The French space agency, CNES, has opened up its files on what may be the world's longest-running official government investigation of UFOs. The agency is in the process of releasing and posting on the Web some 100,000 documents used by the Group for Study and Information on Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena.
COMMENT: I've always believed that the small percentage of UFO reports which resist easy explanation might well conceal some important natural electrical, atmospheric, and/or plasma phenomena that were being overlooked due to the ridicule factor. The numbers the French researchers posted, though, are startling: only 9 percent of reports are considered definitely explained, with another 33 percent likely explained. Even the most ardent American UFOlogists assume 90-percent-plus of reports can be traced to to mundane causes. I've not yet read what kind of sorting system the French researchers used, and it may well be the just-quoted numbers apply only to a puzzling minority of reports and not to the entire body of initial data. Still, there will no doubt be a lot in here for students of the bizarre - and just maybe for serious scientific minds as well.