The world of the UFO phenomenon is littered with countless sightings and tales of the truly odd, but other than photographs or video footage there is rarely any evidence to really back it all up. Rarest of all is physical evidence left behind by these mysterious otherworldly craft, and such cases have become sort of the Holy Grail of the field. While not very common, there are indeed plenty of supposed cases of UFOs purportedly leaving behind physical evidence in the form of strange artifacts and items, and here we get into some strange territory, indeed.
On November 11, 1956, a Stig Ekberg and Harry Sjoberg were driving on the Island of Vaddo, Sweden, about 90 kilometers north-northwest of Stockholm, when they noticed up ahead a bright object that looked like a flattened sphere, measuring around 8 meters wide and 3 meters high. The object seemed as if it was about to fly past them, but it then suddenly made a sharp turned and headed directly towards them, and as it did their car’s engine mysteriously coughed, sputtered, and died. The object then came down to hover right near the road, and it was described as being so bright that “even a barn, half a kilometer away, was visible as if the sun was shining.” It then proceeded to maintain a position just one meter off of the ground, and as the frightened men looked on it started to glow brighter, and the air was filled with a smell like “ozone and smoldering insulation.”
After 10 minutes of this, the object lifted up and sped off in the direction from which it had come, and as it did the vehicle sprang back to life. The curious witnesses then went to where the thing had been hovering to find that the grass had been flattened and singed. Even weirder than this was that there was a shiny object on the ground that turned out to be a “three-sided piece of metal about the size of a matchbox,” and which was hot to the touch and heavier than it looked. The men collected the strange artifact and had it analyzed at the SAAB airline manufacturing company, who came to the conclusion that it was constructed of tungsten carbide and cobalt, and was definitely an artificially manufactured object and not some naturally occurring rock of any known kind, although it had no discernible conventional use. It is unclear what happened to this object after this, and we are left to wonder what it was. Was it something dropped by the UFO, and if so what was it? Who knows?
The following year, in September of 1957, Ibrahim Sued, a columnist for the Rio de Janeiro newspaper O Globo, received a letter from a witness who claimed to have seen a "flying disk" explode over the beach at Ubatuba, in Sao Paulo Province, Brazil, and that as it did it had “rained down” metal pieces. Within the envelope the letter came in were several strips of a dull gray metallic material which seemed to be scorched or oxidized somewhat, smooth but with a noticeable amount of wear and tear, and which were all dusted with a fine film of a powdered substance that somewhat resembled burnt charcoal residue, all of which had apparently been dropped by the UFO. The letter would read:
Dear Mr. Ibrahim Sued. As a faithful reader of your column, and an admirer of yours, I wish to give you, as a newspaperman, a “scoop” concerning flying discs. If you believe that they are real, of course. I didn’t believe anything said or published about them. But just a few days ago I was forced to change my mind. I was fishing together with various friends, at a place close to the town of Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, when I sighted a flying disc! It approached the beach at unbelievable speed and an accident, in other words, a crash into the sea, seemed imminent. At the last moment, however, when it seemed it was almost striking the waters, it made a sharp turn upward and climbed rapidly on a fantastic impulse. Astonished, we followed the spectacle with our eyes, when we saw the disc explode in flames. It disintegrated into thousands of fiery fragments, which fell sparkling with magnificent brightness. They looked like fireworks, despite the time of the accident, at noon, that is, at midday. Most of the fragments, almost all, fell into the sea. But a number of small pieces fell close to the beach and we picked up a large amount of this material—which was light as paper. I am enclosing a sample of it. I don’t know anyone that could be trusted to whom I could send it for analysis. I never read about a flying disk being found, or about fragments or parts of a disk that had been picked up. Unless the finding was made by military authorities and the whole thing kept as a top-secret subject. I am certain the matter will be of great interest to the brilliant columnist and I am sending two copies of this letter—to the newspaper and to your home address.
Not knowing what to do with the letter and its mysterious samples, Sued merely printed the letter in the newspaper out of curiosity, then put the mysterious pieces of weird metal aside and sort of ignored them until he was contacted by a Olavo T. Fontes, a Rio physician and Brazilian representative of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (A.P.R.O), who had heard of the letter through its publication in the paper. Fontes came out to Brazil and took a closer look at the samples, coming to the initial conclusion that one was cracked and had fissures suggesting that it had been forcefully blown off of a larger object, and it was surmised that the whitish substance was the result of the pieces being subjected to an intense heat. Sued offered to release the strange pieces to Fontes, who took them off to be analyzed further at the Mineral Production Laboratory. Fontes himself would say of the objects in a report to the Aerial Phenomenon Research Organization (APRO) in Tucson, Arizona:
I saw the samples sent by the unidentified correspondent—three small pieces of a dull-gray solid substance that appeared to be a metal of some sort. Their surfaces were not smooth and polished, but quite irregular and apparently strongly oxidized. The surface of one of the samples was shot through with almost microscopic cracks. The surfaces of all samples were covered in scattered areas with a whitish material. These whitish smears of a powdered substance appeared as a thin layer. The fine, dry powder was adherent but could be displaced easily with the nail. Mr. Sued said the material appeared to be lead at first sight—because of the gray color—but I could see that it could not be lead … the material was light … almost as light as paper.
They were then sent through a battery of tests, where they were found to be composed of 99.99% pure magnesium. The Air Force allegedly received one of the samples, but it was unfortunately accidentally destroyed as it was being prepped for analysis. They requested another sample, but since one of the other pieces had also been destroyed by the testing done on it there was only one fragment left and they were unwilling to part with it, instead locking it away in a safe. In 1967, the A.P.R.O. grudgingly allowed the piece to be taken in for analysis, but this would prove to be inconclusive and produce conflicting results, with one lab saying that the magnesium was not as pure as originally claimed and “not as pure as magnesium specimens readily available in the 1950s,” whereas another stated that the piece was produced through a “process that was unknown when the fragments were recovered.” Ultimately the sample was just too small to really tell much, and it created more questions than answers, leaving it as an anomalous mystery. University of Arizona metallurgical engineer Walter W. Walker would say of the fragment:
All chemical analyses to date have not verified the extraterrestriality of the Ubatuba magnesium.... Considering the poor pedigree of the Ubatuba physical evidence, a hoax cannot be ruled out... [though] nothing unequivocally identifying the material as terrestrial was found either. If one accepts that it is possible that a flying saucer has a soft, weak, technically pure, unalloyed, cast magnesium fuselage, then the metallographic evidence is consistent. The surface scale, the oxide intrusion into the grain boundaries and, particularly, the subscale from internal oxidation all suggest that the magnesium was exposed to the Earth’s atmosphere at elevated temperatures. The white Mg(OH)2 coating is consistent with the burning fragments falling into the ocean.... In summary, after all these years, I consider the Ubatuba magnesium fragment as unusual material of still unknown origin.
Unfortunately, further analysis has done little to shed any mre light on the fragments, and have been unable to conclusively prove whether they were of extraterrestrial origins or proof of aliens, and the Journal of Scientific Exploration would say in an abstract on their paper on the matter:
A sample from the Ubatuba fragment collected in Brazil in 1957 was tested with the intent of examining the isotope ratios of its primary element, magnesium, and the trace elements strontium, barium, copper, and zinc. As background, the history of chemical testing of the Ubatuba fragments during the 1960s-1980s at multiple labs with varying capabilities is reviewed and then the remainder of the paper examines recent tests completed in 2017 and 2018 that for the first time used HR-ICPMS techniques to look at the isotopic ratios of the minor constituents as well as the primary magnesium component of the sample. The magnesium isotope ratios were found to fall within terrestrial limits while the results on the isotope ratios of the trace elements were inconclusive. Recommendations are made for improving the process of examining the trace elements.
We are left to wonder how much veracity the case has, and just what exactly those mysterious fragments were, if anything. What do the results mean? There is no way to really know, because there is nothing left to test that we know of. Who sent the letter and was he for real? Again, a mystery. In the end, with the inconsistency of the test results, the lack of any remaining fragments, and the completely anonymous identity of the writer of the letter there is no way to be sure, making it a case that will no doubt serve to fuel debate and speculation for some time to come. In August of 1964, a Mr. Raimo Blomqvist was at his parents’ summer cottage at Kallavesi Lake, Finland, when he noticed a “strange, colorful light ball” come down from the clouds. As it drew nearer he could see that it was oval in shape, but it was glowing too brightly for him to see any real details to it. The strange anomalous object then hovered over some shallow water nearby and apparently dropped something, which made a sound like “hot metal touching cold water” when it hit the surface. The UFO then rose high into the air and shot off into the clouds. He then went to where the object had dropped and found an odd looking stone 3 or 4 cm in length and with five layers to it. When the strange artifact was analyzed by a lab, it was found to be mostly made of iron, but there were also small amounts of other materials such as copper, zink, magnesium, mangan, zirkonium, vanadium, titanium and crom. They also determined that the stone had been in a temperature of 650-800 degrees Celsius for a long time. Once again, it is unclear what happened to this object. What was this thing?
In January 1969, the American periodical Beyond Magazine published a bizarre article that held an unusual report by a Melvin R. Gray, of Louisville, Kentucky. Gray claimed that he had found a stone with “very suspicious indentations” on his rural property, and that an examination of it had shown that in held within it “what may at one time have been a tiny flying saucer no larger than our present Day washbasins or Dishpans,” as well as three “tiny ape-like creatures” and four humanoid creatures that seemed to be fossilized within it. The writer of the article, Brad Steiger, would say of it:
The fossilized creatures themselves are humanoid in appearance, looking very much like ourselves, and approximately three inches tall. The stone looks rather cindery as if it may have hurtled through a long trail of space, melting as it went and finally splashing into some river or lake before it was entirely consumed, leaving…a fossil-like imprint for a permanent record to tell the world…that we had visitors to our earth…who had met with some terrible calamity.
Executive Director of the Kentucky-based National UFO Research and Investigation Committee, Buffard Ratliff would reach contact Gray and manage to get a look at the fossilized “spaceship” for himself. Upon doing his own analysis he noticed that the two different types of aliens seemed to be in different sections of the tiny spacecraft and that the ape-like ones were “could very well be humanoids in special space suits.” He was convinced that the ship “indicates intelligent construction and Design by intelligent beings.” However, although he deemed the finding to be authentic, he only made plaster, fiberglass, and aluminum castings from the rock and no actual photographs of the object seem to exist. What is going on here and what happened to the fossil? We may never know for sure.
From 1972 we have the case of a Tom McCully, who was at the time camping in the Sierra Mountains near the Stanislaus River, in California. He would claim that he was out fishing at dawn when he had seen a “bright pulsating light” reflecting off the water, which he at first thought might be a forest fire, but then there was a blindingly bright flash of light and the area was pelted with what seemed like hailstones. When the strange phenomenon stopped, he noticed on the ground what looked like a gold nugget about the size of a golf ball. He would keep this discovery to himself for some time, but finally decided to have it analyzed after reading about a reward of $50,000 offered by Dr. A. Allen Hynek for any physical proof of the existence of UFOs. It was taken to a lab for analysis and the results were rather strange, indeed. The Modesto Bee would say of it:
The mystery of Tom McCully’s space nugget has deepened with word that laboratory tests show the nugget, which is non-magnetic and can’t be detected by a metal detector, is 99.4 per cent iron. McCully, who found the nugget four years ago in the high Sierra, said he received word of the lab tests in a telephone call yesterday from Dennis Hauck of the UFO Registry, Munster, Ind. He said Hauck told him the nugget had been tested by scientists with the University of Chicago’s Argonne laboratory and that the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is the next step in the testing process. NASA also is interested in examining the object, according to McCully.
McCully, operator of a Modesto appliance business, said Hauck’s reaction over the telephone to the Argonne tests was one of amazement. “He told me its silly, it (the nugget) can’t even exist.” McCullv said there is a theory that the nugget seems to have been manufactured but no one appears to know who made it. He said Hauck told him NASA is dealing with stuff so secret the space agency won’t even discuss it. Although he started out with only one chunk, McCuily said the material, while extremely hard, also is brittle and he managed to break it into three nuggets, one of which was sent to the registry. He said the other two pieces are in a safe deposit box. He also said he has been advised by Jauck to safeguard the two nuggets and not to return at this time to the Sierra site where the original nugget was found.
What was this thing and what happened to the pieces of it? It is impossible to know. Also from the 1970s is a case from Suonenjoki, in Central Finland, where on March 16 of that year a Mr. Reijo Kolehmainen made a stunning discovery near his property after witnessing UFO activity for several days, claiming that he had found several spots where the mysterious object had landed and left behind various artifacts. A report in the APRO Bulletin, Vol. 28, No. 5, Nov. 1979, says of what happened:
Three landing trace areas were found around Mr. Reijo Kolehmainen’s home in February, 1979. At 6:50 a.m. on February 2, 1979 a 2.5 meter crater was found in the snow at a distance of 5 meters from the house. The snow had melted all the way to the ground in the center of the crater. Strange red liquid, pieces of metal,and later a metallic cup were found within the crater. The red liquid smelled of vinegar. At 8:00 a.m. the police came. They photographed the area and took some samples.
Late in the evening of February 5, 1979 the Kolehmainen family heard a shooting sound. One constable later revealed he had seen a strange light phenomenon at the same time. On the following morning a bigger crater was found in the snow at a distance of 10 meters from the house. Similar things were again found. Later the police came to have a new look at the area. The police suggested that perhaps somenone had thrown a home-made bomb in the Kolehmainen yard. However, the Kolehmainens stated that nobody has any reason to throw bombs at them. On the morning of February 21, 1979 a third landing trace area was found. This time there were three holes in the yard. Red liquid and pieces of metal were once again found in the landing trace. However, no metallic cup was found this time. There was no snow on the electric wires above the holes, but there was lots of snow on similar wires elsewhere. The Kolehmainens didn’t want any publicity, but the news leaked to the press from acquaintances. About ten articles were published by the press about the events.
The UFO was encountered by several other witnesses in the area over the course of several weeks, but this is the only report that mentions it leaving any sort of physical evidence behind. Very bizarre, indeed. Perhaps one of the more well-known cases of an alleged alien artifact left behind supposedly occurred in 1985, in the area of Grand Junction, Colorado. In the early morning hours Bob White and a friend were driving from Denver to Las Vegas through a desolate moonscape of desert wasteland on the Colorado-Utah border when they saw a strange light in the distance. At first they did not think much of it, but then the light drew closer until it was only around a hundred yards away and blinding in its intensity. An excerpt from an article in the Night Ridder Newspaper says of what happened next:
He got out of the car and stared, dumbfounded. The object was about 100 yards in front of him, he said, “and it was huge … absolutely huge.” In time, he said, the lights bolted toward the sky and connected with a pair of neon, tubular lights — “the mothership,” White guesses now. And just like that, he said, the entire contraption zipped eastward through the Colorado sky and disappeared.” “What I saw,” White said, “was not of this Earth.” As the craft flew away, White said, he noticed an orange light falling to the ground. A locator probe? Something that simply broke off? It was red hot when he reached it, he said, but in time it cooled enough to pick up. White shoved the object into the trunk of the car. The object is about 7-1/2 inches long and shaped like a teardrop. It has a coarse, metallic exterior and weighs less than 2 pounds. It looks a bit like it could be a petrified pine cone and is composed primarily of aluminum.
The strange object was sent in for analysis at both the Nevada-based National Institute for Discovery Science and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, who found the metal itself to be rather unremarkable in its chemical make-up, although that wasn’t seen as necessarily evidence that White was making it all up. Colm Kelleher, a scientist at the National Institute for Discovery Science, would say of it:
The metallurgical analysis was pretty mundane. We didn’t find any evidence that it was extraterrestrial. Now you can make the argument that we didn’t spend $1 million and look at every conceivable option. We didn’t cover every base.
White disagreed that this was anything other than an astounding discovery and proof of aliens. He persistently tried to get more parties interested in the object, in the meantime spending more than $60,000 traveling to conferences, starting a museum dedicated to the artifact and other UFO exhibits called the Museum of the Unexplained, and having it tested and retested, all while he was ridiculed and laughed at. He has always insisted on the authenticity of his discovery and can’t believe that there has never been more interest in it, and he has said:
This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m 73 years old. I don’t have much longer. What I’d like to see before I’m gone is the national media get their heads out of the sand. I’d like to see the national media and everybody else realize that what I have is real. I don’t know what I have to do to prove this is the truth. You can’t make this stuff up.
In the meantime, the object is kept under carefully secured conditions, with motion detectors, closed-circuit TV, and window and door alarms protect it at all times, and the object never spends the night at the same place two nights in a row. Most skeptics say it is just a piece of space debris from a meteor or a satellite, but it has never been conclusively proven to be one thing or another. In the end, that is what we are let with on all of these cases, more questions than answers. Despite these supposed pieces of physical evidence of alien spacecraft, there just doesn't seem to be any way to completely verify any of it, with the samples either disappearing or producing mixed results, at best. What is going on here and why have these strange objects turned up? What does it all mean? We may never know for sure.