There have been many reports on “UFOs” in the world, and throughout human history. When such alleged reports are not fakes, hoaxes or misinterpretations of natural and/or man-made phenomena, they are based on witnesses whose emotional state often alters what really happened. The anomaly appears to be transient and unpredictable, iridescent and hypnotic, liquid and floating, harmonic and ethereal, symmetric and asymmetric. Human perception actually describes almost never what occurs as it really appears. It records only an unusual objective reality that is inevitably subjective or even a hallucinated variant of a certain real fact.
On the contrary, measurement sensors are able to record exactly what occurs, and can do so not only in the visible wavelength range but also on a spectrum that potentially extends down to ELF radio waves and up to gamma rays. Such instruments do not only record what occurs only for a while, but they can do this all the time in which the phenomenon is manifested so that we can understand how physical parameters change.
For instance, using high-speed photometry we can measure potentially 10,000 frames per second. Then we can put all the data on a graph that shows the variation of physical parameters as a function of space and time. Subsequently we can derive an equation able to describe the trend of the acquired data, in order to deduce a physical law. This is, simplified, an example of the scientific method that is suitable to describe in a reproducible way also such ephemeral phenomena as UFOs.
With the scientific method, one can aspire to not miss even a pin. For example, it is possible to statistically study the possible spatial and/or temporal recurrence of UAP witness reports and then use it to pilot an automatic station, as it happens in the case of the Hessdalen phenomenon in Norway, of which video, magnetometric, VHF and VLF data are continuously obtained, even if there is no proof yet that such a phenomenon or a part of this is of non-natural origin. But too often the desire of capturing the pin escapes us. That pin might let us make a huge step forward in the understanding of the world surrounding us, by rejecting back to the middle ages belief systems that were based only on a subjective reality.
UAP phenomena can be many things: fakes and hoaxes, unknown natural phenomena, secret human technology or even visitation from an exo-intelligence. Physical science can provide the means to identify the nature of the observed phenomenon and to quantitatively understand the physical mechanism behind it.
Adopting the appropriate measurement instruments is crucial to enable us to acquire such data. For example, it is possible to use high-quality, high-sensitivity and all-sky videocameras, high-speed recordings, low and high-resolution optical spectrographs, thermal imaging cameras, magnetometers, VLF/ELF and microwave spectrometers, radars, LIDARs, electrostatic particle detectors and gravimeters. Some of such instruments have been already used in the systematic monitoring of the UAP phenomenon: in particular, high-sensitivity videos, magnetometric and VHF/VLF-ELF measurements, Geiger readings and low-resolution optical spectra have been obtained during scientific missions on site.
This research is still in its early stage and, in addition to helping us to accurately discriminate possible true cases from misinterpretations, it might open doors that once were unthinkable. We have already at our disposal a quite established know-how and procedural protocols using which we can proceed by matching scientific rigor and appropriate skepticism with a healthy open mind. This is just the engine of science and innovation. The future may hold interesting surprises if we are sufficiently determined in our plans and consequent actions.
1. Project Hessdalen (website by Erling Petter Strand):
2. Teodorani M. (2014). Search for high-proper motion objects with infrared excess. Acta Astronautica n. 105, pp. 547–552.
3. Teodorani, M. (2014). Instrumented Monitoring of Aerial Anomalies. CAIPAN 2014 Workshop. CNES GEIPAN, Paris (France), July 8-9 2014 (45 pages).
This is my contribution (original version) to a short informative article appeared three years ago on the magazine of European scientific organization “Marie Curie Alumni Association”, in collaboration with other two scientists, in particular in particular French-Canadian biochemist Caron Etienne.