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They Start A UFO Website Then It Crashes

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 08:34:51 -0400
Fwd Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 08:34:51 -0400
Subject: They Start A UFO Website Then It Crashes

Source: The Sunday Times - London, England, UK


March 25, 2007

Spooky... They Start A UFO Website Then It Crashes

Matthew Campbell in Paris

The first official government website in the world to document
UFO sightings has collapsed under a stampede by the public to
gain access.

The National Centre for Space Studies, the French equivalent of
Nasa, opened the website on Thursday, unveiling an archive of
documents about hundreds of unidentified flying object sightings
in France over the past 50 years.

Such was the excitement and scramble to pick through this
treasure trove that the website was overloaded and "crashed".

The archive includes photographs, police records of interviews
with witnesses and even video recordings.

It covers cases ranging from the obviously ludicrous =97 there are
numerous sightings of little green men =97 to several that have
stumped even the most sceptical scientists.

"It is a world first," said Jacques Patenet, an aeronautics
engineer in charge of the space centre=92s "study of nonidentified
aerospatial phenomena".

Known as OVNIs in France, UFOs have always generated intense
public debate in Paris as well as conspiracy theories about
American cover-ups and findings considered too sensitive or too
alarming for public consumption.

"Cases such as the lady who reported seeing an object that
looked like a flying roll of toilet paper" were clearly not
worth reporting, said Patenet. But other incidents involving
multiple witnesses have for long been baffling the experts.

Of the 1,600 cases registered since 1954, almost a quarter are
classified as "D", meaning that "despite good or very good data
and credible witnesses, we are confronted with something we
cannot explain", said Patenet.

For example, in 1994 the crew of an Air France flight from Nice
to London saw a giant disk that seemed to keep changing shape
and colour. After a minute or so it disappeared.

On January 8, 1981, in southern France, a man working in a field
reported hearing a strange whistling sound. He saw a saucer-like
object about 8ft in diameter land in his field about 50 yards

The object took off almost immediately, leaving burn marks.
Investigators took photographs and collected and analysed
samples, but they have not been able to explain the phenomenon.

Nearly 1,000 witnesses said they saw flashing lights in the sky
on November 5, 1990, but this was just rocket fragments falling
back into the Earth=92s atmosphere.

Perhaps the best documented European incident involved the
scrambling of two Belgian air force jets in March, 1990, to
investigate an aircraft flying over the south of the country in
a manner "outside the normal performance envelope of any air-
plane", as the chief of Belgian air force operations described
it afterwards.

The new French website, once reactivated, will be updated
whenever there is a new sighting, but experts in the field were
doubtful that the archive would shed any light on the mystery.

"It=92s useless," said Jean-Pierre Petit, a retired aerospace
researcher, referring to the archive. "It=92s just reports from
the gendarmes."

He said that the police had long ago been issued with equipment
for gathering chemical samples and that this had often been
used. "What is the result of that research? That is what we want
to know."

It is not the first time that the French government has released
information about UFOs. In 1999, the Institute of Higher Studies
for National Defence published a 90-page report called UFOs and
Defence: What Must We Be Prepared For? It has become a bible for
UFO enthusiasts the world over.

It says in the preamble: "The accumulation of well-document-ed
observations compels us now to consider all hypotheses as to the
origin of UFOs, especially extraterrestrial hypotheses."

The report discusses 15 cases, including one in which British
jet fighters were scrambled from RAF Lakenheath to investigate
mysterious objects over East Anglia in 1956.

It says that hoaxes are easily detectable and calls the position
of America "still one of denial". It concludes: "The physical
reality of UFOs, under control of intelligent beings, is almost

The American attitude is exemplified by the former Arizona
governor Fife Symington, who trotted out an aide dressed as an
alien 10 years ago to spoof the frenzy surrounding mysterious
lights in the Phoenix sky.

Now he says he saw the lights and believed from the start that
they were extraterrestrial. Symington, who faced fraud charges
at the time, said this week he did not need the problems such an
admission would have created.

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