Logic 'explains most UFO sightings'

The Adertiser, Australia/February 8, 2006
By Roberta Mancuso

Most UFOs are just jet planes while mysterious Min Min lights from the Aboriginal dreamtime are nothing more than big Mack trucks, according to a space expert.

Queensland University of Technology academic Stephen Hughes said today most UFO phenomena could be explained with logic after a string of sightings across Queensland in the past week.

Dr Hughes, from the university's School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, said one sighting near Mackay was actually Venus burning brightly while another in Brisbane was simply aircraft vapour trails.

He said while people did see things in the sky, in most cases they were aircraft, satellites and meteors.

"People aren't very familiar with what's in the sky so when they see something they can't explain they often jump to the conclusion that it's a UFO," Dr Hughes said.

"But there's always going to be in some cases a psychological component similar to when people see ghosts, where the human brain can actually generate things and people do see things that aren't there."

Dr Hughes said other strange phenomena such as atmospheric effects of the sun on clouds and lightning could easily be mistaken for UFOs.

So too could the mysterious Australian outback phenomenon known as Min Min lights, spoken of in stories from the Aboriginal dreamtime and disturbing western Queenslanders for generations.

"Min Min lights are sort of a channelling effect of the different layers of air, which actually channel truck headlights for hundreds of kilometres like a fibre optic cable effect but in the air," Dr Hughes said.

Dr Hughes said he did not believe in spaceships "zooming all over the planet" and found stories of UFO abductions hard to swallow.

"But I think there's always going to be something which is difficult to explain," he said.

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