UFO Day: Best Places to Spot UFOs

UFO

Image source: Gerhard Ulhorn via Flickr

July 2nd is UFO Day. According to the Syracuse New Times, there are about 25 UFO sightings reported around the world every day. In the United States there are a few places where reports are heavier than others. Here are 5 of the Best Places to spot UFOs.

Texas Apparently, the entire state of Texas is a great place to spot UFOs. From Lubbock to Huffman, there have been compelling accounts of UFOs hovering over the Lone Star State. Going back to the 19th century, an aircraft crashed in the town of Aurora, destroying a windmill. The remains of a small being were found and it was buried in the town cemetery. More recently, in 2008, dozens of Stephenville residents claimed to see aircrafts the size of football fields flying over the town. It made national news, but about two weeks later, the US Air Force dismissed the claims saying training flights were being conducted at the time of the “sightings.”

UFO

Image source: Flickr

Pine Bush, New York As the UFO Sighting Capital of New York, residents of Pine Bush have been seeing and hearing strange things regularly since the 1900s. One aircraft known as the “Westchester Boomerang,” has been spotted more than 2,000 times in Pine Bush and surrounding areas, but there are numerous claims of alien encounters – two books have been published about the activity. Today, there’s a yearly festival in the spring to celebrate UFOs and aliens in Pine Bush.

Cleveland, Ohio UFO activity is hot in Cleveland and its surrounding area. Many people have reported strange lights over Lake Erie – like big red or orange balls unlike anything associated with an airplane or helicopter. There are government and military bases nearby, but witnesses claim the lights are from out of this world.

San Luis Valley, Colorado The UFO sightings are so frequent a woman built a UFO watchtower where more than 20,000 in the last 15 years have gone to witness alien air forces in action. There have been more than 60 reported sightings – including flying discs — in the area along with strange occurrences involving cattle. There is a nearby air force base, but whether it’s there for testing aircraft or fighting alien invaders, is a matter of debate in some circles.

UFO

Image source: Roberto Fontana via Flickr

Los Angeles, California The Battle of Los Angeles in 1942 has UFO chasers still linking the city with extra-terrestrial activity. The Battle was what seemed like an enemy attack and even set of air raid sirens, but the US military had no explanation for it except it was likely a lost weather balloon. Now there is thought to be an underwater UFO base off the coast of Los Angeles UFO chasers think is connected to the Battle of Los Angeles. There was some speculation about a base in 2006, but earlier this year, some structures were discovered off the coast. Whether or not those structures are alien has yet to be determined.

Whether you have spotted unidentified flying objects in the sky or not, UFO Day reminds us the Universe is much bigger than the world we live in and we are not alone. 

Summer Solstice Celebrations

Summer-SolsticeJune 21st is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere — in Chicago, that means 15 hours and 13 minutes of daylight, but it’s not the same everywhere – some places get sunshine until late at night and it’s steeped in tradition. Here are a few places where the longest day of the year calls for Summer Solstice celebrations much different from American summer celebrations.

Eastern Europe

In Eastern Europe, they get more than 17 hours of daylight – giving them plenty of time to celebrate. Eastern European countries – Lithuania, Belarus, Poland – honor Summer Solstice as Kupala or St. John’s Day. Following tradition of Slavic folklore, the day is a festival of fertility and water. Children douse each other in water fights and uncoupled girls, read their romantic futures by sending flower wreaths in the river. According to folklore, it’s the only day the fern flower blooms; as a sort of pairing ceremony, girls are sent into the forest to find the fern flowers and boys are sent in to follow the girls. Young people already coupled jump over fire pits –hands locked—to determine the strength of their relationship.

MaypoleSweden, Finland and Norway

Sweden, Finland and Norway get almost 19 hours of daylight – the sun rises before 4am and sets after 10pm. Like Eastern European countries, they celebrate St. John’s Day on the Summer Solstice – or Midsummer – which is taken very seriously. In Sweden and Finland most businesses close up shop and people leave town for the countryside to celebrate. Flowers and plants are thought to have special healing powers on the solstice, so to welcome summer, children pick flowers to decorate the Maypole which they later dance around. Norway’s summer solstice is full of superstition – to protect their cows, they decorate barns with troll repellent birch and rowanberries. The center of Summer Solstice celebration for all three countries, much like Eastern European countries, is the bonfire – a symbol of the sun.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, Stonehenge reigns as the most identifiable place to celebrate Summer Solstice. Stonehenge is a stone monument near what archaeologists believe to be ancient burial grounds that date back to 3100 B.C.  Every year thousands of people gather at the site to watch the sun rise at 4:53am on the Summer Solstice. Archaeologists believe the giant stones were set up in alignment with the sun and they were used as ceremonial paths during the shortest and longest days of the year.

DaylightThe only place in the United States that gets a day an excessive amount of daylight is Anchorage, Alaska where they get 19 hours and 21 minutes of daylight. Celebrations aren’t rooted in cultural traditions, but there is a big festival and a Midnight Sun Marathon.

We might not get as much sunlight as our northern friends, but it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate a day with extra sunshine. Happy Summer Solstice!