UFO is the abbreviation for Unknown Flying Object. Seen from this point of view, UFOs really exist, because it can happen quite often that an observer cannot identify an object he sees in the sky. People, however, tend to connect UFOs with extraterrestrial spaceships.
Media often report on UFO-observations. Often these observations have quite simple reasons. A lot of UFOs are really skybeamers. These are devices which send one or several very bright light beams into the sky for advertisement. The beam can be seen in clouds or fog and bright spots of light appear on the basis of clouds. Most of these devices let the spots of light move in circles.
Fireballs have also been a reason for "UFO-alerts". When a meteoroid enters the atmosphere, a light phenomenon appears which is called a meteor (shooting star). Very bright meteors are also called fireballs. This phenomenon can last several seconds and is visible as a bright point of light moving rapidly over the sky and leaving behind itself a tail that can shine for several seconds. When the trajectory of the meteor points toward the observer the phenomenon hardly moves. Sometimes the rocks crumble away while passing the atmosphere and the meteor falls to several pieces. According to the composition of the meteoroid, different colours, for example green, can appear.
Altocumulus lenticularis clouds sometimes have a classical "saucer" shape. They are formed by the influence of foehn winds, especially near or in the mountains.
Reported UFOs often are astronomical objects like for example a near conjunction of planets. Also the planet Venus (evening or morning star) has been a reason for many reported UFOs. One can have the impression that a star moves abruptly. This can probably be led back to involuntary eye movements.
Often light reflections on a window pane cause strange phenomena. Last but not least, observations of UFOs can be made because a person has simply been taken in. Even there are UFO-kits available, which are used by some witty fellows to fool the people. If you have observed a phenomenon in the sky that you do not have any explanation for, we will like to help you identifying it. Please apply to Wolfgang Hinz
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