Arizona lands #7 on list of states with the most UFO sightings
UFO sightings date back to biblical times.
PHOENIX (Stacker) - In the Bible’s Book of Ezekiel, a mysterious ship is described as appearing from the sky in Chaldea (modern-day Kuwait). Strange sightings were recorded around Rome in 218 B.C. A wave of mysterious apparitions showed up in fourth-century China when a “moon boat” was documented floating over the country once every 12 years. A smattering of other, unfamiliar objects in the sky were noted in Germany in 1561, Hull, England, in 1801, and multiple times during World War II when Allied pilots used the term “foo fighters” to describe the odd circles of light pilots noticed flanking their planes during combat.
The term “UFO,” short for “unidentified flying object,” was coined in 1953 by the United States Air Force as a bucket term for unexplained sightings like these. Stateside sightings were hardly restricted to military flyover zones, however. 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. By the time he and the other men on his boat got their wits about them, their vessel was a mile from where it had been when they first spotted the light.
The first documented image of a UFO was captured in 1870 on the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire. More sightings were reported at Mount Rainier in Washington in 1947, and of course several in Roswell, New Mexico. Since then, countless numbers of unusual shapes in the sky—and their supposed inhabitants—have been exhaustively reported without sufficient explanations beyond the possible existence of extraterrestrial life.
A surge in eyewitness accounts begot even more sightings along with attempts to protect against invasions and abductions. More than 40,000 Americans bought into alien protection insurance, which offers customers monetary relief should a loved one get carted away by little green men. One Roper Poll in 1991 suggests that around 4 million Americans believe they’ve been abducted by aliens.
The longstanding, official position of the U.S. government has been that claims of alien life stem from hoaxes or mistaking other objects like weather balloons for UFOs or alien life. A highly anticipated U.S. intelligence report on UFOs, due to Congress on June 25, is unlikely to change that position: Leaks ahead of its release suggest the official ruling will be that no evidence of alien life has been found—but conveniently can’t be ruled out.
Since its founding in 1974, the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) has documented around 90,000 UFO sightings, with almost 95% of those sightings supposedly easily explained away as military tests, weather balloons, or other terrestrial activity. Using data from NUFORC’s 24/7 hotline, which has been around since 1974, Stacker compiled a ranking of the states with the most reported UFO sightings. NUFORC’s dataset includes reports dating back to 1400.
For each state, we’ve also included details of famous UFO sightings in that state. Of note is that almost three-quarters of all UFO sighting reports in the United States occur between 4 p.m. and midnight, and tend to peak between 9 and 10 p.m. Food for thought next time you’re out scoping for alien life. Keep reading to see which states have had the most UFO sightings.
#51. District Of Columbia
- UFO sightings: 87
Throughout the month of July 1952, a series of sightings known as the “Big Flap” put Washington D.C. residents into a panic. It began July 19: Repeated radar blips and sightings of lights moving at irregular speeds and trajectories (unusual enough to rule out shooting stars or aircraft) inspired the U.S. Air Force to send fighter jets into the sky to intercept what was assumed to be enemy aircraft and possibly a Soviet-led invasion. The radar signals disappeared each time jet fighters approached and reappeared when they moved away. The signals returned the following week, two more F-94 jets gave chase, and the blips vanished again. One jet pilot claimed to see a light in the distance, but couldn’t close in on it. The government ruled it a “temperature inversion” to explain the mystery away.
#50. North Dakota
- UFO sightings: 192
Veteran World War II B-25 fighter pilot George F. Gorman had a 27-minute sky encounter with a white ball of light over Fargo, North Dakota, on Oct. 1, 1948. Known as the “Gorman Dogfight,” Gorman saw what he described as a flying disk with clear edges and many bright lights that he pursued for the better part of half an hour. Gorman attempted to make contact with the craft, which dodged Gorman’s advances at speeds in excess of 600 miles per hour. His story was verified by two air traffic controllers and another pilot flying in Fargo that night.
- UFO sightings: 266
Two triangular UFOs with three blue lights were spotted over Cheyenne’s countryside on March 4, 2019, just a few weeks after almost a dozen multicolored lights were recorded traveling north over Riverton at various altitudes. Local residents’ tendencies to look skyward is perhaps best illustrated in Green River: When a comet crashed into Jupiter in 1994, Wyoming’s Green River city council turned its local airstrip into a refuge for potentially fleeing Jovians. The “Greater Green River Intergalactic Spaceport” has to date only shown evidence of terrestrial life.
#48. South Dakota
- UFO sightings: 272
During the evenings of Aug. 5 and 6, 1953, nearly four dozen civilians in the Bismarck area and multiple Military Air Defense system personnel at the Ellsworth Air Force Base reported a red, glowing light making sweeping movements across the sky. The light was further detected on radar by the Air Defense System. Similar sightings were reported earlier in western North and South Dakotas. The extensive documentation by the Air Force makes the Ellsworth Case among the most significant UFO sightings in American history.
- UFO sightings: 294
Delaware may rank low on how many UFO sightings it gets, but where it falls short on documentation it makes up for with imagination. The state is home to two prefab, UFO-shaped structures created in the ‘60s by a Finnish architect who thought the design could provide a solution to the housing shortage on Earth. Many UFO sightings in Delaware center on odd light formations and shapes in the sky and, in February 2019, a possible spacecraft with multicolored lights being pushed out of the airspace by five (presumably terrestrial) planes.
#46. Rhode Island
- UFO sightings: 448
Two of the most iconic flying saucer photos of the ‘60s were snapped in 1967 in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. The first, on June 10, was taken by Harold A. Trudel, who pulled his car over in East Woonsocket in order to wait for a UFO sighting (several of which he claimed to have already experienced in the area). The seven images he captured over the course of five minutes have long been disputed. The other photo was captured on June 18 and bears striking similarities to the craft another man, George Adamski, claimed to have captured on film in 1952 (which one German scientist said was nothing more than a faked photo using a surgical lamp).
- UFO sightings: 448
Eighteen-year-old Adonus Baugh on March 19, 2019, videotaped a still-unidentified glowing object apparently falling from the Anchorage, Alaska, sky. Another Anchorage resident captured photos of the same mysterious object, which a spokeswoman from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson said did not resemble any aircraft from the base.
- UFO sightings: 459
Among Vermont’s most famous UFO stories is the Buff Ledge Abduction, in which, on Aug. 7, 1968, four UFOs appeared over Lake Champlain and allegedly abducted two camp counselors in Vermont. The lights from that encounter were reported by multiple witnesses.
- UFO sightings: 468
One of Nebraska’s most well-known UFO stories was turned into a comic book in 2019, aptly titled “An Alien Encounter.” The book illustrates a 1967 eyewitness account from Nebraska State Patrolman Herbert Schirmer, who saw what he assumed to be a tractor-trailer but which turned out to be a UFO. Under hypnosis, Schirmer recalled being abducted and shown how the spacecraft worked.
- UFO sightings: 495
Two Harvard astronomers in 2017 released a draft paper about ‘Oumuamua (Hawaiian for “scout” or “messenger”), a cigar-shaped UFO spotted with the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope at the Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii in October of that year. The paper suggests the spinning craft—roughly a quarter-mile long and with no detectable tail—may have been a sign of alien life from well outside our solar system.
- UFO sightings: 537
Two fishermen on the Pascagoula River in 1975 claimed to have been abducted by aliens. While Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker’s story was met with cynicism at the time, three more witnesses came forward in 2019 to substantiate the claims. Parker, who died in 2011, at the time assumed the blue light on the water meant cops had shown up to kick the men off the property. Then, he said, he noticed the lights were coming from above. According to the story, three aliens without legs injected the men with a sedative, abducted them, and performed physical examinations aboard the spacecraft before releasing the men back along the river.
#40. West Virginia
- UFO sightings: 621
The Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia, is a premier location for scientists who make it their work to study extraterrestrial life (OK, and star-mapping, supernovas, and other, more generalized scientific research) by documenting energy waves from hundreds of lightyears away into computers via giant radio telescope. With many signals so faint they’re easily drowned out by any ambient noise, these scientists abide by the National Radio Quiet Zone, a code of science that bars normal everyday tech devices so they can conduct their work without interference.
- UFO sightings: 717
Minor-league baseball team manager Nick Mariana in 1950 captured two silver crafts spinning in mid-air over Great Falls, Montana, on his 16-mm camera. A governmental panel was gathered in 1953 to review Mariana’s footage, other U.S. Air Force UFO data, and a second short film of a sighting in Utah. The panel concluded in its report that Mariana’s images were the result of sunlight reflecting off off Air Force interceptors—and that the Utah footage showed light glinting off seagulls in flight.
- UFO sightings: 763
For visitors to Louisiana who have a hankering for supernatural encounters, the Abita Mystery House in Abita Springs is a must-stop—particularly for its UFO crash site. Shreveport’s proximity to the Barksdale Air Force Base translates to plenty of UFO sightings, as military exercises and tests are commonly misconstrued by the civilian population.
- UFO sightings: 788
Arkansas’ history with UFOs goes back at least to April 20, 1897. Railroad conductor James Hooton claimed to be hunting in Homan when he came upon an otherworldly airship and chatted with its bespectacled pilot and crew. Hooton described the craft as cylindrical, with wheels and a horizontal blade above it that moved by compressed air.
- UFO sightings: 795
The Boeing B-47 Stratojet was a highly advanced, long-range, six-engined bomber introduced in 1951 to fly at extremely high altitudes and subsonic speeds in order to completely evade enemy aircraft—which is why it was so odd when, in 1957, an Air Force RB-47 was followed for 700 miles by an unidentified craft over Kansas and on through Missouri and Texas. Six years later, the radar of another RB-47 captured a radar blip followed by a bright blue light that was corroborated by the pilot and crew.
- UFO sightings: 826
One of Maine’s most famous alien encounters is the Allagash Abduction of 1976. Four men on a camping trip in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway on Aug. 20, 1976, claimed they were abducted by aliens. Years after the incident, all four men were put under hypnosis and interviewed about the abduction. All four stories matched identically.
- UFO sightings: 833
One of the most famous accounts of alien life in Iowa never actually happened. In the opening of Robert A. Heinlein’s 1951 novel “The Puppet Masters,” government agents investigate an alien ship outside Grinnell, Iowa.
#33. New Hampshire
- UFO sightings: 863
Betty and Barney Hill’s 1961 alien abduction along Route 3 in Lancaster, New Hampshire, remains one of the most highly publicized stories of alien contact in the world. Under hypnosis, the couple independently recalled being kidnapped, medically examined, and released by bald-headed aliens with oblong eyes in a cigar-shaped, floating craft. Today, believers can visit a 50th-anniversary plaque commemorating the abduction along the roadside near Lincoln.
- UFO sightings: 962
A woman in 1989 reported an unusual light in the sky in Fyffe, Alabama; her report was followed up later by area police who claimed to see a large UFO flying in total silence overhead. The resulting excitement led more than 4,000 people to descend on the tiny town. No sightings were reported by the crowds, perhaps because of overcast skies and a light rain.
- UFO sightings: 994
A video of UFOs overhead at the Oklahoma State Fair in 2017 caused quite a stir, but turned out to be skydivers and not alien life. If you want to be sure of an encounter, stop in and see some alien yard art along Route 66 in Stroud.
- UFO sightings: 1,001
Many of Idaho’s most-documented accounts of UFO encounters in Idaho come from the state’s police officers and southeast residents. These include claims of alien crafts following on-duty officers, unusual sightings, and a particular stretch of Idaho State Highway 30-E so notorious for UFO sightings it’s been coined Idaho’s UFO Highway. Should you stop there, or anywhere else in the state for that matter, your odds of seeing a UFO are roughly estimated at 1 in 133,600.
- UFO sightings: 1,070
There are multiple first-person accounts of alien abductions throughout Utah in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Then there are the supposed 1967 images taken by the military of alien reproduction vehicles (ARVs), reverse-engineered flying saucers. Cases like these—along with the much-whispered-about “New Area 51″—continue to be turned over by groups like The Utah UFO Hunters, a group of people based in Salt Lake City devoted to discovering evidence of alien life, UFO activities, and paranormal occurrences. If you’re in the state and looking to see some evidence of alien life yourself, make a pit stop for some flying saucer folk art in Clawson, Utah, that includes a UFO landing site and UFO crash site.
- UFO sightings: 1,095
Today, your odds of seeing a UFO in Nevada are 1 in 69,600. But with the Cold War and McCarthyism at their height (and a smaller population to boot), odds of spying unexplained crafts in the 1950s—particularly in the proximity of the Nevada Test and Training Range and Area 51—were significantly higher.
#27. New Mexico
- UFO sightings: 1,143
Being home to Roswell and virtually thousands of statewide tales of alien contact and UFO sightings, New Mexico’s history is inextricably tied to our fascination with possible alien life. In 1947, numerous eyewitnesses in Roswell claimed to have seen (or helped to cover up) a UFO crash site. Today, tourists can get their alien fixes at the International UFO Museum and Research Center, where you can learn about the most famous (and many obscure) claims of extraterrestrial activity and alien abduction in the U.S. and world.
- UFO sightings: 1,160
Each year, the Kelly Little Green Men Days Festival commemorates the Aug. 21, 1955, alien invasion of the farm of Elmer Sutton. That ambush allegedly involved a small group of alien creatures descending from their spacecraft outside of Sutton’s farmhouse to the horror of him and his family, which included five adults and seven children.
- UFO sightings: 1,300
Maryland’s most famous UFO sighting is likely that of Alvin Cohen and Phillip Small, who around midnight on Oct. 26, 1958, were driving past the Loch Raven Reservoir in Towson, Maryland. The men said they saw a giant, iridescent object floating over a bridge. The car, including the electrical system, died as the men pulled forward. The oval-shaped craft continued to float briefly before letting out a flash of light, a burst of heat, and a noise before shooting further up into the sky and vanishing. The state keeps stories like this alive with the annual Gambrills, Maryland, event, “Mysteries of Space and Sky,” which focuses on a science-based approach to investigating extraterrestrial activity.
- UFO sightings: 1,482
Deputy sheriff Val Johnson awoke 40 minutes after his squad car had been swallowed in a ball of light sometime around midnight on Aug. 27, 1979. His wristwatch and car’s clock, both meticulously set, had stopped for a full 14 minutes and he was 1,000 feet from where the incident occurred. One hundred feet of skid marks scarred the highway, and cracks throughout the vehicle’s windshield, according to an expert from Ford Motor Co., appeared to have been caused by simultaneous inward and outward forces. Johnson also suffered welder’s burns and had scorched retinas upon medical inspection. A metal expert brought in to examine the car found bent antennas he could only explain as having been deformed by powerful bursts of air. The car can still be viewed at the Settler’s Square Historical Museum in Warren.
- UFO sightings: 1,496
A series of 2012 reports in Connecticut described a still-unsolved incident of a mysterious falling object that allegedly vanished into Bantam Lake, and the internet all but exploded when almost 13,000 UFO documents—which included dozens of eyewitness accounts based in Connecticut stretching back to the 1940s—were released on The Black Vault website. These and other unexplained activities are covered each month at the Connecticut chapter of the Mutual UFO Network, an organization of alien enthusiasts striving to verify or debunk stories of strange sightings and otherworldly encounters.
- UFO sightings: 1,556
Five separate witnesses from the Tennessee towns of Knoxville, Cleveland, Kingston, Coalfield, and Murfreesboro made a report on March 29, 2019, to the National UFO Reporting Center. Reports claimed a fireball and various lights passed over the sky over the course of about 10 seconds. In 2018, Tennessee was ranked among the top six states for UFO sightings in “UFO Cases of Interest: 2018 Edition.”
- UFO sightings: 1,666
The 2,400-person town of Belleville, Wisconsin, holds an annual UFO Day to memorialize multiple January 1987 sightings (including documented reports by the local police force) of strange lights in the sky just outside town. Three hours from that site in Poland, Wisconsin, one Bob Tohak in 1994 constructed a self-described “U.F.O. Landing Port” atop a 14-yard fuel tank standing vertically on the property of Tohak & Son Welding.
#20. South Carolina
- UFO sightings: 1,759
Bowman, South Carolina, hasn’t been home to any credible UFO sightings—unless you count the homemade UFO constructed of garbage by Jody Pendarvis, which he lovingly calls the UFO Welcome Center. Prominently featured on Roadside America, Pendarvis claims to have come up with the concept for the structure in the ‘90s, and opened the spaceship’s doors to the public by Memorial Day of 1999.
- UFO sightings: 1,839
On Oct. 9, 1973, first-responder switchboards were overwhelmed by nearly 700 calls to report UFO sightings. These included blinking lights near the ground, a UFO spotted on a telescope by astronomy students, and even radar operators at a Fort Wayne airfield having irregular activity show up on a screen. The most commonly reported traits of UFO sightings in the Hoosier State today are multicolored and white lights, orange fireballs or balls of light, disks spotted during daylight hours, and triangular shapes documented after dark, according to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) of Indiana.
- UFO sightings: 1,870
The Rev. William Huffman in April of 1941 was called by the local sheriff to the site of a plane crash between Cape Girardeau and Chaffee, Missouri, to deliver last rites. When he arrived, Huffman discovered it was not a terrestrial plane crash at all, but rather a damaged flying saucer that had caused a fire in a neighbor’s field. He also found two alien bodies, one of which was already dead and the other dying. Members of the local Army corps arrived, barricaded the area, and confiscated all film from snap-happy photographers on the scene. This well-publicized event came just six years before the famed incident involving a supposed alien crash in Roswell, New Mexico.
- UFO sightings: 1,884
Betty Andreasson was at home with her family in South Ashburnham, Massachusetts, in January 1967 when she claimed gray aliens with oval-shaped heads and enormous eyes slipped her into a trance and abducted her. Aboard the craft, Andreasson said she was examined and then an alien disclosed to her the meaning of life and immediately erased her memory—all of which she recalled while under hypnosis. Her experiences were documented in Raymond Fowler’s book “The Andreasson Affair.” Two years later, on Sept. 1, 1969, 9-year-old Thom Reed claimed to have been abducted by aliens from the car he was driving in with his brother, mother, and grandmother over the Old Covered Bridge in Sheffield, Massachusetts. The Great Barrington Historical Society in 2015 officially recognized the account as a historic event.
- UFO sightings: 1,913
Two UFO sightings were reported to the National UFO Reporting Center in Virginia on April 4, 2019. At 6:48 a.m., an eyewitness claimed to have seen a light blue circular craft darting across the sky in Virginia Beach headed east. Seven minutes later, an eyewitness at the Norfolk Naval Station 23 miles northwest claimed to see what resembled a shooting star with a green glow that never faded and a short tail. The object moved without noise quickly across the sky and disappeared in 10 seconds. There were 2,348 UFO sightings reported throughout the state between 2001 and 2015, roughly 27.9 sightings per 100,000 people.
- UFO sightings: 1,952
While serving as governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter in 1973 filed a report with Oklahoma’s UFO Bureau about a mysterious object he claimed to have seen in 1969. During that decade, Georgia’s version of Area 51—a nuclear aircraft and radiation testing facility just north of Atlanta—was an area rich in tales and conspiracy theories about abductions, UFOs, and animal mutilation.
#14. New Jersey
- UFO sightings: 1,972
Home to the Jersey Devil and dozens of other urban-myth celebrities, the Garden State is hardly one to shy away from stories of extraterrestrial encounters. On July 14, 2001—50 years after lights in V formations were widely recorded in 1951 in Lubbock, Texas—UFOs in a giant flying V were detected traveling along the New Jersey Turnpike for roughly 15 minutes in plain sight of hundreds of motorists and other onlookers between Staten Island, New York, and Carteret, New Jersey. Witnesses included a Carteret police lieutenant, who described the sight as a collection of orange and yellow lights over the Arthur Kill Waterway.
- UFO sightings: 2,187
A watchtower in Hooper, Colorado, has been the site of multiple claims of UFO sightings in the same area where two cattle were mysteriously mutilated in 2009. The attacks, reported by rancher Manuel Sanchez outside of San Luis, included precise removal of organs, no evidence of a struggle, and no pooling of blood. He found another calf in a similar state several weeks later, which led to Sanchez selling off the rest of his cattle before he lost any more. News reports noted the striking similarities between Sanchez’s accounts and a similar string of mutilations in 1967 on the King ranch several miles away outside Alamosa.
- UFO sightings: 2,316
McMinnville, Oregon, is home to the annual UFO Fest, a three-day affair inspired by the iconic 1950 photos of flying saucers shot by Evelyn and Paul Trent over their farm outside town. The pictures made it into Life magazine and caused a national stir the town still celebrates today.
- UFO sightings: 2,475
U.S. Air Force Pilot and First Lt. Felix Eugene Moncla Jr. in 1953 was conducting an air defense intercept over Lake Superior near the Soo Locks in Michigan when he—and his plane—disappeared. In what is today known as the Kinross Incident (Moncla was on temporary assignment at Kinross Air Force Base), Air Defense Command radar found a UFO traveling 500 miles per hour in the airspace. Moncla took off in an F-89C all-weather jet interceptor after the craft, but as his radar blip connected with the UFO’s, communication went dark in what was assumed to be a crash. Moncla and his plane have never been located; the U.S. Air Force claimed Moncla crashed into a Royal Canadian Air Force (FCAF) vessel. The pilot of that supposed craft claimed to have not seen nor been aware of an intercepting plane; and the RCAF in multiple instances denied any incidents in the air on that day.
#10. North Carolina
- UFO sightings: 2,629
On. Jan. 25, 2019, Bret Jones was outside taking pictures of birds in Greensboro, North Carolina when he saw a bright flash in the sky near a plane flying overhead. Wondering if the mysterious shape was a balloon, he began recording the object until it disappeared after about 10 seconds. The odds of seeing a UFO in the state are just 1 in 205,900, although you wouldn’t know it from the stories that stretch back to at least 1940 and have touched off a number of conspiracy theories about government cover-ups and experiments.
- UFO sightings: 2,758
Just after 4 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2006, 12 United Airlines employees and multiple witnesses inside Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport saw a dark gray aircraft floating around above gate C17 as Flight 446 prepped for departure. After roughly five minutes, the UFO darted into the sky, broke through clouds with enough pronouncement to reveal blue sky, and disappeared. No radar picked it up, leading the FAA to deem the sighting a “weather phenomenon.”
- UFO sightings: 3,012
The Center for UFO Studies was founded by Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a professor of astronomy at Ohio State University who went on to become chairman of the astronomy department at Northwestern University. Hynek served during the 1950s and 1960s as the astronomical consultant to the United States Air Force’s Project Blue Book, a project tasked with investigating and explaining UFO phenomena. Hynek sought to determine wherever possible an astronomical explanation for UFOs.
- UFO sightings: 3,188
Some of the most notable UFO sightings in Arizona include a 1953 incident when three Prescott residents saw eight UFOs at Del Rio Springs Creek; and another on Nov. 5, 1975, when 22-year-old Arizona logger Travis Walton got zapped by a beam of light from a UFO in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests new Snowflake, Arizona, that threw him 20 feet in front of six of his terrified crew members. The men thought Walton was dead and ran for help. Meanwhile, Walton claimed to have woken up in a room filled with aliens who kept him prisoner for five days while authorities conducted a search party for the missing man. Walton’s experience—which he has defended to this day—was made into the 1993 movie “Fire in the Sky.”
- UFO sightings: 3,517
Pennsylvania’s own version of the Roswell incident came about in 1965 when a fireball witnessed by thousands of onlookers across six states that caused sonic booms around Pittsburgh crashed into Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, only to be recovered—or covered up—by the U.S. military. A legal battle followed, leading to Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta pushing for the release of the Kecksburg documents.
#5. New York
- UFO sightings: 3,830
When an electrical surge and explosion at a Con Ed substation in Queens lit up the sky in December of 2018, many were sure the blue haze was a sign of alien life. Less debunked than that, however, is New York’s Hudson Valley UFO, a Dec. 31, 1982 sighting by hundreds of onlookers of a V-shaped collection of multicolored lights connected by a triangular fuselage moving deliberately and without a sound across the night sky.
- UFO sightings: 3,848
Several of Texas’ most famous recordings of UFO activity had multiple witnesses, garnering more credibility than other, one-off documentation and raising additional, unanswered questions. Such was the case in January 2008, when dozens of residents in the tiny town of Stephenville, Texas reported white lights floating over Highway 67 in a single arc that then moved silently into vertical, parallel lines. Although the Air Force claimed F-16s had been flying in that proximity at the time, eyewitnesses disputed those claims, saying the lights were far too advanced for such a simple explanation.
- UFO sightings: 4,351
Home to the first filmed evidence of a UFO, Washington is no stranger to close encounters of the third kind. On June 21, 1947, Harold A. Dahl reported to authorities that his son had been injured and his dog killed by flying debris from four to six circular objects in what became known as the Maury Island Incident. A witness was also apparently threatened by characters wearing all black, which became the inspiration for the popular “Men in Black” movies decades later.
- UFO sightings: 5,826
Floridians count many believers among them; and hundreds of folks have come forward with tales of holograms, abductions, odd spacecraft, lights in the sky, and everything in between over the years. Many UFO sightings have been debunked, including two 2018 incidents of a butterfly mistaken for alien craft over a Floridian swamp; and Tallahassee parachuters who got confused with UFOs.
- UFO sightings: 10,333
It’s no surprise that the state with the most UFO sightings is also home to the annual Contact in the Desert, the world’s “largest UFO conference.” The event generally features speakers, panel discussions, lots of opportunities for stargazing, and a steady stream of believers ready to share their experiences—many of which have been captured on camera.
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