How To Fake A UFO Sighting Like Alexander Hamilton


Alexander Hamilton is widely believed to be responsible for the world’s first publicised UFO sighting.


In 1897 Hamilton, of Yates Center, Kansas, claimed that he came out of his house and discovered a cigar shaped UFO hovering above his farm.

Hamilton further claimed that aliens, appearing as humanoids, were in the spaceship and had attached a rope to one of his calves and that they were trying to winch it aboard their vessel.

The story was published in the Yates Center local newspaper alongside statements from local residents who vouched for Hamilton’s honesty.

For close to a century Hamilton’s account of events was believed to be one of the best ever documented UFO incidents.


Unfortunately for those who want to believe, Hamilton’s UFO sighting was nothing more than a hoax.

Alexander Hamilton was part of a group know as the ‘local liar’s club’ whose purpose was to outdo each other with ever grander fabricated tales and stories.

As Hamilton’s tale was so convincing it was submitted to the local newspaper as a joke.

None of the local liar’s club could have envisaged how seriously the story would have been taken, or how far the news would spread.

The compelling story stood for 80 years until 1977 when Jerry Clark investigated the story for FATE magazine.

Clark published the results of Robert Schadewald’s work which showed that dry cleaning bags, candles and balsa wood had been used to orchestrate the hoax.

The candles were used to provide the hot air required to lift the bags in addition to contributing a strange glow which added considerably to the effect.

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Despite the number of alleged UFO sightings around the world, very few have ever been confirmed as hoaxes.

Does this mean UFOs really do exist, or are the experts just wary of trying to debunk stories when they may not be able to prove their falsity?

Do you believe in UFOs, aliens or other unexplainable events?

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. qt8625 says:

    The first time I heard about Alexander Hamiliton seeing a UFO was in R.L. Dione book “God drives a flying Saucer”. Dione forgot to mention that Hamilton belonged to a Liar’s Club. Geez.

  2. helen pearl says:

    my father was alexander hamilton pearl born in yates center kansas march 3,1888.have heard he was the liar.he was 53 when i was born and lived to be 86. have to admit he was a bs’er. i miss him very much.

  3. Clark Hamilton says:

    This Alexander Hamilton is acually my Great Great Great Grandpa this is kinda cool to see this on the internet.

    • You sure have an interesting relative there Clark!

      Can you add any more detail to the tale?

      • Clark, if you have any information on him and your family, you should give copies to the Coffey County Historical Society and Museum in Burlington, Kansas. I know they would be very interested in it! Alexander was a very interesting man.

  4. When I saw the headline and clicked through to the article I thought it was going to be about Alexander Hamilton, First Treasury Secretary in the US and killed in a duel with Aaron Burr. I was like – he also saw the first reported UFO?

    I would like to believe there is other “intelligent” life in the universe but I don’t believe they have visited or abducted us.

    • I have to confess that I’ve never heard of THAT Alexander Hamilton.

      I used to believe in UFOs and aliens but now I don’t. My opinion has changed to one of believing that these sightings and other stories are a ssmokescreen, typically used to cover up military training and technology.

      • You probably don’t believe anymore because we’re not seeing full-blown alien craft.

        Considering that they would have to be of a higher intelligence, they would have already known that there would be a place and time that they would have to stop flying in plain sight. At that point, they would use stealth of some type such as lights that surround their craft as if it’s not there and you only see a light.

        I’m sure over time and even with a few wars going on over the past 17 years along with it a lot of military in the skies, that they felt someone would eventually take pot shots at them and completely blow their cover.

        What country’s military would shoot at a light?

        In other words, don’t be fooled by the thousands of UFO sightings that we’re seeing these days that are simply lights in the sky.

        I believe nothing outside of my own personal experiences and everything else I just put in the back of my mind but never in that filing cabinet in my brain called ‘fact’.

        At least put them in the back of your mind.

        Atrueoriginall (aka: alien abductee)

        • I certainly don’t dismiss the concept of alien life out of hand.

          I think the laws of probability dictate that there must be other intelligent life out there somewhere and it is quite likely that other species could be far more advanced than us.

          I’m just not so sure that visitors are here now, or have been here before.

          Previously, I saw ‘evidence’ in cave paintings from thousands of years ago that seemed to be of spacemen, or biblical accounts of objects in the sky.

          Now, I think the governments of the world, especially the US, takes advantage of the level of interest in order to create distractions so they can work on top secret projects in peace.

          For example, I used to believe there was one or more alien in Area 51, but now I have read a huge number of reports which suggest that the CIA was actually using that area to work on mind control experiments.

          If the latter is true then alien talk would be far less damaging than the population knowing the truth wouldn’t it?

  5. I am fascinated by the concept of visitors from outer space. More articles on this subject would be welcomed by myself and hopefully a few others too.

  6. Liar’s Club or not, there was an infamous 1897 cigar shaped UFO reported. He could have used that particular sighting as part of his story because he was already privy to it.

    Here is the story.

    Texas Airship

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