An Unidentified Flying Object, by its very definition, is just that – an anomalous object in the sky that is not readily identifiable as a known object or aerial phenomenon. Referred to as UFOs, many jump to the conclusion that they must be extraterrestrial in nature. They just may be, or they could be misidentifications. Who knows? I’ve never seen one myself but people are seeing something in the sky. Sightings come from people from all walks of life; blue collar workers, professionals, policeman, politicians, and housewives. Historically, the credibility of someone is immediately tarnished when they claim they’ve seen a UFO. Which is a shame as all they are reporting is something in the sky that they can’t identify. Bottom line, UFO witnesses are just normal people, like you and I.
Many of these UFO reports, when seriously examined, can indeed ultimately be explained through rational means. In fact, during the Cold War, the American government relished fanning the UFO fire by allowing witnesses to believe what they were seeing were alien craft high up in the skies. In actuality these objects were top secret test planes, such as the stealth bomber. But are they all just experimental aircraft? What happens when an experienced pilot, a military pilot, with years of flight training, claims they’ve seen something in the sky that they cannot identify? Wouldn’t they be able to tell a conventional, or even experimental craft, when they see one? When this occurs, many take notice, as the implications are disturbing. If it’s not one of ours, and not manmade, then whose is it? What’s more disturbing is when these same military officers report officially chasing these flying objects, or worse! It’s incredible to ponder. Join us as we count down the top fifteen reported military encounters with UFOs.
15. The Dulce Incident of 1979
Dulce, New Mexico, located on the Colorado-New Mexico border, is a small town and home of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation. It’s also the location of an alleged confrontation between extraterrestrials and the U.S. military. In 1979, a rumor began circulating about some sort of underground military base under the nearby Archuleta Mesa. Strange electronic communications were being intercepted that had to be from nearby. The rumor persisted but there was never any real proof. Sometime later, a man named Philip Schneider came forward. Schneider worked as an engineer who had been contracted by the U.S. government. He claimed that, in 1979, he worked on the construction of a secret military base in Dulce. Schneider’s story gave credence to the rumor, but his claim was to ignite an even bigger shocker!
While working on the project, Schneider claims there was a substantial military presence, especially heavily-armed Special Forces units, odd for a simple excavation and construction. Then one day while conducting underground drilling, he was confronted by what he claimed was a tall, gray-skinned alien! As others appeared, his military escort opened fire and killed two of them before one of the aliens fired some sort of plasma beam back at them. Schneider lost a few fingers in the exchange, but claims he was saved by an Army Green Beret who gave his life for him. Schneider retreated as more military units poured into the cavern to engage the aliens. In total, Schneider claims sixty men, soldiers and engineers, were killed in the battle, with only a small handful getting out alive. Reportedly, the aliens then retreated back into the cavern where they might remain to this day. Schneider believes that the government knew of the alien presence, hence the military escort. Schneider was later found murdered in his apartment, execution-style.
14. Operation Highjump
In 1947, famed American Admiral Richard E. Byrd led a large naval force to Antarctica, including 4,000 military troops, comprised of not only American, but British, Australian, and Canadian units. It was called Operation Highjump. Officially, the “invasion” of Antarctica was a winter training exercise; however, most records of the operation are still classified. World War II records showed that Nazi Germany led an expedition to Antarctica in 1938, and German naval units were still being encountered in the South Atlantic as late as 1947. There was also some classified British activity in the area during the war as well. In fact, the Americans detonated a nuclear missile there in 1958, under Operation Argus. But why? Conspiracy theorists believe it all stems around Germany’s Thule Society and alien technology being harnessed by the Nazis deep underground in a secret Antarctic base.
This is the theory: When the German expedition reached Antarctica in 1938, they found a vast series of underground caverns heated by subterranean rivers. By the end of the war, this was the new home to the Nazi regime. Being led by the occult-following Thule Society, they made contact with ancient aliens and began to unlock the secrets to their technology. The Nazis constructed, with extraterrestrial help, flying crafts resembling classic UFOs. The Allied force then invaded in 1947. When Admiral Byrd returned from Antarctica, the only public statement he ever made on the operation was that we should be vigilant for an air attack from the South Pole, urging serious defensive measures be taken. Conspiracy theorists point to these statements as the reason for a renewed U.S. attack on Antarctica and the eventual destruction of the Nazis and their alien allies through nuclear means in 1958.
13. The Chilean Time Warp
On Sunday, April 25, 1977, a Chilean Army squad was on routine guard patrol, under the command of young Corporal Armando Valdés Garrido. The temperature was dropping and the patrol setup camp near the town of Putre, in Northern Chile. They built a fire and stationed two soldiers on guard duty. Shortly before 4:00 A.M., a guard reported a strange light moving in the sky, descending towards them. The soldiers watched as the light drew steadily closer. It was a brilliant and lit up the whole area. The soldiers began to panic as the light came down by a nearby hill. The corporal and a few soldiers went to investigate. When they reached within 500 m (1,640 feet), a huge glowing object was visible. They described it as a violet-colored oval, about 25 m (82 feet) in diameter, with two glowing points of deep red lights that flashed.
The glowing object began to approach the soldier’s location. Some soldiers began to cry, others prayed. The corporal approached the object and shouted for it to identify itself. As he continued closer, he entered a mist that was surrounding the object, causing his soldiers to lose sight of him. The object soon left the area, leaving the soldiers wondering what happened to their corporal. About fifteen minutes later, he appeared, stumbling, and then collapsed to the ground. All the soldiers were clean-shaven, but the corporal now sported a beard of many days’ growth, and his digital watch read that the date was April 30, 1977, five days later. It appeared as if he had travelled through time five days in the future and then returned to a point fifteen minutes after he disappeared. Corporal Valdés could not explain what occurred and it has remained a mystery.
12. The 1998 Chinese Air Force Encounter
On Monday, October 19, 1998, four Chinese military radar stations in the Hebei province reported an unidentified object near a military flight training school in Changzhou. As the object did not appear to be a military or civilian craft, Colonel Li, the base commander, ordered the object to be intercepted. A Jianjiao 6 fighter jet was launched on an intercept course with the unknown object. Numerous witnesses on the ground were observing the object from the military base. They described it as “a small star” which grew larger, as it if were descending. It was reported that the object had a mushroom-shaped dome on top, with a flat-bottom containing brilliant, rotating lights.
The Jianjiao 6 jet flew within 4,000 meters (13,200 feet), before the object sharply shot upward, easily evading the jet fighter. As the jet tried to close the distance, the object would quickly accelerate out of range before quickly returning to a position right above it. The pilot and his radar officer were astounded. He requested permission to open fire on the object with the jet’s 20mm cannon, but was denied. He was ordered to continue his pursuit and observe only. As he followed the object to an altitude of 12,000 meters (39,600 feet) he began to run low on fuel. He had to break off his pursuit and return to base. Two additional fighter jets were dispatched to continue to pursuit but the object disappeared from radar before they could arrive.
11. The Tehran Diamond 1976
One of the most famous military UFO encounters is also one of the best documented. It occurred just after midnight on September 19, 1976, when an unknown object entered restricted airspace over Tehran, Iran. The Imperial Iranian Air Force ordered Shahrokhi Air Force Base to scramble a U.S.-made F-4 Phantom II jet fighter to investigate. Flying in from 282 km (175 miles) west of Tehran, Captain Mohammad Reza Azizhani’s F-4 noted that as he closed to about 40 nautical miles (74 km), he could easily see its brilliant light. As he got within 25 nautical miles (46 km), he lost all communications and instrumentation. Azizhani broke off his intercept course and was forced to return to base, restoring all functionality as he did so.
At that point, a second F-4 jet was launched, piloted by Lieutenant Parvis Jafari. As he closed in on the object at Mach 1, the mysterious craft kept a steady pace ahead at a range of 25 nautical miles (46 km). Jafari witnessed a second smaller object detach from the primary object and close in on his position at high speed. Believing he was under attack, Jafari attempted to launch an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile, but suddenly lost all weapons control. He took evasive action with the smaller object pursuing, before it decreased speed and rejoined with the larger object. Jafari instrumentation returned and the object accelerated away. What Jafari described was an object of alternating blue, green, red, and orange lights, all flashing in a sequence, so rapid that they could all be seen at once. Jafari would later retire as an air force general and, in 2007, reaffirm at an American conference that he believed the vehicle was not of this Earth.
10. The Malmstrom Air Force Base Missile Incident
Malmstrom Air Force Base, in Montana, during the Cold War, was home to a flight of ten Minutemen ICBM’s (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles), part of the America’s strategic nuclear arsenal. On March 16, 1967, Captain Robert Salas was on duty overseeing missile readiness when suddenly, one by one, the missiles became inoperable. Simultaneously, base security informed him of mysterious red glowing objects hovering in the sky above some of the silos, and one hovering outside the front gate. Maintenance and security teams were all in awe as they watched the mysterious lights. As long as the objects remained in the sky, maintenance crews were unable to get the missiles back online. Eventually the objects moved off and disappeared into the sky.
An in-depth investigation was unable to explain what happened. Power had not been lost to the missiles, yet for some unknown reason, each missile apparently suffered from an inexplicable Guidance and Control (G&C) System fault. Boeing engineers examined the missiles and the systems could find no technical explanation. They were only able to reproduce the effects on all ten missiles by introducing a 10-volt pulse onto a data line. The chance of such a pulse occurring on its own on a shielded secure line is virtually impossible, unless it occurred by way of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) of substantial magnitude. An EMP of that size would have required, in 1967 technology, very large and heavy equipment of the kind that was not readily available. The actual source of the pulse that caused the missiles to shutdown or the nature of the lights remains a mystery to this day.
9. The USS Memphis Encounter
On October 24, 1989, sailors aboard the submarine U.S.S. Memphis experienced something none of them would ever forget. Out of Cape Canaveral, their mission was to patrol the security perimeter for the U.S. Space Command whenever the space shuttle was on the launch pad. That night, the sub was 150 miles (241 km) off the Florida coast, cruising at a depth of 500 feet. The sub began to experience electrical anomalies, malfunctioning systems, and loss of navigational control. The order was given for “All Stop.” The captain ordered the nuclear reactor to be shut down, switch to diesel engines, and surface the sub. Once above water, the surface watch saw the rainy night was lit up bright red. A large inverted V-shaped object was hovering off the port side.
The captain ordered a distance measurement be taken. Using a laser range-finder, it was determined that the object was 200 meters at the closest point, and 1,000 meters to the farthest point, making it incredibly over a half-mile across. The object then made a half-circle around the sub passing across the stern, causing electronic systems to go haywire as it did so. The sailors could easily see rain being blocked under its red glow. The sea appeared to swell as the object passed over. After it completed its pass across the stern, the object grew brighter and moved off at remarkable speed. The sailors lost sight of the huge object within seconds, and the submarine’s systems returned to normal. After a quick systems check, the reactor was returned to full power and the sub got underway. When debriefed the following day, air force authorities attempted to explain the sighting away as an exploding weather satellite. Almost the entire crew was then reassigned. No official explanation has ever been given.
8. The 1986 Brazilian Air Force Chase
Up to twenty unidentified objects were tracked by ground radar on the night of May 19, 1986, flying over several states in southern Brazil, according to Aeronautics Minister, General Otávio Moreira Lima. Control tower personnel at the São José dos Campos airport spotted eight unidentified objects on their radar. They confirmed the sighting with the control towers in São Paulo and Brazilia. The objects were travelling at speeds up to 1,500 kmh (1,000 mph). Using binoculars, the São José tower can see that one of the objects is red-orange in color and has defined edges. Shortly after, an executive Xingu jet reports that can also see the objects at an altitude of 3,000 meters (10,000 ft.). The private jet is owned by retired air force colonel, Ozires Silva, president of the oil company Petrobrás. Silva orders his jet to follow the objects.
The Air Defense Command is informed and two F-5E jet fighters are scrambled from Santa Cruz Airbase to intercept the objects. Additionally, three missile-armed Mirage F-103 jets are launched from Anápolis airbase. The jets have radar contact with the objects but are unable to visually confirm the targets. At a speed of Mach 1, the jets attempt to close the distance. Radar showed the objects moving from side to side in a zig-zagging maneuver. At 11:15 P.M., the first F-5E makes visual contact with one of the brightly lit objects and chases it at Mach 1.1 (1,320 kmh). The other jets maneuvered into a tracking position when the tower notified them they picked up another 10 objects closing in on them from behind at 32 km (20 miles). Unable to visually confirm the objects, the jets take evasive action, at which time the radar targets disappear. Unable to relocate them, all the jet fighters return to base.
7. The 1957 RB-47 UFO Encounter
In the pre-dawn hours of July 17, 1957, an Air Force RB-47 jet bomber, equipped with electronic countermeasures (ECM) was on a training mission over Mississippi. They had taken off from Forbes Air Force Base, in Topeka, Kansas, for exercises over the Gulf Coast. The bomber was manned by six highly-trained officers. As they were preparing to head home, at around 4:00 A.M., radar picked up an object tracking them from a distance of 700 miles. Though the jet was flying at 500 mph, radar showed the unidentified object closing in on them. The RB-47 flew from Mississippi, through Louisiana and Texas, on into Oklahoma, over a 1.5 hour period of time. The entire time, the object followed. Occasionally, the crew was able to visually view the object, which appeared as a bright light, and was still showing up as a solid object by ground radar. The bomber’s ECM monitoring systems also detected the object.
ECM equipment did not work like radar; instead the monitoring system detected any electromagnetic signals that might be emitted from a target. It would be very useful in locating enemy radar installations. The detecting equipment monitored the object as it closed in on them and then amazingly flew a complete circle around them before flying off. Then, while over Louisiana, the captain saw a light to his left fast approaching the plane. He ordered the crew to brace themselves as the object flew past the cockpit at unbelievable speed before disappearing. This light shadowed them off and on over the next hour with ground radar tracking it the entire time. When the captain requested permission to intercept, the object instantly dropped over 15,000 feet in altitude. Low on fuel, the RB-47 had to return to base as the object flew off towards Oklahoma.
6. The Stephenville Lights
One of the most widely known UFO reports of the past decade is the Stephenville Lights. On January 8, 2008, forty witnesses in the small Texas town of Stephenville, southwest of Dallas, reported very bright lights in the sky. It began around 6:15 P.M.; these silent bright lights were seen moving slowly across the sky, at time exhibiting quick maneuvers, before slowing down again. A group of F-16 fighter jets were even seen chasing the objects. The military issued a statement two days later that no jets were operating in that air space, the Brownwood Military Operating Area, that evening. Civilian investigators contacted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to verify the military’s position. The FAA reported that a group of eight F-16’s from the 457th Fighter Squadron had entered the area at approximately 6:17 P.M., and remained in the area for about 30 minutes.
That information was made public and the military was forced to issue a press release acknowledging the error and admitting the presence of the fighters that night. However, the military claims the fighters were simply conducting training maneuvers and that any bright lights must have been LUU/2B/B flares, brighter than ordinary flares. Released radar tracking shows extraordinary objects that could not have been flares. One object was travelling at a speed of 2,100 mph, another appearing way larger than the jet that was chasing it. Another object was tracked for over an hour as it entered the area on a trajectory straight towards restricted airspace over former U.S. President George W. Bush’s Crawford ranch. Numerous police officers stopped to watch the strange lights and the jets flying through the sky. One officer captured dash cam footage, which was seized by military authorities. The military never issued a satisfactory explanation for the events over Stephenville, Texas.
5. The Usovo Incident
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, former Soviet military commanders revealed records detailing an incredible incident that occurred the night of October 4, 1982. World War III was very close to being a reality due to what they call “The Usovo Incident.” That night a large luminous object was seen hovering over the Soviet nuclear missile base near the town of Byelokoroviche, in the Ukraine. The object was first sighted about a mile away near the village of Usovo. Army officers in other areas outside of the base also reported the light, as well as other strange lights hovering above a nearby forest. As many as five lights total were seen in the area. One officer reported that as he drove near the area of one of the lights, his military radio was filled with static.
While nearly a thousand military personnel were watching the bright light in the sky, drama was unfolding deep inside the bunker. Major M. Davidovich Kataman, in charge of the missile panels, never saw the lights himself. He reported that during the sighting, several R-12 nuclear missiles activated on their own, without any signal being received from Moscow! None of the officers had begun the launch sequence. The panels all lit up as it appeared that the launch codes were being put in to activate the missiles. All they could do was standby helplessly as the missiles prepared to launch. Suddenly, the sequence ended and the panels shut off. They discovered later that this occurred as the strange lights outside moved off into the distance out of sight. Subsequent system tests show no defects in the missile launch programs. All the safeguards to prevent inadvertent launches were still in place. There was never any explanation for what occurred.
4. 1952 F-86 UFO Dogfight
In the 1950s, U.S. Air Force Captain Edward J. Ruppelt was the first director of Project Blue Book, the unit tasked with investigating and analyzing reports of unidentified flying objects. In fact, he is most famous for coining the term “Unidentified Flying Object,” because he believed the term “flying saucer” was too misleading. In a report that he disclosed years later, an incident occurred in the summer of 1952 that his superiors ordered be stricken from official project records. Ruppelt received a report from an intelligence officer about an incident over an undisclosed air base.
It was early morning, when radar picked up an unknown object travelling very fast, just northeast of the airfield, but its altitude was unknown. Two F-86 jets were scrambled to intercept. Once airborne, the jets began to search for the object at different altitudes. One jet descended to about 5,000 feet when he noticed a flash just below him. He dived and headed toward the light. As he closed, he noticed what he thought was a low-flying weather balloon until he realized it was keeping pace ahead of him at great speed. Once he was about 1,000 yards from the object, he could see it clearly, not a balloon, but actually more flattened, like a “doughnut without a hole.” He closed to 500 yards when suddenly the object sped up and began to pull away. He opened fire on the object, but it climbed quickly and was gone within a few seconds. The pilot returned to base. The pilot was well-respected and the fact that he shot at the object couldn’t be ignored. But that’s exactly what the brass did. Captain Ruppelt read the report and was then ordered to burn it.
3. The Kinross Air Force Base Incident
It was a quiet evening on November 23, 1953, when U.S. Air Force radar controllers became alerted to an unknown target entering U.S. airspace over Lake Superior, on the Canadian border near Michigan. An F-89C Scorpion Interceptor jet, piloted by Lieutenant Felix Moncla and radar operator Lieutenant Robert Wilson, was scrambled to intercept from Kinross Air Force Base in Michigan. Ground radar operators reported that Moncla flew high above the target at a speed of about 500 mph. He then descended down and closed in on the object from above while crossing over Northern Lake Superior at an altitude of 7,000 feet.
Controllers were astonished as they observed the F-89C’s radar blip close in on the unidentified target and then merge with it on the screen. The two radar blips became one. The target blip then quickly left the area, disappearing off the radar. A thorough search was conducted but no trace of the F-89C or its crew was ever found; no debris or wreckage. Canadian aviation authorities maintain that they had no planes in the area at the time. No ground witnesses could confirm even seeing Moncla’s jet or the unidentified object. Moncla, his radar operator, and his plane were never seen again.
2. The Rendlesham Forest Sighting
Rendlesham Forest is a large forest in Suffolk, England, near the NATO air bases, RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge; at the time leased to the United States Air Force. On December 26, 1980, at about 3:00 A.M., two air force security policemen witnessed bright lights descend into the forest, about a mile from the east gate to RAF Woodbridge. Believing it was a downed aircraft, they went to investigate. They reported finding a strange glowing object, triangular in shape, metallic with strange markings, about three meters across and two meters in height. It had a reddish light on top and a bank of blue lights below. It appeared to be hovering or resting on some unseen landing gear. As they moved in closer, the object moved away from them. They immediately reported the sighting to their superiors. The next day, a subsequent patrol investigated the sighting and found indentations in the ground where the object had been as well as burn marks on nearby broken trees. Plaster casts were made of the indentations and a report was filed with command.
The next night, another glowing object was spotted within the forest with a pulsating red light, with more lights seen moving above the trees. Deputy base commander, Colonel Charles Halt decided to organize a team and investigate himself. Halt carried a handheld micro-cassette recorder and narrated their search for the record. He and his team witnessed the pulsing light moving through the forest, making sharp angular movements and alternating between red, green, and blue lights. One of the objects in the sky was then seen giving off a white beam of light that lit up the ground beneath it as it moved across the forest. Colonel Halt filed an official report and was unable to explain the mysterious lights.
It is an incident so infamous that it is instantly known by only word, “Roswell.” This single event brought the flying saucer phenomenon to the forefront of popular culture. In early July 1947, ranch foreman Mack Brazel discovered a large debris field on his ranch, north of Roswell, New Mexico. Appearing to crash debris, he contacted the local military base at Roswell Army Air Field. The base sent out Major Jesse Marcel who witnessed the debris and subsequently the military ordered a complete clean-up and retrieval of all of it. On July 8th, after reviewing the debris, base commander Colonel William Blanchard ordered Lt. Walter Haut to issue a press release stating that the Army had indeed recovered a crashed flying saucer. That same day, General Roger Ramey, commander of the 8th Air Force, notified the press that the press release was in error and that they had mistook a downed weather balloon for a crashed flying saucer. The incident was a non-event and faded into obscurity.
Then, in the late 1970s, retired Jesse Marcel went public claiming that the debris he recovered was definitely not of this Earth; thus starting the biggest UFO conspiracy theory of all time. In 1995, the U.S. Air Force attempted to close the matter by admitting that the debris was actually from a classified project called Mogul, high-altitude balloons designed to detect Soviet atomic bomb testing. However, Marcel, and even Walter Haut, claimed it was impossible that they, or Col. Blanchard, could possibly mistake a downed top secret balloon for what they found in that field. Since then, other military personnel have come forward adding to the story, telling of found alien bodies, recovered technologies, and the secret Hangar 18. We may never know what was really recovered that day in Roswell.