On January 8, 2008, Stephenville gained national media attention when dozens and later hundreds of residents reported observations of unidentified flying objects. According to reports, residents observed several types of UFOs, the descriptions ranging from triangular looking craft to discs. Several residents described the crafts as the size of a football field, while others said they were nearly a mile long. Some observers reported military aircraft pursuing the objects.
CNN's Larry King covered the story in the days following the incident, and according to Steve Allen, a private pilto who witnessed the UFO, the object was travelling at high rate of speed at 3,000 feet in the air. Allen said it was ''About a half a mile wide and about a mile long. It was humongous, whatever it was.''
On January 23, after initially denying that aircraft were operating in the area, the US Air Force said they were conducting training flights in the Stephenville area that involved 10 fighter jets. The Air Force said they were F-16 Fighting Falcon jets. Angelia Joiner, who during this period was the Stephenville Empire-Tribune reporter covering the story, left the paper because they ceased covering the topic.