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UFO Sightings Skyrocket Into 2012


First Posted: 01/10/12 11:23 AM ET Updated: 01/10/12 11:24 AM ET

During the first week of 2012, UFO reports streamed in from around the world as numerous eyewitnesses described and videotaped strange things in the sky.

Whether they were balloons, conventional aircraft or misidentified astronomical objects, the new year of UFO sightings is off and running as the worldwide proliferation of digital video cameras and phone cams makes it easier than ever to photograph unusual sights in the sky above us.

The Colorado-based Mutual UFO Network, the largest UFO investigative organization in the world, received many reports of UFOs during the first week of the year from eyewitnesses in 36 out of 50 states.

The 14 states that haven't reported in so far are Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming -- but the year is young.

WHAT'S THIS OBJECT THAT SLOWLY FELL OUT OF THE SKY IN JAPAN?

"For the entire month of January 2011, MUFON recorded around 500 reports, and we're already up to 233 after just the first week of 2012," said MUFON international director Clifford Clift.

"For December, we had 810, compared to about 500 in December 2010," Clift told The Huffington Post.

"Last year, we averaged over 6,000 total sightings, and if it continues at this pace, we'll be up 50 percent, with about 10 percent of those reports ending up as unexplained after our investigation," he said.

According to New Zealand's WeatherWatch.co.nz, in the first 24 hours of the new year, it received "almost 80 reports and they're still flooding in at about 10 an hour."

"Many people around the world have been outside celebrating the new year. In the U.S., where most of the sightings came from, conditions were fairly mild and dry in many areas, so more people were outside to see things," weather analyst Philip Duncan said in a statement.

WATCH THESE UNUSUAL OBJECTS IN THE SKY OVER CAMPINAS, BRAZIL ON JAN. 3:

A group of twinkling cylindrical lights was videotaped over Campinas, Brazil, on Jan. 3, according to latestufosightings.net, which keeps track of on-going UFO reports, including the following:

Jan. 3: Two slow-moving, bright flying objects were recorded over Sinaloa, Mexico.

Jan. 4: The skies above North Carolina were the subject of videotape of unexplained bright objects.

Jan. 5: A white-colored globe was captured on video over Mesa, Ariz.

Jan. 6: A strange, bright object was videotaped as it fell out of the sky over Wakayama, Japan.

Jan. 7: Some high-altitude glowing orbs were caught on videotape over San Antonio, Texas.

Jan. 7: On the other side of the world, two bright objects were videotaped above Minsk, Belarus.

WeatherWatch suggests that what people are seeing are either meteorites, slow-moving, orange-colored Chinese lanterns or normal aircraft.

Most UFOs turn out to be explainable objects, but with the ever-present small remainder of the unexplained, MUFON's Clift is optimistic about how the rest of the year may unfold.

"One reason why I think it's going to be a good year is because people are looking at the sky a lot more and now they know where to report UFOs, and they're reporting them like crazy," he explained.

UFOS ARE OFTEN MISIDENTIFIED OBJECTS LIKE THESE:

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  • Melbourne, Australia, Feb. 2013

    This is a composite image of how three alleged UFOs maneuvered about in the sky over Melbourne, Australia, in early February, 2013. The final verdict isn't in yet on whether they're birds, aircraft, balloons, bugs or something truly unidentified.

  • Lanterns

    These candle-lit Chinese lanterns can rise high into the sky and are often mistaken for UFOs.

  • Exploding Weather Balloons, Not UFOs

    On Dec. 20, 2012, a bright, circular object (pictured at the top of this composite image) was videotaped exploding in the skies above Sacramento, Calif. It wasn't immediately identified, resulting in speculation that it was either an alien spacecraft, military top secret weapon, runaway planet, North Korean satellite, among others. Within a short period of time, it became apparent that this was a weather balloon. The bottom part of this image shows such a balloon as it ascended over Tampa Bay, Fla., on July 2, 2012, and exploded in an identical manner as the Sacramento object, probably much to the dismay of all true ET believers out there.

  • Boomerang UFO composite images -- 10-5-12

    This is a composite of images shot by two eyewitnesses of a boomerang-shaped UFO they reported seeing over their Burbank, Calif., home on Oct. 5, 2012. Mutual UFO Network photo/video analyst Marc Dantonio concluded the object was likely "a balloon, floating on the wind that has collapsed in half."

  • Changing UFO Pattern -- Warren, Mich. 1-10-13

    This four-image series of lights in the sky was recorded over Warren, Mich., on Jan. 10, 2013. The lights were seen changing into several patterns. The most logical explanation for these types of UFOs is a series of balloons or lanterns.

  • UFOs Over Earth

    This composite image shows four different times that alleged UFO were photographed above Earth by either space shuttles or the International Space Station. The big question is whether or not they are truly unidentified objects or if they are more likely reflections from spacecraft windows, meteors or fast-moving spacecraft-generated debris.

  • Pink UFOs Or Lens Flares?

    What appear to be pink-red UFOs are actually lens flares from the Google Earth street view camera as it snapped images in Texas (left) and New Mexico (right).

  • Lens flares Arizona

    These two flying saucer-shaped, pink-colored lens flares were created by the Google Maps camera as it drove through locations in Sedona, Ariz. (left) and Flagstaff, Ariz. (right). The images were snapped in April 2009. Submitted to HuffPost by trenna.

  • Lens flare Whiteriver, Ariz.

    This skybound lens flare was created by a Google Maps camera in June 2008 over Whiteriver, Ariz. Submitted to Huffington Post by Cheryl Weeks.

  • Lens flare Gulfport, Miss.

    This very Earthbound lens flare was created by a Google Maps camera in November 2007 at Gulfport, Miss. Submitted to Huffington Post by Jenni Parker.

  • Lens flare Eureka Springs, Ark.

    This seemingly grounded lens flare was created by a Google Maps camera in January 2008 at Eureka Springs, Ark. Submitted to Huffington Post by SE.

  • Lens flare Escanaba, Mich.

    This lens flare appears to be following a car. The Google Maps image was created in October 2008 at Escanaba, Mich. Submitted to Huffington Post by Mary Robinson.

  • Cincinnati Skydivers NOT UFOs Sept. 28, 2012

    On the night of Sept. 28, 2012, a group of strange-looking lights appeared in the sky near Cincinnati, Ohio. First there was one, then, two, then three lights, slowly descending. It turns out, however, that these lights were originating from a group of skydivers performing a pyrotechnics jump at the La Salle High School homecoming event.

  • Weather Phenomenon

    Some UFO sightings may be due to a natural phenomenon known as sprites, like this one shown from 2006. "Lightning from [a] thunderstorm excites the electric field above, producing a flash of light called a sprite," said geophysicist Colin Price.

  • Clouds

    Clouds: Saucer-shaped or "lenticular" clouds that form at high altitudes have been confused with UFOs.

  • Blimps or Advertising Balloons

    Blimps or advertising balloons: These can look like flying saucers from some angles, especially at night.

  • Sunken Ship in the Baltic Sea

    On June 19th the Swedish-based diving company Ocean Explorer discovered something they've never quite seen before. They were exploring in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland looking for sunken treasures when a very unusual image suddenly appeared on the sonar. A 197 feet diameter cylinder shaped object was discovered at the depth of approximately 275 feet which resembles the Millennium Falcon from the movie Star Wars.

  • Baltic Sea UFO 1

    An image released on June 15, 2012, shows a close-up view of the unidentified object sitting on the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

  • Baltic Sea UFO 2

    Close-up of rock bed that forms the Baltic Sea UFO, which still mystifies researchers.

  • Baltic Sea UFO 3

    One of several odd stone circle formations, sitting on top of the unidentified object at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

  • Antarctic UFO -- Aug. 10, 2012

    A circular UFO hovers above the Neumayer-Station III research facility in Antarctica on Aug. 10, 2012. Theories ranging from a simple weather balloon to a more elaborate ship from another planet have run the Internet gamut. The next slide shows a closeup of the object.

  • Antarctic UFO Closeup -- Aug. 10, 2012

    This is a closeup of the UFO from the previous slide. No official explanation has been offered about the object.

  • Manufactured UFO -- 2011

    Pictured is a quad copter -- a deliberately manufactured UFO created by special effects wizard Marc Dantonio for a National Geographic special, "The Truth Behind: UFOs," which aired in December 2011. On the left is what the small device looks like resting on the ground, measuring 4 feet in circumference. At right, is how it appeared behind a tree in the night sky.

  • Police Dashboard Camera In Texas

    In February of 2012, this fireball was captured by a Texas police chief's A dashboard camera. F.A.A. say this was probably a meteor, falling to Earth. .

  • Meteors

    Meteors: Space debris can create a spectacular light show when it burns through the Earth's atmosphere, and sometimes reported as UFOs.

  • Civilian or Military Aircraft

    Civilian or military aircraft: Planes can look mysterious at night or in certain light conditions, thus confusing an observer.

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