For thousands of years, people have described seeing strange flying structures of light, clouds, and even fire. But, as our cultural fascination grew with extraterrestrial life in the 20th century, so did the number of UFO sightings. UFOs have fascinated and puzzled people for decades, yet hard evidence seems ever elusive. Many people believe that extraterrestrials visit Earth, but governments perpetuate a top-secret global conspiracy to cover it up.
Here’s a look at UFOs throughout history.
UFO sightings date back to biblical times. The Book of Ezekiel describes a mysterious ship appearing from the sky in Chaldea. With this, a recording from Rome in 218 B.C. reveals various strange sightings. A wave of mysterious apparitions appear in fourth-century Chinese history, when a documented “moon boat” flew over the country once every 12 years. Even Germany noted several unfamiliar objects in the sky in 1561. In the year 1801 in Hull, England several witnesses claim to have seen objects in the sky. During World War II, multiple times Allied pilots reported mysterious objects in the sky. They used the term “foo fighters” to describe the odd circles of light pilots noticed flanking their planes during combat.
The term “UFO,” coined in 1953 by the United States Air Force, is short for “unidentified flying object.” The definition unidentified flying object (UFO), also called flying saucer, any aerial object or optical phenomenon not readily identifiable to the observer.
The first recorded UFO sighting dates to 1639 when, long before the era of planes and satellites, John Winthrop wrote in his diary about a large, strange light in the sky that shot back and forth.
The Battle of Los Angeles
In 1947, when a local rancher claimed to have found a flying saucer in his field, Roswell became the center of conspiracy theories. Today, 75 years later, there is no doubt that something occurred in that remote desert near Roswell, New Mexico. The question is, what and has our government been hiding the facts for half a century?
Debris from a highly classified project used by the US Army Air Force to detect atomic bomb tests in the Soviet Union, was recovered from a ranch after being reported by worker William Brazel. Brazel gathered some of the debris and went to Roswell, where he told Sheriff George Wilcox about his find. Wilcox immediately reported the encounter to the USAAF base at Roswell, which promptly sent agents to visit the ranch.
On 8 July 1947, Roswell Army Air Field issued a press release stating that a “flying disk” crashed on a ranch near Roswell during a powerful storm. Later in the day, as government scientists arrived in the area, the story appeared to change. A press conference held claimed it was not a disk, but rather a crashed weather balloon. Scientists showed reporters debris from the site to confirm this claim.
US Congressional Hearing
The first public congressional hearing into UFO sightings in the US in over 50 years ended with few answers about the unexplained phenomenon. Two top military officials tasked with probing the sightings said that most can ultimately be identified. But, they stated that a number of events have defied all attempts at explanation. The sightings recorded by the military include 11 “near-misses” with US aircraft. Some Unexplained Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) – as the military terms UFOs – seem to have been moving without any discernible means of propulsion.
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