One unexpected side effect of the never ending coronavirus pandemic seems to be a marked increase in UFO sightings.

A quick search on the internet found stories on the Wall Street Journal and FOX News websites, along with a host of others.

According to published reports on the National UFO Reporting Center website reports are up by about 51%.

One explanation is that this is 2020 and you know the aliens are watching all of the chaos and confusion on our little planet floating in space. I mean, we're putting on a pretty interesting show and what else have they got to do?

A more likely explanation is that we humans have less to do so we have more time to gaze up at the skies.

Among the 5,000 (yes, five thousand) sightings reported so far this year a full 20% of them were from April. That conveniently coincides with the high point of the COVID-19 quarantine situation here in the United States. A time when people had more free time to spend outside and maybe notice things they wouldn't have seen otherwise.

Even the United States Government has upped the ante this year with the release of information and video recordings regarding earlier sightings.

Of course the new term for UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) is Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. UAP just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Deputy Defense Secretary, David Norquist, helped launch the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force just a month or so ago. This task force is designed to enhance the investigation effort already in place by the Office of Naval Intelligence.

And don't forget the Air Force's Project Blue Book. That study goes back decades.

Peter Davenport, the Director of the National UFO Reporting Center, says that while we may think this increased interest in UFOs might be exciting, to him it just means more work. Lately, he's been fielding between 25 and 50 calls every day.

Whether you believe in extraterrestrial life or not, whether you call them UFOs or UAPs, they're in the news in 2020.