With the help of our partners at WatchMojo.com, who compiled a list of the top 10 most documented UFO sightings of all time, here are some of the most intriguing incidents — some of which remain unexplained.
Can more than 13,000 people be wrong? That’s how many Belgians reported seeing a series of triangle-shaped lights in the sky on March 30, 1990, after six months of similar, smaller-scale activity.
F-16 aircraft were scrambled to chase whatever it was in the sky, but the UFOs were so fast and so unpredictable that it was impossible.
Photos associated with this event were later discredited, but this remains one of the most well-documented UFO sightings ever.
In an eerily similar event, hundreds of Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico residents – including then-Arizona governor Fife Symington – witnessed exploding orbs of light and a V-shaped vehicle passing through the night sky on March 13, 1997.
The resulting amateur video caused a media firestorm and fueled speculation. The U.S. military claimed the lights were simply flares they’d launched, but due to the lights’ precise formation, many were skeptical.
A decade later, Phoenix residents reported seeing the lights again, this time in February 2007 and again in April 2008, when they were reported to have formed a U-shape in the sky. The 2007 incident was recorded by a local television news station, to which the Federal Aviation Administration explained that these were flares dropped by a F-16 aircraft.
The April 2008 incident was later revealed to be a hoax – an anonymous caller confessed the hoax a few days after the lights reappeared.
Radar recorded strange blips over Washington, D.C., in July 1952, while witnesses who were later contacted reported seeing dazzling orange lights in the sky. Once the “flying saucers” reportedly swarmed the White House, President Harry Truman is reported to have given the go-ahead to a shoot-down order.
He quickly backtracked, after it was explained that the UFOs could have been mirages caused by temperature inversions. Eventually, the government-appointed Robertson Panel suggested that more time be spent on debunking UFO reports altogether rather than investigating them.
That helps explain why many discredit official government explanations of UFO “sightings” even today.