To pilots: UFOs – be afraid

UFO Dangers Examined By U.S. News & World Report.

Why are UFOs dangerous? U.S. News & World Report is tackling that question in a special Mysteries of Space magazine that recently hit newsstands.

While the debate rages over whether some of the residual UFOs are interplanetary or interdimensional spacecraft, the magazine is exploring the potential danger of UFO encounters with commercial airline pilots.

“Our objectives are to make flying safer for the public, and we’re convinced there’s a potential threat posed by nearby unexplained aerial phenomena to commercial and private airplanes,” former UFO skeptic and NASA research scientist Richard Haines told The Huffington Post.

Haines is currently the chief scientist of the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena, a private venue for pilots, crews and air traffic controllers who want to file UFO reports without fear of ridicule.

“One encounter is where the airplane is flying along, minding its own business, usually on autopilot, when the phenomenon or phenomena will come alongside, approach the airplane, pace it, sometimes do maneuvers around it and then fly away,” Haines said.

Tip: @HuffPostWeird on Twitter

Really? This is a hazard?

I got a bit of flak the last time we posted about such things. Have we even established that there is a threat? I will admit that there seems to be more and more “things” in the air but not all are intelligently controlled (or shown to be such). This assumes that some intelligently-controlled craft is harrassing our aircraft and I’m just not sure this has been clearly established. Hence, is there a threat? Or is this some concocted fear?

I don’t have the U.S. News and Report described here so I can’t say how they treat it. More info is appreciated.

  11 comments for “To pilots: UFOs – be afraid

  1. F89
    May 1, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Hmm. “former UFO skeptic and NASA research scientist Richard Haines” That line right there makes me leery. Was he a published skeptic, and unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that like to claim they had a job with a national “acronym: agency, but are misrepresenting their actual service in that agency.
    Potential danger: Hmm, out of all the UFO’s reported, how many of them have actually caused an aircraft to crash? Most of the reports seem to have the UFO’s doing exactly as he stated-
    “when the phenomenon or phenomena will come alongside, approach the airplane, pace it, sometimes do maneuvers around it and then fly away” or dissapearing by manuvering at a speed or in a way “impossible for normal aircraft”
    I’ve also heard/read stories reports of pilots having to engage in violent manuvers to avoid a UFO.
    But they were just that, stories and reports. With the usual kinds of “evidence” one gets in this situation.

  2. F89
    May 1, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    According to this:

    Mr.Haines has extensive experience in NASA. But I’m still leery. Further searching keeps on turning up hits on Above Top Secret, Wantoknow (UFO “Facts”), and Alien-UFO’
    Which indicates a bias twoard believing what these objects are.

  3. Massachusetts
    May 1, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    “Was he a published skeptic, and unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that like to claim they had a job with a national “acronym: agency, but are misrepresenting their actual service in that agency.”

    This reads as a rather ad hominem attack impugning the integrity and credibility of someone who hasn’t been proven to be illegitimate. This, I fear, may be the darker side of skepticism: essentially “he doesn’t agree with me so he must be a fraud and I will trash him.” If you have proof he misrepresented himself, that’s another story, but just raising a question like this, with no evidence other than the fact that you may not like his conclusions, or what you perceive to be his conclusions, is unfair and overall I suggest it is harmful to the cause of skepticism in general.

  4. F89
    May 2, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    Massachusetts: thank you for the frank reply-No I wasn’t trying to impune him (and actually I wondered if it would sound that way), but because of the misrepresentations of Hogland and Lazar,and unfortunately the illegatmacy of many in this field. I’m very leery of qualifications posted in one report, espically someone I’ve never heard of before.

  5. Fastmover01
    May 2, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Threat, as defined by the FAA: Any item, situation or circumstance that impedes, disrupts, alters or distracts from the proper and safe operations of aircraft and/or ground control/support apparati.
    I think the definition fits the question. Whether what is being seen is manmade, natural phenomenon or extraterrestrial it is impacting the normal flight operations in some cases. There is more than enough evidence out there in various pilot sightings, both military and commercial, that is coroborrated by both ground based and onboard radar. JAL case is one of the most well known. Just saying that it cannot be a threat because “UFO’s” don’t exist is very “ostrich.”

  6. Massachusetts
    May 2, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    I didn’t want to be too harsh but I’ve seen too much character assassination of late, especially in the Bigfoot circles. You have a point that there are issues with credentials out there, for sure. According to “The Science of Yoga” one of the big yoga experts has a PhD from a diploma mill and he used it to promote his works and business, for example.

  7. F89
    May 2, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Thank you for the definition-fair enough. But the question may be that if somthing is interfering with safe flight, aren’t there established procedures to deal with that already?
    And I’m not saying that Unidentified Flying Objects don’t exist (if it’s flying and one can’t identify it….) Have there been recent cases of agressive action against aircraft by unidentified objects?

  8. Fastmover01
    May 2, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    There has been 3 that I can recall off the top of my head. They were all military and were actually ordered to open fire on the craft. One was an Iranian F-4 Phantom in the mid-70’s, a Russian Mig-17 late 60’s and a Argentinian fighter in the 80’s.

    As of late nothing aggressive though all encounters that seem to involve aggrressive actions taken on behalf of earth craft are generally met with self-defense. Threats to commercial traffic do include buzzing trailing and possible interactions with the craft as they are generally too large to take evasive maneuvers. When pilots go up they attempt to minimize the amount variables they will encounter. So when you are carrying a large number of souls aboard and something happens out of “left field” it IS a threat regardless of intention or if it even is intelligent. Even running into ball lightning, or being struck by it, can be a threat. My comment wasn’t so much pointed at you F89 rather than a mindset that has permeated the skeptic lately. A UFO isn’t necessarily “alien”. It means unidentified aerial phenomena. Maybe I will start using that term more. UAP cases involving pilots are alarmingly increasing as the stigma and threat to the reporting pilots are easing off. People see UFO and immediatley attribute it to the nut-fringe that claim they are alien princes from Sirius and subsequently pull out the paint-roller and and use the old strawman(there are no aliens here so there is no threar.) arguement and begin painting.

  9. Fastmover01
    May 2, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    As for procedures to handle it yes and no. With FAA’s past attitude, as well as the individual airlines, making an official report to the tower lead to psychological and possibly personnel actions. In that type of environment they would normally relate to the tower what is going on and attempt to square away what was happening. But when the ATC would ask if they would like to “officially” report a UFO “Uhh…no” was the appropriate answer. There are quite a few blackbox recordings that illustrate this practice. The procedure is “If you see it keep it to your self.”

  10. May 2, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    I was skeptical (not in that sense) of the whole “re-label as UAPs” thing as just an end-run around UFO, a sort of “let’s rename Creationism ID” move.

    But even if that were the case, I say that if it does lead to more pilots talking openly about cases when they happen, then it is good. I suspect that if examined at the time, rather than just as a story years later, and stripped of all the alluring woo-factor, more UAPs will end up being understood, rather than adding “good” cases to the “UFO” pile.

    It’s kind of like ABC’s, alien big cats. You can actually rationally talk about that … if it is not made part and parcel of cryptozoology. But if the black panther report immediately cues thoughts of Bigfoot or Mothman, then all it does is add “more credible” cases to cryptozoology, but does nothing to actually figure out if someone saw a large wildcat.

    Now, if UAP ends up just replacing UFO, then there isn’t much point to the switch.

  11. Fastmover01
    May 2, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Well UAP in my use and understanding means that something unidentified and airborne, whether it be natural, manmade or other. UFO has been tied to “alien” craft. Until I see an alien first hand, I cannot go that route.

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