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UFOs in the daily Press:

ET in the US Press, 2005:

This article was published in the daily newspaper Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, Ohio, USA, on September 1, 2005.

Identify Otherworldly Craft

By Kathy Antoniotti

Knight Ridder Newspapers

(KRT) - In a moment of weakness, my friend Ron confided to the small group that years ago, he had spotted a UFO while he was flying an airplane. He regretted the admission the very second it came out of his mouth - and with good reason.

The pilot suddenly became the focus of teasing by the skeptics at the gathering. But he never wavered from his story that he and the man sitting with him in the cockpit of the plane saw a disc-shaped orb outside the window that matched his speed for a few moments before racing away into the night sky.

Now, Ron may be a nut, but he isn't a kook, and I believed his story - mainly because he believed it. However, he did realize it was a mistake to tell his tale in front of me.

"Now, I'll probably read about it in the paper," he said with remorse.

Sure enough, it just so happens that I received a book with instructions to make UFOs in the mail that very week. I took the incident as a sign I should indeed write about Ron's personal UFO encounter.

UFO is an acronym for the term "unidentified flying object" and describes an object or light that defies explanation. People have reported seeing strange crafts that can hover at a standstill, take off at incredible speeds and quickly change direction. They generally believe they are seeing visiting spaceships from other planets inhabited by beings more technologically advanced than we are.

Usually, investigators find there are ordinary explanations for the sightings. People have reported lots of things as UFOs, including missiles, birds, swarms of insects and weather balloons. Actually, investigators can explain all but a small number of UFO reports and most scientists don't think there is enough evidence to support the belief that these sightings are really objects coming from a distant place.

In 1952, Project Blue Book was launched by the United States Air Force to determine whether any of the 12,000 UFO reports were a threat to national security. From 1966 to 1968, independent studies by scientists at the University of Colorado determined that there was no credible information to indicate the reports were true. Project Blue Book ended in 1969.

But conjecture remains that life exists on other planets and that UFOs are the conveyance of choice by extraterrestrials. The idea has been the subject of many books, motion pictures and television programs. UFOs seem to spark our collective imagination.

This hovering flying saucer may look otherworldly, but it is made with objects found on good old planet Earth. Directions came from the book "Every Kid Needs Things That Fly," by inventor and designer Ritchie Kinmont, of Ogden, Utah. The book also contains directions for jet packs and hot air balloons. It retails for $14.95 and is available online at Amazon.com.

Supplies you will need:

- 18-inch Mylar, helium-filled balloon.

- 12 oz. Styrofoam bowl.

- 3 drinking straws.

- 6 flat washers.

- Paper punch.

- Transparent tape.

Cut the bottom off a 12-ounce Styrofoam bowl and the edge around the top rim.

Punch three equally spaced one-fourth inch holes around the smaller opening of the bowl for landing struts.

Tape down the fill port (where the helium was inserted.) Tape a washer to opposite side from the port to make the balloon float in a level position.

Tape the ring securely in the center of the balloon. Insert the straws through the holes as struts and tape to the balloon inside the ring. Trim the other ends at an angle so the craft sits evenly.

Tape a washer to the underside of the balloon for ballast, if necessary.

As an option, you can make lights with glow-in-the-dark dimensional fabric paint.

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