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A UFO Skeptic

Tonight's guest, James Oberg, an expert on space exploration, has over the years been skeptical of the UFO phenomenon. "We can account for decades of UFO sightings without resorting to supernatural explanations," Oberg said in a debate with famed researcher J. Allen Hynek back in 1985. Hynek at the time suggested that the phenomenon could be coming from a parallel reality or another dimension. Oberg pointed out that even creditable, intelligent witnesses would be capable of misidentifying flying objects such as when astronomers in the USSR reported UFOs in 1967 and it turned out they had actually witnessed tests of space-to-Earth thermonuclear warheads.

Oberg has also weighed in against the UFO hypothesis in the case of the STS-48 Shuttle Video from 1991, which was purported by some to show huge objects moving at sharp right turns. Oberg believes that such images have prosaic explanations. "It's a phenomenon that's very familiar," Oberg said on the Larry King Show(1). We've seen "this since the fireflies on John Glenn's flight...Spacecraft are surrounded by clouds of debris- ice, dust, insulation, and other fragments. These pieces...are fairly ordinary phenomena," he added.

As to the 1996 "Tether incident" of video from the Columbia shuttle which also was believed by some experts to show UFO activity, Oberg told Florida Today(2), "if you look at enough video, you see this as a standard out-of-focus effect. This particular camera system isn't designed for low light levels and it's being pushed beyond its specifications in order to zoom in on the tether." For a pro UFO stance on the incident visit David Sereda's site(3) which contains images and video clips.

1. http://www.ufoseek.org/News00/don_ecker_and_james_oberg_on_sts-48.html
2. http://www.floridatoday.com/news/people/stories/2000/jun/peo060200e.htm
3. http://www.ufonasa.com/

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