who have discovered how to travel through time...).
What does science say?Not much... From a scientific point of view, there wouldn't be enough evidence to justify extraterrestrial visits. Most UFO sightings depend on human accounts (which are by definition fallible) but also on poor quality, imperfect images and conspiracy theory.
Of course, all this tends to collapse under the watchful eye of the scientific method, humanity's best sieve to separate reality from fantasy.
After all, scientific research is based on what is known as the null hypothesis, which means that the burden of proof falls on anyone who makes a positive allegation.
- A dog ate your homework? "Great: where's the verifiable evidence"
- You saw an alien ship? "Excellent, let's test and validate the story."
In other words, it is up to UFOlogues (a term used to describe people who study UFOs) to convince the scientific world that UFOs are spacecraft of extraterrestrial origin, not scientists to prove them wrong.
Although the entire scientific world does not seem to be convinced yet, countless individuals, anonymous or of a credibility that cannot be questioned (fighter pilots, governor of Arizona...) continue to witness inexplicable things in the sky. These curiosities haunt or inspire them until their last days. In rare cases, entire crowds glimpse such phenomena, as in the Phoenix Lights event for example.
What to do in the face of such claims?
The sky has always been full of curiosities to stimulate the imagination: atmospheric anomalies, fauna, optical illusions, aurora borealis, shooting stars and other distant supernovas, to name but a few. Even in our "scientifically" informed age, there are countless phenomena beyond our understanding.
As the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung has pointed out, these images have no intrinsic meaning. Even the first humans jumped at the chance to project their hopes, dreams and nightmares into the vastness of the void. They personified the sun and the moon as deities and poured their belief systems into the wheel movements of the stars. When they saw strange lights, they read them as omens.
Just as the emotional resonance of a UFO sighting is the responsibility of the observer, so too is the explanation. Humans have always been confronted with the unknown, and they have always sought explanations in the depths of their cultural and contemporary view of the world. In the absence of science, they have turned to their religious beliefs, folk tales and myths.
Miracle of the Sun of Fatima
Take the example of the massive observation of aerial phenomena that took place in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917. In what was later explained as something between stratospheric dust and mass hallucination, thousands of witnesses in this predominantly Catholic city claimed to see the Virgin Mary arrive in "a plane of light".
Before the advent of Christianity, the same event would probably have been seen through the prism of a pagan belief system. How do you think such an event would be interpreted in the entirely different world we know today?
By placing a bizarre event in the context of a belief system or worldview, an individual attributes both a "what" and a "why" to the phenomenon.
Such a perspective also helps to sanction the experience and allows the individual to feel both special for having experienced it and normal for sharing such experiences with others.
Do an Internet search on UFOs and see for yourself!
The Lights of Phoenix
On March 13, 1997, between 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., thousands of people reported seeing strange lights flying over Nevada, Arizona and part of Mexico. Those who witnessed the strange lights seen over the city of Phoenix, Arizona described them as definitely "from another world".
"It wasn't just an isolated event: There were a lot of events throughout the state for more than 12 hours," said Lynne Kitei, spokesperson for the Phoenix Lights Network.
The first event was described as a V-shaped object the size of a commercial airplane flying through the sky.
An unnamed witness from Prescott said he saw a boomerang-shaped object slide over Granite Mountain, and that it was at least 1.5 km wide. For him, there is no doubt: there is no chance that it came from our planet.
"We don't have anything that big," he said. "It was totally silent. It was as big as downtown Prescott and it completely obscured the stars in the sky."
The second event was reported by an unidentified former Arizona police officer who said he saw a series of fixed orange and red lights hanging over the valley.
Phoenix's lights were first treated as a joke by then Governor Fife Symington. At a press conference, he had brought a collaborator dressed as an alien on stage to simulate his arrest. Paying too much attention to these phenomena "proves that you are too serious," he said.
However, Symington later reversed his position on this issue. He testified that not only had he seen the lights himself, but that he believed they came from another world. His lecture at the time was aimed at not creating panic in the population and the state.
"I'm a pilot and I know just about every machine that flies," said Mr. Symington. "It was bigger than anything I've ever seen. It remains a great mystery. Other people saw it, responsible people. I don't know why people would ridicule it."
The amber and red lights were later explained in an official statement saying that flares were dropped by military planes during a training exercise at the Barry Goldwater Range. However, the V-shaped object remains unexplained and witnesses ridicule the explanation given.
Arizona: a land of UFOs
UFO sightings are quite frequent in the Phoenix area. There are reports of strange lights in the desert sky several times a year.
According to a 2014 Washington Post article, Arizona has the highest number of UFO sightings per capita in the country.
In this case, there is no longer any question of projecting any belief phenomena linked to social or moral stereotypes... So what to believe?
UFO & ALIENS: In synthesis
Observations of unexplained aerial phenomena have existed since the dawn of time, as can be seen in drawings, paintings and testimonies that have given rise to tales and legends.
Man systematically projects a contextualized explanation to his knowledge of the moment in an attempt to rationalize the unexplained: this creates many links between the observations of objects and religions and gods.
If this subject is often derided and meets with many detractors, it is probably because denial and slander are good ways to protect mental health when confronted with the unknown and the upheaval of one's entire belief system. This is probably the reason why governments have not yet disclosed the formalization of extraterrestrial contact.
However, in recent years we have seen a distillation of some crucial information that could be a preparation of opinion for this exceptional paradigm shift. For example, the multiple announcements about the incessant discovery of exoplanets and the officialization of the UFO phenomenon by the US Navy and the Pentagon.
If you, too, are constantly searching for UFOs, perhaps you could bring some luck by putting on your head this cap with a flying saucer? At worst, it could help you to look up at the sky in the direction of the sun when you are observing !