# Rand Study Finds Inconsistencies Between UAP Reports and Domestic US Military Installations

#### Duke

##### Senior Member.
Our statistical models predicted two outcomes of interest: the total number of UAPs over time and the total number of UAPs in clusters that accounted for a significantly higher number of reports relative to the rest of the country. Both of these models found inconsistent
results in the relationship between the nearest military installations and self-reports of UAP sightings. For example, there was a higher likelihood of UAP reports in areas that were within 60.1 km to 120 km of a Marine Corps installation, as compared with 30.1 km to 60 km, but there was some evidence that reports were less likely in areas within 30 km of these same installations.
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https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA2475-1.html

Note: A link to the actual 60+ page study (PDF format) is embedded in the URL cited above.

Compelling but I wonder if the explanation is due to being in closer proximity you may be able to identify the flying object as opposed to being further away from it therefore not being able to distinguish it from a military craft for example. I can only assume.

Compelling but I wonder if the explanation is due to being in closer proximity you may be able to identify the flying object as opposed to being further away from it therefore not being able to distinguish it from a military craft for example. I can only assume.
or for civilians they just assume the military is doing something?

there was a higher likelihood of UAP reports in areas that were within 60.1 km to 120 km of a Marine Corps installation, as compared with 30.1 km to 60 km, but there was some evidence that reports were less likely in areas within 30 km of these same installations.
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Erm, that's not a "but"?
And is <30km "less" than the 30-60km (and therefore the "least" of the three) or only less than just 60-120km, but more than 30-60km?

If the progression is 30km < 30-60km < 60-120km, then that encourages the "LIZ" phenomenon. The less sure you can be, because you're further away, the more likely you are to report something that simply can't be identified because nobody can be sure at that distance.

From the report:

I couldn't find any indication that the index is scaled by area. A 30-60km ring is 3 times the size as the area inside the 30km ring. And the 60-120km ring is 3 times the size of both combined.

The index really ought to be scaled by population density as well: if large cities are usually found at 60-120 miles from a Marine Corps installation, that'd skew things.

Lastly, they're collecting so many numbers in this report that some being unusual is to be expected.

The main argument of the authors seems to be that military activity generates UFO reports (see e.g. the Las Vegas flare sightings). People near a base are more likely to assign lights in the sky to military operations, while people farther away wouldn't; and if you move even farther away, there wouldn't be many military operations visible there.

• Government authorities should conduct outreach with civilians located near military operations areas. Many civilians may not be aware that they are located near areas where military operations occur. If the results of the analysis are correct — that is, if being located within 30 km of military operations areas is significantly associated with reports of UAPs, and if some of these reported objects are authorized aircraft — then communicating that such activities are being conducted nearby could reduce the likelihood that the public will report these aircraft as UAPs.
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The authors of the report wrote an opinion article that goes with it where they expanded on their thoughts on the issue a bit more.

Article:
We analyzed 101,151 reports of aerial phenomena made between 1998 and 2022 from 12,783 U.S. Census Bureau designated places. The data came from the National UFO Reporting Center, a non-government entity that the FAA references in official documents for where to report unexplained phenomena. (We make no endorsement of this dataset, nor any individual reports logged within it.)

Using these data, we looked for predictors — such as distance to military installations, military operations areas or weather stations — for what had been reported.

Being within about 20 miles of a military operations area was consistently associated with higher rates of public UAP reports. These areas are where various military flight activities occur, like training for air combat maneuvers, intercepts and low altitude tactics. But they are not necessarily located near military installations.

For example, there are military operations areas above Jamaica, Vermont; Storm Lake, Iowa; and off the coast of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. We suspect that many people don’t realize that they are living, working or traveling around these vast and often remote operations areas — nor are they aware when various military exercises are taking place.

UAPs were significantly less likely to be reported in areas near weather stations, or near midsize or large civilian airports. Our hypothesis is that people in these places were more aware of the aerial activity nearby, so less likely conclude what they’d seen overhead was a UAP/UFO.

If the U.S. wants its citizens to keep their eyes on the skies, but also reduce such false alarms, outreach to civilians who live and work near military operations areas might work in the short term.

In the longer-term, however, the U.S. needs a robust system to collect public reports of unidentified aerial phenomena. Such a system could leverage mobile devices, GPS and artificial intelligence to collect a rich set of data that would include images, audio recordings and descriptions.

Taken together, these steps may reduce the likelihood of hoaxes and misidentifications and help ensure that the government is focused on immediate threats — like surveillance aircraft from China or terrorist attacks via drones — as well as the prospect of visitors from beyond Earth.

The main argument of the authors seems to be that military activity generates UFO reports (see e.g. the Las Vegas flare sightings). People near a base are more likely to assign lights in the sky to military operations, while people farther away wouldn't; and if you move even farther away, there wouldn't be many military operations visible there.
I think it's simpler than that. People who work/live on or near military bases, particularly bases with military air traffic, tend to look up to identify aircraft they see/hear. On a number of occasions over the years I've remarked how people walking across/near air bases remind me of a group of meerkats as they seemingly look up in unison at aircraft.

I think that if you look for patterns in random data you will find patterns in random data. Has anyone correlated the pattern of UAP Reports to the location of hosptials? churches? golf courses? gay-bars?

I'm sure if we wanted to find a pattern we could.

I think that if you look for patterns in random data you will find patterns in random data. Has anyone correlated the pattern of UAP Reports to the location of hosptials? churches? golf courses? gay-bars?

I'm sure if we wanted to find a pattern we could.
And I'm sure if you'd pay Rand to do a study of correlations between UFO reports and gay bars, they'd be happy to accommodate you.

Has anyone correlated the pattern of UAP Reports to the location of hosptials? churches? golf courses? gay-bars?
UFO reports correlate strongly with population density... where there are more people, you get more reports. It seems likely that where you get more people, you also get more hospitals, churches, etc.

UFO reports correlate strongly with population density... where there are more people, you get more reports. It seems likely that where you get more people, you also get more hospitals, churches, etc.
Actually, the Rand report states that there are more UFO reports in rural areas.

Actually, the Rand report states that there are more UFO reports in rural areas.

Which is by total coincidence where you'd take any flights that do not necessarily require any fixed location (training, experimental and so on) so as to disturb as few people as possible.

My flight trainer stubbornly wouldn't let me train above densely populated areas, just to throw a personal anecdote in.

Actually, the Rand report states that there are more UFO reports in rural areas.

Odd. Maps of UFO reports tend to look like this:

The US population map looks like this:

Odd. Maps of UFO reports tend to look like this:

The US population map looks like this:
Divide the top one by the bottom one, please, then we can evaluate the data.

If an area is 50 times as densely populated, but has 20 times the UFO sightings, it would look brighter on both maps, looking like the correlation you state, but would represent fewer reports per person, which is @Mendel's/RAND's correlation.

If an area is 50 times as densely populated, but has 20 times the UFO sightings, it would look brighter on both maps, looking like the correlation you state, but would represent fewer reports per person, which is @Mendel's/RAND's correlation.
He said UFO reports. He didn't say reports per capita.

He said UFO reports. He didn't say reports per capita.
The report says this:

He said UFO reports. He didn't say reports per capita.
They're, and therefore we're, talking about rates, and reports are made by people, so report rates will always be per capita, implicitly. Mendel could have been more pedantically precise, but the context was clear as it had previously been established. Presuming he was saying a dumb thing should have made you go "perhaps *I'm* missing something".

Many years ago, I remember reading a demographic breakdown of those reporting UFO sightings....age, gender, education, marital status, income, etc. We're talking late 60s/early 70s, I think it may have been an article in an issue of "Look" or "Life" magazine. I don't remember any specifics or findings.

Where the raw data used in that article came from I don't recall, and in today's privacy conscious society I doubt you'd get too many people willing to disclose that level of personal information. Still, it would be interesting to compare such demographics from 50+ years ago to today.

Also, I'm reminded ufologists claim only 1 in 10 UFO sightings are reported. I wonder if that percentage, if accurate, has changed over the years?

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They're, and therefore we're, talking about rates, and reports are made by people, so report rates will always be per capita, implicitly. Mendel could have been more pedantically precise, but the context was clear as it had previously been established. Presuming he was saying a dumb thing should have made you go "perhaps *I'm* missing something".
The thing to do when there's ambiguity is to go to the source, which I should've quoted to begin with; my apologies.

The point stands that the incidence of UFO reports deviates somewhat systematically from simple population density, as per the Rand report.

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