- The extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) is defined by Edward U. Condon in the 1968 Condon Report as "The idea that some UFOs may be spacecraft sent to Earth from another civilization (Dell XPS M1210 Battery) http://www.hdd-shop.co.uk ,
- or on a planet associated with a more distant star", further attributing the popularity of the idea to Donald Keyhoe's UFO book from 1950, though the idea clearly predated Keyhoe, appearing in newspapers and various government documents (see immediately below) (Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery) .
- This is probably the most popular theory among Ufologists. Some private or governmental studies, some secret, have concluded in favor of the ETH, or have had members who disagreed with official conclusions against the conclusion by committees and agencies to which they belonged (Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery) .
- The UFO Hostility Hypothesis is inside the extraterrestrial hypothesis. It says that the extraterrestrial beings that travel in the UFOs, or most of them, are hostile. The hypothesis comes because of the Cattle Mutilations and the observations made by Wilhelm Reich amd Jerome Eden during their experiments with the Cloudbuster (Dell Vostro 1710 Battery) .
- The interdimensional hypothesis (IDH or IH) says that UFOs are objects crossing over from other dimensions or parallel universe, popularly proposed by Jacques Vallée,though also predating him (Sony VGP-BPS13 battery) .
- The paranormal/occult hypothesis is a variant of the interdimensional hypothesis, invoked to explain so-called paranormal aspects sometimes associated with UFO reports (Sony VGP-BPS13/B battery) .
- The psychosocial hypothesis, that what people report as UFO experiences is the result of psychological misperception mechanisms and is strongly influenced by popular culture (Sony VGP-BPS13/S battery) .
- That UFOs represent poorly understood or still unknown natural phenomena, such as ball lightning or sprites.
- The earthquake lights/tectonic strain hypothesis: UFOs are caused by strains in Earth's crust near earthquake faults, which can also supposedly induce hallucinations (Sony VGP-BPS13A/B battery) .
- That UFOs are military flying saucers, top secret or experimental aircraft unfamiliar to most people.
Besides anecdotal visual sightings, reports sometimes include claims of other kinds of evidence, including cases studied by the military and various government agencies of different countries (such asProject Blue Book, the Condon Committee, the French GEPAN/SEPRA, and Uruguay's current Air Force study) (Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery) .
A comprehensive scientific review of cases where physical evidence was available was carried out by the 1998 Sturrock UFO panel, with specific examples of many of the categories listed below (Sony VGP-BPL9 battery) .
- Radar contact and tracking, sometimes from multiple sites. These have included military personnel and control tower operators, simultaneous visual sightings, and aircraft intercepts. One such recent example were the mass sightings of large, silent (Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery) .
- low-flying black triangles in 1989 and 1990 over Belgium, tracked by NATO radar and jet interceptors, and investigated by Belgium's military (included photographic evidence). Another famous case from 1986 was the JAL 1628 case over Alaska investigated by the FAA (Sony VGP-BPL11 battery) .
- Photographic evidence, including still photos, movie film, and video.
- Claims of physical trace of landing UFOs, including ground impressions, burned and/or desiccated soil, burned and broken foliage, magnetic anomalies , increased radiation levels, and metallic traces. See, e. g. Height 611 UFO Incident or the 1964 Lonnie Zamora's Socorro, New Mexico encounter of the USAF Project Blue Book cases) (Sony VGP-BPL15 battery) .
- A well-known example from December 1980 was the USAF Rendlesham Forest Incident in England. Another occurred in January 1981 in Trans-en-Provence and was investigated by GEPAN, then France's official government UFO-investigation agency (Dell Inspiron E1505 battery) .
- Project Blue Book head Edward J. Ruppelt described a classic 1952 CE2 case involving a patch of charred grass roots.
- Physiological effects on people and animals including temporary paralysis, skin burns and rashes, corneal burns, and symptoms superficially resembling radiation poisoning, such as the Cash-Landrum incident in 1980 (Dell Latitude E6400 battery) .
- Animal/cattle mutilation cases, that some feel are also part of the UFO phenomenon.
- Biological effects on plants such as increased or decreased growth, germination effects on seeds, and blown-out stem nodes (usually associated with physical trace cases or crop circles (HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery) )
- Electromagnetic interference (EM) effects. A famous 1976 military case over Tehran, recorded in CIA and DIA classified documents, was associated with communication losses in multiple aircraft and weapons system failure in an F-4 Phantom II jet interceptor as it was about to fire a missile on one of the UFOs (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery) .
- Apparent remote radiation detection, some noted in FBI and CIA documents occurring over government nuclear installations at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1950, also reported by Project Blue Book director Ed Ruppelt in his book (Sony VGN-FZ31S battery) .
- Claimed artifacts of UFOs themselves, such as 1957, Ubatuba, Brazil, magnesium fragments analyzed by the Brazilian government and in the Condon Report and by others. The 1964 Socorro/Lonnie Zamora incident also left metal traces, analyzed by NASA (Hp pavilion dv6000 battery) .
- A more recent example involves "the Bob White object" a tear drop shaped object recovered by Bob White and was featured in the TV show UFO Hunters.
- Angel hair and angel grass, possibly explained in some cases as nests from ballooning spiders or chaff (SONY VGN-FZ38M Battery) .
Attempts have been made to reverse engineer the possible physics behind UFOs through analysis of both eyewitness reports and the physical evidence, on the assumption that they are powered vehicles. Examples are former NASA and nuclear engineer James McCampbell in his book Ufology (SONY VGN-FZ31z Battery) ,
NACA/NASA engineer Paul R. Hill in his book Unconventional Flying Objects, and German rocketry pioneer Hermann Oberth. Among subjects tackled by McCampbell, Hill, and Oberth was the question of how UFOs can fly at supersonic speeds without creating a sonic boom (Sony VGN-FZ31Z Battery) .
McCampbell's proposed solution is microwave plasma parting the air in front of the craft. In contrast, Hill and Oberth believed UFOs utilize an as yet unknown anti-gravity field to accomplish the same thing as well as provide propulsion and protection of occupants from the effects of high acceleration (SONY VGN-FZ31E Battery) .
Ufology is a neologism describing the collective efforts of those who study UFO reports and associated evidence.
Some ufologists recommend that observations be classified according to the features of the phenomenon or object that are reported or recorded. Typical categories include (SONY VGN-FZ31J Battery) :
- Saucer, toy-top, or disk-shaped "craft" without visible or audible propulsion. (day and night)
- Large triangular "craft" or triangular light pattern, usually reported at night.
- Cigar-shaped "craft" with lighted windows (Meteor fireballs are sometimes reported this way, but are very different phenomena) (SONY VGN-FZ31M Battery) .
- Other: chevrons, (equilateral) triangles, crescent, boomerangs, spheres (usually reported to be shining, glowing at night), domes, diamonds, shapeless black masses, eggs, pyramids and cylinders, classic "lights" (SONY VGN-FZ31B Battery) .
Popular UFO classification systems include the Hynek system, created by J. Allen Hynek, and the Vallée system, created by Jacques Vallée.
Hynek's system involves dividing the sighted object by appearance, subdivided further into the type of "close encounter" (a term from which the film director Steven Spielberg derived the title of his UFO movie, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind") (SONY VGP-BPS13 Battery) .
Jacques Vallée's system classifies UFOs into five broad types, each with from three to five subtypes that vary according to type.
An influential scientifically skeptical group that has for many years offered critical analysis of UFO claims is the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) (Dell Inspiron 1320 Battery) .
UFOs are sometimes an element of elaborate conspiracy theories in which governments are said to be intentionally covering up the existence of aliens, or sometimes collaborating with them. There are many versions of this story; some are exclusive, while others overlap with various other conspiracy theories (Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery) .
In the U.S., an opinion poll conducted in 1997 suggested that 80?% of Americans believed the U.S. government was withholding such information. Various notables have also expressed such views (Dell Inspiron 1564 Battery) .
Some examples are astronauts Gordon Cooper and Edgar Mitchell, Senator Barry Goldwater, Vice Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter (the first CIA director), Lord Hill-Norton (former British Chief of Defense Staff and NATO head), the 1999 high-level French COMETA report by various French generals and aerospace experts (Dell Inspiron 1764 Battery) ,
and Yves Sillard (former director of the French space agency CNES, new director of French UFO research organization GEIPAN).
It has also been suggested by a few paranormal authors that all or most human technology and culture is based on extraterrestrial contact. See also ancient astronauts (Dell Studio 1450 Battery) .
Allegations of evidence suppression
There have been allegations of suppression of UFO related evidence for many decades. There are also conspiracy theories that claim that physical evidence might have been removed and/or destroyed/suppressed by some governments. (See also Disclosure Project, Men in Black, Brookings Report (Dell Studio 1457 Battery) .
- The Maury Island incident
- The Ummo affair, a decades-long series of detailed letters and documents allegedly from extraterrestrials. The total length of the documents is at least 1000 pages, and some estimate that further undiscovered documents may total nearly 4000 pages (Dell Latitude D610 Battery) .
- A José Luis Jordan Pena came forward in the early nineties claiming responsibility for the phenomenon, and most consider there to be little reason to challenge his claims.
- George Adamski over the space of two decades made various claims about his meetings with telepathic aliens from nearby planets (Toshiba NB100 Battery) .
- He claimed that photographs of the far side of the moon taken by a Soviet orbital probe in 1959 were fake, and that there were cities, trees and snow-capped mountains on the far side of the moon. Among copycats was a shadowy British figure named Cedric Allingham (Toshiba Satellite M65 battery) .
- In 1987/88, Ed Walters allegedly perpetrated a hoax in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Walters claimed at first having seen a small UFO flying near his home, and then in a second incident seeing the same UFO and a small alien being standing by his back door after being alerted by his dog (Toshiba Satellite M60 battery) .
- Several photographs were taken of the craft, but none of the being. Three years later, in 1990, after the Walters family had moved, the new residents discovered a model of a UFO poorly hidden in the attic that bore an undeniable resemblance to the craft in Walters' photographs (Dell Latitude D830 Battery) .
- Various witnesses and detractors came forward after the local Pensacola newspaper printed a story about the discovered model, and some investigators now consider the sightings to be a hoax. In addition, a six-figure television miniseries and book deal were nearly struck with Walters (Dell Latitude D620 Battery) .
- Warren William "Billy" Smith is a popular writer and confessed hoaxster.
A Ufologist who disagrees that the Ed Walters Gulf Breeze photos are hoaxes is naval optical physicist Bruce Maccabee. He investigated the incident, analyzed the various photos and deemed them authentic. Maccabee claimed he himself was among independent witnesses of some of the Gulf Breeze sightings (Dell Studio 1735 Battery) .
In popular culture
UFOs constitute a widespread international cultural phenomenon of the last 60 years. Gallup polls rank UFOs near the top of lists for subjects of widespread recognition (Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Battery) .
In 1973, a survey found that 95 percent of the public reported having heard of UFOs, whereas only 92 percent had heard of U.S. President Gerald Ford in a 1977 poll taken just nine months after he left the White House. A 1996Gallup poll reported that 71 percent of the United States population believed that the government was covering up information regarding UFOs (Sony VGN-FW11S Battery) .
A 2002 Roper poll for the Sci Fi Channel found similar results, but with more people believing that UFOs are extraterrestrial craft. In that latest poll, 56 percent thought UFOs were real craft and 48 percent that aliens had visited the Earth. Again, about 70 percent felt the government was not sharing everything it knew about UFOs or extraterrestrial life (Sony VGN-FW11M Battery) .
Another effect of the flying saucer type of UFO sightings has been Earth-made flying saucer craft in space fiction, for example the Earth spacecraft Starship C-57D in Forbidden Planet, the Jupiter Two in Lost in Space, and the saucer section of the USS Enterprisein Star Trek, and many others (Sony VGN-FW139E/H battery) .
For an excellent analysis of the interrelationship between popular culture and UFOs consult the research by psychologist Armando Simon, especially his contribution in Richard Haines' book,UFO Phenomena and the Behavioral Scientist (Dell Latitude E5400 Battery)(Dell Latitude E4200 Battery).