World UFO Day is an awareness day for people to gather together and watch the skies for unidentified flying objects. The day is celebrated by some on June 24, and others on July 2. June 24 is the date that aviator Kenneth Arnold reported what is generally considered to be the first widely reported unidentified flying object sighting in the United States, while July 2 commemorates the supposed UFO crash in the 1947 Roswell UFO Incident. The stated goal of the July 2 celebration is to raise awareness of “the undoubted existence of UFOs” and to encourage governments to declassify their files on UFO sightings.
Before 1947, a written record of humans sighting unusual and unexplained objects in the sky existed. However, after the Arnold and Roswell incidents, reports increased dramatically.
As a result, those investigating the sightings rated them on a scale. One particular astronomer studying the sightings, Josef Allen Hynek, wrote several books about the UFO research. The Hynek scale ranks sightings by proximity, from Nocturnal Lights to Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
All around the world, unusual lights in the sky or strange occurrences keep humans always curious about otherworldly beings. Movies and television series keep our imaginations alive as well. Conspiracy theories are alive as well, too.
During the 20th century, the world’s fascination with objects in the sky definitely increased. Before the 1947 sightings, H.G. Wells published a story that later became a radio play. Its broadcast across the airwaves had some frightening results! The War of the Worlds, published in 1898 and later broadcast by CBS radio in 1938 made many of the radio audience believe they were under attack by Martians. Narrated by Orson Welles, the drama stirred imaginations. Listen to the episode here.