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21 Terrifying UFO and Alien Encounters

These real-life encounters are out of this world.


Think UFO and alien encounters are mere fictional "X-Files" fodder? These 21 true tales of extraterrestrial confrontations will make you reconsider.

ufo encounter

Photo: Jonas Bengtsson / Flickr (CC)


I was vacationing on Plum Island one summer probably around 2012/2013. My family noticed a star-like thing in the sky and decided to look at it through a telescope since it was still light outside and seemed strange. This thing literally had tiny black spots crawling all over it, and was only slightly moving.

We thought it might be a planet but the fact that something was crawling and moving all over it didn’t make sense. My brother and dad got in the car to try and get a closer look, and witnessed something from this object literally land into some bushes far away and it was still glowing. All I know is that I have never had a valid explanation for what it was, and it was SCARY. — krubaisy


About two years ago I was in Naples, Florida with my friend, staying at his dad’s place. We were on the porch having a smoke around 11:00 P.M. I was leaning on the railing when suddenly what I thought was a plane in the distance turned towards us.

It was flying so low that the front lights blinded us. My friend scrambled for his phone which turned out to be dead, and I, fearing I would miss it, didn’t want to run inside to grab my phone. Though the craft was steadily gliding, it was all happening so fast. As the object got closer we noticed it was a huge triangle, almost venti black, and had three huge circular lights on the bottom. It was so close, just above the trees right in front of the building.

It was so silent. The only thing making a sound was the trees rustling blow the craft. Then the huge black triangle mother fucker turned on a DIME right in front of us and disappeared over the tops of the buildings. I swear to god this happened, I wouldn’t have believed what I saw if I didn’t see it with someone else. — UserNo800



ufo encounter cabin

Photo: James Abbott / Flickr (CC)

My family was at a hunting cabin in the boonies of PA at a friend’s wedding reception. The cabin was situated in a small clearing in the forest. It was pitch black out except for the bonfire. All of a sudden all the woodsy sounds stopped. No crickets, no birds, no bullfrogs. The adults were all drunk and carrying on but we kids noticed immediately. The night was suddenly silent except for the rustling of the tree tops.

I can’t explain it but, something I couldn’t readily identify was coming over the tree tops into the clearing and it was moving SLOW and it was BIG. It was way too slow and way too low to be a plane. It had 3 lights at the back and we could just make out a massive triangular shape. It was a black that made the night sky above it seem lighter. It didn’t make any noise at all which freaked me out.

I think there were four or five of us kids and we had been playing a little ways away from the fire. Well, once we saw it, you better believe we hauled ass to the adults pointing to the sky and yelling. I was scared. The adults thought we were just being dramatic but when my mom looked up, she saw it. Then everyone saw it. It couldn’t have been more than a hundred feet above the tree tops and the tree tops were moving like a tornado was coming through but, on the ground, it was really still.

As we watched, it turned above the clearing then blasted out of view without a sound. As soon as it was gone the crickets started chirping again. My family had planned to stay the night at the cabin but we didn’t. I must have been 9 or 10 at the time but I’ve never forgotten it or the way I felt seeing it. The whole thing lasted maybe a few minutes but I had such a terrible feeling of dread in my stomach. I haven’t ever felt fear like that since. My mom and I still talk about it sometimes. Scary stuff. — Ms_Lonely_Hearts



I was maybe 11 or 12 and we would always play hide and seek at night around neighboring houses with friends. It was a crystal clear sky and I was hiding in bushes up next to my friend’s house when a black triangle, with teal blue lights, hovered slowly above me, much lower than an airplane. Hard to say how high, but it was almost gliding. It was also more elongated, like a star destroyer shape from Star Wars. Of course, I told my friends, but none of them believed me. Not really spoken about it much since. — Th3_Capitalist



Met a guy while I was tripping on LSD who was working a snowcone stand. He looked like a carnival worker and had a pentagram necklace and an illuminati ring (not joking). He must have sensed we were on something so he proceeded to unload his crazy story on us.

In the 70’s or 80’s there was a big alien spotting epidemic for a few years apparently. He saw a saucer hover above a radio tower where he worked and claimed others were there to witness during the middle of the day as well. In addition, he had another sighting when cruising around with his then girlfriend very late at night. They followed it for half an hour through oilfield roads and finally saw it land in an open field. It flashed its light at them so they flashed the headlights back. Then they both blinked and looked down and it was exactly something like three hours later and neither could recall exactly what had happened. He said he talked to the newspaper and somebody writing a book about alien encounters.

I assumed that he was high on meth or coke or something and was just making up stories to account for his blacking out in the middle of a wild bender night. However, I went back home and googled some of the bits of information and it turns out he wasn’t lying and actually believed this happened to him. Sure enough, he was in the local paper and was quoted in a book published long ago and told his abduction story there.

I wish I remember all the details better but it was so crazy and came at such a weird time that I didn’t write anything down. — seinfeld11


Photo: HeeseRong / Flickr (CC)

Photo: HeeseRong / Flickr (CC)

Around 9:00 P.M. walking through a local nature trail. There aren’t many animals in this particular reserve–common birds, squirrels, the like; if you walk all the way into the deep woods, maybe a bear or two, but other than that, not much that you haven’t already seen in your backyard. So, all of a sudden there’s this shrill fucking scream, and at that point I’m sort of getting scared because it’s cold, it’s dark and there wouldn’t be anyone out there at this time, and there are no animals that I know of that would make such a sound.

On my right side, into the shrubs, there’s this figure rustling in the underbrush, about 5′ and crouching. Too dark to make out what it looked like, but it kept making these weird fucking snorting noises. Could have been anything really–I’ve seen all sorts of things in the woods, from teenagers smoking weed to a man in a full body bee costume. But this just struck me as really weird and unexplained

Needless to say, I booked it the fuck out. Number one reason why you don’t walk around in murky woods at night. — farrise



We were hiking with friends and my sister and I got separated from the group as we stopped to look at the night sky. It was a gorgeous summer night, very clear. I remember being able to see the huge array of stars extending over the sky like a carefully crafted mantle made out of glitter. We stopped on a high rock and when we turned around to continue our way up the trail, we saw this little person about 200 meters away from us. We stopped cold and didn’t move for a while, then the little person kinda waved and started walking with a high speed towards the forested part of the park, away from the rocky mountain. I will never forget and to this day I avoid going hiking by myself or late at night. I couldn’t sleep for a few days.

The figure was thin, with long legs, I mean his legs were too long for his body. Also when it sort of waved, I noticed it had long fingers too. It had normal sized eyes and no mouth or at least none we could see. — AlphaMW3


I was driving down a road in the middle of the day (there are fields on both sides), no other cars on the road. I saw what looked like a falling star, it was a big white ball of light with a tail, and it was hard to look at, even with sunglasses on. I had time to pull over and stop, still watching it fall straight down.

This thing was going way faster than it should have, and so I was struggling to get my phone out of my pocket without taking my eyes off of it. Here’s where it gets weird. Without warning, when it reached about eye level, it leveled off. I watched this thing go from vertical to horizontal in less than a second. It disappeared behind a line of trees and I noped out of there. — hackerdood7



ufo encounter church

Photo: bert knottenbeld / Flickr (CC)

I was coming home one night from work at about 2:00 A.M. I approached a church that I passed every single day. The first weird thing I noticed was a radio tower-esque light hovering above it. It was red and was blinking in an unusual manner. Most radio towers have an alert light that has some kind of pattern to it. This one was just going nuts.

The next thing I noticed was that all of the streetlights in the parking lot were out. This place has a VERY well lit parking lot that was completely black.

I pulled up to it and immediately hit the breaks. Hovering about 200 feet above the steeple was a long airship with these weird vents protruding off the sides. The vents seemed to be spotlights that was illuminating the church-yard and some of the street.

It made no noise. It just hovered there like a weird balloon perfectly silent. It even drifted slightly to one side. I was I shock. I remember sitting there going “what the FUCK is that?”

I’ve seen blimps, helicopters , planes ,,. It was none of those.

After watching it in shock for what seemed like 20 minutes (but it was probably just seconds) it shot off. Like 0 to 100 in mere milliseconds. I tried to follow it but in moments it was a speck, and then it was gone.

I told my friends about it but of course, it was one of those “uh huh SURE.” Conversations Like obviously they don’t believe me.

I am not into alien conspiracies, nor am I a “sky watcher”. Had I not seen it with my own eyes, stone sober, with the closeness that I did … I wouldn’t believe it either. I kick myself for not taking a photo, but my phone at the time was a blackberry with a 3-megapixel camera so it would have just looked like a black blob. — dawrina



I was listening to the local radio when all of a sudden it cuts out. Not sure if this was a coincidence or not but it creeped me out. The static radio sound was left in the background, I got really scared of this stuff so I thought I’d get my dad to come and fix the radio. However, I got up and gazed out of the window only to see all the street lights were off. Most street lights tend to turn off by 3:00 A.M., which is why this is extra weird. I look up far into the sky and see two red and blue lines in the sky, standing completely still. Motionless in the sky.

My first thought was a military aircraft or something (I was an eight-year-old who was obsessed with planes and UFOs etc) but what convinced me that they were something more is the fact that they started circling each other and eventually blasted off crazy fast into the sky. I’m talking mad fast, like the speed of light. They just turned into blurs. I might have been seeing things, but as soon as they had left the radio came back into tune. The street lights turned back on , and I could now hear all the cars in the distance, and the wind. When the UFOs were above my street, everything was silent. — microcitizen



Okay, starting off I’d just like to say I don’t believe in this stuff and I’m a logical person, so I don’t actually think it was an alien encounter, and I don’t ‘claim’ that it happened as I remember. But it felt really real and afterwards I was sure it had actually happened. And it did make me wonder a bit afterwards, “what if?”.

This was a few years ago, I was a teen. I remember laying on the couch reading and as I was about to drift of I was waken again by these really bright lights. They hurt my eyes and it was really hard to see anything. I felt really panicky and this kind of light/ floaty-feeling. Like I was falling and never hitting the ground.

I remember lying down and that I couldn’t move. What I remember best was the very cold and move or get something warm and that I couldn’t do anything about it. My body hurt, mostly my legs (like someone had stuck a knife into them), or like they had been removed. There were shapes around me, not quite-human and long, like shadows stretching up the wall, but I couldn’t get a good look of them, but they were watching me and I knew they weren’t human. I don’t remember any sounds, or many specifics. I just remember it being really uncomfortable and terrified, and the pain in my legs. It went on for an uncomfortably long time and I just couldn’t move or wake up, or do anything. I just lay there feeling watched and my legs hurting a lot.

I woke on the sofa and that’s it. Some people would probably call it an alien ‘abduction’, but I think it was probably just night terrors or sleep paralysis. It was terrifying whatever it was. I don’t envy people who have regular sleep paralysis. — DataTheDroid


ufo encounter lights

Photo: Stanislav Trifonov / Flickr (CC)

I was doing wildlife research in a remote part of WV that required us to be out late at night. Saw two lights in the sky that danced around in an unexplainable pattern to anything I’ve ever seen. I’m a rational person so my hypothesis would be military testing due to where we were. Close enough to DC, but remote enough that there are a lot of secret bases etc. out there. Nothing fancy, just something I couldn’t explain. Witnessed it with another colleague. — kid_zombie



My friends and I we’re hanging out a park at night just talking and hanging out. I look up to the night sky and look at the brightest star (which there aren’t many because we’re in Boston/Cambridge) when I see this really faint red/purple looking object circling the star. I’m like freaking out but at the same time thinking I must be seeing things. I tell my friend to look up and he also sees the faint object circling the star.

At first I’m thinking if it’s somehow possible it’s space junk reflecting light, but the object then starts moving in random directions around the star, so I realize it can’t be space junk. To this day I’m curious of what it could have been. I was freaked out, yet excited at the same time. — thechocoboking



Witnessed an alien abduction back in 2001 …

This takes place when I was 13. A friend of mine wanted me to help her grandparents set up their computer. I said sure and ride my bicycle to their house.

I get there and clouds appear so I decide to make this pretty quick. I set up the computer and install AOL for them, showing them all how it works and such. They go back and sit on the couch while I get my backpack to get ready to leave as their other granddaughter who is about four or six years old (I can’t remember which) was sleeping in the other room.

All of a sudden a cold breeze went through the room. It was odd as all the doors and windows were shut.

The grandparents looked toward the kitchen and what I saw made me freeze in place. There were three creatures standing in the kitchen. Two of them were short grey creatures with a thicker neck than described with the eyes closer to the sides of their heads. They wore silver jumpsuits. In between them was a taller creature looking like a humanoid mantis wearing a black robe with a yellow stripe going down the middle. They walk to another room and a minute later return with the robed creature carrying the granddaughter in its arms. It’s looking at me and I get the feeling it knows who I am. I don’t know why I got the feeling but I did.

I was very scared. More of the situation than of them and the grandparents were looking at them too but not doing anything. I decide to say “screw this” and fought off all the fear I could and clumsily charged toward them. I didn’t even make three steps before the grandfather stopped me and told me they will bring her back. The creatures didn’t move and continued to look at me. I couldn’t get any more words out of my throat because I didn’t even know what to think at this point. All of a sudden the light stretched around them and they vanished. An odd glow remained for a few seconds before fading.

After a minute of an awkward silence and the grandfather repeating she will be brought back soon I decided to leave. I rode my bicycle back home fast as I could while looking back to see if some ship was hiding in the clouds. Nothing was there and I didn’t sleep that night I got home.

The next day I did tell my friend what happened and she did tell me it has happened before. The grandparents and other family members have tried to stop it but to no avail. They just accepted it with a look of defeat and moved on. — PM_ME_YOUR_GHOST_PIC


ufo encounter

Photo: Shen Shi’an / Flickr (CC)

I don’t know if it was aliens, but when I was 12 I was out in the woods behind my parents house, I saw two large silver discs fly across the sky low enough to the ground that I could tell they were both close to the size of a house. They flew off out of sight, and I never could really explain it. — stringwalker13



When I was 17 I was a bit of a screw-off, and my parents sent me to one of those “attitude adjustment” type camps in Utah. This place was in the middle of nowhere, and we spent 45 days hiking through the wilderness. Near the end of our time there, everyone was supposed to go in a ‘vision quest’ where we fasted for three days alone in the woods in a designated spot. (Though I did sneak my personal can of peanut butter and a bag of crackers with me, so I had enough to eat.)

On the second night, I saw a UFO. It was triangle-shaped, with a bright light on each corner. It would zip around the sky, traveling what must have been 50 miles in a fraction of a second. For a while, I watched it zip around in utter fascination, not believing what I was seeing.

Then I did something stupid. I yelled at it. I told the ship I could see it. And it heard me.

It’s hard to describe, but the beings in the ship made a sort of telepathic connection with me. It didn’t “talk” to me per se, it more just … communicated the message. Like I just ‘knew’ what they were saying to me. And man, these beings were evil. They told me that they were going to take me up in their ship, and when I told them that I had just wanted to say hello, but didn’t actually want to go with them, they said it didn’t matter.

At this point, I’m terrified. I know, and they know, that something truly awful was going to happen to me. I started scrambling for something to do. So I started yelling the Lord’s Prayer. Of all things, that gave them some hesitation, so I kept yelling. (At this point the ship was probably 400 yards above me.). Then they told me that it wasn’t over, and they’d be back. Fucking terrifying. (I’m not sure whether they ever ‘came back’. A couple years later I awoke to a being grabbing my ankles trying to drag me out of my apartment. But I was frozen with fear and couldn’t fight back. It might have been sleep paralysis for all I know. But that’s another story.)

I don’t ever talk about that night, but I know what I saw in those Utah mountains. I tried telling a couple people when I got home, but all they said was that I must have been hallucinating from the lack of food (which I doubt) or that I was imagining things. After a few people started saying “hey ZippityZop, tel everyone about that time you saw aliens” at social gatherings, I stopped talking about it entirely. But they weren’t there, and they didn’t see or experience what I did.

I’m a pretty normal guy now. I’ve got an office job and lead a nice boring life. But yeah, I’ve seen a UFO. — TheZippityZop



A few weeks ago. Was working promo outside one of the bars in town. Pitch black sky, but cloudless, so the sky is black and you can see some stars decently enough, my town isn’t exactly massive. typical Yorkshire town. Not all of them, so it’s bright enough to make out objects in the sky but dark enough that their shape is obscured. Standing there holding the sign, fully sober, wide awake, never hallucinated, and no lights were there to cause sunspots in my eyes or any logical explanation.

For some reason I look up. I sometimes look up just to make sure the sign is still facing the right way (I usually hold it half arsed and get paid to stand around doing fuck all). There I see what was either one large craft or four smaller crafts.

Basically imagine a 4×4 row/column.

1 2 3 4




Where 2 and 4 are red lights and 1 is the front. These lights were quite bright themselves, but didn’t attract attention from below, I was lucky to look up and see. They all moved uniform and they seemed quite low down, so it was either 4 amazingly synced crafts or a single low craft. My guess would be a single low flying craft.

The issue is town was dead, it was silence save for the bouncers chatting with staff outside. You could hear cars a block or two away (not that there were any that night). But this thing that seemed to float over the buildings low down made no noise whatsoever. It wasn’t lanterns, it wasn’t affected by wind, the lights didn’t light up anything above them but they couldn’t be seen through like there was nothing above them. It was as if a large craft flew over that was both silent and had the ability to blend in with the night, as the craft itself absorbed it’s light so it gave the appearance of 4 floating lights. This was in the UK, and all the ufo and stealth plane stuff I’ve seen isn’t quite the same. But I’ve only seen it that once. It went straight over the street and behind the buildings where I couldn’t see it anymore. Nobody said a thing. And the people here have neither the means nor brains to pull off a hoax like this, especially on a day that’s dead, unlike today will be.

Fuck knows. — PandaLovingLion



ufo encounter shadows

Photo: W H / Flickr (CC)

This happened two and a half years ago

I was in my room staying up at around 2:00 A.M. doodling and just avoiding sleep as I had been for around three days (bad idea sleep deprivation, I know) but before I get to far into my story lemme tell you that I have always had a kind of super irrational paranoia at night, so whenever I was doodling and I look at my 80’s TV in my room and see my closet door opening with a hand sticking out I can assure you I freaked the fuck out.

I try to ignore it and I tell myself I am dreaming, but then I look outside my window. I see some sort of triangle above my house with extremely powerful flashing lights. I see another movement in my TV screen, so I decide to book it into the master bedroom downstairs and hide under the gigantic covers. I slowly peek out and see four different figures surrounding the giant queen sized bed. I then see the power flicker out on the monitor on my desk.

I see the figure in the dark reach down and touch my head, I pass out and start having really vivid dreams that I knew were dreams. Like I could feel that they were fake and that I needed to wake up, but every time I did I woke up to a kind of surgical light and a very scary sensation I now know to be sleep paralysis. Every time I would go back to sleep I would feel some sort of tingling sensation in my legs, arms and head.

After a few times of waking up to the light, I woke back up in the bed room with the figures standing over me whispering in a rough scratchy voice about something. The one closest to me touched my head and I semi passed out again with the sensation of sleep paralysis freezing me into a fearful kind of passing out. I wake up the next morning, my clothes completely drenched in sweat and something super sticky. I was afraid to sleep for about two years I have barely slept without sleep paralysis until a few months ago. I have always kept this to my self, I now am afraid of being alone, my paranoia has heightened and sleep is very hard to come by.

I also have long scar like marks on my legs head and arms where I had felt the sort of feeling you get when you are being numbed and cut into aka a tingling feeling. — Rllyfkngay


I used to live next to the beach in a apartment complex. One night I was with my friend looking at the ocean from the balcony. We couldn’t see much as it was dark but the light from the moon was enough for us to watch the waves on the shore. After a while my friend tell me it was so dark that if I stand up over there the only thing she could see are my teeth and we started laughing. Seconds later we see a light on the ocean it slowly came out of the water. What we saw was like a orb shaped ball of light. It lighted so hard for a moment that I almost couldn’t see it. It kept going up slowly and it suddenly flied fast to the sky at light speed disappearing in the dark sky.

Everything happens in like 8 seconds we both were freak out and went inside the apartment. My mother and brother didn’t believed us as expected. It was a a scary but incredible experience. Years later I saw a report on national geographic about orb shaped lights flying around forest in USA. I knew it was the same thing I saw. — Zelater



So this isn’t necessarily my story, but my family’s. This happened in the mid-80s and I wasn’t born yet but I have heard this story from every member of my immediate family. This means that it is either an elaborate and well-orchestrated prank pulled by my entire family for the last 20+ years or they saw something.

I think a little background on my family is necessary. My parents are pretty old and super religious—not the type of people who are into extraterrestrials or pranks per se. We’re talking mashed-potatoes suburbia folk. So to me, it lends a little credibility to their story, because they don’t really have the motive to make something like this up. Anyway, on to the story.

So it was a summer day in the mid-80s and my entire family (Mom, Dad, Brother, and Sister) had just returned home from some event—possibly a family reunion, but I’m not sure on this part. It was early evening and the my brother and sister were out riding their bicycles in the driveway and on the allotment. Allegedly while they were riding their bike’s they saw this big ship to the south heading north and kind of freaked out and ran to get my parents.

According to both of my parents, the ship slowly approached the house and it was enormous. It was triangular in shape and had windows all along the bottom of the aircraft that you could see into. The weird part, according to my dad, was that the ship appeared to be metal (not a blimp) but it did not emit any sound which was strange due to the ships massive size.

Needless to say, after the gawked at it for a minute or so, they all kind of freaked out and hid in the basement. Nothing really happened after. I don’t know what the ship was and neither does my family—it could have been extraterrestrial or it could have been some type of classified military ship. Feel free to form your own opinions, but I’m not sure why they would be buzzing suburban homes with a top-secret military craft though. — LetterZee



ufo encounter sky

Photo: jason jenkin / Flickr (CC)

Painesville, Ohio. Rewind to August 1996? 97? And 12 year old me, my two older brothers, and our neighbor friend are laying on the trampoline in the backyard after a summer night just staring at the sky and talking, when the neighbor girl says “Hey, what’s that light?”

Me, my oldest brother, and and her saw what looked like a lime green, rounded diamond shaped (sort of like an egg and it’s side) float in the sky. It had a foggy aura around it, and left a short trail of mist/fog/smoke/exaust behind it, but nothing lingered, just dissipated immediately. It lasted for about 3 seconds, then disappeared totally and completely. It appeared without warning, no sound at any point, floated from left to right about the length of a house and lawn, and disappeared completely. I’d say it was about as big as your smartphone held at arms length, but in the sky. It was low, too. About 50-100 feet high. My middle brother is the only one who didn’t see it due to his position on the trampoline (Like if you think of a compass, we were laying N, E, S, W, and only N, E, and S saw it.)

To this day my brother and I maintain what we saw. I’ve asked and looked everywhere for an explanation, and nothing. My dad claims it was a lightning ball? I call malarkey due the lime green color and slight smokey exhaust. I’d love to be proven wrong and or have this explained still. — RatBatBusinessCat

Featured Photo: Jonas Bengtsson / Flickr (CC)