Contrary to popular opinion, in the years following WWII UFO’s were taken quite seriously and were the subject of ongoing intelligence investigations by both the American military services. Despite dismissive public statements, a wave of UFO incidents in Scandinavia was publicly investigated by regional nations and covertly studied by both American and British intelligence. Official reports from those inquiries as well as from the early years of American UFO incidents concluded that something very real was going on, that the Soviet Union was most likely behind it and that it did indeed pose a threat – very possibly involving reconnaissance for strikes on America’s most strategic facilities.
I cover those years and what the intelligence community was actually doing – as compared to stating publicly in press releases – in my book Unidentified.
Yet despite UFO’s being taken quite seriously in those years, no military action occurred and no actual proof of threatening behavior or damage was found. From a national security perspective, without the existence of a proven threat, UFO reports became to be seen as a diversion of resources and serious investigation faded away. Investigative groups were disbanded or in some instances converted into public relations vehicles, devoted to simple explanations and public reassurance.
Over the next several decades UFO reports became a subject for collection and investigation by private groups, as well as an ongoing topic for the entertainment industry. While a few scientists made serious efforts to investigate them, it became clear that there were very real career risks for professionals choosing to engage with a subject which had migrated largely into the movies and on to grocery store tabloid covers.
As it turns out scientific interest in the subject, while fading, did not entirely die. And with a handful of high profile contemporary incidents, it has returned – in the form of a new organization and a series of new scientific studies. The organization is the Scientific Coalition for UAP (unidentified aerospace phenomena) Studies – you can read about it here (and yes I’m involved with SCU):
The group is devoted not simply to collecting reports, as has been common, but to in depth scientific studies of incidents which involve quantifiable data for physical or statistical analysis. You can get a feel for those studies by taking a look at the following link, which evaluates the unconventional flight and maneuvering characteristics of a relative recent incident involving U.S. Navy ships and aircraft:
SCU has a number of ongoing studies in progress, addressing the flight and maneuvering characteristics found in some of the best close up observations which appear in official Air Force and law enforcement reports. For myself I’m involved with a team doing statistical analysis of incidents involving the American atomic warfare complex over several decades. It’s a fascinating task, but to do it scientifically involves a great deal of data collection, number crunching and graphical/statistical analysis.
If the subject is of interest to you I would recommend exploring the SCU web site, its activities and the upcoming conference.
It will be a virtual event this year, relatively inexpensive, and a good way to update yourself on what is in progress in terms of scientific study of a what has always been a fascinating (if controversial) subject for many of us.