UFOs, or unidentified flying objects, have long been a popular subject of numerous books, TV shows, and movies. For most people, it firmly belonged to fantasy and science fiction. Talk of UFOs would almost always be met with a healthy dose of ridicule and especially skepticism towards those who claim to have seen one - or worse, abducted by aliens.
However, Fox Mulder and his friends who believe in flying saucers might have the last laugh. More than ever, UFOs are a hot topic in Washington and other relevant parts of the world, especially since the recent admissions from high-ranking US military and government officials that UAPs - or unexplained aerial phenomena - are real.
In 2019, a series of leaked tapes from the US Department of Defense showed infrared images taken from some of America's most sophisticated and cutting edge fighter jets and navy ships of unexplained aerial phenomena.
These UAPs were highly anomalous and had technology beyond anything encountered by humans. They directly engaged with US jets and pilots, hovering over the water, rapidly accelerating without accompanying sonic booms in seconds. And though these reports sound like the standard script from "nutty" UFO believers, it is now what senior-level officials are also saying.
Admitting that UAPs exist and that we have had active encounters with them is a shocking 180-degree turn in the US Air Force, FBI and CIA narrative. It was a constant push to debunk the subject and suspected coverups in the past. But now, this culture of denial has all but disappeared.
Popular Australian show 7 NEWS Spotlight's report "The UFO Phenomenon" takes a deep dive into these recent developments because it is not only the USA affected, but potentially also the Australian Government.
Australians in the thousands have been reporting UFO sightings dating back decades, with some notable notorious instances in Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland. For example, Exmouth, Western Australia, was the site of a famous 1991 sighting. A woman named Annie and two Australian Federal Police officers saw a diamond-shaped aircraft that hovered over their vehicle and moved faster than anything they had ever seen.
Further back, in 1966, half the school population of Westall High School in southwest Melbourne ran out into their football field to see a group of what they perceived were flying saucers. Teacher Terry Greenwood was visited by Australian military personnel and threatened not to talk about it.
At school, administrators also instructed staff and students not to talk about the incident, and the authorities have never given an official explanation of what happened. Today, 55 years later, Westall witnesses reunite to talk about what they experienced with the same clarity and certainty they did as children.
Even though more data is required to prove that UFOs exist ultimately, these new developments, at the very least, give us a tantalizing glimpse of the possibility that they do.