Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Recent UFO sightings caught on camera

Charles Miller took this picture of unidentified lights in the North Carolina sky and sent it to CNN.

When it comes right down to it, almost all of us have seen UFOs. After all, UFO stands for "Unidentified Flying Object," and who hasn't seen a flying object in the sky they haven't been able to identify? That said, it's the other connotation of the term UFO that has us doing some investigating this week, the "other worldly" connotation.

A couple of weeks ago, the 911 emergency call centers in the Charlotte, North Carolina, metropolitan area lit up. People reported strange lights in the sky. Some said it looked like a blue-green oval-shaped object. Some said it was blue and white. Others said it had a tail and streaked across the sky. All said it was something very unusual. One man actually took a picture of it and gave a copy to CNN.

Two nights later, on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, fireballs were seen in the sky. And it wasn't only a picture available this time, it was video, which was shot by a television station's camera. One surfer on Oahu told a television reporter that while he was watching the fireballs he thought he might never surf again.

Sightings of unusual objects in the heavens are nothing new. UFO Web sites are full of such reports. But what's noteworthy about the recent sightings is the fact that we actually see the images, rather than just hear about them. And that just adds fuel to the fire for UFO enthusiasts.

Make no mistake about it; there are a great many people who believe the U.S. government has covered up extraterrestrial visits and that these recent events are more evidence of travelers from other worlds. But other witnesses who saw the lights in North Carolina and Hawaii say they're not sure what they were seeing.

We spent part of the evening this past week at the Appalachian State University observatory in the mountains of North Carolina. Professor Daniel Caton told us that most UFO sightings are explainable. The one in North Carolina, he has concluded, was a bolide, which is a fireball-like meteor that ranges in size from a pebble to several kilometers in diameter. Professor Caton told us something about extraterrestrial aircraft we found especially humorous.

"Until it sets down on the White House lawn and CNN is there," Caton said, "I won't believe it."

That hasn't happened yet. But it won't stop believers from believing. Though even the man who took the picture of the object in the North Carolina sky has his doubts. Charles Miller is no believer in alien visitors, but he told us what he saw in the sky looks like no meteor he has ever seen before. He just knows he doesn't want to see something like it over his house again.
Posted By Gary Tuchman, CNN Correspondent: 9:37 AM ET
  34 Comments
I defiantly do not believe in life outside of earth or space ships. I think that most UFO sightings are probably just a change or something in the earth's atmosphere. Or maybe some abnormal star, who knows people can make simple things a big deal.
Posted By Anonymous Joanna Parker, Millsboro: DE : 10:25 AM ET
Believing it or not, it is a wonder worth checking. How much times do you catch an object as odd as that in the sky? People have always said that objects like that were spotted, so if one is hovering over me ,why wouldn't i think that this one isn't a UFO? Even though they might not be an authentic or true object and only a myth, objects in the sky have always caught attention of man and intrigued them for centuries.But as for centuries of stories and sightings before us indicated,that maybe we will never know the truth.
Posted By Anonymous Hadiya . Monmouth Junction, NJ : 10:32 AM ET
Space is big, maybe there's other life out there. But if it's intelligent life, why's it coming here?
Posted By Anonymous Lindsay, Seattle WA : 10:52 AM ET
I find it to be incredibly self-centered and closed-minded to insist without proof that out of all the galaxies and infinite space out there, that people are absolutely certain that we are the only life forms out there. Since we don't even know how far our universe extends, who are we to determine that there is no such thing as life other than ours?
Posted By Anonymous Megan Rochester, NH : 10:55 AM ET
It's happened again. The lights over Phoenix were on the news again last night, almost 10 years after the last newsworthy event. The FAA says they were flares dropped by some Luke AFB jets. I'm inclined to believe it was flares, but whatever it was, the skies this morning are crisscrossed by contrails.
Posted By Anonymous Meg Gannaway, Phoenix, AZ : 10:56 AM ET
It is interesting how we automatically assume extraterrestrial aircraft when we see lights in the sky. What I don't understand is why Charles Miller did not want to be seen on camera. Was he afraid those extraterrestrials would recognize him? Perhaps some of us are watching way too much of the Sci-Fi channel!
Posted By Anonymous Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 10:56 AM ET
Gary,

I guess believing is seeing or I won't believe it until I see it is how most people feel. I think it may be possible - after all, lots of things are possible. We should all keep an open mind and just maybe we can learn something. Who knows - However, it is fun and kind of spooky to ponder what lives beyond.
Posted By Anonymous Cheryl Raleigh, NC : 11:00 AM ET
I am 68 years old and finally saw my first UFO over Chiang Mai, Thailand a few weeks ago. At first I thought it was a meteor as it streaked across the sky from west to east with a tail of pieces of whatever it was. It was orange/red in color BUT it slowed down and the tail disappeared and came to stop over the city almost directly overhead. It then was just the brightest object in the sky but it eventually winked out of sight. Meteors do not slow down and stop in midair so what the heck was it???
Posted By Anonymous Irving Waldorf, San Francisco, California : 11:03 AM ET
Of course there are extra-terrestials. Evidence that our early ancestors, egyptians, and painters from Da Vinci era saw such things by cave paintings, hieroglyphics and saucer-shaped disks painted into old paintings are no mistake. To dismiss such an idea is the same as dismissing that our government doesn't lie to its people. If aliens are here, there is nothing we can do about it, whether their nice or not. We will know the truth someday, I just hope it's not bad.
Posted By Anonymous Nick Steiner, Boise, ID : 11:22 AM ET
In the mid Hudson of ny around 1978 my son called me to his room and said dad look at this. We looked out the window and to this day it looked like viewing close encounteers of the third kind. Dozens of reports were generated and hundreds of people were whitnesses. Explaination night hang gliders. Check it out in the kingston daily freeman.
Posted By Anonymous john fisher High Point NC : 11:23 AM ET
It is always interesting when UFO stuff gets into respected, mainstream publications/postings. Personally, I don't think any of these sightings were extraterrestrial and for that matter, I don't think any of them to date have been. Don't get me wrong, I belive in life outside of earth.. it would be foolish and narrow-minded not to. BUT, I don't belive in life flying millions of light years to Earth just to zip around in our atmosphere then leave... why?? It doesn't make any sense.
Posted By Anonymous K, Chicago, IL : 11:23 AM ET
One word: Photoshop.
Posted By Anonymous Eric, Murfreesboro, TN : 11:31 AM ET
I saw the Oahu video, and it does indeed look like a contrail. But if so, why was it not picked up by radar?
Posted By Anonymous David Dzwonkoski, Virginia Beach, VA : 11:34 AM ET
There are plenty of UFOs in Earth's skies but whether they are spacecraft with aliens inside is yet to be proven. In my own family there are stories from two of my uncles, both military pilots of UFOs. They didn't know what they saw but it wasn't anything they were trained to see.

As far as life in the universe. I hope so. It is a very chilling thought that we are the only representation of life in this great expanse of stars and planets. It is even more chilling knowing that we are killing off the life on our planet at a lightspeed rate.
Posted By Anonymous Robin, Montreal, Canada : 11:35 AM ET
If we are to believe that somewhere in the "heavens" exists a place where all of the dead now are looking down on us...is it really that ridiculous to assume that there is a visible object hovering in the sky? I will never understand why it is not okay to be skeptical about something that we cannot see and will not understand, but when we see something (and record it), we are meant to not believe it.
Posted By Anonymous Robbie Schaefer, Chicago, IL : 11:42 AM ET
It is foolish to think we are alone in the universe, which is of a size we cannot even fathom. Just because life doesn't exist anywhere else in our solar system doesn't exist somewhere beyond our range to see/explore.
Posted By Anonymous RVS, Buffalo NY : 11:42 AM ET
It seems like a no-brainer. Within just our universe, Earth is nothing but a tiny speck of dust. How can we believe that we are the only intelligent life that exists? However, the real question is whether more advanced extraterrestials are visiting this planet? If they are, it is very likely that they observe us in amazement and amusement.
Posted By Anonymous Frank A, East Meadow, NY : 11:45 AM ET
OK everybody: on 1,2,3: "The Giggle Factor!"

Used by the Media, scientist's and those still living in the: "Swamp Gas" 50's dark ages.

Listening to some of their expanations, one wonders what's more difficult to swallow, the ridiculous means they go to de-bunk, or that it's something we simply don't understand!
Posted By Anonymous Del Martinis Houston, TX : 11:46 AM ET
UFOs have been around for a long time-- thousands of years, actually, but sightings have increased significantly in recent years, especially those from very competent and qualified observers who have nothing to gain, but plenty to lose by jeopardizing their credibility in reporting such experiences. This is a topic too long ignored by mainstream media, due in no small part to intentional disinformation and open ridicule of anyone reporting incidents by the US government. (Consider, as just one example, the consequences to airline pilots who render such reports.) Religious zealotry and fear of the unknown, especially in confronting the reality that there may well be other far advanced civilizations in our galaxy and others, makes many very uncomfortable-- much easier by far to simply poohpooh and ridicule those who have had first hand experience. (After all, we're the only planet in the universe to have life.) As our technology continues to improve, it becomes just a matter of time before conclusive proof finally is acknowledged and released, (because it has already been in our possession for a very long time, indeed.)
Posted By Anonymous Frank Winkler Montgomery, Alabama : 11:48 AM ET
Well, as most who've witnessed say- seeing is believing. At the age of 8 I came within a few feet of a UFO- small, disk like, no means of propulsion- it hovered and moved slowly along the massachusetts turnpike going right over peoples cars. I remember thinking that a butterfly net out of the sunroof would have caught it. After passing over us, we watched it for another minute before it accelerated at an incredible speed off and out of sight. I know what I saw (and what my mother and brother also saw), and it forever changed my opinion on other life in this universe!
Posted By Anonymous Paul, Philadelphia PA : 12:04 PM ET
I have never seen a UFO, but to automatically shrug off the possibility that unknown lifeforms exist is dumb. Are you scared of not knowing what else is out there? I guess it is a bit frightening, but surely within the vast universe there must be the possibility of some unknown form of life. I'm not saying I believe in them or not, I'm just leaving the possibility open that they may exist. There is surely no proof to support the flip side.
Posted By Anonymous Blake H. Dallas, TX : 12:04 PM ET
I can just imagine some "martians" coming here to check out other life forms, see how stupid humans are, how we treat each other with disrespect and hatred because of skin colour and misunderstandings and being too quick to judge others....rolling their eyes at us....and leaving as quickly as they came.
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 12:13 PM ET
there is life on other planets.
though, there is no inteligent life on other planets or they would have found us already.
if there is life out there that is heading our way they will be hostile; look at life on our planet: eat or be eaten.
this is nothing but a secret government aircraft, if even that, and thats giving us more credit then we deserve.
Posted By Anonymous reptakon, Boston MA : 12:16 PM ET
Oh, stop...

While it is likely that there are other planets with life and maybe advanced and intelligent life, it seems absurd that they would be so interested in us.

Hey, can anyone tell me where to buy a pyramid? I need to sharpen my razor blades...
Posted By Anonymous Bill, Chelmsford, MA : 12:32 PM ET
200 years ago everyone KNEW the Earth was the center of the universe, 100 years ago everyone KNEW the Earth was flat, in a couple of years everyone
will know we are not alone.

Do you interfere with an ants life?
We are insignificant because we cant even get along with each other. Why would they even come down to greet us?
Maybe they are God? Maybe they were here before us in our oceans. Wake up and read some books on the subject and you might be surprised as to what is real and what is not.
Posted By Anonymous Bryan Woodbury, Boston, MA : 12:42 PM ET
Greeting Earthlings,
or should I say Nah noo, nah noo.

My name is Meathead and I am from the planet NARF. I come here in peace and think Anderson Cooper rules the galaxy. I was hoping the picture of my ship would be on his blog.

Thanks
Your friendly alien
Meathead
Posted By Anonymous meathead, planet Narf, IL : 12:42 PM ET
Who knows what other life is out there in the universe? It's a bit arrogant to believe that our planet is the only one inhabited. I would love to know about other worlds, other civilization, and how they have evolved. It would be a grand opportunity - but I doubt that our little planet is progressive enough to attract the interest of "true" space travelers.
Posted By Anonymous Deb, Richmond VA : 12:43 PM ET
A good friend of mine's father is a 30 year navy vet with a good amount of security clearance. When ask once if UFO's are real, he smiled and said "I can't tell you."
Posted By Anonymous Lee Kayfabe, Louisville, Ky : 12:44 PM ET
GOD (can't see him/her)Told to believe
UFO's (can see them) Told not to beleive
Who made up theese rules?
Posted By Anonymous William Hobday,Canal Fulton,Ohio : 12:47 PM ET
Why is it that UFO sightings seem confined to the US and Hawaii? Here in Europe, we have few sightings and none recently that I know of.
Posted By Anonymous Jim, London, UK : 12:48 PM ET
According to the drake equation scientists estimate there are between 10,000 to 1 million intelligent civilazations in our galaxy alone. There are millions of other known galaxies as well. For those of us who have studied this subject extensively we know the evidence is extensive and overwhelming. The Disclosure Project press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC at which more that 20 military, government, corporate and intelligence witnesses came forward to urge open and honest congressional hearings in to the subject of UFOs and exotic energy and propulsion technologies. 250,000 were waiting on line for the webcast - the largest number ever for a webcast from the National Press Club.

Some UFO researchers have met with and provided briefings for senior members of government, military and intelligence operations in the United States and around the world, including senior CIA officials, Joint Chiefs of Staff, senior members of congress and congressional committees, senior United Nations leadership and diplomats, senior military officials in the United Kingdom and Europe among others.
As long as this subject isn't taken seriously by the media, we won't have answers any time soon. When viewing most news stories about UFO's most news casters are smiling and smirking throughout the report. This is a serious subject worthy of serious study. Why haven't UFO's landed on the white house lawn?......most likely because we are a primitive, aggressive, war-like species that can't get along with ourselves, how are we going to get along with them?
Posted By Anonymous David Lavoie, South Windsor, CT : 12:49 PM ET
That is a GREAT picure. I'd love for CNN to use their powerful resources to get it analyzed. There are specialists who can find the actual frequencies of light being reflected by this literal "UFO" and it would be interesting to have something like this on mainstream tv. Those of us who are really fascinated with UFOs are always waiting for these opportunities.
Posted By Anonymous Colleen, Ashland Oregon : 12:49 PM ET
For some reason every time this issue is discussed it always comes down to an arguement on one side saying there is life on other worlds and another saying the opposite. This arguement makes no sense, because it is just impossible. To assume in the vastness of the universe our small speck of it is the only place where any intelligent life exists is a insane. But none the less the amount of distance that any being would have to travel to reach our planet is much more than most people can fathom. Granted there could be life on other planets vastly more advanced than we are currently. But it is still nearly impossible for anything to travel that far without breaking the laws of physics and reaching us in any reasonable amount of time. At best it would take them a lifetime to reach us. It just seems like a waste of time to travel all that distance to me.
Posted By Anonymous James, Sicklerville, NJ : 12:56 PM ET
To all those who use the rediculous argument, "If they're so intelligent and advanced why would they come here?" The answer is WHO KNOWS? How the heck can we second guess the motivations of a vastly superior alien intelligence? We couldn't understand their motivations any more than our pet salamander can understand physics.
Posted By Anonymous Marvin, Toledo, OH : 12:57 PM ET
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