In spooky TV show The X Files, a poster hung in the office of FBI agents Mulder and Scully. It showed the image of a flying saucer, with the words I Want to Believe above it.
Thousands of people don’t just want to believe, they’re convinced of the existence of UFOs and many claim to have seen one. It’s a worldwide phenomenon. From the most famous alleged UFO sighting at Roswell in the United States, to strange aircraft over Bonnybridge, Scotland now dubbed the UFO Capital of the World.
We take a look at the Top 10 UFO sightings in the UK and further afield.
10. On March 30, 1990, around 13,500 Belgian people claimed they saw large, black triangle-shaped objects being chased by two Belgian Air Force F-16s.
9. Brazil has had many sightings, but the most famous was in Sao Paulo in 1986. Around 20 UFOs were seen and detected by radar, but disappeared when military aircraft investigated. Space researcher Geoffrey Perry thought the UFOs were debris from the Soviet space station Salyut-7.
8. In April, 1966, in Melbourne, over 200 students and teachers at two schools watched a silvery-green disc the size of two cars descend in a nearby field, before flying off again at high speed. Sceptics tried to pass it off as a weather balloon.
7. On Boxing Day, 1980, United States Air Force personnel at RAF Bentwaters noticed strange lights in the nearby Rendlesham Forest. They found a brightly-illuminated craft. It left before the men got close, but high radiation readings were recorded in holes left in the ground.
6. In March, 1993, 60 witnesses reported a UFO flying over the UK. The Meteorological Officer at RAF Shawbury described it as a vast triangular-shaped craft that moved several times faster than an RAF jet. The final briefing of the MoD investigation stated: “There would seem to be some evidence that an unidentified object of unknown origin was operating over the UK.”
5. In 1947, the term flying saucer was first used after American businessman and pilot Kenneth Arnold claimed he’d seen nine objects flying in a chain near Mount Rainier, Washington. He described them as saucers skipping across water.
4. It was Christmas Day of 1964 when a UFO was first heard in Warminster, Wiltshire, as a sudden, menacing vibration. More people heard The Thing, as it became known, over the next few weeks. By June, strange objects were seen in the sky.
3. On November 5, 1979, forester Robert Taylor stumbled upon a 20-foot-wide spherical object hovering in Dechmont Law, a secluded hill near Livingston. Two smaller spheres ejected from the object, attached to his trousers and emitted a smell that made him lose consciousness. When he woke up, the UFO was gone and he’d temporarily lost the ability to walk or talk.
2. In 1992, James Walker saw a star-shaped object hovering above the road in Bonnybridge, near Falkirk. There have been around 300 UFO sightings per year since. The town has been twinned with Roswell.
1. The most famous of all, UFO buffs are convinced an alien aircraft crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 and was captured by the US military, but they maintain it was debris from a high-altitude surveillance balloon.