Kelsey is a freelance writer based in Southern Virginia. She enjoys traveling with her family to destinations from national parks to amusement parks and loves sharing tips and stories from along the way.
June 24th is World UFO Day, recognizing the first widely recognized UFO sighting in 1947. Don’t worry; if you miss it, you’ll have another chance to celebrate on July 2nd, the date of the famous Roswell UFO incident. Whichever day you choose to celebrate, this is your chance to look up at the sky, spot some unusual lights, and let your imagination run wild!
These 10 spots are the sites of famous UFO sightings around the country. Whether you visit them or just read up on their unusual histories, your imagination will surely be sparked.
Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell is the site of one of the first and arguably most famous UFO sightings in history. In 1947, a UFO reportedly crashed near Roswell, New Mexico. While the US military issued a statement claiming it was a weather balloon, local papers thought otherwise. Rumors persist that the object was actually an extraterrestrial spacecraft and that the US government covered up the incident. The “Roswell incident” has become one of history’s most famous and controversial UFO sightings. Today, you can visit one of many museums dedicated to the topic or even attend the Roswell UFO Festival.
In 1997, thousands of people reported seeing a series of lights in the sky over Phoenix, Arizona. These lights appeared as a slow-moving triangular formation and could be viewed in the sky for hours. The US government denies any knowledge of the incident, but many people are still skeptical! The incident has become known as the “Phoenix Lights” and remains one of the most famous UFO sightings in recent history.
Area 51, Nevada
Area 51 is a highly secretive US Air Force base in Nevada that has long been rumored to be the site of UFO research and testing. While the US government has denied these claims, the location remains a popular subject of conspiracy theories and speculation. You can’t visit Area 51 (top secret, etc), but you can stay in the nearby town of Rachel, Nevada, where you’ll find plenty of UFO-related attractions.
Gulf Breeze, Florida
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Gulf Breeze, Florida, was the site of a number of reported UFO sightings and encounters. Most notably, a man named Ed Walters claimed to have been immobilized by a blue beam of light from a UFO, watched lines exit their UFO, and communicated with the aliens via telepathy. The incidents were widely covered by the media, and the opinions remain divided on whether his reports were a hoax or a first encounter.
Hudson Valley, New York
In the 1980s, the Hudson Valley region of New York was the site of a series of reported UFO sightings that have become known as the “Hudson Valley sightings.” Witnesses reported seeing a large, triangular craft in the sky, often with bright lights and unusual patterns of movement. Hundreds of witnesses have come forward, but no explanation has been found.
In 2008, residents of Stephenville, Texas, reported seeing an object “larger than a Walmart” racing through the sky, trailed by two fighter jets. The US military concedes that they had fighter jets in the area that night but denies any extra-terrestrial excitement. The incident received widespread media coverage and remains a subject of interest among UFO enthusiasts.
In August 1951, a group of professors at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, reported seeing bright lights in the sky that appeared to be flying in formation. The lights were described as bright white or bluish-green and were arranged in a V- or U-shaped formation. The incident quickly gained national media attention, and the professors’ accounts of the lights were widely reported in newspapers and on radio and television. The lights were dubbed the “Lubbock Lights,” and the incident has since become one of the most famous and most convincing UFO sightings in American history.
Mount Rainier, Washington
In June 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing a formation of nine unusual objects in the sky near Mount Rainier in Washington state. Arnold’s description of the objects’ movements as “saucer-like” led to the popularization of the term “flying saucer.” This sighting is widely considered the first modern UFO sighting. The date of this sighting was June 24th, which is now World UFO Day.
Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England
In December 1980, US Air Force personnel stationed at RAF Bentwaters in Suffolk, England, reported seeing strange lights in the nearby Rendlesham Forest. Some witnesses claimed to have seen a metallic craft on the ground, and the incident has become one of the most famous UFO sightings in British history. It’s sometimes referred to as “Britain’s Roswell.”
In 1989 and 1990, a series of UFO sightings referred to as “The Belgium Wave” occurred in Belgium, with witnesses reporting seeing large, triangular craft in the sky. The sightings received extensive media coverage and led to the formation of a government commission to investigate the incidents. Over 13,000 people witnessed this incident, making it one of the most-viewed UFO sightings in history. The Belgian military attempted to engage with the craft, but their fighter jets could not catch up to it.
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