Americana: Encounter Therapy

The Center for UFO Studies in Evanston, Ill., normally gets 50 letters a day about sightings of "glowing lights" and such in the sky, but since mid-December the average has been nearly 800. At the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., calls from UFO sighters increased from fewer than half a dozen to as many as 18 a day during the past month. The obvious cause: fallout from the sci-fi smash Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

In the Northeast many of the reports have been triggered by glowing appearances of Jupiter,...

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