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Selective-focus techniques can take a good photo and make it great by focusing attention where you want, softening background distractions. Available as a plug-in for Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements and Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X3, Bokeh 2 offers dozens of presets to get you started quickly, including ones that simulate the effects of popular lenses.
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Positive vignette values brighten the edges, while negative values darken them. Vignette effects can be tied to the blur area or independent of it. You must be logged in to post a comment. Digital Photo Newsletter. Sign up for the latest photo news and tips for taking your images to the next level.
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An unidentified flying object UFO , also called a UAP unidentified aerial phenomenon ,  is any perceived aerial phenomenon that cannot be immediately identified or explained. On investigation, most UFOs are identified as known objects or atmospheric phenomena, while a small number remain unexplained.
Scientists and skeptic organizations such as the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry have provided prosaic explanations for a large number of claimed UFOs being caused by natural phenomena, human technology, delusions, or hoaxes. Small but vocal groups of ” ufologists ” favour unconventional, pseudoscientific hypotheses, some of which go beyond the typical extraterrestrial visitation claims and sometimes form part of new religions.
While unusual sightings have been reported in the sky throughout history, UFOs did not achieve their current cultural prominence until the period after World War II , escalating during the Space Age. The 20th century saw studies and investigations into UFO reports conducted by governments such as Projects Grudge and Sign in the United States, and Project Condign in the United Kingdom , as well as by organisations and individuals.
People have observed the sky throughout history, and have sometimes seen unusual sights, such as comets , bright meteors , one or more of the five planets that can be readily seen with the naked eye , planetary conjunctions , and atmospheric optical phenomena such as parhelia and lenticular clouds. One particularly famous example is Halley’s Comet : this was recorded first by Chinese astronomers in BC and possibly as early as BC. As it reaches the inner solar system every 76 years, it was often identified as a unique isolated event in ancient historical documents whose authors were unaware that it was a repeating phenomenon.
Such accounts in history often were treated as supernatural portents, angels , or other religious omens. Some proposed Allied explanations at the time included St. Elmo’s fire , the planet Venus , hallucinations from oxygen deprivation, or German secret weapons.
The objects were referred to as “Russian hail” and later as ” ghost rockets ” because it was thought the mysterious objects were possibly Russian tests of captured German V1 or V2 rockets. Most were identified as natural phenomena as meteors. The popular UFO craze by many accounts began with a media frenzy surrounding the reports on June 24, , that a civilian pilot named Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine objects flying in formation near Mount Rainier in the United States.
At the time, he claimed he described the objects flying in a saucer-like fashion, leading to newspaper accounts of “flying saucers” and “flying discs”. The story received scant attention at the time, but interest in it revived in the s with the publicity surrounding the television broadcast of an Alien autopsy video marketed as “real footage” but later admitted to be a staged “re-enactment”.
Various UFO claimants said that they had interacted with the aliens driving the spacecraft and a few said they had visited the crafts themselves.
In , the first alien abduction account was sensationalized when Barney and Betty Hill went under hypnosis after seeing a UFO and reported recovered memories of their experience that became ever more elaborate as the years went by. As media accounts and speculation were running rampant in the US, by intelligence officials Robertson Panel worried that “genuine incursions” by enemy aircraft “over U. According to Keith Kloor , the “allure of flying saucers” remained popular with the public into the s, spurring production of such sci-fi films, as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Alien , which “continued to stoke public fascination”.
Kloor writes that by the late s, “other big UFO subthemes had been prominently introduced into pop culture, such as the abduction phenomenon and government conspiracy narrative , via best-selling books and, of course, The X-Files “.
In , astronomer J. Allen Hynek, then a consultant to Blue Book, conducted a small survey of 45 fellow professional astronomers. In the s, astrophysicist Peter A. Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh , who saw six UFOs, including three green fireballs, supported the extraterrestrial hypothesis for UFOs and said scientists who dismissed it without study were “unscientific”.
LaPaz reported two personal sightings, of a green fireball and a disc. Both Tombaugh and LaPaz were part of Hynek’s survey. Hynek took two photos through the window of a commercial airliner of a disc that seemed to keep pace with his aircraft. Astronomer Andrew Fraknoi rejected the hypothesis that UFOs are extraterrestrial spacecraft and responded to the “onslaught of credulous coverage” in books, films and entertainment by teaching his students to apply critical thinking to such claims, advising them that “being a good scientist is not unlike being a good detective”.
According to Fraknoi, UFO reports “might at first seem mysterious”, but “the more you investigate, the more likely you are to find that there is LESS to these stories than meets the eye”.
In its initial definition, the USAF stated that a “UFOB” was “any airborne object which by performance, aerodynamic characteristics, or unusual features, does not conform to any presently known aircraft or missile type, or which cannot be positively identified as a familiar object”.
Accordingly, the term was initially restricted to that fraction of cases which remained unidentified after investigation, as the USAF was interested in potential national security reasons and “technical aspects” see Air Force Regulation During the late s and through the s, UFOs were often referred to popularly as ” flying saucers ” or “flying discs” due to the term being introduced in the context of the Kenneth Arnold incident.
The term “bogey” was originally used to report anomalies in radar blips, to indicate possible hostile forces that might be roaming in the area. The term UFO became more widespread during the s, at first in technical literature, but later in popular use.
UFOs garnered considerable interest during the Cold War , an era associated with a heightened concerns about national security, and, more recently, in the s, for unexplained reasons. The first published book to use the word was authored by Donald E. He wrote, “Obviously the term ‘flying saucer’ is misleading when applied to objects of every conceivable shape and performance.
For this reason the military prefers the more general, if less colorful, name: unidentified flying objects. UFO pronounced yoo-foe for short. In popular usage, the term UFO came to be used to refer to claims of alien spacecraft ,  and because of the public and media ridicule associated with the topic, some ufologists and investigators prefer to use terms such as “unidentified aerial phenomenon” UAP or “anomalous phenomena”, as in the title of the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena NARCAP.
While technically a UFO refers to any unidentified flying object, in modern popular culture the term UFO has generally become synonymous with alien spacecraft ;  however, the term ETV ExtraTerrestrial Vehicle is sometimes used to separate this explanation of UFOs from totally earthbound explanations. UFOs have been subject to investigations over the years that varied widely in scope and scientific rigor.
No official government investigation has ever publicly concluded that UFOs are indisputably real, physical objects, extraterrestrial in origin, or of concern to national defense.
Studies show that after careful investigation, the majority of UFOs can be identified as ordinary objects or phenomena.
The most commonly found identified sources of UFO reports are:. An individual study by CUFOS researcher Allan Hendry found, as did other investigations, that fewer than one percent of cases he investigated were hoaxes and most sightings were actually honest misidentifications of prosaic phenomena.
Hendry attributed most of these to inexperience or misperception. Currently, this collection gathers cases between and Navy , in addition to the Air Force. The investigation of UFOs has also attracted many civilians, who in the U. On November 24, , the Pentagon announced the formation of the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group , a new intelligence group to investigate unidentified objects that may compromise the airspace of the United States.
Following the large U. The USAAF used “all of its top scientists” to determine whether “such a phenomenon could, in fact, occur”. The research was “being conducted with the thought that the flying objects might be a celestial phenomenon,” or that “they might be a foreign body mechanically devised and controlled. Something is really flying around. A further review by the intelligence and technical divisions of the Air Materiel Command at Wright Field reached the same conclusion.
It reported that “the phenomenon is something real and not visionary or fictitious,” and there were disc-shaped objects, metallic in appearance, as big as man-made aircraft. They were characterized by “extreme rates of climb [and] maneuverability”, general lack of noise, absence of a trail, occasional formation flying, and “evasive” behavior “when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar”, suggesting a controlled craft.
It was therefore recommended in late September that an official Air Force investigation be set up. It was also recommended that other government agencies should assist in the investigation.
Project Sign’s final report, published in early , stated that while some UFOs appeared to represent actual aircraft, there was not enough data to determine their origin. The Air Force’s Project Sign was created at the end of , and was one of the earliest government studies to come to a secret extraterrestrial conclusion. In August , Sign investigators wrote a top-secret intelligence estimate to that effect, but the Air Force Chief of Staff Hoyt Vandenberg ordered it destroyed.
The existence of this suppressed report was revealed by several insiders who had read it, such as astronomer and USAF consultant J. Allen Hynek and Capt. Edward J. Another highly classified U. This study concluded UFOs were real physical objects of potential threat to national security.
Sightings of unexplained objects at great altitudes and traveling at high speeds in the vicinity of major U. It also urged the DCI to establish an external research project of top-level scientists, now known as the Robertson Panel to analyze the problem of UFOs. Project Sign was dismantled and became Project Grudge at the end of Angered by the low quality of investigations by Grudge, the Air Force Director of Intelligence reorganized it as Project Blue Book in late , placing Ruppelt in charge.
Allen Hynek , a trained astronomer who served as a scientific advisor for Project Blue Book, was initially skeptical of UFO reports, but eventually came to the conclusion that many of them could not be satisfactorily explained and was highly critical of what he described as “the cavalier disregard by Project Blue Book of the principles of scientific investigation”. Other private groups studying the phenomenon include the MUFON , a grassroots organization whose investigator’s handbooks go into great detail on the documentation of alleged UFO sightings.
Air Force Regulation ,  issued in and , defined an Unidentified Flying Object “UFOB” as “any airborne object which by performance, aerodynamic characteristics, or unusual features, does not conform to any presently known aircraft or missile type, or which cannot be positively identified as a familiar object. However, a USAF document, known as the Bolender memo, along with later government documents, revealed that non-public U. The Bolender memo first stated that “reports of unidentified flying objects that could affect national security The memo then added, “reports of UFOs which could affect national security would continue to be handled through the standard Air Force procedures designed for this purpose.
Air Force Academy gave serious consideration to possible extraterrestrial origins. When word of the curriculum became public, the Air Force in issued a statement to the effect that the book was outdated and cadets instead were being informed of the Condon Report ‘s negative conclusion. Controversy surrounded the report, both before and after its release.
It has been observed that the report was “harshly criticized by numerous scientists, particularly at the powerful AIAA McDonald said he believed science had failed to mount adequate studies of the problem and criticized the Condon Report and earlier studies by the USAF as scientifically deficient. He also questioned the basis for Condon’s conclusions  and argued that the reports of UFOs have been “laughed out of scientific court”.
Allen Hynek, an astronomer who worked as a USAF consultant from , sharply criticized the Condon Committee Report and later wrote two nontechnical books that set forth the case for continuing to investigate UFO reports.
According to a New York Times report, “records from the C. In , Brigadier General George F. In November , the White House released an official response to two petitions asking the U. According to the response:. The U. The response noted “odds are pretty high” that there may be life on other planets but “the odds of us making contact with any of them—especially any intelligent ones —are extremely small, given the distances involved.
The report said that 18 of these featured unusual movement patterns or flight characteristics, adding that more analysis was needed to determine if those sightings represented “breakthrough” technology. The report said that “some of these steps are resource-intensive and would require additional investment.
In addition, the three heads of the studies have gone on record in stating that UFOs were real physical flying machines beyond our knowledge or that the best explanation for the most inexplicable cases was an extraterrestrial one. Its purpose was to investigate UFO phenomenon worldwide. Following the submission of the final report, the Sigma2 Commission is to be formed with a mandate to continue the scientific investigation of UFO phenomenon. Alleged UFO sightings gradually increased since the war, peaking in and
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