UFO sighting -- for real!

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Astronauts on the space shuttle Atlantis, due to come home tomorrow, have apparently spotted an alien flying saucer unidentified flying object:

NASA engineers are checking into a baffling sight of a mystery object below the shuttle that mission control spotted at about 2:45 a.m EDT Tuesday with a video camera in the shuttle's cargo bay. The object, which circled the Earth in the same orbit as the shuttle and is of undetermined size, probably came out of the shuttle's cargo bay because some jets had just been fired, shaking the orbiter, NASA spokesman Doug Peterson said.

The astronauts are some of the most credible people to ever spot a UFO, but they're hardly the most famous. The list includes Christopher Columbus (not known for his ability to correctly identify large unknown masses), Alexander the Great, Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh, and quite a few more recent luminaries:

John Lennon: "John Lennon had a UFO sighting which occurred when he was with his personal secretary, May Pang, in New York. As May Pang recounts in her book, the 'large, circular object [was] coming towards us. It was shaped like a flattened cone and on top was a large, brilliant red light... When it came a little closer, we could make out a row or circle of white lights that ran around the entire rim of the craft.'"

Jimmy Carter: "In 1969 ... [Carter] described an object appearing in the west at 7:15 on an evening in October. It was about thirty degrees up, and sometimes 'as bright as the moon.' It varied from the size of a planet to the apparent size of the moon and appeared to be 900 to 3000 feet away. A close examination of the report by UFO skeptic Robert Sheaffer discovered that, because Carter was with members of the Lions Club on the day in question, the actual date of the incident must have been January 6th, 1969. By using a star chart Sheaffer was able to establish that Venus was in the precise location described by Carter."

Dan Aykroyd: "One occurred on Martha's Vineyard, he said, where he sighted 'high altitude, glowing magnesium discs travelling at 20,000 miles (32,190 km) an hour at 100,000 feet (30,480 metres) ... wing to wing, edge to edge.' ... 'The second was a telepathic experience,' he said, which happened at a lake retreat in Canada. 'I was asleep with my wife and I woke up about 3 a.m. wanting to go outside into a field and look at the sky,' he said, telling his wife, 'They want me to see. They want me to see.' She told him to forget it. The next morning, he said, newspapers and radio reports from across the region were filled with eyewitness accounts from some of the estimated 12,000 people who saw a pink spiral in the sky. The military later said it was a Chinese rocket, Aykroyd said, but he believes he was being summoned and regrets ignoring the call."

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September 19, 2006 - 8:23am
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