Signs that aliens or 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, Kinross AFB in Michigan dispatched an F-89 Scorpion interceptor to investigate. The airplane was crewed by Felix Moncla and Robert Wilson, who would never be seen again.

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.

Immediately, the US Air Force issued statements. At first, they said the fighter had been chasing a misidentified Canadian airplane and crashed for unknown reasons during the intercept. But wouldn't the Canadian airplane have filed their flight plan? The USAF later retracted that statement, now claiming that Moncla had experienced vertigo and crashed into Lake Superior. That still didn't explain why searchers 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.

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 traveling 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. His watch had stopped for 14 minutes.

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, with a cracked windshield and radio antennas bent back at angles. Whatever hit Johnson certainly left its mark.

The story's so bizarre, it makes it hard to accept any explanation besides aliens. Johnson's story also 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.

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. Hmm. In this case, "aliens" might be the less ridiculous explanation.

Betz Mystery Sphere

Now, let's talk about some actual alien technology (maybe). 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.

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.

The New York Times covered it, and the Marines and NASA both contacted the family. 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.

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, archaeologists began discovering weird golden figurines that appeared to depict nonexistent 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 rough scale model of one of the figurines and discovered that it flew.

That's pretty strange, but it's not the only example of ancient airplanes. A figure discovered in Egypt has similar elements. It seems to depict a cross between a bird and a glider. Like the Quimbaya figures, this one also showed aerodynamic stability when a scale model was built.

What's going on here? Perhaps these civilizations are basing their models on something they saw.

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

Mysterious statues from world civilizations have provided evidence that aliens might have visited 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 in 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.

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 Ubaid 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?

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.