States with the Most UFO Sightings


Kristin Cooke
Aug 03, 2023
bullet4 min read

Starlink or UFO? Watch the skies on July 2, National UFO Day, to see what’s out there.

UFO sightings are on the rise, according to the National UFO Reporting Center, and that was even before the UFO hearing in Congress this last week.  In fact, Americans claim to have seen 1,439 more UFOs in 2022 compared to 2021—a 39% increase year-over-year. Between January and May of this year, UFO sightings in 2023 tally 1,374 already! And, according to our survey data, 54% of people believe they’ve seen something like a UFO themselves.

So, what’s leading to the increase in sightings of unidentified flying objects? It could be the Pentagon’s official release of UFO videos or the House Oversight Committee plans to hold a hearing on UFO sightings.

Or, perhaps it’s the 4,000 Starlink satellites currently in orbit. Our survey findings show that 23% of Americans have mistaken one of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites for a UFO.

What is Starlink?
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SpaceX’s Starlink internet is a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite internet provider from the mind of Elon Musk. Starlink internet offers unlimited data, above broadband speeds for most of its plans, and less latency than most satellite internet providers. Plus, it offers both residential fixed-location plans and portable satellite internet options. And if Starlink isn’t available in your area, consider other satellite options.

And maybe it is alien life. Who knows? Regardless, our team wanted to dig into the extraterrestrial data for National UFO Day on July 2 to see which states have reported the most UFO sightings in 2023.

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Satellite internet allows you to get internet access from almost anywhere. We can't confirm if you can get it from inside a UFO, UAPs, or any other unidentified flying object, but we can confirm that it'll serve as a pretty good rural internet provider while you wait for the aliens to find you. Or you can always try for Starlink Roam if you want internet while you track down UFOs on the go. 

Check out the best states for UFO sightings below to help you on your mission.

UFO hotspots in the United States

So, how often are UFOs whizzing through your state? Check out this map that uses data from the National UFO Reporting Center to find out if your state is a hub of extraterrestrial activity.

What is a UFO?
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A UFO is anything in the sky that can’t be identified. In the late 1940s, the US Air Force started using the phrase “unidentified flying object” to describe any type of mysterious aircraft.

When we hear the word UFO, we might start thinking of flying saucers filled with green aliens. The truth is less exciting. Most UFOs are later identified as drones, satellites (including Starlink satellite trains), or weather balloons.

In which states are you more or less likely to spot a UFO?

Every state had some UFO sightings last year — whether that was eerie lights, erratically moving aircraft, or mysterious metal saucers. To find the states with the most and fewest reported UFO sightings, we looked at the number of reported sightings per state and normalized the data per 100,000 people.This revealed that Vermont, Washington, and Montana were the top three states with the most reported UFO sightings.

If you’re hoping to make an extraterrestrial friend or two, here are the best places to spot a UFO.

States with the most reported UFO sightings

  1. Vermont
  2. Washington
  3. Montana
  4. Alaska
  5. Maine
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Oregon
  8. New Mexico
  9. Wyoming

And if you’d like to avoid aliens, Starlink satellites, or whatever else these sightings might be, your best bet is to stay on the East coast or the South as these areas tend to report fewer UFO sightings each year.

States with the fewest UFO sightings

  1. Texas 
  2. District of Columbia 
  3. Louisiana
  4. Georgia
  5. Mississippi
  6. Alabama
  7. Maryland
  8. New York
  9. Virginia
  10. New Jersey
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Surveys from Chapman University show that the belief in intelligent alien life is on the rise in recent years. In 2016, only 27% of Americans believed that aliens have visited our planet at some point in the ancient past. In 2020, an independent poll by Ipsos showed that 45% of Americans said that UFOs exist and have visited Earth. And according to survey data from our research team, 80% of people believe in aliens and what’s even more wild is that 42% of our survey respondents said they’d take a trip with an alien were it to come to earth!

UFO sightings by state

This chart shows how many UFO sightings there were per 100,000 people and the overall state rankings of where you’re most likely to spot a UFO.

Rank
State
# of Sightings Per 100,000 People

1

Vermont

92

2

Washington

90

3

Montana

87

4

Alaska

86

5

Maine

84

6

New Hampshire

83

7

Oregon

82

8

New Mexico

77

9

Wyoming

69

10

Idaho

68

11

Arizona

66

12

Connecticut

54

13

Colorado

54

14

Rhode Island

54

15

Nevada

52

16

West Virginia

50

17

Hawaii

46

18

Missouri

44

19

Utah

44

20

South Dakota

42

21

South Carolina

42

22

Arkansas

41

23

Wisconsin

41

24

California

40

25

Delaware

40

26

Kansas

39

27

Indiana

39

28

Pennsylvania

38

29

Massachusetts

37

30

Iowa

37

31

Ohio

37

32

Kentucky

37

33

Florida

36

34

Minnesota

36

35

Oklahoma

36

36

Michigan

35

37

North Dakota

35

38

Nebraska

35

39

North Carolina

33

40

Illinois

33

41

Tennessee

32

42

New Jersey

30

43

Virginia

43

44

New York

29

45

Maryland

29

46

Alabama

27

47

Mississippi

26

48

Georgia

24

49

Louisiana

24

50

District of Columbia

22

51

Texas

20

Tips for newbie UFO hunters

If your idea of a UFO sighting comes from The X-Files or Doctor Who, you might expect trails of acidic green blood or alien spaceships cruising above the River Thames. The reality is most UFO sightings are less dramatic, such as a strange aircraft or odd light formations descending slowly into a forest.

Planets are also sometimes mistaken for UFOs. You can get to know the stars and planets with stargazing apps so you don’t file a report on Venus. Another common error is mistaking a Starlink satellite chain for a UFO.

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Methodology

To highlight the states with the most UFO sightings, we sourced data from the National UFO Reporting Center. Then, using state population data, we ranked each state based on the number of UFO sightings per 100,000 people. Additionally, we conducted a survey of 450 Americans using Pollfish to get their perspective on UFO sightings in 2023.

Kristin Cooke
Written by
Kristin Cooke
After graduating with a degree in English from the University of Utah, Kristin learned to geek speak while working as a technical recruiter, interviewing software developers and tech companies. For over 20 years, she has created award-winning content for technology, health, and finance companies. Kristin is an advocate for affordable internet for all and writes about rural internet solutions, satellite internet news, and tech products at SatelliteInternet.com. Her work has been featured in New York Post, PCMag, Forbes, Business Insider, Telecompetitor, Space.com, and The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society.