|The purpose of CEFAE is to research the possible causes of unidentified flying object sightings, and publish a report with the conclusions of cases that have been solved.|
| On September 15, the head of the Aerospace Phenomena Study Commission (CEFAE), Commodore (R) Ruben Lianza, held a talk on the subject of "aerospace phenomena research methods" at the Centro Cultural de la Ciencia in Buenos Aires's Palermo district. |
The purpose of CEFAE is to research the possible causes of unidentified flying object sightings, and publish a report with the conclusions of cases that have been solved.
During his presentation, Commodore Lianza described how he developed an interest in aerospace observations and mentioned that upon entering the Air Force, he devoted himself to unusual air traffic phenomena. He personally looked into cases involving ground marks, photographing a circle in the grass of a ranch and a "spot" on the Pajarillo Mountains.
According to the expert, Air Force files on the study of phenomena go back to 1968, and research fell under the Aeronautical Intelligence Service. Subsequently, in 1979, the National Space Investigation Commission was created with the aim of investing cases involving space junk. This commission operated until 1987. In 2011, the Air Force General High Command Created the Aerospace Phenomena Study Commission (CEFAE)
"CEFAE's problem consists in identifying an initially unidentified phenomenon. A case cannot be investigated if its two components are not present: the eyewitness report and the proof. This vital, because many ufologists have devoted their lives and millions of dollars to study cases only with eyewitness accounts and no evidence," he explained.The importance of distinguishing between unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and identified flying objects (IFOs) was also stressed duirng the session. According to the official, identifying an object is due to the experience of the researchers who look into similar cases, along with the application of new computer tools.
"Research is absolutely necessary. The scientific method seeks to operate with relevant operation. If it is historic, it describes what it was; if it is descriptive, it interprets what it is, and if it is experimental, it describes what will be," explained Commodore Lianza.He stated that research into the UFO phenomenon is descriptive, as it requires identifying the cause of the sighting.
Photos and videos go through an initial filter, in which the evidence is immediately identified as "an optical phenomenon, a camera effect, an astronomical, aeronautical, astronautical, meteorological or geological cause, or even a biological cause such as birds or insects, although there can also be unusual aerial phenomena that we are not aware of."
CEFAE's director explained that the method he recommends in finding an answer to these phenomena is composed of a hypothesis, initial causes, suspected causes and a conclusion. These reports are published at the official website of the Argentinean Air Force every year during the first week of December.
"Research is of critical importance, as it allows us to make contact with reality in order to understand it better," Commodore Lianza stated, adding: "Out of thousands of cases researched throughout the world, less than 5% remain unidentified."
"The research methodology causes us to make a double effort to ascertain not only what the UFO was, but also to find out what it wasn't. Therefore, a thorough knowledge of the identifiables, the IFOs, is essential to dismiss them," explained the officer, adding: "To be a good ufologist, you must first be a good ifologist."He went on to add that human emotions, erroneous identification and optical illusions also come into play in the UFO phenomenon.
"To me, progress consists in going from UFO to IFO, even if it's an alien spaceship, because now it's identified with a name. What's regrettable about the past 69 years is that people use the acronym UFO as EFO (Extraordianry Flying Object). They use it as a synonym, when it isn't."CEFAE has two areas of research that are pivot around intramural investigation (desk research) and extramural (field research). "Desk research involves a review of data, processing of eyewitness interviews and photographic analysis. This is what CEFAE does practically every day." In turn, the Commodore declared that several methods are employed in determining the cause of the object. In some cases, the distance between the object to the camera is computed, or its trajectory, or whether it is an internal optical reflection. Delivery of the original image, uncropped and without post-production is an indispensable requirement.
"The true challenge in observing space phenomena is to see what it was, whether or not it was extraterrestrial," remarks the expert. "We are obligated to give a sensible answer to the people. The idea is that CEFAE should not be perceived as a mere explainer, because explaining is the final stage of a process. It should be perceived as a clarifying organization."
Throughout the length of the presentation, he stressed the importance to make government officials and society at large aware of the need to create a contingency plan for cases involving falls of radioactive space junk.
Finally, he highlighted the importance of pursuing research into aerospace phenomena to facilitate its recognition and case analysis. In this regard, CEFAE is engaged in the inescapable task of training human resources, an initiative that is being achieved through Air Force courses under the Curso de Transcendencia del Poder Aeroespacial Nacional (CTPAN).
"To date, there exists no scientifically validated evidence that there are spaceships flying over our planet (...) but what we do have are the eyewitness accounts of UFOs, eyewitness reports that are real and deserve as factual and accurate a response as possible," concluded Commodore Lianza, adding: "Let us remember that when people see something at the far end of their visual field, the brain completes the information by resorting to imagination."The chat ended with a round of questions in which those present indicated their interest in the subject, and went into detail about the work carried out by the Aerospace Phenomena Study Commission.
[Translation (c) 2016 S. Corrales, IHU with thanks to Guillermo Gimenez (Planeta UFO) and Lic. Florencia Sosa]
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