Sunspots And Their
Relation To UFO Sightings
By Larry Hatch <larryhat@JPS.NET>
From UFO UpDates - Toronto <>
I finally have some preliminary results from my correlation of monthly sunspot counts and UFO sightings frequencies.
All data below are for the 36 year period from Jan 1940 to Dec 1975 .. a period where there is good data overlap between sunspot.dat and the *U* Database.
First the bad news: I had hoped that either UFO sightings would increase during sunspot maxima ( possibly indicating a probable cause ) or else decrease, indicating UFO avoidance of highly damaging solar radiation.
In fact, I found no significant difference at all! For the 10,922 filtered *U* sightings in this period, the data breaks downs thus:
Totals Low SSpots High SSpots
Event count 10,922 6214 4708
Month count 432 239 193
events/month 25.3 26.0 24.4
Thus, events per month are the virtually the same regardless of
sunspot activity. Alas. Somewhat more interesting are UFO counts broken down by daylight versus night hours ..
Totals Low SSpots High SSpots
Event count 7871 * 4489 * 3382 *
Daytime 1153 584 569
Night time 3905 1517 2388
Fringe hrs 4152 2388 1764
* Event counts are lower here because sightings with unknown time of day are eliminated. "Fringe" hours are dawn, dusk, and variable depending on latitude. "Daytime" is just that for all but far polar regions.
Simple calculations show that "daytime" sightings account for 13.0% of those listed during "slow" sunspot months, but this rises to 16.8% during high sunspot months. Night sightings are 33.8% during slow SS months, but drop to 31.0|% during high SS activity. "Fringe" counts remain stable at 51-52% regardless of sunspots.
While tediously tagging *U* Database records during high sunspot months, I found a neat entry for mid April, 1883. Some Astronomers in Marseilles, France observed groups of "disks" pass the Sun's face! This coincides perfectly with a month of high sunspot activity, 82 sunspots on average for the entire month... roughly double the number for March or May 1883. I think I can scratch that listing from the database. Non?
[ References on request. One is FSR Volume 4 #1, the other has a French sounding name. ]
More tediously (burp):
I don't have enough data to call anything a real wave before the onset of the "Great Airship" flaps... there were two of them really.
1) The first GA wave started in California in late 1896 and spread Eastward well into 1897. The entire period was one of Solar quietude... few if any sunspots. Venus and Mars came quite close to Earth during this period.
2) The 2nd GA wave started around May 1909 in Britain, and apparently migrated to New Zealand, virtually at antipodes, by June or July 1909. Again, the Sun was quiet. Mars made a close approach to Earth in this period
3) 1947: Starting in late June and exploding in July, ( 406 *U* records for July alone) this was the first great UFO wave to take place during busy sunspot activity. Astronomers recorded anything from 158 to 188 sunspots going into August. Both Venus and Mars were about as far from Earth as their orbits would permit at that time.
4) The 1950 wave was less impressive, peaking in March 1950 (116 records here). Sunspot activity was again high (109 average count for March,1950). Both Mars and Venus were quite close to Earth, relatively speaking.
5) July was the peak month in 1952, the greatest wave ever recorded in North America. Sunspot activity was low, around 40 spots average. Mars was neither close nor far, Venus was very far away.
6) The French wave of 1954 still holds the record for all times and places: ( 431 listings for October alone ). Mars was at some intermediate distance, but Venus made a very close approach to Earth, as little as 0.267 AU in the midst of this highly localized wave. The "spill over" into neighboring countries, long presumed by French observers at the time, has yet to materialize in my records. With the exception of Italy, this flap seemed to be localized to France .. all of France, and almost only France. Sunspot activity was virtually rock-bottom, an average of 7 sunspots/diem for all of October 1954.
7) Late in 1957 (210 listings for November alone) we have a wave during very high sunspot activity (211) while Venus was very close, and Mars as far away as it usually gets .. over two astronomical units.
8) Another "hump" in my yearly histograms shows for the period July 1965, trailing off into mid 1969. The inner planets are all over their orbits of course, and so are sunspot counts. This hump in the data roughly doubles the counts for the preceding four years, but that's about it.
9) *U* lists 191 events for October of 1973 alone. Mars was quite close, Venus so-so, and sunspot activity was minimal ( 31 avg count ).
- - - -
So what does all this tell us? Well, clearly, UFO waves may occur at peaks and valleys in sunspot activity. It could well be that there is no correlation at all.
The earliest waves ( Airships and crews) were during solar minima, but the largely impersonal (unmanned?) saucers of 1947 braved deadly solar rays, assuming they came from space at all.
There is one last little thing, highly tenuous I must admit. It would appear that UFO waves which occur during high sunspot activity, also tend to occur when Mars is distant .. on the other side of the Sun.
Conversely, waves during solar minima, when space travel is "safer", seem to occur when Mars is closest. There are exceptions to this as seen above, but these tend to be smaller waves like March of 1950.
I'm not drawing any conclusions (burp) but invite any comments/questions you might have.

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