Photo courtesy of Paracon 2014
As early as 400BC humans have been looking into the above and marvelling at the many strange sights and happenings that would light up the night sky. These happenings were usually thought of as messages from the gods, ancestors or spiritual portents – an example being Halley’s Comet, which was first spied by Chinese astronomers in 240BC.
We know now that is it merely a large ball of space debris travelling around the universe at goodness-knows how many kilometres a second, but at the time it was a UFO.
That’s right. One of the first UFO sightings was over 2000 years ago.
UFO’s have been something that have featured in pop culture and sci-fi media for decades, but they are by no means a ‘new’ thing. Scholars have even noted a similarity between some religious symbols and UFO reports, meaning that the phenomena may be more tightly entwined in human anthropology than you may think.
This – of course – is hotly contested; how can you draw the line between an angelic object (i.e. nativity star) appearing in the sky and an alien/cross dimensional aircraft being depicted in Sebastiano Mainardi’s ‘Madonna Col Bambino E San Giovannino’?
(More on that particular painting here)
We don’t know, and cannot identify the object in Mainardi’s painting any more than we can identify what is in the pictures of hundreds of people every year that capture UFO’s on film or still camera.
After all, that is the nature of UFO’s; they are unidentified flying objects… emphasis on the ‘unidentified’ 😉
One of the UFO experts speaking at Paracon this weekend is Damien Nott, who has been tracking UFO sightings and capturing them on film ever since his first experience at the age of nine.
Damien was kind enough to answer a few questions for me in the lead-up to his talk at Paracon, where he will be showcasing footage that he has captured of UFO’s seen on his travels.
How did you first get into capturing UFO phenomena?
It all started for me when I was just 9.
On a Sunday evening just before dusk I was on my way back from my friends place to my home in Sydney’s western suburbs, when I looked up for some reason to witness a small glowing red ball keeping pace with me.
It kind of scared but also amazed me at the same time.
The object mimicked my movements for about 3 minutes and followed me through a park that ran between the back fences of homes. When I decided to run I never looked back up again and when I made it back home my mother said that “it was probably just an aeroplane”.
This is what started a life-long quest for me, even at that age I knew that I had seen something amazing. All I could read after that was anything to do with UFOs, case reports and anything on the subject to just try and help me answer the question to what I had seen. After this – and all the way until now in my adult life at the age of 35 – I have had encounters with these strange objects of various shapes and sizes.
You’ve managed to capture a large amount of objects over a variety of environments; bush, plains and urban landscapes. In fact pretty much wherever you go these unexplained objects tend to appear. What are your thoughts on this? Is it just the fact that most people aren’t looking hard enough? Or do you feel that these UFO phenomena are somehow following your travels?
There is a definite ‘high strangeness’ factor to this enigmatic phenomena […] and when you think you have the answer something happens to throw a curveball into the mix.
My thoughts are that they do seem selective on who they show themselves to on a regular basis, [and] for whatever reason that may be out of the grasp of human understanding. Although on the other hand as humans, we rarely tend to look up at the sky as we go about day to day life. So it would be conceivable that we would miss a lot of what is happening up there.
I have been with people who have seen the same UFO but it appears different to them; and on the other hand I have seen UFOs in front of others before they appear visually and on film.
I would love to see kids and adults get away from their video games and television for just five minutes a night and go out and have a look up at the stars… you never know what you may see.
Most people would automatically assume that a UFO is an extra-terrestrial spacecraft, but that may not always be the case. What kind of UFO phenomena have been sighted/are out there? Or what are some of the more common sightings that you have seen when skywatching?
UFO means just that; an unidentified [flying] object.
Over the years I have seen many people associate this with aliens and little green men which of course is just a sad stigma that the subject has picked up.
Most sightings are proven to be misidentifications of aircraft bolides and a number of atmospheric and weather phenomena such as ball lighting etc. The small percentage that remain are still unidentified and therefore deserve further scrutiny and warrant a proper scientific investigation.
Since starting up AAPI (Australian Aerial Phenomena Investigations) in 2013 we have had some great success in documenting some amazing sightings that we have had all around N.S.W. We have caught all types of objects flying through the skies some using high speed photography and some in full HD video, a number with multiple witnesses.
From glowing red white orange and yellow spheres of all sizes to metallic craft that can shapeshift and morph; we have seen a lot.
How do you attempt to catagorise what you’ve seen and form a hypothesis on whether it was a craft, a being, a light anomaly or even a tear in space?
I have categorized my sightings in terms of names given that describes their actions or looks, such as a flasher or coloured sphere.
The flasher is an object that during a nightwatch will give off a bright flash from one part of the sky and then disappear again only to give off another flash at another part of the sky.
During invisibility to the naked eye they can sometimes still be tracked with night-vision equipment moving erratically through the sky.
Other UFOs include morphing, glowing, barbell shaped objects that split in two. Then there are the old fashioned disc style objects but they are extremely rare now days. The phenomena seems to be progressing along with the human race as now we are seeing more sophisticated type light craft compared to the old days when man was seeing flying blimp-type objects up in the sky.
There is such a large amount of debate and ridicule around the subject of UFOs, especially the appearance of the beings known as ‘Greys’. Why do you feel it is seen as outlandish to believe in extraterrestrials and UFO phenomena?
I would say that the subject is ridiculed still because it is a human tendency to make light of something they don’t understand; Hollywood movies and untruths from world leaders about the validity of the subject have not helped either.
Today it seems as though the more people you speak to the more stories you hear about amazing sightings had by them, so it does seem that the general public are warming to the idea more than ever before.
Also with the advent of the internet, we know and are in touch with every sighting around the world within minutes. With all of that, it does not take a scientist to see that there is something very strange that is happening in our skies and to our people.
If you would like a sneak look at some of Damien’s work you can swing past his Facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/damienjohnnott or visit him on Youtube; https://www.youtube.com/user/Knightoftruth79.
Post-Paracon, keep your eyes peeled for the local production ‘Beyond the Spectrum’ being made by Darcy Weir and Jose Escimillia, which will feature a number of pieces of footage of UFOs from around Australia.
Before then, however, make sure you take the chance to pick up a weekend pass to Paracon to catch all of our speakers talking on a range of matters both paranormal and spiritual. Tickets are still available from http://www.paraconaustralia.com/.
In the meantime, keep looking skyward and live long and prosper! J