If you hang around at MakeUseOf long enough, you may discover that at least one or two of us are die-hard tin hatters with an avid interest in all things strange and surreal, as evidenced by Guy’s list of the top 10 conspiracy websites, and my earlier article on how to go ghost hunting with your Internet browser.
The truth is, the Internet and its various technologies offer paranormal and conspiracy enthusiasts with a lot of useful tools for not only connecting with others who share the same interests, but also for conducting the research itself.
The field of Ufology is no different. While there are certainly a number of kooks and crazies hanging around, there is a also a very large community of researchers who diligently investigate and catalog UFO encounters from around the world. In an effort to help unite all of those efforts, and to offer you the reader with a page to bookmark that has all of those resources in one place, I would like to present the top 8 websites where you can read about the latest UFO sightings from around the world.
Tracking The Latest UFO Sightings on Google Maps
When I first found this website, I thought it was a joke. When you visit UFOmaps, you’ll discover a fascinating Google map view with images of flying saucers (representing the latest UFO sightings) spread over the entire map. The sheer number of sightings for each particular year is pretty surprising, but it’s also important to keep in mind that a lot of these sightings are very likely situations where the person reporting saw something terrestrial and just didn’t know what they were looking at.
The cool thing about this resource is that unlike most of the other database sites for the latest UFO sightings, this one offers a graphical representation of those sightings and you can click on any of them to read more about the sighting.
If you click on “Read full report,” you’ll find that most of these sightings come from the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC), which is a major UFO reporting center and a great resource for data. Unfortunately, while you may find a few sightings across the world, the bulk of the reports come from the United States.
The Biggest UFO Research Organizations
Speaking of NUFORC, they also offer an excellent text-based database search that you can use to dig through many years of sightings reported to them by regular folks just like you.
Peter Davenport is the current NUFORC director and he has done a magnificent job with the design of this main page through the years. When I first became interested in Ufology, I used to just browse through the NUFORC database archives for the latest UFO sightings in my area. Of course, if you’ve actually seen an object in the sky that you can’t explain – click on the report form and file your own report!
There are also a few other major UFO centers that you’ll want to check out if you’re interested in the latest UFO sighting reports and information – the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) and Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). These organizations strive to scientifically examine the phenomenon within a field where scams, hoaxes and con artists are par for the course.
Research Resources for Both Historic Events and Latest UFO Sightings
While the big guys listed above are certainly some of the best resources for current UFO information, there are also some newer or more obscure resources that I’d like to share. A very new UFO database is the JTC UFO database – a user-driven collection of research including newspaper clippings, photos and much more.
What makes this collection so interesting is that you’ll find historic cases dating back to the 1700′s and 1800′s, drawn from resources such as Jacques Vallee’s Passport to Magonia. Sifting through these sightings is a very intriguing experience.
UFOInfo is another great resource – not so much because of its website but because of two specific sections – the Magonia Database and the Humanoid Sighting Listing compiled by Robert Rosales. The Magonia Database is a complete listing of cases that Vallee compiled from throughout an entire century.
The collection is exhaustive and each specific sighting lists the location and about a paragraph worth of details about the event. The Humanoid Sighting Listings span from 1000BC (seriously) all the way up to 2009 and beyond. Before you laugh, go in and read one or two stories. Many of them read like terrifying ghost stories, and they are especially creepy because the witness insists the story is true.
Doing Some Serious Research
If you are interested in getting down into the volumes of cases that exist throughout the literature, the resources I’m about to offer below represent the lions share of what you’ll find anywhere else. The first site is the BlueBookArchive.
For readers who don’t know – Project Blue Book is the infamous multi-year Air Force study into the phenomenon of UFO sightings. While a large majority of the cases studied by the Air Force were explained away, there remains a good bulk of cases that defy explanation. For years these documents were all archived away in paper form, but now thanks to the efforts of the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR), Project 1947 and other groups, you can now explore the 50,000+ documents through this free online search tool.
Browse or search the archives yourself and learn why so many of the people involved in the Blue Book research eventually became heavily involved in the civilian Ufology efforts after the Air Force shut down the study.
Finally, getting back to conducting research on the latest UFO sightings, one website that deserves mention simply for the sheer bravery of the man running it is the UK based PRUFOS police sighting database. This website is run by Gary Heseltine of the British Transport Police, and through this website he offers police a level of security and safety in reporting their own UFO sighting without fear or ridicule or losing their job.
With the reports offered on this site, Gary provides complete listings of both historical cases and modern cases. By providing cases studies of sightings involving police officers, this particular police officer hopes to elevate the public respect for witnesses of these strange events, and in effect bring a bit of credibility for all UFO witnesses.
Have you ever experienced a UFO? Are you a UFO enthusiast and have your own favorite research tools or resources? Share your opinion in the comments section below.