Editor’s note: Answer Line was on assignment this week. Look for new questions and answers to return soon. In the meantime, enjoy some of these questions from past columns.
QUESTION: Somebody told me there were UFOs or something over the Atlantic on Dec. 21 (2017), that they actually had films of them. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I haven’t read anything about it in the newspaper or in the news. If you could, elaborate on this?
ANSWER: You’re making journalists blush — going and doing something like not believing random rumors and trusting the newspaper to tell you the real story. It’s nice to hear someone acknowledge the truth is out there, and by out there, I mean in a newspaper somewhere. But I digress ...
Yes. There is some truth to what you heard. I don’t remember which publication I first read this in, but here’s the gist of what’s been reported by legitimate news sources:
It turns out the Department of Defense had a very “X-Files” kind of operation going on for a while. (If there were an actual Fox Mulder and Dana Scully working there, I could die happy.)
The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program operated from 2007 to 2012. (One news report I found said some people who worked in the program continue to investigate incidents while working in other jobs within the department.)
In December, the Defense Department released two videos of encounters between U.S. Navy planes and unidentified aircraft. Here’s a part of one Washington Post column I found on the subject, by Christopher Mellon, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence:
“In December, the Defense Department declassified two videos documenting encounters between U.S. Navy F-18 fighters and unidentified aircraft. The first video captures multiple pilots observing and discussing a strange, hovering, egg-shaped craft, apparently one of a ‘fleet’ of such objects, according to cockpit audio. The second shows a similar incident involving an F-18 attached to the USS Nimitz carrier battle group in 2004.
“The videos, along with observations by pilots and radar operators, appear to provide evidence of the existence of aircraft far superior to anything possessed by the United States or its allies. Defense department officials who analyze the relevant intelligence confirm more than a dozen such incidents off the East Coast alone since 2015. In another recent case, the Air Force launched F-15 fighters last October in a failed attempt to intercept an unidentified high-speed aircraft looping over the Pacific Northwest.”
If you have access to the internet, you should do a search to watch the videos. It’s pretty awesome stuff, although we can’t say for sure what it is.
Q: I can never remember which way my ceiling fans are supposed to turn. When the air conditioning is on are our ceiling fans supposed to rotate clockwise or counterclockwise?
A: During the summer, your ceiling fans should rotate counter-clockwise and during the winter they should spin clockwise. That’s the direction I found from the Environmental Protection Agency and several fan manufacturers.
“In the summer, use the ceiling fan in the counterclockwise direction. While standing directly under the ceiling fan you should feel a cool breeze. The airflow produced creates a wind-chill effect, making you ‘feel’ cooler,” the EPA’s website says. “In the winter, reverse the motor and operate the ceiling fan at low speed in the clockwise direction. This produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space. Remember to adjust your thermostat when using your ceiling fan — additional energy and dollar savings could be realized with this simple step.”
(Check for a switch to change the fan’s direction on the motor housing.)