Signs that other intelligent life may have already visited Earth

Alien evidence doesn't just come from crackpot conspiracy theorists or re-runs of the X-Files. There are quite a few mysteries in our world that are so beyond explanation, the only reasonable conclusion is "alien visitation."

Felix Moncla and Robert Wilson's disappearance

At the height of Cold War tensions, a large radar contact mysteriously appeared over the Canadian/American border, and slowly made its way North. Fearing this to be a Soviet airplane attack (and probably the slowest airplane attack ever), Kinross AFB in Michigan dispatched a F-89 Scorpion interceptor to investigate. The airplane was crewed by Felix Moncla and Robert Wilson, which would prove the last time anybody would ever see them.

Eager radar operators watched the small dot of the F-89 close on the mysterious contact. When the crew was over Lake Superior, the two dots merged and suddenly vanished. Search parties launched immediately and combed the Lake to try to find the airplane, with no luck. The F-89 was gone, taking its two pilots with it.

Immediately, the US Air Force issued statements. At first, they said that the fighter had been chasing a misidentified Canadian airplane and crashed for unknown reasons during the intercept. But that seems odd to UFO investigators, since the Canadian airplane would've filed a report of their flight plan, and the Air Force would've known the plane was in the air. The USAF later retracted their statement, now claiming that Moncla had experienced vertigo and crashed into Lake Superior. That still didn't explain why the SAR teams couldn't find the airplane, especially since Lake Superior was covered in ice. An airplane-shaped hole in the ice should have been easy to spot.

None of the official explanations stuck — to this day, nobody knows exactly what happened that night. All we know is that the F-89 disappeared into thin air while chasing a mysterious radar contact. What happened after that is anybody's guess. The hapless F-89 could be anywhere in the universe.

Val Johnson's cop car

In the 1970s, Minnesota was a hotbed of UFO activity, but none of the incidents were as strange and compelling as what happened to Sheriff Val Johnson. On August 26, 1979, Johnson was travelling the dark country roads on patrol, when he saw a light in the distance. Johnson describes the light as being a few inches in diameter and hovering above the ground.

As Johnson was staring at the light, it suddenly came at him and engulfed the car. Johnson described it as being hit by a 200-pound pillow (whatever that means). The cop car skidded off the road, and the sheriff lost consciousness. Minutes later, Johnson woke up, finding himself in a ditch by the side of the road. When he called for backup, Johnson realized that his watch had stopped for fourteen minutes. Backup arrived, but were unable to find the mysterious light.

What makes this case so shocking is that it left physical evidence. Doctors examining Johnson treated him for burns around his eyes, much like welders get from being exposed to intense UV light. The car itself was wrecked, and a cracked windshield shows exactly where the thing hit the car, and the radio antennas are bent back at angles. Whatever hit Johnson certainly left its mark.

The story's so bizarre, it makes it hard to accept any other explanation besides aliens. Johnson's story is so interesting, it even inspired elements of Fargo's second season. The best part of it all? You can actually see Johnson's car for yourself, in a small museum in Warren, Minnesota. With a population of 1,500, the residents of Warren probably wouldn't mind the tourist money.

The Valentich disappearance

Ready for a creepy story? Once, an experienced pilot named Fred Valentich was flying over Australia's Bass Strait, when he saw something. We, in fact, have his last words on record, as he called the Melbourne Air Flight Service after seeing something odd above him. The pilot calls in and asks if there's any other "traffic" in the area. After being told there is none, he reports seeing a large aircraft passing over him. He says it's going incredibly fast, "playing some sort of game." He says he can't confirm what exactly it is and, shortly before he disappeared, said, "It's not an aircraft. It is –" before cutting off abruptly. He then said it's a flying ship that eventually began orbiting above him. His last words were, "It is hovering, and it's not an aircraft." After that, he was never heard from again.

Now, of course, there are some out there eager to debunk it, claiming that what the pilot saw was merely the bright light of Venus. Their idea goes that he saw a bunch of stars and then hallucinated a space ship between them, because apparently that's what happens when you look at Venus. You know, we've heard of Venus being used as the explanation for aliens before. The documentary Men In Black described the phenomenon best of all.

So, yes, there's a chance that this was actually an experienced pilot seeing some stars, and then literally imagining a spacecraft in between them, before somehow mysteriously disappearing without a trace and … okay, you know what? In this case, "aliens" is the less ridiculous explanation.

Betz Mystery Sphere

Now, let's talk about some actual alien technology (probably). It's called the Betz Mystery Sphere and, well, that's a great name for it, actually. It was found by Terry Betz and his family — they were looking through an area of woodlands that had just been ravaged by a fire, when they found a small smooth sphere, with an elongated V on it. After examining it, the Betz family thought it might have been part of a fallen satellite, because — c'mon — it's obviously from out of this world.

It wasn't until later, when Terry was playing a guitar, that it started "vibrat[ing] like a tuning fork." After that, Terry decided to do some experiments with it. The sphere made his dog whimper, vibrated differently due to weather, had a magnetic spot on it, and when you rolled it away, it would stop, turn, and come back to you.

Just to be clear, this isn't some little thing that the family told a few people about. The New York Times covered it, and the Marines and NASA both contacted the family. It was even taken to a convention, where scientists could get a closer look at it. Here's the weirdest part of the story: it doesn't have a good conclusion. No one knows where the sphere is now, or what it was. Although one of the scientists who examined it did warn against attempting to open it. He said he inspected it and said that it had elements inside it that, if the case were broken would, explode like an atomic bomb.

And we don't know where this thing is? Well, that's just ducky. Aliens drop a nuclear bomb on us and we straight-up lose it. That's so us.

Alien pipes of China

In China, there are caves filled with pipes that run under lake beds. Some are huge, some are small, all are old, and none of them were made by humans. Or, at least, none that we know.

See, they were made around 150,000 years ago, which is slightly longer than we can actually think about. Humans weren't supposed to be smelting metal into other things back then. Humans were barely supposed to be doing anything back then. If they could smlet pipes, that would contradict every single thing we know about humans. It'd be like finding out Jesus had an iPod, except no, because this is still about 148,000 years before Jesus.

One of the weirder things about the pipes is that the area where they were found isn't a place that humans have traditionally lived, like, ever. These pipes, which seemed to have been used to transport water, are in a remote region that no one historically lived in, except for apparently aliens at some point.

Ancient airplane models

Imagine living back in the ancient world and aliens landed in your city. It would completely shake the world view of the civilization. For years, depictions of the event would appear in art, literature and myths. If aliens have already landed, we would certainly find evidence of them in artifacts. Well, some alien conspirators believe we already have.

In pre-Columbian America, there was a complex civilization known as the Quimbaya. While digging for nearby artifacts, archeologists began discovering weird golden figurines that appeared to depict non-existent animals. Actually, they looked more like modern fighter planes, complete with wings, tail surfaces, and fuselages. Amazingly, these models are aerodynamically sound. A German research group built a scale model of one of the figurines, and discovered that it flew. Somehow, this super-ancient civilization seemed to have known the principles of flight.

That's pretty strange, but it's not the only example of ancient airplanes. A figure discovered in Egypt follows similar elements to the Quimbaya figurines. It seems to depict a bird, but the wings seem more like a glider, and the tail isn't a normal bird tail, but rather looks like a vertical stabilizer. Like the Quimbaya figures, this one also showed aerodynamic stability when a scale model was built. Shockingly, it was dated to about the same time as the Quimbaya figures, roughly 2000 years ago.

What's going on here? Two different civilizations a world apart depicted airplanes thousands of years before they were invented. Clearly, they're basing their models off of something they saw. Since the idea of an ancient, worldwide air force is fairly absurd, they figurines remain unexplainable. Alien believers have an explanation, though: these are what ancient alien ships looked like.

Ancient aluminum

Besides being one of the funniest words to get a British person to say, aluminum is one of our most important materials. It's used in all manner of transportation — from cars to boats to planes. It's the primary ingredient in our soda cans, windows, and street lights. It's our baseball bats and forks, it's our CPUs and rocket fuel. It's one of our most used elements.

One thing you might've noticed about that list is that it's comprised almost entirely of objects from rather modern times. That's because aluminum is a pretty modern thing. Oh, except for this ancient aluminum we found in Romania. It's about 250,000 years old and is a form of metallic aluminum that's been quite obviously shaped, and — perhaps even more astonishingly — is made out of many different elements.

That last factoid is messing with researchers hardcore. If it was just one hundred percent something, the argument could be made it was naturally formed, but no — down to the design of it, which experts say suggests it was made as part of a complex machine — this item seems to be from … somewhere else.

Statues depicting ancient astronauts

Like the ancient airplane models from earlier, mysterious statues from world civilizations have provided evidence that aliens might have visit Earth in ancient times. The two most important examples are the dogu figurines in Japan, and the Ubaid Lizardmen.

The dogu figurines come from ancient Jomon culture, which thrived on Japan as far back as 14,000 BC. They developed some of the earliest forms of pottery and made tons of clay projects, including some baffling dogu figurines. The dogu usually depicted animals and people, but many had huge exaggerated eyes, which made them look like spacemen wearing goggles. Nobody can explain why the Jomon made these figures. They were clearly depicting something, but archeologists can not explain what they were trying to depict.

In the Middle East, other mysterious figures have showed up, created by the Ubaid people in Iraq. The Jomon figures may look relatively human, but the Ubiad figures do not. Instead, they look like people with lizard heads. Many of these lizardmen statues exist, each one showing a similar creature: body of a man, head of a lizard. Creepily, some figures depict a lizard woman breastfeeding her lizard offspring.

What are these figures supposed to represent? Are they some sort of religious image, or something else? Archeologists are as stumped as we are. None of them want to come out and say "aliens," but the fact that ancient cultures are depicting goggled humanoids and lizardmen does make it seem like something spacey has visited us in the past.

Ancient UFOs in paintings

UFOs have appeared in dozens of shows, movies, and cartoons over the years, ranging all the way back to the incident at Roswell. Except, they actually go back even further than that.

See, UFOs have been showing up in our art for a long, long time. There are even Native American cave paintings depicting spaceship and what appear to be spacesuit-wearing creatures coming from them. Oh, and African cave paintings. And Australian cave paintings. And Tanzian. Cultures all around the globe, from the beginning of art on, have been depicting UFOs in their paintings.

Even a good portion of Christian art has UFOs in it. Don't believe us? Check out Bonaventura Salimbeni's The Glorification of the Eucharist. Yep, that's right — some of our best depictions of UFOs are in paintings hung in galleries that'd put many of us to sleep. The real X-Files stuff isn't in Area 51, it's in The Louvre.