Are you hooked on Stranger Things? Anxiously hoping for a new season of The X-Files? If you need a way to pass the time, trust no one but us to show you the perfect American UFO road trip. Drive from coast to coast and see all the kooky and spooky spots our country has to offer!
Stop 1: Kecksburg, PA
On December 9, 1965, something very strange happened: thousands of people in the U.S. and Canada reported seeing a giant fireball fall through the sky. Its supposed landing site? Kecksburg, Pennsylvania—part of Mount Pleasant Township and about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh.
Visitors today won’t be able to see any of the debris that reportedly rained into forest, but they can see a curious acorn-shaped statue covered in strange markings—and a UFO gift shop, of course. The sculpture commemorates a large mysterious object seen by residents that night before being whisked away by the military.
Stop 2: Aurora, TX
Long before the famous Roswell UFO crash, there was Aurora, Texas. In April 1897, residents reported that a mysterious flying ship crashed into a windmill on a local farm. They buried the pilot, whom they described as “not of this world,” in the town cemetery.
Today, on the cemetery fence is a plaque from the Texas Historical Commission that mentions the crash. UFO hunters often visit the town looking for wreckage, some of which was allegedly either dumped down a well or buried with the alien.
Stop 3: Roswell, NM
In the summer of 1947, a mysterious object crashed to earth near the town of Roswell, New Mexico, sparking waves of alien conspiracy theories that have lasted for decades. The U.S. government maintained that it was a weather balloon until the 1990s, when they said it was actually a nuclear surveillance device.
Despite this supposed debunking, people who want to believe still flock to Roswell. There, they can find enough extraterrestrial kitsch to sink a spaceship, as well as the International UFO Museum & Research Center.
Stop 4: Sedona, AZ
Located at 4,500 feet above sea level, Sedona is certainly cinematic—its famous red sandstone formations have appeared in dozens of films. And with its location deep in the desert, the town is a fantastic spot for stargazing—and UFO-spotting.
Visitors can sign up for UFO tours with a bonafide alien abductee. Provided with night-vision goggles, tour participants are taught how to ignore airplanes, satellites, and shooting stars. In 2015, a New York Times contributor reported seeing dozens of unexplainable objects zooming around the night sky.
Stop 5: Rachel, Nevada
This town of just 50-something residents may just seem like another little desert community, but it is must-see for any wanna-be ufologists. Located on Nevada Highway 375, also known as the “Extraterrestrial Highway” due to frequent unearthly sightings, Rachel is just a stone’s throw from Area 51.
The town certainly caters to tourists, with themed gift shops and a hotel called Little A’Le’Inn. It was even used as a filming location in two staples of alien cinema, Independence Day and The X-Files.
Stop 6: Area 51, NV
While unauthorized personnel can't step foot inside Area 51—or Groom Lake, as it's officially known—it's hard to deter the dedicated and the curious from prowling around its borders. What are they looking for? Oh, the usual: evidence of alien autopsies, reverse-engineered spacecraft, and weather control.
Back in the 1950s, residents of the area started reporting an increased number of UFO sightings. While activities at this highly classified Air Force base are still considered top secret, the general public knows now that Area 51 is used to test new military aircraft.
Stop 7: McMinnville, OR
In 1950, a couple living on a farm outside of McMinnville, Oregon took what would later become some of the most famous UFO photographs ever. While many attempts have been made to discredit the photos ever since, the town still attracts alien enthusiasts from all around.
Also (appropriately) home to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, McMinnville hosts an annual UFO Festival—the first or second largest in the country, depending on who you ask. The surrounding area is also famous for its wine and vineyards, making it the perfect place to end a long and weird road trip.
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