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Mystery Aircrafts: Famous UFO Cases

There have been many accounts of UFO sightings, dating back more than a century. Unidentified flying objects have been spotted all over the United States as well as in other countries throughout the world. Many of these have been explained as simple aircraft or were eventually outed as hoaxes. However, several remain a mystery to this day.

1897: Aurora Crash

The Aurora, TX, UFO incident occurred on April 17, 1897, in the small northwest town of Aurora, Texas. It began with several sightings of a cigar-shaped aircraft in 1896 and 1897, many years before the Wright Brothers took their first flight. One account stated that the UFO hit a windmill and crashed. The pilot, who didn't survive, was described as a "martian" and "not of this world" and buried in a nearby cemetery. Later, wreckage from the crash was disposed of in a well located near the damaged windmill. The owner of the property cleaned out the well but later developed arthritis, which he blamed on contaminated water from the alien aircraft.

1947: Roswell Incident

Possibly the most famous American UFO sighting of them all, the incident in Roswell, New Mexico remains a favorite among UFO believers. In July of 1947, an unidentified object crashed on a farm near the rural southwest town of Roswell. A local rancher came upon the debris of the crash and decided to show some of it to his neighbors, who suggested that the unusual metal might be from a spacecraft or government experiment. He later described the material as weightless I-beam structures that would not break or bend. Some of them had mysterious characters and geometric shapes along the side. He said the material was indestructible and as thin as tin foil.

He reported the incident to Maj. Jesse Marcel, an intelligence officer stationed at Roswell Army Air Field with the 509th Bomb Group. The debris site was then closed, and when the rancher and his son tried to return, they were stopped by military personnel. William Woody, an eyewitness to the crash, claimed to have saw the aircraft go down. According to a book called A History of UFO Crashes, the military had been tracking an unidentified flying object for several days over southern New Mexico. The radar indicated that the object had crashed northwest of Roswell on July 4, 1947. To add to the evidence supporting this theory, a mortician named Glenn Dennis claims to have been called by the mortuary officer from the military base. He was in search of small, hermetically sealed coffins and wanted to learn how to preserve bodies that had been exposed to the outdoors for a few days. Upon visiting the hospital, he saw pieces of the wreckage and was told by a nurse about mysterious, nonhuman bodies. To this day, the military maintains that the wreckage was nothing more than a failed weather balloon.

1965: Kecksburg Crash

The Kecksburg Crash occurred on December 9, 1965, in the small town of Kecksburg, located about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Eyewitnesses claimed to have seen a mysterious aircraft crash in the woods. Upon investigation, townspeople and local firemen reported an object shaped like an acorn about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. They claimed that it sported writing that looked like Egyptian hieroglyphics. Witnesses then reported that the military secured the area, ordered everyone to leave, and took the UFO away in a truck. Reports from the military were quite different; they claimed to have searched the area and found absolutely nothing.

1975: Travis Walton Abduction

Travis Walton is an American logger who claims to have been abducted by a UFO on November 5, 1975, when he was 22 years old. Walton disappeared while working in Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona, only to reappear five days later after a thorough search. Walton typically worked overtime from 6 a.m. until sunset. Just after 6 p.m. on the night of November 5, Walton and his crew packed into his friend's truck for the drive home. According to reports, they saw a bright light and a large, silvery, disc-shaped aircraft around 20 feet in diameter and 8 feet high. After stopping the truck, Walton ran toward the aircraft but began to back away when it started shaking. Just as Walton moved away, a greenish-blue beam of light shot from the UFO and struck him, causing him to rise stiffly into the air.

After the incident, his distraught crew called the local police to report him as a missing person. A four-day search was conducted with helicopters, jeeps, horse-mounted officers, and a ground crew covering the area where he disappeared. He was not found, but he later returned on his own, claiming to have been abducted by aliens for five days. He described the aliens as having large eyes and domed heads and said they confined him to an exam room and performed strange tests on him.

1980: Cash/Landrum Case

The Cash/Landrum case began on the evening of December 29, 1980. Vickie Landrum, Becky Cash, and Vickie's seven year-old grandson Colby Landrum were on their way home to Dayton, Texas, when they saw a strange aircraft. They first observed a light above the forest and assumed it was an airplane on the way to Houston Intercontinental Airport. A few minutes later, they claim to have seen a huge diamond-shaped object hovering over the trees. It was expelling flames and strong heat. Instead of turning back, they left Colby in the car and got out to inspect the unidentified object. They later described the UFO as being shaped like an upright diamond with the top cut off, very bright, and made of a dull metallic silver material. They said it was about as large as the Dayton water tower and shot flames out of the bottom every few minutes. The witnesses then claimed that a group of 23 helicopters approached the UFO and surrounded it.

This UFO sighting was unique in that the witnesses all suffered from nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, and burning eyes later that night. They also felt as though they had been sunburned, presumably from the heat of the aircraft. Cash's symptoms worsened over the next few days, and she began to experience blisters all over her skin. Upon arriving at the hospital, she had lost clumps of hair and patches of skin. A radiologist concluded that the women suffered from ionizing radiation with an infrared or ultraviolet component. Cash and Landrum eventually hired a lawyer and sued the government for $20 million, although their case was dismissed.

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