A typical UFO sighting involves noticing a bright light moving strangely across the sky in the dark. Hardly anything else can be said to describe the phenomenon, says Lasse Ahonen from the UFO-Finland organisation.
Ufology has been Ahonen’s hobby for the last 46 years. A mere photo is not enough proof for him.
“We always need basic information about the pictures. The internet is full of mere images.”
Planets and debris
There have been considerably more UFO sightings in Finland in recent years. The two organisations in this field, Finnish UFO Research Association FUFORA and UFO Finland, yearly receive some three hundred reports of sightings altogether.
An airplane’s lights or a planet might cause strange light phenomena. Sometimes no further explanation is needed than debris in a camera’s lens. Ufologists say that a natural explanation is found for most cases.
However, a few remain unsolved. Some UFO enthusiasts believe that visits from aliens account for some of them.
“At this stage, all options should be kept in mind and kept open,” Ahonen says.
Several countries have lately published formerly classified official data on UFO sightings. Similar data is also collected in Finland, where explanations made by officials are stored in the war archive. Atso Hapaanen has written a book on the military sightings of UFOs in 1933-1979 on the basis of this data.
UFO enthusiasts disagree on whether the military—and especially the air forces—in possession of any newer material.
“I don’t believe that the Air Force has any UFO maps,” says Björn Borg, researcher from FUFORA.
Borg is also sceptical that the Air Force would conceal anything about it. Ahonen’s opinion differs.
“I consider it very likely that there is observational data,” he says. “Would it not be time for the Finnish defence forces to also move on to the 2000s and follow other countries’ example by opening up more about this,” he inquires.
YLE has also turned to the Air Force for answers, but the Air Force said there were no secrets about sightings.
Chief Public Information Official Joni Malkamäki said that the Air Force checks up on citizens’ observations about 2-4 times a year. According to Malkamäki, information usually comes in about strange light phenomena and less frequently about objects.
“These findings usually fall under atmospheric phenomena, such as meteorites and space debris burning in the atmosphere.”
The Air Force says its own pilots have not seen any UFOs.
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