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Abstract

Sightings of unidentified foreign objects (UFOs) have been reported throughout the centuries—most of them given a religious interpretation. Since World War II, however, there seems to have been a drastic increase in the number of sightings. We have enough data—both visual and photographic—on some of these sightings to know that the phenomenon is unambiguously extraordinary and clearly inexplicable in modern terms. The author examines UFO brightness, size, and maneuvers, and discusses the frequency and location of sightings. He ends by suggesting the need for more standardized reporting on UFOs, so that times and locations of appearances may be anticipated and badly needed objective data may be obtained.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation draft series. The unrestricted draft was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003 that represented preliminary or prepublication versions of other more formal RAND products for distribution to appropriate external audiences. The draft could be considered similar to an academic discussion paper. Although unrestricted drafts had been approved for circulation, they were not usually formally edited or peer reviewed.

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