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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 27

Re: Ultimate UFO database

From: Chris Rutkowski <rutkows@cc.UManitoba.CA>
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997 10:34:58 -0600 (CST)
Fwd Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997 15:33:10 -0500
Subject: Re: Ultimate UFO database


> Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 12:15:15 -0600
> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
> From: joel henry <jhenry@wavefront.com>
> Subject: Ultimate UFO database

> >What I'm getting at, and I'm sure that most on the list will
> >agree, is that there is a requirement for a centralised,
> >coordinated database that must be used for abductions, sightings,
> >and other encounters and/or manifestations. Why? Well, there is a
> >plethora of data mining packages out there, that can be run
> >against MS Access on Windows or even Oracle on UNIX. By setting
> >up relationships and keyed links between database
> >records/rows/reports, one will be able to retrieve a list of
> >reports for, say, Arizona, or a list for any specific night, or a
> >combination of several parameters like geographic, timezone, or
> >key-word descriptive fields. This would be ideal in analysing
> >trends, hot-spots, flight-paths, and so on.


> Mr Louw has hit the nail squarely on the head here. I believe
> that total data sharing and a single massive UFO, etc. database
> is the MOST NEEDED item in all of Ufology. If FUFOR or somebody
> is willing to fund the effort, I for one and I know many more
> will be happy to lend my efforts at getting this data to them.

> to put on all of our agendas. I don't understand why it hasn't
> been done before. Powerful computers have been around since the
> early 80's.
> I don't mean to undermine those efforts that have been made (such
> as the Hatch database), but that is just the tip of the UFO
> iceberg.
> I am an investigator with Minnesota MUFON and I thought when I
> joined that MUFON already had such a database, with open access

Hi. Just thought I'd jump in here to note the databases that are
already available in one form or another.

The old Saunders UFOCAT is available from CUFOS on disk,
containing some 100,000 entries, if I am not mistaken. (Help me
out here, Jerry.)

I *think* Smith's UNICAT is out, too (?).

I began entering UFO data into computers back when I needed punch
cards to do it. *That* was tedious ... but I still managed to
enter the 500+ cases I had from my area and create MANUFOCAT.
I've since upgraded from FORTRAN to WATFIV to dBASE to LOTUS to
ACCESS and EXCEL. MANUFOCAT has been available as a text file for
some time now, and may soon be in ACCESS and EXCEL as I have just
had an assistant start to learn how to enter the data. I hope to
have all 1000+ cases online next year.

In Canada, I have been haranguing all known active UFO
investigators and researchers since 1988, trying to get them to
provide/share their UFO case data. It's like pulling teeth. But
somehow, I've managed to produce annual surveys of Canadian UFO
activity that have generated meaningful statistics and
information. This year, all participants will be getting
electronic copies of the report and the actual database. Oddly
enough, most of the participants are *not* MUFON reps. Most are
independents or breakaways from major groups. I hear what you're
saying.

I also have to laud the work of Paul Ferrughelli, who *is*
catalogiung MUFON case data and creating statistical reports. His
annual studies have been available for about as long as the
Canadian studies. I wonder why his work is never featured at
conferences, when he is doing such a great job of studying UFO
data, rather than the usual featuring of speakers speculating
wildly about alien characteristics and whatnot.

Finally, I must note that there is a vast source of UFO data online. Since 1995, I have been working with Roy Rice adding all UFO reports made *online* to a master database that is accessible via ftp and WWW. It's at:

ftp://ftp.eskimo.com/u/r/rmrice/ufo/reports

The reports are there in more than 50 separate files of about
20-50K each, covering cases reported directly to me, taken from
Updates, CURRENT-ENCOUNTERS, NUFORC, Roundup and especially cases
reported where they *should* be reported: in  alt.ufo.reports.  I
think the most recent batch I put in there is from October 1997.
This source of info is readily available for anyone with the
initiative to peruse and extract data for research. So far, even
though it's been available for more than two years, no one has
looked at it in this way.

There are many other sources of UFO data. But getting enough
ufologists to agree to shed their cloaks of proprietariness (this
is *mine*, not *yours*!) is a problem. I have enough of a problem
getting the dozen or so Canadian researchers to work together
(and there are many who simply refuse to cooperate); I can only
imagine how hard it would be to get a worldwide database with
meaningful data and some level of standardization. Remember the
warnings of Allan Hendry regarding UFO databases? Well, those are
still valid today, unfortunately. This is *not* a simple issue,
but I would agree that it is something ufology should be working
more on instead of pursuing more speculative topics, regardless
of their popularity.


--
Chris Rutkowski - rutkows@cc.umanitoba.ca
(and now, also: Chris.Rutkowski@UMAlumni.mb.ca)
University of Manitoba - Winnipeg, Canada


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