UFO Investigations- Analyze The Evidence and Conclusions
The first thing you will want to do is categorize your case according to its type. There is an accepted method in use by most UFO researchers. The earlier Hynek method has been mostly replaced by a method developed by Jacques Vallee in 1990. It is more precise, taking into account witness credibility and the possibility of mundane explanations. The Vallee system follows:
The Vallee Classification System categorizes UFO sightings using five principal ratings: AN; MA; FB; CE; and SVP, the last of which is divided into three subcategories, labeled SRR, SVR, and PER.
AN Rating - Classifies any anomalous phenomenon.
MA Rating - Describes the behavior of a UFO.
- AN1 - Anomalies that leave no lasting physical effects, such as lights in the sky and similar phenomena.
- AN2 - Anomalies that leave lasting physical effects, such as crop circles, scorched earth, and debris.
- AN3 - Anomalies with associated occupants or entities.
- AN4 - Interaction of the witness with occupants or entities.
- AN5 - Anomalous reports of injury or death, such as unexplained wounds, healing of wounds, or spontaneous human combustion.
FB Rating - Fly-by Rating.
- MA1 - A visual sighting of a UFO that travels in a discontinuous trajectory, such as loops, quick turns, or vast changes in altitude.
- MA2 - A visual sighting of a UFO with physical evidence, such as burn marks or material fragments.
- MA3 - A visual sighting of a UFO with living entities on or around the UFO.
- MA4 - UFO activity, such as maneuvers, accompanied by a change in the observer's perception of reality.
- MA5 - UFO activity that results in the injury or death of the witness.
CE Rating - Close Encounter Rating.
- FB1 - A fly-by of a UFO traveling in a straight line across the sky.
- FB2 - A fly-by of a UFO traveling in a straight line, leaving some kind of physical evidence.
- FB3 - A fly-by of a UFO traveling in a straight line across the sky, where entities are observed on board.
- FB4 - A fly-by where the witness experiences a sensation of unreality, i.e., a phantasmagoric state.
- FB5 - A fly-by that causes permanent injury to, or the death of, the witness.
SVP Rating - A three-digit credibility rating.
- CE1 - A visual sighting of a UFO within 500 feet.
- CE2 - A visual sighting of a UFO within 500 feet with physical evidence.
- CE3 - A visual sighting of a UFO with entities aboard.
- CE4 - Abduction of a witness.
- CE5 - Abducted witness suffers from physical or psychological injuries, or death.
Marks ranging from zero to four are given in each of three subcategories:
Source Reliability (first digit); Site Visit (second digit); and Possible Explanations (third digit).
SRR - Source Reliability Rating
SVR - Site Visit Rating
- 0 - Unknown or unreliable source.
- 1 - Report attributed to a known source of unknown reliability.
- 2 - Reliable source, second-hand.
- 3 - Reliable source, first-hand.
- 4 - First-hand, personal interview with the witness by a source of proven credibility.
PER - Possible Explanations Rating
- 0 - No site visit, or answer unknown.
- 1 - Site visit by a casual person not familiar with the phenomenon.
- 2 - Site visited by persons familiar with the phenomenon.
- 3 - Site visit by reliable investigator with some experience.
- 4 - Site visit by a skilled analyst.
- 0 - Data consistent with one or more natural causes.
- 1 - Natural explanation requires only slight modification of the data.
- 2 - Natural explanation requires major alteration of one parameter.
- 3 - Natural explanation requires major alteration of several parameters.
- 4 - No natural explanation possible, given the evidence.
Review and Analysis
Once the investigator has read the General Report, or done the initial interview, he should do his preliminary investigation into what may be responsible. Exactly how to proceed will depend a lot on the nature of the report. It might include checks to local air traffic control, police, emergency services, the media, etc. The reason for this is to rule out any mundane explanation for the sighting. If the report consists of beams of light in the sky, and the local car dealership has a searchlight running promoting a midnight sale that night, it's safe to say your case is most likely concluded.
But if the case is still unsolved, the next step may be a second interview. This interview is the step where the witness credibility is established. His original claims may stand or fall based on this session. You will have already read the narrative and are familiar with the claims made. You may have even done an initial interview and obtained some information. The purpose of the face to face second interview is to have the witness go over what he saw again. You as an investigator should watch the witness closely for his reactions as he tells his story. Watch his eyes and general reaction. Is he nervous? Listen for discrepancies between what he tells you now and his narrative. This is where the investigator gets to play detective. The first few minutes are where you are going to make your determination as to the credibility of the witness. Have some details of the story changed?
But don't be too critical here either. It is not uncommon for a witness to recall things he omitted from the narrative. Sometimes memory loss is a factor, especially in cases where close contact has been reported. The investigator will have to use his best judgment, weighing all the evidence along with the testimony.
The Final Investigation
By this point you have the data related to your case. It is time to make some determination as to what was reported. Just as in the preliminary investigation, the first step is to rule out the mundane. Hopefully at this point you have more to work with. The nature of the case will determine the course of action so it is impossible to say here exact steps to take. This is where your consultants come in. If there are specimens you may want to turn over analysis to someone specialized in the field. You may want to consult with an observatory if there is a question regarding some astronomical event. If some form of animal tracks were present a local game warden or naturalist may help. It will be up to you to make the final determination as to who can best help you.
Once all the data has been analyzed it is time for you to draw your conclusions. The Vallee system described earlier can help here. The final three categories assign a numerical value based on certain conditions to determine credibility. Using the conditions as they apply to your case will determine the overall confidence that can be given to your conclusions.
You should generate a report that explains the sighting to the best of your ability. Some are easily explained others can't be explained at all. The resolution should also include your confidence level in your conclusions. Sometimes confidence is high, other times low. Cases with a low confidence level simply mean that given the data conclusions are more speculative. It is simply an honest evaluation of the case based on the data, not a reflection of you as an investigator.
A copy of your findings should be provided to the witness, and any samples returned as possible. Sometimes a witness will accept findings as they are, others may disagree somewhat. People are different, and some have their own ideas about what is out there. All you can do is provide a response. Leave contact information and ask them to get in touch with you again if anything else happens along these lines. One of the characteristics of these cases is a repeat visit.