Are UFO reports taking off? A smartphone society could drive discovery


An image purported to show a UFO in Gulf Stream, Florida.

MYSTERY WIRE — The brave new world of UFO reporting might entertain you, or it might drive you insane.

But either way, the conversation is happening.

When the Pentagon acknowledged the UFO video taken during a November, 2004, incident off the coast of Southern California, expectations began to build. Will the government tell us everything it knows? A hint: the Pentagon wouldn’t even agree that it released the video in the first place, which was clearly documented.

Now it seems like we are hearing about UFOs all the time. The topic has been raised in the consciousness of a new generation, and they have smartphones that will capture more video.

A recent year-end recap on the topic by the British website led off with a report of a UFO floating above Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.

It’s just a blimp. That’s the assessment of YouTube commenters. The source of the video, in this case, was described as a “conspiracist” under the screen name “Disclose Screen The Grimreefar.”

The Sky Harbor video reminds us that there was a recent video claiming a UFO over Las Vegas.

The nature of social media isn’t kind to fakes and imposters. But that doesn’t stop the parade of Facebook and YouTube UFO claims. Every video should be judged on its merits, and always with an eye on the source.

And always remember: UFO does not mean flying saucer. A UFO could be any number of things.

And the reason the topic fascinates so many people? Again, any number of things. It is sometimes attributed to anxiety over global destruction. But the Cold War is over. It’s not limited to any socioeconomic group, but does say lower income white males of moderate to high education are most likely to report UFOs.

Just as scientists want to study data on UFOs, social scientists are trying to understand the emotional and intellectual motives underlying the UFO phenomena. They don’t have answers, either.

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