196 - UFO Hotspots Map
The J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies from Chicago published this strange map of UFO reports per 100,000 people by county in the continental US.
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
Alien encounters, abductions and sightings are very much out of the picture since they were milked for televisual success by the popular series The X-Files in the 1990s. This diminution of media coverage for UFOs and suchlike could of course be part of the very elaborate cover-up by the US government, which obviously has to be in cahoots with the more ominous races of aliens currently running the show in Area 51.
That doesn’t prevent the brave J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies from Chicago from publishing a map of UFO sightings in the US. It indicates the number of UFO reports per 100,000 people by county in the continental US. Some observations:
• There is a marked difference in levels of UFO visitation between the eastern and western halves of the continental US. Apparently, extraterrestrials like it out west. • Marked exceptions to this rule is a hotspot in northern Minnesota, several others spread out mainly in Missouri and Illinois and a small area in the Florida panhandle. • Aliens like the west, but generally don’t care for Dixie: the south is remarkably UFO-free. • Preferred landing spots of UFOs are concentrated in the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, the three coastal states and Nevada – with a spike around, of course, Area 51.
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