by Marcus Lowth
fact checked by Jamie Frater
Just about everyone reading this has probably heard of alleged UFO crashes like the Roswell incident. Or maybe you’ve even heard of the one at Kecksburg in Pennsylvania, or perhaps the alleged crash in the Black Forest in Germany in 1936. However, there is an absolute plethora of other claims, with numerous witnesses to boot, of other UFO crashes on record.
What’s more, reports of wrecked flying saucers have come in from all over the planet, and they’ve occurred over a broader range of history than you might have guessed. Here, then, are ten lesser-known claims of crashed alien craft from other worlds!
10 The Dalnegorsk ‘Height 611’ Crash
Photo credit: Mogo
On the evening of January 29, 1986, a strange, red sphere suddenly appeared in front of hundreds of witnesses in the skies over the small mining town of Dalnegorsk, on the southeasternmost side of the Soviet Union. After moving steadily over the village for several moments, it suddenly began to fail and would ultimately crash into the Izvestkovaya Mountain—known to many as “Height 611” or “Hill 611.”
Witnesses would report hearing an explosion and witnessing intense burning and flames around the apparent crash site. Before official investigators could examine the scene, several locals ventured up to the crash site the following day. Although they found obvious evidence of a disturbance, and likely intense heat judging from the burned-out tree stump and vegetation, they didn’t see or recover any actual wreckage. They did, however, discover strange “rock-like” pieces that had a metallic feel and look to them. They would hand these over to the chief investigator, Valeri Dvuzhilni of the Far Eastern Committee for Anomalous Phenomena.
When investigators examined the grounds more thoroughly, they would discover tiny metallic “droplets,” ranging in size from 2 to 5 millimeters. When these were later examined, they had a most complex inner structure of metallic fibers, along with gold thread and coverings of quartz crystal. Although tiny, these strange droplets, or the material that made them, was of obvious complex and intelligent design.
Furthermore, the burned-out tree stump was found to have melted on one side (presumably the side nearest to the heat of the crash site). The burning of the wood produced carbon, and it would have taken heat in excess of 3,000 degrees Celsius (5,432 °F) to melt such carbon. The case remains unexplained, although Dvuzhilni would theorize the possibility that the intense heat was not flames for the majority of the incident but repairs, which allowed the craft to take off before the locals arrived at the scene.
9 The Salta Case
Not only was there an alleged UFO crash in Salta, Argentina, on the afternoon of August 17, 1995, witnessed by dozens of people, but one of them was a civil aviation pilot who would take to the air in the immediate moments following the sudden appearance, crash, and explosion of a strange silver disc. Tony Galvano was having lunch at the time when an extremely bright metallic object roared out of the sky before suddenly falling to the ground and exploding in a flurry of flames and black smoke. Some reports even suggest that seismic activity was recorded over 320 kilometers (200 mi) away.
Galvano would immediately run to his Flystar airplane in order to take to the skies and get a better look at what was happening and, more specifically, what had just crashed down to the ground. However, his initial attempts were thwarted by the thick, black smoke that not only made it impossible to see any activity on the ground but also made it dangerous to fly. He returned to the airfield. He would, however, take off on another reconnaissance mission two days later.
When he did, he saw an obviously disturbed area where a craft had crashed and skidded for a short distance before coming to a grinding halt. As well as disturbance to the land itself, Galvano observed that the trees and bushes were also significantly damaged. Some of them had even been ripped from the ground, their roots showing completely.
Galvano would return to the site again several weeks later with other volunteer searchers from the area. On this occasion, however, they were approached by armed men in black suits who drove to the site in heavy-duty black SUVs. They immediately stated that they were taking over the search effort and that Galvano and the others were all to go home. Galvano began to protest before one of the men stated ominously, “Forget it, Galvano, what’s coming down is very heavy.”
8 The Megas Platanos UFO Crash
An apparent UFO crash occurred in the early hours of September 2, 1990, in the picturesque, sun-blessed setting of Megas Platanos in Greece. It was just after 3:00 AM when six bright lights began to approach the village. However, one of the lights was moving much more erratically than the others. As several witnesses watched, all spread out across the area and thus witnessing the events from different vantage points, the unsteady light suddenly came crashing down to the ground below.
A shepherd, Trantos Karatranjos, watched the object impact the ground from around 500 meters (1600 ft) away. He would recall how there was an immediate burst of flames, which then spread quickly to nearby vegetation. As this was happening, the five other craft were hovering overhead, as if watching events unfold. Suddenly, two of them came down to the ruined vehicle. The fires were now no longer burning. The glowing craft would continue to descend and ascend once more, seemingly in turns as if there was some kind of repair operation taking place. This operation, whatever it was, would continue until dawn.
By the time residents would venture to the crash site with the onset of daylight, they were shocked to find scorch marks but no crippled craft. They did recover some wires and metallic remains, many of which would disappear with the locals as “souvenirs.” According to later reports made to UFO investigators, there was a distinct Greek military presence in the area in the days that followed. They would even issue an official statement saying that the “UFO” was actually a Soviet satellite.
7 The Las Vegas Crash
Photo credit: A Different Perspective
An almost forgotten UFO crash in Las Vegas on the evening of April 18, 1962, was actually tracked by US military radar right the way across the United States. The aerial anomaly would enter New York airspace before making its way across Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada, where it would ultimately crash to the ground.
Fighter jets were scrambled from Luke Air Force Base just outside of Phoenix, Arizona. According to reports, the craft initially “came down” in the town of Eureka in Utah (causing a temporary blackout) before rising quickly into the air again. As it approached Las Vegas, it vanished from the radar screens. According to whistle-blower reports and eventually declassified documents, many UFO researchers had reason to believe that the craft came down inside the grounds of Nellis Air Force Base, which, incidentally, resides near Las Vegas.
What is certain is that at the time of the alleged crash, many reports were flooding into the switchboards of the police departments and aviation authorities alike, telling of a strange, red glow in the sky. Many would also report a sudden noise that sounded very much “like an explosion.”
The official explanation offered from the military was that the sightings were nothing more than meteors. They would also largely suppress their tracking of the craft across the country, instead treating them as individual “state sightings.” This would sever connections and allow the meteor explanation to take hold more firmly.
6 The Kingdom Of Lesotho Incident
The independent nation of the Kingdom of Lesotho, which is bordered by South African land on all sides, was subject to a downed UFO on the evening of September 19, 1995. Peter Lachasa, a South African farmer, would suddenly hear a “strange sound” overhead at around 9:15 PM. He would also notice how his cattle were suddenly spooked and unsettled. Then, he heard a sound that was unmistakably an explosion.
He quickly made his way outside to investigate. He saw that several of his neighbors who had land bordering his were also watching events unfold. One of these neighbors would later state that the object hit the ground and gave off “a series of blinding flashes” as it exploded. Along with several of his neighbors, Lachasa would approach the crash site, but the intense heat forced them to maintain a certain distance from it. Lachasa, though, thought he might have seen an occupant inside the ruins. And what’s more, it could have been moving. He contacted the authorities in case there were indeed survivors.
By the time police arrived, they would go back to the crash site once more. Despite the previous heat and flames, now there didn’t appear to be any significant damage to the craft. The police would make a report, unsure of what to do since the object was on private land. However, shortly after midnight, the South African military would arrive. They claimed to have permission from the Lesotho Ministry of Defense to recover the craft on their behalf. They secured the scene, keeping any nonmilitary personnel away from the area. They would work through the night, and by dawn, the craft and any evidence of its presence was no longer there. Its whereabouts are unknown.
5 UFO Crash In Nebraska
The earliest UFO crash on our list comes from Dundy County in Nebraska on June 6, 1884. That evening, with the Sun setting but still with adequate light to continue rounding up his cattle, farmer John W. Ellis and several hired workers would suddenly witness an extremely bright light making its way across the skies. As it appeared, a “terrific whirring” sound became increasingly loud in their ears. As the men watched the object, they quickly realized it was coming down to the ground. They continued to watch until the impact and inevitable explosion occurred.
After waiting for several moments, the men cautiously approached the vehicle to investigate further. According to a report in the Nebraska Nugget newspaper, Alf Williamson (one of the witnesses) would suffer intense burns from getting too close to the craft.
According to subsequent reports that would appear over the following years, including one in The Nebraska State Journal in 1887, the men were of no doubt that the object was a “nuts-and-bolts” airborne vehicle. It was made, according to their report, from a “metal of an appearance like brass.” However, when they tried to move it, they were shocked at how “remarkably light” it was, even though the exterior was a strong as any known metal at the time.
4 The Prohladnyi Incident
According to reports that were released following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, at around 11:00 AM on August 10, 1989, a squadron of MiG-25s were scrambled to meet a UFO flying over the city of Prohladnyi near the Caucasus Mountains. If their reports are to be believed, the UFO was hit by a ground-to-air missile and crashed somewhere in the mountains.
A Mil Mi-8 helicopter was sent out to locate the object. A disc-shaped craft was soon located near Nizhniy Chegem. A retrieval team was sent to the area, which was soon cordoned off and under military lockdown.
The retrieval team would transport the object to the nearby Mozdok Air Base. According to the reports, the KGB would oversee a specially pieced together investigation team to attempt to reverse-engineer the apparent alien technology. At the same time, the KGB would employ a typical Cold War cover-up operation.
As a further twist to this affair, a crew of three alien occupants were discovered within the remains of the craft. Two of them were dead on discovery. The third, while alive, would die shortly after. If we are to believe the account, the three dead aliens are preserved somewhere in a top-secret location, most likely Kapustin Yar, the Soviet version of Area 51.
3 The Howden Moors Crash
Perhaps one of the most intriguing alleged cases of a crashed UFO took place on the evening of March 24, 1997, over the Howden Moors between South Yorkshire and Derbyshire in England. At just after 10:00 PM, reports began to come in from the public that there was a low-flying aircraft over the moors. However, these reports would soon turn into ones of bright flashes, loud booming noises, and “several plumes of black smoke” rising from somewhere in the woodlands of the open countryside.
Several search operations from several different police counties were launched, both on foot and in the air. These would continue through the night. The main concern was that a light aircraft or a helicopter had come down. However, no survivors or any wreckage was discovered during the search, which would go on until well into the following day. At one stage, no-fly zones were put in place, an action which some later UFO researchers would find to be suspicious—particularly when there were commercial airliners “stacking” as a result.
Despite all of this activity, the sudden official word from the UK military was that there was no crash at all. It had simply been a mistaken sighting—despite the plethora of reports from the general public. Soon, rumors began to circulate from the many volunteer searchers. The most prominent came from a unit of Yorkshire Water workers who happened to be in the area. They would claim to have seen a wrecked pile of metal in a clearing. They would also report that there was a “military presence” there. What’s more, this military presence was loading “body bags” onto a Sea King helicopter. When the military were confronted with this, they claimed they were merely moving “equipment!”
Despite the official explanation of mistaken reports, many UFO researchers still consider the crash authentic, and an explanation remains elusive.
2 The Wilsthorpe Beach Incident
A bizarre incident presumed to be a downed UFO occurred in September 2009, although no witnesses actually saw the crash itself. However, the events that would unfold are almost a textbook crash story. An unnamed retired couple, in their seventies at the time, would witness 30 to 40 strange objects hanging in the air over the North Sea for around 90 minutes. It was around 11:00 PM, and the married couple were getting ready for bed when they noticed the strange aerial show from the bedroom window of their seafront home.
After they watched the UFOs until just after midnight, the strange objects began to shoot straight upward. Not quite sure what they had seen, the couple believed the show was over and went to bed.
However, the next morning, they would awake to the sound of heavy-duty military helicopters descending on the beachfront. Two Chinooks off-loaded droves of military personnel. The entire beach was under lockdown. Some of the soldiers were moving up and down the beach in specific ways with metal detectors, as if searching for metallic objects. Then came the sound of bursts of automatic gunfire. Quickly followed by explosions.
When UFO investigators would request information on the military presence that morning, even asking outright if a UFO had crashed on the beach or in the sea, they were told it was a “routine military exercise.” One particular UFO researcher, Paul Sinclair, wasn’t at all satisfied with that explanation and continues to investigate the case.
1 The Bolivia Crash
On the mountain range near Bermejo, Bolivia, near the border with Argentina, thousands of people would witness a UFO crash and explode into flames. It was just after 4:15 PM on May 6, 1978, and according to reports, the “supersonic bang” was heard up to 240 kilometers (150 mi) away and even cracked windows within a 48-kilometer (30 mi) radius.
While residents on the Bolivian side contemplated whether the object was meteor or something more otherworldly, the Argentinian authorities had mobilized their military onto the mountainous border range to search for the mystery object. This search would apparently take weeks.
Eventually, the Bolivian Air Force would discover the crash site but were unable to land to investigate further. The next thing anyone knew, the Argentinian press had announced that the Argentinian Air Force had made the discovery. And what’s more, NASA was sending investigators. However, instead of NASA, two “off-duty” US Air Force employees arrived, with instructions to transport the craft to the United States.
From here, the trail goes, likely purposely, murky, with several versions of where the UFO and any occupants might be. It would appear, though, that something definitely did crash and that the United States government and/or military had a great interest in it.