Lee Speigel: Huge increase in UFO sightings

History Channel depiction of huge circular UFO encountered by Japan Airlines 747 crew in 1986.

Excerpt from a longer piece that reviews the History Channels new documentary on UFOs. Thanks to huffpost.com. And see this post for more on the documentary from Speigel.

UFO Sightings increase 67% in three years

by Lee Speigel

August 26, 2011

Unemployment, gas prices, and fear over global warming aren’t the only things skyrocketing — so are mysterious objects rocketing through the sky.

The Mutual UFO Network — the largest privately funded UFO research organisation in the world — tells The Huffington Post that more people than ever are reporting unidentified flying objects, mostly in the United States and Canada.

“Over the past year, we’ve been averaging 500 sighting reports a month, compared to about 300 three years ago [67 percent],” MUFON international director Clifford Clift said.

“And I get one or two production companies contacting me every week, wanting to do stories on UFOs.”

So far this week, mysterious aerial lights in Laredo, Texas, and Kansas City, MO., lived up to, at least initially, the strict definition of UFOs, namely “Unidentified” Flying Objects.

That, of course, doesn’t mean that little green men are watching us. It’s generally accepted that 95 percent of all sightings are easily dismissed. Some turn out to be conventional aircraft, others are satellites or weather balloons — and then there are the hoaxers with Photoshopped concoctions.

In the case of the Kansas City sighting, the UFOs turned out to be the Army Golden Knights parachuting team, performing a nighttime jump. But the explanation for the blinking light over Laredo is still up for grabs.

However, the remaining 5 percent of all UFO reports aren’t as easily explained. And many of them are reported by commercial and military pilots. These were examined on “Secret Access: UFOs On The Record,” a new History Channel documentary that premiered on Thursday.

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