May 14, 2024 | Allison Robertson

UFO Sightings in the United States

UFO Sightings in America

A UFO is generally considered to include “any perceived aerial phenomenon that cannot be immediately identified or explained.”

Here is a list of alleged notable sightings of UFOs and related claims of close encounters with aliens, that have been specifically reported in the United States of America, dating back as far as the 1600s and as recently as December 2023.

Ufo Sightings America Split Gallery

Brookline, Massachusetts

Way back in 1639, a man named James Everell, claimed to have witnessed a light in the sky darting back and forth before finally fading away.

Other than that, there is very little information about this incident given the time period it dates back to.

Supposed ummite ship in San José de Valderas - 1967Wikimedia Commons, Picryl

Cadotte Pass, Montana

In September of 1865, a trapper named James Lumley apparently saw a “craft” in the sky and then a subsequent crash. He described a sulfur smell and seeing hieroglyphics in the area.

UFO crash on a valleyFer Gregory, Shutterstock

Multiple Locations

Between 1896 and 1897, there were various reports about multiple sightings of a “airship-like vehicles” flying low in the sky all across the United States.

UFO on the sky - 2010Lee Haywood, Flickr

Aurora, Texas

In April of 1897, local residents alleged that an airship crashed in Aurora, and the unalive alien pilot was buried in the local cemetery.

old tombstoneFrancesco Ungaro, Pexels

Los Angeles, California

In February of 1942, a very strange event occurred. It’s been dubbed as “The Battle of Los Angeles” or “The Great Los Angeles Air Raid.”

It was an alleged enemy attack that resulted in American troops unleashing anti-aircraft fire into the skies over the city.

The Mobile Anti-Aircraft Artillery weapon - 2013The Carouselambra Kid, Flickr

The Battle of Los Angeles

Later, government officials blamed the attack on Japan, and then they called it a “false alarm”, and then it was blamed on a lost weather balloon.

NWS WEATHER BALLOON - 2014Bill Morrow, Flickr

Maury Island, Washington

In June of 1947, “The Maury Incident” involved claims of falling debris and threats by “men in black” following sightings of unidentified flying objects in the sky over Maury Island in Puget Sound.

FBI agent in 1939 with portable telephone.Federal Bureau of Investigation. Picryl

Maury Island, Washington: Again

In the same month, an American aviator named Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine unusual objects flying in a chain formation while he was out searching for a missing military aircraft.

His description was very specific.

Artist impression of the Maury Island UFO hoax by James B. Settles - 1948

Maury Island, Washington: Description

He described the objects as almost blindingly bright when they reflected the sun's rays; their flight as "erratic" ("like the tail of a Chinese kite") and flying at "tremendous speed."

Big bright light in sky above buildingArtHouse Studio, Pexels

Roswell, New Mexico

You may have heard of the “Roswell UFO incident”, which occurred a month after the last two sightings in Washington.

Locals watched a “flying disc” in the sky crash over a remote ranch in Roswell.

Welcome to Roswell, New Mexico - 2021Jimmy Emerson, DVM, Flickr

The Roswell Incident: Debris

Numerous pieces of debris were found, but the government obviously covered it up by saying it was a weather balloon.

Years later, their story changed again.

Roswell, New Mexico, UFO incident - 1947Fort Worth Star-Telegram Photograph Collection, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Roswell Incident: Explanation

The government later changed their story, claiming it was now a spy balloon.

In addition to the wreckage, another crash site was found 40 miles away, where apparent alien bodies were recovered.

Brig General Ramey Roswell debris - 1947Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The University of Texas at Arlington Library, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Roswell Incident: Aliens

A firefighter who was first on scene was pressured by the military to keep quiet about what he saw.

There were others who claimed to have seen the bodies “under the tarps” as well, and who were also pressured to keep quiet.

Grey humanoid alien . portraits setoneinchpunch, Shutterstock

Maysville, Kentucky

A year later, in 1948, the “Mantell UFO incident” occurred. This one involved a crash that ended in the demise of a 25-year-old Kentucky Air National Guard pilot, Captain Thomas F. Mantell.

He was apparently in pursuit of a UFO.

Portrait Of Captain Thomas F. Mantell Jr -  1948Kentucky National Guard, Wikimedia Commons

Montgomery, Alabama

A few months later, two American commercial pilots claim to have nearly collided with a strange torpedo-shaped object in the sky.

Aircraft cockpit view - 1942John Atherton, Flickr

The Montgomery Incident: Description

They claim the object was “glowing” as it passed by their plane before it appeared to “pull up into a cloud” and disappear.

The Air Force had a plan.

The UFO looks like a pill/capsule - 1979Wikimedia Commons, Picryl

The Montgomery Incident

The US Airforce claimed to have no idea what it was, and the incident was investigated but the findings were not made public.

Bomb Group discuss their last mission. - 1943Imperial War Museum, UK, Picryl

Fargo, North Dakota

Again, in the same year (1948), only a couple months later, another US Air Force pilot apparently saw a UFO while in the sky and pursued it for a total of 27 minutes in a “dogfight”, but the aircraft was too fast.

After several near-collisions at extremely high speeds and vertical climbs, until it soared upward until out of sight.

Pilot looking outside a plane cockpit.The U.S. National Archives, Picryl

The North Dakota Dogfight

The pilot describes the aircraft as a “ball of light”. Several others in the control tower watched with binoculars.

The government claimed it was another weather balloon.

An air traffic controller checks the flight line with binoculars - 1984The U.S. National Archives, Picryl

McMinnville, Oregon

Two years later, in 1950, the “Mariana UFO Incident” occurred.

Two people saw, and video recorded, “two bright silvery objects, rotating while flying over Great Falls at a speed estimated to be 200-240 miles per hour.”

UFO lands - late evening shot - 2014Vladimir Pustovit, Flickr

The Mariana UFO Incident

The man believed that they were roughly 50 feet wide and 150 feet apart.

Later, government officials blamed it on “reflections from F-94 jet fighters”, and suddenly frames from the video recordings went missing.

F-94 jet fighter in the sky - 1955USAF, Wikimedia Commons

Lubbock, Texas

A year later, in 1951, an unusual formation of lights was seen over the city of Lubbock by multiple local residents.

The Air Force had an interesting explanation this time.

Mexico UFO and Phoenix lights - 2014tonynetone, Flickr

The Lubbock Lights

The Air Force originally tried to blame it on birds, but they were met with lots of frustrated witnesses. Ultimately, this incident has no explanation.

Young bearded man is looking surprised with hands up.Cookie Studio, Shutterstock

Washington, D.C.

In 1952, a series of unidentified flying object sightings were reported in the span of two weeks by both pilots and radar.

We’re talking hundreds of reports.

Pilot looking at airplane window.Rhys Abel, Pexels

The 1952 UFO Flap

It was known as the “1952 UFO Flap”. During a 6-month period in 1952, over 16,000 sightings were reported, none of which could be explained by the Air Force.

Crop hand pointing to the sky.Athena, Pexels

Flatwoods, West Virginia

Later in 1952, Six local boys and a local woman reported sighting a UFO landing and later discovered a bizarre-looking creature near the site.

They quickly fled the area as they were “terrified” of the creature. But the government had an explanation.

UFO and an alien on a rock outside.Rodrigo Arrosquipa, Pexels

The Flatwoods Incident: Explanation

Government officials blame it on a meteor and a barn owl perched in a tree that casted large “humanoid” shadows.

Barn owl standing on the tree - 2015National Parks Gallery, Picryl

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

In the fall of 1953, a US Air Force pilot disappeared while pursuing a UFO over Lake Superior. The US Air Force claims that the pilot crashed and the unknown object was actually a Canadian Air Force plane.

The Canadians quickly spoke up.

Pilot sits in the cockpit of his aircraft F-16 - 2003The U.S. National Archives, Picryl

Sault Ste. Marie: Canadian Response

The Canadian Air Force disputed the claim that the aircraft was theirs, saying none of their craft were near the area in question at the time.

A black and white photo of a man in a suit - 1900/1940.Library of Congress, Picryl

Levelland, Texas

A few years later, in 1957, the “Levelland UFO case” occurred. It’s known as one of the most impressive in UFO history, because of the large number of witnesses involved over a relatively short period of time.

The US Air Force blames this occurrence on a lighting storm.

Couple pointing to the sky.Luis Quintero, Pexels

Lancaster, New Hampshire

In 1961, an intriguing incident known as “The Hill Abduction” occurred, where a couple claimed to have been abducted by extraterrestrials.

Young couple in car blinded by high beam lights.Ground Picture, Shutterstock

The Hill Abduction

Their extensive reports claim that they watched the UFO fly around the area surrounding their car, before it abruptly stopped directly in front of them.

That’s when they saw the aliens.

A science fiction concept of a man looking at aliens coming out the mist.Raggedstone, Shutterstock

The Hill Abduction: Alien Encounter

They got out of their car and walked toward it, where they saw 8-11 aliens peering back at them from inside the craft.

Then the aliens moved.

Aliens creature landing on earthFOTOKITA, Shutterstock

The Hill Abduction: Inside the UFO

In unison, all but one figure moved to what appeared to be a panel on the rear wall of the hallway that encircled the front portion of the craft.

And then the alien spoke to them.

Silhouette of people at night.Jeswin Thomas, Pexels

The Hill Abduction: The Message

The alien then communicated a message telling them to "stay where you are and keep looking." The man had a recollection of observing the humanoid forms wearing glossy black uniforms and black caps.

Car parked on the side of the road, underneath a glowing UFORaggedstone, Shutterstock

Socorro, New Mexico

In 1964, an officer of the law reported a UFO close encounter. He claimed that he saw two figured beside a shiny object that later rose into the air accompanied by a roaring flame.

The incident was blamed on a lunar lander test, and a hoax by New Mexico Tech students.

Surprised policeman wearing sunglasses standing surprised.Kindel Media, Pexels

Exeter, New Hampshire

In 1965, a UFO the size of a barn was seen as close as 500 feet away by a teenager and two officers. There had been several similar reports in the weeks prior.

Young man is running away from a UFO.Fer Gregory, Shutterstock

New Hampshire: Explanation

Apparently, government officials believed the witnesses but reported it to the media as nothing more than “stars and planets twinkling”.

Further investigations ensued but were not made public.

A man speaking and holding a microphone at his hand.Henri Mathieu-Saint-Laurent, Pexels

Kecksburg, Pennsylvania

In 1965, the “Kecksburg UFO Incident” occurred which involved a “large, brilliant fireball” that was seen by thousands in at least six states and Ontario, Canada.

The asteroid over the sky - 2012Paola-Castillo, Wikimedia Commons

Kecksburg UFO Incident

The UFO apparently “streaked over the Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario area, dropped reported metal debris over Michigan and northern Ohio, and caused sonic booms in western Pennsylvania.”

Government officials blamed it on a meteor.

Metal debris on green background.Edit 4 Me, Shutterstock

Leary, Georgia

In 1969, government official Jimmy Carter claimed he saw a UFO, shortly before giving at speech. Several other witnesses were present at the time.

President Jimmy Carter  looking at, Flickr

Jimmy Carter’s Description

The flying object appeared to change colors, and was “not solid in nature.” Witnesses were able to view the object for a good 10-12 minutes before it flew out of sight.

Most the witnesses were not interviewed until 7 years later, where they were then discredited due to possible memory loss.

Unidentified flying object on light blue neutral background.ktsdesign, Shutterstock

Pascagoula, Mississippi

In 1973, the “Pascagoula Abduction” happened. Two men claimed they were abducted by aliens while fishing off a pier on the Pascagoula River.

They claimed to have heard a “whizzing sound”, saw “two flashing blue lights”, and then saw an oval shaped object approach them.

Calvin Parker at The 2019 International UFO Congress in Phoenix.SMG2019, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Pascagoula Abduction

They claimed to have been "conscious but paralyzed" while three "creatures" with "robotic slit-mouths" and "crab-like pincers" took them aboard the object and subjected them to an examination.

Silhouettes of aliens creature on dark background.FOTOKITA, Shutterstock

North Bergen, New Jersey

In 1975, the “Stonehenge Incident” occurred, where a man was driving when his radio suddenly turned to static. He then saw a round “space craft” with brightly lit windows hovering over the ground.

He claimed that “ten small, hooded, identically dressed figures emerged from the UFO, dug up soil and collected it in bags before returning to the craft.”

UFO, an alien saucer hovering above the field in the clouds.Marko Aliaksandr, Shutterstock

The Stonehenge Incident

The man returned the next day and found the holes in the ground.

Other witnesses, including a doorman at the Stonehenge building, separately reported seeing the same thing.

Rectangular hole dug in soil.Chris F, Pexels

Snowflake, Arizona

Also in 1975, an American Forestry worker claimed to have been abducted by a UFO while working on a logging crew. He apparently went missing before he suddenly reappeared after a five-day intensive search.

Logger in the forest - 1960The U.S. National Archives, Picryl

Stephen, Minnesota

In the summer of 1979, Deputy Sheriff Val Johnson was on duty and driving close to the North Dakota border when his patrol car was struck by a blinding ball of light that he saw beaming towards him.

Johnson was knocked unconscious, and his patrol car was damaged.

Man blinded by the sun with a scratched glassambrozinio, Shutterstock

Dayton, Texas

In 1980, the “Cash–Landrum Incident” occurred, where a family was driving when they claim to have seen a very large, diamond-shaped object stop ahead of them on the road. It had blue flashing lights and flames shooting from the bottom.

The flaming object was so hot that it melted the metal of their car.

Scared husband, wife and child girl in car cabin during incident.Prostock-studio, Shutterstock

The Cash–Landrum Incident

Soon after, the aircraft was surrounded by large military-looking helicopters, which followed it as it disappeared back into the sky.

The reports don’t stop there, though.

Italian Army Aviation NH90 transport and A129 attack helicopters -, CC BY 2.5, Wikimedia Commons

The Cash–Landrum Incident: Health Symptoms

When the family retuned home later that night they all experienced similar health symptoms, which included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, generalized weakness, a burning sensation in their eyes, and feeling as though they were suffering from sunburn.

sad man in bedMarcos Mesa Sam Wordley, Shutterstock

The Cash–Landrum Incident: Hospitalization

One of the family members was hospitalized with severe burns, skin loss, and hair loss, which was apparently caused by radiation.

The hospital reports strengthened their claims and the media jumped all over it.

emergency  in hospitalGround Picture, Shutterstock

Gulf Breeze, Florida

The “Gulf Breeze UFO Incident” occurred in 1987. It involved a series of UFO sightings, one of which included dozens of photographs of said UFO.

One person claimed to have been “briefly immobilized by a blue beam” of light, and then seeing a hovering object above the ground.

Then the aliens came out.

Man being abducted by UFO - alien abduction conceptMyImages - Micha, Shutterstock

The Gulf Breeze UFO Incident

The man then stated seeing the craft, “deposit five aliens on the road”.

One of the aliens then “stared into his window, at which point the aliens communicated with him in English and Spanish via telepathy and presented him with a book showing pictures of dogs.”

Green alien with black large glass eyes on the background of a flying saucer.Marko Aliaksandr, Shutterstock


Several years later, another notable UFO event occurred: The 1994 Lake Michigan UFO Event. Over 100 witnesses reported 5-6 cylindrically-shaped objects with colorful lights fly across West Michigan.

To this day, the event remains unexplained as all “earthly explanations” have been ruled out.

Glowing alien UFO lights floating in the sky.Raggedstone, Shutterstock

Phoenix, Arizona

In 1997, another strange event occurred, which is dubbed as “The Lights Over Phoenix”. Lights of varying descriptions were seen by thousands of people from the Nevada line, through Phoenix, to the edge of Tucson.

Government officials blamed it on flares dropped by A-10 Warthog aircraft during training exercises.

People standing with pointing to the target.JU.STOCKER, Shutterstock

Highland, Illinois

In 2000, yet another strange event took place, called “Black Triangle”—or the “St. Clair Triangle”.

Five on-duty officers in different locales, along with hundreds of civilian witnesses, sighted and reported a massive, silent, triangular aircraft that displayed colored, pulsating lights.

Two police officers walking on the street.Kindel Media, Pexels

The Black Triangle

An aircraft with a similar description was reported in other parts of the country, and the world, all within several months following this first observation.

Black Triangle UFO - 2022Boyce Duprey, Flickr

Chicago, Illinois

Four years later, in 2004, another triangular formation with colorful lights was seen at low altitude by hundreds of witnesses.

It happened on three separate occasions and was captured on multiple videos, including local news coverage.

Triangle shaped UFO in the sky - 2022Merikanto, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Morristown, New Jersey

In 2009, five unidentified red objects were seen over Morristown, New Jersey.

Apparently, this one was a true hoax as the perpetrators came clean a few months later saying that they tied flares to helium balloons and purposely recreated UFO sightings to prove how easy it is to fool people.

Photo of 5 unidentified red lights over the skies of Morristown - 2009soron616, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Desert, Arizona

In 2018, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, three commercial pilots saw an unidentified object fly over them in open airspace above Arizona.

Government officials claim it was a “high-altitude research balloon”.

Pilots are operating a airplane in cockpit.Kelly, Pexels

Clayton, New Mexico

In 2021, a pilot, at an altitude of 37,000 feet reported seeing a “long cylindrical object” that almost looked like a "cruise missile type of thing" moving really fast right over the top of them.

FAA air traffic controllers did not see any object in the area on their radarscopes.

Pilot flying plane in the sky.Leah Newhouse, Pexels

Deadhorse, Alaska

On February 10th, 2023, A high-altitude object entered U.S. airspace and was shot down over the Beaufort Sea by the U.S. Air Force.

It quickly attracted public attention.

UFO spaceship and view at night with FBI investigation and alien - Yuri A, Shutterstock

The 2023 Alaska High-Altitude Object

The Department of Defense said it was the size of a small car and flying northeast at approximately 40,000 feet posing a risk to civilian flight.

President Biden responded.

Flying saucer UFO over bluffNatural Earth Imagery, Shutterstock

The 2023 Alaska High-Altitude Object: Biden’s Response

President Biden stated that the object was “probably a civilian-owned balloon and most likely tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions.”

An attempt was made to recover debris from the sea, however the search was apparently “abandoned.”

President Joe Biden talking  - 2021U.S. Secretary of Defense, Flickr

The 2023 Alaska High-Altitude Object: The Chinese Spy Balloon

The “possible civilian owned balloon” that was shot down was detected less than one week after a Chinese spy balloon was shot down over the Atlantic.

But it didn’t stop there.

The balloon-satellite in the sky.Oregon State University, Flickr

The 2023 Alaska High-Altitude Object: Another Object

A day later, on February 11th, another unidentified object was shot down in Yukon, Canada. The search for debris was also apparently “abandoned”.

Weather Balloon rises in the sky.Tobias Lohf, Shutterstock

The 2023 Alaska High-Altitude Object: Explanation

The White House stated the leading explanation for the objects was "commercial or research entities and therefore totally benign".

But the very next day brought even more chaos.

James Brady Press Briefing Room - 2007Kellerbn, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Lake Huron, Michigan

Only one day later, on February 12th 2023, an octagonal object with strings hanging from it was detected over northern Montana, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

UFO, spaceship and nature for alien invasion, - Yuri A, Shutterstock

The 2023 Lake Huron High-Altitude Object

Airspace in the Lake Huron area was temporarily closed following the previous incidents. The object was shot down by the US Air Force and National Guard, falling into Canadian waters.

The search for debris was once again “abandoned” due to weather.

Lake Huron In Winter - 2018NASA, Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Believe it or not, the reported incidents in this article are not the only claims of UFO and alien interactions—they are simply American reports.

There are thousands of extraterrestrial claims from all over the world dating way back to 1450 BC and occurring as recently as December 2023.

Shot of a human being sucked into a - Yuri A, Shutterstock

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4


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