It seems like there''s no grey area when it comes to UFO's - you either believe in them or you don't.  And the people who claim to have seen so-called Unidentified Flying Objects tend to be very vivid and vocal about what they believe they have seen in the sky.

The concept of UFO's isn't new; in fact it predates the invention of airplanes.  Since the beginning of time people have claimed visions of items in the sky that they couldn't explain.  To condense thousands of years worth of history, it's safe to say that since the beginning of time mankind has witnessed flying objects in the sky that they couldn't associate with something they had ever seen before.  Imagine what early man thought when they saw the first comets or shooting stars.  Eventually these items were identified and their origin became know.  This cycle has been going on seemingly forever.

With the advent of airplanes, satellites, and space vehicles came the ever-growing theory that life from other planets was coming to observe, explore, and visit Earth.

There is an agency that tracks reported cases of UFO's from all around the country.  The National UFO Center runs a database of all of the UFO sightings that have been reported.  They even have a hotline phone number that you can call if you think that you've spotted one:  206-722-3000 (they do suggest that you only call if your sighting has occurred within the last seven days).

I was curious and did a little digging about what sort of sightings came from our area - say the Twin Ports and the surrounding region.  My research does cross state lines - going as far north as the Iron Range and as far south/east as Ashland.  Here is what I came up with:

  • Duluth - 60
  • Ely - 52
  • Superior - 20
  • Grand Rapids - 10
  • Cloquet - 9
  • Hibbing - 8
  • Bayfield - 7
  • Two Harbors - 6
  • Eveleth - 5
  • Tower - 5
  • Hermantown - 4
  • Ashland - 3
  • Buhl - 3
  • Brule - 2
  • Gilbert - 2
  • Cherry - 1
  • Chisholm - 1
  • Cotton - 1
  • Hoyt Lakes - 1
  • Proctor - 1
  • Virginia - 2

My general observations: Duluth and Superior obviously rank high on the list as two of the largest communities represented in our area.  But what's up with Ely's count at 52? That seems like an unusual amount of sightings for a community that only has a population of 3,460 according to the last census numbers.