UFO report: Government transparency or fodder for alien conspiracy theories?

National

LOWELL, Mich. (WOOD) — When stargazers gather at the James C. Veen Observatory in Lowell, they’re watching the skies for things that can be explained by science.

“People seem to show up here, they want to know the science. They want to see with their own eyes if they’re here, or understand the science if they’re at the planetarium,” said Jim Foerch, treasurer of the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association.

But according to this week’s report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on unidentified aerial phenomena, there are unexplained objects flying around out there.

After years of speculation, dismissiveness and conspiracy theories, the report is the first time the government has admitted there are things flying around out there that we’re not sure of.

“I think it’s good that they’re trying to be transparent. They put a report together and they cite whatever evidence they have,” Foerch said.

The report tracked UAP sightings between November of 2004 and March of this year and lists five possible explanations for them, including airborne clutter, birds, balloons and drones.

It also lists natural atmospheric phenomena, like ice crystals, moisture and thermal fluctuations; secret weapons developed by the U.S. government or private industry; and secret weapons for foreign adversaries.

Last in the list is “other.”

The other category may have many using a fill-in-the blank approach involving alien coverups and other theories.    

That’s something that has sky-watchers like Foerch concerned.

As we know, there’s been all kinds of anti-science sentiment in the country.

“And it gets in the way of people, for one for instance, taking care of themselves by getting vaccinations,” Foerch said. “Anti-science, that’s not right.”

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