It's Almost 2016, Dammit, And We're Still Waiting For ET To Land

The year in UFOs
Lee Speigel Composite

As 2015 ends, the bizarre parade of UFO videos only grows, with more posted to the Internet each day.

Are we getting closer to what would certainly be the most important event in human history -- first contact with extraterrestrials? Or are we just getting better at manipulating photos and video?

As the year progressed, we saw a purple UFO over Peru; a disc-shaped object flying behind an Argentina TV news broadcast; colorful aerial lights captured on video by a TV news station near the U.S.-Mexico border; and night vision images of Christmas-colored lights over Tucson.

Reports of UFOs near Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport put India's military forces on high alert at the end of October.

And while one former Air Force officer described UFO activity during the Vietnam War, another told HuffPost that the military encountered "some type of superior intelligence" that could "change size and shape."

We also learned that a Russian politician suggested aliens invented the game of chess.

And we certainly won't forget talk show host Jimmy Kimmel asking President Barack Obama about UFOs with the commander-in-chief responding, "I can't reveal anything."

Former Obama advisor John Podesta also chimed in, tweeting how he regretted not being able to secure disclosure of UFO files. As a key figure in Hillary Clinton's campaign, perhaps he'll get that chance.

Of course, no 2015 roundup is complete without mention of Donald Trump, and there was a report in August of a UFO following the Donald's helicopter at the Iowa State Fair.

Read on for our look back at the year's most compelling UFO stories.

Once-Classified UFO Files Temporarily Available To Everyone
In January, something both amazing and frustrating at the same time happened in the field of UFO studies. Approximately 130,000 pages of files from the 22-year Air Force UFO study -- Project Blue Book -- were finally made available to the public for free online. Ever since Project Blue Book ended in 1969, anyone wanting to research those files prior to 2015, had to pour through microfilm files at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Writer and producer John Greenewald, creator of The Black Vault -- a huge online compilation of government documents -- converted Blue Book files from jpeg images into searchable PDF files. It was every UFO researcher's dream come true. But it didn't last long. Shortly after the files became available, they were removed from The Black Vault by a company called Fold3, which posts military files, claiming to have a copyright on the old Air Force files. Easy come, easy go with the UFO files, it seems. But there's still hope that those files will once again see the light of day.This image is a re-enactment of one of the most credible Project Blue Book cases, from 1964, in which Police Officer Lonnie Zamora witnessed an egg-shaped craft along with two beings in Socorro, New Mexico.
Purple UFO Interrupts Peru TV Show
Eduardo Chavez Guerra/YouTube
In February, a television production crew in Lima, Peru, videotaped a purple-colored disc-shaped UFO hovering in the sky near a construction site. Eyewitnesses reported seeing the object for up to two hours. Initial possible explanations included a drone or a kite.
San Diego Mystery Aerial Lights
NBC 7 San Diego
At the end of April, San Diego's NBC News affiliate captured an unusual colorful grouping of lights over San Ysidro, near the U.S.-Mexico border. The red, blue and green lights were flashing and changing colors. When HuffPost contacted the TV station, a reporter said she was instructed by station management not to give out any information about the incident.
Disc-Shaped Object Hovers Over Chile For 1 Hour
In April, a new update was released about a couple of photos from 2013 showing a disc-shaped object over a copper mine in northern Chile. Witnesses said they watched the object for over an hour as it moved around and hovered. Investigators for CEFAA -- Chile's official government UFO study group -- examined the photos, and ruled out experimental aircraft, planes, weather balloons or drones. The study concluded "It is an object or phenomenon of great interest, and it can be qualified as a UFO."
Loch Ness UFO Causes Monster Controversy
Caters News
It took several updates to this story to try and figure out what exactly it was that a family, vacationing at Scotland's Loch Ness captured in a photograph above the 22-mile-long lake in April. Their camera seemed to catch a pair of objects (see image with close-up insert) moving in the sky over the lake. The controversy heated up when stepped in, claiming that the family had merely photographed a dual reflection of a room lamp. To this day, both parties believe they are correct: The family insists it was no lamp reflection and Metabunk maintains it was.
Christmas Tree-Type Lights Over Tucson
Tom Sanger
On July 4, Tom Sanger videotaped a colorful display of changing lights over the Sabino Canyon, northeast of Tucson, Arizona. In late August, an updated report by OpenMinds.TV suggested these lights were caused by "human activity" at a mountain lookout point, i.e. the headlights of oncoming vehicles.
Similar UFOs Appear Over U.S., Japan Cities
Left: TVE24HD Right: IPRA Strong / YouTube
Two separate cases of unusual-looking lights over different continents within a few days of each other prompted speculation that ranged from alien life to Chinese lanterns. The image shows objects over Osaka, Japan (at left around the end of July) and Milwaukee, Wisconsin (on July 25). The Milwaukee objects were later identified as an Army parachute team, performing during the city's annual German Fest. Still no official word on those Osaka lights.
London Police Investigate Reported UFO Crash
Kingston Police, UK
It wasn't exactly of the same legendary caliber as the 1947 Roswell, New Mexico, incident, but it was unique in its own way.On Oct. 17, police in Kingston, London, sent an emergency response team to a location to check on an unknown object that was on fire. When officials arrived on the scene, they thought, at first, they were looking at a crashed UFO! The orange-blue hemispherical object was partially smashed with pieces of it strewn all around.Turns out, online detectives helped determine the UFO was, in fact, a pizza oven that may have fallen off a truck.That's some pizza delivery service.
Mystery Revealed In Space Station Astronaut UFO Photo
NASA / Scott Kelly
When International Space Station astronaut Scott Kelly snapped a photo of south India on Nov. 15, Internet UFO hunters speculated about the bright, tube-like object at the upper right of the image.It was just the latest in a long series of objects photographed by space station astronauts that fuel Internet chatter about UFOs. In this case, however, a simple adjustment of brightness and contrast of the original image clearly reveals that the UFO in question is a UHF antenna attached to the space station.
Scary Explanation For Blazing Siberia UFO Sighting
PE Omsk/YouTube
Many people saw and videotaped a spectacular bright object over several cities in Siberia on the night of Nov. 17. Initial speculation included things like UFO, alien wormhole, and a secret Russian military rocket launch. Former NBC News space consultant James Oberg -- an expert on all American and Russian space activity -- confirmed that the bizarre spectacle was part of a Russian missile test program.While not an ET invasion, it doesn't lessen worries over increased tensions between Russia and members of NATO.
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