Washington continues to be a UFO hot spot

Feb 21, 2024, 5:29 PM

ufo, uap...

A sticker declares the existence of flying saucers from the window of a car parked on property near Jamul, CA. (Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers)

(Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers)

Unidentified flying objects (UFOs) have been a topic of fascination and intrigue for decades. According to a report by Axios, Seattle has become a hot spot for UFO sightings, with 86.5 sightings per 100,000 residents annually between 2000 and 2023. This figure significantly surpasses the national average of 34.3 sightings.

But that doesn’t make us THE hot spot for UFO sightings. “The biggest hotspot, no surprise, is down by area 51 in Nevada,” The National UFO Reporting Center spokesperson, Christian Stepien, said. “We think, mainly because many people actually go there to look for UFOs.”

Stepien attributed this to the area’s reputation as a gathering place for UFO enthusiasts and the presence of experimental aircraft.

But Seattle is still known for a record number of UFO sightings. Stepien suggested that the city’s history with the National UFO Reporting Center could be a contributing factor. “Some of it may be due to the fact that for a long time, the National UFO Reporting Center was based in Seattle,” he said. “And I think we were more widely known there than throughout the rest of the country.”

It was actually founded in Seattle in 1974 by an ex-firefighter named Bob Gribble, then Peter Davenport took over in 1994.” According to Stepien, Davenport has been running the site ever since and now it’s in eastern Washington.

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The question of why Seattleites report UFO sightings remains somewhat of a mystery. “You know, you have longer nights and the weather that might be something,”  Stepien said. “It’s really difficult to say why certain places are, you know, they have this statistical difference between other places.”

Individuals can report sightings to the National UFO Reporting Center.

“We basically review it. And you know, check it for, if we think it’s a hoax, if we think it’s a misidentification,” Stepien explained. “If you look at our website, you’ll see that we actually will mark a lot of the sightings as hey, this is a rocket that was launched from Vandenberg, or Cape Canaveral, or this is a meteor or somebody saw Venus or something like that.”

Stepien added, “And then we basically put them out on our website for the public to see. I mean, we are basically a data collection and reporting agency. The prime function is to provide this place for people to go to report this incredibly important phenomenon.”

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And as for videos on the site that are legit? Stepien said, “There’s there’s a bunch of videos on our site where we’ve looked at them. It looks like a UFO. So, those do exist. We don’t get them very often. But when we do, they’re, they’re impressive. We’re about to release some kind of the top 10 videos of last year. So we will put that up on our site for people to see. And there are some really interesting ones. And I think people find they are dramatic and tough, too. Tough to explain away.”

And for those who don’t believe, Stephien said, “Let me give you some advice. If you want to see something, spend more time outside at night. That’s the key. It really is. I lived in Seattle for seven years. So I’m very familiar with the area. And, you know, the fact that it’s kind of right there in the middle of the pack with all these sightings is interesting.”

You can read more of Micki Gamez’s stories here. Follow Micki on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.  

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