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Where to see a UFO

The 2019 UFO Festival is taking place in (where else?) Roswell, New Mexico on July 5–7. There'll be plenty of unidentified creatures at the costume parties, but will you really see a true UFO? Here's Lonely Planet's guide to places worldwide that report UFO and alien activity.

A sign that says 'UFO Crash Site' stands to the side of a dusty track
A sign for the UFO Crash Site near Roswell © David Zaitz / Photonica / Getty Images Plus

Roswell, New Mexico

Roswell, near the site of the alleged crash of an alien spaceship back in July 1947, is proud to be considered the 'UFO capital of the world'. The UFO Festival embraces everything associated with the extraterrestrial, with a costume contest (for both pets and humans) and a light parade. Enthusiasts and skeptics are welcome to come along and explore the unexplained. The schedule of speakers covers everything from abductions to ongoing secret government programs, from first-hand alien experiences to discussions of ancient aliens on the moon.

For something a little more earthlike, you can join the Alien Chase, a 5km or 10km race through Roswell's parks.

Extraterrestrial Highway, Nevada

Nevada State Route 375 has been officially named Extraterrestrial Highway due to the number of reported sightings of, well ... something. The road runs primarily through the uninhabited desert, adjacent to Area 51 and Nellis Air Force Base. Follow the tourist board's alien-themed road trip for the best chance to see something paranormal. The town of Rachel near the midpoint of the highway trades off the mysterious sightings, with UFO-hunters stopping at the Little A’Le’Inn to chat all things alien with the staff there.

There’s so little light pollution in the desert here that if there’s anything unexplained flying around up there, chances are, you’ll be able to see it clearly.

Lots of tall, thin trees are packed together as mist gathers in the forest of Hoia Baciu. UFO sightings in this area date back to the 1960s.
The mysterious Hoia Baciu forest in Romania © ungureanuvadim / Shutterstock

Hoia Baciu Forest, Romania

Hoia Baciu in Romania claims to be the world's most haunted forest. Its connection with UFO-sightings goes back to the late 1960s when a biologist took photos of some unexplained lights over the forest. Soon after, a military technician took photos of flying orbs, and similar reports of flying objects over the forest followed through the 1970s. From 'strange feelings' to missing children, mysterious voices and paranormal events, the forest has built a reputation as a very spooky place indeed.

Nazca lines, Peru

Mystery shrouds the Nazca lines in Peru. It's thought they were made by a pre-Inca civilization around AD 450 to 600 by removing earth and rocks from the Nazca plain. Etchings include a spider, a hummingbird and a monkey, all on a giant scale. The lines can’t be easily seen at ground level, which makes them even more mysterious. Were they designed to attract aliens? Are they a giant message to life forms beyond earth? If you hang around here, will you get to see a UFO?

Bermuda Triangle, Atlantic Ocean

The Bermuda Triangle is one place given over to UFO conspiracy theories. This large expanse of water – roughly from the tip of Florida, out northeast to Bermuda, and down to Puerto Rico – has captured imaginations everywhere because it’s the site of unexplained ship and airplane disappearances over the decades. Scientists and researchers believe these vanishings are the result of human error, issues with instruments or severe storms, and insist there’s nothing unusual about the frequency of reports for a busy area of this size. However, believers in the paranormal are convinced there is something else happening here – whether that’s UFOs, time portals in the sky, or other phenomena.

The sun at sunset aligns with standing sarsen stones of Stonehenge against a cloudy grey sky. Could this ancient structure be a UFO signal?
Stonehenge: a temple to the sun, or a sign that we're not alone? © AndyRoland / Getty Images

Stonehenge, Great Britain

Stonehenge is one of Britain's great archaeological mysteries. The monument is made up of huge sarsen stones and smaller blue stones, set in a circle formation. The largest stone weighs up to 30 tons, with smaller ones around 2 to 5 tons. These smaller bluestones are believed to be from south-west Wales, over 150 miles away. Archaeologists have dated the site to around 2500BC. Whilst it's generally accepted that Stonehenge is a temple designed to follow the movements of the sun, some believe that the sophisticated building techniques are clear signs of alien involvement.

Cruise the Pacific off the coast of Mexico

And if you want to spend your holiday learning more about UFOs and the possibilities of alien life, then you might want to join the UFO Cruise departing San Diego in October 2019. The Holland America ship heads to ports in Mexico, hosting UFO-based seminars, speeches on paranormal experiences and whistleblowers who wish to share their information about alien life.

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