I thought it would be worthwhile inviting members of ATS with expertise in any area which is potentially relevant to UFO research (which, in my
experience, extends to virtually any area of expertise) to volunteer to answer questions within their area(s) of expertise. This thread can then act
as a form of registry of such volunteers and their indication of their areas of expertise (whether as a result of their profession or hobbies).
This thread is inspired by the old lists of consultants to MUFON and BUFORA (discussed further below), and – significantly - another
thread here on ATS entitled “The UFO-Alien Applied Linguistics Registry” started and
maintained by Scramjet76
(which I’ve found useful to find someone prepared to do a bit of translating of foreign UFO material when
Babelfish’s automated translations were sadly insufficient).
One of the fascinating features of researching “UFO” reports is the wide range of areas of knowledge that can become relevant.
After reading over 1,000 books relating to UFOs/aliens and quite a few governments documents etc, I would not like to guess how many different fields
of expertise have been touched upon within that material (many of which could have been explored in greater detail...).
Some of the areas of knowledge/expertise that are potentially relevant are pretty obvious. For example:
Seeking to examine common alternative explanations of UFO sightings can involve delving into meteorology, astronomy, aviation history and countless
Eye-witness testimony gives rise to all sorts of issues regarding perception and memory, which calls upon scientific knowledge ranging from various
areas of psychology to optics.
Expertise in Computer Generated Imagery and video compositing is useful when considering the latest “UFO” video that has popped up on Youtube.
Several of the physical sciences (e.g. chemistry, physics) are clearly relevant when considering claims that a UFO left behind physical evidence which
remains available for testing.
Considering the mass of UFO reports which have been collated into UFO databases following countless man-hours of work would be greatly assisted by a
solid grounding in mathematics (particularly statistical analysis).
Other areas of expertise arise less frequently and can be fairly surprising. For example, one project I’ve been working on during the lack few
weeks has involved dipping into areas as diverse as fetal abnormalities, the X-Files and various fields of veterinary medicine.
Obviously, no single person can look into all these areas properly without assistance.
Several of the largest UFO groups (e.g. MUFON and BUFORA) have, at various periods in their past, sought to assist UFO researchers/investigator by
publishing lists of individuals that are prepared to assist by acting as consultants within various fields of expertise.
See, for example, the list of consultants on an old webpage created by MUFON at the link below.
That list included consultants in the following fields:
Oral Medicine, Dentistry
Rather than creating such a registry it would, of course, be possible to simply start a thread on a relevant question and simply hope that individuals
with the necessary expertise spot that thread and notice that their expertise may be relevant to a particular issue in that thread. In my experience,
relying upon that hope is an imperfect solution. Given the large volume of threads here on ATS, few people can read more than a small fraction of
them. It is often necessary to either seek out relevant information or pose relevant questions to someone with the relevant expertise (if you can
find someone that will not simply ignore a request since it relates to the nutty subject of UFOs). A request made by U2U to someone that has
volunteered to help may prove more fruitful.
By the way, I was concerned that starting this thread might be contrary to the ATS rules about data mining by seeking personal information about
members. I’ve been in touch with Springer by U2U and he gave the green light for this thread and suggested that I mention that he has "authorized"
the thread to avoid any confusion by the staff who may not have seen the discussion about it earlier in the Staff Forum.
As ScramJet76 stated in his Linguistics Registry thread, “Anyways, if you would like to put your name on the list, maybe we can put this internet
thing to (continued) good use!”
All the best,
edit on 2-2-2011 by IsaacKoi because: (no reason given)