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Pre-1950's UFO Reports
These are all ufo sightings which pre-date the modern era of UFOs in the mainstream media,
which began in 1947 with
Kenneth Arnold's sighting of what he called a "flying saucer"
Aug 1 18:00hrs - Pilot and crew of a C-47 aircraft 30 miles north-east of Tampa, Fla., saw a cigar-shaped object with luminous portholes hurtle towards them in horizontal flight at the same altitude of 4,000ft. At 1,000 yards distant it swerved to avoid them. Estimated size of object was twice that of a B-29 bomber.

May / October - The well-documented 'Ghost Rocket' invasion of Sweden took place as cigar-shaped objects rained down on land and lake in this area of northern Europe.

March - Fourteen men on the USAT Delarof in the area of the Aleutian Islands saw a dark spherical object rise out of the water, circle their ship and fly off to the south. (Source: UFO Investigator, Vol 4 No 5)

December - Major Leet, a bomber pilot, saw a luminous disc follow his plane and its manoeuvres while flying over Klagenfurt, Austria.

September - A domed UFO that emitted a white light was seen flying less than 20 feet above the ground at Qing Xian, Hebet Province, China.

September - Soldiers fighting at Pushkino, Russia, saw a disc-shaped object hovering high in the air above aircraft.

August - While in the Solomon Islands US Marine Corp Sgt. Stephen J. Brickner sighted a staggering 150 UFOs laid out in virtually an enormous rectangle. They were in rows of 15 objects long by ten objects deep. (Source: The UFO Encyclopedia by John Spencer)

Feb 26 - When in the Timor Sea, the cruiser Tromp was approached by a large aluminum disc that flew at tremendous speed. It then circled the Dutch vessel for about three to four hours. Finally, it flew off at an estimated speed of 3,000-3,5000mph.

Autumn - Two observers at Juminda, Esthonia, watched a 1 metre long object that was greenish -brown in color until it finally disappeared.

Summer - Three witnesses saw landed UFO at Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada and watched several little entities in silver suits ascending and descending a ladder. Square imprints and burnt areas seen and photographed at the location the next day.

October - During the Ethiopian War a disc-shaped object hovered motionless in the sky above Addis Ababa and was seen by many witnesses.

December - This month saw the beginning of the Swedish 'Ghost Flier' Wave. It ended four years later with an accumulation of 1,000 reports that also covered neighboring Finland and Norway. Most sightings involved airplane-shaped craft and luminous phenomena. None identified.

The late Sir Francis Chichester was on a flight across the Tasman Sea when what looked like a dull gray-white airship approached him. It was pearl-shaped, flashing brightly, periodically vanishing, re-appearing, accelerating and finally disappeared.

July -A cylindrical object flew over a Rumanian village at an altitude of 200-300 m from west to east. Smoke grey in color it was an estimated 15-20 m in length and had a diameter of 3-4 m. It was not illuminated and passed soundlessly.

A disc-shaped object with a dome on top was seen to light up a valley as it landed one evening near Fernvale, NSW, Australia. The witnesses returned the next day and discovered a circle of scorched grass about 10m in diameter.

August 5 09:30 hrs - During his expedition in Mongolia, explorer Nicholas Roerich and members of his caravan, caught sight of a huge oval-shaped object high in the sky. It had a shiny surface that reflected the sun on one side and moved at great speed north to south.

Two Australian teenagers stumbled upon a saucer-shaped shimmering object resting on four legs in a paddock near Moora, WA. They ran off in fear.

September - Two boys in County Wexford, Ireland, watched for several minutes as a solid beam of light several feet long travelled through the air a few feet from the ground. It moved at approximately 10mph, climbing a hedge and crossing a field, before encountering a railroad track and moving off along its length. (Source: The UFO Encylopedia (Headline) p. 412/413)

June - As a 10-year-old, Raymond Massey can still vividly recall the day he encountered a landed craft and watched as its five small occupants conducted repairs to the domed vehicle, before it took off and disappeared. ( Source: Evansville Courier Ill, USA - Aug 12 1998 )

Summer - Many witnesses in Poland observe a silvery object -- two hemispheres divided by a rotating ring. The object 'shoots' a beam of light, then rises with a loud noise. ( Source: UFOs 1947-1987 p.124)

May - The celebrated vision of the Virgin Mary took place this month at Fatima, Portugal. This was accompanied by additional unexplained aerial phenomena, in the form of glowing spheres and disc-shaped objects.

July 31 23:00hrs - A bright object was seen hovering in the sky over Ballinasloe, Ireland. It was visible for fifteen minutes before travelling to the north-west. It was then observed to hover for a further forty-five minutes. It eventually vanished for good after Venus rose on the horizon at 04:00hrs.

February - It was billed in newspapers of the time as the Phantom Invasion of Canada. Mystery Aircraft invaded the skies and capital of this nation but was America really responsible? See Mystery Aircraft of Canada for further details.

Aug -- Eight witnesses saw a UFO floating on the water of Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada. Entities were manipulating a hose dipped into the water. On seeing the witnesses they returned inside, all except one who was still outside when the craft took off.

Jan / Feb - Still two years before Germany officially launched its Zepellin raids on Britain and phantom airships were once again criss-crossing the night skies. A few reports gave details of multi-colored, multiple lights being seen but as in earlier years the craft usually came equipped with one powerful light. See Mystery Airships of Britain for further details.

Feb 10 14:00hrs - Several office workers in Toronto watched what they concluded to be a fleet of airships passing west to east in groups. They then returned later in a scattered formation. No airships nore airplanes were ever identified with this report.

July - The crew of a French fishing boat operating off the Normandy coast saw 'a large, black, bird-like object' fall from the sky into the sea, then bounded back before it fell once more and disappeared under the waves.

May - Mystery airships seen almost exclusively at night, once again visited many parts of Britain. Mostly described as oblong in shape and equipped with a large searchlight, the craft was capable of propelling itself through the air at great speed.

July / Aug - A phantom airship wave visited New Zealand during this period of time as many people reported seeing boat-shaped aerial craft and lights-in-the-sky. During an encounter at Hawkes Bay in August, one of the occupants of an airship shouted out to a man below in an unknown tongue.

June 16 - Fishermen located at the port city of Dong Hui, Vietnam saw an elongated brightly lit object flying over the community for nearly ten minutes. It then disappeared after plunging into the sea of the cost. [See Modern Mysteries of the World, p. 168]

A very bright spherical object flew slowly above a square in Sofia, Bulgaria one afternoon.

Oct 30 16:30hrs -- Deck of the ship 'St Andrew' sailing in the North Atlantic, some 600 miles NE of Newfoundland, Canada ...... "I saw three meteors fall into the water dead ahead of the ship one after another at a distance of about five miles. Although it was daylight, they left a red streak in the air from zenith to the horizon. Simultaneously the third engineer shouted to me. I then saw a huge meteor on the port beam falling in a zig-zag manner less than a mile away to the southward. We could distinctly hear the hissing of water as it touched. It fell with a rocking motion leaving a broad red streak in its wake. The meteor must have weighed several tons, and appeared to be 10 to 15 feet in diameter. It was saucer shaped which probably accounted for the peculiar rocking motion. When the mass of metal struck the water the spray and steam rose to a height of at least 40 feet, and for a few moments looked like the mouth of a crater. If it had been night, the meteor would have illuminated the sea for 50 or 60 miles." [Source: NY Times Nov 5 1906]

Summer - During the evening at Bucovina, Rumania, a retired doctor saw a brightly glowing elongated, saucer-shaped object bigger than the moon travelling steadily westwards.

Feb 24 - Crew of the SS Supply sighted three luminous discs flying in formation just below clouds at an estimated height of 5,000ft. They then disappeared in the cloud bank.

After alerting its telegraph offices to be on the lookout for invading British aircraft, the Transvaal government in South Africa was inundated with sighting reports. Phantom airships, often equipped with powerful searchlights, mysteriously appeared in the skies around. Of course, neither aircraft nor airplanes were known to exist in Africa at this time.

June 10 1897 - Two Canadian fishermen in British Columbia saw a pear-shaped craft flying south -wards.

The phantom airship wave in the United States initially struck in California at the end of this year and into the next. Soon sightings spread east as literally thousands of people claimed to have seen the mystery craft and, on occasion met with the strange gibbering occupants.

March - phantom airship scare began in Russian Poland. As in most later 'flaps' of this sort, the craft often appeared at night and were usually equipped with powerful searchlights.

Aug - Over 400 cigar-shaped and disc-shaped objects were reported moving across the sun by a Mexican astronomer. His photographs represent probably the earliest UFO pictures.

A teacher and children at a school in Segeberg, Germany, all saw two fiery balls in a clear sky one summer's day. The size of two full moons, the objects travelled slowly together from north to south.

On the night of November 17, a huge UFO -- the first such phenomenon which was characteristically saucer-shaped, was plainly observed by numerous people in England and other parts of Europe. It was seen to travel in the sky at an approximate altitude of 130 miles in an east-west direction. A number of eminent scientists witnessed the object, among them being Dr E Walter Maunder, Greenwich astronomer; English spectroscopist J Rand Capron; Dutch astronomers Audemans and Zeeman. The Royal Observatory, Greenwich published a report of the conclusions reached by scientists, following the appearance of what had been termed, "The Great Saucer". The report had this to say: "It appeared to be well defined in body and the inference drawn was that it was a meteor, not in the old vague sense of some object high in the Earth's atmosphere, but in the sense of a solid cosmological substance, disc-like in appearance, the orbit of which brought it within the terrestrial atmosphere. But nothing could be more unlike the rush of a great meteor or fireball, with intense radiance and fiery train. The advance of this object, though swift, appeared to be orderly and controlled. There was no sign of the compression of the atmosphere before it, no hint that the matter composing its front part, was in any way more strongly heated than the rest of its substance -- if substance, indeed it possessed."

May - The British steamer Patna was traversing the waters of the Persian Gulf when around mid- night the captain and several other members of crew all saw two enormous glowing wheels appear underwater on each side of the ship. The phenomenon lasted nearly 20mins.

July 30 - A large illuminated globe, accompanied by two smaller lights are seen to follow a ravine outside St Petersburgh, Russia.

Aug 20 - A member of the French Academy observed a glittering, white-gold cigar-shaped object in the sky that had pointed ends.

July 6 - Residents of Oaxaca, Mexico, saw a huge, gently-swaying, trumpet-shaped object estimated to be 425ft long hovering in the sky for six minutes.

March 19 - A spherical craft was spotted rising vertically through the clouds over London.

Oct 26 - At Lowell, in the United States, a 'luminous flying disc' was reported over this eastern seaboard area.

May 11 - Italian astronomers at a Naples observatory recorded the appearance of several luminous discs which left trails.

Small metal objects, perfectly hexagonal, fell out of the sky after a "strange cloud" appeared over the community of Orenburg, Soviet Union.

Jan 12 - In the French coastal town of Cherbourg, what was a described as a 'gleaming aerial vessel' was seen in the sky overhead.

Nov 13 - A large, square, luminous object was seen for more than an hour over Niagara Falls.

Nov 29 - At Thuringia it was reported that a brilliant luminous disc was seen in the night sky.

April 1 - Sailors in the English Channel reported seeing a grey, torpedo-shaped object flying overhead.

Sept 7 - A formation of flying objects crossed the French town of Embrun.

Aug 13 - A white silvery fireball light accompanied by a violent explosion was seen at Amhurst, Mass. Afterwards, a gelatinous substance was said to have been found.

October - Many people in Edinburgh saw a large, luminous crescent-shaped object flying over the city.

This sighting occured over the town of Bucovina. ”Towards noon a large star with many rays appeared and in the night she ascended higher and flew in the direction of the Russians; afterwards she returned and went to the west, where the beams where extinguished. Thus did the star reveal herself for four months. It was during the war between the Russians, French and Germans. (Witness: Stan Irinie from Sâcele-Brasov. (Biblioteca Academiei, ”manuscris românesc” 1346 f:2V. / Credit: http://www.wufoc.com)

Oct 12 - Formation of 'luminous discs' observed in the sky above Piedmont, France.

Jan 21 - What was recorded as a shooting-star got larger and larger until it fell to earth between Barsdorf and Freiburg in Silesia. A whizzing noise was heard as it passed close to the ground before it landed and then lay burning. Next day a jelly-like mass was found on the snow.

Mar 8 - A bright light irregular in form and the size of the moon was seen in the sky above Dresden and Berlin, Germany. A large detonation was heard and a dark bituminous substance fell to earth (Source: Baumhauer's Catalogue)

Sept 10 - A bright oval light was observed in the sky over Northumberland for around five minutes. At first it appeared the size of Sirius.

Sept 11 or 1 - A bright fireball light like the sun was seen travelling horizontally through the sky at Edinburgh. It dropped a little, then rose again, bursting behind a cloud.

Sept 2 - A bright ball of fire and light lasting 40 minutes was seen in the sky over southern England during a hurricane of wind.

June 17 - French astronomer Charles Messier saw a number of dark round objects in the sky.

Aug 9 - A huge spindle-shaped object was seen crossing the sun by two different observatories in Switzerland. It was observed by one astronomer nearly every day for a month.

Nov 26 - A dazzling light as bright as day seen over Britain from Cambridge to Ross-shire. Velocity was an estimated 30 mps; height over Cambridge 95 miles; over Inverness 30 miles. It seemed to descend obliquely towards the earth, and then 'rose again with renewed splendour'.

May 26 - A very fortean event listed as an iron meteorite recovered at Agram, Croatia. The vapoury cloud left by an aerial explosion at 18:30hrs was visible for an hour before it entirely dissipated. After the detonation took place, two masses of iron fell in the shape of chains welded together.

Dec 8 - James Cracker of Fleet, a small town in Dorset, England, saw a silvery disc fly overhead in broad daylight. Here is his eyewitness account: "Something in the sky which appeared in the north but vanished from my sight, as it was intercepted by trees, from my vision. I was standing in a valley. The weather was warm, the sun shone brightly. All of a sudden it re-appeared, darting in and out of my sight with an amazing coruscation. The colour of this phenomenon was like burnished, or new-washed silver. It shot with speed like a star falling in the night. But it had a body much larger and a train longer than any shooting star I have seen. Next day Mr. Edgecombe informed me that he and another gentleman had seen this strange phenomenon at the same time as I had. It was about 15 miles from where I saw it, and steering a course from east to north." (See Mysteries of the Unexplained, Readers Digest, p 210.)

 1718 or 1728
Mar 24 - A large fiery mass fell and exploded on the ground at 13:00hrs on Lethy Island in the East Indies. Subsequently a jelly-like mass, silvery and scaly, was said to have been found.

July 19 - At Leipzig, Germany, a fiery ball of light was seen to travel E-W before hovering some seven minutes in the sky at an estimated altitude of 30 miles. It was about half the size of the moon and gradually vanished from view.

Aug 15 - A fiery ball of light stopped over a lake at Robozero, Russia. The noisy object gave out blue smoke and two beams of light projected ahead of it. Fisherman on the lake were burned by the intense heat. The object disappeared and returned again about one hour later. It was observed by many groups of witnesses. (See UFOs from Behind the Iron Curtain, p 54)

Sept 1 - A fireball which "moved in bounds up and down" was observed at Hamburg, Germany

A prefect of a Swiss Canton saw a long, bright object flying along a lake near Fluelen.

Aug 7 - Black spheres darting around the sky was seen by the inhabitants of Basel, in Switzerland.

Apr 14 - The entire sky over Nuremberg, Germany was filled with cyclindrical objects and spinning discs, some say as many as 200, spouting numerous black, red and orange spheres.

Two burning suns were seen at Erfurt, Prussia. Then a great 'burning beam' landed suddenly. It took off again into the sky, where it became circular in shape.

Nov 8 - A large blue glowing disk appeared and remained in the sky for some time in Moldavia, Rumania.

The Abbot and monks of Byland Abbey in Yorkshire were about to commence a meal when one of the brethren ran in to announce a great portent outside. They all ran outside and saw a large silver disc fly slowly over them.

Jan 1 - Some monks at St Albans saw in the night sky 'a kind of large ship elegantly shaped and well-equipped and of marvellous colour'.

A ship-like craft travelling through the air is reported to have fouled the tower of a church in Cloera, Ireland. An occupant clambered from the craft, down the rope and cut free the anchor.

An object like a flaming torch was seen in the sky, together with spheres which flew over Hungary giving out a brighter light than the stars. (cf. Ribera El gran enigma, p. 356 / Credit: UFOs from Behind the Iron Curtain)

An account by Abobard, Archbishop of Lyons, France, described how he was coming out of the Cathedral, when he saw a mob stoning three men and a woman alleged to have been seen alighting from a aerial ship.

When the Saxons were beseiging Charlemagne's castle at Sigiburg, "flying shields" reddish in color appeared in the sky and rained down fire on the attacking army.

Huge flame-breathing dragons were reported being seen in skies of China, often accompanied by men in airships.

A great light appeared in the sky at night and shone on a monastery at Barking near the Thames. Nuns who were singing in the burial-ground at the time saw it lift up and move to the other side of the monastery, 'then withdrew to the heights of heaven'. Priests said the light surpassed the brightness of day.

Constantine and his army all beheld in the heavens a luminous cross.



Nine moons were seen in the night sky over the Japanese community of Kyushu.

A comet hung for several days over Rome then dissolved into flashes resembling torches.

As Roman legions were pitched against King Mithridates of Pontus near the Black Sea suddenly a huge flame-like body was seen to fall between the two armies. "In shape it was like a wine jar and in color like molten lead."

Around Rome glowing lamps were seen in the sky at Praeneste, a shield was observed at Arpi and in the Amiterno district, the appearance of men in white garments.

When the Greeks were beseiging Tyre a fleet of "flying shields" swooped down from the sky and crashed upon the city walls.

Blazing discs burned and destroyed an entire city along with its inhabitants, before returning to the hand of Vishnu, recorded the Mahabbarata of India.

Circles of fire are said to have hovered over the Palace of Pharoah Thutmosis III. They eventually ascended and at the same time "fishes and winged creatures" plus other objects rained down from the sky.

The Chinese Classic, Hsui-nan-tzu, chapter eight, describes the appearance of ten suns in the sky.

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