Published: 6:50 PM 1/3/2016
Merseyside Police have handled 13 reports of UFO sightings since 2013...
By Hugo Gye for MailOnline
Liverpool has been revealed as the UFO hotspot of Britain after it emerged that more mysterious sightings are reported to police in Merseyside than anywhere else.
The whole of the North-West of England seems to be replete with unexplained activity - with Greater Manchester and Cheshire also reporting a strikingly high number of UFO encounters.
The findings contradict the usual cliché that remote areas such as moors and forest are more likely to be the venue for UFO sightings than heavily built-up areas.
Data compiled by MailOnline showed that dozens of calls regarding unidentified flying objects are received by police forces across the UK every year.
Merseyside Police has handled more UFO reports than any other force, with a total of 13 calls on the subject between the start of 2013 and this year.
Among the reports were something 'hovering in the sky with red and green lights' in Kirkby, an 'object flying in the sky with lots of red, green, pink and purple lights on it' in central Liverpool, and 'a strange green light behind bushes in a field' in the Wirral.
Next in the UFO league table was Greater Manchester, where 10 apparent sightings were reported to the local police force.
One woman living in Rochdale told officers she had seen three UFOs flying together - and was forced to attend A&E because she was worried she would faint with shock.
The third most popular destination for UFOs is Essex - police there have received eight calls reporting mysterious lights in the sky since 2013.
Other areas where several UFO sightings have been reported to the authorities include Hertfordshire, Nottinghamshire, Kent and the Thames Valley.
In Lackenby, North Yorkshire, a couple told police in February this year that they had seen a total of six silver-coloured UFOs hovering in the atmosphere.
Two UFOs have been seen above Brighton in separate incidents - one which interfered with radio signals in the town, and another shaped like a rugby ball flying out to sea.
A number of police forces, including those covering London, Scotland and Northern Ireland, were unable to provide data on local UFO sightings.
It is not believed that any of the calls were followed up by a police investigation, with the majority of cases being closed immediately or written off as a hoax.
BRITISH UFO HOTSPOTS REVEALED
Merseyside – 13 sightings
Greater Manchester – 10
Essex – 8
Hertfordshire – 5
Thames Valley – 5
Kent – 4
Nottinghamshire – 4
West Mercia – 3
West Midlands – 3
West Yorkshire – 3
Cheshire – 2
Cleveland – 2
Dyfed Powys – 2
Gloucestershire – 2
The Ministry of Defence kept a centralised database of all supposed paranormal activity until 2009, since when there has not been a unified record of sightings.
Nick Pope, who used to investigate UFOs for the MoD, told MailOnline that cities tend to see more sightings than 'remote rural areas', contrary to many people's assumptions.
'In compiling UFO statistics one needs to factor in population density,' he said. 'If there's something strange in the skies, there are more potential witnesses in built-up areas.
'There's a clichéd view of sightings happening in remote rural areas, but most of the real "UFO hotspots" are London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds and other large cities and conurbations.'
He added: 'It's notoriously difficult trying to compile UFO statistics. One problem is that there's no central database, so while some people report sightings to the police, others contact their local newspaper, or a civilian UFO research organisation. The axing of the MoD's UFO project exacerbated this problem.
'The current variation in figures may be significant, but it may simply reflect the fact that some police forces take sightings more seriously than others.'
Mr Pope also suggested that 'one thing we know for sure is that reported UFOs are only the tip of the iceberg' - claiming that most witnesses never tell the authorities what they have seen in case they are 'disbelieved or ridiculed'.