The universe is vast and mysterious, which makes it hard to believe that Earth is the only planet containing living creatures. The following stories relate the experiences of people who either claim they saw an unidentified flying object (UFO) or believe that they were abducted by aliens.
Here at Factinate, we don’t claim these testimonies should be believed as fact. This article captures human reporting of alien encounters, and the fact is that people did make these freaky reports. That said, to err is human, and it's also pretty darn human to exaggerate. With that in mind, the validity of these reports should be viewed with a degree of skepticism.
Nonetheless, even NASA believes in extraterrestrial life: chief NASA scientist Ellen Stofan argues that humans will find "strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade."
Close Encounters With Aliens Facts
21. Blue Streak
On November 7th, 2015, filmmaker and YouTuber Julien Solomita was hanging out with his girlfriend, the popular YouTube comedian Jenna Marbles, and a group of friends. They were standing in a parking garage of a Target store in Los Angeles as a mysterious blue object streaked across the sky. The object started as a small speck and eventually left behind a streak of blue, seeming to pick up more momentum the longer it flew. Thousands of people witnessed the event in both California and Arizona but Solomita, who had his cameras with him, was in the right place at the right time. He captured HD-quality video of the UFO from the top of that parking garage, and his footage was used by news stations across the country. The Pentagon’s official story was that it was a missile test.
20. Colonel H.G. Shaw
One of the earliest UFO reports came in 1896. Colonel H.G. Shaw, while driving his buggy, came across an aircraft matching the description of modern-day UFO sightings. He also reported that were 7-foot tall women standing together on the ship. They did not speak, but “warbled” to one another in a language he could not understand. Although they attempted to take Shaw, he was too heavy. The aliens floated away in their ship and he never saw them again.
19. Tony Dodd
An English police officer named Tony Dodd was driving his patrol car along a country lane in Yorkshire in 1978 when he suddenly witnessed a UFO flying in front of him. He described the object as disk-shaped with darkened port hole windows. At first he was just amazed at the engineering of the craft. Later, however, Dodd began to consider the possibility of extraterrestrial life and began to investigate other people's paranormal stories.
18. Carol and Helen Thomas
In 1988, Carol Thomas and her daughter Helen were taking their usual back alley route to their work at a UK mill. This particular morning, however, was different. They began to hear a humming sound and looked up to see a bright light. Both mother and daughter immediately began to feel sick and dizzy. Helen had been wearing a leather jacket, and she also noticed that the jacket was now totally wet even though it had not rained at all that day.
When they finished the walk to work, they were told by their manager that they were a few hours late for their shifts. That week, the Thomases both began to come down with similar rashes and generally felt anxious and fearful, but they could not think of any rational reason to feel that way. After dealing with issues for years, Carol and Helen finally went under hypnosis with Tony Dodd and started to remember their alien abduction and the experiments the extraterrestrials performed on them.
17. The Derbyshire BBQ Incident
In the summer of 1995, Mike and Debbie (last names unknown) were having a lovely evening barbecuing on the back porch with their friends Steve and Annie. A bright light suddenly shone on them from out of nowhere and disappeared just as quickly.
From the group's perspective it only felt like a split second—but they soon realized it had been an hour. Dinner was ruined: the coals had already stopped glowing, and their food was black and burned on the grill. Additionally, everyone felt sick and anxious. In the aftermath, the group also went under hypnosis with Tony Dodd. In each of their four separate interviews, Mike, Debbie, Steve, and Annie described exactly the same sort of scene. They claimed they had been abducted by aliens, who had experimented on them.
16. Black Forest UFO
Legend has it that a UFO crashed in Germany's Black Forest in 1936. According to lore, the Nazis cleaned up and then hid the crash debris—along with the aliens who had been inside of the spaceship. Those who believe this story also believe that the incident allowed the Nazis to study alien technology and advance their aircraft engineering during World War II.
15. The Pascagoula Abduction
In 1973, Charles Hickson was 42 years old. His co-worker Calvin Parker was 19. They were both fishing on the west bank of the Pascagoula River in Mississippi when they heard a whirring sound and saw blue lights. Both men claimed to have been sucked up into a space craft where robots and aliens ran tests on their bodies.
14.The Battle of Los Angeles
In 1942, the American military began shooting at the sky over Los Angeles, claiming a Japanese attack. The battle went on all night long, and the entire city went dark. The next morning, however, there were only bullet shells on the ground and no enemy weapons in sight. In 1983, the US Office of Air Force History claimed the phantom battle was a result of "war nerves" after the sighting of a lost weather balloon. Other theorists argue that soldiers may have seen a UFO.
13. Robert Taylor
1979 in Livingston, Scotland: Robert Taylor was headed home from work when he saw a UFO floating in the middle of a field. Metal balls with spikes rolled towards him, letting out gas and dragging him along the ground. He lost consciousness. When he arrived back home, his clothing was torn and dirty and he raved about being attacked. His wife called the police. Law enforcement investigated the area where Robert claimed to see the UFO and found holes and track marks in the grass.
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12. Clayton and Donna Lee
Like Barney and Betty Hill, Clayton and Donna Lee claim to have experienced several alien abductions together. Clayton claims that he has been abducted by aliens ever since he was a small child, and Donna believes that an alien abduction caused her to lose her unborn child. They have been on multiple TV interviews and claim that they feel that they are being watched constantly.
11. Fran Drescher
You may remember Fran Drescher from the 1990s TV series The Nanny. When she was in middle school, she was in the car with her father when she suddenly lost her sense of time. After the incident, she discovered that she had a new scar on her hand.
When she met her now ex-husband, she noticed that he had a similar scar in the exact same spot on his hand. She asked him how he got it, and he admitted that he had almost an identical experience: he was in the car with his father, lost his memory, and found a new scar.
10. Budd Hopkins
In 1964, Budd Hopkins believed he saw a UFO in Cape Cod. After he arrived home to New York City, he began to seek out other people who had also claimed to see UFOs. Like Tony Dodds, Hopkins began interviewing them, which included putting them under hypnosis to extract memories. He published several books about these stories and often called the "father of the abduction movement."
9. The Gundiah-Mackay Abduction
In 2001, Petra Heller was staying over at her friend Amy Rylance's house in a Gundiah property near Tiaro, Australia. When she got up in the middle of the night, Heller witnessed Rylance being carried away in a beam of light through a window. Whatever really happened, there was solid evidence of a disturbance: the window was broken, the curtain were torn, and a bush outside the window was burned at the edges. Three hours later, Amy was found 790 kilometers (about 500 miles) away in Mackay, Australia. She could remember little of the intervening hours, except being in a strange rectangular room.
8. The Kecksburg UFO Incident
In 1965, an unidentified object fell from the sky and landed in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. Witnesses say that it was shaped like an acorn and had strange hieroglyphs written on the side. The police arrived, NASA showed up to take the object away, and the authorities told the public that it was a meteor. One theory argues that the object was Kosmos 96, a Soviet satellite.
7. Claude Vorilhon AKA “Raël”
Claude Vorilhon was originally a sports-car journalist before he was visited by alien life in 1973. Vorilhon encountered the alien while visiting a volcanic crater in France. The alien descended from a spaceship and charged him with a message to give to all humanity. After the incident, Vorilhon changed his name to "Raël" and founded the Raëlian Movement in order to disseminate the ideology of the Elohim, or "those who came from the sky."
6. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
A politician named Kirsan Ilyumzhinov claimed that aliens abducted him one night while he was standing on the balcony of his apartment. He claimed that the aliens arrived in a "semi-transparent half tube" and looked like human beings wearing yellow spacesuits. The politician said he was able to communicate with these beings very easily, "on a level of the exchange of the ideas."
5. Antônio Vilas Boas
In 1957, a farmer in Brazil named Antonio Vilas Boas was out in the field at night avoiding the soaring Brazilian temperatures. He claims to have seen a red star in the sky that got closer and closer, until he realized it was a spaceship. He claims to have had sex with a female alien who was tasked with bearing hybrid children. After the abduction, Vilas Boas suffered from nausea, headaches, and multiple lesions on his body. A doctor later diagnosed him with radiation poisoning, but Vilas Boas stuck to his own abduction story for the rest of his life.
4. Hilary Porter
Hilary Porter is a former employee of the Ministry of Defense in Wales. She claimed to have been abducted by aliens multiple times in her life, starting at 5 years old. She describes the aliens as being reptilian and absolutely horrifying. She claims that the aliens wanted people with Celtic DNA, because it is their preferred hybrid mix.
3. Maddy Pattillo
Ever since she was a young girl, little Maddy Pattillo would ask her mom, Nikki, if they could go visit Maddy's “home in the sky.” According to her mother Nikki, Maddy actually began to show strange abilities as she got older, and even displayed telepathic and psychic powers. Nikki Pattillo is convinced that her daughter is the product of some sort of alien hybrid experiment that she must not remember, she calls her daughter a “Star Child.” Critics of Nikki--and the many others who claim to be Star Children (also referred to as Indigo Children by the New Age Movement), have pointed out that no child has ever been able to provide any evidence of supernatural abilities, and that the supporting evidence provided by believers often points to generalized personality traits, such as having a strong capacity for empathy.
Research psychologist Russell Barkley said that the New Age movement has never produced empirical evidence of the existence of indigo children. He believes the traits most commonly attributed to them are closely aligned with the Forer effect: the tendencies for human beings to see generalized, broad descriptions of (often positive) personality traits as specifically descriptive of themselves.
2. Betty and Barney Hill
In 1961, married couple Betty and Barney Hill were driving home to the United States from Canada on Route 3. It was the middle of the night, and no other cars were on the road. Betty noticed a bright, speeding light in the sky. When the light grew bigger and began to move erratically, the couple pulled their car over.
Betty looked through binoculars and saw what she thought was a UFO. Barney initially though it was an airplane before changing his mind when the craft suddenly began to descend. The Hills got back in the car but the object sped towards and then hovered over their car. Barney got out of the vehicle to get a closer look. He claimed the UFO looked like a huge, silent pancake and that there were eight to eleven humanoid creatures peering through the flying saucer's windows.
The Hills' memories are hazy after this point and both Betty and Barney are missing large chunks of time. Betty later dreamt of aliens with abnormally large eyes, small noses, and no hair on their heads. Betty also remembered the aliens showing her a star map she would later recreate, which explained where they came from. In 1968, amateur astronomer Marjorie Fish examined Betty's star map and identified it as the "Zeta Reticuli” double star system, a real system in the universe.
1. Travis Walton
Possibly one of the most detailed alien abduction stories comes from Travis Walton. In 1975, he was working as a logger out in the woods of Arizona with six of his co-workers. Suddenly, a UFO started to hover over them. Walton walked towards the object to get a closer look while his co-workers piled in a truck and yelled at him to stay back. According to the testimony of Walton's co-workers, the men witnessed a beam of light hitting Walton before his body went limp. His body then floated up into the aircraft. The co-workers drove off, afraid that they would be taken too.
Walton explained that meanwhile, inside the spacecraft, three bald aliens conducted experiments on him in a hospital-like room. Walton's friends didn’t know what to do. Once they calmed down, they turned the truck back around to look for Walton. They also went to the police to report him as a missing person. Of course, no one believed their story about aliens. Travis never did go home, and the police began to suspect that these men had murdered him.
Five days later, Travis Walton was found by the side of a highway, where he says the aliens dropped him off. All of the men working that day were given a polygraph test by the police, and so was Travis. All of them have passed their test every single time. Travis welcomes new and improved lie detector tests every year, and has never wavered from the details of his story.
According to polygraph experts, the odds of these seven men all lying about their experience and somehow manipulating the test results of the are a million to one.