Residents of Pennsylvania have more than 358 reports of UFOs to the National UFO Reporting Center so far in the first half of 2020.
The National UFO Reporting Center has hundreds of reports of unidentified flying objects, piquing the curiosity of folks fascinated by the possibility that we’re not alone here on Earth and aliens from another galaxy are circling the planet in strange-looking spacecraft.
The notion of intergalactic travel got a boost when information emerged from the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, a shadowy $22 million Defense Department program that began in 2007 to investigate unidentified aerial phenomena. The multi-year program was shut down in 2012, but the Pentagon released UFO videos earlier this year.
The Pentagon acknowledged the secret program to investigate UFO sightings in 2017, the same year as retired naval Cmdr. David Fravor dramatically recalled a confounding encounter with a UFO when he was conducting a training mission off the coast of California in 2004.
The wingless oblong craft about 40 feet long was flying erratically through his airspace at incredible speed, maneuvering in a way that defies accepted principles of aerodynamics. Fravor didn’t know what to make of it but said it was not like anything he had ever seen in nearly 20 years of flying.
He described the UFO as other-worldly.
“I can tell you, I think it was not from this world,” Fravor told ABC News. “I’m not crazy, haven’t been drinking. It was — after 18 years of flying, I’ve seen pretty much about everything that I can see in that realm, and this was nothing close.”
Not all accounts are that dramatic, but there are more than a few head-scratchers among the witness accounts.
So far in 2020, more than 350 UFO reports have been filed from Pennsylvania.
Some of the more interesting ones include:
- 10 p.m., March 21, Harrisburg, Dauphin County
- “Dozens of odd shaped lights traveling at snail pace in the sky. Some traveling in triangle formation and some alone. One large craft stood still mostly but moved on occasion ascending and descending. Large bright light. Family member reported seeing the same about a mile away as well as one flickering on and off with red lights. Definitely an ongoing thing seeing these craft at night. Also there has been a military presence of helicopters in the area. I mean as I type this, there are probably about 5 traveling at super low speed almost hovering just above the houses. There must be dozens more in the distant sky. They almost have a hangman shape to them. Some seem to skip and flicker and others just hover or descend from higher in the sky.”
- 6:40 p.m., May 1, Braddock, Allegheny County
- “There were two rectangle crafts one farther away than the other. Both moving at a slow pace and each craft had 4 semi see through lines floating around each rectangle. It almost looked like a blip on a screen. I think maybe there is a reasonable explanation? There were no lights and it looked like a shadow. Hard to explain.”
- 2:45 p.m., June 6, North Wales, Montgomery County
- “Lustrous/metallic orb traveling between clouds on Route 202 (North) near North Wales, PA. Saw an illuminated orb-shaped object while traveling North on 202 (was a passenger in a car, driver did not witness). Object was traveling relatively slowly (similar speed to a bi-plane) towards the South in a consistent linear path. Orb-shaped object appeared to be metallic and was highly reflective. The object was not remotely shaped like a conventional commercial aircraft, nor did it have any sort of hazard lights. Witnessed object traveling for about 5-10 seconds, turned away, then upon turning back the object was nowhere in sight. Tried to monitor that section in sky for a few minutes after initially seeing the object but couldn’t identify it a second time.”
The Satellite Internet analysis shows that the number of UFO sightings during the first three months of 2020 increased 112 percent from the same period a year earlier. Pennsylvania ranked 32nd for UFO sightings in that analysis.
Your chances of seeing a UFO are better in some places than others. According to the ranking of states, those with the most sightings are:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
The states with the fewest sightings are:
- New York
UFO hunting has been a popular pursuit in the United States since the mid-20th century, when Kenneth Arnold, a businessman piloting a small plane, filed the first well-known report in 1947 of a UFO over Mount Rainier in Washington. Arnold claimed he saw nine high-speed, crescent-shaped objects zooming along at several thousand miles per hour “like saucers skipping on water.”
Although the objects Arnold claimed to see weren’t saucer-shaped at all, his analogy led to the popularization of the term “flying saucers.” And since then, Americans have been more or less obsessed with the idea that alien life is among us.
Former Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid slipped in an earmark for the program into the Pentagon budget. Nevada, of course, is the home of a U.S. Air Force facility known as Area 51, the source of multiple alien conspiracy theories, including claims that interstellar visitors are held there; that the 1947 Roswell crash wasn’t a weather balloon at all but a Soviet aircraft piloted by mutated midgets; and that the 1969 moon landing was filmed by the U.S. government in one of the Area 51 hangars.
Yet among the most intriguing is Fravor’s account of seeing the unidentified aircraft zipping through the sky is convincing.
When he saw the object from the air, controllers on one of the Navy ships on the water below reported that objects were being dropped about 80,000 feet from the sky, then headed “straight back up.”
He could see the disturbances on the water below and breaking waves on the surface, “like something’s under the surface,” he told ABC.
The radar jammed, and as Fravor flew closer, the craft rapidly accelerated and zoomed upward and disappeared. Once the object was gone, the ocean below was a still sheet of blue with no evidence of disturbance. Infrared scanning also showed no evidence of an exhaust trail, he said.
“I don’t know what it is,” he said at the time. “I don’t know what I saw. I just know it was really impressive, really fast, and I would like to fly it.”