History of UFO Sightings

For thousands of years, people have described seeing strange flying structures of light, clouds, and even fire. But, as our cultural fascination grew with extraterrestrial life in the 20th century, so did the number of UFO sightings. UFOs have fascinated and puzzled people for decades, yet hard evidence seems ever elusive. Many people believe that extraterrestrials visit Earth, but governments perpetuate a top-secret global conspiracy to cover it up.

Here’s a look at UFOs throughout history.

UFO sightings date back to biblical times. The Book of Ezekiel describes a mysterious ship appearing from the sky in Chaldea. With this, a recording from Rome in 218 B.C. reveals various strange sightings. A wave of mysterious apparitions appear in fourth-century Chinese history, when a documented “moon boat” flew over the country once every 12 years. Even Germany noted several unfamiliar objects in the sky in 1561. In the year 1801 in Hull, England several witnesses claim to have seen objects in the sky. During World War II, multiple times Allied pilots reported mysterious objects in the sky. They used the term “foo fighters” to describe the odd circles of light pilots noticed flanking their planes during combat.

The term “UFO,” coined in 1953 by the United States Air Force, is short for “unidentified flying object.” The definition unidentified flying object (UFO), also called flying saucer, any aerial object or optical phenomenon not readily identifiable to the observer.

The first recorded UFO sighting dates to 1639 when, long before the era of planes and satellites, John Winthrop wrote in his diary about a large, strange light in the sky that shot back and forth.

The Battle of Los Angeles
According to National UFO Reporting Center, California tops the list of states with the most reported UFO sightings. The highest number of recorded incidents occurring in Los Angeles between 2001 and 2015.
One of the most notable sightings happened in February 1942, which involved an unusual military attack. Strangely enough, the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred only three months before this sighting. On the night of February 24, the military instructed units on the California coast to prepare for more Japanese raids. On the morning of February 25, the units spotted an unidentified aircraft on the radar, 120 miles west of Los Angeles. Then, the aircraft vanished.
LA Times., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
From there, air raid sirens were raised. A citywide blackout was instated, and bright anti-aircraft searchlights punctured the night sky. Reports of unidentified flying objects, foreign aircrafts and even airplane crash landings came pouring into local police departments. The mass chaos led to the deaths of at least five civilians.
Later, it was discovered that the unidentified object was not from an enemy combatant. Several reports from witnesses, the government and newspapers stated seeing balloons, aircrafts, hovering objects and other phenomena in the same night sky.


In 1947, when a local rancher claimed to have found a flying saucer in his field, Roswell became the center of conspiracy theories. Today, 75 years later, there is no doubt that something occurred in that remote desert near Roswell, New Mexico. The question is, what and has our government been hiding the facts for half a century?

Debris from a highly classified project used by the US Army Air Force to detect atomic bomb tests in the Soviet Union, was recovered from a ranch after being reported by worker William Brazel. Brazel gathered some of the debris and went to Roswell, where he told Sheriff George Wilcox about his find. Wilcox immediately reported the encounter to the USAAF base at Roswell, which promptly sent agents to visit the ranch.

Roswell Daily Record, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

On 8 July 1947, Roswell Army Air Field issued a press release stating that a “flying disk” crashed on a ranch near Roswell during a powerful storm. Later in the day, as government scientists arrived in the area, the story appeared to change. A press conference held claimed it was not a disk, but rather a crashed weather balloon. Scientists showed reporters debris from the site to confirm this claim.

Today, many conspiracy theorists consider the so-called “Roswell incident” to be one of the most conspicuous pieces of evidence that the US government has covered up the existence of extraterrestrial life on Earth. The event known as ‘The Roswell Incident’ happened over 70 years ago, yet there are still more questions than answers.

US Congressional Hearing

The first public congressional hearing into UFO sightings in the US in over 50 years ended with few answers about the unexplained phenomenon. Two top military officials tasked with probing the sightings said that most can ultimately be identified. But, they stated that a number of events have defied all attempts at explanation. The sightings recorded by the military include 11 “near-misses” with US aircraft. Some Unexplained Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) – as the military terms UFOs – seem to have been moving without any discernible means of propulsion.

Know of any other UFO sightings or alien encounters?
Let us know!


2 thoughts on “History of UFO Sightings

  1. TheMapleBeard says:

    I do wonder how many pilots don’t report UFO’s or other Phenomena that they see while flying due to a fear of them being grounded.

  2. AngelicaD says:

    UFOs are a fascinating subject and one which will always bear relevant investigation.One case in Australia stands out and that is of course the 1966 Westall Case which occurred at a Primary School in Clayton Victoria on April 6th 1966.Students at the school reported a silver saucer object hover right over the school and take off.One eye witness a then student Joy Tighe says she saw the object very clearly.Despite the witnessing of the Event by Students and some staff the Televsion Report that was meant to be made of the incident was never aired.I found the micrfiche report of the Event in the State Library and it quotes students as definitely seeing an unindentified object.The case was closed and never satisfactorily explaimed although students report that they were told to keep quiet about it.What really happened?We just do not know….yet


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