If you believe that the curtain is drawn and tightly closed on the fact that Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) are real and in the here and now, take note.

There’s a new science team on the scene, just launched to acquire data on UFOs that may prove useful to science.

The group is called “UFODATA” standing for UFO Detection And TrAcking – a moniker that is based on building a network of automated surveillance stations with high-tech sensors for gathering scientific data on UFO phenomena.

The aim is to move toward a scientific solution to the UFO problem by implementing an effort to gather systematic instrumented observations.

Anomalous aerial phenomena

UFODATA stations would measure anything unusual that comes within their range. While detecting anomalous aerial phenomena is top priority, the stations are sure to record already known but rare natural events, such as ball lightning.



The main project goal is to directly record physical data – photos, videos, magnetometer readings, electromagnetic radiation, etc. – about unexplained aerial phenomena “in a more comprehensive manner than has ever been done before,” the website adds.

“Whether or not our observations suggest an extra-terrestrial presence,” the website explains, “collecting such data would show (a) that UFO phenomena can be studied in a rigorous and systematic fashion, and (b) thereby hopefully break down the ‘taboo’ that has long stymied basic scientific research in this area.”

Initial goal

Regarding the UFODATA stations, the expense of developing a prototype station — including not just the equipment, camera, and sensors — but also software, construction and testing is in the range of several tens of thousands of dollars. Subsequent stations should be less-costly once the design and construction details are in place.

Sensor-fed computer assessments are key elements of a station network to study the UFO phenomenon. Credit: UFODATA

Sensor-fed computer assessments are key elements of a station network to study the UFO phenomenon.

UFODATA’s initial goal is to raise enough money to design and construct one prototype station that would undergo testing for up to one year. The group then expects to fully deploy the first station and begin construction of as many additional stations as funding permits. Ideally, the stations would eventually be deployed on a global basis.

Given an assessment of the instrumentation and software necessities for the system, UFODATA intends to launch a crowdfunding campaign to secure needed funds to pursue building and installing a network of stations.


Silent partners

The intellectual sparkplugs behind UFODATA are over a dozen volunteers, a confab of scientists, engineers, and UFO researchers. “We are also joined by several ‘silent partners,’ all scientists and engineers at academic institutions who are prepared to help, but because of the cultural stigma attached to UFOs have chosen to keep their involvement private,” explains the UFODATA website.

Published 2010 by Crown Archetype

Published 2010 by Crown Archetype

A UFODATA board member is Leslie Kean. She is an investigative reporter and author of the New York Times best-selling book, UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record and is also co-founder of the Coalition for Freedom of Information.

“I’m a journalist and not a ‘ufologist’. I remain agnostic about the nature and origin of UFOs,” Kean told Inside Outer Space. “The popular debate tends to go back and forth between two extremes: conspiracy theorists convinced that UFOs are extraterrestrial spacecraft, and debunkers equally convinced that UFOs don’t even exist. Neither position is the rational one.”

Kean said because so little science has been done on UFOs “we remain ignorant about what UFOs actually are.”

UFODATA aims to change that, Kean said. “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.”


For detailed information on UFODATA and its plans, including a call for volunteers to assist in their work, go to:

Also, go to this paper that details the project for a network of automatic stations for UFO monitoring:

5 Responses to “What are UFOs? New Scientific Study Launched”

  • Gavin McLeod says:

    I very interesting project that I would be interested in helping with; real data versus the plethora of garbage reports being submitted to MUFON recently. The website: is not loading possibly due to heavy traffic.

  • jim oberg says:

    Spaceflight actually has a lot to teach ‘UFO studies’, since very, VERY many major ‘UFO reports’ are actually descriptions of rocket launches, in-space thrusting/dumping, and even fireball reentries — and as documented events these constitute a body of serendipitous experiments to calibrate the garble factor in eyewitness reports. The results are not encouraging to folks who want to take all eyewitness reports at face value. Here’s a recent study of mine on a category of cases called ‘giant mother ships’, which in many documented cases are wild misinterpretations of fireball swarms from a large reentry:

    • Joe Phillips says:

      Serendipitous? Garbled?
      Sort of figured you would be the first to
      respond. What are you afraid of?
      I am no scientist but have an open mind and possess no dogmatic, dismissive POV(s) on this subject
      Always amazes me how you are responding to other readers at all hours of the day and night,as though you are the true authority on this matter- and so quick to criticize others for possessing the ability and courage to think outside the box.
      Have you ever thought that a “legitimate” UFO study sight may also teach mainstream scientists a thing or two about unexplained phenomena that may provide new data and information to some scientists who collectively think are “in the know”and so quick to ridicule others without an objective investigation.

    • Mark says:

      Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Robert Hastings say that James Oberg wrote a threatening letter to one of the individuals who went public with the details of The Big Sur UFO event, including the existence of a conspiracy to try to cover up the event? Didn’t Hastings also say that James Oberg, in that same letter, acknowledged that The Big Sur UFO event was classified, and that Oberg was angry at the release of this classified information – thereby making it highly likely that The Big Sur UFO event was a genuinely anomalous event? If these allegations are true, then it makes it look like James Oberg is a liar who, in reality, does believe that there are some UFO events that are worthy of study, even as Oberg seems to have made debunking the whole field of UFOlogy into a career, or, at least, a passionate hobby. As far as I know, James Oberg has never addressed these allegations. Would you care to point me to a place where you have addressed these allegations, in the past, James Oberg? If you never have, before, then, James Oberg, would you like to address these allegations, here?

  • JEB says:

    Having seen an extraordinary silent object at close range perform unbelievable maneuvers, it changes your life and outlook forever. This objective study with good quality data and facts rather than hearsay and deliberate deception is long overdue. I just hope that it does gain some momentum and doesn’t fizzle out or get sabotaged before a significant amount of data has been collected for study.

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