September 24, 2007
A UFO Timeline
By Scott Fowler
UFOs, of all the paranormal subjects, needs a timeline in order to fully understand the phenomenon. It is only by listing the major events in the order of their occurance that we can understand where this phenomenon has come from and better understand where it is heading.
So, without further ado, please look over the timeline below.
Around 12,000 BC: Some cave drawings seem to show a disc like aircraft however, these have been explained by archeologists as having a natural explanation.
1482 BC: Egyptian hieroglyphics have reported a fiery ball seen in the early morning hours in Egypt.
911 BC: The Bible tells of the prophet Elijah ascending into heaven. Some has suggested this might be considered the first eyewitness account of an alien abduction.
343 BC: Sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, Timoleon reports being lead by a fiery object that split the clouds.
140 BC: Chinese report a series of bright objects floating over the state. A strange noise is associated with the objects.
41 BC: A large object, confused by some to be the sun, appeared at night over Rome.
682 BC: Japanese records report a red object flying over Japan and falling into the sea.
August 7, 1566: In Basle, Switzerland, multiple objects, mostly balls both black and white in color, are seen. An etching in a Zurich gallery depicts this event.
1645: Anne Jefferies is found unconscious on the ground outside her home. She described her kidnapping by little entities that floated her into a bright place and conducted what today we would call experiments. Was this the first documented alien abduction?
August 22, 1678: A large flaming, globular object was seen over a lake in Russia. Nearby villagers tried to reach the object but were driven back by the heat it produced. Once it disappeared, a fine ash was found covering the surface of the lake.
October 20, 1824: Astronomer Camille Flammerion reports seeing flashes of light from the surface of the moon. Many similar sightings would follow.
June 18, 1845: A glowing object is seen floating slowly over Malta.
October 21, 1866: In Hoboken, New Jersey, a green ball is seen speeding across the sky. Shortly after, a green liquid of unknown origin fell from the sky.
1877: Astronomer Schiaparelli reported seeing what described as "canals" on the planet Mars. This began the belief that Mars was populated by intelligent beings, Martians.
March 26, 1880: In New Mexico, a huge balloon with visible occupants was seen. They appeared to be talking in some strange language not familiar to the observer. A piece of paper fell to the ground from the ship with what appeared to be Chinese writing on it. Shortly after, a Chinese man appeared in town and claimed that the airship was the first. This began a long series of sightings of airships that for a long time was believed to be the creations of secret inventors.
May 8, 1880: A Chinese man reports seeing a glowing craft and when he approached, a being paralyzed him and he lost consciousness. He found himself some weeks later on a mountain. This may be another example of possible modern type alien abduction taking place in historical times, suggesting that this phenomenon has been going on for far longer than we believe.
August 12, 1883: The first apparent UFO photograph is taken by an astronomer who saw a series of insect like objects cross in front of the sun.
November 17, 1896: A major wave of airship sightings began. A cigar-shaped airship was seen flying over Sacramento, California using a high powered spotlight as if searching for something. Voices were heard from the ship.
November 25, 1896: A Colonel Shaw and his companions were approached by strange beings who tried to abduct them into a nearby floating ship. The abduction was unsuccessful but Shaw described the beings as "Martians" and was the first time such an event was described as unearthly.
April 17, 1897: Part of an increasing wave of airship sightings, one appeared to have crashed in Aurora, Texas. What was described as "a dead Martian" was recovered from the crash and buried in a local cemetery. This is likely an urban legend as no proof has ever been extended to support this story.
April 23, 1897: A local farmer in Kansas reports sighting an airship kidnapping a cow from his herd. Though this is case is often reported as true, it appears to have been a hoax perpetrated by a local liars club.
1900: The publication of H.G. Wells War of the Worlds created a mindset in the public that any alien contact would be a hostile one.
Summer, 1901: In Bournebrook, England, a man witnessed what is likely the first 20th century alien contact. He witnessed a box-like object with two men in tight fitting spacesuits next to it. The aliens directed the man to step back. Then they ran into the craft and it took off with much sound and a whooshing of air.
June 30, 1908: An unknown object, probably a comet, exploded over the Siberian tundra. Due the remoteness, study of the damage was not available for several years. When a team was finally able to get to the region, they found miles and miles of downed trees and scarred earth. The only part where the trees weren't downed was in the center which indicated to scientists that the object exploded above the ground. Some still believe the object may have been alien spacecraft.
November, 1909: The airship craze reached the eastern United States when many sightings were reported over Boston, Massachusetts.
Spring, 1910: While playing on a baseball field in Baltimore, Maryland, Laurence Crone reported seeing a cigar shaped object appear above the field. He claimed to have seen two men staring at him from behind a window.
October 14, 1912: The airship craze in England prompts Admiral of the Fleet Winston Churchill to make a statement on the phenomenon. He said they were not British in origin and likely were the reconnaissance craft of the German military preparing for invasion.
Summer, 1914: A landed craft is seen in Greytown, South Africa with two strange people standing nearby taking samples from a local river.
Summer, 1921: A young man in France was kidnapped by strange men in tight fitting suits. He blacked out and found himself miles away from this original location. Many feel this is the first 20th century alien abduction.
1933: The ghost planes phenomenon begins. These are strange aircraft viewed flying in conditions that no pilot would fly in, blizzards, storms, etc. These strange craft began to be seen in Scandinavia and make their way across Europe throughout the 1930s.
February 25, 1942: With the Pearl Harbor attack still fresh in American minds, the defenses of the city of Los Angeles mobilize to defend against an reported unidentified aircraft. No sign of the aircraft was ever seen. Official verdict was that citizens nervous from an impending war hallucinated the threat.
August 29, 1942: Radar operators in Mississippi witness a collection of red lights in the sky. They sped off to the astonishment of all watching.
Fall, 1944: Air crews in both the European and Pacific theaters of World War II begin to report being chased by small balls of light that they dub, "Foo Fighters". It is only after the war that it is determined these were not enemy aircraft.
January 22, 1945: After a multitude of reports by flight crews of "Foo Fighters", prisoners of war in a camp in Poland witnessed these ball of lights from the ground as they trailed a Russian bomber.
1945: Documents suggest that in the later days of the war, German scientists were working on a disc like craft. Whether this craft could explain the "Foo Fighter" sightings is still debated. The working models of this craft have gone missing since the end of the war.
1946: Ghost rockets are viewed multiple times over Scandinavia. At first, they were thought of as Russian missile tests, an investigation by Swedish, American and British experts determined this not to be the case. They remain unidentified.
January 16, 1947: An RAF fighter plane was sent to intercept an unknown object that was tracked on radar. The pilot managed to give an airborne radar lock before the UFO flew away at great speed. This would become the first UFO contact in the strange year that would be 1947.
May, 1947: A wave of UFO events took place over the western United States. It is believed by many that the atomic bomb tests that took place in the western states resulted in that area being a target for UFOs.
June 24, 1947: Considered the beginning of the flying saucer craze, Pilot Kenneth Arnold sees what he described as a squadron of disc shaped objects skimming across the Cascade Mountains.
July, 1947: "Something" apparently crash lands in rancher William Brazel's field in Roswell, New Mexico. Immediately, the military descended on the area and confiscated all debris, releasing a statement to the press that the Army Air Force has captured a flying saucer. They quickly retract that report but the idea is in the public mind already. Even showing weather balloon debris as an explanation didn't help the legend grow. Major Jesse Marcel, one of the officers in charge, reported the material had properties not of this earth. Legend has arisen that alien bodies were discovered at the scene as well as a partial saucer. To date, many believe that the Roswell crash debris is located at Area 51 in Nevada and is being used to back-engineer modern aircraft.
August 14, 1947: A prospector in Italy encounters a landed saucer and several grey aliens. They blast him with a beam of light from a carried tube and he's knocked unconscious.
September 23, 1947: A report from General Nathan Twining of Air Intelligence is sent to the commander of U.S. Air Force. He reported on a preliminary investigation into the UFO phenomenon. His recommendations were that the phenomenon was real, reported by reputable people and a government study on the subject should be created.
December 30, 1947: Wright-Patterson AFB was ordered to begin a study known as Project Sign. A precursor to Blue Book, the project's objective was the study and catalog of all UFO sightings.
January 7, 1948: Captain Thomas Mantell, a military pilot, was ordered to his plane to chase a silvery, coned object that was recorded on radar. During the chase, he lost consciousness and crashed, killing him. Though it was determined that this object was a weather balloon experiment, the initial reaction by many was that the UFO attacked the captain.
July 24, 1948: An Eastern Airlines flight encountered a cigar shaped UFO over Alabama.
August 1, 1948: The members of Project Sign submitted a preliminary report to the Air Force stating that UFOs were real and were of a extraterrestrial origin. The powers that be at the USAF rejected the report and had all copies destroyed. Fragments of the report, however, continue to surface and are used by advocates to support the unearthly origin of UFOs.
December, 1948: A series of fireballs buzz secret bases of operation in New Mexico. Though a team of physicists were brought in to investigate, many saw the phenomenon for themselves and no one on the team was able to explain them.
February 11, 1949: The Project Sign group was reorganized into a new project team called Project Grudge. It is believed this change took place because the Air Force brass saw the Project Sign team as not being skeptical enough.
February 16, 1949: A gathering of top secret scientists met at Los Alamos to discuss the fireballs that were seen over secret bases in December 1948. It was suggested at this conference that aliens had seen the nuclear tests that the United States had been performing and targeted those areas.
December 27, 1949: The press was informed that Project Grudge had been cancelled. All UFO sightings that Grudge investigated was said to be hoaxes or natural phenomenon. The truth of the matter was that Project Grudge continued to investigate UFO sightings.
January, 1950: Donald Keyhoe begins publishing his articles, based in part by information leaked to him by disgruntled Air Force personnel. These articles charge an extensive government cover up of the UFO question. These articles and several books by Keyhoe and others prompted the first UFO groups to be formed.
May 11, 1950: The first photographs of a daylight disc are released by a farming couple in Oregon. It showed a flat disc flying over their barn. Repeated analysis of the photographs have shown no attempt to hoax the photographs. The couple never attempted to gain any profit from the photographs.
August 5, 1950: The first color footage of UFOs was filmed by a baseball park manager in Montana. The footage shows several white blobs moving quickly across the sky. The manager submitted the footage for evaluation to the U.S. Air Force. Later, he claimed that several seconds of the film was not returned to him.
March, 1951: A report by the British Air Ministry who conducted their own investigation in the UFO question reports that there is no evidence of any threat against British citizens.
September 6, 1951: A new regulation by the USAF requires all UFO witnesses to remain silent on their incidents. This begins to build the air of silence created my the government when it comes to the UFO phenomenon.
September 16, 1951: Captain Edward Ruppelt takes over the Project Grudge reigns and shortly after changes the project's name to Blue Book. He brings in Dr. J. Allen Hynek as science advisor.
July, 1952: As the United States experiences a rash of UFO sightings, Washington D.C. is overflown by unidentified objects on two occasions. These objects were recorded on radar and made flybys of the Capital Building and the White House. When Blue Book tried to investigate they were told to stop investigating immediately. Ruppelt felt the first pangs that he might have been the front man for a government cover up.
September 19, 1952: NATO exercises were invaded on several occasions. Jets were scrambled to chase cone-shaped objects that disappeared upon approach. Both Britain and U.S. investigations provide no explanation.
January, 1953: Blue Book staff are invited to Washington to discuss UFO evidence. It was expected that all the evidence they had collected would justify further enhancement and funding for Blue Book. What they didn't know was the meeting was set up by the CIA who felt that the UFO phenomenon was a Soviet prelude to an invasion. As a result, most of the Blue Book team was unable to attend much of the important parts of the conference. The resulting orders to Blue Book included that the team explain all cases and not talk publicly to anyone about UFOs. They were ordered to make unsolved cases appear solved. This sudden change in attitude from the government shocked the Blue Book team and many quit soon after. It also fueled the government conspiracy theory fire.
January, 1953: Also, in 1953, British authorities issued orders requiring complete silence from all military personnel on UFOs.
November 23, 1954: Radar recordings on the U.S./Canada border near Lake Superior show a UFO being chased by a USAF jet. Both readings merged on the radar screen and disappeared. No trace of the jet's pilot was ever found.
1953: Throughout the year, a series of different people came forward to claim they had been taken aboard alien craft, communicated with aliens and even joined a galactic federation. Called "contactees", these stories tended to convince serious scientists that UFOs should be ignored.
September 10, 1954: A sighting wave began in France with a UFO flown by child-like aliens landed on train tracks and paralyzed some witnesses with a beam of light. Subsequent investigation showed trace evidence. The wave continued for several more months becoming among the first waves to have reliable alien contact.
August 30, 1956: A midair UFO encounter takes place over Britain with two RAF jets being engaged during an exercise. The object is recorded on radar. The two jets approached a silver disc which shot upwards at a great rate of speed.
October 10, 1957: A lens-shaped UFO is filmed over New Mexico.
October 16, 1957: Brazilian farmer Antonio Villas Boas was working on this farm when two small entities approached him and he felt forced to follow them to a waiting UFO. During his abduction experience, he reported that he was forced to have sex with a female entity who then pointed to her belly and then to the sky. Villas Boas suffered from symptoms of radiation poisoning for some time after.
June 26, 1959: Father William Gill and numerous members of Papua, New Guinea witnessed a hovering disk in which aliens were seen from within. The aliens appeared to have responded to the watchers waving actions.
July 15, 1960: U.S. Congress held briefings with Project Blue Book personnel on their investigative policies. Apparently, CIA operatives were sent to these briefings. It was suggested that NASA take over the UFO investigation role but the agency completely absolved itself of the UFO question. The Air Force continued to run the Blue Book project.
August 13, 1960: A lens-shaped object surrounded by a glow was chased by police officers. Periodically the object shot a red beam to the ground and even prisoners of the county jail were escorted to the roof to watch the event.
September 19, 1961: Betty and Barney Hill experience lost time during a late night drive from Canada. They encountered a UFO in New Hampshire and then found themselves several miles and several hours down the road with no knowledge of what had happened. After months of troubling dreams and flashbacks, the two visited a psychiatrist who put them through a series of hypnosis sessions. During these sessions, they related an experience where they were taken aboard a saucer and put through medical experiments. Barney had samples removed from his body and Betty was given a pregnancy test. The United States had entered the abduction era.
April 24, 1964: Lonnie Zamora, a New Mexico police officer has his encounter with a landed egg-shaped UFO. While pursuing a speeder, Zamora saw a fireball fall behind a hilly area. Upon investigation, he saw the craft landed on the ground with little men around the base collecting soil samples. Upon seeing Zamora, the aliens rushed into the craft and it took off with great speed, igniting the brush underneath. The veracity of the witness and the collection of physical evidence has convinced many of the truth of the UFO subject.
May 24, 1964: An English fireman was taking pictures of his daughter. In the processed film an alien lifeform was seen floating behind his daughter. Similar to ghost photographs, this image was not seen at the time the picture was taken. It is a heated debate whether this photograph should be classified as a ghost or UFO photograph. Shortly after the picture was released, the fireman became one of the first to have a run in with the mysterious Men in Black. Years later, it was revealed why the Military of Defense was interested in the photograph. The day after the photograph was taken, at a nearby base, a rocket was test launched and cameras recorded a UFO following it.
June 4, 1965: NASA astronaut James McDivitt, while flying on Gemini 4 saw a can-shaped object with metallic arms coming forth from it. He was the first astronaut to see a UFO in space. Though it appears he took pictures of the object, NASA has yet to release them and some doubt their very existence.
July 1, 1965: Just like the Zamora case, a French farmer had a similar experience where he saw a landed egg-shaped object with little men working around it. It took off and left trace evidence just like the Zamora case. Throughout the 1960s, this became the template for a landed UFO event.
August 7, 1965: A group of Venezuelian men report seeing a landed spacecraft with alien astronauts standing nearby. They claimed the aliens were planning a breeding project with human beings. This concept of an alien/human breeding project, though common now, was unheard of at the time. Another piece of information derived from the conversation was a type of alien called "the grays". Though these gray aliens are common in abduction cases today and unheard of then, the aliens the Venezuelians ran into warned that the grays do not have mankind's best welfare in mind. This case was among the first to mention these gray aliens.
September 3, 1965: Detailed in John Fuller's book Incident at Exeter, a series of UFO events took place that involved police officers chasing UFOs.
November 10, 1965: Much of eastern seaboard of the United States experiences a huge power outage. The outage was never fully explained. Shortly after, reports came forth that claimed UFOs were seen near powerlines just as the outage was beginning.
March 19, 1966: Several sightings of lights in the sky in Ann Arbor, Michigan prompted a Blue Book investigation. J. Allen Hynek was sent to investigate and at a press conference, he suggested that swamp gas might explain some of the sightings. Though now it is believed to be true, Hynek was highly ridiculed for the comment. Many began to believe that Hynek was only a puppet of the U.S. Air Force.
May 8, 1966: In a national poll, it was reported that over 50% of the U.S. population believed in UFOs and upwards of 5 million had believed to have seen one. These totals would consistently escalate over the years.
October 7, 1966: The USAF announced a year long project headed by Manhattan Project scientist Dr. Edward Condon on the UFO question.
January 25, 1967: At a conference of leading scientists, Edward Condon is reported to have said that there was nothing to the UFO subject but he shouldn't be making any type of conclusions this early in the investigation. It is becoming clear that Condon is there to tout the Air Force party line.
May 19, 1967: A prospector in Canada witnesses a landed saucer. As he is walking around it, the object takes off, hot air blasts him in the chest and knocks him to the ground. He suffers the effects of radiation burns in a checker board pattern on his chest and his blood cell count levels are decreased. Pictures and medical tests were proved in a hospital.
May 3, 1968: A Westmoreland, New York nurse is abducted, sexually examined and medically experimented on. For years, she suffers medical problems as a result. She did not report the incident right away and avoided publicity about her case for years.
January 9, 1969: Edward Condon publishes his report. It's findings are that there is nothing to UFOs though the team only investigated a small percentage of cases they were supposed to investigate and much of the evidence in the report contradicts this finding.
May, 1969: The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) comes into being. To this day, it remains one of the most respectable UFO investigation organizations.
December 17, 1969: The USAF officially closes Project Blue Book, even though it had been secretly closed at least a year before.
January 7, 1970: Two skiers in Finland run into a glowing ball surrounded by a mist. A small alien emerged from the craft. Both men suffered serious radiation poisoning.
November 21, 1971: In Delphos, Kansas, a mushroom shaped UFO was witnessed landing in a nearby forest. Once it took off witnesses went to investigate and found a colored ring where the UFO had landed. Touching the ring caused irritation. Those who witnessed the UFO suffered from headaches and eye problems for some time after.
February 22, 1972: A woman in Australia has an abduction experience. Two investigators are on hand to witness the event. They watched closely as she went into an alter state and acted as if she was inside an alien spacecraft even though she physically went no where. This incident suggested to investigators that the abduction experience was only within a person's mind.
1973: J. Allen Hynek creates the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), legitimizing his "invisible college". The "invisible college" was a growing group of scientists looking to do actual, unbiased research on the UFO question.
October 11, 1973: Two fisherman are abducted by a UFO off their fishing dock. When they return, they report the incident to the police. Not believing them, the police leave the two alone and secretly tape the two men. This records one of the men breaking down and weeping with fear. They are not caught in any lies and the event is still considered unexplained.
February 21, 1974: French Defense Minister Robert Galley admits to the existence of UFOs adding, "it is certain that there are things that we do not understand", though he was severely reprimanded for saying so.
November 5, 1975: Logger Travis Walton is abducted into a UFO in Snowflake, Arizona. For a week, he went missing and the local sheriff felt that his co-workers may have been involved in his disappearance. Each passed multiple lie detector tests. Once Walton was found and began telling his story of being experimented on aboard an alien ship and seeing gray aliens and Nordic human-like aliens, his co-workers were vindicated. Travis Walton has not changed his story and continues to lecture on the UFO subject. His case remains unexplained.
September 19, 1976: A Phantom jet in Iran fires upon a UFO that appeared to fire a projectile at the plane. The projectile, however, returned to the UFO and the jet's electrical systems went haywire. The pilot was blinded and had to be talked through to landing.
September, 1977: Many skeptics predict that the next couple of months will be overwhelmed with UFO sightings after Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind premieres. No such wave occurred.
October 21, 1978: An Australia pilot disappears over the Bass Strait. Shortly before his disappearance, he reported to air traffic controllers that a UFO was following his plane and effecting his equipment. The plane and its pilot was never found.
June, 1980: The first crop circle is discovered in England. It receives no publicity and ufologists conclude it was caused by the wind. Several more crop circles appear over the summer and no connection to UFOs are made.
December 26, 1980: The Randlesham Forest event takes place. An intriguing case that took place in the forest near Bentwaters RAF NATO Base. Involving RAF and U.S. Air Force personnel, a brightly lit object was seen and recorded in the air over a period of time in the middle of the night. The object was stationary and two members of the USAF approached it on foot. Though video was reportedly made of the object, it has since disappeared, presumably taken by the base commander. The only thing that remains is an audio recording made by one of the participants in the encounter. The following night a similar incident took place in which alien beings were reported seen within the object trying to communicate with the witnesses.
December 29, 1980: Betty Cash and Vicki Landrum, as well as Landrum's seven year old grandson, experienced what they described as a very bright, very hot diamond-shaped UFO being escorted by a multitude of helicopters that they presumed were military vehicles. Shortly afterwards, all three experienced symptoms of radiation poisoning that have lasted to this day. Recently, Betty Cash passed away, presumably due to radiation poisoning from this incident.
February 26, 1983: A major wave of slow moving boomerang-shaped UFOs in the Hudson Valley, New York area took place.
1984: Budd Hopkins investigated a Indiana family who claimed to be experiencing a series of abductions. One of the family members had nightmares of giving birth to a alien/human hybrid baby. A growing theme in abduction cases in the 1980s involved hybrid children.
December 26, 1985: Famous horror writer, Whitley Strieber admits to being abducted by aliens. He would receive a $1 million advance on the book rights. The resulting work, Communion would be a best seller.
April, 1986: Ufology mourns the death of J. Allen Hynek.
June, 1987: The Majestic 12 (MJ12) documents are left anonymously in the home of a television producer. Ufologists confirmed the documents had been rumored for years. The MJ12 documents tell the story of the creation of Project Majestic that was set into motion after the Roswell crash. It involved a team of 12 people whose job it was to maintain relations with aliens and keep their existence secret. The authenticity of the MJ12 documents have been fiercely debated. Of late, the documents appear to have been determined to be a piece of disinformation by the government.
November 11, 1987: Ed Walters of Gulf Breeze began reporting experiences with UFOs. During the course of his experiences, he claimed to have managed to take several intriguing photos and videos of the objects in question. They were acclaimed at first as the best, clearest photographs ever taken of UFOs. During investigation, questions of Walter's validity came up, including finding a model resembling the UFO in his home.
November 30, 1987: An UK man claimed to have taken a photograph of an alien as he was being abducted. The photograph, physical evidence and a visit from Men in Black convinced many investigators that the abduction actually took place. This became the first time that an abductee is believed to have taken a photograph of his abductor.
1988: The super secret test base, Area 51, began to be rumored as a location where crashed UFOs were being reversed engineered. The government denied the very existence of the base even though amateur ufologists had taken intriguing video of unusual aircraft above the facility. This was halted when the government bought up the hilly land around the base.
July, 1989: The book Circular Evidence was published. For the first time, a connection between crop circles, which had been increasing in number over the course of the decade, and UFOs was explored. It was suggested that UFOs created the crop circles as a means of communicating with human beings.
November 29, 1989: Linda Napolitano reports that she was abducted from her New York City apartment. Investigating the event, Budd Hopkins was contacted by the bodyguards of a UN diplomat. They related how they and the diplomat watched Napolitano floating out of her apartment to a waiting UFO. They claimed to have seen this occur from the Brooklyn Bridge. They had believed that Napolitano had been killed and one of them even experienced a nervous breakdown over the incident. This became the first case where others observed a UFO abduction.
November 29, 1989: As Linda Napolitano was being abducted, half a globe away in Belgium, a series of large dark triangles began to be witnessed by hundreds of people by the end of the wave a couple weeks later. Though photographs were taken, it is believed by most this was in conjunction with activities by NATO in preparation for attacks in the Middle East.
July, 1990: As the crop circle craze in England brewed, BUFORA warned that hoaxers may begin creating circles just to confuse and embarrass the observers. In no time, more elaborate human created crop circles (called pictograms) began showing up. The Hopi Indians claimed to recognize some of the patterns and warned that the earth spirit was dissatisfied.
September 15, 1991: The space shuttle records white blobs moving about in orbit with them. A streak of light coming from Earth has been suggested to be a ground missile attack on an orbiting UFO. The white blobs have never been explained and NASA has never touched the UFO question.
August 8, 1993: In the mountains of Australia, a husband and wife couple experienced an alien abduction while driving. During the hypnotic sessions that brought forth memories of the experience, the couple reported the presence of a another car and another couple. Using memories of the license plate number, the couple were tracked down and admitted that they too had experienced an alien abduction but believed themselves to be the only ones. Later, memories surfaced of a third car. Investigation found the third abductee who also admitted to an abduction experience. Further investigation showed no connection between the three sets of witnesses, all of whom related similar experiences on the same night.
September, 1993: The hit television series The X-Files premieres. It dealt with two FBI agents investigating the paranormal and experiencing a government cover up. It sparked interest in the UFO subject and many would attempt to enter the field of study. The show produced unrealistic expectations and many would leave the field as a result. Ufology is NOT like an episode of The X-Files.
November, 1993: Rumors began to circulate that film footage showing an alien autopsy after the Roswell crash existed. The press claimed film director Steven Spielberg was trying to purchase the footage. This was denied and untrue. Later, the footage emerged in the possession of another man named Spielberg (no relation). It was clearly a fake and fooled no one.
August, 1994: The USAF declare Project Mogul as the official explanation for the Roswell crash. Mogul was a project in the 1940s to attempt to measure the Soviet Union's nuclear threat capabilities. It involved weather balloons with equipment tethered to them. It is claimed that one of the weather balloons landed that night at Roswell. Ufologists dispute this claim as they feel it doesn't explain all the aspects of the case.
May, 1995: The alien autopsy footage is officially released. The owner of the footage attempted to gain a small ransom on the video. Ufologists were not impressed.
January, 1996: Britain experiences a wide scale wave of black triangle sightings. One of particular interest was a flyby of a British Airways Boeing 727 by one of these triangles. Though some claimed the object was a meteor, most feel the case is still unsolved.
February 18, 1997: Satellite feeds of the space shuttle in orbit suddenly stop shortly after astronauts aboard comment on a UFO in front of the shuttle. Though there was no official sound from the feed, amateur radio operators were able to catch parts of the hidden conversation. NASA's official explanation was that a crew member mistook a reflected console light however, the amateur feed seems to suggest otherwise.
Though this timeline ends over ten years ago, it does not mean that nothing has happened in the last ten years. There are constant sightings of UFO phenomenon and alien abduction experiences. The point of this timeline was to show where the UFO subject has come from and how it evolved. These events are the most pertinent to the subject. Much of what we see on UFOs now comes through television programs or the internet. Neither of which are the most reliable source. There have been some spectacular video footage appearing on the internet of late, most of which is clearly faked, some of which make me go "hmmm", but most are pretty inconsequential. I leave it up to you the reader to decide for yourself what events are important to you and what you will believe and what you won't.
This timeline was put together with the help of the books The Little Giant Encyclopedia of UFOs by Jenny Randles and UFO Mysteries by Curt Sutherly.
Scott Fowler is the online editor of UFOvillage.com and the founder of Beltsville Ghosts
as well as a MUFON
Field Investigator and President of Baltimore/Washington Paranormal Investigators
The Little Giant Encyclopdedia Of UFOs
by Jenny Randles and UFO Encyclopedia
by William J. Birnes.