Not long ago, the publication Business Insider ranked Portland, Maine, one of the 14 top places to visit in 2014 — conspicuously finishing ahead of outer space, which finished as a somewhat tongue-in-cheek honorable mention.
Well, if some newly released maps by the nonprofit alien investigation group MUFON (Mutual Unidentified Flying Object Network) are any indication, beings from outer space are taking Business Insider’s advice seriously and checking Maine out.
As reported Wednesday afternoon by the Washington Post, MUFON has named Maine one of the top three states in the country for UFO sightings, as determined by sightings per 100,000 people. There were 3.87 UFO sightings per 100,000 people in Maine in 2013 — or 51 such sightings overall. That’s just a hair behind the 4.05 sightings per 100,000 people reported in Nevada — which is home to the air base known as Area 51, ground zero for almost all UFO conspiracy theories that involve the U.S. military — and the 4.02 figure for Vermont.
If you’re one of the Mainers who hasn’t seen a UFO and you’re curious what, specifically, your neighbors are reporting, the next map shows what shapes are being seen over the Maine skies:
Why is Maine such a UFO hotspot? Well, for a long time, the now-closed Loring Air Force Base in Limestone — not unlike its fellow base in Nevada — was a source of sightings (click here for a little more on that).
And then, of course, there was the episode a decade or more ago in which UFO conspiracy theorists declared that the long vacant Worumbo Mill in Lisbon Falls was being used by the military as the new storage site for alien bodies and/or technology previously warehoused at Area 51. The fringe Counter Evidence Research Consortium claimed aircraft was filled with suspicious cargo at Area 51 and tracked all the way to Brunswick Naval Air Station (which, like Loring, is also now closed), and then taken by a convoy of military vehicles to Worumbo.
Although the local residents of Lisbon Falls reported nothing extraordinary at the time that would make them believe ETs were being held at the deteriorating mill, they were happy to humor questions about it, and visitors (human ones) could even for a while buy alien-themed merchandise in the corner store across the street from the hulking concrete building.