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It was a clear summer afternoon in Lake Tahoe, California in the late 70’s when I saw my first UFO. The rough-hewn cigar-shaped craft hovered for a long period of time at a distance over the lake. It was so obvious that all of my neighbors joined me on the street watching it until it suddenly disappeared. Despite over a dozen witnesses, it was never reported, most people keep UFO experiences to themselves for fear of being labeled crazy. According to the National UFO Reporting Center, there were over 4,881 reported sightings in the United States in 2017, imagine how many were not reported.
What was once a subject of clandestine conversation has now become an international fascination with tourists visiting famed sighting areas and governments from around the world organizing extensive exploration. Even the U.S. Pentagon admitted it ran a secret program to investigate sightings by military pilots of countless unidentified flying objects. The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program officially ended six years ago, but many believe the program is still active.
My fascination with the unknown compelled me to explore unique areas from around the world where visitors can discover the mysteries of the universe, as well as be entertained by historical sightings. Here are my 8 favorite locations for your own out of this world experience.
Alien landscape in Chile CASCADE TRAVELToday In: Lifestyle Old
Chile is often mentioned as the country with the highest recorded number of UFO sightings. Due to its low humidity, high altitude ridges, and clear skies with little pollution, Chile has become a favorite among UFO-seekers from around the world.
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The country has even launched the CEFAA (Committee for Studies of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena (CEFAA), a government body which investigates UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon) under the control of the Chilean Air Force.
Cerro Paranal in the Chilean Atacama Desert ESO PHOTO AMBASSADOR YURI BELETSKY
Located in the Atacama Desert of Chile, ESO’s Paranal Observatory is one of the best astronomical observing sites in the world and is the flagship location for Europes ground-based astronomy. It contains several major telescopes including the Very Large Telescope, the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy, and the VLT Survey Telescope.
The ESO Hotel and La Residencia adjacent to Paranal Observatory provide accommodation for staff and media only. Tourists are not allowed to stay overnight. In order to visit the observatory, it is a two-hour drive from Cerro Moreno airport and opens on weekends only with an advance reservation.
The Alma Observatory at Chajnantor Plateau CARLOS PADILLA -AUI -NRAO
ALMA Observatory is the most ambitious radio observatory on Earth. Unlike optic telescopes, radio telescopes are designed to capture radio waves emitted by sources in space. This is a segment of the electromagnetic spectrum that allows researchers to take a closer look at the Universe. ALMA has 66 antennas: fifty-four 12-meter diameter antennas and twelve 7-meter diameter antennas.
It is open every Saturday and Sunday to members of the public who want to visit its facilities located in northern Chile (30 miles from San Pedro de Atacama). Visitors get to see the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF), where ALMA personnel work and where you can observe the control room, laboratories, and the antenna transporter. The area of Chajnantor Plateau (where the massive number of antennas are located) are not open to visitors.
El Enladrillado UFO landing area GO CHILE
San Clemente, Chile is considered to be the unofficial UFO capital of the world. Researchers say that hundreds of UFO sightings have been reported there, as much as one per week. So popular is the area that the Chilean tourism board established an official UFO trail in 2008. The 19-mile trail runs through the Andes mountains covering sights where close encounters have been reported. Included in the experience are Colbún Lake, which has proved popular with UFOs because of its high mineral content, along with various areas highlighting historic sightings. But the trail’s must-see location is El Enladrillado, a huge, bizarre flat area formed by 200 perfectly cut volcanic blocks that were reportedly laid by ancient civilizations. It takes four hours to get to the location on horseback and is believed by many to be a landing pad for extraterrestrials.
Elqui Domos Astronomical Hotel JAMES FLORIO / ELQUI DOMOS
Elqui Domos Astronomical Hotel is a small 10-year-old hotel located in the heart of the Elqui Valley, a narrow valley stretched in between the Andes Mountains. The hotel is equipped with a restaurant, an astronomical observatory, an outdoor pool and 11 air-conditioned and centrally-heated rooms. The rooms are divided into 7 geodesic domes and 4 observatory-style cabins.
The domes have a private bathroom, a living room on the first floor and a bed on a mezzanine floor, from where you can uncover the roof of the domes and search the skies.
The Elqui Valley is well known for its perfectly clear skies and nice weather, as well as for its great potential for UFO spotting and studying astronomy.
Poolside dome at Elqui Domos Hotel ELQUI DOMOS
Take this excursion on horseback to the Andes along the trails of the local cowboys, an adventure that will take you through a natural and wild landscape under a perfect blue sky and along the Cochiguaz river. You will be accompanied by a trained guide who will educate you on the skies using a 12″ telescope while sitting around a campfire and drinking pisco sours.
The next morning is a trip to the scientific observatory of Cerro Tololo, which includes a visit to the observatory’s facilities and a guided tour introducing the research done at the complex. That evening check-in to a hotel in Vicuña before a night tour to the observatory.
Crop circles adorn wheat fields near Wiltshire, England DAVID GODDARD (GETTY IMAGES)
Mysterious patterns have appeared in the fields of Wiltshire, just one mile from the equally bizarre Stonehenge. Many sightings have occurred here including a large disc-shaped object hovering above the site. The prehistoric monument includes a ring of massive stones dating back to around 3100 BC and is listed as a World Heritage site. Supporters of the theory that ancient aliens built the landmark also consider the area a landing pad for spaceships or a location marker for extraterrestrials.
Sign for Little A’Le’Inn and flying saucer near Area 51. (Getty Images)
AREA 51, NEVADA (S4 Papoose Mountain Facility)
This U.S. military installation is located almost 100 miles north of Las Vegas and is commonly known to UFO conspiracy theorists as a location the U.S. government refused to acknowledge. They believe that the area is a storage facility for the examination of a crashed alien spacecraft including its occupants both living and dead as well as materials recovered at Roswell. They also believe the area is used to manufacture aircraft based on alien technology.
Some UFOlogists are now claiming a secret underground facility has been discovered in the base of the Papoose Mountains, in Lincoln County, Nevada, where recovered alien space crafts and extraterrestrial beings are kept hidden away and no longer at Area 51.
This tour takes you to locations near the famed Area 51, departing from Las Vegas for nighttime explorations. Area 51 is a highly classified remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base so visitors are limited on how close they can get.
Sedona vortex VISIT SEDONA
Sedona, Arizona is one of America’s most popular destinations for spotting U.F.O.s. Nightly tours go out with visitors equipped with night vision glasses, binoculars, and telescopes. The amount of activity recorded is staggering including reported sightings of; Orbs, portals, aliens, and even Bigfoots all within the high desert.
The mysterious Bradshaw Ranch also draws numerous tourists. Located deep within the national forest, it is reported to have been confiscated by the U.S. Government because it housed one of the most powerful inter-dimensional portals on the planet. Visitors are not allowed in the National Forest at night, but several tour operators will take you there and stay until dusk. According to accounts, it’s in the last hour of twilight when many of these phenomena take place. There are even more outrageous reports of a top-secret underground base at the ranch as well as an elaborate tunnel system, possibly used by both extraterrestrials and the U.S. military.
This tour begins with a two-hour meditation walk starting at the Amitabha Stupa, Sedona’s most spiritual vortex. Guides will take you through a guided meditation and even offer a paranormal video tour. After sunset, you can visit a well known hot spot of UFO activity where the company guarantees sightings of UFO’s, using special night vision goggles.
Wycliffe Well, Australia WYCLIFFE WELL
UFOs are not an uncommon sight in Wycliffe Well. They are known to appear at the beginning of the dry season, from May to October. Wycliffe Well is located in the Northern Territory along the Stuart Highway between Alice Springs and Tennant Creek and considers itself the UFO capital of Australia. Wycliffe Well is said to be one of the top five UFO hotspots in the world and guarantees a sighting every couple of days. Visitors can stay in cabins at the Wycliffe Well Holiday Park located 236 miles from Alice Springs.
Ural Mountains Perm Anomalous Zone (Shutterstock)
M TRIANGLE, RUSSIA
This famous Perm Anomalous Zone is located in a remote area near the Ural Mountains in Russia. The M Triangle is one of the most mysterious places in the world and was discovered in the 1980s. Reports of watches that stop, and bright glowing and colored lightning appearing in the sky. Ufologists consider this a sign of underground fractures where strong energy emits. This wave duct for electromagnetic energy usually results in color, sound, and other phenomena.
The village of Molyobka sits on the border of the Perm and Sverdlovsk regions. Opposite the village, on the left bank of the Sylva River, is the famous Molyobka Triangle. When Perm geologist Emil Bachurin found a circular, 206-foot impression in the snow in the 80’s, the location quickly became a location for enthusiasts to explore Yetis, UFOs, shining spheres, and plasmoids.
The area is currently developing a UFO park, and local businesses are building hotels and observatories for tourists as well as installing gravity meters, infrared cameras, and magnetic-field sensors. UFO tourism is also popular in nearby Tolyatti, where visitors can see some of the world’s largest crop circles.
Joshua Tree Sunset CONTACT IN THE DESERT
JOSHUA TREE, CALIFORNIA
Joshua Tree is on 29 Palms Highway, about a three-hour drive from LAX. The area is known to have many underground waterways all featuring a high mineral content. Joshua Tree National Park was once home to 300 mines and includes a unique white crystal quartz hill behind Giant Rock. Visitors often go searching for the hidden alien base that is rumored to be located somewhere beneath the expansive desert.
UFOlogists believe that Joshua Tree sits on the 33rd North parallel just like Roswell. The research behind the 33rd North parallel provides the location for the most UFO sightings.
Dr. Steven Greer is a controversial UFOlogist who founded the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CSETI) and the Disclosure Project, which seeks the disclosure of allegedly suppressed UFO information. Each week-long expedition is limited to about 25 and includes an intensive training program with Dr. Greer. At night the group meets under the stars for 4-5 hours to make contact using Greer’s CE-5 Contact Protocols. During the intensive training program, visitors learn how to make contact with ET civilizations and how to really become an Ambassador to the Universe.
Dr. Steven Greer expedition SIRIUS DISCLOSURE
For the past five years, UFO researchers ranging from professionals to fans converge on the California High Desert for a long weekend of lectures and workshops on the unexplained. The Woodstock of UFOlogy is a weekend of education into the Science of UFOs & Extraterrestrial Life, Ancient Aliens, Human Origins, Crop Circles, Government Disclosure, UFO Sightings and Interplanetary Living.
UFO Festival in Roswell ROSWELL UFO FESTIVAL
ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO
Roswell has been at the heart of the UFO scene since July 1947 when the military announced it had found the remains of a crashed UFO in the desert nearby. Ever since the legendary Roswell UFO crash of July 1947 alien conspiracy theorists have claimed the remains of a flying saucer, and even dead aliens, were secretly taken into storage.
Visits to the crash sites are difficult to navigate deep in the desert, so many tourists visit the Roswell Spacewalk and the International UFO Museum and Research Center.
Every Fourth of July weekend the city of Roswell organizes the UFO Festival, a celebration of all things extraterrestrial. Thousands of people meet on Main Street for the Comic-Con of UFO devotees. Costume contests, and a long weekend of lectures and book signings put on by Roswell’s International UFO Museum.
PROFESSIONAL ALIEN EXPLORATION
Aside from the numerous tourist locations around the world, the scientific community is ramping up efforts to discover the unknown and to hopefully make contact with extraterrestrials. The following are the top satellite and research programs that are currently active with a few offering tourists to visit their facilities.
A planned space telescope for NASA’s Explorers program, designed to search for exoplanets using the transit method is planned to launch in March 2018. The conclusion is that Europa or Enceladus are both possible life planets as well as the discovery of Kepler-452b. It is the first near-Earth-size world to be found in the habitable zone of a star that is similar to our sun. And, in 2015, NASA announced strong evidence that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.
The James Webb Space Telescope is a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror. The telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana in Spring 2019 and will study the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth.
(NExSS) is a NASA research coordination network dedicated to the study of planetary habitability. The goals of NExSS are to investigate the diversity of exoplanets and to learn how their history, geology, and climate interact to create the conditions for life.
Project Breakthrough Co-Founders Mark Zuckerberg (L) and Yuri Milner (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty… [+]
Billionaire Yuri Milner, physicist Stephen Hawking, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have launched the $100 million Breakthrough Listen program. The program is focused on astronomical observations in search of evidence of intelligent life beyond Earth. It is by far the most comprehensive search ever undertaken for artificial radio and optical signals encompassing a complete survey of the 1,000,000 nearest stars, the plane and center of our galaxy, and the 100 nearest galaxies.
The CNES French Space Agency service is funded by the French government. Its mission is to collect reports of UFO or UAP (Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena) sightings that have occurred over the French territory, to provide an explanation when possible, and to answer questions from the public.
SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence is located in Mountain View, California and seeks evidence of life in the universe by looking for some signature of its technology. More than 90 scientists work at the Institute looking for life beyond Earth. The Allen Telescope is sometimes available for tours and is located 350 miles North of the Institute.
Great Refractor Telescope in California UC OBSERVATORY
UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley have given the Lick Observatory’s 40-inch Nickel Telescope a new pulse-detection system capable of finding laser beacons from civilizations many light-years away. The automated planet finder (APF) is the world’s first robotic telescope capable of detecting rocky planets that might support life in other solar systems. Located one hour from San Jose in the Santa Clara Valley, visitors are allowed inside the dome of the36-inch great refractor Thursday-Sunday.
Operated by the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii. A strange oblong asteroid named Oumuamua was recently detected by Pan-STARRS through its collection of telescopes perched high above the Hawaiian island of Maui. The SETI Institute began scanning Oumuamua with its Allen Telescope Array on Nov. 23, 2017. So far, they have spent 60 hours checking for transmissions over a wide range of frequencies. Another SETI project, Breakthrough Listen, will soon devote 10 hours to investigating Oumuamua using a large antenna in West Virginia.
Aperture Spherical Telescope in China FAST
Chinas five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), is located in a rural part of China’s Guizhou province and will be used to try to solve some of the universe’s biggest mysteries. One of its primary missions is to detect communication signals or messages from alien civilizations.
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