Map reveals the best places to spot UFOs in the skies in the US

Take note, UFO hunters: If you want to see one in the US, your best bet is to head west or hop over to New England. Oh, and stay out of the south. That’s according to a new scientific project that sought to understand the local environmental factors that determine the geographic distribution of their observations across the continental US.

A pair of geographers – yes, actual academic geographers – and a researcher from the US Department of Defense pored over the National UFO Research Center’s data, totaling more than 98,000 public sighting reports between 2001 and 2020.

Their musings produced a map showing which parts of the US have seen the most UFOs, or unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP), as they are known today.

Hotspots include most western states, including Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona, as well as large parts of Idaho, New Mexico and Utah. Perhaps surprisingly, California has significant areas with relatively few UFO sightings. The researchers aren’t sure why, but they note that it’s an interesting observation.

On the other side of the US, New England is another hotspot, especially Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Meanwhile, the southern states are notable for their large number of “cold spots,” especially in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

A map of UFO sightings in the US between 2001 and 2022.

Hotspot analysis of reported sightings from 2001 to 2020.

Image credit: Medina, Brewer & Kirkpatrick / Sci Rep (2023)

The question is: why are some parts of the US more susceptible to UFO sightings than others? The researchers believe it has little to do with aliens being picky about their travel routes. Instead, the “hotspots” seem to be associated with wide-open natural areas and dark skies where people are likely to gaze up at the night sky.

At the same time, the researchers note that the “hotspots” are often located near military bases and regions that have a cultural connection with UFOs.

“The idea is that if you have a chance to see something, you’re more likely to see unexplained phenomena in the sky,” said Richard Medina, lead author of the study and an associate professor of geography at the University of Utah. , said a statement.

“The West has a historic relationship with UAP – Area 51 in Nevada, Roswell in New Mexico and here in Utah we have Skinwalker Ranch in the Uinta Basin and military activities at the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground. In addition, there is a robust outdoor community that recreates year-round in public areas. People are outside and looking at the sky,” Medina added.

Unfortunately, none of these analyzes shed light on the nature of the observations. Nevertheless, the study is another indication that UAP sightings are starting to be taken seriously by the scientific community and the military, and not just by the tin foil haters.

UAP sightings were once the domain of conspiracy theorists and sci-fi, but they have been reignited with a renewed sense of legitimacy after several high-profile sightings by the US military went public. Although authorities are still reluctant to discuss its exact nature, they clearly feel the need to better understand this mysterious phenomenon.

“The U.S. government – ​​military, intelligence and civilian agencies – must understand what is happening in operational domains to ensure the safety and security of the nation and its people. Unknowns are unacceptable in this age of ubiquitous sensors and data availability. The scientific community has a responsibility to conduct research and educate,” said Sean Kirkpatrick, first director of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), adjunct assistant professor of physics at the University of Georgia and co-author of the research.

The new study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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