An Introduction To (those pesky) UFOs and A Few Reading Tips

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posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 03:52 PM
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Diving in and exploring the subject of UFOs{1} is a bit like skydiving out of a plane without a parachute into the middle of the Pacific. To start it is probably best to skim through the following quick overview "The State of Ufology,"{2} accompanied by the author's adjoining essay a "Brief Proof of UFOs."{3} Then I would strongly recommend reading Leslie Kean's 2002 introductory research paper titled "Science and the Failure to Investigate Unidentified Aerial Phenomena."{4} For visual learners, an excellent video synopsis can be seen in the documentary "A Brief History of UFOs."{5}

Following that a good scientifically oriented book on the matter is Dr. J. Allen Hynek's "The Hynek UFO Report."{6} Other compelling documents that lend an air of seriousness to the subject include the French GEIPAN CNES "Cometa Report,"{7} the 1976 NSA routing slip describing the Tehran UFO incident,{8} and Leslie Kean's 2010 monograph "UFOs: Generals, Pilots, And Government Officials Go On the Record."{9}

A thoughtful reading of these texts should provide enough of an overview to give a sense of the gravity of the subject. While there are many fascinating well researched cases beyond the ones outlined in the texts above.{10}{11}{12} It's important at some point that people see the forest through the trees and develop some sense of the bigger picture narrative.{13}{14} Getting to this point is a bit of a challenge however, as it requires a working knowledge of the chronology of major UFO events and a grasp of the history of government sponsored investigations. Lacking this insight it is difficult to comprehend the enormity of the problem and the amount of research that's gone into searching for answers. Thankfully the learning process can be somewhat short circuited with a good reading list.{15}

Historically the subject of UFOs started to gain steam in the late 1940's under the direction of United States Air Force (USAF) Project Grudge director Captain Edward Ruppelt. Once Ruppelt had finished his commission he authored a book titled "The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects." Following Ruppelt's lead were Capt. Hardin, Capt. Gregory, Maj. Friend, and last in the 60's Maj. Quintanilla. Upon retiring Major Hector Quintanilla authored an incomplete manuscript titled, "UFOs an Air Force Dilemma."

Throughout these appointments astronomer Dr. J. Allen Hynek, later the chairman of astronomy at Northwestern University, served as the chief scientific consultant, starting as a junior scientist during the heydays of USAF Project Sign (1947), receiving tenure through Grudge (1949-1951), and persisting right to the end of Project Blue Book (1969). Over the twenty years of the three studies, Dr. Hynek analyzed and sought to identify some 15,000 individual reports.{16}{17} To better categorize and triage the data outside specialists were occasionally contacted to help with the identification of bizarre unknown aerial phenomena.

One such case which required additional assistance was the recurring late 1940's green fireball sightings.{18} The perplexing nature of the incidents compelled scientists Dr. Anthony Mirarchi and meteoriticist Dr. Lincoln LaPaz to consider the possibility that something hitherto unknown was interacting with Earth's atmosphere. LaPaz went so far as to say, "This is a record ... I'm sure the yellow-green fireballs aren't ordinary meteorite falls. I've been observing the skies since 1914, and I've never seen any meteoritic fireballs like them." Another academic who took an interest was senior atmospheric physicist, James E. McDonald, of the University of Arizona.

Dr. McDonald's entrance onto the scene was viewed by many as the start of the golden age of UFO research. His accomplishments were prodigious. In McDonald's early years, during WWII, he served in the US Navy working in a cryptographic unit in the Pacific area. Later in 1951 he earned his PhD in physics and meteorology and rose quickly in his field. McDonald's rise was so quick in fact, that after only three short years into his postdoctoral research, the University of Chicago sent him to establish the new Institute of Atmospheric Physics on the campus of the University of Arizona at Tucson.

As the institute's co-director McDonald shouldered many of the initial research and administrative duties. Despite the many responsibilities the position demanded of him. McDonald still somehow found time to investigate many of the highest profile UFO cases of the 50's and 60's, including the famous 1957 RB-47 radar-visual incident.{19} Dr. McDonald took the subject to be so serious, that in 1959 he even traveled as far as Australia to investigate Reverend William Gill's mass parish sighting.{20}{21}

The combined findings from the several years of field studies were convincing enough that Dr. McDonald began to make inquiries with the Air Force. Later through his Office of Naval Research (ONR) contact, McDonald was directed to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where he held several face-to-face meetings with Dr. Hynek and Blue Book Director Maj. Quintantilla. These meetings ultimately set in motion events that would later culminate with Dr. McDonald spearheading the 1968 congressional symposium on UFOs before the U.S. Committee on Science and Astronautics. Dr. McDonald's ideas eventually even reached the United Nations, where Secretary-General U Thant was particularly, but unofficially, very interested in UFOs. An excellent scholarly overview of Dr. McDonald's life and research can be found in Ann Druffel's 2003 book "Firestorm, Dr. James E. McDonald's Fight For UFO Science."{22}

From this point on, unfortunately, the history of UFO events starts to branch out rapidly. Other notables who have written on the matter include Drs. Carl Sagan, Carl Jung, Clyde Tombaugh, Thornton Page, Edward Condon, Donald Menzel, Peter Sturrock,{23} Lincoln LaPaz, John Mack,{24} Joachim Kuettner,{25} Bernard Haisch,{26} David Saunders,{27} and David Jacobs. A more comprehensive reading list can be found online at the following URLs.{28}{29}{30}

=== Notes/Refs ===

{1}. A useful definition can be found online here: www.abovetopsecret.com...
{2}. www.abovetopsecret.com...
{3}. www.abovetopsecret.com...
Note: Regular ATS posters who typically contribute interesting UFO material include: ArMaP, Chadwickus, easynow, Gazrok, internos, IsaacKoi, jkrog08, Kandinsky, karl12, Xtraeme, Skyfloating, Frank Warren, jritzmann, JimOberg, and nablator. The original list was found at www.hyper.net...
{4}. 2002 - Science and the Failure to Investigate Unidentified Aerial Phenomena - Leslie Kean ( originally found at: www.freedomofinfo.org... ) An archived copy is available at: ufos.homestead.com... and wiki.razing.net...
{5}. www.abovetopsecret.com... . Also consider watching UFOTV's "The Secret History" -- www.abovetopsecret.com...
{6}. www.amazon.com...
{7}. en.wikipedia.org...
{8}. www.nsa.gov...
{9}. www.amazon.com...
edit on 6-10-2012 by FooScience because: word choice




posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 03:53 PM
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{10}. "Best UFO cases - Experts' short lists" -- www.abovetopsecret.com...
{11}. "Top 100 UFO Cases - Revealed!" -- www.abovetopsecret.com...
{12}. "ATS Veteran UFO Threads" -- www.abovetopsecret.com... (note: much of the information for these readmes came from this post -- highly recommended!)
{13}. There appears to be a strong correlation between bizarre "UFO" sightings, military bases, and nuclear facilities. cf. Hynek's 'Night Siege', Salas's 'Faded Giant', and Hastings 'UFOs and Nukes' . Also see Colonel Meiwald's testimony.
{14}. The following brief ToE offers an interesting take on things, and appears to have quite a bit of syncretistic explanative power.
{15}. www.abovetopsecret.com... and the STR library
{16}. www.bluebookarchive.org...
{17}. www.footnote.com... ( more information can be found at: www.abovetopsecret.com... )
{18}. en.wikipedia.org...
{19}. cf. Clark 1998, The UFO Encyclopedia, pp.761-790, Brad Sparks' 1998 RB-47 Analysis. www.amazon.com... . Additional information can be found by googling for: 1998 brad sparks actual RB-47 flight path
{20}. "Father William Gill about his encounter with UFO" -- www.youtube.com...
{21}. "A case in Papua New Guinea, 1959" -- ufologie.patrickgross.org...
{22}. www.amazon.com...
{23}. Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 179-229,1998. www.scientificexploration.org...
{24}. www.jstor.org...
{25}. www.nicap.org...
{26}. www.ufoskeptic.org...
{27}. books.google.com...
{28}. www.hyper.net...
{29}. www.abovetopsecret.com...
{30}. www.cufos.org...


E-Reader Software



For *.lit files you'll need Microsoft's Reader:
www.microsoft.com...

To read *.djvu files requires an application like WinDjView:
windjview.sourceforge.net...

Viewing *.cbr files is possible with many image viewing packages including the widely popular Irfanview. A good multi-platform CBR viewer that runs on Linux, Mac OS X, and Window is Comical:
comical.sourceforge.net...

On the PC the all-round best CBR viewer is ComicRack:
comicrack.cyolito.com...

For *.epub files it is recommended to use Adobe Digital Editions,
www.adobe.com...

In the event an *.epub file won't load try LexCycle's Stanza,
www.lexcycle.com...

The *.mobi format is ideally suited for mobile devices,
www.mobipocket.com...

For a PC environment the *.mobi files can be viewed using Kindle for the PC,
www.amazon.com...=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000426311

Most people will already have *.pdf support, but if Acrobat is not installed the setup files can be downloaded from Adobe's website at:
get.adobe.com...

In the event a PDF displays, "There was an error processing a page. There was a problem reading this document." Try using Foxit Reader:
www.foxitsoftware.com...

For images ending with the *.jpg, *.gif and *.png extension use IrfanView:
www.irfanview.com...



Research Tips



Trying to wrap one's head around all the information currently available is, to put it mildly, difficult. The best way to search your personal digital library is to install Google Desktop or to use the built-in Window's Indexing Service. For a quick overview of how this can be setup see the following URL: www.techrepublic.com...
edit on 6-10-2012 by FooScience because: grammar



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 03:53 PM
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Second, I highly recommend using web-plugins like Zotero and Scrapbook. Both addons are excellent for day-to-day use to help chronologize the growing corpus of UFO related material. A good example of a well-structured research library can be found in: 'Xt's UFO Scrapbook - A case repository from 3000 BC to present' or the improved 2012 update.

Last, courtesy of Mr. Koi, PDF-XChange Viewer can be used to search an entire directory full of PDF documents (or, indeed, containing sub-directories full of different collections of PDF documents). For example, if you were to search a directory entitled 'Essays, Newspapers, Mags, Reports, and Journals' that contains sub-directories for journals published by NICAP, MUFON and APRO. Depending on what you wish to do, it is possible to search one of the sub-directories or all of them using one simple and fast search in PDF-XChange Viewer. www.tracker-software.com...



Reading Tips



As most people are aware, the subject of UFOs, unfortunately, tends to attract individuals who are often less than scrupulous. As a defense against this when reading up on UFOs, or any speculative subject, it's worthwhile to skim over the comments on amazon.com, books.google.com, forums like randi.org, realityuncovered.net, and abovetopsecret.com to get a sampling of opinions and miscellaneous facts to help contextualize the data.

It is important to note though that this shouldn't be the end-all and be-all of deciding whether or not a book or article has any merit. Each author and every reader is going to have a bias. Having a dismissive attitude gets us nowhere quick. A good strategy is to scan through a book noting the "who, when, and where." Checking the specifics should give some sense of whether the author is meticulous with his research or playing fast and loose with the details. Speculation and conjecture are fine. What's not acceptable however is when an author attempts to present their beliefs as though it were fact when there's nothing to support it. Any author who relies on anonymous sources, refuses to identify themselves, and provides no paper trail to verify their claims should be treated suspiciously. Careful attention to detail helps rout out huxsters and conmen.

A caveat is needed though, because UFO `experiencers' do have a legitimate reason to be somewhat cautious identifying themselves. Who wants to tell a friend or coworker, let alone the public at large, that they saw something that most of us would believe to be little more than fantasy? This type of "crazy talk" is often reason enough to break out the straight-jacket, followed with a quick trip to the funny farm. So a degree of sensitivity is necessary to feel out in which instances a person is trying to protect themselves, their family, and their livelihood; versus those who would perpetrate a hoax for money, fame, or simply to watch people fall over themselves trying to prove their position.



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 03:54 PM
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As with the last thread. I am hoping people will critique the above write-up and offer feedback on:

1. Whether they feel the material provides a sufficient introductory level overview of the UFO topic.

2. Whether the content is accurate and reasonably complete.

3. Whether there are other useful software packages that aren't listed. Or if I should include other research tips -- perhaps describing various bibliographies and assorted textual databases?

4. Whether the pacing could be improved.

and,

5. Whether an introduction to UFOs should include other topics not explored in the OP.



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by FooScience
 


FooScience, sterling job on this thread mate and some great research advice (and ATS threads) listed.


For other specific UFO cases like the Tehran incident, Colares incident, Coyne incident, Edwards AFB incident etc.. there's also Jkrog's chronological directory which does a good job of separating the wheat from the chaff and contains quite a number of unexplained and compelling UFO incidents:




Alright, one thing I have noticed missing from the UFO forum is a total compilation, in chronological order of ALL of the better and more thoroughly covered UFO/Alien cases and related threads on ATS, pretty much a directory to help members find important threads amongst the vastness of ATS.


Thread


Cheers.



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 07:15 PM
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Excellent thread Foo....
Superbly put together with great sourcing and links. Though I've read most already I'll still take a stroll through all the presented info. Great resource thread....



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 07:36 PM
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reply to post by karl 12
 



For other specific UFO cases like the Tehran incident, Colares incident, Coyne incident, Edwards AFB incident etc.. there's also Jkrog's chronological directory which does a good job of separating the wheat from the chaff and contains quite a number of unexplained and compelling UFO incidents:


Hmm, I like it. Good idea! Near the end I will work in a modification to highlight a few of the better online chronologies.

I know of:

1. UFOdna's "UFO Report Chronology" ... thecid.com...

2. NICAP's "The UFO Chronologies" ... www.nicap.org...

3. UFO Casebook - UFO Case Files - Database ... www.ufocasebook.com...

4. Ovnis et soucoupes volantes au travers des âges ... www.anakinovni.org...

5. UFO Folklore, V 4, I 36 "A Century of UFOs" by Joseph Trainor ... www.artgomperz.com...

6. Isaac Koi's "UFO History" ... www.isaackoi.com...
and
the "1877-2006" PDF chronology ... www.ufoinfo.com...

7. Peter's "UFO Timeline" ... www.scribd.com...

8. Cherie J. Gierak's "The UFO Compendium" ... home.inreach.com...

9. Wikipedia's "List of alleged UFO sightings" ... en.wikipedia.org...

and, of course, the superb,

10. "Jkrog's New and Revised Chronological UFO Thread Directory 2012" ... www.abovetopsecret.com...

Are there any others you know of that I should include?

Thank you kindly Karl.

Shalom,
FS
edit on 6-10-2012 by FooScience because: fixing link



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by FooScience
 


Great read! I clicked through a couple of the links and I see you have four different reading lists: {15}, {28}, {29}, and {30}. Is there one in particular you feel stands out over the others? I don't have a ton of spare time, but I do try to read a UFO book every now and again. And my nightstand could use a new book or three.
Thanks.



posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 10:40 PM
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reply to post by FooScience
 


Hola FooScience -some mighty fine links there mate and NICAP's 'Chronologies' section is a fascinating read - also glad to see Patrick Gross's Ufologie' website included as it's one of my faves.


You've already provided a lot of great research material for people new to the subject but if I had to add any there's a lot of interesting USO cases listed at Carl Feindt's WaterUFO website and Gary Heseltine has also done a great job collating Police UFO reports on his PRUFOS website - there's also some technical reports at NARCAP website which are well worth a read but the site appears to be off line.


USO:

WaterUFO.net
USO Research


Police:

PRUFOS
PoliceUFO.com

Shalom!



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 09:55 AM
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reply to post by FooScience
 


Its took a lot of time and dedication to compile this, thank you.

I also love your avatar



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by TheMalefactor
reply to post by FooScience
 


Great read! I clicked through a couple of the links and I see you have four different reading lists: {15}, {28}, {29}, and {30}. Is there one in particular you feel stands out over the others? I don't have a ton of spare time, but I do try to read a UFO book every now and again. And my nightstand could use a new book or three.
Thanks.


It's hard to say what books are the best per se. I usually try to break up books by function. The reading lists you call out in citations {15},{28},{29}, and {30} are thematically organized by and share in common the following characteristics,

{15} deals with freely available resources
{28} showcases journals, periodicals, and dissertations
{29} outlines 36 scientifically oriented case specific UFO books
{30} highlights 18 books recommended for libraries (general purpose major references)

I hope that helps you to decide.

Shalom friend.
edit on 7-10-2012 by FooScience because: adding block quote for context



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 12:38 PM
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reply to post by karl 12
 



Hola FooScience -some mighty fine links there mate and NICAP's 'Chronologies' section is a fascinating read - also glad to see Patrick Gross's Ufologie' website included as it's one of my faves.


Ufologie.net is easily one of the most comprehensive UFO websites around. The only problem I have, is ever since Mr. Gross changed domains, many of the links are now broken. For instance, clicking "10000 cases" on the sidebar spits out a 404. I've tried navigating the waybackmachine, but many of the images are missing. I wish someone had backed up the website somewhere. It would have been nice to be able to include that link in the chronology list.


You've already provided a lot of great research material for people new to the subject but if I had to add any there's a lot of interesting USO cases listed at Carl Feindt's WaterUFO website


USOs are a huge topic. At some later point I may post a brief essay I've written on how UFOs relates to "Earth Science and Zoology." I think USOs are best left for that article.



Gary Heseltine has also done a great job collating Police UFO reports on his PRUFOS website


Hm. Do you think police reports of UFOs are better situated under politics, social science, and intelligence? Or do you think it belongs in the general overview? I'll have to think on that.


there's also some technical reports at NARCAP website which are well worth a read but the site appears to be off line.


I hope it is just a temporary technical problem. Is anyone blogging about what happened? I would hate to see a serious research organization like NARCAP go under. Someone really needs to create a website to archive all of these resources.

Shalom friend.
edit on 7-10-2012 by FooScience because: terseness



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 12:57 PM
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reply to post by Toxicsurf
 



Originally posted by Toxicsurf
Excellent thread Foo....
Superbly put together with great sourcing and links. Though I've read most already I'll still take a stroll through all the presented info. Great resource thread....


reply to post by Sinny
 



Originally posted by Sinny
reply to post by FooScience
 


Its took a lot of time and dedication to compile this, thank you.

I also love your avatar


 


Thank you both for the nice comments. It was a bit time consuming collating all of the information, but hopefully it proves useful to someone who is just starting to wade into the topic. I know I wish I had something like this when I first started researching UFOs!

Which leads me to a question. When you first started investigating the chaos that is the UFO subject. What resources did you find to be the most useful? Were they web articles? Books? Video documentaries? Personal testimony from friends? Did you go to a meeting? I am curious what inspired people to dig deeper and helped to organize your thoughts early on.

Thank you both again.

Shalom!
edit on 7-10-2012 by FooScience because: punctuation



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 01:31 PM
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Sorry if you've already got this stuff mentioned but I skimmed through and didn't see it.

I like the UFO documentaries;
Confirmation: The Hard Evidence of Aliens Among Us? with Robert Davi
UFO's Lies and The Cold War
Out of the Blue - The Definitive Investigation of the UFO Phenomenon
Unsolved Mysteries : UFO 26 Episode Collection
They are entertaining and some parts spooky.

Also www.theblackvault.com...
FOI documents collected by a dude over many years.

The truth is out there. haha
edit on 7-10-2012 by JimTSpock because: spelling



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:12 PM
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reply to post by JimTSpock
 


I should probably include more video resources. A couple of the ATS threads I link to cover the better known documentaries like Out of the Blue and the Disclosure Project recordings. Are there any threads on ATS that provide a comprehensive listing of videos?

Thank you for commenting!

Shalom.



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:21 PM
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Great thread.

I'd also recommend asking friends and family about any experiences they might have, then putting a small ad in the local paper for info regarding ufos (past or present) from your own neck of the woods. You'll be amazed. Follow up any leads, find out what they think about their sighting/experience now compared to when they had it.

Then just read any ufo book you can get your hands on. I prefer the narrative / interview/ horses mouth stuff and can't be bothered with all those complicated military jargon things. They read like the yellow pages. So boring.



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 02:46 PM
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reply to post by FooScience
 



As most people are aware, the subject of UFOs, unfortunately, tends to attract individuals who are often less than scrupulous.


Sadly true.

One gentleman whom I have found to be scrupulous is Michael Swords. His approach is courteous, thoughtful and critically-minded. He's somehow eluded the attention of UFO populists despite contributing a steady stream of thought-provoking and intelligent articles.

Some examples...

Could Extraterrestrials be Expected to Breathe Our Air?

Clyde Tombaugh, Mars and UFOs

Ufology: What Have we Learned?

UFOs and Government

He runs a blog that continues to be a breath of fresh air in this field...The Biggest Study. One series of posts discussed Father Gill, Bill Nash and the Hills in From Bill to Gill to Hills.

He also posted a series of articles about Close Encounters of the Second Kind that anyone would find fascinating...experts or amateurs. He makes ufology accessible without any messing about.

Mike's post about Bill Nash also reminds of the superb work of Saturday Night Uforia. Post after post is guaranteed to entertain and intrigue. Their Index is a good place to start.

Jerry Cohen is another quiet ufologist who's been plugging away for decades and his site hides a lot of great information that we don't see anywhere else. His recent article, Rendlesham Forest - another perspective has somehow been overlooked amidst all the standard chitter-chatter. If Columbo ever got his teeth into a UFO incident...this would be his report.



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 05:25 PM
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Originally posted by FooScience

Ufologie.net is easily one of the most comprehensive UFO websites around. The only problem I have, is ever since Mr. Gross changed domains, many of the links are now broken. For instance, clicking "10000 cases" on the sidebar spits out a 404. I've tried navigating the waybackmachine, but many of the images are missing. I wish someone had backed up the website somewhere. It would have been nice to be able to include that link in the chronology list.


FooScience, I think Xtraeme might be able to help you there matey.


post




Originally posted by FooScience

Hm. Do you think police reports of UFOs are better situated under politics, social science, and intelligence? Or do you think it belongs in the general overview? I'll have to think on that.


Don't know about that - general overview maybe?

One things for sure there's plenty of them and many involve multiple police officers all reporting the same thing (sometimes from separate locations) - I don't know if you've read it but there's also a relevant article here which raises some interesting points about the police UFO witness and the 'credibility and reliability' of officers highly trained and experienced in reporting what they see. This 1975 FBI briefing document from Dr J Allen Hynek also states 'experience definitely shows that the best reports, those with the greatest information content, come from technically trained, professional people, especially law enforcement personnel.”




Originally posted by FooScience

I hope it is just a temporary technical problem. Is anyone blogging about what happened? I would hate to see a serious research organization like NARCAP go under. Someone really needs to create a website to archive all of these resources.


Couldn't agree more my friend - NARCAP is a great site and have asked Ted Roe about it over on this thread.




Originally posted by FooScience

Are there any threads on ATS that provide a comprehensive listing of videos?


Mcrom's done a great job on this one - some of the links are down but have been reposted by other ATS members further on in the thread.

Free Documentaries

Cheers/Shalom.



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 03:28 PM
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Originally posted by karl 12

there's also some technical reports at NARCAP website which are well worth a read but the site appears to be off line.


NARCAP back on line.

Technical Reports



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:42 PM
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Some great UFO links to books on this thread also:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Good thread by the way
edit on 8-10-2012 by Zcustosmorum because: (no reason given)





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