UFO Photographs

UFO over a city
Lorenz and Avelar / Getty Images

Legend or reality? The following stories tell of possible UFO sightings and even have photographs to prove it.  

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Los Angeles, California; February 25, 1942, 02:25 p.m.

1942-Los Angeles, California
1942-Los Angeles, California.

The legend: Alarm sirens installed in the event of a Japanese air raid are started as flying objects are seen and announced in the sky. A blackout is declared and anxious and terrified citizens follow the instructions by turning all the lights off.

At 03:16 p.m. anti-aircraft guns open fire on the unidentified flying objects coming from the ocean, and projector beams are searching the sky. Witnesses observe small objects flying at high altitude, of red or silver plated color, moving in formation at high speed and untouched by the AAA salvos. This large object was unhurt by many AAA projectiles, according to the reports.

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McMinnville, Oregon; May 8, 1950

1950-McMinnville, Oregon
1950-McMinnville, Oregon. Paul Trent

Photographed by Paul Trent after his wife spotted a strange object in the sky, these images were published in a local newspaper in McMinnville, Oregon. Soon after, the Trent photos were published in the Life magazine edition of June 26, 1950. The rest is history.

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Washington, D.C.; 1952

1952-Washington, D. C. 1952-Washington, D. C. United States Air Force

The legend: Early in the history of ufology in the United States, unidentified flying objects made themselves known to the leaders of the free world, buzzing over the White House, the Capitol building, and the Pentagon. Seemingly, the unknown objects were defying the very governmental agencies sworn to protect the United States from foreign powers. Washington National Airport and Andrews Air Force Base picked up a number of UFOs on their radar screens on July 19, 1952, beginning a wave of sightings still unexplained to this day.

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Rosetta/Natal, South Africa; July 17, 1956

1956-South Africa
1956-South Africa 1956-South Africa. South African Air Force

This famous photograph, part of a series of seven similar images, was taken by a well-respected member of South African society in the Drakensberg Mountains. The photographer maintained her story until she died in 1994. 

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Santa Ana, California; August 3, 1965

1965-Santa Ana, California 1965-Santa Ana, California. Rex Heflin

This photograph was taken by highway traffic engineer Rex Heflin, while driving near the Santa Ana freeway. Heflin did not report his sighting, but the photographs were published by the Santa Ana Register on August 20, 1965. The photos were reportedly confiscated, and disagreements arose between ufologists regarding their authenticity. 

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Tulsa, Oklahoma; 1965

1965-Tulsa, Oklahoma
1965-Tulsa, Oklahoma 1965-Tulsa, Oklahoma. Life Magazine

The legend: In 1965, a series of strange low flying objects were reported almost nightly by people of all ages and walks of life across the United States. As the year progressed, the number of reports rose dramatically. On the night of August 2, 1965, thousands of people in four midwestern states witnessed spectacular aerial displays by large formations of UFOs. That same night, a multi-colored disc was photographed in Tulsa, Oklahoma while several people watched it perform low altitude maneuvers. This picture was extensively analyzed, pronounced authentic, and later published by Life magazine.

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Provo, Utah; July 1966; 11 a.m.

1966-Provo, Utah 1966-Provo, Utah. United States Air Force

The pilot of a twin engine C-47 "Skytrain" transport aircraft of the USAF took this photograph on a July morning in 1966. The aircraft was flying over the Rocky Mountains, at about 40 kilometers southwest of Provo, Utah. The Condon commission, which concluded that UFOs are unworthy of scientific investigations, analyzed the negative at the time and concluded that the photograph shows an ordinary object thrown in the air. Many ufologists disagree with their conclusion.

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Woonsocket, Rhode Island; 1967

1967-Woonsocket, Rhode Island
1967-Woonsocket, Rhode Island 1967-Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Harold Trudel

The legend: This daytime photograph of a disk-shaped object was taken in East Woonsocket, Rhode Island by UFO contactee Harold Trudel. The photograph shows a slightly asymmetric hubcap shaped object with a small dome and aerial extending from the bottom. Trudel believed he was in mental contact with space people, who sent him telepathic messages as to where and when they would appear.

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Costa Rica; September 4, 1971

1971-Costa Rica
1971-Costa Rica 1971-Costa Rica. Costa Rican Government

An official mapping aircraft of the Costa Rican government took this photograph in 1971. The aircraft was flying at 10,000 feet over Lago de Cote. An investigation could not identify the object as a "known" aircraft. Debunkers took some stabs at it, but the photograph is still recognized as authentic by most investigators. No "earthly" explanation has ever been given to explain the object.

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Apollo 16 / Moon; April 16-27, 1967

1972-Apollo 16
1972-Apollo 16 1972-Apollo 16. NASA

The UFO is seen at just right of top center. No explanation has been given for the object.

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Tavernes, France; 1974

1974-Tavernes, France 1974-Tavernes, France. Anonymous French Medical Doctor

This classic French UFO image was taken by an anonymous French medical doctor in Var, during a major UFO flap over France. Skeptics doubted the picture on the grounds that "luminous rays cannot end like this." Of course they do not, normally. But the skeptics simply forgot to consider other explanations — that these are not luminous rays but light emission by ionized air, for example. The object in the photograph is still considered a UFO.

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Waterbury, Connecticut; 1987

1987-Waterbury, Connecticut
1987-Waterbury, Connecticut 1987-Waterbury, Connecticut. Randy Etting

The lengend: Randy Etting was taking a walk outside his home. A commercial airline pilot with over 30 years experience, he spent a lot of time looking at the sky. On the night he took the photograph, he saw a number of orange and red lights approaching from the west. He got his binoculars and called his neighbors to come outside. By this time, the object was a great deal closer and seemed to be over I-84, just east of Etting's home. The lights were shimmering like distortion from engine heat, but he could hear no sound. Etting stated: "As the UFO passed over I-84, cars in both the east and west bound lanes began pulling over and stopping. The UFO displayed a semi-circular pattern of very bright multicolored lights. Five motorists reported that, as the object became visible, a number of cars lost power and had to pull off the highway."

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Gulf Breeze, Florida; 1987

1987-Gulf Breeze, Florida
1987-Gulf Breeze, Florida 1987-Gulf Breeze, Florida. Ed Walters

When the news of the flurry of sightings spread beyond the close knit community of Gulf Breeze, soon UFO enthusiasts across the world were involved. Shortly after Walters' photos hit the local newspaper, more UFO photographers came forward with their stories or sightings; more images, both still and moving. 

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Petit Rechain, Belgium; 1989.

1989-Petit Rechain, Belgium
1989-Petit Rechain, Belgium 1989-Petit Rechain, Belgium. Photographer Anonymous

The photographer of this famous Belgian UFO photograph still remains unnamed. Taken on an April night during a well known "wave," the photo shows a triangle-shaped object with lights. The photo was edited slightly as the original photo was too dark to show the object's outline. 

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Puebla, Mexico; December 21, 1944

1994-Puebla, Mexico
1994-Puebla, Mexico 1994-Puebla, Mexico. Carlos Diaz

While taking photos of the eruption of Mt. Popocatepetl in Puebla, Mexico, Carlos Diaz, a photographer with an extensive collection of UFO images, shot this photo. It has since been authenticated by many photographic experts and published in numerous magazines, newspapers, and books. This picture shows a glowing, yellowish, disc shaped object with a red hue toward the top and windows or portholes. 

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Phoenix, Arizona; 1977

1997-Phoenix, Arizona
1997-Phoenix, Arizona 1997-Phoenix, Arizona. CNN News

This photograph is one of many depicting one of the most publicized UFO events in history. First observed in a hexagram pattern at about 7:30 p.m. over the Superstition Mountains area east of Phoenix, the characteristic 8+1 formation of amber orbs was next seen in two separate arc patterns with "trailing lights" over the Gila River area at about 9:50 and again at 10:00 at the southern edge of Phoenix. Thousands reported seeing these objects and a handful videotaped them on camcorders.

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Taipei, China; 2004

2004-Taipei, China
2004-Taipei, China 2004-Taipei, China. Lin Qingjiang

Lin Qingjiang, a worker in Hualian County of Taipei, discovered a suspected UFO, shaped like a large bamboo hat, at about 10:00 p.m. when he was resting outside the house. Lin was quoted as saying that the suspected UFO flew towards east and west five times within 10 minutes, during which time Qingjiang captured this photograph on his cell phone. 

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Kaufman, Texas; 2005

2005-Kaufman, Texas
2005-Kaufman, Texas 2005-Kaufman, Texas. lawwalk

The photographer states: "I was out today taking pictures of the chemtrails 01-21-2005, and at 11:35 a.m. I was aiming my camera at a scrawny little cloud. As I was snapping the picture, I noticed a flash in the sky through the viewfinder. When the picture came on the screen, I noticed a gold-colored object at the top of the cloud I had captured also. I looked back where it was and of course it was gone. I really couldn't tell much of what it may be until I downloaded it to my computer. I zoomed in on it and nearly fell out of my chair. It appears to be a craft of some kind with maybe windows or ports on the right side, in the middle. It also appears to be emanating a gas or some type of energy field around it, mainly at the top."

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Valpara, Mexico; 2004

2004-Valpara, Mexico
2004-Valpara, Mexico 2004-Valpara, Mexico. Mercury newspaper-Mexico

This photograph was taken by Valpara newspaper reporter Manuel Aguirre when he noticed a band of glowing lights in the distance over the city skyline. This photograph has not been debunked, and to date is considered legitimate. The unknown object appears to be circular or spherical in shape.

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Modesto, California; 2005

2005-Modesto, California
2005-Modesto, California 2005-Modesto, California. R. David Anderson

The photographer states: "I noticed some kind of craft toward my left that appeared from behind a tree that is in our front yard. I rapidly rotated my camera on its mount and took one picture. There were several brilliant lights that surrounded this craft. It was impossible to make out the shape of the craft because the lights were so brilliant. The lights did not strobe or flash like a normal aircraft array would. Each light glowed with the same intensity and color as a sodium-vapor type street lamp."