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Where Are All the UFO Photos?

5 years ago
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Okay, where are all the UFO pictures? And the UFO videos?

In recent years, the world has exploded with photographic and video equipment. There are about 5 billion cellphones in circulation throughout the world -- many, if not most, equipped with still and/or video cameras. (The number of mobile broadband subscriptions will probably top a billion globally this year.) And there are millions, if not billions, of easy-to-use video cameras in circulation, as well as billions of still-picture cameras. Essentially, billions of people are able to snap or otherwise shoot the least bit interesting thing that happens at a moment's notice.

So with all this gear in use, I'm wondering, why has no one captured clear and unambiguous evidence of UFOs from outer space? And why have none of the humans abducted by aliens flipped out their Flip video cameras and shot a minute or two of the historic moment -- and later uploaded it to YouTube? After all, any time a celebrity does something really dumb, a cellphone video is on the Internet before he or she can check into a rehab center.

Recently, there were notable UFO incidents in China. One shut down the Xiaoshan Airport for 40 minutes, and photos hit the Internet showing the unidentified object. Days later, another unidentified flying object was sighted in eastern China, and a video was circulated showing a plume in the air. Physicist Geoffrey Forden dismissed the photos of the first incident as either Photoshop tomfoolery or photographs of a Chinese ballistic missile launch. In any event, neither episode yielded an undeniable shot of a spaceship.

As each year goes by in our easy-to-record era with no hard video or photographic proof, we have to ponder the possibility (or probability) that there are no UFOs visiting from out there. For me, this has political ramifications. I came of age during the wonderful 1970s, when politics seemed to equal conspiracies. Exhibit A: Watergate. But there were others: for instance, past CIA assassination and mind-control plots and coups were revealed. More important, at the time I was convinced that President John F. Kennedy had been "neutralized" by some cabal of CIA bad guys, mobsters, and who-knows-who's. (Now, I lean toward the simple belief that Oswald did it by his crazy self.) One key part of the grand swirl was UFOs: Roswell, Area 51, crop circles, cattle mutilations, men in black, abductions, Chariot of the Gods, and the government coverup of all this. Secret government seemed to be the name of the game. And what could be a bigger secret?

But nothing undermines conspiracy theorizing better than reporting. And after reporting in Washington for over two decades, I came to the conclusion that the government is generally not capable of mounting extensive and complex, years-long conspiracies that transcend administrations. The bureaucrats are just not that good, and risk-averse political leaders often don't have the guts to do so. There are indeed secret programs -- remember the Iran-contra affair? -- and all sorts of classified skullduggery. But over the years -- even though I once saw an unidentified flying object when I was about 12 at sleep-away summer camp in New Hampshire (I'll tell you that story another time) -- I've come to believe that some covert misdeeds are beyond the reach of government officials, such as covering up alien visitations for decades. (9/11 conspiracy theorists, please don't e-mail.)

I'd certainly prefer to hold on to my once passionate adolescent view that UFOs carrying extra-terrestrial tourists were turning the Earth into a veritable celestial truck stop. But that brings me back to the question: Where are the photos?

The other day, I was discussing this with a scientist -- yes, really -- and she raised a couple of possibilities. Perhaps the UFOers had the ability to defeat photographic detection. They would have to be damn technologically advanced to reach the Earth from wherever. Think of stealth technology on steroids. Then she paused for a moment and offered another theory: Maybe they've stopped visiting us precisely because there are now too many ways they could be caught on film (or in pixels), and they prefer not to be seen (for the obvious reasons). In other words, the rapid global spread of technology has not provided proof -- via the absence of proof -- that UFOs are not dropping by from far-away galactic destinations; it has scared them away. Though I doubt that to be the case, it was a rather sad thought. So now I'm hoping that if someone was able to grab video of a whale attacking a sailboat, then somebody else will soon nab a close encounter of the third kind with the new iPhone.

You can follow David Corn's postings and media appearances via Twitter.
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Carol Grossman

I agree with the other posters, David. There are plenty of UFO photo's available, however, there are always people like Geoffrey Forden standing by to debunk every single one of them. And usually, these people who are so quick to debunk weren't even there to witness the sighting, but they will be more than happy to tell you what you "really" saw. I guess the old adage holds true: a UFO will have to land on the White House lawn before they'd believe it. The rest of us will not be surprised. I do not know how much air traffic flies in and out of China's airspace, but I have a feeling they know what's supposed to be there. Mr. Forden couldn't make up his mind whether it was Photoshop or a ballistic missile launch! Yeah, THAT'S conclusive! He might as well admit he doesn't know, either, for all the good his "dismissive" explanation does!

September 14 2010 at 2:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

David. I have noticed that with quite a few UFO videos and still photos, that the photographer many times does not even notice the UFO until either the video is slowed-down or the photo is enlarged. Many times the UFO is not even noticed at first because it is a barely-noticeable speck in the sky until the photo is enlarged or the speck is zoomed-in on. So I think maybe many UFO's are not photographed simply because they may be moving at such a high rate of speed, or so far away, that we simply can't, and don't, see them with the naked eye. And as for clarity, many cameras, cellphones, and camcorders have difficulty focusing on even a still object that is some distance away, and even more so if the object is moving away from, or towards you.

September 14 2010 at 12:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good God, David. A UFO is an unidentified flying object. You can go take a picture of unidentifiable stuff whenever you want, practically. And, that's the thing. "Is that an alien craft, you think?" "Well, Sir, I don't know what that is a picture of." "Is it flying?" "Well, I suppose..." I understand that it is common to get cynical and skeptical as we grow older, but never forget that there is far more out there that you DON'T know, than what you DO know, and that's something that, thankfully, will never change. Our (Earth's collective) story is a mystery, after all.

August 27 2010 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sometimes I think our government is being controlled by aliens who's goal is to alienate us.

August 22 2010 at 9:49 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

OK David- you must be bored. But hey by reading the comments it seems the UFO faithful see absolutely no reason to put any credence to your theory that the recent boom in ready to use photographic equipment puts the possibility of extra planetary visitors even further from the realm of possibility. Theory shmeory! we're on to you! Your secret government propaganda assignment has failed. We'll never believe the government conspiracy that UFO's aren't real! I'm also pretty sure my neighbors recent "vacation" to Cabo was actually a secret retreat for all the "in the know" UFO hiding individuals to first get all their stories straight, then relax, speak freely and yuck it up about how special they are for keeping us all in the dark, while knowing space ships from any number of known or unknown superior technology civilizations are whizzing in and out of our atmosphere all the time, undetected by scads of independent observation entities, and universally uninterested in making any verifiable contact with the general public. There must be so many people keeping a lid on these UFOs that the hotel room prices are through the roof at the conspiracy retreats, and try to find a decent buffet - forget it!

August 21 2010 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

David Corn, Where have you been? There is a large body of photographic evidence, even after you eliminate all the photos whose history is undocumentable or suspicious. Do a little research next time. David I suggest you begin with the photos (and radar evidence) released by the Belgian government after the months long sitings over their country several years ago. Unlike the United States, the Belgian government was forthcoming with information and evidence. The provenance of these photos is undeniable. There is a great body of photographic evidence where the source is known and reliable. Now, what photos prove, is a more difficult question. The photographic evidence only tends to support the idea that there are phenomena zooming around out there that we don't know how to explain.

August 21 2010 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

David, there are plenty of photos out there, posted on sites that focus on the UFO phenomenom. But as your appropriate skepticism to the Chinese UFO photos suggests, in the age of Photoshop all such photos are suspect. The mainstream media avoids publishing UFO photos; you have to look at specialized publications and websites to find them.

August 21 2010 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


August 20 2010 at 8:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

David, I have proof positive of the photographic kind that UFOs do indeed frequent our small blue marble. However, if I were to release them it would leave dozens of conspiracy theory publishers out of work and millions of nerds everywhere with no weekend activities!

August 20 2010 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Gosh-darn I'll be glad when the silly season is over! Corn-Dude, didn't you see MEN IN BLACK? Aliens are everywhere, but especially in Los Angeles, New York, and Connecticut. Haven't you seen Jerry Springer,TMZ, one of the so-called news magazines. How much more evidence do you need? By the way, I have it on good authority (STAR GATE) that space ships are no longer in use: everything's done with wormholes now.

August 20 2010 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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