UFOlogists are all a-flutter with the buzz that an ocean exploration team led by Swedish researcher Peter Lindberg has found what might be a crashed flying saucer.
Lindberg’s team was using sonar to look for ship wreck hat went down carrying several cases of a super-rare champagne. Instead, the team discovered a mysterious round object that might (or might not) be extraterrestrial. Round object? Yes. Extraterrestrial? Hmmm…
Lindberg explained to local media that his crew discovered, on the 300-foot-deep ocean floor between Finland and Sweden, “a large circle, about 60 feet in diameter. You see a lot of weird stuff in this job, but during my 18 years as a professional I have never seen anything like this. The shape is completely round.” Lindberg also said he saw evidence of scars or marks disturbing the environment nearby, suggesting the object somehow moved across the ocean floor to where his team found it.
As one might expect Swedish tabloids and Internet UFO buffs are basking in the glory of this report. Some suggest the object is a flying saucer of extraterrestrial origin and that the seafloor scars were dug up during the crash.
Let’s quickly invoke Occam’s Razor before going further. It might be a crashed UFO, OR It might simply be a natural feature formation, or possibly a sunken, round man-made object. Which is more likely?
Lindberg’s claim that the object “is perfectly round” might not even be accurate; the resolution of the sonar image was not high enough to verify that it is indeed round (and we’ve seen these type of low-resolution error many times on Mars). And while the lines that appear to be leading to or from the feature may suggest some sort of movement, it’s also possible they have nothing to do with the circular object.
Lindberg himself did not offer an extraterrestrial origin, though he did speculate it might be a “new Stonehenge.” Again, a bit of a stretch, but at least a man-made structure is more plausible.
This story is reminiscent of “Bimini Road,” a rock formation in the Caribbean near the Bahamas that resembles a road or wall. Many New Agers and conspiracy theorists claimed the rocks are too perfectly shaped to be natural, and either were made by an unknown civilization or are possibly a relic from the lost city of Atlantis.Geologists have identified the blocks as perfectly natural, weathered beach rock.
It’s also worth noting that UFOs may not be saucer-shaped. The famous “flying saucer” description of the very first described UFO has since been revealed as a reporting error. For more on that, read James Randii’s “Flim Flam“, where he thoroughly explains and debunks the “shape” claim.
Finally, Lindberg said his team has neither the interest nor the resources to further investigate the “UFO”. Deep ocean research is time-consuming and expensive. If the object were indeed a flying saucer, recovering it could potentially be worth millions or billions of dollars. If it’s a natural formation, on the other hand, it would probably be a waste of time and money.
My vote is for the latter.