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UFO sightings caused by X-files enthusiasm?

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posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 08:05 PM
This was recently brought to my attention by somebody who did not provide a link to the original source:

UFO Sightings May Have Been Due to "X-files"

LONDON (Reuters) – A cluster of UFO sightings over Britain in 1996 may have had more to do with public fascination with TV shows like the "X Files" than extraterrestrial activity, according to files released by the National Archives on Monday.

Documents from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) indicated there were 609 UFO sightings in 1996, compared with 117 in 1995. This coincided with the rise in popularity of the X Files and the release of the alien blockbuster film "Independence Day."

The files, which span 15 years and contain more than 4,000 pages, show that for most cases the UFO sightings had ordinary explanations such as bright stars and planets, meteors, artificial satellites and balloons.

In one incident in 1995, two men in the midland county of Staffordshire told police they saw an alien with a lemon-shaped head emerge from a hovering UFO and tell them "We want you; come with us."

Another case detailed dozens of sightings of a brightly illuminated oval object in London during 1993 and 1994 which was later explained as an airship advertising the launch of the Ford Mondeo car.

Despite most cases having a mundane reason behind them, some 10 percent were classed as "unexplained."

For these, the MoD said there was "insufficient information" which is why it continued to collect reports.

The files also add a new detail on Britain's best known UFO incident, the Rendlesham Forest sightings of December 1980 in which American airforce men saw a series of mysterious lights.

The then government of Margaret Thatcher summarily dismissed the affair but a letter from a former chief of defence staff in 1985 warned it not to be so cavalier.

"The case has puzzling and disquieting features which have never been satisfactorily explained ... which continue to preoccupy informed sections of the public," said the letter.

How typical: The mainstream media publishes an article whose headline conveys the impression that "there's nothing to see here."

Then, if you're one of the few who actually bother to read further, you discover that, as usual, the UFO debunkers haven't got a leg to stand on. This is so typical of UFO skeptics: They begin with a conclusion based on nothing more than idle speculation, such as "I'll bet those sightings were due to the X-files being popular," and then they go looking for any facts which might support that notion, while ignoring any contradictory evidence.

It's called "confirmation bias."

Though in this case, the article doesn't even contain one scrap of evidence to support its spurious premise.

I say keep watching the skies, and be sure to always carry a camera!

[edit on 27-8-2009 by flightsuit]

posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 08:42 PM
That is not what Dr. David Clarke was saying, he was simply saying that the public might have been more aware because those two VERY popular UFO/Alien related shows.

You can see the video where he says this here:

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 10:33 AM
There's no David Clarke mentioned in the article, which is just as well if it's his words that are being twisted or taken out of context.

Regardless, I would not describe Independence Day as "very popular." Like everything churned out by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, it was an awful film, soon forgotten by the general public, and rightfully so.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 10:45 AM
I should think that with the proliferation of UFO oriented entertainment pumped out by the Hollywood Propaganda Machine, that the evidence suggests quite the contrary: the UFO Phenomenon and it's increasingly observed events are the proposed catalyst for the media to superimpose it's desensitization type of product with no more thought than creating a hopeful merchandising cache cow. Possibly nothing more. That would suggest depth in an environment notoriously devoid of that particular concept altogether. At least the popcorn is good.

Nice OP,


posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 10:51 AM
reply to post by flightsuit

Not at all.

You have to undertand that there are groups of people with different views of the world.

To me and you, a good alien/UFO film would be one that has all the technological background with "correct line" of imagination. One that makes an image of alien beings with the bases that we have, or can figure out. And so on...

But to some people, it has to be like baby food. They have to diggest it easily.

Independence Day actually provided some questions to the mainstream public and started to move some curiosity among those groups.

It gave them something to think about and gave them possible scenarios. It also introduced to a lot of people the idea that the governament and secret agencies may know a lot more than what "we think" they know. It even raised the Roswell issue and presented the Area51 pretty clearly to the public.

That's popular.

X-files doesn't even need debate.

Now, one thing that bothers me is fashion. In the 60's and 70's the UFOs had a perfect disc shape, with a round top. And you could see some different variations from that.

Today you see lights, lots and lots of lights, all sorts of thing. Amazingly complex UFO's that you can't understand.

Given this, you have to possibilities:

1- 90% of that is made up and people naturally evolve the sightings with what they believe "now" is more advanced.

2- We have been visited through the years by many different species, and with many different technologies.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 02:12 PM
I think you're giving Independence Day way too much credit. Forget about whether its portrayal of aliens and their technology is consistent with what the UFO community believes to be true; I would have just been happy with a decent script and plausible plot developments.

I mean come on: The guys at Area 51 just happened to be able to write a virus that would successfully infect the aliens' computers? Despite the fact that the only thing they had to work with was one crashed ship from half a century ago? Wouldn't the aliens have maybe upgraded their computer technology between then and now?

And that scene at the end where you catch a brief glimpse of an alien computer screen, and they're running something that looks exactly like the Mac operating system's GUI interface?

Yes, that's a very funny moment, but when you've just spend two hours trying to get the audience to suspend disbelief, you don't go and ruin it with a sight gag that would be more appropriate in one of the Airplane movies or an episode of Family Guy.

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