Artist's rendering of a UFO sphere in the sky. Depositphotos.

Colonial America’s UFO Enigma: Earliest Known Sighting in US History Uncovered

Delving into the hidden chapters of history, an astounding revelation emerges: America's fascination with UFOs began long before Roswell. In fact, the earliest recorded sighting dates back to colonial times. Prepare to be enthralled by this captivating tale of unexplained aerial phenomena in the very infancy of the United States.


Throughout ancient times, numerous civilizations documented their encounters with strange aerial phenomena. In ancient Egypt, for example, the Tulli Papyrus—an alleged record from the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III—describes the appearance of “circles of fire” in the sky. Similarly, ancient Rome had its share of UFO reports, with notable historian Julius Obsequens recounting sightings of “phantom ships” in the sky and “shields” darting across the heavens.

Ancient texts from India, such as the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, also mention enigmatic flying machines known as “vimanas.” These descriptions of advanced aerial vehicles, capable of incredible speed and maneuverability, have fueled speculation about the possibility of extraterrestrial visitations in ancient times.


UFO Encounters in Colonial America

Before the American War of Independence, Massachusetts Bay Colony’s first governor, John Winthrop, documented possible UFO sightings in his diary, suggesting that unidentified flying objects have been intriguing Americans since colonial times.

The UFO Craze Takes Off

The fascination with UFOs soared in the 1940s with the advent of the jet age, sparking a cultural phenomenon that inspired movies, books, and a subculture of UFO enthusiasts. This fascination transformed Roswell, New Mexico, into a world-renowned destination for paranormal devotees.

America’s First Recorded UFO Encounter

John Winthrop, a Puritan leader and foundational figure in American history, chronicled the nation’s first known UFO encounter in 1639. A “great light in the night” was observed by several credible witnesses near Boston’s Muddy River, an area now encompassed by the famous Fenway Park.

Winthrop’s Impact on American History

As a key figure in the early Massachusetts colony, Winthrop’s leadership influenced the United States’ destiny. His journal has long been considered a cornerstone of Massachusetts historical scholarship, chronicling the colony’s trials and tribulations during its first 19 years.


Mysterious Abductions and UFO Sightings

Winthrop’s writings include accounts of a perplexing object possibly abducting three men in a boat. He also reported two additional UFO sightings over Boston Harbor in 1644, as revealed by Fox News.

Winthrop’s accounts of early American aerial phenomena have garnered interest in recent years, as government and military officials admitted to studying UFOs for decades. This disclosure has brought paranormal and extraterrestrial encounters into mainstream academic and analytical discussions.

Winthrop’s Record-Keeping

A devout Christian and tireless nation-builder, Winthrop diligently documented nearly two decades of daily life in the colony despite the challenges of establishing a new civilization and governing a fledgling society.

The 1639 Boston UFO Encounter

Winthrop’s description of a strange UFO sighting on a winter night in Boston is nestled between passages about interactions with Native Americans. He detailed the account of a great light witnessed by James Everell and two others, which exhibited bizarre behavior and left the men mysteriously displaced in their boat.

“In this year one James Everell, a sober, discreet man, and two others, saw a great light in the night at Muddy River,” Winthrop wrote on March 1, 1639.  “When it stood still, it flamed up, and was about three yards square; when it ran it was contracted into the figure of a swine.”


Possible Explanations and Further Sightings

Some sources attribute the strange light to ignis fatuus or swamp gas, but this fails to explain the light’s rapid movement or the men’s inexplicable relocation. Winthrop went on to document two more UFO encounters in 1644, each involving unusual lights and witnessed by multiple people.

We are only now starting to comprehend that throughout history, people have observed unexplained phenomena. Accounts of mysterious “fiery chariots” can be found in the Bible, while enigmatic depictions appear in medieval and renaissance paintings as well as ancient petroglyphs.

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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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