UFO sightings daily are common data that UFO researchers sift through to find cases in need of follow up. If the last month was an indicator of how much work will be required to keep up, according to UFO Stalker, a reference for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), UFO researchers will be sifting through 31 percent more sightings for that time span, including a 43 percent uptick in the last week alone. The National UFO Reporting Center has not updated its numbers to account for the weekend's reports, but it too is reporting an uptick in November UFO sightings, though not as significant as MUFON's numbers.
UFO sightings daily function as a data set, in the same way a seismograph provides a primary data set for scientists who study earthquakes and volcanos. Not all seismic readings indicate earthquakes. A few years ago, Seattle Seahawks football fans triggered a seismic reading by cheering during a game. In the same way, UFO sightings data could indicate more mundane occurrences, and most of the time do.
What are some of the mundane reasons that UFO sightings could be increasing?
The first, and most obvious, reason for an increase in sightings is that during this time of the year more traffic is in the sky. Business people are rushing to finish end of year business. Families are going home for the holidays. More air traffic inevitably means more opportunities for UFO sightings.
Another great reason applies to those who are responsible for reporting UFO sightings. If one is to honestly assess the data, one must factor in reporting error. That does not necessarily mean that every report is someone's uncle having a bit too much of the adult punch at the family get together, but it does mean that those uncles do figure into the raw data. And even if most people reporting did not have a little too much to drink, it is extremely difficult to properly identify aircraft or UFOs from the ground. Mistakes are common and understandable.
Other potential mundane reasons for UFO sightings deal with weather, available light in the Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, which could increase sightings in more dark hours, and there are always those for whom pareidolia is an abnormally common operating function. That is, some people would see what they believe are UFOs in almost any odd shape in the sky. Whether or not any of the recent UFO sightings can be called factual will largely depend on the reliability of the data set.
Why should UFO researchers pay attention to the growth in sightings data, if most sightings are mundane?
If one thinks of UFO research in a similar way to gold prospecting, UFO sightings would represent something similar to sparkles in gold miners' pans. Not every sparkle represents gold, but if the miner overlooks one, he could be throwing away a find. With UFO research, fishy claims, scientifically impossible scenarios, and mundane mistakes are the same type of data as that data skewed by humans that seismology experts sift through. By overlooking one key piece of data, the whole picture could become skewed.
But this data set is not a stand-alone set of observations. This is the second time in 2016 that there has been an upswing in the number of UFO sightings daily. The first spike was noted by the Mirror, at the beginning of Summer on June 20. At that time, sky watchers were worried about the uptick. Some spikes in sightings have been related to significant events, such as the Phoenix Lights event in 1997.
What are common sense conclusions that can be drawn from this new UFO sightings data?
The mundane common sense conclusion is that this is the time of year for an uptick in UFO sightings daily. Among all of the reasons for worry, this is not one of them. This could just be a standard uptick in sightings that will drop again once the days become longer and the nights shorten. As for the uncles, they'll be fine again after the new year, until St. Patrick's Day.
A more ominous conclusion, and still common sense if UFOs inform one's view of the universe, is that the uptick could represent a far greater event over the near horizon. It will take some time to process the information contained in these UFO sighting reports before any hard conclusions can be drawn. If the numbers keep rising, time may not be a luxury at the disposal of researchers. For now, all that can be done is to monitor the skies for further activity, and work quickly to identify any possible trends.
[Featured Image by U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin/Getty Images]