March 01, 2017

New Englanders See A Lot Of UFOs!

The headline for this weeks blog post says it all.

The National UFO Reporting Center (UFORC) recently released some global statistics regarding UFO sightings. Guess what? People in New England see more UFOs per capita than most other people in the United States. I have always suspected that our part of the country was spookier than others. Perhaps this is some tangible proof.

Here is a map of the United States showing per capita UFO sightings. As you can see, New England is redder than much of the country. Red = more UFO sightings/person.

Map from VizThis.
The northern New England states (Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont) are all way above average. It seems like Vermont is definitely the place to go if you are eager to see a UFO. Rhode Island and Connecticut are also above average. Oddly, although Massachusetts leads the nation in many measures, it is only average for UFO sightings. Massholes, we need to step it up! Turn off Netflix and go outside more please.

The map raises a lot of questions. For example, at first I thought "Oh, the rural states tend to see more UFOs than the heavily urbanized states. They have less light pollution so people can see the night sky more clearly." But on second thought, I realized that some relatively rural states don't see many UFOs at all, particularly in the South. So much for that theory. And Rhode Island and Connecticut have a lot of cities and big suburbs anyway.

I also thought that maybe UFO sightings were correlated to political affiliations. Did states that voted for Clinton tend to see more UFOs? It looks like they did, but people in the big Western also states see a lot of UFOs and they voted for Trump. So maybe that correlation doesn't really work.

I have read that some UFOlogists think the number of sightings is declining. That may be the case elsewhere in the world, but the number here in the United States has actually increased in the last few decades. Here is another graphic showing that UFORC data:

Chart from VizThis
Are people actually seeing more UFOs, or are they just reporting them more. The big spike in sightings happened after the Internet was created, and along with it multiple ways to report sightings. Prior to the Internet it was not easy to find a UFO research organization, never mind report a sighting. People might just be reporting more of them since it is now easier to do.

One other fun fact from the UFORC report: the type of UFOs people see has changed over time. These days more people report strange lights in the sky than any other form of UFO. Actual flying saucers are now in a distant second place, followed by spherical, triangular, and cigar-shaped objects.

If you want more information, check out VisThis, which is where I found the graphics for this week's post. It is a great site! They have many more charts explaining the UFORC report.


Anonymous said...

I REALLY don't trust that second chart. There's no spike in the '40s, when the modern UFO era began. Not to mention that it's clearly mixing data sources, since UFORC didn't exist back then, and you shouldn't be doing that.

As far as the heat map by state, I wonder if it's due, at least in part, to internet usage, and/or whatever means UFORC uses to publicize itself.

E-bloguer said...

après exellent, félicitations
: e-bloguer