Aliens in New England? A Timeline of UFO Sightings and Unusual Encounters

Even before the first European settlers arrived on these shores in the 1600s, New England was hosting visitors from around the world. Yet some believe New England has also welcomed guests from much, much farther away. The first documented UFO sighting in America occurred here, as did the first widely publicized claim of alien abduction. Want to learn more about New England UFO sightings and alien encounters? Here are a few highlights from New England’s very own “X-Files.”


First Reported Sighting (1639)

Governor John Winthrop of Massachusetts recorded the first UFO sighting in America in 1639.In 1639, Massachusetts Bay Colony governor John Winthrop recorded the first UFO sighting in America.

Wikimedia Commons unknown artist

The first documented UFO sighting in America dates back to 1639, when Massachusetts Bay Colony cofounder and governor John Winthrop recorded a secondhand observation of unidentified objects in the sky over Boston. In his diary entry of March 1 that year, Winthrop wrote that a “sober, discreet man” named James Everell was rowing a boat up the Muddy River at night when he saw a “great light” in the sky. Winthrop reports that “when it stood still, it flamed up, and was about three yards square; when it ran, it was contracted into the figure of a swine: it ran as swift as an arrow towards Charlton [Charlestown], and so up and down about two or three hours.” By the time the lights moved away, Everell and his boatmates had been delivered one mile upstream, although they had no memory of how.

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