Sunday, February 24, 2008

UFOs: Is Seeing Believing?

Flying Saucer

     For beings who may or may not have visited Earth, aliens sure have spent a lot of time in the public eye.

The British Ministry of Defense revealed this month that the number of reported UFO sightings there rose to 135 last year from 97 in 2006.

Details of reported sightings were released for the first time in 2007, including an archive dating back to 1998. Sightings were of shapes, lights and formations, according to British press reports.

There hasn't been a similar increase in the United States, but last month, reports of a UFO sighting by more than 30 residents of Stephenville, Texas, made national news. People, including a police officer, local news reporter and pilot said they saw a large, silent object with bright lights flying low and fast.

Ted Loder, a former University of New Hampshire oceanography professor, is a researcher with the Disclosure Project, which works to expose evidence of extraterrestrial life. He lives at the end of a dirt road in Barrington, surrounded by woods where he says he has a clear view of the stars from the balcony.

His bookshelves are stacked with hundreds of UFO books. By a window, a small object bearing prisms slowly rotates, sending morning rainbows fluttering around the room's exposed-beam ceiling.

The Disclosure Project is a nonprofit research organization seeking to disseminate declassified government documents on extraterrestrials and provide witness testimony about UFOs. Loder said the knowledge that UFOs are real and visiting Earth first was established after World War II with the aerial phenomena classified as "foo fighters," along with the alleged spacecraft crash near Roswell, N.M.

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