For thousands of years, people have been reporting unusual objects in the sky. These unexplained phenomena are commonly referred to as UFOs. The term “UFO” first appeared in the 1950s, but flying saucers were also used for these disc-shaped objects. Until the 1950s, there was no official consensus on what they were.
Top 10 states for UFO sightings
According to Outforia, the ultimate resource for the outdoors, Ohio ranks eighth in the country for UFO sightings. The website estimates that more than 4,100 sightings have occurred in Ohio since 1950. The vast majority of sightings occur between 4 p.m. and midnight, with a peak between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
California, of course, has the highest number of sightings with over 15,000 reports a year. On the other hand, North Dakota and South Dakota have a much lower number of sightings with just a few hundred reports apiece. The lack of digital connectivity, mobile devices, and the Internet may account for the low number of sightings in these places.
Nevada has a comparatively low risk of witnessing a UFO, with a 1-in-69600 chance. However, that number was higher in the 1950s when sightings were more common near Area 51 and the Nevada Test and Training Range. In recent history, two UFOs with three blue lights were spotted in the countryside around Cheyenne, in early March 2019. In the same month, another UFO sighting was recorded in the city of Riverton, which involved multiple lights traveling north.
In December 2018, an electrical surge at a Con Ed substation in Queens caused a blue haze in the sky. Some believed this was a sign of alien life. Likewise, a UFO sighting in New Jersey in 1982 was a triangular, V-shaped object that moved purposefully without sound. Despite its low ranking in the UFO sighting category, New Jersey has surpassed New York in the number of sightings.
Theories about extraterrestrials
Theories about extraterrestrials have been a hot topic since UFO sightings began appearing in the late 1970s. A government study showed that twenty percent of reports of UFOs did not have an ordinary explanation. In addition, there was no solid dispositive evidence that aliens existed. Even scientists from the RAND Corporation were split on the subject. But the evidence leaned in the direction of extraterrestrials.
While it is tempting to dismiss these reports as mere myths, they are a powerful force in pop culture. Many sightings can be traced back to meteorological causes, and the overwhelming majority of UFO reports do not require further study. However, a small percentage of those reports appear to involve unidentified flying machines guided by artificial or natural intelligence. COMETA began eliminating alternate explanations, and eventually came up with the extraterrestrial hypothesis.
One of the earliest claims of ET involvement came from a 1973 incident. The filmmakers Robert Emenegger and Allan Sandler were making a documentary about UFO sightings, when officials at Norton Air Force Base approached them about using footage from their 1971 UFO encounter. The UFO footage was used in the film and Emenegger was shown the site of the alien contact.
Among the most popular theories of aliens are those about spacecraft. The astronomer Frank Drake developed a mathematical equation in 1961 that calculated the likelihood of alien life. It took into account the average number of planets with the potential to sustain life and the fraction of those planets that might support intelligent life. When this equation was applied to the year 2001, the theory suggested that there should be hundreds of thousands of planets in the universe.
UFOs began to make headlines after videotapes taken by Navy pilots were published. The videos even made it onto the front page of the New York Times. The Navy eventually confirmed the videos.
The UFO sightings and radar contact in New Mexico are not new. In 1954, Hermann Oberth, founder of astronautics and rocketry, gave a lecture on UFOs. He reported that a UFO could travel at a maximum speed of Mach 55, comparable to a jet’s top speed of Mach 60.
During the Gimbal incident, Navy pilots noted that a “whole fleet” of UAPs appeared in the sky. These objects seemed to merge and disperse and perform impossible aerial maneuvers. China and Russia are in a cat-and-mouse competition over the electromagnetic spectrum.
The Air Force responded by saying that ninety percent of all UFO sightings could be accounted for. They also dismissed theories of secret weapons development and “men from Mars.” Their briefers explained that UFO reports were merely misinterpretations of known objects. But, these theories have not been proven.
The aircraft’s pilots were also skeptical. However, a veteran pilot confirmed the UFO sighting on radar. He claimed the object dwarfed the cargo plane and was accompanied by two smaller unidentified objects. The flight engineer and copilot also reported the sighting. In the end, the pilots’ reports were corroborated by the Japanese military.
The elapsed time between the UFO and the US Navy plane was roughly one minute. This means that the UFOs would have accelerated over that period, which could explain the anomalous radar contact. This would have caused significant g-forces, which would have destroyed any human pilot.
Animal/cattle mutilation cases
In the ’70s, the FBI launched Operation Animal Mutilation as a way to investigate reports of cattle mutilation. Operated by FBI agent Kenneth Rommel with a grant from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, the program received numerous reports of cattle mutilations throughout the western United States. In Colorado alone, over 130 cases have been reported to local authorities, with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation verifying over a dozen cases.
The investigation of animal/cattle mutilation cases has been ongoing for over three decades, with the most recent case involving a horse in the United States. As with the cases of UFOs, there is no definitive explanation, but there is evidence that suggests that the animals were mutilated by extraterrestrials. In one case, in Alamosa, Colorado, a horse named Lady was found dead and partially skinned in September 1967. It had been mutilated to remove its brain, heart, and thyroid. In another case, a local superior court judge, Charles Bennett, had observed three orange rings in the sky in a triangular formation. Two sheriff’s deputies also reported seeing an orange globe following them.
The correlation between UFO sightings and animal/cause mutilation cases is fascinating. Although animal/cattle mutilation cases have many similarities, many experts have come up with their own theories about the two. The first theory relates UFOs to animal mutilation, and the second to animal/cattle mutilation.
In the Oregon case, five mutilated bulls were discovered at a ranch. The case has become a hot topic among science fiction and UFO conspiracy theorists alike, and the oddity of it all demands further investigation.