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UFO Sighting Data Science

Merchandise that’s just out of this world!

Steve Wehba

Paranormal Novice
A basic question I have had for a long time is where is there not a comprehensive statistical/data science study of UFO sightings. Perhaps there is, but I have never seen it. Why do we not have a database that provides statistical answers to the following questions:

  • How are UFO sightings distributed geographically?
  • How are UFO sightings distributed by time of day, month of year, and season?
  • Is there any correlation between the frequency of UFO sightings and moon phases, solar cycles, etc?
  • What is the distribution of UFO sightings near major cities, remote areas, mountains, bodies of water, nuclear power plants, military bases, air fields, etc.?
  • Is there a statistical difference in how UFOs are reported by men vs. women, adults vs. adolescents and children, etc.
  • How about correlations between level of education, level of religious identification, etc. and UFO reports?
  • What about profession?
  • What percentages of sightings are recurrent sightings by the same individual vs. first-time sightings?
These are questions about just sighting *occurrences*. We could ask similar question about sighting *characteristics*.

Of course, I may be mistaken, and these studies may exist, but where are they, and why are they not prominent in the Ufology field? It would seem like this should be the starting point of any discussion about the UFO phenomenon.

What do you all think?

Cheers,
—Steve
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
A basic question I have had for a long time is where is there not a comprehensive statistical/data science study of UFO sightings. Perhaps there is, but I have never seen it. Why do we not have a database that provides statistical answers to the following questions:

  • How are UFO sightings distributed geographically?
  • How are UFO sightings distributed by time of day, month of year, and season?
  • Is there any correlation between the frequency of UFO sightings and moon phases, solar cycles, etc?
  • What is the distribution of UFO sightings near major cities, remote areas, mountains, bodies of water, nuclear power plants, military bases, air fields, etc.?
  • Is there a statistical difference in how UFOs are reported by men vs. women, adults vs. adolescents and children, etc.
  • How about correlations between level of education, level of religious identification, etc. and UFO reports?
  • What about profession?
  • What percentages of sightings are recurrent sightings by the same individual vs. first-time sightings?
These are questions about just sighting *occurrences*. We could ask similar question about sighting *characteristics*.

Of course, I may be mistaken, and these studies may exist, but where are they, and why are they not prominent in the Ufology field? It would seem like this should be the starting point of any discussion about the UFO phenomenon.

What do you all think?

Cheers,
—Steve
The short answer is that most people don't realize just how much work is involved and want someone else to do it. You can check out the old Batelle Memorial Institute study ( a.k.a. Project Bluebook Special Report 14 ) or the UFOCAT at CUFOS. If you'd like to help create an online database of the best reports, you can always volunteer to help out with USI too.
 

Steve Wehba

Paranormal Novice
I should have explained that I am a professional software engineer and data scientist, not a "part-time hobbyist". I am no longer a MUFON member, but I still receive periodic newsletters which include a count of the number of sightings by country. This sort of information is all but meaningless. If the data is being collected, why is it not being analyzed, and why are the analyses not being reported. If there are answers to be had, they are in the data. Why are we not looking at the data rather than endlessly speculating...ETH? Co-creation? Multi-dimensional? Paranormal? In my mind, that is what is unproductive and, frankly, silly. Until ufology is data-driven, it certainly is a "part-time hobby".
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I should have explained that I am a professional software engineer and data scientist, not a "part-time hobbyist".
Well. If it's all so obvious and easy for you, then put your skills to work. I think you'll find it's a lot more hassle than you think. Any database is only as good as its content. It's still garbage in = garbage out. We need humans with critical thinking skills to screen the content and make sure the key points are input into the DB, and that means screening hundreds of thousands of records.

There's this notion that all we need to do is pour half a million UFO reports into a magic bean counter and it spit out the answer. Meanwhile the real experiencers already know the answer and anyone who does a little homework and applies some critical thinking should come to the same conclusion. UFOs ( alien craft ) are real. Now what? After that it's all relatively trivial. Like sighting distribution, time of day, shape of craft, bla bla bla. What's needed is for the aliens to confirm their presence in no uncertain material terms. But they don't. Why not?
 

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