Aliens among us? Curious.

[dropcap]The[/dropcap] Appalachian Mountains are a hot bed of paranormal and extraterrestrial sightings and experiences, or at least some believe that. Maybe these people written off as crazy UFO conspiracy nuts are right. Recent and very local evidence tends to lend them a bit of credibility, and maybe it shouldn’t be ignored.

Less than a year ago a massive explosion rocked Hazard, leading emergency crews on a search of the county that ended at an abandoned mine. After gases within the mine was ruled out at the culprit of the explosion, no real answers were ever given. Some theories were that a chunk of frozen space rock in the form of an asteroid entered the earth’s atmosphere and exploded as it was heated in the journey.

While this is a plausible theory, some witnesses recall seeing plumes of smoke and even a midair fire ball. The explosion was quickly picked up by the vast community of sky watchers looking for unidentified flying objects as proof that something happened that night in the skies over Hazard.

A quick Google search of UFOs in the Appalachian Mountains will turn up hundreds of videos and articles of what are supposedly aliens whizzing about in our skies. Most look like dots of light, camera glitches, less than reputable eye witness accounts, and just plain grasping at straws. However, a few, even if not legitimate aliens, are at least interesting and unexplainable.

These countless supposed sightings leave several unanswered questions, such as what are those things and why are they coming to the mountains?

One such account that is currently gaining national attention is a report coming from Pike County. On Oct. 16, a glowing object was seen in the skies over several communities in Pike and Letcher counties. The object was described as being long, reflective, and transparent. Several photos and videos were taken of the supposed craft.

The Herald’s sister papers in Williamson, West Virginia reported on an object being seen there just hours before. The photos taken at both sightings look identical and both were seen in broad daylight, and were not just flashes of light against a night sky.

According to alien investigators, any extraterrestrial visitors are most likely seeking to study our world much like we do with our NASA missions into outer space.

So then why are they coming to the Appalachian Mountains? Those that believe in aliens would say it is because of the abundant natural resources such as coal, gas, timber, and various kinds of rock in a wide variety of formations. Those that do not believe in aliens would probably have the same answer, though they would believe it is natural phenomenon caused by these abundant resources.

If alien life is coming down to check out our mountains, it makes sense that they would choose areas that best explain what the earth is made of. When we have sent rovers to Mars, they have studied samples and sent back photos. Currently we even have a bit of our most advanced technology on the surface of the red planet sending back information.

Much like the confusion the world has had over the finding of several unexpected shiny objects that look like plastic in the dust and gravel covered surface of Mars, we are still confused by the workings of our own planet.

Alien or not, strange occurrences in our world keep us looking and thinking. It is through this exploration that discovery and knowledge can be found. So I say shine on objects in the sky, and we will continue to try to explain our world the best we can. And even if you are just a spot on a lens, or reflection in the atmosphere, we will have learned something. So thank you for keeping us curious.

Bailey Richards