UFO Conjecture(s)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Venus: Not a UFO

This is a photo, of Venus, by Jon Shaner, meteorologist at Fox/WXMI in Grand Rapids, Michigan (from our media Facebook page):
That the military tried to say, initially, that this is what Captain Thomas Mantell chased as a UFO (subsequently reporting that it was a Skyhook balloon that gulled the pilot) and Donald Menzel often used the planet as a UFO explanation, plus French skeptic Gilles Fernandez providing reams of material to bolster his thesis that the 1896 Airship in California was a mis-identification of the planet, goes to the heart of why UFOs have been muddied from the outset of their appearance.

When academics and (usually) credible bodies (the U.S. Air force) insert such a bogus and errant explanation for a UFO sighting, it confuses the mind of media and the great unwashed (the public).

That confused mind-set has pushed UFOs into a fringe bracket of reality which prevented and prevents any real study of the phenomenon.

Does any sane observer of the night (or morning) sky really think that Venus, in all its glory, could be a UFO or airship?

The "explanation" is ludicrous.

But some still try to use it to explain UFO sightings, which shows me where the insanity of society lies.



  • Rich,

    When I was 12 or 13 years old I took a Sunday trip with my parents out into the desert to Red Rock Canyon [now a state park but then just desert land] which is about 25 miles to the north of Mojave, CA on Calif Hwy. 14..

    On the way home in the last of the twilight, we saw a light up on the foothills of the Tehacapi Mountains that didn't seem to belong there. So my father pulled over and we got out the binoculars and took a closer look. We were several miles away.

    We saw a red light with what appeared to be a spotlight moving up and down the hillside as if looking for something. One might automatically think this was a car except we were pretty sure there were no roads where this thing was "driving". After a while the light "winked out". Gone. No trace.

    By this time it was full night and since the weather was crappy [not a good place to be caught in a flash flood] so we headed home. The next weekend we returned and searched for tracks or roads... and found none. The hillside that this "thing" was moving around on was much too steep for a car, jeep, or dune buggy to traverse.

    There were no "drones" [except the ones that the military used for target practice]. It too close to the mountains for a helicopter especially since it was dark.

    What was it? I have no idea but it certainly was not Venus.

    By Blogger JHC, at Wednesday, February 12, 2014  

  • When I started college, Joel, I began a major in AstroPhysics (but changed to Psychology), because I was an astronomy nut in my youth.

    I used to spend hours and nights looking at the sky and stars/planets and not once did I (or any of my friends) think Venus was anything but Venus.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, February 12, 2014  

  • Don't dismiss Venus too quickly. It is true that while most observers would recognise the planet for what it was (at night anyway), there are always the few that would not, particularly if the atmosphere was at its tricks, or if the observer was excited and careless.

    The 'trouble' spots are when Venus appears in daylight (plenty of people do not even realise it can be seen in daylight, including myself when very young). Other problems occur when it is close to the horizon at night or when you are in a moving vehicle and see it keeping pace with you, and 'following' you. If it is low over the treetops it can easily fool you if you are driving at night. And if the road bends a lot the 'chase' can be startling indeed.

    Certainly pilots have mistaken Venus for a UFO (see Ruppelt's book), so have ground observers (plenty of cases), from people you would least expect to. See Allan Hendry's book, and the Condon Report.

    I don't know the UFO statistics, probably less than 1 per cent, that turn out to be Venus. But it is significant, and surprising, that Venus can and does account for a number of UFO sightings. At maximum magnitude and near the horizon it can cause strange apparitions to the inexperienced observer.

    So yes it is often overdone as an explanation, but it can and does happen! Jupiter is also a culprit, but a bit less often.

    By Blogger cda, at Wednesday, February 12, 2014  

  • CDA:

    Venus as a UFO, the kind we deal with here, is ludicrous as I wrote.

    Yes, some lame-brains (pilots among them) have spotted a quirky showing of Venus in the night or morning sky but the UFO reports and sightings I deal with, and other UFO buffs should deal with, are too vibrant to be included among those insipid observations of Venus turned into something more than the observation calls for.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, February 12, 2014  

  • Chris Rutkowski, Canada's sensible ufologist, accepts Venus as an explanation for some UFO sightings.




    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Thursday, February 13, 2014  

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