As a lifelong inhabitant of the West Coast of the US, I can attest to the fact that there has always seemed to be somewhat of a rivalry between Washington, Oregon, and California.

Whether or not the rivalry has always been friendly or not, is a matter of opinion. Sports rivalries can get heated. Who has the best wine or beer? You'll get different answers depending on who you're asking. So why would it be any different when it comes to the state that has had the most UFO sightings?

What is a UFO?

The term "UFO" stands for "Unidentified Flying Object." Essentially, it refers to any aerial phenomenon or object that cannot be readily identified. This lack of identification may be due to the observer's lack of knowledge or understanding, or due to the poor quality or lack of data about the sighting. It's important to note that the term UFO does not inherently imply extraterrestrial life; it simply refers to any unexplained aerial occurrence.

Interest in UFOs often correlates with speculation about extraterrestrial life visiting Earth. Over the years, there have been many reported sightings of UFOs. Some of these have been explained as misidentified aircraft, balloons, clouds, stars, and other natural phenomena, while others remain unexplained even after investigation.

What are UFOs Called Now?

In recent years, the U.S. government, specifically the Department of Defense and the Office of Naval Intelligence, has shown renewed interest in these sightings, now often referred to as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP). Their interest is primarily driven by concerns around national security and the advanced technologies these phenomena may represent.

While UFOs often trigger thoughts of aliens and sci-fi, the term itself simply refers to any flying object that cannot immediately be identified. The source of such objects or phenomena could be completely terrestrial in nature. The extraterrestrial aspect is more of a popular cultural interpretation than a scientific one.

Which State Has Had the Most UFO Sightings? California, Washington, or Oregon?

This might not be a sexy answer, but it comes down to sheer numbers. In this case, size matters, and California has had the most UFO sightings in recorded history when compared to Oregon and Washington. That's most likely because of the exponentially larger population in the Golden State, and not a result of Cali being a favorite among ETs.

That said, Washington State has perhaps one of the most famous 'flying saucer' sightings in history. That's when pilot Kenneth Arnold of Oregon, famously claimed that he saw a string of at least 9 'flying saucers' in Washington State near Mount Rainier. Arnold estimated the speed at which the UFOs were traveling to be about 1200 miles per hour. Snazzy, shiny, and speedy. So, this one is a victory for both Oregon, where Arnold was from, and Washington, where the sighting took place. In your face California!

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LOOK: The states with the most UFO sightings

For each state, we’ve also included details of famous UFO sightings in that state. Of note is that almost three-quarters of all UFO sighting reports in the United States occur between 4 p.m. and midnight, and tend to peak between 9 and 10 p.m. Food for thought next time you're out scoping for alien life. Keep reading to see which states have had the most UFO sightings.

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