In a move that seems to have come straight from 'The X-Files,' the British government recently released a trove of data relating to the U.K.'s response to the possible existence of UFOs. The 25 files and 6,700 pages of data document UFO policy, issues with media outreach, public correspondence, and, of course, reports of UFO sightings from the public.
The Ministry of Defence received more than 10,000 reports of UFOs between 1950 and 2009. The sightings ranged from events that could be easily explained -- aircraft lights, satellites -- to more credible reports from police officers, pilots, and members of the military. Nick Pope, a UFO desk officer from 1991 to 1994, said, "These are probably the most fascinating and bizarre government files ever made available to the public."
The release includes the admission that at least one intelligence official desired to weaponize alien technology. The official is quoted as saying, "If the reports are taken at face value, then devices exist that do not use conventional reaction propulsion systems; they have a very wide range of speeds and are stealthy. I suggest we could use this technology, if it exists." The documents are causing a stir in conspiracy theorist circles as well, or, as Pope put it, "It's been suggested that this release program is disinformation ... and a phrase that you often hear is, 'All the good stuff's been kept back. '"
Ever wonder how zoo animals find mates? Well, it's not much different from how many humans do: through online dating sites. These pairings, however, are all about potential offspring. In 1981, zoos in the U.S. set up a 'Species Survival Plan' to reduce the practice of trapping animals for displays. This database serves as a virtual matchmaking service for zoos that are looking to breed particular animals. Zoo officials can look at each animal's personality, diet, geography, and temperament, all of which are listed in the database. The Oakland Zoo has used this method with great success, matching a 12-year-old male river otter with a 5-year-old female otter that came from Massachusetts. The two are now proud parents of five baby otters.