Unidentified Flying Objects
UFO stands for unidentified flying object. A UFO is an object that is sighted in the sky that appears to be abnormal, unusual and cannot be identified as a recognizable object by the observer.
A UFO can be anything that is readily unidentifiable. UFOs are objects that tend to have characteristic and qualities that are unfamiliar and remarkable. They may come in unusual shapes and possess incredible speed, bright light and are able move with agility. Many objects reported as UFOs in the first instance turn out to be identifiable objects, but there are reported sightings of UFOs that are indeed objects that cannot be identified.
The actual term ‘UFO’ is quite new and was first used in 1952 to describe these objects sighted in the sky. Often they have been termed ‘flying saucers’ or ‘flying disks’, due to the appearance of some sighted UFOS, and alien spacecraft, because of their qualities that make them appear not to be from Earth. Back in the late 19th century and early 20th century sightings of UFOs were reported as ‘mystery airships’, and during World War II the term ‘foo fighters’ was used to describe UFOs by American fighter pilots.
Each year, there are many UFO sightings. The first most publicized sighting of a UFO happened in the United States in 1947 and was reported by Kenneth Arnold, a private pilot. In fact, it was from this incident that the terms ‘flying saucer’ came to the fore to describe UFOs. Many of reported UFO sightings turned out to be mistaken and they turn out to be a man-made object or a natural phenomenon. They turn out to be aircraft, balloons, and different types of clouds, light phenomena like mirages, meteors, comets and planets viewed from afar in the sky. Some UFO sightings can also be the result of hoaxes.
However, there are a small yet still significant number of UFO sightings that have not been explained, and are indeed reports of Unidentified Flying Objects. There at about 5 to 20 per cent of sightings reported that are yet unexplained. Many reports of sightings are from trained observers including pilots and military personnel. The number of UFO sightings has reportedly been on the ride during recent years, with about 500 sightings being reported each month.
UFOs are generally believed to be objects that are extra-terrestrial in origin. In other words, UFOs are said to be alien spacecraft. This is because the objects that are sighted as UFOs display unconventional technological characteristics, including the object’s flying qualities and appearance, which neither belongs to a natural phenomenon or human invention. For this reason it is believed that UFOs are not objects from Earth, but rather, from outer space.
Apart from the extra-terrestrial hypothesis on UFOs, there have been other hypotheses including the inter-dimensional hypothesis which claims that UFOs are objects that have crossed over from other dimensions or a parallel universe. There is also the psychosocial hypothesis which accounts for UFO sightings as the result of misinterpretation due to popular culture influences. Another hypothesis is that UFOs are advanced or experimental military aircraft that possess the unique characteristics ascribed to such sightings.