World UFO Day was started in 2001 by Haktan Akdogan, the founder of the Sirius UFO Space Science Research Center in Turkey. It's a day to raise awareness of the possibility of Unidentified Flying Objects and aliens, a concept that is not completely out of this world (pun intended), as researchers have been searching for signs of extraterrestrial life for decades. One theory even suggests that aliens are responsible for certain petroglyphs.
Whether you believe in them or not, UFOs and their inhabitants are sources of fascination. On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles preformed a live radio version of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. Presented as a breaking news account of martians invading New Jersey, the broadcast caused mass panic and still reigns as one of the greatest hoaxes of all time.
The UFO craze continued after New Mexico's Roswell incident in 1947 where it was thought a flying saucer crashed during a storm. The US Air Force claimed it was a weather balloon, but many believe the government covered the real story up.
The American Southwest has a history of UFO events, including a series of strange mutilations of cattle in the 1970s. Unsettling and still unsolved, these occurrences seem to have diminished - or aren't being reported as often.
Rather than downplay any odd incidents, New Mexico tapped into their UFO and alien history with a sense of humor by displaying some cautionary cattle crossing road signs that feature a UFO hovering above the cow. There is also a UFO museum and an annual UFO festival in Roswell.
UFO sightings and incidents are not limited to the southwest. Every state in the United States has had reports of UFO sightings with the current top five states being: Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, Maine, and New Mexico.
Reports of Unidentified Flying Objects and aliens occur all over the world. Chile tops the list as the country with the highest number of reported sightings, along with Australia and Russia. England also makes the list, especially Wiltshire, the county where Stonehenge is located. Crop circles with strange patterns have mysteriously appeared for centuries, and some people believe that Stonehenge was built by ancient aliens.
Ways to Celebrate
Go outside and check out the night sky! While UFOs aren't limited to night viewing, the night sky is a wonderland of celestial bodies that just might surprise you. One of my favorite apps is Sky Guide. It won't point out potential UFO sightings, but it will give you a ton of information about what's out there in our sky. It can also tell you when the International Space Station is crossing your path and where to look to see it (it's just a white dot, but fun to see fly by anyway). Click one of the links to get the app for iPhone or Android
Watch a film. There are loads of films about UFOs that range from camp to downright terrifying. Check out IMDb's list of UFO films and watch one or have a marathon. Also check out the TV UFO doc list.
Read a book. One of the most frightening books I ever read is Communion: A True Story by Whitley Strieber (1987). It scared the wits out of me, but I couldn't put it down, even though I had strange dreams about aliens every night I was reading it. Check it out, and take a look at this list for more titles.
Research UFO sightings and history. The National UFO Reporting Center's website is crammed with information and continuously updates.
Happy World UFO Day from the Holiday Chicks! Have fun and always remember: "Klaatu barada nikto."
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