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Should we take UFO sightings more seriously?

11:21 UK time, Thursday, 12 August 2010

The Brazilian government has ordered its air force and civilian pilots to officially record any sightings of unidentified flying objects. Do you agree with the order?

A government decree said all pilots as well as air traffic controllers should register any UFO sightings with the national aerospace defence command. There have been several reports of UFOs in Brazil in recent decades.

But the air force said it would limit itself to collecting information, and would not be chasing UFOs.

The move in Brazil comes days after newly-released files revealed that past governments in the UK ordered UFO sightings be kept secret to prevent "mass panic" and that British lawmakers took it so seriously in the 1950s that UK intelligence chiefs met to discuss the matter.

Do you think UFO sightings should be taken more seriously? Do you agree with the move by the Brazilian government? Have there been reported UFO sightings in your area?

Thank you for sending your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    All these 'UFO' sightings make for a good living for the people who publish magazines dedicated to the subject, but the the sane half of humanity all it represents is a good chuckle. It's a similar story with the conspiracy freaks, who, surprise surprise, are the very same crowd.

  • Comment number 2.

    Easier said than done. Any genuine UFO sighting is quickly covered up by the New World Order (compromising of the Bush Administration, The Onion and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange) and YouTube videos are simply modded down as fakes by said group.

  • Comment number 3.

    Whilst I am sceptical about the Extra-terrestrial nature of UFO's, I of course agree that any sightings by Air Force and civilian pilots should be reported! At the very least, they'll keep millions of gullible people entertained for a few years, at best they may prove me completely wrong and demonstrate that "we are not alone!!".

  • Comment number 4.

    I don't think this question will ever be answered until alien beings submit themselves to medical examination in the eyes of the world's media and appear on world news programmes. As a species, over half of the world's population think the Apollo lunar landings were a hoax - how or indeed why then should we believe there are aliens in UFOs visiting our lonely planet?.
    An interesting twist to this story though is that the Apollo 14 astronaut Ed Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon, has publically announced that he KNOWS we are being visited by aliens from another world - and he is no nut case. See his story at edmitchellapollo14 dot com.

    the truth is in here...

  • Comment number 5.

    Back in 1952 or thereabouts when I was 12 years old and my sister aged 8 we both witnessed a strange flying object in the sky over our home. We lived in Essex and the following morning the Daily Mirror reported strange sightings in the London vicinity. I remember that my father was cross that we hadn't alerted him to what we saw.

    Many years later when I tried to find this particular arcticle in the Daily Mirror archives I could find absolutely nothing.

    In the 1980's my nephew, on his way home from a nightwork shift, stood amazed as what looked like a UFO passed over him. He immediately reported this sighting to the police but heard no more.

    Just two of what must be thousands of cases of unexplained flying objects.

  • Comment number 6.

    We should watch, they are probably aliens and we should respect their culture. Come on BBC get your SF texts from the shelf and urge everyone to welcome the Galactic community.

  • Comment number 7.

    No , it is all nonsense.

  • Comment number 8.

    No!

  • Comment number 9.

    Should we take UFO sightings more seriously?

    Yes.

    We should take the utmost precautions to prevent them bringing Elvis, Glen Miller & Lord Lucan back.

    They took em, they can keep the beggars.

    (with apologies to Red Dwarf).

  • Comment number 10.

    "The government know all about them"

  • Comment number 11.

    Recording sights is a pure waste of time. If it is to be taken seriously it is necessary to embark in a costly program of investigation to distinguish potential reality from potential imagination and from potential confusion or misunderstanding of what is observed.

  • Comment number 12.

    Wait for the comment regarding Aliens swamping the indigenous population .


    It is bound to be out there!

  • Comment number 13.

    I'd take them more seriously if the unidentified flying objects allowed themselves to be identified. So long as they remain unidentified, I can see this going situation going on for some time yet.

  • Comment number 14.

    Yes, I think we should. After all UFO simply means unidentified flying object - it does not mean flying saucers and it certainly doesn't indicate the presence of alien or friendly life from other worlds. I like to think somewhere in this vast universe there is some kind of life, hopefully more advanced and of higher development than we are. Maybe they could come and visit and teach us how to live in peace with each other.

    As to the possibility of flying saucers, I am reminded of the late Dr. Donald Soper who was famous for being able to answer any heckler with a witty quip, one of the most famous being when a heckler called out 'what about flying saucers, then?' and when he'd asked a few times, Dr. Soper looked at him and said 'young man, I am not responsible for your domestic situation.'

  • Comment number 15.

    its funny how all this UFO stuff started roughly at the same time as jet engined flight and space exploration isnt it?

  • Comment number 16.

    No - Do the maths.

    It would be likely around a 80 million light year journey between earth and the nearest star with planets .... 160 million light years round trip (presuming that the aliens wanted to get back home).

    Our radio waves have only got out about 90 million light yrs so only another 80 or 90 yrs before we get a possible reply ... so be patient!

    We are not in Star Trek land, physics laws still apply ... there are no aliens buzzing earth for kicks. Its just make believe and delusion folks .... we used to lock up people who claimed to have been abducted by 'monsters', only then it was vampires, witches and Faery elves, not 'Greys'

  • Comment number 17.

    Apparently there's a group of people who believe aliens will sneak in behind comet 2009 P1 (Garradd) in June 2011.

    It'll be visible from the UK so look out...or not.

  • Comment number 18.

    Yes.

    “Behind the scenes, high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe that unknown flying objects are nonsense.”

    Former CIA Director, Roscoe Hillenkoetter, public statement, 1960.

  • Comment number 19.

    I will believe it if I see it.
    But why are we humans so arrogant to think that we are the only intellegent race.

  • Comment number 20.

    “A saucer flew right over (us), put down three landing gears, and landed out on the dry lakebed. (The cameramen) went out there with their cameras toward the UFO…. I had chance to hold (the film) up to the window. Good close-up shots. There was no doubt in my mind that it was made someplace other than on this earth.”

    Colonel Gordon Cooper, Mercury and Gemini Astronaut describing an incident he witnessed during the 1960’s during a videotaped interview for the Disclosure Program.

  • Comment number 21.

    A number of UFO sightings happened during the peak of the cold war. It was at this stage that fighter planes started to use afterburners on a larger scale (so you would see an arrow shape with a streak of orange at the end). Perhaps people seeing these planes from a distance for the first time were mistaken. A number of sightings occured near airbases, coincidence? Also, many people believed that they had seen a flying saucer, when in fact what they were seeing was the F117A Nighthawk, which had a radical design to evade enemy radar. Finally, a pilot flying an English Electric Lighting (at its time, the fastest plane in the world) reported seeing a strange black plane with USAF markings. When he approached it, it shot off, easily outrunning his plane. No-one believed him (what plane can outrun the fastest plane in the world!?!) but it later turned out that this was the top-secret SR-71.

    I'm not saying that these people who claimed to see UFOs are liars, just that they often saw an unusual shape from a distance, and their mind filled in the blanks.

    I have no doubt that there is life somewhere else in our universe, but if it had the ability to travel accross the universe, why bother with us? If you had that level of technology, the resources on other planets and moons would be far more appealling. Water, hydrocarbons, metals, they all exist on other bodies in our solar system in greater amounts than on our planet. It'll be a fair while before humans meet any form of intelligent life.

  • Comment number 22.

    Go to a remote place at night where it is really dark, take a look up at the sky, and ask yourself, can I really believe out of all those millions of stars (planets)that you can see, are we the only planet that has life on it? It's a bit scarey when you consider that if you flew straight up off earth, you could travel fo evermore, there seems to be no end. Consider as well, we still think animals as dumb, yet a dog can understand you, but you can't understand the dog. As a species we have developed the skills to create mind blowing things,yet we have an even greater ability to destroy, but that's only in the last 100 or so years. Look at books with photographs of cities 120 years ago, no cars, no television aerials,no planes. I bet in the scheme of things we are still a very basic sort of intelligence, we have learnt to create but we have'nt learnt not to destroy. We imagine life from another planet to look like us (we think that because we are still very basic ourselves), when in fact life form from another planet could look completely different. Look at a puddle, you see nothing, look at it through a microscope and it's teeming with life, that's how we could be being viewed by other forms of life, miniscule and of no consequence. When a so-called expert gives his opinion it is just that, great strides are being made in exploration of space but remember the experts are still very basic (we couldn't fly 120 years ago), what's 120 years out of billions, nothing. So yes I'm positive there are life forms that we don't yet know about, and yes they could well be observing us and having a laugh at our fragility.

  • Comment number 23.

    Last New years eve I was outside in the garden and saw these amazing lights zoom across the skyline, they then did more or less a 90 degree turn and zoomed off. They were not planes, nothing like them, for a start, too fast, much faster than anything I have seen.
    I had called to my partner and she came out and briefly saw them, then some more appeared from our left, moving quite fast, they also diverted course in front of us and just disappeared while over some houses in the distance.

    Cool UFOs, no, they were Chinese lanterns. Look amazing and so like UFOs, especially when 3 or 4 flying along closely together, then just disappear when the candles go out. They move so fast, carried by upper winds and are very deceptive to the eye.

    I very much doubt alien life form UFOs exist. If they did, then we'd probably already be munchie fodder or be sprayed with an anti-viral gas, because we must seem like some nasty virus to any advanced beings, the way we populate and spread over the world and kill/destroy everything.

  • Comment number 24.

    Red Dwarf didn't encounter any aliens in the universe. Like most people, I get all my 'facts' from the tv.

  • Comment number 25.

    Aliens will steal you and stick needles in you :O

    Seriously though, I think there has to be life elsewhere in the universe, it is so big there has to be.

    I dont, however, think aliens are visiting Earth.

  • Comment number 26.

    Sure, why not? I think everyone at one time or another has seen something in the sky that they would label as 'strange' or 'unexplainable'. Doesn't mean it little green men flying about, scaring up trouble.

    But any unexplained atmospheric event is worthy of at least being keep track of, studying the unknown and learning from these events could lead to safer air travel and a better understanding of our planet.

    Of course that not as cool as the idea of aliens zipping around kidnapping cows and vandalizing wheat fields, but that's what TV and tabloids are for.

  • Comment number 27.

    Here is a conspiracy theory for you all........

    Is it really coincidence that this story appears the same day as David Cameron says he wants to increase UK tourism?

    Just a thought......

  • Comment number 28.

    Do you think UFO sightings should be taken more seriously?

    No.

    Do you agree with the move by the Brazilian government?

    What they do is up to them, it's none of our concern how the waste their tax-payers money

    Have there been reported UFO sightings in your area?

    As an amateur astronomer that uses an home made 20 inch Newtonian telescope, I see many unexplained objects in the sky on most nights but when I refer to my database of satellite and near earth space vehicle movements (shuttle etc), I get the answer.

    The universe is so vast the chances of life on other worlds is incalculable and I believe if these beings have ever visited Earth, they would have made their presence known to everyone if they wanted too.

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    Rather than regurgitating the usual cliches it would be nice if people would actually consider the evidence. A good place to start is "UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record" by Leslie Kean.

    John Podesta, Bill Clinton's former Chief of Staff takes this issue seriously as does Michio Kaku, Ph.D, Rudy Schild, Ph.D., Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Miles O'Brien, former CNN space/science correspondent, Neal Lane, Ph.D., Rice University; former Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Don Donderi, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, McGill University (Ret.), John L. Petersen, Founder & President of The Arlington Institute...

  • Comment number 31.

    It would be difficult to believe that we are the only life-form capable of space travel in the whole of creation and that there are no life-forms more advanced than ours.
    It is highly probable that, like our explorations to other planets, other species are studying our planet. And why not? Curiosity is a difficult characteristic to suppress. Would we scrutinise, with extreme caution, any life-forms we found on the Moon or Mars? I'm damned sure we would, and would be very wary in doing so.

  • Comment number 32.

    posting 16 is right.

    That means it's the Russians again, or the Chinese, or the USA. Or another perfecly rational explanation.

  • Comment number 33.

    UFO does not mean alien. It is what it is: an UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT. Who mentioned aliens?

    And in reply to a comment that links UFOs to the increase in jet aviation - yes there has been a substantial increase but UFOs have been seen for many years before.

  • Comment number 34.

    UFO's exist! When I (or anyone else) sees a light in the sky and doesn't know what it is, it is a UFO. What it is not is a spacecraft piloted by an extraterrestrial being. All sightings have a rational explanation, of which stress, tiredness and sheer ignorance of what is up there (like the planet Venus!!!)are all likely candidates. No aliens, sorry.

  • Comment number 35.

    I would love the notion of Aliens visiting us but cannot get round the idea that they are travelling such vast distances just for some peeping action. Surely, they would pop in to say Hello or just blow us all up into oblivion.

    Also, the generic description of these Aliens being short, pale, thin with big eyes suggests to me that they are actually us. Distant future, evolved, time travelling Homosapiens conducting history leasons and leisure breaks. Drug induced imagination time I know, but this to me is more viable than Aliens.

    If they are Aliens, I don't like them skinny and pale, I like them Fluffy. Yes, that's right - I like them FLUFFAAAAAYY!!!! Just like that ALF character, he was great, if they come to visit I'm gonna keep one :)

    One thing else that is perhaps a little disturbing is either Alien fasination with our back passages, or abductee's/witness's who claimed to have been probed in the back passage. This is too common and there is definatley a connection with Aliens/Abductee's and back passages.

    A bit of a worry really.

  • Comment number 36.

    16. At 12:37pm on 12 Aug 2010, Desiderius Erasmus wrote:
    "We are not in Star Trek land, physics laws still apply ... there are no aliens buzzing earth for kicks. Its just make believe and delusion folks .... we used to lock up people who claimed to have been abducted by 'monsters', only then it was vampires, witches and Faery elves, not 'Greys'"
    ----------
    You're probably right about many people who think they are abductees ...

    But the UFOs sighted and captured on film over many parts of the globe, such as Russia and Mexio, exhibit behaviour that human craft (so far) are unable to recreate.

    There has to be more to it than human mind-trickery, based on what little evidence we do have. That some of these sightings are of physical objects appears beyond reasonable doubt, but what they are ... well, I would like to know.



  • Comment number 37.

    29. At 12:55pm on 12 Aug 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote:
    Should we take UFO sightings more seriously? No, not until they come to Earth and take back with them every last Labour party voter. Then we should give the Alien's a knighthood.

    ---

    Now there's an original plot for a sci-fi film - someone actually encouraging aliens to come to earth to destroy democracy....

  • Comment number 38.

    We would never believe it if there was a ufo and you could bet the government would cover it up anyway.

    Its just good fantasy

  • Comment number 39.

    Where do BNP supporters stand on UFOs? would ET be allowed to land?

  • Comment number 40.

    The Brazilian government has ordered its air force and civilian pilots to officially record any sightings of unidentified flying objects.

    Is this not just common sense anyway, UFO just mean unidentified, it doesnt mean little green men!

    If someone is in our airspace we should know about it, otherwise its a bit late.

  • Comment number 41.

    "16. At 12:37pm on 12 Aug 2010, Desiderius Erasmus wrote:
    No - Do the maths.
    It would be likely around a 80 million light year journey between earth and the nearest star with planets .... 160 million light years round trip (presuming that the aliens wanted to get back home).
    Our radio waves have only got out about 90 million light yrs so only another 80 or 90 yrs before we get a possible reply ... so be patient!
    We are not in Star Trek land, physics laws still apply ... there are no aliens buzzing earth for kicks. Its just make believe and delusion folks .... we used to lock up people who claimed to have been abducted by 'monsters', only then it was vampires, witches and Faery elves, not 'Greys' "
    Having Said 'do the Maths' you promptly DIDN'T
    Our radio waves don't easily leave the atmosphere, our TV signals have travelled less than 80 Light years, the nearest star with planets is only about 40 light years, We haven't received any transmission that we can determine is of a structured nature in all the time we've been listening for one.
    So if there is equivalent or better levels of intelligence out there they are so far away that not even their earliest transmissions have reached us
    Therefore if intelligent life exists it’s very very very far away,
    Or not as advanced or
    So old and advanced it hides its signature for self defence (which may mean our TV transmissions could soon be alerting some hostile species (why hide if the rest of the galaxy is benign?) )

  • Comment number 42.

    thomas wrote: "Back in 1952 or thereabouts when I was 12 years old and my sister aged 8 we both witnessed a strange flying object in the sky over our home. We lived in Essex and the following morning the Daily Mirror reported strange sightings in the London vicinity.
    Many years later when I tried to find this particular arcticle in the Daily Mirror archives I could find absolutely nothing.
    In the 1980's my nephew, on his way home from a nightwork shift, stood amazed as what looked like a UFO passed over him. He immediately reported this sighting to the police but heard no more."

    There you go, doubters! See, UFO's and the conspiracies to keep them hidden from us DO exist! Incontrovertible proof!
    Or… proof that human psychology is a wonderful thing. But honestly - it's no wonder that people believe in God and even homeopathy, when you see some of the stuff on here. I suppose it keeps them off the streets.

  • Comment number 43.

    29. At 12:55pm on 12 Aug 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote:
    "Should we take UFO sightings more seriously? No, not until they come to Earth and take back with them every last Labour party voter. Then we should give the Alien's a knighthood."
    ----------
    Hilarious! I had a real laugh at the word "Alien's".
    Two mistakes in one word. Very funny!

  • Comment number 44.

    Reading some of these comments, it dismays me to think that I'm living amongst so many narrow-minded, low-browed bumpkins.
    Whilst there's no proof that UFO's actually exist, there's also no proof that they don't!
    Even the most ardent non-believer would have to concede that there are things going on in the upper atmosphere that we have absolutely no explanation for. It doesn't automatically mean that there are aliens visiting us, but no one said anything about aliens!
    UFO stands for Unidentified Flying Object, not spaceship full of aliens!
    Is that a clear enough definition for the numpties out there who can't differentiate between the two?

  • Comment number 45.

    Governments already take them seriously which is why they suppress information about such matters. Aided and abetted, as always, by mainstream media which either sensationalises, exaggerates, or just plain ridicules them.

    There are hundreds of reports from credible witnesses from RAF, military, naval and police personnel mostly all of whom were told "This never happened" and were told never to speak of them. Many are now coming forward and telling of their experiences.

    No rational mind could believe that only planet Earth is inhabited so why the cover up?

    The answer to that question is simple, the same answer as for all cover-ups - control.

    When considering visitors from neighbouring planets and/or galaxies, the important question is "How?"

    Once the answer to that question is released then we, the people, in realising that the relevant technology has been kept hidden from us for near enough a hundred years by successive corporations, governments and other controlling factions, will initiate the greatest rebellion ever experienced. It will be world-wide.

    Free energy technology has been around for a century, kept hidden and suppressed and even denied in the interests of corporate profit and government control. This is probably the main the reason why knowledge of our friends and neigbours, along with their technology, is suppressed.

    We don't need the nuclear power stations and we don't need the oil rigs so we don't need the relevant nuclear and oil companies and governments which support and promote them.

    Another reason - once it is known for a fact and understood by everyone, that yes there are many inhabited planets and that some of the inhabitants regularly visit us and have been doing so throughout history - many religions (themselves control mechanisms) will collapse.

  • Comment number 46.

    If these UFO sightings are genuine, and some may well be, there's nothing we can do about it unless those other world creatures make contact.

    If they're simply nothing more then Chinese lanterns and weather balloons there's nothing more we can do.

    Either way we might as well sit back and enjoy the show; it's not worth us getting excited about it. Collect records by all means but I fail to see what it’ll really achieve.

    If these are alien creature perhaps they’ll be so good as to take Paris Hilton back with them.

  • Comment number 47.

    For those people who claim with certainty that this whole subject is nuts, could you please explain this statement for me?

    “More than 10,000 sightings have been reported, the majority of which cannot be accounted for by any ‘scientific’ explanation, eg that they are hallucinations, the effects of light refraction, meteors, wheels falling from aeroplanes, and the like…. They have been tracked on radar screens… and the observed speeds have been as great as 9,000 mph. I am convinced that these objects do exist and they are not manufactured by any nation on earth. I can therefore see no alternative to accepting the theory that they come from an extraterrestrial source.”

    Air Chief Marshall Lord Dowding, Commanding Officer of the RAF during WWII.

  • Comment number 48.

    They are probably full of politicians sent off into space by the disgruntled elecorate of Planet Zog....

  • Comment number 49.

    No - Do the maths.

    It would be likely around a 80 million light year journey between earth and the nearest star with planets .... 160 million light years round trip (presuming that the aliens wanted to get back home).


    --------------
    There are probably Thousands if not millions or even billions of stars with planets supporting life in the milky way (Our Galaxy) Now the furthest point from us still in the Galaxy is in the region of 70 Thousand light years the nearest other star system that may support life is around 4 light years away. While with current spacecraft design this might take 25 thousand years to reach ,scientifically plausible methods could reduce this to a decade or so.

    Now while that is still a long way it is somewhat less than 80 million light years.

    Do the maths 4 is less than 80,000,000!

    I suspect that life that travels in interstellar space is very infrequent and if we want to visit near (relatively) life suporting star systems I suspect it is Human Beings or our creations that will have to do the travelling.

  • Comment number 50.

    If you cannot identify it, then it's a UFO, may not be alien though.

    There are many development aircraft in the skies, do people really think that the military are going disclose their secrets?

    I believe in other life forms out there, but have they visited us so often as reported, I don't think so. We don't need to go back to the days of every flicker in the sky, people claims of abduction or meeting face to face with aliens.

  • Comment number 51.

    It is something to be wary of.

    Afterall do we really think we are alone in the Universe. The balance of probabilities suggests not.

    As for seeing these UFOs with no radar trace - is it not possible if beings have perfected speed of light travel they would also perfect not being seen.

  • Comment number 52.

    Should we take UFO sightings more seriously?
    Yes.
    Any student of ancient history will tell you that we so-called homo sapiens cannot hope to replicate a pyramid or a stonehenge, of a Teotihucan. In fact, we cannot KNOW how and why they were built; we can only take our educated guesses.
    Any student of ancient history will tell you that for every ancient civilization we cannot understand or replicate, there are twice as many under the oceans - evidently proving that at least once in the ancient past, the earth's crust moved and water buried these amazing sites.
    I believe these ancients sites were built by entities that were not earth citizens. Entities far more advanced than ourselves - people who could and did visit other planets both for raw materials and exploration.
    There is a possibility that the Mayan date of December 15, 2012, will mark the return of these people whom Zachariah Sitchin (Earth Chronicles) calls the Annunaki from the 12th plant, the one that takes 3,600 years to complete a revolutrion around our sun.
    Do you think UFO sightings should be taken more seriously?
    Yes, but the consolation that we have is that entities this advanced are not likely to be war-mongers or killers. What they may be is our salvation.

  • Comment number 53.

    Is there anyone out there that can explain to me the theory that when someone, or thing, goes near to, or at, light speed then the time to them is say 10 minutes but the time to someone left at their departure point is say 1 hour.
    I don't have a problem with this as I know that satellite navigation clocks in space are at a different time than on the surface of the earth. The problem I have is since distances in space are measured by light years i.e. the distance light travels in one year, then after 4 years people at the departure point would be saying "oh they must have reached the nearest star by now"(4 light years) but any person on the spacecraft has only been on board for less than a year. Has he reached the star yet?

  • Comment number 54.

    UFO is generic isn't it? If I see something in the sky that I cannot identify, it's a UFO. Simple as that. Now it may be a plane, it may be a chinese lantern. It could be some sort of military reconaissance plane. The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one...

  • Comment number 55.

    47. At 1:19pm on 12 Aug 2010, Alistair wrote:

    For those people who claim with certainty that this whole subject is nuts, could you please explain this statement for me?

    “More than 10,000 sightings have been reported, the majority of which cannot be accounted for by any ‘scientific’ explanation, eg that they are hallucinations, the effects of light refraction, meteors, wheels falling from aeroplanes, and the like…. They have been tracked on radar screens… and the observed speeds have been as great as 9,000 mph. I am convinced that these objects do exist and they are not manufactured by any nation on earth. I can therefore see no alternative to accepting the theory that they come from an extraterrestrial source.”

    Air Chief Marshall Lord Dowding, Commanding Officer of the RAF during WWII.
    ----------
    My explanation for "people who claim with certainty that this whole subject is nuts" is that they like to reduce everything to things they are comfortable with.

    Really, it's all about finding comfort in their own beliefs. These beliefs *must not* be challenged!

  • Comment number 56.

    I am, and always will be, an avid Sci-Fi fan. However, I also teach Physics and other engineering subjects to aviation based apprentices. One question I always ask the class, usually after some bright spark (a potential PhD candidate) has developed a theory of travelling between universes at hyper-velocities is: A UFO may be able to travel very fast through one technology or other, but how does it stop? Until someone comes up with a 'space-brake' system, I will firmly be in 'the truth is not out there' pile.

  • Comment number 57.

    18. At 12:40pm on 12 Aug 2010, Alistair wrote:
    20. At 12:45pm on 12 Aug 2010, Alistair wrote
    47. At 1:19pm on 12 Aug 2010, Alistair wrote:

    Alister you love this UFO thing
    Keep repeating
    the aliens are real, the aliens are real
    Or you could go to church or temple and
    keep repeating
    There is a god, there is a god
    Either way I think faith is the core of your ‘Evidence’ not Fact

  • Comment number 58.

    Who are we to criticise? In a time of scarcity, the National Health Service actually dedicates real resources to homeopathy and other pseudoscientific dross, including running mock "hospitals" around the country. By contrast, looking out for flying saucers from distant stars actually seems like money well spent. After all, the likelihood of contacting intelligent alien life is statistically far higher than someone with a serious condition being cured by water or sugar pills.

  • Comment number 59.

    47. At 1:19pm on 12 Aug 2010, Alistair wrote:
    For those people who claim with certainty that this whole subject is nuts, could you please explain Air Chief Marshall Lord Dowding's statement for me?

    One possible explanation of course is that Dowding was just wrong. Officers are somtimes wrong, even very senior ones and I suggest that despite his obvious huge experience in the field of manmade aviation Dowding had no knowledge of how sterile the rest of the solar system now appears to us 65 years later or of the immense barriers to interstellar travel.


  • Comment number 60.

    people should bear in mind that UFO means UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT.. After a sighting has been analised and ALL possible or probable causes have been excluded there is STILL about 5% of the sighting that cannot be explained by any known phenomenon.. Some may be advanced military research but there are still a percentage of sightings that cannot be categorised.. Alien, maybe but a UFO remains a UFO, UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT!

  • Comment number 61.

    ...I was saying to my friend Glargsterbucket only the other day...you hover over these earthlings, give a neighbourly wave and they simply ignore you...

  • Comment number 62.

    People like to believe there is something more than their mundane lives. I personally strongly believe the odds of other life somewhere in the universe are overwhelming given the size of the universe and the amount of stars (and hence possible life-supporting planets) it contains.
    I don't believe in aliens visiting out planet in space ships though, that's Hollywood and tinfoil hat wearer fodder.

    During the cold war, the hysteria surrounding UFOs provided a convenient cover for secret military experiments, there's nothing more to it

  • Comment number 63.

    Back in the 70's I was a ASOp (Radar operator) in the RAF, I remember one night shift plotting a radar reponse travelling in excess of Mach3 and at very high altitude. In itself that is possible (SR71 Blackbird was capable), however what was (IMO) implausible for technology at the time was for it to do a 90 degree turn in less than 10 seconds.
    I reported this to the watch NCO and the reply was the Americans know what it is.
    Now I am not saying this was an alian space ship neither am I saying my watch NCO lied or that the Americans lied, just that an it all seemed very strange. Oh and btw I hadn't been drinking or taking any "substances"

  • Comment number 64.

    Take it if you want to or leave it..ironically all of you have more mundane subject to put your 'beliefs' in (of course after doing you Math - such as God. If any one ask me if you 'believe' in UFO - I would probably try to invent a mean bad word possible to use as reply.. What I know for sure is that none of you have any slightest idea of physics or had any of you really have done any serious 'study' of this subject..

  • Comment number 65.

    15. At 12:33pm on 12 Aug 2010, dwangeddy wrote:
    its funny how all this UFO stuff started roughly at the same time as jet engined flight and space exploration isnt it?

    --------------------------------

    Halley's Comet, (which at first was a UFO by definition) was recorded first by Chinese astronomers in 240 B.C. and possibly as early as 467 B.C.

  • Comment number 66.

    ...on a more serious note...I read Steven Hawking's comments with some interest "... given the expense of interstellar travel, only a very desperate civilisation would undertake such a journey. Given that it would be most likely one-way, the new arrivals would be looking to settle no matter what the obstacles including getting rid of us!"

  • Comment number 67.

    A UFO is an unidentified flying object and nothing more than that. Whether it turns out to be something terrestrial (most likely) or something from space, is a separate question.

    Should UFOs be recorded and, if possible, identified? It seems to me that, in principle (ie subject to real world considerations like time and money), this is unarguable.

    How can anyone advocate deliberately refusing to increase our knowledge of the world (or universe)?

  • Comment number 68.

    Some people believe in UFOS but these people are romantics and they will always favour the most fanciful explanation over the more mundane answer that actually has a chance of being true.

    By way of example – some people believed in the Cottingley fairies. These were photographs taken by two schoolgirls of fairies that looked exactly liked the illustrations you see in children’s story books. Many years later the two girls, now pensioners, admitted the whole thing was a hoax – they had simply cut pictures out of a story book and photographed them. That the Cottingley fairies was a schoolgirl hoax had always been the obvious explanation for the photographs. But the romantics would have none of it - they argued the girls didn’t have the photographic expertise to fake the photographs - and the only explanation was that there are fairies at the bottom of the garden.

    The romantics are wrong - there are no fairies at the bottom of the garden – there are no UFOs either.

  • Comment number 69.

    Ezekiel 1

  • Comment number 70.


    I find the subject of UFO’s as funny as the site ‘speak your branes’.
    The former do not exist (they are just unidentified flying objects) not flying saucers. QED: Figments of your imagination.
    The latter do not exist (they are just dullards who need to learn the English language) being figments of their own imagination.

  • Comment number 71.

    68. At 1:57pm on 12 Aug 2010, Chazz Trinder wrote:
    "there are no UFOs"
    -----
    Any unidentified flying object is a UFO. By definition.

  • Comment number 72.

    Everybody is missing the point. This is not about aliens or flying saucers, simply UFO's. That could be anything. If it is in the sky and you can't identify it, it's a UFO. Of course such sightings should be investigated, simply so we know what it is that has been sighted. The more reports, the clearer the information, the better. If any of these investigations turn up any REAL EVIDENCE of anything vaguely extraterrestrial, wouldn't that be something? Until then, we should investigate ALL sightings just as we would investigate anything else.

  • Comment number 73.

    UFO- Doesnt mean extra terrestrial,
    The most important fact and yes this is going to be hard for the ufo believers to understand so i will make it very simple for almost everyone to understand.

    Distance involved of the nearest planet capable potentially of supporting life billions of light years away, and since it is Physically impossible for anything with mass travelling at the speed of light we would have to assume that they/it would have to be travelling at 99.9% of the speed of light even at that speed the Visitors would have to have left their home world BEFORE the earth was formed 4.5 billion yrs ago.

    Or put it into a human context it would be like planning a mission to an empty part of space in the hope that by the time you have got their a world has formed and life has evolved etc...
    Those are the cold hard facts that UFO (alien life) believers have to deal with.
    This is not a statement that there is not any other life form in our expanding universe, I would be more surprised if there was not as the multitude and diverse life forms on this planet.

    I have followed ufo sightings for many years and there have been numerous in the tamworth area these however have slowed now due to people being aware of Chinese lanterns the use of unmanned drones by police forces etc...

  • Comment number 74.

    i confess to having a passing intrest in all things,lets say,outside of the norm but alas,i have to admit to having never witnessed a ghost or UfO,monsters or ABC but that is not to say people who report such things are telling porkies.if dawkings and is ersatz religion of darwinism .(he's starting to look like a old testement profit all he needs is a staff of rose wood with charlies head carved on the top) insist we all believe in two bits of bacteria getting amorous in the primordial soup and is no way to questioned by you or I or anybody,then i think,considering the vastnes of the living cosmos we can aleast give UFO the benefit of the doubt.oh! and by the way do not think this is the new rock and roll,UFO's have been with us for a long,long time,i'd go into it more but i fear for the riht wingers ability to handle such topics..

  • Comment number 75.

    16. At 12:37pm on 12 Aug 2010, Desiderius Erasmus wrote:
    No - Do the maths.

    It would be likely around a 80 million light year journey between earth and the nearest star with planets .... 160 million light years round trip (presuming that the aliens wanted to get back home).

    Our radio waves have only got out about 90 million light yrs so only another 80 or 90 yrs before we get a possible reply ... so be patient!

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Yes. This bothers me. They should be receiving the first episodes of I love Lucy, Dick Barton, and Mrs Dales Diary. I wonder what their anthropologists will make of that?
    One school of thought suggests they are coming from the asteroids which are not too far away.
    On the other hand there are lots of sightings of bright lights in the sky near Uxbridge. I wonder why.

  • Comment number 76.

    "45. At 1:14pm on 12 Aug 2010, intbel wrote:
    Governments already take them seriously which is why they suppress information about such matters. Aided and abetted, as always, by mainstream media which either sensationalises, exaggerates, or just plain ridicules them.

    There are hundreds of reports from credible witnesses from RAF, military, naval and police personnel mostly all of whom were told "This never happened" and were told never to speak of them. Many are now coming forward and telling of their experiences.

    No rational mind could believe that only planet Earth is inhabited so why the cover up?

    The answer to that question is simple, the same answer as for all cover-ups - control.

    When considering visitors from neighbouring planets and/or galaxies, the important question is "How?"

    Once the answer to that question is released then we, the people, in realising that the relevant technology has been kept hidden from us for near enough a hundred years by successive corporations, governments and other controlling factions, will initiate the greatest rebellion ever experienced. It will be world-wide.

    Free energy technology has been around for a century, kept hidden and suppressed and even denied in the interests of corporate profit and government control. This is probably the main the reason why knowledge of our friends and neigbours, along with their technology, is suppressed.

    We don't need the nuclear power stations and we don't need the oil rigs so we don't need the relevant nuclear and oil companies and governments which support and promote them.

    Another reason - once it is known for a fact and understood by everyone, that yes there are many inhabited planets and that some of the inhabitants regularly visit us and have been doing so throughout history - many religions (themselves control mechanisms) will collapse."

    You see, it's comments like this that give the impression that UFOs are only ever seen or believed in by a bunch of lonely, paranoid, under-educated misfits. It's a shame, really, because there are doubtless many sane, rational people who have seen UFOs but don't report it, because they understandably don't want to be tarred with this brush. Rather than making silly statements like "free energy technology has been around for a century" (How do you know this?), and blaming big business, politicians, the media, the freemasons and now extra-terrestrial life-forms for all your problems, you could always document known sightings where no plausible explanation has been found, take pictures and collect evidence where possible, and submit it to the authorities to investigate. People don't disrespect UFO-watchers because of their lack of evidence. They disrespect them because it's clear that getting evidence takes a back seat to looking for "answers" to important questions which aren't "out there" but down here.

  • Comment number 77.

    Should we take UFO sightings more seriously?
    Yes.
    Any student of ancient history will tell you that we so-called homo sapiens cannot hope to replicate a pyramid or a stonehenge, of a Teotihucan. In fact, we cannot KNOW how and why they were built; we can only take our educated guesses.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    WRONG WRONG WRONG AND WRONG
    we do know how the pyramids were built, the egyptians painted it on the walls,
    We also know how stonehenge was built and where the stones came from
    Your lack of understanding of archaeology does not mean we do not know it just means you have been suckered by psuedoscience the image that most are familiar with of the mayan astronaut is just a carving of a human sacrifice shown the wrong way up, the images of people in "space suits" are to me and most intelligent people images of ancient peoples in ceremonial headdresses as can be seen in footage of tribal indigenous peoples right across the globe. There is NOT ONE SHRED OF CREDIBLE EVIDENCE THAT EARTH HAS EVER BEEN VISITED BY EXTRA TERRESTRIALS.
    Sorry to burst your bubble but those are the cold hard facts.

  • Comment number 78.

    If there are visitors to this planet, they should stay well away. And probably are doing when they see the mess we have made of our home-world.

  • Comment number 79.

    Yes, we should. We need aliens' help on our economy.

  • Comment number 80.

    Re number 47
    At no time was "Stuffy" Dowding "Commanding Officer of the RAF". This was probably a good thing in view of his belief in fairies, ghosts and spiritualism. However his beliefs do perhaps throw some light onto his opinions on UFO's!

  • Comment number 81.

    77. At 2:15pm on 12 Aug 2010, th3_0r4cl3 wrote:
    "There is NOT ONE SHRED OF CREDIBLE EVIDENCE THAT EARTH HAS EVER BEEN VISITED BY EXTRA TERRESTRIALS."
    ----------
    Very true. Evidence is good: it allows us to base our reasoning on the best facts avauilable.

  • Comment number 82.

    "64. At 1:52pm on 12 Aug 2010, timewaster wrote:
    Take it if you want to or leave it..ironically all of you have more mundane subject to put your 'beliefs' in (of course after doing you Math - such as God. If any one ask me if you 'believe' in UFO - I would probably try to invent a mean bad word possible to use as reply.. What I know for sure is that none of you have any slightest idea of physics or had any of you really have done any serious 'study' of this subject.."

    And you have? Good choice of username.

    BTW watch you're grammer and splelign..

  • Comment number 83.

    The thing I don't understand is all the people who claim to have met or had contact with 'aliens' all talk about being 'probed' you know where.

    Why?

    I have watched all those wonderfull David Attenborough TV programms about lions in Africa and NEVER once did he put a probe up a lions fundement.

    I'm guessing it would put the lion right of it's stride.

    You try it next time you run for a bus, I bet you don't catch it.




    There again if you do your eyes will stand out so far they proberbly wouldn't let you on.



  • Comment number 84.

    There are a lot of things that are not known that happen and when they do governments investigate. UFOs as far as Space Ships from Outer Space I think that there are other means and they entail intelligence as a means of the craft and travel.

    In todays wooden ships as to say and intelligence, the time, distance and the environment that would be subjected upon a craft and it's occupants doesn't show it is feasible. Other things would have to happen, even a change in being. Life it's self isn't even understood given the science and religions being used. Humanity talks of Angels and all benevolent beings being the superior. That's not too far off the beaten path.

    The very cycle of life, I can't say there is a end when the body can't hold the life in it. I feel to say that the environment the essence of the being can exist in is without the encumbrance of the dimensions that we deal within our body. The body we develop and enjoy the senses and essence of life we learn we carry with us to see and behold the world we only see a glimpse in comparison. We sadly are taught to make the immortal mortal. Humanity is taught to believe in God's instead of our selves and to not bring into consciousness things we have been told impossible and not true.

    As far as grouping thoughts and condescending the corrupt nature of humanity don't rule out crimes against human kind because they exist. The social structure of society exists out of the exploitations of the human race. The more denying them the better for the perpetrators.

    Life is a open book of mysteries, so don't be so close mind and think there are no impossibilities. Time it's self changes. It does not remain the same. Even the past comes apart to give way into the entropy and a renewal of that once undeveloped and within this, we call the future into our presence.

  • Comment number 85.

    As many people have pointed out, UFO does not mean aliens. However the question to ask is, if a civilisation has the technology to cross interstellar space in meaningful timescales why do they reveal themselves to backwoodsmen in Arkensas?
    Surely all they would have to do is park their ship between the Moon and the Earth ,everyone would know then.
    On the other hand as our radio and TV broadcasts are now 50 lightyears out, maybe we are in quarantine ,which would explain the covert visits.
    Some cultural historians have pointed out that contact with a superior civilisation even with benign motives would be as devastating to our culture as the effect Europeans had on indigenous populations in the Americas, Pacific and the Far East.

  • Comment number 86.

    Whilst it would be good to have the knowledge that there were UFO's. I don't really believe that there has been any visitation from outer space. I need proof that is verifiable by the good men of science and it must have physical proof that the public can examine for itself. I am of the mind that UFO's are more believable than god or any of the supernatural claptrap that seems to hold so much sway over our beloved planet. Saying that if little green men did arrive how long before the religious nutters would be claiming them for themselves or the Tories blaming them for some sort of deficit. Because I expect that the aliens would most likely be socialist and not seeking any profit motive , for if they were of capitalist intent then we would already have been conquered by now any all of us working in some sort of alien sweatshop producing alien designer clothes. So no I don't think we have been visited.

  • Comment number 87.

    btw, the plural is "UFOs" and never "UFO's".

    Apostrophes are not for making words plural.

  • Comment number 88.

    UFO's - things that fly what we can't identify.
    Aliens - Sorry but we are utterly alone in the galaxy, one day it may be our playground.

  • Comment number 89.

    Free energy technology has been around for a century, kept hidden and suppressed and even denied in the interests of corporate profit and government control. This is probably the main the reason why knowledge of our friends and neigbours, along with their technology, is suppressed.
    ---
    Thanks for the chuckle...

    You seriously think there are more advanced beings out there who have such an altruistic nature that they'll cross the galaxy to bring us such rewards and then they'll tamely just keep quiet because a politician tells them to?

    If such a being existed why flit about in remote woods at midnight? The government would find it pretty hard to hush up a landing in front of Buckingham Palace at mid-day?

    Or they could override communication satellites. Imagine it, one moment you're watching the football, next you've got live streaming video action of the Vogon Fleet.

  • Comment number 90.

    12. At 12:30pm on 12 Aug 2010, steve wrote:
    Wait for the comment regarding Aliens swamping the indigenous population .


    It is bound to be out there!

    But Steve the indigenous population is being swamped by aliens and although they don't come from outer space the vast majority are just as incompatible.

  • Comment number 91.

    79. At 2:17pm on 12 Aug 2010, Lynn wrote:
    Yes, we should. We need aliens' help on our economy.

    I wonder if there's any plumbers or taxi drivers among them?

  • Comment number 92.

    Graham at 53-Any solid object travelling at near light speed will warp time, so that a spacecraft travelling to Alpha Centauri at 75% light speed will take 6 years earth time, but time will have slowed down for the astronauts, so to them it will seem shorter. Incidentally, Einstein said that any solid object reaching the speed of light will have zero dimensions and infinite mass. As this is impossible, he argued that no solid object can reach the speed of light. These UFO travel so fast and in such a jagged pattern that they can't be solid. Planes, being such bright electomagnatic objects themselves, probably push them away like a carrot on a stick in front of a donkey. I'm waiting for a report of a hang-glider flying right through one.

  • Comment number 93.

    If an alien civilisation had travelled thousands (or more) of light years to, even randomly, reach an insignificant planet like earth, which is one of at least billions of planets in the Universe, it is unlikely that, with their by far advanced technology, they would be abducting old ladies in Yorkshire or moving across the sky so visibly.

    It's good for news, just like the Loch Ness monster and is good for fun, but practically it's nonsense, like ghosts, mediums, crop circles, heaven, hell and the rest.

    A UFO is just that - an unidentified flying object - which will always have a simple explanation somewhere.

    Just get a life and watch the meteors tonight. Hope for a clear sky.

  • Comment number 94.

    This is what's going on in a nutshell: there's an effective quarantine taking place on earth -- essentially because we're nuclear-dangerous, but also to protect our societies from being disrupted by "outside" influences. Yes, people see craft in a variety of shapes and sizes from afar in the skies, but there's no mass landing or "official" contact because of binding agreements that have been made between the various non-terrestrial groups and Power Elites on earth.

    When mankind reaches a level of peaceful co-existence and advancement and nuclear weapons are a thing of the past, then some kind of disclosure will take place. By that time, life in the greater Milky Way and "beyond" won't be such a big shock to future generations.

  • Comment number 95.

    Please, please, please, let's stop babbling about "little green men" and the like.
    For centuries, people have been saying they have seen strange things in the sky. Divine omens, unfamiliar natural phenomena, extraterrestials - they've given them names appropriate to their own prevailing cultural obsessions.
    The sighting REPORTS are the phenomenon, not whatever cause or causes people ascribe to them. Study of these sighting reports (which these days includes such things as radar anomalies) might yield interesting results, whether in mass psychology or meteorology or (even!) in engineering or the occult. We just don't know what causes these sighting reports (REPORTS, remember) and it would be interesting and perhaps useful to find out. It is neither clever nor grown-up for either "side" to pretend they already have a full explanation. They don't.
    And yes, we need all the data we can get - as with any field of human investigation. If the Brazilian Air Force can bring grist to the mill without spending too much money, then why not?

  • Comment number 96.

    Re to 80
    You're right, he does appear to be a tiny bit of a nutter. I'll choose my quotes more carefully in future.
    He was Commander of RAF Fighter Comand during the Battle of Britain though, which is still pretty impressive.

  • Comment number 97.

    More silly distractions.

    We've had a good look at the planets of our solar system and there's no reasonable chance of intelligent life elsewhere than Earth here.

    The nearest star is 4 light years away. There are only a few more at comparable distances.

    Even if a craft could be accelerated to 1,000,000 mph it would still take about 2,500 years to reach it.

    It is inconceivable that there is life engaged in interstellar travel.

    However, rational explanations for hitherto unexplained sightings of whatever phenomena are in themselves intrinsically interesting.

  • Comment number 98.

    # 88. At 2:43pm on 12 Aug 2010, bug_splattered wrote:
    "UFO's - things that fly what we can't identify.
    Aliens - Sorry but we are utterly alone in the galaxy, one day it may be our playground."
    -----
    btw, the plural is "UFOs" and never "UFO's".

    We are "utterly alone in the galaxy"? That's not a statement of fact because you cannot know that.

  • Comment number 99.

    No wonder nobdy answered my post #53, or even read it? my question on the speed of light and light years. After there was no response I did a little investigation and found that nobody has ever been able to describe it in laymens terms. So everyone that is going on about the huge distances involved i.e. 80M light years to the nearest star? (80MLY would take you past the Andromeda galaxy and to the next) don't really know what they are talking about. So in layman's terms if you can go at the speed of light, which is not possible for us at this time, then your watch would stop and technically speaking to you it would take no time at all to travel these huge distances. Therefore there could be thousands of "time travelling" aliens out there, if they conquered the problem with light speed. Well unless someone has another idea..

  • Comment number 100.

    Yes we should they might be more advanced than we are at the moment and could have new technology etc etc to share,or perhaps they just heard about very generous welfare system.

 

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