Top 8 UFO Encounters in Illinois

The recent case of mistaken identity that led to claims of a UFO over Chicago piqued our interest at Mysterious Heartland, so we called in John Stephenson, our resident UFO expert, to tell us and our readers about some of the most famous UFO sightings in Illinois. What he came back with was the following list of the top eight close-encounters over the Prairie State! Which one will prove to be the most compelling evidence of alien visitation?

8. The Wayne City Chase

This sighting took place on August 4, 1963 in Wayne City, Illinois. As a young couple was leaving the drive-in movie “The Great Escape” at around 11:30 PM, the boyfriend, Ronnie, glanced out of the window to the south and saw a big white object moving along at treetop level, about 20-degrees above the horizon to the southwest. He described it as fuzzy and about the size of a washtub. Both witnesses watched and casually talked about the light for several minutes.

Then they discovered that the light seemed to be keeping pace with them. Ronnie reported that when he sped the car up, the object seemed to speed up. When he decelerated, the object seemed to slow down. Upon arrival at his girlfriend’s home, the object appeared to move closer, so they went inside, turned out the lights and watched through a window. After 15 minutes had passed, Ronnie decided he had better go home. He made a run for the car, and as soon as he pulled away, the object began to follow. The object now changed from a brilliant white to a duller or dimmer light with an orange tinge and moved in front of the car. Ronnie said he “really poured the coal” to the car and must have been doing 120 mph until he made it home.

7. Amber Lights over Urbana-Champaign

On February 2, 2002, shortly before midnight, various students and residents of these twin college towns observed clusters of amber-hued lights flashing in a line across the sky, from southwest to northeast. The most convincing witness, a police officer, watched objects hover above Memorial Stadium and reported all kinds of chatter about unidentified objects on his scanner that night. One witness said that some buildings had been lit up with spotlights originating from the objects.

6. The Franklin Park Sighting

On May 28, 1979, a Boy Scout leader led 13 boys on a hike up Blueberry Hill. Suddenly, at 3:45 as the group reached the top of the hill, a high-pitched whine was heard coming from above. Startled, the campers looked up. A pulsating, metallic saucer about 20 feet in diameter was hovering 50 to 60 feet above the ground. The UFO had a flat, shiny, reflective bottom, and its half-dome shape was topped by a smaller dome giving off a reddish glow. The entire saucer was surrounded by a purplish mist, and the glowing red dome was revolving. When the high-pitched sound was heard again, the saucer began to move, and then it suddenly took off straight up. The total observation time was about 30 seconds.

5. Attempted Landing in Downers Grove

At about 8:00pm on July 12, 2000, a building security guard saw a bunch of bright lights. He went out to the south parking lot and saw “a huge object that was trying to land in the parking lot.” He said, “It was as long as eight buses, and almost as high.” He described the object as dark silver/blue in color with a goldish stripe across it, and underneath looked concave. He said, “The UFO hovered over the parking lot for almost a minute without making any sound.” At that time, some of the tenants came out because this object was right outside their window. Even the entire cleaning crew saw it as well.

4. The 2006 Chicago O’Hare UFO Sighting

At approximately 4:30pm on Tuesday Nov 7th, 2006, federal authorities at Chicago O’Hare International Airport received a report that a group of twelve airport employees were witnessing a metallic, saucer-shaped craft hovering over gate C-17. They also received a report that approximately a dozen witnesses were observing a small, round disc-shaped object, metallic in appearance, which hovered over Gate C17.

The disc was visible for approximately two minutes and was seen by a dozen or so United Airlines employees, ranging from pilots to supervisors. The UFO was then seen to suddenly accelerate straight up through the overcast skies. Witnesses reported that the object left behind an open hole of clear air in the cloud layer and that the mysterious hole disappeared or closed within a few minutes. So far, no conclusive photographic evidence of the UFO has surfaced.

3. Tinley Park Lights

A triangular formation of reddish lights were seen at low to intermediate altitude by hundreds of witnesses, on three separate occasions in late 2004 and early 2005, producing multiple videos, photos, and mainstream local news coverage over two suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. The object(s) maneuvered slowly within a busy airspace near O’Hare International Airport. The incident was investigated by MUFON, and reported widely in metropolitan media. It was also featured on an episode of UFO Hunters on the Sci-Fi Channel.

2. The Rockford Sightings

Rockford gets our number two spot based on the sheer number of mass sightings alone. There have been yellow lights, red glowing spheres, numerous bright lights, and Orbs. There was even mass sightings of a large triangle, like in the famous “Phoenix Lights.” To this day, strange orb-like objects are seen in the night sky according to hundreds of Rockford-area residents.

In February 2000, there were multiple sightings of clusters of yellow lights over the Rockford-area, and around 9:00 PM on January 11, 2001, WREX Channel 13 Television and other news media reported that they had received some 600 reports of UFOs over the city. Sometimes as many as twelve lights or UFOs were reported conducting maneuvers, and some computer and electrical shutdowns coincided with the reports.

1. The St. Clair Triangle

The “St. Clair Triangle” refers to a mass of sightings occurring around 4:00 am on January 5, 2000 in St. Clair County, Illinois. Since that time, the area has become famous for its huge wave of triangle sightings that still continue to this day. More than eight different police departments witnessed and even pursued the huge triangular craft. At one point, the craft “jumped” over 20 miles in just seconds. It traveled over the towns of Highland, Dupo, Lebanon, Summerfield, Millstadt, and O’Fallon. Five on-duty Illinois police officers in separate locales, along with various other witnesses, reported the massive, silent, triangular aircraft operating at an unusual range of near-hover to incredible high speed at treetop altitudes. The incident was examined in an ABC Special “Seeing is Believing” by Peter Jennings, an hour-long special “UFOs Over Illinois,” produced by Discovery Channel, as well as a Sci Fi Channel special entitled “Proof Positive.”

John Stephenson is a member of MUFON, co-host of Thresholds into Other Realms, and small business professional with a decade worth of experience in IT and high end security surveillance systems. For the last four years, he has moderated the website and employed a technical and scientific approach to paranormal research with an emphasis on infra-red digital imagery and photographic analysis. Check out the interview with John that we conducted in September 2010.



  1. Last week I witnessed a strage white light moving from South to North much higher than a commercial jet, but not as high as the military flights. The unusual thing was as it moved it was sometimes fast and sometimes very slow or appeared to stop completely,its path was not a straight line. It moved North for a while then moved at a different speed to the West and stopped, then North again, stopped and went easterly, stopped again and continued at a much faster speed to the North where it flew out of sight. it had no flashing lights or color changes no sound. 3/23.12


  2. sheri wright says:

    I lived on a farm outside of Reynolds Illinois in 1977 I saw a UFO hovering over our cornfield. and my husband and his friends thought also but they were on the road going to the Quad Cities and it came over the top of their car. I never saw anything move so fast in my life 1 minute it was over the cornfield for a while and I thought it was a jet crashing and then the next thing it was gone


  3. Dropsy says:

    I’v seen a couple, I asked my friends and a few of them have seen objects like this. They’re real even though the government is hell bent on trying to convince us otherwise. When will they quit wasting our tax money on trying to deceive us? Never, they’ll always treat us like fools.


  4. Did anyone else see a ping pong sized bright light in the sky on Dec. 11, 2013 near Highland Il?
    Both my 87 year old parents saw it while driving around 5:15 (dark out) on Governor’s Parkway.


  5. In winter 2000 or 2001 I saw an object come through the atmosphere and down over the top of the building I was standing next to with a friend. The object made no sound, had vivid lights that changed from yellows, reds, purples, etc. spinning around the object. It seemed to stop over the top of us, shift a little and then took off in seconds. To this day, I cannot find any other reports, pictures or information about the craft except a newspaper article my mother happened to read to me the next day about an unidentified flying object seen moving fast over Chicago, IL. If ANYONE else saw this object I would LOVE to know. The clouds even shifted (like in the film Independence Day) as the craft came into our atmosphere. People argue with me saying the object was probably created by our own government but I’m sorry, I saw that thing sit over the top of my friend’s head and I for a good 15-20 seconds then take off in a matter of 1-2 seconds, completely out of sight… But, the government did that, right???


  6. Elfreda Davis says:

    Where there ever any sightings in Centreville,Illinois in the 1960s?
    I have a memory but I wadva child and back then was told I was lying or dreaming.As a adult I have had memiries of brigjt lightd and loud noisrs and the house shaking. I am site it an explaination. Back then blacks could not get police to help then. And families never talked about UFOs


  7. Edward says:

    I have a strange picture of storm clouds and when you zoom in you can see several bright objects in the clouds. The pictures are in my phone and I don’t know where or how to send them to someone to look at to see if they know what they are.


    • You can share them on Google + there are alot of UFO Organizations and people that would be able to help you.

      This is first time I have seen this site most Awesome. As I too have seen UFOs.


    • Brenda says:

      Same problem… A couple co-workers and i went to the Sky deck at Willis Tower in Chicago. We took pics there and at the pier. On about 4 pics of ours day and night at the tower and pier, there were at least 2 UFOS in the pics. Don’t know who to show or what to make of them.


  8. Just saw 4 zig zagging white lights without strobe lights typical with aircraft fying over the western sky! They would stop, change direction, speed up and slow down. I did see real airplanes, and a meteor go over. But, the super bright, constantly illuminated cylindrical shaped object, was really moving around alot as it came from the south, and headed was too low for a satellite, moved to quick from side to side and up and down to be a man made aircraft. It was so low I could make out the cylindrical shape.again it had no blinking lights , and was headed east going up and down and side to side 100 times faster than a f16 jet. So 5 sightings over the sky’s over Thomasboro il sky within 5 minutes ! I’m always skeptical about things like this, and these were NOT normal, man made objects, as fast as they were moving it would break a humans neck. This was real and witnessed by my wife and daughter and myself.


  9. John cavalzani says:

    Seen the reddish orange orbs last night on the outskirts of belvidere ill. Three of them in a line coming from the south south east heading north. First two came in a minute or two of each other last one was about two minutes later. Have pics and videos of them. Looked like fire balls with ash dropping off them. Slow moving took about 45 sec to get across the sky


    • Joyce says:

      The ash dropping off makes me believe that these were Chinese lanterns but I wasn’t there. I only know that I have lit them and at night. They are really cool and fit the description here. The speed depends on the wind, air and how quickly they will burn out. Maybe google and see if this is what you witnessed. Keep Watching. They do exist !!!


  10. I have never seen a ufo. I believe in them. I know that I am not alone.


  11. I believe I’ve seen one myself in Elgin around 1988. It was a bright sunny day not a cloud in the sky. I just happened to look up and saw a very bright light, it sat still in they sky for about a minute and as strange as this may sound I was starring at it wondering what it was. I blinked my eyes and it was gone that fast. When I say bright it was like there was a star in the sky. I’m not sure what I saw but it was no airplane , well I’ll stop here. This is the first time I’ve told this story to anyone except for my wife. Glad i’m not alone.


  12. Joyce says:

    My son and I were just speaking about the sighting here in Rockford, Illinois. I remember vividly to this day. It was January 11, 2001 at about 9:00 pm. I had married on January 1, 2001 and was moving my things to our new home in Belvidere, Il. On the my way back for another load, we were on Spring Creek, headed West when we saw a triangular object with three white lights hovering over the traffic. People were pulled over to the side of the road, near Eisenhower School, to watch the event. Both of my sons and myself decided to to follow beneath the object as it proceeded toward the Rock River. It hovered over the river and then turned sided ways and came back toward us and Eisenhower again. We turned around to follow it and as it went up and behind the school, it disappeared behind the trees. We drove behind the school to see where it might have went but it was gone. It moved quickly when changing directions but did not seem to be afraid to hover and move slowly while we were beneath the object. It was on top of us, so close that we could feel the heat. We didn’t have any problems with the car but our phones did not work to take a picture of it. We were stunned !!! Just Amazing !!! UFO, Yes, they exist !!!


    • linda says:

      I saw one 2006 on spring creek it followed over my car for a couple of minutes then took off all I heard was humming.


  13. i saw the st clair triangle driving west down i80 from chicago, after bolingbrook all the way to morris and ottawa it approached, i think there was three but only one went right over my car, sunroof open around 830-10pm . i was on the interstate and slowed to about 35mph, along with all the other vehicles. it took abou an hour for it to go from first sight to being over me but me and my friend were screaming in disbelief as i slowed and we looked over. it was very weird.


  14. Jeremy says:

    The year was 1976 and we lived about 7 miles east of Moweaqua Il. I remember my mom looking out the window just after dark and seeing a very bright light. I saw it too. So bright you really couldn’t look at it. It looked like it went down in the woods just a mile from our house. My grandpa went out there the next day and he said he found a burnt patch of grass in a circle. Never heard anything else about it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: