UFO Sighting Chronology

Science WONDER Stories, Nov. 1929
Credit: (Jim Klotz)

Created: December 18, 2006, Updated 6 April 2016
This  report is derived from three major sources: 1) the Magonia Database, sightings catalogued by Jacques Vallee and presented in his great work, Passport to Magonia, and,  2) The UFO Evidence, 1964, Richard Hall, and, 3) Strange Company (2007), Keith Chester. This report deals only with sightings AFTER the turn of the 20th Century and up to the end of 1938. For the WWII years (1939-1946) click here. The illustration used above came from Jim Klotz' wonderful web site, All of the beautiful magazine covers that can be found on the site were produced during this period, and are a must-see.

Our thanks for ALL these chronologies must go to our documentation team: Richard Hall (The UFO Evidence , 1963, and Vol. II The UFO Evidence, 2001), William Wise (Project Blue Book Archive), Dan Wilson (archive researcher), and Brad Sparks (Comprehensive Catalog of Project Blue Book Unknowns). Last, but not least, our thanks to Jean Waskiewicz who created the online NICAP DBase (NSID) that helped make it possible to link from the cases to the reports themselves. .

Francis Ridge
NICAP Site Coordinator

Early 20th Century Sightings up to, and including, the year 1938

Oct. 28, 1902; Gulf of Guinea
3:05 a.m. Three persons aboard the "Fort Salisbury," including Second Officer A. H. Raymer, saw a huge, dark object bearing lights in the sea ahead. It was observed sinking slowly. Estimated length: 200 m. (Magonia #32, Fort 641; Anatomy 20)

March 17, 1903; Helmer, Indiana
During the early evening a family watched a brilliantly glowing cigar-shaped object hovering at treetop level. It had two rows of evenly spaced windows. When a witness approached to investigate, the object took off, accelerating rapidly and departing in zigzag flight. (Hall, 2000, p. 5)

1904; Rolling Prairie, Indiana
Tom Darby, with his brother and mother, saw two whitish-blue objects about 400 m away, from a point situated 3 km north of Rolling Prairie. The objects hovered 2 or 3 m above ground, flew toward a barn, came closer to each other, and were hidden from view by a hill. (Magonia #33, Hartle 164)

Feb. 28, 1904; North Pacific off San Francisco
Formation of three objects sighted by U.S.S. Supply in North Pacific off San Francisco. (NICAP UFO Evidence, 1964, Hall, II)

Feb 4, 1908; Tacoma, Washington
Evening. Dark red, pale green, yellow and a brilliant white are the colors of a strange light that appeared in the western horizon Saturday and Sunday nights, seen by residents of Kent and Tacoma, who firmly believe it to be a passing airship belonging to the Japanese. A large object was seen sailing through the air at a high elevation, moving from north to south. It was first sighted by an engineer of a Northern Pacific train on the tide flats waiting for the Fifteenth Street bridge to close. He pointed out the object to the conductor and passengers alighted from the train. Some examined it with field glasses. So interested did the passengers and trainmen become that the train was delayed several minutes.Those who saw it told of a large cigar-shaped object, flying a foreign flag, which some maintained was French, while others declared it to be Japanese. During the same week, on clear nights, colored lights were seen displayed at high altitudes and on one occasion a rocket was discharged high in the air, it is asserted.Since that time, the light has appeared at various points along the coast, usually between the hours of 7 and 9 o'clock as at Kent, Sunday night. In many of the smaller towns along the Grey's Harbor, Tacoma Eastern and Northern Pacific, near Tacoma, residents have watched the light. It is the firm belief of many that the light is attached to a airship employed by Japanese spies, who are studying the topography of the coast. (Credit: DAILY NEWS. Charles Flood, Rob Swiatek)

1908; Coast of Delaware
The English ship "Mohican," piloted by Capt. Urghart, was going to Philadelphia when it was surrounded by a thick, luminous cloud which "magnetized" everything on board. The compass was observed to swing wildly. When seamen tried to move some chains on the bridge, they found that they were glued to the metal floor. Suddenly the cloud rose and was seen above the sea for some time. (Magonia #34, 197)

June 30, 1908; Podkamennaia Tunguska, USSR
Unexplained explosion in the taiga, equivalent to a thermonuclear blast, sometimes interpreted as the crash of an interstellar vehicle. (Magonia #35, Anatomy 18; Challenge 99) (Brad Sparks: was equivalent to an approximately 7 megaton hydrogen bomb blast [larger estimates in the 20-35 MT range are due to incorrect scaling of blast and thermal effects] which occurred above ground, about 3 miles height, resulting in the Hiroshima-like effect of trees left standing near the ground zero with all branches stripped off while trees at an angle because farther from ground zero were flattened outwards. Nobelist Willard Libby found that 1909 tree rings worldwide showed an increase in radiocarbon, suggesting to him that the Tunguska blast released neutrons into the atmosphere like a megaton-range H-bomb, converting nitrogen into radiocarbon.  Russian and other scientists have conducted 80+ years of investigations of Tunguska.  As early as 1946 Alexander Kazantsev suggested Tunguska was the explosion of a spaceship and compared it to Hiroshima.  Mainstream scientists generally hold that it was a comet or asteroid (in actuality a comet could not have survived to such low altitude, but a stony asteroid might have, but the radioactivity remains unexplained). 

May 13, 1909; King's Lynn, England
9:45 PM. A cigar-shaped object illuminated the terrain brightly in King's Lynn. A witness's attention was drawn to the object by a "whirring noise" and seeing the ground lit up like day. Looking up, he saw the airship-like object speed overhead, two men visible in an undercarriage, and disappear in the distance within a few minutes. (Hall, 2000, p. 7)

May 19, 1909; Wroxsam, Norfolk, England
23:30. A lone motorcyclist observed a globular light traveling in a straight trajectory overhead. During its passage, the motocycle headlamp failed to operate. He stopped his machine when this occurred, but the headlamp began to operate again after the UFO's passage. (Rodeghier; East Anglican  Daily Times, May 21, 1909)

May. 18, 1909; Caerphilly, Wales
11:00 p.m. Mr. Lethbridge was walking along a road near the mountains when he saw on the grass a large tube-like machine. Aboard were two men wearing furs and talking excitedly in a language the witness could not understand. The grass was found depressed at the site after the object had flown off. (Magonia #36, 198; Anatomy 21)

June 16, 1909; Donghoi, Annam
4:10 a.m. An elongated object following a west to east trajectory flew over the town. It gave off a strong light and was seen by two fishermen to plunge into the sea 6 km away from the coast, after a steady flight of about 9 min. (Magonia #37, Anatomy 21)

Dec. 22, 1909; Worcester, Mass
"Mysterious Airship" emitting a bright beam of light appeared moving SE to NW, hovered over city, moved away. Seen again two hours later; hovered, moved away to south and turned east. Observed over Boston and Lynn, Mass, next night. [N.Y. Tribune, 12-23-09; N.Y. Sun, 12-24-09]

Jan. 1910; Invercargill, New Zealand
11:00 p.m. Several witnesses among them the vicar, the Mayor, and a policeman saw a cigar-shaped object hovering at 30 m altitude. A man appeared at a lateral door and was heard shouting some words in an unknown language. The opening closed, and the object accelerated and was lost to sight. (Magonia #38, Stuart 24)

Summer of 1910; Vernal, UT
A classic disc with body lights and animal reaction case occurred. A man on horseback at night dismounted when his horse became disturbed, and walked to the edge of a clearing in the woods. There he saw a low-hovering disc with a row of lights. As he approached, the object emitted a buzzing sound, rose slowly into the sky, then streaked away. (Hall, 2000, p. 9)

March 11, 1911;

June, 1914; Hamburg, Germany
4:00 a.m. Gustav Herwagen opened the door of his house and saw in a field a shining cigar- shaped object with illuminated windows. Near it were four or five dwarfs 1.20 m tall, clad in light clothing. He approached them, but they went aboard the object as soon as they appeared to be aware of his presence. A door closed, and the craft took off silently, climbing vertically. (Magonia #39, Nachrichten April, 62)

Aug., 1914; Georgian Bay, Canada
William J. Kiehl and seven other persons saw a spherical craft on the surface of the water. On its deck were two small men wearing green-purple clothes. They seemed to be busy with a hose, plunging it into the water. On the opposite side were three men dressed in light brown, wearing square masks down to their shoulders. Seeing the witnesses, they reentered the craft except for one dwarf, wearing shoes with a curved, pointed tip, who remained outside while the craft rose 3 m above the water and shot upward, leaving a short trail. (Magonia #40, 199) (This was shown to be as a hoax a long time ago.)

Aug. 21, 1915: Gallipoli, Turkey
During severe fighting in the Dardanelles a peculiar cloud engulfed a British regiment which was never seen again. This was observed by 22 men of the First Field Company, NZ Army Corps and stated in an affidavit. (Magonia #41, Spaceview 45; LDLN 82) (Brad Sparks: I know this story was shown to be a composite fiction story embellished over the years from a basic yarn).

Night. A British flight officer flying at 5,000 feet encountered a dark object with a row of illuminated windows. When he tried to close in for a better look his engine began malfunctioning, perhaps the first EM effect case on a human vehicle. When he fired his Webley Scott pistol, the object quickly rose and rapidly disappeared. (Hall, 2000, p. 10)

May 1916; 8. miles south of Rensselaer, Indiana
Daytime. One witness on a farm reported a dull gray elongated oval object, 40 feet long x 8-12' thick, hovered near ground one mile away. After 10-12 seconds, shot away rapidly to the northeast. Instantaneous acceleration to speed of 5000 mph.

July 19, 1916; Huntington, West Virginia
Unidentified luminous object shaped like a dirigible observed over Huntington, W. Va. [Credit: Charles Fort, from Scientific American, 115-241]

Oct., 1917; Youngstown, Pennsylvania
John Boback, 17, was walking along the railroad tracks between Youngstown and Mt. Braddock when he saw a saucer-shaped object with a platform and rows of lights, sitting in a field 30 m to his left. He watched the object for 1-2 min until it took off with a high-pitched sound, rising gradually like a slow plane. Its size was that of an average car. The top of the object was a dome with elongated windows through which figures could be seen. (Magonia #42, Hartle 157)

Early 1918; Near Waco, Texas
Reddish cigar-shaped object, with no motor or rigging, passed silently from SW to NE. (NICAP UFO Evidence, 1964, Hall)

1921, Marseilles, France
Undocumented report of an "abduction" by two beings. (Magonia #43, Quincy)

Feb. 22, 1922; Hubbell, Nebraska
5:00 a.m. William C. Lamb was following strange tracks when he heard a high-pitched sound and saw a circular object intercepting starlight. It became brilliantly lighted and landed in a hollow. Soon afterward, a creature over 2.4 m tall was seen flying from the direction where the object had landed. It left tracks in the snow, which Lamb followed without results. (Magonia #44, Anatomy 22)

Sept. 9, 1922; Barmouth, Wales
John Morris and William James saw an object fall into the ocean so slowly that it was thought to be a plane. A boat was sent out, but nothing was found. (Magonia #45, Fort 639)

1923; Greencastle, Indiana
Revolving red object passed over-head from NE to SW. Two witnesses were college professors. (NICAP UFO Evidence, 1964, Hall)

January, 1924; Oklahoma
White oval-shaped object lit up ground, moved out of sight over horizon. (NICAP UFO Evidence, 1964, Hall)

Jan. 1926; Wichita, bt. Kansas and Colorado
1:00 p.m. Six "flying manhole covers" circled plane of stunt pilot. Size, according to Frank Edwards, was 3-4' diameter, approached to withing 10'. Bert Acosta, a noted stunt flier, had a sighting of several circular objects that surrounded his plane, then sped away. This occurred while he was en route from Wichita, Kansas, to Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Hall, 2000, p. 13)

September 1926; Nr. Salt Lake City, UT
11:00 PM. An air mail pilot was repeatedly buzzed by a long, cylindrical object. Each time the object came within about 50 yards, the aircraft engine would begin to sputter and misfire, until the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in a pasture. At this point the UFO "took off like a shot out of a gun" and sped away. (Hall, 2000, p. 13)

Aug. 5, 1927; Himalayan Mountains
9:30 AM. Explorer Nicholas Roerich and others in his caravan observed a shiny oval-shaped object move overhead, changing course. (Sparks: There is a date discrepancy. It is actually 1927 instead of 1926 , according to Leon Davidson who checked Roerich's published travel diary, the 1929 book Altai-Himalaya.  See quote on the Internet) "On august fifth - something remarkable!  We were in our camp in the Kukunor district, not far from the Humboldt chain. In the morning about half-past nine some of our caravaneers noticed a remarkably big black eagle flying above us.  Seven of us began to watch this unusual bird.  At the same moment another of our caravaneers remarked: 'there is something far above the bird,' and he shouted his astonishment. We all saw, in the direction north to south, something big and shiny reflecting sun, like a huge oval moving at great speed. Crossing our camp this thing changed in its direction from south to southwest, and we saw how it disappeared in the intense blue sky. We even had time to take our field glasses and saw quite distinctly the oval form with the shiny surface, one side of which was brilliant from the sun." [wrong date of 1926 in NICAP UFO Evidence, 1964, Hall, I]
Nov., 1928; Milton, N.D.
A UFO, round "like an inverted soup plate," sped overhead emitting rays of light which illuminated the ground and startled cattle. (NICAP UFO Evidence, 1964, Hall)

April, 1929; Ward, Colorado
Daytime. Photo was taken by the submitter's father at a sawmill. His father was there to photograph the sawmill for some reason or another, and, allegedly, as he was taking the photo, he described a "terrible thunderous bellow," and a large round thing as big as a very large boulder that moved through the air above them.

Jun. 12, 1929; Fermeneuve, Canada
11:00 p.m. Levis Brosseau, 20 was returning home when he saw a dark object with a yellow light and his horse became very nervous. Within 6 m of the object four or five dwarfish figures were running back and forth. He heard their pointed, childlike voices, then saw the dark object take off with a machinelike sound and a rush of air. Estimated size of object: 15 m diameter, 5 m high. (Magonia #46, GEPA Dec., 68)

Jul., 1929; Robsart, Canada
Five persons among them Einar Rostivold, saw a huge ball of light giving off fiery colors, 25 km from Robsart. It landed slowly, vanished gradually after illuminating the whole countryside for 30 min. (Magonia #47, Fate Jan., 58)

Jan. 1, 1931; Cobden, Ont., Canada
UFO sighted in early morning, had bright light on front which lit up tree-tops, flashing lights on rear. Object made sweeping curve, sped up and climbed out of sight. (NICAP UFO Evidence, 1964, Hall)

Oct. 11, 1931; West VA, United States
Flaming, one-hundred foot blimp (Page 6 Ref. 1)

April or May 1932; Durham, N.Y.
Aluminum-like disc with periphery of yellowish lights or "portholes" on underside. (NICAP UFO Evidence, 1964, Hall)

May 1932; St. Paris, Ohio
Midday. Picture by George Sutton was taken near midday on a summer noon.  One can see that it was in 1932 from the license plate on the automobile in the photo that accompanied this shot. (NICAP UFO Evidence, 1964, Hall) 

Dec. 29, 1932; NJ, United States
Airplane. (Page 6 Ref. 1)

1932 or 1933; Oakland, California
About seven brilliant objects in a group flew from 30 degrees elevation in the east to 45 degrees elevation in the west,in an arc. Witness now college graduate, former USAF pilot. (NICAP UFO Evidence, 1964, Hall)

1932 or 1933: Hawthorne, CT
On the CT shore of Long Island Sound near the Byram River, facing S.E... "[While watching aircraft over the Sound] they noticed a plane flying much [more swiftly] than any they had seen before [progressing] up the Sound... Then, just to their right, it began a sharp turn to the left, into the rays of the setting sun, passing directly above them at great speed... The object was cigar-shaped, emitting a pink glow at its front and a light swirl of grey smoke along its sides. It was huge compared to any other plane, and it had no rudder, [wings,] or elevator. It disappeared into the Northwest, probably on a line between Rye and Port Chester." (Dan Wilson; Temporal Doorway)

Summer, 1933; Chrysville, Pennsylvania
Morning. A man observed a faint violet light in a field between this town and Morrestown. Walking to it, he found an ovoid object 3 m in diameter and 2 m thick with a circular opening similar to a vault door. Pushing it, he found the room full of violet light and observed many instruments, no occupant. Smell of ammonia. (Magonia #48, APRO Jul., 64)

July 5, 1933; Sussex, England
Gigantic light (Page 6-7 Ref. 1)

Bt. Aug.-Dec. 1933; East Coast United States
East Coast and Britain, mysterious aircraft (Page 7 Ref. 1)

Dec. 24, 1933; Kalix, Sweden
Beam of light coming from machine (Page 7 Ref. 1)

Dec. 30, 1933; Sweden
Low-flying aeroplane (Page 7 Ref. 1)

Feb. 3, 1934; Sweden, Northern Finland, Norway
Ghost aviators (as reported by the New York Times) (Page 8 Ref. 1)

Apr. 1, 1934; Oslo, Norway
A very large aeroplane with eight propellers (Page 8 Ref. 1)

Nov. 24, 1935; Palestine, TX
Bright shaft of light (Page 10 Ref. 1)

Dec. 1935; Brazil, South America
Snake-like shafts of light hanging motionless in sky (Page 10 Ref. 1)

Jan. 1, 1937; N.C., United States
30-40 foot in diameter object, no propellers, gun metal color (Page 10-11 Ref. 1)

Feb. 11, 1937; Kvalsik, Norway
Large aeroplane with red and green glowing lights (Page 11, Ref. 1)

July 20, 1937; London, England
Light (Nicknamed Ghost Flier) (Page 11 Ref. 1)

July 22, 1937; 500 miles off US coast
Lights of alleged aircraft (Page 11 Ref. 1)

Late 1937; German-Polish border
Objects described as coffins and swords (Page 11 Ref. 1)

Feb. 8, 1938; England
Things like glowing spheres that were floating in the British sky (Page 11-12 Ref. 1)

July 25, 1938; Guadalaraja, Spain
Soldiers at the Spanish Civil War battlefront were illuminated by a bright glow, then saw an oval object about 10-12 meters in diameter shaped like "two inverted plates" hovering near the ground. A cylindrical column came down from the center and two beings emerged. (Ref. 3; Phenomenes Spatiaux, No. 28, June 1971; Flying Saucer Review Special Issue No. 4, August 1971.)

Summer 1938; MA, United States
Silvery object with rectangular portholes (Page 12 Ref. 1)

Fall, 1938 (or following year); Juminda, Estonian coast
Two persons saw a strange "frog-man" 1 m tall with a round head, no neck, and a hump in front of the body. The mouth was a large, straight slit, the eyes were like smaller slits. The skin was brown-green, compared to pegamoid, hands normal. The creature walked in a peculiar "but elegant" fashion, the head waving up and down while the legs moved "carefully." When pursued, the creature accelerated very fast, with feet "fluttering." About 100 m away it vanished completely'. (Magonia #49, Personal)

Ref. 1, Strange Company (2007), Keith Chester

Ref. 2, Project 1947 files, Jan Aldrich

Ref. 3; From Airships to Arnold: A Preliminary catalogue of UFO Reports in the Early 20th Century (1900-1946)" by Richard H. Hall, UFO Research Coalition, 2000. 

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