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UFOs A to Z: A.

Click! A-12
Click! A-17
Click! A 51-17
Click! Abbiatte Guazzonne
Click! Abductions
Click! Accretion
Click! Acuff, John
Click! Adams, William A., Col.
Click! Adamski, George
Click! ADC
Click! Addonizio, Hugh
Click! Ad-Hoc Committee of 1966
Click! Adickes, Robert
Click! Advanced Quantum/Relativity Propulsion Workshop of 1994
Click! AFB
Click! AFOSI
Click! AFSAB
Click! AFU
Click! Agrest, Mikhail
Click! Airships
Click! Airmiss
Click! Airprox
Click! Akroyd, Dan
Click! Albedo
Click! Albedo feature
Click! Aldrich, Jan
Click! Allagash abductions
Click! Allingham, Cedric
Click! Alien
Click! Alternate reality
Click! Alternative 3
Click! Altocumulus lenticularis
Click! Amarante (sighting)
Click! American Computers
Click! Angel (radar)
Click! Annukaki
Click! Apollo 11
Click! APRO
Click! Aquarius
Click! Arcturus
Click! Area 51
Click! Arevalo, Wilfredo
Click! Arnold, Kenneth
Click! Arrey (sighting)
Click! Astronomical units
Click! ATIC
Click! Aurora
Click! Avinsky, Vladimir Ivanovich

A 12

A US secret aircraft project cancelled in 1991, of a stealth subsonic attack aircraft. The plane was overweight and could not be used by the US Navy on its aircraft carriers. The A-12 was a huge waste of time and money. It does not qualify as an explanation to even one UFO sighting, despite the fact that he has quite a spectacular triangular shape.

A 17

A US secret aircraft shaped with complex curves and compound curvature, fourth generation low-observable design, the A-17 is believed to be an evolution from the YF-23 Advanced Tactical Fighter, and was intended to replace the F-111 Fighter Bomber. The project seems to have been dropped.

A 51-17

The USAF officially does not study UFOS since the project Blue Book has been closed despite the large number of unexplained observations. The A 51-17 is a 1984 form to report UFOs, a controller receiving a report about an unidentified flying object must obtain as much as possible of the information required to complete the form. This form is a proof that the USAF continues to manage UFO reports in a formal and regulated manner.

Abbiate Guazzone

Town in Italy where on April 24, 1950 Bruno Facchini saw sparks near his home he first thought were generated by a storm. When he went to check he saw a dark UFO some two hundred yards away, with occupants that seemed to be repairing it. Facchini thought it was some US prototype and offered help but the entities fired a beam of light at him, pushing him along the ground for several yards. Shortly afterwards the object took off with a heavy buzzing sound. The next day Facchini returned to the site, recovered metal fragments (Photo, right) and noted circular traces and patches of scorched grass. Other anonymous witnesses testified to the event.


There are many people who believe they have been abducted by UFOnauts. These abduction victims often experience memory loss and "missing time". Some of them have been able to recall their abductions from memory and others have recalled their abductions by the aid of hypnosis. Often these encounters involve being taken aboard an alien craft and examined by the UFOnauts and put through a variety of physical and mental procedures. Then the individuals are returned. Many of the abduction victims have shown signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Some of the major researchers who have studied the abduction field include Budd Hopkins, David Jacobs, Leo Sprinkle, John Mach, Philip Klass, John Spencer and Jenny Randles.

There are several groups with distinct opinions. The dyed-in-the-wool skeptics, who do not believe it. Others who are passing no verdict, but are still examining the evidence. Those who believe due to the similarities of the abduction testimonies. Those who claim to have information through means such as channeling. Those who claim to have had first-person experiences, with automatic conscious recall. Those who claim to have had first-person experiences, with recall under hypnotic regression.

The opinions of some skeptics such as Klass is that the hypnotists themselves are leading the abduction victims unknowingly into believing that they have had an abduction experience. The skeptics believe that the media has been saturated so much with the abduction material that when people having nightmares or people who believe that they have experienced the "missing time" are put under hypnosis, they draw upon what they have seen in the media to fulfill the expectations of the hypnotist and causes themselves to be put through the trauma for that reason. They say the nightmares are often caused by the sleeping disorder narcolepsy, and the "missing time" is not an uncommon experience and is caused when the mind is preoccupied by other matters. They often give the advice to go to clinical doctors, and not to contact an abductionist. After studying a large number of abduction reports from the literature and the medical literature on sleep troubles, I have come to the opinion that indeed, most of not all "bedroom abductions" in which sleeping people wake up with the memory of feeling that something alien happened in the night are so explained. When these experiencers get to be hypnotized by ufologists, it enforces them into this belief. Many ufologists have indeed understood that hypnosis is "a dangerous game" rather than some sort of "truth serum" and banned its use.

Other researchers such as Jacobs and Hopkins believe that there is something physical causing the abduction experiences. Hopkins has stated that he believes that the abduction are real and that the recounts of the abductions are too similar to each other to be anything but the truth. Jacobs takes a slightly different approach, he has been categorizing all the accounts and trying to find patterns in the testimonies. Through this method he came up with new more in-depth theories regarding the abductions. However, it must be noted that nearly every abduction research specialist seems to "find" different sorts of aliens behaviors or goals: merciless creatures with horrible goals according to one, advanced creature that want to help humanity to the other etc.

There are people on the net who believe they have had personal experiences with Alien contacts or abductions. Some have posted accounts of their experiences. Some ufologists suspect many others decline to post, due to attacks by skeptics.

There has been possible material evidence of UFOs or alien contacts. There are abundant material traces, even excepting those confiscated by the military or lost by ufologists. Material traces include burned grass and earth where UFOs have landed, UFOs shown on radar tapes, UFOs on film and in photos. Bodily traces on abductees include scoop-marks in the flesh, incisions, burns, apparent radiation exposure, bruises, inflammation, etc. Whether any of these is considered "evidential" enough is obviously subjective value call.


Accumulation of dust and gas into larger bodies caused by gravitation.

Acuff, John

John Acuff was thought by ufologist Todd Zechel to have links with the CIA when he became the director of the very large US ufology group NICAP in December 1969 and until 1979. It has been noted that he obtained the position when his predecessor, Donald Keyhoe, was ousted by a NICAP faction led by Colonel Joseph Bryan, who was with no doubt a former chief of the CIA psychological warfare staff. While Keyhoe's criticized autoritarism had maintained a strong NICAP, after he departed the organization would drown in internal fights. After Acuff, NICAP was directed by Alan Hall, a retired CIA employee. The involvement of people related to agencies like the CIA in UFO research may not only be a matter of ufologists' paranoia, but, despite skeptics and official and many internal denials, perhaps something to think about.

Adams, William A., Col.

One of the participants of the CIA-arranged Air Force and scientists meeting on UFOs at the Pentagon in 1953 that became known as the Robertson Panel or Durant Report. Colonel William A. Adams, was the chief of the Topical Intelligence Branch of the Directorate of Intelligence of the USAF at of Wright Patterson Air Force Base was one of the Air Force representatives. Donald Keyhoe also noted that Colonel Adams was one of several Air Force personnel invited to review classified UFO footage material in 1952 and authorized considerable analysis of some of these films. Colonel William A. Adams was indeed convinced that UFOs are real.

Adamski, George

A UFO hoaxer, the most famous hoax is the Adamski photographs of UFOs that were later revealed to be fake. He also claimed to have met Venusians in 1952 and started spreading the word of the Cosmic Philosophy.


After termination of Project Blue Book, USAF's meager public efforts to investigate or explain away UFO reports, military airmen were informed that they must now forward their sighting report to the ADC. ADC was the "Aerospace Defense Command", nowadays called NORAD, North-American Aerospace Defence Command (www.norad.mil).

Addonizio, Hugh

One of the US congressman who publicly condemned the Air Force's secrecy over UFO reports in 1961 after having studied NICAP's reports on the UFO phenomenon.

Ad Hoc Committee of 1966

In the opening months of 1966 instigated by Major General E. B. LeBailey, the United States Air Force Director of Information was an Ad Hoc Committee of the Scientific Advisory Board on the UFO question. It was chaired by physicist Dr Brian O'Brien, a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). In conclusion of their evaluation of the UFO question, the Committee recommended an official investigation of some UFO sightings, partly based on a review of Project Blue Book, that they estimated inconclusive but highly interesting. On 5 April 1966 the House Armed Services Committee agreed that these recommendations should be implemented. Unfortunately, the recommendations were followed by the Colorado Project also known as "Condon Report" that concluded despite their own findings that studies of UFO reports are worthless. It seems fair to say that the US Air Force was relieved by the negative stance insofar that they did not have any burden of publicly dealing with UFOs after that conclusion.

Adickes, Robert

Robert Adickes was piloting Flight 177 TWA DC3 towards Goshen, Indiana, USA, on April 27, 1950 towards 08:27 p.m. at approximately 2.000 feet when he saw a solid glowing red saucer-shaped object. The DC3 was moving at approximately 175 miles per hour but the flying saucer overtook it very fast, then paced the plane and finally dived off, veered, and accelerated away at a speed Adickes estimated to be nearly 400 miles per hour; which indicates that it doubled its speed in approximately three seconds, a manoeuver impossible for a human flying object, as Adickes realized.

Co-pilot Robert F. Manning also observed the object, as well as hostess Gloria Henshaw. The men were quiet, conservative, serious, careful and experienced pilots, the object resembled nothing from this Earth, and no credible ordinary explanation was ever found for this important sighting: the Air Force and skeptics suggested it was "blast-furnace reflections off clouds" but it was impossible due to the long duration of the sighting, the height of the clouds, the position of the UFO and its fast departure.

Advanced Quantum/Relativity Propulsion Workshop of 1994

A workshop sponsored by NASA's Office of Advanced Concepts and Technology, held on May 16-17, 1994 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to examine the emerging physics and issues associated with faster-than-light travel. Among the topics discussed were theories of wormholes, tachyons, the Casimir effect, quantum nonlocality, and higher dimensions. The participants concluded that there are enough unexplored paths to encourage further research even though faster-than-light travel is far beyond the reach of current science or technology. Some of the avenues considered promising for future investigation include seeking astronomical evidence of wormholes, especially any with negative mass entrances, experimentally determining if the speed of light is higher inside a Casimir cavity, and determining if recent data indicating that the neutrino has imaginary mass can be credibly interpreted as evidence of faster than light particles, or tachyons.

The thirteen participants at the Workshop were from varied backgrounds and included NASA personnel, NASA consultants and contractors, academic physicists, and science fiction writers. Several physicists who also write science fiction were took part, including Gregory Benford, Robert Forward, and Geoffrey Landis. Gary L. Bennett, an SF novelist and specialist in nuclear power systems for spacecraft, was the Workshop's official NASA sponsor. Some of the discussed notions are briefly presented on the NASA website at www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/research/warp/possible.html


US Air Force acronym for Air Force Base.


US Air Force Office of Special Investigations, a sort of "FBI" of the US Air Forces.


US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.


AFU, Archives for UFO Research, is a Swedish private UFO study organization funded in 1973 with a mission of preserving ufological archives. They publish a regular newsletter providing valuable material on Scandinavian cases, with full translation into the English language. Through donations from ufologist and their own acquisitions, they collected a huge mass of UFO reports, magazines, newspaper clippings, books; which can be consulted at their location and are listed at their website at www.afu.info

Agrest, Mikhail

In 1908, a huge explosion rocked the Tunguska region of Siberia. Soviet physicist Mikhail Agrest suggested that it may have been caused by an interplanetary vehicle.

From 1966 to 1972, Agrest was Master of Science in Mathematics and Mechanics at the Department of Mathematics and Mechanics Fluid mechanics, Leningrad State University, USSR. In 1990 he became Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and Mathematics at the Institute of Analytical Instrumentation, The Russian Academy of Science.

His home page is on www.cofc.edu/~agrestm


In 1896 and 1897, there was a wave of sightings across the United States of propeller-driven aircraft similar to dirigibles, sometimes with English speaking characters aboard them. The reports are regarded as a series of newspaper hoaxes and "Liar's Club" tales.


When a plane comes to close to another aircraft in flight, so that their trajectories create a risk of collision, airmen call this situation an airmiss, and they have to formally report it. Such situations have also occurred when a plane came a little too close to a UFO. Pilots nowadays rather use "near airmiss."


When a plane is too much in the vicinity of another aircraft in flight, so that there is a risk of collision, airmen call this situation an airprox, and they have to formally report it. Such situations have also occurred when a plane was too close to a UFO.

Akroyd, Dan

US actor Dan Akroyd, born in 1952 in Canada, star of many movies and television shows including The Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters and Saturday Night Live, has a long-held fascination with UFO phenomena. He regularly makes public "pro-UFO" comments, and became MUFON's official Hollywood consultant in 2004. He produced a DVD titled "Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs" in which he is interviewed for 80 minutes by Ufologist David Sereda and discusses aspects of the UFO phenomenon, "revealing" that UFOs "are blue, not green", but appear blue because of "a filter".

He considers himself a "Spiritualist", stating: "I am a Spiritualist, a proud wearer of the Spiritualist badge. Mediums and psychic research have gone on for many, many years... Loads of people have seen [spirits], heard a voice or felt the cold temperature. I believe that they are between here and there, that they exist between the fourth and fifth dimension, and that they visit us frequently."

His great-grandfather, a dentist, had been a mystic who had corresponded with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on the subject of Spiritualism, and who was a member of the Lily Dale Society. His father Peter Akroyd published a book entitled "A History of Ghosts" in 2009.


Reflectivity of an object; ratio of reflected light to incident light.

Albedo feature

A dark or light marking on the surface of an object that might not be a geological or topographical feature.

Aldrich, Jan

Jan Aldrich was the co-president of the Sign Historical Group, a collective effort to document the early days of USAF involvement with the study of UFO sighting reports, and the coordinator of Project 1947, a worldwide ufologists' effort to document the origins of the modern UFO phenomenon. Aldrich's project compiled a massive amount of data ranging from government documents, newspaper reports, magazine articles and other documents. Much of the material gathered by Project 1947, with early support from the UFO Research Coalition (UFORC), in particular CUFOS and FUFOR, is available at the project's website www.project1947.com, and the Sign Historical Group home page is at project1947.com/shg. In 2000, Jan Aldrich announced that that he stops his involvment with UFO matters.

Allagash Abductions

Four men were abducted by aliens in 1976 while fishing on the Allagash waterway in Maine. Also a book about this case by the respected ufologist Raymond Fowler.

Allingham, Cedric

Claimed author of a 1954 book titled "Flying Saucer From Mars". The book told the encounter of the alleged author with a landed flying saucer and its occupant, a friendly space man, in Scotland, and the story had some success mixed with skepticism in the Press of the time.

In 1980, it was discovered that the author of the book was in fact Patrick Moore, science writer and TV personality, who wrote this fiction to prove the gullibility of the self-proclaimed contactee Adamski and his supporters.


Above: so-called photograph of his alien visitor by "Cedric Allingham".


A term often used as synonym of extraterrestrial being. The word comes Latin alienus, which means different, of foreign.

Alternate reality

Expression invented by Eugene R. Sternberg to name his theory that flying saucers could come from parallel worlds to which we have no access.


An April fools joke by Anglia TV in 1977 claiming the US landed on Mars in 1962 and colonized the planet, and a subsequent fiction book that continue to fascinate lunatic fringe researchers and conspiracies fanatics.

Altocumulus lenticularis

Clouds that form at high altitude or sometimes at the top of mountains and take a lenticular shape of which it is said that people mistake them for flying saucers. This sort of confusion is actually rare.

Also, lenticular shaped clouds are more related to cirrocumulus clouds.

Amarante (sighting)

A man of scientific background from Nancy said that on October 21, 1982, towards 00:35 p.m., he witnessed a very unusual oval shaped 1.5 meters wide object come and hover just above the grass in his garden for 20 minutes before shooting up to the sky. The man alerted the gendarmes about this experience that cannot have any natural explanation not be that of a human aircraft, and because of his seriousness and scientific background, the French official ufology group GEPAN investigated his sighting, including inconclusive analyses on the affected plants in his garden, amaranths that were oddly desiccated. In 1983, GEPAN issued internally their investigation report "note technique #17" which could be accessed by ufologists and which is headline "L'Amarante", providing the very detailed information the witness gave. The report says that the witness is reliable and the conditions of observation were good, but they add the strange comment that the report "raises more question than it gives answer" and that the description of what he saw does not match other cases they investigated, as if alien craft or other phenomena were supposed to be more identical than they appear to be.

American Computers

An American computer company whose chief Jack Shulman argues that the transistor could never have been invented so suddenly at AT&T in late 1947 without the input of alien technology. Schulman claimed his alien-inspired computer would be ready for the public market soon, but it never did.

Angel (radar)

Generic term used by radar operators to indicate a radar echo that does not indicate an aircraft but a natural phenomenon such as a flock of birds, a tornado, the echo of an object moving on the ground, etc.


Sumerian word for all the gods. In some Akkadian texts these are the gods of the underworld and Igigi are the gods in heaven. Some wild theories claim Annukakis are responsible for ancient construction on Earth and on Mars as well.


Associated Press. A large an ancient Press agency in the United States.

AP (radar)

Anomalous Propagation. The waves emitted by radar sets can sometimes propagate differently than in the expected straight line, when there are layers of air of strongly different temperatures on their course. Part of the waves is deviated and can for example result in an echo from an object on the ground or in the air to appear on the radarscope as a more or less faint blip at a position that does not correspond to the real position of the reflecting object but is located nearer that it really is.

Apollo 11

In many lunatic fringe ufology books, Apollo 11 astronauts had quite an experience when they saw UFOs on the moon. The rare images and the communication have not been broadcasted very often. Several astronauts confirm the reality of the UFO phenomenon, but none of them has confirmed that the Apollo images and communications ever referred to UFOs.


The Aerial Phenomena Research Organization, one of the first private ufology organization in the USA, founded in 1952 by Jim and Corral Lorenzen. Now disbanded.


A Top Secret project that was started in 1953 and was set up to accumulate as much data as possible about alien life forms and to distribute the collected information to the relevant projects. Its existence was revealed by William Moore when he released three pages of a "Project Aquarius Executive Briefing Document" to the public. Unfortunately for Moore, this document is now thought to be a fake due to its sloppy presentation (there was a logo on the cover which looked like it had been drawn on with a felt-tip pen) as well as missing background detail. Moore was asked to release more proof that Project Aquarius existed, but he refused, saying that the burden of proof is on those saying that the document is a hoax.


Located in the constellation Bootes, one of the oldest constellations, it is a red-giant star. Supposedly one of the most advanced civilizations in the galaxy, per Edgar Cayce. They are said to have 3 bases on the moon and several on earth.

Area 51

The Groom Dry Lake area of the Nellis Air Force Range and Nuclear Test Site in the Nevada desert, about 80 miles NNW of Las Vegas. It is here that the US government is test-flying highly secret black projects aircraft, including allegedly captured UFOs, for a number of years.

Arevalo, Wilfredo

Farmer Wilfredo Arevalo, said that at 6:30 P.M. on March 18 1950 in Lago in Southern Argentina, he saw a huge disc land while giving off a greenish-blue vapor smelling like gazoline. It had a rotating rim. Another similar disc hovered above it as if watching for the landed one. He managed to get within 120 meters of the landed object. The disc, surrounded in a glowing blue halo, was of an aluminum metallic aspect, and through its transparent center dome he saw "four tall, well-shaped men, dressed in something like cellophane suits, who appeared to be working on some instruments." Arevalo was particularly struck by the palor of their faces. The disc took off with a humming sound and giving off flames at its base. The next day Arevalo and fellow farmers found that the area where the object had rested exhibited burned grass, and they notified the Argentine Air Force and a Buenos Aires newspaper. It was later discovered that a similar object had been observed by others in the same area at the same time. These sightings were published in the Argentine newspaper La Razon for April 13, 1950.

Arnold, Kenneth

On June 24, 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold observed, according to his statements, nine weird craft flying over the Cascade Mountains in Washington - the sighting which gave flying saucers their name. The second sighting he had received less coverage. On 29th July 1947 he saw around 20 to 25 brass-colored objects come to within 400 yards of his plane as he flew over the La Grande valley. Arnold soon became a pioneer in ufology activities, had other sightings, and even said he had "invisible visitors" at his home, of whom he claimed to detect the presence by noting deformations of his armchairs cushions.

Arrey (sighting)

On April 24, 1949 at 10:20 a.m., a group of five technicians under the general supervision of J. Gordon Vaeth, an aeronautical engineer employed by the Office of Naval Research, were preparing to launch a Skyhook balloon near Arrey, N. Mex. A small balloon was sent up first to check the weather. Charles B. Moore Jr., an aerologist of General Mills Inc. (pioneers in cosmic ray research) was tracking the weather balloon through a theodolite - a 25-power telescopic instrument, which gives degrees of azimuth and elevation (horizontal and vertical position) for any object it is sighted on. At 10:30 a.m. Moore leaned back from the theodolite to glance at the balloon with his naked eye. Suddenly he saw a whitish elliptical object, apparently much higher than the balloon, and moving, in the opposite direction. At once he picked the object up in his theodolite at 45 degrees of elevation and 210 degrees of azimuth, and tracked it east at the phenomenal rate of 5 degrees of azimuth-change per second as it dropped swiftly to an elevation of 25 degrees. The object appeared to be an ellipsoid roughly two and a half times as long as it was wide. Suddenly it swung abruptly upward and rushed out of sight in a few seconds. Moore had tracked it for about 60 seconds altogether. The other members of his crew confirmed his report. No sound was heard, no vapor trail was seen. The object, according to rough estimations by Moore and his colleagues, was about 56 miles above the earth, 100 feet long and was traveling at seven miles per second.

Astronomical units

An A.U. is a measurement of space. One A.U. is the distance from the earth to the sun.


ATIC is US Air Force's Air Technical Intelligence Center. ATIC has its home at Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio. Project Blue Book was an ATIC project.


The Aurora is an alleged US secret plane, allegedly witnessed on several occasions although none of those sighting ever was credible, , probably of triangular shape and dark color, often mentioned by those who believe that UFOs are actually secret planes.

Avinsky, Vladimir Ivanovich

A Soviet "paleovizitolog" and ufologist from the city of Samara, PhD in Geological and Mineralogical Sciences. Author of numerous scholarly and popular publications, member of Soviet and foreign conferences on "paleocontacts". At one time the chairman of Samara UFO Club, director of the research group "Alpha."

Towards the end of the 1960's he started to deal with the topic of supposed "paleocontacts" and at the Second International SETI Symposium he published his first study on extraterrestrial visitors in prehistoric times. In the following years he wrote more than 50 articles on the matter generally appearing in scientific popularization magazines in Russia.

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This page was last updated on March 15, 2012.