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In the search for life beyond our planet, more people are reporting sightings of spaceships and UFOs than ever before.
Exactly 104,947 UFO sightings have been reported since the first sign of aliens was spotted in 1905, according to data from the National UFO Reporting Centre.
And since the 1990s, the number of other-worldly sightings has shot up from 10,000 to 45,000 a year.
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The number of people spotting spaceships and UFOs has reached an all-time high, according to data from the National UFO Reporting Centre in Washington
LINKS BETWEEN CONSPIRACY, NARCISSISM AND SELF-ESTEEM
Over the course of three online-based studies, researchers at the University of Kent showed strong links between the belief in conspiracy theories and these psychological traits.
The results showed that those people who rated highly on the narcissism scale and who had low self-esteem were more likely to be conspiracy believers.
However, while low self-esteem, narcissism and belief in conspiracies are strongly linked, it is not clear that one – or a combination – causes the other.
But it hints at an interesting new angle to the world of conspiracy and those who reinforce belief.
The National UFO Reporting Centre, which is based in Washington, is a site dedicated to keeping track of UFO sightings from across the world.
Data from the site has shown that people living in the UK, the US and Australia are most likely to report seeing an alien spaceship, while countries such as Russia, China and Greenland rarely catch a glimpse of extraterrestrial activity.
An analysis of its data by statistician Sam Monfort, a PhD student at George Mason University in Virginia, has revealed that while the number of overall sightings is on the rise, the number of flying saucers being spotted has actually fallen.
‘One of the first recorded UFO sightings comes from Portland in 1905 (of course, seeing UFOs before it was cool), where a ‘buzzing,’ sphere-shaped UFO descended from the clouds,’ he wrote on his website, Visualise This.
‘Other shapes began cropping up later, with Saucers dominating the scene until the 1990s, when mysterious lights became the most popular.’
Yearly UFO sightings spiked after the 1990s, with the number of other-worldly shooting up from 10,000 to 45,000 a year
Mr Monfort said the sharp increase of UFO sightings coincides with the rise of the internet in the late 1980s.
He said: ‘Why lights instead of tangible shapes?
‘Maybe claiming to see “lights” is less likely to make your friends and family react sceptically than claiming you saw an actual UFO up-close, especially now that everyone walks around with a handy picture-taking device in their pocket.’
Flying saucing sightings have dropped since the 1990s. On January 25, alien enthusiasts claimed they have spotted ET’s ship, circled, hidden in a cave in the South Pole
He also pointed out that the number of UFO sightings in the US jumps up on July 4th every year.
He said: ‘Maybe the mysterious lights are actually fireworks.
‘Sightings of UFOs spike in the USA on July 4th! Strangely though, this “July 4th effect” only gets huge starting in 2008.’
Mysterious lights have become the most common type of UFO to be reported. On August 3, 2016, a bizarre ball of light appeared over a field in Siberia, Russia