There never seems to be a problem finding UFO stories to talk about. Year after year, people around the world report encounters with and sightings of odd, unexplained objects in the skies above Earth -- and, even, in the skies above the moon or Mars.
Over the past year, UFOs were spotted and videotaped in various shapes: balls, triangles, cigars, ovals, stars and boomerangs.
Of course, we should always bear in mind that just because an object in the sky is unidentified, it doesn't mean that it's a spacecraft from another planet.
2014 was also a year in which the debate continued over how Earthlings would react if it was revealed that we're not alone in the cosmos. Even former President Bill Clinton said he wouldn't be surprised if aliens would someday visit Earth.
Here are some of our favorite UFO-ET stories of 2014. Keep watching -- and photographing -- the skies.
Pilot's Near Miss With UFO Over Heathrow Airport
Bloomberg via Getty Images
It was revealed in January that, six months earlier, a commercial airline pilot reported a "near miss" with a ball-shaped UFO at London's Heathrow Airport. Details came to light through a report by the UK Airprox Board
, a British air safety organization. The pilot believes his aircraft was going to collide with the unknown object, but instead, the silvery, metallic-like orb passed within a few feet above the jet. Heathrow Airport is pictured here, looking in the direction where the A320 Airbus encountered the object. The final report indicated "it wasn't possible to either trace the object or determine the cause of the sighting."
Ex-Canadian Defense Minister: Many ETs Are Visiting Earth
Russia Today / YouTube
Also in January, a weird story emerged claiming how the U.S. government is under the control of a shadow organization that's overseen by extraterrestrials. As crazy as that might seem, another related tale emerged involving former Canadian Defence Minister Paul Hellyer
, who told a Russian TV program that aliens "have been visiting our planet for thousands of years...there's just so much evidence."
Google Images Reveal Triangular Moon Mystery
Are aliens using the moon to spy on us from hidden bases? That was one theory floated after these images were found on Google Earth's moon pictures
. A YouTube poster scanned the far side of our lunar neighbor and reported an image of what appears to be a huge V-shaped or triangular object with rows of lights. Pictured here is a composite Google Moon image of (left) the region on the moon known as Mare Moscoviense; (center) the unusual object located near the bottom-left portion of Mare Moscoviense; and (right) a close-up of the object. ETs on the moon? Or simply a photographic anomaly?
Huge Cigar-Shaped UFO Over Ukraine City
07TV / YouTube
In early March, a large, elongated UFO
was reportedly videotaped above Korosten, Ukraine, near Chernobyl, the site of the 1986 nuclear power plant explosion that spread radioactive fallout over tens of thousands of square miles. Cigar-shaped UFOs have been reported for decades around the world, but in this case, there weren't any substantial verifiable facts about this particular object, and it remains unexplained.
Bill Clinton On ETs
"Jimmy Kimmel Live" / ABC / YouTube
In April, former President Bill Clinton
opened up about the UFO issue on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" by sharing some thoughts about ETs. Among the things he told the late night host was that, shortly after he was re-elected to his second term, Clinton had his aides research Nevada's legendary Area 51 military base "to make sure there was no alien down there." He also said, "If we were visited someday, I wouldn't be surprised."
The Malibu Underwater 'Alien' Base
A few miles off the coast of Point Dume in Malibu, California, lies an underwater anomaly
on the sea bed floor. Google Earth images appear to show an oval-shaped object with a flat top and allegedly pillars or columns that seem to mark the entrance of a darker, inner place. What is this object? Various answers range from it being a natural geological formation to the entrance of an alien UFO base. What do you think?
UFOs On Mars?
NASA / JPL-Caltech
It seems that, whenever we turned around, there were more and more stories in 2014 about curious photos seen on Mars
, like this picture that shows a bright light shining on the Martian surface. Explanations for this light included a glint from a rock or a cosmic ray.
Triangle UFO Above Germany
Most reported UFOs turn out to be simply misunderstood objects, while others have been, sadly, created by clever (and not-so clever) computer-generated manipulators. In this case, an amazing-looking craft
, videotaped over Germany in June, seems to approach a tower and pass behind it before disappearing behind trees. And yet, as pointed out by former FBI special agent Ben Hansen, as the UFO emerges from the right side of the tower, at least one frame of the video "shows the corner of the UFO accidentally overlapping in front of the playground structure when it was supposed to be passing behind." There were other triangular or boomerang-shaped UFO sightings during 2014, including one that occurred at the beginning of October in New Hampshire. On the night of Oct. 5, several eyewitnesses 30 miles (and an hour) apart reported an unusual object
that has still not been completely identified.
UFO Appears Over Forest Fire
Castanet.net / YouTube
On July 17, the Castanet news organization of Western Canada was covering a story about a wildfire northeast of Vancouver. In the distance, above the mountains, a circular-shaped object
shot out of the clouds, moving quickly through the sky before the video clip ended. This is a screen grab of the object. Video analyst Marc Dantonio suggests the object was a bolide -- a type of bright meteor that streaks through Earth's atmosphere.
Videotape Captures UFOs Streaking Across The Moon
Crrow777 / YouTube
In October, frequent moon observer Crow Tripplehorn -- who shoots high definition videos through an 8-inch telescope -- captured footage of an object flying above the surface of the moon
. Tripplehorn posted two video segments which he believes shows objects moving in ways that eliminates the possibility of their being manmade satellites orbiting Earth. However, two video analysts disagreed with Tripplehorn, and they favor the artificial satellites theory.
Was 1947 Roswell, NM, UFO Crash A Secret Nazi Aircraft?
Discovery Channel / YouTube
It's legendary. What's known for sure, historically, is this: In early July 1947, something came out of the sky and crashed outside the small town of Roswell, New Mexico. What that object was has been an ongoing controversy. Was it simply a weather balloon, or was it a military spy balloon or an extraterrestrial spacecraft? A new German film, reportedly called "UFOs and the Third Reich," is promoting the theory that the thing that crashed in New Mexico was a 10-foot-wide, 12-foot-high, anti-gravity, bell-shaped craft
, combining rocket and helicopter technology, and created by Nazi Germany. This "bell" -- depicted here from a 2008 Discovery Channel documentary -- supposedly fell into the hands of the U.S. in 1943, where it was further developed. An alleged test of the "bell" resulted in its crash, which became the event that started the Roswell UFO saga.
Could Religions Survive Real Alien Contact?
Teddy Sczudio via Getty Images
Pope Francis made a startling statement during a May homily, in which he said he'd be more than happy to baptize Martians
-- if they asked for it. That wasn't the first time in recent years that the Vatican -- which has two astronomical observatories -- has suggested that possible contact with extraterrestrials would be a positive thing for religions worldwide. The question of whether or not Earthlings would welcome ET neighbors is seeping more and more into religious discussions
, as well as our global culture.
Medellin, Colombia: A New UFO Hotspot On Earth
UFOVNI / jmhz71 / YouTube
As 2014 began to wind down, it became increasingly apparent that the city of Medellin, Colombia, is becoming an active UFO hotspot
. Located in the central Andes Mountains of South America, Medellin is producing reports of unusual-looking objects in the sky. In this composite picture, the image on the left shows an object videotaped in November, and at right, a star-shaped thing seen at night in February. Two video analysts, Marc Dantonio and Ben Hansen believe these are unmanned helium balloons used for various publicity stunts. Other unusual lights in the sky have appeared over Medellin at different times in 2014. We'll keep an eye out to see what happens in 2015.