UFO believers will often say that 95% of the reports should be tossed as fakes or mistakes, but that golden 5% is what the whole phenomenon stands on. You hear that a lot.
Well, considering some of the utterly unexpected solutions to mysteries that have popped up over the years, why not simply declare that a larger percentage can be retired, due to oddball stuff that nobody could have ever anticipated? The following are some classic examples of this kind of thing.
#1 A video was released this year that was said to be “the best video evidence for a UFO in existence.” It showed a Chilean Air Force squadron practicing a formation fly-over in 2010. The camera person was standing in a grassy field and in the video you see this little black blob executing impossible maneuvers in and around the formation of jets. It was some kind of supernatural aircraft, surely. But then a longer version of the video was examined, which showed a few extra seconds at the beginning of the shoot. The black blob is clearly seen to emerge from the grass just a few feet in front of the camera. It’s actual size was – tiny! It was a flying insect, zipping and wheeling around in front of the camera! But if the video shoot had started a few seconds later, and that bug had already risen to a background of open sky, another “classic” case would have entered UFO lore, never to be explained. UFO author Leslie Kean wrote that “multiple cameras” caught the same UFO from different angles that day, but unfortunately these other films are being analyzed in secret, anonymously, and she hopes to bring them to light when the process is complete. (It’s been almost two years.) There’s no mistaking that this object rises from the grass just in front of the camera, as shown in the video link above. The El Bosque Fly-over UFO was literally a “fly over.”
#2 As a kid I lived in an old house that my family swore was haunted. At night you could sometimes hear floorboards creaking in a progression down the hall, as if someone was walking the length of it. I can still remember that sound. The following morning at breakfast there would be the conference – “All right, which one of you kids was walking down that hall last night?” But nobody ever owned up to it. Thirty five years later I was living in another very old house with floorboards that creaked when you walked on them – but I never dreamed they would creak when a big, obese CAT walked on them! Sure enough, one night I witnessed, and heard, that very thing, and immediately I remembered the enormous house cat we had in the “haunted house.” He was easily big enough to get sound out of old floorboards.
#3 More from classic UFO-land. I read an on-line article about an Air Force jet pilot who reported a case where a red ball of light was following him, or rather leading him. It was visible up front and to the side of the plane. It stayed there for some time, until he got nervous and tried to turn away from it. The light followed, shifting position as he turned the plane, wavering around but staying just out in front. He put the plane into a dive, and still the object retained it’s impossible position, as viewed out of the canopy of the cockpit. In a message board post that accompanied this article, an Air Force veteran wrote in to say that he was familiar with the type of jet mentioned, and that at the time of the report (1960s) they had recently been outfitted with a new kind of canopy glass that had a problem of being too reflective. He said he believed the UFO was a cockpit light, reflected on the plexiglass.
#4 Back to weirdness from my childhood. One of us took a snapshot of our back yard one day from a viewpoint inside the house, looking through a large window pane. When the film was developed that picture featured an incredible translucent image of what looked like the skyline of a medieval fortress town. There were all these little turrets and towers and castle-like structures, visible only in semi-transparent outline. It was unlike anything I had ever seen, and none of us could figure it out. This thing was a 24 hour wonder at my house back then. It didn’t look like a photographic defect, more like some bizarre psychic phenomenon. We tried to figure out the architectural style of the towers – or could they be … tombstones!? By total chance we later saw that it was the reflection of a chess set in the window glass. But if that chess set had been moved before we got the film developed, we would not have figured that one out in a million years. Another classic, unexplained, paranormal riddle would have entered the literature.
#5 The Mansi photograph of the Lake Champlain Monster. This is easily the clearest, closest photographic evidence ever presented for the existence of anomalous creatures in lakes. Nothing from Loch Ness has ever compared to this image. However there are problems with it. When reconstructing the image at the same site, using a model, skeptics found that to look as it does in the photograph at the distance Ms. Mansi said it appeared, the object would not be very large. Skeptic Ben Radford has an eloquent and convincing theory as to what the object is. He says that logs and driftwood on a lake bottom can fill with gas as they rot, and for a few minutes can rise and bobble at the surface. This makes significantly more sense than a huge animal that is almost never seen, never seen at all except when it is alone, and never even once seen dead.