22:04 GMT03 March 2021
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    The Internet and media have of late been rife with alien- and UFO-related conspiracy theories, with the question arising which state (or states?) can be called the real extra-terrestrial hub.

    Science and technology writer Kristin Cooke has taken state population into consideration when looking at the American Reporting Centre’s sighting numbers for the first half of 2020. Judging by the raw data, densely populated states like Texas and Florida appear to top the list. Yet, when Cooke took into account sightings per 100,000 residents, more sparsely populated states emerged as alien visitation hotspots, Bangor Daily News reported.

    In the said research, Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, and Maine ranked one through four, while New Mexico rounded out the top five, the Maine edition went on.

    Separately, Cheryl Costa, co-author of the “U.F.O. Sightings Desk Reference,” a 371-page compendium of statistical charts and graphs looking into 121,036 sightings around the country between 2001 and 2015, has for her part taken note of a considerable spike in reports at the time the initial COVID-19 lockdowns were introduced around the country in March and April.

    “Numbers went through the roof”, she said. “I mean, what else did people have to do besides stream movies, sit on the deck at night and drink”, she said.

    In her in-depth, 20-year overview, Costa sees a regular — though unexplained — six to eight year cycle of up and down report numbers. Maine is currently seen as being three years into an “up” cycle.

    Maine-generated Reporting Centre accounts rose from 26 in 2018, to 56 in 2019, and to 71 in 2020.

    “What’s 2021 going to look like? If the pattern holds, it’s going to escalate”, Costa assumed.

    Whatever the case, with official reports about regular UFO sightings across the US’ north-easternmost state dating as far back as 1946, the prediction doesn’t come as a surprise.

    The US has at large demonstrated an unprecedented interest in purported extra-terrestrial sightings over the past few years, with an increasing number of reports in national media setting conspiracy theorists’ tongues wagging. Even the authorities appear to be actively weighing in on the matter.

    In early January, the US Central Intelligence Agency made available its catalogue of declassified data on unidentified flying objects, or aerial phenomena, as the Pentagon refers to UFOs.

    These files, which cover everything from sightings of flying saucers ostensibly steered by extra-terrestrials, which have in recent years come in abundance, to unexplained bomb blasts, can be accessed by anyone interested from The Black Vault website.

    The release of the once classified files into the public domain comes months ahead of a deadline the US intelligence service was given to present a report on mysterious phenomena from all around the world.

    The Black Vault is a privately-run archive of declassified documents, operated by journalist and podcaster John Greenewald Jr., who earlier declared in a blog post that the CIA had made a CD-ROM collection of UFO documents over a period of time.

    In 2020, he bought this CD-ROM to make sure his media and data firm has an exhaustive collection of CIA documents covering the much-debated “unidentified aerial phenomena”.


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