In stumbling across an announcement in The Oklahoman from January 1934 that apprised the populace of the sky-advertising antics of stunt pilot Roy Hunt, I wondered if similar situations couldn't be responsible for "strange sightings". After all, the article began: "Should mamma and papa wonder about strange lights in the sky or the white smoke that makes an insignia, it is the automobile industry advertising."
This is what is often missed when scanning historical accounts electronically or solely for keywords. It's important to view history in context and not myopically. Often when reading archived news, strange and relevant tangents can be observed by reading other articles around them or by reading through the papers before and after a certain event.
Moreover, research is work - but it is work that pays off. If you belong to a paranormal investigation team that doesn't have a researcher or historian, then I urge you to round your group out. Nothing exists in a vacuum.
I owe a great deal of my writing and investigating to the obscure treasures my personal historian digs up for me. She has a nose for news, honed over decades of librarianship and a masters in library science. Nevertheless, you needn't one to simply do some quality historical investigating.
Make sure you take use of county and state records offices, public libraries, genealogical and historical archives; university libraries and reputable online resources. If you really sink your teeth into the deeds, death certificates, land grants, census records, etc., you would be amazed at how many haunting myths you can lay to rest.
As well, records exist in myriad forms to better elucidate the truth behind UFO sightings. When you do research for a specific write-up, don't rely solely on the reporter who wrote the story. Check out the information yourself. Verify. Read around through the newspapers and journals to see what else was happening around that same time frame. Again, the results can often surprise you.
Research is an oft-neglected tool in the arsenal of paranormal investigators. However, it can make all the difference and set you and yours apart from the pack. If you are not familiar with the process, librarians and educators are often very willing to show you the ropes.