Although the modern UFO era dates from Kenneth Arnold’s 1947 sighting inward Washington State, the foremost mass sighting of UFOs inward the U.S. took house betwixt Nov 1896 together with May 1897.
Described every bit “airships” past times the people who witnessed them, these early UFOs were commonly characterized every bit soundless alongside white together with colored lights, and, similar modern UFOs, were said sometimes to Earth and, rarely, to acquit occupants. Unlike twentieth-century UFOs, however, the occupants of nineteenth-century airships were, alongside really few exceptions, described every bit human.
While approximately theories of the fourth dimension speculated that the airships were Martian inward origin, inward full general the populace believed that they were invented together with operated past times humans, despite the fact that the modern dirigible was non developed until several years later.
There was no sense that the regime had whatever additional information nearly the phenomenon or that facts were beingness withheld from the public—the thought that at that topographic point is a regime conspiracy to enshroud the truth nearly UFOs did non emerge until the twentieth century.
During World War II anomalous lights together with aircraft sighted past times armed services pilots every bit early every bit 1941 came to live known every bit “foo fighters.” The Allies speculated at the fourth dimension that they were of High German or Japanese origin, together with after discovered that High German together with Japanese pilots had reported the same phenomena together with had assumed they were Allied craft. In 1946–1948 sightings of what were called “ghost rockets” began inward Sweden.
These “rockets” were said to crash on Earth together with water, together with the U.S. together with Swedish governments erroneously believed that the Soviets were firing V-2 rockets taken from the Germans during the war. The “foo fighters” together with “ghost rockets” have got never been fully explained to the satisfaction of approximately UFO believers, but the solely conspiracies they suggested were those of enemy countries.
Conspiracy theories nearly UFOs were born inward the twentieth century, but were non a component subdivision of the argument surrounding the adjacent appearance of spacecraft on 24 June 1947. Kenneth Arnold, a Boise, Idaho, homo of affairs together with private pilot, saw nine brilliant objects traveling at a speed he estimated at 1,700 miles per hr inward the expanse of Mount Rainier, Washington.
The term “flying saucer” was non used past times Arnold to pull what he saw; rather, it was created past times a paper author who adapted it from Arnold’s description of the crafts’ movements every bit resembling “a saucer skipping over water.” The persuasion of both Arnold together with the press was that he had seen guided missiles, together with at that topographic point was no hint of a governmental elbow grease to deceive the public.
On 8 July 1947, the Roswell, New Mexico, paper the Roswell Daily Record carried the headline “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch inward Roswell Region,” but the air forcefulness speedily denied the claim together with insisted on nine July that what had been found was “the crushed remains of a ray air current target used to create upwardly one's hear the direction together with velocity of winds at a high altitude.”
The “Roswell Incident,” every bit it became known when the floor reemerged every bit a conspiracy narrative inward the piece of cake 1970s, after included the supposition that the air forcefulness had captured the remnants of alien spacecraft together with alien bodies, but at the fourth dimension it received lilliputian publicity after the air force’s denial. An August 1947 Gallup Poll revealed that spell ninety per centum of the American populace was familiar alongside “flying saucers,” most people believed that they were inward actuality surreptitious weapons or hoaxes.
In Dec 1947 the U.S. Air Force began its foremost formal question into UFOs. Called Project Sign, it was located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, thence known every bit Wright Field, together with had every bit its scientific consultant Dr. J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer from Ohio State University who headed the McMillan Observatory.
Hynek, who was early a skeptic, after became an advocate of the extraterrestrial theory of UFOs, together with at the fourth dimension of Project Sign the air forcefulness contained both terrestrial together with extraterrestrial factions.
The 2 most of import cases investigated past times Project Sign were the 7 Jan 1948 crash of Kentucky Air National Guard captain Thomas Mantell, whose F-51 crashed every bit he chased what he described every bit a large metallic element object (the air forcefulness foremost claimed he had seen the planet Venus together with after explained the object was a Skyhook balloon), together with the sighting on 24 July 1948, past times Clarence Chiles together with John Whitted, who were piloting a DC-3 over Alabama. Both men, a passenger, together with a witness on the ground reported a cigar-shaped UFO. The Chiles-Whitted case, every bit it became known, has never been explained.
By September 1948 the Project Sign squad had written a top surreptitious “Estimate of the Situation,” which determined that UFOs were in all probability extraterrestrial. When the study reached air forcefulness Chief of Staff General Hoyt Vanderberg, he claimed it had non proven its case, declassified the report, together with ordered all copies burned. No re-create of the document has survived. Later, Project Sign admitted that it could non explicate twenty per centum of the cases it chose to investigate.
When on xvi Dec 1948 Project Sign was reorganized together with renamed Project Grudge, those supporting the nonterrestrial explanations of UFOs were inward ascendancy, together with the air force, which increasingly considered UFOs a populace relations problem, characterized sightings together with reports every bit hoaxes, hysterical responses, or misidentifications.
One of the foremost known attempts past times the air forcefulness to manipulate media coverage of UFOs came inward 1949, when it cooperated alongside Sidney Shallett of the Sat Evening Post to make a two-part article that appeared on thirty Apr together with 7 May 1949.
The article, which assumed a really skeptical opinion toward its subject, was meant to discourage populace involvement inward the phenomenon; instead, days after the articles appeared, UFO reports increased significantly together with Shallett’s slice aroused the involvement of retired marine major Donald Keyhoe, who became a wellknown together with aggressive advocate of the extraterrestrial theory of UFOs together with a spokesperson for regime conspiracy theories. His Jan 1950 article inward True mag titled “The Flying Saucers Are Real” asserted that “living, intelligent observers” from approximately other planet had been watching the ground for 175 years.
The article received a non bad bargain of attending together with was followed inward March past times a minute article arguing for the extraterrestrial explanation of UFOs written past times navy commander Robert McLaughlin. The unloose inward 1951 of 2 major motility pictures, The Day the world Stood Still together with The Thing, reflected Hollywood’s agreement of increased populace involvement inward UFOs.
Both films, which did good at the box office, render the futurity models for attitudes toward alien involvement inward human life: inward The Day the world Stood Still the UFO occupant is concerned alongside eliminating violence, peculiarly nuclear war, on earth, spell the creature who crashes to ground inward The Thing is a unsafe together with predatory entity that must live eliminated.
In 1951 Project Grudge was reorganized alongside Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, who was less hostile to UFO research, at its head. Because of increased sightings inward early 1952, the air forcefulness changed Project Grudge’s shout out to Project Blue Book, together with nether Ruppelt’s direction Blue Book began actively investigating UFO reports.
During the summertime of 1952 1 of the most famous UFO events took house over the Washington, D.C., expanse from 10 to 26 July. Objects reported past times commercial pilots, ground observers, together with air forcefulness pilots were picked upwardly on radarscopes at Washington National Airport together with Andrews Air Force Base, together with air forcefulness jets were sent inward pursuit of the objects, which eluded the aircraft.
During a 29 July air forcefulness press conference, Major General John Samford stated that the air forcefulness believed the incidents were a final result of temperature inversions, an explanation that for the most component subdivision satisfied the populace together with the media.
However, the increased media attending to UFO reports led to the formation of the foremost 2 civilian UFO research groups, the Civilian Saucer Investigation grouping (CSI) of Los Angeles together with the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), headed past times Jim together with Coral Lorenzen.
By the terminate of 1952 sightings had decreased, but the CIA had go involved inward UFO reports because it feared that the phenomenon mightiness live unsafe for national security. The Robertson Panel, which took its shout out after Dr. H. P. Robertson, was formed to create upwardly one's hear if UFOs posed such a threat.
On xiv Jan 1953, the panel convened for twelve hours of study together with determined that spell UFOs posed no armed services threat, they could crusade mass hysteria together with were taking upwardly likewise much fourth dimension to investigate. The panel advised the air forcefulness to “debunk” UFOs inward lodge to cut back populace involvement together with to start “education” past times the mass media.
The panel concluded that UFOs could “cultivate a morbid national psychology inward which skillful hostile propaganda could cause hysterical demeanour together with harmful distrust of duly constituted authority,” together with civilian UFO groups “should live watched because of their potentially non bad influence on mass thinking.”
The conclusions of the Robertson Panel, which were after made populace incrementally, created an mental attitude of distrust inward those who began to suspect the U.S. regime of attempting to enshroud information nearly UFOs.
Edward Ruppelt’s deviation from Project Blue Book inward 1953 together with the proposals of the Robertson Panel meant that serious investigation of UFOs past times the air forcefulness effectively ended. Until Blue Book’s demise inward 1969, the air forcefulness treated UFO sightings, for the most part, every bit a populace relations problem.
Several books published inward 1953 illustrate the broad spectrum of persuasion nearly UFOs that was introduce at the time. Donald Keyhoe’s Flying Saucers from Outer Space sold a one-half 1 one m thousand copies; every bit inward his before The Flying Saucers Are Real (1950), he maintained that the air forcefulness knew that UFOs were extraterrestrial, together with he continued to vocalism this persuasion until his decease inward 1988.
Dr. Donald Menzel, Harvard astronomer together with caput of the Harvard Observatory from 1954 to 1966, published Flying Saucers inward 1953, the foremost of several books that attacked the extraterrestrial theory of UFOs. Menzel, who explained UFOs every bit hoaxes, practical jokes, together with interactions betwixt low-cal together with atmospheric conditions, would stay the most song together with respected UFO debunker until his decease inward 1976.
Also published inward 1953 was “Professor” George Adamski’s Flying Saucers Have Landed. Adamski was the most famous fellow member of the contactee motion inward the 1950s. The contactees claimed to have got had straight contact alongside aliens, who were commonly described every bit tall, blond, together with beautiful, together with several contactees insisted that they had traveled to other planets, commonly Venus, alongside their intergalactic friends.
These aliens were said to alive on utopian planets together with to have got come upwardly to world to spread their message of peace together with dearest to less evolved human beings. The publicity that surrounded contactees continued to live a work for to a greater extent than serious UFO researchers together with led to resistance on the component subdivision of UFO civilian research groups to investigate cases that involved UFO occupants.
In 1955 Project Blue Book released Special Report Number 14, which stated that at that topographic point was no ground to believe that UFOs were interplanetary arts and crafts together with that most UFOs sightings had mundane explanations. This was a controversial study that elicited much criticism from UFO proponents.
One yr after the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), a civilian investigative group, was formed, together with inward Jan 1957 Donald Keyhoe became its director. Public involvement together with UFO sightings had declined past times 1958, but the issue of reports to Project Blue Book remained betwixt 500 together with 600 per year.
One of the most famous together with well-documented UFO sighting cases occurred on 24 Apr 1964, inward Socorro, New Mexico. Lonnie Zamora, a policeman, was pursuing a speeding auto when he witnessed a landed oval-shaped metallic element object from which 2 little figures inward white coveralls had emerged. He reported that the arts and crafts after elevated alongside a roaring audio together with disappeared, but left behind iv trapezoid-shaped imprints.
The instance was investigated past times J. Allen Hynek for Project Blue Book together with was of import inward changing his quondam skeptical attitudes toward UFOs. The caput of Blue Book at the time, Major Hector Quintanilla, endorsed Zamora’s reliability every bit a witness together with characterized the incident every bit “the best documented instance on record” inward an article for the CIA magazine Studies inward Intelligence.
The Zamora instance is the solely Blue Book instance categorized every bit “unidentified” that combined a landing, describe evidence, together with sighting of occupants. One final result of Zamora’s sense was that NICAP, similar APRO, began to investigate to a greater extent than seriously reports that involved UFO occupants.
The increased issue of sightings from 1965 to 1967 led to a renewed populace involvement inward UFOs. In August 1965 many sightings inward Texas were reported, together with the air forcefulness received criticism from a issue of newspapers when it dismissed the objects every bit stars together with the planet Jupiter.
Hynek suggested that the air forcefulness create a panel of nonmilitary scientists to facial expression into the UFO work together with to recommend a course of instruction of action. The six-member “Ad Hoc Committee to Review Project Blue Book,” headed past times Dr. Brian O’Brien, met on iii Feb 1966. It recommended strengthening Project Blue Book together with that the air forcefulness should start discussing contracts alongside universities to investigate UFOs.
Reports from eighty-seven students at Hillsdale College inward Michigan on twenty March 1966 that they had seen a football-shaped UFO, together with a subsequent sighting inward the nearby town of Dexter past times 5 individuals, including 2 policemen, led to a Blue Book investigation inward which Hynek told a press conference that what was seen was in all probability “marsh gas.” This explanation was mocked past times the media, peculiarly past times Life mag together with the New Yorker.
Republican congressman together with minority leader Gerald R. Ford demanded hearings past times the House Armed Services Committee on the dependent acre of UFOs, which were held on 5 April. Hynek testified that the information on UFOs accumulated since 1948 “deserves unopen scrutiny past times a civilian panel of physical together with social scientists.”
Mendel Rivers, who chaired the committee, together with the air forcefulness agreed. Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of North Carolina, together with the University of California refused the assignment, but on 6 Oct 1966, the University of Colorado agreed to undertake the study, alongside the respected physicist Dr. Edward U. Condon at its head.
The Condon Report, every bit it became known, was given $525,000 to study the UFO phenomenon. It experienced serious difficulties from the get-go because it contained warring factions of believers together with nonbelievers, together with Condon was criticized for his attitudes toward UFOs.
Unabashedly skeptical, he tended to focus on contactee claims together with made speeches that ridiculed the dependent acre of UFOs. Released on nine Jan 1969, the 963-page study concluded that “nothing has come upwardly from the study of UFOs inward the past times 21 years that has added to scientific noesis .... farther extensive study of UFOs in all probability cannot live justified inward the expectation that scientific discipline volition live advanced thereby.”
The final result was the termination of Project Blue Book, announced past times Air Force Secretary Robert C. Seamans on 17 Dec 1969, who, citing the Condon Report, informed the populace that UFOs were non a threat to national security, that they did non correspond a technology beyond the abilities of present-day science, together with that at that topographic point was no evidence that they were extraterrestrial.
While most scientists agreed alongside Condon’s findings, J. Allen Hynek wrote inward the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that the study could live compared alongside “Mozart producing an uninspiring pot-boiler, unworthy of his talents.” The terminate of air forcefulness involvement inward UFO research was paralleled past times the precipitous decline inward UFO sightings inward the piece of cake 1960s together with the worsening fortunes of NICAP, which after a serial of fiscal fiascoes dismissed Donald Keyhoe every bit its caput inward Dec 1969.
In the 1970s, populace involvement inward UFOs in 1 trial once again lessened, every bit did membership inward civilian UFO groups; inward particular, NICAP’s membership continued to decline. During this decade the focus shifted from unexplained spacecraft to other anomalous phenomena such every bit the Bermuda Triangle, cattle mutilations, together with alien abductions, all of which believers claimed to live implicated inward UFO phenomena.
Some speculated an extraterrestrial involvement inward missing aircraft inward the Bermuda Triangle together with that aliens were responsible for livestock found missing blood together with trunk parts; other theories espoused that the U.S. regime was killing cattle every bit component subdivision of an ongoing surreptitious experiment alongside biological weapons or that the animals were victims of satanic cults.
The master alien abduction floor is that of Barney together with Betty Hill, who nether hypnosis inward 1964 related beingness taken aboard a spacecraft on 19 September 1961, thence that small, grayness extraterrestrial entities could perform medical experiments upon them.
John Fuller’s volume The Interrupted Journey, published inward 1966, made the Hills’ floor public, but it was non until the 1970s that abduction stories became to a greater extent than common. Charles Hickson together with Calvin Parker insisted that on xi Oct 1973, they were taken aboard a UFO spell angling inward Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Travis Walton claimed that he was abducted past times aliens on 5 Nov 1975, inward the Sitgreaves National Forest close Snowflake, Arizona, together with was returned half dozen days later. Skeptics noted that Walton’s alleged abduction occurred days after the made-for-television celluloid of the Hills’ abduction, The UFO Incident, aired on NBC on twenty Oct 1975.
While early abduction stories contained references to UFOs, every bit abduction became to a greater extent than prominent, spacecraft became less of import together with inward approximately cases disappeared completely from stories of interactions alongside aliens.
In 1981 New York creative individual Budd Hopkins published Missing Time, a volume that proposed that Americans were beingness regularly abducted past times aliens who erased memories of the encounters, but that these could live retrieved through hypnosis. This volume was followed inward 1987 past times his Intruders: The Incredible Visitations at Copley Woods, the floor of a adult woman named “Kathie Davis” who described beingness used past times aliens for reproductive purposes.
Dr. David Jacobs, a history professor at Temple University, published Secret Life: Firsthand Accounts of UFO Abductions inward 1992, a volume that continued Hopkins’s speculations into the connections betwixt alien abduction together with the creation of an alien-human hybrid race; the aliens, Jacobs argued, were harvesting human deoxyribonucleic acid together with using human women every bit breeders.
In 1987, horror novelist Whitley Strieber’s Communion: Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 True Story, a rendering of his experiences alongside unearthly “visitors,” became a best-seller that established the now-stereotypical narrative of alien activity. The short, large-eyed, large-headed, emotionless grayness extraterrestrial was after joined past times other mutual alien types, including the to a greater extent than predatory insectoid together with reptilian aliens together with the tall, benevolent Nordic types.
In the 1990s Harvard psychiatrist Dr. John Mack’s involvement inward alien abduction research garnered fifty-fifty to a greater extent than publicity for the phenomenon; his 1994 Abduction: Human Encounters alongside Aliens together with to a greater extent than recent Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformations together with Alien Encounters (1999) explored the abduction phenomenon every bit a spiritual request inward which abductees are instead “experiencers” whose encounters alongside alien beings are enlightening together with beneficial.
Mack found himself at odds alongside Hopkins together with Jacobs, who continued to insist that alien beings were conspiring to breed a novel species from human DNA. Mack, along alongside award-winning MIT physicist David Pritchard, organized the five-day 1992 Abduction Study Conference at MIT, which resulted inward the publication of C. D. B. Bryan’s Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind: Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 Reporter’s Notebook on Alien Abduction, UFOs, together with the Conference at MIT (1995).
Although conspiracy theories of governmental noesis of the phenomena had approximately cite at this conference, the mass of the papers together with lectures approached abduction from a psychological together with physiological perspective.
The 1980s also saw the reemergence of the Roswell floor inward Charles Berlitz together with William L. Moore’s The Roswell Incident (1980), which claimed alien spacecraft had indeed crashed together with been retrieved past times the U.S. military.
The unloose of the MJ-12 document inward the jump of 1987, which purported that on 24 September 1947 President Truman gear upwardly a surreptitious grouping of twelve well-known scientists together with armed services together with governmental experts to bargain alongside crashed UFOs together with the bodies of extraterrestrials, became the focus of an ever-increasing issue of conspiracy theories nearly governmental noesis of together with involvement alongside extraterrestrials. Two of the most outrageous theories were those of John Lear, boy of William P. Lear, the aviation practiced who invented the Lear jet, together with Milton William Cooper.
John Lear claimed that he had noesis of crashed saucers together with that the U.S. armed services had attempted to larn how to operate these crafts at surreptitious armed services installations exterior Las Vegas, Nevada (known every bit Area 51), together with approximately other close Dulce, New Mexico.
The government, according to Lear’s scenario, cooperated alongside the aliens inward an telephone commutation of alien technology for permitted abductions of humans; the aliens needed human together with cattle deoxyribonucleic acid both to create android creatures at surreptitious bases inward Nevada together with New United Mexican States together with to rejuvenate their ain dying species.
One of Lear’s sources was Robert Lazar, who stated that he saw documents together with photographs of UFOs together with alien autopsies spell working at Area 51; Lazar also said that he saw nine extraterrestrial arts and crafts together with witnessed approximately of them inward flight.
Cooper’s imagination exceeded fifty-fifty Lear’s. He claimed to have got seen surreptitious documents that confirmed the existence of crashed spacecraft together with alien corpses, together with inward his 23 May 1989 document titled “The Secret Government: The Origin, Identity, together with Purpose of MJ-12” he described a surreptitious regime of CIA agents who genuinely run the U.S. government, unknown fifty-fifty to diverse presidents of the United States.
Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 global international grouping called the Bilderbergers controls all of the ground and, according to Cooper, Eisenhower signed a treaty alongside aliens from the planet of Betelgeuse that allowed the Betelgeusians to abduct humans for their ain purposes; the treaty also established surreptitious tube bases inward the Southwest that menage thousands of humans together with aliens.
Cooper theorized that Secretary of Defense James Forrestal had been murdered together with his decease made to look to live a suicide past times the surreptitious regime when he threatened to go populace alongside his noesis of U.S. involvement alongside the aliens.
Cooper’s story, a complex together with mind-boggling combination of science-fiction fantasies, fears of global takeovers past times surreptitious organizations, together with speculations nearly the nascency inward 1992 of the Antichrist, together alongside John Lear’s tales, were every bit embarrassing to the to a greater extent than mainstream UFO community every bit had been the contactee claims of the 1950s.
These “Darkside” theories, every bit they came to live called, became the footing for the continuing conspiracy narrative of alien abduction together with governmental involvement inward the Fox Network’s really successful idiot box serial The X-Files.
Reported sightings of UFOs together with accusations of governmental cover-ups continued inward the 1990s, alongside the most famous representative beingness the Arizona sightings on xiii March 1997, when a large V-shaped formation of lights was said to have got flown silently over 300 miles from the Nevada nation line of piece of work through Phoenix to the due north of Tucson.
Later that night, a serial of brilliant lights that hung over Phoenix’s southern horizon were videotaped past times a issue of witnesses. The armed services explanation was that the V-formation was a squadron of armed services planes together with that the balls of low-cal were high-intensity flares. As inward thence many cases inward the past, UFO believers defendant the regime of a cover-up together with mocked the armed services explanation of the events.
The 1990s also saw an increment inward the activities of the Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS), a grouping that was formed inward the 1980s past times Executive Director Peter A. Gersten. Gersten, a quondam New York criminal defense forcefulness attorney, has represented CAUS every bit the plaintiff inward 2 legal actions nether the Freedom of Information Act, the foremost a lawsuit against the National Security Agency for 135 UFO-related documents together with the minute against the CIA for 57 documents.
On their website CAUS states that the ground is inward contact alongside a “non-human shape of intelligence” together with that the judicial procedure is the solely effective agency to flora governmental noesis of this fact.
CAUS has attempted to shout out back documents on the dependent acre of “flying triangles” from the Department of Defense, which insists that no such documents exist. After the dissolution of citizen research groups such every bit APRO together with NICAP, the remaining citizen grouping that investigates UFO together with alien reports together with to approximately bird discusses conspiracy theories is the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON).
Formerly the Midwest UFO Network, MUFON’s membership has been declining inward recent years every bit the Internet together with talk-radio shows such every bit those of Jeff Rense together with Art Bell have got go the forum for discussions of alien activity together with governmental cover-ups.
Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 homecoming to scientific question into UFO activity occurred inward the autumn of 1997 when Dr. Peter Sturrock, a plasma physicist together with quondam managing director of the Center for Space Science together with Astrophysics at Stanford University, organized a panel of scientists to study the physical evidence of UFOs. The commission included a issue of well-known scientists who met over a four-day catamenia to hear reports from 8 respected UFO investigators.
The panel concluded that the UFO work is complex together with in all probability volition non yield a uncomplicated answer, that scientists tin give notice larn from unexplained observations together with should concentrate on cases that include strong physical evidence together with reputable witness testimony, together with that at that topographic point should live regular contact betwixt scientists together with the UFO community alongside institutional back upwardly for research into the UFO phenomenon.
The study received much media attention. At the introduce fourth dimension solely pornographic websites are to a greater extent than visited than UFO/abduction sites on the Internet, together with radio, television, together with films focusing on the dependent acre attest to the enduring populace involvement inward UFOs together with the conspiracy theories that have got ever surrounded this phenomenon.