It doesn’t take much to convince people that they’ve seen an experimental missile or a UFO. A funny-looking cloud or an exceptionally bright planet will usually do the trick. Here, our top 7 things that drive space-related hoaxes.
Mysterious UFO sightings may go hand-in-hand with a natural weather phenomenon known as sprites flashes high in the atmosphere triggered by thunderstorms. Sprites suddenly appear when lightning from thunderstorms excites the electric field above the storm, producing dancing flashes of bright light.
Sprites can take the form of fast-paced balls of electricity, although they can also form streaks or tendrils. “Winter sprites” are common in the northern hemisphere during winter months.
6. Missile Tests
In December 2009, a spectacular spiral light show appeared in the sky above northern Norway: A giant spiral, with a green-blue beam of light shooting from its center, lit up the sky in a raindrop-ripple effect pattern.
It looked like a wormhole to another dimension, but it turned out that the lights were caused by a Russian missile that failed just after launch, according to Russia’s defense ministry. The botched Bulava ballistic test missile spun out of control, thus creating the mysterious rotating spiral effect.
5. Weird Cloud Formations
Last October, footage of a giant halo in an overcast sky over Moscow surfaced on YouTube. The video had everything needed to ignite UFO rumors. It’s grainy. At one point, a dark pointy object appears to bolt out of the ring. There’s even a panicked-sounding Russian radio broadcast in the background.
Cool-headed meteorologists were quick to put the story to bed: It was just an optical illusion, the cause of sunlight hitting a cloud disturbed by wind or plane traffic in just the right way. Most likely it was what is known as a hole-punch cloud. These occur in cirrus or cirrostratus clouds, which are often composed of ice crystals and super-cooled water droplets water that is below freezing temperature, but still in liquid form. The physical properties that hold these clouds together are delicate, and when disturbed by a jet plane, wind or even cloud seeding efforts the droplets can freeze instantly or evaporate, the latter of which will form the hole.
Unlike Balloon Boy, not all balloon-driven hoaxes are intentional. In the afternoon of Oct. 13, hundreds of people in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood saw a cluster of silvery, shiny lights glittering from above. Naturally, initial descriptions of the supposed UFO varied wildly: Some folks reported seeing one large, slow-moving object full of lights, while others say they saw nearly a half-dozen entities.
The strange, shimmering lights turned out to be caused by 12 helium balloons that escaped from an engagement party held for a teacher at the Milestone School in Mount Vernon,Westchester County, about 15 miles away.The balloons were inadvertently released at 1 p.m., and the first of the “UFO” sightings occurred around 1:30 p.m.
The planet Venus often gets mistaken for a UFO. To viewers on Earth, the second planet from the sun appears as a bright light that hangs in the sunset sky, seeming to slowly hover in the twilight as it outshines every star except for the sun. Because Venus orbits the sun inside our own orbit, from our perspective it constantly darts out on the either side of the sun, which people often mistake for a moving UFO.
Here’s proof that anything funny-looking in the sky can cause an uproar. This past Monday, most of the U.S. woke up to reports that a mystery missile had launched off the coast of California. The sightings were spurred by video of a condensation trail, or contrail, streaking through clouds lit up by the rising sun. No one could conclusively say what it was at the timeofficials at the Department of Defense reported no scheduled missile launches, NORAD and USNORTHCOM detected no foreign activity and the FAA hadn’t cleared any commercial space launches in the area. After a thorough investigation, many experts now believe that the streak was a wait for it a run-of-the-mill jet aircraft contrail that happened to hang around longer than usual. Contrails appear most vivid around sunrise or sunset, and it’s not uncommon that one showing up in an unexpected location will generate whispers of a UFO or experimental military aircraft.
Lights in the sky, especially when viewed by pilots, can also cause a stir, but are almost always revealed to be running lights of other aircraft, or flares dropped by weather research craft.
1. Military Experiments
The late 1940s and early 1950s were a great time for spotting UFOs and aliens in New Mexico, primarily because that’s where the Air Force was conducting some of its top-secret research. One such program was known as Project Mogul and involved floating microphone-carrying balloons to high altitudes in an attempt to pick up the sound waves generated by Soviet atomic bomb tests. The Air Force has since confirmed that a 1947 crash of one of those balloons created the debris that birthed the Roswell UFO Incident.
Another military experiment provided the bodies for that UFO. In the 1950s, Air Force scientists dropped several dozen anthropomorphic dummies from planes to test new high-altitude parachutes and determine whether the bodies would enter a dangerous spin as they fell. Results from these studies contributed to designs for the parachutes and pressurized suits that fighter jet pilots and early astronauts would wear. The Air Force was more than happy to allow Russian spies to think New Mexicans were a little kooky than to reveal the true military origin of the sightings.
NASA in alien life BREAKTHROUGH after DNA discovery
NASA has synthesised an “alien” form of DNA, revolutionising our understanding of what extraterrestrial life may resemble and where it exists.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) contains the genetic instructions for all known living things. And scientists at US space agency NASA have created an “alien” form of DNA. This DNA could lead breakthroughs in understanding what alien life could resemble.
The NASA discovery suggests there might be unimagined forms of DNA-based life as we know it on Earth.
And alien life on other worlds might be built using different molecular systems of the kind the NASA scientists have synthesised, they have suggested.
The new molecular system will allow scientists searching for alien life to recalibrate what exactly they are actually looking for and where it could exist.
DNA is a complex double helix-shaped molecule stored and then transmitting the genetic information that makes us who we are.
This data is passed from generation to generation in every living thing on Earth, allowing life to continue.
DNA is constructed of four different ingredients, known as nucleotides and are common across all life on our planet.
But DNA could likely vary significantly elsewhere in the universe, the NASA study has shown.
Imagining forms of life that might use different structures – and developing ways of detecting them – is a central part of NASA’s work.
And this week’s announcement is a huge breakthrough, as the study has has created such a molecule.
Lori Glaze, acting director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division said: “Life detection is an increasingly important goal of NASA’s planetary science missions, and this new work will help us to develop effective instruments and experiments that will expand the scope of what we look for.”
The new research saw scientists create a new kind of molecule system that functions like DNA, but has an important difference.
Instead of DNA’s usual four ingredients, the NASA scientists have created one containing eight.
It has all of the four that are found in life on Earth: adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine.
The NASA scientist have added an extra four synthetic ones, capable of mimicking the structures of the ingredients found in regular DNA.
The NASA researchers call the new creation “hachimoji” DNA – hachi is Japanese for eight, while moji means letter.
Hhachimoji DNA functions the same as our DNA, meeting the same requirements that allow it to store and transmit information.
That has meant that the kinds of molecules that might be storing information in life on alien worlds could be similarly different.
Massachusetts Town Removes Monument to Historically Documented UFO Sighting
In this age of government UFO revelations and presidential candidates promising disclosure of secret UFO files, you would think that the town which claims to be the home of the “only historically documented UFO sighting in the United States” would be proud of a monument touting the event. In this case, you would be wrong.
“The monument was removed at considerable expense to the town. Unfortunately, the party responsible was not responsive.”
The Berkshire Edge interviewed Selectman (a New England term for a member of the local government board) Martin Mitsoff about the removal this week of the Sheffield UFO monument located near the Sheffield, Massachusetts, covered bridge where in 1969 Thomas Reed, then age 9, and his family found themselves “being taken aboard a tarnished circular looking vessel where an image of a willow tree was displayed.” The next thing he says he remembers is being back in the car and a couple of hours had passed.
His grandmother reported the incident to the police and found that at least 20 others had also reported seeing a UFO and a local radio station said they received 40 calls from witnesses. Reed claims he took a lie detector test and got a 99.1 truth rating. Based on that, the Great Barrington Historical Society declared the UFO sighting “historically significant and true” and money was raised to create a 6-foot tall, 5,000-pound concrete memorial (you can see photos of the monument and the park here) with an inscription that reads in part:
“This Governor’s Citation [is] in recognition of the off-world incident on Sept. 1st, 1969, which engaged the Reed Family, which has been established.”
Cool! What’s Selectman Mistoff’s problem? Well, the monument attracted graffiti and was discovered to be on government property, so it was moved 50 feet and updated with lights and a bench. Then it was discovered to be on a town right-of-way easement. That prompted a year of meetings and email exchanges which resolved nothing. On June 4, this happened:
“A crew from the town highway department arrived at around 8:30 a.m. with a front-end loader/backhoe combination and hauled away the monument, a bench and a row of crushed stone.”
The story doesn’t reveal where the monument was hauled away to, but Reed considers this to be an act of theft and plans to file charges.
Wait a minute! Why doesn’t the governor’s office get involved, since the plaque on the statue is from current Governor Charlie Baker? Doesn’t that make this an official state monument? An earlier story by The Berkshire Edge has a possible answer:
“Tim Buckley, then Baker’s communications director, said in 2016 the citation was issued in error after a persistent Reed repeatedly asked the governor’s staff to put his signature on it. The text of the citation is all in capitals and is poorly written. It appears to have been notarized by a justice of the peace in Connecticut.”
Uh-oh. It looks like the local officials agree with the governor’s former communications director and not with Reed nor the producers of the TV show “Unsolved Mysteries,” which had just been in town to do a segment on Reed and his UFO story. Should Reed try to enlist some UFO disclosure proponents like former US Senator Harry Reid or Tom DeLonge? That might help, but for now it appears the parties have their lawyers aimed at each other and will shoot it out in court.
Has anyone considered asking for help from the crew of the UFO?
Source: Mysterious Universe
Navy pilots report seeing UFOs
© Adam Ferguson/The New York Times
The strange objects, one of them like a spinning top moving against the wind, appeared almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015, high in the skies over the East coast. Navy pilots reported to their superiors that the objects had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes but that they could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds.
“These things would be out there all day,” said Lieutenant Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot who has been with the Navy for 10 years and who reported his sightings to the Pentagon and Congress. “Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy. With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect.”
In late 2014, a Super Hornet pilot had a near collision with one of the objects, and an official mishap report was filed. Some of the incidents were captured on video, including one taken by a plane’s camera in early 2015 that shows an object zooming over the ocean waves as pilots question what they are watching.
“Wow, what is that, man?” one exclaims. “Look at it fly!”
No one in the Defense Department is saying that the objects were extraterrestrial, and experts emphasize that earthly explanations can generally be found for such incidents. Graves and four other Navy pilots, who said in interviews with The New York Times that they saw the objects in 2014 and 2015 in training maneuvers from Virginia to Florida off the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, make no assertions of their provenance. But the objects have gotten the attention of the Navy, which this year sent out new classified guidance for how to report what the military calls unexplained aerial phenomena, or unidentified flying objects.
Joseph Gradisher, a Navy spokesman, said the new guidance was an update of instructions that went out to the fleet in 2015, after the Roosevelt incidents.
“There were a number of different reports,” he said. Some cases could have been commercial drones, he said, but in other cases “we don’t know who’s doing this, we don’t have enough data to track this. So the intent of the message to the fleet is to provide updated guidance on reporting procedures for suspected intrusions into our airspace.”
The sightings were reported to the Pentagon’s shadowy, little-known Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which analyzed the radar data, video footage, and accounts provided by senior officers from the Roosevelt. Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence official who ran the program until he resigned in 2017, called the sightings “a striking series of incidents.”
The program, which began in 2007, was officially shut down in 2012 when the money dried up, according to the Pentagon. But the Navy recently said it investigates military reports of UFOs, and Elizondo and other participants say the program – parts of it remain classified – has continued in other forms. The program has also studied video that shows a whitish oval object described as a giant Tic Tac, about the size of a commercial plane, encountered by two Navy fighter jets off the coast of San Diego in 2004.
Leon Golub, a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said the possibility of an extraterrestrial cause “is so unlikely that it competes with many other low-probability but more mundane explanations.” He added that “there are so many other possibilities – bugs in the code for the imaging and display systems, atmospheric effects and reflections, neurological overload from multiple inputs during high-speed flight.”
Graves still cannot explain what he saw. In the summer of 2014, he and Lieutenant Danny Accoin, another Super Hornet pilot, were part of a squadron, the VFA-11 “Red Rippers” out of Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., that was training for a deployment to the Persian Gulf.
Graves and Accoin spoke on the record to The Times about the objects. Three other pilots in the squadron also spoke to The Times about the objects but declined to be named.
The pilots began noticing the objects after their 1980s-era radar was upgraded to a more advanced system. As one fighter jet after another got the new radar, pilots began picking up the objects but ignoring what they thought were false radar tracks.
But Graves said the objects persisted, showing up at 30,000 feet, 20,000 feet, even sea level. Then pilots began seeing the objects.
What was strange, the pilots said, was that the video showed objects accelerating to hypersonic speed, making sudden stops and instantaneous turns – something beyond the physical limits of a human crew.
Asked what they thought the objects were, the pilots refused to speculate.
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