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Monday, December 10, 2007

Heads or Tails Tuesday

This week's Heads or Tails Tuesday is pretty flexible, with a choice of Heads or Tails. I've opted for Heads, which is 'anything in the sky or space'. I bet those of you who know me well, will know what I'll be writing about. Yes, that's right. Those pesky UFOs.

I've been intrigued by the UFO phenomenon since I was 12, when I saw a bizarre, glowing object in the sky, over some power lines behind my childhood home. What it was - I have no idea. But it was weird. It wasn't the moon, it was large, orange and kind of pear-shaped, with some sort of structure behind it. It also wobbled, at which point, I hid beneath the bedclothes until daylight. Yes, I was a brave child.

To me, a UFO is exactly what it says it is - an unidentified flying object. It doesn't make it a flying saucer full of space brothers from the Pleiades, coming to save us silly humans from ourselves. It's just an unknown, flitting around the skies. Most reported UFOs are usually identifiable, when a little research is done after the fact. The usual suspects include astronomical or atmospheric phenomena, space junk, conventional aircraft, birds, dirigibles, kites, and (I hate to say it) sometimes, even weather balloons (you need to know the Roswell case to understand that little quip).

But sometimes, something comes along which is a little difficult to explain in conventional terms. An anomalous object will be sighted by numerous reliable witnesses, it may be tracked on radar, it might land and leave ground traces, and it might be seen performing bizarre aerial maneouvres well beyond the capabilities of known earthly craft.

Take, for example, the 1976 Tehran UFO incident. Frightened citizens reported a peculiar aerial object flying in the vicinity of Tehran. The Iranian air force was scrambled to intercept the craft. A pilot who tried to fire a sidewinder missile at the intruder, found his weapons systems jammed. When other pilots approached it, all the electronic instruments on their planes failed. All they were left with, were the means with which to safely fly their planes. As soon as they turned tail and headed away from the strange craft, their electronics were restored.

The UFO covered huge distances in mere seconds. No plane could keep up with it. When the craft flew over the control tower at a civilian airport, it knocked out all their communications, too. The object also showed up on radar, indicating a mass comparable to that of a Boeing 747. It is believed to have pursued one terrified pilot all the way back to his base. The object - or a smaller one which shot out of it - was seen to land in the Iranian desert. An Egyptian Air Force pilot reported seeing it over the Mediterranean shortly afterwards. The pilot, crew, and passengers of a KLM Airlines flight over Lisbon, Portugal, reported seeing it speeding away over the Atlantic Ocean.

Cases like this intrigue me. They don't involve tired drivers who have been driving for hours on desolate roads, who might mistake a known object for an unknown. Nor do they involve the mere sighting of amorphous lights in the sky at night, which, quite frankly, can be anything from Chinese lanterns to meteors. Numerous witnesses were involved in the Tehran incident, military as well as civilian. They included ordinary citizens on the ground, airline passengers and crew members, both military and civilian pilots, military and civilian ground crews at airports, as well as radar operators. A famous UFO debunker, Philip J. Klass, tried to dismiss the whole incident as a mass misinterpretation of the planet Jupiter. I might believe him, the day Jupiter starts flying around the sky, knocking out aircraft electronics, jamming weapons systems, showing up on radar, chasing military aircraft and landing in the Iranian desert.

None of the above facts make the Tehran UFO an alien spacecraft. But it sure as hell wasn't Jupiter either. And consider this: our solar system alone has at least 200 billion stars, many of which will be surrounded by planets. We know comparatively little about our own solar system, yet alone the billions of others in the universe. Surely it is arrogant and foolish of us to assume that humans are the only sentient beings in the whole of the universe? To me, that's the human ego on overdrive. Common sense tells me there has to be life out there somewhere. I'm not especially convinced that UFOs are alien spacecraft. But in the absence of any other explanation for such events as the 1976 Tehran UFO incident, I guess it's as good an explanation as any, and a whole lot less nonsensical than suggesting that Venus chases fighter planes.

Anyway, that's my Heads or Tails for this week. I hope you don't think I'm some kind of saucer-nut after reading it! Have a great week, and remember - if it looks like an alien spacecraft and acts like an alien spacecraft - it's probably just a weather balloon or Jupiter on a joyride :).


. . . Dallas Meow . . . . >^^< . . . said...

most interesting.
I'd never heard any of that.

Where was I in 1976?

secret agent mama said...

I think you are even cooler after reading that, not a saucer nut at all. But, we are big UFO/extra terrestrial buffs ourselves!


jenn said...

wow, that was pretty interesting stuff. I don't think you're a nut, just interesting.
Have a great Tuesday!

Andrée said...

Carl Sagan (I hope) said that if we were alone in the universe it would be highly improbably. I just wrote an awful sentence, but that sums up what he said. I hadn't heard of the Iran incident. Creepy huh.

Natalie said...

Interesting stuff!

My Heads or Tails is up too! :)

smarmoofus said...

Well-written and logical statement of my view of UFOs. Nicely done.

I saw something when I was about 14/15 year old. It struck me as unique enough that I immediately went to my room and sketched a picture of it. The next day in the paper, there was a huge article about how hundreds of people had called in reports of something in the sky the previous evening and the military was denying any involvement. The article did not offer an explanation. However, I was in San Antonio at the time, and there are about 5 different military bases there. That UFO was probably something classified that the government was up to (and lying about!).

Anyway, very interesting post. Mine is up here.

Hootin' Anni said...

I believe!! I do believe!!!!

There's Beam me Up Scotty.
E. T phone home...
Area 51

you name it. Besides, I am almost 99 per cent sure I was witness to one back in the 60's outside our mountain home. A red light in the sky....just hovering for a LONG time...then, it zipped outta sight!!!

Dragonstar said...

Lovely to read such clarity on the subject.
Oh, I love the idea of Jupiter on a joy-ride!

Bloggers said...

i have always been facsinated with ufos and such,

my heads or tails is up

Anna said...

Jupiter on a joyride. I like that.

I had never heard any of this, but it really does make you wonder what in the world that was.

Misty Dawn said...

My grandma and aunt used to tell me the story about when they saw a UFO. They jumped in the car and followed it! Then, they said, it just kind of disappeared.

Rambler said...

for as much as I can remember about my childhood UFO's have intrigued me :)

poor man's nicole richie said...

a little bit different from the usual but still sane. interesting. thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Skittles said...

If you're a saucer nut, then I am, too. It is almost ignorant to think we are the only species in this big universe (and/or others).

I suspect it wasn't Jupiter.. lOL!

Hey it's Amy Shipp said...

I always enjoy hearing diferent perspectives on UFO's. Very nicely done :)
No, you don't seem "nutty"
<3, Amy in AZ

Vixen said...

I actually saw a UFO when I was a child. At the time, I didn't totally understand. But I was surrounded by adults (who lived on our street) and to this day we cannot explain it. My dad is a bit of a space travel afficianado and he still has not been able to research an answer.

Great post!

Heart of Rachel said...

This is really interesting. I do not disregard the possibility of other life forces in other planets. The solar system is too vast and we have yet to discover many parts of space.

Jupiter on a joyride ... that's cute.