Study of UFOs could advance our science
We need equipment designed for observation of UFOs

Commenced by Ken Wear 8-12-07

Let us learn what we can from UFOs. Granting that some of the claimed sightings may have substance, we should undertake to learn what we can from the presence of an unidentified object and from the observer of the object.

It is pointless to argue the cause or source of sightings. It has been 60 years since the debris was discovered at Roswell, NM. Had aliens been in the crash and survived, we should by now be the beneficiaries of what advanced science they possessed. But it appears our science has continued along its path without significant acceleration. Since no artifacts are known that indicate the presence of life forms, we may conclude, if it was indeed a spacecraft in trouble crashing there, it was a drone. Even without survivors, our scientists should have been beneficiaries of the opportunities to examine the products of a science far advanced from ours. But we have seen no significant metallurgical improvements nor other advances in our science resulting from such opportunities. We could, of course, conclude that instruments and other observational tools aboard the remnants of the craft were so advanced they have defied our scientific efforts at probing and understanding (or even detection).

Let us not cling to possibilities for government suppression of evidence of an alien craft. Let us, instead, seek to learn what we can from the observers of reported sightings. There have been many thousands of reports under a variety of conditions, some at night with blazing lights. If we could acquire spectrographic analyses of lights from otherwise unidentified objects, that would be a tremendous assistance in either furthering our scientific knowledge or dispelling fanciful interpretations of sightings.

My recollection is that at one time there were many hundreds of local clubs that undertook to watch the skies for possible sightings. Many clubs remain, as a survey of the Web will attest. Whether they have a sincere interest in advancing science, or whether they comprise a cult dedicated to pseudo-science or to fanciful yearnings, I cannot know.

UFO clubs do represent a potential market for spectrographic instruments, both optical, X-ray and microwave. Manufacturers of such equipment should be encouraged to design and offer equipments, both simple and sophisticated, to allow clubs to undertake scientific observations of any suspected UFO sightings. I feel availability of such equipment would encourage devotees to seek scientific justification for their observational efforts. (Can't you feel the thrill of pointing a spectrograph at a sighting and recording information of tremendous scientific value.) (And, manufacturers, can't you recognize the profits to be earned by offering such equipment.)

I am convinced other civilizations of intelligent beings have developed in our galaxy. Whether any are our contemporaries we cannot know, and thus far SETI has not confirmed their emanations. Considering that travel between civilizations would require travel time spans measured in human lifetimes, I am confident they can have no more than scientific curiosity in our progress. (Yes, I realize the movie '2001' showed humans kept in refrigerated compartments so they could emerge young and vigorous when visiting an inhabited planet. But reflect, if you will, who -- other than perhaps criminals -- would wish to return to their home civilization after the passage of several generations, there to greet strangers operating in a further-advanced culture.) Since the velocity of light presents an impenetrable barrier, we should have no fear of contacts.

I have long felt a need to explore the possibilities UFO observation present. I would be delighted to be in touch with advocates and devotees of UFO observation and science, as well as manufacturers of observational equipment. I would gladly assist in devising equipment and/or seeking clubs with a sincere interest in advancing knowledge that can result from using that equipment. You may click here for an e-mail form.

My knowledge of limitations of various spectrographic devices is abysmal. Of first concern is spectral characteristics of potential photographic film and/or electronic detectors. Armed with that information, we may inquire how best to incorporate our detector into a usable field device, and finally how to control the device and train operators in its use. A market of unknown size awaits an opportunity to invest. We need not inquire how to present findings of UFO observation to an interested public since there is a tremendous appetite for reliable information.

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Let me add my personal observation of a UFO. Some years ago in Rochester, NY, about 1967, several of us were standing outside our church after Sunday services, about 12:30, when we looked up and saw a cylindrical something slowly tumbling end over end (several seconds per half cycle) far overhead. We had no means of guessing distance and hence size, but it was, as I recall, silver in color. We could not make out any details; there were no obvious projections, windows or markings that we could discern at that distance. We merely stared in silence.