Top UFO cases from 2013 identified by MUFON’s science review board

The second highest number of UFO sightings were reported to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) in 2013; a total of 6,448 reports.

MUFON employs trained field investigators with backgrounds in science and law enforcement that interview witnesses to “identify” UFOs.  Although most of the reports are identified as known celestial objects, aircraft, meteors, etc., there are always a small percentage of the cases that remain as true “UFOs.”  These latter cases are carefully reviewed by a science board.

MUFON’s Science Review Board (SRB) consists of scientists with degrees in physics, chemistry, geology and electrical engineering. Their work experience includes NASA, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Advanced Mico Devices, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and France’s national space program, CNES.  The SRB has reviewed the best cases from the year 2013 and have identified the strongest cases that cannot be identified as any known object.

Like in 2012, a triangular/boomerang-shaped craft that became translucent made the list of interesting cases. This type of report that describes a craft that can cloak is increasing in frequency and could potentially be a new type of military craft. But other reports describe flying craft that cannot be explained by a new type of military aircraft. As one witness stated:

I’m a disabled Vet with over 30 years experience on military aircraft. I have worked everything from old Huey’s to T38C Apache Long Bows and Black Hawks. My friend (name removed) has a few more years experience but much the same background. He was Air Force and I was Army with some time in military intelligence. We both have clearances. I know aircraft when I see them, been in enough in night under combat. However, I have no idea what this [boomerang-shaped craft] was.

MUFON was founded in 1969 and is the leading civilian UFO investigating body operating in the United States.

Breakout of case types 

Resolving cases is an important part of the MUFON mission. Below is a chart showing report final classifications as assigned by Field Investigators for 2012 vs. 2013, for the U.S only: Unknowns (36.6% vs. 31.9%), Identified Objects (30.6% vs. 33.5%), Insufficient Information (12.4% vs. 12.2%), Information Only (8.1% vs10.0%), Hoax & Keystroke error (3.3% vs. 2.9%), and Incomplete (8.8% vs. 9.5%). We continue to make progress in the elimination of unknown cases categorized as unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Over the last two years the number of cases resolved as unknown has dropped from 39.5% to 31.9%. The following pie chart shows the breakout of case dispositions for 2013.

Foreign Cases 

MUFON received 930 reports of UFOs from foreign countries in 2013; clearly UFOs are not a phenomenon unique to the United States. Four countries comprise 62% of our foreign cases as shown in the following pie chart:


Summary of top cases from 2013

All cases below are summaries of witness testimonies. Full investigative reports have been completed on all of these cases. Some case analysis is pending further study.

Case 52339: 6:20 p.m., November 19, 2013; vicinity of Valdosta, Georgia.

Two witnesses, each with over 30+ years experience as Army and Air Force aircraft maintenance technicians, reported that on November 19, 2013, at 6:20 p.m. they both observed a huge triangular flying object that flew about 500 feet above them moving from north to south. The surface of the object was not clear, and had a rippling effect like “a heat mirage down the road on a hot summer’s day.” There were no anti-collision lights that should be on all aircraft. They both said that the object had a wing span larger than a C-5A cargo plane and flew slowly at 10 – 15 knots (12-17 mph) allowing an examination of the underside of the object. The object flew silently with absolutely no noise. As it slowly passed by, the rear of the object displayed a row of white pulsing lights. These lights did not light up the exterior of the object but were set back or surrounded by a shroud. As it got further out a very small drone-like object was noticed flying alongside on the left. When the object got further out it banked to the southeast allowing them to see clearly the triangular shape of the object. The next two drawings were made by one of the witnesses and display the object from two different angles as well as the drone with the red/white rotating lights.

Drawings of the object from Case 52339 made by one of the witnesses.

Cases 52930, 52934 and 52942: 9:15 p.m., December 24, 2012; Boise, Idaho.

Three sets of multiple witnesses at different locations observed a bright red light in the sky for several minutes. One of the witnesses grabbed a video camera and filmed the object.  A second slightly dimmer light that flashed dropped from the primary object. It moved downwards and then back upwards and then downwards again. After the second downward drop the light disappeared and within seconds the primary light also disappeared. No explanation was apparent as to the source of the two lights that the witnesses saw.

Based on the location of the witnesses and the direction in which they observed the object, a triangulation placed the object somewhere near the Camel Back Reserve area east of Boise. The Mountain Home AFB and the Boise Gowen Air National Guard were contacted and both indicated that there were no flights or exercises that night.

Location of three sets of witnesses in relation to the unknown lights that were observed.

Cases 51156, 51269 and 51270: evenings of September 26-28, 2013; Venice, Florida.

In southwestern Florida over three consecutive evenings two different couples reported a boomerang-shaped craft that was transparent to the stars except for its edges which slightly distorted the sky and stars as it moved forward. The object’s movement and appearance was compared by one of the witnesses to that of the shimmering object seen in the movie “The Predator.”  Witnesses reported either no sound or a slight electrical crackling noise. Assuming the object was the size of standard aircraft then its altitude was fairly low, between 3,000 to 6,000 feet.

No conclusion could be reached to explain this type of aircraft unless it is some type of new secret military craft that can cloak itself, but the question would then be why the military would be flying a top-secret aircraft near a populated area on three consecutive nights.

Case 50042: 9:45 p.m., August 20, 2013; Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

Three vehicles pulled over off of a freeway in the city of Kitchener, Ontario, to observe a strange object that was crossing in front of them. It was 9:45 p.m. but the highway lighting made it easy to see a 30-foot in diameter spherical object move very slowly across the freeway just above the utility poles. The object, only a few hundred feet from the stopped cars, was solid in shape with a glow that illuminated the trees as it passed by. The primary witness exited his car and attempted to take a photo with his cell phone but all of the camera functions were dead. He continued to view the object for another 45 seconds. Once the object left, the witness’s phone operated properly again.

Direction traveled by spherical object in relation to the witness on the highway.

Case 46835: 3:30 p.m., April 13, 2013; pilot near Picayune, Mississippi.

A pilot of a Cessna 172 at 2,500 feet altitude and traveling north towards Picayune, Mississippi, spotted a small metallic object about three feet in size just off his right wing. His attention was drawn to the fact that the object remained stationary with his aircraft for about two seconds before moving slowly away to the south. The object’s shape was oval with a small triangular-shaped dorsal winglet in its center. In the pilot’s own words:   “I did not see any seams, markings or lights on the object which resembled a shiny football in shape, only a little more rounded. In the center of the object was what appeared to be a small dorsal wing but the wing was 90 degrees to the direction of flight, which made no sense to me.”

Artist rendering of object seen by the Cessna pilot.

Case 49005: 10 p.m., June 15, 2013; Bellingham, Washington.

A 60-year-old postal worker and his wife, who served in the USAF in intelligence, witnessed a rectangular-shaped object maneuver through the sky and come within 100 feet of them. With extreme precision it maneuvered itself down and executed perfect turns avoiding electrical poles, wires and street lights. Both witnesses described the object’s color as changing from a glowing red to a dull gray as it performed a banking turn and came to a standstill. The color change was not uniform as the color change began at the top of the object and moved downwards to its base. The object was described as about the size of a large SUV and at its closest approach about palm-width in size at arm’s length. The wife described it as tumbling along its center axis.

Drawing of the object provided by the wife.

Case 45185: 8:20 p.m., January 12, 2013; West Melbourne, Florida.

On January 12, 2013, at 8:20 p.m. the primary witness and his wife pulled out of their driveway to go out to dinner. As the couple drove westward down their street, they saw three bright lights in a row in the sky. They assumed that the lights were Chinese lanterns since they were all at or above the same elevation. As they drew closer to the lights they realized that the lights formed a single object. As the object turned the lights were in a pyramid shape (this would indicate a rotating of the object to cause the three horizontal lights to move into a pyramid). At the same that the object turned, it bolted away at an incredible speed and disappeared in a few seconds.

Case 51360: 9 p.m., October 6, 2013; Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

A father and his daughter had left Denver and were traveling west on Highway 40 on their way home to Steamboat Springs. The father noticed two white lights in the distance that he initially thought were Venus and a dimmer star to the lower left. The dimmer light began to descend erratically. It seemed to wave back and forth rather than just move straight down as it disappeared behind a stand of tall pine trees. Just as the smaller white light disappeared, he saw the larger light that he thought was Venus begin to grow as it approached rather quickly. At this point he told his daughter to look up and she immediately saw the object as it sped towards them. The growing round white light developed a red border that transitioned into a solid red light. A very short bright green line had also appeared just below and to the immediate left of the solid red light. The object then slowed and swerved to the right (north) towards the father’s truck. When the object was positioned just to the left and in front of them, it dropped in elevation and began to slowly pass overhead. As the object slowly moved above them, the father could see that the short green line was actually a long flat, bright, rectangular strip. Both remarked about how crisp and clear the green box angles were and how there was no glow given the brightness of the green light. The father had previously worked with low powered lasers (<100mW), and said that the green color was exactly at 532nm. They were not able to see any reflections on a craft body or wing/propeller parts – all they could see were the lights. The object slowed considerably – almost to a hover as it was above them, and they were able to see it clearly before passing underneath. The car was traveling between 65-70 mph, so anything small should have zipped right over them, thus indicating the object had to be of considerable size. Once the object passed out of view above their windshield, they were unable to see it again out the back window or rearview mirrors. He and his daughter did not want to stop and get a better look. The father commented that he had never seen a solid object emit such a bright green light.

Simulation of object seen by father and daughter.

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