RAND Corporation Paper - USA - 1968
The RAND Corporation produced a short internal document titled: UFOs: What to Do?, published in November 1968. The paper gave a historical summary of the UFO phenomenon, talked briefly about issues concerning extraterrestrial life and interstellar travel, presented a few case studies and discussed the phenomenological content of a UFO sighting, reviewed hypotheses, and concluded with a recommendation to organize a central UFO report receiving agency and conducting more research on the phenomenon.
Project Identification - USA - 1973–1980
In 1973, a wave of UFO sightings in southeast Missouri prompted Harley D. Rutledge, physics professor at the University of Missouri, to conduct an extensive field investigation of the phenomenon. The findings were published in the book Project Identification: The First Scientific Field Study of UFO Phenomena. Although taking a specific interest in describing unidentified aerial phenomena, as opposed to identifying them, the book references the presumed intelligence of the sighted objects.Rutledge's study results were not published in any peer-reviewed journal or other scientific venue or format.
Studies by GEPAN, SERPA & GEIPAN (French Language) - France - 1977–present (Main article: GEIPAN)
In 1977, the French Space Agency CNES Director General set up a unit to record UFO sighting reports. The unit was initially known as Groupe d’Etudes des Phénomènes Aérospatiaux Non identifiés (GEPAN), changed in 1988 to Service d'expertise de rentrée atmosphérique Phenom (SERPA) and in 2005 to Groupe d'études et d'informations sur les phénomènes aérospatiaux non identifiés (GEIPAN).
GEIPAN found a mundane explanation for the vast majority of recorded cases, but in 2007, after 30 years of investigation, 1,600 cases, approximately 28% of total cases, remained unexplained, despite precise witness accounts and good quality evidence recovered from the scene, and are categorized as Type D. In April 2010, GEIPAN statistics stated that 23% of all cases were of Type D. However, Jean-Jacques Velasco, the head of SEPRA from 1983 to 2004, wrote a book in 2004 noting that 13.5% of the 5,800 cases studied by SEPRA were dismissed without any rational explanation, and stated that UFOs are extraterrestrial in origin.
United Nations - 1977–1979
Thanks to the lobbying of Eric Gairy, the Prime Minister of Grenada, the United Nations General Assembly addressed the UFO issue in the late 1970s. On July 14, 1978, a panel, with Gordon Cooper, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, and Jacques Vallée among its members, held a hearing to inform the UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim about the matter. As a consequence of this meeting, the UN adopted decisions A/DEC/32/424 and A/DEC/33/426, which called for the establishment of an agency or a department of the United Nations for undertaking, coordinating and disseminating the results of research into unidentified flying objects and related phenomena.
Project Hessdalen/Project EMBLA - Norway - 1983–present & Italy - 1999–2004 (Main article: Hessdalen Light)
Since 1981, in an area near Hessdalen in Norway, unidentified flying objects have been commonly observed. This so called Hessdalen phenomenon has twice been the subject of scientific field studies: Project Hessdalen, 1983 to 1985, 1995 secured technical assistance from the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, the University of Oslo, and the University of Bergen, while Project EMBLA 1999 to 2004 was a team of Italian scientists led by Ph.D. Massimo Teodorani from the Istituto di Radioastronomia di Bologna.
Both studies confirmed the presence of the phenomenon and were able to record it with cameras and various technical equipment such as radar, laser, and infrared. The origin and nature of the lights remains unclear. Researchers from Project EMBLA speculated the possibility that atmospheric plasma had been the origin of the phenomenon.
Project Condign - UK - 1996–2000 - (Main article: Project Condign)
The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) published in 2006 the Scientific & Technical Memorandum 55/2/00a, of a four volume, 460 page report entitled Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK Air Defence Region, based on a study by DI55, a section of the Directorate of Scientific and Technical Intelligence of the Defence Intelligence Staff, codenamed Project Condign. It discusses the British UFO reports received between 1959 and 1997.
The report affirms that UFOs are an existing phenomenon, but points out that they present no threat to national defense. The report further states that there is no evidence that UFO sightings are caused by incursions of intelligent origin, or that any UFO consists of solid objects which might create a collision hazard. Although the study admits of being unable to explain all analyzed UFO sightings with certainty, it recommends that section DI55 ceases monitoring UFO reports, as they do not provide information useful for Defence Intelligence.The report concludes that a small percentage of sightings that can not be easily explained are caused by atmospheric plasma phenomenon similar to ball lightning, Magnetic and other energy fields produced by these buoyant plasma formations, are responsible for the appearance of so called Black Triangles as well as having hallucinogenic effects on the human mind, inducing experiences of Close Encounters.
Sturrock Panel Report - USA - 1997
From September 29 to October 4, 1997 a workshop examining selected UFO incidents took place in Tarrytown, NY. The meeting was initiated by Peter A. Sturrock, who had reviewed the Condon report and found it dissatisfying. The international review panel consisted of nine physical scientists, who responded to eight investigators of UFO reports, who were asked to present their strongest data. The final report of the workshop was published under the title: Physical Evidence Related to UFO Reports, in the Journal of Scientific Exploration in 1998. The study concluded that the studied cases presented no unequivocal evidence for the presence of unknown physical phenomena or for extraterrestrial intelligence,but argued that a continued study of UFO cases might be scientifically valuable.
COMETA Report - France - 1999 - (Main article: COMETA)
COMETA - Comité d'Études Approfondies, Committee for in depth studies, is a private French group, which is mainly composed of high ranking individuals from the French Ministry of Defence. In 1999 the group published a ninety page report entitled: Les OVNI et la défense: à quoi doit-on se préparer? - UFOs and Defense: What Should We Prepare For?. The report analyzed various UFO cases and concluded that UFOs are real, complex flying objects, and that the extraterrestrial hypothesis has a high probability of being the correct explanation for the UFO phenomenon.The study recommended that the French government should adjust to the reality of the phenomenon and conduct further research. Skeptic Claude Maugé criticized COMETA for research incompetency, and claimed that the report tried to present itself as an official French document, when in fact it was published by a private group.
Disclosure Project - Press Conference - USA - 2001 - (Main article: Disclosure Project)
On May 9, 2001, twenty government workers from military and civilian organizations spoke about their experiences regarding UFOs and UFO confidentiality at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. The press conference was initiated by Steven M. Greer, founder of the Disclosure Project, which has the goal of disclosing alleged government UFO secrecy. The purpose of the press conference was to build public pressure through the media to obtain a hearing before the United States Congress on the issue. Although major American media outlets reported on the conference, the interest quickly died down, and no hearing came forth.
Fife Symington Press Conference - USA - 2007
On November 12, 2007, a press conference, moderated by former Governor of Arizona Fife Symington, was held at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Nineteen former pilots and military and civilian officials spoke about their experiences with UFOs, demanding that the U.S. government engage in a new investigation of the phenomenon.