Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Happy World UFO Day!

In honor of the recognized start of the “age of flying saucers” on June 24, 1947, today was designated World UFO Day. On that date, pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing several crescent-shaped metallic disks flying at high speed over Mount Rainer, and said they moved like “saucers skimming across water.” Hence, “flying saucers” was born!

With this in mind, here are my pick for the top five most interesting UFO cases. I was looking for an indescribable something that made a particular incident stand out, or had a subtle difference that piqued my curiosity just a little bit more than others.

Papua New Guinea, 1959
On June 26, 1959, Father William Booth Gill was an Anglican priest working as a missionary in Papua New Guinea. He and other missionaries and villagers saw a disc-shaped object with four “legs” on its underside, about 35 feet across and only about 300 to 400 feet away in the sky. On the upper surface of the saucer, four humanoid figures could be seen.

Belgium, 1989-1991

A remarkable series of UFO sightings occurred in Belgium in 1989-1991. It involved multiple witnesses, military and government investigations, countrywide skywatches and both photographs and videos of unusual lights moving n the night sky. The number of reports is staggering: about 3,500 sightings, about a quarter of which were investigated by ufologists.

Trindade Island, 1958
Off the coast of Trindade Island in the Atlantic, the Brazilian Navy ship Almirante Saldanha was anchored and Almiro Barauna, a civilian photographer took photographs of a metallic object before it flew behind a mountain on the island. It reappeared on the other side, looking like an oval with a ring. The object flew off across the ocean away from the ship and was lost to sight.

Arizona, 1975
On November 5, 1975, a logging crew in northern Arizona saw a blue, disc-shaped object hovering over a clearing not far away. Logger Travis Walton suddenly opened the passenger door and ran towards it. His co-workers in the truck saw a brilliant flash of blue light hit Walton, raising him off the ground slightly and then throwing him about 10 feet away onto the ground like a rag doll. Walton disappeared without a trace, but he was found several days later, with memories of being aboard a UFO.

Yukon, 1996
Around 7:00 pm on December 11, 1996, dozens of people up and down the Fox Lake valley in central Yukon when they saw a very large object, covering an estimated 60 to 90 degrees of sky, moving ponderously across their view. Ufologist Martin Jasek interviewed dozens of witnesses separately and at length, piecing together a complex and consistent series of observations of a remarkable object seen over the course of 200 miles over the lake.

For more information on these cases and many others, please read the book A World of UFOs, by Chris Rutkowski, in fine bookstores everywhere and available on Amazon.
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