While the world was fighting an increase in Covid cases, Northern Ireland had another increase to worry about — UFO sightings.
Northern Ireland’s police department reported that they received reports of eight ‘weird’ sightings in the country in past year. This year has seen an increase in such sightings from 2020 when there were six such reports and from 2019 when there were four recorded complaints.
On January 17, in the Downpatrick area, locals reported sighting a spaceship and flashing lights. After that, in May the local police was called for one spotting of white lights after a helicopter in the Maghaberry area, and a disc-type structure in the sky in the Slemish area of County Antrim.
After that, police saw ‘strange images’ on CCTV of a house in the Newtownabbey area. The department also reported a sighting of a dome-shaped objected with eight bright lights from the Saintfield area.
In the second half of the year, locals called the police about ‘aliens in bedroom’, but no further reporting was revealed in international news. In October, however, the police department detained a local who had claimed to have been abducted by aliens.
Last month, locals reported spotting ‘unusual bright lights in the sky’, which could have been something else, but were reported as ‘strange sightings’.
A spokesperson from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) clarified that no investigation had been launched or carried out in relation to any of these reported sightings. PSNI maintains a database about unidentified flying objects (UFOs), aerial phenomena, unidentified aerial phenomena, lights in the sky, and aliens and extraterrestrial.
Experts also believe that people spending too much time at home, owing to Covid lockdowns, may have contributed to the increased number of reports. “It’s difficult to say what lies behind the small increase in sightings.” Nick Pope, who used to investigate reports of UFO sightings for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said. “COVID-19 and lockdowns may have played a role, with people having more time on their hands during the pandemic, and perhaps spotting things that previously may have gone unnoticed.
“Another possibility is that people are following the situation in the United States, where Congress is taking the issue seriously and the Pentagon has launched a new UFO initiative,” he added. “This may make people more likely to report something unusual that they’ve seen because it sends the message that the authorities take the matter seriously.”
However, he also added that he believes the sightings are highly underreported due to the stigma around it, and “if the MoD restart investigations and ask the public to report anything unusual, I’m sure they’ll receive lots of reports.”