Khieng Ngoy
Professor Lash
Critical Thinking
March 15, 1999


Two brothers by the name of Jesse and John noticed an odd looking metallic structure down the hill near their house in Rogerville, Tennessee. When they turned around, a very tall slender humanoid-like being emitted a bright light from his stick and that's when he and his brother blacked out. When Jesse awoke, he found himself being carried through metal corridors, and then he was placed on a cold table. Although Jesse was able to observe the surroundings, he said he was also paralyzed (Confirmation). Do you believe this story to be true of false? This is just one of many astonishing stories that have been told. Since the words ?unidentified flying objects? were first used, there have been a few selected examples that can provide plausible proof for their existence.
The history of UFOs and flying saucers surprisingly has been reported as early as 100 BC by Julius Obsequens. He was a 4th century Latin Poet who wrote, ?At sunset a circular object like a shield was seen to sweep across the sky from West to East? (Tracker 12). Strange sightings have been seen and written about but were never officially recorded as UFOs. In 1656, a Jesuit priest and scholar, Athanasius Kircher, wrote a book about two ?Angles? that accompanied him on an out-of-body travel to the moon, sun, and five planets (Fitzgerald 4). These are just a couple of examples of early phenomenon, but it was not until the middle of the 20th century that mankind finally had the technology to fly and create an Air Force. It was an Air Force department search team that reported a strange sighting over the mountain peaks near the northern Pacific. Kenneth Arnold, a businessman and a veteran pilot, saw nine objects flying around the peaks similar to saucer plates skipping across water. At the time of the sight, Kenneth Arnold was assisting the Air Force to search for a C-46 transport plane, which was reported to be missing. Reporters from all over the country received reports of the incident and consequently ran articles, which credited Arnold for the term ?flying saucers? (Hendry 12). This then created a domino effect with people throughout the country reporting to have seen UFOs. According to a 1978 Gallup Poll, 13 million Americans have encountered aerial objects that they could not identify (1). The complete book of UFOs stated that fifty percent of the American people think UFOs are real and that there are humanoid type beings like us that live on other plants in the universe (12).
UFOs ?debunked? as identified flying objects (IFOs) like weather phenomenons, planets, stars, man-made aerial crafts, vivid imaginations, and if anything else hoaxes. The reason for the confusion between UFOs and IFOs is because scientists believe average people cannot tell the difference between the two or have the knowledge about astronomy. In the middle of the century, amidst the paranoia of the Cold War, people were frightful of spy-like air crafts and missiles from the other powering nations. Skeptics believe that this was the reason why it was known as the American ?quirk? (Hendry 7). Americans were searching and anticipating some sort of objects from the sky. This was about the same time our government began having secret test flights and nuclear bombings. If a person was at the right vicinity, some people did indeed witness unusual flying objects made by mankind for the government. Since the government wanted to conceal their project from the American people, common folks therefore could not conceive nor explain the strange technologies that the government tried to build. What people could not recognize were assumed as UFOs. From The UFO Handbook, most IFOs are just the stars and planets doing things in an unusual array of lights. Thirty-five percent of all IFO encounters are related to the illusions that stars and planets make under special circumstances. That is the reason why reported times are usually from dusk until dawn. Science contends that with the right angle of light source, and at a certain time of day, starlight can be refracted into a rapid sequence of colors. Astronomers claim that stars can be made to appear in motion due to long staring and the involuntary jerking movements of