UFO spotting becomes pandemic obsession with sightings up 51% compared to the same period last year

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Reported UFO sightings have shot up amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the National UFO Reporting Center hearing about 51 percent more strange encounters so far this year compared to the same period in 2019.

The non-profit has 5,000 incidents recorded for 2020 with a whopping 20% being reported in April, at the height of lockdown across the country and the same month the Navy released three archival UFO videos.

Photos have also captured a SpaceX satellite soaring through the sky following its seventh launch.

Peter Davenport told the Wall Street Journal that he has been taking 25 to 50 calls a day at his home in Harrington, Washington as people describe unidentified flying objects.

The National UFO Reporting Center has had 51 percent more UFO reports this year compared to the same period in 2019. In April the Navy released three archival UFO videos (pictured)

The National UFO Reporting Center has had 51 percent more UFO reports this year compared to the same period in 2019. In April the Navy released three archival UFO videos (pictured)

The non-profit has 5,000 incidents recorded for 2020 with a whopping 20% being reported in April, at the height of coronavirus pandemic lockdown. The US satellite SpaceX Starlink 5 is seen in the night passing in the sky above Svendborg on South Funen, Denmark, on April 21

The non-profit has 5,000 incidents recorded for 2020 with a whopping 20% being reported in April, at the height of coronavirus pandemic lockdown. The US satellite SpaceX Starlink 5 is seen in the night passing in the sky above Svendborg on South Funen, Denmark, on April 21

The 72-year-old runs the center with just one other person – a webmaster – who receives tips via online form.

‘It’s a herculean task,’ says Mr. Davenport, 72, told the WSJ. ‘It’s literally taken over my life.’

Davenport said it has gotten so popular that he’s hand to turn off his phone ringer at night just to get some sleep.

According to a January poll by research firm Ipsos, 57 percent of Americans think there’s intelligent life on other planets. 

The survey found that 45 percent of the country believes UFOs have visited Earth.

Just like how sightings have increased around the time of extra-terrestrial themed TV shows such as The X Files or movies like Men in Black in the 90s, the explosion in reports comes around buzz about life outside of this world.

Peter Davenport sits at his desk in the National UFO Reporting Center office at his home in Harrington, Washington, October 9, 2007. He's now taking 25 to 50 calls a day

Peter Davenport sits at his desk in the National UFO Reporting Center office at his home in Harrington, Washington, October 9, 2007. He’s now taking 25 to 50 calls a day

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the seventh batch of 60 Starlink satellites which will provide global internet service stands ready for launch at Kennedy Space Center's pad 39A on April 22

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the seventh batch of 60 Starlink satellites which will provide global internet service stands ready for launch at Kennedy Space Center’s pad 39A on April 22

Starlink Internet communication satellites of Elon Musk's SpaceX private spaceflight company are seen in the night sky on June 4 over Vladivostok, Russia

Starlink Internet communication satellites of Elon Musk’s SpaceX private spaceflight company are seen in the night sky on June 4 over Vladivostok, Russia

Last month the Pentagon announced a task force to study ‘unidentified aerial phenomena,’ (UAPs) and detect any that could pose a national security threat. 

Joe Rogan has discussed it on his podcast and the History Channel’s two seasons of Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation began May 2019 and ended last month.

Davenport doesn’t add sightings to his tally until he investigates first. He edits people’s stories before the accounts are shared publicly.

With SpaceX’s 2019 launch of the Starlink satellite constellation, a number of calls have turned out to be down to the internet access venture.

‘One might think an increase would be exciting to me, but from my vantage point, it’s just more work,’ he told the WSJ. 

Reports Count 2020

08/2020: 545

07/2020: 615

06/2020: 357

05/2020: 556

04/2020: 1,034

03/2020: 807

02/2020: 604

01/2020: 601 

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Reports Count 2019

08/2019: 477

07/2019: 605

06/2019 477

05/2019: 543

04/2019: 389

03/2019: 328

02/2019: 219

01/2019: 348

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