In 1995, Fox wanted to capitalise off the
popularity of The X-Files and the country’s
fascination with all things alien. From British
TV producer Ray Santilli, they purchased a
grainy 17 minute video, of men in hazmat suits
performing an autopsy on an alien creature.
Their show ‘Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?’
was a hit, and the world debated the authenticity
of the footage. It was commonly alleged to
have been recovered from a UFO crash site
near Roswell, and the rubbery flesh of the
creature had countless UFOlogists convinced.
The film had its critics, but they weren’t
proven right until 2006, when Santilli himself
debunked the video… kind of.
Santilli was executive producer on a film,
documenting his experiences faking the footage
with hired actors and special effects artists.
But he bizarrely claimed that he only did
this because the real alien autopsy footage
that he had was damaged, comparing his footage
to someone ‘restoring the Mona Lisa’.
9. Angel’s Glow
During the American Civil War, when night
fell in the 1862 Battle of Shiloh, certain
injured soldiers noticed that their wounds
had a faint blue glow to them. When they arrived
in hospital, these soldiers were more likely
to survive their wounds, and even healed faster
than those without the ‘Angel’s Glow’.
This divine superstition remained the only
plausible explanation for almost 140 years.
In 2001, microbiologist Phyllis Martin took
her son to the Shiloh battlefield, where the
story reminded her of a soil bacterium she’d
studied called ‘P. luminescens’, which
gave off a pale blue glow.
The bacterium lives inside tiny parasitic
worms called nematodes, which burrow into
things like soil, and vomit up bacteria that
kills microorganisms inside. P. Luminescens
can’t survive at human body temperature,
but soldiers outside in wet cold soil for
days may have had low enough body temperatures
to sustain the bacterium, which cleaned their
wounds and saved them in return.
8. The Miracle of the Sun
In 1917, three young girls in Portugal were
walking home, when they claimed to encounter
the Virgin Mary, who told the children she
would reappear each month. Naturally, this
piqued people's interest, and 6 months later,
around 70,000 people gathered for Mary’s
While thousands reported seeing nothing, thousands
more reported the sun moving in the sky, accompanied
by dancing colours and lights. The 10 minute
long ‘Miracle of the Sun’ is believed
by many to have been a bona fide miracle.
However, experts have other ideas. Instead,
they believe people witnessed a ‘sundog’,
a patch of light that sometimes appears next
to the sun.
As for the dancing colours, that can simply
be attributed to thousands of people staring
at the sun too long, which is generally advised
against. The woman the children saw is harder
to explain, although any woman could simply
have encountered them and claimed to be the
7. Sky Trumpets
Since 2013, people across the world have reported
inexplicable loud noises described invariably
as ‘sky trumpets’. The sounds have been
attributed to a number of different sources,
like invading alien spaceships and the coming
of the apocalypse, but actually has a variety
The sounds can be attributed to several natural
occurrences, like earthquakes below the earth’s
surface too small to cause shaking, as was
the case for scientist David Hill. The sound
he heard coincided with such an earthquake,
that he calculated could have transmitted
audible noises of the cracking crust.
Several videos of the phenomenon have also
been outed as hoaxes. Audio expert Richard
Dolmat noticed the exact same pattern of birds
in the audio of multiple videos, and deduced
that each one had been using the same sound
effect. He was even able to break down the
fake sound effect used in each to an alligator
roar, two lion roars, some white noise, a
stone dragging on concrete and three waterphones.
6. The Blue People Of Kentucky
French orphan Martin Fugate settled in the
hills of Eastern Kentucky in 1820, where he
met and married a woman named Elizabeth Smith.
The Fugates had 7 children, 4 of which had
striking blue skin. For over 100 years, this
trait of alien-blue skin continued in the
Fugate family tree.
It wasn’t until more than 150 years later
that science even offered any answer other
than ‘invaders from outer space’. In fact,
the Fugates suffered from an extremely rare
blood disorder. Instead of the red hemoglobin
that gives normal skin its pink tint, the
condition gave the Fugates excess levels of
Methemoglobin, which as you’ve guessed,
The condition is so rare because it requires
both parents to carry a defective gene, which
by some miracle, Martin and Elizabeth both
did. As to how the condition lasted so long
in the Fugate clan, it was a classic case
of generations of inbreeding.
5. Marfa Lights
For over 135 years now, Texas has been home
to a collection of strange floating lights
commonly reported above Mitchell Flat in Marfa.
These multicoloured lights are about the size
of basketballs, and hover above the ground,
splitting and dancing in no discernible pattern.
These are used as evidence for many of UFOs,
but the phenomenon was debunked by students
from the University of Texas at Dallas. They
found that the amount of lights witnessed
directly correlated to the amount of traffic
on the nearby Highway 67. They were even able
to trace the position of certain lights against
specific cars they were tracking.
They concluded that the lights just were a
mirage, caused by the atmosphere reflecting
lights from cars, and lamps before that. Mirages
that float above the ground like this are
known as a superior mirage or ‘Fata Morgana’.
They occur when warm air rests upon a layer
of cooler air, and are even common in Texas
4. The Disappearance Of Fred Valentich
Pilot Fred Valentich was an ardent believer
in UFOs until 1978, when he disappeared without
a trace over the Bass Strait in Australia.
In his final radio transmissions, he reported
an unidentified aircraft with four bright
lights following him, then orbiting him, despite
no traffic appearing on the radar.
This lasted for five minutes, before he claimed
‘it isn’t an aircraft’, and a metallic
scraping sound ended his transmissions. Though
conspiracy theorists cry abduction, Valentich
was an inexperienced pilot, and was believed
to have crashed.
But there’s a much simpler explanation most
experts subscribe to: Valentich was flying
upside down. Pilots can commonly become disoriented
like this, and it would explain that the ‘shiny
metallic craft’ was simply the water beneath
him reflecting his planes lights. Pilots who
studied the transmissions in 2013 also explained
that the ‘orbiting’ sensation could be
explained by a so-called ‘graveyard spiral’,
which likely took Valentich’s life.
3. Football Game UFO
In October 1954, around 10,000 football fans
gathered in the Stadio Artemio Franchi to
watch Fiorentina play rivals Pistoiese , when
the referee’s match report shows the game
had to be suspended because spectators had
seen something in the sky.
Club legend Ardico Magnini [Arr-dee-koh] remembers
seeing ‘something that looked like an egg’
moving slowly across the sky, dropping ‘silver
glitter’ to the ground. It only lasted a
few minutes, but was followed by similar UFO
sightings across town, with a similar silvery
But according to astronomer James McGaha,
it was something much scarier than aliens:
spiders. Based on the time of year, he believes
the football fans witnessed a mass spider
migration, where spiders spin very thin webs
to link together and use them as a sail in
the wind. These occurrences have been recorded
at up to 14,000 feet, where the sun shining
through web creates visual effects similar
to those witnessed.
2. The Bermuda Triangle
The Bermuda Triangle is among conspiracy theorists’
favourite locations. As the story goes, what
goes into the triangle doesn’t come out,
as evidenced by the minimum 1000 lives that
have been lost in the 700,000km spread of
sea in the last 100 years.
This has been attributed to everything from
alien portals to the lost city of Atlantis,
but actually has a list of normal explanations.
This includes ships and planes that have been
added to the list of ‘vehicles missing in
the triangle’ that no one bothered to correct
when they later showed up safe.
But according to Australian scientist Dr Karl
Kruszelnicki, it also includes widely misinterpreted
data. The triangle is among the most heavily
travelled shipping lanes in the world, and
suffers the weather conditions of being located
next to the equator, and Kruszelnicki explains
that the number of missing vehicles is ‘the
same as anywhere in the world on a percentage
1. The Amityville Horror
The Amityville Horror is perhaps the most
famous case of alleged demonic possession.
The story began when Ronald DeFeo Jr. killed
6 members of his family in Amityville in 1974.
In his insanity plea, DeFeo claimed that demonic
voices told him to, but was sentenced to life
The next year, the Lutz family moved into
the DeFeo house, but fled 28 days later, after
a series of paranormal occurrences within
the house. This, the subsequent book about
it and movies supposedly ‘based on a true
story’, cemented the idea that the demons
were real, but that they resided in the house
This was met with skepticism, especially by
Researcher Rick Moran, who found over 100
factual inaccuracies in the book. Cries of
fakery were confirmed in 1979, when DeFeo’s
lawyer admitted he and the Lutzes made up
the story to get his client a retrial and
to earn the Lutzes some money, which its safe
to say they did.
From alien sighting to a family of alien-looking blue people. These famous paranormal events have long been unsolved mysteries... Until now!
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