From surveillance balloons to metallic orbs, over the past few weeks it seems like bizarre objects are falling out the sky left, right and centre.
Scientists are able to debunk most of these instances, like how a blue spiral that appeared over Hawaii last month was actually just a SpaceX launch.
However, some of them still do not have a logical explanation to this day, including the apparent ‘flying saucer’ that flew over a school in Australia in 1966.
The silvery white webs that fell on the heads of local football fans from an egg-shaped craft in Italy in 1954 also remain a mystery.
MailOnline takes a closer look at the seven weirdest unidentified flying object – or UFO – sightings, that are still yet to be explained.
An apparent photograph of the supposed Westall UFO encounter where more than 200 students and teachers allegedly witnessed an unexplained flying object descend onto a nearby open wild grass field in 1966
1. The ‘Flying Saucer’ – Australia
On April 6 1966, at around 11am, over 300 students and teachers at Westall High School in Melbourne, Australia witnessed a ‘flying saucer’ hover above the grounds.
Children and staff were said to have seen a ’round humped object with a flat base being circled by what appeared to be light aircraft’.
It was described as grey or silver-grey in colour, but it was not known whether the UFO appeared high or low in the sky, or for how long it was seen by those at the school, according to reports at the time.
There was also confusion over whether there was just one UFO or several, as some people described seeing three saucer-like objects.
One newspaper report in the 1960s said that several children who saw the flying saucer ‘collapsed and became ill with fright’.
‘I saw a craft. A mechanical object intelligently controlled hovering above me,’ Mr Andrew Greenwood – a science teacher at the time – told a 7NEWS Spotlight documentary in 2021.
During the 20 minute encounter, witnesses said that five planes came and surrounded the object, appearing to try and herd it up, before it flew away.
A newspaper clipping outlining what several witnesses at the school saw on that fateful day in 1966
2. Red and green lights – UK
In December 1980, sightings of unexplained red and green lights were reported by US Air Force personnel stationed near Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk, UK.
These occurred on three separate nights just before the New Year, saying that the lights were flying in the sky and descending into the woodland.
US Air Force officer Steve Longero broke a 36 year silence in December 2016, to reveal he also saw red and green fluorescent lights hovering over treetops.
The incident became a topic of fascination in the UK after a group of servicemen went into Rendlesham Forest to investigate the mysterious lights and came out convinced they had seen seen an alien spacecraft.
While it cannot be proven, in 2018, an alleged Special Air Service (SAS) source claimed that the extraterrestrial sighting was a hoax.
They said the SAS wanted to take revenge on the US Air Force for capturing a squad and subjecting them to a brutal interrogation.
The British Ministry of Defence said the apparent UFOs were likely to be caused by a series of nocturnal lights.
Staff Sergeant Jim Penniston sketched the craft he says he saw at the time of the incident
The incident became a topic of fascination in the UK after a group of servicemen went into Rendlesham Forest to investigate the mysterious lights and came out convinced they had seen seen an alien spacecraft
3. ‘Phoenix Lights’ – USA
UFO sightings are relatively common in Arizona ever since the ‘Phoenix Lights’ incident on the night of March 13 1997.
Five lights were seen flying in formation, either stationary or as part of a moving V-shaped aircraft.
They were reported by thousands of people between 7.30pm and 10.30pm.
Sightings came from a space of about 300 miles, from the Nevada border, through Phoenix, to the edge of Tucson.
At the time, the military said it was part of a routine flare exercise, but many believed there was more to it.
To date it is the largest mass-UFO sighting in the USA.
In 1996, five lights were seen flying in formation, either stationary or as part of a moving V-shaped aircraft. Image of the Phoenix Lights newspaper article from USA Today
NASA joins the hunt for UFOs with study into ‘unidentified phenomena’
NASA is conducting its first ever study into unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) – known popularly as UFO’s.
These are events in the sky that cannot be absolutely identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena.
Scientists are looking at current data into UAPs, and establishing which sightings are naturally-occurring or not worth further investigation.
Understanding unidentified phenomena in the atmosphere is of interest for both national security and aircraft safety.
Read more here
4. Silvery-white webs – Italy
Forget VAR, on October 27 1954 it was a UFO that caused a commotion during a football match between Fiorentina and Pistoiese in Florence, Italy.
Just after half time, thousands of fans began pointing to the sky, prompting the players to stop the game at the Stadio Artemi Franchi.
While accounts vary, general consensus is that a round spacecraft moving over the pitch, dropping silver glitter or web-like filaments as it passed
Footballer Ardico Magnini described it as ‘like an egg moving slowly’, while another spectator compared its shape to a cigar.
Samples of the UFO’s trail were analysed at the University of Florence and were found to be made of boron, silicon, calcium and magnesium.
This debunked the theory that they were the webs of migrating spiders, as they do not contain any of these elements.
5. Alien sightings – Zimbabwe
On September 16 1994, 62 pupils of Ariel Primary School, located just outside Ruwa in Zimbabwe, saw one or more silver craft descend from the sky and land on a nearby field.
After that, ‘human-like’ creatures with long hair, rugby ball-sized eyes and black bodysuits approached them.
These aliens then shared messages about environmentalism telepathically, warning humans not to destroy the planet.
The alleged incident lasted about 15 minutes while the children, all aged between six and 12, were outside on break, while their teachers were in a meeting.
Not all children at the school claim they saw something that day, but some of those who did maintain it is true.
Researchers traveled to the school where they asked the kids to draw what they’d seen ‘while it was fresh in their minds’
As for the humanoids some claimed to see emerge from the craft, Hofer said that most of the students’ descriptions were ‘very consistent of a short-looking being’ and ‘a lot of them described very large eyes’
One told The Sunday Mail in 2021: ‘The most difficult part is that, up until today, I cannot tell what that thing was.
‘I do not believe in aliens or tikoloshes. It helps explain why some of us would not want to be associated with the events of that day.’
Both the headteacher at the time and Harvard University psychiatrist Dr John Mack interviewed the children who both say their accounts and drawings were consistent.
However, some sceptics have ruled the incident as one of mass hysteria, which studies have shown are common in schools in Africa.
6. Encounter on the moors – UK
On December 1 1987, a retired police officer claims he came into contact with an alien figure while walking on Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire.
The creature made a gesture at the man, who uses the pseudonym Philip Spencer, before it ran away after he tried to take a picture of it.
He then saw a white-coloured craft which consisted of two saucer-shaped components one on top of the other rise up and disappear into the sky.
Mr Spencer then claimed that the encounter had caused his compass to break, and that he mysteriously arrived back in town two hours later than he expected later on.
His photo was studied by experts and was found to not show an animal or any evidence it had been tampered with, but it was too grainy to know for sure.
However, details of Mr Spencer’s account did change after a session of hypnotherapy, when he then claimed he was abducted.
He said he taken inside the UFO and given a tour, had experiments performed on him and was forced to watch videos of apocalyptic imagery before being returned to Earth.
Sceptics also wonder why he did not photograph the spaceship.
On December 1 1987, a retired police officer claims he came into contact with an alien figure while walking on Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire. Pictured: Mr Spencer’s photo
The creature made a gesture at the man, who uses the pseudonym Philip Spencer, before it ran away after he tried to take a picture of it. Pictured: Mr Spencer’s photo
His photo was studied by experts and was not found to show an animal or any evidence it had been tampered with. Pictured: Newspaper reporting the sighting at the time
7. Unexpected Arrival – USA
At about 4:14pm on November 7 2006, a ramp employee at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, USA spotted a metallic, saucer-shaped craft hovering in the sky.
The employee notified other members of the crew of United Airlines Flight 446, which they were preparing for departure, including pilots, airline management and mechanics.
A total of 12 staff confirmed the sighting, including some passengers on other flights arriving at the airport.
Witnesses said it was a dark grey, disc-shaped craft that was ‘obviously not clouds’.
After hovering silently for about five minutes, it reportedly shot up into the sky at a high velocity, leaving a hole in the clouds that eventually closed over.
Air traffic controllers did not see the object, but a United Airlines supervisor did contact those in the tower to report the sighting.
As it was not picked up by RADAR the Federal Aviation Administration refused to investigate, and ruled it a ‘weather phenomenon’, like a hole-punch cloud.
At about 4:14pm on November 7 2006, a ramp employee at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, USA spotted a metallic, saucer-shaped craft hovering in the sky. Pictured: An image of the UFO taken on an airport employee’s phone
A total of 12 staff confirmed the sighting, which they say was a disc-shaped craft that was ‘obviously not clouds’. Pictured: An image of the UFO taken on an airport employee’s phone
FAMOUS UK UFO SIGHTINGS
- 1980 – Rendlesham Forest: Sightings of unexplained lights were reported by United States Air Force personnel stationed near Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk which became linked with claims of UFO landings
- 1977 – Broad Haven: A class of primary school pupils said they spotted a ‘cigar-shaped’ craft with a ‘dome covering the middle third’ near their playground, that was never debunked
- 1956 – Lakenheath-Bentwaters: A series of radar and visual contacts with UFOs over airbases in eastern England led to a report from the Codon Committee stating that the ‘probability that at least one genuine UFO was involved appears to be fairly high’
- 2009 – Kim Wilde’s encounter: The singer recounted on ‘Loose Women’ the time she saw an unfamiliar-looking light in the sky that darted back and forth while out in her garden. She credits the ‘life-changing’ experience for inspiring her album that followed