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Looking For a Link Between Sci-Fi UFOs and UFO Reports

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the it's-spooky-how-the-aliens-manipulate-hollywood dept.

Sci-Fi 202

NewsWatcher writes "The BBC has an interesting story about the link between sightings of UFOs and sci-fi films. From the article: 'Documents from the Ministry of Defence released by the National Archives show the department recorded 117 sightings in 1995 and 609 in 1996.' Those years correlate with the screening of the film Independence Day (1996) and when The X-Files was at the height of its popularity in the UK (1995). 'The more that alien life is covered in films or television documentaries, the more people look up at the sky and don't look down at their feet,' said an expert on UFO sightings based at Sheffield Hallam University."

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Just my imagination? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29107123)

Tell that to my ass.

Re:Just my imagination? (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107699)

Is it shiney and metal?

Does it have an antenna? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29108347)

Does it have an antenna?

Re:Does it have an antenna? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29109637)

No. But it does have a probe.

Re:Just my imagination? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108579)

Your ass said he wants his hat back.

Re:Just my imagination? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29108807)

I would, but I'm having trouble telling which end is which.

Re:Just my imagination? (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109329)

While I have no doubt that you've been rectally probed, I strongly doubt an alien was responsible.

Well, maybe if it happened in Tijuana, but still...

i wonder ... (3, Insightful)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107139)

... if there is also a link then between Government Conspiracy Theories & shows like the x-files?

Re:i wonder ... (3, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107327)

Why? You suspect a conspiracy that government pushes TV shows about conspiracy theories to cover up real conspiracies?

Re:i wonder ... (4, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107507)

Of course! Don't you realize that Wormhole X-treme! is just a coverup for the secret government Stargate project?

Re:i wonder ... (1)

hesiod (111176) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108873)

Duh, why do you think the production company was called "Double Secret"? They said it right out loud to make you not believe!

Re:i wonder ... (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107379)

Yes, but the government has buried that research. I already have quite proof for that. You can read about that in my newsletter.

Re:i wonder ... (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108267)

Sir I like your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter

Re:i wonder ... (4, Interesting)

koolfy (1213316) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107931)

If you look closely, you will learn that most of X-Files episodes are based on real cases and mysteries.
While this includes people's imagination being debunked by FBI's investigation, it also includes references to "top secret" projects only known by early "conspiracy theorists" and some of them were sometimes revaled true a few years later.

That's why it got that sucessful (besides the quality of the show itself) : it mixed mystic theories, unbelievable myth, and real theories about government and UFO's that were sometimes factual.

I don't have much examples in mind right now, but I remember hearing much words like "aurora" "blackbird" or theories about UFO's when I was kid, and later, discover that those were based on real reports of people claiming to have experienced those things.

Re:i wonder ... (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108823)

In the same way Hollywood movies are based on history? Like, take as an example "Shakespeare in love", based on the (possibly) real, historical playwright. Doesn't mean the movie had anything to do with historical reality.

It's not because something is based on true events that it reflects those in any way that's historically accurate.

Conspiracy theories are almost always lunatic inventions of people with little rational thinking ability. Also, reality is usually a lot more complex than the simplistic plots those people contrive, but less conspiratorial. Very often people will do things for their own selfish reasons that may appear in hindsight to be planned or orchestrated, but is really a coincidence.

Re:i wonder ... (1)

koolfy (1213316) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108955)

I'm not saying that X-Files is to be trusted and accurate, it's not the purpose. :)

"Trust no one" !

Re:i wonder ... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109025)

According to a show I saw on the History Channel, those were more than theories. Almost all UFO sightings are natural phenomena, and the rest, according to THC, were US government experimental aircraft. They had photos of flying saucers with USAF logos on them; they were allegedly the first attempts at stealth aircraft.

Of course (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107141)

people see what they have been thinking about.

For example: when you buy a new car, all of a sudden you see that same model car everywhere.

Add to that peoples inability to think critically, and you get UFO's.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29107247)

I have never seen a Limited Edition Deep Plumb PT Cruiser until I bought one for my girlfriend. After that, I saw other people driving them practically every day.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29107499)

For your Girlfriend?

Sucker!

You won't be getting it back after she dumps your sucker ass.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29108293)

Why would he want it back? A purple PT Cruiser doesn't exactly scream "Hey, ladies!"

Re:Of course (4, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107367)

My favorite is when the serious conspiracy theorists trot out the fact that the Air Force had an officer making reports about UFO sightings to the president. Of course, this was during a period when the United States was developing a variety of secret aircraft, so it stands to reason that the Air Force was keeping track of people who saw unidentified flying objects.

Re:Of course (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108371)

Exactly, people forget that UFO doesn't necessarily mean of alien origin, only that the Flying Object is as of yet Unidentified.

Re:Of course (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109123)

Also, the government was actually covertly trying to make people think they were space aliens. If you saw a top secret experimental aircraft, they'd rather you think it was Martians than realise it was a secret aircraft design.

There was a real conspiracy; but the real conspiracy wasn't that they were covering up extraterrestrial visits. The real conspiracy was exactly the opposite.

Re:Of course (2, Insightful)

TheSoepkip (612477) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107691)

I wonder how and if it relates to priming [wikipedia.org] ...

Any psychologists around ?

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29108349)

UFO = Unidentified Flying Object. Are you saying that a critical thinker would, when seeing something a new flying phenomenon, immediately jump to identify it with something familiar. Wouldn't the critical thinker be the one saying "I don't know what that is yet"?
.
Your type "critical" thinking is what holds back knowledge.

Huh - I never thought of that (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108533)

So you're saying the aliens are only here to steal our cars?

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29108903)

When, all of a sudden, you see the same model everywhere, you are actually seeing that model--not something your brain is telling you is that model but is really not. All your analogy tells me is that people notice flying saucers more often after having seen them on TV. But, it if flies and is saucer-shaped, what else would you call it? Must you immediately call them all uncritical thinkers and say that they are imagining things a priori? Is this what you call "critical" thinking? All I see is sloppy thinking and faulty analogies.

I saw a UFO this morning. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109059)

It was in the sky and I couldn't tell what it was. Maybe it was a bird; but it was an object, I couldn't identify it, and it was flying.

I don't think it was aliens, but you never know, it could have been a bird from Mexico or Canada. Or plane. Or...

Re:Of course (2, Interesting)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109651)

I wholly agree but will look at that from another perspective. I was raised in Boston and moved to northern New Hampshire, I have never seen a moose or a deer in the wild. Being here for 17 years now I am able to pick them out in a wooded field driving down the road or highway at 65 mph just by a glance. Because I am used to seeing these things they are easier to spot. Being able to tell what type of creature is far ahead of me by how it is moving across the road. Take that into account with any media type and you have people that may be used to spotting irregular shapes and movement in the skies. I have never seen a UFO or even known a person who has claimed that they have and as much as I would like to believe that 'we are not alone' in this universe, that is only speculation and I really need to see it for myself. I also have to believe that statistically speaking, out of all the reports and sightings, at least one of them has to be real.

A slip? (4, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107157)

The more that alien life is covered in films or television documentaries, the more people look up at the sky and don't look down at their feet,' said an expert on UFO sightings based at Sheffield Hallam University.

Which means that they are seeing something.

UFOs have been observed since ancient times. The apostle John saw one. The Egyptians inscribed a UFO in their hieroglyphics. And the ancient Hebrews recorded the interactions of aliens and humans as the Nephilim.

I think there's more than the authorities are willing to divulge. It's interesting to see leaks like the quote above confirm what some of us have believed for a long time.

Re:A slip? (3, Informative)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107263)

The apostle John also talked to god. The Egyptians do NOT have a UFO in hieroglyphs, no matter what new age internet sites claim, and the Hebrews weren't talking about off-planet aliens when discussing the Nephilim, they're talking about children of fallen angels...

If you honestly think there is a "leak" in that quote you mentioned, then WOW...

Re:A slip? (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107329)

the Hebrews weren't talking about off-planet aliens when discussing the Nephilim, they're talking about children of fallen angels...

How, exactly, are angels, fallen or otherwise, not off planet aliens (aside from the belief that their off-planet origin is supernatural in nature rather than mundane, which, one would note, would apply equally to the ancient Hebrews conception of human origins.)

Re:A slip? (2, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107565)

You can't conceive of "off-planet aliens" when you haven't yet conceived of *planets*.

Re:A slip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29108557)

You can't conceive of "off-planet aliens" when you haven't yet conceived of *planets*.

citation?: http://images.google.com/images?q=sumerian+solar+system

Re:A slip? (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108857)

The sumerians are not the hebrews. These theories are also pure speculation. Finally, having a reasonably accurate astronomical model of the solar system doesn't mean thinking that those other celestial bodies are similar to the earth.

Re:A slip? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108849)

You can't conceive of "off-planet aliens" when you haven't yet conceived of *planets*.

The ancient Hebrews (and many other ancient people) had both a conception of the Earth as a distinct place within creation and a conception of beings which were not from that distinct place.

Re:A slip? (2, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107575)

How, exactly, are angels, fallen or otherwise, not off planet aliens?

Maybe we've been watching too much Stargate? Just saying... And one more question if I might:

You're statement implies that there are 'on-planet aliens'. Just curious as to whom you're referring to.

Re:A slip? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29107715)

He's referring to ILLEGAL aliens!

Re:A slip? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109523)

You're statement implies that there are 'on-planet aliens'.

1) "Your", not "you're";
2) The phrase was used to reflect the post it was responding to;
3) "aliens" has several senses, "off-planet aliens" distinguishes the intended sense from the more general sense of a foreigner.

Re:A slip? (1, Insightful)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107667)

Lets think critically about this for a minute.
You believe they spoke to a super natural being whose influence is not scientifically documented? Whose stongest interactions were taking place before digital recording and scientific reasoning?
You believe in "angels" more than "life evolving on a[nother] planet"?

WOW.

Re:A slip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29109621)

You are one of those people with the most dreadfully literalist mind ever, and I somehow get the impression you'd evhemerize every single myth of history into somehow happening. We have no traces of most of these events happening except 3rd hand recountings from politically motivated sources and religious myths, knock off the new age shit.

Re:A slip? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108409)

As a nit pic, Angels would be aliens for all intents and purposes, as would God.

I am an atheist, so don't construe this as defending someone imaginary man in the sky, or Santa Clause.

Re:A slip? (3, Insightful)

catbertscousin (770186) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108913)

As a nit pic, Angels would be aliens for all intents and purposes, as would God.

I am an atheist, so don't construe this as defending someone imaginary man in the sky, or Santa Clause.

I dunno . . . I think it depends on your concept of the universe. I would think beings from another planet within the physical universe would be aliens, while beings from outside of (apart from, however you want to put it) the physical universe would be something else.

Re:A slip? (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109073)

The Hebrews of the time were still polytheistic actually.

Re:A slip? (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109103)

Wait, no that's not Nephilim, that's the objection to Rael's interpretation of Elohim (some have claimed it's a majesty plural, but the truth is judaism as we know it is only about as old as christianity)

Re:A slip? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29107339)

UFOs have been observed since ancient times. The apostle John saw one. The Egyptians inscribed a UFO in their hieroglyphics..

Back in those days, pretty much everything except birds and clouds could be counted as an unidentified flying object.

Other then that, I don't see any reason why it should be more true because it's more old. People have a weird fascination with old stuff, in the sense that they believe that something is somehow a better source of knowledge just because it comes from an era where the existence of god was considered an undeniable fact. Obviously, when you think about it, that notion exists on the grounds between "Stupid" and "Absurd".

Re:A slip? (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107469)

The more that alien life is covered in films or television documentaries, the more people look up at the sky and don't look down at their feet,' said an expert on UFO sightings based at Sheffield Hallam University.

Which means that they are seeing something.

UFOs have been observed since ancient times. The apostle John saw one. The Egyptians inscribed a UFO in their hieroglyphics. And the ancient Hebrews recorded the interactions of aliens and humans as the Nephilim.

I think there's more than the authorities are willing to divulge. It's interesting to see leaks like the quote above confirm what some of us have believed for a long time.

[citations desperately needed]

Ahhh, the human imagination and psyche. Full of so much wonderful things as the ability to conjure up grand imaginations and interactions ... as well as post a third hand account of several unrelated occurrences thousands of years ago in one paragraph.

I wish the article had gone back further to War of the Worlds time or the old classic 50s black and white abduction movies. Note the first abduction didn't happen until [wikipedia.org] it had already been in pulps and film. And, from my own personal savior, Carl Sagan [wikipedia.org] :

In The Demon-Haunted World astronomer Carl Sagan points out that the alien abduction experience is remarkably similar to tales of demon abduction common throughout history. "...most of the central elements of the alien abduction account are present, including sexually obsessive non-humans who live in the sky, walk through walls, communicate telepathically, and perform breeding experiments on the human species. Unless we believe that demons really exist, how can we understand so strange a belief system, embraced by the whole Western world (including those considered the wisest among us), reinforced by personal experience in every generation, and taught by Church and State? Is there any real alternative besides a shared delusion based on common brain wiring and chemistry?" (Sagan 1996 124)

It's fun stuff to read about and write tall tales about ... and nothing more.

Re:A slip? (0)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107831)

"...most of the central elements of the alien abduction account are present, including sexually obsessive non-humans who live in the sky, walk through walls, communicate telepathically, and perform breeding experiments on the human species. Unless we believe that demons really exist, how can we understand so strange a belief system, embraced by the whole Western world (including those considered the wisest among us), reinforced by personal experience in every generation, and taught by Church and State? Is there any real alternative besides a shared delusion based on common brain wiring and chemistry?"

Yes, there is a real alternative. One that has a purely physical basis. Alien encounters.

It's cute how Sagan compares alien abductions to demonic abductions then claims to debunk both by showing how they both somehow rely on the belief in supernatural demons.

Re:A slip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29108551)

Wow you should change your name to BadLogicGuy

Re:A slip? (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109317)

Note the first abduction didn't happen until it had already been in pulps and film.

I was really into UFOs when I was a kid in the 1970s. Back then, people saw all sorts of different aliens: tall ones, short ones, reptilian ones, green-skinned humanoids, and so on. It's interesting how, since Close Encounters of the Third Kind came out, pretty much everyone sees those short, anime-eyed Grays.

It's fun stuff to read about and write tall tales about ... and nothing more.

Oh, definitely something more: studying UFOs and similar phenomena can tell us a lot about how human minds assemble reality [infamous.net] .

Re:A slip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29107943)

THe ONLY thing our governments are able to keep secret are things of their own doing, their own programs, own creations.

UFO = Unidentified Flying Object, meaning it was in the sky and the dumbass observer couldn't make it out. If you're nearsighted, the object will be "unidentified". Its a dumb leap to assume "oh, its too far, or blurry to make out, therefore it MUST be SPAAAAACCE ALIEEEENNNSSSS!!!!" Ridiculous that grown adults think this way.

Governments are too inept to cover up anything that far out and uncontrollable.

Re:A slip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29108091)

Nephilim? That just means "fallen ones" (and even that translation isn't particularly clear). You have half a verse in Genesis. Everything else about these people is from people making shit up many centuries later. How the Hell did you get "aliens" from so few words?

Re:A slip? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108383)

You mean peopel have seen things they can't explain! Stop the presses~

Educated people make mistakes about Venus and the moon, what do you think about people before modern scientific training would think?

Re:A slip? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109631)

Yeah, but where's the bad analogy? ;)

On topic, did you ever consider that if in fact there are aliens, that they're not space aliens but time aliens? Humans have only been on the planet for 100,00 years. What will humans look like a million years from now? I don't believe the UFOs are from space OR the future, but I doubt that they come from outer space more than I doubt they come from the future. Who knows what technology will come about in the next 100,000 years? Whay we have now would have been magic just a hundred years ago. Future humans (or whatever humans evolve into) will surely have anthropologists and archaeologists.

On the other hand, look at how diverse Earth life is. I think the chances of any space aliens resembling us in any way, shape, or form are so small to be laughable. They're almost certain to not look like Area 51 aliens or Klingons, although our descendants might.

CorrOBLIGalation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29107169)

!+ causation

Movies and imagination (2, Interesting)

Cstryon (793006) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107199)

Sounds to me like Independence Day got a lot of people thinking about aliens. So than, when they look at the sky, and see something they don't recognize, it must be an alien/ufo.

I want to know why we always have crummy video of some ufo, when everyone has a camera on there cell phones, with fairly good resolution?

Re:Movies and imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29107497)

congratulations, you saw the point the author was trying to make.

Re:Movies and imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29107801)

because cell phone cameras often have a fixed focal depth and aren't meant for capturing images that far away?

Re:Movies and imagination (4, Insightful)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107881)

If you see an OBJECT, that is FLYING, and you can't IDENTIFY it (making it UNIDENTIFIED)... it *is* a UFO (relative to me).

That blurry, fast moving thing in the sky that i can't recognize is a UFO.

UFO does not state or imply that the object is or might be alien... that's a leap people make on their own. If i say "i saw a UFO", i am NOT saying i saw something from outer space, just that it was in the air and i don't know what it was. Nothing more, nothing less.

Re:Movies and imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29108175)

Additionally, if you saw an alien spacecraft in the sky it *wouldn't* be a UFO because you just identified it as an alien spacecraft. Then it's just a FO, right?

Re:Movies and imagination (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108369)

If it's a flying object outside, or a FOO then it deserves our pity

Re:Movies and imagination (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108449)

For all practicality,. when someone says UFO, there talking about aliens.

Yes, you are technically correct; which is the best kind of correct!

Why would some call 911 to report a terrestrial airplane in the horizon they can't see ID Numbers on?

Re:Movies and imagination (3, Interesting)

dbet (1607261) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108521)

A very common way that people think is "if I can't prove it's something mundane, than the most fantastical explanation is probably right". It's simply more fun to live this way than to live in the real world. This not only explains religions but to some extent politics.

Re:Movies and imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29109265)

Yes and hackers are programmers and gay people are just happy.

Re:Movies and imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29107897)

I want to know why we always have crummy video of some ufo, when everyone has a camera on there cell phones, with fairly good resolution?

Because the camera in a typical cellphone is still pretty crappy, despite the number of pixels it contains. It's a tiny sensor, with optics designed for quick, wide angle snapshots in full daylight. In a low-light situations, with a very distant subject, where long exposures are required for a decent image (UFO sighting circumstances), a camera phone just isn't going to cut it. Try taking a photo of the moon some time with your camera phone. Now imagine if it was much smaller and moving. Yeah, the images are crappy for a reason.
 
Captcha: Arisen

Re:Movies and imagination (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108509)

Have you ever taken a picture of something in the sky, even with a good camera? I have a digital camera with 5x zoom. When you look at the moon with your eyes, you can see a lot of detail. Now, during the last lunar eclipse, I tried to take some pictures of the moon. Even at 5x zoom, the moon was only a small percentage of the total image area. And even with a tripod, and the fact that the moon moves much slower than any flying saucer, I was unable to get a really clear picture of the moon. Basically, if you are trying to take a picture of something in the night sky, you are going to need a long exposure time, because the object is too far away for the flash to work, and there is very little ambient light. If you have a long exposure time, and are holding the camera in your hand, and the object is moving, there is almost no chance at all of getting a clear shot. Even if the object is still, the fact that you are holding the camera almost makes it impossible to get a clear shot when you have a slow shutter speed.

Re:Movies and imagination (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108931)

The main problem I've noticed when photographing the moon with a point-and-shoot is that the moon is too bright. The auto exposure sets itself for the blackness of the sky. End result is that the moon, since it takes up very little of the actual picture, is completely overexposed.

Up at the sky and don't look down at their feet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29107217)

Interestingly, troughs in UFO sitings are associated with peaks in CHUD sitings.

missing tag... (1)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107233)

I'm not sure why this hasn't been tagged correlationisnotcausation yet. But I'm pretty sure that the more tenuous a story's facts, the less people bother to read the article. And you know what that means?

Well, nothing. But it deserves further investigation.

Re:missing tag... (3, Informative)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107429)

This is a case of "if you look hard enough, you will find". If they looked for evidence that reruns of 70's sitcoms were the cause of UFO sightings, they would have found evidence too.

TFA mentions an average level when E.T. was released as contradictory (which was noted and, apparently, ignored) and TFS mentions an average level when X-Files was aired as evidence.

This is correct folks (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108705)

Correlation is not causation. The article presents no real evidence that UFO sightings are caused by Sci-Fi popularity. Until they do we must all continue to believe that the cause of UFO sightings is aliens.

Alternatively (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29107269)

The more that alien life is covered in films or television documentaries, the more people look up at the sky and don't look down at their feet

Alternatively, the more people see aliens (on TV or whereever), the more people will ... see aliens.

Or even more controversially: maybe the aliens realy liked the X-Files, Independence Day, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind...

Alien Web Profit (3, Interesting)

emailandthings (844006) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107271)

1.- Create not so intelligent creatures

2.- Have them go at it

3.- Laugh at their culture, religion's belief, politics, and overall problems

4.- Sell the broadcast to other aliens

5.- Profit!

Re:Alien Web Profit (2, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107471)

Alien life must be even more boring than earth life if THAT show were to make a profit. Highly unlikely.

Re:Alien Web Profit (5, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107589)

Really, the show ended after the Dinosaur Wars, they just didn't bother to tear down the studio.

Re:Alien Web Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29108439)

Oh crap, so you're saying the Vogons really are real...

Re:Alien Web Profit (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108223)

I think I've read that book [amazon.com] .

Re:Alien Web Profit (3, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108359)

Or much more likely:

1: Find a planet full of potentially exploitable resources that can possibly support life
2: Seed it with basic life
3: Wait for the life to evolve
4: Oh, yep, it can support life
5: Move in
6: Profit.

One of the silliest things that humans seem to get stuck in their heads is that other creatures would have the same sort of life expectancy as we do. Animals on our own planet have drastically varying lifespans and we all evolved from the same goop.

Start thinking about having a lifespan in the hundreds of millions of years (or no lifespan at all...something like...oh, I don't know, a machine/biological hyrbid intelligence) and suddenly those lightyears which seem SOOOOOOOO FAR are not so far any more.

you laugh but (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108659)

That's exactly what happened to this guy [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Alien Web Profit (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109583)

So you've seen the Jimmy Neutron episode with Tim Allen, Vanna White, and Alyssa Milano too?

God, I think I'm going to weep.

Don't look down at their own feet? (4, Funny)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107277)

'The more that alien life is covered in films or television documentaries, the more people look up at the sky and don't look down at their feet,' said an expert on UFO sightings based at Sheffield Hallam University.

I'll start to believe this might be credible when there is a proven, positive correlation between the prominence of UFOs in film and on TV and the incidence of trip-and-fall accidents.

Evidence of suggestion? (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107291)

This seems more like evidence of the powers of suggestion and priming. People who are thinking about aliens and such are more likely to see something and say "alien!" rather than "hmm, interesting cloud" or "Neat colored meteor" etc. I doubt this has much to do with where people are looking.

And your word for today is... (3, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107373)

Pareidolia [wikipedia.org]

Whatever gets folks to stop looking at their toes (1)

gpronger (1142181) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107617)

I guess that if a decent Sci-Fi about aliens gets folks to look up at the night sky for a bit, regardless if they then "see" a UFO (real or imaginary, I'll stay out of that debate) its done us a good thing.

A bit of wonder of the cosmos will do most people good.

Greg

Carl Jung on Flying Saucers (1)

Sabathius (566108) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107625)

Carl Jung wrote a book on Flying Saucers [amazon.com] based on possible psychological aspects of UFO sightings. Although he was skeptical of UFOs existing at all (this writer is not), I'm sure he was on to something.

That is old news (3, Interesting)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#29107819)

If you look at UFO sighting report from the earliest to the latest you would remark that alien face evolved with time, and surprise surprise, cinematography. There is a web page somewhere which shows that somewhere , too bad I did not bookmark it. Same for alien "saucer" evolution by the way.

Re:That is old news (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29108181)

I think you missed the universal bailout that helped keep stellar motors afloat. The saucer evolution is obviously from new models being released to the market! Thanks to cash for clunkers, I can trade in my 1940's model (rather unreliable and prone to crash) for a new shiny one that can also submerge!


I believe plastic surgery and genetic manipulation is big with the races of the core worlds which is why so much variance in aliens is seen. Meh, I'll keep my tentacles and brow ridges (all the cool kids are getting big eyes and smooth heads).

Re:That is old news (1)

bocin (886008) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108611)

A fiction no matter how bizarre, if repeated often enough becomes accepted as fact especially if it's reinforced by the voice of some Authority or other.

Re:That is old news (4, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109287)

If you look at UFO sighting report from the earliest to the latest you would remark that alien face evolved with time, and surprise surprise, cinematography. There is a web page somewhere which shows that somewhere , too bad I did not bookmark it. Same for alien "saucer" evolution by the way.

I've looked into this some, and it's not so clear cut. The chicken and egg have fuzzy boarders. For example, (alleged) abduction experts point out that one generally does not recall the abductor's (alien's) face except under hypnosis, and until the Hill case, nobody was bothering to perform hypnosis for such purposes. Thus, there's very little pre-Hill material to compare (and some of it does match).

As far as the "saucer" shape, there appeared to be an increase in saucer sightings even before the original "saucer" news article came off the press. A weatherman spotted about a dozen disks, for exammple, just before the paper. True, the rate jumped even further after the paper came out, but it's hard to tell whether people are simply looking and/or reporting harder, or whether they are imagining things they read about.

I've read fairly extensively on the UFO phenom, and generally conclude it's premature to make any conclusions. If it's not a "space mystery", then it certainly is a psychological mystery. We'd have to toss out a lot of court cases and free a lot of "criminals" if eyewitness accounts from UFO-observing professionals such as airline pilots, emergency response, and cops is dismissed because of an alleged propensity to hallucinate based on media exposure.

Something is really odd, either in the sky or in our heads. It's a fascinating topic regardless of the real answer.

   

Maybe.. (1)

WarpCode (1519261) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108197)

Maybe people saw the aliens first and then started watching x-files and/or Independence Day to give them idea's on how to deal with a possible alien threat... Or, perhaps aliens picked up x-files on their space ships and are fans of the show. It being a fox show they of course had to get closer to earth to adjust their antenna for better picture quality.

Fools! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108693)

Fools! Plot the sighting with aluminum foil sales!

I'm looking for the link between (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108837)

religious movies and Christ-in-food sightings.

Penn & Teller say Bullshi! (1)

Krokz (1568895) | more than 5 years ago | (#29108953)

Bullshit covers this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFiDfwsphVs [youtube.com] 6:15 onwards. Makes you loose hope in humanity.

Other reasons (1)

Zanix (684798) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109035)

Correlation does not imply causation.

What if the aliens realized it was a period of time where we were most receptive to close encounters of the third kind.

Or maybe they just realized people would blame it on too much alcohol and a drunk encounter with ID4.

The aliens are smarter than us, this idea is just us playing right into their hands!

*Puts on his tinfoil hat*

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon? (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109255)

Could also be a result of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon - that is, the thing where after you learn a new word/name/fact, you suddenly start noticing it everywhere.

Interesting documentary (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109273)

If you are interest or curious about flying saucers, of the form 'made on Earth', then this is an interesting documentary:

http://www.factualtv.com/documentary/Real-Flying-Saucers [factualtv.com]

it covers research done by Coander, the Germans and the Avrocar.

Insufficient statistics (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 5 years ago | (#29109493)

600 UFO sitings is insignificant. That is such a ridiculously small percentage of the population of the U.K. that you can't use it for proving any correlation whatsoever. Just because it jumped in one year from insignificant/6 to insignificant doesn't mean a trend has been established. It's probably the same loon calling 3 time a night instead of once every 3 nights.
Now show me 100,000 people calling in on one sighting, and I'll sit up and take notice.

Why isn't "god" a UFO sighting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29109649)

Why isn't "GOD" a UFO sighting? Imagine, if you will, that a being arrived in ancient Egypt with ST:NG high tech stuff. Wouldn't that be enough to create a religion and claim you've met God?

Burning bush - phaser on very low power
Water into wine - transporter replacement
Split the Red Sea - force fields, clear aluminum
Hearing thundering voices - loudspeakers
Rising from the dead - Dr. McCoy is amazing

BTW, my father and copilot saw a UFO while flying B-52s. He mentioned it once, never again and his copilot also saw it. They didn't file a report, so their military careers wouldn't be impacted. Jimmy Carter is on record for sighting a UFO.

UFO doesn't mean anything, just something unidentified. Anything from a strange cloud, to a high altitude balloon, to aircraft or birds flying in formation off in the distance with unusual lighting, to a spot on the windshield with refractive properties can be UFOs. Mix any two of them and it is very easy to thing you see something.

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