Map shows where Brits saw UFOs – see if there was sighting near where you live

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Brits have been spotting UFOs at an alarming rate since January 2021 (Image: Getty Images)
Brits have been spotting UFOs at an alarming rate since January 2021 (Image: Getty Images)

Almost 1,000 UFO sightings have been documented across the UK in the last two-and-a-half years – and our map reveals the activity taking place in the skies above you.

It comes after the US Congress heard from retired Major David Grusch, a former Air Force intelligence officer, about possible evidence of extra-terrestrial contact. In a highly anticipated testimony before a House Oversight sub-committee, Mr Grusch said the US is concealing a long-standing programme that retrieves and reverse-engineers unidentified flying objects.

He said the US has likely been aware of “non-human” activity since the 1930s. Although the testimony in Congress has created a media storm, many scientists remain sceptical that the US has secretly found evidence of extra-terrestrial life.

That includes Professor Brian Cox who said “extraordinary” claims had been made, but without “extraordinary evidence” to back it up. Nonetheless, UFO spotters in this country believe the British government has communicated with the US regarding its UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena - the official term used instead of UFO) programmes.

And there has been plenty to see in the skies above the UK. Between January 2021 and May this year, the UFO spotter website UFO Identified documented a total of 957 sightings. That includes 410 in 2021, 494 in 2022, and 53 as of May 20 this year.

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Sightings documented included:

  • A “long cigar-shaped craft with three or four roundish patterns on it” which was observed for 20 minutes before it “vanished like a light being switched off” above Chester in Cheshire in October last year.
  • A “rocket-type object” spotted flying above the clouds over Hartlepool “extremely fast and soundless with flames over the front” in November, 2022.
  • And a 30ft to 40ft wide “round saucer-like object with detailed outer rim” was seen “hovering over a house” in Bedworth, Warwickshire in January.

Just under half of all documented sightings (48%) include photographic or video evidence. A quarter of all sightings (25%) were of a “star-like” object or objects, moving across the sky. The next most common sighting was of an unidentified object shaped like an “orb” (17%), “sphere”, (10%) and “cylinder” (9%).

Of all counties in the UK, more UFOs were spotted in skies of Greater Manchester than anywhere else, a total of 54 documented sightings. That was followed by Greater London (52), Cheshire (37), and West Sussex (34).

When it comes to towns and cities, more UFO activity was seen above Glasgow than anywhere else, with 22 encounters. But while nearly 1,000 UFO sightings have been recorded in the last two-and-a-half years, Ash Ellis of UFO Identified believes many more are going unreported.

He said: “Despite progress being made in recent years to de-stigmatise the topic, there is still an air of trepidation when approaching the subject as the fear or ridicule is very prevalent.

“There were almost 500 reported sightings in the UK last year, with likely many times that number going unreported showing that there is a genuine concern around unidentified phenomena being seen across the country.”

Mr Ellis added: “There is no doubt in my mind that the UK has, at the very least, had some sort of communication with the US with regards to their UAP programmes, this was confirmed as much when the Canadian military recently confirmed that it had taken part in a forum for Five Eyes intelligence partners in May this year that was held by AARO director Sean Kirkpatrick. The Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance between the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K.

“There is still a lot to come out about what the US knows, and ultimately this may lead to them revealing that the UK does indeed play a part in this work, and surely it is better for our secret-keepers to come out sooner, rather than later and completely lose the little remaining trust that we have in them.”

The Pentagon has denied Mr Grusch’s claims of a cover-up. Pentagon officials in December said they had received “several hundreds” of new reports since launching a renewed effort to investigate sightings of UFOs.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: “We ceased to investigate reports of UFO or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) in 2009 and there is no change to that.” The MoD said it stopped investigating reports of UFO activity because none of the reports over 50 years had “indicated the existence of any military threat to the United Kingdom”.

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Commenting on the possibility of extraterrestrial life on Twitter, Professor Cox said: “It would be great if true - it would take a bit of the pressure off our civilisation if we weren’t the only means within the Milky Way by which the Universe understands itself. Sadly, as of today, I still feel that pressure, so can we perhaps focus on not messing our world up rather than hoping that, to paraphrase Sagan, someone will float down to save us from ourselves.”

Richard Ault

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