Celebrated science fiction writer Arthur C Clark once said, “Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” This notable quote singularly brings out the innate nature of human inquisitiveness. So, does extraterrestrial life exist? The scientific community is largely divided on this front. While some say it’s obvious we are not alone, others blatantly dismiss the idea. Anyhow, whether we can prove it or not, there are several theories out there which make the existence of alien life quite credible. Perhaps the most popular and cogent among this lot are the arresting stories of UFO sightings and encounters.UFOs or Unidentified Flying Objects could be anything- from extraterrestrials to Military technology. In this exciting and mystery filled listicle we catalogue 9 of the greatest UFO sightings ever recorded in human history:-
1. The Schaffner Incident, North Sea (1970) – On September 8, 1970 captain William Schaffner, an American pilot flying with the RAF, took off to follow a mysterious flying object that had appeared over the North Sea. However, shortly after he started the trail all radio-communications were lost. His plane was later found on the sea floor with no sign of the captain or the object he was trailing.
2. Phoenix, 1997 – The night sky in Phoenix (March 13, 1997) was alighted with a row of funny looking objects that hovered in a V shaped formation. The proceeding lights were in fact seen all over the state of Arizona. The lightings started around 10 pm and ended at 2 in the morning.
3. McMinnville Incident (Oregon, May 1950) – Mrs. Evelyn spotted a saucer shaped metallic disc at her farm while feeding her rabbits early in the morning. She called out her husband Mr. Trent who then came out and saw the imposing flying machine . Luckily, he was able to take a couple of pictures before it sped away.
4. Crop Circles – According to experts, the first crop circles were reported by an Australian farmer way back in 1966. The sugar cane farmer claimed to see a disc shaped object rapidly rising from the field before flying into space. Since then numerous crop circles have been reported all over the globe.
5. The Betty Barney Hill Abduction – This is where it gets really spooky. Betty and Barney Hill driving through the deserted highway of Montreal, were returning back to Portsmouth. On their way, they allegedly spotted a flying saucer with aliens in it. The couple later claimed that the E.Ts captured and medically tested them in the spacecraft before dropping them back on earth!!
6. President Jimmy Carter UFO sighting – Jimmy Carter (US president 1977-1981) famously filed a report (on UFO sighting) in 1973 with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP).
Quoting him – “There were about twenty of us standing outside of a little restaurant, I believe, a high school lunch room, and a kind of green light appeared in the western sky. This was right after sundown. It got brighter and brighter. And then it eventually disappeared. It didn’t have any solid substance to it; it was just a very peculiar-looking light. None of us could understand what it was.”
7. Washington DC UFO Incident – On July 19, 1952 an air traffic controller in Washington DC noticed some odd beeps on his radar (no air-crafts were supposed to fly in that area). On reporting this to his senior, the entire controller team gathered and was spectacled by the sight of some rapidly flying coloured lights in the night sky. The sightings and radar tracings continued till 3 in the morning. By then, a lot of people on the ground and in other control stations had seen the UFOs zooming in the night sky.
8. Roswell UFO Incident – In early 1947, a conspicuous event occurred in the deserts of Roswell (New Mexico). According to reports, many people witnessed the alleged crashing of an extraterrestrial space-ship in the area. The government however called it a “weather balloon accident” and dismissed all “alien crash landing” theories. Nevertheless, the incident has been much debated since then,uin spawning numerous conspiracy theories.
9. Kenneth Arnold UFO incident – On June 24, 1947 Kenneth Arnold, a private pilot spotted nine mysterious high speed objects flying near Mount Reiner. The press was quick in publicizing the “the flying saucer” incident that made countrywide headlines. This strange event was perhaps the be-getter of the UFO pop culture that followed in the later years.