"Given the millions of billions of Earth-like planets, life elsewhere in the
Universe without a doubt, does exist. In the vastness of the Universe we are
–– The Bible According to Albert Einstein
"The phenomenon of UFOs does exist, and it must be treated seriously."
–– Mikhail Gorbachev
"I think about how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And I ask you, does not this threat already exist?"
–– President Ronald Reagen
"Of course it is possible that UFO's really do contain aliens as many people believe, and the Government is hushing it up."
–– Professor Stephen Hawking
"What does all this stuff about flying saucers amount to? What can it mean? What is the truth?"
–– Sir Winston Churchill
"The evidence is overwhelming that Planet Earth is being visited by
intelligently controlled extraterrestrial spacecraft. In other words,
SOME UFOs are alien spacecraft. Most are not. It's clear from the Opinion
Polls and my own experience, that indeed most people accept the
notion that SOME UFOs are alien spacecraft. The greater the education,
the MORE likely to accept this proposition"
–– Stanton Friedman
"In the Belgian air force a general supposedly saw a UFO, tracked it with his plane, photographed it with his wing cameras. And I believe it because I said to myself why would this person, not getting paid for this, do it unless it actually happened or he thought it happened."
–– Robert Stack
"The only thing that scares me more than space aliens is the idea that there aren't any space aliens. We can't be the best that creation has to offer. I pray we're not all there is. If so, we're in big trouble."
–– Ellen Degeneres
"Flying saucers are real. Too many good men have seen them, that don’t have hallucinations."
–– Captain Eddie Rickenbacker
"In my mind, there is no question that they're out there. My Career is well established. My text books are required reading in all the major capitals on planet earth. If you want to become a physicist to learn about the unified field theory –– you read my books. Therefore, I'm in a position to say: Yes –– Most likely they're out there, perhaps even visited, perhaps on our moon."
–– Professor Michio Kaku
"We have no proof, But if we extrapolate, based on the best information we have available to us, we have to come to the conclusion that other life probably exists out there and perhaps in many places."
–– Neil Armstrong
"Mission Control, please be informed, there is a Santa Claus."
— James Lovell
“Something is going on in the skies that we do not understand. If all the airline pilots and Air Force pilots who have seen UFOs – and sometimes chased them – have been the victims of hallucinations, then an awful lot of pilots should be taken off and forbidden to fly.”
–– Captain Kervendal
"I've been asked about UFO's and I've said publicly I thought they were somebody else, some other civilization."
–– Commander Eugene Cernan
"I have absolutely no idea where the UFOs come from or how they are operated, but after ten years of research, I know they are something from outside our atmosphere."
–– Dr. James E. McDonald
"I strongly recommend that there be a committee investigation of the UFO phenomena. I think we owe it to the people to establish credibility regarding UFOs and to produce the greatest possible enlightenment on this subject"
–– President Gerald Ford
"I know other astronauts share my feelings.... And we know the government is sitting on hard evidence of UFOs."
–– Colonel Gordon Cooper
"It is my thesis that flying saucers are real and that they are space ships from another solar system. There is no doubt in my mind that these objects are interplanetary craft of some sort. I and my colleagues are confident that they do not originate in our solar system."
–– Dr. Herman Oberth
"The UFO phenomenon being reported is something real and not visionary or
–– General Nathan Twining
"If the intelligence of these creatures were sufficiently superior to ours, they might choose to have little, if any, contact with us."
–– Brookings Institution report on extraterrestrial life
"Initially I was skeptical about this reality but I believe today that the force of evidence commands an honest, scientific look at the facts. The evidence points to the fact that Roswell was a real incident and that indeed an alien craft did crash, and that material was recovered from the crash site."
–– Apollo Astronaut Edgar Mitchell
"At no time, when the astronauts were in space were they alone: there was a constant surveillance by UFOs."
–– Astronaut Scott Carpenter
"This was no ordinary UFO. Scores of people saw it. It was no illusion, no deception, no imagination."
–– Air Marshall Azim Daudpota
"We heard the material was coming to Wright Field. It was brought into our material evaluation labs. I don't know how it arrived but the boys who tested it said it was very unusual."
–– Brigadier General Arthur E. Exon
"From their maneuvers and their terrific speed I am certain their flight performance was greater than any aircraft known today."
–– Colonel Carl Sanderson
"Blue Book was now under direct orders to debunk. I remember the conversations around the conference table in which it was suggested that Walt Disney or some other educational cartoon producer be enlisted in the debunking process."
–– Dr. J Allen Hyneck
"In concealing the evidence of UFO operations, the Air Force is making a serious mistake."
–– Lieutenant Colonel James McAshan
"In my opinion, the UFO problems constitutes an areas of extraordinary scientific interest."
–– Dr. James McDonald
"The matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States Government, rating even higher than the H Bomb. Flying saucers exist. Their Modus operandi is unknown but concentrated effort is being made by by a small group headed by Doctor Vannevar Bush."
–– Wilbert Smith
"Look, I have a pension to worry about. I have a family to take care of, and they told me to just back away from this entirely or else."
–– Astronaut James Irwin
"UFOs are impossible to deny. It is very strange that we have never been able to find out the source for over two decades."
–– Colonel Fuijo Hayashi
"At one stage we even thought it might be necessary to take evasive action to avoid a collision."
–– Astronaut James McDivitt
"It is impossible for any man-made machine to make a sudden appearance in front of a jumbo jet that is flying 910 kilometers per hour and to remain in steady formation paralleling our aircraft. Honestly, we were simply breath-taken."
–– Japan Airlines pilot Kenju Terauchi
"Many of the reports that cannot be explained have come from intelligent and technically well-qualified individuals whose integrity cannot be doubted."
–– Major General E.B. LeBaily
The least improbable explanation is that these things
are artificial and controlled ... My opinion for some
time has been that they have an extraterrestrial origin."
–– Dr. Maurice Biot
“We must insist upon full access to discs recovered. In the LA case the Army grabbed it and would not let us have it for cursory examination.”
–– J Edgar Hoover
"In my official status, I cannot comment on ET contact. However, personally, I can assure you, we are not alone!"
–– Charles J. Camarda
"For thirty years, I've held that image in my mind. What I saw was a circular object that looked like two pie plates put on top of each other with a golf ball on top. It was a classic flying saucer,and it shot a beam of something at our warhead"
–– Lieutenant Robert M. Jacobs
"I am convinced that these objects do exist and that they are not manufactured
by any nations on earth"
–– Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding
"I am completely convinced that [UFOs] have an out-of-world basis."
— Dr. Walther Riedel
"UFOs sighted in Indonesia are identical with those sighted in other countries. Sometimes they pose a problem for our Air Defence and once we were obliged to open fire on them."
–– Air Marshall Nurjadin Roesmin
"Maximum security exists concerning the subject of UFOs.”
–– Allen Dulles
not part of the scientific method, and people should not be taught that
it is. The steady flow of reports, often made in concert by reliable
observers, raises questions of scientific obligation and responsibility.
Is there ... any residue that is worthy of scientific attention? Or, if
there isn't, does not an obligation exist to say so to the public—not
in words of open ridicule but seriously, to keep faith with the trust
the public places in science and scientists?"
–– J. Allen Hynek
"I don't laugh at people any more when they say they've seen UFOs. I've seen one myself!"
–– President Jimmy Carter
"I've been convinced for a long time that the flying saucers are real and interplanetary. In other words we are being watched by beings from outer space."
–– Albert M. Chop
"All Apollo and Gemini flights were followed, both at a distance and sometimes also quite closely, by space vehicles of extraterrestrial origin - flying saucers, or UFOs, if you want to call them by that name. Every time it occurred, the astronauts informed Mission Control, who then ordered absolute silence."
–– Maurice Chatelain
"At no time, when the astronauts were in space were they alone: there was a constant surveillance by UFOs."
–– NASA's Scott Carpenter
"We have stacks of reports about flying saucers. We take them seriously when you consider we have lost many men and planes trying to intercept them."
–– General Benjamin Chidlaw
"I feel that the Air Force has not been giving out all the available information on these Unidentified Flying Objects. You cannot disregard so many unimpeachable sources."
–– Honorable John McCormack
"Neil Armstrong relayed the message to Mission Control that two large, mysterious objects were watching them after having landed near the moon module. But his message was never heard by the public - because NASA censored it."
–– Dr. Vladmimir Azahzha
"Mission control, We have a UFO pacing our position, request instructions!"
–– Astronaut Cady Coleman
“I am convinced there was thought behind the thing’s manoeuvres.”
–– Lieutenant George Gorman
"I can assure you that flying saucers, given that they exist, are not constructed by any power on earth."
— President Harry S. Truman
"I looked out the window and saw this white light. It was zigzagging around. I went up to the pilot and said, have you ever seen anything like that? He was shocked and he said, "Nope." And I said to him: "Let's follow it!" We followed it for several minutes. It was a bright white light. We followed it to Bakersfield, and all of a sudden to our utter amazement it went straight up into the heavens. When I got off the plane I told Nancy all about it."
–– President Ronald Reagen
"Unknown objects are operating under intelligent control. It is imperative that we learn where UFO's come from and what their purpose is."
–– Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter
"Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance."
— Albert Einstein
While technically a UFO refers to any unidentified flying object, in modern popular culture the term UFO has generally become synonymous with alien spacecraft.
Proponents argue that because these objects appear to be technological and not natural phenomenon, and are alleged to display flight characteristics or have shapes seemingly unknown to conventional technology, the conclusion is then that they must not be from Earth.
Though UFO sightings have occurred throughout recorded history, modern interest in them dates from World War II (see foo fighter), further fueled in the late 1940's by Kenneth Arnold's coining of the term flying saucer and the Roswell UFO Incident.
Since then governments have investigated UFO reports, often from a military perspective- and UFO researchers have investigated, written about, and created organizations devoted to the subject.
One such investigation, The UK's Project Condign report, notes that Russian, Former Soviet Republics, and Chinese authorities have made a co-ordinated effort to understand the UFO topic and that State military organizations, particularly in Russia, have done "considerably more work (than is evident from open sources)" on military applications which have stemmed from their UFO research.
The report also noted that "several aircraft have been destroyed and at least four pilots have been killed 'chasing UFOs'."
"I certainly believe in aliens in space, and that they are indeed
visiting our planet. They may not look like us, but I have very strong
feelings that they have advanced beyond our mental capabilities."
–– Senator Barry Goldwater
UFOs constitute a widespread international cultural phenomenon of the last 60 years. Gallup polls rank UFOs near the top of lists for subjects of widespread recognition.
In 1973, a survey found that 95 percent of the public reported having heard of UFOs, whereas only 92 percent had heard of U.S. President Gerald Ford in a 1977 poll taken just nine months after he left the White House.
A 1996 Gallup poll reported that 71 percent of the United States population believed that the government was covering up information regarding UFOs.
A 2002 Roper poll for the Sci Fi Channel found similar results, but with more people believing that UFOs are extraterrestrial craft.
In that latest poll, 56 percent thought UFOs were real craft and 48 percent that aliens had visited the Earth.
Again, about 70 percent felt the government was not sharing everything it knew about UFOs or extraterrestrial life.
"It isn't a question of whether or not flying saucers exist. The question is what are they and who do they belong to?"
–– George Flier, Air Force Intelligence Officer
Studies have established that the majority of UFO observations are misidentified conventional objects or natural phenomenon— most commonly aircraft, balloons, noctilucent clouds, nacreous clouds, or astronomical objects such as meteors or bright planets with a small percentage even being hoaxes.
After excluding incorrect reports, however, it is acknowledged that between 5% and 20% of reported sightings remain unexplained, and as such can be classified as unidentified in the strictest sense.
Many reports have been made by trained observers such as pilots, police, and the military; some involve radar traces, so not all reports are visual.
Proponents of the extraterrestrial hypothesis believe that these unidentified reports are of alien spacecraft, though various other hypotheses have been proposed.
While UFOs have been the subject of extensive investigation by various governments, and some scientists support the extraterrestrial hypothesis, few scientific papers about UFOs have been published in peer-reviewed journals.
"Science is not always what scientists do."
–– J. Allen Hynek
Allen Hynek was a trained astronomer who participated in Project Blue Book after doing research as a federal government employee. He formed the opinion that some UFO reports could not be scientifically explained.
Through his founding of the Center for UFO Studies and participation at CUFOs he spent the rest of his life researching and documenting UFOs. The movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind had a character loosely based on Hynek.
Jacques Vallée, a scientist and prominent UFO researcher, has argued that most UFO research is scientifically deficient, including many government studies such as Project Blue Book, and that mythology and cultism are frequently associated with the phenomenon.
Vallée states that self-styled scientists often fill the vacuum left by the lack of attention paid to the UFO phenomenon by official science, but also notes that several hundred professional scientists continue to study UFOs in private, what he terms the "invisible college".
He also argues that much could be learned from rigorous scientific study, but that little such work has been done.
"We had a job to do, whether right or wrong, to keep the public from getting excited."
–– J. Allen Hynek
There has been some debate in the scientific community about whether any scientific investigation into UFO sightings is warranted.
There has been little mainstream scientific study of UFOs, and the topic has received little serious attention or support in mainstream scientific literature.
Official studies ended in the U.S. in December 1969, subsequent to the statement by Edward Condon that the study of UFOs probably could not be justified in the expectation that science would be advanced.
It has been claimed that all UFO cases are anecdotal and that all can be explained as prosaic natural phenomena. On the other hand, it has been argued that there is limited awareness among scientists of observational data, other than what is reported in the popular press.
No official government investigation has ever publicly concluded that UFOs are indisputably real, physical objects, extraterrestrial in origin, or of concern to national defense.
Some public government conclusions have indicated physical reality but stopped short of concluding extraterrestrial origins, though not dismissing the possibility.
Examples are the Belgian military investigation into large triangles over their airspace in 1989–1991 and the recent 2009 Uruguay Air Force study conclusion.
Some private studies have been neutral in their conclusions, but argued the inexplicable core cases called for continued scientific study. Examples are the Sturrock Panel study of 1998 and the 1970 AIAA review of the Condon Report.
The void left by the lack of institutional scientific study has given rise to independent researchers and groups, most notably MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) and CUFOS (Center for UFO Studies).
The term "Ufology" is used to describe the collective efforts of those who study reports and associated evidence of unidentified flying objects.
According to MUFON, as of 2011 the number of UFO reports to their worldwide offices has increased by 67% from the previous 3 years, which now average around 500 reported sightings per month.
UFOs have become a relevant theme in modern culture, and the social phenomena have been the subject of academic research in sociology and psychology.