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- Unresolved cases include 1957 image by a pilot allegedly showing a UFO following a B-47 jet
- Another shows searchlights focusing on an unidentified object flying over LA in February 1942
- ‘The pictures here don’t seem to be faked,’ UFO investigator, Nigel Watson told DailyMail.com
- But he added that there may be other explanations, such as the way a photograph is developed
The US government is still unable to explain around five per cent of UFO sightings in its archives.
Now one team of ‘alien hunters’ has dug up some of the best images to see if the public can shed light on the eerie glows, mysterious orbs and flying objects from the last few decades.
Among them is a remarkable 1957 photo taken by a test pilot near Edwards Air Force Base in California, allegedly showing a UFO following a B-47 jet.
Another, released by the Aerial Phenomena Group, shows three mysterious lights over the Manhattan skyline taken in 1984. It was taken by Philipe Orego from New Jersey, and researchers could find no sign of a hoax at the time.
‘The basic problem is that if a UFO photograph is taken in daylight and looks close, clear and sharp, you suspect it is a fake.
‘If it is out-of-focus, distant and hard to define, then it can be a picture of anything in the sky – from an insect, bird to a balloon or drone.
‘The pictures here don’t seem to be faked but each has its own story to tell. With old pictures, blobs or spots can appear due to the way the film is developed or mishandled in the processing stage. ‘
In February 1942, fears of a Japanese air raid and invasion struck LA. On 23 February, a Japanese submarine allegedly shelled the Elwood Oil Field near Goleto, north of Los Angeles.
In the early hours of 25 February, a fleet of mystery aircraft were seen heading for the city.
Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall reported in a memorandum to President Roosevelt dated 26 February 1942 that as many as 15 airplanes may have been involved.
Although 1430 rounds were expended by the 37th Coast Artillery Brigade’s anti-aircraft guns no aircraft was hit or shot down and no bombs were dropped by the aircraft.
The only conclusion was that commercial aircraft were used by enemy agents to determine the location of anti-aircraft guns and to spread alarm.
‘This invasion scare became the subject of Steven Spielberg’s high-rolling comedy movie ‘1941’ (1979) that shows how fear ensnares people in a web of obsession and conflict fuelled by rumours and the media,’ said Watson.
‘The lasting evidence of the craft was a photograph of a ‘wigwam’ of searchlights converging on an unidentified aircraft over Culver City.’
An analysis by UFO expert Dr Bruce Maccabee suggests that the object caught by the searchlight beams was 100 feet wide.
Steven Lacey, another UFO believer, using Photoshop cleared up the image to reveal an image of a classic flying saucer.
This made him conclude that this image is ‘a very convincing argument for the presence of alien craft in our skies.’
‘In contrast, aviation historian Brett Holman puts forward a convincing case that the searchlights are converging on a small cloud rather than a UFO or extra-terrestrial battlecruiser,’ said Watson.
‘And, he has found other examples of antiaircraft searchlights illuminating clouds that look like flying saucers.
‘A UFO picture certainly says more than a thousand words, but it still depends on our prejudices and expectations to decide whether it depicts something extraordinary or mundane.’
A number of ‘closed’ cases were also recently revealed by the US government who opened its files into 12,000 encounters with UFOs spanning between 1947-1969.
Microfilms of these cases, collectively known as Project Blue Book, have become available for anyone to view online.
One of the most famous is the Lubbock Lights incident, which was reported on August 30, 1951 in Texas by three professors.
The witnesses were sitting in the backyard of one of the professor’s homes when they saw 20 to 30 ‘lights’ fly overhead.
One of the professors said the objects ‘appeared to be about the size of a dinner plate and they were greenish-blue, slightly fluorescent in colour.
‘They were smaller than the full moon at the horizon. There were about a dozen to fifteen of these lights…they were absolutely circular…it gave all of us…an extremely eerie feeling.’
The USAF concluded that these lights were most likely caused by birds named plovers, which have white breasts that can reflect lights from cities below.
Another image, titled simply ‘Winter 1951’, shows what the photographer believed to be a flying saucer.
However, scientists discovered that the eerie shape was a lenticular cloud which are created by moist air that has condensed at a high altitude.
ELLIE ZOLFAGHARIFARD FOR DAILYMAIL.COM