Hi, folks. Jumping back in here quickly with something that fell in my lap, and I don't want to forget it, so a small posting. This has to do with sightings of UFOs from aircraft. The data come from the internet's best English-language UFO information site: NICAP, hosted by Fran Ridge.
NICAP has many, many good things on it, and one feature is various catalogs of sighting types. Fran sent me and the rest of "the boys" a catalog-in-progress of sightings from aircraft. This is truly in-progress so the data are certainly very incomplete, but so is everything in the field. Also, collections of data like this are very sociologically determined [ex. cases tend to be reported in different eras and in different locations according to strong dependence on sociological factors such as ease of reporting, less stigma attached, and so on]. Therefore, I normally wouldn't pay too much attention to bulk numbers in such matters yet... but these numbers were so striking that I believe that there's something there despite the data's prematurity. So... here it is:
This is my crude graph of the AVCAT numbers. They may be warped by the mere physical procedure of working with well characterized [older] data first, and that a large number more of recent cases could be added, but maybe not. This data set is somewhat vetted for quality. Many of the trumpeted "new" cases might not make the cut, seeing as how poorly things are investigated nowadays. Also, leaving out the very recent era, the data show marked differences elsewhere.
Notice the mass of sightings from WW2 through the 1950s. Although Condon's project in the late 60s gets a "gift", or a challenge [as it did on all types of cases], the spectacular "physical and high-strangeness eras" of the mid/late 60s and the mid-70s get a share of airborne sightings but are not striking like they are when you graph other case types, and are interspersed regularly with dead spots. AND, like in all other category graphs, along comes c.1980-1, and everything falls off the graph edge.
There is really only one thing that I see in this graph that I am nearly sure is solid. I believe that this graph will stand at least as regards the dominance of the WW2 to late 1950s era. The graph calls this age in UFOlogy: The Aerotech Era. It is the time when anyone seriously attending to the phenomenon would be forced to conclude: this is aerial technology. That is, in fact, what every sane individual DID conclude during that time. The USAF did. CSI-LA and CSI-NY did. NICAP, Keyhoe, and Dick Hall did. To reflect on some of our adventuring recently on this blog: this is what establishes core UFOlogy from "Little People" hypotheses. Once the high-strangeness eras begin later [with a possible precursor in late 1954], a mixture of Aerotechnical geniuses and folkloric meddlings is quite possible. But the early manifestation of the UFO phenomenon seems solidly technological.
Many "youngsters", and some oldsters lacking in historical perspective, chide the old-timers for their simplistic ET views. But the guy pictured at the bottom of this post was as correct as the data could be. He lived in that Aerotech Era and he saw it clearly. While it is true that some UFOlogists are stuck in that concept solely, and cannot see beyond what they see as forced consequences of their views, the ET-tech hypothesis for this core phenomenon is still the best. As you folks know, I see multiple things operating here and sliding all manner of phenomena into the UFOlogist's case files, but I'm still more or less with Keyhoe, Hall, NICAP, and the founders of our field, when it comes to things like pilot sightings et al.