6 UFO Hot Spots Around the World
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 13, 2012
As Annie Jacobson’s new book, AREA 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base, hits shelves, TIME takes a look at other alien-inhabited sites worldwide.
The vast field of Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, southern England, is a stretch of verdant land steeped in history. It’s here where the ancient neolithic site of Stonehenge sits, an inscrutable pile of rocks wrapped in mystery. And it’s here, or at least in the town of Warminster, where some of the U.K.’s most impassioned UFO watchers gather atop nearby Cradle Hill in the belief that they can signal extraterrestrial spaceships. In the 60s and 70s, local journalist Arthur Shuttlewood popularized The Warminster Mystery, leading to hundreds, perhaps thousands of independent claims of UFO sightings all coming from this small town. It’s clearly led to many hoaxes, including the recent drawing of elaborate geometric crop circles in fields surrounding the old town.
You really don’t want to go to Wycliffe Well in Australia’s Northern Territory and not see a UFO: “Sightings are so common,” the website of the Wycliffe Well Holiday Park states, “that if you stayed up all night looking you would be considered unlucky not to see anything.” Supposedly, earthlings have been witnessing UFOs in this part of the Outback since World War II. But hey, if you turn out to be one of those “unlucky” sightseers, at least you get to lay eyes on Elvis! (In statue form). And wouldn’t you know? This very same place apparently has a vast beer selection.
DAVID HANNAH / GETTY IMAGES
There’s something special about Bonnybridge, Scotland. Since 1992, the small town has been the sight of an unusually high number of UFO sightings. In fact, Bonnybridge lies in what UFO believers call “The Falkirk Triangle,” an area of land between the cities Stirling, Fife and the outer neighborhoods of Edinburgh where people routinely report unidentified objects sailing through the sky. The Scottish government says it receives over 300 UFO sightings from Bonnybridge and surrounding areas every year.
Bonnybridge’s first UFO sighting occurred in 1992, when a man named James Walker reported seeing a star-shaped object hovering above a road. Other sightings followed and in 1993, the local government held a meeting about the trend. They never came to a conclusion, although alcohol was considered as a possible cause of many of the sightings. UFO reports have continued over the years, leading some people to believe they might be real. “How do we know aliens aren’t walking about?” Bonnybridge Councillor Billy Buchanan told The Scotsman newspaper in 2005. “I have no doubt that Bonnybridge is part of something exciting.”
Chile’s UFO Trail
By KAYLA WEBLEY
Over the past two decades residents in Chile’s central district have recorded so many UFO sightings that in 2008 the town of Sam Clemente opened a “UFO trail”. The 19-mile stretch weaves through the Andes mountains, whose plateaus are said to make great landing pads for the spacecraft. Even though the area has long been known as a destination for UFO sightings, the move likely had a bit more to do with bringing in tourist dollars than it did unidentified spacecrafts. Along the trail tourists and UFO hunters alike can read signs that detail well-known sightings and visit restaurants, camping sites, hostels and cabins. And though Sernatur — the country’s official tourism service — backed the initiative, it nonetheless claims, “In no way can we guarantee that a tourist coming to San Clemente will see a UFO.”
On July 11, 1991 a total solar eclipse began over the Pacific Ocean and Hawaii, moved over Mexico and Central America and down to South America, ending in Brazil. In Mexico City, people reported seeing much more than a rare celestial event. In what has been called one of the largest mass UFO sightings ever, a number of Mexicans reported seeing a strange hovering craft as they were watching the eclipse. Sightings also apparently happened in other Mexican cities, but it’s hard not to wonder whether some of these people were just seeing spots because they weren’t wearing their eclipse safety glasses
By JOSH SANBURN
In January 2008, dozens of people reported something funny hovering in the night sky. It was described in many ways — some described it as a mile-wide, silent object that flew low to the ground. Some said it moved incredibly fast. A local newspaper reporter said it had very intense, bright lights. The story later made it onto CNN’s Larry King Live, which did an entire hour on the sighting. So was it life from another planet? Not so, said the U.S. Air Force a couple weeks later, explaining that ten Air Force Reserve F-16 fighter jets were the cause of the lights seen over the central Texas town. But it’s doubtful the Air Force’s explanation sufficed for those who witnessed the object.
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