It's well-known that strange UFO phenomena have been going on for some time. People have reported these objects for decades. There's even reason to believe that UFOs were spotted centuries ago. However, what's more surprising than the UFO reports themselves, is how often they're occurring in the modern world. Apparently the number of UFO sightings has been escalating in recent years.

According to Sam Monfort, a US PhD student who collected data provided by the National UFO Reporting Center, UFO sightings are at an all-time high. For instance, there were 10,000 claimed sightings in 1990, but by 2010 there were roughly 45,000 sightings every year.

He also noted that the type of UFOs that people claim to see have changed over time. For most of the twentieth century, UFO sightings mainly consisted of flying saucers and cigar shapes, but these days most people describe them as strange lights.

What's also interesting about his report, is that it shows just how many UFO sightings occur in the US. Monfort described Americans as "hilariously more likely to report a UFO sighting than anyone else." Americans report these objects at a rate that is 300 times the global average. He also found that UFO sightings in the US tend to spike on the 4th of July (for obvious reasons), but that trend has escalated significantly since 2008.

According to the maps that he's published, UFO sightings tend to occur most often in developed Western nations and their neighbors. That would lend credence to the idea that UFOs are either nothing more than a Western cultural phenomena, or perhaps that these objects are top-secret military aircraft built by the world's most advanced nations.

Unless of course aliens just find our high-tech societies more interesting. You decide.