HUMANS have been spying strange objects in the sky (and elsewhere) for thousands of years. To this day, many of them cannot be explained away by things that we already understand. In a universe that contains billions of galaxies (maybe more), could we possibly be all alone? Even if the arrival of life here on planet Earth came about through an almost impossible confluence of events, odds are that the same events could have played out elsewhere just due to the virtually unfathomable number of other Earth-like planets that are probably out there somewhere. Some UFO sightings are very easily debunked, while others leave many unanswered questions in their wake.
In many ways, this sighting is the one that started them all. It certainly was not the first sighting of something odd in the sky, but this particular sighting by private pilot Kenneth Arnold helped define how the public viewed the UFO phenomenon. Arnold helped to coin the phrase “flying saucer” when he observed that the objects he saw streaking through the sky moved like saucers skipping across the water. The press ran with it and the term “flying saucer” became part of the American lexicon.
2. Roswell, 1947
Indeed, 1947 was a watershed year for the UFO phenomenon. What Kenneth Arnold started in June of 1947 was eclipsed by events that unfolded during the first month of July. A UFO reportedly crashed near a ranch in Roswell, New Mexico. At first the US Army Air Force confirmed that a UFO had crashed and newspapers quickly spread the amazing news. The military then changed their story, claiming that it was actually debris from a weather balloon that fell that day in Roswell. Roswell is considered by most to be the single most well-known UFO incident in history.
3. Barney and Betty Hill, 1961
Returning from a trip to Canada, Barney and Betty Hill were traveling through New Hampshire when they spotted a strange light in the sky. Not far from the town of Woodstock, they decided to stop their car to get a better look at it. What happened next was not clear to the Hills at the time, but further investigation indicated that they may have been abducted by a UFO and were the subject of various tests performed by the occupants of the strange craft. Under hypnosis, both of them related a similar tale of being taken aboard the UFO and examined by “typical” grey aliens that have been reported by other alleged abductees.
4. The Kecksburg Incident, Pennsylvania, 1965
This incident holds a prominent place among the most talked-about UFO incidents in history, generating almost as much interest among enthusiasts as the Roswell incident. On December 5, 1965, a fireball or meteor-like object smashed into the ground in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. After state police were called to the scene to investigate, the military was soon alerted and responded to Kecksburg to take control of the situation. While the Air Force dismissed the whole thing as a meteor, other witnesses who reportedly arrived at the scene of the impact before police reported seeing a acorn-shaped object about 12 feet in height. There were also reports that a flat-bed truck was seen leaving the area with an object onboard that was covered with a tarp. Many believed that object was a UFO that was taken away by the military.
5. Iranian UFO Chase, 1976
After receiving reports of multiple strange craft above the Tehran, the Iranian Air Force launched a US-made F-4 fighter jet to investigate. As the pilot steered his aircraft in the direction of the UFO, he began to experience numerous problems with the aircraft’s electronics and communications systems. The pilot changed course and all of the aircraft’s systems returned to normal. At this time, a second F-4 was launched to aid in the investigation. After the second F-4 was able to maneuver its way close to the UFO the pilot could make out some detail of the craft which reportedly featured multi-colored flashing lights. When a smaller UFO was released from the craft, the pilot became concerned for his safety and armed his weapons system in preparation of launching an air-to-air missile at the UFO. The F-4’s weapons and communications systems mysteriously failed at that point and the pilot was forced to head back to base.
6. Rendlesham Forest UFO Landing, 1980
After being buzzed by strange craft for a number of nights during December, 1980, the jointly-operated US-UK military air bases at Bentwaters and Woodbridge in the UK were on alert. On December 27th, the strange craft came in for an encounter that was definitely more up-close-and-personal. Military personnel were dispatched to the Rendlesham forest after hearing reports of strange lights in the area. The security patrols were shocked to find a saucer-shaped craft hovering a short distance off the ground with “typical” grey aliens outside the craft who appeared to be working on it. Those brave enough to approach the craft reportedly experienced strange effect such as time displacement, “reality bending” phenomena and bizarre atmospheric anomalies.
7. Hudson Valley, New York Sightings, 1981
What made the Hudson Valley sightings remarkable was the sheer number of people who came forward claiming that they had seen UFOs during that time. Instead of the more typical “flying saucer” sightings, the Hudson Valley sightings showcased a relative newcomer to the UFO scene at the time: The triangle-shaped UFO. Reports indicated that these craft operated while making no sound whatsoever. Some of the flying triangles were reportedly so large that they were compared to a “floating city,” and one incident, even prompted dozens of motorists to pull to the side of the road to gaze in astonishment at the massive craft.
8. Japan Air Lines Flight 1628, 1986
To dismiss this incident as a natural phenomenon or weather-related event, one would have to believe that Captain Kenju Terauchi and his flight crew had lost their minds. On a flight originating in Paris and bound for Tokyo, the crew of the Boeing 747 cargo carrier were accompanied by more than one UFO as it transited the skies over Alaska. For almost an hour, the UFOs flew alongside the 747 and darted about as if gravity had no effect on them whatsoever. The crew contacted air traffic controllers who were not able to confirm the presence of the objects on radar. Captain Terauchi is about as qualified and credible as a witness could be, having served as a fighter pilot and logged more than 10,000 hours in flight.
9. Belgian Triangles, 1989
It became obvious fairly quickly that triangle-shaped UFOs were not exclusive to the United States. Similar to the Hudson Valley Sightings, the sightings in Belgium featured multiple reports of triangle-shaped craft operating silently in the skies. Reports were even made by police, and at least one sighting prompted the military to launch two US-made F-16 Fighter jets in an attempt to intercept the craft. The objects were also confirmed by radar operators and were captured on film by some alert residents during April of 1990.
10. The Phoenix Lights, 1997
Something happened in the skies over Phoenix, Arizona on the night of March 13, 1997, although there remains much disagreement about what it actually was. What appeared to be an enormous craft was seen silently gliding over the area and was observed by hundreds of witnesses. Estimates suggested that massive craft may have been a mile in length. Numerous videos and photos of the strange lights surfaced, but the craft itself was extremely difficult to see, although some witnesses reported that it blocked out all of the stars in the sky as it passed above them. One group of witnesses even described rows of windows on the craft with the silhouettes of occupants visible inside. The military explained the event by stating that the lights were simply flares that were dropped by warplanes conducting exercises in the area -- a claim dismissed by the majority of those who actually witnessed it.
In the spring of 1969 I was a young boy of 14 years of age living in southern Indiana on the edge of suburbia. On a warm afternoon, I was visiting a friend sitting on his porch across the road from where I lived when another friend (Steve) came running up yelling that he had just seen a “flying saucer.”
Even at 14 years of age, I remember that somehow I always had believed in life on other planets and “UFOs” ...But as Steve ran up, I just thought he was kidding us and kind of ignored him. That afternoon, the skies were blue, although I remember some clouds off to the west. Steve kept insisting that he had seen something and proceeded to pull me up out of the chair I was sitting in. I decided to go along with Steve thinking that he had probably seen a plane, hot air balloon or something similar.
Steve and I (my other friend stayed behind) moved rather quickly over to his front yard (a couple of houses away) and as we stood in his front yard (Steve had a large front yard with a good view of the sky) I still expected to see a plane or some sort of balloon...yet the blue sky was empty.
For some reason, we walked over to the next yard and just as we stepped out from underneath some trees, there in the sky was this golden white, disc-shaped craft... so low that I thought I could have hit it with a rock. I remember thinking... “it’s going to land, it’s going to land right on top of us. To this day, I can still remember how excited I was thinking -- here Steve and I were -- and one of the greatest events in human history was happening right over our heads.
My next memory is that somehow, all of a sudden, I realized that Steve and I were like encased in some sort of vacuum. The best way I can describe it is...it was as if the only things that existed in the world were Steve, myself and this craft. I also remember feeling paralyzed looking straight up at the bottom of this craft.
My very next memory is that all of a sudden, Steve and I found ourselves laying flat on our backs on the ground once again looking straight up at the bottom of this craft and within just a couple of seconds the disc-shaped craft shot straight up and disappeared through the clouds which when the encounter began was in the western part of the sky but was now somehow above us. I have no memory of how Steve and I got from the position from standing up with our heads tilted back looking at the bottom of the disc to laying on the ground or how much time went by.
I don’t have much memory of what Steve and I said to each other as the encounter ended but I do remember heading home thinking that since I lived on the edge of suburbia and it was broad daylight that thousands of people should have seen this object... but there was never a single report on TV, the radio or in the newspaper. Now, I know what your thinking...well it must have been a balloon, or an airplane or just some kind of weird reflection since there was no other reports and I have to admit if I had not had the encounter, I would believe just as you might be doing right now. But, over the years, I have heard of many other UFO encounters that should have been witnessed by many others, but was witnessed by only the immediate experiences.
I don’t recall Steve and I talking much about the encounter over the years and Steve eventually moved to Tennessee and I moved out west. I lost touch with Steve and did not hear from him for many years and then about five years ago, I decided to track him down and talk to him about our encounter. Now here is where it gets really strange... when I asked him about the encounter over the phone, he told me he didn’t know what I was talking about and had no memory of it at all. I was so shocked at those words I just didn’t know what to think...I even replayed the story for him while I had him on the phone and he still said he had no memory of the encounter whatsoever.
Since that time, I have spoken with a number of people about Steve’s denial and most people responded that it must have scared him so bad that he mentally blocked the whole thing from his mind. Unfortunately, Steve passed away a couple of years ago and now I have no other witness to our encounter but I can tell you this....
While the encounter may or may not have scared Steve out of his mind....for me, the encounter was one of the most life changing things to ever happen to me...even as a young boy of 14. The craft itself, while being perfectly smooth and disc-shaped was of such a golden white that to this day I can honestly say that it was by far one of the most beauty -- full things I have ever seen. But my friends, the biggest effect it had on my life and still does to this very day, is that it opened my eyes to the creative powers of God and set me on a spiritual path that will last me the rest of my life on Earth and perhaps beyond and I will always be grateful.
Please feel free to ask me any questions and I will do my best to answer them for you.
Mark Quire, Nederland, Colorado MUFON