Some members of the alien and UFO community have speculated that the recent dramatic surge in reports of UFO sightings around the world could actually point to a booming Earth "safari" tourism industry of extraterrestrial origin. According to some researchers, UFOs caught skulking in the skies around the world could in fact be owned and run by commercial alien tour operators or travel agencies conducting extraterrestrial clients on guided tours of Earth.
According to some UFO enthusiasts, the tourism motive provides a powerful explanation of why UFOs that seem to have no hostile intentions have often been spotted passing stealthily over locations around world.
The scenario could be compared to human tourists being taken on African safari tours in vehicles. The intention of a safari tour is to allow tourists to see wild animals in their natural habitats. And because the value of the tour lies in giving tourists a chance to see the wild animals living undisturbed in their natural environments, safari trips are organized so that tourists remain in their vehicles and only have a chance to observe the animals from a safe distance.
However, the notion that UFOs are alien spacecrafts run by alien tour operators was dismissed as just another wacky idea from the UFO community until evidence emerged from classified documents released recently by the U.K. Ministry of Defense that military officials had urged that UFOs should be investigated as a "matter of priority" because of the possibility that aliens from distant planetary systems may be visiting Earth in UFOs for several reasons, including tourism.
Military officials argued that the increasing incidence of reports of UFO sightings could point to a booming interstellar -- or intergalactic -- tourism industry targeting Earth as a choice destination for holidaymakers from technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations.
But officials also considered other possibilities, such as military reconnaissance and scientific research.
One of the relevant classified files released in 2012 was a briefing dating back to 1995 in which an Air Force officer argued that there was urgent need, due to "national security implications," to determine the purpose behind UFOs because witness accounts do not suggest "hostile intentions."
The official emphasized that although he was not asserting that "little green men" were visiting Earth in saucer-shaped UFOs, there was need to approach UFOs with "open minds" because what is dismissed today as folklore could become scientific fact tomorrow.
"There has been no apparent hostile intent and other possibilities are: 1) Military reconnaissance; 2) Scientific; 3) Tourism."The official also speculated that the number of actual UFO sightings could be much higher than suspected because there were indications that many witnesses were not reporting their UFO experiences due to fear of public ridicule.
And despite the impression the government was deliberately fostering in public that it does not take reports of UFO sightings seriously, the files revealed that government officials were very interested in UFO phenomenon and that the U.K. government was actively but discreetly investigating reported sightings while maintaining a facade of indifference
An MoD official commenting on ongoing official UFO investigations in 1998, exclaimed, "Oh dear! This makes our 'no interest' in [UFOs] look suspect."
The files also revealed that some military officials were keen about the prospects of capturing an alien craft and reverse-engineering alien propulsion technology.
The Air Force Intelligence officer writing in the 1995 briefing to top government officials, wrote, "If the reports are taken at face value then devices exist that do not use conventional reaction propulsion systems; they have a very wide range of speeds and are stealthy. I suggest we could use this technology, if it exists."
However, the files showed no evidence that government intelligence agencies had any "smoking gun" evidence of existence of aliens or UFOs. The intelligence officer listed other possible explanations of UFO sightings, including mass hallucination, unusual atmospheric disturbances and hoaxes. But he expressed the opinion that the alternative explanations could not account fully for the proliferation of reports of sightings of alleged alien UFOs.
UFO enthusiasts have often tried to explain why aliens would take a special interest in Earth among millions of possible habitable planets in the universe. Similarly, an MoD file dating back to 1979 records a briefing by an official to the British House of Lords which points out that given the estimation of the number of planets and stars in our galaxy as billions it was unlikely that Earth would have been visited in its entire history more than a few times because there would be millions of other interesting places that an alien traveler might visit.
"A visit to an insignificant planet (the earth) of an uninteresting star (the sun) would probably not occur more than once in a thousand years or so, even if one assumes that every intelligent community made say 10 launches a year," the officer wrote.
"Claims of thousands of visits in the last decade or so are far too large to be credible," he concluded.
UFO enthusiasts point out that such calculations run contrary to the observation that the Earth appears to be attracting a heavy UFO traffic. They suggest that the apparent contradiction between mathematical calculations of the likelihood of alien visitors to our world and frequent reported sightings of alien UFOs strenghtens the argument that extraterrestrial civilizations are interested in our world as a tourist destination of choice.
According to UFO enthusiasts, alien interest in our world could be due to the fact that conditions on Earth are unique among habitable planets in the entire galaxy.
"Everything we need to sustain life has been provided for us on Planet Earth," a UFO enthusiast comments. "We are blessed with an abundance of water, sunshine, breathable air, enough land and food to house and feed 7 billion people. We share Earth with millions of species of plant, animal and insect life, each playing an important role in the ecosystem that in itself is remarkable. It makes our planet an astonishing place, a very rare and unusual gem among the stars."
UFO enthusiasts have also tried to explain the surge in number of reports of UFO sightings since after the Second World War, saying that the din we generated during the Second World War, culminating in atom bomb detonations may have attracted attention of extraterrestrial civilizations in our vicinity of space. Similarly, the explosion in telecommunications signals emanating from Earth may have been noticed by nearby alien civilizations and excited their curiosity about us.
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