Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Nomar Slevik, author of the new Otherworldly Encounters.

The term “unidentified flying object” (UFO) was created during the 1950s. Depending on who you ask, the term was coined either in 1953 by Donald Keyhoe or in 1956 by Edward Ruppelt. And it may be interesting to note that both gentleman served in the U.S. military (the Marines and Air Force, respectively).

Since that time, the acronym UFO and other terms, such as flying saucer, spaceship, alien craft, unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), unidentified submerged object (USO), and more have all become synonymous with extraterrestrial beings. What researchers and investigators of the phenomenon keep in mind during said research and investigations is that this in not always the case. In fact, it is mostly not the case.

Misidentification plays a large factor in reports of unidentified flying objects. Chinese lanterns, drones, military crafts, airplanes, helicopters, flocks of birds, bees, and so much more have played a crucial role in the UFO. mythos. Misidentifications occur, and it is typically not intentional on the part of the observer. Most witnesses are going about their day or evening without any thought of the extraterrestrial phenomena when an encounter occurs. Suddenly, a light in the sky seems much too bright, it may appear to hover, or blink out inexplicably. They may tell a friend or loved one of what they saw and the experience will inevitably lean towards aliens.

The greatest factor in misidentifications or for that synonymous connection is pop culture. Sci-fi movies starring legions of ridiculous-looking aliens riddled theaters and drive-ins, beginning in the 1950s. Movie-goers went in droves to watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Alien, Star Wars, Star Trek; even Superman is an alien! Not much has changed today, especially with recent films It (the clown is from a dimension outside of space called the Macroverse; technically an alien) and A Quiet Place, which starred super hearing aliens that have taken over the world.

Because of these factors, as a society, we have grown generally accustomed to see the world through this lens. Something foreign to us is called “alien;” Ancient Aliens has become the History Channel’s most watched program and has just started its thirteenth season! And the mainstream media is now reporting and discussing UFOs at an all-time high since the New York Times article on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program came out in December of last year.

So, are there weird lights and shapes in our skies that are unidentified? Lights and shapes that we can literally call UFOs? Of course! We see them every day, but it doesn’t mean that they remain unidentified. Often times they are mundane, other times they are natural or man-made, but some you never know. The investigation starts with a UFO, where it may lead you
is the true unknown.

Our thanks to Nomar for his guest post! For more from Nomar Slevik, read his article, “Investigating a UFO Encounter .”

Written by Anna
Anna is the Senior Consumer & Online Marketing Specialist, responsible for Llewellyn's New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit, the Llewellyn Journal, Llewellyn's monthly email newsletters, and more. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading an absurd number of books; doing crossword puzzles; watching ...