UFO encounters are often dismissed by skeptics as the product of attention-seekers, hoaxes, or simply overactive imaginations. But what happens when the UFO is seen by some of the most trained and trustworthy professionals around? Compared to encounters by ground-dwelling civilians, cases of UFOs seen by pilots and astronauts are some of the most credible UFO stories around.
These UFO sightings are, perhaps, the most convincing because these witnesses are highly respected professionals whom we trust with our lives. These individuals have nothing to gain by putting their careers and reputations on the line reporting bizarre happenings in the skies.
More shocking is the sheer volume of these reported incidents that happen every year. Here’s a list of some of the more notable sightings of alien spacecraft by pilots and astronauts.
Astronaut Leroy Chiao Reported a UFO While on a Space Walk with the ISS
In 2005, astronaut Leroy Chiao, commander of the International Space Station, reported a UFO encounter during a space walk. He and a colleague were installing navigation antennas when something unusual caught Chiao’s eye. Below him in the Earth’s atmosphere he saw a line of lights that looked like “an upside-down question mark.”
One non-UFO explanation for Chiao’s sighting offered by skeptics is that Chiao simply saw the bright lights of a fishing boat hundreds of miles below him. Of course, those would have to be some pretty insanely powerful fishing lights to be seen all the way in outer space – and why Chiao didn’t see the lights of other boats all over the ocean has never been explained.
Two Turkish Pilots Saw a Mysterious Object – And So Did Citizens Below
Pilots from Turkish Airlines were flying from the Turkish resort town of Bodrum to the country’s largest city, Istanbul. Suddenly, a mysterious green light appeared over the plane. As the pilot later testified,“An unidentified object with green lights passed 2- to 3,000 feet above us. Then it disappeared all of a sudden. We are guessing that it was a UFO.”
The UFO was also reported to be seen around Istanbul’s Silivri district.
The General Directorate of State Airports Authority denied spotting any image that fitted the description of the pilot. Doubters claim that the pilots saw a green laser pointer that was reflecting off a cloud. However, it seems pretty hard to believe pilots would never have seen a laser pointer before – plus, that would have had to be a pretty huge laser pointer to create an effect such as they described.
For the record, pilots do not generally report fleeting flashes of light as UFOs.
Reports Claim UFOs Met Astronauts During the Moon Landing
According to unconfirmed reports, both Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin saw UFOs shortly after that historic landing on the moon in Apollo 11 on July 21, 1969. Viewers listening to the broadcast heard Armstrong refer to lights above a crater before his audio feed went dead for a few minutes.
According to former NASA employee Otto Binder, unnamed radio hams with their own VHF-receiving equipment (that bypassed NASA’s broadcasting) picked up the following exchange:
NASA: What’s there?
Apollo 11: These babies are huge, sir! Enormous!
OH MY GOD! You wouldn’t believe it!
I’m telling you there are other spacecraft out there,
Lined up on the far side of the crater edge!
They’re on the moon watching us!
Armstrong and Aldrin have denied the exchange took place, but other have insisted that off the record, the astronauts have admitted to many scientists that they did indeed see something.
Mercury Astronaut Slayton Tracked a Flying Saucer
Gordon Cooper wasn’t the only Mercury astronaut to report strange encounters. Deke Slayton revealed in an interview he had seen UFOs in 1951:
I was testing a P-51 fighter in Minneapolis when I spotted this object. I was at about 10,000 feet on a nice, bright, sunny afternoon. I thought the object was a kite, then I realized that no kite is gonna fly that high. As I got closer, it looked like a weather balloon, grey and about three feet in diameter. But as soon as I got behind the darn thing, it didn’t look like a balloon anymore. It looked like a saucer, a disk. About the same time, I realized that it was suddenly going away from me – and there I was, running at about 300 miles per hour. I tracked it for a little way, and then all of a sudden the damn thing just took off. It pulled about a 45-degree climbing turn and accelerated and just flat disappeared.
Pilots Reported a Flying Saucer Over Bariloche Airport During a Mysterious Blackout
In 1995, an Aerolineas Argentinas flight landing at Bariloche airport in Argentina reported that it was “buzzed” by a luminous disk moving in a way that defied the laws of physics. According to reports, the pilot was forced to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision. Strangely, at the same time, there was also a mysterious power shortage in Bariloche.
There was also a power outage at the airport. One Argentine newspaper reported the air traffic control personnel as saying, “The control instruments went crazy.”
The UFO was also seen by personnel on the ground, as well as the crew of a police plane flying 600 meters (2,000 ft) above.