I have been saying for years that a) most UFOs are simply misidentified mundane phenomena (satellites, meteors, balloons, Venus, weird clouds, even the Moon) and that 2) if they were real, astronomers – who spend a lot more time looking at the sky than your average person – should be reporting most of them.
My musings on this have been twisted and distorted by UFO folks – shocker! – even though I’ve been pretty clear about what I would count as evidence. But now we may have a way to cut through the garbage. A new website has been started for professional and amateur astronomers to report Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. I rather like this new UAP acronym, since it avoids the UFO/flying saucer baggage. Anyway, it was set up as part of IYA 2009 to help astronomers report things in the sky they may not immediately understand. Better yet, it has links to handy guides that will help people who might otherwise misidentify normal things like sundogs and other weather phenomena.
The website is the brainchild of Philippe Ailleris:
Despite the controversy surrounding the topic, he believes that it is possible to approach the UAP field from a professional, rational, and scientific angle without any a priori. He considers that UAP studies my increase the scientific understanding of today poorly understood natural phenomenon, and ultimately he even sees the potential for Science to discover new unknown phenomena, therefore making such study invaluable. His research therefore focuses on attempting to raise the interest of the scientific community and to bridge various fields to devise what he believes is the necessary multidisciplinary approach to studying the phenomena.
I agree. As Carl Sagan said, whether UFOs are real and we’re being visited, or they’re a mass social phenomenon due to the way our brains work, either aspect is fascinating and worthy of actual study.