Seattle is a UFO hotspot
People are more likely to report seeing a UFO in the Seattle area than in most places in the country, according to national data.
By the numbers: The Seattle area had 86.5 UFO sightings per 100,000 residents between 2000 and 2023, according to data from the National UFO Reporting Center.
- That's compared to the national average of 34.3 sightings per 100,000 residents.
Yes, but: Reports of UFOs are even more common in places with darker skies and fewer city lights.
- In Washington, that includes Lincoln County, Ferry County, San Juan County and Klickitat County, which had the highest UFO sightings per 100,000 people among the state's 39 counties.
Why it matters: Discussion and reports of UFOs — or the more modern term, UAPs (unidentified anomalous phenomena) — have been going more mainstream in recent years amid a push for answers from lawmakers and others.
- Some view UAPs as a national security concern, as they could be experimental craft from Russia, China or other U.S. adversaries. (Those fears were accelerated by last year's dramatic Chinese spy balloon encounter.)
- Commercial and military pilots have also been increasingly public about their inexplicable sightings. That's a sea change from decades past, when pilots who talked openly about such matters were often ostracized.
Of note: A 2023 Pentagon report found that among 366 UAP cases examined, more than half were balloons, drones or "airborne clutter" — but many instances were left unresolved.
The bottom line: Despite rising public acceptance of UFO/UAP chatter, there's still no proof that extraterrestrials are visiting us.
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