Machine-Like Vehicles And Strange Green Creatures: UFO Encounters Of The First World War Era

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
October 8, 2022
Estimated Reading Time
30 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Sightings

As the planet edged ever closer to a global conflict the likes of which had not previously been seen, sightings of the strange objects in the skies only increased, perhaps not least as we ourselves were airborne at this stage, and so viewed these objects from a completely different perspective. And the fact that people were becoming increasingly aware of standard aerial vehicles of the time meant they were equally aware that what they were viewing was out of the ordinary.

A depiction of a UFO

UFO sightings decreased slightly in the second decade of the twentieth century

As we will examine, there were further encounters with strange humanoid entities, some of which are described how we might describe a grey alien in the modern era. If there was an alien presence on our planet in the early 1900s, perhaps the fact that the First World War was raging during this time has been at least partly responsible for this.

As in our first look at the many UFO sightings of the early twentieth century, we don’t have time or space to examine each and every incident here. We will, though, look at some of the most intriguing, and typical encounters of the era.

A New Decade

One of the first sightings of the new decade occurred early in 1910 off the coast of Normandy when the crew of a French fishing vessel witnessed a strange object descend and crash into the sea before disappearing under the water. Around the same time in St. Merryn in Cornwall, England, two local residents reported seeing a bizarre red object moving overhead among the clouds. [1] Even stranger, they claimed to have seen several “dwarf-like creatures” inside the object looking down on them.

Although there was no report of an unidentified object a report of similar creatures took place in Konowalik, Guyana. According to the report, which can be found in Curious Encounters by Loren Coleman, the witness, who was the local resident magistrate, was prospecting for gold near the Potato River when he witnessed several short creatures with “reddish brown fur”. The creatures started back at him for several moments before cautiously backing away into the jungle.

A particularly intriguing encounter occurred near Estella, Navarra in Spain. The account comes to us from Iker Jimenez in Cursed Paradise and involves a cow herder, Ricardo Jimenez who was making his way back home on horseback late in the evening when he noticed a strange figure at the roadside. He stepped down from his horse and made his way over to the curious creature, which seemed to be in some pain. However, when he got a little closer, he could see the “horrible, distorted features and long extremities” that disturbed him so much he turned and ran back to his horse. He immediately pulled on the reigns and made his way away from the area.

Another sighting involving a humanoid figure occurred in Invercargill, Southland in New Zealand, when a cigar-shaped object was witnessed, as well as a strange figure stood at the doorway on the side of the craft who appeared to be shouting in an unknown language.

A Surge Of Sightings Of Strange Vehicles

Several strange sightings of elongated aerial vehicles were reported across the United States from early in the year. At around 9 am on 12th January, in Chattanooga in Tennessee, approximately a thousand local residents witnessed a strange craft that moved through the air in a strange way. Around 15 minutes later in Huntsville, Alabama, according to a report by Frank Edwards, a very similar object was observed moving in a similar fashion. Three days later in Knoxville, Tennessee, another, almost identical object was witnessed.

Later that same day, according to a report in a local newspaper, in the early evening in Fulton County, Arkansas, Myrtle Lee and her brother, Jack, claimed to have seen a “bright object hovering just above the trees”. Myrtle would recall that the craft was “silver colored and shaped like a Zeppelin” and had no windows or wings. They watched it for several moments before it suddenly “started up” and then disappeared in an instant. Both she and Jack knew they had witnessed something out of the ordinary, and while they did tell their parents and other people of what they had seen, all dismissed their claims.

At around 8 am on 20th January in Memphis, Tennessee, according to the research files of Lucius Farish, several witnesses reported seeing multiple objects overhead, all of which moved independently of each other. According to a report in Doubt Magazine, at just before midnight on 5th February in Greer, Idaho, a local resident on the Whitney River reported seeing an object move through the sky that was “beyond the capability of known earthly aircraft”.

Cigar-Shaped Objects And Humanoid Encounters

Several weeks later in the early spring of 1910 in Violetville in Maryland, young boy Lawrence Crone was walking near a local baseball field when he found himself looking at a “Blimp or cigar-shaped object” hovering a short distance from the ground. [2] He would recall that it was approximately 100 feet long and of a metallic exterior. It was positioned just over a pine tree around 200 feet away from him. Along the side of the object was a “line of rectangular glass-looking windows of various colors”. It was through these windows that he could see several occupants.

He would recall, rather bizarrely, that the figures, although humanoid, had the heads of a pigeon, with each wearing a strangely shaped helmet. They had no apparent nose or ears, but did have “two round spots” for eyes, and were covered in what appeared to be a “soft-looking gray or light-colored gown, like fur”. In all, he estimated there were around 20 of these bird-headed creatures inside the craft. At this point, two young men happened to walk past and the young boy called to them and pointed out the strange craft. Each of them, however, became instantly terrified and turned and ran away. By the time the object had begun to rise into the air and move away slowly, his mother caught up to him. She stood with him and watched the object until it had disappeared into the distance.

A similar object was witnessed in the early evening of 4th May in Cernauti in Ukraine. According to the report by Ion Hobana, the witness reported that the object moved in a way unlike a standard aircraft and estimated that it was around 300 feet across. It remained in sight for around three minutes. A little over two weeks later, across the Atlantic Ocean in Alma, Illinois, a similar object was reported by a local resident, while several weeks after that, back over the Atlantic in Vansbro, Sweden, another sighting of a similar object is on record, although the witness, in this case, offered the craft was more disc-shaped.

Another sighting of a disc-shaped object was reported around the same time in the summer of 1910 in Vernal, Utah. According to the report, the witness was riding on horseback when the animal suddenly became extremely agitated causing him to dismount. When he did, he noticed a strange object in the shape of a disc hovering a short distance above the ground. The object had a row of lights right around the edge and the witness recalled hearing a low buzzing sound. He watched the object for several moments before it suddenly rose into the air and then “streaked away”. Around the same time in Jewett, Texas, at around 9 pm, six women looking up at the sky reported seeing a strange object traveling across the sky and moving in an equally strange fashion. [3]

Encounters From Around The World

As the summer progressed toward Autumn, sightings of these truly bizarre aerial encounters continued. At the end of July in Normandy, France, an elongated object was witnessed moving across the sky at great speed and making unusual movements. Around a month later at around 9 pm on 30th August in New York, according to an account in Flying Saucer Review, an almost identical object was witnessed by around 100 people. Three weeks later, also in New York, this time during the middle of the afternoon, multiple residents witnessed a shiny disc-shaped object move over the city. The following evening, in the Dunkirk region of New York, a disc-shaped object landed briefly in a remote area before taking off and disappearing into the distance.

On 27th October, at around 10 am in Swift Current, Saskatchewan in Canada, according to the research files of Richard Hall and his book From Airships to Arnold: A Preliminary Catalogue of UFO Reports in the Early 20th Century (1900-1946), a cigar-shaped object with red and green lights at each end, as well as a bright, white headlight-type light moved over the town at an altitude of only 600 feet. Several weeks later in early December 1910 in Massachusetts, yet another anomalous object was sighted by multiple people.

Around a week later, just outside Listowel in County Kerry, Ireland, two men noticed two strange lights ahead of them around a mile away. [4] To begin with, they believed the lights were nothing more than those of a lighthouse. However, as they got closer, they could tell the lights were moving up and down, and then they began to expand. Then, even stranger, as the lights continue to expand they witnessed “a radiant being having human form” appears in front of them in each light. The curious sight remained visible for several moments before finally disappearing.

The Pre-War Years

Following the busy year of 1910, 1911 saw sightings decrease slightly. There were still some intriguing encounters to examine, however. According to the book, Modern Mysteries of Britain by Janet and Colin Bord, in early 1911 a resident of the Isle of Man witnessed a “large crow of little beings”, each dressed in red and marching as soldiers would.

One evening just off the coast of Reykjavik in Iceland, an intriguing incident unfolded that could indeed be an encounter with a possible extraterrestrial craft, especially when we consider the connection that has been made to the planet’s seas and oceans and UFO activity. On the night in question, the whaler, Orkney Belle, was making her way through the icy waters when they almost crashed into a ship that appeared out of the mist. There was no apparent crew on board the vessel, and there was something very strange about the way it moved on the water.

Another encounter from England occurred several weeks later, this time in Chisbury in Wiltshire. According to the account, which appeared in an article by Charles Tilden Smith in the British science journal, Nature, Smith himself witnessed “two fan or triangular shaped heavy shadows” that were cast on the clouds above him. Although he didn’t see them he believed that he was witnessing the shadows of objects somewhere else in the sky.

Later in the summer of 1911 in Derbyshire also in England, 6-year-old “Mary B” was on farmland when she witnessed a dark, cigar-shaped object hovering a short distance away near to the ground. [5] Furthermore, the witness claimed she could see at least one occupant in a “cabin” section of the vehicle.

On 2nd July, according to an account in the 3rd July 1911 edition of the Windsor Record, after a strange object had been reported hovering over Chatham Township just outside Windsor, Ontario, Canada for several consecutive days, the apparent object descended to a short distance above the ground where it remained in full view for several moments. Then, a “whirring sound” came from the object before it began to glow brightly before taking off and disappearing within seconds.

Further Encounters With Strange Creatures In Strange Uniforms

In early 1912 on a farm in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 6-year-old Abram Penner witnessed a strange craft land near where he was playing. He would later state to his father that a group of strange men came out of the object and examined his body, showing particular interest in his hands as “they have different hands than we do”, as well “round feet, short legs”, and “no knees or elbows”. Even more intriguing, these strange men “operate on mind power” and because of this, he understood completely what he was told. Penner would later state that his father ordered him not to speak of anyone else of the incident.

Around the same time, across the Atlantic Ocean on the Island of Muck in Highland Scotland, two young boys were walking along the beach searching for driftwood when they suddenly noticed two “small men wearing green vests”. The men immediately turned their attention to the two boys, speaking to them in both English and Gaelic, asking them what they were doing. Behind the figures, the two young men could see a strange “boat” upon which was an equally strange woman who beckoned them to approach. They declined the invite and turned away to leave. According to the account they were later discovered sitting in shock on some nearby rocks.

Another account from early 1912 relayed by Janet and Colin Bord is that of a man and his mother just outside Gallipolis, Ohio. The pair were picking berries in a clearing in the woods when a bizarre “dark object” descended out of the sky before settling just ahead of them slightly above the trees. They began to walk away from the scene when they suddenly noticed a strange figure a short distance away, walking parallel to them. This strange figure was wearing some kind of dark clothing and was particularly bulky with “no visible neck”. At this point, the pair broke into a run. When they stopped and looked back they could see that the figure and the object were no longer there.

Whether it was a UFO encounter or not, another incident involving strange humanoid figures unfolded in Cologne, Germany. On the night in question, Ernest Dickhoff was playing in his bedroom when he felt a sudden urge to turn around. When he did, he could see two strange humanoid men standing near his bed. He watched them for several moments before they simply faded away and vanished.

An equally strange encounter comes to us from an account in Rebus Magazine that took place near the River Volga in Russia. According to the report, Mr. Dychkin and an unnamed friend were making their way home in separate sleds along the River Volga when the two men came upon two slightly strange-looking men near the roadside. They came to a stop and Dychkin offered the men a ride, at least as far as home. The men accepted and they set off once more. Shortly after doing so, however, one of the men told Dychkin that the storm was going to get worse very quickly, and rather than aim for his hometown, he should change direction to a town nearer and spend the night there. To his amazement, even though he knew there was no nearer town, Cychkin agreed and consequently changed course.

After a short time, one of the men suddenly called out that he could see the town ahead. To his shock, when Dychkin looked in the direction the man was pointing, he too could see a thriving, brightly lit “city”, the likes of which he had never seen before. He, along with his friend who followed, headed straight for this illuminated metropolis. However, as they reached it, both men felt a bizarre and sudden sense of terror and fear. What’s more, the two strange had mysteriously vanished, with neither of the men being able to recall what had happened to them. Confused and scared, the men turned their sleds around and headed back in the direction they had come. When they looked back only moments later, the lit-up city appeared to have completely disappeared. We might ask if the “city” was, in fact, an extraterrestrial craft and if the two strange men had attempted to abduct the pair.

The Great War Years 1914-1918

As the twentieth century rolled on, particularly in the second half of the century when UFOs were much a part of the public consciousness, it was noted that sightings of these potentially alien vehicles appeared to increase around the war-torn areas.

There are, for example, the foo fighter sightings of the Second World War, as well as many sightings around the Korean and Vietnam Wars in the decades that followed. It should perhaps not surprise us, then, that sightings of these strange objects and encounters with equally strange figures appeared to increase as the first global conflict in human history took hold of the planet.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing of these First World War encounters is that of Baron Manfred von Richthofen – otherwise known as the Red Baron, one of the most feared fighter pilots of his era. In an account told eight decades after it occurred by a wingman who accompanied the Red Baron on the morning of the incident, it is claimed that the German fighter pilot ace not only witnessed an apparent craft from another world, but he fired and shot it down.

As we shall see, there are some who remain suspicious of the account. However, a similar incident is on record taking place around the same time but on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in the United States. And furthermore, these are far from isolated incidents during the bloody years of the First World War.

Were these strange craft alien visitors observing yet another human war unfolding before them? Or is their presence – whoever they might be – merely coincidental to what is taking place at the time?

The account has appeared on several online platforms since it first entered the public arena, and several books, including Frank Joseph’s Military Encounters with Extraterrestrials: The Real War of the Worlds.

The story didn’t become known until 80 years after it took place, when a wingman of the Baron, Peter Waitzrik spoke of the encounter in 1999 resulting in several articles appearing in newspapers, magazines, and the Internet.

According to Waitzrik’s account, it was shortly after dawn on the 13th March 1917 when Baron Manfred von Richthofen took off from the runway at an airfield in western Belgium, accompanied by Waitzrik as they set out on their usual morning patrol of German-held territory. At only 25 years old, Richthofen was already the leader of the Jasta 11 fighter squadron. And during his career, he is said to have been responsible for the downing of 80 enemy fighter planes in combat. He was, to many, a German national hero.

It is perhaps important to keep this in mind. And while the account didn’t come from von Richthofen himself (who was ultimately shot down and killed in April 1918) the fact that a fellow German pilot implicated him in the incident should perhaps alert us to at least a certain degree of truth to the account.

On that March morning in 1917, the patrol would unfold without incident for around an hour. Then, however, with the skies perfectly clear and with visibility good, the pilots witnessed “a large metallic disc, ringed at its perimeter by undulating orange lights”. The object was directly in front of them.

The pilots had “never seen anything like it before”. Waitzrik would later estimate that it was almost 150 feet across, which was over 100 feet wider than the wingspan of their own planes. The next thing Waitzrik realized, von Richthofen had pressed down the trigger of his gun and opened fire.

According to Waitzrik, the discharge from von Richthofen’s plane hit the disc directly causing it to go “down like a rock”. The object would crash into the woods below them, “shearing off tree limbs” as it did so.

Even more bizarre, as the pilots looked on at the crippled ruins of the craft below them, they would see “two little baldheaded guys” emerge from the wreckage before they disappeared into the cover of the woodland.

Upon returning to their base, both men would make an official report to their superiors. However, following this, each was informed they were to never speak of the incident to anyone. Each would adhere to these orders. And while Waitzrik claimed he did indeed speak of the incident privately to his wife and later to his grandchildren, he otherwise remained silent. He would serve in the military for some time, progressing to be a flight captain for the Lufthansa. However, after eight decades and no longer serving with the military, Waitzrik finally spoke of the incident.

His decision to do so would arouse suspicion from many – even in UFO circles. How could a measly machine gun of the First World War era cause such damage to a supposed advanced extraterrestrial craft, for example?

And while there is perhaps reason to treat the account with a pinch of salt the details of the encounter do resonate with other incidents throughout the later 20th century. And what’s more, as we shall see shortly, other sightings around the same time might offer more credibility to the account.

Waitzrik would continue that initially, they believed the object was an experimental aircraft of the United States, which was only weeks away from entering the war. However, during the decades that followed and the many UFO sightings that would come with them, the wingman on the day of the incident would recall in 1999 that what they saw looked “just like those saucer-shaped spaceships that everyone has been seeing for the past 50 years”.

He would continue that there was “no doubt in my mind” that what they saw that morning was a “spacecraft from another planet”. And what’s more, the two crew that appeared shortly after were extraterrestrials looking to take cover from any further attack.

There were several points that would hurt Waitzrik’s chances of being taken seriously. Perhaps not least that the account initially appeared in a tabloid that had a history of pushing “tall tales”, the Weekly World News. This was, as Waitzrik would later explain because no other mainstream newspapers would run the account.

What’s more, as mentioned above, many would struggle with the notion that weapons at the start of the twentieth century could bring down an advanced aircraft, in just one round, to boot. However, this is not that much of a stretch of the imagination. For example, allegedly recovered alien aircraft – if we believe the abundance of leaked reports and whistleblower testimony – appear to be made from a thin foil-like material, which is undoubtedly strong beyond our imagination, but could still be compromised by a round of bullets.

An Anxious Anticipation

Of course, before the exploits of the Red Baron, many other reports of strange objects were reported in the run-up to what would become the First World War. In early 1914 off the coast of Ontario, Canada on the Georgian Bay, for example, eight witnesses reported seeing a bizarre object floating on the water. Even stranger, they could see several strange figures on top of the object that appeared to be manipulating some kind of strange hose into the water. When the entities saw the witnesses watching them, they quickly scurried inside the craft which then rose into the air and took off into the distance.

Several weeks later, according to a letter from the witness published in the CUFOS Associate Newsletter (Volume 3, No. 6), another sighting of a strange object and its occupants unfolded, this time in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. According to the account, the witness was at a local trash dump when he noticed a strange “musical humming sound”. He quickly turned his gaze to the direction the sound was coming from and found himself looking at a bizarre machine-like object hovering a short distance above the fence. The object was the shape of a disc with a domed top section and a dull gray color. A short time later, several humanoid beings with particular round heads emerged from the craft but they quickly withdrew and the object rose into the air and disappeared.

A particularly intriguing if unsettling encounter occurred in Loire, France around the same time. At around 4 am on the morning in question, Mr. Perret was asleep at his home when he felt something tap him on the back. When he turned around, he was more than shocked to see a humanoid figure, approximately the height of a 10-year-old child, standing behind him. The strange figure had a particularly white face that appeared to glisten somewhat and wore a shiny one-piece outfit. After several moments, the creature headed toward the door and promptly vanished.

Sightings Of Shiny Discs In The Middle Of The Day

As 1914 progressed, sightings of strange objects were reported from all over the world. A disc-like object was witnessed during the day in Sweden by a 15-year-old, for example, while a “round-greenish object” was reported hovering near a hillside in St Leonard-De-Noblat in France, which then rose into the air and disappeared with great speed. Around the same time, several cigar-shaped objects were seen moving over Ukraine, another sighting of a disc-shaped craft in the middle of the day was reported in Leon, Spain.

According to the files of Josep Guijarro, at around 6 pm on 15th February in Chanco in Chile, multiple people witnessed a “bolide-shaped” object moving with great speed across the sky, leaving a “white smokey trail” behind it. It was in sight for some time, eventually disappearing into the distance in the direction of the Pacific Ocean.

In March 1914 in Lajoumard Haute Vienne, France, according to the research of Joel Mesnard and Jean Marie Bigorne, a farmer was returning home when he witnessed a “luminous” green object hovering just above the ground a short distance away. He made his way toward this strange craft, and when he was around 300 feet away from it, he noticed several strange figures, each around the height of a small child. They walked around the immediate vicinity of the object, before hurrying back inside. A moment later, the object rose into the air and took off with a zig-zag trajectory before shooting into the distance and disappearing within seconds.

According to the research of Ted Bloecher, in early May 1914, at around 10 am one morning just outside of Farmersville, Texas, teenager, Silbie Latham with his older brothers, Sid and Clude, were in nearby fields with the family’s two pet dogs, Bob and Fox. As the boys were “chopping cotton” they suddenly heard a “deathly howl” of their dogs. They immediately rushed to where the sound had come from, noticing that the canine’s had something cornered near one of the field’s fences. As the three boys looked on, they could see that “a little man” was what had captured their dogs’ attention. A short standoff ensured before the dogs saw their opportunity and launched their attack, tearing the unfortunate being “limb from limb”.

Several weeks later, in Bilda, Algeria, according to a report on a French UFO Forum, in the days leading up to the outbreak of the First World War, a French settler was making his way back home after attending to the irrigation system on his fields when a brightly glowing sphere appeared overhead and landed a short distance away from him. Uncertain of what he was seeing, the witness quickly positioned himself behind a large hedge at the side of the field and watched events unfold before him. A moment later, several small figures emerged from the sphere, each wearing a tight one-piece suit and a helmet on their heads. They examined the area around the craft for several moments before returning back inside the spherical object. The sphere then took off into the air and disappeared with great speed.

Also in the early summer of 1914, at around 4 am in the early hours one morning in Hamburg, Germany, Gustav Herwagen noticed a strange glow coming from outside and made his way to his front door to investigate. As he opened the door and looked out into the night, he could see a “shining cigar-shaped object” that had “illuminated windows” along the side. Even stranger, in the immediate vicinity of the object, Gustav could see several small figures, each around four feet tall and wearing the same light-colored clothing. Not sensing any danger, the witness went to approach the figures. However, as soon as he was within several feet of them, they hurried inside the craft which then took off and disappeared into the distance.

Another Increase In Activity

With the start of World War One at the end of July, sightings of strange sightings of anomalous aerial vehicles continued. During the afternoon of 2nd August, in ykhino near Strizhov in Russia, two local peasant women were working in a field when they noticed two odd-looking figures in another field a short distance away. Each was wearing the same style of red suit and appeared to be moving something gray that was on the ground in front of them. Sensing they might be in danger, the two women turned and ran from the scene. On the same day, around the same time, another woman local to the area claimed that something “big and dark” passed overhead heading in the direction of the field where the two strange figures were seen.

Several days later, in Southern Krasnoufimsk in Ural, Russia, an encounter with an apparent occupant of a UFO is on record. The account entered the wider public arena courtesy of veteran researcher, Albert Rosales. According to the report, multiple local residents reported seeing “mysterious flying machines” across consecutive nights. However, on the day in question, one of these curious crafts landed just on the outskirts of the village, with two occupants clearly visible inside the craft. One of the locals fired a gun at the mysterious visitors, but it didn’t appear to have had any affect. After several moments, the object took off once more and disappeared into the distance.

Just over two weeks later at dawn on 23rd August in Savernake, New South Wales in Australia, two young boys witnessed one of the strangest flying vehicles they had ever seen – one that moved in a way they were not at all familiar with.

Around a week after that encounter, according to a report relayed by Mervi Virtanen, 10-year-old Arvo Kuoppala, was with his grandmother, Maria Falt, at the family farmhouse in Alastaro, Finland when the early afternoon sun suddenly went decidedly dark. At the same time, the pair could hear a strange “blowing” sound. Then, a sudden blast of light lit up the farmhouse, and when Maria, followed by Arvo, had ventured to the window they could see a “large shining globe” heading in their direction, only stopping a short distance from the house.

As the pair watched, an oval window opened on the side of the object, revealing two male humanoid figures inside. Although each appeared similar to a human, each had a head that appeared much too large for their body. Avro suddenly became frightened, asking what if the strange men could come in through the window. She assured him they would not, and that they simply had a message for them. Following this, some kind of communication took place between Maria and these strange visitors – perhaps suggesting other previous meetings – following which, a bright flash appeared, and the object began to move away from the property.

At around 3:30 am on 23rd September in the Astrakhan region of Russia, Vasiliy Sokolov was returning home from a business trip on his horse when he suddenly noticed a “bright star-like object” overhead. As he watched the object further, he realized it was getting larger, meaning it was descending. The closer it got, the more he could make out that it was clearly a cylindrical shape and appeared to have a brown exterior and a bright light on what he assumed was the front of the craft. As it came closer still, Sokolov could see there was a compartment of sorts on the underside, in which he could see several shadowy figures. He managed to count six in total, five of whom appeared to be sitting, with one in a standing position.

At this point, Sokolov became suddenly frightened and ran the rest of the way to the yard of his house, calling out for the light to be switched off so as not to alert the occupants of this strange craft to their presence. Then, the next thing he realized; he was temporarily blinded by a bright beam of light that projected to the ground a little in front of him from the aerial vehicle. A moment later, the object changed its direction, the front now facing away from the property. As the brightness dimmed, and Sokolov’s sight returned, he could see the object now heading away from him. It remained visible for around 10 minutes before finally disappearing into the distance.

Perhaps one of the most unsettling encounters of 1914 is another from Albert Rosales courtesy of UFO researcher, Lucy Guzman. According to Guzman’s account, at just before 4 am on 6th December just outside of Cochabamba in Bolivia, David Mendiola Vilchez was awoken from sleep in his isolated home by what sounded like a low-flying airplane. Concerned the vehicle might crash on his property he quickly made his way to his front door. However, when he peered outside, rather than seeing a stricken airplane, he could see a large, metal cigar-shaped object descending into one of the fields nearby.

He made his way outside and approached the craft. However, out of nowhere, he suddenly found himself encased in a tube of bright light. Then, a moment later, he was seemingly inside the vehicle itself with no memory of how he had entered it. Of more concern, all around him were “monstrous beings” with pale skin that appeared to be covered in a mucous-like substance, with large heads and particularly large eyes. Although were definitely humanoid, their legs, at least according to Vilchez, appeared almost like the tentacles of an octopus. Although he could recall some kind of examination taking place, the next thing he remembered was standing outside his home with the object and the unnerving beings now gone.

The Little-Known Airship Sightings Of Norway

Whether they were, in fact, extraterrestrial aircraft or not, there were several strange airship sightings across Norway that are of interest to us here.

At around 9 pm on 17th September in Alta, Norway, the dark skies were suddenly lit up by some kind of “unexplained luminous phenomenon”. What’s more, multiple people from across the region saw the object, largely described as looking like a huge star that appeared out of nowhere, and then proceeded to move across the sky. Although this object was white for the most part, it did occasionally, and briefly, flicker to shades of blue and red. Eventually, it disappeared into the distance leaving those who witnessed it perplexed as to what it was.

Another possible “airship” sighting occurred over Norway several weeks later on the evening of 21st November in Tjolta. According to the report in a local newspaper, the aerial craft was witnessed near the Skjaervaer Lighthouse, even lighting up the building with a powerful searchlight. When it was first viewed the airship was just over 2000 feet above the ground, although at one point it came as close as 1500 feet from those looking on below. It moved over the city at this altitude for several minutes before rising into the air and eventually disappearing.

Yet another Norway airship sighting took place at around 8 am on 20th December, this time in Morgenbladet. According to the report, the airship was witnessed by multiple people, including the Sheriff of Solum, who viewed it for some time through binoculars. He would claim that it was moving at a “dizzying height”, eventually changing direction and heading out to sea.

Encounters Over War-Torn Europe

As the fighting – mainly in Europe – of the First World War increased in intensity, strange objects were still regularly reported in the skies around the planet. Indeed, entire nations were on high alert. However, with many resources and attention diverted to the increasingly bloody way, not all reports have survived. Those that did, though, are certainly intriguing. In Canada, for example, several reports appeared in newspapers around the country of “phantom invaders” – strange aerial vehicles that seemingly made their way over cities, as if performing some kind of survey of the area.

Around the same time in Puglia, Italy, despite no reports of strange, aerial craft, a report concerning a group of locals capturing a “little green man” did surface. A similar report came out of Devonshire in England when a local woman claimed to have seen a “tiny green-colored man” wearing what appeared to be a red cap burst out of some bushes while she was walking. The man remained visible for no longer than a minute before disappearing back into the vegetation.

An even stranger tale around the same time can be found in Jacotea Las Villas in Cuba when two men were riding around the perimeters of their sugarcane field one evening when their horses suddenly became spooked and refused to go forward. As the two men scanned their surroundings attempting to see what was causing such anxiety in the animals, they noticed something on the ground ahead of them, something that appeared to be a white sack, only it appeared very much alive. They stared at the object for a moment longer before realizing it was heading toward them. One of the men raised his rifle and fired at the object several times. However, the more he fired and hit it, the more it seemed to increase in size. Ultimately, the men realized they were dealing with something completely out of the ordinary and left the scene immediately.

Although not as dramatic there were also several sightings of metallic objects and glowing lights during 1915. Early in the year in Celeste, Texas, for example, a local woman reported seeing strange lights moving across the town. Across the Atlantic Ocean around the same time, at around 11 pm one evening in Bergen, Norway, a “large bright brown-red object” that approximately twice the size of the moon was witnessed hovering overhead before descending and then rising into the air once more, repeating this several times. [6] Then, without warning, it suddenly sped off into the distance. A similar object was reported by two separate witnesses in Virchow, Germany around the same time.

At around 5 am on 9th February in Bigfork, Montana, a sighting of a “large dark airship” was reported, while only five days later, at around 9 pm on 14th February in Brockwell, New York, three such objects were witnessed by several people.

One afternoon in April 1915 in Cabeco in Portugal, four young girls were walking when they witnessed a strange statue-like figure hovering just above the trees. They watched in awe, noting how the “rays of the sun seemed to shine right through” the bizarre figure, making it look transparent. The figure didn’t once move and the young girls eventually moved on, perplexed at what they had seen.

Several months later in Sulitjelma in Norway, according to the research of Ole Jonny Braene, a local resident witnessed a “dark, bell-shaped object” appear overhead and land in a field nearby. As the witness watched two “short humanoids” appeared from out of the object and began to walk directly toward the witness. He noted how they had gray skin and heads that appeared to be much too large for their bodies, as well as “long wavy dark hair”. They stopped before they reached the witness, seemingly preoccupied with something else. Then, as if nothing had happened, the two humanoids turned around and made their way back inside the craft. It then rose into the air and disappeared into the night sky.

According to researchers Philip Mantle and Paul Stonehill, several residents of the Kazan region in Russia witnessed a huge balloon-like object descend out of the night sky with several bright lights shining downward. At the same time, a cigar-shaped object was witnessed hovering directly over the top of the village, with around six occupants seen in a “boat” on the underside of the object.

Another encounter comes to us from the researcher, Jean Sider from Linakjula in Kihnu Island, Estonia in October 1915. According to the report, Tiju Vezik was making her to the post office one evening in order to post a letter. It was during her journey that she noticed three strange figures that were standing at the roadside. From their build, they appeared to be male and “moved in a line like soldiers”, although they remained completely silent. They walked near two women, both of whom appeared completely unaware of their presence. Eventually, the three figures disappeared into the woodlands at the side of the road.

Reports Decrease

Early in 1916 off the coast of Norway, a crew of fishermen reported seeing a “dark zeppelin” moving quickly overhead in the direction of the North Pole. Several weeks later, in Ballinasloe, Ireland, a brightly glowing object was visible in the sky for around 15 minutes before it moved off into the distance. It remained in view for a further 45 minutes before finally being out of sight.

Around the same time, according to a report by Gordon Creighton in Flying Saucer Review, Mrs. Whitehead was looking out of her second-story window when she noticed a strange craft in the sky that was similar to a “round platform” (disc?) with around a dozen humanoid figures on the surface of it, seemingly gripping tightly to what appeared to be a handrail. It appeared as though the object was going to reach the woman’s home, but eventually changed direction before reaching the property and disappeared into the distance.

Without a doubt, one of the most intriguing sightings of a strange object occurred at around 8:25 pm on 31st January 1916, not least as the witness was airborne at the time and is widely considered to be one of the first pilot sightings on record. According to the report, on the night in question, the British pilot – Lieutenant Morgan – was flying at an altitude of around 5000 feet over Rochford in Essex, England, when he reported seeing a “dark object with a row of illuminated lights” ahead of him. He likened the windows to being similar to windows on a rail carriage with the blinds closed.

He began to approach the object but as he neared it his engine mysteriously started to malfunction. At this point, before retreating, he let out a burst of gunfire at the object. However, as soon as he did so, the strange craft shot up to a much higher altitude and disappeared out of sight.

Across the Atlantic, over Lake Superior in Wisconsin, at around 4:30 am on 29th February, several dock workers witnessed a “big machine 50 feet wide and 100 feet long” move overhead with great speed. [7] The witnesses recalled that the object had three lights on it – one at each end and the third in the middle. They could also see several humanoid figures inside the object. Around a month later, a similar object was witnessed by a woman in McPherson County in Nebraska.

One afternoon in April in Cabeco in Portugal, three young children were in a field when they noticed the wind suddenly pick up before a bright light appeared just above the trees. When they turned their attention to the source of the light they could see a strange figure that they thought was an angel floating just above the trees. In fact, the figure told the children as much, that he was an “angel of peace”. The figure then proceeded to give the children a drink and a piece of bread before disappearing into thin air. Even after the figure had gone the three children remained virtually paralyzed, believing they had indeed seen an angel, repeating prayer after prayer. As the sun began to set, the three children came to their senses and made their way home.

A very similar encounter unfolded in Stavanger in Norway on 16th April when several children who were playing in a field witnessed a sudden cloud appear out of nowhere. They noticed a strange, bright red light seemingly coming from inside the cloud. Then, the next thing they knew an “angel-like figure” appeared in the clouds themselves.

Back in the United States, just outside of Rensselaer, Indiana in May 1916, a farmer witnessed a long, dark object hovering a short distance from the ground approximately a mile away. After several seconds, it suddenly shot upward with great speed and was out of sight within a matter of seconds.

Several weeks later in Cockham Dean in Berkshire, England, according to an article by David Lazell in the Fortean Times, a young girl was picking berries when she suddenly noticed a thin, humanoid figure appear nearby out of the bushes. The figure was dressed in brown clothing and was wearing some kind of hat. Before the young girl could focus on the creature any longer, it had disappeared back into the woodland.

The War’s Final Years

We examined the apparent sighting of the Red Baron earlier, and we have also examined a possible case of alien abduction in our book From Deep Within The Archives of UFO Insight. The fact is, though, there are plenty of other cases during these final years of the First World War for us to turn our attention to. Although there is little detail or information on the sighting, early in the year in Salida, Colorado, a local minister used his telescope to view a “silver” wagon wheel-shaped object hovering overhead.

Several weeks later in Karkiyeki, Karelia Russia, another apparent UFO landing encounter unfolded. [8] According to the account, a local woman, Enni Lettu, witnessed a “saucer-shaped” object descend out of the sky and land near her house. She continued to watch and after several minutes a “staircase protruded” out of the side of the object and several small humanoid figures appeared in a doorway at the top of the steps. These entities then approached the witness and the next thing she knew she was inside their craft. The object then took off with Lattu inside, during which time she was subjected to several hours of telepathic questioning before being returned to her home.

Several weeks later in Albacete in Spain, the Alguacil family were all working together in a field one afternoon when a bizarre “hat-shaped object” landed in a field nearby. A moment later, two humanoid figures emerged from the craft and walked around the area, as if examining their surroundings or even searching for something. These figures were extremely tall and each wore a shiny, metallic grey uniform-type outfit. After several moments, the humanoids returned to the craft and it disappeared into the sky.

Several months later in October 1917 near Youngstown, Pennsylvania, 17-year-old John Boback was walking alongside the rail tracks when he noticed a strange, saucer-shaped object in a nearby field. The craft had a metallic exterior and a “row of lights” along its side. He remained where he was, watching the strange craft until it began to rise into the air, eventually disappearing into the sky.

Although the date isn’t certain, at some point toward the end of 1917 and the start of 1918, at Rich Field in Waco, Texas, Edwin Bauhan, along with several other soldiers at the base, witnessed a cigar-shaped object, approximately 150 feet long fly directly over the barracks. Bauhan recalled that the object was around 500 feet above them, and they could clearly see that it had “no motors, no rigging” and was “noiseless”. All of the witnesses agreed they had not seen anything like it previously.

A Quiet After A Bloody Storm

Following the end of World War One sightings of strange objects not only continued but they began to increase once more. In Linaalv Lappland in Sweden, 9-year-old Ragnar Byrlind was playing with his siblings when they heard their mother calling them to the window to see something outside. As they peered outside they could see a strange, dark gray object a short distance above the ground seemingly following the road. In the center of the object was a cockpit of sorts, in which were three strange humanoid figures who seemed to be wearing a strange helmet. The object moved past the property and disappeared into the distance.

A similar-looking object was witnessed in mid-January in Greendale, New Zealand, as was another at around 10 pm on 22nd January over Shuttlewood in England. Around the same time, in Otter Tail in Minnesota, a dark object suddenly appeared from out of the clouds and descended to a low altitude as it moved over the town. Some witnesses recalled that the object had such power that it made the windows rattle in their homes. After around two minutes, the object had disappeared into the distance.

Researcher Jerome Clark highlights several strange encounters with strange humanoid entities during the summer of 1919. The happened just outside of Barron in Wisconsin when 13-year-old Harry Anderson was riding in a car with his father and two friends when there, the car suddenly came to a stop having run out of oil. By pure chance, a farmer who was nearby offered to give them some oil from their property, which was around two miles from where they were. As they made their way back to their vehicle after having gotten the oil, however, they noticed multiple small humanoids walking in a single file near the road. Each had pale skin and large, bald heads. The witnesses remained as quiet as possible and made their way back to their car.

Several weeks later, in Webster City, Iowa, a brother and sister were playing in a field when their attention was drawn to a “brown-green object” on the edge of the nearby woodland. They made their way toward the strange object but soon stopped when they noticed a tall, thin figure standing near it. Near the figure was a shorter being, who appeared to be scooping water out of the stream in what looked like a tin can. Then, each of the figures entered the object, which then rose up into the air and disappeared with great speed.

A Long-Standing Presence Or Evidence Of Multiple Alien Races?

It is clear, then, that UFO sightings and encounters with strange entities only increased during the 1910s. And what’s more, many of the witnesses were deemed credible and responsible members of society, such people as police officers, judges, and professionals. In short, every corner of society was seemingly witnessing these strange events meaning, even retrospectively, they can’t be easily dismissed as mistaken sightings and mad ravings.

We can only imagine how many other sightings and encounters – particularly during the war years – went unreported and consequently lost to history. Or how many others from the era in question, however unlikely it might be, might come to light in future years, perhaps in discovered newspaper articles or diaries.

How these sightings might relate to those at the start of the Modern UFO Era as well as those in our contemporary times remains to be seen. Is the same intelligence behind these early UFO encounters the same as those behind sightings of recent years? And if not, just who was the alien race seemingly traversing the planet in the opening decades of the twentieth century? As always, the more we examine and uncover, the more questions rise to the surface.

The short video below looks at some of the best alien sightings captured on camera.


1 Modern Mysteries of Britain, Janet Bord and Colin Bord, ISBN 9780586 065297
2 HUMCAT: Catalogue of Humanoid Reports, David Webb and Ted Bloecher
3 UFOs: The Whole Story, Coral Lorenzen, ASIN B0006CDZPY
4 Earth Lights Revelation: UFOs and Mystery Lightform Phenomena – The Earth’s Secret Energy Force, Paul Devereux, ISBN 9780713 722093
5 INTCAT 1910 – 1919 – International Catalog of Entity Reports”, by Peter Rogerson
6 From Airships to Arnold: A Preliminary Catalogue of UFO Reports in the Early 20th Century (1900-1946), Richard Hall, ISBN 192895 7013
7 Unexplained!: Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurrences and Puzzling Physical Phenomena, Jerome Clark, ISBN 9781578 590704
8 The Soviet UFO Files, Paul Stonehill, ISBN 9781858 338583

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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