Since the time of antiquity UFOs have been reported. The Roman historian Livy (59BC AD 17) documented many unusual things observed in the skies and most had occurred long before his time. The history of modern UFOs however has much less of a lineage and can be traced back to 1947.
In Washington State a veteran pilot, called Kenneth Arnold, witnessed nine gleaming discs swooping in and out of the peaks of the Cascade Mountains. He later described their behaviour as “saucers skipping across water " and thereafter the term flying saucer caught on. A second and less well publicised event took place in New Mexico in the same year.
A UFO was purported to have crashed near Roswell Army Air Filed during a violent thunderstorm. Roswell Army Air Field was home to the 509th and only atomic bomb squad in the world. Naturally because of the security risk authorities attempted to restrict information to the public. Hence forth conspiracy theories abound in connection to UFOs. Since then all manner of reports of celestial activity have been logged. Errors in perceptions are common place in UFO reports, potentially transforming an ordinary phenomenon into a mysterious or unidentified object. Aircraft lights, aurora, comets, flyers lenticular clouds, satellites, sun pillars, even reflections from curved glass has led extravagant claims. Even near death experience, temporal lobe epilepsy, energy fields which over excite the brain cortex and stimulate realistic illusionary images or hallucinations are also presented as feasible interpretation for alleged encounters.
With the exception of crop circles and conspiracy theories a more recent reported event has been alien abductions and implants. The sheer number of people now claiming abduction experiences covers a wide spectrum of society and geographic diversity. Abduction experiences detailing disturbing medical experiments has also increased proportionately.
Dr David Prichard (August 1995), a medical physician, has reported removing implants from the toes of several confessed abductees. So too did podiatrist Dr Roger Leir claim to have done the same under strict scientific conditions. He found implanted material in the feet of two women supposed to have been abducted by wee green men. What was particularly interesting was the apparent absence of tissue swelling surrounding the foreign bodies.
This is very unusual as anyone who has experienced a wooden or metal splinter lodged in their skin will testify. Analysis of the removed materials defied science, of course, albeit these were described as a glasslike material with a ceramic makeup. As to the purpose of the implants, this is a complete mystery but believers postulate they may act as tracking devices, or an implant designed to intensify psychological analysis.
As a podologist I can certainly sympathise with their choice of body part, namely the foot because it still holds many mysteries to us let alone our alien friends. Their interest may in fact have stemmed from Neil Armstrong's moon boots which were jettisoned into space, never to return to Earth. One cannot help wondering why. I am a little alarmed however at the reports surrounding abductees, Richard Price, who it is claimed by his doctor, had a foreign body removed from the end of his penis. This of course puts a completely different perspective on the one time catch phrase of Startrek, "Beam me up Scottie....."