If you are not an X-Files fanatic or conspiracy theory dabbler, you may be unaware that July 8 is the 69th anniversary of the reported events near Roswell, New Mexico. That one fateful day back in 1947 would mobilize a community of believers, and inspire generations to look up at the stars, pour over grainy videos and photos of UFOs, and wonder.
Many are still divided over whether Roswell was our first real contact with an alien spacecraft or just debris found from a crashed top secret military experiment. Either way, the events made the entire country suspicious, and the crash site is a popular tourist attraction to this day. For those who are unfamiliar with this spine-tingling space tale, it all started when a rancher found a twisted pile of unusual wires, reflective fabric, and metal unlike any that had been seen before, on his property near a top secret U.S. air base. The strange objects were gathered by military officials and taken to the base.
The day after the debris removal, the local daily paper ran the headline "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region." The next day, top officials clarified that the supposed UFO was in fact just a weather balloon, though those who reported seeing it said the materials did not resemble such an object. Pilot safety tests in the form of "dummy drops" were carried out near Roswell throughout the 1950s, only serving to make the public more suspicious.
According to the government, the flying disk debris in fact was the result of Project Mogul. This highly classified espionage project supposedly sent neoprene high altitude balloons with advanced sonic and radar equipment into the atmosphere in an attempt to listen in on the Soviets (it was the start of the Cold War, after all). Though the government declassified the files on Project Mogul in 1994, the UFO theory is still going strong. Here are pictures of the strangest UFO sightings that will make you believe.
1. Los Angeles, California: Nov. 7, 2015
A bright glowing light was spotted in the sky over LA sparking mass confusion and panic. Thousands of people witnessed the mysterious light, capturing it on film and posting about it on social media... very suspicious.
2. International Space Station: March 19, 2014
Footage of a revolving disk (like the one described at Roswell) slowly approaching the International Space Station circulated the internet a few years ago. Many saw this as definitive proof that aliens are out there, and trying to contact us. But why have we not heard of this discovery? Perhaps the flying saucer was captured and is being investigated at this very moment? Another report of a UFO sighting off the live feed of the Space Station happened this year, and then the footage cut out. Pretty creepy, if you ask me.
3. Los Angeles, California: Feb. 24, 1942
Months after the U.S. joined World War II, a suspicious incident that has become known as "The Battle of Los Angeles" occurred. The sighting of something in the sky above California, thought to be an attack by the Japanese, set off an anti-aircraft artillery barrage. Officials deemed it a "false alarm" set off by confusion over a meteorological balloon, but many conspiracy theorists believe it to be a sighting of an alien spacecraft that set off the shooting, and a subsequent coverup.
4. Belgium: 1989 Through 1990
This photo, supposedly snapped in Wallonia, Belgium in June of 1990, claimed to capture one of the many strange sightings that took place across Belgium. Thousands of people reported seeing a triangle formation of three bright lights changing color as they flew across the sky. Belgian aircraft patrols attempted to track the object producing the strange lights. While their radar locked three times, the mysterious craft accelerated remarkably quickly and evaded the forces. While most pictures of these events are presumed hoaxes, the case remains unexplained and new evidence is still being uncovered.
5. New York City: March 20, 1950
The image of a cylindrical object hovering in the sky was captured in 1950. After investigation, the object was dubbed "the moon" but from enlarging the image, you can see that there might be more to it than that.
6. Passaic, New Jersey: July 30, 1952
An amateur photographer snapped this very clear shot of a supposed UFO all the way back in 1952. Not much more is known about the eerie photograph. Could it be related to the UFO swarm sighting that happened the same year over Washington D.C.?
7. Mount Washington, New Hampshire: 1870/1871
This photo is believed by some ufologists to be oldest image of a spacecraft captured on film. Taken from the summit of Mount Washington, a suspicious dark object seems to hover in the air. Some researchers believe the object to be a wooden ruler of some sort, though nothing is certain — especially if you want to believe!
Still skeptical about the events at Roswell and UFO pictures? Contact with extraterrestrials may not be very far off. Even NASA’s chief scientist Ellen Stofan believes that finding alien life is an eventuality in the next decade or so, reports Space.com. "I think we're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we're going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years," Stofan said in a panel discussion last year. Alien contact is coming! That is — if it hasn't already.
The truth is out there...
Images: pexels, Drew_peacock/WikimediaCommons, CNN, securetem10/YouTube, LosAngelesTimes/WikimediaCommons, JSHenrardi/WikimediaCommons, AudioNewspaper/YouTube, GeorgeStock/WikimediaCommons, NYPL/WikimediaCommons