UFO sightings spike dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic

In a fascinating report, The New York Times discovers that UFO sightings in New York doubled in 2020.

Mark Serrels Editorial Director
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A faked UFO photo created by a small-town newspaper in 1970 to illustrate extraterrestrial visitations.

A faked UFO photo created by a small-town newspaper in 1970 to illustrate extraterrestrial visitations.

Getty Images

In a year when many of us were stuck indoors, it turns out we had more time to look at the night sky. 

A fascinating report by The New York Times uncovered that according to data from the National U.F.O. Reporting Center, UFO sightings surged across the United States. New York especially saw a dramatic rise, with sightings doubling year on year during 2020 to 300 total sightings.

Nationwide sightings increased by 1,000 to a total of 7,200, an increase of around 16%. 

Why have sightings increased? Most likely because people had more time to scan the night sky with strict lockdowns in place, particularly in New York. But there was also a spate of UFO news throughout 2020 that pushed the topic to the forefront of the zeitgeist.

It was predicted in early 2020 that, thanks to companies like SpaceX and OneWeb inspiring us to look up, we'd most likely see a rise in UFO sightings throughout the year. This combined with the Pentagon releasing three previously classified "UFO" sighting videos had people thinking about and discussing Unidentified Flying Objects. 

In general 2020 felt like a big year for sightings. Oumuamua, the interstellar space object spotted travelling through our solar system was speculated as being alien technology. Not by kooks, but by people as informed as Harvard scientist Avi Loeb.

All this combined most likely contributed to an increase in sightings. Keep your eyes to the skies folks.