Friday, March 23, 2007
French space agency CNES released its UFO files to the public through its website on Thursday. The 100,000 pages of witness testimony, photographs, film footage and audiotapes are an accumulation of more than 1,600 sightings since 1954 and will include all future UFO reports obtained by the agency.
Jacques Patenet, an aeronautical engineer who is leading the study of the "non-identified aerospatial phenomena," noted that the release of the UFO files to the public was "a world first," and that "the data that we are releasing doesn't demonstrate the presence of extraterrestrial beings. But it doesn't demonstrate the impossibility of such presence either. The questions remain open."
Almost 25 percent of the cases have been categorized as "type D", meaning that "despite good or very good data and credible witnesses, we are confronted with something we can't explain," Jacques explained.
CNES receives approximaely 50 to a 100 UFO reports each year. 10 percent of these reports are objects of on-site investigations.
Security was on hand at CNES headquarters during the announcement "to screen out uninvited UFOlogists."
The CNES website containing the UFO files crashed all its host servers three hours after it was brought online due to heavy traffic.