New York Skies (Cheryl Costa)

Blog | UFO reportage experiences mysterious decline

Readers who follow the yearly UFO sighting trends here at New York Skies are probably aware that reports have been falling off rather steeply. From a high of 13,985 in 2014 to a measly 6,933 in 2018, that translates to a clear 50 percent decline in incremental amounts over the past four years.

Of course, we’ve been here before: 12 years ago in 2007, when UFO sighting reports were on the rise. Many of us were pleased by the leveling off but still climbing numbers; it was reassurance that UFO sighting activity was huge. Those of us who study these trends expected there would be a downturn as part of a classic six- or seven-year up-and-down cycle.

Related: Blog | Examining the decline: Another look at the data on UFO sighting reports

I thought the upward bump in sightings would eventually drop down and level off in the yearly range of 8,000 to 10,000 sighting reports per year. I was wrong.

So let’s look back at the 2018 sighting data. The combined National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) and the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) haven’t been in the 6,000-per-year sighting ranges in 12 years. Experts at both reporting agencies have noted the steep decline, while a cadre of independent researchers like myself have been wondering, “What the heck is up?”

Naturally, I’ve been buried in social media responses, ranging from “Space Force scared them away” to “We humans aren’t fun to watch any more.” Here is my favorite reason: “The alien’s grant funding ran out!”

But a very popular notion has also been proposed; “Perhaps we’re really close to official disclosure.” Who the heck knows at this point?


Everybody also wants to know what states are tops for UFO sighting reports. California, Florida and Texas lead the list, as usual, while Washington state and Arizona have inched back into the fourth and fifth slots, and New York state has slid to sixth place. The rest of the top 20 states have seen minor changes in position; notably, Nevada has moved from 26 to 20.

Regarding the top 20 cities for UFO sighting reports, Las Vegas is again in first place and Phoenix, Arizona, ranks second. What’s interesting is that Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Vancouver, Washington, have both moved into the top 20, suggesting perhaps some cluster sighting activity. Both these municipalities have always hovered just below the top 20 cities.

The huge surprise for me was the strong showing of Newington, Connecticut: It has never been in the top 50 before, and now it sits in the 11th slot.

However, just because the 2018 national UFO sighting report numbers are half what they used to be doesn’t mean there aren’t revelations and astonishments waiting to be found deep in that data. This researcher can’t wait to compile the national county level data over the next couple of months for even more secrets.

On the Road in 2019

  • Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, March 18-21
  • UFO MegaCon, Laughlin, Nevada, March 24-30
  • Ozark Mountains UFO Conference, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, April 12-14
  • Phoenix MUFON, Tempe, Arizona, May 11
  • Pine Bush UFO Festival, Pine Bush, New York, May 18
  • Michigan UFO Con-Tact, Houghton Lake, Michigan, Sept. 20-21
  • Greater New England UFO Conference, Leominster, Massachusetts, Oct. 4-5
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