What are UFOs?
by Jane Doherty
Thinking of a UFO usually conjures up the image of the vehicles portrayed in most science fiction films and books. Most people envision a UFO as a spacecraft carrying extraterrestrials from other planets who are technologically superior to humans. But how many people actually see that type of UFO in the sky? Not all UFO sightings are true. The are a number of objects and natural phenomena that are often mistaken as UFO's. They can be man-made objects such as: Aircraft lights, planes with signs made with lots of lights, military refueling exercise, amateur aircraft, kites, fireworks, children's hot air balloons, weather balloons, rocket launches and re-entries, sodium and barium clouds, releases from rockets for atmospheric tests, military plane flares.
They can also be natural phenomena such as: Mirages, ball lightning, birds, meteors, stars especially Sirius, Capella, and Arcturus in the Northen Hemisphere, planets such as Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, and the moon especially when its full and near the horizon. However, this does NOT mean that extra-terrestrials don't exist. There have been an interesting number of reported encounters and photographs that have not yet been disproven and remain as possible evidence of UFOs. One must keep an open mind and realize that although the encounter with extra-terrestrial life is a low-probability event, these "low-probability" events still happen.