7 UFO Encounters Similar to The Pentagon Video Written Up In The 'New York Times' This Week

If you missed the not one, but two different New York Times articles this week covering potential UFO-human interactions, don't beat yourself up. We're living in a world when the news cycle is so clogged up with back-to-back disasters that it's easy to overlook, like, evidence that UFOs maybe visited earth? To catch up, here are seven UFO encounters similar to the Pentagon video written up in the New York Times this week. Don't freak out — or do, honestly, I don't know, this whole situation is supremely bizarre.

UFO ("unidentified flying objects") sightings have been flitting in and out of our headlines and imaginations for centuries. Plutarch, the ancient biographer of Roman armies, included in his records the report of a giant, flaming, silver-colored, wine-jug-shaped apparition dropping from the sky during a battle in Phrygia. In 74 B.C.E. In 1561 in Nuremberg, villagers reported flying canons and spheres doing battle in the sky one early April morning. The list goes on. And on. And on. To such an extent that, in recent years, the United States government officially began investigating.

Established in 2007 by Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the former Senate majority leader, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program served to investigate reports of UFOs. Though it was officially "shut down" in 2012, the office continued to house at least one employee, intelligence official Luis Elizondo, until October of this year.

Is your interest piqued? Ready to fall into the black hole of UFO truther theories? Here are a few similar formerly reported incidents below.

The Roswell Crash

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The crash that launched a thousand pop culture spinoffs, The Roswell Crash occurred about 75 miles north of Roswell, New Mexico on July 8, 1947. A "flying disk" crashed near a ranch during a storm, reported the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF). Ranch worker William Brazel had first stumbled upon the crash, gathered debris and brought it to the Roswell sheriff's office.

Following the RAAF's press statement, government scientists descended upon Roswell and issued a correction: a weather balloon had crashed, they said, and showed reporters debris they claimed had come from the crash site. Well, turns out it was neither. According to later records, what crashed was a highly classified U.S. Army Air Force experiment working to detect Soviet Army atomic bombs.

But the sudden shift in tone, as well as the presence of government scientists, raised national suspicion. Roswell remains a hotbed of UFO truther attractions.

Lubbock Lights

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One of the first nationally-recognized UFO sightings in the United States, the Lubbock Lights incident occurred in Lubbock, Texas on Aug. 25, 1951. Three Tech College professors, Dr. A.G. Oberg, a chemical engineer, Dr. W.L. Ducker, one of the college's department heads and a petroleum engineer, and Dr. W.I. Robinson, a geologist, reported seeing lights in a "flying V" formation. They weren't the only ones — a number of residents reported similar sightings that night.

The reports were convincing enough to warrant a government investigation by Project Blue Book, a program that looked into reports of unidentified flying objects. The Air Force has since concluded that the lights were not birds and were not spaceships, but have refused to look any further into the explanation, citing an anonymity request from the scientist involved.

Levelland

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There must be something about Texas, because just a handful of years after the Lubbock Lights incident, the Levelland UFO case hit headlines and remains one at the top of "ufologists" (yes, really) lists. The night of Nov. 2, 1957, ten separate motorists, including Levelland's Fire Chief, Ray Jones, independently encountered a lit, "egg-shaped" object, between 100 and 200 feet long, while driving. Each motorist reported that their car engine sputtered and died. Once the object "took off," they were able to restart their cars.

The explanation given for this widespread incident was a severe electrical storm.

The Rendlesham Forest Incident

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On Dec. 26, 1980, witnesses — and radar screens — in East England saw an unidentified object fly into Rendlesham Forest, located between two U.S. Air Force Bases. Soldiers dispatched to the forest reportedly came upon a "luminous, triangle-shaped aircraft," supported by a tripod. The UFO then retracted its three legs and flew out of the forest. The soldiers pursued it on foot, running into a nearby field where, suddenly, in a flash of light, the group collectively lost consciousness. When they came to, they were back in the forest.

Investigations the following day found markings consistent with reports of a supportive tripod. Lt. Col. Charles Halt, who led the investigative party, recorded high levels of radiation at the original landing sight.

Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 Incident

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Hey, ever want to get on a plane anxiety-free again? Maybe don't read this account of a Japanese Boeing 747 being "escorted" by three UFOs on the night of Nov. 17, 1986. While flying over eastern Alaska, the plane's crew of three noticed two unidentified objects below them, followed by a third, much larger craft that began trailing their plane.

The UFOs then rose to the same altitude of the plane, preferring the darker skies to the left, rather than the lighter skies on the right. When the pilot contacted air traffic control, they could not confirm any traffic in the area. The two smaller UFOs at one point were so close that the cockpit could reportedly feel the heat on their faces.

The sighting lasted 50 minutes.

Phoenix Lights

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On the night of March 13, 1997, residents of Phoenix, Ariz. reported seeing a series of bright lights, laid out in a clear v-shaped formation, nearly a mile-wide, according to witnesses, floating over the skies. Some even reported seeing some sort of aircraft flying behind them. The official government explanation is a series of dropped flares, but even 20 years later, folks aren't convinced. How would flares keep such a distinct shape, for hours, without falling?