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Sorry ET, you're just a puff of plasma

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  • Joe (uk-ufo) McGonagle
    www.timesonline.co.uk http://tinyurl.com/l9ysf The Sunday Times May 07, 2006 Sorry ET, you re just a puff of plasma Jack Grimston They didn t come from outer
    Message 1 of 1 , May 7, 2006
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      The Sunday Times
      May 07, 2006

      Sorry ET, you're just a puff of plasma

      Jack Grimston

      They didn't come from outer space: UFOs crash on Planet Sceptic

      BRITAIN’s defence intelligence chiefs have come up with a
      detailed scientific explanation to solve the mystery of
      unidentified flying objects. After a four-year inquiry, they have
      concluded that most sightings can be explained by a
      little-understood atmospheric phenomenon.

      Scientists at the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) describe how
      glowing “plasmas” of gas are created by charges of electricity.
      Air flows then sculpt the plasmas into aerodynamic shapes which
      appear to fly at extraordinary speeds through the sky.

      The document is emphatic that UFOs do not come from alien
      civilisations or hostile powers, but equally it does not dismiss
      those who claim to have seen them as fantasists or hoaxers.

      Instead, the scientists say such plasmas can play tricks on the
      mind, creating vivid impressions. They note that “local
      [electromagnetic] fields . . . have been medically proven to
      cause responses in the temporal lobes of the brain”.

      As a result, UFO witnesses may not be mad but instead suffering
      from “extended memory retention and repeat experiences” induced
      by the plasmas.

      Their report says that, though UFOs have “defied credible
      description” as to their cause, they are confident that they now
      have “a reasonably justified explanation”.

      It goes on to recommend that the findings on UFOs — of which more
      than 100 are sighted in most years — could be developed for
      “novel military applications”, adding that Russia is already
      investigating such weapons.

      The report has been released under the Freedom of Information Act
      following an application by Dr David Clarke, a lecturer at
      Sheffield Hallam University, and Gary Anthony, a fellow
      researcher. The pair will give a presentation on the results this

      It has been a bad year for conspiracy theorists. Last month, the
      “Roswell incident”, another favourite, was debunked. John
      Humphreys, a special effects expert behind the television
      cyber-presenter Max Headroom, claimed he was one of the hoaxers
      behind grainy black and white footage supposedly showing an
      autopsy on alien corpses in 1947. He said the bodies were latex

      Files released last year under freedom of information laws showed
      that the Ministry of Defence maintained a special unit, named
      S4F, responsible for logging sightings of UFOs by the public and
      the military, which numbered 88 in 2004.

      Those files gave detailed accounts of sightings but did not
      indicate that the intelligence services were using the
      information as the basis of an inquiry codenamed Project Condign.

      They began their inquiry in 1996, apparently without the
      knowledge of Michael Portillo, who was then defence secretary and
      responsible for the DIS.

      The project was intended to assess any military danger UFOs might
      pose to Britain (it concludes they pose none).

      The investigation by the DIS’s section DI55 was completed in 2000
      under Geoff Hoon, now Europe minister, when other branches of the
      same agency were busy trying to find Saddam Hussein’s weapons of
      mass destruction.

      The document, marked UK Eyes Only and entitled Unidentified
      Aerial Phenomena in the UK Air Defence Region, analyses 30 years
      of evidence on UFOs. Only 11 copies of the report were made.

      “Credited with the ability to hover, land, take off, accelerate
      to exceptional velocities and vanish, they can reportedly alter
      their direction of flight suddenly and clearly can exhibit
      aerodynamic characteristics well beyond those of any known
      aircraft or missile,” states the report.

      While some non-hoax sightings of UFOs may be caused by wrongly
      identifying aircraft, various optical illusions or obvious
      natural phenomena, the most common explanation, the report
      concludes, is “several types of rarely encountered natural events
      within the atmosphere and ionosphere”.
      It describes how an “electrically charged . . . gaseous mass” can
      form in the atmosphere which is often invisible to radar but
      resembles the bright, fast-moving, round or cigar-shaped objects
      typically reported by UFO spotters. Although the plasmas share
      the characteristics of reported UFOs, they remain a mystery. “The
      method of formations of the electrically charged plasmas . . . is
      not fully understood,” the report finds.

      Many of the other phenomena reported by UFO spotters can be
      explained by plasmas. For example, the report says the space
      between two plasmas sometimes “forms an area . . . from which the
      reflection of light does not occur”, giving the impression of a
      “black ‘craft’, often triangular and even up to hundreds of feet
      in length”.

      In addition, the report finds that because plasmas are
      electrically charged, they can change shape or colour if hit by
      another energy source, such as a radio signal sent by a UFO
      spotter. “This has led ‘ufologists’ to imagine that an ‘alien
      response’ is being given to their signals,” the report says.

      Additional reporting: Tom Baird
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