MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Bright white lights and strange, triangular shaped objects, Tennesseans are reporting some unusual things overhead. Don't expect that to stop anytime soon, a local group that investigates UFO close encounters says sightings are on the rise.
For decades millions of people have reported seeing UFO's. A recent poll shows one in 12 Americans have seen a mysterious object in the sky, and that a third of adults believe it's likely aliens have visited earth. While some say the increase in volume of reports in Tennessee are enough to make any investigator sit up and take notice, others say it's all in their heads.
The skies over Tennessee have been busy lately, but some say, it's not your typical air traffic. A commercial airline pilot from Memphis shows us where he spotted a UFO. He pointed out the UFO's path, saying, "It started here, passed over about this speed and leveled out down there."
This pilot, who doesn't want to be identified for fear he'll lose his job, says he saw a UFO in the sky over Cordova around 9:45pm on November 24, 2009.
"[It was] absolutely not an airplane, not an airship, this object speed it was flying at, the shape there is nothing in the air even similar in the least bit to what I saw," the pilot claimed.
The pilot, who has more than 25 years experience, said the black triangle he saw was flying as fast as 1,000 miles per hour, but was completely silent. He said it looked exactly like YouTube video of what an estimated 13,000 saw flying over Belgium in 1990.
"I could not honestly believe what I saw," he amazed. "[I] stood there for honestly a few minutes thinking what I was going to do or who I was going to report this to."
The pilot reported it to the Tennessee Mutual UFO Network, or MUFON. MUFON is the largest UFO research and education organization in the United States. The non-profit group is made up of volunteers like Alyson Burgess.
"All we do is if someone reports an object we try our best to figure out if we can identify it," said Burgess. "If we can't identify it it's called an 'unknown.'"
The pilot's sighting is classified as 'unknown,' but Burgess says 90% of sightings can be attributed to things like airplanes or meteors. What the group can't explain is the uptick in reports.
"[It] seems like it's going to be a busy year for us," said Burgess.
The pilot's was one of 30 sightings in Tennessee from October to December of last year. Typically, there are between 4 and 8 a month. There have been 10 sightings so far this year.
State MUFON Director, Eddie Middleton said the skies have never been so active in Tennessee.
"It's like building to some sort of crescendo getting more intense all the time," said Middleton. "I don't know where it's leading; it's getting more intense, something's got to give here before long landing on the White House lawn or whatever."
While many report seeing large black triangles, others see flying saucers or cigar shaped crafts. Middleton said, "The evidence is overwhelming we are being visited. If anyone takes time to look they will find it extremely compelling."
James McGaha has looked. He's an astronomer and a scientific consultant to the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, a group that encourages critical examination of unusual claims. He believes popular UFO TV shows are contributing to increased reports.
"A light in the sky is a light in the sky," stated McGaha. "There are hundreds of different things that can be light in the sky, and not aliens or spacecraft from other worlds."
He's particularly skeptical of the black triangle sightings. "It appears the object is a large solid craft when it's simply not, it's 3 airplanes flying in formation that is responsible for most of those sightings."
McGaha, a retired air force pilot, also questions the Memphis pilot's sighting. "It should be pointed out pilots are not trained observers, pilots are trained to fly airplanes and fly them safely and they are no more reliable than any other witness."
McGaha says whether or not extraterrestrial life exists, it's almost impossible for it to visit earth on a regular basis, saying travel at speed of light is not easy.
"From an astronomer's view, there are other issues that make it very difficult for aliens to get here because simply physics of it, the amount of energy and time takes for aliens civilization to reach the earth."
Despite a field investigative manual showing pictures of aliens, MUFON does not take a stance on extraterrestrial life.
"I'm not sure if these craft are coming from beyond the planet, I'm not sure if they belong to us or other countries," said Burgess. "What I am sure of there are a lot of people seem to be seeing this, they can't explain and they deserve a voice and to be listened to."
The Memphis pilot we spoke with says he doesn't drink, do drugs or take medication. He admits his sighting had him questioning his sanity and if he's a "believer."
"It's been confusing for me but I know what I saw, it was unreal. If this other intelligent
life is visiting us here it would change my view on everything."
More sightings of unidentified flying objects, which look like orange balls, have been seen whizzing through the skies of Swansea.
A number of Evening Post readers said that they saw spooky sightings on Monday night last week in areas including Uplands, Clase, Clydach, Landore, Morriston and Skewen.
The objects were spotted in the air from 7pm to 9.30pm.
Claire Page, of Llanllienwen Road, Morriston, said she had seen five orange objects flying across the sky around 9.20pm on Monday.
She said: "I could see a gold bright orange globe in the sky and it flew across and then four others shooted passed as if they were together.
"I have never seen anything like it before.
"I tried to grab my camera and got a picture. "It was if they were chasing each other."
Ian Makay, of Bryn, Port Talbot captured what he believed to be some kind of UFO on his camera while he was in Cymmer in Neath. The image he took is alongside this story.
He said: "I saw an opaque white coloured object as if there were two objects behind one another around 5.30pm.
"It was there for a while then it just shot across the sky."
A number of sightings have been seen in the last few weeks.
Llanelli taxi driver Bob Hinton described seeing a "brilliant, absolutely brilliant orange light" coming from due north and heading south overhead near Llanelli Railway Station.
More than 60 people have commented on the Evening Post website about various sightings in the area.
Charlotte, of Swansea, said: "I saw a very bright orange glow, too low to be a plane or space station and little too fast and bright to be a lantern.
"Now don't get me wrong I am not going to go jumping about saying it was a UFO but not something I've seen before."
Many people think the sightings could be Chinese Lanterns due the Chinese New Year being on February 14.
But Heather, of Mumbles, said: "Stop using the excuse of Chinese Lanterns. Yes, no doubt, many of the sightings have been just that, but not all.
"Open your mind, accept that the unacceptable may happen!
"We might have come from "up there" Who knows! We should never fear speaking out.
"There will be people who laugh at you, however, if other life forms were found it would put an end to doctrinated religion so there will be plenty of people out there who are willing to mock you.
It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! No, it’s Russia’s “Flying Saucer”
Published: 03 March, 2010, 13:17
Russia has launched a program to build a powerful, multi-purpose airship that will certainly cause many people on the ground to take notice.
The “Locomoskayner” airship takes to the air with nothing more than helium, but will also have special outfitted hot air cells to regulate its buoyancy, RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Propulsion of the craft is provided by several electric motors, and small wings on the periphery of its disc-shaped hull give the vehicle extra lift in flight. The aircrafts unusual shape, which strikingly resembles an unidentified flying object (UFO) also gives it extra stability, and ability to resist wind currents to hover for extended periods above targets on the ground.
Varying models of the Locomoskayners are expected to be used for the transportation of people and cargo, as well as surveillance and monitoring. The largest version in the works will be able to airlift 600 tons.
The five-year project is based in the city of Ulyanovsk, some 900 km east from Moscow. The project’s developer, LocomoSky, plans to generate $90 million worth of investment.
We may never hear from aliens, though the galaxy could be teeming with them
By Tudor Vieru, Science Editor
A number of astronomers and astrobiologists believe that our galaxy, the Milky Way, may be home to a large variety of extraterrestrial organisms, inhabiting other planets in other star systems.
But they also believe that we may never be able to communicate or identify these creatures, largely because many of the new “species” may simply not have the technology to do so. In addition, our contact technology may also be unsuitable for this purpose.
The SETI initiative is sending signals in space on a daily basis, but there is no way of knowing what worlds these signals reach, Discovery News reports.
When scientists convened in San Diego, California, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), top SETI experts were asked by other researchers when they expect to have concrete results.
They responded by saying that time estimates vary widely. Some believe that the contact date has expired more than 10 years ago – in the sense that we should have already established contact, while others say that up to 250 years will have to pass before be become capable of engaging in alien communications.
There are some whose estimates are more balanced, such as expert Seth Shostak. He believes that this goal will be reached in about 25 years. The estimate is based on the fact that the SETI capabilities are growing exponentially at this point, and that advanced telescopes, detection techniques and superior signal processing methods, will continue to develop over this time frame.
He argues that the next 24 months will see the SETI signals reaching more stars than they did in the past 50 years, but highlights the fact that the exponential rise in capabilities will not last forever.
"If we don't have a detection by the year 2035 then something is wrong with our fundamental assumptions," the expert says. "There are people who believe that, if life exists anywhere else in the Milky Way, then it could look significantly different than we do."
And they refer to forms of intelligent life, underlining the differences that exist even on our planet, between the two most intelligent life forms – humans and cetaceans. Each is adapted to a different environment, and has evolved the same type of intelligence, but they cannot communicate with each other. Such obstacles are also likely to be met when conducting studies in space.