Skip to main content

British UFO Sightings Increase... Sort Of

A recent article from reached Digg Popularity in record time by reporting that there was a huge rise in British UFO sightings.

Well, sort of...

I'm always ready to believe. But this time the data just didn't pan out. The well written, interesting, article used data released by the British Ministry of Defence.

I decided to download the data to do my own analysis. I'll be reporting more on the data in the next week, but I'll just start with a graph of the UFO sightings in Great Britain year by year.

As you can see, there's actually been a decrease in sitings since 2005 and a significant decrease compared to 1997.

As additional interesting data comes out, I'll post it here.

Here's the original source data if you want to do your own analysis:
2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997

Digg the Sources:
read more | digg story Huge Rise In British Sightings

read more | digg story UFO Sightings in Britain up 39%

read more | digg story Female Figure on Mars, Canals, and the UFO in Stephenville


Great graph! I downloaded the documents myself and did a number count but never thought of a graph....excellent!
Phil said…
Dear Hamilton,

I am in the process of completing a text book on writing skills for the IELTS exam. This is an English language testing system for students who wish to study at university in the UK or Australia.

I am planning to self-publish and would much appreciate permission to use some statistical data from your website.

The original data comes from the following address (the bar chart):

The diagrams in my book will usually be redrawn before using the data.

Any information used is only for the purpose of helping explain to students how to analyse and write about various kinds of diagram. It is not used in any way as a reflection of the industries/website the material is taken from.

I hope that this request is acceptable to you and will be happy to include the appropriate acknowledgment for your help.
Best regards,

Phil Biggerton

Popular posts from this blog

Cool Math Tricks: Deriving the Divergence, (Del or Nabla) into New (Cylindrical) Coordinate Systems

The following is a pretty lengthy procedure, but converting the divergence, (nabla, del) operator between coordinate systems comes up pretty often. While there are tables for converting between common coordinate systems, there seem to be fewer explanations of the procedure for deriving the conversion, so here goes!

What do we actually want?

To convert the Cartesian nabla

to the nabla for another coordinate system, say… cylindrical coordinates.

What we’ll need:

1. The Cartesian Nabla:

2. A set of equations relating the Cartesian coordinates to cylindrical coordinates:

3. A set of equations relating the Cartesian basis vectors to the basis vectors of the new coordinate system:

How to do it:

Use the chain rule for differentiation to convert the derivatives with respect to the Cartesian variables to derivatives with respect to the cylindrical variables.

The chain rule can be used to convert a differential operator in terms of one variable into a series of differential operators in terms of othe…

Lost Phone

We were incredibly lucky to have both been in university settings when our kids were born.  When No. 1 arrived, we were both still grad students.  Not long after No. 2 arrived, (about 10 days to be exact), mom-person defended her dissertation and gained the appellation prependage Dr. 

While there are lots of perks attendant to grad school, not the least of them phenomenal health insurance, that’s not the one that’s come to mind for me just now.  The one I’m most grateful for at the moment with respect to our kids was the opportunities for sheer independence.  Most days, we’d meet for lunch on the quad of whatever university we were hanging out at at the time, (physics research requires a bit of travel), to eat lunch.  During those lunches, the kids could crawl, toddle, or jog off into the distance.  There were no roads, and therefore no cars.  And, I realize now with a certain wistful bliss I had no knowledge of at the time, there were also very few people at hand that new what a baby…

Lab Book 2014_07_10 More NaI Characterization

Summary: Much more plunking around with the NaI detector and sources today.  A Pb shield was built to eliminate cosmic ray muons as well as potassium 40 radiation from the concreted building.  The spectra are much cleaner, but still don't have the count rates or distinctive peaks that are expected.
New to the experiment?  Scroll to the bottom to see background and get caught up.
Lab Book Threshold for the QVT is currently set at -1.49 volts.  Remember to divide this by 100 to get the actual threshold voltage. A new spectrum recording the lines of all three sources, Cs 137, Co 60, and Sr 90, was started at approximately 10:55. Took data for about an hour.
Started the Cs 137 only spectrum at about 11:55 AM

Here’s the no-source background from yesterday
In comparison, here’s the 3 source spectrum from this morning.

The three source spectrum shows peak structure not exhibited by the background alone. I forgot to take scope pictures of the Cs137 run. I do however, have the printout, and…