Training Information Series

The subject of this Training Information Series is facts about UFOs. Copies of this TI are periodically and routinely given to news media, law enforcement, airport control towers, etc. Discussed are the phenomenon, the categories, the kinds of physical evidence, the research, and how to report a UFO.

From time to time throughout history there have been reports of strange things seen in the sky. In 1946 a series of sightings occurred in Sweden. And in the summer of 1947 there were
thousands of sightings in a six week period, and at least 350 people found themselves first and second-hand witnesses to what may have been an actual crash of a UFO with occupants. Since 1947, reports of UFOs have become increasingly numerous in the U.S. and other parts of the world. These reports continue in much the same form today.

UFO sightings are reported to MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) at Seguin, TX, and CUFOS (J. Allen Center for UFO Studies) in Chicago, IL, by a broad spectrum of the public, particularly through local law enforcement agencies. UFOs themselves are reported by many highly responsible people, e.g. military and civilian pilots, air traffic controllers, scientists, etc.

The majority of present-day sightings prove to be misinterpretations of natural phenomena: meteors, planets, and stars, or man-made objects such as airplanes, balloons, and satellites. These are referred to as identified flying objects (IFOs). A smaller number of reports cannot be investigated properly due either to lack of pertinent details or the inaccessibility of witnesses. In any given set of UFO reports, however, there remains a residue of about 5-10% which are truly puzzling, not only to witnesses, but to technically trained investigators who study the reports.

While UFO reports differ in many details, there are also a number of similarities recurring in such features as shape, maneuverability, appearance and disappearance, sound and color. There are several basic observational categories into which the unidentifieds may be classified.

The number of sightings worldwide must be in the millions, but there are over 106,000 entries on the UFOCAT (UFO Catalog) computer database. And over three thousand sightings have been cataloged by Dr. Richard Haines, a leading expert on sightings from aircraft, in his "Selected Sightings From Aircraft", observations from over 40 countries. "A long history of UFOs pacing aircraft or rockets, circling them, and fleeing when pursued by military jets, suggests some form of intelligence and curiosity."

1. Nocturnal Lights (NL): These are sightings of lights in the night sky whose appearance and/or motions are not explainable in terms of conventional light sources. The lights appear most often as red, orange, or white. They form the largest group of UFO reports. Although unexplained, this group generally doesn't provide enough information for scientific study, but is still recorded on computer.

2. Daylight Discs (DD): Daytime sightings are generally of oval or disc-shaped metallic-appearing objects. They can appear high in the sky or close to the ground, and they are often reported to hover. They can seem to disappear in the distance with astounding speed.    Daylight sightings are much rarer than nighttime sightings. As mentioned earlier, one of the largest UFO waves in UFO history occurred in a six-week period in the summer of 1947. The wave ended abruptly due to the "balloon" explanation and subsequent ridicule of the Roswell object put forth by the Army Air Force at that time.

3. Sightings From Aircraft. Dr. Richard Haines has presented a summary of his extensive research into pilot-UFO-sighting reports. He now has a catalog of over 3,000 pilot reports. Sightings From Aircraft

4. Radar/Visuals (RV): There are literally hundreds of reports of radar contact with UFOs. Of special significance are unidentified "blips" on radar screens which coincide with and confirm simultaneous visual sightings by the same or other witnesses.

With the Sturrock Panel, Velasco presented information on radar cases drawn in part from the files of GEPAN/SEPRA. He pointed out that one catalog (the "Weinstein catalog" now under development at GEPAN/SEPRA), with 489 cases in all, contains 101 (21%) radar/visual cases (cases that involve both radar detection and visual observation), and the files of the US Air Force Blue Book project contain 363 cases of which 76 (21%) are radar/visual cases. Since 1945, reports of aeronautical cases have been collected by order of the French Air Force Chief of Staff. From 1977 on, information from civil and military observations made in French air-space have been sent to GEPAN/SEPRA.

1. Close Encounters of the First Kind (CE-1): Though the witness observes a UFO nearby, it does not appear to interact with either the witness or the environment.

2. Close Encounters of the Second Kind (CE-2): In these encounters there is a reported interaction between the UFO and the environment which may vary from interference to imprints or burns on the ground and physical effects on plants, animals, and humans. Of special interest is a group of such sightings involving vehicle interference. CUFOS published a report in 1981 with 441 cases. The report concluded: "Since an earthly origin for machines performing in this way for so many years can be ruled out, ET becomes the simplest and most direct hypothetical explanation."

3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (CE-3): In this category entities generally of a more-or-less humanlike appearance (now referred to as "humanoids") are reported in or closely associated with the UFO. There is no direct contact or communication with the witness.  In regard to this group, based on computer studies of worldwide, national, and regional data, CE-3's have been proven to be extremely rare occurrences. The UFO Filter Center can only vouch for national data from 1986-on for the United States, or from the beginning of the century for regional entries. Regional entries show that CE-3's represent less than 1.7% of the total regional database. The latest entry was for September 20, 1992, at Sullivan, Missouri.

Isolated encounters with humanoids with no apparent UFO or craft in the vicinity are referred to as "Humanoid Reports" and are not classified as CE-3's. An example would be of a humanoid seen in a field or near a road, such as reported in the early 1970's. Encounters with humanoids which interact with humans, such as bedroom visitations or attempted abductions, fall within the CE-4 classification below. Of particular interest is the relationship between CE-3's and the total CE group. Except for Close Encounters since 1985 all events prior to that period indicate simultaneous peaks.

4. Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind (CE-4): Let it be made clear that, prior to the massive press and media coverage of the 80's concerning UFO abductions, there were sightings of solid objects by qualified observers. There have been many reports, since 1980 and increasing in recent years, of incidents involving very close contact, involving temporary detainment of witnesses. These are usually referred to as UFO abductions. A better name might for an alleged abductee might be an "experiencer". Statistics and graphs on CE-4's are impossible to produce because reports are not filed expeditiously as other reports and date and time parameters are almost always unknown. Many are never filed at all because cases are on-going. These incidents appear to have begun early in the century and in many instances follow bloodlines through several generations.

Many believe that if abduction researchers followed the same guidelines as seasoned UFO researchers, the number of unexplained or actual incidents would be only a fraction of the reported total. Since 90% of the UFO sightings are actually "IFOs", honest evaluators might conclude that, in regard to "abductions", the experiencer is reporting what he or she believes actually happened but the causative factor may fall under other contexts with no relation to UFOs at all.

The best cases to ponder would be cases under investigation by qualified researchers and dealing with at least some conscious memory of an alleged abduction. Make no mistake about it. It is apparent that some or many of these incidents are for real.

The world view now varies between the "nuts and bolts" (ET), "earthlights", "plasmas", "time travelers", and "parallel universes". Since the alleged craft sometimes appear to "dematerialize" right in front of the witnesses, many think UFOs cannot be real physical objects. As amply put by Richard Hall in "Uninvited Guests": "Popular authors have exploited these themes, especially since the ETH (Extraterrestrial Hypothesis) has bogged down for lack of proof, but they remain essentially science fiction notions inaccessible to scientific verification".

After some sightings, indications of the presence of something most unusual have been found.
1. Physical traces. Compressed and dehydrated vegetation, broken tree branches, and imprints in the ground have all been reported. Sometimes a soil sample taken from an area where a UFO had been close to the ground will be determined by laboratory analysis to have undergone heating or other changes not present in the control sample. CUFOS has a computer file of over 5600 such cases, 4,104 cases involving actual UFO sightings. Trace Cases

2. E-M Effects. Includes vehicle interference cases. With E-M (Electro-Magnetic) cases, the UFO appears to cause a number of effects on automobile ignition systems. CUFOS has a computer catalog of over 500 such cases. Within Dr. Haines catalog of over 3,000 pilot reports, approximately 6% involve transient electromagnetic effects allegedly associated with the presence of strange objects. Haines has compiled a catalog of 185 such EM events.  E-M Effects

3. Physiological effects. Medical verification of burns, eye inflammation or temporary blindness, or other physiological effects attributed to encounters with UFOs, even healings of previous conditions, can also constitute evidence, especially when no other obvious cause for the effect can be found by the medical examiner.

4. Radarscope photos. A series of photographs of a radar screen on which a "blip" of a UFO appears is a powerful adjunct to a visual sighting because it provides quantitative evidence of the UFO's motions and velocity. Radar Cases

5. Photographs and videos. While it might seem that photographs would constitute the best evidence for UFOs, this has not been the case. Hoaxes are common but can usually be exposed quite easily, but even those photos which pass the test of microscopic analysis and/or computer enhancement often show no more than an object of unknown nature and frequently out of focus. For proper analysis of a photo it is necessary that the original negative be available and the photographer, witnesses, and circumstances under which the photograph was taken be known. Polaroid photos are more difficult, but not impossible to fake.

Of special interest is the influx of relatively good videos of UFOs. If properly used, a camcorder is almost fully automatic, eliminating most of the problems found in photos and drastically increasing the number of "frames" per study.

The persistence of the UFO phenomenon and its worldwide occurrence have led to a growing number of scientists to involve themselves in UFO research. The attitude of scientific community is slowly changing.

If you yourself should see a UFO, first try to get as many other witnesses as possible and take a photograph (or better yet, a video of the object. Take careful note of its appearance, its motion, the time and duration of the sighting (a camcorder mode will give you a time/date) and the directions involved. Caution: A video viewer will temporarily blind at night, so aim the device quickly and try to pan as well as watch. Avoid zooming! Put objects of reference in the background wherever possible.

If you misplace the hotline number to report your sighting, you can call local law enforcement or the nearest airport control tower. The following are the UFO hotline numbers:

National UFO Reporting Center: (206) 722-3000
MUFON: (800) 836-2166

The major UFO organizations are: 1) Mutual UFO Network, Inc., 103 Oldtowne Rd., Seguin, TX  78155; 2) Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, 2457 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL  60659; 3) Fund for UFO Research, PO Box 277, Mount Ranier, MD  20712.