New York Skies (Cheryl Costa)

The Issue Of Proof

Columnist Cheryl Costa examines the proof she has of her findings.

Since I started this column, and since we released our book, UFO Sightings Desk Reference, various people have asked me, “Cheryl, where’s your proof that these sightings are really alien space crafts?”

My answer can only be, “I have none.” Of course this raises the question: Does this diminish the facts of our compiled statistics book of 121,036 reported UFO sightings from 2001-2015? I say, “Not in the least.”

Our objective was simply to report the magnitude of the UFO sighting reports for a 15-year period. Our other objective was to demonstrate that UFO sightings have been on the rise for some time, despite reports that reports have been declining since the 1980s.

I’m simply reporting what 121,036 Americans have stated; I can’t confirm or deny the facts of their sightings. Although, before we start dismissing these reports as bogus or misidentifications, we need to consider the bottom line. During an average month in the past 15 years, people in the United States have reported as little as handfuls to hundreds of UFO sightings.

Experienced investigators will tell you that only a small percentage or sighting reports are hoaxes or delusional people. Some sightings turn out to be natural phenomena, while others might be misidentification of things like experimental military aircrafts.

Then there is the large number of sightings that just can’t be explained. The experts I’ve spoken to say the number of unexplained exotic sightings sits in the 7-20 percent range. “Exotic” means not from Earth or not from our Dimensional Reality. The ultra-conservative investigators say the exotic stuff is about 4 percent of the overall data.

Let’s look at that 4 percent for a minute. We compiled 121,036 sightings from our 15-year reporting sample. If we take 4 percent of 121,036, that equals 4,841 potentially exotic sightings. If we divide 4,841 by 15 years, we get an average of about 323 per year. If we divide 323 of these unique unexplained sightings by 12 months, we get an average of 30 exotic sightings a month. Of course, that number could be a whole lot bigger. The possibility of 30 off-world or other dimensional-reality crafts per month for the past 15 years is something to sit up and take notice of.

Our UFO Sightings Desk Reference was intended to simply quantify the degree of the UFO sighting phenomena in the United States. We had neither the resources nor the expertise to vet every single one of those 121,036 sighting reports. We simply counted them all and reported our findings in the form of charts and tables. In effect, we produced a UFO census for all 50 states and their districts.

But the question, like a broken record, that keeps coming back is the question of “proof,” and that, as they say, is “the rub!” Was it our obligation to provide proof? No! As I said previously, that wasn’t our objective, and proof of alien crafts weren’t within the bounds of our resources or expertise to produce. What we have done is dispel the notion that UFO sightings are on the decline, when in fact, they are on the rise. In addition, we made at least half a dozen previously unknown discoveries supported by the numbers. So as researchers we achieved the objective we set out to answer and then some.

“But, Cheryl, you have no proof!” OK, so whose job is it to research data like ours and take it to the next level, maybe even achieve a level of proof, which some folks are demanding? In the scientific world, to verify the validity of a piece of scientific information, it must be evaluated. The usually accepted scholarly process can be one or all of the following:

  • Research articles can be published in academic, peer reviewed journals.
  • Or published in official government agency reports and journals.
  • Or get validation by some independent scholarly institution, such as various countries’ National Academies of Sciences or various non-profit research organizations.
  • Lastly, traditional, major and respected newspapers are considered reliable.

It shouldn’t be a declaration, “You have no proof.” It should be a question: “Why haven’t the scholarly and scientific institutions investigated the UFO question since the 1970s?”  We have proved it hasn’t gone away.

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.

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