Retired UNO physics professor Jack Kasher is a true believer — in God and extraterrestrials.
"I'm Catholic, and we believe in angels and things like that," Jack said. "If your religion doesn't allow for the existence of extraterrestrials, then something is wrong with your religion."
Belief in the notion of intelligent life in other parts of the universe, he said, merely "shows God's majesty and power."
A UFO researcher for 25 years, Kasher was flown to Austin, Texas, in November for an all-day interview for a special that will be shown at 9 tonight on the Discovery Science channel. (On Cox Cable, that's channel 101 or, in high definition, 1101.)
Specifically, he talks about the Sept. 15, 1991, video footage shot by the space shuttle Discovery showing darting images at "fantastic accelerations."
NASA's official explanation was that the images were space debris or ice. Kasher said he investigated the phenomena at length using mathematical calculations, and doesn't buy the NASA explanation.
Some say the images could be meteors, but he said meteors don't suddenly change direction, as the objects in the video do.
The government, he asserted, has covered up UFO investigations. In lawsuits attempting to force disclosure of information, he said, judges have ruled that releasing certain information would be detrimental to the national interest.
The most famous case he believes is covered up is the "Roswell incident" of 1947 in Roswell, N.M., when the Air Force first announced that a saucerlike object had crashed, but then said it was merely a weather balloon.
Kasher has interviewed people under hypnosis whom he believes were temporarily abducted. One couple, he once told me, were driving at night on "a remote area of the Interstate" in Omaha when they saw a flying saucer hovering over the four lanes of highway.
The couple later said they looked up in awe, and then the ship was gone. They continued driving, looked at their watches — and were shocked that it was an hour and a half later. They had lost 90 minutes.
Some sightings, Kasher said, are hoaxes or misunderstandings. Jupiter and Venus have been mistaken for UFOs.
Jack once saw a V-shaped object with 10 circular lights. After 15 seconds, it silently flew away. When he called Offutt Air Force Base and asked whether anything unusual had been seen, he was told: "We don't track that stuff. But there's a guy at UNO you can call."
Jack himself was the "UFO guy" at UNO, but retired 11 years ago. Besides physics, he taught astronomy and received honors and teaching awards.
When I reached him at home Monday, he said, he was practicing "boogie-woogie" music on his piano. After all his years of research, writing and attending conferences on UFOs, he doesn't fear extraterrestrials as bogeymen out to do us harm.
"UFO sightings go back centuries," Jack said. "If extraterrestrials were going to take over, they sure are taking their time about it." via Omaha.com

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