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Scientists reveal new map showing UFO hotspots and areas that have the most sightings
Featured Image Credit: NATIONAL ARCHIVES, RECORDS OF HEADQUARTERS U.S. AIR FORCE / Medina, Brewer & Kirkpatrick. Sci Rep (2023)

Scientists reveal new map showing UFO hotspots and areas that have the most sightings

There are some clear UFO hotspots visible on the map of the US

If you're someone who's keen to find out whether aliens are real, a new map of UFO hotspots across the US reveals the perfect places to look.

I'll give you a hint: you can forget about Pennsylvania.

The map has been shared by the University of Utah, where geographers used data from the National UFO Research Center to look at approximately 98,000 total sighting reports from 2001 to 2020.

For each county in the US, researchers looked into the light pollution, cloud cover and tree cover, as well as the potential for objects like planes or military aircraft to be in the sky, and the number of sightings per 10,000 people per county.

With these parameters in place the researchers determined a number of cold spots and hot spots, with far more sightings reported in the West and in the very Northeast.

People are able to report sightings for the National UFO Research Center.
Getty Stock Photos

The hotspots correlate with areas that have particularly dark skies and wide open spaces, while the cold spots were in the central plains and the Southeast.

Richard Medina, associate professor of geography at the University of Utah and lead author of the study, explained: “The idea is that if you have a chance to see something, then it’s more likely that you’re going to see unexplained phenomena in the sky.

“There’s more technology in the sky than ever before so the question is: What are people actually seeing? It’s a tough question to answer, and it is an important one because any uncertainty can be a potential threat to national security.”

The authors of the study have noted that the National UFO Research Center’s data is a public, self-reporting system, meaning there could be some hoaxes included in the reports.

The west is definitely more popular for UFOs.
University of Utah

However, they also noted that if the data was entirely invalid, then it's unlikely there'd be a pattern on the map.

“There are many factors that can contribute to the report of anomalous objects,” said Simon Brewer, associate professor of geography and co-author of the study.

“By examining the spatial distribution of reports and how they relate to the local environment, we hope to provide some geographical context that may help resolve or understand reports by both the public and in military settings.”

As well as looking at the spread of sightings, the team are aiming to find out whether sightings could be the result of socio-cultural triggers, for example a spike in reports following the release of a show like The X Files.

By gaining a better understanding of the context surrounding the sightings, the team are hopeful that it will become easier to explain them and identify any objects that could be a real threat.

Topics: UFO, Science, US News