May 21, 2018

Odds Are Good You'll See A UFO in New England

A group called has analyzed decades of UFO sightings and come up with some fascinating data about those strange objects we see in the sky. usually analyzes data about the gambling industry, but I'm glad they've broadened their scope.

According to their study, these are the ten states where you are most likely to see a UFO:

1. Wyoming
3. Montana
4. North Dakota
5. Alaska
6. Hawaii
7. New Mexico

It's interesting that four of the top ten states are in New England, and I wonder why that is. My first thought was "Oh, they are all rural states," but is that true? Rhode Island has some very dense urban areas, and other states that are more rural than these four didn't make the list. Where's South Dakota, for example?

I was a little disappointed that Connecticut and Massachusetts didn't make the top-ten list, but they also didn't make the list of states were you are least likely to report a UFO. So there is something about New England that makes it a good region for UFO sightings, but I am not sure what.  I would be happy to hear your thoughts.

You can see the interactive map here
Since usually looks at gambling, they express your likelihood of seeing a UFO in terms of odds. Vermont has a population of 623,657 and more than 2,493 UFOs have been sighted there in the last 78 years, so the odds of a Vermonter seeing a strange object in the sky is 250/1. In that same period Rhode Island has reported 3,088 sightings (odds: 324/1), while 3,627 UFOs have been seen in New Hampshire (odds: 369/1). Mainers have seen 3,605 weird flying objects, giving you a 370/1 chance of seeing one in the Pine Tree State.

Quantifying things like this really provides a good idea of how widespread the phenomena is. claims there have been 259,691 reported UFO sightings in the United States since the last century. That seems like a lot to me, and the authors of the study say the US is one of the countries where people are most likely to see a UFO.

Personally, I would love to see a UFO as an adult. I think it would be cool! Some of my fellow citizens apparently have more negative feelings about UFOs. In fact, some 40,000 Americans have taken out insurance against alien abduction. According to trade publication Business Insurance, you can purchase a policy from a company in Florida:
The Palm Beach Post contacted Mike St. Lawrence, who has been operating The Alien Abduction & Casualty Insurance Co. out of his home in Altamonte Springs, selling $20 policies since 1987. “People buy them for somebody else,” Mr. St. Lawrence told a reporter. “They usually just make themselves the beneficiary.”
I wonder if anyone has ever tried to collect on their policy?

This all sounds like light-hearted fun, but The New York Times did recently publish an article about how the US government has been studying UFOs for years. Someone in the Pentagon takes it all very seriously. Maura Sullivan, a Democrat running for congress in New Hampshire, recently gave The Conway Daily Sun her thoughts on the topic:
Asked if she would address news reports about military footage of UFOs, including a New York Times story from a retired Navy pilot who now lives in New Hampshire, Sullivan said she would look into it as part of her job on Armed Services Committee. 
"I would be asking questions about digging deeper into the UFO issue," said Sullivan, who said she also would ask the Pentagon about its personnel and training budget because she is concerned about military accidents like the recent helicopter crash that killed a soldier from New Hampshire.
Will candidates in the other top-ten UFO states also address this issue? I guess we'll have to watch the election coverage to find out.


Robert Mathiesen said...

That's fascinating, and it correlates quite well with older faultlines in New England history. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island cover the regions that were NOT settled primarily by Puritans. The Puritan heartland in New England, namely Massachusetts and Connecticut, does not seems to have so many UFO sightings.

So far as I know, things fall out about the same in New England for other anomalous and/or paranormal phenomena. "Vampire" exhumations of the sort that Michael Bell has studied (in his _Food for the Dead_, and in his forthcoming _Vampire's Grasp_) were fairly common in the four non-Puritan states, but almost non-existent in the two Puritan ones. Conversely, accusations of witchcraft (and witchcraft executions) were common in Massachusetts and Connecticut in the 1600s, but extremely rare in the non-Puritan states.

This suggests that there is a human component, or even a cultural precondition, to the occurrence of all these anomalous phenomena.

Peter Muise said...

Hi Robert!

Thanks for the comment. It's an interesting idea - does the old Puritan heartland (Massachusetts and Connecticut) experience paranormal phenomena differently? It would be interesting to track things like hauntings, Bigfoot sightings, etc. to see how they all play out.

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