Special Report

Weirdest News Stories of the Year

Source: John Moore / Getty Images

6. Trump wants to buy Greenland
> Date: Aug. 15

President Donald Trump found himself in an unexpected geopolitical spat in August when the Wall Street Journal reported that he wanted the U.S. to try to buy the Danish territory of Greenland. Though the island has strategic importance, trying to buy territory from another country is highly unusual. Denmark’s prime minister called the suggestion “absurd.”

Source: Christian Petersen / Getty Images

7. Antonio Brown vs. Oakland Raiders
> Date: Aug. 29

Superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown left the Oakland Raiders without playing a single snap following some bizarre behavior. Brown first began missing practices after a botched cryotherapy left him with frostbite on his feet. Then, he refused to practice because the NFL would no longer allow him to wear his favored helmet out of safety concerns. Brown filed a number of grievances with the NFL, meanwhile missing more practice. The Raiders fined Brown for skipping workouts, which led to a shouting match between the Pro Bowler and Oakland general manager Mike Mayock. Oakland finally cut Brown, who was signed by the Patriots then released after he was accused of sexual misconduct.

Source: Courtesy of Department of Defense (screenshot)

8. UFOs may be real
> Date: Sep. 10

In a bombshell story from September, the U.S. military confirmed that three famous videos released in 2017 with UFOs in them are real. In one, from 2004, an object is seen flying so fast that even advanced sensors were unable to pick it up. In another, awestruck pilots are in disbelief about the unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) flying near them. After years of silence, a Naval spokesman confirmed that the videos are authentic, though they had not been cleared for release or declassified.

Source: Geckow / Wikimedia Commons

9. Storming of Area 51
> Date: Sep. 20

A Facebook event titled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” quickly gained steam and went viral as a joke. The post suggested that if enough people ran into Area 51, the military facility long rumored to store UFOs in it, those storming the facility would be able to get in and “see them aliens.” More and more people joined in on the joke, and soon more than 2 million Facebook users RSVP’d that they would go to the Sept. 20 event. When the time came, there was no mass raid on the site, though several music festivals popped up and attracted 1,500 attendees.

Source: Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

10. Romney burner account
> Date: Oct. 20

Politicians use staffers to run their official Twitter accounts, but what if they want to post and like anonymously like the rest of us? If you’re Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, you make a burner account. Slate writer and Twitter sleuth Ashley Feinberg gathered evidence suggesting Romney had an account with the pseudonym “Pierre Delecto.” The account criticized President Trump and advocated Romney’s interests. Romney eventually acknowledged the account was his, then made it private.