“Just when we thought the craziest of 2020 was over…”
As the mantra continues to spread, atypical events continue to occur. From the claims of the existence of a parallel universe in which time is in reverse to a hurricane season in which all storm names were exhausted, 2020 remains, at the very least, a strange year. The latest involves a series of potential alien sightings. On Sep. 14, a TikTok went viral showcasing what many believe could be a UFO.
Reactions consisted of surprise, skepticism, interest and apathy. One tweet holds the caption, “Hi, why is literally no one talking about how there was a genuine UFO sighting in New Jersey…” to highlight the phenomenon of growing apathy toward events of 2020.
Back in April 2020, other UFO sightings brought attention to the New York Post in an article titled “Even UFOs Fail to Shock Americans in What Has Been an Insane 2020.” Observer Caitlin Jea comments in the article, “At this point, aliens taking control of the world doesn’t seem that bad.”
Another tweeted, “Y’all the pentagon literally confirmed #UFOs exist and NO ONE CARES.”
Regarding the recent sightings, alien and UFO expert Scott Warring claims in an Express article that “the object has a glowing light for a centre, similar to the military TR3B and strangely enough it’s not a disk, but a triangle.” On the other hand, Warring cannot make the official statement to say whether the sighting is truly out of this world or not. “It may be an actual U.S military TR3B or one of the evolutions of it.”
Although skeptics are divided, the TikTok sighting is not the sole source of discourse. According to the nonprofit National UFO Reporting Center, “Sightings are up to 51 [percent] so far this year compared to the same period in 2019.” Of these sightings, 20 percent occurred in April, which was the height of COVID-19. Expert Peter Davenport says, “It’s literally taken over my life…one might think an increase would be exciting to me but from my vantage point, it’s just more work.”
Recent suspicions of life beyond Earth don’t end there. On Sep. 15, Express reported that activity on Venus “shocked the astronomical community” with the discovery of a chemical that should not be able to exist on the planet: phosphine gas. Research says that the survival of the substance is a “paradox” as due to its soaring temperatures and lack of oxygen, the gas should technically disappear within minutes if it ever pops into existence. Developments have sped up the discussion to land a rover on the planet for further research and discoveries. According to Tracy Gregg, Venus seems to be an outlier of a planet with little answers to balance the research. “Venus is just weird,” Gregg states in the Express article. “It’s got stuff going on that no one has been able to explain.”
The current launch date, however, is proposed to be 2026, so most answers will have to wait.