The sighting of strange craft, lights and entities over our skies has taken place for centuries now. These mysterious visions have taken many forms and have been explained in a variety of different ways. Many attribute them to bizarre natural phenomenon, others claim that they are visitors from another dimension, even the realm of the fairies, or secret craft controlled by our own governments. Without a doubt the most popular explanation is that UFOs are the mode of transportation for creatures from outer space with intentions unknown. Whatever the truth may be, UFOs have had a marked impact on our culture, creating paranoia, suspicion and even inspiration.
The Huffman Burning
Where: Huffman, Texas, U.S.A
When: December 1980
If you’ve ever thought that you’d really like to see a UFO, that it would be cool to be sitting directly under one as it hover overhead, think again. Whilst there is always the risk of suffering the long-term mental anguish of a creepy abduction experience, there are other, more physical dangers too.
Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum and her young daughter Colby were driving home along a long stretch of open road when they saw a huge diamond shaped UFO in the sky. They made the common mistake of stopping the car and getting out to have a look. They were then enveloped in a powerful blast of heat that burned their skin. The UFO gave off a bright light that hurt their eyes. This is believed to have been a result of their engines firing as the craft then took off at a great speed. At first the witnesses seemed unscathed, but when they returned home they developed acute headaches and became very ill. Their skin was badly burned. They suffered several days of diarrhoea and vomiting, and all the signs of radiation poisoning. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the three never truly recovered from the ordeal. Their eyesight deteriorated over the years and they continued to develop blisters and dry, flaky skin. Whilst the hair loss they initially suffered was temporary it causes psychological damage and the hair grew back frizzy – a constant reminder of what they had been through.
It is believed that the radiation burns were an inadvertent effect of the UFO’s engines. Other UFO witnesses have experienced similar symptoms but all to a lesser degree. This case remains the worst on record. UFO landing sites also often test positive for radioactive traces.
Where: Tomakomai, Hokkaido, Japan
When: July 1973
Twenty year old university student Masaaki Kudou was working part time as a security guard at a timber yard on Hokkaido’s southern coast. He patrolled the area by car and stopped overlooking a bay to listen to the radio. Sounds like a pretty cushy job to me. It was there that he witnessed what can only be described as an ‘alien’ event.
The young security guard saw what he, at first, thought to be a shooting star. The strange light moved unlike any other shooting star. It zoomed about the sky for a short while before moving closer to the bay. There is began spiraling down to the ocean. By now Kudou could see that the light was in fact a spherical craft of some kind. The sphere hovered closely above the water. A long, transparent tube was extended from it’s underside and it began to suck up the sea water as if through a straw. As it drew water the sphere glowed and made a gentle ‘min-min-min’ sound.
After taking in water, the craft began to move closer to Kudou’s car with, as he puts it, ‘infinite menace’. The sphere came close enough for Kudou to study it in detail. He later described it as being smooth, white and emitting a self-generating glow. It had several potholes around it’s circumference, through which a shadowy humanoid figure could be seen.
Within minutes of the sphere’s appearance, two more craft appeared in the sky over the bay. One was another sphere, exactly like the first, and the other was a large, cylindrical shaped craft. The two spheres entered one end of the cylinder, which abruptly zoomed away. Kunou’s experience left him with nothing but a headache, probably owing to the fact that his radio has been making peculiar noises the whole time
The Perfect Abduction Case
Where: Melboune, Australia
When: August 1993
Driving home after a party near Melbourne, Kelly Cahill and her husband were witness to the usual, tacky looking UFO, glowing and hovering in front of them. As they drove on a little further the car seemed to fill with a bright light. This light did not last long and with a flash, disappeared. There was suddenly no UFO, no light, and a time lapse they could not account for. All of this sounds pretty daft, except that the next day Kelly noticed a scar across her abdomen that had previously not been there. She later suffered what doctors insisted was a miscarriage, although she had not been aware of being pregnant. In fact the official opinion of her personal physician was that the discharge from her lady parts were the result of a self termination.
Baffled by this, Kelly went to see a hypnotist and UFO researcher who helped her to recover lost memories from the night of the sighting. She recalled that the UFO had stopped in front of the car, causing them to come to a halt and step out of the car. She also recalled that there was another car present, driven by people she did not know. She claimed to now recall that the aliens (standard bug-eyed, big head types) had shot her with some kind of energy weapon, taken her and her husband on board their craft and performed some kind of intrusive surgery. Kelly said that the aliens were evil and taunted her. She shouted at them and accused them of having no souls, at which point their eyes glowed red and they got angry. Under hypnotic regression, Kelly’s husband revealed the same.
Now, this in it’s self is not unusual (well, ok, it is), but what was remarkable is that investigators managed to find the couple from the second car and corroborate the story. This second couple did not know Kelly and her husband and did not require hypnotic regression to recall much of the experience. Undergoing the hypnosis, however, they were able to reveal more details, including a third car, which did not stop to witness the visitors up close.
More remarkably, the investigators found this third driver, who made a matching statement. He had seen the UFO but had not witnessed Kelly’s arguments with it’s drivers. This high number of testimonials from unrelated persons has caused abduction specialists to call this the ‘perfect case’.
The Anchor in the Church
Where: Cloera, Ireland
This is one of the oldest and most peculiar accounts of an unidentified flying object to be recorded. Its occurrence in the medieval period makes it entirely unique and difficult to understand. Other strange sightings have been made in medieval Europe but most seem to involve seemingly ‘devine’ lights rather than solid objects or craft, and so are often explained by witnesses to have been the appearance of saints or angels. This, however is the first ever recorded visitation by an alien ‘ship’. The witnesses used the analogy of a ‘ship’ perhaps because they had no other basis for comparison. Remember that this is several hundred years before even the hot air balloon was conceived.
The occurrence took place at a church in the borough of Cloera. It was a Sunday and so the people of the area had all gathered to receive mass. The ceremony was disturbed when an anchor, hanging from the sky, swung into the church and became lodged against the arch of the doorway. Men from the congregation ran outside and saw a large ship, hanging in the air above the church. They then saw a strange person lower himself on a rope from the deck of the ship to the church doorway. It is said that he appeared to swim in the air. This simple description has been taken to imply that he was somehow light in weight or had the ability to float in the same manner as his ship. At first the men of the congregation went to seize the intruder but the priest told them not to touch him because it might kill him (a strange assumption to make but a wise precaution none the less). The strange UFO naught returned to the safety of his ship where he hastily cut the rope holding the anchor and sailed quickly out of sight. The anchor was kept in the church as proof but has since been stolen.
A second version of this story has it set in Gravesend, Kent, England. This is exactly the same story only a different location. The idea that the crew of the ‘cloudship’ could make the same blunder twice is unthinkable, so this is likely a case of the English stealing a piece of Irish folklore and claiming it to be their own. “Why should aliens visit Ireland? Anything they’ve got, we’ve got more of.”
he Scare Ship
Where: Across the U.S.A and Europe
When: throughout the late 1800s
Before the flying saucer craze of the 1950s and 60s, the idea of unidentified flying objects was already popular. The 19th century had it’s own UFO spotting craze long before the Roswell incident and even before H.G Wells popularised the idea of invaders from another planet. This craze followed sightings and accounts of what the media then called the ‘scare ship’. Much like the more recent ‘flying saucer’ and ‘crop circle crazes’ this was largely fuelled by the overzealous coverage by national and local newspapers.
The scareship was not thought to be an alien craft but rather a new technological marvel, built in top secret. At the time, the idea of the zeppelin or dirigible had been conceived but not yet constructed. Sightings of the scareship (all variants on theme) were reported across north America and Europe for a period of several years.
The two most likely sightings of the scareship were made by farmers in the U.S who claim to have seen the vessel land and that they had spoken to a member of its crew. This crewman was not a little green man but reportedly a finely dressed gentleman. In each case the man approached the farmer and asked him for help. Once he asked for tools and oil, and the second time for water from a nearby well. The farmers each gave an account that the machine made a whirring noise not unlike that made by steam powered pistons. The second man (Mr Nichols of Josserand, Texas) claimed that he had been invited board the strange craft and was given an explanation of its workings. He was told that it was constructed from a newly discovered metal which had the property of ‘self-sustenance in the air’, and that the craft was propelled by condensed electricity. The man with whom he spoke also said that there were five such ships, all constructed at a secret location in Iowa, and that the technology would soon be made public for common usage. Mr Nichols knew nothing of science and engineering and so did not realise that this explanation was pure gobbledygook.
Most spectacular of all was the tale of a crashed scareship, again in Texas, as a sort of strange preclude to the Roswell incident. On April 19, 1897, the Dallas Morning News carried the following story:
‘Aurora, Wise County, April 17 – About 6 o’clock this morning the early risers of Aurora were astonished at the sudden appearance of the airship which has been sailing throughout the country. It was travelling due north, and much nearer the earth than before. Evidently, some of the machinery was out of order, for it was making a speed of only ten or twelve miles an hour, and gradually settling towards the earth. It sailed over the public square and when it reached the north part of town collided with the tower of Judge Proctor’s windmill and went to pieces with a terrific explosion, scattering debris over several acres of ground, wrecking the windmill and water tank and destroying the judge’s flower garden. The pilot of the ship is supposed to have been the only one aboard, and while his remains are badly disfigured, enough of the original has been picked up to show that he was not an inhabitant of this world.’
The report goes on to say that of the craft it’s self, little remained, only enough to say that it was constructed from a strange metal. The journals of the pilot were also found, but they were written in what were described as ‘hieroglyphics’ and so indecipherable.
Scareship sightings vary wildly but take place over a period of two decades. Some have the crewmen speaking Russian. Others say that they looked ‘like japs’.
The Roswell Incident
Where: Roswell, New Mexico, U.S.A
‘The Roswell incident’ has become an iconic event in modern culture. There is no one in the western world that has not heard the rumours of a crashed alien space ship and the possible extraction of alien corpses to the secret military base at ‘area 51’. However, the details of Roswell make it not one of the most spectacular cases, in fact, rather a dull story in comparison to others. It is only the massive media coverage of this alleged event has made it so famous.
When a local farmer discovered some wreckage on his land he immediately notified the authorities, knowing that a great deal of military activity was present in the local area. Although an investigating air force officer did claim that the wreckage had strange, otherworldly properties, the most likely theory is that it was not from an alien space craft but from a top secret surveillance balloon launched from a nearby test site. This ‘project MOGUL’ balloon was designed to travel over soviet airspace at high altitude but was blown off course and crashed during it’s preliminary testing in New Mexico.
It was claimed that a second crash site contained a more intact alien spacecraft and three dead aliens but by the time the press caught wind of this all wreckage had been removed. Former air force personal working at Roswell airbase and Area 51 have since claimed to have seen this space craft or the alien bodies, but these testimonials remain suspicious. A video of a supposed alien autopsy carried out at area 51 has also since been proven to be false.
The Washington UFO Flap
Where: East U.S.A
‘This is it boys! They’re coming!’ At least that’s what military commanders of the strategic posts around Washington should have yelled when several blips were appeared on the radar screen, heading directly for the Whitehouse. Instead they did nothing, saying that ‘authority had been transferred to somebody else’.
The days leading up to the sighting of the blips had been filled with UFO sightings, mostly by airline pilots, so maybe by the time the blips appeared they had gotten sick of hearing the same stories. Still, it seems obvious that some action should have been taken, the cold war was a time of heightened caution. Staff at the civilian air control tower certainly seemed concerned and badgered the military about the matter constantly. The only answer was that the military was unconcerned and that ‘someone else will take care of it.’ Fortunately the ‘blips’ vanished before reaching the Whitehouse. Perhaps the military somehow knew that they would.
The next few days saw the highest concentration of UFO sightings in history. Airline pilots and stargazing civilians alike all saw disks or formations of disks flying around. These sightings were reported to the authorities at a rate of forty a day. Radar contacts continued to be made, and then mysteriously vanished. These were in the form of groups of six or seven UFOs at a time. Eventually, two jets were scrambled to investigate. They reportedly saw nothing, despite flying through a cloud of blips.
next few days saw the highest concentration of UFO sightings in history. Airline pilots and stargazing civilians alike all saw disks or formations of disks flying around. These sightings were reported to the authorities at a rate of forty a day. Radar contacts continued to be made, and then mysteriously vanished. These were in the form of groups of six or seven UFOs at a time. Eventually, two jets were scrambled to investigate. They reportedly saw nothing, despite flying through a cloud of blips.
3. The Rendlesham Forest Encounter
Where: Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England
When: December 27, 1980
The former cold war base at Woodbridge, Suffolk was a centre of joint USAF/RAF operations on the south of England and surrounded by areas of Rendlesham forest. The events that took place in the scruffy area of the forest bordering the air base have become the stuff of legend. This controversial encounter has been described as the British Roswell but in reality was much more dramatic. The Roswell incident was little more than a crashed something-or-other, but Rendlesham was something else. Armed soldiers searching the woods at night? Bright lights? Secret meetings with alien commanders? Surely this is the stuff of sci-fi movies.
It was two patrolling USAF security officers that first saw the strange bright lights in Rendlesham Forest. Upon investigating, the two officers claimed to have discovered a small triangular shaped craft that they could not identify. The men were ordered to return to base and the craft disappeared. Two nights later the lights reappeared and this time a reconnaissance team was sent out led by deputy base commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Halt. Halt reported that his patrol found a small metallic craft measuring only between two and three meters in any direction. His official report said:
‘It illuminated the entire forest with a white light. The object itself had a pulsing red light on top and a bank of blue lights underneath. The object was hovering or on legs. As the patrolmen approached the object, it manoeuvred through the trees and disappeared. At this time the animals on a nearby farm went into frenzy.’
Halt went on to describe a red light seen later that night, and how this light broke up into smaller lights of varying colours. These lights remained in the sky for an hour and put on a small aerial display. The next day a team was dispatched to the landing site. They discovered three indentations in the ground where the craft had stood. The area was contaminated with high levels of radiation. In 1994, in an interview recorded for the TV show ‘Strange But True?’ Lt-Colonel Halt gave more detail about the craft saying that ‘it pulsated as though it were an eye winking at you and around the edges it appeared to have molten metal dripping off it.’ He also gave his suspicions of the ensuing cover-up operation saying that his report had not been acknowledged by his superiors. There had also been a number of photographs taken that night, all of which had been removed and delivered directly to the pentagon.
But that’s not all. There was a second team deployed that night. Airman Larry Warren, who had been nineteen at the time, was part of the second expedition and described seeing a bright light that exploded into ‘a galaxy of colours’ and then reassembled into a solid craft, much larger than the first. The young Airman later released a differing account of his experience near the East gate of the airfield. In this he claimed that he had been ordered to guard the large craft by the East gate whilst an alien figure emerged to hold a pre-arranged meeting with the base commander. He has claimed that he was pressured into keeping this meeting a secret.
The Phoenix Lights
Where: Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A
This sighting of a large unknown craft over the city of Phoenix, Arizona is one perhaps the most credible and believable, and certainly the most alarming. It was witnessed by more people than any other UFO sighting. It demonstrated the vulnerability of the general public and the willingness of the United States military to tell bold faced lies.
The sighting took place on March 13th, 1997. Early reports have a collection of five lights heading in the general direction of the city of Phoenix. These lights were reported by most to be aligned in a V-shaped pattern and moving either in close formation or marking the underneath of one large craft. Witnesses include a retired policeman (policemen are often considered by ufologists to be reliable sources) and a farmer who described the craft as being ‘as large as a Boeing 747’ and as making a whooshing sound as it passed closely overhead. Another report was made by an experienced pilot who estimated the craft or crafts to be flying lower than 1000 feet and much slower than conventional aircraft. Whilst many believed the lights to represent separate aircraft rather than one large craft, it was always said that there were five lights and that they had remained in perfect formation. One observer recalled four lights with a fifth trailing behind. This might be consistent with seeing the V-shaped craft or formation from the rear or travelling in reverse.
When the unidentified flying sources-of light (which is the original meaning of the term ‘flying saucer’) moved deeper into the state of Arizona they came directly over the city of Phoenix. On the outskirts of the city a family claimed to have seen the lights heading down their street at between 100 and 200 feet but making no noise whatsoever. The object – and most observers from Phoenix agree that it was one large object – then hovered over the city for a disputed amount of time, during which it was witnessed by an estimated 700 residents. Many residents recorded this strangest of phenomenon with handheld video cameras or took photographs showing the five lights in their steady formation. Being the early evening many Phoenix residents were outside enjoying the cool air or having family barbeques with cameras already in hand. It is this enourmous number of witnesses that adds the frightening credibility that has made this case the mammoth UFO sighting it is.
The explanations offered for the Phoenix lights are slim. Although sightings of V-shaped UFOs are not entirely uncommon (in fact the craft seen hovering over Phoenix matches the descriptions of further sightings in Illinois, Texas and the United Kingdom), this shape is more commonly associated with U.S military stealth aircraft. The theory that this was in fact a top secret, experimental aircraft design (presumed by many to be a stealth blimp). Whatever the truth behind the mysterious lights the military was certainly keen to keep it under wraps. The Air force dropped flairs in the distance and has claimed that these were the lights seen by the city’s populous. Despite overwhelming video evidence that the lights moved in formation above the city, the U.S military maintains that they were flairs dropped from an aircraft several miles away.
The Brazilian Roswell
Where: Varginha, Brazil
When: January 1996
This is the daddy of all alien encounters. In the mass panic that has been called by some ‘the invasion of the goatsuckers’, a town in South-central Brazil was effectively invaded by aliens!
The furore began when several locals reported seeing UFOs in the days leading up to the event. Then, on the evening of Friday, January 19, an American spy satellite detected an unknown object heading towards the town. The local military was put on high alert, with the American military taking an active interest and supposedly advising the Brazilian authorities. Officially, a total media blackout was put into force, but this didn’t stop amateur cameramen recording the scenes of chaos that ensued. White objects were seen flying over, and even through, the city. Some witnesses reported seeing a cigar shaped UFO with smoke billowing from it’s tail end. This may or may not have been an alien craft headed for crash down, as a report soon came in that strange creatures were running loose in the town.
At 7am on the Saturday, deployed army units coordinated with firemen in an effort to find the creatures that had caused the panic. They are said to have found one creature cowering in some tall grass. Witnesses heard three shots and then saw a soldier carrying a sack from the scene – a sack containing something moving. According to Major Calza of the army unit this was nothing more than a mentally handicapped dwarf. A likely story.
A second creature was caught at 10 o’clock that night after having been seen by two young girls. The girls told their mother that they had ‘seen the devil’. The army officers took the newly captured ‘animal’ to a nearby hospital, fearing infection. One of the soldiers died a week later, having a mysterious toxin in his bloodstream. The creature was pronounced dead on arrival and examined by fifteen doctors. They described the creature as having short, skinny arms and legs, a long tongue, no pupils and a distinct smell of ammonia. It was later flown to the U.S on an unmarked plane.
Since this incident, the Brazilian ‘goatsuckers’, named for their supposed taste for animal blood, have been sighted many times. They are believed to be responsible for over a thousand cases of cattle mutilation bearing similarities to those carried out in the U.S. Cows are found drained of blood, with puncture wounds around the neck and jaw, and supposed evidence of having been analy probed. Whilst the goatsuckers are often linked to UFO sightings, more sensible theories explain them to be an unidentified wild creature (possibly genetically engineered). However, their link to the UFO ‘assault’ on Varginha cannot be ignored.
As you might expect, this entire incident has become an official secret. The firemen that captured the first creature have refused to be interviewed on the grounds that it is ‘classified’. One doctor that was given the opportunity to study the creature under tight security also refused to answer questions, saying ‘ask me in ten or fifteen years’.