There are all sorts of strange objects appearing on Mars these days, courtesy of the recent exploits of NASA’s Curiosity rover, as well as the decade-old Opportunity rover, which recently managed to photograph an odd looking stone that some claim to be evidence of alien life. But the latest in the series of Martian photographic anomalies has some experts scratching their heads.
Described as a “tiny spherical speck” that appears to be producing a vapor trail or other means of propulsion, the object (pictured above) has been described by some as a UFO.
Commenting on the object, an analyst working with NASA, the University of Leicester’s Dr John Bridges, suggests that the object may actually be “one of the Martian moons, probably Phobos.” Even the possibility of a manmade satellite has been suggested.
While the image remains inconclusive, there were a few unique statements about this object provided at the website of the Leicester Mercury, where the National Space Center’s Josh Barker provided some much needed commentary on the possibility that the object in question is, in fact, a UFO. Fortunately, he asserts the proper use of the acronym, making the distinction between appropriately calling the latest Martian anomaly a “UFO,” and supposing this means an extraterrestrial aircraft:
“UFO stands for unidentified flying object. Many people now assume a UFO must be an alien ship or something equally as exotic. In this case, we are looking at an object, it appears to be flying and, currently, it is unidentified. Therefore, it is by pure definition a UFO. It will remain as such until we figure out what it is. It is almost certainly not an alien vessel. Interestingly, an alien space ship would stop being a UFO once we had identified it as such, due to it no longer being unidentified. Generally, nowadays people avoid using the term UFO because so many people assume that by it you mean it must be aliens.”
Barker’s commentary on the “UFO” term and its usage in popular culture today lends some much needed perspective to the discussion. There have been, and will continue to be, reports of UFOs around the world, and as we see here, perhaps on other worlds, just as well. Employing a proper definition, we can indeed call the object seen in Curiosity’s photos an unidentified object. However, following decades of presumption that the only explanation for UFOs and their seemingly exotic technology is an extraterrestrial intelligence, we find that more and more people have shied away from discussing the possibility of unidentified flying craft at all, for fear of being labeled “UFO nuts”.
In truth, while there is compelling data pertaining to UFO reports, very little hard evidence–if any–exists to support an extraterrestrial connection. While the testimony of some alleged UFO abductees provides a compelling look at certain aspects of the culture associated with UFO studies, one might question whether all such abduction claims can be directly associated with unexplained aerial phenomenon; additionally, the scant evidence provided in support of abduction claims, which has included a few physical objects (often called implants) retrieved from the purported abductees following their experiences, can in no way directly support the proposed reality that extraterrestrial visitors have been coming to Earth and taking humans into advanced aerial vehicles.
It would be a stretch to presume that such claims could support an ET component to the greater body of UFO reports collected over the last half century or more; and in truth, it might be equally unjust to dismiss all the claims of those who have reported experiences with both UFOs and interactions in exotic environments with presumed space-visitors. Any way one chooses to look at it, there is something going on… perhaps several “somethings”. But the terminology employed in relation to this (whatever it is) must be used carefully, with full consideration of the implications therein, compared with what the evidence can actually support in any given instance.