Chris Hadfield, former Canadian astronaut and proud mustache-wearer, has recently weighed in on the renewed public interest in “unidentified aerial phenomena” sightings in a recent CBC interview.
In his view, we Earthlings certainly need to keep our eyes to the sky looking for any possible signs of extraterrestrial life. However, if you think that flashing light you saw one night was an alien spacecraft, you’re foolish.
"Obviously, I've seen countless things in the sky that I don't understand," Hadfield told CBC.
Indeed, Hadfield has had a front-row seat to the stars better than most people: during his many spaceflights, he was commander of the International Space Station and the first Canadian to walk in space.
"But to see something in the sky that you don't understand and then to immediately conclude that it's intelligent life from another solar system is the height of foolishness and lack of logic."
"Definitively up to this point, we have found no evidence of life anywhere except Earth, and we're looking," explained Hadfield.
Once considered the domain of crackpots and conspiracy theorists, UFO sightings have been given a renewed legitimacy in recent years thanks to a number of high-profile sightings. Much of this hype can be traced back to a 2017 article in the New York Times reporting on a series of leaked videos filmed off the coast of the US that show unusually shaped, fast-moving aircraft.
One of the videos (above) – called FLIR – shows an incident in November 2004 when two Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jets started chasing an unknown flying object off the coast of southern California. The video has since obtained the nickname “Tic Tac,” as it features an oblong-shaped object appearing to instantaneously change direction in the sky. The official government report on the incident says the object descended "‘very rapidly’ from approximately 60,000 feet [18,300 meters] down to approximately 50 feet [15 meters] in a matter of seconds.”
The videos were given a sense of legitimacy because they were reported by well-respected US military pilots. Furthermore, the Pentagon later confirmed the videos were real and taken by Navy personnel. They even went to officially release them to the public.
The content of the videos, however, is still up for speculation and there’s no direct evidence that this shows an extraterrestrial. Looking to dismiss the videos, some have said it's possible the UFO was simply a secretive, advanced military jet from another nation. Whatever your stance, it's hard to deny the footage doesn't show something deeply astonishing.