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Some people claim that extraterrestrials have already visited Earth in the form of UFOs. Scientists usually dismiss the possibility of UFOs because the distances between stars are so vast. But last year the French government released a report by the French National Centre for Space Studies, which included 1,600 UFO sightings spanning 50 years, including 100,000 pages of eyewitness accounts, films and audiotapes. The French government stated that nine per cent of these sightings could be fully explained, that 33 per cent had likely explanations, but that it was unable to follow up on the rest.
The most credible cases of UFOs involve a) multiple sightings by independent, credible eyewitnesses and b) evidence from multiple sources, such as eyesight and radar. For example, in 1986 there was a sighting of a UFO by JAL flight 1628 over Alaska, which was investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration. The UFO was seen by the passengers of the JAL flight and was also tracked by ground radar. Similarly, there were mass radar sightings of black triangles over Belgium in 1989-90 that were tracked by Nato radar and jet interceptors. In 1976, there was a sighting over Tehran, that resulted in multiple systems failures in an F-4 jet interceptor. But what is frustrating to scientists is that, of the thousands of recorded sightings, none has produced hard physical evidence that can lead to reproducible results in the laboratory. No alien DNA, alien computer chip or physical evidence of a landing has ever been retrieved.