COMMENT Unidentified flying objects (UFOs) have stirred controversy, fear and fascination around the globe since ancient times.
Yet, despite hundred thousands of sightings, documented cases of bizarre close encounters and claims of related activities, nowhere are we closer to explaining the phenomenon.
There is no consensus among experts about the who and why of UFOs, but they all agree that sightings are likely to increase in years to come.
Former British Minister of Defence Nick Pope has investigated UFOs for two decades, handling an average of 200 to 300 sightings every year. He has said that there is no doubt about the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial beings.
Chinese astronomer Wang Sichao has noted that the number of major sightings has lately been higher than average. UFO sightings were reported in Beijing, Mongolia and several other places in China between June and July this year.
“Major sightings have occurred the most in years ending with 1, 2 or 7 since the 1970s,” said Wang, who has been studying UFO sightings for the past 39 years.
It seems that every country in the world, including Malaysia, has experienced the UFO phenomenon.
UFO news splashed across Malaysian newspapers in 1979 and 1995, citing claims of close encounters with extraterrestrial aliens with long ears and red eyes and standing three to six inches in height.
In 2003, there were news reports of an UFO hovering over a quiet village in northern Kedah near the Thai border.
According to Ahmad Jamaludin, a Malaysian who has been researching UFOs since 1978, “There were some 100 sightings between 1950 and 1980.”
Round blue object
Consistent with claims by worldwide UFO researchers, such sightings have been on the increase. According to Jamaludin’s online report, “Flying Saucer Review”, there were six UFO sightings in 2001 compared to three 2000, including a report claiming an abduction by UFO aliens.
The Malaysian Digest website reports that the latest UFO sighting in this country took place last July 21 and that it involved a “round blue object” hovering in the sky over the Tuaran Beach Resort, Kota Kinabalu at about 4pm, witnessed by several resort guests and employees.
The sceptical Malaysian population rarely pays much attention to UFO sightings or reports. Even the government has no interest whatsoever on these happenings.
Elsewhere, more and more witnesses are finally warming up to the reality that humans are not the only intelligent beings in the vast universe.
In short, extraterrestrial life in whatever physical form is a plausible reality.
Sightings have been recorded for millions of years. The great scientist of ancients China, Shen Kuo of the Sung dynasty (960-1279), recorded seeing a UFO in his “Dream Pool Essays” (Mengxi Bitan).
Another, Wu You-ru, a Qing dynasty painter (1644-1912), vividly depicted a crowd watching a fireball flying eastward above the sky of ancient Nanjing city.
One of the biggest controversies and mysteries in US history was the Roswell UFO Incident of 1947, when debris from an alien aircraft was discovered in the New Mexico desert, only to be covered up by the government.
In 1942, during WWII, three months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour, UFOs were sighted over Los Angeles between February 24 and 25.
More than 2,000 “ghost rockets” were seen moving slowly and horizontally and emitting strange noises over Sweden in broad daylight in 1946. There were hundreds of witnesses.
In 1952, Life magazine published a photograph of some 20 to 30 lights, apparently UFOs, flying in a V-formation over Lubbock, Texas. The incident was witnessed by three professors from the Texas Technical College and photographed by a student.
These are just some of the thousands of documented cases recorded by UFO researchers over the years.
For decades, researchers and hardcore enthusiasts have painstakingly been stacking up voluminous documentations based on hard evidence on UFO visits.
Records of bizarre cases include human abductions by aliens, strange and mysterious designs and formations in crop fields, mutilation of animal cattle in ranch farms and many terrifying close encounters between humans and extraterrestrial aliens.
Whay do they want?
Why are these aliens visiting planet Earth? What do they want? Why have they not established contact? These are just some of the questions that researchers are asking.
Are they deliberately showing their presence in the skies to create greater awareness among the human race?
From pulsating moving metallic flying objects during the day to mysterious formations of dancing lights in the starry night sky, the number of UFO sightings—an average of some 70,000 a year across the continents—is astounding to both the believers and sceptics.
World governments are also finding it more difficult to keep the lid on the paranormal incidents in this age of information, and witnesses across the continents are demanding answers.
But the global citizenry is being educated gradually not only by UFO researchers but also the growing body of hard evidence.
Sceptics, disbelievers, stubborn mindsets and government officials are just as mystified as the enthusiasts are.
Yet, bits and pieces are gradually filling up the empty spaces, and a picture is emerging on the jigsaw board.
The controversial case of Billy Meier, a Swiss national claiming to have been contacted by highly civilised extraterrestrials calling themselves Plejarens, continues to be the subject of a raging debate.
According to Meier, the Plejarens have a common ancestry with earthlings. They hail from the Pleiades star system, which is a fraction of a second into the future from the Earth’s space-time
configuration, and they first made contact with him in 1975.
To many UFO experts, Meier’s highly detailed photographs, videos, sound recordings, metal alloy samples and thousands of pages of “contact notes” provide a wealth of information that help to finish the jigsaw puzzle. The contact notes are records of conversations and lectures from the Plejarens over a contact period of more than 20 years.
Many UFO enthusiasts believe that by the next century, mere sightings will be a fascination of the past. The next step is direct contact with the aliens.
According to Meier, that is likely to happen 761 years from now.
Stanley Koh is a former head of research at MCA.