One night in New Mexico, Ethan Siegel faced something that had been haunting him for nearly two decades.
Many U̳F̳O̳ sightings are easy to attribute to stars, planes, flares, drones, and other mundane things, but when the person reporting the sighting is a pilot, police officer, military member, or scientist, we tend to pay more attention to what they saw and what they thought it was.
In a recent article for Big Think, astrophysicist Ethan Siegel described a U̳F̳O̳ sighting that he has been trying to make sense of for years, but which continues to be a complete mystery.
It happened in December 2006 when he and a friend were returning from a trip to Bandelier National Park in New Mexico.
They were driving through a remote desert at dusk when Siegel noticed a “glowing blue light in the shape of an ellipse” that was at first motionless in the sky and then began to slowly move.
“As it got closer, it got brighter, but looked like nothing but a solid blue disk, and seemed to pick up speed at an alarming rate,” he wrote.
“Then it sped to the right, faster and further away from us, and after about two or three seconds of driving at top speed, the light just went out.”
What’s interesting about this observation is how Siegel went about deconstructing what he saw, trying to rule out various traditional explanations based on his own experience.
Ultimately, he came to the conclusion that he could not find a definitive answer – instead, he put forward a number of options, in his opinion, unlikely, including the option of an a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ origin.
“So yes, I can say that I’m one of the very few people to truly see a U̳F̳O̳: something that I would definitively describe as an unidentified flying object. (If you prefer the term UAP, or unexplained aerial phenomenon, because of the stigma associated with U̳F̳O̳s, I’m happy to go by either one.) But even though I cannot fully explain what I saw, in no way do I think it was an a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ spacecraft”, he said.
“Can I rule out the possibility that it was a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳s? No. But I also can’t rule out other possibilities that seem far-fetched to me, but still seem less far-fetched than a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳s”, Siegel added.