Connect with us

Global Affairs

Explained: What is Behind the Surge of UFO Sightings in the United States During COVID-19 Pandemic?

Published

on

Society

Get short URL

Residents of the state of New York were particularly “lucky” in spotting mysterious objects in the sky. According to the US National UFO Reporting Centre (NUFORC), reports of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena nearly doubled in 2020 to 300 compared to the previous year.

Sighting of UFOs jumped by about 1,000 in the United States in 2020, with more and more people reporting cryptic flying objects in the sky, local media reported. The National UFO Reporting Centre (NUFORC) said there were 7,200 sightings of UFOs in the US last year. Virginia Stringfellow, a resident of the city of Rochester, NY, who holds monthly meetings of people who reportedly encountered mysterious objects, said five new people came on average to tell their stories of meeting a UFO.

A retired police officer, who wished to remain anonymous, told The New York Times that the true number of UFO sightings might be higher as fear of being ridiculed by members of the community prevents people from sharing their experiences.

So what is behind the surge of UFO sightings? According to ufologists it has nothing to do with “aliens'” desire to visit the Earth.

Blame COVID-19

Fear of the infectious disease and safety restrictions caused many Americans to relocate to rural areas, where there is little public lighting and skies are clear due to the lack of pollution, ufologists say. This detail as well as more free time due to working from home made many people spend more time outdoors looking at the sky and see things that they never noticed when living in big cities.

Blame Elon Musk aka You See What You Want to See

According to Peter Davenport, the director of the US National UFO Reporting Centre, the vast majority of the reports about UFO sightings and extraterrestrial life turn out to be ordinary things, such as drones, birds, falling stars, and planes. Last September, people in New Jersey got out of their cars on a highway to film what they believed was an alien spaceship. The latter turned out to be a blimp owned by tire manufacturing company Goodyear.

Warning the video contains strong language.

​Many reported UFO sightings were in fact satellites made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The company is working on a Starlink project designed to provide high-speed broadband internet across the world. It has already launched more than a thousand satellites to low earth-orbit and plans to finish the project by 2027, creating a constellation of 12,000 satellites, which many stargazers have already mistaken for “alien spaceships”.

Blame the Pentagon and Donald Trump

Another issue that may explain the surge of UFO sightings is the decision by US Defence Department to declassify previously leaked videos, which the Pentagon said showed “unidentified aerial phenomena”, as well as the Pentagon’s decision to create a task force to investigate UFO sightings.

Peter Davenport said the moves seemed like a U-turn on the government’s previous stance, when authorities refused to comment on mysterious sightings or acted as if numerous testimonies of witnesses were the result of a wild imagination.

Former President Donald Trump poured oil on the fire at the end of December when he signed a coronavirus relief bill, which among other things, had a strange provision requiring the Pentagon to brief Congress on all the information it possesses about unidentified flying objects within 180 days.

“It’s encouraging to many of us in the field of ufology that the government is willing to confirm that they are aware of these circumstances, that they are conceding that people are reporting these events”, said Peter Davenport.

Davenport said that only a small fraction of the reports the US National UFO Reporting Centre receives from people turn out to be truly unidentifiable.

Incidentally, besides the surge in UFO sightings during the pandemic there has also been an increase in reports of paranormal activity.



Source link

Global Affairs

Maradona Jr pleads for DNA donors in search for Argentina’s stolen babies | Diego Maradona

Published

on

Diego Armando Maradona Jr, son of the late Argentine football legend, is urging Italians to submit DNA to help the Argentinian government trace hundreds of children who were stolen and their parents murdered by the military junta that controlled the country four decades ago.

Maradona Jr is doing radio interviews in Italy and using his 400,000-strong social media following to broaden the search, which has already seen DNA testing programmes rolled out in Madrid and Rome.

The Argentine government believes dozens of children of the desaparecidos, the estimated 30,000 people kidnapped and murdered by the army during the dictatorship of the late 1970s and early 1980s, could have been taken to Italy after the fall of the junta.

During the dictatorship, pregnant women being kept prisoner were kept alive until they gave birth and then murdered. At least 500 babies were taken from their parents and given to childless military couples to raise as their own.

In March, the Argentine authorities and the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo movement, which has been searching for the stolen children since 1977, launched an international right to identity campaign in order to find the missing identities of more than 350 children.

Maradona Jr poses by a poster for the right to identity campaign after he was granted Argentine nationality in March
Maradona Jr poses by a poster for the right to identity campaign. The poster reads: ‘help us find you. You may be one of the grandsons and granddaughters we are looking for.’ Photograph: Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty

“The children of those victims are now between 40 and 45 years old,” said Ana de la Paz Tito, Argentina’s consul general in Rome. “To date, 130 children have been found. But 350 people are still missing and they could be anywhere in the world.”

Maradona Jr said: “The tragedy of the desaparecidos is one of the darkest chapters in human history. I am very proud to be able to assist the Argentinian authorities and associations in this important initiative as a way to carry on my father’s battle alongside relatives of the victims.”

In 2010, the football star sent a letter to the Nobel prize committee, requesting that the peace prize be awarded to the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo. In the letter, Maradona wrote that the Grandmothers leading the crusade to identify the children of desaparecidos deserved to be recognised for their “untiring, peaceful and courageous struggle to achieve the return of children who were kidnapped in the name of state terrorism”.

Maradona Jr was a result of the footballer’s extramarital affair with Neapolitan singer Cristiana Sinagra and still lives in Italy, although he obtained Argentinian citizenship last year.

For more than two decades Maradona refused to take a DNA test to establish whether Diego was his son, but he formally recognised him in 2016 and the two reconciled and were close in the footballer’s final years.



Source link

Continue Reading

Global Affairs

MEPs join EU citizens on farm-animal cage ban

Published

on

The European Parliament has lent political weight to an EU citizens’ petition to end farming of caged animals and force-feeding of ducks and geese to make fois gras pâté, putting pressure on the European Commission to table legislation. Forced-feeding was “cruel and unnecessary” and cages so small animals cannot stand or turn around were of “grave concern” MEPs said Thursday. Over 90 percent of EU-farmed rabbits are kept in cages.

Source link

Continue Reading

Global Affairs

Speculations Run Amok as Johnson Crashes ‘Awkward One-on-One’ Meeting Between Biden and Morrison

Published

on

World

Get short URL

The Australian prime minister held a meeting with the US president on the sidelines of the G7 summit in England, where the two agreed to work closely on “challenges” in the Indo-Pacific region, among other things.

Scott Morrison was hoping for a one-on-one meeting with US President Joe Biden at the G7 summit in the UK, however, event host, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson frustrated his plans by crashing their tête-à-tête.

The Australian prime minister was invited to this year’s G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall and was set to meet Biden in a bilateral setting.

When Morrison was asked why the supposed private meeting suddenly included a third party, the prime minister said “it was an opportunity that presented because we’re all here and so it was mutual”.

“We were particularly keen to have the discussion with both parties”, he added.

The incident has prompted great speculation as to why Morrison was unable to secure a bilateral meeting with the US president.

“This seemed to me like it was Boris Johnson stepping in what seemed like it might be a little awkward meeting, given Morrison’s full-on support for [former US President Donald] Trump”, Nikki Sava, a former adviser to ex-Australian Prime Minister John Howard, told ABC’s Insiders.

Many others ventured that Johnson’s decision to make the meeting trilateral was motivated by a willingness to make discussions about climate change productive.

Labour’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Penny Wong called the prime minister’s inability to secure a face-to-face meeting with Biden “disappointing”, and suggested Morrison’s “stubborn refusal” to commit to net zero emissions by 2050 was damaging the country’s reputation on the world stage.

“Mr Morrison’s stubborn refusal to sign up to net zero emissions has left him isolated and left Australia isolated”, she said on Sunday.

Ex-Liberal opposition leader John Hewson, in turn, alleged Biden might “not be prepared to extend Morrison the privilege [of a one-on-one] given his indefensible irresponsibility and stubbornness on climate”.

Greens leader Adam Bandt, for his part, thinks the only reason why Morrison was invited to the G7 summit is so the heads of states and governments can rebuke him over Australia’s perceived inaction on climate change.

“Climate is a critical issue at this G7. It is the only game in town. When they sit down to discuss climate, Scott Morrison will be sitting at the kids’ table and I think part of the reason he’s been invited to this summit is so the rest of the world can give Australia a dressing down on climate”, Bandt told ABC’s Insiders on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Morrison has since rejected those claims, arguing that climate change was not a point of discussion for the meeting and would instead be a topic of conversation at Monday’s G7 Plus sessions. 

Following the trilateral meeting, Biden, Morrison, and Johnson issued in a joint statement, revealing they had “discussed a number of issues of mutual concern, including the Indo-Pacific region”.

Morrison later downplayed any suggestion of a diplomatic snub, describing it as “a meeting of great friends and allies who share a view on the world”.

“Australia has no greater friends than the United States and the United Kingdom. It was a great opportunity for my first meeting with the president. I’ve known Boris for many years, and there was a very easy understanding amongst the three of us”.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!