In 1949, US pilot Kenneth Arnold saw a string of nine shiny unidentified objects flying at extreme speed over Mount Rainier. Arnold described the unusual objects as "saucer like" and shaped "like big flat discs". The press quickly coined the term flying saucer now used to describe extraterrestrial aircraft, while the incident itself was the first widely reported sighting of a UFO in modern history and sparked a hunt for unidentified flying objects. Since then reports of mysterious flying objects have regularly appeared in the media.
Here is a list of the most famous UFOs:
Unexplained Object Near ISS
In 2016, a video from NASA’s live feed from the International Space Station showed an object making atmospheric entry. The feed was then cut off for unexplained reasons, with NASA saying that it was due to technical difficulties. The agency stated that the object was likely space debris or lights from Earth. Another video taken from the same feed apparently shows the same object leaving the Earth and a beam of light trailing behind it.
An encounter by US pilots with an eerie tic-tac-shaped UFO occurred during military exercises in 2004 and was captured on video, but the world only became aware of it 13 years later, when the footage was released by the To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science, an organisation that conducts research on extraterrestrial life. In 2019, the US Navy confirmed the veracity of the videos.
Pilot David Fravor, who chased the UFO, said the sighting made the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. Fravor said the eerie object travelled at a speed he had never seen. "There’s no propulsion, there’s no wings. It rapidly accelerates and disappears. Weirdest thing I have ever seen in my life", Fravor said. He noted that the tapes of the encounter that previously existed had gone missing.
The Phoenix Lights
The sighting, spotted on 13 March 1997, inspired documentaries and horror movies. A v-shaped object was seen flying over Phoenix. In a second incident five circular lights were seen floating in the night sky over the city. Thousands of people said they saw the two sightings. The US Air Force dismissed allegations of an extraterrestrial visit, saying the lights were simply military flares, however, most witnesses argue that the lights were not man-made and were of alien origin. Even Arizona Governor Fife Symington described the event as "otherworldly".
In 2014, the Chilean government agency that oversees UFO sightings, released a video showing a bizarre flying object. The footage was shot three years earlier by the country’s Navy. According to the report, the mysterious aircraft did not appear on air traffic control radars and after a Navy helicopter tried to make contact it released some type of gas or liquid that trailed behind the object for some time before the enigmatic object disappeared from view.
The Aguadilla Airport Incident
A UFO was also spotted at Rafael Hernandez Airport in Puerto Rico in 2013. One may say that this is the most bizarre sighting. A video shows an unidentified object flying over land and then submerging under water only to fly up again. After repeating the process several times, the enigmatic object split in two. An organisation called Scientific Coalition for Ufology, that posted the video online, said the object exhibits characteristics that cannot be explained by any known aircraft or natural phenomenon.