Mysterious Objects Flapping across the World


Gurudatt Shenoy



UFO Flaps into the Modern Age

The modern age documented sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) started during World War II, when fighter pilots from both the Allied and the Axis powers reported fireballs as large as 300 feet and as small as 1 feet in diameter that slowed down, accelerated and circled around them.

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And since then, there have been a flurry of sightings of unexplained flying objects reported across the world.

However some of the years have experienced  more incidents than other years and thus such years of heightened UFO activity are being referred to as UFO flaps.

We shall look closely at the events and the period to understand more about UFO Flaps as also to learn what lies beneath.

The 1945-1950 FLAP

Though there were many other UFO flaps prior to 1945, the ones that happened during 1945-1950 are the most extensively documented and researched.

As already discussed, it started with the highly credible “foo fighter” sightings by World War II fighter pilots. There were also reports of mysterious “Ghost Rockets” by observers in European countries such as Sweden, UK, France, Spain, Greece and Italy in 1940’s.

The most remarkable of these were, an encounter in Ängelholm, Kristianstads County, Sweden in May 1946; when a person reported seeing a “Flying Saucer” and its occupants. This incident happened well before the “Kenneth Arnold” encounter with “Flying Saucers” which occurred in June 1947.

However, the Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting caught the imagination of the entire world with reporters from far away Japan coming over to cover it.

Meanwhile as civilians continued to encounter and report UFOs, a new chapter was being added to this phenomenon and that was “Military Encounters”.

On January 7th 1948, Capt. Thomas Mantell of the Air National Guard was killed in a crash chasing a UFO and this event started a cat and mouse game between these mysterious objects and the US Air force.

In December and early January of 1948, hundreds of “Green Fireballs” or discs moving at 27,000 miles per hour were observed near the Los Alamos National laboratory in northern New Mexico. The visitors also buzzed other nuclear installations around the country including Sandia base, near Albuquerque, New Mexico.

According to witnesses, the UFOs seemed of revolutionary shape such as disc like, circular, diamond and even cigar shaped; and not comparable to any current aircraft or rocket, in test or development. These sightings at nuclear installations continued across the country until December 1950.

Meanwhile, on April 24, 1949 two mysterious circular objects, white in color were seen circling around a missile during flight at the White Sands testing facility in New Mexico. Later that year, the Air Force reported tracking 5 UFOs on Radar at high speed over a nuclear base.

Besides highly credible military incidents, on March 20, 1950 the crew of an Airline (Chicago and & Southern Airlines) flying a DC-3 near Stuttgart, observed a circular UFO flying across their path a high speed.

There was a major UFO flap happening in Europe during this period, peaking in the year 1950.  Other places around the world where UFOs were sighted during this period were Australia, Russia, Poland and Brazil.

The Brazilian incident included the famous, Jose Higgins case where a group of workers witnessed a 150 feet wide grey white “Flying Saucer” land in a farm in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  They were later confronted by three entities about 7 feet tall.

In 1950, a person in Abbiate Guazzone, Lombardy, Italy working in a factory claimed to have been shot by three “Humanoids” near a craft.

In 1948, an F-61 fighter pilot Kyushu Island, near Japan reported seeing a cigar shaped object below it and when it tried to chase and fire at it, it simply sped away and disappeared.

This period is considered as crucial as there was no Internet back then, or any widespread means of communication, to spread rumors and most people had just awakened themselves from a war so devastating, that they would not trouble themselves telling lies to the police or the military.

Also, there was a great power game being played out between the Western Allies and the Russian Communist bloc with armed forces on both sides, remaining at war time alert.

This meant that the incidents reported are the most credible and clearly suggest that what these professionals encountered and reported were not imaginary objects or meteors or ball lighting as is often attributed to most other UFO sightings.

More Flapping in the 1950s

The year 1952 started with a bang with Aliens making a dash to the White House.

This is a prominent event that happened over Washington D.C. on July 19th when Air Traffic radars reported seven objects in formation near Andrews Air Force Base. Though initially the objects seemed to move slowly, they suddenly accelerated at 7000 miles per hour. Other radar consoles confirmed the objects and they were soon observed flying over the White House.


An airline pilot Captain S. ‘Casey’ Pierman of Capital Airlines also witnessed the objects and reported the event.

Seems like whosoever were running these UFOs had decided to show who is the Boss (considering the frequent crashes and downing in the last UFO flap).

In August 1952, another event involving a scout master D. Desvergers reported a much closer encounter that included causing injury to the person.

1952 also saw the emergence of great many tricksters who claimed to have a more personal encounter with the beings from outer space. The chief among them was one Geroge Adamski of California, who supposedly took numerous pictures and visits with these beings. The UFO pop culture was taking roots.

Our Alien visitors keep coming in until the mid 1955s chasing both military and common folks.

Meanwhile elsewhere across the world, particularly in Europe there was a big flap of UFO visitations with the focus on England and France. This includes the now famous “Lakenheath-Bentwaters” incident of 13th August 1956 where, there was a radar and visual encounter with lights in the sky as well as close encounter of objects or people on the ground.

Also Rome was witness to a fleet of UFO similar to the one over Washington DC in November of 1954.

Citizens in Poland were being abducted by Alien visitors and a supposedly retrieval of an Alien body by the Russians during this period.

The African continent and more specifically South Africa was also witness to frequent UFO visitations during the 1950s. The first one was in spring of 1951 when a British Engineer driving up in his car came across a small man asking for water and later taking him aboard his disc-shaped craft.  Later more close encounters with different people as also pilots witnessed saucer shaped aircraft flying at great speeds.

Brazil and Argentina also witnessed a huge flap in the 1950s with many close encounters of the third kind including the sexual kind.

UFOs also touched down under to Australia in the late 1950s near nuclear testing facilities as well as a string of UFO visitation to Papua New Guinea near Australia.

Pilots in Australia encountered UFOs that tailed their aircraft and caused their navigational equipment to stop working.

While villagers in far off India, saw a saucer shaped object about 12 feet in diameter. This region is about the same place where India has Uranium mines and other rich mineral deposits

The Dyatlov Pass incident in Russia happened in 1959 when cross country skiers were found mysteriously killed with eye witnesses claiming to have seen orange colored spheres.


The Close Encounters of 1960s and 1970s

The US was embarking on a cold war with the Russians (then Soviet Union) and was pushing the frontiers of technology in order to beat their cold war adversary.

And then Betty and Barney Hill happened in September 1961 which started the saga of Alien Abduction cases where supposedly people from other planets would visit our planet on UFOs and abduct human beings for experimentation and indoctrination.

It seemed that our alien visitors had failed to convince our military and politicians through technology and now started focusing on normal people.

This was followed by the Socorro, New Mexico encounter on April 1964 which involved a Police Officer, Lonnie Zamora who saw a spacecraft like objected parked by the road and went on to investigate.

These encounters were now happening all across the country, from New York to Florida, New Hampshire to Michigan, and Pennsylvania to Nebraska.

The most prominent of the Alien Abductions happened to a guy name Travis Walton who happened to be cutting wood in Snowflake Arizona 1975 when he witnessed a UFO land and later abduct him. The incident is one of the most publicized one leading to the making of a movie with some adverse special effects.

The UFO flap continued in Europe and South America with most countries reporting encounters with Alien creatures and people.  UFO sightings were reported from Antarctica too.  Canada had a great many sightings during this period and had a big UFO flap as did South Africa.

The UK had some strange events happening. The country was being bombarded with “Crop Circles” with inherent messages ingrained in them so as to warn or subtly nudge the citizens into a mass awakening.

There were also a few stray cases out of Iran and the Soviet Union both of which were closed societies back then.

The silence of 1980s brings in the 1990s Breeze

The 1980s was pretty dull as far as UFO activities are concerned specially in the US, with just a few incidents such as the one at Gulf Breeze, Florida where multiple witnesses saw and photographed the same UFO.

The Japan Airlines encounter of 1986 is another credible encounter with a UFO by an airline pilot off Alaska.

Europe and rest of the world also continued to witness a lull in UFO sightings and Alien Encounters except for a few cases such as the famous Hessdalen lights of Norway.

Come 1990, the world was erupting with UFOs once again starting with Belgium which witnessed a UFO wave of Triangle shaped objects in the sky spooking its citizens.

The crafts then ventured further eastward towards Germany and then straight to outer space before falling back to Australia and sweeping across South Africa.

With a few incidents in Brazil,  and the US just about managed to keep its UFO score in the 1990s by the amazing Phoenix lights of 1997, which seemed to be one of the last attempts by the visitors to show off their might and power.

And here comes the 21st Century

The dawn of mobile phones, the Internet, YouTube and various other mass communication medium as also gadgets meant that people had every other means to capture, upload and make money from UFO encounters.

And many started doing just that. Thus scrapping the diamonds from bare stones, became a junkyard nightmare.

The focus of people had also shifted to various other UFO related events such as Bigfoot, cystoids, Abduction, etc. as they seemed more real and reachable.

There were couple of notable events though during this period with Police Officers as witness in New Jersey region as also the spectacular, O’Hare airport incident in Chicago.  Another major incident was with nuclear missiles going off at Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, along with UFO sightings in Texas and Colorado with multiple witnesses.

The rest of the world was having a lot more fun with UFOs during this period with a spate of sightings from India, China, Sweden and Norway, the UFO favorite spot, South Africa, Canada as also Mexico and some Middle Eastern countries.

The early 21st century witnessed UFOs focusing attention on hereto neglected regions of the world such as China, India and Asia with the focus being on the Himalayan region with many witnesses claiming to have seen huge mother-ships flying over these tall mountains and then also people being attacked by the weird creatures on board these crafts.

The disappearance of a Malaysian airliner as also an Indian Air-force aircraft is being connected to supposedly appearance of mysterious aircrafts. A UFO investigator from India mysteriously met his end.

Currently, the UFO flaps seem to be more focused on getting YouTube hits and with the advent of private space adventurers such as Elon Musk, the UFOs may have started targeting rockets that plan to take off to the Moon or Mars, ending their monopoly.

Conclusion by Author:

The first major UFO flap that happened during 1945-50 UFO flap also happens to be around the time the US had dropped the first atomic bombs on Japan and if at all there was any extraterrestrial monitoring stations in and around our planet, their alarm bells may have just gone off, leading to a flurry of reconnaissance visits.

With some of the prominent crashes of UFOs including, supposedly recovery of crafts and bodies happening during this period, the UFO flap of 1945-50 may well be considered the most important one ever that changed the history of this planet albeit, completely hidden.

It is also important to note that the countries that were part of the UFO flaps early on; also went on to become the most technologically advanced countries in the world, as they were possibly the first ones to benefit from the technologies that these objects inspired.

Though there is no worldwide catalogue of UFO events, many countries have opened up their UFO databases and collating these may be one gigantic task as also making out the genuine ones from the trash.

Thus, the author makes his conclusions based on the most notable cases surrounding which the UFO flaps occurred in the respective locations and specifically on the early years.

From the UFO wave pattern, it looks clearly that after the US, the next destination for these objects was Europe in the 1950s and early 1960s which also witnessed a spurt in advanced tech activity with countries such as France, the UK, Sweden, Australia, South Africa and Russia. These are also the primary military and space powers today with two exceptions to this trend being China and Japan.

Though there were spurts in UFO visitation in the US in the early 1950s, in the latter years, it seems our visitors from outer space had focused their attention on Europe, South America and other parts of the world.  

It may also be that as a region advanced in science and technology, the imagination of the people residing in the region also reached new vistas such as that of UFOs and alien visitations.

As the US was the first one to advance technology and become very secretive about what it researched and tested, one arm of the Government may not be in the know about the other arm and thus it may well be possible that test aircraft flown by top secret research organizations may well have taken unaware the imagination of normal people of the day.

With technology advancing across the globe, so did UFO flaps which could be a result of paranoia sweeping among people conjuring up more imaginative explanations for advanced terrestrial technologies.

However, the fact that almost all cultures present the same imagination across the world could offer more food for thought on the origin of UFOs or that they are just the common genetic mutations that exist in all of us, as far as vivid imagination is concerned.

Flaps Maps


Map displaying UFO events occurring in different parts of the world with routes mapped for UFO flights.

Data Source:

A dissection of the above plot offers the following interesting details.

  1. Maximum number of UFO flaps happened in the US with second place to South Africa, followed by UK, Brazil,  Canada and Australia.
  2. Europe as a whole had as many UFO flaps as the US though not more.
  3. Most South American, African, and Asian countries seemed to be of no interest to UFOs.
  4. Countries with the most UFO flaps were also the ones most advanced technology wise as also culture wise.
  5. All the major UFO Flap countries were connected by way of periodicity of the flaps which means once a flap happened in one country the next one happened in a county with the major UFO flaps.  So if there was a UFO flap in the US, the next one would be in the UK or Canada or Australia or South Africa.
  6. The only advanced country that had almost zero UFO flap was Japan


Other References

UFOs and Nukes – Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapon Sites (gnv64) – Robert Hastings, 2008

Clark,Jerome,UFO Waves

(1991) John Spencer – World Atlas of UFOs