World UFO Day

The Truth is Out Here

In honor of World UFO Day on July 2, we reminisce on a few tales from the desert’s extraterrestrial hot spots from Pioneertown to Joshua Tree.

Amelia Rodriguez Attractions, Current Guide

World UFO Day

In 2015, a pair of ufologists named California the state with the most unexplainable night-sky sightings. In honor of World UFO Day (July 2), we reminisce on a few tales from the desert’s extraterrestrial hot spots.

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Joshua Tree Retreat Center

More than 100 witnesses reported a bevy of fast-moving, colored lights in the sky over this center during the 2016 Contact in the Desert UFO festival.


George Van Tassel built this domelike white “tabernacle” in 1960. He claimed the construction plans came to him telepathically from a Venusian alien.

Edwards Air Force Base

President Eisenhower detoured here in 1954 while vacationing in Palm Springs, reportedly to visit a group of jetlagged ETs.

Cultus Camp

Curious reports led Travel + Leisure to send a writer UFO-hunting at this Pioneertown Airbnb. However, she only glimpsed the space station.

San Gorgonio Pass

In 1952 — 30 years before the wind farm was built — four eyewitnesses observed a glinting blue-and-yellow diamond and a red flashing light fly through the mountain pass.

See related story: Whitey Strieber tells about being abducted by aliens.