Before World War II, sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects were far and few between. Suddenly, the sky was filled with darting lights and mysterious who-knows-whats? Extra-terrestrials seemed to be arriving in tourist droves.
Why a flying saucer? Hollywood didn’t create that pop culture image in the early baby boomer era. It was an airborne businessman in 1947 who reported strange lights in the sky he described as a “saucer slipping across water” and “flat like a pie pan.” Headlines erupted and hundreds of sightings were recorded in the next few weeks. The visions have hardly declined.
The U.S. concluded then and now no credible evidence of aliens visiting earth exists.
The Federal government does not have any information about extraterrestrial life to conceal, and there are no secret projects for me to investigate. Orrin Hatch, who has served in the Senate for 35 years and should be privy to the truth – whatever it is.
Prominent people, including astronauts, the first CIA Director, and Barry Goldwater disagree. The public is also skeptical. Could officials be withholding vital information? This suspicion is bolstered by leaked government reports that recommend concealment to avert panic should evidence be found.
What happened 64 years ago in Roswell, New Mexico, and why has the phenomenon continued to this day? Some suggest that the incredible arsenal of weapons exploded during World War II, culminating in the atom bomb and more testing of nuclear weapons later, alerted our cosmic neighbors who decided to visit and see who these Earth maniacs are.
Another explanation is planted in terra firma: we could now explore the heavens and public imagination turned outward. Combined with a doomsday Cold War, a mass paranoia spread.
More recently, information has emerged that the U.S. government was and continues to experiment with advanced technology aircraft that is sometimes saucer shaped. People have indeed been spotting UFO’s, but they are home grown.
› In movies, aliens were usually hostile or at least haughty and condescending. And why not? Mankind can hardly boast an enlightened history, and visitors were presumably lights years ahead of us in every way. Close Encounters of the Third Kind and ET were the first major films to portray benign pop culture extraterrestrials.
Cosmic nice guys
› Before the official 1955 Frisbee introduction, it was a unsuccessful toy the original inventor dubbed “Pipco Flying Saucer” and later “Pluto Platter” to exploit the frenzy of UFO sightings.
Baby Boomers by the Numbers
# More than half of Americans believe that at least some UFO sightings are real.
# At least one-third think it’s likely that aliens have actually set foot on Earth at one time in history.
# From one-half to 80% think that U.S. government is covering up evidence of aliens.
# 5 weeks after the Roswell incident, a Gallup Poll found that 90% of Americans who had heard of flying saucers did not believe they were real.
The fancy that extraterrestrial life is by definition of a higher order than our own is one that soothes all children, and many writers. ~Joan Didion, American novelist and commentator.
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