UFO-Databank is an ongoing effort to catalog the most remarkable UFO reports worldwide from a large set of reference sources. Discovered hoaxes and misidentified mundane events are weeded out, such as fireballs and nightlights.
On this site, we use the term UFO only for objects which resisted any identification. This implies that the observation was investigated by people who are competent enough to identify known objects. Photos of indistinguishable lights in the media or on YouTube are of no interest to us.
When investigated, most UFO reports turn into reports of IFOs: Identified Flying Objects. Often they turn out to be ordinary planes, balloons, satellites, meteorites, reentering space debris, stars, or even the planet Venus. Thus, we focus mainly on:
- Crafts of a definite shape, not simply dots of light, not starlike objects
- Multiple witness cases
- Credible witnesses, such as astronomers, astronauts, pilots, police officers on duty
- Close up cases, sightings of the so-called categories CE1 Sighting less than 150 m away, CE2 UFO event with a physical effect and CE3 UFO encounter in which a creature is present
When studied as a group, these case histories exhibit clear patterns which strongly suggest that they belong to a distinct new class of phenomena, rather than being a formless collection of disparate observational errors. UFOs are not all imaginary or seeing too much in some natural phenomena. Something is really flying around. Some common characteristics distilled from reliable close-up UFO reports are:
- Extreme manoeuvrability and ability to hover.
- Extreme accelerations.
- When moving at very high speed, no sonic boom is heard.
- Propulsion: no ejection of propellant of any kind. No significant downdraft of air when the UFO hovers. No significant air-disturbance (turbulence and noise) when they move. Apparently UFO's use the atmosphere neither for support nor for locomotion
- Most viewings occur during the night.
- UFOs are usually silent. At the most, a light hum can sometimes be heard.
- Most UFO's are symmetrical objects, with smooth and featureless surface (no seams, no rivets, no weld marks), but sometimes with "windows" ("portholes"). Before 1980, most reports mentioned flying discs,
after 1980 most UFO's were triangular.
Only a small number had other shapes, such as boomerang, "crescent", cylinder (cigar), spheroid, ovoid.
- Illumination / colors: in most UFO sightings at night or twilight, the UFO appears to be a source of light, rather than just reflect light from elsewhere. Appearance in daylight is usually described as white or "metallic" ranging from dull gray "brushed aluminum" to "polished silver" and "chrome".
- Rotation / spin: UFOs with a round cross-section (e.g. spheres, disks, ovals, cylinders) are often reported to exhibit a rotary motion.
- Physiological effects on human witnesses who came close to a UFO: a sense of "static" (hair stood on end) or prickling sensation and in some cases a heating / burning sensation, vibration and temporary paralysis. Red and swollen eyes after a close up sighting.
- Landing traces: sometimes UFO's hover low above the ground, producing swirled-down grass rings or rings of heat-damaged soil with chemical and physical alterations. Some UFO's have a landing gear with from 3 up to 6 "legs", which have left marks on the ground.
- The reported UFOs never posed a threat, they were not hostile.
- UFOs seem to want to be seen. They often put up a sensational display of lights and hovering over crowded places and highways.
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