Although most of the UFO stories we hear about are glue induced visions of the mentally unstable, there are a number of genuinely plausible accounts with actual evidence that should be taken more seriously...
When the late Phil Schneider – an ex-US government engineer – toured America to tell people his story about being shot in the chest by a seven foot alien that was held against its will in an underground base at Area 51, it’s safe to say that a lot of people quite rightly doubted his testament. Schneider held up his half melted off fingers and pieces of dubious “alien metal” as proof. He was of course discredited, and to be fair if aliens have technology so advanced that they can travel light-years from their planet to ours, it’s unlikely our primitive weaponry would keep them under lock and key, even behind the mysterious boundaries of Area 51.
Due to extravagant E.T. tales like that of Phil Schneider and Meng Zhaoguo (the Chinese farmer who swears blind a 10 foot alien with braided leg hair landed in his field and shagged him), some of the most plausible alien encounter stories slip within the folds of obscurity. But actually a lot of them aren’t just LSD induced visions of the schizophrenic, and are in fact cases with hard evidence that deserve our attention.
Here are some of the most plausible alien encounters to date.
Christopher Columbus UFO Sighting
In 1492, as Christopher Columbus sailed across the sea on the Santa Maria in search of America, he witnessed an unidentified flying object zooming around the night’s sky. As he stood on deck, he saw “a light glimmering at a great distance”. He recorded in his captain’s log that it vanished and reappeared throughout the night, flying up, down, east and west “in sudden and passing gleams”. Columbus was around before the idea of UFOs even existed – it’s unlikely he decided to make this up. But could he have just seen a shooting star? Perhaps, but what kind of shooting star moves all around the night’s sky at high speed, vanishes, reappears and then disappears again into the sea?
The Abduction of Betty and Barney Hill
Generally considered the first ever abduction story, Betty and Barney Hill’s encounter was taken so seriously that scientists and investigators interrogated the couple under hypnosis on more than one occasion.
As Betty and Barney drove home to New Hampshire in 1961 from a holiday in Canada, they noticed a UFO in the sky that eventually got so close to them that Barney stopped the car and got out. The UFO began to move erratically around the sky. Barney got scared and ran back to his car and the couple sped off away from the lights which seemed to vanish behind them.
Strangely though, as if they’d been teleported without realising it, Barney noticed they’d travelled around 35 miles from where they were, in just two minutes. A few days later Betty began having bizarre nightmares of tall alien beings performing horrible operations on her and her husband inside the craft. Eventually, at the request of an Airforce Intelligence Officer, the Hills sought out a professional psychiatrist. After six months of repressive hypnosis, Dr Benjamin Simon stated that he believed the Hills most definitely were abducted by aliens.
Betty had by now also drawn up a star map which she claimed the aliens had shown to her. Scientists couldn’t match it to any existing constellations at the time. But sure enough, eight years later and with more powerful telescopes, scientists claimed to have found a constellation that matched Betty’s map. There’s no way she could’ve known about the constellation before hand.
With psychiatrist reports stating they were telling the truth, intense interest from the US Airforce and a star map of a far away constellation drawn from memory, it seems that maybe the Hills actually were beamed up by little green men that night.
The Battle of Los Angeles
Less than three months after America joined World War II, an aircraft was detected above Los Angeles in February 1942. The military was immediately scrambled, firing hundreds of rounds of ammunition from ground to air anti-aircraft guns. The US feared it was the Japanese invading to drop bombs on the City of Angels.
Bullets fired all night but the air raid turned out to be a case of “war nerves” according to Navy Secretary Frank Knox in a statement to the press the following day. Knox even said it could’ve been a weather balloon that they’d spent all night firing rounds of hot lead into. (The weather balloon would later become an iconic UFO debunking tool following the Roswell incident.) But later that day a second statement from a Californian official said: “The aircraft which caused the blackout in the Los Angeles area for several hours this a.m. have not been identified” proving, along with a photograph of the air raid that shows several static unexplained lights in the sky that the ground artillery were firing at, that there was in fact something unidentified flying around up there.
The Chicago O’Hare UFO Sighting
November 7th 2006. It’s 4.40 in the morning and the federal authority at Chicago’s O’Hare airport receive word that 12 employees are seeing a metallic disc shaped aircraft hovering over gate C-17. It’s rare for UFO sightings to have even two witnesses, let alone 12. It soon became apparent that even a pilot and his co-pilot had witnessed the UFO, along with several other witnesses on the ground. It apparently shot off through the air at such speed that a hole was left in the clouds above.
Jon Hilkevitch, a writer for the Chicago Tribune later said in an interview on FOX news, that “the disc was visible for approximately two minutes and was seen by close to a dozen United Airlines employees, ranging from pilots to supervisors, who heard chatter on the radio and raced out to view it.”
The footage ends with a man off screen saying “It would’ve landed but uh…” Mysterious.
United Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first claimed to have no knowledge of the O’Hare UFO, but a freedom of information act request showed that a United Airlines manager called the FAA from the tower about the UFO.
There are many twists and turns concerning this encounter. For example, leaked off-air news footage hears the FOX news anchor and Hilkevitch saying things like, “there really is this universal feeling that the government knows more than it’s willing to tell,” and “the FAA’s weather phenomenon explanation just doesn’t wash”. The footage ends with a man off screen saying “It would’ve landed but uh…” Mysterious.
The O’Hare UFO case has so much potential evidence to it that the Ghostbusters actor Dan Aykroyd is investigating it in full detail for an upcoming documentary he’s making.
It’s safe to say that probably 70% of the reported alien encounter cases are either the misidentification of something like a Chinese lantern or simply made up. But if you dig deep enough, with not only a tinfoil hat but also a sceptical one on, you’ll find pieces of UFO gold amongst the dirt.