The UK’s UFO sightings mapped – Do you live in one of the hotspots

'UFO': Footage of a mysterious flying object

In 2019, US Air Force intelligence officer David Grusch was asked to identify all of his government’s classified programs into Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) – more commonly known as UFOs.

This came to light last Wednesday, in Washington, in a landmark House of Representatives oversight committee. Then came the details.

He said: “I was informed in the course of my official duties of a multi-decade UAP crash retrieval and reverse engineering program to which I was denied access.” Grusch then claimed the US had likely been aware of “non-human” activity since the thirties.

Such a high-level acknowledgement that mysterious sightings deserve serious scrutiny marked a major milestone. The community of believers in extraterrestrial life was set alight.

UFO spotters in this country believe the British Government has been communicating with the US about its own UAP programmes. Records suggest plenty has been going on this side of the Atlantic as well.

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The US has long been able to rely on the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFOC) to keep track of sightings. UFO Identified has been filling the gap for the UK for the past three years. 

Between January 2021 and May this year, their database shows a total of 957 potential UFO observations.

That includes 410 in 2021, 494 in 2022, and 53 as of May 20 this year. Of all UK counties, more UFOs were spotted in the skies of Greater Manchester than anywhere else, with a total of 54 documented sightings, 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.

You can see what UFO encounters have been reported where you live using our interactive map below.

Interactive map

Recent sightings documented on UFO Identified 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.

There was also 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 30 to 40-foot wide “round saucer-like object with detailed outer rim” was seen “hovering over a house” in Bedworth, Warwickshire in January.

Since the US testimony, pop star Kim Wilde has claimed the accounts she heard chime with her own experience in her Hertfordshire garden. Back in 2009, the chart-topping singer of “Kids in America” said she saw an “extremely bright light” in the sky which then made a “zig-zag move”.

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Despite the firestorm of interest in extraterrestrial life over the past week, many scientists remain sceptical that the US has encountered aliens.

In the UK, just under half of all documented sightings (48 percent) include photographic or video evidence. 

Professor Brian Cox said “extraordinary” claims had been made, but without “extraordinary evidence” to back them up.

Ash Ellis of UFO Identified believes much more contact is 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.”

He added: “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. 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.”

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