This year, International UFO Day on July 2 should be celebrated with great deal of enthusiasm since the United States has announced that it is going to search for life beyond our planet.

The US space agency, NASA, said that it was setting up an independent team to see how much information is publicly available on the UFOs – except that it calls them unidentified aerial phenomena. The experts will also consider “how best to use all this information in the future”.

“One of NASA’s key goals is the search for life in the universe,” it says on its website. “To date, NASA has yet to find any credible evidence of extraterrestrial life. However, NASA has long been exploring the solar system and beyond to help us answer fundamental questions, including whether we are alone in the universe. The agency’s astrobiology program focuses on the origins, evolution, and distribution of life beyond Earth.”

Native Americans have always believed that there are extra terrestrial beings who visit us regularly: they call them star people. It is a much nicer term than calling our guests “aliens”. New Age believers call them Indigo People who are alien human hybrids through birth or walk in to existing human bodies. India’s yogis have also believed in the existence of these beings.

Native Americans and our yogis did not think of these beings as enemies of human beings and found ways of communicating with them. I do not know if ghosts count as star people but I saw the video of American singer Demi Lovato sing to a ghost of a woman Carmen who had been traumatised and it seemed that the ghost was comforted by the song, Skyscapper. Demi Lovato also had a discussion on these extra terrestrial beings with the spiritual leader Jaggi Vasudev. He has claimed that such beings are present in the Mansovar Lake which he believes is Tethys Sea.


In India, we have associated the existence of these extra terrestial beings with spiritual significance but in the West they claim they are investigating into the phenomenon scientifically. No one in the scientific community has been able to prove the existence of these aliens but many believe they do exist somewhere among the “100 billion planets in our galaxy alone, and at least 20% of them could be habitable”. After all, we are, as US astronomer Carl Sagan famously said, we are but a blue dot in the vastness of the space.

In the famous photograph taken by Voyager 1 in February 1990 the Earth’s apparent size is less than a pixel. The planet appears as a tiny dot against the vastness of space, among bands of sunlight reflected by the camera.

In India, the first sighting of a UFO was recorded from Bihar on October 3, 1957. It is said that a flying saucer was seen by about 800 people in three Indian villages – Kadori, Borsa and Mangalda – in Manbhum district. Subsequently, many other sightings have been recorded by people across the country on mobiles and videos.

Hitesh K Yadav is an internationally recognised UFO investigator. His interest in UFOs began when his mother, Krishna Devi saw a levitating alien entity right outside her window of her home in Chandigarh, he told The Week. She was terrified as she watched as the greyish alien figure, about four feet tall, moved around the house and appeared near the front door. Then it vanished.

While still an engineering student, Yadav launched UFO Magazine India, a bimonthly e-magazine. He has also developed a ufology app and founded Disclosure India—a team of 200 members that investigates alien sightings and encounters.

Yadav has said that his most exciting investigation was witnessing UFO researcher Derrel W Sims surgically remove an implant from a patient that had been embedded by an extra-terrestrial being. American researcher Roger K Leir has a book about these extra-terrestrial implants in humans. I could not find any details about the Indian who claimed to have an implant but people in other parts of the world have claimed that the implants caused trauma and memory loss.

But all this interest in UFOs did not invoke any enthusiasm. In fact I felt a dread. For me, the study of UFOs is not linked with insights into mystical dimensions of life but with the violence and insidious surveillance during the Cold War years. I have always associated UFOs with the US military. After all US military involvement with the “UFO question” dates back to the summer of 1947. when a pilot named Kenneth Arnold claimed to have seen a “flying saucer” .

Within five years of this sighting, the US Air Force launched its Project Bluebook on UFO but that project was terminated by 1969. In 2007, Pentagon established its Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program or the AATIP. The Pentagon has declassified 1,500 pages of AATIP documents. The report gave details of effects of UFO sightings on human in the form of paranormal experiences. It all sounded ominous and very much like the CIA experiments on mind control in 1950s codenamed MK-Ultra.

The UFO programme is reported to have cost the Department of Defense more than $20 million before it was shut down in 2012. According to a BBC report in 2017,“Although its funding ended in 2012, officials have reportedly continued to investigate sightings of unusual aerial phenomena and suspicious objects alongside their daily duties.” It was reported that the programme may have been set up to monitor or spy on foreign powers, Russia or China.

Earlier this year, the US Central Intelligence Agency released millions of pages of declassified documents online. The records included UFO sightings and a collection of reports on flying saucers.

Despite all these millions of dollars spent on exploring space ostensibly in a bid to look for extra-terrestrial life the scientific community says they have not found evidence of any so far. But a new documentary, Mirage Men, unearths compelling evidence that UFO folklore was actually fabricated by the US government. Rather than covering up the existence of aliens, could it be that the real conspiracy has been persuading us to believe in them?

Kate Dorsch, an American science historian, observed, “Understanding UFOs and UAPs as historically embedded in airborne global war and U.S. national security concerns explains why they are an object of investigation and inquiry, why those investigations continue, and why sightings and witnesses maintain a persistent power to keep the US public engaged and questioning – as it has several times in the past.”

The NASA announcement that it will continue research into space for aliens sound ominous in the background of the war in Europe and the growing international tensions on land and the sea. They will expand to space, creating a world war for control of land, sea, space. A deadly star war that only the star people can stop. And we are those star people.

As Carl Sagan in his book Cosmos reminds us: the raw materials that constitute our physical bodies were forged in the bellies of distant, long-extinguished stars. The “nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

Nandita Haksar is a human rights lawyer and author, most recently, of Forgotten Refugees.