Illinois – A Hot-Spot Of Activity And “UFO Capital Of America?”

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
June 21, 2019
Last Updated
October 22, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
7 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Sightings

We have looked previously at many different “hot-spots” of UFO and alien activity all around the planet. And while we have examined certain cases in and around Illinois, and more specifically the Chicago region of The Prairie State, the many lakes and waterways of the region have a rich and varied history of UFO encounters.

In fact, very quietly, the state of Illinois is one of the most active areas of UFO activity in the United States. And, given what we know of the connection between UFO sightings and expanses of water, it is perhaps no surprise that several of these encounters take place over or near some of the proud and historic bodies of water throughout the state.

A UFO with a superimposed view of Illinois underneath

Does Illinois have more UFOs than other states in America

What’s more, while we will concentrate on more recent accounts here, these encounters seemingly stretch far back into its history. What exactly makes the state of Illinois seemingly important to the intelligence behind the strange flying crafts in the skies over upper Midwest? Might it be, not only a gateway between the east and west of the metropolises of New York on once side Los Angeles on the other, but also a door to waterways of the Canadian provinces?

As we will examine a little later, some sources even go as far as to claim Illinois to be the “UFO Capital of America”. Big claims indeed.

The Carlyle Lake Abduction, 1999 (The “Flying Fisherman” Case!)

Arguably one of the strangest and most intriguing incidents occurred in the months leading up to the millennium on the early evening of 28th October 1999. A fisherman was on his boat on Carlyle Lake in Keysport, Illinois.

Although the details are a little confused – they were by all accounts extracted through hypnotic regression – the next thing the witness realized was of being floating – complete with the boat – into a strange metallic craft that had seemingly appeared from nowhere. He could see the water below him, as well as some of the features of the town in the distance. [1]

He would recall how he seemingly came out of the boat – which floated past him – before each was “brought through the floor” of the craft (its underside). Then, the “floor” closed, and he was standing inside this strange craft.

Depiction of a UFO over a lake

Depiction of a UFO over a lake

He scanned his eyes around his new and mysterious surroundings. He was in a round room. Ominously, in the middle of the room was what appeared to be an “examination table” which stood on a large pedestal which, without any visible joins or seems was simply molded to the floor.

This is an interesting detail and one that comes up a lot in abduction or close encounter incident. Other accounts speak of shelves and tables molded to the walls and hanging there without touching the floor. Some accounts even speak of strange board games on similar molded “furniture”.

As the witness returned his gaze to the table, he noticed a strange light-like device hanging over the top of it. Then, hardly believing his eyes, a typical “gray alien” approached him and began guiding him towards the table.

A Feeling “I Had Done This Before!”

It was as he approached the table that his actions appeared almost second nature. As if he “had done it before”. This, once again, is an interesting detail. Many abductees often discover they have had endured multiple abductions, often stretching back to early childhood. Whether through the trauma of such a bizarre encounter or through some technology unknown to us, these abductions are suppressed deep in the abductees’ mind. Was this the case with the Carlyle Lake abductee?

A depiction of an alien

A depiction of an alien

It was as he climbed on to the table that he suddenly realized he was completely naked, with no knowledge of having removed his clothes. His memory began to break down into short snippets. He recalled a “larger gray” coming close to him. So close, in fact, that he had the feeling it was “sucking the memory out of me”.

The next memory he has was of trying to get dressed but of ending up laying once more on the examination table, once more, naked. Another examination followed the details of which he couldn’t recall.

Then, he was dressing. Around him, were several gray alien creatures seemingly assisting him in pulling on his clothes.

A Forgotten Incident Within Minutes!

His memory would fast-forward once more. This time, he was back in his boat although still seemingly on the otherworldly craft. As he began to look around, a ramp began opening on the huge floor below him.

He felt a sudden momentum and realized that several of the gray alien creatures were pushing the boat from behind. He was suddenly flying through the air towards the otherwise calm waters of Carlyle Lake. Within seconds, his body had floated from the marine vehicle, and both he and the boat cut through the water below at roughly the same time.

A depiction of a UFO shining a light on a person

A depiction of a UFO shining a light on a person

By the time he had dragged himself back on to the boat and made his way to the shore, he had simply forgotten the entire incident. The only small piece of memory he had hinting that something was not right was niggling that he had changed his planned position on the water. He couldn’t, however, recall why. This would ultimately lead him to seek the hypnotic regression that would unlock his memories his mind had attempted to keep off-limits from him.

Even more intriguing, the witness would claim that his GPS would “record” not only this abduction but two more during the year. One of which “failed” – although the specific reasons as to what is meant by “failed” remain elusive.

Furthermore, around the same time in the state of Illinois, were several similar sightings [2] on record, albeit, a lot less dramatic.

Multiple Sightings Over Illinois During The Last Week Of October 1999

For example, on the evening of 24th October 1999, at around 10 pm in the Downers Grover region of the state, a report was made of a “bizarre shaped object” with a similar appearance to “the planet Saturn. Furthermore, this bizarre and cosmic craft “appeared out of nowhere” while the witness and two friends were stood outside their home.

They would further describe the object as a “blueish/purple ball” which had all around it “rotating neon rings”. The object hovered over the nearby trees and was visible for around five minutes before disappearing as quickly as it had arrived. Throughout the entire episode, the strange craft, seemingly “from another world” remained completely silent.

A picture claiming to show a UFO over Illinois

Does this image over Illinois show a UFO?

Just two nights later in Westmont, at around the same time of 10 pm, a witness sat at home watching television would suddenly have their evening disturbed by frantic knocking at their door coming from their neighbor.

Upon opening the front door, it was perfectly obvious what the matter was. There in full view of anyone who cared to look was a “huge oval-shaped object”. Around its edge, moving relatively slowly were several orange lights. The witness would recall how bright the object was and that it was approximately the size of two full-length football fields.

Halloween evening brought with it two more strange sightings. Just before midnight over Orland Park, a strange circular object was spotted seemingly movi9ng through the sky in a “set pattern” for several minutes before disappearing from sight.

Several hours earlier, at a little after 6 pm in Rochelle, a motorist would report a “strange glowing orange ball” which appeared to descend into a nearby cornfield which ran along the roadside. Perhaps most bizarre, though, was the claim the orb would vanish into a “V-shaped opening in the sky”.

The Grayslake Incident, 2007

Although it didn’t result in alien abduction, an incident just over seven years later in Grayslake on 17th January 2007. The unnamed witness – a self-employed construction worker and general contractor – was driving in the Grayslake area on his way to the site of his (then) current job. It was a little after 10:30 am when he suddenly noticed something unusual in the sky overhead.

He continued on his way, although slowed somewhat, continuing to watch the object through the windshield of the vehicle. He would later estimate that it was around 5,000 to 7,000 feet in the air. It was a shining silver color and was a definite saucer shape. So still was the object, the witness would describe it as though some had “held up a silver plate in the sky”.

A depiction of strange lights in the sky

A depiction of strange lights in the sky

Still in motion down the road, the witness would eventually turn his vehicle eastwards. And ultimately lose sight of the craft. Not stopping his vehicle and continuing to watch the craft, as well as not making a report of the incident at the time would be a decision the witness would regret long after. He would state he was almost in a “state of denial” over what was undoubtedly a “silver saucer”. And not a conventional aircraft.

When he discussed the incident with friends, he was encouraged by some to research the O’Hare incident. When he did, he would claim that pictures of the object famously hovering over the Chicago airport were almost identical to the craft he witnessed that morning in Grayslake.

Seemingly Little Correlation To Chicago’s O’Hare Airport

We might have a temptation, in fact, to assume that O’Hare Airport would be the attraction or center point of such hot spot activity. However, at least according to Max Galka, who has studied such data on UFO sightings around the entire United States, with the city of Chicago as the exception, there appears to be little correlation between the abundance of sightings and what is one of the busiest airports in the world.

A depiction of a UFO in the cloudy sky

A depiction of a UFO in the cloudy sky

In fact, some of the most detailed and well-known UFO reports, have taken place far from the bustling metropolis-like cities. In cornfields, farmlands, and rural settings of the Illinois countryside. Certainly far enough away to comfortably dismiss.

According to the 2015 study of Galka’s, “six of the ten most widely spotted UFO events have hailed from Illinois”. [3] We have examined several of these ourselves, including the Tinley Parks Lights, as well as the aforementioned O’Hare sighting.

There are several others, however, that are of equal intrigue, or concern, depending on your perspective of the incidents.

An Abundance Of Sighting With No Apparent Let-Up

On 19th September 2004, for example, came an incident from the Blue Mound region of the state. A young man was riding his four-wheel motorcycle on the wasteland near his farmhouse. As he was doing so he suddenly noticed a “loud humming” coming from above. He would look up and would see a “silver cigar-shaped thing” moving with great across the sky.

The witness would further recall that the craft appeared to have “black dots” along its side. Which considering the speed with which it was moving were likely windows or portholes? As the craft moved, it made seemingly impossible 90 degree turns before suddenly coming to an absolute stop.

Then, a bright blue light enveloped the entire craft. At the same time, the engine on his quad bike suddenly went dead. After ten minutes the strange craft vanished from sight. Following this, the quad’s engine’s suddenly burst into life once more.

Perhaps an even stranger incident took place on the 28th November 2009 in Petersburg. Several friends were looking up at the night sky at just before 11 pm. Seemingly, though, at the same time, they all witnessed “three brownish objects” moving smoothly and calmly through the night sky.

At first, the witness believed they were seeing a night flock of birds. However, several seconds of watching the objects was enough to satisfy that they were “way too still and uniformly spaced”. Furthermore, they were “much too low” and equally far too fast. In short, whatever they were seeing was seemingly not a living entity and not a conventional aircraft. So leaving in their minds’ only one reasonable explanation. Three intelligently guided crafts. From where, however, remains a mystery.

Whatever the reason is for such activity over Illinois, the sightings continue.


1 October 28, 1999-Abduction on Carlyle Lake, UFO Casebook
2 UFO Reports, Illinois National UFO Reporting Center
3 Why Is Illinois a Hotbed of UFO Sightings?, John Metcalfe, Bloomberg, June 4th, 2015

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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  • special powers says:

    If the weather is clear and you would like to see a to the southwest suburbs of Chicago on the night of the 4th of July. Almost a guarantee you’ll see orange/red orbs slowly moving in the sky.

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