Thursday, April 24, 2008

Identified Flying Objects

They are among us. Road flares, that is. Those lights in the Phoenix sky earlier this week? A man in Phoenix, Arizona has admitted responsibility for tying road flares to helium balloons and letting them fly. Seems his neighbor ratted him out.

This sort of prank isn't "funny" per se, but interesting. It's obvious that nearly all of these sorts of events are man-made, and the multiplicity of ways in which to send glowey things into the skies invites any number of explanations for other events like this, few suspicious.

This whole sort of thing is like throwing a lit match into the tinderbox of the easily alarmed and the paranoid. Most people are fairly sure of the veracity of their own beliefs, but most of us stop short of alien conspiracy theories. It takes a special kind of numbskull to deny the balloon explanation in the face of overwhelming evidence. Most of them look like this minus the smile:

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