UFO Timeline

October 30, 1938

War of the Worlds Broadcast Stokes Panic

War of the Worlds Broadcast Stokes Panic
Radio listeners panic and flood police stations and newspapers with calls of a Martian invasion.

Famed American filmmaker Orson Welles, 23 years old at the time, narrated an adaptation of the H.G. Wells 1897 novel The War of The Worlds for a Halloween episode of... Read full entry »

February 24-25, 1942

The Battle of LA: False Alarm or UFO Incident?

The Battle of LA: False Alarm or UFO Incident?
1,400 rounds of ammunition were fired over a 2-hour period at suspected Japanese crafts.

US air defenses, at high alert over the prospect of a Japanese invasion, fired over 1400 rounds into the night sky around Los Angeles in February 1942 after observing radar and... Read full entry »

Summer 1943

First Rocket Reaches Space

First Rocket Reaches Space
Germans design and test the V-2 rocket as a World War II "vengeance weapon".

The German V-2 rocket, then known as the A-4, was the first rocket to cross the Karman line, thus officially reaching outer space. The rocket platform was originally conceived as... Read full entry »

November 1944

Foo Fighters of World War II

Foo Fighters of World War II
Military pilots reported encounters with strange lights while flying over both European and Pacific theaters during WWII.

The term foo fighter was used by Allied aircraft pilots during World War II to describe various UFOs or mysterious aerial phenomena seen in the skies over both the European and... Read full entry »

July 16, 1945

Trinity: The First Atomic Test

Trinity: The First Atomic Test
The Atomic Age began with the detonation of the first atomic weapon.

The Trinity test was the first test detonation of a nuclear weapon in world history. The explosion on July 16, 1945 lit up the night sky over Alamogordo, New Mexico at the site of... Read full entry »

August 5, 1945

Alleged UFO Crash 20 Days Later

Alleged UFO Crash 20 Days Later
An alleged UFO crashed near the Trinity nuclear test site several weeks after the first bomb was detonated there.

The Trinity crash refers to a purported UFO crash that occurred in San Antonio, New Mexico in August 1945. The crash happened very near to the site of the Trinity nuclear test... Read full entry »

August 6, 1945

First Atomic Bombs Dropped on Japan

First Atomic Bombs Dropped on Japan
US forces drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

The United States dropped the first atomic bomb, a "Little Boy" enriched uranium fission type bomb, on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. This event was followed three days later... Read full entry »

February-December, 1946

Scandinavian Ghost Rockets

Scandinavian Ghost Rockets
Mysterious rocket sightings may represent an advanced technology.

Throughout 1946, over 2000 sightings of "rockets" in the skies over the Nordic countries were reported. There was much speculation as to the origin of the rockets, with many... Read full entry »

June 24, 1947

Nine "Flying Saucers" Seen by Kenneth Arnold

Nine
Aviator witnessed 9 disc shaped craft flying at high rates of speed; the term "flying saucer" was coined in a local news report about the event.

Kenneth Arnold, an experienced pilot from Idaho, allegedly witnessed 9 UFOs on June 24, 1947 while flying over Washington state. Arnold believed the disc shaped objects, which... Read full entry »

June-July, 1947

The Roswell Incident

The Roswell Incident
Possible UFO crash and recovery of craft in New Mexico.

The Roswell incident is one of the most famous UFO events in history. In mid-June/early-July of 1947 (the exact date is in dispute), wreckage of a purported aeronautical crash was... Read full entry »

July 1947

Did Truman Establish Majestic 12?

Did Truman Establish Majestic 12?
Alleged secret Truman formed committee to deal with UFOs.

Majestic 12 is an alleged secret committee of US military officials, scientists, and government officials formed to investigate UFO phenomenon and to determine a path forward for... Read full entry »

July 26, 1947

The National Security Act is Adopted

The National Security Act is Adopted
The National Security Act of 1947 consolidated US military, created the US Air Force and established the CIA.

The National Security Act of 1947 was one of the largest reorganizations of military structure in American history. Under the act, the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force were... Read full entry »

1948

US Air Force Tasked to Investigate Objects

US Air Force Tasked to Investigate Objects
Project Sign was the first official US government study of UFO phenomenon.

Project Sign (Project Saucer) was an official U.S. government study of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) undertaken by the United States Air Force (USAF) and active for most of... Read full entry »

February-December, 1949

Project Grudge Expanded Upon Project Sign

Project Grudge Expanded Upon Project Sign
US Air Force's Project Grudge succeeded Project Sign as the second official UFO study.

Project Grudge was an official U.S. government program run by the U.S. Air Force that was successor to Project Sign. The program was tasked with analyzing information on UFO... Read full entry »

August 29, 1949

Nuclear Testing Starts in Russia

Nuclear Testing Starts in Russia
The Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan, also known as "The Polygon", was the primary testing venue for the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons.

The Soviet Union detonated their first atomic weapon--an RDS-1 nicknamed Joe-1 (after Joseph Stalin)--on August 29, 1949 at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan. Radioactive... Read full entry »

1950

The Flying Saucers are Real Book Released

The Flying Saucers are Real Book Released
A former marine naval aviator described UFOs from 1947-1950.

The Flying Saucers Are Real is a book by Donald Keyhoe published in 1950. Keyhoe was a former Marine Corps aviator who alleged that earth had been visited by UFOs for... Read full entry »

1950

The Flying Saucer Movie

The Flying Saucer Movie
The first movie that included "flying saucers".

1950 independent Cold War drama directed by Mikel Conrad. The plot of the film deals with a flying saucer invented by an American scientist and Soviet spies who are trying to... Read full entry »

May 11, 1950

McMinnville UFO Photographs

McMinnville UFO Photographs
Oregon farmers capture UFO images.

Two of the most iconic UFO photographs in American history were taken by farmer Paul Trent near Mcminnville, OR on May 11, 1950. He and his wife Evelyn saw the classic disc shaped... Read full entry »

March 1952

Project Blue Book Established

Project Blue Book Established
Project Blue Book was the largest centralized UFO study program in US history.

Following in the legacy of Project Sign and Project Grudge, Project Blue Book was the 1952 iteration of a centralized UFO intelligence gathering program within the U.S. Air Force.... Read full entry »

July 12-29, 1952

UFOs Over Washington, D.C.

UFOs Over Washington, D.C.
Multiple UFOs were observed by thousands around the US capital over a 2-week period.

Multiple UFO sightings were reported in Washington D.C. in the summer of 1952. Two different outbreaks of sightings made national news: on July 19-20 and on July 26-27,... Read full entry »

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