Saturday, October 22, 2011

Argument of Ignorance - The UFO

Now that we're experiencing the Orionids and another possible satellite crash, somewhere in the world someone will be saying the word UFO!

When we see something unrecognizable in the sky some individuals think that "it's an alien spacecraft!" The UFO stands for Unidentified Flying Object - with strict emphasis on the word UNIDENTIFIED! How can you say it's an alien spacecraft when your not sure what it is? This is the argument of Ignorance.

Most UFO sightings are actually mistaken objects, both man made and naturally present in nature. There is almost always an explanation to a UFO sighting. Here are some of my favorite UFO misconceptions:

  • Chinese lanterns - now it's more common but there are still some who fall for it. Hot air allows these lanterns to fly into the sky and drift with the wind.
  • Weather Balloon - there are many variations to the weather balloon and usually it caries with blinking instruments. 
  • Military and experimental aircraft - (not so common in PH) piloted or remote they can confuse you
  • Satellite transit - to the non-astronomy community you would really be boggled when you see a star suddenly grow bright and fly away then vanish, it's a satellite folks!
  • Flares - seriously? haha

  • Reflection - internal reflection on an airplane window or on camera lenses
  • Swamp gas - natural gas that has all sorts of eerie effects from refraction of light
  • Ball lightning - one of the rare and unexplained forms of lightning. Also known as St. Elmo's fire or santelmo.
  • Elves and sprites - other strange forms of lightning 
  • Lenticular clouds - a cloud form resulting from air currents rising perpendicular to the cloud 
  • Venus and Sirius - yeah, these two are the brightest points of light in the sky that baffles those who are unfamiliar with them
  • Meteors - especially when they blow up in mid-air or break apart into smaller meteor streaks

Most people are usually to lazy to do some research or assume too much. Beware of making the argument of ignorance. The sky is filled with many more eerie effects, it wouldn't hurt to learn more. Besides the more you learn, the more it works to your advantage.  :)

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