Research Question: Do UFO Sightings happen more frequently in a certain time of a year? (A certain time can refer to a particular date, month or season.)
Hypothesis: UFO Sightings happen more frequently in a specific time period of a year.
I first examined the original UFO Sightings map. I noticed that information including the event name, time, location,
description and number of close encounters is available for a total of 100 sightings. However, 37 sightings' time data
is only precise to the year level while the remaining is precise to the month or date level. This means that my hypothesis can be examined
on the basis of months and seasons.
For the 63 sightings with month data, I labeled each one with the month they took place in and changed the marker icon accordingly.
Number 1 - 10 represents months January to October, Letter N represents November and Letter D represents December.
The visual representation shows that November and December seem to more UFO sightings than other months.
I plot a histogram chart to better display the number of sightings each month.
The histogram shows that January has the most sightings, followed by December, November and June. This confirms my hypothesis
(on a fairly shallow basis since Google Fusion Table doesn't enable confidence intervals and alike) that UFO sightings do appear more frequently in certain months of a year.
Next I follow the same process to examine whether UFO sightings appear more frequently in a certain season(s). For the same 63 sightings with month data,
I labeled each one with the season they took place in and changed the marker icon accordingly. Letter S is the symbol for spring, U for Summer, F for Fall and W for Winter.
No particular months seem to have significantly more appearances than others in the map. Therefore, I plotted a histogram again.
The histogram above shows that Spring has the least sightings while the other three seasons beat it by 4 - 6 more sightings.
This is also consistent with our previous finding since the top three most frequent months - June, November and December - each is grouped into Summer, Fall and Winter.
This again confirms my hypothesis that UFO sightings appear more frequently in certain seasons than others.
As a follow up, I would want to apply statistical methods to examine whether the difference between the occurences each month and season is significant.
I would also want to explore why Spring, for example, has the least UFO sightings. I may look into each season's weather conditions, nearby airport activities,
astronomical acitivities (like metero busts) to look for an explanation.