There are numerous reports of people seeing a UFO. Unfortunately, too many to keep an accurate track of.
According to the first United Nations international statistics report on the UFO phenomena in 1978, five percent of all Americans, more than fifteen million people, claimed to have seen a UFO. The UFO statistics registered only 1.2 percent of these cases. Then, a USA Gallop poll in 1996 showed the number jumped dramatically to 12% (roughly thirty-six million citizens specifically in the United States) of people who claimed to have seen a UFO. The Global number was then added up to about 50,000,000 (million) people.
Since then, reports have been getting better and more numerous. The "claims" of sightings from polls seem more or less the same in number, however. There's no way to be certain; statistics vary slightly from each place. Photo and video recordings of UFO's have undoubtedly increased significantly, due to the much larger number of owned digital cameras and implementation of cameras in every day devices. Along with the rise of technology of course also comes the rise inevitable fakes and hoaxes, but there is no way to cancel out a particular percentage. For the moment, keeping track of the number of UFO sightings remains quite difficult. It's now expected be around 100,000,000 Worldwide today (in 2010).
In 1946, there was a surprising 2,000 reports, collected primarily by the Swedish military along with isolated reports from France, Portugal, Italy and Greece. Around then, more reports, claims and documentations starting being recorded for each year and have been counting up since.
The termination of Project Blue Book by the U.S.A.F. in 1969 left it with a collection of over 12,618 reports, with 22% of all cases, particularly the better-documented ones, remaining officially unsolved.
In 1978, United Nations statistics claimed that there were over 63,144 reported UFO sightings worldwide between 1947 and 1978. The US Air Force investigated over 1,147 UFO sighting reports between 1948 and 1952. Their results showed 25% remained unexplained.
The results of the top-secret UFO study, Project Condign, by the British Government's D.I.S. were compiled into a 400-page document that drew on approximately 10,000 sightings and reports that had been gathered by Defense Intelligence between 1997 and 2000.
In 2007, France became one of the first countries to open its files on UFOs when the national space agency unveiled a website documenting more than 1600 sightings spanning five decades. Of the 1600 cases registered since 1954, nearly 25% were also classified as "type D", meaning that "despite good or very good data and credible witnesses, we are confronted with something we can't explain". Their National Space Studies Center (CNES) attracted so many visitors that it crashed their website within 3 hours.
In Canada, a total of 9500 digitized documents spanning the years 1947 to the early 1980s were made available through the Library and Archives website. They first began to release the files in October 2007, where they quickly increased to its present level. Canada therefore also joins the select group of countries that have so far publicly released UFO files through government sponsored websites. The difference between these files and the releases by other countries is the. inclusion of departmental analysis rather than simply reports of the sightings.
The Brazilian Government also declassified a set of previously secret UFO documents in 2009, this time covering the 80s after their releases of the 50s, 60s and 70s, all with very significant documents and information. So far over 4,000 pages have been disclosed.
Russia did the same in July of 2009, except their reports varied slightly. "Fifty percent of UFO encounters are connected with oceans. Fifteen more - with lakes. So UFOs tend to stick to the water" - Vladimir Azhazha, former NAVY officer and popular UFO researcher. Water U.O.'s are commonly known, especially around the Bermudas, Caribbean Sea and the deepest parts of the Atlantic Ocean.
In 2010, following the series of these international UFO sighting disclosures, the New Zealand government also joined the party and made public over 2,000 pages of UFO eyewitness accounts dating back to 1952.
"Since the Freedom of Information Act arrived in 2005, this subject - UFOs - have become the third-most popular subject for people to write to the Ministry of Defence saying 'please could you release this file, or papers that you hold on this particular case'. - Dr David Clarke, National Archives UFO consultant, quote to the BBC in August 2010.
The latest batch of UFO files released from the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence to the National Archives shows that, in 1957, the committee received reports detailing an average of one UFO sighting a week. The hard part about gathering a number now is that most of the UFO files from that period had been destroyed.
Many of the world governments in recent years have declassified hundreds of thousands of pages worth of UFO reports, as you can see. Demand definitely seems on the rise, as more people believe in the Alien-UFO phenomenon now than ever before. Other countries who have Disclosed or are Disclosing UFO Documents include Australia, Mexico, Spain, Chile, Sweden, Italy, Ireland, Peru, Finland and Uruguay.
The only long-term, randomly-sampled information on how many UFO's are seen were in a series of Gallup opinion polls administered from 1966 to 1990. Unfortunately, these polls used slightly different terminology and in some years ruined the lead-in by preceding questions linking UFO's with extraterrestrial life. Also note the confusion of the questions commonly phrased, where "unidentified" may not be self-contained enough since on further observation or thought, one may conclude that what they saw was something identifiable in the end. Regardless, for what they're worth (typical error plus/minus 3%):
- Gallup Poll, May 1966: Have you, yourself, ever seen anything you thought was a flying saucer? - 5%
- Gallup Poll, November 1973: Have you, yourself, ever seen anything you thought was a UFO? - 11%
- Gallup Poll, May 1978: Have you, yourself, ever seen anything you thought was a UFO? - 10%
- Gallup Poll, May 1978: Have you ever seen anything you thought was a UFO? - 9%
- Gallup Poll, August 1990: Have you, yourself, ever seen anything you thought was a UFO? - 14%
- CNN/Time Poll, June 1997: Have you (personally) ever seen a UFO - 8%
- AP Poll, October 2007: Have seen a UFO - 14%
About all you can say from this is that the number of people in the U.S.A. who have seen a UFO (that they still consider unidentified) is probably 5% to 8%. For lack of any other data, if one combines the two data sources, and apply the ratio from the CNN poll to the Roper Poll, and then compare it with the actual reports, you have, for the United States:
Type --- Ever Seen --- Reported --- Ratio Seen:Reported
All ------ 8% ------------ 0.0178% --- 450
NL/DD - 4.5% --------- 0.0138% ---- 330
CE1 ---- 2.5% --------- 0.0016% --- 1500
CE2 ---- 0.5% --------- 0.0007% --- 700
CE3/4 - 0.5% --------- 0.0017% ---- 300
With that, it seems that at most only 1 in 450 UFO sightings results in a report, a commonly known manner taken by people such as pilots who reportedly see strange things in the sky all the time but hardly ever bother to make a report unless it's an extreme case, either due to the inconvenience, potential ridicule or management warnings. The comparison of the ratio of the different types of sighting in the derived seen versus reported data indicates that the reports do indeed represent a pretty good cross-section of experiences.
over the 60-year history of UFO's, there is no obvious trend in the poll numbers for numbers seen, which means the phenomena, whether mental or actual, occurs at a constant rate and rare rate, so that the same percentage of people believe they have seen something in 1966 as 2007, even though over half of the people alive in 1966 and responding to the poll have since passed on, replaced by people who were not taking polls or even born in 1966.
To put it another day, on any particular evening there are around 1000 sightings of UFO's around the USA, including 100 close encounters with the objects (CE1 or 2), 80 encounters with "humanoids" (CE3), and 15 "abductions". Luke Ford
You can read a list of thousands of user submitted UFO reports by country on the ufoinfo site. If you think you've seen something related, you may wish to report it there first.
If UFO is defined as a flying machine engineered by beings from another planet, then the answer is 0. If UFO is defined as an unidentified flying object, the answer is millions.