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
1639 Brookline Massachusetts Sighting by James Everell, who witnessed a light in the sky darting back and forth before finally fading away.[1]
September 1865 Cadotte Pass Montana Sighting by trapper James Lumley of a craft and a subsequent crash, with descriptions of sulfur smells and descriptions of hieroglyphics.[2]
1896-1897 Multiple Multiple Mystery airships Alleged sightings of airship-like vehicles across the United States.
April 17, 1897 Aurora Texas Aurora, Texas, UFO incident Local residents alleged that an airship crashed here, with the dead alien pilot being subsequently buried in the local cemetery.
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 an alleged enemy attack, and subsequent anti-aircraft artillery barrage which took place from late February 24 to early February 25, 1942, over Los Angeles, California.[3][4] 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." 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.[5]
June 21, 1947 Maury Island Washington Maury Island incident The Maury Island incident happened on June 21, 1947. It was reported 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."[6]
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.[6]
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. The United States military maintains that what was recovered was a top-secret research balloon that had crashed, whereas many ufologists believe the wreckage was of a crashed alien craft. The incident has evolved into a recognized and referenced pop culture phenomenon.[7]
January 7, 1948 Maysville Kentucky Mantell UFO Incident The Mantell Incident involved 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 argued that the Mantell case marked a shift in both public and governmental perceptions of UFOs.[8]
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. The incident was investigated by the US Air Force's Project Sign.
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.[9]
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.[10]
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.
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 an aircraft plant.
July 13, 1952 Washington, D.C. 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. A July headline from the New York Times read: “flying objects near Washington spotted by both pilots and radar: Air Force reveals reports of something, perhaps ‘saucers,’ traveling slowly but jumping up and down.”[11]
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.
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.[12]
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.
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.
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 was reported in the Village Voice and other local media.[13][14][15]
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 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 8, 1994 Multiple Michigan 1994 Lake Michigan UFO event Over 100 witnesses reported five or six objects, cylindrically shaped or circles with blue, red, white and green lights across West Michigan.
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.[16]
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.
August 21, 2004 Chicago Illinois 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 reported by local media.[17]
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 5, 2009 Morristown New Jersey Morristown UFO On January 5, 2009, five unidentified red objects were seen over Morristown, New Jersey. 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."[18][19][20]
February 19, 2018 Desert Arizona According to the Federal Aviation Administration, three commercial pilots saw an unidentified object fly over them in open airspace above Arizona.[21][22] Investigators reported that the pilots mostly likely saw a "high-altitude research balloon".[23]
21 February 2021 Clayton New Mexico A pilot, at an altitude of 37,000 feet (11,278 m) reported seeing a long cylindrical object that almost looked like a "cruise missile type of thing" moving really fast right over the top of them according to published audio. American Airlines confirmed that the radio transmission came from flight 2292. FAA a few days later stated: "A pilot reported seeing an object over New Mexico shortly after noon local time on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. FAA air traffic controllers did not see any object in the area on their radarscopes".[24]
10 February 2023 Deadhorse Alaska 2023 Alaska high-altitude object A high-altitude object entered U.S. airspace on February 9 and was shot down over the Beaufort Sea by the U.S. Air Force. The Department of Defense said it was the size of a small car and flying northeast at approximately 40,000 feet (12,192 m), posing a risk to civilian flight.[25][26][27][28]
12 February 2023 Lake Huron Michigan 2023 Lake Huron high-altitude object An octagonal object with strings hanging from it was detected over northern Montana, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at 20,000 feet (6,096 m).

Airspace was temporarily closed in the Lake Huron area, where the object was shot down by the US Air Force and National Guard, falling into Canadian waters.[29][30][31][32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "UFO History". HowStuffWorks. January 30, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2023.
  2. ^ "1865: Trapper Reports Witnessing Crash of 'Compartmented Craft With Strange Hieroglyphics'". Think AboutIts. April 8, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2023.
  3. ^ Caughey, John; Caughey, LaRee (1977). Los Angeles: biography of a city. University of California Press. p. 364. ISBN 978-0-520-03410-5.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist9/aaf2.html San Francisco virtual museum article
  6. ^ a b Bader, Chris (1995). Strange Northwest. Hancock House Publishers Ltd. pp. 9–36. ISBN 0-88839-359-8.
  7. ^ Olmsted, Kathryn S. (2009). Chapter 6: Trust No One: Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories from the 1970s to the 1990s. Oxford University Press. pp. 173–204. ISBN 978-0-19-975395-6. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  8. ^ Jacobs, David Michael (1975). The UFO Controversy In America. Indiana University Press. p. 45. ISBN 0-253-19006-1.
  9. ^ Ruppelt, Edward J (1956). The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects. Doubleday & Company. ISBN 978-1374822009.
  10. ^ Denson, Bryan; Long, Jim. "1997 story: Fifty years of UFO, the truth is still out there". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  11. ^ Lewis-Kraus, Gideon (April 30, 2021). "How the Pentagon Started Taking U.F.O.s Seriously". The New Yorker.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ Hopkins, Budd (March 1, 1976). "Sane Citizen Sees UFO in New Jersey". The Village Voice. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Rose, Lisa (February 29, 2012). "Want to see a UFO? Try North Bergen". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  16. ^ Fife Symington (November 9, 2007). "Symington: I saw a UFO in the Arizona sky". CNN.
  17. ^ Dekker, Julie. "Remembering the 'Tinley Park lights'". Chicago Tribune. No. September 22, 2015. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  18. ^ "NJ Men Fined for UFO Hoax". LiveScience.com.
  19. ^ "The Great UFO Hoax of 2009". Archived from the original on March 28, 2010. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  20. ^ "How We Staged the Morristown UFO Hoax". eSkeptic. Skeptics Society. April 1, 2009. Retrieved April 16, 2009.
  21. ^ Donnelly, Grace. "Pilots from American Airlines and Learjet Spotted a UFO over Arizona in February". Fortune. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  22. ^ Fearnow, Benjamin. "FAA AUDIO: PERPLEXED PILOTS REPORT UFO SIGHTING ABOVE NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA DESERT". Tech & Science. Newsweek. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  23. ^ Nickell, Joe (2018). "UFO over Arizona Likely an IFO". Skeptical Inquirer. Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. 42 (4): 8–9.
  24. ^ "FAA Can't Explain Pilot's UFO Sighting Last Weekend Over New Mexico". Forbes. February 25, 2021. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  25. ^ Shalal, Andrea; Holland, Steve; Stewart, Phil; Stewart, Phil (February 11, 2023). "U.S. shoots down unidentified object flying above Alaska". Reuters. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  26. ^ "US shoots down unknown 'high-altitude object' over Alaska, White House says". ABC News. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  27. ^ Cooper, Helene; Barnes, Julian E.; Wong, Edward (February 10, 2023). "U.S. Shoots Down High-Altitude Object Over Alaska". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  28. ^ Aratani, Lauren (February 11, 2023). "Mystery surrounds what exactly was object US jet shot down over Alaska". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  29. ^ Britzky, Oren Liebermann, Kylie Atwood, Natasha Bertrand, Arlette Saenz, Phil Mattingly, Haley (February 12, 2023). "US fighter jet shoots down airborne object over Lake Huron on Sunday | CNN Politics". CNN. Retrieved February 15, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  30. ^ "'Octagonal' object shot down by military aircraft over Lake Huron, US officials confirm". ABC7 Chicago. February 12, 2023. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  31. ^ COLLEEN LONG, LOLITA C. BALDOR and ZEKE MILLER. "'Unidentified object' downed over Lake Huron 1st detected above Montana". Helena Independent Record. Associated Press. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  32. ^ "U.S. downs unidentified object over Lake Huron, third destroyed since Chinese spy balloon". POLITICO. Retrieved February 15, 2023.

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