I was recently directed to the following video:
The video is actually an audio file of an emergency services call in England. It was released as an example of non-emergencies that people call in about all the time, especially around Halloween. In the video, some guy calls about a strange light hovering in the sky and he doesn’t know what it is. He gives his information and then hangs up. Two minutes later he calls back apologizing. Sorry, it was the moon.
How exactly one mistakes the moon for a strange light in the sky is beyond me, but when I see a strange light in the sky, my first instinct isn’t usually, “Oh my! A UFO!”.
You want to know why? Because I realize that just because I don’t know what something is right away, that doesn’t mean that every single one of the other seven billion people on the planet must not know either. It’s strange how easy it is to become so mentally insular that that simple fact can escape us.
Oddly enough, Venus is the most common UFO culprit, though Mars is another common target. I admit, I’m not much for astronomy. I think the vastness of the cosmos is amazing, but personally, staring up at billions of point lights doesn’t terribly interest me. Besides 99.99% of the complexities of the universe lies in the fact that it somehow revolves around each of us.
It seems once or twice a year I read or hear about some UFO story like the above. I can honestly say that if people did the smart thing when they see a strange light in the sky, I’d probably never read about UFO sightings. So what’s the smart thing? Well, if you want to know what a light is doing in the sky, call an expert, call an astronomer. Dr. Phil Plait is probably the most famous one I know, but you may want to try someone local first.