UFOs have been defined for years as aerial phenomena that can neither be identified nor conventionally explained using the criteria we have for known phenomena. But there is a growing population of people who – since the 1960s have come under the strong belief that these craft are not as unidentified as the powers that be may have us believe. After decades of research into the matter, in fact, there is an overwhelming number who believe these craft have a single source – one from an entirely alien world. But why are these terms used so interchangeably when they mean entirely different things?
The term UFO simply describes an aerial object that can be seen or otherwise detected, but has not been categorized in a way that we can relate to. Identified phenomena, as everyone would be able to guess, include airplanes and weather balloons. There are very few who are attempting to say these are actually extraterrestrial or otherworldly in origin. But there are other phenomena which may fit perfectly within the realm of Newtonian physics without accepting the possibility of extraterrestrials that still remain unidentified. One such phenomenon commonly suggested to exist is ball lightning. Contrary to popular belief, despite the fact that it is used as a sort of catch-all for skeptics, ball lightning hasn’t exactly been proven by meteorologists. In fact, it has only been photographed a handful of times – and more than a few of those were originally suggested as “UFO sightings.” Indeed the sightings were of UFOs, but only a few within the UFO research field even approached the subject that they may actually be extraterrestrial spacecraft.
Then there are flying saucers. Flying saucers are different because they suggest a device of intelligent design that is used either as a means of transportation for beings from another planet. There is also a group who believe that flying saucers have a more earthly governmental origin, and are not actually from space at all! In fact, as we look into the phenomena more, very few of the UFO sightings commonly reported actually fit the definition of a roughly saucer-shaped craft that appears to be inhabited. More often they are seen as lights or mostly transparent objects that simply ripple through the sky often emitting an eerie light.
So why would we spend time to define the two? Unfortunately, because the UFO field has a large portion of it dedicated to folklore more than history, this means the actual definitions often get confused. Granted there are several former scientists intending to make use of their discipline learned in their respective fields and attempting to apply the same rigorous standards to this new model. But even if they are in the minority, they are the scientists most likely to make headlines. Unfortunately, the UFO phenomenon itself is a very important subject that seems to challenge everything we know and care about the universe – and as a result polarizes the researchers into forming their opinions quickly with or without the necessary evidence. And this translates well into each new case. The filter is removed. Skeptics, by the end of it, begin looking at every new case as a likely hoax while believers end up accepting more than their fair share of obvious hoaxes. And it doesn’t help that the hoaxing of UFOs is generally both profitable and easier than we might think.