Maine UFO sightings sharply decline this year – Bangor Daily News

PORTLAND, Maine — In August, two men were fishing Sebago Lake’s Kettle Cove in a small boat, just after 9 p.m. That’s when strange yellow lights appeared overhead and their electronic fish finder went flooey.

At first, they thought the teardrop-shaped object in the dark sky was a drone. Then, they realized it was too large, moving too fast and far too silent for that to be true.

“In a fraction of a second, without changing speed or course, [it] brightened and completely vanished,” said one man in an anonymous, written UFO report.

Then, they saw something uncanny on their fish finder screen.

“Thousands of fish were all congregated along this area — more together than I’ve ever seen, and I grew up on the lake,” the man wrote.

It looked as if the entire water column, from surface to lake floor, was filled with fish. Then, nothing. They were all gone.

“I believe the two events had to be connected,” he concluded. “Not to make light, but it appears E.T. was fishing along with us that night.”

The flummoxed fishermen are not alone out there. Maine is a national UFO hotspot, according to some estimates. Last year was a particularly good stretch for sightings, with numbers up well over the past half-decade average.

But that’s over now.

So far this year, reported Maine UFO sightings are down roughly 50 percent over the same period in 2020.

Like nearly everything, it’s probably got something to do with the pandemic. As the COVID-19 threat continues to lessen, fewer people are spending large amounts of time in the great outdoors, at night.

The two largest gatherers of strange sky-sighting reports are the Mutual UFO Network and the National UFO Reporting Center. Both collect written statements online.

Between January and the end of October 2020, NUFORC received 71 UFO sightings from Maine while MUFON cataloged 43. That’s a combined 114 reports.

This year, NUFORC dropped to 26 and MUFON to 24 over the same time period, for a total of just 50.

MUFON, founded in 1969, also gathers pictures and video, along with reports. It employs a nationwide network of field investigators who further document some sightings and experiences, as well. NUFORC, in addition to gathering online reports, has maintained a 24-hour reporting hotline since its inception in 1974.

This dramatic drop in numbers fits a pattern identified by nationally-recognized UFO number cruncher Cheryl Costa.

“The patterns are as much about human behavior as they are about UFOs,” Costa said.

Costa, and her partner Linda Miller Costa, wrote “UFO Sightings Desk Reference: United States of America,” a rigorous compendium of statistical charts and graphs analysing over 100,000 sightings around the country between 2001 and 2020.

The Costas contend UFO sightings are driven by four factors: Hours of darkness, population levels, weather and leisure time.

In other words, the more time you spend outside, in the dark, under a clear sky, the more likely you are to see something weird.

It stands to reason then, as the pandemic weakens, with more Mainers getting vaccinated, fewer of them are as desperate for outdoor experiences this year. Thus, there are fewer UFO reports filed.

“If it wasn’t for smokers and dog walkers, we wouldn’t have 40 percent of the reports we have,” Costa said.

Costa also said more UFOs are reported in areas of the country with higher population densities. When more people look up, more gets seen.

Maine’s population is low but its 2020 sightings-per-100,000 people was high, according to online science and technology writer Kristin Cooke.

When Cooke crunched the numbers in the first half of 2020, Maine came out near the top with 7.22 sightings per 100,000 people. In that analysis, Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire and Maine ranked one through four. New Mexico rounded out the top five.

According to our math, Maine is down to 3.64 sightings per 100,000 so far this year — a number which falls in line with the overall drop in local UFO reports.

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