Humans have always been fascinated with the idea of life beyond the Earth. From extra-terrestrial communications to the alien invasion, we have always been contemplating about the apparent existence of superior races existing in the vast cosmos. And what has been the closest thing to this fascination? Unidentified Flying Objects, or more commonly known as, UFOs. After the Roswell incident in 1947, UFO sightings grew manifolds over the coming years. Suddenly, a lot of people started claiming to have witnessed fast flying saucers, hovercrafts, and blinking lights up in the sky.
Here, we have compiled a list of 12 UFO sightings from ancient history to some quite famous sightings in the recent past, which has left scientists and conspiracy theorists befuddled.
The Belgium Wave, 1989-90
In the winter of 1989, a large number of Belgians claimed to have witnessed a large, triangular UFO hovering in the Belgian skies. As the people only had their visual sightings as their witness, the case was dropped. But then, in March 1990, multiple UFOs made themselves visible in the Belgian sky, which was confirmed by the Belgian Air Force. The radars in the Air Force Base had captured their location. To investigate the matter, two F-16 jets were sent out, which confirmed that they were able to lock the targets on their radar.
But unfortunately, the fighter jets couldn’t have any visual confirmation and ended up losing the UFOs, owing to their superior speed. This sighting was witnessed by over 13000 people, making it one of the biggest UFO sightings in modern history. The case was also pursued by the UK’s Ministry of Defence but was eventually dropped later.
Rendlesham Forest, 1980
In December 1980, the U.S. Air Force members stationed at the British Royal Air Force bases, Woodbridge and Bentwaters, reported unusual sightings above Rendlesham Forest. The members claimed to have witness colorful lights in the night sky.
According to one investigator, a spaceship had apparently been present at the sight, which had damaged the nearby trees and elevated the levels of radiation to higher than normal. Several days later, more sightings were reported which makes this case one of the most important ones in UFO sightings.
In 1957, the citizens of Levelland, Texas experienced something supernatural, which only happens in Hollywood. Individual reports have claimed to witness a rocket or strange, colorful lights which apparently interfered with their cars and other electronic gadgets. Engines died out along with lights going off, which was further confirmed by the Police.
On further investigation, it was found out that an electrical storm had taken place, along with a ball of lightning, which had damaged engines and electrical gadgets. But interestingly, there were no reports of thunderstorms nearby.
Lubbock Lights, 1951
Yet another UFO sighting in the Texan sky has left researchers scratching their heads. On the evening of August 25, 1951, three professors from Texas Tech witnessed multiple semi-circular lights flying at high speeds in the night sky.
While the investigation concluded that it was caused by birds who were reflecting the luminescence of the recently established new lamp posts. But, apart from the scientists, the locals had also witnessed the same sight, claiming that the objects were too fast to be birds.
Kenneth Arnold, 1947
This incident is technically the first ever UFO sighting in recent history. In 1947, civilian pilot Kenneth Arnold claimed to have seen nine, blue glowing objects flying at dizzying speeds in a V-formation. While flying near Mount Rainier on June 24, 1947, Arnold claimed that the objects were flying at a speed of 1700 mph. As the incident took place just 2 years after the Second World War, it was first thought to be some prototype developed by the U.S. Air Force to combat the Soviets.
Soon, two other sightings of the blue glowing objects in the same place sent the media to a state of frenzy. The first one was reported by a prospector on Mount Rainier, while the second one was reported by the crew of a commercial flight in Idaho. Till date, no proper explanation has been provided to explain this mysterious incident.
Magonia, 815 AD
One of the most famous recorded UFO sightings from early history is from the mythical Magonia, which is modern-day Lyon. It was written by Agobard of Lyon in his book De Grandine et Tonitruis.
The written document claims that in 815 AD, an aerial ship became visible in the skies, which was the home to aerial sailors. Also, three men and one woman had apparently fallen down from the aerial spaceship and were almost executed by the Magolians, until Agobard intervened. Though, the document doesn’t shed any light on the whereabouts of the four aerial sailors.
Flaming Shield, 776 AD
Ancient Europe was once known as Francia. Sigiburg, one of its major cities, which is modern-day Dortmund, was under attack by the Saxons. As the battle ensued, a supernatural event unfolded making the Saxons flee the ground in fear.
As the Saxons reached Sigiburg, a bizarre object appeared in the skies, which resembled two flaming shields which were reddish in color. The object remained afloat in the sky, striking fear into the hearts of the Saxon soldiers, forcing them to retreat.
Angel Hair, 196 AD
Angel Hair is a chalk-like, silvery substance which sometimes rains down to the ground following a UFO sighting. The veracity of this fact is unknown.
Over the centuries, Angel Hair has repeated itself in the annals of history. But one major recording goes back to 196 AD. The incident was documented by Cassius Dio, in the ancient city of Rome. According to Dio, “a fine rain resembling silver” which fell all over the city of Rome, despite the absence of a single cloud over the Roman skies. The mysterious precipitate was collected using three bronze coins, but it vanished after three days.
The Hanging Comet, 12 BC
While this particular incident doesn’t have many details to its credit, it deserves a place in this list due to its sheer bizarre nature. In 12 BC, a comet-like object hovered over Rome for several days. Finally, it melted down like flashes from a torch.
It’s important to keep in mind that the credibility of such happenings in the Roman Empire must be taken a bit more seriously. The reason being, ancient Roman scholars had to go through strict procedures to keep the veracity of their reporting to be intact.
Three Moons Sighting, 122 BC
In 122 BC, three bizarre objects were visible over the skies of Ariminium, Italy. The sighting was called as Three Moon Sightings and was visible throughout the day.
It was recorded by Pliny, and in Book II of his Natural History, he stated that three objects resembling the moon appeared in the skies.
The Second Punic War Sightings, 218-210 BC
In the Second Punic War, a series of bizarre incidents happened over the span of 218-201 BC. Several of these incidents were recorded by the historians.
In 218 BC, it was reported that gleaming ships became visible in the sky. Again in 216 BC, gleaming round shaped saucers were seen flying in the skies.
Torch In The Sky, 343 BC
According to the reports of Diodorus Siculus Timoleon, he witnessed multiple bright lights in the night sky, during his journey from Corinth to Sicily around 343 BC. The multiple lights apparently had guided him on his journey.
It was initially seen as some divine intervention from the heavens, but now, it is treated as one of the first recorded UFO sightings. According to the text, “All through the night, he was preceded by a torch blazing in the sky up to the moment when the squadron made harbor in Italy.”
Initially discarded as a meteor shower, the text suggested that the lights were constantly with Diodorus throughout the journey, which surely casts serious doubts on the meteor/comet theory.