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UPDATED: September 29, 2010 NO. 40 OCTOBER 7, 2010
Love Affair With the UFO

Humankind tends to be interested in mysteries. Unidentified flying objects (UFO) are one such fascinating topic that has puzzled millions of people around the world. Chinese researchers and fans of UFOs are no exception.

Reports on UFOs in China have been occurring more frequently, no doubt due to more readily available technology. One recent example was the alleged sighting that caused the grounding of more than 20 flights at Xiaoshan International Airport in Hangzhou in east China's Zhejiang Province in July. The report quickly spread through Chinese UFO forums and then around the world via media outlets, especially the Internet.

In past decades, the number of amateurs experienced in astronomy has grown considerably in China. They can be found in all corners of the country and form an efficient UFO observation network. Besides conventional disk-shaped objects that fly "like saucers if you skip them across water," appearances of many different forms have been reported by observers throughout China's vast territory. In the age of the Internet and digital cameras, claims of UFO sightings are increasing. But also the reports are more easily checked, cross-referenced and proven false.

The Hangzhou sighting stirred refreshed interest among enthralled UFO buffs, as well as debate between enthusiasts and skeptics. One of the major topics is about the necessity of UFO studies, when more real and urgent development issues are crying out for solutions.

With a large population living in underdeveloped rural areas, superstitions about strange occurrences in night skies can hardly be eradicated. Studies on UFOs may have more significance in China than those in other countries. Revealing the truth about UFOs will definitely help to dispel superstitions and promote science.

Besides, yearnings to encounter life outside of this planet and to explore the unknown may just be ingrained in the human psyche, always the mission of the human race. Research into extraterrestrial exploration waits for answers, and there are natural phenomena and laws needing to be explained.

China has many UFO research institutions and associations, both governmental and privately funded. Scientists have followed related studies for decades and have accumulated many credible, verifiable reports from observations. Now China walks in the forefront of UFO research and exploration. Among the public, UFO enthusiasts have their groups and engage in discussion and exchanges at high levels. Amazing numbers of copies of magazines devoted to UFO research and studies are subscribed to and sold in China. The country also conducts research and shares information about UFOs internationally in an integrated way with its foreign peers, as UFOs fly beyond borders and civilizations.

For thousands of years, the Chinese people have looked to the skies for portents of change on the Earth. Now, their habit of gazing into the sky and the love affair with UFOs continues in this country.

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