Almost two thousand people have spotted unidentifiable flying objects in Maryland skies, according to reports shared by the National UFO Reporting Center.
The 1,923 reports state the UFOs, also known as UAPs or unidentified aerial phenomenon, resembled many different shapes ranging from circles, ovals, triangles and diamonds. Other reports described the shape of the UAP as a light, orb, flash, disk and fireball.
"I could not make out what was on top but there was 4 spinning disks underneath, and each disk was a different color," one report in Pasadena, Maryland said.
Another report described spotting a "chevron-like craft" in Cockeysville, Maryland that appeared to be close to the ground with 2 faint circular lights on both wings but without a visible light bulb.
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A separate report with a photo from Rockville, Maryland also said someone saw a UAP in the evening sky that appeared to be relatively low to the sky.
"Saw this weird flying saucer looking thing, took some photos. It seemed to disappear after I filmed and photographed it for 30 seconds," the Rockville report said. "It looks like a classic flying saucer, with a black marking in the 'front.'"
Maryland ranks as the 25th US state with the most UFO sightings according data shared by the National UFO Reporting Center.
The center's director Peter Davenport said he finds it heartening to see people come forward to report what they have seen in the sky, according to CBS News.
"I don't know what the future has in store for us, but I am encouraged that more people are coming forward and the government recognizes the UFO phenomenon that's something worthy of their attention," Davenport shared.
Christian Stepien, the center's chief technology officer, said most sightings are genuine and reported by people who are incredibly moved by what they saw. However the center the majority of these reports are misidentifications of explainable phenomenon like planets, aircraft, drones and satellites.
"On the other hand, there are many, many cases that cannot be explained as something natural or man made," Stepien wrote in a statement to USA TODAY. "The evidence of the last 70 years is incontrovertible in indicating that anomalous craft are flying at will throughout our airspace. Common sense dictates that this should be of extreme interest to the government and the public."
What states have the most UFO sightings?
The center tracks data of sightings from all US states. California leads with the most sightings with a total of 16,084. These are the 10 states with the most UAP sightings according to the center (and 2022 state population rank):
California -16,084 (1st)
Florida - 8,205 (3rd)
Washington - 7,145 (13th)
Texas - 6,107 (2nd)
New York - 5,834 (4th)
Pennsylvania - 4,984 (5th)
Arizona - 4,909 (14th)
Ohio - 4,412 (7th)
Illinois - 4,247 (6th)
North Carolina - 3,630 (9th)
NASA team calls for more research on UFO sightings
Last month, NASA's Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Independent Study Team called for deeper data analysis on research on these sightings. The investigative group said that even though most sightings are identified as planes, balloons, drones and weather events, more sophisticated scientific research is needed to fully understand them.
"The independent study team did not find any evidence that UAP have an extraterrestrial origin," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson shared. "But we don't know what these UAP are."
A team published a 36-page report on Sept. 14 showing that the most common form of UAPs reported are orbs or spheres.
On July 26, Congress held a hearing where three former military members, who have spoken about their firsthand knowledge of reported UAP encounters, discussed the security threats the phenomena could pose. The executive branch of government and the military continues to face bipartisan pressure to be more transparent about information relating to UAPs.
Stepien said government agencies are aware of the extreme interest in these anomalous craft but have chosen to "keep the details hidden from the public."
"The recent disclosure hearings in congress have generated a lot of hope within the UFO community that some of this secrecy may finally be breaking down, but whether any serious disclosure will happen remains to be seen," Stepien said.
Contributing: George Petras, Janet Loehrke and Eric Lagatta
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nearly 2,000 UFO sightings reported in Maryland. What states lead?