UFOs are a pretty hot topic right now, what with the US government recently delivering a report to Congress about UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena), and kind of/sort of telling us what they know about them.

With credible people like Navy pilots, air traffic controllers, police, and firefighters weighing in about what they've seen, the discussion has become a lot more mainstream.

Maybe all this new attention is making more people comfortable with reporting what they've seen, rather than keeping it to themselves because they're afraid of the "tinfoil hat" label that has been hung on so many others in the past.

I did some digging to find out what I could about the numbers of UFO/UAP reported sightings in Illinois over the last couple of years, and some of what I've found involves Rockford and the Rockford area.

UFO (unidentified flying object) beaming up a cow, illustration.
Getty Images

One piece I came across was an article from 2019 at KHQA.com, where they quoted the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) as saying that at that point in the year (June) MUFON had received 72 reported sightings of UFOs. MUFON says they could explain many of those sightings, but that at least 8 of them were classified as "unidentifiable" or "unknown."

Getty Images
Getty Images

As for 2020, it seems we had plenty of time to sky-watch during the pandemic lockdowns, and that's what we did. The National UFO Reporting Center State Report Index For Illinois (NUFORC) has over 170 reports from 2020, and 7 of them are from Rockford and surrounding areas:

  • Rockford, March 6th, 2020: "They were in the Northwest sky traveling from West south west to north by North East in single file." It turned out to be Starlink satellites.
  • Rockford, March 21st, 2020: "The lights were coming from the west moving east slightly south." Again, it was Starlink satellites.
  • Rockford, March 30th, 2020: "15 white, bubble-shaped objects moving together in arc-shaped formation + few more on the side." This one is unknown.
  • Rockford, April 8th, 2020: "2 identically shaped objects with multiple bright lights in night sky. There was a center light with lighted spokes on both." This one is unknown as well.
  • Leaf River, April 19th: "Saw 7-9 very dim lights moving SW-NE very fast in line , no flashing lights like a plane." This one is presumed to be another sighting of Starlink satellites.
  • Sycamore, August 5th, 2020: "I was driving home from my sisters around 11:30pm at night Wednesday, Aug 5th 2020. About a mile from home I noticed a bright object in the sky over the cornfields off to my right. It seemed strange to me immediately, and I pulled to the side of the road to look at it. The object seemed to be made entirely of light. It was so bright and twinkly, I couldn't clearly see the perimeter, but it was oblong/oval/tic tic-tac shaped, and at least 20 or more times larger than the a bright star or planet." This one is unknown.
  • And finally, Belvidere, August 29th, 2020: "I was driving and saw a circular dark disk-like aircraft with multiple lights on the underside. It was flying low and looked like it was making a landing in an open field. I drove past before I could see it land." Yet another unknown.

You can read about more Illinois sightings by clicking here.

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