The number of reported UFO sightings is seemingly booming, if the Internet is anything to go by. Jump right to this year’s sightings.
Every day, countless videos of unidentified orbs or strange objects in the sky are uploaded online — but with new ways to report and share sightings come whole new levels of hoaxes and fakes. How do we separate the signal from the noise?
We don’t. We just look at the reports we have and decide for ourselves which are the most believable.
According to the National UFO Reporting Center, 2017 brought them 4,655 UFO sighting reports within the United States, down from 2016’s 5,619. How will 2018 fare? (Update: The total number of UFO sightings reported to NUFORC in 2018, according to their database, was 3,228.)
Let’s find out. On this page, you’ll find some of 2018’s more prominent UFO sightings. Some may be hoaxes, some may have ordinary explanations. Perhaps we’ll catch a few that are truly out of this world.
Pilots Spot Possible UFOs Over Ireland
On Friday, November 9, multiple pilots spotted a number of bright unidentified objects moving at high speeds over Kerry, Ireland. According to the Irish Examiner, one pilot reached out to Shannon Air Traffic control after witnessing a “speeding bright light,” later confirmed by two other pilots.
You can listen to the ATC conversation here, courtesy LiveATC.net (incident begins at around 18:00).
“It was moving so fast,” the pilot reported, “It seemed to come up on our left hand side and then rapidly veered to the north. We saw a bright light and then it disappeared at a very high speed.”
“We’re just wondering what that could’ve been?”
The incident is currently being investigated. Experts believe the objects were likely meteorites.
Orb Of Light Spotted By New York News Team
On June 21, 2018, WKBW TV out of Buffalo, New York shared this curious find during their local weather forecast.
Meteorologist Autumn Lewandowski spied something interesting on one of their time-lapse cameras, while filming the horizon: a bright orb of light, that eventually shot off toward the camera and out of view.
Cigar-Shaped UFO Sighted Over United Kingdom
On July 7, a family spotted a black, cigar-shaped UFO in the skies over Banbury, Oxfordshire in the UK.
The object had a very narrow cylindrical shape and at times appeared to either be reflective or give off its own light (at approx. 1:03 in the video, you can see light move from the bottom up over the surface of the object).
According to the uploader, the object “was pretty much holding position” despite moving clouds and a decent wind. This, he says, possibly counters the idea that it was a solar balloon, though many believe this to be the case. Near the end of the sighting (which does not appear in the video), the object “climbed rapidly at a near vertical angle until it was no longer visible.”
What’s more, before the witness could get his actual camera to record clear footage, the object could be seen “flashing and rotating.”
UFO Manifests Over Nazca Lines?
A Peruvian UFO hunter spotted an unidentified object, known as an OVNI in Spanish, hovering over the famous Nazca Lines on the evening of June 9.
The footage, uploaded on June 27 by the Peruvian Association of Ufology, shows a dark, and strangely unmoving, oblong object in the sky. The video’s description says it was “completely static” and likens its shape to a zeppelion.
“Are we facing the manifestation of a UFO on the Nazca Lines?” they ask.
A UFO Sighting Among New York Clouds
An ATC recording from May 26, 2018 provides a glimpse into an intriguing possible UFO encounter. At about 1:00 p.m. over Huntington, New York, a pilot contacted air traffic control to report an unidentified object in front of his plane, at an altitude of about 6,000 feet.
“I have an object in front of me, I don’t know what it is,” the pilot said. “You mean like a drone or something?” responded the controller.
The pilot wasn’t convinced, reporting that the object appeared larger than a drone, though ATC showed nothing on radar. The pilot then requested to make a left turn, which was granted. At this point, the object moved behind the plane and into the surrounding clouds.
“Now it’s gone behind the clouds, I have no idea what it is,” the pilot said, “Definitely something was there.”
“Okay, I mean, I have to assume it was a drone,” said the ATC.
“Actually, it looked like it had lights on it.”
“That’s, uh, really interesting…”
The controller later provided the pilot with a phone number to call upon landing — something usually reserved for pilots who commit errors during flight, but not on this occasion. At this time, the object is simply classed as drone-like, but it’s still unclear what it truly was.
UFOs and Purple Beams Over Phoenix
On April 11, 2018, YouTuber Earthly Patriot was “watching webcams” of the skies over Phoenix, Arizona and witnessed what she describes as “several purple beams” and other strange UFOs. The footage was later picked up and shared by a few media outlets, including Coast to Coast AM.
In the video, you can see clips of various bright orb-like lights dancing in the sky, as well as “purple beams.” One YouTube commenter likens the appearance of the beams to Tesla scalar waves, while others suggest they are likely just light reflected off insects.
Columbus, North Carolina Lights in the Night
A strange UFO sighting out of Columbus, North Carolina was reported to MUFON on April 3, 2018. The sighting apparently happened that same evening.
It shows what some are claiming is a “UFO mothership” — a series of lights in a nearly circular or triangular pattern that perhaps betrays a larger object hiding in the night sky.
Many aren’t convinced, with several folks in the YouTube comments of the above video saying it’s more likely lights or lanterns on a hill or nearby building.
U.S. Navy Pilots Encounter UFO Over East Coast
In March 2018, The Stars Academy of Arts and Science released footage from 2015 featuring an encounter between two Navy pilots and an unidentified object over the east coast.
The very short clip (which you can see above, courtesy USA Today) is only about 30 seconds long, captured using an infrared camera. “Whoa, got it! Woo hoo!” one of the F/A-18 fighter pilots exclaims as he tracks the apparently fast-moving UFO. “What the (expletive) is that thing?”
As in many cases, this particular UFO sighting arrives alongside a severe lack of information about the object itself — how fast was it moving, could it have been a drone, what was the official response, etc. According to USA Today, the Department of Defense has yet to comment.
However, this release is part of a stream of declassified documents and videos pertaining to UFOs that have appeared over the past several months.
Pilots Have A Close Encounter Over Arizona
Two pilots in two separate planes reportedly encountered a UFO while flying above Arizona on February 24, 2018. The unidentified object passed over their planes — one a Phoenix Air Learjet, the other an American Airlines jet — during routine flights. The Federal Aviation Administration later released audio of the pilots reporting the unidentified object to Air Traffic Control.
“Was anybody above us that passed us like 30 seconds ago?” the Learjet pilot asked after sighting the object. “Negative,” replied the controller. “OK. Something did,” the pilot added, with another pilot quipping, “It’s a UFO!” Later, an American Airlines pilot would confirm that he also saw the object in the area, at least 2,000 feet above his plane.
The object has not, at this time, been identified. One possibility that’s been floated is a weather balloon. “I don’t know what it was,” one of the pilots said, “It wasn’t an airplane.” They did, however, mention it had a reflection.
The above video contains a portion of the communication between the pilots and ATC.
If you’re looking to have your own UFO sighting, there are actually a few places where you’re more likely to get your wish.
According to the NUFORC database, California ranks number one for extraterrestrial encounter reports within the United States, by quite a lot. This could be due to the state’s high population, but let’s take a look at the top ten states by UFO reports, as of April 27, 2018:
- California (13,228)
- Florida (6,276)
- Washington (5,739)
- Texas (4,843)
- New York (4,567)
- Arizona (3,915)
- Pennsylvania (3,771)
- Illinois (3,509)
- Ohio (3,451)
- North Carolina (2,838)
The population of California is reportedly 39.54 million, while Florida is home to an estimated 20.98 million people. Washington, however, with its 7.4 million residents, very nearly matches the number of reports coming out of Florida, and handily beats Texas and its population of about 28.3 million. Perhaps some places are a bit hotter when it comes to paranormal activity.
There are, however, many variables at play, and here we’re only referencing the data collected by NUFORC, and not other UFO reporting agencies like MUFON.
It’s difficult to tell what the real score is, and it’s also very likely that most UFO sightings go unreported. Many sightings may be of perfectly ordinary objects (drones, planes, etc.), as well, further muddying the waters.
- Final number of sightings reported to NUFORC in 2018: 3,228
April 10, 2018 – A monument in Sheffield, Massachusetts commemorating the area’s 1969 UFO incident is currently in jeopardy of being moved for a second time. Some residents feel the 5,000 pound, 6-foot-tall monument is an “eye sore,” while others are keen to preserve its place as an historic marker. The debate will rage on, but there’s just one more hiccup, as The Berkshire Eagle reports: “It’s not clear who actually owns the monument.”
April 3, 2018 – Perhaps this isn’t the most exciting UFO news, but the Royal Canadian Mint recently revealed a new glow-in-the-dark coin featuring imagery of 1967’s Falcon Lake UFO incident. The incident occurred while an unsuspecting “rock nut” named Stefan Michalak was out searching for precious metals at the lake in Manitoba. Instead, he found a pair of metallic saucer-shaped crafts, and the rest is history. In the dark, the UFO and its strange beam of light glow brightly on the coin.
February 19, 2018 – A FOIA request has obtained documents and audio recordings pertaining to a sighting on October 25, 2017, when an unidentified craft appeared in the skies of Northern California and Oregon. The craft was visible in broad daylight at approx. 4:30 p.m., among regular identified planes at about 37,000 feet. Confused, air traffic control scrambled to identify the rogue craft, and F-15 interceptors were sent to investigate. The plane was described as “big” and “white,” and moving very fast.
The easy explanation is that it was an experimental military craft, however this doesn’t explain why the pilot would journey near commercial airplanes. Perhaps it was a “stealth” test, as after some time it ceased to appear on radar.
The following reports and videos contain UFO sightings that either have immediately apparent explanations, or were sufficiently rebuffed right out of the gate. This doesn’t mean the explanations are perfectly accurate or that the cases are closed in any way. They just don’t quite stack up to other sightings.
The Model UFO
A teenager managed to captured footage of a strange alleged UFO bouncing over the skies near a RAF base in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire in May.
The object was white with a similarly white trail. At first, the witness though it “was a meteor falling,” until the object “stopped for a few seconds and went back up.” It then disappeared for a moment, only to reappear. That’s when he started recording.
The UFO sighting didn’t just involve a wispy white anomaly, though — the witness also reported that the object emitted “red sparks or electricity,” and at one point even split into two separate UFOs.
However, it later turned out to likely be a “large model airplane with flares attached,” according to a Reddit post on May 12, 2018.
Milwaukee Lights Sighting
A mysterious display of lights above Milwaukee, Wisconsin shocked Fox 6 News anchors on February 27, 2018.
“Are those fireworks?” one of the anchors can be heard asking as the weird lights dance in the night sky. “Aliens? What is that?” The segment went viral, and the speculation began.
One of the first theories to pop up is that the phenomenon was nothing more than seagulls reflecting light, though many claim that sounds like an explanation straight out of Men In Black. However, roughly 30 minutes after the “sighting,” a Fox 6 reporter captured video of a flock of seagulls right above the Milwaukee County Courthouse, appearing just like the mysterious white lights in the above video.