Why are we so eager to believe in extraterrestrial life?
Unidentified Flying Objects are big news again as public imagination runs riot with one of its periodic flying saucer ‘flaps’. But is the truth out there, and might it be closer than we think to coming out?
Just a little over 40 years ago in February 1977, a group of children at Broad Haven Primary School in Pembrokeshire, Wales, were excited by a mysterious sighting on their school fields. The teacher in their class didn’t see what got the children so wound up, but they would not be calmed down, so their headteacher ordered the class to be split up and for the children to draw what they thought they’d seen.
With a few expected variations, the 10-year-olds pretty much turned in this unusual assignment of one mind and accord… what they had seen, and what they drew, was a long, cigar-shaped object with a silver or glass dome on top.
It was the start of what would become known as the Dyfed Triangle: a UFO “flap” that lasted several months and saw the media descend on Wales as more and more sightings of mysterious objects in the sky were reported. A local hotelier even claimed a close encounter with humanoid creatures with pointed heads.
There were official investigations, reports, and theories. Some suggested it was the work of pranksters, others thought the children at Broad Haven had confused a distant sewage tank for a visiting spaceship.
Common sense tells us that explanations such as these are the sensible ones. And yet we persist in seeing unexplained lights in the sky, in reporting phenomena we just can’t account for. People with no axe to grind, no profit to be made – but indeed, reputations to lose – talk of coming up close and personal with beings who cannot be of this Earth.
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