One of the speakers at the 8-9 July, 2014, Paris workshop, held by the "Groupe D'Etudes Et D'Informations sur les Phenomenes Aerospatiaux Non Identifes" (GEIPAN), was veteran researcher and author Jacques Vallee.
Having had a long term interest in Vallee's work in this field, I am always intrigued to hear what he has to say. It was therefore, with particular pleasure that I noted that the workshop proceedings have now been published via the GEIPAN website.
Vallee's workshop paper was titled "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena: A Strategy for Research."
It starts by presenting an historical overview of the collection of UAP observations, which have been undertaken in the past. He notes that both professionals and amateurs have built up catalogues and online databases. Such collections include those by the Batelle Memorial Institute; NICAP; CUFOS; GEIPAN; NARCAP and the National Institute for Discovery Science. Individuals named, include Aime Michel; Guy Quincy; David Saunders; Ted Phillips; Mark Rodeghier; and Claude Poher. Jacques and Janine Vallee, of course, contributed extensively to this work.
Obstacles to analysis:
Vallee then provides a number of obstacles which lie in the way of future research. One is the "Lack of data validation and missing standards..." Another is that "Every group tends to use its own way of indexing, which makes it impractical, if not impossible, to implement data fusion or simply to exchange information."
Vallee's proposed solution is "...to avoid ideological biases the clear scientific approach is to build a platform of screened calibrated data." He then provides details of the "Capella" data warehouse concept used by the National Institute for Discovery Science.
These include overall patterns; the physics of the phenomenon; specific locations where the phenomenon appears more frequently; social and cultural impacts; the impact on human observers, and methodology and epistemology.
The way forward:
Vallee then states "It is striking to observe that ALL the above issues could be addressed with the current tools of the Sciences, WITHOUT pre-conceived ideology; and without using the ETH as the primary hypothesis to be tested."
Vallee observes that "From a computer science point of view, however this situation is not amenable to simple, packaged solutions. In particular, hierarchical, non-procedural or table driven (relational) data bases that work well in corporate settings cannot be used effectively. Even the use of newer approaches like natural-language processing of large amounts of text with Google engines and the like may only result in greater confusion and misleading answers."
Vallee closes by suggesting "...we believe new structures must be built in careful layers using a NO-SQL data structure. In a preliminary data phase data must be screened, scrubbed and reviewed..."
"Timing and standardisation are essential...It is also crucial to implement better coordination among various centers."
For the full text of Vallee's paper, click here, and presentation slides, click here. A video of his talk is also available, click here.