Throughout history there have has been documented and verbal reports of sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) or otherwise known as Flying Saucers and Unidentified Anomalous (Aerial) Phenomenon (UAPs). In some cases these objects have been photographed and recorded on video and infrared cameras. Witnesses have reported observing landed UFOs with occupants (referred to as extra-terrestrials, humanoids and aliens) and being taken onto the craft, including abductions.
This phenomenon is associated, particularly in popular culture, with the existence of extra-terrestrial life. A wide range a conspiracy theories, including governments cover-ups have been claimed regarding UFOs and associated phenomenon.
What appears to resemble UFOs and unusual humanoids is depicted in prehistoric rock art, paintings and artefacts. It is logical to assume that this phenomenon may have been occurring, at the least, through human pre-history. A famous UFO sighting occurred on 24 June 1947, when private pilot Kenneth Arnold claimed that he saw a string of nine, shiny UFOs flying past Mount Rainier (USA). This sighting is credited as being the first of the modern era of UFO sightings. Australian UFO researcher Keith Basterfield has compiled a Catalogue of Pre 24 June 1947 Australian UAP witness reports to emphasise the existence of published pre 1947 UFO/UAP reports. There are many credible people, who without any prior interest in UFOs, reported incredible UFO related sightings.
The cases that have the most interest are the ones where characteristics indicative of an elsewhere origin, in other words, not a product of our technology. The origin of some UFOs may be within our universe, another universe, another dimension, another time or more likely, something completely different that is beyond on current understanding! We cannot discount the possibility that Earth is under covert surveillance by UFOs.
We believe that these devices take every means available to avoid detection, at least by multiple witnesses. Some close encounter reports appears to indicate that the UFO had been caught unaware, of being observed, before being able to get away. Some of these incidents have been reported to occur in areas where there is low probability of the device being observed, for instance in isolated rural areas.
There are numerous reports of UFO sightings during the Second World War, as if the UFOs are interested or concerned by war. This continues up to the present day with sightings reported at nuclear missile launch silos and missile storage facilities, worldwide.
Confirmed unidentified sightings are relatively rare, Dr James E McDonald (1920 – 1971) concluded  that about 0.5 to 2 percent of raw UFO reports could not be identified as being caused by conventional objects and phenomena. The remaining reports were identified to have prosaic origins, for example, misidentified natural phenomena.
Understanding the reality of what is going on could be partly limited by our anthropomorphic prejudices, when considering the obviously highly advanced technologies and sentience involved.
Attributes of reported UFOs are:
- exhibit flight characteristics indicative of being under sentient control
- able to hover and land (some supported on landing legs), fly close to ground, accelerate and change direction at high speed, while being able to avoid obstacles, such as buildings, surface topography and trees
- capable of entering, travelling through and leaving water at high speed. This type of UFO is termed unidentified submerged object (USO).
- silent or emit a low frequency humming or hissing noise
- causing interference in electromagnetic spectrum, for example, television and radio reception, including causing motor vehicle engines to malfunction and stop. There are numerous reports of UFOs causing vehicle and various other equipment malfunctions, including nuclear weapons, on this, and other websites.
- cause agitation, fear and unusual behaviour to occur with domesticated and wild animals
- varied sizes, designs and what appears to be surface structural damage. Some reported with what appears to be windows, portholes and hatches, and in some cases, the appearance of humanoids inside.
- emit infrared radiation above ambient level and therefore able to be detected using thermal vision
- appear to change in shape and may divide into multiple objects
- emit extremely bright laser like light beams
- disappear and reappear in an instant
A recent report published by the Scientific Coalition for Ufology (SCU) on the 25 April 2013 Aguadilla, Puerto Rico UAP sighting confirmed that UFOs may be able move into and out of seawater without any significant interactions, such as causing a splash and slowing from the hydrodynamic interactions with the water.
UFOs may be piloted by sentient beings (extra-terrestrials), the smaller craft may be drones or ‘machines’ without ‘pilots’. The surface appearance of some UFOs (saucers) have been reported to be indicative of having been damaged, refer report dated 24 April 1966 at Puckapunyal Army base, Australia, in addition to exhibiting an ‘aged and heat effected’ surface. The possibility is that this aging may be caused by collisions with dust and other materials in space and in atmospheres. This damage would accumulate during the extended periods of interstellar flight, that may be measured in the millions of years.
In 2015 a group of dedicated scientists and professionals have proposed an innovative approach to the scientific study of UFOs. The goal is to build a network of automated observation stations with a variety of scientific instruments to capture comprehensive, scientifically valid data on the UFO phenomenon. This group formed the organization UFO Detection and Tracking (UFODATA) that is headed by Mark Rodeghier, Scientific Director of the Center for UFO Studies (USA) and Alexander Wendt, a political scientist at Ohio State University (USA).
- Druffel, A. (2006). Firestorm: Dr James E. McDonald’s Fight for UFO Science. 2nd ed. Columbus, USA: Granite Publishing, p.13.