Hundreds of sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) may — or may not — be aliens, a study by the US’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has found.
The long-awaited report offered little conclusive evidence as to whether aliens were behind unexplained phenomena, but did say it could not definitively rule it out.
The 36-page report outlined how NASA will continue to investigate Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAPs) with improved technology and artificial intelligence.
The report came shortly after photographs of so-called extra-terrestrials were presented to Mexican authorities showing what UFO enthusiast and investigator Jaime Maussan said were 1,000-year-old bodies of non-human beings.
But the sightings of UFOs or UAPs is not solely limited to the American continent, despite what the majority of reports might suggest — in fact, there are hundreds of reports of unexplained sightings over British skies each year.
According to the UFO spotter website, UFO Identified, almost 1,000 unexplained objects have been documented in the skies above the UK between January 2021 and May this year.
Sightings documented include a “long cigar-shaped craft with three or four roundish patterns on it” which was observed for 20 minutes before it “vanished like a light being switched off” above Chester in Cheshire in October last year.
Another details a “rocket-type object” spotted flying above the clouds over Hartlepool “extremely fast and soundless with flames over the front” in November 2022.
And in January, a 30ft to 40ft wide “round saucer-like object with detailed outer rim” was seen “hovering over a house” in Bedworth, Warwickshire, another claims.
Just under half of all documented sightings (48 percent) include photographic or video evidence.
A quarter of all sightings (25 percent) were of “star-like” objects moving across the sky. The next most common sighting was of an unidentified object shaped like an “orb” (17 percent), “sphere”, (10 percent) and “cylinder” (nine percent).
Of all counties in the UK, more UFOs were spotted in the skies over Greater Manchester than anywhere else, with a total of 54 documented sightings in the reported time period.
That was followed by Greater London (52), Cheshire (37), and West Sussex (34).
When it comes to towns and cities, more UFO activity was seen above Glasgow than anywhere else, with 22 encounters.
But while nearly 1,000 UFO sightings have been recorded in the last two-and-a-half years, Ash Ellis of UFO Identified believes many more may have gone unreported.
He said: “Despite progress being made in recent years to de-stigmatise the topic, there is still an air of trepidation when approaching the subject as the fear of ridicule is very prevalent.
“There were almost 500 reported sightings in the UK last year, with likely many times that number going unreported showing that there is a genuine concern around unidentified phenomena being seen across the country.”
NASA is hoping more people — and pilots in particular— will start feeling comfortable reporting sightings in light of their admission that more research is needed.
Dr Nicola Fox from the Science Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters in Washington, said: “At NASA we’re scientists, we love data. We love all data.
“And if there is something that needs to be reported, we want people to be able to feel that they can report that.”