As you can see on this site, I photograph a fantastic variety of mysterious orbs indoors and outdoors, both using a regular camera and a full-spectrum camera. These are almost all orbs that I do not notice with my eyes, and only notice when I see them in photographs. But there is another type of anomalous orb that seems to be appearing more and more often: what we may call the plainly visible orb. A plainly visible orb is one that an observer reports that he or she could see in the sky with his unaided eyes.
According to the current front page of the National UFO Reporting Center, we seem to be seeing a rise in the appearance of these plainly visible orbs. The center reports the following:
Although our Center has received reports of clusters of “fireballs” for at least the past 17 years, the number of such reports suddenly increased, beginning sometime during May 2012. We have no idea why this apparent change in the nature of reports, and if so-called “Chinese” lanterns can be ruled out, which we believe is typically the case, we then have no idea what the objects are.
The reference to Chinese lanterns is a reference to a goofy skeptic explanation for visible orbs – that they are flying Chinese lanterns. I have long lived in an area that has very many Chinese people, and I have never heard of nor seen anyone use such a thing. Banned by many places because they are fire hazards, such lanterns are very rarely used outside of special festivals (where they are sometimes released in large numbers).
The Center then gives some example reports of these orbs or fireballs, including one in which “hundreds, or perhaps tens of thousands, of people were witness to a large cluster of yellow lights.” The Center reports the following:
The reports of the “fireballs” suddenly increased in number, and dramatically so, in May 2012. In fact, they have been so numerous that they now constitute the majority of the reports submitted to our Center, during most calendar months. We estimate that over the last three years, we have posted approximately 12,000 such reports! Despite the large number of the reports we have collected, we have yet to arrive at a conclusion as to what the objects are.
The Center then gives some additional reports of sightings of these plainly visible orbs. In one 2013 report a former astronaut, his wife and his daughter reported seeing six red orbs moving at high speeds. In another 2013 report, a retired police officer reported seeing 150 orange orbs. The page also gives two sightings from this year, one of which included photographs.
You can use this link to see a scrollable list of more than 6000 reports of UFOs that were spherical. You can use this link to see a scrollable list of more than 9000 reports of UFOs that were described as circular or balls.
Orb shapes dominate UFO sightings
But despite all these sightings (more than 12,000 in the past three years, continuing full blast right up to the present), a recent opinion piece on a major site claimed that one of the reasons UFO's don't exist is that nobody sees them any more. The piece is a reminder of the fact that there are many skeptics who just make things up when they don't have the facts on their side.
You can use this link to see exact monthly totals for how many UFO sightings have been reported to the Center. The link shows no noticeable decline in the number of sightings over the past 10 years. In fact, this site says the trend of reported sightings “has been growing at a pretty steady rate of about 350 additional reports each year.”