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13 Most Chilling UFO Sightings Ever Recorded

Updated: Apr. 15, 2024

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

UFO Flying Low Over Trees
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Eerie UFO sightings we can’t 100% explain

UFOs (and all the weirdness that comes with them) are in the news again after a whistleblower testified to Congress that the U.S. government has secretly been collecting and reverse-engineering UFOs for decades. Another shocking bit of testimony from this hearing: Nonhuman “biologics” were collected from some UFOs as part of this highly classified program. While these allegations haven’t been proven true, they’ve thrust UFOs and aliens back into the national spotlight, with the public asking one of humanity’s biggest, and oldest, questions: Is there other life in the universe?

Everyone has an opinion when it comes to extraterrestrial life. Some think these alien tales are bogus conspiracy theories, some are open to speculate and others are entirely taken with these mysteries of the universe, cameras poised and tinfoil hats at the ready. 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 stories of UFO sightings and alien encounters, and make of them what you will. Most important, keep looking to the sky.

Barney and Betty Hill were allegedly abducted by extra-terrestrials.
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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 and inspired several movies and documentaries.

Crop circle in a wheat field
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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. While Lamb was normally not fond of snakes and lizards, the reptile appeared friendly and welcoming, so she reached out to touch his hand. Then the lizard man vanished as suddenly as he had appeared. Sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, right?

ZIMBABWE school kids outside

Zimbabwe children and the end of the world

In September 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.”

UFO spacecraft sculpture at supposed landing site, Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England, UK
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The Rendlesham Forest Incident

Known as “Britain’s Roswell,” the Rendlesham Forest Incident is one of the most famous UFO reports. The reason? 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 true stories from the world’s most haunted forests.

Chicago's O'Hare Near Bottom Of On-Time List
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The O’Hare International Airport saucer

On Nov. 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.” Imagine seeing that while boarding your flight!

5 planes in the sky
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The Melbourne 350

This is another tale that could inspire the next great science fiction book. 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.

school kid drawing a picture
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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. An interesting fact, indeed.

UFO flying in front of airplane
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The Frederick Valentich disappearance

Australian pilot Frederick Valentich was flying over the Bass Strait when he encountered something he couldn’t identify, according to news.com.au. He got on his radio to notify air traffic 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.


Fred Crisman and Harold Dahl

In 1947, Harold Dahl was out on Puget Sound with his son and his dog. History.com 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 action movie Men in Black.

Usaf News Conf. About Ufos W/Officers
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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 objects. 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. Seems to be the case with several UFO sightings, huh?

Turntable vinyl record player. Retro audio equipment for disc jockey. Sound technology for DJ to mix & play music. Vinyl record being played against burning fire background
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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 toward 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.

UFO Flying
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A UFO in Stephenville, Texas

In 2008, an unfathomably large aircraft hovered above Stephenville, Texas. Many people in the community saw it, and according to NPR, a pilot named Steven Allen reported that the unusual aircraft was flying at an estimated 3,000 miles per hour and being chased by fighter jets. People also claimed the UFO was “bigger than a Walmart” and totally silent as it flew through the air.

splash in the ocean
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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.


  • CBS News: “UFO hearing key takeaways: What a whistleblower told Congress about UAP”
  • History.com: “How Betty and Barney Hill’s Alien Abduction Story Defined the Genre”
  • Vanity Fair: “Alien Nation: Have Humans Been Abducted by Extraterrestrials?”
  • The Rendlesham Forest Incident Official Blog: “What is The Rendlesham Forest Incident of 1980?”
  • Telegraph: “Historic British UFO mystery was ‘prank played on US air force by SAS'”
  • NPR: “UFO Is Reported at O’Hare; Feds Are Silent”
  • New York Post: “Hundreds of school kids saw a UFO, and were ignored for 50 years”
  • BBC: “Broad Haven UFO sightings marked 40 years on”
  • news.com.au: “Pilot’s strange act before UFO sighting”
  • History.com: “The UFO Sightings That Launched ‘Men in Black’ Mythology”
  • WMUR: “Exeter celebrates 50th anniversary of notable UFO sighting”
  • Daily Mail: “There were TWO UFO crashes at Roswell, claims former Air Force official who says he was there”