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Go beyond Area
51 and discover places from Australia to England with their own UFO-spotting
hotbeds.

It was just another winter night in
Stephenville, TX, when Steve Allen, a 30-year aviation
veteran, saw something that defied all logic—an eerily silent, mile-wide craft
ringed in lights that would “rearrange themselves” racing across the sky at
what he estimated to be 3,000 miles per hour.

“I
don’t know if it was a biblical experience or somebody from a different
universe, but it was definitely not from around these parts,” Allen told a
reporter from the Empire-Tribune after the sighting on January 8, 2008. Similar reports poured in
from across Erath County.

The
Stephenville Lights incident wasn’t a onetime event—another mass sighting
followed in October 2008, and individual reports from the area still trickle
in. This corner of Texas along with the
eastern Nevada desert are fast emerging as the U.S.’s newest UFO “hot
spots”—places with the best odds of a spotting. Similarly active places exist
around the globe, with some even attracting a new kind of tourist.

These
days, it seems people can’t get enough of the UFO phenomena. Television shows
such as the History Channel’s UFO Hunters and alternative radio programs
like Coast to Coast AM—where an estimated three million listeners tune
in each night to hear from hardworking UFO investigators, among other
thought-provoking interviewees—are more popular than ever.

Sightings, too,
are on the rise, according to MUFON, or the Mutual UFO Network, which has more than 3,000 members in 25 countries
and 750 trained field investigators worldwide. The 41-year-old
organization is one of the go-to places to report a sighting; it receives some 400 a month in the U.S. alone.

“Of course, 80 percent of these sightings can be explained. But 20 percent
are truly unidentified objects, and those are the ones that will make your hair
curl,” says MUFON’s international director, Clifford Clift.

Believing the time is right, even the famed SETI (Search for
Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute is conducting its first-ever public
conference this year devoted to the age-old question: are we alone? SETIcon,
slated for August 13–15, 2010, in Santa Clara, CA,
will also unveil the institute’s newest scientific advances in its ongoing
search for intelligent life from other planets.

“Using radio telescopes, we hope to trip across a planet with
inhabitants clever enough to build radio transmitters,” says senior SETI astronomer
Seth Shostak. “If we do
so, then the proof won’t be limited to fuzzy photos, secret government
documents, or personal anecdotes. It will be up in the sky—where anyone
can check it out.”

But what if you
can’t wait for SETI’s antenna array to detect a signal from another planet and
want to seek out your own proof? We’ve identified active places across the
globe where UFOs like to show themselves.

Mexico City, for
example, has been a near-constant sky-watch since the solar eclipse of 1991,
when a UFO was captured on video among the cloud shadows. Since then, whole
fleets—literally hundreds of unexplained lights—have appeared over the world’s
largest city. Or take Warminster, England, near Stonehenge, where for the past 50 years nighttime overhead visitations and mysterious
booming noises have been considered ho-hum normal.

And
with earthling tourists on the verge of travel into the Milky Way, thanks to
Sir Richard Branson’s soon-to-be-introduced Virgin Galactic vehicle, perhaps
UFO hunters will soon be able to explore the ultimate hot spot of all—space.

Best Places to Spot UFOs

Go beyond Area
51 and discover places from Australia to England with their own UFO-spotting
hotbeds.

It was just another winter night in
Stephenville, TX, when Steve Allen, a 30-year aviation
veteran, saw something that defied all logic—an eerily silent, mile-wide craft
ringed in lights that would “rearrange themselves” racing across the sky at
what he estimated to be 3,000 miles per hour.

“I
don’t know if it was a biblical experience or somebody from a different
universe, but it was definitely not from around these parts,” Allen told a
reporter from the Empire-Tribune after the sighting on January 8, 2008. Similar reports poured in
from across Erath County.

The
Stephenville Lights incident wasn’t a onetime event—another mass sighting
followed in October 2008, and individual reports from the area still trickle
in. This corner of Texas along with the
eastern Nevada desert are fast emerging as the U.S.’s newest UFO “hot
spots”—places with the best odds of a spotting. Similarly active places exist
around the globe, with some even attracting a new kind of tourist.

These
days, it seems people can’t get enough of the UFO phenomena. Television shows
such as the History Channel’s UFO Hunters and alternative radio programs
like Coast to Coast AM—where an estimated three million listeners tune
in each night to hear from hardworking UFO investigators, among other
thought-provoking interviewees—are more popular than ever.

Sightings, too,
are on the rise, according to MUFON, or the Mutual UFO Network, which has more than 3,000 members in 25 countries
and 750 trained field investigators worldwide. The 41-year-old
organization is one of the go-to places to report a sighting; it receives some 400 a month in the U.S. alone.

“Of course, 80 percent of these sightings can be explained. But 20 percent
are truly unidentified objects, and those are the ones that will make your hair
curl,” says MUFON’s international director, Clifford Clift.

Believing the time is right, even the famed SETI (Search for
Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute is conducting its first-ever public
conference this year devoted to the age-old question: are we alone? SETIcon,
slated for August 13–15, 2010, in Santa Clara, CA,
will also unveil the institute’s newest scientific advances in its ongoing
search for intelligent life from other planets.

“Using radio telescopes, we hope to trip across a planet with
inhabitants clever enough to build radio transmitters,” says senior SETI astronomer
Seth Shostak. “If we do
so, then the proof won’t be limited to fuzzy photos, secret government
documents, or personal anecdotes. It will be up in the sky—where anyone
can check it out.”

But what if you
can’t wait for SETI’s antenna array to detect a signal from another planet and
want to seek out your own proof? We’ve identified active places across the
globe where UFOs like to show themselves.

Mexico City, for
example, has been a near-constant sky-watch since the solar eclipse of 1991,
when a UFO was captured on video among the cloud shadows. Since then, whole
fleets—literally hundreds of unexplained lights—have appeared over the world’s
largest city. Or take Warminster, England, near Stonehenge, where for the past 50 years nighttime overhead visitations and mysterious
booming noises have been considered ho-hum normal.

And
with earthling tourists on the verge of travel into the Milky Way, thanks to
Sir Richard Branson’s soon-to-be-introduced Virgin Galactic vehicle, perhaps
UFO hunters will soon be able to explore the ultimate hot spot of all—space.

iStock

Best Places to Spot UFOs

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