When I attended the International UFO Congress this past February, I was approached by a professor from an out of state university. As it turned out, he was doing a research study and needed information about the UFO sightings in New York State. I agreed to help him with his study. What the professor needed was UFO sighting counts for a handful of counties down state. So needless to say, the study required that I do county by county summations of UFO sightings.
My effort to collect county level UFO sighting data for the whole state was not an easy one. While the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) web search engine allows for county level searches, the fly-in-the-ointment was that the much larger National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) database doesn’t contain county information.
So it was necessary to import a little over 3100 New York UFO reports into a spreadsheet and find a way to assign a county to every city, town, and village in the whole of New York State. Needless to say, looking up the counties for several hundred of state municipalities was a tedious and time consuming effort. But it generated some eye opening results: For example, the Finger Lakes District which includes the counties of Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Yates, and Seneca.
For the fifteen year sample period from 1999 to 2014, the Finger Lakes District had 394 reported sightings. The eye popping aspect of the region’s sightings is that 54% were reported in Monroe County! All the other counties in the region had sighting counts on par with average New York State counties. Uniquely, Monroe County had UFO sighting levels equal to or exceeding those reported by well-known historical UFO hot spot counties in the Hudson Valley, that’s huge!
Let’s look at some of the Monroe county sightings from the sample period:
16 Nov 1999: at about 7 p.m. a resident of Hilton reported seeing three bright objects flying in formation west to east.
18 Feb 2001: at about 9 p.m. a resident of Rochester observed a pair of bright lights travel east to west at high speed.
24 May 2001: at about 2:45 p.m. a resident of Rochester saw one object that appeared to be four lights joined together.
27 Dec 2003: at about 6:30 a.m. a resident of Spencerport reported observing a black triangular craft with seven dim lights over Spencerport.
26 Aug 2008: at about 9:15 p.m. a resident of Rochester reported seeing 12-15 points of light flying in triangle formations.
18 Oct 2010: at about 7:30 p.m. a resident of Honeoye Falls observed a disk shaped object over Honeoye Falls.
24 Sept 2011: at about 11 p.m. a resident of Fairport witnessed two large orange balls of light in the sky, moving at high speed.
29 Aug 2012: at about 1 p.m. a resident of Rochester saw a white tear drop shaped craft appear out of thin air and disappear just as quickly over Lake Ave.
Cheryl Costa would love to hear the when, where and what of your New York sighting. Email it to NYSkies@DragonLadyMedia.com. The names of witnesses will be omitted to protect their privacy.