Ancient aliens and UFOs, or “unidentified flying objects,” have been the stuff of legends for centuries. Modern “eyewitness” accounts began to surface as early as the latter part of the 19th century with reports of “mystery airships” appearing in U.S. newspapers. During WWII, allied airmen’s eerie tales of encountering mysterious “foo fighters” captured our collective imagination, but it was after the Cold War that ufo sightings really took off. While the U.S. government started monitoring the skies for evidence that the Soviets might be developing secret stealth aircraft, many people believed—and continue to believe—that unexplained flying phenomena were of extra terrestrial origin. Pictures of so-called UFOs were touted as proof that alien visitors had made their way to Earth but even in the dark ages before Photoshop, it was easy enough to manipulate photographic technology. The following stories tell of possible ufo sightings, with photographs that may—or may not—prove that real close encounters may be closer than you think.