What do we really know about UFOs?

UAP/UFO, captured by F/A-18 Super Hornet.
Walsh, Andrew

In 2017, video footage of Navy pilot encounters with Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), also known as unidentified flying objects (UFO), was leaked to the public, along with the pilots’ reactions. 

In a recording by Navy pilots in 2004, the film clip shows an odd, oblong-shaped object hovering above the ocean about 100 miles off of the California coast. “[Forty] feet long with no wings, just hanging close to the water,’ David Fravor, a former veteran Navy pilot, told The Washington Post. “I think it was not of this world,” Fravor said. 

Recorded sightings go back even earlier in U.S. history. John Winthrop, the governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1639 wrote that two men claimed to have seen a bright light in the night sky that “ran as swift as an arrow.” A few years later, he wrote that at “about midnight, three men saw two lights arise out of the water near the north point of the town cove… and there vanished.”

In 2021, the mysteries continue, but perhaps not for long.  

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The Department of Defense revived an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force to gather what is known about UAPs.

The task force’s assessment is due to Congress by June 25. 

On Thursday, host Kerri Miller explored the possibilities with two experts: an astrophysicist and a conspiracy theory debunker.


  • Dr. Avi Loeb is an astrophysicist and the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University

  • Mick West is a science communicator who debunks conspiracy theories online and is the author of “Escaping the Rabbit Hole: How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts, Logic and Respect.” 

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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