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Looking For a Link Between Sci-Fi UFOs and UFO Reports 202

Posted by timothy
from the it's-spooky-how-the-aliens-manipulate-hollywood dept.
NewsWatcher writes "The BBC has an interesting story about the link between sightings of UFOs and sci-fi films. From the article: 'Documents from the Ministry of Defence released by the National Archives show the department recorded 117 sightings in 1995 and 609 in 1996.' Those years correlate with the screening of the film Independence Day (1996) and when The X-Files was at the height of its popularity in the UK (1995). 'The more that alien life is covered in films or television documentaries, the more people look up at the sky and don't look down at their feet,' said an expert on UFO sightings based at Sheffield Hallam University."
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Looking For a Link Between Sci-Fi UFOs and UFO Reports

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  • i wonder ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by neonprimetime (528653) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @12:31PM (#29107139) Homepage
    ... if there is also a link then between Government Conspiracy Theories & shows like the x-files?
  • Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @12:31PM (#29107141) Homepage Journal

    people see what they have been thinking about.

    For example: when you buy a new car, all of a sudden you see that same model car everywhere.

    Add to that peoples inability to think critically, and you get UFO's.

  • Re:A slip? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @12:41PM (#29107329)

    the Hebrews weren't talking about off-planet aliens when discussing the Nephilim, they're talking about children of fallen angels...

    How, exactly, are angels, fallen or otherwise, not off planet aliens (aside from the belief that their off-planet origin is supernatural in nature rather than mundane, which, one would note, would apply equally to the ancient Hebrews conception of human origins.)

  • Re:A slip? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @12:42PM (#29107339)

    UFOs have been observed since ancient times. The apostle John saw one. The Egyptians inscribed a UFO in their hieroglyphics..

    Back in those days, pretty much everything except birds and clouds could be counted as an unidentified flying object.

    Other then that, I don't see any reason why it should be more true because it's more old. People have a weird fascination with old stuff, in the sense that they believe that something is somehow a better source of knowledge just because it comes from an era where the existence of god was considered an undeniable fact. Obviously, when you think about it, that notion exists on the grounds between "Stupid" and "Absurd".

  • Re:Of course (Score:4, Insightful)

    by maxume (22995) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @12:43PM (#29107367)

    My favorite is when the serious conspiracy theorists trot out the fact that the Air Force had an officer making reports about UFO sightings to the president. Of course, this was during a period when the United States was developing a variety of secret aircraft, so it stands to reason that the Air Force was keeping track of people who saw unidentified flying objects.

  • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @12:44PM (#29107373) Journal

    Pareidolia [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:A slip? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chris Mattern (191822) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @12:53PM (#29107565)

    You can't conceive of "off-planet aliens" when you haven't yet conceived of *planets*.

  • Re:A slip? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @12:54PM (#29107575) Homepage

    How, exactly, are angels, fallen or otherwise, not off planet aliens?

    Maybe we've been watching too much Stargate? Just saying... And one more question if I might:

    You're statement implies that there are 'on-planet aliens'. Just curious as to whom you're referring to.

  • Re:A slip? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by scorp1us (235526) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @01:00PM (#29107667) Journal
    Lets think critically about this for a minute.
    You believe they spoke to a super natural being whose influence is not scientifically documented? Whose stongest interactions were taking place before digital recording and scientific reasoning?
    You believe in "angels" more than "life evolving on a[nother] planet"?

    WOW.
  • Re:Of course (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheSoepkip (612477) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @01:01PM (#29107691)

    I wonder how and if it relates to priming [wikipedia.org] ...

    Any psychologists around ?

  • by AP31R0N (723649) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @01:12PM (#29107881)

    If you see an OBJECT, that is FLYING, and you can't IDENTIFY it (making it UNIDENTIFIED)... it *is* a UFO (relative to me).

    That blurry, fast moving thing in the sky that i can't recognize is a UFO.

    UFO does not state or imply that the object is or might be alien... that's a leap people make on their own. If i say "i saw a UFO", i am NOT saying i saw something from outer space, just that it was in the air and i don't know what it was. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • by blhack (921171) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @01:41PM (#29108359)

    Or much more likely:

    1: Find a planet full of potentially exploitable resources that can possibly support life
    2: Seed it with basic life
    3: Wait for the life to evolve
    4: Oh, yep, it can support life
    5: Move in
    6: Profit.

    One of the silliest things that humans seem to get stuck in their heads is that other creatures would have the same sort of life expectancy as we do. Animals on our own planet have drastically varying lifespans and we all evolved from the same goop.

    Start thinking about having a lifespan in the hundreds of millions of years (or no lifespan at all...something like...oh, I don't know, a machine/biological hyrbid intelligence) and suddenly those lightyears which seem SOOOOOOOO FAR are not so far any more.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @01:47PM (#29108449) Homepage Journal

    For all practicality,. when someone says UFO, there talking about aliens.

    Yes, you are technically correct; which is the best kind of correct!

    Why would some call 911 to report a terrestrial airplane in the horizon they can't see ID Numbers on?

  • Re:A slip? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by catbertscousin (770186) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @02:13PM (#29108913)

    As a nit pic, Angels would be aliens for all intents and purposes, as would God.

    I am an atheist, so don't construe this as defending someone imaginary man in the sky, or Santa Clause.

    I dunno . . . I think it depends on your concept of the universe. I would think beings from another planet within the physical universe would be aliens, while beings from outside of (apart from, however you want to put it) the physical universe would be something else.

  • Re:Of course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @03:54PM (#29110441)
    It always cracks me up that none of these conspiracy theorists, with all their reams of "secret information" never make the obvious connection that most of these sightings of strange aircraft at night were around secretive air force bases at the height of the Cold War. It takes a unique mindset to jump over the obvious conclusion of this evidence and to go right to "alien visitors from across interstellar space!" I guess it's cooler to think of "Men in Black" as aliens rather than boring old FBI and NSA agents in their ugly-ass generic suits. And why assume the military is covering up mere military secrets when you can go with the much more impressive "They're hiding little green men, dude!"
  • Re:Of course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cetialphav (246516) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @06:27PM (#29112317)

    I think it is more than just the mindset. When I have seen these claims, the people are usually saying that the UFO did some odd aerobatic maneuver that is impossible for conventional aircraft. They really seem to believe this. To them, the only explanation is that the aircraft they see must not be man made.

    The true fallacy that they make is believing too much in their eyes. They are completely unqualified to determine whether the high performance, experimental aircraft(s) flying miles away is doing something impossible. Decades of research has shown that people are notoriously bad eye witnesses and that they overestimate their own accuracy. Combine that with a real desire to discover alien life and a general distrust of government (both of which are normal and prevalent in the wider society) and you can see where people can fool themselves.
    I can see where even highly intelligent, rational people could fool themselves in the right circumstances.

    The only people that I think are delusional are the people that put all of their faith in these eyewitnesses.

  • Re:i wonder ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lennier (44736) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @06:40PM (#29112455) Homepage

    Yes, exactly. The X-Files was the first TV show I saw which 'got' the vibe of the conspiracy underground and managed to portray the strange mix of fact, conjecture, truth, outright lies, paranoia and contradiction which you get from doing serious study of the UFO phenomenon and related subjects. The show was at its best when it made no attempt to make anything make sense or add up and just generated a 'wtf' SF anthology feel. 'WHAT IF ALL the freaky things you've ever read in zines or on Usenet were, in fact, real...'

    Remember, the MJ-12 papers (of dubious provenance) and Whitley Streiber's Communion surfaced in the 1980s. Moore's Philadelphia Experiment in the late 70s. Stan Deyo's Cosmic Conspiracy in 1978, just after Close Encounters. Lots of other stories had been circulating for some time. David Hatcher Childress' 'The Antigravity Handbook', for instance.

    But for the most part, in the 80s, you couldn't really talk about the 'alien conspiracy' mythos even in entertainment without a snigger, or at least without a gung-ho humans-vs-aliens war movie feel. X-Files was the first show to really play the Area 51 underground vibe straight - and to a great extent, the only one to really even try to get it sort of halfway right.

16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling

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