Monday, April 14, 2014

Famous 1950 UFO photo taken by
Paul Tent over Sheridan Oregon

Nearly 64 years have passed since Evelyn Trent yelled for her husband, Paul, to get their Kodak Roamer, which he used to photograph what appeared to be a large metal disc in the sky over the family’s farm near Sheridan, Ore.

The pictures landed in news publications across the country including LIFE magazine and over the years has been studied by scientists, United States military and government officials.

And while the photos have been praised by some for capturing an unidentified flying object, as well as scrutinized by others who tried to discredit their authenticity, folks continue to examine the Trent case.

How UFO reports are studied, however, could be enhanced with a new virtual experience being developed by a York County man.

“We’re trying to nail the mythology of ufology,” said Don Goddard, a video game builder for over 20 years who once worked for Sega and in 2009 founded UFO Studios in Hopewell Township.

Goddard, a self-described paranormal junkie, is working on a game that would allow the user to encounter a UFO from a variety of viewpoints, including through the eyes of an alien inside the craft.

“I’ve grown up with UFO books and research,” he said. “There are just so many stories.”

He said his game would build on actual reports such as the Trent case, alleged UFO abduction of Travis Walton in 1975, or the time in 2006 when Chicago’s O’Hare Airport was shut down after employees reported seeing a metallic, saucer-shaped object in the sky.

“I want to see the person’s perspective (or) the skeptic’s point of view,” Goddard said and added his plan would be unique and give the player a chance to be an alien. “The idea is very much like ‘Close Encounters (of the Third Kind)’ and based on experiences,” he said. “The entire game is revealing … It’ll answer a lot of questions for you.”

Last year, Goddard created a Kickstarter fundraiser for the game, which he titled “Revelation.” He ended that effort, however, so the game can be further developed before he attempts to market it again next year.

He said many folks want more knowledge regarding the possibility of alien space craft. “There’s definitely a big audience for it out there,” Goddard said.

Indeed. Over the last few months, extraterrestrial life has been the subject of talks and reports in York County and beyond.

The National UFO Reporting Center’s website lists submitted reports of unexplained objects including “circular lights in eastern sky at night” in Stewartstown earlier this year, as well as a “bright object in sky, almost boomerang in shape,” over Felton in December.

Todd Ullery, planetarium director, York Learning Center Planetarium, York County Astronomical Society, says there’s probably an explanation for many of the sightings folks claim to be of UFOs.

“Just because someone doesn’t identify it, doesn’t mean it’s not identifiable,” he said.