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15 Most Chilling UFO Sightings Ever Recorded

If you're a skeptic, these 15 creepiest UFO sightings will make you believe. If you already believe, prepare to get spooked!

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Man with astronomy telescope looking at the stars. Man telescope and starry sky. Night sky. Milky way galaxy.Allexxandar/Shutterstock

“Unexplained aerial phenomena”

When it comes to extraterrestrial life and making contact with those from outer space, everyone has an opinion. Some think it’s all a hack, some are open to speculate, and others still are entirely taken with the tales and stories as old as time, cameras poised and tinfoil hats at the ready (one of many crazy conspiracy theories). UFOs have fascinated and confused us for years as each new flying saucer or hovercraft sighting makes national news and splits us into two camps.

While it’s easy to debunk individual stories, it’s much harder to argue with the US Department of Defense. In videos leaked back in 2007 and 2017, the Pentagon has aimed to “clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real.” In the video, unidentified objects are seen spinning and hovering in the air and above the water while two navy pilots remark in shock and confusion over the two oblong, disk-shaped “objects.”

Whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, UFO sightings bring out a little wonder (and a little fear!) in all of us. Take a look at these sightings and stories and make of it what you will. Most importantly, keep looking to the sky.

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Yellow headlight and road in the dark while heavy raining.Chayatorn Laorattanavech/Shutterstock

Betty and Barney Hill

It’s only fair that we begin with one of the most famous UFO and alien abduction cases in history: the Betty and Barney Hill case. The two were driving on a road in New Hampshire at night when a bright light seemed to start following them. When they eventually got home, it was daylight, their clothes were dirty and ripped, their watches had stopped working—and they couldn’t remember a thing. During sessions with a psychiatrist, they later recalled being probed and violated by aliens during an abduction. The case was investigated by Project Blue Book.

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Barbara Lamb and the lizard man

A woman named Barbara Lamb, a psychotherapist who observed crop circles, claimed that a reptilian figure appeared in her house one day, reports Vanity Fair. He was tall and had piercing yellow eyes. Normally not fond of snakes and lizards, the reptile appeared friendly and welcoming to Lamb, so she reached out to touch his hand. Then the lizard man vanished as suddenly as he appeared.

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shutterstock_1219415149Eva Mont/shutterstock

Zimbabwe children and the end of the world

In September of 1994, several UFOs allegedly hovered near a school in Ruwa, Zimbabwe, reports Vanity Fair. The children who observed these UFOs were terrified when they were asked to explain what had happened. They described beings with big heads, no nose (just two holes), no mouth, and long black hair. The children said they were dressed in dark suits and communicated telepathically. “‘I think it’s about something that’s going to happen,'” said one little girl. ‘What I thought was maybe the world’s going to end. They were telling us the world’s going to end. I don’t even know. It just popped up in my head. He never said anything. He talked just with his eyes.'”

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Jonny Essex/shutterstock

The Rendlesham Forest Incident

Known as “Britain’s Roswell,” the Rendlesham Forest Incident is one of the most famous UFO reports. The reason? Because the witnesses involved in the December 1980 event were, in fact, U.S. military personnel and considered highly credible witnesses. They reported seeing an alien aircraft zoom through the forest. When they went to go check it out, it seemed as though strange hieroglyphics were written all over the craft. It turns out that this was most likely a prank played on the U.S. soldiers by the British military. For more chills, check out these 12 true stories from the world’s most haunted forests.

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shutterstock_2471856Kevin Tavares/shutterstock

The O’Hare International Airport saucer

On November 7, 2006, United Flight 446 was about to depart from Chicago’s O’Hare International airport when a dozen United Airlines employees spotted an odd metallic craft hovering over the gate. The employees reported that it hung in the air for several minutes before finally shooting up at breakneck speed into the clouds. The strangest part? The UFO did not register on the airport’s radar, despite all the witnesses. The FAA declined to investigate, chalking it up to a “weather phenomenon.”

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The city centre of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.Jason Benz Bennee/Shutterstock

The Melbourne 350

More than 300 students and teachers of Westall High School in Melbourne, Australia saw an unbelievable sight on April 6, 1966, shares the New York Post. They were all looking incredulously at five planes that were attempting to corner and capture a UFO. This went on for a while before the UFO zipped away, out of sight. It is reported that the headmaster of the school and even strange men in black suits told the students and teachers never to say anything about it, even though it was witnessed by hundreds of people.

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Nauset lighthouse at night on Cape codMalley Photography/Shutterstock

Robert Matthews and missing time

According to CBS Reality, an Airman named Robert Matthews got off of a bus in Cape Cod, Massachusetts to report for his first tour of duty back in 1966. Matthews saw strange lights appearing in the deserted area where the bus driver had told him to call and wait for a truck to pick him up and take him to base. Afraid, he used a payphone to call the base a second time, what he thought was five minutes later. The person who answered the phone told him that the truck had arrived to pick him up five minutes after he got off the bus, but that the driver couldn’t find Matthews. In actuality, an hour separated those two phone calls. This phenomenon is called “missing time” and is commonly associated with alien abduction cases. Find out about more urban legends that turned out to be true.

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Young boy is drawing during his

The Broad Haven Primary School drawings

The BBC reports that in 1977, a group of school children from the Broad Haven Primary School claimed to have seen a UFO near their playground. The teachers of the school refused to believe them, but when the children were separated and asked to draw pictures of the experience, they all came up with the same drawing of a flying saucer.

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The Frederick Valentich Disappearance

Australian pilot Frederick Valentich was flying over the Bass Strait when he encountered something that he couldn’t identify, according to He got on his radio to notify air control that there was a strange vessel the likes of which he had never seen before, circling him, as if taunting him. “It is hovering and it is not an aircraft,” were the last words Valentich said before he and his plane disappeared forever. This isn’t the only UFO sightings no one can explain.

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Fred Crisman and Harold Dahl

In 1947, Harold Dahl was out on the Puget Sound with his son and his dog. recounts that Dahl saw six strange aircraft overhead, one of which fell an estimated 1,500 feet out of the sky and into the water below. The metal debris hurt his son and killed his dog. Dahl told his supervisor at work, Fred Crisman, what had happened and Crisman came and verified it for himself. Soon afterward, a man in a black suit supposedly came to Dahl and warned him not to speak of the incident again—it is said that this incident inspired the movie Men in Black.

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Control panel in a plane cockpitAlexandru Nika/Shutterstock

The Washington Merry-go-Round

A 1952 incident where seven unidentified objects appeared over secure air space near the Pentagon was captured on film. The crafts were registered on radar, and jets were immediately sent to investigate these suspicious, strange crafts. However, when the American jets approached that air space, those seven objects disappeared from the radar. When the jets landed, the objects returned to the radar screen once more. President Harry S. Truman was notified and Airforce Intelligence Director General Sanford held a press conference saying that there were reports “made by credible observers of relatively incredible things. It’s this group of observations that we are attempting to resolve.” There was no resolution. don’t miss these 12 conspiracy theories that turned out to be true.

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Japan Airlines Flight 1628

In 2001, former FAA official John Callahan told a conference of high ranking officials that in 1986, Japan Airlines Flight 1628 was on its way from Paris to Tokyo when crew members spotted several UFOs. In a television documentary, the American Heroes Channel reports that the JAL crew called in multiple UFOs surrounding the plane, including one that was four times their own size. They made an emergency landing in Anchorage, Alaska, where the ground crew confirmed the sighting.

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shutterstock_746834182Evdokimov Maxim/shutterstock

The Muscarello Exeter incident

It was 1965 in Exeter, New Hampshire when a hitchhiker named Norman Muscarello saw five strange red flashing lights in the woods. As TV station WMUR recounts, the source of the lights suddenly came towards him at a frightening speed. Muscarello dove into a ditch to avoid being hit before flagging down a motorist. The police investigated the area, and they, too, saw the same aircraft with the same bright red lights speed off out of sight. Today, the event is celebrated with a yearly Exeter UFO Festival.

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Silhouette of man with assault rifle ready to attack on dark toned foggy background or dangerous bandit holding gun in hand. Shooting terrorist with weapon theme decorzef art/Shutterstock

A Knock on Rick Sorrells’s door

In 2008, an unfathomably large aircraft hovered above Stephenville, Texas. Many people in the community saw it, and according to the Mutual UFO Network, a pilot named Steven Allen reported that the unusual aircraft was flying at an estimated 3,000 miles per hour and was being chased by fighter jets. Then, a man named Rick Sorrells said he saw the same thing while hunting. Later, Sorrells says a strange man knocked on his door and said, “‘Son we have the same caliber weapons you have, but we have more of them. You need to shut your mouth about what you saw.”

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St John's harbor at nightwindcoast/Shutterstock

Richard French and the Drowned UFOs

In the 1950s, it was Lieutenant Colonel Richard French’s job to explain away UFO phenomena for the government. There was only one problem: Lt. Col. French actually saw alien ships with his own eyes, reports the Daily Mail. At a Citizen Hearing on Disclosure in 2013, the then-83-year-old man told the truth for the first time about what he saw as a young man in the waters of St. John’s, Newfoundland: two UFOs that had crashed and sunk in the water, and aliens trying to fix them. They succeeded and took off. He didn’t mention UFOs in his report at the time. How’s that for a freaky government cover-up? Keep reading for more baffling mysteries of the universe.

Taylor Markarian
Taylor is a regular contributor to covering culture, advice, travel, pets, and all things weird and haunted. She is the author of From the Basement: A History of Emo Music and How It Changed Society, which analyzes the evolution of punk and mental health. She holds a B.A. in Writing, Literature & Publishing from Emerson College.