Although 1957 was, generally speaking, a year of increased UFO activity, the last weeks of the year, in particular, November, would see a significant spike in such sightings and encounters. And what’s more, the vast majority of these sightings and reports were of an extremely similar nature.
Perhaps more so than other UFO waves of the 1950s, the accounts were so similar that it would be bordering on irresponsible to not acknowledge such an abundance of almost identical incidents. For skeptics to state that such sightings could be down to mistakes on the part of the witnesses, or even hallucinations or outright falsehoods, would be equally irresponsible. In short, there was something very definite taking place during the last weeks of 1957.
Furthermore, by this time, the UFO and “men from other worlds” notion had truly taken hold in the psyche of the world’s population and was truly reflected as such in the popular culture of the times, particularly in the West.
While we will certainly not ignore the other sightings and reports from 1957, the bulk of our examination here will be in the month of November and the abundance of encounters that would be reported. As with all of our case studies of UFO waves, it would impossible and redundant for the reader if we were to systematically go through each and every incident that is on record.
What we will do, though, is seek to recreate the general UFO experience that was taking place during this time, in order that we might also highlight similarities and connections, as well as possibly examining the reasons for the sudden surge of UFO encounters in and around November 1957. And how it might connect to our contemporary era.
1957 – A Year Of Increased UFO Activity
We have examined in-depth previously several of the UFO incidents that took place in 1957. For example, arguably one of the most well-known names in the UFO and alien abduction community is the author and alleged abductee, Whitley Strieber. He would claim his first encounter with extraterrestrials most definitely took place “at some point in 1957” while he and his sister were on a train journey with his father going through Wisconsin.
At some point during the journey, all three of them were no longer on the train but on some kind of strange craft. What’s more, their father, somewhere nearby was screaming in apparent desperation or pain. Whatever the truth of this bizarre experience, it would certainly appear that it was some kind of abduction encounter. How it might tie in with the 1957 wave, however, is open to debate.
Despite the increase in UFO sightings, and despite very definite clusters of surges of multiple sightings within several 24 to 48-hour periods, the 1957 UFO wave had a slow burn to it. Many of them, however, would take place around air force facilities of the United States. A great many more were witnessed by military or civilian airline pilots.
What’s more, despite the United States government’s increasingly secretive approach to UFO encounters, there were plenty of very serious-minded UFO organizations who would investigate and record many of the incidents within days, sometimes hours of the incidents. Consequently, many researchers began to seriously ponder who, or what might be behind the UFO sightings?
Such researchers as John Keel, for example, began to question whether these incidents had more of a connection to the supernatural and mythical legends of the past than mere space visitors from another world.
Another Discreetly Momentous Meeting Before Another UFO Wave?
We have written before of the (to some) bizarre claims of Valiant Thor which, if we accept they are true for a moment, took place in March 1957. According to the account – which was written about in full in the book Stranger At The Pentagon by Frank Strenger and even features pictures of the apparent extraterrestrial – the incident occurred in a field in rural Virginia in Alexandria.
A policeman witnessed the landing and consequently took the humanoid, who after introducing himself said he was from “The High Council” and asked to speak to President Eisenhower, to the Pentagon building. After an apparent meeting took place, Thor was granted “three-year VIP status” essentially within the heart of the United States government.
According to the claims, and something that certainly fits in with the cases we will examine here shortly and in multiple other claims from the same era, Thor was sent to Eisenhower to relay “concerns” that the alleged High Council had over humanity’s use of and persistent testing and developing of nuclear weapons.
Would it really be a coincidence that a UFO wave would take place shortly after such a momentous, if discreet, meeting? Much the same, we might remind ourselves, as happened three years earlier following the alleged meeting between the same president and two different races of alien in February 1954.
It is truly a bizarre claim but one that has been corroborated by at least one other person on record. And perhaps more importantly, no actual denial of the account appears to exist.
You can check out the video below for further viewing.
A Contemporary Twist On An Age-Old Concept
We have mentioned repeatedly that many whistleblowers and even former government ministers have made statements of “multiple extraterrestrials” visiting the Earth. And that they have been for some time. And while most are familiar with the generally perceived motivation of “The Grays” who would begin to appear increasingly in reports of alien encounters over the coming years, many of the encounters of the 1950s were with tall humanoid entities. Much like the account of Valiant Thor mentioned above.
One of the most intriguing of these encounters is that of Cynthia Appleton, whose account we have also examined previously. Her initial encounter in what would become a series of cosmic meetings, began during the peak of 1957 UFO activity in November, in Birmingham, England.
She would claim that several tall humanoid entities with “long, blond hair” and wearing “bright, silver spacesuits” would suddenly “materialize” in her front room where she sat with her children. What’s more, they would communicate with her telepathically.
It is perhaps interesting that these humanoid extraterrestrials are similar in their descriptions of how most people would describe an angel. And perhaps, if we take a sidestep for a moment, we might compare many of the descriptions of The Grays with demon-like entities.
In short, as much of a speculative leap as it might be, might these basic likenesses suggest not only an alien presence on our planet, going back thousands and thousands of years, but that these separate alien races, each with their own agendas have had an active involvement in our collective history? So much so that they are the characters in many of our myths and legends from antiquity?
The Truly Bizarre James Cooke Abduction Incident
Several weeks before the UFO wave of November, on 7th September 1957 in Runcorn in Cheshire in England, James Cooke would claim to undergo a life-changing experience. In fact, the encounter began the day before on the evening of the 6th of November when Cooke claimed to have received telepathic messages.
These messages, he claimed, told him to go to a specific hill in Runcorn at 2:15 am, which he duly did. At exactly the time specified, a “spaceship” arrived in a blinding flash of light, changing colors from blue to white several times. Ultimately, as it came lower and lower to the ground, it changed to a “dark red” color.
As the craft settled, a ramp extended outward. Another voice entered his mind, telling him to board the craft. Once more, he did as instructed and would find himself standing inside a brightly lit room inside the futuristic cosmic vehicle.
The voice returned telling him to undress and put on a one-piece coverall which Cooke reminded him of plastic. From there, the account takes even more outlandish turns.
Cooke claimed he was then taken to their home planet, a place named Zomdic. During the journey, he claimed to have spoken telepathically with “20 alien humanoids”. Upon his arrival, he learned of their civilization. For example, they didn’t use currency of any form. Perhaps of even more intrigue was the lessons he learned of how they “manipulated energy to create matter”.
By the time he returned to Earth, however, one apparent message had positioned itself in his mind. According to Cooke this was:
The inhabitants of (Earth) will upset the balance of they persist in using force instead of harmony. Warn them of the danger!
Interestingly, we touched on these “warnings” in our Alien Abduction process article.
The Levelland UFO Encounters
By the time the November wave was poised to break out across the United States, one of the more well-known UFO incidents in UFO history would take place in Levelland Texas. Beginning on the evening of 2nd November, multiple people would report 15 separate incidents within several hours of each other.
The details of the encounters were almost identical to the surge of accounts that would surface over the subsequent weeks. A cigar or egg-shaped craft, that landed right in the middle of the highway. What’s more, any vehicles in the area would fail as they approached the bizarre craft.
As we mentioned above and as we will touch on again shortly, the fact that such details are so similar to each other in this very precise window of time is what makes the 1957 UFO wave stand out from other waves previously. Even down to the details of UFOs landing in the middle of the road and the engine failure of approaching vehicles.
It would very much appear as though there is some pre-planned, purposeful procedure that those behind these strange sightings would follow. Was this some kind of experiment or test? Was it to test our collective reactions? And what were they, whoever “they” might prove to be, hoping to learn from such a potential experiment?
Before we look at just a handful of sightings that took place throughout the month of November, check out the video below. It looks at the Levelland sightings a little closer.
The November Wave
While the Levelland incidents are one of the better-known UFO incidents of the 1957 November wave, multiple incidents were occurring daily all over the planet. We might imagine for a moment what the response might have been in real-time if the incident of 1957 had taken place in 2007 or 2017, with the wall-to-wall television news stations and the way information can be shared from one side of the world to the other in an instant. It very well may be the case that November 1957 was even busier than we already know it was.
One of the first recorded incidents of the November wave came at around 5:30 pm on 1st November in Huntington, West Virginia. The unnamed witness – a local woman – was at home when a sudden “crash” announced itself from outside. Then, a strange “beeping” noise was audible, again quite obviously coming from outside.
A little nervous but intrigued, the witness ventured outside in order to establish just what was happening. Much to her amazement, on the roof of her house, was a “metallic-looking object” approximately the size of a standard car. She would later describe the object as looking like “two hemispheres joined off-center”.
She would further recall how the bottom half of the object appeared to spin slowly. In total it would remain on the roof for several seconds before suddenly taking off and disappearing into the night sky.
This, however, was just the first of a true wave of strange aerial encounters and strange incidents.
It All Started In Texas…?
In the early hours of 2nd November, at around 3:30 am just outside of Canadian, Texas, multiple witnesses would report a “submarine-shaped object” overhead. What’s more, a strange figure was witnessed inside the craft by several of the witnesses. As a further note of credibility, a sudden flash of light would also coincide with the failure of car engines and headlights, something that comes repeatedly in many UFO encounters.
A little over 12 hours later, at around 5:30 pm, also in Texas between Sherman and McKinney, several people witnessed a “strange light” overhead that would brighten and dim repeatedly. At around the same time in Clovis, New Mexico, Odis Echols along with his parents witnessed a “bulky object” moving fast across the skies.
Sightings in Texas, however, would continue throughout the evening of 2nd November. For example, a little after the Echols sighting, two grain combines would each have their engines fail at the same time as a strange craft made its way overhead in Petit. A little later at around 8:30 pm on the highway between Seminole and Seagraves, a motorist would witness a strange light just over the road which coincided with the failure of his car engine and headlights. The incident lasted several seconds before it rose into the air and took off at great speed.
Similar Sightings Within Minutes Of Each Other
Just before midnight, and around an hour after the Levelland incidents, in Shallowater, two couples driving in the same car witnessed a “flash of orange light” zip through the sky. At the same time, the engine and headlights of the vehicle failed for several seconds.
Only minutes later in Whitharral, Jose Alverez was driving along Route 51 when he suddenly saw a bizarre object, approximately 200 feet across, blocking the road. As he came up to the bizarre craft, the engine and the headlights on his car died. A second later, the strange object rose quickly into the air and disappeared.
An almost identical description came from Jim Wheeler, who at around midnight while driving on Route 116 just outside of Levelland also saw a strange object blocking his way as it sat in the middle of the highway. Wheeler would describe the object as “egg-shaped” and “brightly-lit”. Furthermore, it was approximately 200 feet across. Further still, as he approached the bizarre craft, the engine and headlights on his vehicle failed, before the object would rise from the surface and then disappear into the sky.
Approximately 5 minutes later near Smyer, Texas Tech student, Newell Wright was driving along the highway when the headlights and engine suddenly died. He would exit his vehicle in order to investigate what the problem might be. However, upon doing so he would notice the “oval-shaped object” that was “flat on the bottom like a loaf of bread” resting on the road ahead. After several seconds the strange craft would rise into the air and disappear. As soon as it was out of sight the engine and headlights would come back to life again.
UFO Encounter Much Further Afield
Of course, while Texas undoubtedly experienced an abundance of sightings during the opening days of November, other incidents occurred further afield.
For example, late on the 2nd November, just off the coast of Vancouver Isle on the Pacific upper west coast of the United States, a Japanese freighter, the S.S. Meitetsu Maru would report a bizarre glowing object seemingly hovering over a fishing boat on fire. After several moments and as the ship got closer to it, it suddenly disappeared into the night sky.
The following day in the early hours of the 3rd November at the Fort of Itaipu in Brazil, two on-duty sentries witnessed a strange orange light hovering a little way out over the sea. When the object began to suddenly get larger, obviously heading in their direction, the two guards began to become alarmed. Within seconds, it was directly overhead of them. It remained overhead for several seconds before disappearing sending a strange wave of heat over the witnesses.
The following evening in the Ararangua region of Brazil an airliner would suffer several of its components “burning out” during a UFO encounter.
Meanwhile, back in the North American continent, sightings of UFOs would begin to spring up much further afield than just the Texas region.
Spreading Right Across North America
At around 3 am in Elmwood Park in Illinois in the early hours of 4th November, three on-duty police officers, Clifford Shaw, Joe Lukasek, and Dan Diglovanni would witness and report a bright cigar-shaped object hovering overhead. What’s more, the engine, headlights, and even the patrol lights of their vehicle would dim significantly. After several seconds, the object zoomed off into the distance and vanished out of sight.
Later that afternoon in Orogrande in New Mexico, local resident, James Stokes was driving along the highway. It was a little after 1 pm when his vehicle suddenly began to falter, including significant interference on the car’s radio. As he looked around his surroundings, he noticed there were several other vehicles stalled on the road also.
When he looked around, he became aware of an “egg-shaped object” passing overhead. What’s more, the object would seemingly make several passes of the awestruck motorists below. Stokes would claim the object was around 500 feet across. What’s more, when it passed, he would recall a “pressure” and even a heat from the bizarre craft.
The craft would eventually move away and head out into the distance. Interestingly, Stokes would notice strange, sunburn-type markings on his skin later that day, which would disappear the next day.
Later that evening at around 10:45 pm at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque also in New Mexico, witnesses would report an egg-shaped object circling the base. Air traffic controllers at the base would report the object moved at speeds between 150 and 200 miles per hour, even diving at times as if about to land on the runway. It would eventually head off and disappear into the distance.
Reports Of Humanoid Occupant Encounters
In the early hours of the 5th November between Mobile and Selma in Alabama, United States Coast Guards would notice a strange light moving across the sky, a sighting that was later corroborated by three Air Force pilots before disappearing into the distance.
At around the same time on the west coast in California, Richard Keyhoe, would experience engine failure while driving before witnessing the same egg-shaped craft witnessed by many others who happened to be on the road at the time. This object would land on the nearby beach, a strange blue haze surrounding it.
Even more bizarre, two humanoids would then emerge from the object and approach the witnesses, all of whom watched the scene unfolding in awe and shock. They would ask them various questions, none of which any of the witnesses could remember in any detail aside from such basics as “Where are you going?” or “What time is it?”
Perhaps one interesting detail would be the later descriptions of “yellow-green” skin of the apparent visitors. This would be suggestive of reptilian-type aliens. Following the brief exchange, the two humanoids would enter back inside their craft which would then rise into the air and disappear.
Later that afternoon, at a little after 2:30 pm at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, radar operators would follow and track an anomalous object for just over 90 minutes before it vanished out of range.
Bizarre West Coast Incidents
Several hours later on the other side of the United States in Nebraska, Reinhold Schmidt, who was in the state after purchasing grain when his car suddenly experienced engine failure. When he got out to inspect the cause he witnessed a “silvery, blimp-shaped” object standing on four legs on the road. He would later state it was around 100 feet in length.
Even more bizarre, he was quickly approached by two humanoids who quickly searched him and then took him promptly onboard the craft. Bizarrely, two women were already on board the craft. He would eventually be asked to leave the craft which he did before watching it take off into the sky.
Around the same time at Long Beach Airport also in California, while witnesses were monitoring a storm from the Weather Station, several disc-shaped objects were observed moving around in “helter-skelter” fashion. Witnesses would describe the movement of the objects as “erratic and very fast”. They would remain visible for around 90 seconds before disappearing from sight.
Later that same day, at a little after 6 pm over Los Alamitos Naval Air Station, several on-duty personnel would report a star-like object, changing “color and brightness”.
Several hours later at a little after 11 pm in Hobbs in the nearby state of New Mexico, two witnesses would report a strange red light moving through the sky for around 10 minutes. The light would eventually swoop down on their car before heading into the distance. In the same way that many of the other incidents of the 1957 wave, as it passed over their vehicle, the engine and lights died. They would return to life once it moved away into the distance.
Double-digit sightings of a similar nature continued almost constantly for several weeks.
Steadier, But Continual Sightings!
As the days continued, while the number of sightings had steadied a little, they were still relatively constant. And what’s more, many of them were witnessed by multiple people.
At around 7 pm on the evening of the 10th November in Hammond, Indiana, two on-duty police officers witnessed a “red and white light” hovering overhead at an altitude of around 1,000 feet. As they watched the bizarre craft, a “strange beeping” was also audible. While the object was present overhead, the police radio descended into a cacophony of electrical interference.
Several hours later, early in the morning of 11th November at around 1:20 am in Madison, Ohio, a local resident, Leita Kuhn, was concerned with an overheated stove at the bottom of her yard near the dog kennels. What made her repeated journeys from her home to the bottom of her garden even harder was particularly cold and snowy weather.
On this last trip to check on the stove, after being satisfied that everything was as it should be, she locked the kennel door and turned to head back inside. The snow had stopped but the carpet of white on the ground glowed brightly. When she realized there was no moon, nor stars visible that evening, she looked upward to see a “huge glowing object” with a domed top hovering around 60 feet above her.
She watched the bizarre scene for several moments, even noticing what appeared to be “puffs of exhaust” from the craft’s underside. However, a sudden grip of fear took hold and she ran into the house as quickly as she could. She would head straight to the window after reaching the safety of her home. However, despite the journey only taking a matter of seconds, the object was no longer there.
From California, To Japan, To Europe
A little over 12 hours after the Ohio sighting, at around 4:20 pm at Canogo Park in San Fernando, California, four engineers with the Rocketdyne company would witness three oval-shaped crafts shining in the daylight of the afternoon sun.
One of the objects was larger than the others and slightly more cigar-shaped. Their movement across the sky was most definitely purposeful and guided. This larger craft was silver on top as if made from some type of metal. The underside, on the other hand, was “bright orange”, possibly suggesting some type of propulsion system or even the reflection of the sunlight.
They moved across the sky in a tight V-formation and at an approximate speed of 5,000 miles per hour. Their later comparative notes would suggest they appeared at an original altitude of 10,000 feet and would eventually climb to around 30,000 feet before disappearing from sight.
Several days later at around 6 am on the 14th of November, at Johnson Air Base in Japan, a “pale, white, long thin object” was reported by several people. Some reports would suggest it looked like a “fountain pen in the Eastern sky”. It would remain in sight for around two minutes before eventually climbing high into the sky and vanishing completely.
Several hours later at a little after 12 noon in Rothwestern in West Germany, radar operators would detect an unusual object which then “split into two parts” and took off in separate directions. The speed of these crafts ranged from a breakneck 3,000 to 5,000 miles per hour. Furthermore, and like most of the other incidents during this time, there was significant radar and communication interference while the crafts were in view.
Sightings And Encounters Over The World’s Airports
On the same day, back in the United States in Hill City in Kansas at around 5:30 pm, pilot, William Taft, and co-pilot, Joshua Hinson, were piloting a B-47E bomber at an altitude of 36,000 feet. As they did they would spot a “metallic silver-gray object shaped like a football” hovering in a stationary position approximately 10,000 feet above their position. The pilots watched the bizarre object for several minutes before another B-47 crossed their position, causing the strange craft to follow it.
The following afternoon at around 2 pm in Cachoeira in Brazil another UFO incident took place over the Aero Dome building at the airport. A “huge metallic object” was witnessed by several people as it hovered over the building at an altitude of around 300 feet. Further descriptions would claim the craft was around 200 feet across and glowed a bright orange color. Once more, any cars running or attempting to approach the object would experience engine failure.
A little over a week later on the afternoon of the 22nd November near Taraki in Turkey, a hexagon-shaped object was reported by a Turkish Air Force pilot. The day after, at around 7 pm on the evening of the 23rd November in Illinois, five different airline pilots would witness a “brilliant white object” hovering for several moments before circling the area. It would do this several times before disappearing into the distance.
Almost Identical Encounters Begin To Slow
Three days later, in the same region of Illinois, at a little after 6 am a National Guard pilot would observe a “large, flat, silver object” while piloting an F-86 at an altitude of 44,000 feet. The object would approach his plane at extremely high speed before changing course at the last moment. The bizarre and strange craft remained in sight for around 10 minutes before disappearing.
Only four hours later at a little after 10 am over Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, several personnel watching an F-100 from the ground would notice a strange cigar-shaped object suddenly appear above them. One of the witnesses, who was watching the encounter through binoculars, would state that without any warning, it would suddenly “vanish”. This is an interesting detail as it asks the question whether it literally vanished into thin air, or if it disappeared into the distance.
Over the next 24 hours, very similar sightings would take place over Est Mesa Air Force Base in New Mexico, as well as over Yakima in Washington, Toledo in Ohio and as far away as the Soviet Union. All of which were witnessed by military personnel.
The incidents would begin to slow somewhat as December took over for the last weeks of 1957. However, they were still much steadier than they normally would be. And while the UFO wave of 1957 was most definitely coming to an end, it was perfectly obvious that something quite extraordinary had just taken place in the skies of our planet.
The Lake Isabella Photograph
Perhaps before we turn our attention toward what, if anything, might have been the purpose of this wave of sightings in the last weeks of 1957, we should turn our attention to an intriguing photograph taken at some point in the latter months of the calendar year in question.
The photograph would not come to light until almost half a century later when the son of the man who had held on to it was given the picture by bis father.
According to the account, the person who took the photograph – “B.C.” – was traveling near the Nevada-California border. They would ultimately pull up in a dry lakebed when BC decided he would take “some random scenic shots”. He didn’t see anything unusual at the time. However, when he received the color slides several weeks later, he could see the bizarre, glowing, disc-like craft on the picture. You can see that shot below.
At first, the photographer thought that someone at the picture lab was playing some kind of joke. However, a quick investigation would prove this was not the case. BC, along with the son’s father, would make several copies of the pictures before approaching several magazines. These would include Time Life Magazine.
The publication would conduct several tests on the picture, and several days after receiving it declared it to be genuine and untampered with. At first, it appeared the magazine would publish the picture. However, their main New York office would insist that they should not do so. Nor should they even report on the encounter.
A Potential Piece Of UFO Evidence Left Discarded?
A little dejected, and not to mention suspicious of the sudden lack of interest following the instructions of the head office of the magazine, the son’s father left the slide on his desk in his office and simply forgot about it. That was until almost half a century later that is when he gave the picture to his son.
As the owner of the photograph would state, it is perfectly possible for someone to take a (genuine) photograph and not see something with their naked eye that would later appear completely clearly in the picture itself. We have examined several other UFO incidents previously. And we have also examined how the human eye can only see a fraction of the visual spectrum. This means that UFOs could literally be around us (or over us) all the time, only we just can’t see them.
We should remember that many pictures claiming to have captured pictures of ghosts and apparitions often state that they didn’t witness anything strange at the time the respected pictures were taken.
As many researchers have suggested for some time, might there be a connection between UFO incidents and encounters more at home in the world of the supernatural? Might UFOs, aliens, ghosts, and hauntings all stem from the same bizarre and not yet understood umbrella of the weird and the strange?
And, more relevant to our content here, what should we make of the 1957 UFO wave? What was the agenda of those seemingly behind the encounters? And how might it fit into the waves witnessed previously and those still to come as the fifties would give way from the sixties?
The Last Of The “Classic” UFO Waves?
As we mentioned in the beginning, the fact that an alleged “meeting” between what, even then, was regarded as the Leader of the Free World, and an alien entity, representing a collective of extraterrestrials no less, is something that while not wanting to put too much weight behind is not something that we should ignore either.
The wave of 1957, while featuring many direct close encounters with the apparent occupants of the strange craft traversing the planet at the time, was one that we could very much class as a “classic” UFO wave. Many of the objects were saucer-shaped, and while they were certainly happening, the alien abduction phenomena as we generally perceive it today perhaps marked by the Betty and Barney Hill encounter in the early sixties was still several years away.
Might it be that somewhere between this wave of sightings and the upcoming abduction era, something, behind the scenes, changed? Was there a battle for access to and even control of humanity with another alien race? Perhaps one much more benevolent, at least as far as our collective future and well-being is concerned.
Between the bloodshed of Vietnam, political assassinations, and the hippy movement of the sixties, something very much changed in the American psyche. Both in terms of the collective perception of UFOs and alien visitors. A change that has never really returned to the “innocence” of the 1950s. This change and the circumstances surrounding them is yet another nuance to the UFO and alien question. A nuance that requires understanding as much as every other layer.
Check out the video below. It looks at UFO sightings during the late 1950s. And gives a good idea of the general feel and perception of such things.
The stories, accounts, and discussions in this article are not always based on proven facts and may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports and accounts available to us as provided by witnesses and documentation.
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