Four Corners UFO Study

A WebQuest for Adult and GED Learners

Designed by

 Gloria J. Edwards

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Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page


Unexplained lights flashing through the dark.  Crashed space ships made of unknown materials (one with a crew of suffocated extraterrestrial beings!). Slender aliens with huge almond-shaped eyes.  Cut-up cows and other animals.  Who? How? Where? And why? What’s going on here? 

Tales of UFO sightings, extraterrestrials, and spaceship wrecks are plentiful in the southwest.  Southern Colorado and the Four Corners area have their own surprising stories and events.  Local and internet resources tell stories of these events in detail.  How do we know if they are true?  What is the same and different about all of these stories?  What is the possibility of life on other planets, and are they coming to see us?            


The Task

 Your mission: Find out about visits from extraterrestrials in the Four Corners Area!  Using the computer and local history sources, begin your own local project about a UFO sighting in Cortez or southwest Colorado.  Look for evidence of proof in the stories.  Design your own message to those that have visited here.   Calculate the probability of life on other planets.  And, and hunt down and record some local stories of you own, using video and music to create a local UFO oral history. 


The Process:  UFO Detective Activities

NOTE:::Want to save ink? Always print in "draft" mode and select "grayscale" or "black and white" for color option.

 Who Says?

Let’s start out by reading some of the stories of UFO sightings and experiences in the southern Colorado and Four Corners area. After looking through these stories, you can go on to some other UFO case histories and investigate them also.

 Activity One- Background Reading: On your computer, start out with and read the home page.  Look down the column on the right side of the page and click on “Oral History”.

For Basic Reading: choose from three of the encounter stories numbered 2, 4, 5, 6, and 14.

For Advanced Reading: Click on the Aztec UFO Recovery Story 1948 (additional stories may be read after you finish with this one).

Read the stories carefully.  After you read them, choose three statements from each story that you think show that the story may or may not be true.  Re-write the statements from the story, paying close attention to capitalization and punctuation.  After each statement, write an opinion showing that you believe the statement to show —or not show— proof of extraterrestrials. 

The fun thing is, there is no exactly right or wrong answer, and you have plenty of room to explore your opinions in words and writing (work on firmly backing up your opinion).  You’ll be able to read differences in what people think they see and hear, and how they report their experience.  Do some stories offer more evidence than others?  Are there more details or witnesses?                         GO TO TOP ^

  ----- >>>> Go to Writing Page

 Activity Two – Phone From Home:  You and your teacher may decide to do this activity separately or as part of a group.  Design a message to be sent to the extraterrestrials that visited here….BUT, it can’t be in the English language.  You can use video clips, or put together music or artwork from your computer programs.  What is it that you would like your message to convey?  A sense of peace (soothing music), creativity (colorful artwork), pictures of landmarks or significant places from the area, or evidence of intelligent life here (mathematical symbols, signs, or codes)? Take one hour to develop your message to the extraterrestrials that you have read about, and then share your results with your group.

These computer programs can be found on most school computers and can be used for creating your message: Word, Paint, PhotoDraw or other graphics programs, Powerpoint, or clipart.


Activity Three- Could This Be?:  Discover the possibility of extraterrestrial life through the Drake Equation!  This is a fun math activity that uses known information about stars and planets to guess at the probability of life on other planets.  You can start out very easy and make it as challenging as you like! 

On your computer, go to  Read through the description of the Drake Equation.  Go over the terms and explanations with your teacher and group.  The Drake equation uses simple multiplication of percentages, fractions, and whole numbers to come up with a number of planets that could support extraterrestrial life.  It may look hard, but is really very simple to use.  You can practice using it at the website, then take turns as a group entering your own numbers for the letters (called “terms”), and working your answers by hand.  Have your teacher check your answers.


 ----- >>>> Go to the Calculation Page

Activity 4- You Saw What???: Here is where you can become a UFO detective! 

Possible extraterrestrial visits are not limited to spaceships and flashing lights!  Cows (for some reason) seem to get picked on a lot by unknown forces – and not for the milk or beef.  Using your local telephone book, call several veterinarians in the area and ask if they can refer you to ranchers with livestock mutilation experiences.  Ask permission to interview the ranchers.  Make a video interviewing the ranchers and the mutilation areas.  OR:  Just start checking by word of mouth; have your teachers or co-workers seen any sightings, and would they like to be recorded in a local UFO video?

To make a video: Divide the jobs: have one person be the videographer, another to write and take interview questions and answers.  Others edit the video in computer lab and add music and special effects.  Your video could have a showing at the local history museum or library!

Use these websites to research other sightings in your area.  You can also search these databases to look at sightings all over the U.S. and other countries.                                              GO TO TOP ^  (The Aztec Public Library in New Mexico)  (National Center for UFO Reportings)  (The databases of George Filer)  (The Jeff Rense Radio Show; includes a search engine to look for unexplained sightings of UFO’s, Bigfoot, etc)

----- >>>> Go to the Evaluation Rubric                 GO TO TOP ^


Congratulations!  You are now a UFO expert in your local area.  You have taken a look at several UFO stories and have used them to learn independent thinking skills in understanding the difference between observation and “hype”.  You have used your own creativity to make a message to aliens, applied math skills to probability, and made a video of local sightings!  Have you decided on any personal conclusions on the reality of extraterrestrials? 


Credits & References

Donna Chadwick, Aztec Public Library UFO Oral History Project, Aztec, New Mexico

National UFO Reporting Center: