UFO alert! Aliens everywhere
A woman was 'abducted', a helicopter 'attacked'. What exactly is going on?
Sunday 29 June 2008
If you still live with your parents, wear a zip-up cardigan over your collar and tie, have enamel badges in your lapel and don't get out much because you're too busy curating your collection of Star Trek memorabilia, it has been quite a week. While the rest of the country has been fussing over such trivia as Zim-babwe, you've been tabulating the latest activities of forces beyond our galaxy.
On Wednesday you awoke to a Sun exclusive from Shropshire: "A shaken soldier told last night how he saw 13 UFOs spinning in the skies above his military barracks." Not to be outdone, the Hastings Observer reported a woman's sighting of strange orange lights above the resort, and asked: "Are aliens the latest visitors to Hastings?" The following day, it was "orange orbs" over Liverpool, and The Sun's further report from Salop: "A mum who insists she was abducted by aliens on the A5 said yesterday, 'I knew they'd be back'."
Only the week before, according to the ever-vigilant Sun, a "flying saucer-shaped" object "attacked" a police helicopter over Cardiff. The story got so much coverage that, within days, hundreds of sightings were coming into the newspaper.
What is going on? Let us explain. First, those lights above Shropshire. Superior beings in their radar-defying supersonic craft? No, says the manager of the Tern Hill Hall hotel, near Market Drayton: they were Chinese lanterns released to celebrate a wedding. Like miniature hot-air balloons, they fly off until they burn up and disintegrate. It is quite common for them to be mistaken for the gathering forces of the planet Tharg.
As for the rest, there's a more prosaic explanation. In the middle of May, the Ministry of Defence announced it would be issuing its hitherto classified files on UFO sightings between 1978 and 1987. This got enormous publicity, and also produced a huge leap in sightings of lights and flying saucers. UFOINFO.com has logged more than twice as many reports this May and June than in the corresponding months last year.
And, in their database, there lurks another possible clue as to the cause of UFO sightings by the ever watchful, and suggestible, British public. Which date do you suppose was responsible for the most reports this year? The first of April? No. It was 1 January, when there were more sightings in 24 hours than in the whole of the first four months of 2007 put together. It is also a night of fireworks and large numbers of people staring woozily into space. Some of them, it appears, are still doing so. Panic over. Back to the Star Trek collection.
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
UK weather: Travel chaos continues as King's Cross train delays add to snow on roads
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...