5 UFO Conspiracies You Likely Haven’t Heard About

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Whether you believe in visitors from outer space or not, you’ve no doubt heard at least a couple of conspiracy theories about alien visits to the United States. The UFO conspiracies that you probably haven’t heard of are those that aren’t necessarily as hot as the Roswell or Area 51 stories, or they’re so old that your grandparents forgot to tell you about them.

5 Foo Fighters

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No, the Seattle-based Foo Fighters aren’t aliens. “Foo fighter” is a term that the Allied pilots used during World War II for strange objects that they saw in the skies over the Pacific Ocean and Europe. The U.S. 415th Night Fighter Squadron was the first to call a UFO sighting a “foo fighter,” and the term grew popular among other pilots. The pilots who saw the lights over Europe reported that they would follow or seemingly toy with the planes, but never in a hostile manner. This was a good thing because the pilots who tried could never shoot down the UFOs. Pilots based in Asia reported that when they shot at the fireballs, they’d break into pieces and set the buildings below on fire. To explain the phenomena, official stated that the fireballs were a Nazi weapon, an electrical discharge known as St. Elmo’s Fire, a visual illusion created by the U.S. Navy or simply lightening.

4 Project Redlight

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Project Redlight in 1962 was allegedly a secret mission to test-fly alien aircraft at Area 51. UFO-related websites like UFO Evidence and Cosmic Conspiracies report that Milton Cooper, a scientist and one of the top-secret “Majestic 12,” stated that President Eisenhower ordered the test flights in “Dreamland” (Area 51). The project, according to Cooper, came to a halt when one of the UFOs blew up, killing the pilots within it. The researcher shared that the project was on hold while the aliens supplied the scientists with three new aircraft and their own pilots. Cooper said that the U.S. government created “Snowbird” as a way to cover up the secret Redlight project. He also claimed that the government altered documents related to Redlight to throw off UFO researchers.

3 Trent UFO

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In the rural town of McMinnville, Oregon, Evelyn Trent spotted a metallic disk in the sky in May 1950. When her husband, Paul, and his father saw the UFO, Paul ran back into the house, grabbed a camera and snapped a couple of pictures before the flying saucer shot away. After a local reporter published the story about the Trent family’s experience and examined the negatives, he concluded that the photos weren’t doctored. After Life magazine picked up the story, it accidentally “lost” the original negatives. The negatives showed up more than a decade later at the United Press Internal office, and the company loaned them to the Condon Committee, a government-funded research project. After committee member William Hartmann interviewed the Trents and determined that they told the truth about their sighting, he returned the negatives. To this day, the pictures of the Trent UFO are best of its kind, and the U.S. government has not disputed the sighting.

2 Washington Flap

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On July 19, 1952, air traffic controller Edward Nugent at Washington National Airport reported that he saw seven unidentified objects on his radarscope that were 15 miles away from Washington, D.C. Nugent’s boss, Harry Barnes, saw the same objects on the screen and had two other people check the radar to make sure it wasn’t malfunctioning; it wasn’t. Other controllers reported that they also saw the same objects and could see a bright orange light from the control tower. Nearby at Andrews Air Force Base, an airman saw a bright orange disk from his control tower. More people started to notice the UFO along with six other fast-moving lights in a loose formation. Similar events occurred again seven days later, and President Truman ordered the Air Force to shoot down the flying saucers if the aliens refused to land. After a few days and public panic, the Air Force held a press conference to explain that the strange lights were just aerial phenomena, like meteors. UFO researchers don’t buy this explanation.

1 Battle of Los Angeles

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The Battle of Los Angeles, or the Great Los Angeles Air Raid, occurred in 1942 three months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. In late February, LA residents heard air raid sirens and the city went black as a mystery object appeared in the sky. In response, the Coast Guard fired anti-aircraft shells at the unidentified object, damaging several buildings and killing four civilians. The Air Force later stated that the object was a weather balloon. UFO enthusiasts think the flying object came from outer space, even though the Los Angeles Times writer who created the original UFO story on February 26, 1942 admitted to retouching the printed photo and writing fake headlines.

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