The other evening I was out driving and I glanced up and saw an airplane flying by. This is not unusual. People see airplanes fly by all the time. And aircraft is very common in the skies around here, considering there is a regional airport and two military bases here.
But for some reason, I glanced up at that airplane again, and it occurred to me that all I could really see was two white lights next to each other moving slowly across the sky. I couldn't actually make out a fuselage, wings, or a tail.
Most serious UFOlogists will tell you that the majority of UFO sightings are misidentifications of conventional aircraft, the International Space Station, bizarre weather phenomena, or Venus. You may hear someone suggest misidentifications account for anywhere from 80% to 99% of UFO sightings, and I'm inclined to agree that the majority are misidentifications.
However, as I was looking at the two white lights the second time, I also thought about how ironic it would be if those two white lights were a real UFO and I had just assumed it was an airplane and looked away. I'm sure what I saw was an airplane, but if some odd reason someone was skeptical that there was airplane flying through the sky that night and questioned me as to whether or not I could clearly see the fuselage, wings, or tail of the airplane, I would have to answer that I could not.
So, in spite of the fact that most UFO reports are probably misidentifications of something conventional, I wondered if there had ever been any instances where a legitimate UFO sighting was not reported because the observer just assumed they were looking at an airplane or helicopter and looked away from it without giving it a second thought. How ironic would it be if a UFO was misidentified as an airplane?
I don't know if there has ever been any instances where someone saw a UFO and misidentified it as something conventional. I don't suppose you can really get any good statistics on how many UFO sightings go unreported, since, you know, they're unreported. You can come up with statistics on reports you do have, but you can't really come up with statistics on reports you don't have. Any statistical percentage you come up with on reports you don't have would just be a guess.
Nevertheless, I'm still pretty sure those two white lights I saw the other evening were lights from an airplane. J