Contrary to what you might think, UFO sightings are surprisingly commonplace in some parts of the world.
5 – The M Triangle, Ural Mountains, Russia
Russia’s M Triangle is one of the most mysterious places on earth.
Also known as the Perm Anomalous Zone, this remote region near the Ural mountains generates a steady stream of reports of the unexplained. Each year, thousands of UFO hunters, hundreds of psychics and scores of scientists come to the Urals to observe the strange phenomena. Some of the visitors claim that the triangle is responsible for miracles, as well as for making them feel happier and healthier.
The popularisation of the enigmatic zone began in the 1980s, when a Permian geologist and ufologist, Emil Bachurin, discovered a round, 206-foot print in the snow. Since then, Bachurin has associated the triangle with a many bizarre happenings. One such incident involved a visiting research team, who claimed to have encountered an energy source whilst out investigating. The energy source is said to have chased the team into the surrounding woodlands, by means of heat-emitting translucent lights. Bachurin would go on to write a book on the subject of the M-Triangle1.
However, the region’s notoriety as a place of the paranormal extends further back in time. The indigenous Mansi people once regarded the area as having a sacred energy. Russian academics have also evidenced the area as once being an important place for ritualised, sacrificial offerings.
Nowadays, the M Triangle has even more stories to tell, with reports of everything from sightings of Yeti, to shining spheres in the sky, to bizarre claims of people developing super-human powers. There have even been reports of encounters with actual alien beings within the forested areas of the zone.
One of the zone’s centres is called the astral meadow. It is here that a large number of UFOs are allegedly sighted. Glowing, fiery spheres are often witnessed by visitors who camp overnight in the area.
The frequency with which people claim to have witnessed UFOs in the M Triangle is enshrined by this wooden statue of an alien, the first of its kind in the world. It was erected at the entrance to the village of Molebka, one of the most popular hotspots within the triangle.
Some have theorised that the former presence of uranium in the mineral-rich Ural mountains may act as some sort of extraterrestrial magnet which draws UFOs to this mysterious triangle.
4 – Bonnybridge, Falkirk, Scotland
With a population of around 7,000, one would be forgiven for thinking that nothing much happens in the small Scottish town of Bonnybridge. However, this could not be further from the truth.
Each year, the Scottish government receives around 300 reports of UFO sightings from Bonnybridge and its surrounding areas. The local councillor, Billy Buchanan, says that many residents appeal to him, increasingly concerned by the intensity of the unexplainable sightings.
“I remember going to our local MP and telling him I had about 130 people who had seen something that they could not explain.”2
Bonnybridge’s unusually high number of UFO sightings caught the public eye in 1992, when businessman, James Walker, reported noticing some strange, sparkling lights in the sky whilst driving home. At first, he assumed that they were merely stars. When the lights moved to form a triangle shape, he knew that they were anything but.
Often, the same mysterious objects are witnessed by multiple people at the same time. In March 1992, the Sloggett family were out walking one evening when they saw a circle of light ahead of them. The light turned out to be an object, which the family saw land in a nearby field. The mother of the family, Isabella, stated that: “A door opened and there was a howl-like sound.”
Later, in 1994, a group of cleaners who were on their way to work all witnessed flashing lights in the sky.
In 2004, a number of locals independently claimed to have seen a cigar-shaped flying craft land on a golf course.
It does not seem like Bonnybridge’s otherworldly reputation is about to diminish anytime soon. In 2011, Time magazine described “The Falkirk Triangle” (the name which the UFO community fondly refers to the area) as “special”, when it featured in a “6 UFO Hot Spots Around the World” article3. As reports of UFOs continue to stream in, there are many who believe that the town of Bonnybridge has many curious secrets waiting to be discovered…
3 – Los Angeles and the Pacific Coast Highway, California, USA
Amongst the states of America, California by far tops the charts of reported alien sightings. Since their records began in 1974, the National UFO Reporting Center has documented around 12,000 accounts from the state alone. Trailing behind in second and third place are Florida and Washington, with their figures paling in comparison, 5,113 and 5,004 documented sightings respectively.4.
It is the Pacific Coast Highway, especially around Los Angeles, which seems to be a favourite destination amongst alien visitors. Eyewitnesses frequently report strange lights in the area. Some of these incidents have been witnessed by hundreds of people at different locations.
Most famous amongst the UFO sightings is the Battle of Los Angeles. Rumours of an incoming enemy attack reached Los Angeles late one February night in 1942. Air raid sirens sounded, and a total blackout of the city was ordered. What followed was series of frenzied anti-aircraft artillery barrages. Searchlights lit up the sky as they frantically hunted for the attacking aircraft. All in all, some 1,400 shells were fired that night. The city was in chaos.
In a later press conference, Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, dismissed the incident a “false alarm”. However, many – including newspapers at the time – have made accusations of a government cover-up. There is even speculation that the targets that flew above the skies of Los Angeles that night were in fact extraterrestrial spacecraft.
One example of a recent sighting from Coachella, California, taken from the NUFORC database, describes how a female security guard encountered several mysterious white lights. It was the early morning of the 26th September 2016, when the anonymous female noticed eight objects flying overhead. She describes them as having been “as bright as a star”. They flew “side-by-side” and traveled in “different types of formations”. They allegedly moved very fast before disappearing into the distance5.
2 – Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France
In France, UFOs are so commonplace that discussion of them does not belong to the fringes of society. Rather, there is a government bureau which is dedicated to their documentation and scientific investigation.
GEIPAN: France’s Men in Black
Based in Toulouse, the UFO taskforce, GEIPAN, is an offshoot of the French Space Agency. Consisting of four full-time members of staff and around a dozen volunteers, the group publishes its reports on its website. By operating under a code of full public disclosure, the work of GEIPAN is arguably the most comprehensive and transparent of any UFO institution.
On average, two cases of unidentified aerospace phenomena are reported to the department each day. Each case is categorised according to a particular letter. It is the elusive D-Type which represents Les Phénomènes Aérospatiaux Non Identifiés (unidentified aerospace phenomenon). Although nearly all of the submitted reports can be explained as terrestrial in origin, there are around 400 ‘D-Type’ cases, which date from the 1970s to the present day, that the French team cannot explain6. Overwhelmingly, it is southeastern France which offers some of the most compelling cases of UFO sightings. In particular, it is the Trans-en-Provence case of 1981 which is taken very seriously. It was around 5pm on the 8th of January when a 55-year-old farmer heard a strange whistling noise whilst outside. It was then that the man witnessed a mysterious saucer-shaped object land in the field around 50 yards away from him.
He described the object as follows:
“The device had the shape of two saucers, one inverted on top of the other. It must have measured about 1.5 meters in height. It was the color of lead. This device had a ridge all the way around its circumference. Under the machine I saw two kinds of pieces as it was lifting off. They could be reactors or feet. There were also two other circles which looked like trapdoors. The two reactors, or feet, extended about 20 cm below the body of the machine.”7
Almost as soon as it had landed, the machine took off, leaving burn marks on the ground where it had sat.
The local police were informed of the incident. Within twenty-four hours, photographs were taken, as well as soil and plant samples. The case was then sent to GEIPAN for review.
The task force revealed that the object had left a substantial physical trace on the land. The ground, they reported, had been compressed by a mechanical pressure of about 4 or 5 tons, and had been heated to anywhere between 300 to 600 degrees celsius. Furthermore, a nearby crop of alfalfa showed lower than expected levels of chlorophyll, by some 30 to 50 per cent.
To this day, the Trans-en-Provence case is regarded as one of the most completely and carefully documented UFO encounters of all time.
1 – Wiltshire, England
The English county of Wiltshire is known for its rich history and verdant landscapes. Somewhat lesser known is its arguable claim to be the epicentre of England’s UFO phenomenon.
In particular it is the peaceful market town of Warminster that has attracted the attention of UFO enthusiasts over the years. The saga began on the morning of Christmas day, 1964, when an anonymous housewife heard a loud, unidentifiable “crackling” noise rush across the sky. Unable to explain what it was, she reported her experience to the local newspaper, the Warminster Journal8.
Within weeks, the floodgates opened and reports piled up. Local people dubbed the phenomenon “the thing”, unable to explain the cause of the frightening noises that terrorised Warminster.
By June 1965, mysterious objects were being sighted in the skies. Since then, there have been thousands of independent claims of UFO sightings from this small town. The most iconic image linked to the Warminster mystery is the photograph taken by Gordon Faulkner in 1965.
Stonehenge and UFOs
Arguably, the most fascinating part of the Warminster UFO story is the town’s close proximity to the enigmatic prehistoric monument, Stonehenge.
Since the disbanding of the UK’s Ministry of Defence’s UFO hotline in 2009, thousands of pages of information have been disclosed to the public. Amongst them are reports of UFOs being reported near historic landmarks, including many from Stonehenge. One example is a photograph submitted in January 2009. The image appears to show a small speck of light hovering over the standing stones. According to the archived email, the witness did not notice anything peculiar in the sky at the time of taking the picture.
On top of this, it is reckoned that eighty-five to ninety percent of all reported crop circles appear in England, in a concentrated area around the standing stones of Stonehenge.
Crop circles are reported to appear suddenly overnight, often materialising in conjunction with sightings of balls of light. Many theorise that they are extraterrestrial, and that the ancient monument of Stonehenge holds a special significance to visiting aliens.