Jul 07, 2011 I Nick Redfern

Saucers and Sputnik

Whether by accident or design, following the former Soviet Union’s successful launch of Sputnik 1 in October 1957, there was an immediate and dramatic upswing in the number of UFO encounters reported from within the borders of the USA. While those of a distinctly skeptical nature might very well give much consideration to the possibility that many such reports were merely due to over excitement, Cold War nerves, public hysteria and anxiety, and very understandable concern over the surprise Russian launch, other UFO connected events could not be dismissed with such apparent ease and logic.

A previously classified FBI document dated November 12, 1957, that is now in the public domain, thanks to Freedom of Information Act legislation, makes that fact very clear:

“Within the past two weeks reports have increased tremendously and some of the more serious have been described as follows: An object had landed in Nebraska with six people aboard, the persons had talked to a Nebraska farmer and then sped off into space; a fiery object was seen flashing across the southern skies from Albany, Georgia, to Miami, Florida; a Coast Guard cutter had sighted a huge object flying over the Gulf of Mexico; and persons in the Southwestern states while driving their cars have allegedly seen UFOs that caused the engines in their automobiles to stop."

The FBI’s special agents continued to diligently collate the strange and unearthly facts pertaining to what seemed to many of its personnel to be a near cosmic invasion, and studiously briefed FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover on the nature of the expanding situation, as well as on the then current response of the U.S. military to the vexing problem presented by the growing UFO presence:

“The Air Force is following these sightings closely and all reports are submitted to the Air Technical and Intelligence Center, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio where they are evaluated and analyzed. In the event any of the future reports appear to be authentic, the Air Force will immediately notify the Bureau, keeping in mind our particular interest in matters concerning espionage and sabotage."

It is thought provoking indeed to note that this undeniably dramatic upswing in UFO sightings, and even close encounters with alien entities, occurred in the immediate aftermath of the former Soviet Union’s launch of its Sputnik 1 satellite. Is it possible, perhaps, that the strange denizens of another world, or indeed worlds, were secretly keeping a close watch on humankind’s first attempts to break free of its previous terrestrial moorings? And, if so, was it those initial, hesitant steps outside of our own atmosphere that prompted such a flurry of concerned activity on the part of extraterrestrial visitors from far-away planets?

It may be important, and relevant, to note that by 1957, and over the course of little more than a decade, the Human Race had successfully developed atomic energy, had flattened two Japanese cities with atomic bombs, was working on advanced missile and rocket technology, and had now finally left the moorings of the planet. In other words, it might very well be at this particular time in on our history, more than absolutely any other, when alien visitors from afar might begin to take a serious interest in us, and express deep concerns about us and our actions, too.

Perhaps also, one might be inclined to speculate, advanced aliens civilizations of the type that were possibly secretly watching us in the late 1950s, have undertaken such intense scrutiny and surveillance on countless occasions throughout the Universe. And particularly so when youthful, burgeoning civilizations take that giant and world changing leap from being tied to their own planet, and when propeller driven aircraft dropping bombs on the enemy, are rapidly replaced by intercontinental missiles that have the ability to obliterate whole cities, countries and cultures.

Food for thought? Maybe...

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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