If lockdown’s left you with a load of free time on your hands, have some fun and look to the skies. Previously classified government documents that recorded UFO sightings in the UK have recently been published online for the first time!
The government once put some serious manpower behind UFO sightings in the UK. For years, the Royal Air Force (RAF) was responsible for recording public reports and submitting them to the National Archives.
Then in true X-Files style, the UFO wing of the RAF was shut down in 2009 after higher-ups concluded that in 50 years, they had found no evidence of a ‘potential threat’.
Fortunately, enough time has passed for the records to be made public. Thanks to a Freedom of Information request, the final documented recordings before the RAF closed its wing got published online this year!
The final record is from 2009, detailing over 626 sightings from across the UK. Reports came in from more than 56 places across England, as well as areas of Scotland, Wales and even the Channel Islands.
Wondering if you live in a UFO hotspot? Now you can find out!
The top three hotspots have over 100 sightings between them!
Where is the UFO Capital?
Hundreds of reports came in from different locations in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, with the most UFO sightings in London at 54. This is followed by Kent with 30 sightings and Lancashire with 24. Although the Midlands is a hotspot, with 109 sightings between places like Warwickshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire, not every area offers prime UFO viewing, with places like Leicester having just two reported sightings in a year.
Places on the lower end of UFO sightings include Oxford, with 11, Glasgow with 7 and both Liverpool and Edinburgh with 6 each. Aspiring UFO spotters in Coventry, Durham, Leeds, Sheffield and Birmingham are in for some major disappointment, with each having less than 3 sightings a year.
Best Time to Spot a UFO
If you’re wondering how to look for UFOs, it turns out most reported sightings don’t happen in the early hours of the morning as most movies suggest. According to the document, most sightings occur between 8pm and midnight across the UK, with the bulk of reports coming in between those hours. Between 10 and 11pm is the sweet spot, with almost 100 sightings.
If you’re wondering what to look for, exactly, here are some UFO descriptions:
- London – 22 February: “An object with a white and alternating red lights at an angle. Came from South East London towards Canary Wharf. It stopped in mid-air and an alternating sequence of red lights flashed at 180 degrees. Lights switched side instantly.”
- Kent – 15 April at 8:30pm: “Two objects, five minutes apart heading East to West. They looked like orange fiery balls but made no sound. They travelled at the speed of a plane. They had no tail.”
- Lancashire – 25 July at 23:39pm: “Five really bright orange flame ball type objects seen flying across the sky, moving irregularly. One moving faster than a plane and one zig-zagged down towards the ground, then reappeared after the other four had moved across the sky and had gone.”
The document is incomplete in some areas, with some sightings missing time and exact location. In 27 instances, no location was provided at all.
Occupation has been recorded across sightings, with air traffic control employees, pilots, police officers, journalists, amateur astronomers and RAF members themselves among those who have reported UFO sightings in the UK.
Do We Believe the Truth is Out There?
In a 2020 YouGov survey, 19% of Brits admitted that it’s somewhat likely to very likely that aliens currently live on Earth, against 65% who say it’s not very likely. 15% are undecided.
In a 2018 poll, around 36% of people said they believe in extra-terrestrials against 29% said they don’t, with the remaining 35% totally undecided on the matter. The poll did show that at 43%, the largest group of believers are under the age of 34, and that men are more likely to believe than women.
Surge in Sightings in 2019
UFO sightings in the UK – and across the world – skyrocketed last year when people took to Twitter to report a mysterious string of lights in the sky, with many speculating that it could be aliens.
Similar reports have been coming in ever since, but the source of these sightings is all thanks to Elon Musk and his Starlink fleet. SpaceX has been launching batches of satellites into orbit since last year. The goal is to have launched 12,000 by mid-2020 in a bid to provide the world with global Internet coverage.
If you fancy some UFO spotting while in self-isolation and are wondering how to report a UFO sighting in the UK today, our advice is to contact your local police force.