Thursday, May 29, 2008


Working on the 2007 Canadian UFO Survey

Originally posted May 21, 2008 in my Notes

So, I'm about three months behind in working on the 2007 Canadian UFO Survey data. It takes a lot of time to enter the cases once they've been identified, and to mine the reports for useful data. (And, well, I'm a newlywed, with a few kids, so spare time is something that's at a premium these days.)

Nevertheless, I'm making some progress. I've managed to enter a few hundred cases into the database, and in doing so have identified some interesting cases that deserve some follow up. In fact, I was able to get contact info for one witness to a close encounter case and passed it along to a very capable investigator in that area of the country.

Much of what slows me down is trying to figure out what was seen simply from reading the available reports, most of which are online. Most witnesses report their sightings online to various organizations, and only a few of those groups (like MUFON) pass the info along to investigators. The result is that what we have available to work with are partial reports written by witnesses (although some seem to have had follow-up by webmasters) that fail to include things like dates, times, locations, duration.. even exactly what was seen!

Despite this, there is an enormous amount of data that can be harvested from the available data, including cases that are well-investigated and detailed. Having military and government UFO case information available to me really makes the annual Canadian UFO Survey a well-rounded and thorough analysis of what people really are seeing and reporting.

(I'll address the Brad Sparks issue of UFO data in a later note.)

Although it's too early to talk about results from the 2007 survey, a few things stand out so far in the data. First of all, there are a helluva lot of stars and meteors reported as UFOs. Case after case of witnesses watching "stationary starlike objects" for hours, convinced they were spacecraft. And many reports of "green fireballs" that are testament to the major astronomical event of March 11, 2007, but reported as UFOs. This alone will drag the percentage of unknowns down to single-digit levels.

Second, even in cases where the objects reported and described in detail are obviously stars, planets, bolides or airplanes, the number of witnesses who state things like: "there's no way this is a star" or "this must be a mother ship" are astounding. This is even moreso that in previous years, for some reason.

Third, the cases seem much more representative of a population distribution this year than in others. (Remember, though, that this is only a quarter of the data.) There are way more Ontario reports, percentage-wise, than I've seen before. I'm not sure what this means so far, but it's interesting.

We'll see what happens as I keep going through the data.

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