The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) says sightings in the US have increased over the past six weeks, with some states more than doubling their normal numbers. "It's pretty exciting," Clifford Clift, the international director of MUFON, told Life’s Little Mysteries. "When you average 500 a month [nationwide] and go to 1,013 in one month, that's an interesting spike in sighting reports."
It could be the start of a verifiable increase in actual sightings or it may mean we’re experiencing a "UFO flap," one of many periodic increases in sightings over the years, usually occurring in urban areas.
According to Life’s Little Mysteries:
Sightings are often fueled by the mass media; people read about mysterious things or see TV shows about them, and interest or concern about them spreads from person to person. It's not that anyone is hoaxing or making up sightings: Research has shown that if you tell people what to look for (a phenomenon called "priming"), people will often see what they are looking for ~ whether those things exist or not.
… It may not be that UFOs are actually appearing more often, but instead we're noticing them more. An identical process can be found in the medical field, where an increase in reports of a disease may not represent an increase in the actual number of cases, but instead reflects more public awareness of the disease or better screening techniques.
Scientists are aware that just because more people report a phenomenon does not necessarily mean the phenomenon is occurring more often. However, MUFON and others are keeping track of the current increase in sightings for further analysis.
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