Friday, December 31, 2004

Unidentified Fraudulent Objects

UFO sightings are a common occurance. UFO sightings are also big business.
Every so often, I'll catch an A&E Special on Roswell, or a "CNN Presents: UFO's- Real or Fake?" documentary. Although I doubt that the Earth is the only planet in the universe with life on it, I do enjoy a good laugh whenever I watch these kinds of programs. Cover-ups, scandals, government intervention... it all seems pretty over-the-top to me.

But what about the obscure sightings?

I've lived in Smithers, British Columbia for over a decade (minus the two years I spent at college, of course). In that time, it has become obvious that this is a hotspot of UFO sightings. A "Northern Triangle", if you will. Specifically, the stretch of highway from Terrace, through Hazelton, Smithers and Telkwa, all the way to Houston, has been the location of a large number of sightings (scroll down a third of the way).

Dont believe me? Take a look at some of these, they are just a tiny sample from the past couple of years. This doesn't even include the numerous sightings from the early 1990's!

One of the things that strikes me about these reports, is that they are all generally the same. A large, circular object hovers for a moment, then takes off at rapid speed. Although the colours may vary, most often the object will dart from position to position at a seemingly super-sonic speed.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a good friend of mine regarding this unique phenomena. We each had a good laugh about the prospect of distant travels coming hundreds or thousands of light years, stopping to take a quick peek at what Houston, B.C. has to offer, and then continuing on its merry way!

My friend proceeded to tell me about what he and his gang of teenage misfits used to do way-back-when. It seems that a person can make a dandy UFO with nothing more than a package of candles, a clear plastic recycle bag, a lighter, and some good quality tape.

The UFO works like a hot-air balloon. A number of candles are taped to the inside edge of the plastic bag. When lit, the hot air rises and fills the bag. Eventually, it will rise on its own. When the 'balloon' rises to a decent height, it will begin swaying with the air currents and wind. Often, it will hover motionless until a strong gust comes and pushes it aside. From a distance of a couple of kilometres (or miles, even), this sudden push will seem super-sonic! An ever better idea is to get coloured candles, for an even better effect.

When I went to high school in the mid 90's, I remember hearing stories of crazy UFO sightings. My friend laughs at how he was a part of the group that had everyone fooled. Interestingly enough, the sightings back then were nearly identical to the more recent sightings.

Ahhhh, how the tradition continues. Good times, Good times.