Photo Credit: Albert Antony via Unsplash

 

By no means am I a conspiracy theorist, but UFOs are absolutely, without question, 100 per cent real and there is substantial proof of them. Of course, that statement’s a bit of a misdirect, but if you’re still reading then it worked, I grabbed your attention. 

 

When someone says “UFO” our minds often draw up images of the little flying saucers darting across the night sky, like the one in the photo above this article. Importantly though, the term UFO, or unidentified flying object, refers to a much broader collection of things. In reality, the term is just a catch-all for anything flying that cannot be immediately identified. In the vast majority of cases, these objects are later able to be identified, but not in all cases, which is where the idea of the flying saucer comes in.

 

There are indeed a number of cases where a UFO sighting is confirmed, evidence of the UFO exists and has been reviewed and the object still cannot be identified. For many decades, these phenomena have inspired tinfoil hat wearers around the world to fantasize about the extraterrestrial life that may be trying to communicate with us here on earth (or may already have and is being held in government facilities like Area 51, but that’s a whole other story).

 

However, in the last few years musing about UFOs and aliens has drifted into more mainstream territory, especially as more eyebrow-raising evidence has been made publicly available.

 

As per HuffPost, just back in February of this year a commercial pilot reported having seen a long cylindrical object fly close to his plane. The pilot reported the incident to air traffic controllers in the area who didn’t see any objects on their radar scopes. The incident has since been reported to and confirmed by the airline and the FBI.

 

In 2020, a documentary film on UFOs called The Phenomenon that had been in the making for seven years was released. In it, former US Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), an advocate for UFO funding and research, made some shocking statements.

 

For instance, he noted that the US government has purposefully been hiding details that it does know about UFOs and has kneecapped programs meant to learn more about UFO sightings and phenomena. He also mentioned that most of the evidence for UFOs has not been released, some of which he may certainly have seen as a senator through classified briefings.

 

Also in 2020, three videos were released by the US Department of Defense of UFOs darting across the sky. These videos caught the attention of former President Trump, who had previously expressed skepticism toward UFOs as per a CNN article.

 

The release of these videos, as well as the premiere of The Phenomenon and the stir that all of this additional UFO-related news caused on social media, likely is what encouraged US lawmakers to include a clause in the COVID-19 relief package passed last year that required an unclassified report on UFOs be released by June 1, 2021.

 

As per an article in The Guardian, former President Trump’s intelligence director John Ratcliffe has noted that the report will detail UFO sightings that have not yet been publicly released that are hard to explain, wherein the UFOs engage in behaviour that defies not only the technological capabilities of the US, but universal laws of sound, motion and more.

 

While the report is not expected to be released in accordance with that initial deadline, the Biden administration has commented saying that they are intent on releasing an unclassified UFO report as is required by the relief package.

 

Regardless of what we learn from the report later on this summer, it’s important to make a distinction between actual UFOs and flying saucer UFOs. None of the US government sources that have commented on UFOs have made any sort of claim suggesting that these unidentified cases are extraterrestrial. In fact, in the case of Senator Reid in The Phenomenon, he actually spoke to the contrary

 

There are many possible explanations for UFOs that do not involve aliens, though we are likely never going to hear about them. There’s not a doubt in my mind that some of the UFO sightings that were later debunked involved the testing of classified US government technology, but of course that could never be made publicly available. There’s also the possibility that it was classified technology of other countries.

 

In short, there certainly are credible potential explanations for UFO sightings. Since the vast majority of initially unidentified flying objects are later identified, I personally side with the idea that the remaining objects could likely be identified if you didn’t have the clashing classified interests of different countries to worry about. 

 

With that said, there is still something compelling to the idea that there is life in the universe more intelligent and technologically advanced than humans that we are not aware of. Is there really a chance that that’s true? Almost certainly not. But we can always put on our tinfoil hats and dream, can’t we?