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A UFO or Unidentified Flying Object is any object or optical phenomenon observed in the sky which cannot be identified, even after being thoroughly investigated by qualified people. Since a famous
report of such a phenomenon in 1947, the term has come to be treated in popular culture as a label for extraterrestrial spacecraft.
Amateur photograph of alleged UFO, Passoria, New Jersey, 1952
Strange apparitions have been reported throughout history, some now known to be comets, others unexplained. The army of Alexander the Great in 329 BC saw "two silver shields" in the sky. In 1235 the army of Oritsume in Japan saw mysterious lights in the sky. On April 14, 1561 the skies over Nuremberg were reportedly filled with a multitude of objects, including cylinders and spheres, seemingly engaged in an aerial battle.
Previously treated as signs from the Gods, angels, and other kinds of religious omens, such phenomena only came to be understood
and discussed as natural entities worthy of scientific investigation in the immediate aftermath of World War II, when the term was coined.
There were several reports of unidentified aircrafts in the Scandinavian countries in the 1930s. In Europe during World War II, "Foo-fighters" (luminous balls that followed airplanes) were reported by both Allied and Axis pilots. In 1946, there was a wave of "ghost rockets" seen over Scandinavia and southern Europe.