List of reported UFO sightings

This is a partial list by date of sightings of alleged unidentified flying objects (UFOs), including reports of close encounters and abductions.

Second millennium BCEEdit

Date Name City, State Country Description Sources
ca. 1440 BC Fiery disks Lower Egypt Ancient Egypt According to the disputed Tulli Papyrus, the scribes of the pharaoh Thutmose III reported that "fiery disks" were encountered floating over the skies. The Condon Committee disputed the legitimacy of the Tulli Papyrus stating, "Tulli was taken in and that the papyrus is a fake."[1] [2][3]

Classical antiquityEdit

Date Name City, State Country Description Sources
218 BC ships in the sky Rome, Italy Roman Republic Livy records a number of portents in the winter of this year, including navium speciem de caelo adfulsisse ("phantom ships had been seen gleaming in the sky"). Livy's Ab Urbe Condita Libri[4][5]
76 BC spark from a falling star unknown Roman Republic According to Pliny the Elder, a spark fell from a star and grew as it descended until it appeared to be the size of the Moon. It then ascended back up to the heavens and was transformed into a light. [6][5]
74 BC flame-like pithoi from the sky Phrygia, Asia Roman Republic According to Plutarch, a Roman army commanded by Lucullus was about to begin a battle with Mithridates VI of Pontus when "all on a sudden, the sky burst asunder, and a huge, flame-like body was seen to fall between the two armies. In shape, it was most like a wine-jar, and in colour, like molten silver." Plutarch reports the shape of the object as like a wine-jar (pithos). The apparently silvery object was reported by both armies. [7][5]
65 AD sky army Judea Roman Empire Romano-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus reported chariots "hurtling through the clouds" prior to the First Jewish–Roman War. Joseph via Richard Stothers[8]
196 AD angel hair Rome Roman Empire Historian Cassius Dio described "A fine rain resembling silver descended from a clear sky upon the Forum of Augustus." He used some of the material to plate some of his bronze coins, but by the fourth day afterwards, the silvery coating was gone. [5]

8th centuryEdit

Date Name City, State Country Description Sources
740s ships in the sky unknown Ireland Several sets of Irish annals, those of Ulster, Tigernach, Clonmacnoise, and the Four Masters, all have entries to the effect that "ships with their crews were seen in the air". [9]

16th–17th centuriesEdit

Date Name City, State Country Description Sources
1561-04-14 1561 celestial phenomenon over Nuremberg Nuremberg Holy Roman Empire Residents of Nuremberg saw what they described as an aerial battle, followed by the appearance of a large black triangular object and then a large crash outside of the city. The broadsheet claims that witnesses observed hundreds of spheres, cylinders and other odd-shaped objects that moved erratically overhead. [10]
1566-08-07 1566 celestial phenomenon over Basel Basel Switzerland A broadsheet published in 1566 depicted numerous spherical objects appearing out of the sun. This event is depicted in a 16th-century woodcut by Samuel Coccius (Samuel Koch) and Samuel Apiarius. [10]
1609-09-22 Gwanghaegun period UFO Turmoil Gangwon Province Joseon (Korea) On September 22, 1609, multiple witnesses reported seeing UFOs in Goseong, Wonju Gangneung at 사시 (9am-11am), Chuncheon County at 오시 (11am-1pm) and Yangyang County at 미시 (1pm-3pm). It looked like a Halo or washbowl and was divided in two. Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty


19th centuryEdit

Date Name City, State Country Description Sources
1803-02-22 or 03-24 Utsuro-bune at Haratono-hama Eastern shore Japan On February 22 (or March 24) in 1803, local fishermen reportedly saw a vessel drifting in close by waters. They say when they investigated it, "a beautiful young woman" they described as having red and white hair and dressed in strange clothes appeared. The fishermen claim that she held a square box "that no one was allowed to touch" and she spoke to them in a language they never heard before. Some UFO believers think that this story was a credible document of a close encounter of the third kind in Japan. Historians and ethnologists consider it folklore. [12][13]
1883-08-12 José Bonilla Observation Zacatecas Observatory, Zacatecas Mexico On August 12, 1883, the astronomer José Bonilla reported that he saw more than 300 dark, unidentified objects crossing the sun disk while observing sunspot activity at Zacatecas Observatory in Mexico. He was able to take several photographs, exposing wet plates at 1/100 second. It was subsequently determined that the objects were high-flying geese. [14]
1896–1897 Mystery airships United States Numerous reports of UFO sightings and attempted abductions that took place around the United States in a 2-year period. [15]
1897-04-17 Aurora, Texas, UFO incident Aurora, Texas United States A tale of a UFO crash and a burial of its alien pilot in the local cemetery was sent to newspapers in Dallas and Fort Worth in April 1897 by local correspondent S.E. Hayden. [16][17]

20th centuryEdit


Date Name City, State Country Description Sources
1909 Mystery airships Otago New Zealand Strange moving lights and some solid bodies in the sky were seen around Otago and elsewhere in New Zealand, and were reported to newspapers. [18][19]
Miracle of the Sun Fátima, Santarém District Portugal Thousands of people observed the sun gyrate and descend. This was later reinterpreted by Jacques Vallée, Joaquim Fernandes and Fina d'Armada as a possible UFO sighting, but not recognized as such due to cultural differences. [20][21][22]
1940s Foo fighters Over World War II theaters Small metallic spheres and colorful balls of light repeatedly spotted and occasionally photographed worldwide by bomber crews during World War II. [23]
1942-02-24 Battle of Los Angeles Los Angeles, California United States Unidentified aerial objects trigger the firing of thousands of anti-aircraft rounds and raise the wartime alert status. [24]
1946 The Ghost Rockets Mostly in Scandinavia, but also other European countries Numerous UFO sightings were reported over Scandinavia, causing the Swedish Defense Staff to express concern. [25]
1946-05-18 UFO-Memorial Ängelholm Ängelholm, Kristianstads County Sweden Gösta Karlsson reports seeing a flying saucer and its alien passengers. A model of it is now erected at the site. The case was publicly reported in 1995.[26] [27]
1947-06-21 Maury Island incident Puget Sound near Maury Island, Washington United States Harold A. Dahl reported that his dog was killed and his son was injured by debris in an encounter with four to six flying doughnut-shaped objects. He also claimed that a witness was subsequently threatened by the Men in Black. The case was first reported to Kenneth Arnold in mid-July, about three weeks after it allegedly took place. [28]
1947-06-24 Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting North of Mount Rainier, Washington United States The UFO sighting that sparked the name flying saucers. This sighting is considered as the start of the "Modern UFO era". [29][30]
1947-06/07 1947 UFO sightings mostly Washington United States Several UFO sightings reported after the sighting of Kenneth Arnold. [29]
1947-07-04 Flight 105 UFO sighting Between Boise and Seattle United States United Airline crew witnesses nine unidentified objects. [31]
1947-07-08 The Roswell Incident about 30 mi north of Roswell, New Mexico United States United States Army Air Forces announced the "capture" of a "flying saucer". Hours later, the Army announced that the find was a crashed weather balloon. In 1978, the case regained attention after Army Officer Jesse Marcel told UFO researchers that the weather balloon explanation was a cover story. [32]
1948 The Green Fireballs United States Objects were reported over several United States military bases; an official investigation followed. [33][34]
1948-01-07 Thomas Mantell Kentucky United States US Air Force sent a fighter pilot to investigate a UFO sighting over Fort Knox, Kentucky; his aircraft crashed and the pilot was killed while pursuing the UFO. [35]
1948-03-25 Aztec, New Mexico, UFO incident New Mexico United States An alleged retrieval of a grounded UFO and its occupants from a plateau in New Mexico. [36]
1948-07-24 Chiles-Whitted UFO encounter Alabama United States Chiles and Whitted, American commercial pilots, reported that their airplane had nearly collided with a UFO. [37]
1948-10-01 Gorman dogfight North Dakota United States A US Air Force pilot sighted and pursued a UFO for 27 minutes over Fargo, North Dakota. [38][39]


Date Name City, State Country Description Sources
1950-05-11 McMinnville UFO photographs a farm near McMinnville, Oregon United States A farmer took pictures of a purported "flying saucer". These were the first claimed photographs of flying saucers since the coining of the term. [40]
1950-08-05 or 15 Mariana UFO incident Great Falls, Montana United States The manager of Great Falls' pro baseball team took color film of two UFOs flying over Great Falls. The film was extensively analyzed by the US Air Force and several independent investigators. [41]
1951-08-25 Lubbock Lights Lubbock, Texas United States Several Lights in V-Shaped formations were repeatedly spotted flying over the city. Witnesses included professors from Texas Tech University and photographed by a Texas Tech student. [42]
1952-07-12 to 29 1952 Washington, D.C. UFO incident Washington, D.C. United States A series of sightings in July 1952 accompanied radar contacts at three separate airports in the Washington area. The sightings made front-page headlines around the nation, and ultimately lead to the formation of the Robertson Panel by the CIA. [43][44]
1952-07-14 Nash-Fortenberry UFO sighting Norfolk, Virginia United States W. Nash and W. Fortenberry, pilots of a DC-4 airliner of Pan American Airways, sighted eight large, round, glowing red objects. [45]
1952-09-12 The Flatwoods Monster Flatwoods, West Virginia United States Six local boys and a woman report seeing a UFO land, and saw a spade-headed creature near the landing site. [46][47][48]
1954-10-27 Fiorentina Stadium Massive Sighting Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence Italy A football game between Fiorentina and Pistoiese was under way at the Stadio Artemio Franchi when a group of UFOs traveling at high speed abruptly stopped over the stadium. The stadium became silent as the crowd of around 10,000 spectators witnessed the event and described the UFOs as cigar shaped. [49][50]
1955-08-21/22 Kelly–Hopkinsville encounter A farmhouse near Hopkinsville, Kentucky United States After the sighting of a disc-shaped aircraft a group of strange, goblin-like creatures are reported to have repeatedly approached a farm house and looked inside through the windows. Members of the two families present shot at them several times with little or no effect. The encounter lasted from evening to dawn. [51]
1956-07-24 Drakensberg Contactee Drakensberg South Africa A series of photos depicting a supposed UFO, was taken on 24 July near Rosetta in the Drakensberg region. The photographer, meteorologist Elizabeth Klarer, claimed detailed adventures with an alien race, besides having had an alien lover, Akon, who would have fathered her son Ayling. [52]
1957-05-20 Milton Torres 1957 UFO Encounter East Anglia United Kingdom U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Milton Torres reports that he was ordered to intercept and fire on a UFO displaying "very unusual flight patterns" over East Anglia. Ground radar operators tracked what was believed to be an unidentified aircraft for some time before Torres' plane was scrambled to intercept. [53]
1957-10-16/17 Antonio Vilas Boas Abduction Near São Francisco de Sales, Minas Gerais Brazil One of the first abduction claims. Farmer Antonio Vilas Boas claimed to have been abducted and examined by humanoid aliens while working in the fields at night. He also claimed to have had sex with an alien woman aboard the egg-shaped aircraft. [54]
1957-11-02 Levelland UFO case Levelland, Texas United States Numerous people describe seeing a glowing, egg-shaped object and a cigar-shaped object which caused their vehicle's engines to shut down. [55][56]
1959-02-02/03 Dyatlov Pass incident Kholat Syakhl, Sverdlovsk Oblast Soviet Union Mysterious deaths of experienced cross-country skiers in the Urals are due to official investigation believed to have been caused by an unknown "compelling natural force". Some claim relation to unidentified orange spheres. [57]
1961-09-19 Betty and Barney Hill abduction South of Lancaster on Route 3, New Hampshire United States The first widely publicized alien abduction experience. The Hills saw a huge flying disk while driving home in their car at late evening and later claimed that they were abducted and medically examined by small extraterrestrials. [58]
1964-04-24 Lonnie Zamora incident Socorro, New Mexico United States Police officer Zamora reports a close encounter. [59]
1965-09-03 The Incident at Exeter Exeter, New Hampshire United States Numerous reports of UFOs in Exeter, New Hampshire. [60]
1965-07-01 The Valensole UFO incident Valensole, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur France Peasant Maurice Massé saw a landed spherical object and was paralyzed by two grey alien-like occupants. [61][62]
1965-12-09 Kecksburg UFO incident Kecksburg, Pennsylvania United States Mass sighting of a falling brilliant fireball dropping debris and causing sonic booms, followed by a cordoning-off of the probable crash site, alleged intimidation of a reporter by men in black and cover-up and the unresolved death of said witness. [63]
1966-04-06 Westall UFO Clayton South, Victoria Australia A sighting reported by hundreds of people. Witnesses of "The Clayton Incident" still gather for reunions. [64]
1967-08-29 Close encounter of Cussac Outside Cussac, Auvergne France A young brother and sister claimed to have witnessed a brilliant sphere and four small black occupants while herding cattle outside their village. [65]
1967-10-04 Shag Harbour UFO incident Gulf of Maine near Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia Canada A large illuminated object was reported to have crashed into waters near Shag Harbour. A Canadian naval search followed, and officially referred to the object as a UFO. There were other UFO sightings in the area at the time. [66][67]
1969-01-06 Jimmy Carter UFO incident Leary, Georgia United States Jimmy Carter (US President 1977–1981) reported seeing an unidentified flying object while at Leary, Georgia in 1969. [68]
1969-04-12 Finnish Air Force sighting Pori Finland Seven disc shaped objects hovering in formation around 1500–3000 meters were spotted by the airtraffic controller and two pilots. When fighter pilot Tarmo Tukeva investigated, they accelerated away. [69]
1969-09-01 Berkshire UFO sightings Berkshire County, Massachusetts United States Four unrelated families alleged being abducted by a UFO and moved by a ray of light. [70]
1972-06-27 1972 UFO sightings in the eastern Cape Fort Beaufort South Africa A farmer near Fort Beaufort in the eastern Cape fired shots at what he said was an unknown light in the sky. The incident received coverage by international press, and led to businesses capitalizing on the incident, with a tavern calling itself the "UFO Bar" and painting flying saucers on the walls.[71]
1973-10-11 Pascagoula Abduction Near Pascagoula at the Pascagoula River, Mississippi United States Two men fishing on the river claimed to be abducted by strange-looking humanoids. [72]
1974-01-23 Berwyn Mountain UFO incident Llandrillo, Merionethshire, North Wales United Kingdom An alleged UFO crash involving lights in the sky moments before a large impact shock. The cause of the incident was however soon revealed as a 3.5 magnitude earthquake. [73][74]


21st centuryEdit

Date Name City, State Country Description Sources
2004-03-05 2004 Mexican UFO incident Mexico A drug-smuggling air-patrol recorded on infrared camera what some claimed to be UFOs. The footage was released by Jaime Maussan. The observations were however convincingly correlated with the burn-off flares of oil platforms. [75]
2004-11-14 USS Nimitz UFO incident Off the coast of San Diego, California United States Several pilots from VFA-41 squadron flying Super Hornets from the USS Nimitz, were directed by the USS Princeton to intercept one of several unidentified flying objects detected by radar. The pilots reported a visual encounter and recorded an infrared video. The Navy has verified that the video was taken by Navy personnel and has stated that it has not yet identified the nature of the sightings which they classify as unexplained aerial phenomena. [76][77][78]
2006-11-07 2006 O'Hare International Airport UFO sighting Chicago, Illinois United States United Airlines employees and pilots claimed sightings of a saucer-shaped, unlit craft hovering over a Chicago O'Hare Airport terminal, before appearing to leave with a rapid vertical rise. [79]
2007-04-23 2007 Alderney UFO sighting Alderney Bailiwick of Guernsey Two airline pilots on separate flights spot UFOs off the coast of Alderney. [80]
2007-11-28 to 2011-12-13 Dudley Dorito West Midlands conurbation United Kingdom The Dudley Dorito were multiple sightings of a black triangle over the West Midlands conurbation of the United Kingdom which began in November 2007. The phrase was coined by the local press after hearing witness descriptions of the object. [81][82]
2008-06-20 Wales UFO sightings different cities, Wales United Kingdom According to media reports, a police helicopter was almost hit by a UFO, before it tried to pursue it. Hundreds of people reported to have witnessed a UFO on the same or preceding days, from different areas of Wales. [83]
2009-01-05 Morristown UFO hoax Morristown, New Jersey United States In the evening, citizens in Morristown and other town in Morris County, New Jersey saw five red lights in the sky. After three months, two men from the Morristown area announced that they had organized a UFO hoax, meant as a "social experiment". [84]
2010-01-25 Harbour Mille incident Harbour Mille, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada At least three UFOs that looked like missiles but emitted no noise were spotted over Harbour Mille. [85]
2014-06-02 to 2015-03-10 USS Theodore Roosevelt UFO incidents East Coast of the United States United States Multiple UFO radar-visual encounters by United States Navy pilots over a period of nine months. Videos of two of the encounters were released. The Navy has verified that the videos were taken by Navy personnel and has stated that it has not yet identified the nature of the sightings which they classify as unexplained aerial phenomena. [86][87]
2021-02-21 Pilot's UFO sighting over New Mexico Clayton, New Mexico United States The 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." [88]

By locationEdit

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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  2. ^ Budge, E. A. Wallis, Egyptian Language, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., London, 1966: pp. 194–196
  3. ^ Vallee, Jacques; Aubek, Chris (2010). Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times. Penguin. ISBN 978-1101444726. Retrieved 14 July 2017 – via
  4. ^ "The History of Rome, Book 21, Chapter 62". Retrieved 2014-10-08.
  5. ^ a b c d "Stothers, Richard. "Unidentified Flying Objects in Classical Antiquity" The Classical Journal 103.1 (2007) 79-92" (PDF). The Classical Journal. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-22. Retrieved 2012-10-06. p. 87
  6. ^ Pliny, [1], on Perseus
  7. ^ Plutarch, Lucullus, 8.6, on Perseus
  8. ^ Stothers, Richard (Nov 2007). "Unidentified Flying Objects in Classical Antiquity". The Classical Journal. The Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Inc. (CAMWS). 103 (1): 84.
  9. ^ Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome (2015). "The sea above". In Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome; Duckert, Lowell (eds.). Elemental Ecocriticism: Thinking with Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-1452945675. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  10. ^ a b Kripal, Jeffrey J. (2011). Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred. University of Chicago Press. pp. 153–. ISBN 978-0226453897.
  11. ^ Han, Dae-Kwang (18 July 2016). "Records of UFO, Black Soldiers of the Joseon Dynasty, Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty". Kyunghyang Shinmun. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
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  13. ^ Masaru Mori: The female alien in a hollow vessel. In: Fortean Times. Vol. 48, Dennis Publishing Ltd., London 1987, ISSN 0308-5899, p. 48–50.
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  51. ^ Siege of 'Little Green Men' - The 1955 Kelly, Kentucky, Incident Archived 2009-08-14 at the Wayback Machine Skeptical Inquirer
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  58. ^ Testament for Believers Time magazine
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  74. ^ Berwyn Mountains Incident Archived 2008-11-23 at the Wayback Machine BBC
  75. ^ Smith, James C. (July 24, 2004). "The Mexican Air Force UFO Affair: Aliens, Ball Lightning, or Flares?". Skeptic. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
  76. ^ Cooper, Helene; Kean, Leslie; Blumenthal, Ralph (16 December 2017). "2 Navy Airmen and an Object That 'Accelerated Like Nothing I've Ever Seen'". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
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  81. ^ "Shape of things to come?" Express & Star, (Wolverhampton) dated 11 January 2008. Recovered on 13 April 2008.
  82. ^ "Is there plane truth behind the UFOs?" Express & Star, (Wolverhampton) dated 16 January 2008. Recovered on 13 April 2008.
  83. ^ UFO spotted by police helicopter BBC
  84. ^ "09-04-01". 1 April 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  85. ^ "DND, RCMP mum on UFO mystery". CBC News. 2010-01-27.
  86. ^ Little, Becky. "Navy Confirms UFO Videos Are Real and Show Unidentified Aerial Phenomena". HISTORY. Retrieved 2020-02-15.
  87. ^ Cooper, Helene; Blumenthal, Ralph; Kean, Leslie (2019-05-26). "'Wow, What Is That?' Navy Pilots Report Unexplained Flying Objects". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-02-15.
  88. ^ "FAA Can't Explain Pilot's UFO Sighting Last Weekend Over New Mexico". Forbes. 25 February 2021. Retrieved 2021-03-26.