Aerospace & Defense

This Is the City With the Most UFO Sightings

Recorded unidentified flying object (UFO) sightings go back at least 2,000 years. Some of the earliest ones may have been comets. One of the earliest recorded UFO sightings in the United States dates from 1904. The lack of proof around these sightings has lasted until today, although the U.S. government began to track UFO sightings in the late 1940s. So far, there is no blanket explanation for such sightings, which makes the existence (or lack thereof) of UFOs all the more fascinating.

UFOs have been a hot topic since the Office of the Director of National Intelligence delivered an unclassified report to Congress titled “Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” in July. People are less likely to dismiss reported sightings as the product of overactive imaginations when the government takes them seriously.

The numbers of reported sightings have increased in recent years, including from 6,281 in 2019 to 7,267 in 2020. Those figures vary greatly by location. Some states have more sightings per capita, as do some cities.

24/7 Tempo has identified the city with the most UFO sightings, based on data provided by Cheryl Costa and Linda Miller, authors of “UFO Sightings Desk Reference: United States of America 2001-2020.” This ranking shows the relative likelihood of state residents reporting UFO sightings.

Sedona, Arizona, tops our list, with 1,608 sightings per 100,000 residents. There’s no obvious reason why, although visibility is generally good in the desert, and Arizona is home to several leading observatories. In February, the pilot of an American Airlines flight bound for Phoenix reported a close encounter with a UFO “that almost looked like a cruise missile.”

In past years, suggested explanations for sightings in Arizona have included the many flying school planes in the state and flares dropped by military aircraft.

Here are some details about Sedona:

  • 2001 to 2020 sightings per 100K: 1,608.22
  • Total sightings: 166
  • Population 2019: 10,322

Just behind Sedona, the next two spots are taken by Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, in South Carolina, with 1,223 and 1,111 sightings per 100,000 residents, respectively. The area has a well-documented history of multiple sightings and once boasted a visitor attraction called Encounters UFO Experience.

Click here to see all the cities with the most UFO sightings.