U.F.O. Sightings can be traced back to at least 173 B.C. Glowing or shiny objects have appeared in drawings and paintings during the middle ages and into the mid-19th century. With the coming of the camera and camcorder, sightings are now able to be documented easily and this explains the fad of sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects.
In the early part of the 20th century, authors such as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells wrote about space travel and visitors from other planets. Orson Welles brought one H.G. Wells novel to the masses in his radio production “War of the Worlds.” Millions of listeners throughout the United States fell into a full-scale panic, believing that aliens had landed on Earth and were now attacking the planet.
Just when it seemed that America had put away its obsession with extraterrestrial beings, the Roswell Incident occurred. As the story goes, a UFO crashed into the desert in New Mexico in 1947. Although a ranch manager named “Mac” Brazel found the wreckage, he did not report it until days later when he went into town. Before the United States Air Force could respond and go to the scene, other local residents investigated the crash scene. They claimed that the craft was made of a thin, aluminum foil-like substance that was pliable and could be wrinkled, but could not be dented by even the hardest of blows. They also reported that part of the structure of the craft included beams of wood that included strange markings resembling hieroglyphics. After taking the remnants of the crash to Wright Air Force base, the Air Force declared that the wreckage was simply a weather balloon with a tin foil attachment used for radar. Over the years, conspiracy-theorists have claimed that alien bodies were discovered in the wreckage and that Air Force doctors have conducted autopsies on the bodies.
In the 1970s, UFO sightings began occurring again, but this time they were not accompanied by the fear and hysteria that accompanied sightings and stories years before. Much of this is related to Hollywood depictions of alien activity in movies such as “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “E.T. – the Extraterrestrial” and television shows such as “The X-Files” and “Alien Nation.” It seems today that people are not terribly concerned about aliens landing on Earth – as long as they land on someone else’s lawn.