UFOs: authentic revelations or a new chapter of quackery?

The United States held the first public hearing of unidentified flying object sightings in 50 years. A new page is added to the fascinating search for extraterrestrial life.

Movies, series, novels and all kinds of fictional stories have been built throughout history to imagine and try to represent extraterrestrial life. Drawings similar to humans, but green; faces with four eyes and bodies with several arms; three or more legs: the combinations are endless, as is the fascination with flying saucers and glamorous spaceships. The most famous popularizer of all, Carl Sagan, said it with characteristic clarity and forcefulness: “We have found out that we live on an insignificant planet, from a sad lost star, in a galaxy on the forgotten corner of a universe, in which there are many more galaxies than people. Thus, at the same time that it hammered and broke the ego of humanity into a thousand pieces, it opened the doors for the existence of other forms of life. It is that human beings have always marveled at the chance to find otherness beyond (or closer to) the neighborhood of the Milky Way, of which the Earth is a part. The line between scientific rigor and pseudoscience is thin; in between, even politics slips in.

This week, in the United States Congress, top Pentagon officials reported the increase in “unidentified aerial phenomena” — UAPs — in the last twenty years. It was the first such hearing in half a century, and the significant fact is that the summoned defense intelligence officials announced that the sightings are “frequent” and that many are “unexplained.” Likewise, they took the opportunity to revalidate their commitment to the identification of the origin under the same argument that they used in times of the Cold War: to eliminate any “threat to national security”. They also alluded to “flaws in the intelligence system”, reminiscences of a past that always comes back.

It sounds important because the UFO issue was presented in the US Congress after 50 years. There is and there will be a lot of anxiety because it is a topic that brings people together. We all want to know the origin of phenomena that we do not know how to explain; and nobody more than the scientists wants to star in the news that there are forms of life beyond those already known. The fact that information is missing does not enable us to affirm that they are aliens.

Declassified documents
At the meeting, US officials mentioned the existence of some 400 UAPs, a figure that exceeds the 143 recorded last year. In this sense, although they did not underline the concrete existence of extraterrestrials, they assure the increasingly frequent presence of phenomena that escape any rationality. In the exhibition, videos were exhibited: the first showed a triangle with flashing light crossing the sky, and in the second round they shared another that resembled a spherical and shiny object, seen from an airplane.

It was called the pyramidal UFO and it turned out to be the product of a light effect produced by a lens. It was a video that had been shot using infrared technology. Nothing special. In the second case, this “alleged UFO is clearly a a helium balloon that still has the thread hanging underneath.

The main problem is the “lack of sufficient information”.

Within the “unsolved” cases, from the point of view of US experts, there are objects that move with unusual speed and that, paradoxically, do not reveal any means of propulsion. Also, at the hearing, the intelligence analysts explained that they never recovered any material or remains; nor could they communicate with the objects.

As usual
In general, when the images of the alleged unidentified flying objects are analyzed in detail (as Lianza does), the answer is usually more or less similar: they are nothing more than drones, planes, satellites, space stations, or else, military artifacts of powers not aligned with the West, of which there are not too many details. Photography errors are also common, caused by dirt on the lens of the cameras used to capture the supposed object.

It seems business as usual: there are studies, most cases can be explained, and a handful remain that are not well understood. However, there is no evidence of any kind to suggest aliens. Life exists outside of Earth, due to the number of planets similar to ours that we are discovering. But for now we do not have any evidence about it, much less evidence of any contact or visit.