From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 23:24:00 -0400 Fwd Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 23:24:00 -0400 Subject: CNN Interactive/AP - UFO Panel Report From: CNN Interactive http://www.cnn.com/TECH/space/9806/29/ufo.report.ap/ Panel suggests scientific review of reported UFO evidence June 29, 1998 Web posted at: 10:35 AM EDT SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Are we alone? An international panel of scientists that convened to ponder the possibility of extraterrestrial visitors was not about to answer that question, but they said the physical evidence in some UFO sightings merits further serious scientific review. The nine-member group, the first independent review of UFO phenomena since 1966, found no convincing evidence that extraterrestrial intelligence was responsible for the physical evidence. But some findings remained unexplained. "If there is an interest in trying to get serious answers to the UFO problem, it would be sensible for scientists to focus on the physical evidence as opposed to witness testimony," Stanford University physicist and panel director Peter Sturrock said in a telephone interview Sunday. The study, which brought together astronomers, physicists and experts in other scientific disciplines, was launched by philanthropist Laurance S. Rockefeller. Sturrock said the field of UFO study "is in a very unsatisfactory state of ignorance and confusion." The panel's 50-page report appears in the summer issue of Journal of Scientific Exploration. The panel was impressed by analysis of a 1981 photograph taken by a family on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The picture shows a silvery oval-shaped object that has a glow and brightness consistent with a reflecting metal object. But the scientists were unable to rule out a photographic hoax. The panel examined another sighting, near Paris in January 1994. An airline captain, co-pilot and flight attendant all reported seeing an object resembling a gigantic disk with slightly fuzzy edges. Swiss radar detected the object for 50 seconds. The panel said radar reports require very specialized analysis and an official UFO research organization would need access to raw radar data with military approval for further study. "It is a puzzle," Sturrock added. "The only way to get real answers is to get scientists involved in the problem." The group reviewed reports of unusual damage to vegetation, ground traces of soil disturbance and physiological effects on purported witnesses, such as marks and burns on the skin, memory loss and double vision. The panel felt most of those reports were weakened by the absence of an unaffected independent witness. Panel member Tom Holzer, a physicist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said the study stopped well short of making any conclusions that Earth is being visited by extraterrestrial craft. "We require a bit more rigor in the acquiring and analysis (of evidence)," Holzer said. The last comprehensive review was when the U.S. Air Force commissioned the Colorado Project, which issued the Condon Report. It found no conclusive evidence of extraterrestrial visits.
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