Blog: Reflecting on UFOlogy, 2014

by Amateur Astronomer, Andy Fleming  


So another year passes and listeners have been treated to some fascinating podcasts from Martin and crew about those most elusive of objects: UFOs. The programme is especially poignant to those of us who have experienced our own personal sightings and who search for some sort of closure, truth and explanation about what we’ve seen.

Although I’m no further forward in my own search for answers I know that I saw what I saw, and I also now know that I’m in good company with the millions of other people globally who have seen strange objects and lights in the sky. As an amateur astronomer I also know the night sky well and so could immediately discount astronomical objects in my own case.

My own sighting was of one of the enigmatic triangles; a large V-shaped formation of five orange-red lights evenly spaced slightly east of zenith and moving extremely slowly in a north west-south east direction over the course of about a quarter of an hour. Mesmerised, I began to realise that the lights were actually attached to a single object as they moved silently in an unchanging distance from one another.

2014-04-29-55866_submitter_file4__UFOSketch570-thumbThe lights were fixed on the object’s periphery, which was black and solid, blocking out background stars, so it couldn’t have been a high flying formation of jet aircraft. Judging altitude and spatial characteristics in the atmosphere at any time is very difficult with the naked eye, especially at night but I would estimate height in thousands rather than hundreds of feet and size in a couple of football field dimensions. It was indeed massive.

There were other witnesses to this strange object that visited the night sky of north east England that April night in 2009. Some have suggested it was a stealth blimp, the mystical stealth ‘Black Manta’ TR-3B black ops aircraft or similar… or even an alien spacecraft. The fact is I really don’t know but what I do know is that announcing your sighting can stir up ridicule amongst family, friends and colleagues. They won’t be afraid to explain your sighting either – it was either Chinese lanterns, satellites, meteors or aircraft.

What it couldn’t be was an alien spacecraft because everyone knows that “they can’t get from there to here because of the distances”. As though both ourselves and other speculative intelligent species will be limited to human 2014 propulsion technology forever.

What Podcast-UFO and other similar shows have given me is a deep respect for many of the witnesses of the more high profile sightings, many of whom have seen their lives irrevocably changed (and often not for the better) after announcing what they saw. Whether they are scientists, politicians or military personnel the result is often ridicule and wrecked careers.

Here’s a thought for 2015: Ultimately I find myself increasingly asking the question: in a civilisation grasped by materialistic reductionism, can science explain everything there is to know about sentient life, our world and the vast cosmos of which we are a conscious part? Or is there more to existence than purely the physical? Does then a ‘Theory of Everything’ that includes relativity and quantum physics, also need to include a spiritual component taking into account the cosmos within our brains and those of other sentient beings?

A Happy New Year to you all!


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