Why UFO sightings appear to have decreased during the Covid-19 pandemic
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Johannesburg - Covid-19 hasn’t just killed the tourist trade in South Africa, it appears extra terrestrials have stopped visiting too.
In a year-and-a-half, the South African chapter of the Mutual UFO Network, (Mufon) has had one reported sighting of an unexplained object.
It is not that aliens are scared of catching Covid-19, the drop in recent sightings is probably the result of a more mundane cause, according to Lee Strydom, South Africa’s Mufon representative.
“You know, people now just go to work, they come back and they are not spending time outside having braais with friends, and looking up and seeing things. People are worried about Covid-19,” Strydom laments.
But while South African skies might have recently emptied of unexplained sightings, it has been heady times for ufologists, both locally and across the globe.
For the last few months, they had been waiting for the release of the Pentagon’s UFO report, which finally dropped on June 25.
But it’s arrival was, for many, underwhelming. The report didn’t even mention the word aliens or suggest that the unexplained objects sighted by the US military, between 2004 and 2021, might be powered by off-world technology.
Evan Robinson, the founder of the Cape Town UFO Meet-up, found the nine-page report thin on detail.
“The US seems to be doing the bare minimum in order to maintain the current status quo. Their response indicates how little knowledge and control over the subject they actually have,” he says.
Using the new name for UFOs – unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP) – the report examined 144 sightings.
The authors of the report said that the challenge they had was the lack of high quality data.
But they did offer five possible categories that might “pigeon-hole” what these things are.
These being airborne clutter, such as birds, balloons or drones, or natural atmospheric phenomena.
The third possibility is that the UAPs are the product of a US government or industrial development programme.
A fourth explanation is the involvement of a foreign entity, and the final category is open-ended, and simply titled “other”.
“I would have thought the military would at least have acknowledged the mathematical certainty that there are other habitable planets in the universe which have evolved sentient life, and that their technology and ability to travel between star systems might be more advanced than ours,” says Robinson.
But the big reveal in the report is the admittance that some of the sightings appear to demonstrate advanced technology.
“Some UAPs appeared to remain stationary in winds aloft, move against the wind, manoeuvre abruptly, or move at considerable speed, without discernible means of propulsion”, the report reads.
One such sighting, that was investigated and appeared to show this advanced technology, was initially leaked to the media and eventually declassified by the US Navy. This is the tic tac video, which was taken from a US fighter jet and shows a white oval object that appears to travel at unexplainable high speeds.
The strange object was able to easily outmanoeuvre the US jets.
“The only reason why the Pentagon responded to the tic tac video is because it was leaked. If it hadn't been leaked, they would have kept it under cover,” says Strydom, adding that he believes that the US is slowly revealing bits and pieces of information, in a slow reveal of ultra secretive programmes that involve extraterrestrials.
Although the report might not have revealed much, its release believes at least one scientist might push the study of UFOs into the mainstream.
“Specifically, it encourages the US government to collect better data on UFOs, and I think the release of the report increases the chances that scientists will try to interpret that data. Historically, UFOs have felt off-limits to mainstream science, but perhaps this will be no more”, Chris Impey, the distinguished Professor of Astronomy, University of Arizona, wrote recently in The Conversation.
He did, however, point out that more than half of all UFO sightings are attributed to meteors, fireballs, and the planet Venus.
But for the dedicated few, the truth is, well ... out there, and they are working to have it revealed.
"The report didn't reveal the best of the best that they have got. But it is a much higher quality of information than what we had 10 years ago. So it's very exciting that the policymakers are caving under public pressure," says Ufologist Cristo Louw.