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July 2 is World UFO Day and if there is one phenomenon on which opinions are divided, it is whether UFOs and/or extraterrestrial life exist. Today I'm sharing 5 fun UFO-related facts to celebrate this special day.

1 - The band name of Foo Fighters is taken from UFOs

When I say Foo Fighters, you probably immediately think of the rock band with frontman Dave Grohl. But did you know that the band name has its origins in UFO history? 'Foo Fighter' was a term used by the US Air Force during World War II. The term referred to unexplained phenomena and strange flying objects, before the term UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) was coined for those phenomena. Dave Grohl recently said he went through a "UFO phase" while coming up with the band's name.

2 - The term 'flying saucer' was an accident

Another term often used for UFO is 'flying saucer' or 'flying saucer' in English. And although this name is now very common, it was created by a misunderstanding. How? Amateur pilot Kenneth Arnold flew near Mount Rainier in 1947. He was looking for a plane wreck when he sighted a UFO and reported it via radio. He described the movements the object made as 'what it would look like if you took a saucer and threw it over the water'. The person on the other end took that to mean that the objects themselves looked like saucers. Voilà: the term 'flying saucer' was born.

3 - Many celebrities believe in extraterrestrial life

Ask the average American celebrity if they believe in UFOs and aliens and many will say yes. Miley Cyrus, January Jones, Post Malone and Russell Crowe, among others, claim to have once seen a UFO. Former Blink-182 member Tom DeLonge is so convinced of the existence of extraterrestrial life that he has set up a separate platform (To The Stars) on which he and various enthusiasts try to unravel the mystery surrounding extraterrestrial life.

4 - UFOs already appeared in 14th century painting

UFO art

Anyone who thinks that speculation about UFOs and extraterrestrial life is a thing of recent history is wrong. Did you know that UFOs were depicted in painting as early as the 14th century? In the painting below by Carlo Crivelli, an Unidentified Flying Object is clearly visible in the sky. And this is not the only painting in which such an object appears; They can also be seen in works by Saint Giovannino and Aert de Gelde, among others.

5 - Scientists made a mix tape for Aliens

Do you remember? In the '80s or '90s, if you wanted to show someone who you were, you made them a mixtape of all your favorite music. Scientists did exactly that about 40 years ago; they made a mixtape for aliens! NASA space probes Voyager 1 and 2 both had a copper gramophone record on board with sounds from Earth. Think of nature sounds such as thunder, wind and rain, greetings from Earth in 55 languages, whale sounds and of course… music! Our alien friends heard songs by Bach, Chuck Berry and Louis Armstrong, among others.

I conclude with a personal extraterrestrial fact, because during my training as a graphic designer I learned a nice word 'Aliens'. For my English class, I was assigned to write an email exchange with a classmate about a graphics project. This classmate and I consistently ended every email with the term 'Greetings'. We received the assignment back from the teacher with a nice grade and the comment 'Only aliens say Greetings'.

Greetings to UFOs

So if they show up at my door today, I will at least know how to greet them kindly ;)

Vera Bertens

The author: Vera Bertens

Vera Bertens is the creative heart and brain behind it Franje Design, which she founded in 2009. In addition to her wonderful world full of sweet and funny creatures, she also illustrates and designs on commission from her studio in Tilburg. We love her work and invite you to discover this Dutch gem for yourself. Vera's blog posts >

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