Is It a UFO?


The mind’s eye likes to categorize images based on reference, circumstance and familiarity. Be it dark or daylight skies, we thrive on recognizable predictability. From contrails to crescent moon, ominous storm clouds to constellation Orion, familiar skyscapes fit like comfortable slippers. By virtue of our nature, everything we see is processed according to common knowledge. So what happens when perception defies instinctive categorization? When “I’ve never seen a cloud like that” or “that can’t possibly be an airplane” muddies reflexive comprehension? Void of immediate explanation some ask themselves, is it a UFO?

Ponder this image. How does your mind’s eye categorize eerie concentric circles punctuated with a tilted ascending beam of blue light? Extraterrestrial origin or definable illusion? In December 2009 a failed Russian ballistic missile test created this illusion in skies over Norway. Rings of light stem from spiraling trajectory following third stage missile failure.

Image: Spiral

Russia admits missile caused UFO lights (nbcnews.com)

How about this –

Gallery_Iridium_f.jpg (290×200)

UFO? No, it’s a Iridium flare. “Iridium” flare terminology stems from a constellation of communications satellites first launched in 1997 by Iridium Communications. Satellites generally appear as slow moving “stars” to the untrained eye. The original 66 Iridium satellites have been phased out, replaced by second generation SpaceX low orbit installations. That said, for the past 20 years momentary bright flashes occurred up to four times a day when reflective antenna caught sunlight.

Understanding Iridium Flares (thoughtco.com)

And this –

See the source image

Lenticular cloud over Mount Fuji.

Lenticular cloud forms above mountains when stable moist air rises, meets cold air which forces it to settle in oscillating rings. A phenomenon associated with storm fronts.

UFOs In The Clouds — Lenticular Clouds, That Is — Fire Our Imaginations Of Alien Visitors | HuffPost Canada (huffingtonpost.ca)

From weather balloons, drones, funky clouds, upper atmosphere ice crystals bending light, low orbit satellites to bright magnitude planet Venus, the mind’s eye demands explanation. Is it a UFO? Probably not. 99.9% of the time there’s a perfectly logical explanation.

Aurora, Texas 1897


I love a good UFO conspiracy – not so much for the conspiracy as the legend and folklore surrounding it. Area 51 and Roswell, New Mexico fuel UFO speculation and government cover-up to the point of hysteria. I’ll admit; depending on your frame of mind or the conviction of believers – it does pose some questions.

Pondering UFO abductions, sightings or crashes is tricky business. It’s one thing to say you don’t believe we’re alone in the universe, another to state you buy into specific cover ups. I don’t believe we could possibly be alone, that said I find it difficult to digest many UFO theories being bantered about. Cautiously forging ahead – ponder Aurora, Texas in 1897.

On April 19, 1897 the Dallas Morning News reported an incident on April 17 in Aurora, Texas. A “cigar shaped” flying object hit a windmill and  crash landed on the property of Judge J.S. Proctor. Witnesses claim a single occupant perished; the body mangled and described as “not of this world”. A Mr T.J. Weems – U.S. signal officer on duty in the area – reported to conveniently be an expert on astronomy – declared Mars to be mystery ships’ home planet. Further evidence; papers found on deceased Martian contained script in undefinable hieroglyphics. A “Christian burial” scheduled the following day.

The incident was never mentioned in press again. Local legends tell of the mysterious metal craft partially buried with the “alien”, the rest tossed down Judge Proctor’s well. In 1945 the property was purchased by Brawley Oates who developed a acute case of arthritis after trying to clear debris out of the old well. Oates later sealed the well with a concrete slab and built a shed on top of it. The Texas Historical Commission erected a marker outside Aurora’s cemetery detailing the “legend”.

UFO enthusiasts, historians, and idle gawkers ponder events at Aurora with interest ranging from curiosity to conspiracy. Naturally no evidence exists – the legend lives on. Never mind original reports of a slow moving cigar shaped craft – think Zeppelins since they were the only aircraft of reference. Take folded papers containing Martian hieroglyphs with a grain of salt – obviously alien travellers carried note pads when crossing galaxies.

Hard as I ponder, I can’t think of one good reason why we need “proof” of alien visits. We can’t cope with our own nonsense let alone deal with ramifications of other worldly beings. Religion would bend it into utter nonsense, business would find ways to turn it into a cash cow and fear would make survivalist wing nuts look like the next best thing.

I’m perfectly happy in my belief we’re not alone – and equally convinced we couldn’t process the truth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora,_Texas_UFO_Incident