What is this book about ?
Who is investigating reports of UFO sightings?
In 1992, several professors at MIT, the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, held a conference at the university on one aspect of the UFO phenomenon, the alien abduction experience. The organization committee was co-chaired by David Pritchard, Doctor of Physics, who has been teaching physics at MIT since 1970, and is a recipient of the American Physical Society’s 1991 Broida Award for his work on ultra-precise mass spectrometry, and by John Mack, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School. Of the 54 speakers present, 20 had PhDs, and 5 were MDs. In France, England, Italy, Scandinavia, and in many other countries, there are research groups that include highly reputable researchers.
How many UFO sightings have there been?
The total is so large that it can only be determined by applying the statistical study methods described in this book. In all, it is estimated that there have been some 500,000 sightings, involving every country on the planet—from the most developed to the most primitive.
How many sightings have been investigated?
Approximately one case in every four, which amounts to over 100,000. Many of these inquiries have been made by private groups but, in France, some have been conducted by the Gendarmerie (a public security and defense force with a military statute that reports to the French Ministry of Defense), and others by a special agency of the French Army. In the United States and in Sweden, some inquiries have been completed by the armed forces and the police. Although these official inquiries represent only a small fraction of all sightings, they still amount to several thousands.
What conclusion can we draw from these inquiries?
Many different aspects of the phenomena have been clarified. The likelihood of a UFO sighting varies according to place and time. The consequences for abductees of their alleged abductions, the physical aspects, psychological effects, and many other elements, are remarkably consistent worldwide. These consistencies are evident over a span of more than a century, in developed continents as different as Europe or the United States; or in developing areas such as Northeastern Brazil, or New Guinea.
Despite the number and accuracy of some of the inquiries, the magnitude of the resources implemented, the spotting of some consistencies, the talent and expertise of some doctorate-level scientists, no explanation of this phenomenon has obtained a consensus, until now.
What methods can be used to shed new light on this phenomenon?
The proposed assumption is that cases capable of shedding new light on these sightings are very rare: if they were not, the qualified scientists who have been studying this issue for years would have found the key to it a long time ago. The first idea is therefore to utilize the huge inventory of existing investigations, rather than to add new ones: rare cases that could reveal something new are more likely to be found among the 100,000 known sightings than among the 100 new cases.
The second idea is to group available data together by subject, rather than by geographical origin, or by partial similarities. Most of the time, UFO sightings and alleged abductions are complex occurrences. The method applied in this book consists of breaking down each report and focusing solely upon elements related to a specific subject, and of analyzing that subject in light of a set of data spanning several continents and several dozen years.
The third idea is to utilize knowledge derived from sometimes quite dissimilar fields. If this UFO phenomenon is difficult to understand, it may be because we lack the necessary intellectual tools. Throughout the history of human knowledge, it was often the case that the tools needed to understand a given subject were in fact available in another field. In scientific terms, the general structure of the universe, on a scale of billions of light years, can be determined by applying particle physics on a scale of a billionth MM. The only way to understand the earth’s climates and glacial periods is to study the deformations in the earth’s orbit caused by astronomical influences, etc.
How can we find out which fields will be most helpful in improving our understanding of UFOs? The “X” cause of the UFO phenomenon has certain characteristics that we can identify by studying certain specific subjects. Other fields in which these same elements are a factor may supply the needed tools.