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If you listen to the Air Force tell it, there are simply no such things as UFOs. A two-decade investigation called Project Blue Book determined in 1969 that no extraterrestial life has made contact with Earth. And no unexplained aerial phenomena have exceeded humanity's scientific grasp, let alone threatened national security.

That has not been enough for dedicated UFOlogists. In September, a group of Air Force missile officers contended that aliens had temporarily taken control of their nukes.

The "do they or don't they exist" debate won't be settled until someone from far away asks to be taken to our leaders. And the controversy makes it easy to forget that a UFO isn't actually a ship full of little green men. It's a placeholder for a puzzle the mind can't solve. So, it's also easy to forget that, much like the Insane Clown Posse observed about miracles, UFOs are all around us.

From weird drones to cheeky satellites to things that manifest themselves to the naked eye as little more than plumes of smoke, the skies can be a mysterious, congested place. Here, we take a look at the most striking curiosities of aviation, both foreign and domestic, including actual flying saucers.

That's the trouble with aliens: the misdirection. You spend too much time tracking down intergalactic visitors and you'll miss the oddities that humans invented for getting around our home planet.

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