The Discovery Channel has dubbed this week “Aliens Week.”
It’s TECHNICALLY only official in Canada, sure, and it’s no Shark Week, YET, and really all they have to show for it is a rerun of “Alien Mysteries” at 7 pm night this week, but we appreciate Discovery for getting the ball rolling.
Here to supplement your Aliens Week needs, the best non-Roswell (because you know that story) alien- and UFO-related Wikipedia pages the internet has to offer. (If we’ve left out your favorite sighting, leave it in the comments!)
1. The Phoenix Lights
The Phoenix Lights were a series of aircraft and light-formation sightings over Phoenix in 1997. Many attributed the light formation (seen above) to military flares, but the sighting still gained interest for the perceived strangeness with which the lights behaved. There were also a number of craft sightings, as well — including by then-governor Fife Symington, though he first made fun of believers by bringing a costumed alien on stage at a press conference about the sightings.
2. Lady (Or “Snippy”) The Horse
The mutilation of Lady the horse (mistakenly called “Snippy” by the press) is part of a larger page on cattle mutilation, but Lady’s case is notable for being the first animal mutilation to be popularly linked to UFO activity. It was said her flesh oozed “greenish fluid which burned” the hands of one of the people who found her, so it also might have inspired the way The X-Files does alien blood.
3. The Rendlesham Forest Incident
The Rendlesham Forest Incident was a series of reported UFO sightings by U.S. Air Force members at a base just outside the forest in Suffolk, England. Lending credibility to the story are the eyewitness accounts from military personnel, and the material “evidence” (see above photo), including burn marks and radiation readings.
4. Travis Walton’s Abduction
Travis Walton’s abduction story is so compelling they made a movie (1993’s Fire in the Sky, which you remember being scary but does not hold up great). Walton disappeared from his logging crew in Arizona for five days and, when he returned, claimed that he’d been abducted — and tortured — by aliens.
5. The Kecksburg UFO Incident
The Kecksburg UFO Incident occurred in December of 1965, when thousands of people across six states reported seeing a “fireball” hurtling through the sky, ultimately landing in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. It’s a great case for “lost government records,” the mysterious writing on the outside of the object, and the fact that the object replica looks like … that.
6. The Betty And Barney Hill Abduction
Like Travis Walton’s story, The Betty and Barney Hill abduction was also adapted into a movie (and a book), but it also inspired a great deal of psychological research — both Betty and Barney were extensively observed under hypnosis — and the theory that the far-off star system Zeta Reticuli might be home to extraterrestrial life.
7. The Exeter Incident
The Exeter Incident refers to a UFO sighting by 18-year-old New Hampshire resident Norman Muscarello (pictured, above left) in 1965, and remains one of the best-publicized “unexplained” cases as determined by the Air Force. Muscarello was hitchhiking when he saw red lights flashing in the woods nearby. He returned to the area with police, with whom he watched the unidentified craft rise up out of the woods and then fly away in moments.
8. The Wave Over Belgium
The Belgian UFO wave is the name given to a five-month period (1989-1990) in which a number of triangle-shaped UFOs were seen and documented (including in the above photograph) flying over Belgium. It’s estimated that at least 13,500 people witnessed the crafts.
9. The Disappearance of Frederick Valentich
In 1978, a 20-year-old man named Frederick Valentich, while flying a small Cessna plane over Australia, reported seeing an unidentifiable aircraft emitting green light and hovering just above his plane. Minutes later, Valentich’s transmissions stopped, and he and his plane disappeared, never to be found. The transcript of Valentich’s conversation with the Melbourne Flight Service office is available on the Wikipedia page and is, obviously, spookily amazing.
- And how well do you know what happened in the news this week? Take our quiz.