June 6, 2017, 01:17, Johnsonville, NY, looking southwest toward the Johnsonville Dam on the Hoosic River in Rensselaer County. Reporter states he witnessed seven “or so” pulsing red-orange lights moving in formation over the spillway and proceeding downriver toward the Town of Schaghticoke. Residents interviewed in vicinity indicate this phenomena has been observed multiple times in the same area over the past two years. (Reported 6/7/17)
What’s going on here?
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier, there’s now a way to check on a UFO sighting against similar sightings in an area. Just released is the blandly named U.F.O. Sightings Desk Reference: United States of America, 2001-2015. It’s not a page turner, unless you like statistics and graphs, but it does give a national county-by-county analysis of UFO sightings reported to the nation’s two largest UFO investigative agencies, the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC).
Don’t expect to read about lizard people or politicians or any other weirdness in America, this is a scientific analysis of all the data collected about UFO sightings across the country. Parsing the charts, graphs, and numbers, the authors, Cheryl Costa and Linda Miller Costa, let the data speak to a fourfold increase in UFO sightings around the country from 2001 to a high of nearly 125,000 in 2015. These are sightings documented in the MUFON and NUFORC databases.
It’s speculated that the majority of sightings are never reported. According to nuclear physicist Stanton T. Friedman, the original civilian investigator at Roswell, statistically only 1 in 10 sightings are ever reported. If this is correct, the number shifts to a million and a quarter sightings during the same period, 2001-2015, or over 85,000 sightings in the US annually.
The study’s authors, Cheryl Costa, a military veteran and aerospace analyst, and Linda Miller Costa, who served as a librarian with NASA, as well as the National Academy of Science, and the Environmental Protection Agency, believed it was about time to analyze what direction the “UFO Phenomena” had taken. Their exhaustive data analysis found the majority of sightings in New York State are over Long Island and Manhattan, the state’s most densely populated area. But sparsely populated rural America has also seen a significant number of UFOs. You might not want to count out upstate New York just yet. Every county in New York has reported UFO sightings, at least two as recent as June 5 in Clifton Park (Saratoga County) and the Johnsonville lights report of June 6.
Are we all-seeing things? Reports indicate the majority of sightings are people walking their dog, sitting on the porch, driving to or from work, or just looking up at the stars on a clear evening. What exactly do these observers believe they’re seeing? It seems to depend on where you live. In the Capital Region, fireballs and triangular craft seem to dominate. New York ranks #6 in reported fireball sightings.
Where’s the photographic proof of all this action up in the sky? It’s not a secret that objects in motion don’t photograph well on a smartphone or digital camera. Distortion, handheld movement and the speed of the object create unique challenges for anyone who wants to capture one of these objects in motion. NUFORC and MUFON receive hundreds of images and videos every month. Most don’t withstand scrutiny but 6-20% have left questions with no current answers.
If you live near water, a military base or a power plant you might see shapes flying around the vicinity or observe an aerial light show. Rural Rensselaer County is a case in point: the small power generating dams on the Hoosic River seem to elicit a high number of sightings of pulsing orange lights.
With the volume of reported sightings, why are some observers reluctant to report? The reasons range from feelings of fear to feeling foolish, concern about becoming the object of ridicule, second thoughts about what was actually seen and belief the military is testing a mysterious new prototype. The other question that vexes researchers is why the increase in sightings now? Sightings peak in the United States during July, the belly of summer, when the weather is warm and people are outside in the evening. Belief in visitors from other worlds is as old as humanity and documented in art, the Bible, and thousands of reports; but, the real reason for increased reporting now may be as simple as internet access and a smartphone.
There’s a chasm between seeing something in the sky you can’t identify and actually seeing an alien, believing you have been abducted, or seeing a UFO land. In our nightmares we see War of the Worlds not E.T. The U.F.O. Sightings Desk Reference doesn’t get into this other side of reporting.
Since the 1947 Roswell Incident there have been documented and creditable unexplained contact reports but the majority of reports remain unexplained aerial phenomena and a bit of foolishness: a pie plate on a string and a stick, a smeary photo of someone winging a trash can lid passed the camera lens, or someone thrashing around in the woods in a wrinkled alien suit. But there are Americans who claim a more sinister encounter. Science finds little to support the majority of these claims and sleep science suggests that close encounters are actually night terrors and sleep paralysis manifesting as a dark, sinister alien presence in someone’s house.
Is the truth out there? You be the judge. Do you want to believe? How about a visit to Johnsonville on a clear summer night.