Monday, September 05, 2005

Pilot Regrets Recounting UFO Event To Reporter

UFO Off Wing
You can make your own UFO

By Kathy Antoniotti
The Akron Beacon Journal

      In a moment of weakness, my friend Ron confided that years ago, he had spotted a UFO while he was flying an airplane. He regretted the admission the very second it came out of his mouth — and with good reason.

     The pilot suddenly became the focus of teasing by the skeptics at the gathering. But he never wavered from his story that he and the man sitting with him in the cockpit of the plane saw a disc-shaped orb outside the window that matched his speed for a few moments before racing away into the night sky.

     Now, Ron may be a nut, but he isn't a kook, and I believed his story — mainly because he believed it. However, he did realize it was a mistake to tell his tale in front of me.

     ''Now, I'll probably read about it in the paper,'' he said with remorse.

     Sure enough, it just so happens that I received a book with instructions to make UFOs in the mail that very week. I took the incident as a sign I should indeed write about Ron's UFO encounter.

     UFO is an acronym for the term ''unidentified flying object'' and describes an object or light that defies explanation. People have reported seeing strange crafts that can hover at a standstill, take off at incredible speeds and quickly change direction. They generally believe they are seeing visiting spaceships from other planets.

     Usually, investigators find there are ordinary explanations for the sightings. People have reported lots of things as UFOs, including missiles, birds, swarms of insects and weather balloons. Actually, investigators can explain all but a small number of UFO reports and most scientists don't think there is enough evidence to support the belief that these sightings are really objects from a distant place.

     In 1952, Project Blue Book was launched by the U.S. Air Force to determine whether any of the 12,000 UFO reports were a threat to national security. From 1966 to 1968, independent studies by scientists at the University of Colorado determined that there was no credible information to indicate the reports were true. Project Blue Book ended in 1969.

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