BENGALURU:A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes, goes a popular quote. This has turned out to be true, considering the pace at which rumours of alien sightings have been reported in the State over the past few weeks.
The most recent incident of ‘alien sighting’ was reported in Chikkarakalgud town of Hassan district, where residents claimed to have witnessed flying saucers glowing in the sky. A similar incident was reported on December 9 in Mangaluru, where locals contended that an alien life form with two legs was haunting the locality.
On Saturday, rumours were rife in Hassan that the ‘flying saucers’ had been caught on camera after a few women working on an arecanut plantation spotted them. “It was similar to bursts of lightning. There were five beams of light and they were visible between 7.30
and 9.30 pm. According to estimates, the source of light was about 150-200 metres above the ground,” said a widely-circulated message, attributing the quote to a retired military personnel.
Many people had witnessed the phenomenon but the only proof that the incident took place is a poorly-shot video. However, local police have denied that any such incident had occurred in their limits.
On December 9 this year, there were reports of similar claims made in Boliyar, near Mangaluru. Based on ‘eye-witness accounts’, locals said that a creature with the body of a child, voice resembling a human but speaking in an unknown language, had ‘appeared and disappeared.’
After a couple of sightings, locals launched a search operation, which ended as a futile exercise.
In October, one person was reprimanded by the police after he sent voice messages to tv channels that women working in the field had spotted a peculiar bird which was alien.
In connection with the Chikkarkalgud case, a resident said that the whole incident could have been a mirage. Bommaiah, a resident of the town told Express that a programme had been held at nearby school and they had used high beam lights for it.
“The light was visible from quite a distance. It is possible that people who weren’t aware of the source of light might have confused it for an alien spaceships,” he added.
What is a UFO?
UFO, short for unidentified flying objects, entered popular culture owing to conspiracy theories and popular fiction. Experts opine that such claims originated after the start of space race between USA and Russia. Such claims have been bolstered in recent years, owing to conspiracy theory that world governments are covering up the existence of aliens. California in USA records the highest number of such ‘sightings’.
In June 2015, a boy from Kanpur claimed to have captured a photograph of a flying saucer aka UFO on his smartphone.
In July 2012claims of UFOs were made in Pune. However, it was later learnt that the UFO was actually a weather balloon.
According to a website ufo-blogger.com, Agriculture Minister of Madhya Pradesh had also captured photographs of UFOs.
In August, few people claimed that they had spotted a flying saucer over Gurgaon, Haryana.
‘Either Optical Illusion or Fiction’
Bengaluru: While rumours regarding aliens were swift in making inroads into the imagination of the general public, scientists have been quick in dismissing such claims.
Speaking to Express, Sujan K Sengupta, associate professor at Indian Institute of Astrophysics, said that frequency of such claims have increased owing to advancements in tools such as Photoshop. “People are fascinated by the idea of extraterrestrial life, which has become part of their imagination,” he said.
Commenting on the incidents reported in the state, he said that the claims were not authentic and there were no substantial proof to justify any of the claims. “Few days ago, similar claims were made in Gurgaon. It is either optical illusion or fiction cooked up by the locals,” he said.
The search for extraterrestrial beings or aliens have been on for a long time now. Despite popular claims, we don’t have a single photograph of an unidentified flying object (UFO), he said.
Noting that there were tools to identify any alien forms entering the solar system, he said that the claims are more likely to be false, due to the difficulties involved in space travel.
Another physicist at Indian Institute of Science added that such claims are made every now and then. But such claims do not pass the stringent norms of science.