Hollywood movies involving UFOs and aliens could have a direct effect on the number of real-life reports.
For years there have been noticeable increases in UFO sightings that coincide with the release of an alien/UFO themed movie. One notable example occurred in 1996 when the Ministry of Defence was inundated with six times the usual number of reports. Far from being a sign of an impending invasion however the spate of sightings coincided exactly with the release of the movie 'Independence Day' in cinemas, leading some to refer to the incident as the "Will Smith effect".
"Popular culture informs what we see in the sky, and then how we interpret it," said UFO expert Dr. David Clarke. "We’ve grown up with science fiction movies like ‘Independence Day’, and no one can divorce themselves from it. Not that people were seeing that one movie, and then going out to look for UFOs - It simply raised their awareness, and they became more likely to report things."
"Roland Emmerich’s alien-invasion spectacular ‘Independence Day’ was 1996’s summer blockbuster and it sent the world extraterrestrial mad."
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Source: Yahoo! News
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