A record number of UFO sightings were reported to MUFON in 2012, according to a press release. Sightings reports increased from 5,650 in 2011 to 7,290 in 2012 – a 29 percent increase.
MUFON employs trained field investigators with backgrounds in science and law enforcement that interview witnesses to “identify” UFOs. Although most of the reports are identified as known celestial objects, aircraft, meteors, etc., there are always a small percentage of the cases that remain as true “UFOs.” These latter cases are carefully reviewed by a science board.
MUFON's recently formed Science Review Board (SRB) consists of scientists with degrees in physics, chemistry, geology and electrical engineering. Their work experience includes NASA, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Advanced Mico Devices, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and France's national space program, CNES. The SRB has reviewed the best cases from the year 2012 and have identified the strongest 10 cases that cannot be identified as any known object.
These 10 cases include triangular craft that became translucent, a circular sphere that flew alongside a private aircraft and disrupted its electrical system, a pentagon-shaped craft that hovered over an automobile and the classic saucer-shaped craft that swayed from side-to-side. These reports came from credible witnesses who had seen incredible things. As the pilot of the private aircraft stated, “I’ve never in my life seen anything like this happen. It was very unexpected because we did not see the vehicle [UFO] approach. The vehicle was about 30 feet in diameter which glowed and may actually have had some solid shape beneath the energy.”
The following are short descriptions of the 10 cases. See the Slide Show on this page for any images or illustrations that appeared with each of these cases.
Case 36293: 2 p.m., February 18, 2012; near Chase City, Virginia
A father and son, both pilots, were flying in an Ovation II propeller-driven aircraft from Charlotte, NC, to Richmond, VA. They had just crossed the Virginia border and were near Chase City, VA, when they witnessed a bright, orb-like UFO hovering next to their plane. The skies were clear and their elevation was about 7,500 feet. They described the UFO as a bright, circular sphere about 30 feet in diameter. As the object approached their right wing, the plane temporarily lost power. The engine sputtered and all of the electrical equipment including the computers turned off. The pilots estimate that the object came within 50 feet of their right wing. A few seconds later, the plane regained all systems as the UFO swiftly shot away at an incredible speed.
“I’ve never in my life seen anything like this happen. It was very unexpected because we did not see the vehicle [UFO] approach. The vehicle was about 30 feet in diameter which glowed and may actually have had some solid shape beneath the energy. What I could observe on the surface seemed to have some circular, swirling energy force which surrounded something I believe operated it from within.”
Both witnesses have extensive flying experience. One witness is a manager and the other is an executive with a master’s degree in economics. Neither had reason to falsify their report.
Case 36765: 3 a.m., March 25, 2012; at a correctional facility near Cleburne, Texas
Cleburne is approximately 25 miles south of downtown Fort Worth. Two officers on duty at a correctional facility saw a triangular object to their south. It was a clear night and the moon was not out. The object flew over them very slowly, appearing to be going only about 5 mph. The primary witness said that as they walked through the parking lot the lights over them turned on. The object then sped up and was gone to the north in a second. He said he was looking directly at the object when it sped up. The witness believed the object was around 4,000 to 6,000 feet high and about a 1,000-foot distance from him. The witness said there was also a Joshua city police officer that came to the facility and said his dispatcher indicated there were several people who had called in reporting suspicious activity in the skies.
The witness said the lights on the object were white and not bright, but dim and in a series of circles. The object was triangular-shaped and the surface was dark. The object made no sound as it moved very slowly in the sky. He described it as slipping through the sky. He said it appeared to jerk as it moved like it was jumping from one location to another as it sped up.
Case 41298: In mid-June 2012; near Sutter, California (rural area 40 miles NNW of Sacramento
A security guard was traveling to a construction site to relieve another officer near a levee off McClatchy Road west of Yuba City when he noticed a glowing white light amongst the trees. As he continued in the direction toward the light he continued to observe it until he came within about 650 yards of the object. He stepped out of his vehicle and observed the object with 10 x 50 binoculars and then his night vision scope to the WSW of his position. During the five minutes that he observed the object he noted its saucer-like shape as it glided a few feet above the tree line. It swayed from side-to-side as it slowly moved and continued to sway from side-to-side even as it hovered. The object would sometimes drop below the tree line and then back up as if it was doing a search. Based on the angular displacement of the object in the sky, it would have been between 50-100 feet across. The entire object glowed white and there were three flashing exterior lights that were blue, green and red. The craft emitted sufficient light that the security guard could determine its closeness to the trees because of the craft's light illuminating the tree tops. The officer took a phone with a 2-3 megapixel camera, but the object was too far away to see anything but a bright dot on the camera. The officer then drove to the levee to get his partner so that he could see the object, but when they returned the object was gone.
The witness is a 35-year-old security guard who has had law enforcement training and served in the army.
Case 41289: 10:15 p.m., July 13, 2012; rural area near Hartford, Wisconsin; 30 miles NW of Milwaukee
A mother in rural Wisconsin was standing in her driveway on the north side of her house saying goodnight to her daughter who was in the driver’s seat of her minivan with her 4-year-old son in the rear seat. Looking south from the minivan, the daughter could see the front of the house and the sky above, while the mother was facing north with her back to the house. The daughter saw something above the garage roof, stretching from the chimney on the house to a tree about 75 feet away. She stopped in mid-sentence and said, "Mom, what is that?"
The mother ran to the east corner of the house so that she could see the object. Meanwhile, the daughter quickly got out of the van and the two women ran around the east side of the house to the backyard. In that time, the object had moved 200 feet south from the mother's house and yard and could be seen behind a line of 100-foot-tall trees moving slowly west to east. Both women described the object as huge, big enough to cover the 150-foot-wide property, shaped like a lampshade or a cone with its top lopped off. It had a distinct outline and was brilliant white. The bottom of the object appeared to have a curved convex bulge to it, and there was a row of bright red lights along the lower edge of the object. The daughter saw the red lights "racing" in sequence, while the mother described them as "flashing."
Both women described several rows of brilliant, white lights ringing the sloping sides of the object, as brilliant as the lights in a stadium.
The craft made no noise as it moved slowly over the neighbor’s property to the east, then accelerated. By the time the women ran to a space between two trees to see where the object was going, it already seemed to be several miles away and over Waukesha County. Then suddenly the red and white lights went out and the object disappeared into the night sky. The entire sighting lasted about 25 seconds.
Case 41918: 5:20 a.m., July 14, 2012; Highway 36 near the town of Milano, Texas, and a repeat event six months later near the same location
At about 5:20 a.m. on July 14, 2012, two men were traveling northwest on Highway 36 and had just passed through the small town of Milano, Texas. The two witnesses saw a pentagon-shaped, black object hovering over the highway ahead of them. At each apex of the pentagon were lights and a more intense light in the middle of the object. The lights at the corners were white and pulsated about once per second. As the witnesses drove under the object they could hear no sound coming from the craft above them. The witnesses saw what they thought were panel lines or vents on the underside of the craft. They estimated that the object was 30 feet above them when they passed under it and the object was about 20-30 feet across. The driver did not want to stop and the two men continued onto their destination.
The primary witness has a BS in chemistry and is working on a master’s of science degree. The other witness, who was driving, has some college training.
It is interesting that a very similar case occurred on this same stretch of highway but six miles farther northwest and six months later, on December 20, 2012. A 35-year-old female and her 16-year-old son were traveling in the same direction on the same road. The witness stated that she and her son first saw the object approach their vehicle from the east. She described the object as about 100 feet across with five sides and flashing lights on each corner. The color of the craft was a dull gray. The craft moved back to the east out of sight. She stated that it came back and hovered directly above their SUV. The witness stated that both she and her son felt threatened by the object. Her anxiety is best described in her own words, “We continued to watch it when suddenly it was RIGHT UP ABOVE our SUV! There are few words that will effectively relay to anyone that wasn't there just how large and utterly surreal looking this thing was. I was in shock and as a mother I became fearful this thing could be a potential threat considering how close it was. So I stepped on the gas to get away from it.” At this point the son began to video the object with his cell phone camera. It was too far away at that point to see any detail but it was clear from the voices that the mother was fearful.
Cases 37562, 37585 and 36704, April 17-19, 2012; Three separate triangle reports in the same region of Oklahoma and Texas
Three different reports of the same type object occurred in the areas of Tulsa and Oklahoma City as well as just across the Oklahoma-Texas border in Van Alstyne, Texas. All three witnesses described a silent, triangular object that displayed white lights on the apex of the triangle and a ruby-colored light in the center of the triangle. There was not sufficient information in the movement of the object to establish that it was not potentially a drone or experimental aircraft.
One of the witnesses was an individual working on drone aircraft at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. The individual was familiar with the triangular aircraft being used at Tinker AFB and did not believe the object he saw was a known drone because it was hovering in a stationary position and was completely silent.
Unlike the triangular object seen in March in Cleburne, Texas, these objects did not produce any type of movement that could not be explained by a new type of drone such as the X47-B or other experimental aircraft. The most likely explanation is that the military has developed a completely silent triangular aircraft that may be able to move at very slow speeds.
Case 38312: 9 p.m., May 19, 2012; Lawrenceville, Georgia; (rural property about 30 miles NE of Atlanta).
The witness in rural Georgia reported that on May 19, 2012, at approximately 9 p.m. she and four other family members observed nine bright objects pulsating or throbbing deep orange to light orange, each about the size of the full moon, moving ENE to SSW at near treetop level, hovering just above the trees in her backyard at a height of 500 feet to one mile, and then shooting upward into the sky one after another at a 45-degree angle and at an extreme rate of speed. It took each object only 1-2 seconds to disappear from view as it accelerated. One of the witnesses described the movement as, “...the only thing you could see is a streak...” A total of nine objects were seen to make this same pattern of hovering and then rapidly accelerating. Two days later the witnesses observed several helicopters of military design flying and hovering very low over their property. The military helicopters were seen around noon for the next three days. The helicopters were dark, flat-black, unmarked and very, very loud. As one witness stated, “The first time I saw it [the helicopter] he was just over the trees; as he was coming over he paused and he tilted the helicopter towards me and he physically did a buzz around me.” The witnesses took videos of the helicopters on May 22.
The witnesses are all credible. One has a college degree and is a nurse at a local medical facility. Another is a retired automotive executive. Two of the other witnesses are currently enrolled in college courses. The fifth witness is retired.
Case 41616: 10:30 p.m., July 18, 2012; Channahon, Illinois; a small suburb 35 miles SE of Chicago
This report comes from a 50-year-old male. It is best told in his own words.
“I tend to sit outside once my wife turns in for the night. I sit and enjoy a cigar, read something, have a cold beer and let the dog do her business. I do this every night and on clear days I also take my small binoculars out and watch the stars, planets and the moon. I've witnessed meteors streak across the sky. I've watched satellites slowly move across the night sky. I've watched countless airplanes and helicopters, be they civilian, military, commercial, etc. in the sky over my home throughout the years but I NEVER witnessed anything of the type I witnessed on the night of July 18th, 2012.
“I was out in my backyard around 10:30 p.m. having a cigar and waiting for my small dog to finish her 'ritual.' My wife and I have a large, handheld floodlight we take with us to check for skunks before we allow the dogs out. On the night in question, I was standing approximately 20 feet from my porch so the sensor on the porch light timed out. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and I looked up and thought I saw movement coming from the Ursa Minor Constellation. It seemed as though one of the stars was moving in a northerly direction. I thought it might be a satellite so I paid it no mind until it 'stopped' moving and seemed to blink. As I watched it for a few seconds it seemed as though the ‘air’ around the 'star' seemed to ripple sort of the same way heat does when watching it rise from the ground at a distance. It was then that I noticed it ‘moving’ again and thought it odd as the stars that make up the Constellation of Ursa Minor don't MOVE! So I shined the flood light at the 'star' that was moving and that's when I realized I was watching something very strange. It seemed to ‘absorb’ the light. It reminded me of the way water moves when a pebble is dropped and ripples. As I shined the light on it, it actually seemed to respond. It shined a light back at me! At first I thought it an optical illusion but when I did it a second time, and blinked the light several times, it repeated the sequence I had just done! This 'THING' was massive! Made no noise and moved very slow across the sky. It blocked out the stars for a few moments that I shined the light at it as if to let me know it was actually there. I know that sounds silly but that's what happened. I watched it slowly fade as if 'cloaking' again but I could make out the shape as it seemed to blink in and out as it moved. I lost sight of it as the tress blocked my view of it.”
Case 43607: 4 p.m., October 23, 2012; Ball Ground, Georgia; a town of about 1,400 people
Two women and their two children saw a silent, black object that hovered almost directly over their home at a height of several hundred feet. The duration of the incident was about 30 minutes. Three short videos of the object were provided by the witness.
The videos show a somewhat circular object with lights that periodically flashed around its perimeter. This object is not yet identified and the videos are currently being studied.
Three still images were captured from the video.
Case 44556: 8:15 p.m., December 13, 2012; central Georgia about five miles from Dublin
At approximately 8:15 p.m. on December 13, 2012, the witness and a companion were traveling west on I-16 just west of Dublin, Georgia, when he observed a saucer-like craft approach his truck at treetop height from the right (north) shoulder of the interstate. The object slowly approached the witness' vehicle and hovered for a few seconds and then disappeared. The object was about 30 feet in diameter, had eight white lights around the underside perimeter and one white light, equal in size of those on the perimeter, in the center. The lights did not appear to illuminate the ground, only the object itself. The entire encounter lasted less than one minute with the object coming within 100 feet of the vehicle.
The object had smooth, easy movements like it was tracking his vehicle, which was traveling down a major interstate highway about 70 mph. The object moved toward the truck and, once it was directly overhead, the witness lost sight of it, although he did not see where the object went once it was directly overhead. The object seemed to be less than 100 feet high when the witness lost sight of it. The object had the look of spun aluminum, not shiny. It flew from east to west over the westbound lane of I-16. The entire incident lasted less than a minute.
The investigator was only able to talk to the driver as the second witness refused to talk about the sighting saying that it was too upsetting. The primary witness insisted that there were many other witnesses to this event but as of this date, no other witnesses have come forth.