Reported sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) have increased in recent years, and parts of the country have proven to be particularly welcoming to strange things in the sky – or at least to those who see them.
24/7 Tempo has identified the counties with the most UFO sightings per capita, based on data provided by Cheryl Costa and Linda Miller, authors of “UFO Sightings Desk Reference: United States of America 2001-2020. âThe data shows the relative likelihood of county residents reporting UFO sightings. (Population figures are from the American Community Survey of the US Census Bureau.)
A number of factors influence the number of sightings, including population, geography, climate, and weather. Reporting is made easier by access to high-speed broadband, and media reporting can create a feedback loop: High-profile incidents, such as when airline pilots report being buzzed by fast-moving objects, are often followed by ‘a wave of observations. (Here’s why scientists believe there is life on other planets.)
Horry County, South Carolina, leads the country in UFO sightings, with 254.1 per 100,000 population. This makes sense because it is home to Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, the cities with the most sightings per capita.
Places # 2 and # 3 are claimed by Yavapai and Mohave counties in Arizona. The state has three other counties further down the list: Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal. It may have something to do with the state’s clear skies and Arizona’s being a recreational destination – another factor driving sightings. (These are the states with the most UFO sightings.)
Click here to see the counties with the most UFO sightings
There are also seven counties each in Florida and Washington, six in Colorado, five in California, and four in Oregon. If there’s one surprise inclusion, it’s New York County – better known as Manhattan – with 65.3 sightings per 100,000 population. While the tall buildings and bright city lights are hardly conducive to sightings, it is, after all, a magnet for visitors – and perhaps aliens think if they can get there, they can do it anywhere.