Alleged sightings of UFO’s (unidentified flying objects) are almost as old as mankind itself. With the first reported UFO sightings dating back to as early as 1440 BC, it is not surprising that there have been hundreds – and possibly even thousands – of bizarre incidents in which people reported seeing, encountering, and sometimes even being abducted by UFO’s and aliens. Most of these UFO experiences were sooner or later proven to be fake, but there is still a disturbingly high number of those that have to give even a skeptic second thoughts. We ventured into this creepy world of bizarre UFO sightings to compile a list with some really weird UFO incidents. From the Flatwoods Monster to the Phoenix Lights, here are 25 UFO Experiences That Will Make You Wonder If We’re Not Alone.
Feature Image: Jonas Bengtsson via Flickr
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Foo Fighters were small metallic spheres and colorful balls of light that were repeatedly spotted and occasionally photographed worldwide by bomber crews during World War II. These UFO’s started to be reported from November 1944 onward, allegedly spotted on many occasions from around the world including the Indian Ocean, South Pacific, Europe’s mainland, etc.
Also known as the Scandinavian Ghost Rockets, the Ghost Rockets were rocket-shaped unidentified flying objects sighted in 1946, mostly in Sweden and nearby countries. About 2,000 sightings were reported between May and December 1946, with peaks on 9 and 11 August. Over 200 sightings were verified with radar returns, and authorities recovered physical fragments which were attributed to ghost rockets.
Kenneth Arnold UFO Sighting
The Kenneth Arnold UFO Sighting occurred on June 24, 1947, when private pilot Kenneth Arnold claimed that he saw a string of nine, shiny unidentified flying objects flying past Mount Rainier, Washington. This was the first post-war sighting in the US that garnered nationwide news coverage and is credited with being the first of the modern era of UFO sightings. Arnold’s description of the objects also led to the press quickly coining the terms flying saucer and flying disc as popular descriptive terms for UFOs.
Green fireballs are a type of UFO which have been sighted in the sky since the late 1940’s. Early sightings primarily occurred in the southwestern US, particularly in New Mexico. The fireballs were once of notable concern to the US government because they were often clustered around sensitive research and military installations, such as Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratory. The objects have been given natural, man-made and extraterrestrial origins and many ufologists consider them some of the best documented examples of UFO.
A widely publicized UFO incident, the Gorman UFO Dogfight occurred on October 1, 1948, in the skies over Fargo, North Dakota when George F. Gorman, a pilot with the North Dakota Air National Guard, encountered a mysterious ball of light. Gorman pursued the UFO for 27 minutes over Fargo but the object was very fast and it eventually passed out of Gorman’s visual range.
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Mariana UFO Incident
The Mariana UFO Incident occurred in August 1950 in Great Falls, Montana. In the incident, Nick Mariana, general manager of a local baseball team, took color film of two UFO’s flying over the town while inspecting the baseball field before a game. The film footage of the sighting is believed to be among the first ever taken of what came to be called an unidentified flying object and was investigated by the US Air Force.
The Lubbock Lights were an unusual formation of lights seen over the city of Lubbock, Texas in summer of 1951. The incident received national publicity and is regarded as one of the first great UFO cases in the US. The Lubbock Lights were investigated by the US Air Force, who said the incident was positively identified as a very commonplace and easily explainable natural phenomenon, but they refrained from providing any details regarding this explanation.
Also known as the Braxton County Monster or the Phantom of Flatwoods, the Flatwoods Monster is an entity reported to have been sighted in the town of Flatwoods, West Virginia on September 12, 1952. Various descriptions of the entity exist, but most describe it as being at least 7 ft (2.1 m) tall, with a black body and a dark, glowing face. After encountering the creature, several members of the group reported suffering from similar symptoms that might have been that of hysteria, which can be brought on by exposure to a traumatic or shocking event.
Antananarivo UFO Incident
The Antananarivo UFO Incident occurred on August 16, 1954 in Madagascar’s capital city, Antananarivo. In the incident, a green ball was seen in the sky and disappeared behind a hill. It reappeared a minute later and flew over the higher part of the city. When the object flew in front of them, some witnesses could see a lentil-shaped device with silvery metallic aspect enveloped in electric luminous gas.
The Kelly–Hopkinsville Encounter was a claimed close encounter with extraterrestrial beings in 1955 near Kelly and Hopkinsville in Kentucky. On August 21, 1955, five adults and seven children arrived at the Hopkinsville police station claiming that small alien creatures from a spaceship were attacking their farmhouse. The aliens were described as short, dark figures who repeatedly popped up at the doorway or peered into the windows. Ufologists regard it as one of the most significant and well-documented cases in the history of UFO incidents.
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Antonio Vilas Boas Abduction
One of the very first abduction claims, the Antonio Vilas Boas Abduction is alleged to have happened during the night of October 16, 1957 near Sao Francisco de Sales in Brazil. On that night, farmer Antonio Vilas Boas claimed to have been abducted and examined by humanoid aliens while working in the fields. Most skeptics today consider the abduction story to be a hoax, but Antonio reportedly stuck to his account throughout his entire life.
Dyatlov Pass Incident
The Dyatlov Pass Incident refers to mysterious deaths of nine experienced ski hikers in the Ural Mountains in today’s Russia on February 2, 1959. During the night, something made the hikers flee the campsite in heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures. Soviet investigators determined that six victims died from hypothermia, but others showed signs of physical trauma. One victim had a fractured skull, while another had brain damage but without any sign of distress to their skull. Additionally, a female team member had her tongue missing. The investigation concluded that an “unknown compelling force” had caused the deaths.
The Exeter incident was a highly publicized UFO sighting that occurred on September 3, 1965 south of Exeter, New Hampshire. Although several separate sightings had been made by numerous witnesses in the weeks leading up to September 3, the specific incident, eventually to become by far the most famous, involved a local teenager and two police officers who all saw a huge dark flying object with red flashing lights on it.
Westall UFO Encounter
The Westall UFO Encounter is an event that occurred in April 1966 in Melbourne, Australia. Around 11 AM on April 6, more than 200 students and teachers at two Victorian state schools allegedly witnessed an unidentified flying object described as a grey saucer-shaped craft which descended into a nearby open wild grass field.
Jimmy Carter UFO Incident
The Jimmy Carter UFO incident was an incident in which Jimmy Carter (US President 1977-1981) reported seeing an unidentified flying object while preparing his political speech at Leary, Georgia, in 1969. Carter described the object as being bright white, about as bright as the moon. The object was said to have changed color, first to blue, then to red, then back to white, before appearing to recede into the distance.
The Pascagoula Abduction is a purported UFO sighting and alien abduction alleged to have occurred in 1973 when co-workers Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker claimed they were abducted by aliens while fishing near Pascagoula, Mississippi. They claimed that they were “conscious but paralyzed” while three “creatures” took them aboard an oval-shaped object and subjected them to an examination before releasing them. The incident earned substantial mass media attention.
Tehran UFO Incident
The Tehran UFO Incident was a radar and visual sighting of UFO over Tehran, the capital of Iran, during the early morning hours of 19 September 1976. During the incident, two F-4 Phantom II jet interceptors reported losing instrumentation and communications as they approached, only to have them restored upon withdrawal. The Iranian generals involved in the incident claimed the object was extraterrestrial.
The Emilcin Abduction was a supposed alien abduction of farmer Jan Wolski in May 1978 in Emilcin, Eastern Poland. The farmer reported to have been abducted and medically examined by short, green-faced, humanoid entities speaking an unearthly language in a white, hovering, humming craft. A memorial was erected at the site, reading, “On 10 May 1978 in Emilcin, a UFO object landed. The truth will astonish us in the future.”
The Kaikoura Lights is a name given by the New Zealand media to a series of sightings that occurred in December 1978, over the skies above the Kaikoura mountain ranges in the northeast of New Zealand’s South Island. In this incident, crew of Safe Air Ltd cargo aircraft spotted strange lights that changed color and size. The pilots described some of the lights to be the size of a house and others small but flashing brilliantly.
Manises UFO Incident
The Manises UFO Incident took place on 11 November 1979 at the Manises’ Airport in Valencia, Spain. An aircraft with 109 passengers on board encountered a set of red lights that appeared to be on a collision course with the aircraft. The captain decided to change the altitude to avoid to collision but the lights mirrored the new course, forcing the captain to make an emergency landing. It was the first time in history when a commercial flight was forced to make an emergency landing because of a UFO.
Belgian UFO Wave
The Belgian UFO wave was a series of sightings of triangular UFOs in Belgium, which lasted from 29 November 1989 to April 1990. The Belgian UFO wave peaked with the events of the night of 30–31 March 1990 when unknown objects were tracked on radar, chased by two Belgian Air Force F-16s, massively photographed, and were sighted by an estimated 13,500 people on the ground – 2,600 of whom filed written statements describing in detail what they had seen.
The Sasolburg Sighting was a UFO incident that occurred on September 18, 1993 in Sasolburg, South Africa. On that day, local residents observed an unknown color-changing aircraft that was similar in appearance to a water droplet. With time, individual lights were distinguished, and the body was determined to be cigar-shaped.
Varginha UFO Incident
The Varginha UFO Incident refers to a series of events involving the alleged sighting and capture by the military of an extraterrestrial being in Varginha, Brazil, in 1996. The reports quickly gathered extensive media coverage in Brazil and also worldwide, but the Brazilian government officially denied any claims of being involved in the capture of Extraterrestrial Biological Entities. However, the incident is still considered the most famous case in modern Brazilian ufology.
One of the most famous UFO incidents in US history, the Phoenix Lights was a UFO sighting which occurred in Phoenix, Arizona, and Sonora, Mexico on Thursday, March 13th, 1997. Lights of varying descriptions were reported by thousands of people between 19:30 and 22:30 MST. Witnesses claimed to have observed a huge V-shaped, coherently-moving dark UFO producing no sound, and containing five spherical lights or possibly light-emitting engines.
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Chicago O'Hare UFO Sighting
The Chicago O’Hare UFO sighting occurred on November 7, 2006, when people at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport reported seeing a saucer or disc-shaped UFO. During the incident, a metallic, saucer-shaped craft was spotted hovering over Gate C-17 by a group of twelve airport employees. The object was visible for approximately five minutes before it shot through the clouds at high velocity, leaving a clear blue hole in the cloud layer.
Photos: 23. Stan Shebs via wikimedia commons, 21. Ron Reiring via Flickr, 19. Redraiderengineer via wikimedia commons, 18. Tim Bertelink via wikimedia commons, 17. Alex Dunkel via wikimedia commons, 16. Tim Bertelink via wikimedia commons, 13. John Phelan via wikimedia commons, 10. Christine Karim via wikimedia commons, 8. Lukke at Polish Wikipedia via wikimedia commons, 7. Kelly Perazzolo via flickr, 6. squidocto via wikimedia commons, 2. tonynetone via Flickr