Friday, September 1, 2017

Dr Michael J Duggin's 1971 symposium paper

Further to my earlier blog posts about Dr Michael J Duggin's contribution to Australian UAP research, I have now located a summary of a 1971 talk he gave.


On 30 October 1971, the South Australian Division of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science, held a one day symposium in Adelaide, South Australia, titled 'The Unidentified Flying Object Problem.' 

Courtesy of Peter Horne, of Adelaide, I now have a copy of the 'Condensed Papers' from the Symposium.

Dr Duggin presented a paper titled 'The Analysis of UFO Reports.' The 'Condensed Papers'
only contain a summary of the talk, which I present below.

The Analysis of UFO Reports

'There is an exceedingly large body of reports of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) from all over the world. Preliminary investigations show that about 67% of these are due to natural phenomena and so they are classed as Identified Flying Objects (IFOs.) The remainder, even discounting doubtful cases, forms an impressive collection of data. People making reports are usually sincere, often technically qualified and generally shy of the publicity which their sighting causes.

The vast number of unexplained reports, which show a surprising degree of internal consistency, argues for serious study of the UFO problem at this time.

Three typical reports are discussed, one concerns a sighting, one a series of strange ground markings, which appear similar to markings observed elsewhere in the world, and the last deals with a case of misidentification (i.e. an IFO.)

One problem confronting any would be researcher is the logistics of investigation, cataloguing and analysis of screened reports. Another problem lies in the fact that probably the number of UFO sightings far exceeds the number of UFO reports, as people are reluctant to report this sort of phenomenon, for fear of ridicule. Yet another problem is the ridicule which any interested scientist must face from his professional colleagues.

Since official study appears to have terminated with the closing of Project Blue Book, the publications of the findings of the Condon Committee, and the lack of action following the hearings before the Committee on Science and Astronautics, US House of Representatives 1968, July 29, the responsibility for further study lies with individual scientists. Such study is only possible if interested scientists organise themselves into an informed world-wide panel on the basis of their specialities. This will work efficiently if existing societies studying UFOs will open their files and work with participating scientists.' 

Some comments on the paper:

1. I don't know where Duggin obtained his figure of 67% IFOs from. Most researchers would say that around 90-95% of all incoming raw reports can be explained in mundane terms.

2. We know from Jacques Vallee's diary ('Forbidden Science, Volume Two,' page 100, 

Image courtesy Amazon Books
that only twelve days before the ANZAAS Symposium, that Duggin was in the USA and visited Vallee on that day. Vallee states that he showed Duggin his (Vallee's) catalogue of landing type reports. Vallee also wrote that Duggin '...has just completed a tour of  the US during which he met the leaders of both NICAP and APRO.' This may well explain his comment regarding scientists and UFO societies.

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