UFO sightings in Austin, TX

Pennybacker bridge extending into the city at dusk, with stars visible above

Do you see signs of life in the sky? | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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No one knows for sure if aliens exist, but there are plenty of sightings in the Capital City that bolster belief. According to the National UFO Reporting Center, there have been thousands of sightings in Texas — and almost 500 sightings in Austin alone (old and new).

Eyewitness accounts

They say seeing is believing. Here are several eyewitness accounts of UFO sightings in ATX from the State Report Index:

  • April 27, 2019 | “I saw a giant brown boomerang shape in the sky… and all of a sudden, the ship blasted into space like in the movies. It left tracers of rainbow neon light behind it.”
  • June 28, 2015 | “Large, wispy clouds… There is a low frequency tone that emanates from them as well as squeaks of metal on metal, like boats sound in a harbor. The tones are definitely songs. The charge bugle call, a theme from the Hunger Games, and this morning. Close Encounters. Rocky, too.”
  • Nov. 22, 2000 | “There was a big dramatic storm, with thunder and lightning. The lightning gave a cold light… All of a sudden there was a bright gold light that filled the windows. It wasn’t a lightning bolt, and I waited for it to be over, but it stayed and stayed.”
  • June 1, 1973 | “It may have just been my imagination, but whatever it was we had just missed seemed to give our aircraft a compression push downward [...] To continue, craning my head back during the high g turn, there is no doubt to me I saw an eerie blue glow quickly fading away from me.” (Read the full, thrilling account of a UFO chase in Austin airspace.)

Want to file a report? Make like Saturn, and give the National UFO Reporting Center a ring.

What causes the sightings?

  • Airplanes | One possible reason for the sightings could be due to the activity at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Even a commercial plane can create vivid vapor trails that may look like extraterrestrial evidence.
  • Sprites | A natural phenomenon known as sprites occurs in the Austin area. (Let KXAN meteorologist David Yeomans explain it.) Sprites are flashes of light triggered by thunderstorms that may resemble flashing spacecraft lights. They can appear as balls of electricity or streaks of light.
  • Clouds | A hole-punch cloud (a donut-shaped cloud that can look like a flying saucer) can occur when a plane flies through cirrus or cirrostratus clouds.
  • Optical illusions | Reflections may look like lights in the sky, especially at night. Sightings on I-35 may be headlights refracting off the windshield or rearview mirrors.

Or… maybe the sightings really are visitations from extraterrestrial tourists. The aliens might have seen the Moody Center’s lineup and decided to pay us a visit.

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