A new organization has assembled to scientifically study UFOs.

The U.S. government officially studied UFOs for decades. And, although some of these investigations concluded that a small number of UFOs are potentially of extraterrestrial origin and merit further study, the official UFO studies were terminated in 1970. Some involved with these government studies were frustrated by the overt bias and lack of scientific inquiry by many of the members assigned to these UFO projects.

Contrary to popular belief, there are many scientists–mainstream scientists–who acknowledge that the UFO phenomenon needs to be studied scientifically. More credible, peer-reviewable data regarding UFOs is needed. So a new international group comprised of scientists and engineers is planning to do just that.

UFO Detection and TrAcking (UFODATA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization seeking to create “a systematic, rigorous science of UFO phenomena.” The group thinks there is a need for this science because of “misplaced certainties on both sides of the UFO debate: ‘believers’ convinced that UFOs are extraterrestrials, and ‘skeptics’ equally convinced that UFOs do not even exist.”


(Credit: Massimo Teodorani/UFODATA)

UFODATA has worked for more than two years on a plan to build a “large network of automated surveillance stations with sophisticated sensors that will monitor the skies 24/7 looking for aerial anomalies.” Having tested technology and established a plan of attack, the group is now working on its proof of concept–a working prototype of a surveillance station. The group describes,

This station will have a core optical unit with cameras capable of detecting and recording both an image and spectra, a magnetic sensing unit, instrumentation to detect microwave and other radiation, and other sensors to record atmospheric and local environmental data.

This sounds fantastic, but also expensive. Each monitoring station will cost an estimated $10-20,000 each. So how does UFODATA plan to fund its research?

Scientific studies usually rely on grants for funding. But UFODATA understands that securing grants for a stigmatized subject like UFOs is unlikely. So the organization is appealing to the public for support. The website describes, “Our strategy will be to rely on crowd-funding, small donations from the thousands – even millions – of you out there who, like us, think that UFOs deserve serious scientific scrutiny.”

Leslie Kean, journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go On the Record, is on the organization’s board of directors. She explains, “UFODATA has no interest in alleged government conspiracies or adding more witness reports or FOIA documents to the thousands already on file.” She continues, “The idea here is that only a complete change of methodology toward a purely scientific approach to the UFO issue will enable us to move forward.”

Leslie Kean

Leslie Kean

A scientific, unbiased approach to UFOs is an effort about which Kean is passionate. “This is a unique moment for something radically different, with the potential to unite all of us in a pivotal, larger goal,” she says in an October 14 Huffington Post blog post. She continues, “We now have the opportunity to elevate UFO investigations so that they become part of the larger scientific search for extraterrestrial life and will eventually be recognized as such by the world community.”

In addition to funding, UFODATA needs volunteers. If you are interested in helping this ambitious UFO research effort, either through volunteering your time, or by making a tax-deductible contribution, all of the information is on the organization’s newly launched website at UFODATA.net.

About the Author

Jason McClellan is an author, podcaster, TV personality, veteran UFO researcher & journalist, bourbon enthusiast, ska and punk devotee, vegan, and animal lover. You might have seen him on NatGeo, Syfy, History, or at conferences talking about UFOs.

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