New York Skies (Cheryl Costa)

2016 UFO Sightings Report Tally

Columinst Cheryl Costa looks at the UFO sighting numbers for 2016.

I had a request from a magazine editor who contacted me last Friday. She was seeking the national UFO sighting numbers for 2016. Alas, I’ve been so focused on the release of our book, UFO Sightings Desk Reference, which focused on 2001-2015, that I hadn’t bothered to compile the 2016 numbers, nor my home state’s UFO sighting numbers.

Nationally, the UFO sighting trend is up 9.2 percent from 2015 but down from 2012, 2013, and 2014.

To be honest I really thought that 2012 and 2014 spikes were flukes. I felt that the UFO sighting trend was due for its six- to seven-year hump cycle and would be taking a downward trend (shown in red). Then the 2016 numbers were tallied, and the classic downward trend seems to be taking a more gradual slope (shown in green). 

A third possibility is that 2010-2015 (shown in red) is the six year hump and 2016 is the first indication of the next upward cycle. The truth is we won’t know for sure until the 2017 UFO sighting numbers are tallied.

On the home front here in New York state, the numbers offered a unique surprise in terms of sighting totals. In 2016 the state’s UFO sightings of 414 had dropped 23.5 percent from 542 in 2015. The 414 statistic is clearly at a six-year low for New York state. 

The other big surprise in New York state was a significant change in the monthly season pattern.

Typically northern states of similar latitude to New York state have a monthly pattern while the peak UFO sightings are in the warmer months of summer.

2016 was really strange! Note the unusually high number of sightings in January, February and March, despite the uncharacteristic downward trend. It’s been suggested that it was a warmer winter in the first quarter of 2016. Perhaps it was something else. Perhaps there was a disturbance in the force or a glitch in the matrix. After all, the Chicago Cubs won the series. Who knows?

If you are interested in joining a monthly UFO discussion group in the Onondaga County area, drop Cheryl an email at [email protected]. If you have a UFO sighting to report, you can use either one of the two national database services: or Both services respect confidentiality. Follow me on Twitter @American_Skies.

Attention, Central New York residents: Join a monthly MUFON-sponsored speakers presentation and discussion group in Syracuse. Regularly held the last Saturday of the month, it runs from April 29 through October 28, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m, May Memorial, 3800 E. Genesee St. Plenty of off-street parking is available.


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