Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Truth might be out there

Listening to: Something on Radio Active. Sounds like Dubstep.

Generating a bit of interest yesterday was the release by the Ministry of Defence of filed UFO reports and related documents going back to the 1950's (link). Amusingly the Defence spokesman yesterday claimed that the RNZAF had never investigated or published reports of UFO investigations, when they did exactly that for the Kaikoura events in 1978 at least. Today a different Defence spokesman was a bit more forthcoming (link). I don't see anything remotely conspiratorial in that by the way. It is far more likely that the reports of 30 years ago are so far outside the current PR remit that no-one thought of them.

The files themselves are available for viewing on line here. As you might expect, there is a considerable amount of chaff in the form of pet theories, miracle technologies, and obsessive correspondence from members of the public to the RNZAF or MoD. That aside, the bit I skimmed contained many brief descriptions of sightings, obviously filled out to a templated form. Most of them sound vague at best, but some of them at first glance, from credible witnesses, read as both calm and sensible, and genuinely unusual. Occasionally handwritten side-notes from investigating officers appear.

RNZAF investigation has apparently been limited to checking if any aircraft were aloft at the time a sighting was reported which is fair enough. A small force with a limited budget definitely has better things to do than spend a lot of time investigating UFO reports that will 99% of the time turn out to be unusual observations of normal things. The Kaikoura events were given a more exacting investigation by explicit direction of the Prime Minister rather than general policy, which was arguably reflected in it's fairly token and pre-concluded nature. I posted about Kaikoura here a couple of years ago. I'm still not convinced any explanation has been put forward that accounts for all of the observations, and in that sense I consider them genuine UFO's, although as time goes by and that term doesn't get any less loaded, I'm preferring the Unexplained Aerial Phenomena (UAP) descriptor instead. The witnesses involved remain massively unconvinced by both the investigations themselves, and the reports they produced.

Media coverage of this has been surprisingly restrained given the time of year, and mostly avoiding the classic 'little green men' angle. I'm pretty much convinced that UAP exist. I don't think it is terribly likely that they are alien spacecraft though, either casually visiting or reverse engineered :)

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