How flying saucer sightings increased again in the ’60s

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Unidentified Flying Object UFO
Illustration by ktsimage/Envato
“UFOs” – They’re back in new sizes, shapes, colors (1966)

The mystery of “unidentified flying objects” is heating up again this year.

UFO reports are increasing. The latest models have new features.

According to the Gallup Poll, 5 million Americans now are sure they’ve seen flying saucers.

Strange objects in the sky are being reported now at a near-record rate — with the 1966 models more varied and colorful than ever.

Sightings of “unidentified flying objects” reported to the US Air Force reached 646 in the first seven months of 1966. This was nearly twice the number reported in the same period last year. It is at an annual rate that was exceeded only once before — in 1952.

Unofficial UFO reports, submitted to a private investigating committee with headquarters in Washington, are running at two to three times the rate of reports to the Air Force, this summer.

Most reports of flying saucers and other types of UFOs turn out, on investigation, to stem from natural phenomena such as stars, or from balloons, planes and the growing number of man-made objects in space.

The Air Force, however, has recorded about 6 percent of all cases reported to it as unexplainable and unidentified. The private group, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, estimates that 20 percent of the cases reported to it are genuine UFOs.

ALSO SEE: Are flying saucers real? Roswell UFO mystery enthralls the nation (1947)

Saucer sightings – increasing again

Out of 10,147 sightings over a period of 19 years — 1947 through 1965 — 94 percent, or 9,501 have been explained by the US Air Force, and 6 percent, or 646, listed as “unidentified.”

From 1952, when a rash of sightings brought demands for closer study, through 1965, a total of 7,687 sightings were classified as follows:

2,412: Stars, meteors or planets
1,377: Aircraft
1,333: Reports dismissed for insufficient data
1,042: Hoaxes, hallucinations and mirages, plus birds, clouds, fireworks, missiles, searchlights, other phenomena
701: Balloons
569: Satellites
253: Unidentified

Source: Project Blue Book, US Air Force

ALSO SEE: The original ‘Lost in Space’ TV show was out of this world

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