Centro Italiano Studi Ufologici
THE ITALIAN CENTER FOR UFO STUDIES
(Centro Italiano Studi Ufologici, or CISU) was founded in 1985, as a merging from three different experiences: a dozen former directors of Centro Ufologico Nazionale (CUN), UPIAR (Ufo Phenomena International Annual Review) Cooperative members and the Clypeus/Ufologia editorial team.
CISU is a private, no-profit organization based on volunteer work of its unpaid members.
AIMS AND ACTIVITIES
CISU aims are: 1) to promote scientific study of UFO phenomena; 2) to let information and documentation circulate among researchers; 3) to coordinate nationally activities of data collection, analysis and its diffusion.
Main activities include: investigation on UFO sighting reports; filing and cataloguing of collected data and archiving of any useful documentation; promoting analyses and research; information for its members; public education
There are two levels of membership: temporary associates and full members. Only the latter are entitled to represent the CISU. General administration is managed by a council of directors (presently composed of a president and 6 other members), plus a secretarial staff. Local organization is made of regional coordinators and provincial directors.
Fields investigations on reported sightings are made by local members, following CISU Field Investigation Methodology Manual, designed so to collect as many information about sighted phenomena and reliability of testimonies. Written nvestigation reports are the basis for following studies.
In 2001 CISU adopted and has since adhered to the Ufology Code of Ethics developed by BUFORA and UFOIN in the UK.
CISU Archives systematically collect all and any Italian documentation and source about UFO phenomena and ufology: investigation reports, newsclippings, research articles, specialized books and periodicals, audio and video recordings, digital and magnetic media sources, as well as a wide range of advertising commercials, toys, gadgets, music records, art and other UFO-inspired popular culture items. A huge collection of international UFO books and periodicals is also stored at CISU headquarters in Torino, a 210 sq.mt. loft which is the largest repository of UFO documentation existing in Italy and one of the largest in Europe.
ANALYSIS, CATALOGUES AND RESEARCH
A first analysis work is done on each reported sighting, trying to evaluate information and identify the cause, whenever possible. Comparisons of cases and statistical presentations are also produced.
One of CISU major activities has always been the painstacking filing and cataloguing of even fragmentary news of any UFO/IFO sighting ever reported in Italy. More than 15,000 case histories have been filed as yet, amounting to tens of thousands of sources archived. This work has been and is being done at a local level, where regional/provincial archives are kept, digital databases built and paper catalogues published. A national archive and a national database also exist.
As for scientific research, CISU is only meaning itself as a source of documentation, consultation and infrastructure for active researchers. Research projects and committees are being activated, though, on specific subjects (an updated list of about 20 ongoing projects is available on the web at www.ufodatanet.org).
CISU main journal, UFO – Rivista di informazione ufologica (UFO information review, 31 issues published) is a glossy 48-pages magazine presently published three times per year, detailing the state-of-the art of ufology, with a special emphasis on investigations, analyses and articles by CISU members.
A monthly newsclipping service is also available upon request at a nominal fee. A quarterly newsletter (UFO Notizie, 63 issues) and an internal forum for discussion and technical articles (UFO Forum, 19 issues) have also been published for some years in the past.
Longer texts, regional or special sightings catalogues (e.g. Italian sightings by pilots, trace-landing cases, USO reports, ball lightning reports), as well as bibliographies or research results are also published as occasional monographs (Documenti UFO): as many as 34 as of now.
CISU has its own publishing house (Upiar Cooperative), which has released seven books as yet.
INFORMATION TO MEMBERS
Information sharing is the core of CISU philosophy: all members have a right not only to access archives but also to get copies of all archived documentation. Each catalogue or project coordinator is regularly getting copy of all incoming documents pertaining his own activity.
A long-standing book service for CISU members has later evolved into a specialized UFO e-commerce website (www.upiar.com).
Our national yearly congress has been held since 1986, as a regular occasion of meeting and discussion, mostly for members (though about half of them was also open to the public). Meetings and workshops on specific subjects have also been organized when needed.
In twenty years, CISU members have been organizing or taking part at hundreds of public conferences and debates, photo exhibitions, radio/TV emissions, interviews or articles in the general media, though public education have been given secondary importance, as opposed to other activities, in the last decade. Our main goals in doing public education are: 1) to make ourselves known to witnesses; 2) to attract new members; 3) to collect economic resources.
Though not sold in the newsstands, CISU magazine has been distributed in a nationwide chain of bookshops since 1986. Moreover, CISU magazine has been sent free for years to hundreds of scientists, public libraries, university departments, newspapers or single reporters, in order to keep them aware of our existence and activities.
CISU ON THE PHONE AND ON THE NET
Besides operating the oldest existing UFO-call 24-hours phone line in Italy for witnesses to call, for twenty full years, a new UFO information service on the phone (UFOTEL) has been activated since 1994, offering weekly news for free.
But the main information tool in the last decade has been the Internet: the CISU was the first Italian UFO organization to have a website, a mailing list and a weekly web-zine (all three of them still working). Ufo Online (www.ufo.it) has been and still is the most visitated Italian website on UFOs.
Ufotel weekly newsletter has also been distributed on the Internet (websites, mailing lists, newsgroups) since 1995, and our online UFO sighting form offers an easy tool for hundreds of witnesses each year. Besides the open/public mailing list and another one for CISU members only, as many as 18 specialized, closed-shop mailing lists are also existing for CISU research committees or working groups members to keep in contact and distribute information and discussions.
CISU – CENTRO ITALIANO STUDI UFOLOGICI – P. O. Box 82 – 10100 Torino (Italy)
Phone +39 011 307863 / Fax +39 011545033 – www.cisu.org / firstname.lastname@example.org