The student news site of Linganore High School

The Lance

The student news site of Linganore High School

The Lance

The student news site of Linganore High School

The Lance

Distinguished Sites Banner

UFOs: Are they out there?

Some may wonder: Are Aliens real? Do they watch over us? Some U.S. residents share their personal experience with UFO sightings. (Getty Images)

In early October, a report was released that indicated thousands of people on Maryland’s Eastern Shore have reported seeing unidentified flying objects (UFOs), now classified as unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) by the government, over the last 20 years.

With everything happening surrounding UFOs recently, the question is raised: are they really out there?

To answer this question and substantiate the recent report, approximately 40 government agencies, private individuals and airports around the Eastern Shore were contacted.

Many of these agencies did not answer, and the ones that did rarely gave any information. For example, the Space Force was the first agency to respond that they had no immediate information, but when requested, they did not provide a call back. 

The public affairs desk at the Department of Defense (DOD) was also contacted, and the operator said that public affairs officer Sue Gough reported that the agency had no information to give at the time.

The first agency outside of Maryland contacted was the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a binational military command between the United States and Canada. They are responsible for aerospace security on the entire continent of North America.

The operator in NORAD’s public affair’s department was the first government agency employee to give any information, which was simply the name of a website created by the Pentagon called the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). A link on this website contains a gallery of UAP related videos.

The videos themsleves depict footage filmed by military pilots and drones. The majority are low quality videos of small objects zipping across the screen for a split second, but some are more detailed. For instance, one video from a US Navy (USN) fighter jet depicts a sphere-like object flying past the plane’s window canopy at an extremely fast speed. Although short, the video is very high-quality in resolution and clearly depicts an unexplainable object.

Another video filmed by a US Army (USA) drone depicts an identical sphere-like object zipping by.

While this was not an official statement by a government or state agency, it was a response to an inquiry regarding UFO/UAP sightings.

In addition to a myriad of government agencies, private organizations in the Ufology and Cryptozoology fields were contacted for information.

Snow Oropesa, the librarian at the UFO Museum in Roswell, New Mexico,  provided information regarding UFO sightings in Roswell and around the world. 

Oropesa firmly believes that in 1947 a UFO Crashed in Roswell. She reports to have seen UFOs over Roswell herself. The state of New Mexico has been a hotspot for UFO sightings over the years.

“I wanna say I have [seen a UFO before],” said Oropesa. “There were a bunch of dots [in the sky]. At first I thought they were drones. [But,] they didn’t look like the way drones would move. They went into the sky and slowly disappeared.” 

According to Oropesa, there have been sightings of UFOs as far away as Russia, and they view the entire Earth. She also referenced New Mexico’s well-known UFO culture that arose after the 1947 crash.

While there are few official records of UFO sightings, average U.S. citizens eagerly share personal experiences with the crafts. Alabama resident Judith Tucker, although not an expert in the field of Ufology, reported her own very vivid sighting of a UFO. 

Tucker detailed that on February 23, 1988, she was driving from Memphis, Tennessee to her parents’ house in northern Alabama when she spotted a UFO.

“I was on highway 72 … headed towards Decatur … my 8 year old daughter was with me in the front seat, and she was asleep,” said Tucker.

Tucker recalled vivid details about her UFO sighting. She even remembered the width of the road and the number of light poles.

“There was this football-shaped UFO, and it had lights that went around the middle.”

Tucker says that there was a possibility that the UFO was stationery as she drove past it.

“It was low to the ground, it was hovering, I actually rolled my window down,” said Tucker. “I came to a stop, and my daughter woke up, and it actually scared her so bad. She started crying and asked me to go.”

Tucker then drove away.

Months later, on January 1, 1989, Tucker and her daughter returned home to Memphis. A new neighbor, who was a pilot for Southwest Airlines, moved in, and they had a dinner party that she brought her daughter to.

“So we were sitting there, and they were serving my daughter cookies, and she said ‘Mom and I saw a UFO!’ ”

Tucker explained that the pilot asked her where and when she saw it. 

“I said [I saw it in] North Alabama, highway 72,” Tucker said.

“He looked absolutely shocked,” Tucker said. “He said, ‘I was the copilot. The pilot and I were flying at 25000 feet returning back to Memphis, flying over south Mississippi, and our plane dropped 5000 feet. No explanation, we just went down.’ ”

According to the pilot, gasps were heard in the cabin of the plane. 

Tucker continued, “And, then, over Mississippi, in the sky, he said [he saw something] that looked like the Empire State Building. And he said that it had all of these football-like objects running around it, and they were soldering something.”

According to Tucker, she had seen the same kind of UFO that the pilot had seen on the same night. She is firmly convinced of her sighting.

Cryptozoologist Laurel Petolicchio, who works at the West Virginia Bigfoot Museum in Sutton, West Virginia, is another person who shared her own experience with UFOs.

Petolicchio’s sighting in West Virginia is very similar to Tucker’s sighting in that both UFOs started off slowly and then took off at near light speed.

Petolicchio said that her sighting happened in the evening, while she and her husband were resting outside of their country store.

“We were sitting outside of our country store,” Petolicchio said. “They [The UFO] came over the ridge. Our son, he called my husband and I, and we came downstairs, and they were still over our courthouse here in town,” says Petolicchio.

She reported that the UFOs then moved slowly over the small town.

“We followed them for about two blocks down Riverview [A street in Sutton], and then they just took off at a blinding speed.”

— Laurel Petolicchio

Petolicchio did not think the UFOs were dangerous. Having grown up with a cannibalistic tribe in the war-torn country of Papua New Guinea as a child, she says she knows what is and is not dangerous. And according to her, the UFOs did not seem dangerous. 

Sightings of UFOs/UAPs have experienced a recent resurgence in popularity because of an incident in congress involving whistleblower David Grusch, a former USAF Intelligence officer.

Grusch made paramount claims about government information of UFOs. These include but are not limited to a claim that 1930s dictator of Italy Benito Mussolini’s government discovered a UFO, a claim that US Citizens have been killed by the government to cover up information on UFOs, and a claim that multiple government agencies possess UFO materials.

The DOD and NASA have issued statements saying that these claims are false and that Grusch is lying. Yet, for some, this news raised doubt.

With all of this information on UFOs, the question remains: “Are they out there?”

Only time will tell.

If you have information on a UFO sighting like the ones mentioned above (or vastly different), you can contact the National UFO Reporting center, via their website.

A full list of government agencies contacted for this article can be found here

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Lance
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Linganore High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase camera/recording equipment and software. We hope to raise enough money to re-start a monthly printed issue of our paper.

More to Discover
Donate to The Lance
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All comments will be moderated and will normally be approved within 24 hours.
All The Lance Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *