An animated timeline map has offered a unique insight into the huge number of UFO sightings since the 30s in America.
The timeline uses official, publicly available data to pinpoint the exact location of each sighting – and then shows them flashing up on a map as decades go past.
The first thing you notice is that UFO sightings aren’t unusual – or rare – there are thousands of them, all across the continent.
As data visualisation site Quantbait explains, the sightings are not confirmed alien spacecraft, but reported sightings of unexplained objects.
American freedom of speech laws mean that such information is readily available to the public.
There is a huge leap in the number of sightings during the Fifties – but there may be earthly explanations for this, the site explains.
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‘I grabbed the UFO sighting dataset from the National UFO Reporting Center and went to work,’ Levi Pearson writes onQuantBait.
‘I intended this to be the first part of a deep analysis of the UFO data set. I decided to start with getting a better understanding of the history of some of the entries.
‘The first thing that jumped out was the increase in sightings during the 1950s and 1960s. It turns out that the CIA’s U2 program may be responsible for several of these reports.
‘In late 2014 the CIA took to Twitter to take credit for nearly HALF of the UFO reporting in the 1950s.’