You've seen the movies, and heard the myths; for decades UFOs have been a source of mystery and intrigue for people worldwide.

 The "Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) held an East Coast conference here in Erie, at the Bayfront Convention Center.

The headlines have sold papers for decades; reports of unidentified flying objects, extraterrestrials visiting earth.

"They may be simply watching and maybe pushing us in different ways...we don't know, we just don't know, but it's fascinating and it's fun," said MUFON member and conference organizer Fred Lane.

MUFON is the largest UFO investigative association in the world.

They've enlisted the help of over 100 scientists, to unearth what's behind those other- worldly objects.

"These people are serious investigators," said Lane, "they go around and try do things scientifically, they take measurements, samples, they have 200 PhD's they can call on to help them with the analyzation."

It's a phenomenon that has attracted scientists like nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman.

He's studied UFO sightings for more than 50 years, and lectured about his findings all over the world.

"The biggest study ever done (was) for the U.S. government, the Air Force," Friedman said. "3201 sightings, 21 and a half percent couldn't be identified by professionals spending full time trying to identify them."

He's staunch in his conclusions: "The evidence is overwhelming that planet Earth is being visited by intelligently controlled extraterrestrial spacecraft."

"Quite often there's misidentification...things you can track down," said researcher and author Stan Gordon, who spoke at the conference. "But we have many instances of large solid craft that are seen at very close range," that he says can't be linked to any man made or natural explanation. 

One of the most well known reported UFO sightings in our area was back in 1966, at Beach 6 on Presque Isle.

"What happened was there was a group of people from Jamestown and their car got and stuck the men got out to get help," said Lane. "Meanwhile they had seen this bright light, it came down and this creature got out and came over to the car and apparently scratched the car."

For Lane, it's not all hearsay. He had his own sighting at the peninsula around the same time.

"I went down there and saw this red light hanging over the peninsula and it was just hanging there, and then a jet came out of the sky... and this thing just, boom, gone."

The answers could be light years away, but until then scientists will keep looking to the sky.

If we've peaked your interest, you can find out more about MUFON, and how to report a sighting, by clicking here.