Friday, September 12, 2014

A 1997 scientific UAP review panel

Hi all,

I have been recently posting about scientific groups who have reviewed UAP over the years. Today's post concerns a 1997 scientific panel review, undertaken in the USA. I draw my information from "The UFO Enigma" by Peter A Sturrock; Warner Books, New York, 1999. (Click here.)

How did the panel come about?

" December 1996, Mr Laurance Rockefeller (click here), a distinguished and influential citizen and chairman of the LSR fund, invited me to review with him our understanding of the problem posed by UFO reports. We agreed that the problem was in a very unsatisfactory state of ignorance and confusion. I expressed the opinion that the problem will be resolved only by extensive and open professional scientific investigation, and that an essential prerequisite for such research is that more scientists acquire an interest in this topic." (p.61.)

"...therefore conceived of a meeting at which prominent investigators of UFO reports would meet with a panel of eight or nine scientists with wide-ranging interests and expertise." (p.61.)

Investigator group:

* Dr Richard Haines (USA) (Click here.)
* Dr Illobrand von Ludwiger (Germany) (Click here.)
* Dr Mark Rodeghier (USA) (Click here.)
* John F Schuessler (USA) (Click here.)
* Dr Erling Strand (Norway) (Click here.)
* Dr Michael Swords (USA) (Click here.)
* Dr Jacques Vallee (USA) (Click here.)
* Jean-Jacques Velasco (France) (Click here.)

The review panel:

* Dr Von Eshleman, Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. ·Radiowave propagation and radar.) (Click here.)
* Dr Thomas Holzer. (Space sciences.)
* Dr J R Jokipii, Regents Professor of Planetary Sciences and Astronomy at the University of Arizona. (Geophysical phenomena.) (Click here.)
* Dr Charles R. Tolbert. (Observational astronomy.) (Click here.)
* Dr Francois Louange. (Photographic analysis - France.) (Click here.)
*Dr H J Melosh, Professor of Planetary Science at the University of Arizona. (Geologist.) (Click here.)
* Dr James J Papike, Head of the Institute of Meteoritics. (Upper atmospheric phenomena.) (Click here.)
* Dr Guenther Reitz. German Aerospace Center. (Radiation injuries.) (Click here.)
*Dr Bernard Veyret. Bioelectromagnetics Laboratory at the University of Bordeaux, France. (Plant biology.) (Click here.)


David Pritchard (click here) and Harold Puthoff (click here) served as moderators.


The venue selected was the Pocantico conference centre at Rockefeller Estate in Tarrytown, New York."  The group convened on 29 September 1997, for three days.

Presentations by investigators:

* Dr Richard Haines - Photographic evidence.
* Dr Jacques Vallee - Luminosity estimates.
*Jean-Jacques Velasco - radar evidence.
* Dr Erling Strand - The Hessdalen Project.
* Dr Mark Rodeghier - Vehicle interference.
* Dr Richard Haines - Aircraft equipment malfunctioning.
* Dr Michael Swords - Apparent gravitational and.or inertial effects.
* Jean-Jacques Velasco - Injuries to vegetation.
* John F Schuessler - Physiological effects on witnesses.
* Jacques Vallee - Analysis of debris.

Panel's response:

Pages 120-122 present the "Panel's conclusions and recommendations." Among these were:

"It was clear that at least a few reported incidents might have involved rare but significant phenomena such as electrical activity high above thunderstorms ( e.g. sprites) or rare cases of radar ducting." (p.121.)

"On the other hand, the review panel was no convinced that any of the evidence involved currently unknown physical processes or pointed to the involvement of an extraterrestrial intelligence." (p.121.)

"It may therefore be valuable to carefully evaluate UFO reporters to extract information about unusual phenomena currently unknown to science." (p.121.)

"It appears that most current UFO investigations are carried out at a level of rigour that is not consistent with prevailing standards of scientific research." (p.121.)

"Studies should concentrate on cases which include as much independent physical evidence as possible and strong witness testimony." (p.122.)

"Some form of formal regular contact between the UFO community and physical scientists could be productive." (p.122.)


  1. I've only skimmed some of this material due to my interest in Schuessler's presentationof the Cash-Landrum case, but it's interesting that UFO's best just didn't seem to convince a sympathetic panel.

    Some of the material was pretty poor though, Vallee's debris paper included coverage of at least two hoaxes, the Aurora Martian airship and the flying donut slag from Maury Island!

  2. Really "Dr." Illobrand von Ludwiger?
    Only 29 pages on google with "Dr.", and not "Dr." on Wikipedia.
    Please answer, I need it for a Poster/Flyer against pernitious debunkers like CSICOP, GWUP etc..


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