Of all of the various stories and legends, some have been proven as false. Doctored photographs, witness statements and other evidence have shown that there are plenty of circumstances where UFO sightings were manufactured to get media attention or perhaps just to have a bit of fun. But then there are the stories that aren’t false. Or at least nobody can prove that they are false. And if you can’t prove someone is faking an encounter, does that make it real?
In 1975, Travis Walton was a young man working with a team of other men in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. There were seven men total working that day, and when time was called they all jumped into a single pick-up truck to drive back into town.
As they drove they discovered something odd on the side of the road. It was a “luminous object” that was “shaped like a flattened disc.”
Travis was young and, with the wisdom of youth, brave. He hopped out of the truck and sauntered up to investigate. The rest of the crew discouraged him, but they all watched anxiously to see what Travis would discover. While he was staring at the object, some sort of blue beam suddenly appeared, knocking him down.
The other six men were terrified and took off in the pick-up truck. Quickly the realized, however, that they had left Travis behind. They turned the truck around to pick him up, but Travis Walton was gone.
The other men left the scene again and reported it to the police in a nearby small town. The case quickly spiraled to the nation’s attention and manhunts started to find Walton, but no sign was ever found.
Until Travis Walton showed up again five days later. He was lying on the road outside a filling station – tired, hungry, dirty and with vague memories of his time away. He remembered strange creatures and something like a medical table. Walton’s life was never the same and the mystery surrounding his disappearance lingers on today – unresolved.
The European explorer to find the Americas, Christopher Columbus had a bit more to discover on his journey across the Atlantic. Like all captains and explorers, Columbus kept meticulous notes about his experiences and the things he saw along the way.
While on the Santa Maria during the voyage in 1492, Columbus made a note in his journal that he was standing on the deck of the ship when he saw “a light glimmering at a great distance.” According to his notes, the light vanished and then reappeared multiple times throughout the night.
Columbus spotted the strange light in sudden and passing gleams as it went up, down, east, west and every direction in between. The light finally disappeared into the sea. Either this was a UFO of some kind or a serious deranged falling star.
The Chicago O’Hare UFO
The biggest controversy that comes from UFO sightings is how usually only one or two people see them, or perhaps a group of friends who might be playing a prank together. Perhaps the most chilling story in recent events is one where more than a dozen people – all from different areas and not friends – saw the same strange object.
In 2006, Chicago O’Hare airport was as busy as usual. It was 4:40 in the morning and suddenly federal authorities are getting reports that no less than twelve employees are seeing some sort of metallic disc hovering over gate C-17.
As more reports came in, a pilot and co-pilot, completely separate from personnel on the ground, reported seeing the strange metallic frying object. Apparently as word spread about the strange object, supervisors raced out of the terminal and ran to windows to see the shape which was visible for about two minutes.
After the two minutes of hovering, the witnesses all claim that the object raced off up to the sky, moving so quickly that a hole was punched in the clouds above the airport. When questioned by media, the Federal Aviation Administration claimed to have no knowledge of the event. Later, however, a freedom of information act request provided the documentation that stated a United Airlines manager had called the FAA from the tower on that mild November day.
Phillip Schneider is one of the more controversial characters in UFO lore. Schneider claims that he was a structural engineer working for the government. In the 1970’s, Schneider was helping to build military bases around the country when a controlled blast opened up a large underground cavern accidentally. Inside the cavern, Schneider claims they uncovered a base being used by aliens.
A fight ensued and 67 men were killed. Only 3 escaped, among them Schneider. Schneider toured for more than a decade showing the skin on his chest and hand that was melted by an extreme heat, a heat Phillip said was caused by the alien weapon.
After his father’s death, Schneider discovered that his dad had been involved with controversial nuclear weapon testing and had left notes about covert operations and government concerns. Schneider went on tour trying to draw notice to the possibility of aliens, government secrets and conspiracies.
Many dismissed his claims as being too far-fetched to be true, but many others began to wonder in earnest about what grains of truth Phillip Schneider might have been discussing when his body turned up in his apartment after going missing for five days. The conclusion? Philip was strangled with rubber tubing. It was a very suspicious death that remains unresolved to this day.
What are you favorite encounter stories? Share below!