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The CUFOS Organization

Who started the Center for UFO Studies?

The Center for UFO Studies was started by Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who was a professor of astronomy at Ohio State University, and later, chairman of the astronomy department at Northwestern University. During the 1950s and 1960s, he served as the astronomical consultant to the United States Air Force's Project Blue Book. Essentially, his responsibility was to determine whether there was an astronomical explanation for a UFO sighting. Professor Hynek would study a UFO report and decide if its description of the UFO suggested a known astronomical object. That is, did the witness see the planet Venus or a meteor instead of a genuine UFO? 

At first, Dr. Hynek was skeptical of the whole UFO business, but after examining hundreds of UFO reports by credible witnesses, he became convinced UFOs were worthy of serious study. With the closing of Project Blue Book in 1969, he began to seriously consider forming a private, scientific UFO organization composed of scientists and other highly-trained technical experts, who would work together to solve the UFO enigma. In 1972, Hynek published his classic book, The UFO Experience: A Scientific Study, in which he presented his categories for grouping UFO sightings and coined the phrase, "Close Encounters." In 1973, he started the Center for UFO Studies and served as its scientific director until his death in 1986. Before he died, Dr. Hynek appointed Mark Rodeghier to succeed him as scientific director. The Center for UFO Studies continues to honor Hynek's legacy through its serious study and examination of the UFO phenomenon. 

What does the Center for UFO Studies do?

The Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) has three principal activities. First, it maintains a library and archives of UFO-related materials. These materials include books, articles, documents, and sighting reports. Second, the Center publishes reliable information about the UFO subject through its quarterly magazine, the International UFO Reporter (IUR), and its annual scholarly publication, the Journal of UFO Studies. CUFOS also publishes books, such as Encounter at Buff Ledge and Examining the Earthlight Theory, as well as monographs that examine specific cases or other aspects of the UFO phenomenon. Third, the Center supports and conducts investigations into areas of particular interest and concern to contemporary ufology. Currently, some Center associates are investigating the alleged crash of a UFO near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947, while others are developing a psychological profile of individuals who claim to have been abducted by aliens. Of course, the Center for UFO Studies continues to investigate UFO sightings and to collect and evaluate UFO reports from around the world. This sighting information is summarized in a computer database called UFOCAT, available only to serious scholars and researchers. Some of the volunteers at CUFOS are shown below . Click on picture for transcript of interview (under construction) with staff members.

 Mark RodeghierMichael Swords gme2.gif (16426 bytes)

Left to right: Dr. Mark Rodeghier, Scientific Director; Dr. Michael Swords, Western Michigan University; George Eberhart, CUFOS Publications Director

David BorasJerome Clark

Left to right: David Boras, CUFOS Assistant to the Scientific Director; Jerome Clark, Editor, International UFO Reporter; John Timmerman, CUFOS Financial Officer

Frank Reidcase files  

Left to right: CUFOS History Consultant Frank J. Reid makes use of the extensive holdings in the CUFOS Library; (click on Frank's picture to see his Inspiring Thought for the month). Visitors to the library often find just what they are looking for. The case files housed at CUFOS contain UFO reports, clippings, and investigations going back to the 1940s. 


 

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