Post by Joanna on Jul 19, 2018 19:43:07 GMT -5
States with the Most 21st Century UFO Sightings
People have always observed their environment – from their immediate surroundings, to the skies and beyond. While technological advancements have increased our powers of perception, the naked senses remain extremely limited. Commonplace observations by the unaided senses, notably sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) can be very difficult to explain. Our understanding of these phenomena is limited to speculation, anecdote and the imperfect powers of human perception and recollection.
There have been documented UFO sightings in what is now 17th century, long before manned flight. Today, tens of thousands of UFO sightings are reported nationwide every year. Depending on weather conditions and the amount of time spent outdoors, UFO sighting levels vary by state.
In their UFO Sightings Desk Reference, authors Cheryl Costa and Linda Miller Costa aggregated reports from two government databases to highlight how sightings vary over time and among states. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the number of UFO sightings between 2001 and 2015 in each state to determine which states have had the most UFO sightings. States are listed from most to least UFO sightings with population density (number of people per square mile) indicated in parentheses:
|1. California - 15,836 (248)||26. Nevada - 1,583 (27)|
|2. Florida - 7,787 (371)||27. Connecticut - 1,478 (760)|
|3. Texas - 7,058 (103)||28. Oklahoma - 1,408 (57)|
|4. Washington - 5,226 (106)||29. New Mexico - 1,407 (18)|
|5. Pennsylvania - 5,176 (288)||30. Alabama - 1,224 (97)|
|6. New York - 5,141 (415)||31. Iowa - 1,158 (55) and Utah - 1,158 (36)|
|7. Arizona - 4,726 (60)||32. Louisiana - 1,090 (106)|
|8. Illinois - 4,191 (234)||33. Kansas - 1,088 (36)|
|9. Michigan - 4,160 (174)||34. Arkansas - 995 (58)|
|10. Ohio - 4,115 (284)||35. Idaho - 979 (20)|
|11. North Carolina - 3,359 (208)||36. Maine - 949 (44)|
|12. Colorado - 3,197 (51)||37. New Hampshire - 932 (150)|
|13. Oregon - 3,013 (42)||38. West Virginia - 821 (78)|
|14. Missouri - 3,013 (42)||39. Nebraska - 660 (18.4)|
|15. Indiana - 2,897 (185)||40. Mississippi - 636 (64)|
|16. New Jersey - 2,567 (1,215)||41. Montana - 617 (7)|
|17. Georgia - 2,550 (179)||42. Hawaii - 538 (221)|
|18. Virginia - 2,348 (212)||43. Rhode Island - 522 (1,016)|
|19. Massachusetts - 2,208 (851)||44. Vermont - 504 (68)|
|20. Tennessee - 2,125 (160)||45. Alaska - 474 (1)|
|21. Wisconsin - 1,998 (107)||46. Wyoming - 337 (6)|
|22. South Carolina - 1,859 (162)||47. Delaware - 330 (483)|
|23. Minnesota - 1,825 (69)||48. South Dakota - 280 (20.5)|
|24. Maryland - 1,646 (615)||49. North Dakota - 213 (18.6)|
|25. Kentucky - 1,587 (113)|
Detailed Findings. Cheryl Costa, one of the book’s authors, explained the prevalence of UFO sightings does not reveal as much about the objects themselves as it does about the observers. “[The sightings] are about when observers are available to be outside in nice weather and whether they have leisure time,” Costa said in an interview with 24/7 Wall St.
The states with the most UFO sightings, and the times of the year when such reports peak, both reflect the greater likelihood of sky observance. In northern states with cold winters, sightings increase dramatically during summer months when more residents are spending their leisure time outdoors. During February in Minnesota, for example, only 69 UFO sightings have been reported since the beginning of the 21st century. In August, there are four times as many reports, at 284 sightings.
Alaska is a notable exception to seasonal trends across the north. Despite a great variance in temperature in winter and summer months, sightings actually increase in Alaska during the winter and fall seasons compared to warmer months. Costa explained that sightings are easier to see at night, which is much longer in Alaska during the winter months. At the summer solstice in Fairbanks, Alaska, the sun is up for more than 21 hours a day, while there are only four hours of sunlight at the winter solstice. Therefore, despite fewer residents out in winter, there are more UFO sightings during these darker months.
By comparison, UFO sighting levels are relatively flat during the year in Southern states, where weather and daylight conditions are also relatively consistent.
The history and culture of an area, which may influence how likely residents are to report a sighting, may also account for the variance among states. Costa noted that people in parts of New Mexico and California continue to share and discuss historic UFO sightings. For example, The Battle of Los Angeles, the name of the famous 1942 incident often cited by some conspiracy theorists as evidence of an alien visit, took place in Los Angeles County, which is one of the most populous counties in the U.S., is also the location of the most UFO sightings of any county in California.
UFO sighting levels also depend on the likelihood of actually reporting such observations. Nationwide, reports of UFO sightings spiked at the turn of the century for two primary reasons: first, the significant increase in broadband internet access made reporting considerably easier; and second, following the attacks on September 11, 2001, U.S. citizens were strongly encouraged to report everything they saw. “They said report what you see and this is what people said they saw,” Costa noted.
Of the dozens of shapes and types of sightings reported, the most commonly reported UFO appears as a light, which accounts for 13% of all sightings in the data set.
Methodology. To determine the states with the most UFO sightings, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2001-2015 sightings per 100,000 people with data from Cheryl Costa’s UFO Sightings Desk Reference: United States of America 2001-2015: Unidentified Flying Objects Frequency – Distribution – Shapes.
Sources: Steven Peters and Thomas C. Frohlich, 24/7 Wall St, June 29, 2018, and MUFON.