World UFO Day is officially observed on July 2 to commemorate the sighting of a UFO in Roswell, New Mexico, on that day in 1947. ( Image Source : Getty Images )
World UFO Day is observed every year on July 2. The day aims to bring together people who love learning about Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO), and also to raise awareness about these aerial objects.
Earlier, World UFO Day was observed on two different dates — July 2 and June 24. In order to eliminate any confusion, the World UFO Day Organization (WUFODO) declared July 2 as the official World UFO Day. Since there is just one official date for the celebration of World UFO Day, large numbers of people are able to celebrate it in a single day, instead of small groups observing it on two different dates
World UFO Day is also known as Flying Saucer Day. The day is dedicated to the existence of UFOs. World UFO Day was celebrated for the first time in 2001 by UFO researcher Haktan Akdogan.
Why World UFO Day Was Observed On June 24
The reason why June 24 is sometimes observed as World UFO Day is that on the same day in 1947, American aviator Kenneth Arnold had recognised the first widely reported modern UFO sighting. On June 24, 1947, Kenneth Arnold reportedly saw a string of nine, shiny UFOs flying past Mount Rainier at speeds estimated to be at least 1,932 kilometres per hour. This is considered the first of the modern era UFO sightings. Following the sighting of the object by Kenneth, more sightings were reported over the next two to three weeks.
Kenneth compared the movement of the UFO to the way a saucer would move if one skipped it over water, according to an article published by Sky at Night magazine.
Based on Kenneth’s description of the UFO, the press coined the terms flying saucer and flying disc which, to date, are popular descriptive terms for these objects.
Why World UFO Day Is Observed On July 2
World UFO Day is officially observed on July 2 to commemorate the sighting of a UFO in Roswell, New Mexico, on that day in 1947.
July 2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the Roswell incident, when an extraterrestrial spacecraft crashed in the New Mexico desert, with debris. The US States Army Air Forces officers from Roswell Army Air Field had recovered the balloon debris from a ranch near Corona, New Mexico. A local rancher named ‘Mac’ Brazel had contacted the sheriff in Roswell on July 7, 1947, to state that he had discovered strange debris spread over the ranch. Though he had found the object days earlier, he did not think much until stories about flying saucers emerged.
Conspiracy theories claiming that the debris involved a flying saucer and that the US government had covered up the truth emerged.
The Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) issued a press release on July 8, 1947 stating that they had recovered a “flying disc”, but quickly retracted the statement, claiming that the crashed object was a conventional weather balloon.
Following the discovery of the debris, local newspaper Roswell Daily Record published a story on the front page with the iconic headline: “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region”.
However, within 24 hours, the US military said a mistake had been made, and that the ‘flying saucer’ was a crashed weather balloon.
In 1978, nuclear physicist-turned-ufologist Stanton T Friedman rediscovered the story of the Roswell UFO crash. Intelligence officer Jesse Marcel, who had gone to the crash site with Brazel to recover debris, told Friedman that the weather balloon had been a cover story and that the photos showing Marcel and other military personnel holding some of the debris had been staged. He told Friedman that weather balloon debris had been substituted for the real wreckage in the pictures, according to the article.
Marcel claimed that all the people involved in the retrieval were confident the object had been an extraterrestrial spaceship.
UFO Sightings Following Arnold And Roswell Incidents
Following the Arnold and Roswell incidents, reported sightings of UFOs increased drastically, and researchers started investigating these sightings. American astronomers Josef Allen Hynek became the United States’ foremost expert in UFOs. The most important advocate of UFO research, Hynek inspired the film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”.
Classification Of UFO Encounters
A close encounter in ufology is an event in which a person witnesses a UFO. Hynek had first suggested the term in his 1972 book The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry. He created a UFO encounter classification system, which divides UFOs into three classes of “close encounters”.
A Close Encounter of the First Kind is an event in which a person simply observes a UFO but leaves no evidence.
A Close Encounter of the Second Kind is an event in which a UFO leaves physical traces which prove that it was present in the vicinity of the site claimed by the observer. These traces could be burns on the ground or broken branches.
A Close Encounter of the Third Kind is an event in which a person makes contact with a UFO or other life form.
Fascination With UFOs Before 1947
People love learning about extraterrestrial phenomena, and become excited when they spot unusual lights in the sky or witness strange occurrences. The world’s fascination with UFOs increased during the 20th century. English writer HG Wells published a science fiction novel called The War of the Worlds, which mentions fictional conflict between mankind and an extraterrestrial race. The book was published in 1898, and was later broadcast by CBS Radio in 1938. It was a 60-minute episode narrated by Orson Welles. The episode, which was a part of the American radio drama anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air, stirred panic among the radio audience, who believed that Martians were truly attacking Earth.
In 1561, some unidentified flying objects were spotted over Nuremberg. According to a broadsheet news article printed in April 1561, a large number of people spotted a celestial phenomenon over Nuremberg. The broadsheet stated that “many men and women” of Nuremberg saw an aerial battle “out of the sun”, followed by the appearance of a large black triangular object and some spheres falling to Earth in clouds of smoke.
According to the broadsheet, people also observed hundreds of spheres, cylinders, and other odd-shaped objects overhead.
In 1952, US Air Force officer Edward Ruppelt coined the term “unidentified flying object” to replace the terms “flying saucer” and “flying disk”.
The oldest recorded instance of a UFO sighting dates back to 214 CE, according to timeanddate.com.
Why Is World UFO Day Celebrated?
The most important reason behind celebrating World UFO Day is to raise awareness of the “undoubted existence of UFOs” and about the existence of intelligent life in outer space, according to the official website for World UFO Day.
World UFO Day is used to encourage governments to declassify their knowledge about UFO sightings throughout history. Several governments, including the US government, are believed to have gained exclusive information on UFOs through their military departments.
Every year on World UFO Day, the UFO community reaches and challenges the beliefs of millions of potential believers worldwide. People who believe in UFOs get in touch with those who do not believe in UFOs and try to change their thought process in an interesting manner.
How Can One Celebrate World UFO Day?
People who believe in UFOs are encouraged to organise their own parties on World UFO Day. Several persons observe the skies together and engage themselves in UFO-themed activities on this day.
People can also watch movies based on UFOs and extraterrestrial life to celebrate the day. Most importantly, people are encouraged to mentally send out the message that “UFOs are welcome to Earth”.