UFO is the abbreviated name for Unidentified Flying Objects, which are also popularly referred to as Flying Saucers. The modern UFO era in America began in 1947 when pilot Kenneth Arnold spotted several flying objects as he flew over Mt. Rainier, Washington. He described the objects as looking like “saucers skipping over water,” hence the media term “flying saucer”.
As more and more sightings of these objects were reported, rumors of a UFO crash near Roswell, New Mexico (where the bodies of space aliens were also said to be recovered), touched off a number of conspiracy theories about a government coverup. That debate continues to persist to the present day.
The most popular theories as to the origins of UFOs include secret government aircraft, time travel, and of course that they are craft piloted by space aliens. Over the years, there have also been numerous reports of humans being abducted by UFOs. There are also several organizations devoted to UFO Research. These include the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), and the National UFO Reporting Center.
UFO is also the name of a popular seventies German hard rock band.