Would You Report A
UFO? The Truth Is Out there
By Bill Johnson
OK, what would you say if I admitted I was out in my back yard, and saw a low, slow, silent triangle with red lights that for long minutes glowed greenish-yellow before turning red, receding into the clouds and shooting straight across the sky?
This is my nightmare scenario. There are a lot of things I'm afraid of " which I'll admit. This is THE one thing I hope I never encounter. Please, Lord, don't ever send a UFO my way.
I bring this up only because the latest copy of The UFO Report was thrown on my desk the other day. It is fascinating, scary reading. And I love UFO stuff.
Sue me. I think they exist. And why not? Is it completely out of the realm of possibility? The 11 people who sighted a UFO between May 14 and June 8 cannot all be crazy.
If I saw one, and I am serious about this, I would say not a word. Life is tough enough. Don Berliner, who edits The UFO Report out of Washington, D.C., laughed. Sort of.
It is the reason the entire UFO movement has stalled in recent years, he says. "Most people don't report because they are afraid of being laughed at. It's unfortunate, but it's life."
He started his monthly report strictly for the media. Most media people today weren't around in the salad days of the '50s and '60s, when UFO and their sightings were "really hot."
There were days back then, says Berliner, 70, when they couldn't keep up with the overwhelming amount of UFO reports.
Today is different. What most people know of UFOs, he says, comes from the supermarket tabloids and The X-Files.
"There's a lot more to it," he says. "It's a worldwide phenomenon that's covered a half-century. And there's a big story out there. It's why I keep at it."
The problem is only one in 10 sightings is reported, Berliner says. It's the laugh factor. And there really is no place for people to report a sighting. The government quit accepting them in 1969.
"It got frustrating for them because most of their explanations were always incredibly flawed," he says. "Since then, they've insisted they have no interest in the subject."
The other problem is people reporting sightings always see them at night. The key is not to see lights, but objects, Berliner says. Lights can be anything " a meteor, a plane. There's never any detail. It makes the report virtually useless.
Of the 11 May-June sightings published in his report, only two occurred during daylight hours.
Why does he do it? He is a believer, he says. An aviation writer by trade, he's heard so many stories from pilots. Almost all of them are afraid to come forward.
"A lot of good information is lost annually because people say nothing. They don't want to look crazy," he says.
He does what he does simply to help people understand the mystery. "It's a mystery that happens so often, you think it should be susceptible to scientific study," Berliner says.
"Myself and others in the field just want the answers. We want to move onto something else."
Does he ever believe he will find the answer? "If you'd asked me 30 years ago, I'd have said we'd know in a decade. Look how wrong I'd have been."
He does, though, have just one wish.
"I hope," he says, "I last long enough to at last find the answer."
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