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States Most Obsessed With Aliens & UFOs

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

Mark Strotman  | 7 mins

States Most Obsessed With Aliens & UFOs

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Bet you never thought you’d care so much about balloons in the sky, huh? National news was made over the last two weeks when a Chinese spy balloon drifted across the United States before being shot down over the coast of Carolina. Three additional “unidentified objects” were also shot down in an eight-day span. It was such a crazy news cycle it even briefly threatened to pull us away from our betting apps ahead of the Super Bowl.

It’s unknown at this point what those objects were, and Gen. Glen VanHerck, head of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, said he hadn’t “ruled out anything” when asked about extraterrestrials being the cause of the objects. That, of course, set social media ablaze with rumors of aliens and UFOs—and Google Trends has been seeing the same thing.

Which states, specifically, are most frantically Googling for more information on these balloons (or should we say, these life forms?!?). We went to work to find out which states have been searching for aliens, UFOs, and extraterrestrial life the most over the last two weeks. 

To calculate, we utilized Google Trends data from Feb. 4 (the date the Chinese spy balloon was shot down off the Carolina coast) through to Feb. 14. We looked at search queries by state for specific terms (UFO, Aliens, Extraterrestrial Life) and then for each of the states we ranked the volume of those searches per capita averaged across those categories. More searches per person equaled more interest and a higher ranking in our study.

Here’s what we found:

States Most Obsessed With Aliens & UFOs 1

The Spy Balloon’s Path Is A Good Indicator of Activity

The alleged Chinese spy balloon was spotted in Alaska, Montana, Missouri, and South Carolina. So it’s fitting that Alaska (1st) and Montana (2nd) were looking up these terms more than any other states. If there's a potential Alien spaceship over your house, you're gonna wanna know more about it.

Perhaps the allure had worn off by the time the balloon made its way East, with Missouri (22nd) and South Carolina (45th) not caring as much about what was patrolling their sky.

One of the other objects was shot down over Lake Huron, so Michigan ranking 3rd among states is also no surprise. Two others were shot down in Alaska (1st) and Montana (2nd). Surrounding states of the latter—North Dakota, 4th; Idaho, 9th—also took interest in what was occurring across the state border.

Area 51 Is Always A Hot Topic

There were no UFOs shot down anywhere close to New Mexico, but Area 51 is always going to bring up search topics. As such, New Mexico ranked 8th on this Google Trends list despite the inactivity around these objects in the state. 

Unsurprisingly, New Mexico ranked atop the search list for the term “UFO” each year from 2016 to 2022. Then again, the fact that it was only 8th over this timespan shows you how much people around the country were really searching from the day the balloon "appeared".

No Worries On The Island

If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you know how chill the locals are. And apparently they aren’t all too worried about aliens coming down to the island. 

They ranked last in each of the three categories—and perhaps it makes sense because Hawaii is nearly 2,500 miles from the mainland. 

Other notables on the low end were New York (48th) where Men in Black was filmed, South Carolina (45th) where the Chinese spy balloon was eventually shot down, and Washington D.C. (42nd), so apparently the White House and other government agencies aren’t using Google to get their information. That’s probably a good thing.


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About the Author

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com
Mark Strotman
Mark is a veteran sports betting journalist who has covered the Bulls and the NBA since 2012. His work has appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune and Yahoo Sports. He regularly provides NBA betting picks, as well as in-depth sportsbook reviews and the latest promo codes for all the major sports gambling operators, including Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and more.
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