Eyewitness Accounts (03:18)
On June 24th, 1947, Kenneth Arnold witnessed nine aircraft moving in formation at supersonic speeds; the term, "flying saucer" is born from a misquote of his description. Weeks later, an unidentified flying object is reported to have crashed in Roswell; the Air Force confirmed the saucer to be of alien origin, but later denied the incident. Thousands of unconfirmed sightings have since been recorded.
Scientific Reasoning (03:25)
Most UFO sightings can be linked to human technologies and atmospheric events, but some crafts' behaviors defy our current level of physics and engineering, and the Principle of Inertia. Organic extraterrestrials would require a method to combat the otherwise fatal gravitational forces.
Craft Characteristics (03:58)
In the late 1960s, the Avrocar, a human engineered flying saucer, was tested by the United States government, proving the shape ineffective in Earth's atmosphere; wedge forms are more efficient, utilized by militaries, and now more frequently reported as UFOs. Flying saucers do not produce noise, and could be using a sound cancelling technology. Extraterrestrial craft have been reported to disappear, a phenomenon that could be attained by bending light with metamaterials.
Interstellar Travel (06:15)
On July 19th, 2009, a UFO was reported by the Endeavour craft; space base sightings have occurred throughout the project's development. Distance between stars is enormous, beyond the reach of current technologies with high fuel weights. Solar sails are propelled by photon pressure (see hang glider example), and can reach up to 10% lightspeed; a concentrated laser beam has been suggested to aid the craft when sun light energy decreases.
Nuclear Fission and Fusion Propulsions (06:23)
In the 60s, the Orion Drive proposed using nuclear fission charges (see barrel demonstration); it's maximum speed is estimated at 5% lightspeed. Nuclear fusion results in massive energy production; a craft powered by it would require a reaction chamber and heavy quantities of fuel pellets. Resulting weight penalties could be subverted by mining heavy hydrogen from space with scoops; an atomic fusion vehicle could reach 15% lightspeed.
Theory of Relativity (04:06)
At the Fermilab, gamma rays are produced by high energy particle collisions that convert mass into energy and anti-matter. Gamma rays are intensely dangerous, and a craft using the propulsion system would require advanced shielding mechanisms, and achieve near lightspeeds.
Warp Bubble (03:51)
A warp bubble is created by compressing and expanding space time surrounding a craft; the method must contend with dark energy and space expansion tendencies. The energy from a black hole could tow a warp drive spacecraft, and achieve lightspeed.
In March 1997, multiple sightings of the Arizona lights were reported and described as a mothership; the craft type would be an enclosed ecosystem, using generational life support systems and suspended animation. A cigar shape design would put distance between the ship's occupants and deathly propulsion system. It could be seen approaching Earth and the physical effect of its arrival potentially apocalyptic.
Artificial Intelligence and Greys (06:15)
Visiting extraterrestrials may not be biological, living beings; use of artificial intelligence would eliminate organic response to interstellar propulsion systems. A fencing robot has been developed by Stanford AI Laboratory; it is far from achieving human learning capabilities or piloting a spacecraft. The universe is ancient and vast; the probability that other intelligent civilizations exist is high. (Credits)
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