Twenty-nine years ago, on Nov. 12, KLAS aired a story that set off a UFO stampede. It was about a former government scientist named Bob Lazar who claimed to have worked on a secret program in the Nevada desert to analyze recovered alien technology.

Ever since then, Las Vegas has been a UFO town. Locals keep tabs on UFO news and developments, and there have been plenty of both in the last year.

Now, there is statistical evidence that proves southern Nevada’s fascination with unknown aerial objects is real.

What are these things, floating around in daylight skies over Las Vegas? The images were recorded a few years ago by a local man who continues to see them, everything from what look like stationary plastic bags to a tandem of dark spheres that danced around each other, to three-orbed contraptions that seem to change shapes and move against the wind.

“They started making aerial maneuvers, and then a dead stop, and then start up again, like they were searching for… They were like ants,” said “Bob” who doesn’t want his real name used.

He has collected dozens of photos and videos of the objects he’s spotted near his central Las Vegas home. But he’s never filed a formal report with the two civilian groups which collect such information, nor did he contact government agencies which say they are not interested.

“Something very intriguing is going on. We’ve been told 50 years by the government there’s nothing to this, but people are still seeing them,” said Cheryl Costa.

Systems analyst Cheryl Costa and her wife, a fellow data cruncher, decided to take some of the guess work out of UFO numbers. The consensus for years has been that 90 percent of UFO sightings are probably misidentifications of explainable objects such as planes or planets. And that at least 90 percent of people who see one never report at all.

Costa thinks it’s closer to 1 in 4,000 UFO sightings that are ever reported, which means there are a heck of a lot of things being seen in the skies, including Nevada.

“From 2001 to 2017, 139,876 reported sightings, Nevada ranked number 25, up from the rank of 26 in 2015. Nevada has 1,855 sightings in the 17-year period. Clark County ranks number six out of over 3,000 counties in the United States. It’s in the top 10 and had 1,019.”

The Costa’s created a massive UFO desk reference which breaks down UFO sightings by state and county, but also by time of day, and by shapes of the objects that were seen, not just circles or lights or triangles in the sky, but also more exotic types, including shape shifters like the ones recorded over Las Vegas.

“Three shapes, and they are on a steep increase, egg shaped, tear-drop shaped, and Saturn shaped. There’s been a change in technology with whoever is flying these things in our air space,” Costa said.

The state and county rankings in the desk reference do not account for population, just raw sighting numbers. So, California is far and away number one overall. Nevada’s sparse population and wide-open spaces mean that whatever is flying around in the desert is less likely to be seen. Nonetheless, residents of Las Vegas are holding up their end, and then some.

“The city of Las Vegas blew my socks off, especially when you look at a state that is ranked only number 25,” Costa said. ” Las Vegas itself is the number two city in the country for UFO sightings. Number one is Phoenix.”

Costa makes no guesses about who is flying these craft or where they’re from. One Nevadan who tried to tackle those questions is former Nevada Senator Harry Reid, who quietly initiated a Pentagon program to secretly study UFO cases, including some now famous videos released a year ago, though the case files have not been made public.

“George, I think these studies are so loaded with information. We learned a lot. One thing we learned is that over the decades, a lot of things happen that there’s no explanation for,” Senator Harry Reid said.

Not yet anyway.