Where is UFO country? To find out, PM consulted the Center for UFO Studies, which maintains a database of sightings reported from 1947 to 2005. Illinois-based CUFOS gathers data from UFO reporting groups and public records, including Project Blue Book. (If several people report the same sighting, CUFOS registers it as a single event.) For a broad comparison, we ranked both metropolitan and more sparsely settled counties
Why did these 10 top the list? Perhaps because some are close to military training zones called Special Use Airspace. An uptick in sightings over Santa Rosa County, Fla., could stem from the presence of an air wing that tests every fighter, bomber, unmanned aerial vehicle and weapon in the Air Force inventory. Military refueling lanes crisscross the nation, and lights from air tankers and warplanes flying at night in close formation could appear as triangles of light from the ground.
Psychology may also play a role. Westmoreland County, Pa. (pop. 362,326), which records more sightings than the metro Houston area (pop. 3.9 million), includes Kecksburg, the location of a reputed 1965 UFO crash. Residents there may be more likely to report strange lights to a UFO group.
By Phil Patton, with additional reporting by Davin Coburn, Erin McCarthy, Joe Pappalardo and Erik Sofge.
Published in the March 2009 issue.
Source: Popular Mechanics