AUSTIN (KXAN) – Texas ranks fourth for most UFO sightings in the last two decades.

This could either be a draw for UFO tourism or a warning for people to stay away. Still, it shows there’s possibly still a belief out there in the unknown.

The U.S. government has taken more action to address airborne objects in the country’s airspace. This month, the U.S. military shot down four unidentified objects in a week.

“We’re calling them objects for a reason. I’m not able to categorize how they stay aloft,” Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command said.

During a media briefing, the defense office said there’s “no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns.”

5,862 sightings in Texas

A total of about 5,862 sightings in Texas have been reported to the National UFO Reporting Center from 1949 to 2022. The sightings range from disk-like shapes to mysterious lights in the sky.

Check out the graphic below to see how many UFO sightings have been reported in your city.

California has the highest count with 15,562 sightings, according to the National UFO Reporting Center. With 7,870 sightings, Florida comes in second, almost 50% less than California. Washington ranks third with 6,932 sightings.

UFO rebrand

UFO is defined as an unidentified flying object but more recently was renamed by U.S. officials to UAP, an unidentified aerial phenomenon.

The National UFO Reporting Center is a nonprofit that investigates data and reports of sightings. The data includes the date, area of sighting, shape and a description from people across the U.S. and around the world.

“The National UFO Reporting Center makes no claims as to the validity of the information in any of these reports. Obvious hoaxes have been omitted, however most reports have been posted exactly as received in the author’s own words,” the site said.

Though it’s not a government agency, the Federal Aviation Administration does send people to the NUFORC. “Persons wanting to report UFO/unexplained phenomena activity should contact a UFO/ unexplained phenomena reporting data collection center, such as the National UFO Reporting Center, etc,” the FAA website reads.

The Department of Defense is also keeping track of UAP sightings. By law, a classified report of sighting reports is sent to Congress each year. The first report in 2021 included 144 reported cases. Defense officials found no evidence the sightings indicate signs of extraterrestrial life.

Sighting reports are investigated by the recently created All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office. It was set up in 2022 by the Pentagon to analyze UAP sightings. UAP pose a safety risk to air traffic and people on the ground.