Quick, name a UFO hot spot around the US. If northwest Florida didn't come to mind, maybe it should have. As the Tallahassee Democrat reports, the Big Bend region in the state has had all kinds of sightings dating back to the 1970s. In recent years, 50 sightings in Leon and surrounding counties have been reported to the nonprofit Mutual UFO Network. And the state as a whole is no slouch, either, with 58 reports to MUFON last month out of 985 worldwide. In fact, another tracking organization, the National UFO Reporting Center, says only California beats Florida in terms of overall sightings (11,542 vs. 5,385). So does this mean there thousands of UFOs flying around? Well, no, says MUFON.
The group investigates all reports—from weird lights to tales of alien abductions—and usually links them to airplanes, drones, sky lanterns, or hoaxes. But it says five cases in Florida can't be explained. One involves Charles Ellison, who says he nearly crashed into a bright light while driving near Pensacola in 2012. He says he slammed on his brakes and skidded sideways. Then, suddenly, he was 100 yards up the road. He says he pulled over and started walked toward the light, but got spooked and drove away. "If I was a betting man, I would say it was something that's not of this earth." Click for the full story, which includes details of more strange encounters. (Another hot spot for UFO reports? Texas.)