If you’re hoping to spot a UFO sometime in your life or the opposite — avoid them — there are some areas of the country that are better than others. The short answer if you want to increase your odds of seeing one is head west.
The data company FindTheBest with information from the National UFO Reporting Center created an interactive map that shows the number of UFO reports per 100,000 people by county.
“After we got latitude and longitude pairs, we could determine the number of UFO sightings that have been reported in counties,” product manager Lane Allison told the Huffington Post of the map which involves 39,000 reports. “Then, we cross-referenced that with the American Community Survey population estimates of those counties, resulting in UFO reports per capita number.”
Hover over the map to see specified details by county. You can also switch the
map to show just reports of UFO sightings, not per capita.
Peter Davenport, who heads the National UFO Reporting Center, told the Post’s “chief writer of UFO-related stories ,” Lee Speigel, that most people who think they’ve seen a UFO rarely file a report, and Allison said that those that are reported are often explained by natural phenomena.
“What we learned through our research is that, in fact, most UFO sightings aren’t actually reported, and between 98-99 percent of those that are reported can be explained by natural phenomena, whether by shooting stars or even a flock of birds. So we wanted to give more of a per capita number, which is why we created the per capita statistics,” Allison told Speigel .
The reporting center has received calls about UFO sightings through its hotline 24 hours a day since 1974 when it was established.