UFO sightings in the United States

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This is a list of alleged UFO sightings in the United States.

Date City State Main article Description
February 24, 1942 Los Angeles California Battle of Los Angeles The "Battle of Los Angeles," also known as "The Great Los Angeles Air Raid," is the name given by contemporary sources to the fictional enemy attack, and subsequent anti-aircraft artillery barrage which took place from late February 24 to early February 25, 1942, over Los Angeles, California.[1][2] Initially, the target of the aerial barrage was thought to be an attacking force from Japan, but Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, speaking at a press conference shortly afterward, called the incident a "false alarm." A small number of modern-day UFOlogists say the targets were extraterrestrial spacecraft.[3] When documenting the incident in 1983, the US Office of Air Force History attributed the event to a case of "war nerves," likely triggered by a lost weather balloon, and exacerbated by stray flares and shell bursts from adjoining batteries.[4]
June 21, 1947 Maury Island Washington Maury Island incident The Maury Island incident is an early modern UFO encounter incident that happened on June 21, 1947. It allegedly took place shortly after the sighting of the original flying saucers by Kenneth Arnold. It is also one of the earliest reported instances of an alleged encounter with so-called "Men in black suits." Opinions remain divided regarding the case and whether it was genuine or a hoax.[5]
June 24, 1947 Maury Island Washington Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting On June 24, 1947, Arnold said he saw nine unusual objects flying in a chain near Mount Rainier, Washington while he was searching for a missing military aircraft in his CallAir A-2. He described the objects as almost blindingly bright when they reflected the sun's rays; their flight as "erratic" ("like the tail of a Chinese kite") and flying at "tremendous speed." Arnold's story was widely carried by the Associated Press and other news outlets, and is usually credited as the catalyst for modern UFO interest, though many less-publicized UFO incidents preceded it.[5]
July 7, 1947 Helena Montana On July 7, 1947, Vernon Baird, a pilot of a commercial photographic plane, was mapping the region between Helena and Yellowstone Park. Baird claimed that he was at 32,000 feet when he saw a flying disc. He took an evasive action and the disc appeared to split into two sections and lose altitude over the Tobacco Root Mountains of western Montana. Bozeman's base looked for the UFO on the ground but found nothing. The next day Baird's boss announced that the story was a hoax.[6][7]
July 1947 Roswell New Mexico Roswell UFO incident The Roswell UFO Incident involved the recovery of materials near Roswell, New Mexico, in early July 1947 which have since become the subject of intense speculation and research. There are widely divergent views on what actually happened, and passionate debate about what evidence can be believed. The United States military maintains that what was recovered was a top-secret research balloon that had crashed. However, many UFO proponents believe the wreckage was of a crashed alien craft and that the military covered up the craft's recovery. The incident has evolved into a recognized and referenced pop culture phenomenon, and for some, Roswell is synonymous with the term UFO, and likely ranks as the most famous alleged UFO incident.[8]
January 7, 1948 Maysville Kentucky Mantell UFO Incident The Mantell Incident is among the most publicised early UFO reports: the crash and death of 25-year-old Kentucky Air National Guard pilot, Captain Thomas F. Mantell, on January 7, 1948, while in pursuit of a UFO. Historian David Michael Jacobs argues that the Mantell case marked a sharp shift in both public and governmental perceptions of UFOs. Previously, mass media often treated UFO reports with a whimsical or glib attitude reserved for silly season news. Following Mantell's death, however, Jacobs notes "the fact that a person had dramatically died in an encounter with an alleged flying saucer dramatically increased public concern about the phenomenon. Now a dramatic new prospect entered thought about UFOs: they might be not only extraterrestrial but potentially hostile as well."[9]
July 24, 1948 Montgomery Alabama Chiles-Whitted UFO Encounter The Chiles-Whitted UFO Encounter is alleged to have occurred on July 24, 1948, when two American commercial pilots reported that their Douglas DC-3 had nearly collided with a strange torpedo shaped object flying near them. It was an important UFO sighting for several reasons: it was perhaps the first that occurred at close distance (allegedly within a few hundred feet); and it was reported by two very experienced pilots, Clarence Chiles and John Whitted. Both pilots had been decorated for their service as airmen during World War II, and both were regarded as valuable, respectable employees of Eastern Airlines. Chiles, in particular, was highly esteemed by his peers and by his employer. It was a pivotal case for the personnel of the US Air Force's Project Sign, and was a main reason they championed the extraterrestrial hypothesis as the best explanation for UFOs.[10]
October 1, 1948 Fargo North Dakota Gorman Dogfight The Gorman Dogfight is alleged to have occurred on October 1, 1948, when a US Air Force pilot sighted and pursued a UFO for 27 minutes over Fargo, North Dakota.[11]
May 11, 1950 McMinnville Oregon McMinnville UFO photographs The McMinnville UFO photographs were taken on a farm near McMinnville, Oregon on May 11, 1950, by Paul and Evelyn Trent.[12]
August 15, 1950 Great Falls Montana Mariana UFO incident The Mariana UFO incident occurred during the summer of 1950 in Great Falls, Montana. The event garnered national media attention, as the concept of UFOs and alien invasion was extremely popular amongst Americans at the time.
August 25, 1951 Lubbock Texas Lubbock Lights The Lubbock Lights were a v-shaped formation of lights seen over the town of Lubbock, Texas in August 1951.
July 24, 1952 Carson Sink Nevada Carson Sink UFO incident The Carson Sink Case was a famous UFO incident that occurred over the Carson Sink in western Nevada in the United States on July 24, 1952. The incident is considered especially noteworthy among UFO sightings because of the competency and reliability of the witnesses, two experienced command pilots of the United States Air Force.
May 24, 1952 Burbank California Orfeo Angelucci Beginning in the summer of 1952, according to Angelucci in his book The Secret of the Saucers (1955), he began to encounter flying saucers and their friendly human-appearing pilots during his drives home from the aircraft plant. These space people were superhumanly handsome, often transparent and highly religious. Eventually Angelucci was taken in an unmanned saucer to earth orbit, where he saw a giant "mother ship" drift past a porthole.
July 13, 1952 Washington, D.C. 1952 Washington D.C. UFO incident The 1952 Washington, D.C. UFO incident was a series of unidentified flying object reports from July 13 to 29, 1952, over Washington, D.C. This resulted in the implementation of the Robertson Panel, a CIA program to "reduce" interest in UFOs and to spy on UFO organizations.
September 12, 1952 Flatwoods West Virginia Flatwoods monster Six local boys and a local woman of Flatwoods, West Virginia reported sighting a UFO landing and later discovered a bizarre-looking creature near the site on September 12, 1952.
August 5, 1953 Bismarck North Dakota Ellsworth UFO sighting The Ellsworth Air Force Base UFO incident occurred on August 5 and 6, 1953 and was witnessed by nearly 45 people.[13]
November 23, 1953 Sault Ste. Marie Michigan Felix Moncla Felix Moncla, Jr. was a United States Air Force pilot who disappeared with 2nd Lt. Robert Wilson while pursuing an unidentified flying object over Lake Superior in 1953. The US Air Force reported that Moncla had crashed and that the "unknown" object was a misidentified Canadian Air Force airplane, but the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) disputed this claim, reporting that none of their craft were near the area in question.[14]
November 2, 1957 Levelland Texas Levelland UFO case The Levelland UFO case occurred on November 2–3, 1957, in the small town of Levelland, Texas. Levelland, which in 1957 had a population of about 10,000, is located west of Lubbock on the flat prairie of the Texas panhandle. The case is considered to be one of the most impressive in UFO history, mainly because of the large number of witnesses involved over a relatively short period of time.
September 19, 1961 Lancaster New Hampshire Betty and Barney Hill abduction Betty and Barney Hill claimed to have been abducted by extraterrestrials on September 19–20, 1961. Their story, commonly called the Hill Abduction and occasionally the Zeta Reticuli Incident, was the first widely publicized UFO abduction report.
April 24, 1964 Socorro New Mexico Lonnie Zamora incident Lonnie Zamora was a New Mexico police officer who reported a UFO close encounter on Friday, April 24, 1964, near Socorro, New Mexico.
September 3, 1965 Exeter New Hampshire Exeter incident The Exeter incident of Exeter, New Hampshire occurred on September 3, 1965. A UFO the size of a barn was seen as close as 500 feet away by a teenager and two police officers.
December 9, 1965 Kecksburg Pennsylvania Kecksburg UFO incident The Kecksburg UFO incident of Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, occurred on December 9, 1965. A large, brilliant fireball was seen by thousands in at least six states and Ontario, Canada. It streaked over the Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario area, dropped reported metal debris over Michigan and northern Ohio, and caused sonic booms in western Pennsylvania. It was generally assumed and reported by the press to be a meteor
April 17, 1966 Akron Ohio Portage County UFO chase The so-called Portage County UFO Chase was an unidentified flying object encounter that began in Portage County, Ohio on the morning of April 17, 1966, when police officers Dale Spaur and Wilbur Neff observed a metallic, disc shaped object flying in the skies. They pursued the object for about half an hour, ending up in Pennsylvania before losing sight of the UFO. Several other police officers became involved in the chase, and several civilians reported witnessing the same, or a similar object in about the same area, during this time.[15]
1969 Leary Georgia Jimmy Carter UFO incident Jimmy Carter claimed that he had seen a UFO in 1969. In 1973, while Governor of Georgia, he filed a report with the International UFO Bureau in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
October 11, 1973 Pascagoula Mississippi Pascagoula Abduction The abduction of Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker, also known as the Pascagoula Abduction is, after the Hill Abduction, among the best-known cases of reports of alien abduction.
January 12, 1975 North Bergen New Jersey Stonehenge incident Occurred in the North Hudson Park near the Stonehenge apartment building in North Bergen, New Jersey as has been reported in the Village Voice by Budd Hopkins and investigated by the Center for UFO Studies and is the subject of the book Missing Time.[16][17][18][19][20]
November 5, 1975 Snowflake Arizona Travis Walton Travis Walton claims to have been abducted by a UFO on November 5, 1975, while working on a logging crew in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Walton could not be found, but reappeared after five days of intensive searches.
August 20, 1976 Allagash Maine Allagash Abductions The Allagash Abduction is an incident that occurred on August 20, 1976, when four men, Jim Weiner, his twin brother Jack, Chuck Rak and their guide, Charlie Foltz, all in their early-twenties, ventured on a camping trip into the Allagash wilderness of Maine.
August 27, 1979 Stephen Minnesota Val Johnson Incident At 1:40 a.m. in August 1979, in Marshall County, Minnesota, Deputy Sheriff Val Johnson was on duty and driving close to the North Dakota border when his patrol car was struck by a blinding ball of light. Johnson was knocked unconscious, and his patrol car was damaged.
December 29, 1980 Dayton Texas Cash-Landrum incident The Cash-Landrum Incident was a reported UFO sighting in 1980, after which witnesses claimed damage to their health. It is one of very few UFO cases to result in civil court proceedings. It might be classified as a Close Encounter of the Second Kind, due to its reported physical effects on the witnesses and their automobile.
November 11, 1987 Gulf Breeze Florida Gulf Breeze UFO incident The Gulf Breeze UFO incident occurred on November 11, 1987, in Gulf Breeze, Florida.
March 13, 1997 Phoenix Arizona Phoenix Lights The Phoenix Lights, sometimes referred to as "The Lights Over Phoenix", is the popular name given to a series of optical phenomena that took place in the sky over the US states of Arizona and Nevada on March 13, 1997. Lights of varying descriptions were seen by thousands of people between 19:30 and 22:30 MST, in a space of about 300 miles, from the Nevada line, through Phoenix, to the edge of Tucson. UFO proponents claimed they were part of aircraft unknown to man, while the USAF identified them as flares dropped by A-10 Warthog aircraft which were on training exercises. In 2007, former Arizona governor Fife Symington came forward and admitted that he had seen "a massive, delta-shaped craft silently navigate over Squaw Peak" in 1997.[21]
January 5, 2000 Highland Illinois Black Triangle (UFO) The "St. Clair Triangle", "UFO Over Illinois", "Southern Illinois UFO", or "Highland, Illinois UFO" sighting occurred on January 5, 2000 over the towns of Highland, Dupo, Lebanon, Summerfield, Millstadt, and O'Fallon, Illinois, beginning shortly after 4:00 am. Five on-duty Illinois police officers in separate locales, along with various other witnesses, sighted and reported a massive, silent, triangular aircraft operating at an unusual range of near-hover to incredible high speed at treetop altitudes. The incident was examined in an ABC Special "Seeing is Believing" by Peter Jennings, an hour-long special "UFOs Over Illinois", produced by Discovery Channel, a Sci Fi Channel special entitled "Proof Positive" as well as a 28-minute independent documentary titled "The Edge of Reality: Illinois UFO, January 5, 2000" by Darryl Barker Productions, St. Louis, Missouri.
August 21, 2004 Chicago Illinois Tinley Park Lights A triangular formation of reddish lights were seen at low to intermediate altitude by hundreds of witnesses, on three separate occasions in late 2004 and early 2005, producing multiple videos, photos, and mainstream local news coverage over two suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. The object(s) maneuvered slowly within a busy airspace near O'Hare International Airport. The incident was investigated by MUFON, and reported widely in metropolitan media.[22]
November 7, 2006 Chicago Illinois Chicago O'Hare UFO sighting 2006 At approximately 4:30 p.m on November 7, 2006, federal authorities at Chicago O'Hare International Airport received a report that a group of twelve airport employees were witnessing a metallic, saucer-shaped craft hovering over gate C-17.
January 19, 2007 Van Buren Arkansas Wikinews-logo.svg US air force colonel claims he spotted UFOs over Arkansas at Wikinews Brian Fields, a retired United States Air Force Colonel, spots what he claims are two UFOs hovering over his home in Van Buren, Arkansas.
January 26, 2007 Charlotte North Carolina Wikinews-logo.svg Locals and officer claim to have seen a UFO in Charlotte, North Carolina at Wikinews A turquoise-colored UFO was reported by locals and an officer in and around Charlotte, North Carolina.
January 29, 2007 Honolulu Hawaii Wikinews-logo.svg Locals claim to have seen a UFO in Honolulu, Hawaii at Wikinews Locals said they saw UFOs in the sky over Honolulu, Hawaii at 6:20 p.m. The KHON-TV 2 television station was able to catch the objects in the sky using their SkyCam. The National Weather Service said that no objects appeared on their radar at the time the objects were witnessed. The Federal Aviation Administration said that they also did not pick up anything unusual on their radars.
January 8, 2008 Stephenville Texas Wikinews-logo.svg UFO sightings reported in Texas town at Wikinews On January 8, 2008, more than 30 residents of Stephenville, Texas reported seeing a large object described as being about a mile long and a half-mile wide with bright lights being chased by what appeared to be fighter jets. The Air Force claims they had no aircraft in the area at the time of the sightings and says the objects may have been an illusion caused by two commercial airplanes. One resident described the object as "an arch shape converted in a vertical shape, and then it split and made two of them, and then these turned into just fire and it was gone."
January 5, 2009 Morristown New Jersey Morristown UFO On January 5, 2009, five unidentified red objects were seen over Morristown, New Jersey. Major and local news networks covered the story and internet websites including the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) posted information about the incident. On April 1, 2009, Joe Rudy and Chris Russo admitted it was a hoax and came forward with video evidence proving they were the perpetrators, saying they wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to fool the so-called UFO "experts."[23][24][25]
August 20, 2014 Houston Texas 2014 Texas UFO sightings Lights were seen, photographed and videoed in the sky over Houston. Photos of a circular object were also posted on Twitter. Dr. Carolyn Sumners, The Vice President of astronomy at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, said they are researching these sightings.[26]
February 19, 2018 Desert Arizona 2018 Arizona UFO sightings According to the Federal Aviation Administration, three commercial pilots saw an unidentified object fly over them in open airspace above Arizona.[27] The pilots of a Phoenix Air Learjet 36, an Airbus A321 and American Airlines Flight 1095 radioed-in the sightings minutes from each other. The air traffic controller was unable to verify that any other aircraft in the area at the time, according to the FAA. The odd sightings began around 3:30pm as the Albuquerque Air Traffic Center received reports from several eastbound aircraft that something passed over them at an altitude of 40,000 feet. This incident happened just 500 miles away from historic Roswell, New Mexico.[28] Investigator Joe Nickell researched this sighting and conferred with a former Special Operations pilot James McGaha. They concluded that the shiny object "was relatively stationary" and that a "very bright light source ... during the daytime, it is most likely a reflection of sunlight off an object. After noting the time, and place they concluded that what the pilots saw was mostly likely a "high-altitude research balloon".[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Caughey, John; Caughey, LaRee (1977). Los Angeles: biography of a city. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03410-5.
  2. ^ Farley, John E. (1998). Earthquake fears, predictions, and preparations in mid-America. Southern Illinois University Press. ISBN 978-0-8093-2201-5. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  3. ^ Documents Dated Prior to 1948 The Majestic Documents
  4. ^ http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist9/aaf2.html San Francisco virtual museum article
  5. ^ a b Bader, Chris (1995). Strange Northwest. Hancock House Publishers Ltd. pp. 9–36. ISBN 0-88839-359-8.
  6. ^ "The Onslaught". rr0.org.
  7. ^ "The Month It Rained Flying Saucers". recollectionbooks.com. Archived from the original on October 31, 2011.
  8. ^ Olmsted, Kathryn S. (2009). Chapter 6: Trust No One: Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories from the 1970s to the 1990s. Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11. Oxford University Press. pp. 173–204. ISBN 978-0-19-975395-6.
  9. ^ Jacobs, David Michael (1975). The UFO Controversy In America. Indiana University Press. p. 45. ISBN 0-253-19006-1.
  10. ^ Clark, Jerome. Strange Skies: Pilot Encounters With Ufos. Citadel. pp. 75–81. ISBN 978-0806522999. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  11. ^ Ruppelt, Edward J (1956). The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects. Doubleday & Company. ISBN 978-1374822009.
  12. ^ Denson, Bryan; Long, Jim. "1997 story: Fifty years of UFO, the truth is still out there". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  13. ^ Emenegger Robert, UFO's Past, Present & Future, Ballantine Books, Fifth Printing, July 1978, Pages 52 & 53.
  14. ^ "National UFO Reporting Center Historical Case Brief November 23, 1953 - Over Lake Superior Disappearance of Lt. Felix E. Moncla". National UFO Reporting Center. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  15. ^ Abbasi, Jennifer. "The Search for Alien Life Is On". Popular Science. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  16. ^ Bloecher, Ted (April 30, 1976). "The "Stonehenge" Incidents of January 1975" (PDF). Center for UFO Studies. Retrieved June 6, 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  17. ^ Hopkins, Budd (March 1, 1976). "Sane Citizen Sees UFO in New Jersey". The Village Voice. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  18. ^ Hague, Jim (December 18, 2007). "Still the champ in UFO sightings Since 1975, North Bergen had most reports in USA". Hudson Reporter. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  19. ^ Rose, Lisa (February 29, 2012). "Want to see a UFO? Try North Bergen". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  20. ^ Hopkins, Budd (1988), Missing Time, Random House, ISBN 978-0-345-35335-1
  21. ^ Fife Symington (November 9, 2007). "Symington: I saw a UFO in the Arizona sky". CNN.
  22. ^ Dekker, Julie. "Remembering the 'Tinley Park lights'". Chicago Tribune (September 22, 2015). Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  23. ^ "NJ Men Fined for UFO Hoax". LiveScience.com.
  24. ^ "The Great UFO Hoax of 2009". Archived from the original on March 28, 2010. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  25. ^ "How We Staged the Morristown UFO Hoax". eSkeptic. Skeptics Society. April 1, 2009. Retrieved April 16, 2009.
  26. ^ "Multiple photos and videos of a UFO activity above Houston, Texas". Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  27. ^ Donnelly, Grace. "Pilots from American Airlines and Learjet Spotted a UFO over Arizona in February". Fortune. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  28. ^ Fearnow, Benjamin. "FAA AUDIO: PERPLEXED PILOTS REPORT UFO SIGHTING ABOVE NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA DESERT". Tech & Science. Newsweek. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  29. ^ Nickell, Joe (2018). "UFO over Arizona Likely an IFO". Skeptical Inquirer. Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. 42 (4): 8–9.

External links[edit]

UFO sightings in the United States at Curlie