UFO Buzzes International Space Station!

As the UFO flew past the ISS earlier in the week, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy was quick of the mark. He caught the object on video as it passed. Of course it did not stay unidentified for long – Russian ground controllers identified it as an antenna cover from the Zvezda service module. See the footage here.

This comes after the US government recently confirmed the existence of Area 51 for the first time. Of course, they confirmed it as a testing area for spy planes, and did not say anything about aliens or crashed alien spacecraft.

The ISS incident got me thinking about UFOs in general, and whether there really has been any alien visitations of Earth in modern times.

Given the vastness of space, and the constraints of physics, I think the most likely alien visitor would be of the robotic kind. Perhaps there has been a probe or two fly past and take so photos. If so, then its next move would be a high-intensity beam communication back to its point of origin. Once more, given the vastness of space, its home civilisation may not pick up the message for hundreds or thousands of years. This of course assumes no advanced SF-type goodies like navigable wormholes or warp drives.

So what do you think? Have aliens visited? Have you seen any truly weird UFOs yourself?

Cross-posted at chrismcmahons blog.

11 comments

  1. Oh, I’ve seen half a dozen or more UFO’s – but they were precisely that, unidentified flying objects. I have no evidence whatsoever that they were any more than some man-made flying object that was too far away to be identified with the naked eye.

    I have no faith whatsoever in alien visitations. I note with cynicism that the number of observations grew as the space age grew closer, and particularly after the Jet Age, when aircraft flew much higher and much, much faster. I’m sure there’s also a rash of ‘Me, too!’ sightings when people feel left out, or want some publicity.

    I don’t ‘believe’ in UFO’s or aliens at all. Give me some hard, verifiable, testable evidence, and that’ll change. Until then . . . no.

  2. I don’t know about whether we have ever been visited or not. I will say I don’t believe that any modern UFO accounts are real Alien encounters.

    I have, however, seen something that I could have believed was a UFO if I weren’t both skeptical and willing to question the event. I was standing on my porch staring at a bright star (might have been Sirius, but I don’t remember). As I stood there, it started wavering and getting larger, then it started scooting back and forth. I was starting to question my senses, but then I closed my eyes and looked away for a second, then when I looked back, it was back to normal. I then realized that the problem was caused by simply standing there and staring without moving my point of view, because your eyes want to move around to track things.

  3. The only UFO I’ve ever seen looked like it ought to be a prop for a batman movie. I suspect it was a prototype for the stealth jets, what with the escorting fighter and the proximity to places nicknamed “skunkworks.” But it was truly boggling, at the time.

    As for aliens . . . compare the alien abductions to the tales of abduction by fairies or elves. Uncomfortable number of parallels. Rather like medieval vs modern victims interpreting the same occurrences according to their own knowledge.

    On the other hand, there was an article about a classic alien abduction . . . except the victim was in the hospital, unconscious after being hit by lightning.

    So I’m going to have to keep a very skeptical open mind on the matter.

  4. A friend who’s not into tall tales saw a “UFO” back in the 70s. We’re near and he was looking down main street from the top of a hill so he had a good view into town. Something came tearing down over the street with two fighter jets behind it. It made a right angle turn and the jets banked to follow it but couldn’t keep up. We never found out anything more about what happened.

  5. There’s an old saying: three people can keep a secret, but only if two of them are dead.

    UFO-mania disproves this. It seems, on the basis of fairly compelling evidence, that a nearly unlimited number of people can keep a secret, as long as everyone trying to find out the real secret can be successfully detoured to the investigation of completely bogus “secrets” that aren’t real.

    Bravo again, US Air Force! 🙂

    (I’m pretty sure they never denied the existence of Area 51. It’s a grid on a topographical map of a military base. It’s between Area 50 and Area 52.)

    I never saw a UFO. But the dude who would have been my father-in-law (if he hadn’t fscking _died_ right before I finally met his daughter…*grumble*) did work as a contractor for a while, for a government agency he could have gone to prison for saying the name of in public. So I’m betting he not only saw a bunch of them, but _flew_ one or two. 🙂

    1. I worked on a military base at one point that had a map by the front gate– out where absolutely anyone can walk up to it, no ID check or anything.

      On that map were three hangers. Numbered 1, 2 and 5.

      You could take a step to the left (if it was winter, otherwise you’d need to take several steps to see past the leaves) and see five hangers.

      Guess which were the “secret” ones…. (Actually not secret, just more secured.)

  6. I heard something strange one night, out in the boonies north of Flagstaff in March 1994. I suspect it was the sonic boom from an Aurora (one of those things the US doesn’t have and that don’t really exist but that Jane’s has basic specs on.)

    As for space aliens, I lean toward the “have not visited” end of the spectrum. Too much Erich von Daniken as a kid ruined me.

  7. Once upon a time I was talking to an ex-military coworker who’d worked on electronic countermeasures. The kind that bugger radars. Of particular interest was the response of civilian air traffic controllers when the gear was switched on. They’d freak out seeing unexplainable readings and the spooks would laugh uproariously.

  8. Of course aliens have visited. I met, in person, some months back, someone who said they were from Australia, or maybe New Zealand.

    I spent part of my life near an air force base, and I have a wretched eye for aircraft. Then there is the local general aviation field. It has also been years since the last of my study-everything-about-birds-and-insects binges, and much of the time if I notice one these days I could care less what exactly it is.

    I default to an assumption of no extraterrestrial life.

    I think the Human CNS is plenty buggy enough to explain lots of observations without needing to complicate things with fancy fiddly scenarios. Call me lazy, but sorting out history and the results of solid experimental work provides me plenty of analytical work as it is.

  9. Extraterrestrial life? Oh sure, I think once we get a better handle on exobiology (which means actually getting out there to do the science), we’ll find “life” in some pretty odd places.

    “Life” probably being protein blocks, maybe some prokaryotes at best. Space fungus? I think this might be an early discovery. Life based on left handed sugars, methane breathers, etc? Who knows? But intelligent life, well, it’s a big universe. There might’ve been some out there, somewhere.

    I just don’t think it’s come to visit us. That being said, I do enjoy me some Coast to Coast AM when I’m out driving in the wee hours. *grin* Skeptic I may be, but it’s entertaining to think about.

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