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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jan > Jan 9

Hilkevitch On O'Hare 01-07-07

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2007 07:45:46 -0500
Fwd Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2007 07:45:46 -0500
Subject: Hilkevitch On O'Hare 01-07-07




Source: The Chicago Tribune - Illinois, USA

http://tinyurl.com/y86upe

January 7, 2007


They're Here!
(Or so we'd like to think.)

A purported UFO sighting at O'Hare gives flight to hopes that
we're not alone

By Jon Hilkevitch
the Tribune's transportation reporter

It's rare for a newspaper story to emerge from the vast and dark
unknown and hit at a primal level, tapping into the fact that
many of us feel so alone and confused about why we exist, and
giving us a chance to hope, to dream.

Video

Admittedly, those big thoughts were not on my mind when the
director of a UFO-watching group first called to offer an
exclusive Chicago angle on what might be the biggest story of
all humankind - a visit by an alien spaceship.

No, ET had not phoned home. But, said Peter Davenport of the
National UFO Reporting Center, this was "an excellent, stunning
case involving a genuine UFO from some other part of our galaxy
or our universe."

We've all read similar reports - and then put them back on the
shelf - while waiting in the supermarket checkout line. I recall
one tabloid front page announcing that aliens had abducted Newt
Gingrich. Not surprisingly, they gave Newt back.

Covering UFOs seemed to be stretching the definition of my job,
transportation reporting. I looked at the clock on the newsroom
wall and decided to give Mr. Davenport two minutes. But he was
onto something.

The UFO story, published Monday, became the most-read piece to
appear on chicagotribune.com. It was the top story on the
Tribune Web site for four straight days, garnering more than 1
million page views from people around the world.

The reaction is proof that we live in a curious world. Maybe a
curious universe too.

It turns conventional notions about what people want to read and
hear about on their head. And it lays bare the reality that
huge numbers of people explicitly mistrust the government, the
military establishment and the aerospace industry when it comes
to UFO sightings and research.

In our first of many phone conversations, Davenport assured me
that highly credible individuals spotted a flying saucerlike
object Nov. 7, and that it hovered over a major site on my
Tribune beat: O'Hare International Airport.

So I interviewed the witnesses and tracked down some additional
observers - pilots, ramp workers, mechanics and management
officials at United Airlines.

They were all dead serious about what they saw, and the accounts
- whether made from the tarmac or from 25 feet up in the
 cockpit of a Boeing 777 - were consistent.

The unidentified aerial phenomenon was dark gray and shaped like
a disc, it hovered in a fixed position above Concourse C of the
United Airlines terminal, and it vanished with a burst of
energy that cut a hole in the overcast skies.

The fact that officials at United Airlines and the Federal
Aviation Administration initially denied any knowledge of the
incident - despite evidence I had that they were well aware of
it - made the story even more appealing.

Little did any of us know.

News organizations from a low-watt radio station in Delaware to
a TV station in Australia phoned me to request interviews. Jay
Leno cracked jokes on the Tonight Show about inebriated
workers at O'Hare.

Ufologists contacted me in droves with thanks for treating the
subject in a serious manner and congratulated the Tribune, as a
leading member of the mainstream media, for publishing a story
about an extraterrestrial sighting.

The reaction is perplexing and somewhat discouraging. But
clearly it speaks to the persistent fascination with the
possibility that we're not alone in the universe, and there are
mysteries of our existence still to be unraveled.

Dominique Callimanopulos understands why the UFO story is so
seductive.

"When I was doing UFO research, I found that the sightings hit
most people in a very child-wonder place," Callimanopulos said.
She assisted the late Dr. John Mack, who became infamous at
Harvard Medical School for researching UFO and alien encounters.

"People think this visit will be some sort of answer or
salvation, that beings from another world will be able to help
us solve the mess we've made on this planet," said
Callimanopulos, a board member of the John E. Mack Institute,
founded in honor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning physician.

"Everyone at some deep level does wonder why we are here. That
is why there are so many religions in the world and conflicting
belief systems," she said. "If we were to find our cosmic
friends, we would have a real family, finally."

It would be nice if physical evidence existed to substantiate
the claims made at O'Hare on Nov. 7. Airport surveillance
cameras are trained on the airfield, not the heavens, and FAA
radar has so far turned up nothing unusual.

How is it that someone smuggled a camera cell phone into a
Baghdad execution chamber to chronicle the hanging of former
Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein last month, but no one among the
thousands of airport workers and travelers at O'Hare snapped a
picture for the cosmic family photo album?

The answer, along with an explanation about how the universe
works, remains a mystery. We earthlings possess inquisitive
minds, but we are, after all, only human.

---

jhilkevitch.nul

Copyright 2007, Chicago Tribune


{Thanks to Jeri Jahnke for the lead]


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