LONDON – Researchers believed a five-fold increase in UFO sightings in 1996 was due to the screening of TV series “The X-Files”.
As part of a project between the Ministry of Defense and The National Archives, the MoD has been releasing records of UFO sightings for public viewing.
While the sightings didn’t vary much in content, researchers are paying attention to the numbers. In 1996, the number of sightings jumped from 117 to 609, a five-fold increase!
The number remained high in 1997, at 425, but dropped down to the average number of 193 in 1998.
It is believed there may be a link between the increase in sightings and the population’s exposure to UFO theories through the TV series “The X-Files”, which reached it’s height in popularity in 1996.
Dr. David Clarke, a UFO expert and lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, said, “I think there has got to be some kind of connection – it was a year when people were absolutely obsessed with UFOs and aliens.
“Obviously, films and TV programs raise public awareness of UFOs and it’s fascinating to see how that appears to lead more people to report what they see to the authorities.”