Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, March 24, 2007

OA for UFO docs

The French government is providing OA to its UFO investigations.  Apparently it's the first government to do so.  From yesterday's AP story:

France's space agency is opening up its secret “X-Files'' – three decades of research into UFO sightings, including police reports, witness sketches and maps that scientists used to search for logical explanations behind mysterious phenomena in the skies.

The first batch of archives went up on the agency's Web site Thursday, and the pages have had so much traffic that the site has been tough to access since.

Only about 9 percent of France's UFO cases have ever been fully explained, the group says, while experts have found likely reasons for another 33 percent of cases.

The agency, known by its French initials CNES, said it went public with the documents to draw the scientific community's attention to unexplained cases – and because their secrecy generated buzz, with many people suspicious that officials were hiding something....

“The public sector needs an official group that can take these phenomena into account and, in most cases, respond to public observations,'' said [Jacques Patenet, the director of the agency's UFO unit]. “The great danger would be to leave the field open to sects and charlatans.''

The archive contains about 100,000 documents from those cases – including expert reports, drawings by witnesses and some audio and video files....

Update (8/27/07). Exopolitics Toronto is urging the Canadian government to follow suit.