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50 States in 52 weeks: UFO spotting in Colorado, Arizona, New Jersey and Nevada

Katie Gatens
27 May 2016

The dusty deserts of the US are hotspots for UFO sightings – even the former US President Jimmy Carter filed a report to say he’d seen one. Here High Life examines the otherworldly goings-on recorded in four states famed for their paranormal activity

Colorado
This was the setting for 1998 documentary Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends, when the British filmmaker investigated a bizarre subculture called the Alien Resistance Movement. Never heard of them? They create their own wacky weapons (alien mutilator gun, anyone?) and fight little green men in the desert.

If you want to see aliens for yourself, head to the San Luis Valley (which records the highest level of paranormal activity in the state). UFO fanatic and author Christopher O’Brien claims that the area is ‘like a paranormal Disneyland’, with sightings of black helicopters, unidentified flying objects and even cattle mutilations all recorded. Spooky.

Arizona
On 13 March 1997, one of the most famous alien sightings occurred in Phoenix and was reported by around 300 residents. In what has now become known as the ‘Phoenix Lights’ phenomenon, triangular formations of lights on an unidentified aircraft were seen to be heading over the state. Even the governor of Arizona, Fife Symington (who had previously dismissed the idea of aliens) later claimed that he saw a UFO that night, calling the experience ‘otherworldly’.

These days, to alien-spot you can head to the Sedona Valley where there are high concentrations of sightings, particularly over Bell Rock. Here many claim there’s a ‘vortex’ – a concentrated energy field that radiates from the ground.

New Jersey
Mass reports of a bright cylindrical beam of light in the New Jersey state on 19 September 2009 have still never been fully explained. There were hundreds of sightings of the same occurrence, and a map from Metrocosm presents the testimonies from 75 credible witnesses all over the state.

These days, a small town named North Bergen in NJ (which is just over the Hudson River from Manhattan) has an incredibly high ratio of UFO sightings to residents – so grab your binoculars and cast your eyes skyward.

Nevada
Area 51, a top-secret government base which likely tests new aircraft (although no one knows for sure) is perhaps the cause of many of the unidentified flying object sightings in the Nevada desert. So many in fact, that Nevada State Route 375, close to the site, was officially named ‘Extraterrestrial Highway’ by the state 20 years ago.

Now, the town of Rachel attracts many would-be UFO spotters, eager to catch a glimpse of alien life, in what is probably the most active paranormal hotspot on earth.