The 4 most convincing UFO sightings in Florida history

The 4 most convincing UFO sightings in Florida history

Photo courtesy of Albert Antony via Unsplash.

By Tyler Francischine

June 14, 2024

Florida regularly makes headline news because of the out-of-this-world behavior of its residents, but the Sunshine State is no stranger to newsworthy activity of the extraterrestrial variety either. 

According to the National UFO Reporting Center Online Database, or NUFORC, as of April 2023, 8,350 UFO sightings have been reported in Florida since the center began collecting data in 1974 — a figure topped only by California’s more than 16,000 sightings. 

As Peter Davenport, director of NUFORC — a non-profit, Washington state-based corporationtold USA Today, people most commonly report sightings of non-identified lights in the sky; objects shaped like circles, ovals, triangles, or diamonds; and orbs or fireballs. All of these common sights and more are regularly reported to NUFORC by Floridians who simply could not believe their eyes. 

Ready to dive into some of the most hair-raising UFO sightings ever reported in Florida’s history? Read on.

A Gulf Breeze man encounters aliens

As the story goes, Florida’s most infamous string of UFO sightings — immortalized as The Gulf Breeze Sightings — began when Ed Walters, a building contractor based in this small, Panhandle town, took Polaroids from his front yard on November 11, 1987, that show an unidentified aircraft shooting a blue beam of light toward the camera. 

According to Walters, the craft hovered about 200 feet above the ground before landing on a nearby road and dropping off five alien beings. Walters returned inside his home to find one of the beings staring into his window. The being communicated with Walters in both English and Spanish via telepathy before presenting him with a book filled with pictures of dogs. Then, a blue beam of light lifted Walters three feet off the ground, immobilizing him for a few moments.

Walters claimed he witnessed and photographed this alien activity several times during the fall and winter of 1987. One photo shows his wife trying to outrun the blue beam. Another incident occurred when Walters was driving sometime after midnight. Suddenly, he realized he could no longer see any streetlights or cars on the road in his rearview mirrors. He pulled over, stepped outside, and saw a bright light heading his way. When he got back in his car, the light soared toward the sky, and the next thing he knew, he was on the side of the road as morning traffic whizzed past him. Walters could not account for the 5-6 hours that had lapsed between his recollections. Overall, Walters and his family reported 19 sightings in total.

Walters wasn’t alone — after word spread of what he saw, several Gulf Breeze residents, including local politicians, began claiming they, too, spotted UFOs in their skies. Yet, many considered (and still consider) Walters’ photos to be a hoax. 

When Walters moved from his home in 1990, the house’s new owners found a model of a flying saucer in the attic. Wrapped in drafting paper, the model was composed of foam plates, cardboard, and colored, plastic gel. Though Walters later said the model was planted to discredit his claims, Pensacola News Journal photographers utilized the model to stage a recreation of Walters’ photos. The results? Photographs nearly identical to what Walters had produced.

Still, many curious minds hold the Gulf Breeze Sightings of 1987 to be irrefutable evidence that humans are not alone in this universe.

A flying saucer hovers over Jacksonville park

It was a cool and crisp evening in October 1951 — perfect conditions for a gentle stroll through Jacksonville’s Brentwood Park, also known as Catherine Hester McNair Park. As reported to NUFORC, a pair of sisters were traveling south through the park toward downtown when one spotted an anomaly in the sky above them: a circular patch of blackness, obscuring the twinkle of the stars.

The sisters passed it off as a passing cloud, but upon second glance, they noticed the dark circle was moving slowly, silently, and inexplicably toward the direction they had just witnessed it a minute before. They craned their heads back to take in this giant form flying lower in the sky than a typical aircraft before taking a seat on a bench near their home to enjoy the evening’s full moon rise. Upon standing to return home, one of the sisters spotted something neither could make any sense of. 

In the shadows of a cluster of magnolias, a domed saucer about the size of a Volkswagen bus sat a couple of feet above the ground, resting on a set of slender rods. As the sisters watched in amazement, the dull metallic craft’s left edge began to move. Like a hydraulic awning, the rim of the craft began to open in a skyward direction. The sisters grabbed tightly to each other and tiptoed backward into their home; therefore, no account exists documenting just who or what was manning this unidentified flying object.

An alien is spotted in Pembroke Pines

According to the NUFORC archives, on a breezy October evening one week before Halloween in 2014, an individual in their late fifties went for a neighborhood walk with their dog around Pembroke Pines, a suburb about 25 miles north of Miami. Upon reaching a curve in the street, the person noticed a form that stopped them dead in their tracks.

Standing still and peering across 10 feet of distance, this South Floridian resident beheld a bony, pale, and hairless figure. The eyewitness held tightly to their dog’s leash but noted their pet didn’t bark or show any signs of distress at encountering this stranger. 

When the unidentified being noticed the attention it was receiving from this person and their furry companion, it looked over its right shoulder to glance at the human and dog in turn. Then, it took off running down the road, away from its audience. As it ran, the eyewitness noticed its knees were facing backward. Within moments, the unidentified being began fading, the edges of its appearance slowly vanishing until no trace remained.

In reporting this bone-chilling account to NUFORC, the eyewitness noted that they refrain from using substances like alcohol and marijuana, a sobering detail that makes this sighting all the more convincing.

A triangle aircraft makes an appearance in Gainesville

Two separate eyewitnesses have spoken to NUFORC concerning a mysterious, triangle-shaped aircraft they encountered as kids living in Gainesville in May of 1967.

As one account details, a group of five neighbors ranging in age from around 8 to 14 were standing in the street one warm and clear night, trying to catch a glimpse of a satellite that had launched from Cape Canaveral earlier that day. They didn’t see any NASA crafts that evening, but they did spot something they’d never forget: a spacecraft shaped like an equilateral triangle, with one softly glowing red light illuminating each corner. The children ran ahead of the craft, which was flying toward them at a slow pace, soundlessly, its form just clearing the tops of the oaks and pines that cover this north central Florida town. When the kids hollered for their parents to come outside, one dad took a look at the craft and immediately returned inside, never to speak of what he saw again.

This report is confirmed in another eyewitness account given to NUFORC — the craft that flew above the children’s heads was about the size of a city bus, yet no engine sounds could be heard. When the children alerted their parents to the strange sight, the craft rose higher in the sky as it continued its southerly journey, blending in with the night sky until it became invisible.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.The 4 most convincing UFO sightings in Florida historyThe 4 most convincing UFO sightings in Florida history

Author

  • Tyler Francischine

    Tyler Francischine is a journalist who writes about travel, arts, culture and community. She's passionate about social justice, the Atlantic Ocean and live music.

CATEGORIES: LOCAL HISTORY
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