The idea of aliens and that other worlds might be inhabited actually goes back to ancient times. The question was a matter of real debate among philosophers, scientists and theologians in the Western world by the 18th century and it was widely accepted that alien civilizations existed.
But something changed in the 19th century. That’s when you first start to see these reports of people seeing what they say were flying ships overhead. The things people describe back then sound a lot like the things they were familiar with – they literally saw ships and vessels that would normally float on the sea in flight. Some people would see steam-powered ships.
But it’s really not until the summer of 1947 that people began to regularly speak of seeing flying objects that some attributed to extraterrestrials.
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