An unidentified flying object, or UFO, is in its strictest definition any apparent object in the sky that is not identifiable as a known object or phenomenon. However the term is widely used in popular culture to refer more specifically to supposed observations of craft of extraterrestrial origin.
Most UFOs are later identified as conventional objects or phenomena (e.g., aircraft, weather balloons, clouds). Some of them are not identified, either because of lack of evidence or because no conventional explanation can be found despite extensive evidence. Some people consider the latter cases as possible observations of extraterrestrial space craft.
UFO sightings have been reported throughout recorded history and in various parts of the world, raising questions about life on other planets and whether extraterrestrials have visited Earth. They became a major subject of interest–and the inspiration behind numerous films and books – following the development of rocketry after World War II.
Questions Remain Though
Why should ETs come here to Earth? Assuming they master interstellar traveling, what was the reason for them to – out of a sheer uncountable number of possibly inhabitable planets out there – land here on Earth?
Aren’t we as a human species taking ourselves just a bit too important? And what kind of aliens would come? Learn more about Aliens right here.
The Origin of UFOs
Was it possible that the so-called UFOs were not from somewhere far away but rather from within the multiverse, from a parallel universe (a hypothetical self-contained reality co-existing with one’s own) or even a matrix-style world? ETs and their UFOs might not be from too far away after all. Perhaps a portal between dimensions (let’s just call it like that) was discovered or we perceive phenomena from within the quantum foam or simply make something out of the akashic records?
Every major trope of the modern UFO mythos can be traced to previous media images and themes. The three major types of aliens of UFO literature – Nordics, grays, and reptilians – can all be traced to media prototypes, as can tales of alien abductions, alien implants, and the imagery of flying saucers. The chief media sources of these tropes are movies, television, pulp magazines, and comic strips. But earlier literature and even ancient myths were also precursors of the modern UFO myths. That this new mythology came into being in the 20th century reflects the greater emotional and visceral impact of film and television compared to that of the written word.
“Evolution has ensured that our brains just aren’t equipped to visualise 11 dimensions directly. However, from a purely mathematical point of view it’s just as easy to think in 11 dimensions, as it is to think in three or four.”
– Stephen Hawking
Don’t You Get Fooled
One of the most elaborate UFO pranks ever staged was on April Fools’ Day in 1989 over London. Virgin, the famous venture capitalist conglomerate, is known for its April foolery, and the mastermind behind their pranks is Virgin’s founder Sir Richard Branson. The mission to fly a UFO over London began as a top secret project code named “Project Wedgewood.” Cameron Balloons Limited in the town of Bristol, a bit less than 2 hours from London by car, was commissioned to build a massive UFO hot air balloon fully kitted out with strobe lights.
As to what happened next, Branson detailed the execution of the prank in a blog on World UFO Day (July 2) in 2013. Branson says they took off in the balloon at approximately 4 am, the strobe lights blinking every 10 seconds. By the time the first light of dusk could be seen they had reached a major motorway leading into London. Branson writes, “We could see every single vehicle grinding to a halt and hundreds of people looking up at the UFO flying over them.”
Newspapers said that Branson and his UFO were blown off target. The plan was to land in London’s Hyde Park, instead Branson had to set the UFO down in Surrey Field. Branson says they hadn’t realized the extent of the commotion their stunt was creating while they were in the air. The police and army had been alerted to their presence, and radio and TV stations were reporting the UFO over London.
When the balloon set down Branson says they were surrounded by police. The police appeared a bit hesitant to approach the strange aircraft. Branson says they “sent one lone policeman with his truncheon across the field to greet the alien.” He continued, “The UFO’s door opened very slowly, with tonnes of dry ice billowing from it. A dwarf that we had carried on board, dressed in an ET outfit, walked down the platform towards the bobby. He promptly turned and ran in the opposite direction!”
Sir Branson of course thought this prank was pretty funny, but the police were not amused, at least not at first. Branson says, “The police initially didn’t see the funny side of it and threatened to arrest us for wasting their time. But they soon joined in the general merriment of it.” Branson says, “Every April Fools Day we love to come up with a major fun prank that pulls peoples legs and makes them smile.”
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