Tuesday, May 17, 2011


UFO reports and reporting UFOs

My best intentions at the beginning of 2011 were to add current UFO reports to our UFO survey database so that at the end of the year, we were stuck adding hundreds of cases during week-long marathons.

Well, I fell behind. Not only that, but Geoff and I divvied up the 2010 cases for adding and I'm way behind on my share too. Hmph. Life.

At least I can share some of the case info here so that you readers can get a sense of what we're receiving.

This is fairly important because there's a rumour that "Anonymous," the anti-Scientology action group, is targeting UFO buffs on May 21, 2011, with a mass Internet UFO hoax. They're supposedly asking everyone to report a UFO with a specific description and flood UFO reporting centres in order to make UFO believers nuts with gullible frenzy.

First of all, it's been done. Years ago, with predictable results.

Then CSICOP faked a UFO with lighted balloons in New Jersey a year or two ago. Also with predictable results.

My second point is that it's kind of odd that we know about this planned hoax in advance. Anonymous isn't known for releasing major details of its actions before their attacks. Also, this isn't typical of Anonymous, as far as I can tell. They sometimes do live, in-person events - that's the idea behind their Vendetta masks - like protesting Scientology centres and other physical sites. They most often hack websites and take down major organizations, forcing DoS. A mass UFO hoax seems too lame for them.

The other thing about attempts to fake UFO sightings so that UFO buffs can be made out to look really silly is that they have no bearing on actual UFO research and investigation.

Case in point: a real sighting report by a police officer that I've been working on for a few weeks. The UFO was seen on April 24, 2011, at 2:15 am, by two police officers parked in their patrol car in southern Manitoba, Canada. Only one of the officers was comfortable with filing an official report. The UFO was seen to fly overhead and was actually videoed as well. The police contacted aviation authorities who told them that there was no known aircraft in the area at the time.

Of course, the video simply shows a light moving in the sky, but its movement supports the visual observations by the police. What's interesting is that the officer did feel the object was both unusual and important enough to report it through the chains of command. (And eventually to me.) There is no question this is not a hoax, nor spurious, and furthermore is an observation by a reliable and capable witness.

The implication for UFO hoaxing projects is that we do get good-quality UFO reports and we investigate them as best we can. Filing a false UFO report or making up an observation story makes as much sense as telling people you've seen a black '92 Camaro driving on I-94. Such things really do exist and are observed by witnesses. What would be the point of pretending to have seen one too?
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