UFO Cycle May Follow a 61 Month Format

A Revival of the 61-Month Wave Theory

by Donald A. Johnson, Ph.D.

P.O. Box 161

Kirkland, Washington 98033

The Knowles family CE-II encounter with an ovoid-shaped UFO on the

random picture not related to storyNullarbor Plateau in Western Australia January 20th was right on

target in terms of time and place, according to the 61-month wave

cycle first proposed by Dr. David Saunders back in 1971. At least

two other UFO encounters of major importance occurred that same

night in Australia and Tasmania.

If the indications are correct and this is not an isolated incident

but the beginnings of a major UFO wave, we will have to reconsider

the significance of this long-term prediction in terms of our

ability to predict and act upon the occurrence of this and future

UFO waves.

Dr. David Saunders first noticed the regularity in major American

UFO waves (1947, 1952, 1957 and 1967) in the early months of 1971

while working with the UFOCAT computer catalog at the University of


He determined that what distinguished these UFO waves from other,

possibly publicity-generated UFO waves, was the shape of their


These were waves of UFO reports in which the frequency of daily

reports began building slowly, built to a crescendo, and then

diminished rapidly. These negatively-skewed UFO waves occurred

with a periodicity of five years, or more accurately 61-months, with

an accuracy in peak prediction to within a day or so (1).

Furthermore, another characteristic of these five-year waves was the

progressively eastward movement of their loci of activity.

The first wave crested in July 1947 and occurred predominantly in

the Pacific and Mountain States. The 1952 wave reached its peak in

late August 1952 with the majority of reports coming from Midwestern


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Each successive wave appeared to move approximately 30 degrees east

in longitude.

The absence of a 1962 wave was accounted for by a search of South

American references which revealed a Brazilian and Argentinian UFO

wave in September, and the 1967 wave–which began on the Eastern

seaboard of the United States–actually crested in November of that

year in England.

Saunders was able to make his first prediction that a major UFO wave

would occur in the vicinity of 30 degrees East longitude and peak in

December 1972 over a year prior to its occurrence.

This prediction was borne out by the occurrence of a UFO wave in

South Africa in late November. However, most ufologists lost

interest in the theory when the predicted waves for 1977-78 and 1983

failed to materialize (so far as we can tell).

Both of these waves should have occurred in countries controlled

predominantly by governments unfriendly to the West.

Saunders continues to have faith in the theory and has offered a

consistent, convincing response to critics: that it is unfair to

judge the merits of the theory on what we may or may not hear about

from the Soviet Union.

According to calculations (see table below), the next great UFO wave

should occur between now and the beginning of March, centered at 120

degrees East longitude. The Nullarbor Plain is at approximately 127

degrees East longitude.

The wave should also unfold in the same characteristic manner as the

earlier waves, building slowly in intensity in the number of daily

reports and diminishing rapidly after reaching a peak.

Table 1

The 61-Month Wave Cycle and Corresponding UFO Waves

Predicted Actual Peak Predicted Actual

Date Date Longitude Location

July 1947 July 8, 1947 120o W Northwestern U.S.

Aug. 1952 Aug. 3, 1952 90o W Central & Eastern U.S.

Sep. 1957 Aug. 21, 1957 60o W Central & Eastern U.S.

Oct. 1962 Sep. 1962 30o W Brazil

Nov. 1967 Oct. 24, 1967 0o W Atlantic, England

Dec. 1972 Nov. 1972 30o E South Africa

Jan. 1978 ? 60o E ?

Feb. 1983 ? 90o E ?

Mar. 1988 Feb. 1988(?) 120o E Australia(?)

Apr. 1993 150o E Guam(?)

A corrollary to the Saunders’ spatio-temporal wave theory is that

physical evidence cases should occur at approximately the same time

world-wide; thus, if the Australian close encounters continue to

occur during the pre-dawn hours, we should expect U.S. CE-II cases

to occur in the evening hours between 4 and 10 p.m., since the

United States and Australia have a time difference of some 8 to 11


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We shall soon see if new evidence merits the revival of an old



(1) Saunders, D.R. (1976). A spatio-temporal invariant for major

UFO waves. In N. Dornbos (ed.), Proceedings of the 1976

CUFOS Conference. Evanston, IL: Center for UFO Studies.


Vangard Note

We received a call from a fellow working in GUAM…he had

a photocopy of the 61CYCLE article and had projected the

next UFO flap to occur in that region of the world.

So, there is now a worldmap (61CYCLE.GIF) showing all the

cycles from 1947 to what should follow for 1993 and 1998.

Note, the flaps are projected to occur every 5 years

(61 months) and at 30 degree longitude intervals as they

cross the globe. They are not exact.

The fellow who called wondered if any person or group

might wish to monitor this area to collect data in the

event this cycle can be predicted.