For people like Thomas Wertman, UFOs are a very real occurrence, and can even be seen in the skies of Bowling Green.
“People are definitely seeing something unusual out there,” Wertman said.
He investigates UFOs throughout Ohio with the Mutual UFO Network, a national UFO investigation organization.
Wertman said when people think of UFOs, they think of aliens, but he tries his best to find natural explanations for what’s happening.
However, there have been cases when Wertman could not find an explanation for the object.
One such case involved a UFO hovering above the road, which was reported by multiple people.
Since 2005, there have been 17 UFOs reported in Wood County, seven of which occurred in Bowling Green.
However, Wertman said this number is not accurate because many people don’t know of MUFON, and therefore will not report sightings.
Glenn Tiede, a lecturer of physics and astronomy, said he had an experience with a UFO while in the Andes.
“Just after sunset, I saw this really bright light in the sky and it was moving west to east,” Tiede said. “It was pulsing ... so I watched it do that for 30 or 40 seconds, something like that, and then it just vanished. It was just gone.”
However, because of his knowledge of astronomy, Tiede knew the true nature of the object; it was a satellite, reflecting sunlight.
Tiede said the pulsating was caused by the rotating of the satellite and it disappeared because it went into the Earth’s shadow.
He said most UFO sightings can be explained
“Most UFO reports do have very simple explanations,” he said. “They’re a bright planet, or they’re a certain type of aircraft or the classic weather balloon.”
Many experiences with UFOs or alleged alien life can be attributed to the human mind, said associate professor of psychology Richard Anderson.
He said people have experiences that are not real, such as dreams or hallucinations, but some have a harder time distinguishing between the mind and reality.
Some people tend to have too much faith in the human mind, he said.
“Some people have so much respect for the power of the human mind that they don’t have enough respect for the ways the human mind can fail,” Anderson said.
Although Tiede is skeptical of flying saucers, he does believe life is common throughout the universe.
“My opinion is that I think life is common in the universe, but multi-cellular life is probably really rare,” he said.
Tiede said the materials and conditions for life are everywhere, but complex life is very fragile.
He added that if there were other intelligent civilizations, it would be nearly impossible for them to get to Earth.
“If you took a spacecraft more or less the size of the space shuttle, and you wanted to get it going something like 95 percent of the speed of light, you’d need more energy to do that than humans have generated for all of history,” Tiede said.