Voices Buffet MAGAZINE Pushpesh Pant Ravi Shankar Sathya Saran Gautam Chintamani Devapriya Roy Mata Amritanandamayi People Wellness Books Food Art & Culture Entertainment NEW DELHI JUNE 13 2021 SUNDAY PAGES 12 Up Above the Sky so High The supposedly authentic UFO sightings in the last one decade 2016 US space agency NASA has to quickly cut out a live feed after a “diamond-shaped object” is captured on camera 2019 Investigative filmmaker Jeremy Corbell captures footage of almost nine UFOs tailing a US Navy ship 2015 Residents from three villages in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra report seeing a UFO that descends to 500 feet before vanishing 2014-2015 Multiple visual encounters are reported by the US Navy pilots. It lasts for nine months. Two videos are finally released, classifying the flying objects as “unexplained aerial phenomena”. Around the same time as the Ludhiana sighting, a Pakistan International Airlines pilot captures an image of ‘a UFO’while flying from Karachi to Lahore Pilot of a cargo aircraft in Slovakia claims to have seen a rocket-like object fly right under his aircraft 2013 A border patrol reports more than 100 UFO movements around the Lagan Kher Area in Demchock, Ladakh 2021 In February, some residents in Ludhiana, Punjab, claim to have spotted a shiny unidentified object. A few also capture some footage. 2014 An American Airlines pilot reports “a long cylindrical object” moving over the aircraft 2011 Israel claims that one or more UFOs with an impression of disintegrating into multiple ones and moving in an extraordinarily fast manner are recorded over Jerusalem 2010 Close Encounters of Many Kinds Canada that has the most recorded UFO sightings, spots yet another “missile-like” object over Harbour Mille Are aliens real? A Pentagon report containing details about UFOs and clandestine space programmes will be out this month. By RAvi shankar P eople believe that the sky is the home of the gods. Every night when the sun goes into hiding in the great shadow of our planet, the Universe reveals itself as a glorious repository of miracles, and an invitation to explore the mysteries that lie beyond our galaxy. Later this month, US intelligence agencies will deliver a report compiled by none other than the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense on “unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP)” to Congress. The documents include detailed information Pentagon has on Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). They also present data gathered from alien encounters with US Navy pilots, commercial pilots and warships. The New York Times, which scooped parts of the report, revealed that US Intelligence found no evidence that the objects were extraterrestrial in origin. They could not explain what they were, either. UFO sightings are not confined to American aviators. In February , in Ludhiana, Punjab, people were amazed at the sight of an illuminated object blazing through the night sky It was oval-shaped with . burning lights on both sides. The immediate conclusion was that it was a UFO, going by the pictures and videos shot on smartphones. Skeptical individuals suggested it was a meteor. The World UFO Day falls on June 24 when the first sighting was reported by American flyer and business tycoon Kenneth Arnold. Another group of ufologists celebrate it on July 2. Flying saucer or meteor, Superman or airplane, humans are obsessed with the fundamental question—is there life out there? Do extraterrestrials live among us like the creatures in the movie MIB? Did they visit us in ancient times and impart knowledge to the Incas? Did they influence mythological battles with miraculous weapons? These are questions that impact mythology , science, anthropology and the , military too. Some X-File theories , are eccentric, too—for example, the religious sect Raelians believe that Elohim, an alien species, created life on earth. Its global growth suggests that the world is looking for deliverance from other evolved galaxies because wars, climate change and inclusive economics have made Earth inhospitable to its general population. PRESIDENTS AND ALIENS On May 21, during a joint news conference between US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House, a reporter asked Biden about Barack Obama’s comments on UFOs. Biden sidestepped the question with a joke, “I would ask him again.” Obama had confessed on television that there were some things he “can’t tell” people regarding UFOs. When he moved into the Oval Office, aliens were one of the first topics he had raised with officials—is there a hidden lab where alien specimens and spaceships are kept and studied? He confirmed that the US government had footage and records of UFO sightings. Jimmy Carter recounted seeing a UFO in Georgia’s skies in 1969 before he became president. Top guns label UFO videos shot with the cameras mounted on infrared weapons as “FLIR”, “GOFAST” and “GIMBAL” videos. These feature UFOs taunting fighter pilots. A 2019 leaked Navy video on NBC News showed an unidentified spherical object flying low, skimming the ocean for a few minutes and disappearing underwater with a splash. PROOF OF LIFE In August 2020, the US Department of Defense established the UAP Task Force (UAPTF) to investigate and “gain insight” into the “nature and origins” of UFOs after declassifying three alien videos taken by Navy pilots in 2004 and 2015 respectively In the . opinion of Navy physicist (retd) Dr Bruce Maccabee, “President Biden and leaders of other countries may find it necessary to develop a single, uniform policy for co-existing and interacting with NHI. Allowing various countries to develop their own policies could result in some form of disaster. If the UAPTF discovers that some UAP are evidence for NHI, the task force will, I presume, write an unclassified report ready for publication.” The US is not the only country that funds research on extraterrestrials. Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, France, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden and the UK have been declassifying their X-files since 2008. The French Committee for In Depth Studies, which examined spaceship sightings in the late 1990s, noted that five percent of alien encounters were reliable. In 2017, Chile’s Committee for Studies of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena, established to study inter-galactic flights, released footage of an alien spaceship taken with a helicopter’s infrared camera. Many countries have accused America of hiding data of alien spaceships. US Forces have reason to worry Filmmaker . Jeremy Corbell late last month tweeted a 46-second video clip of radar footage that shows UFOs swarming a Navy ship. In the clip, an unidentified man is heard shouting, “Holy s***! They’re moving fast... They’re turning around!” The US established Visuals of the Ludhiana ‘UFO’ sighting; (below) sign for tourist attraction Little A ‘Le’ Inn and flying saucer near Area 51 in Nevada, a US military base rumoured to house extraterrestrials and spaceships Project Blue Book in 1952, which amassed a databank of over 5,000 alien sightings, encounters and abductions. The Center for UFO Studies in Illinois reported 60,000 alien activities in 113 nations in the 1980s of which 2,000 were close encounters, 200 were abductions and the rest were just sightings. American astronomer J Allen Hynek calls them ‘CE’—short for Close Encounters. CEs have been classified into five categories. 1. When someone eyes a UFO within 150 metres. 2. An aerial or on-the-ground encounter with a UFO that leaves physical evidence behind. 3. You can see the aliens inside the UFO. 4. Abduction. 5. Communication. The Pentagon report, if not redacted, could be an explosive revelation of civilisations beyond the Milky Way which have been sending probes to Planet Earth. Whatever their intentions may be, depending on the movie you are watching or the sci-fi book you are reading, the information could change human life as we know it. The feeling is both exhilarating and frightening, because it is human nature to conquer or destroy perceived enemies. The great Stephen Hawking believed that extraterrestrial contact could devastate humanity He warned of aliens . draining the Earth’s resources before moving on. “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet,” he pointed out. THE VIMANA PHENOMENON Indian UFO sightings are aplenty Incidentally all such . visual encounters in the world have common aspects such as shape, lighting and behaviour. In 1964, Billy Meier, well-known UFO researcher, travelled to India where he shot a series of photos of spaceships in Delhi skies. A report mentions that they regularly appear in Kongka La in the disputed area between India and China. It was the site of a fierce battle in 1962. Conspiracy theorists speak of a “UFO base in the Himalayas”, which only the Indian and Chinese governments know about—a place like the controversial Area 51, the top secret US military base in Nevada desert associated with spaceships and little green men. Since time immemorial, the Himalayas have been the realm of mystery In 2004, . a five-member team of ISRO glaciologists and geologists were camping in Samudra Tapu near Uttarakhand’s Kanatal to study the Chandra basin glacier. Around 6.45 am, a porter ran to them screaming and pointing at a white object, between three and four feet high, hovering above a mountain ridge. “Sir, the snow man is coming,” he yelled in fright. Anil Kulkarni, a senior ISRO scientist, and his team members saw a robot-like object floating a few inches above the ground along the mountain slope, towards the camp. Kulkarni and geologist Sunil Dhar took pictures as they ran to meet it. The strange object had a cylindrical head with two balloon-shaped attachments, a body hands and two legs. Dhar , was quoted saying that “it seemed to be walking, planting and pacing its steps like a human being”. Later tests confirmed that the scientists were not suffering from high-altitude hallucinations. The object’s motion shared similarities with other UFO sightings from all over the world such as adept manoeuvres on ground and in air, gravity-defying movements, changing colours and vertical takeoffs that contradict all known aeronautical laws. In 2011, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed the ISRO report in a written reply to Parliament though details about what happened later are yet to be available to the public. Local news reports in Meghalaya surfaced about a mysterious object from the sky that dried all the water and killed plants in a small village near Cherrapunji: there is even a café named after it in the locality Last year, a Madurai . resident saw a silent parallelogram-type object with four lights each in front and back, and two lights in both corners flying away—incidentally visuals from Punjab months later showed that the Ludhiana flying object had a similar design. In 2014, archaeologists in Bastar, Chhattisgarh, found 10,000-year-old cave drawings that resemble aliens and Turn to page 2
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