Do you believe in aliens?
You might not, but lots of people seem to think they’ve seen the evidence.
We took a look at a year’s worth of UFO-related posts on social media and this is what we found.
Where are the aliens?
We broke down mentions by state to see which areas of the country were generating the most UFO conversation.
While California often gets the most mentions because of its large population, it’s not just down to that this time.
A huge chunk of Californian UFO sightings occurred on 7th November when a mysterious light was seen by hundreds of people. It was later confirmed as a Naval missile test but not everyone was convinced.
— Church (@Fdchurch42) November 9, 2015
They'd want us not to believe that we saw alien spacecraft 🤔😑
— SIR NAI/58 (@sir_nainoa) November 8, 2015
The sightings definitely helped November become the month with the most UFO posts on social media.
In fact, this one night dwarfed any other significant peak in mentions for the whole year.
Who you gonna call?
Looking at mentions coming just from Twitter, we’re able to see the accounts mentioned most alongside UFO sightings.
Predictably, @nasa was at the top of the list.
@NASA i saw an alien spacecraft…honest to god. If yall don't mind i would like to get in contact with yall
— Andrew (@andrewbryann) December 25, 2015
I saw a ufo the other night now there's one over LA @POTUS explain
— thotumn (@autumnboelen) November 8, 2015
@POTUS I SAW A UFO
— Meme Queen (@flosprinceps) October 20, 2015
There are also Twitter authors dedicated to tweeting about UFO sightings.
Extraterrestrial social networks
We found the majority of our UFO mentions on Twitter – 3,459 to be precise, while Facebook made up 906 mentions.
In some cases, people described what they saw and others posted blurry images and videos like this one:
We found that the gender ratio of UFO-related posts was fairly evenly split.
While they registered just a few posts each, percentage-wise it was Delaware and Connecticut that had the most UFO mentions from males while Hawaii and South Carolina had the most from females.
Shrouded in secrecy
We found a surprisingly low number of mentions that included the term “Area 51”. Perhaps that’s something we should be concerned about.
The government is MAKING EVERYONE that lives 100 miles within Area 51 sell there property! & we all just saw UFOS last week ???!!
— Charmaine (@charmaine625) September 12, 2015
@NASA aliens exist I know because I saw a ufo so why do you not tell everyone else
— David in the woods (@e39ad37e8d314b3) April 12, 2016
— Bam Bam (@caro_manny) December 17, 2015
Whatever you think of UFOs and aliens, tracking social data surrounding them is a good way to crowdsource personal experiences of eerie occurrences in real time.