America's First UFO Sighting: What Did John Winthrop Really See In 1639?

By Sarah Norman | November 29, 2023

Centuries-old UFO Sightings: America's Early Encounter with Extraterrestrials

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While alien abductions and UFO sightings may seem to be unique to the 20th-century, humans have been witnessing visitors from beyond our planet for much longer. In fact, the first documented UFO sighting in America actually occurred before the country was even founded. Several years after John Winthrop and his fellow Puritans left England and began their life in the New World, they allegedly encountered visitors from another world.

Unexplained Lights Over Muddy River

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The first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop, was responsible for chronicling the adventures of the settlers. His journal entry on March 1, 1639, described a bizarre incident which had occurred earlier that year. According to Winthrop, three men were rowing down Muddy River when they witnessed a strange light in the sky above them. Muddy River was located at Back Bay Fens about two miles from Charlestown and flowed through swampland before emptying into a tidal basin of the Charles River.