In case you hadn't heard, today is World UFO Day. Or it's at least one of several flying saucer holidays claiming to be the the biggest day of the year for out-of-this-world celebrations.
The shadowy group that's dubbed July 2 as World UFO Day has a website explaining what they say is the true meaning of the special day.
But check the history books and see that World UFO Day used to be celebrated on June 24 as well as July 2. The first date refers to the day in 1947 when private pilot Kenneth Arnold ushered in the modern era of flying saucers when he claimed to have seen nine high-speed pie plate-shaped objects flying in formation near Mount Rainier in Washington.
The second date, July 2, stems from the close proximity to the day in 1947 when something fell from the sky and crashed on a ranch outside of Roswell, N.M., sparking rumors that eventually grew into an urban legend claiming it was an alien spaceship and its crew. Nobody knows the exact date that the object crashed, but it's generally known to have happened in early July 1947.
In an effort "to eliminate any confusion," the World UFO Day Organization declared July 2 as its official day of celebration.
But if you're looking to extend the festivities, there's the upcoming annual Roswell UFO Festival, taking place on July 5-7.
According to World UFO Day Organization's site "World UFO Day is the day dedicated to the existence of Udentified Flying Objects. The first World UFO Day was celebrated in 2001."
Wait! "Udentified" Flying Objects? Perhaps this is a celebration of something new in our culture.
Watch this video about World UFO Day
The promoters of the July 2 bash say it should be dedicated to raising awareness about "the undoubted existence of UFO's and with that intelligent beings from outer space." The site goes on to state: "Also this day is used to encourage governments to declassify their knowledge about sightings throughout the history."
For them, World UFO Day encourages UFO believers to party, party, party, wear alien T-shirts, eat ET cupcakes, watch the skies and try to spot strange flying objects and even, simply, watch alien and UFO movies together.
If you do, indeed, choose to pay homage to UFOs today, here's our gift to you -- a round-up of HuffPost Weird News' favorite UFO stories this year.
UFO Citizen Hearing Reveals Shocking Testimonies On May 3, pilots and former law enforcement officials give electrifying testimonies at the Citizen Hearing On Disclosure. A former U.K. police officer testified on behalf of law enforcement personnel who've had UFO encounters. Former Canada Minister of National Defense Paul Hellyer who made headlines claiming that, "UFOs are as real as the airplanes flying overhead," elaborated on his more recent ET education, claiming that he learned that at least four species had visited Earth. Read more of the shocking witness statements.
Terminally Ill Man Hosts UFO ConferenceIn a dying man's race against time, hosting and sponsoring an international UFO conference was at the top of his bucket list. On June 29 and 30, while suffering from terminal multiple myeloma, a cancer that attacks bone marrow, Kent Senter arranged for 12 speakers with wide ranging backgrounds to put on the Symposium On Official And Scientific Investigations Of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. "I just want to get the word out that there's another side to this -- it's not just all kooky and alien head dolls," Senter said.
Stonehenge UFO Photo Among Final Release Of U.K. X-FilesOn June 21, the final batch of UFO files was released by the U.K. National Archives. It covered the work of the Ministry of Defense's UFO desk from 2007 to November 2009. Among the 25 UFO files of 4,400 pages is a photograph taken of a possible UFO over Stonehenge. "The one over Stonehenge is totally unconvincing," said David Clarke, a UFO historian and the official spokesman for the U.K. National Archives. Read on for more reports of UFO sightings and why the U.K. UFO desk was finally closed down in 2009.
UFO With S-Shaped Fin Photographed Over CastleOn May 25, literally faster than the eye could follow, an unusual object zipping over the Muiderslot Castle in the Netherlands was accidentally photographed by a mother and daughter visiting the landmark. Corinne Federer, the woman who photographed the object, said, "I've been shooting for quite some time and I've seen other stuff in the news, but I've never seen anything [like this] with my own eye."
Scientologists Get Sarcastic Apology After Pilots Spot UFOs Over ChurchOn June 18, we published a story that has it all: UFOs spotted by pilots of three commercial jets, radar confirmation of the UFOs from air traffic controllers, reports that the UFOs were close to the U.K. headquarters of the Church of Scientology, and a sarcastic apology to the church from a tabloid.