Has E.T. Gone Home?

UFO sightings have been making headlines again lately, notably with The New York Times running an interesting article about several U.S. Navy fighter pilots encountering mysterious objects near the southeastern coast of the United States.

That high-profile story remains unexplained and so do plenty of other UFO sightings reported by members of the public every year like strange lights crossing the night sky or orange disks hovering in the distance.

However, as Statista's Niall McCarthy notes, according to The National UFO Reporting Center - which is based in the U.S. and maintains statistics - global UFO sightings have declined steadily since 2014.

Infographic: Has E.T. Gone Home? | Statista

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There were just over 8,000 reported sightings in 2014 and in 2018, there were 3,343. So far in 2019, 2,371 UFO sightings have been reported. Despite the decline in sightings, interest in UFOs and alien life remains strong judging by an event that went viral on social media this week.

Conspiracy theorists have long maintained that a secret U.S. base in Nevada known as Area 51 harbors alien life or parts of a crashed spacecraft. The event called for people to storm the base and find out and it attracted 1.4 million signatures. Entitled "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All Of Us", it also prompted the Air Force to issue a warning to stay well away from the facility.