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September 21, 2010

The Claims:

Unidentified flying object (UFO) is the popular term for an aerial object that cannot be identified by the observer.  While technically speaking there is nothing Extraordinary about seeing an object in the sky which at the current moment has no ready explanation, supposed sightings of UFOs are too often claimed to be spacecrafts of extraterrestrial origin, and that is the interpretation to which this Campaign is responding.  The belief that all or most UFO’s are extraterrestrial in original have prompted hundreds of investigations and have been the topic of numerous books, television documentaries, magazines and films. There is a lack of reliable physical evidence for UFOs, but it is believed by conspiracy theorists that this is due to a massive cover up, involving governments all over the globe.

Three of the most contentious incidents in UFO encounters are the Berwyn Mountain Incident (UK), Rendlesham Forest Incident (UK) and the Roswell  Incident (USA).

The Evidence:

The Roswell Incident:

This incident alone has resulted in the publication of several books, often giving contradictory accounts of details and sequences of events regarding the purported crash.  At least one UFO is said to have crashed northwest of Roswell, New Mexico, in the summer of 1947.  There has also been speculation that aliens, some possibly still alive, were recovered and autopsied and that a massive government cover-up of any knowledge of the incident took place. The recovered material from the crash was reported by the authorities to be the remnants of an advanced weather balloon.  Film footage of what was claimed to be an alien autopsy was presented in 1995 which generated international attention but has since been discredited and is now considered a hoax.

In addition, all of the witness accounts came a minimum of 31 years after the supposed crash.  Memories from this long ago are subject to question and may have been influenced by subsequent accounts as to how the events in question occurred. Amongst some prominent UFO researchers today the Roswell Incident is not considered to be likely caused by the crash of an alien spacecraft.

To date no one has ever presented physical evidence of non-terrestrial alien artifacts or biological material.

The Berwyn Mountain Incident:

In the Berwyn Mountain Incident an alleged UFO crashed in the Berwyn mountain area in Britain on 23 January, 1974.  Unusual lights were seen in the sky followed by a violent shaking of the ground and at first it was believed that there had been an airplane crash.  It is known that the shaking was caused by an earthquake which measured 4.5 on the Richter scale.  Police and an RAF rescue team investigated the Berwyn mountains but did not find anything.

Pat Evans, a nurse who lived in the area contacted police and volunteered to go to the scene.  On arriving, she and her two daughters allege that they saw a large, glowing ball of light which changed from red to yellow to white.  Other reports state that the area was cordoned off in a short time by the military and police effectively making it a no-go zone.

Claims that the object was a UFO of extraterrestrial origin are unlikely, given the size of the craft, and the remote locality which would have prevented dismantling such a large object, carting it off and removing all trace of damage.  Dr. Ron Maddison, an astronomer, visited the site and concluded that the events were caused by bolide meteors entering the earth’s atmosphere followed by an earthquake along the Bala Fault.

At this time there is no firm evidence that suggests a UFO of alien origin crashed in Berwyn Mountain.

The Rendlesham Forest Incident:

It is generally concluded that the events in Rendlesham forest took place on the nights of the 26th and 28th of December, 1980.  The events took place close to two former RAF bases used by the United States Air force where, on the 26th of December at 3:00 AM, a security patrol reported strange lights that appeared to be descending in the forest.  At first it was thought that it was an aircraft which had crashed and on entering the forest servicemen reported seeing strange lights and one bright light of unknown origin, which was in all likelihood a lighthouse several miles away on the coast.

Serviceman Jim Penniston claimed that he saw, touched, and photographed the unidentified craft and believed it to be from the future.  Three impressions in a triangular pattern from the scene were examined later by a forester who indicated that they seemed to be rabbit diggings covered with pine needles.

In addition, a bright meteor was observed over southern England at precisely the time of the first reports of a bright object landing in the forest.  In the early hours of the morning of the 28th servicemen returned to the area with radiation detectors, but these results have been discredited since the detectors used were not capable of measuring background radiation and thus readings at the low end of the scale are meaningless.  One theory is that the whole affair was a hoax perpetrated by a former US security policeman Kevin Conde, who may have used a police vehicle with modified lights.


If the above incidents were actual UFO crashes it would indicate that advanced alien beings, who were able to travel light years to get to Earth, were suddenly very bad at keeping their vehicles in the air. The biggest logical mistake that happens when witnesses report strange sightings and experiences is that they jump immediately to the most unlikely conclusion that alien beings are visiting earth, and ignore the less interesting, but much more probable explanation, of natural phenomena or human error.  Objects routinely mistaken for UFOs include terrestrial aircraft, the planet Venus, and weather balloons.


Wikipedia Page on Roswell

Wikipedia Page on Berwyn Mountain

Wikipedia Page on Rendlesham Forest

The Skeptic’s Dictionary Entry on UFOs

“It’s a UFO, by Jove” by Phil Plait

23 Comments leave one →
  1. Albert Ramos permalink
    November 11, 2012 3:05 PM

    Hi Adrian:

    Thanks for your honest post. What you mentioned resonates strongly with the Fatima Incident. In all honesty, I don’t know what to make of your event, although the conditions in which this occurred can’t be denied. There was a lunar eclipse as well as a ceremony involving a multitude of people, which seemed to have a played a role in the collective optics.

    Some saying it was a UFO, in the Fatima Incident the sun danced around, seemed to have pulled away. Then, looked like it was falling to earth. Other parts of the world would have seen the same thing if the sun did behave so erratically. The same goes for your experience, Adrian. This is the best answer I can give you.

    regards, Albert Ramos

  2. Adrian Lawler permalink
    November 9, 2012 12:17 PM

    I have to say I am a UFO skeptic, but I did witness an event to which I am unable to attach any explanation.
    It occured during the last Lunar Eclipse (Where the Earth gets between the Sun and the Moon). I was at a Drum Circle in Ireland and we went out to sing the Navaho Chant of the Star People as the Moon neared totality. This song, so the legends say was a song gifted to the Native Americans to call the Star People back to aid them in times of crisis. (Maybe they forgot it when the Europeans began colonizing their land). So the Moon has turned Blood red and we are singing this song outside when the following happened, witnessed by 50 other people. The drum circle forbids Drink, Drug and Mobile Phones over the course of the weekend – so we were all sober when it happened.
    An orange ball of light appeared from behind the main building to the North, rose up and moved about (Up, Down, Left & Right), it then appeared to approach the group. There were differences in perceived size, some thought it was larger and farther away, I thought it was smaller and closer in, kind of like an ROV, but it was hard to be sure given whatever it was.
    It hung there for a little and then accelerated away at an unbelievable rate, I’ve only ever seen a missile accelerate so fast.
    Like I said I am a UFO skeptic and still consider myself one, but I have no explanation for what I saw that night. Had I only seen the acceleration event, I would have seen a meteorite as far as I was concerned. The question of the hovering, knocks the meteorite event on the head. Ireland does not have any missile technology that I know of, and certainly no missile testing range I know of. I was born and lived there for 42 years.
    So what could it have been, I look only for a rational answer because I cannot find one.

    Is there other life in the Universe? – I think that is more likely than not.

    Are they more advanced than we are? – That’s a tough one to answer but there’s nothing to say that humans aren’t the most advanced race in the universe.

    Was it alien in origin? – I don’t know but I wouldn’t think so given the lack of evidence to date.

    What sort of technology would be needed to cross the vast expanses of the Galaxy let alone Intergalactic distances. Is it even possible to cross them in anything other than an Ark Ship?

    I have no idea what that event was but it has not made me a believer, more evidence is needed for this scientist. So anyone got any ideas, conspiracy theorists need not answer.

  3. Chris permalink
    June 7, 2012 2:26 PM

    It’s all about what levels of evidence you are prepared to accept.

    People who believe in gods, ufos, spirits, ghosts and any other form of supernatural event will believe something to be true based on very little or no evidence. Also, the type of thing they would consider evidence is drastically different to what normal people would accept. E.g. They place too strong an importance on eye witness events. Most scientists and people of reason understand how fallible the human mind can be. The capacity for the mind to delude and itself never ceases to amaze.

    The great scientist/cosmologist Carl Sagan describes in a great book of his, The Demon Haunted World, how he always wanted aliens to be real, he spent a part of his career looking for evidence of visits, this includ looking at the evidence and interviewing people who had claimed to have been visited by Aliens. He never found any convincing evidence, none. If anyone could’ve found it , it would have been him.

    In the book he makes interesting parallels between ufos and the witch hunts.

    You can’t help feel sorry for people who believe in UFOs in this day and age.

  4. June 7, 2012 1:43 PM

    exactly, you come up with a few bullshit cases, and then easily debunk the whole thing. just stupidity. Also, rendlesham was very clearly not a lighthouse, do you think a large team of military professionals would run through the forests just following a lighthouse beacon? of course not, they saw something very disturbing there, and it was very un natural.

  5. M F Luder permalink
    May 26, 2011 8:31 PM

    You say there’s no proof of UFOs based on 3 cases that are weak at best, when there’s tons of more current, more unexplainable cases. And your “evidence” is citing Wikipedia as a source. If you were a college student, I’d tell you Wikipedia is not a valid source from which to cite any serious scholarly inquiry. Explain, if you will the sightings in Mexico City in 1991, witnessed by thousands of people. Wait, I know…swamp, wait…Venus, right? I’m not saying “they’re here”, I’m saying it warrants much more study with an open mind. OPEN YOUR EYES, PEOPLE.

  6. Pedro Borges permalink
    March 25, 2011 3:09 PM

    “Actually I’ve noticed that the people who are into UFOs are usually not religious at all, but in all other ways they show the typical signs of being a creationist, that being : blind faith”

    If you keep yourself blind to the serious evidences and choose only the worst sources on the internet to make your point, it is easy to debunk UFOs.

  7. Chris permalink
    March 25, 2011 8:09 AM

    “Thinking that extra-terrestrial intelligent lifeforms haven’t visited our planet is pure heliocentric creationist arrogance.”

    Thinking they definitely have visited our planet is to not really have a good grasp of physics, how the universe works, the distances involved between planets, the occurrence of habitable planets around the universe, and the likelihood of it happening.

    It’s not a matter or creationist arrogance. Actually I’ve noticed that the people who are into UFOs are usually not religious at all, but in all other ways they show the typical signs of being a creationist, that being : blind faith.

  8. Pedro Borges permalink
    March 17, 2011 2:53 PM

    Thinking that extra-terrestrial intelligent lifeforms haven’t visited our planet is pure heliocentric creationist arrogance.
    The “they would crash after making lightspeed travels” is a good (and fun) point though.
    Our species had the ability to build the Hadron collider…. but it didnt stop people from voting for Sarah Palin. Shit happens.

  9. Albert Ramos permalink
    March 13, 2011 12:10 AM

    To the point, UFOs and alien abductions are a complete myth. The evidence for them remains elusive and unproven. Those that believe do so faithly. Even with scientific progress that we’ve made over the centuries, there is still a need for magical thinking. Leading up to the modern era of UFOs in the middle of the 20th century, were occult movements and folklore that served the psychological-spiritual needs of those cultures. When the space age was about to begin, the idea that Flying Saucers being a secret weapon gave way to sightings being interplanetary. Science made headway in society and as a result a myth was born. I further address other functions of the UFO myth in “How Modern Society Invented UFOs,” purchaseable through As the ancients had their gods, modern society has aliens-cheers

  10. Pepe_Strange permalink
    February 1, 2011 2:25 PM

    Believing in life on other planets is a faith to the common man/woman. Ask yourself this; Have I ever been to another planet or space for that matter? If not, then we can only go on what others tell us. Faith is the only way to go. Taking an agnostic approach to this situation is absolutely the only way one can determine its validity. Any other way is just, shall we say, “stupid.”

  11. Andy permalink
    December 31, 2010 5:47 PM

    Well … i think they exist … and i am pretty sure they were not here ..

    i mean .. for real .. they travel light years in a high-tech. space ship to do what ?
    … jumping around in the sky like a drunken bird .. funny .. no.. get serious if they visit us they will tell us .. would be idiotic to travel that far without a plan ..

    just jumping around .. and than leaving .. that would be senseless.
    thats like traveling to china in a airplane and just returning.
    but not only once *g* we talk about doing it since 1950 *g*.. well bonus-miles perhaps.

  12. greame permalink
    December 14, 2010 9:11 PM

    “all confirming that they’ve not only seen alien spacecraft”

    One persons claim that what they saw was an alien spacecraft does not mean that it’s so. I posted this somewhere else on this site, but Carl Sagan, a scientist who spent most of his life trying to find extraterrestrial life, said something along the lines of

    “UFO’s do exist, but that does not mean that aliens are vising Earth. A UFO us just that, an unidentified flying object. Just because you don’t know what a light in the sky is does not conclusively prove aliens.”

    Sagan wanted nothing more then to prove that there was other life out there. He spent his entire career searching. Yet he also knew that when presented with ideas that seem to confirm something we want, is when we have to be the MOST skeptical. He goes into a very detailed account in “A Demon Haunted World”, which is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read. (And would be a great read for anyone who likes the views of this site! He often said extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. )

  13. davey permalink
    December 11, 2010 2:45 AM

    Phew I’m lucky this article was my first tab, saved me from reading a lot of garbage on this site.

  14. Dusty permalink
    December 9, 2010 4:03 AM

    1. A UFO does not meaning extra terrestrial.
    2. While watching NASA tv & the crew was asleep & an outside camera was pointed near the tail. The “ground” evidently adjusted the contrast which brought stars into view. After several minutes of watching these stars, one of them began moving and went out of the field of view. Shortly the camera panned in that direction, Then the feed was cut. Then, I thought, those stars should not have been stationary as the shuttle was in orbit.
    3. an email I wrote my friends:
    quite a while later,
    the camera was facing the tail.
    it was now dark but the tail was lit.
    someone evidently adjusted the sensitivity of the camera.
    You could see the stars.
    Then you could see one of the “stars” moving.
    The rest did not.
    The camera panned in the direction of movement of that “star”.
    Some of the other “stars” moved too, but in straight lines and not in any one particular direction….??
    Then someone “adjusted the camera” really, really wrong and circles covered much of the screen —sort of like sequins.
    Misty saw all of this too!

    This is not a joke, and is not meant to be funny.
    It is just from a live broadcast from NASA tv last night….
    JULY 16 2009

  15. Doug permalink
    December 8, 2010 7:23 PM

    OK, now take Steve’s comment about the proliferation of camcorders (don’t forget that many cellphones now include cameras) and Brian Ritter’s comment about astronomers (people who spend a lot of time looking up and actually understand what they see) and put those two comments together.

    ‘Nuff said!

  16. AndyC permalink
    December 7, 2010 7:42 PM


    I have just wasted some minutes of my life watching “The Tehter Incident”. I feel slightly depressed now. You are clearly deluded.

    I guess this site needs people like @DeSwiss commenting on these topics.

  17. Steve permalink
    December 6, 2010 1:27 PM

    The thing that I find the most compelling was something that was pointed out to me by a friend a few years ago: Has anyone noticed that since camcorders have become much more widely available and affordable, the number of purported UFO sightings has dropped dramatically? It seems to me that if there WERE such things as UFOs, advances in camcorder technology would provide MORE evidence for their existence. Instead, technology has allowed us to clarify our vision; the tings that were once mistaken for aliens are now more clearly visible for what they really are: natural phenomena, human error, and the like.

  18. Worried Designer permalink
    December 6, 2010 10:33 AM

    All kinds of people have seen unidentified flying objects. Uneducated people jump right to whatever explanation their limited knowledge can give them. Educated people, on the other hand, question what they see and analyze the possibilities. We should not jump to complex conclusions (e.g., being from another planet) when the simplest answer is often the most appropriate (e.g., weather balloon).

    Two words to keep in mind: Occam’s razor.

  19. Tim Thomason permalink
    December 6, 2010 3:51 AM

    UFOs are real because Jimmy Carter saw one. And he was President.

  20. DeSwiss permalink
    December 4, 2010 3:38 PM

    I have to say that I find much of your website here wonderful and fantastic! Except this. This is pitiful. The above three incidents don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the proof of the existence of UFOs. Not the least of which includes having seen one myself in 1969.

    Your examples totally ignore the recent public disclosures made this year by scientists, airline pilots, air force pilots, engineers, military personnel, etc. — all confirming that they’ve not only seen alien spacecraft but that they have also witnessed these UFOs apparently shutting down nuclear missiles (which also just happened again a few weeks ago when they lost communication with 50 missiles –

    So I’d have to say that this segment of your website needs revision and updating or it should be taken down because it only serves to undermine all the rest that you’ve got going here. which is really, really good.

    Google: “The Tether Incident” — or just click this link:

    Google: “The Disclosure Project” — or click this link:

    And yes, aliens could indeed fly from light years away and then come here and crash. If that’s how you use logic to conclude they aren’t real, then I’d have to say that’s pretty lame. No, absolutely pitiful. That is the weakest argument of all. If you’re going to be a true skeptic, then just stick the facts and stay on top of what’s out there or you’ll just end up being as outdated and manipulative as religion is…….

  21. Brian Ritter permalink
    November 29, 2010 11:34 AM

    Isn’t it a bit odd that those who spend the most time looking at the sky, both professional and amateur astronomers, aren’t those who report the most UFOs – because they know what they are looking at. If something looks strange and mysterious, they look it up in sciencebooks, talk to pro scientists and/or ask questions online. The result is most often: natural phenomena; mystery solved.

    Those who report UFOs are people with no clue to what they are looking at and jumping to conclusions.

  22. November 23, 2010 8:35 AM

    Guylaine: If you saw an object under water, would not it be a USO (unidentified submerged objects)?
    Maybe was a UIO (unidentified imaginary object)
    Or maybe a IDKWTHO (i dont know what the hell that object)

  23. Guylaine permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:14 PM

    I have 2 claims !
    I was 18 and we saw one UFO inside the water
    Later one year later I saw 9 moving UFO int he sky too

    I have seen it !!! they are here for many years…

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