Sooner or later almost everyone sees a so-called UFO (unidentified flying object) in the sky and some people claim to have even seen them on the ground. But if you ask them what they think it was, most will say that it wasn’t an alien craft. Still there are a small percentage of witnesses that believe they have seen something not of this world. So whom to believe: the majority or a little group of potential lunatics? The answer may be both. As we see with most unexplained mysteries there are opinions for and against, but what one comes off top?
Let us examine which type of sightings occurs and how they can be explained. But first it is important to take a look at the person who witnessed a UFO. Many people tend to overreact when they see something they cannot explain. Emotions vary from elation to panic. Hence such witnesses have to be considered as potentially prejudiced and subjective and their statements tend to be exaggerated, inventive and abstruse. In order to come to useful conclusions we have to focus on rational and objective witness statements leaving aside obviously faked and invented reports.
There is a huge number of sightings that have a mundane explanation. Planet Venus is a very good example. There are times in the year when our planetary ’twin sister’ shines extremely bright in the evening/ morning sky. Especially when it is close to the horizon and when you are driving in your car you get the impression that the ‘object’ moves because it seems to pass trees, hills and houses as you drive along the road. Finally it will vanish behind some terrestrial object and you wonder where it has gone. The only way to find out if it is Venus is by either knowing it or by stopping the car and checking if the object is still moving. If it is stationary then it is most likely Venus (or another bright planet/ star). Other objects that are quite often mistaken for ET are satellites and among those so-called Iridium flares in particular. Such satellites reflect the sun light during a couple of seconds up to several minutes which is visible to the observer. As they move quite fast along the sky without making any sound, unlike airplanes or helicopters, they can easily be misinterpreted as UFOs. If you have seen such an object and wonder what is was note its approximate position and the time when you saw it and compare your data with online websites that provide information about the flight paths of most of the Earth orbiting satellites. If you have a match you can be almost certain that what you saw was a satellite.
There are many more objects that can be mistaken for UFOs, e.g. meteors, meteorites, northern lights, lenticular clouds, airplanes, ignited swamp gas, burning rockets etc. Thus the possibility of your UFO being an alien spaceship is very low. However, there is a certain amount of sightings that remains unexplained. In those cases it is important to find commonalities which include the shape and movement of the object. If those commonalities do not meet any criteria for a positive identification as a terrestrial object or a celestial body then you have possibly witnessed something out of this world. If you find no commonality to other unexplained mysteries it was probably a hallucination or a prank played on you with some new type of ‘flying saucer’ dummy.