Alien sightings: Where have UFOs been spotted?
WHETHER or not you believe in extraterrestrial life, there have been reported UFO sightings all around the world, right back through history.
So where have these unidentified flying objects been spotted – and have any ever actually landed?
Where have there been alien sightings?
There have been sightings of unidentified objects across the world for mellennia.
Some have later been explained, but others remain a mystery.
For example, Chinese astronomers first spotted an unusual object in the sky in 240BC – but we now know this to have been Halley’s Comet.
The belief that these unidentified sightings represent alien ships only started in the middle of the 20th century.
1. Los Angeles, February 1942
In the early hours of February 25, 1942 , people described a large object “like a balloon” crawling through the sky over Los Angeles – while others reported several objects.
With the bombing of Pearl Harbour having taken place less than 12 weeks previously, American soldiers feared an airborne attack from the Japanese.
There was a full, city-wide blackout and shells were fired at the target for hours.
However, in the light of day, it appeared that there had been no attack – and no wreckage of a craft was ever found.
The bizarre event gave rise to all sorts of outlandish theories, with some insisting they had seen an alien spaceship looming in the sky.
The Japanese government continues to deny it was an attack from Japan, whilst the US government maintains it was a false alarm.
2. Mount Rainier/Mount Adams, Washington State, USA, June 1947
On June 24, 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold said he saw nine glowing blue objects travelling in a “V” formation in the sky over volcano Mount Rainier, in Washington State, USA.
Arnold said the objects were travelling at speeds of over 1,200mph (1,930kmph).
He described the flying objects as travelling like a “skimming saucer” – which is believed to be the origin of the term Flying Saucer.
However, the military said no aircraft were flying there that day.
Shortly after, similar sightings were reported near Mount Adams, also in Washington State, as well as in Idaho – but the American Government gave no explanation.
3. Roswell, New Mexico, USA, July 1947
The UFO “mystery” in Roswell, New Mexico, in July 1947, is today considered perhaps the most famous reported UFO sighting in the history of UFO sightings.
It began when ranch owner William “Mac” Brazel and his son Vernon found metallic rods, chunks of plastic, and unusual papery scraps on their ranch land.
The American government initially reported that the crashed object was simply a conventional weather balloon, and interest subsequently waned.
But in the late 1970s, keen ufologists began to put forward a host of increasingly elaborate conspiracy theories suggesting extraterrestrial life had crash-landed, and been covered up by the military.
It took until the 1990s for the American government to finally publish an in-depth report admitting that the debris was from a top-secret high-altitude balloon, carrying equipment designed to detect Russian nuclear activity.
But by then, the Roswell case had become the most famous, most thoroughly investigated, and most debunked UFO claim in the world.
4. Montgomery, Alabama, USA, July 1948
On July 24, 1948, two pilots of a commercial flight reported a large long craft flying close to them near Montgomery, Alabama.
They described windows along each side, a blue-ish glow and orange exhaust emissions, and said the craft sometimes flew much too close to them before disappearing suddenly.
At an airbase in Georgia several people had also seen a craft that had fit that description, half an hour before.
There were no commercial or military flights that could explain the sightings.
At first they were described as temperature inversions, and then as a meteor – but no conclusion was ever made.
5. Lubbock Lights, Texas, USA, August 1951
On August 25, 1951, in Lubbock, Texas, Professors W.I. Robinson and W.L. Ducker, as well as Dr. A.G. Oberg, saw a semi-circle of lights travelling at high speed above them.
Over the following few days many of their colleagues, as well as hundreds of others, reported seeing the same thing, and pictures were taken by Carl Hart Jr.
These sightings became known as the Lubbock Lights.
Project Bluebook, a study by the United States Air Force into UFO sightings, concluded they were luminescence from Lubbock’s new street lights reflected in birds, or in meteors or fragments of comet.
However, people who had seen the lights were unconvinced by this explanation.
6. Levelland, Texas, USA, November 1957
On the evening of November 2, 1957, dozens of people made independent reports of interference with their cars and other vehicles.
Engines and lights cut out apparently with no explanation, and they saw lights, some said rockets, in the sky.
These claims were confirmed by police, and Project Bluebook attempted to explain it away as an electrical storm – but no storms were reported in the area that night.
7. Tehran, Iran, September 1976
In the Iranian capital city of Tehran, on September 19, 1976, there were a number of reports of a bright light in the sky.
Two fighter jets sent to investigate both experienced interference which made their instruments useless.
The pilot of the second plane said the UFO released two glowing objects, one towards him and the other towards the ground.
A memo between Iran and the USA put the events down to visions of Jupiter and a meteor shower, and instrument failure on at least one of the jets.