The Huffington Post has published an article citing the potential danger that UFOs pose for airplanes and their passengers.A video allegedly showing a UFO flying near a passenger plane over Seoul, South Korea has created a huge buzz. A passenger on the airline tried to zoom in on the object with a video camera as it moved upward from the ground, pacing near the plane, it suddenly flew away. Was this a visitation from OUT OF THIS WORLD, a computer-generated image, a water droplet on the plane window or a white plastic bag moving in the wind?

As skeptics and true UFO believers battle it out over the origin of this latest unexplained object, they are engaging in an unresolved decades-old debate: Can unexplained UFOs become a safety issue for the commercial airline industry? Professional pilot and dispatch instructor, David McDonald, had this to say:

“It’s beyond dispute that airline personnel see them and see them a lot. However, to the best of all of our knowledge, there has never been an incident where an airplane ran into one or was attacked by one. [Pilots] have done evasive maneuvers to get out of the way, but that’s what we’re trained to do. Whether [the UFO] would have veered off, it’s really hard to say if they are a hazard to flight or not.”

NASA research scientist and former UFO skeptic. Richard Haines, strongly suggested that mid-air UFO encounters could be hazardous. After commercial pilots began sharing their UFO experiences with him, Haines created the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena. His organization offers a confidential reporting venue for pilots, crews and air traffic controllers hesitant to make UFO reports:

“Our objectives are to make flying safer for the flying public and we’re convinced there’s a potential threat posed by nearby unexplained aerial phenomena to commercial and private airplanes. Roughly 5 to 9 percent of the total sightings have some form of electromagnetic influence in the cockpit, so our interest is trying to alert the aviation industry ahead of time to do something positive, rational, before it’s too late, before an airplane goes down.”

One former FAA official, John Callahan, has been very outspoken about how his agency has handled UFO information in the past. Callahan, a former head of the FAA’s Accidents, Evaluations and Investigations Division in the 1980s, believes that Earth is being visited by extraterrestrials:

“Oh, I think we really are and the government doesn’t tell you the truth all the time. Part of the stuff I was doing in my last 10 years with the government was lying to the public. I gave out disinformation — an approved tactic in the government — because the people can’t handle the truth.”

Mutual UFO Network’s McDonald agreed there’s a historical taboo among pilots not to discuss their UFO encounters.

“Up until just a short time ago, if you reported one of these, it was a guaranteed medical disqualification,” he said. “The airlines don’t want pilots [who say] they saw a flying saucer. It’s been pretty well established that when they go and shoot their mouth off about this stuff, chances are they lose their jobs, and that’s been documented.”

Tragically it seems as if the most qualified of UFO witnesses have been forced into silence by bureaucratic skeptics… let’s hope that enough of them have the courage to speak up before it’s too late.