This article was published in the daily newspaper Columbus Citizen Journal, Ohio, USA, on October 18, 1973.
Sky-gazer sees probability of extraterrestrial life
An Ohio State astronomer said there is a "good, high probability" of extra-terrestrial life and invites information on unidentified flying object sightings if the data is complete and consistent.
Meanwhile, Gov. John J. Gilligan, so far the state's best-known UFO spotter, has been invited to describe his experience on the Dick Cavett Show Nov. 2.
Bob Tenenbaum, the governor's press secretary, said Gilligan has not decided whether to accept the invitation.
Gilligan reported seeing a "vertical beam of light" in the sky while traveling back to Ohio from Ann Arbor Monday.
He is among many Ohians and many more people across the country who have seen UFOs recently.
Franklin County Sheriff's deputies were swarmed with UFO reports Wednesday for the fourth straight night.
Deputies said they had between 30 and 40 reports of shiny objects zig-zagging through the sky Wednesday night. Radio dispatchers said the reports were not concentrated in any one area, but were scattered throughout the county.
Columbus police had about 15 reports, mainly from the West Side.
Reynoldsburg police said the three to six reports they had of UFOs turned out to be Air Force C-130s circling and landing at Lockbourne AFB on the city's Southeast Side.
Reynoldsburg police said they checked with the Air Force Base and determined that a flight of the large cargo planes were in a holding pattern above the base.
Ray Moses, an ex-fighter pilot who is studying for a doctorate in astronomy at Ohio State, said "I will listen to any story."
Moses, interested in UFOs for several years, said information should include the time and place of the sighting, landmarks on the horizon, and even a drawing or photograph.
About 50 percent of UFOs, he said, are really planets or airplanes or reflections of the sun from ice crystals in the atmosphere, for example.
On the balance, he said, scientists "try not to make an immediate judgement."
Reports from Washington indicate federal departments and agencies are no longer in the business of investigating UFOs.
The Air Force's "Project Blue Book," for many years the official investigatory agent, ceased in 1969.
Jack Acuff, head of the National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena based in Kensington, Md., feels the government's non- involvement is a mistake.
Acuff believes there are "craft under intelligent control" and that the government and scientific community should view UFO sightings as a "scientific problem."
U.S. Rep. J. Edward Roush (D-Ind.) is a member of the committee's board of governor's and sees the need for serious inquiry into the UFO matter.
"The increased sightings nationally could lead to a state of panic and hysteria and we ought to be concerned about it," Roush said.
In Ohio there were these developments: