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Aliens & UFO's

“Storm Area 51” weekend had neither raids nor aliens. But it wasn’t a bust.

“Storm Area 51” weekend had neither raids nor aliens. But it wasn’t a bust. 98

A meme sent thousands into the desert, and they didn’t come back totally empty-handed.

Despite what I was promised by the meme that inspired the trip, I did not “see them aliens” in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.

“Storm Area 51” weekend was the IRL outgrowth of a viral Facebook joke that implored all interested parties to “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us” — but all I found were the offline remains of an online phenomenon. An ever-dwindling number of people who were committed enough to trek out into the Nevada desert, some 100 miles away from urbanity, spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday dithering around the near-empty towns of Rachel and Hiko.

It was unclear if anyone was really in charge. Little was planned. Zero aliens were in attendance. But, thankfully, no one tried to break into Area 51.

“Storm Area 51” weekend had neither raids nor aliens. But it wasn’t a bust. 99
The center of the town of Rachel, where crowds would gather … had there been any.

In the town of Rachel, what came to be known as Alien-Stock was designed as a festival for anyone who was so transfixed by a joke about raiding Area 51, they were willing to gather in the desert to celebrate it. But the event didn’t live up to dreams set forth by its creator, 21-year-old Bakersfield, California, native Matty Roberts, who had initially planned to turn his viral meme into a movement.

In July, Roberts had created a fake “Storm Area 51” event on Facebook, arbitrarily setting the date for September 20. After more than 2 million people RSVP’d (and the FBI showed up at his house to investigate), he tried to leverage his 15 minutes of internet fame. A gag about attacking a military facility in search of whatever the government might be hiding there rapidly snowballed into plans for a music-filled weekend of EDM DJs playing against a backdrop of alien imagery. Roberts spent the rest of the summer encouraging people to head out to Rachel, the town closest to Area 51, for live performances and a meeting of the meme minds. He called the event Alienstock.

Then drama ensued: Roberts bailed on his original plan less than two weeks ahead of time over “security concerns” due to the town’s lack of amenities. But the town of Rachel trudged forward with its own version of Alienstock — rechristened Alien-Stock, to avoid confusion and legal trouble — while Roberts converted his original vision into a more impersonal Thursday-night dance party in downtown Las Vegas. The jokes about finding aliens mostly manifested in overpriced alien T-shirts and some special-edition Bud Light, and little that spoke to the meme’s original spirit.

At one point, the Lincoln County sheriff’s department estimated that up to 30,000 people might travel to Rachel and Area 51 throughout the weekend; in the end, a spokesperson told Vox, about 6,000 people made it out. Visitors weren’t exactly met with open arms by Rachel’s 54 residents, who mostly wanted to be left alone. But to many who drove out in RVs and pitched tents, Alien-Stock was a successful experiment, a perfectly low-key way to send off the summer.

“Storm Area 51” weekend had neither raids nor aliens. But it wasn’t a bust. 100
Bud Light sponsored a separate Area 51 event in Vegas, which Matty Roberts hosted on Thursday, September 19. Thematically appropriate beer cans were for sale.

Ultimately, Alien-Stock came to function as so many spaces on the internet do, somewhere that people in a very narrow niche could convene and find community. To them, it didn’t matter if Alien-Stock was bereft of extraterrestrial life. Rachel, Nevada, would always be the place where a very particular combo of alien enthusiasts, anime fans, and meme lovers found each other.

Whether Alien-Stock was a success depends on whom you ask

The town of Rachel is one of the only stops on a 160-mile stretch of highway that has zero gas stations or rest stops. There are a few small homes and trailers, and a single prominent business, but for the most part, Rachel is a large swath of dirt, with a view of the Tikaboo Valley mountains in the distance. Alien-Stock hardly changed that scenery.

Entering Rachel at the start of Area 51 weekend, it was clear the event would not be a gigantic dance party in the desert.Scattered across the open expanse of fenced-in dust were people of all ages (mostly men, mostly white), many of whom had set up their own outdoor activities to keep themselves occupied.

Twenty-somethings threw hatchets at a haphazardly constructed wooden target. A group of friends played a game that resembled oversized beer pong, replacing the cups with garbage cans and the ping pong ball with a basketball. As for whether beer was involved, I didn’t notice any. But the beer of choice for the weekend, both at Roberts’s event in Vegas and at Alien-Stock in Rachel, was surely Bud Light’s limited-edition alien beer, first announced in July when the meme was at its height of popularity. It tasted exactly as I remember it tasting in college.

Attendees’ outfits ranged from simple alien-themed T-shirts, to full alien getups rendered in head-to-toe green spandex, to costumes from the anime series Naruto, which played a role in the original Storm Area 51 meme. Various groups of people clustered together under cover of some rare shade outside the Little A’Le’Inn, Rachel’s aforementioned single business and the named host of Alien-Stock. The only trees in Rachel, it seemed, surrounded this small hotel, owned by a woman named Connie West.

“Storm Area 51” weekend had neither raids nor aliens. But it wasn’t a bust. 101
Little A’Le’Inn owner Connie West found herself surrounded by reporters (including me, in plaid on the right) on Alien-Stock’s second full day.

No one considered this very DIY weekend a success more than West, who became the de facto organizer of Alien-Stock after Roberts changed his plans.

“I’m proud of me,” West told a small group of news outlets, including Vox on the second day of the event. “I’ve never been to a festival in my life, and hell, I pulled it off.”

West was painted as both a victim and a villain in the run-up to Alien-Stock. Originally pitched as a weekend-long series of live performances hosted by Roberts with West’s cooperation, Roberts ultimately blamed West for his decision to avoid Rachel altogether and host a Bud Light-sponsored party in Vegas that bore the Alienstock name.

“We started realizing a lot more red flags, money mismanagement, things like that,” Roberts told Vox of his first in-person planning meeting with West. “And from there me and my partners, we collectively decided to take the Alienstock brand and just associate it elsewhere, because there wasn’t enough preparations that had been made so far to actually throw a party in that 11-day timeframe that we had.”

Roberts said he feared that Rachel would be overwhelmed by people who wanted to see a meme come to life. Residents did too, urging West and Roberts to call it off. The town’s website, run by a local named Joerg Arnu, was updated frequently with blunt warnings about how Rachel wouldn’t be able to handle the crowds, how West had no infrastructure in place, and how visitors would be disturbing the peace.

“Storm Area 51” weekend had neither raids nor aliens. But it wasn’t a bust. 102
A note on the front page of Rachel, Nevada’s website, posted the first week of September.

Yet West insisted that the event would continue when asked by the Associated Press one week before Alien-Stock was scheduled to begin. “I’m still doing the festival with the ‘Alienstock’ name on it,” she said. “I’ll just worry about the legalities later.”

A cease-and-desist letter came soon thereafter, with Roberts demanding that West stop using the Alienstock name, and West pressing onward with the hyphenated Alien-Stock. (West also countered with a legal notice of her own, alleging that Roberts pulled out of the event unlawfully, though she later told media she had “nothing but love” for him.)

Perhaps that’s why it took multiple attempts to track her down during Alien-Stock weekend itself, as she apparently spent Friday driving circles around town in her beige Volkswagen Beetle. I saw this Beetle a handful of times throughout the weekend, always parked in different spots; I never did catch Connie at the wheel. “Where is Connie?” I asked an event volunteer.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I’ve been trying to get a hold of her for three months.” The volunteer said she worked for West at the Little A’Le’Inn, but as soon as the Storm Area 51 meme went viral and the idea for Alienstock materialized, West had become hard to reach — leaving Rachel and its residents in the dark about what to expect.

This apparent evasiveness played into my early impression — and Roberts’s — that the woman left with Alien-Stock in her lap was less beleaguered than conniving, skirting anyone wanting to discuss concerns that it would end up a chaotic bust. Thankfully, those concerns were not realized; things at Area 51 itself remained peaceful, and in Rachel, everyone seemed too exhausted by the heat or gently appreciative of the afternoon’s live music to be belligerent.

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The event stage for Alien-Stock 2019.

Not that there was much music anyway. On Friday afternoon, a band called Wily Savage played for a small crowd on what was otherwise a stage that held nothing but a turntable and laptop. An unnamed DJ played slightly dusty radio hits like Skrillex and Justin Bieber’s “What Do U Mean,” while a slight crowd stood and bopped their heads. Though 20 bands had reportedly signed on to perform, only one actually showed up.

The majority of the attendees seemed to be members of the press, which probably contributed to the lack of rowdiness. Vloggers from Peru and journalists from Germany were covering the event alongside US-based outlets like Vox, and our takeaways were similar. The lead-up to Alien-Stock was more interesting and eventful than Alien-Stock itself.

Alien-Stock was an expensive experiment that didn’t live up to the hype, but it wasn’t a total disaster

The weeks of broken partnerships, widespread skepticism that Alien-Stock would even happen, and low attendance didn’t faze the event’s organizer. To the Little A’Le’Inn’s Connie West, Alien-Stock was an unqualified success.

“It’s been a great learning experience,” West said when she finally spoke to a group of reporters on Saturday. “I’m grateful for the rollercoaster of emotions that I’ve gone through, because without them, we wouldn’t be standing here now.

“But what makes this special and a success is the smiles that people are leaving with the memories that they have and the friendships that they’ve made. That’s what matters.”

It’s hard to completely agree with that sentiment, however, when taking into account the amount of money that local law enforcement spent on Alien-Stock in anticipation of a much larger, more boisterous crowd. Lincoln County police officers and highway patrol seemed to outnumber actual attendees in the range of two-to-one, patrolling the perimeter of Rachel with little to do. Meanwhile, the police who manned the Area 51 gate 10 miles out from Rachel seemed even more bored, but they were as cordial as I’ve ever seen a cop be.

Which is good, certainly — no one got hurt at Alien-Stock, no property was damaged. But Sheriff Kerry Lee did tell Vox before the weekend that the estimated costs to Lincoln County, Nevada, could climb as high as $300,000.

“We’re looking at roughly, between fire, EMS, and law enforcement, probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 people working this event,” Lee told Vox the week before Alien-Stock, adding, “Just my small department alone, I’m looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 just in overtime costs. That’s not including the other law enforcement departments, another 100-plus officers that are coming in from the state on mutual aid.”

“When you add all those costs,” he continued, “I think the cost of just the feeding of those 300 first responders was somewhere in the excess of $150,000.”

Despite a smaller number of visitors than expected, “the costs stayed the same, as the officers were already in place even though the turnout was smaller than anticipated,” Lee told Vox afterward.

That’s not a small sum, and Rachel did not stand to make any of it back: Alien-Stock was a free event, and vendors who set up shop for the weekend hardly seemed to be moving their wares.

I saw people peruse tables where both visitors and locals were hawking $20 shirts that said “Storm Area 51” or “Alienstock” on them, but rarely pick them up. And that alien beer? The people selling it didn’t seem to charge less than $10 for a measly can they brought into town with them from Vegas.

“Storm Area 51” weekend had neither raids nor aliens. But it wasn’t a bust. 104
A truck selling shirts and water in Rachel.

But the low turnout and high costs to the county didn’t seem to phase West, who is already thinking about Alien-Stock 2020.

“My mom already told me I was [doing it again],” West said. It was a strange statement, one that drew laughs amid some skeptical eyebrow raising. West is no party planner, despite her pride in Alien-Stock and positive outlook. She seems like someone seeking approval and direction — not unlike many of the people who made it out to Rachel, wanting to have fun with a meme without much a game plan in mind.

So to West, the weekend was worth it. And compared to something like the 2017 debacle that was Fyre Festival, which imploded after social media influencers paid high prices to stay in ritzy, $12,000 tents that didn’t exist and listen to bands that never appeared, Alien-Stock was a relative success.

It did not live up to the surreal heights hinted at by millions of RSVPs to a joke event on a Facebook page devoted to memes. All the media attention throughout the summer failed to translate into equivalent real-life interest. But there was still fun to be had, whether it was basking in the desert’s solitude and warmth, or meeting friendly people who were wowed that any event came together based on nothing but a meme. And the meme itself remains a fond memory — no one can take away how much fun people had online with it, even if Alien-Stock itself wasn’t the phenomenon that Roberts predicted it would be.



Aliens & UFO's

The CIA has laid out all its information about UFO’s in the public domain

The CIA has laid out all its information about UFO's in the public domain 117

The Black Vault, which publishes declassified data, has posted on its website an impressive archive of CIA documents related to UFOs. The founder of the project, John Greenwald, says that he received all the documents by official means from the hands of the organization’s employees.

And suddenly, the CIA declassified its entire database of UFOs. That is, the secret service has documents from the 1980s and everything shows that conspiracy theories are becoming a reality. Already, the “Black Vault” website contains several relevant documents, which can be downloaded by anyone.

The term “Unidentified Flying Objects” is commonly used in the documents.
Some of these may be due to light reflections or errors in the pilot instruments. However, some are objects of inquiry by the Pentagon.

The CIA claims that they have nothing else, but it is not possible to verify this statement.

It was possible to obtain information thanks to the Law on Freedom of Information, and the process itself was launched at the turn of the 70-80s of last century. 

The representatives of the special services had to admit that the public ultimately has the right to find out the secrets of the government, but the process of transferring information is not really regulated. According to Greenwald, he spent 25 years in endless meetings, disputes and bickering with the CIA, until he finally got what he wanted.

But not everything is so simple – the researcher was handed a box with about 10,000 printed sheets of very low quality. He had to scan them manually, some things could not be disassembled at all, many documents were scattered. 

“Starting about 20 years ago, I struggled for years to get additional UFO records from the CIA,” Greenwald said in an email to Motherboard. “It was like pulling teeth! I went around with them to try and do it, finally achieving it. I received a large box with a couple of thousand pages, and I had to scan them one page at a time.”

The CIA used the rather outdated .tif format, so software processing is also difficult. Ufologists don’t have to talk about a gift, it’s more like trying to get rid of garbage in order to get rid of annoying researchers. 

“Researchers and curious minds alike prefer simplicity and accessibility when they look at such data dumps,” says Greenwald. “The CIA made it INCREDIBLY difficult to use its archives in a sensible way. They offer a very outdated format (multi-page .tif) and offer largely unusable text output, which I think they intend to use as a “search” tool. In my opinion, this outdated format makes it very difficult for people to view documents and use them for any research purposes.”

However, there are also enough mysterious stories there.

Thousands of files were uploaded in the first 24 hours after release, Greenwald said. Some documents are crisp and clear, while others are almost impossible to decipher.

According to Greenwald, one of the most interesting documents in this article relates to the fact that the Assistant Deputy Director of Science and Technology passed on some serious information about UFOs to the CIA back in the 1970s. After that, it became extremely difficult to obtain information from the government about extraterrestrial phenomena.

The release of the documents comes six months before the UFO report to be released by the US government. This means that the revelations are not made at this time randomly.

In particular, intelligence experts have 180 days to formulate an official report on signs or secret aircraft near US military bases, which will be released later.

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Greenwald posts the files in the Black Vault, as he claims that publishing the files is a matter of public interest and notes that citizens have a right to know.

“The public has a right to know!” Greenwald says. “When I started my research almost 25 years ago, at the age of 15, I knew there was something about this topic. Not from viral online pranks, not from secret meetings with insiders that no one has ever seen. No, this is all UFO evidence straight from the CIA and NSA. I feel like I’ve almost achieved what I set out to do – give people easy access to important material so that people can form their own opinion about what’s going on.”

The aliens are already among us.

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Aliens & UFO's

Trump-signed bill obliges US federal services to publish UFO contact data

Trump-signed bill obliges US federal services to publish UFO contact data 119

The incumbent president of the United States signed the government spending bill this Sunday. The bill signed by Trump, among other things, obliges the US federal services to publish data on contacts with UFOs. American magazine Newsweek told about it in its publication. This provision appears in the report of the Special Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Senator Mark Rubio. 

The document is an annex to the new Exploration Permit Act. It says that the US Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence and other officials must report on the facts of observation of aerial objects that could not be identified. They are also called “anomalous flying vehicles”. Of course, this is not only about “alien ships”.

Reports must be submitted no later than 180 days from the date of entry into force of the law. The special committee demands to include in them a detailed analysis of investigations of UFO “intrusions” into American airspace, which were conducted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The publication calls all these requirements a “request”, stating that they are not binding, since they have no legislative force.

If the executive branch fulfills this important request, the nation will finally have an objective basis for assessing the validity of this issue and its implications for national security.
– said the former director of human resources of the Senate Intelligence Committee Christopher Mellon.

The request from the special committee came after the appearance of the footage of flights of mysterious aerial objects, which were filmed by the pilots of the naval aviation in 2004 and 2015, published by the US Department of Defense.

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Aliens & UFO's

An Out Of This World Encounter: Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 spotted a giant UFO in the skies over Alaska

An Out Of This World Encounter: Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 spotted a giant UFO in the skies over Alaska 120

It was a normal flight. Well, not quite a routine…. It was Japan Air Lines special cargo flight 747 that carried a shipment of French wine from Paris to Tokyo. The flight plan was to include flight 1628 from Paris to Reykjavik, Iceland, via the North Atlantic and Greenland, then via Canada to Anchorage in Alaska, and finally across the Pacific Ocean to Tokyo. The crew included veteran captain Kenju Terauchi, co-pilot Takanori Tamefuji and flight engineer Yoshio Tsukuba.

On November 16, 1986, loaded with wine, JAL1628 took off from Paris and made the first leg of the journey to Reykjavik. The next day, they continued their flight over Greenland and then through northern Canada without any event.

An Out Of This World Encounter: Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 spotted a giant UFO in the skies over Alaska 121

Immediately after they crossed the Alaska border at 5:09 pm local time, Anchorage air traffic control contacted them by radio to report the first radar contact. The flight controller of Anchorage asked them to turn 15 degrees to the left and head towards a point known as Talkeetna on a course of 215 degrees. They were at an altitude of 35,000 feet and were traveling at about 600 miles per hour.

At about 5:11 pm local time, Captain Terauchi noticed the lights of some aircraft about 2,000 feet below and 30 degrees to their left. He figured it was probably an American jet fighter from nearby Eilson or Elmendorf airbases patrolling Alaska airspace, so he ignored them at first. However, after a few minutes, he noticed the lights were keeping up with his own aircraft, which would be unusual for patrol aircraft.

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It has been about seven minutes since we started paying attention to the lights (when), in the most unexpected way, two spaceships stopped in front of our face, “shooting” lights. The interior cabin shone brightly and I felt warmth in my face.

Terauchi said he had the impression that two objects he saw below them a few minutes ago suddenly jumped out of him. The ships, one above the other, kept pace with the Boeing 747 for several minutes, moving in unison with a strange sway. After about seven minutes, they switched to a side-by-side arrangement. 

Terauchi said the “amber-whitish” lights were like flames coming out of several rocket exhaust windows arranged in two rectangular rows on the ship. He felt they were firing in a specific sequence to stabilize the ship, much like the small, maneuverable engines on the space shuttle. He also reported seeing sparks similar to fire when using gasoline or coal fuel.

An Out Of This World Encounter: Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 spotted a giant UFO in the skies over Alaska 123

Co-pilot Tamefuji described the lights as “Christmas platter” with a “salmon” color. 

He said:

“I remember a red or orange and white landing light, as well as a landing light. And a faint green, ah, flashing.”

He also described the lights as slowly pulsing. They got stronger, weaker, stronger, weaker, different from strobe lights. 

The lights “swayed” in unison, as if two planes were standing side by side, “very good formation … close.” He described the appearance of the lights as similar to a “head-on night flight” vision, where only the lights of an approaching aircraft can be seen, but “we cannot see the general shape.”

He said:

“I’m sure I’ve seen something.” 

It was clear enough to make me believe that an airplane was coming.

Flight Engineer Tsukuba, seated behind the co-pilot, could not see the lights so clearly. He first saw them “through window L1 at 11 o’clock and saw “undulating clusters of lights.” 

These clusters were “made in two parts … in the form of airplane windows.” He stressed that “the lights in front of us were different from the city ones.” He described the colors as white or amber.

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Tamefuji decided to call Anchorage Air Traffic Control, and for the next thirty minutes the Boeing 747 and the AARTCC were in constant contact about UFOs.

At this time, Captain Terauchi asked Tskububa to hand him a camera so that he could try to photograph the lights. However, Terauchi was unfamiliar with the camera and could not get it to work. Tsukuba was also unable to get his camera to work due to autofocus issues and finally gave up trying to take a picture.

At this point, they began to experience some radio interference, and Anchorage asked them to change frequencies. Terauchi later said that Anchorage kept asking him about clouds in the immediate vicinity: they asked us several times if there were clouds at our height. We saw thin speckled clouds near the mountain below us, with no clouds in the air from mid to top, and the airflow was steady.

Shortly after talking about clouds, objects flew to the left. Terauchi later said:

“In the direction where the ships were leaving, there was a pale white flat light, they were moving with us in the same direction, at the same speed and at the same height as us.”

Terauchi decided to see if they were seeing anything on their own 747 radar:

I thought it would be impossible to find anything on the aircraft radar if the large ground radar showed nothing, but I estimated the distance to the object visually and it was not very far. I set the digital weather radar to 20 (nautical) miles, the angle of the radar to the horizon (i.e. no deflection angle). This was on the screen. A large green and circular object appeared 7 or 8 miles (13 to 15 km) in the direction the object was. 

We informed downtown Anchorage that our radar had caught an object within 7 or 8 miles at the 10 o’clock position. We asked them if they could catch it on ground radar, but it looks like they couldn’t catch it at all.

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At 5:25:45 am, after two minutes of searching, the military radar at the Regional Operations Center Elmendorf also picked up something. The ROCC radar controller reported back to AARTCC that it received some “pulse primary return”. By this he meant a random radar echo, not accompanied by a transponder signal.

When 747 approached Fairbanks:

The lights (of the city) were extremely bright for eyes accustomed to the dark (the cockpit lights were turned off to prevent internal light from reflecting in the windows.) We were just above the bright city lights and checked out the pale white light behind us. 

“Alas! There was a silhouette of a giant spaceship. We must run fast! Center of Anchorage. JAL1628 asks to change course 45 degrees to the right. It seemed like a long time before we got permission.”

Immediately after the plane turned right, AARTCC dispatcher called Fairbanks control radar to see if the short-range radar had a target near the JAL. Approach radar reported no targets other than JAL1628.

The aircraft exited the turn and flew towards Talkeetna at an altitude of 31,000 feet while the object continued to follow.

At approximately 5:40 am, a United Airlines passenger plane took off from Anchorage and headed north to Fairbanks. The AARTCC controller decided to ask the UA pilot to try to see the object that was following the JAL flight. The UA pilot said he would watch when he got closer. The controller requested that the JAL flight remain at 31,000 feet and the UA flight at 29,000 feet. He then ordered UA to make a few more turns so that the planes could fly within five miles of each other.

As the United Airlines plane approached, the UFO apparently fell behind, allowing the JAL plane to fly far ahead. The United pilot asked the AARTCC for the JAL pilot to turn on the headlights on the JAL plane so he could locate the plane. At 5:49:45 am, the JAL pilot did it. At this point, the planes were about 25 miles apart.

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When the planes were about 12 miles apart, UA reported seeing JAL and nothing else. But by this time the UFO appears to have disappeared, and JAL1628 did not notice it either.

At about 5:51 am, the AARTCC demanded that a TOTEM military aircraft in the area also fly towards the JAL aircraft to take a look. For the next few minutes, TOTEM watched the JAL plane, but saw no other vehicles. JAL1628 proceeded to Anchorage and landed at 18:20.

The FAA conducted an investigation into the incident and did not submit its final report until March 5.

CSICOP (Committee on Scientific Investigation of Allegations of the Paranormal) Phil Klass issued a premature statement on January 22nd claiming that UFOs were the planets of Jupiter. and Mars is an impossible solution because UFOs were seen in the opposite part of the sky to the positions of these planets, and because UFOs moved from positions on top of each other to stand side by side. 

CSICOP later published a second explanation that the UFO was light bouncing off clouds of ice crystals – also unlikely because the sky was clear at the UFO’s stated altitude. 

The US Federal Aviation Administration attributed the ground-based radar images as “split radar from a JAL Boeing 747”.

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