Société Belge d’Etudes des Phénomènes Spatiaux
SOBEPS (Belgian Society for the Study of Space Phenomena) is a non-profit organization, published in the Annex to the “Moniteur Belge”, dated May 20th 1971. The organization’s purpose is to rationally study unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and issues related thereto. Based solely on volunteering, our endeavour includes investigations of witness testimonies, and an unprejudiced dissipation of the gathered information. Among its membership, SOBEPS counts specialists from universitarian, scientific, educational, financial and media sources.
SOBEPS wishes to contribute to the objective study of the UFO phenomenon, excluding any confessional, philosophical or political choices or a priori hypotheses. Our research approach is scientific and based on collecting and analyzing the best possible facts that are trustworthy, and on the constant monitoring of gathered results. In order to achieve this, we have put in place and coordinate the following activities:
- amass information on the UFO phenomenon through witnesses and other instances implicated in the event;
- performance of in-the-field investigations;
- verification of information, criticizing it according to the scientific method and the definition of observational analytical criteria;
- organization of detection and measurement activities of the physical criteria of the phenomenon;
- analysis of thus gathered information in collaboration with specialized labs;
- diffusion of gathered information and research results out to the public as well as to officially responsible circles (political, military and scientific authorities);
- organization of national and international meetings on the UFO problem in order to promote the objective and efficient research on the subject.
Since its foundation in 1971, SOBEPS has always advocated a scientific approach of the UFO problem. During these past years, it has progressively reinforced the rigor of its enterprise, particularly since the famous UFO-wave over Belgium (Autumn 1989-Spring 1991).
Indeed, confronted with such an overwhelming amount of information, SOBEPS has felt the need for a prudent study that is in-the-field and devoid of preconceived ideas, and for the use of scientific instruments in order to gather objective and analytical data that go deeper than human testimonies.
Simultaneously, this wave of 1989-91 – closely observed aerial phenomena that had all the characteristics of objects moving at low altitude over populated areas – has inclined SOBEPS to regard information by neutral citizens as an essential foundation of democracy. In short, SOBEPS considers it its duty to unite and divulge the most objective knowledge on the UFO phenomenon.
Thanks to its acquired notoriety, SOBEPS has made itself heard within multiple official bodies, and has rendered more credible the scientific study of the UFO phenomenon. Within the framework of an agreeing protocol between Federal Police and SOBEPS, all testimonies of unidentified aerial phenomena are immediately transmitted by fax to the SOBEPS headquarter. A standard questionnaire is provided for this. Other particular disposals are provided for those significant cases that may need special requirements.
The wave has also allowed collaboration with the Belgian Air Force. The Air Force has weighed on a number of issues:
- “Operation Identification” with the help of the national Ministers of Defence, Communication and Domestic Affairs: the organization of four nights of observation at a national level, with the assistance of the Federal Police and logistics from the Air Force, with two military air planes for reconnaissance and the use of civilian airport centers at Bierset;
- the publication of a preliminary report redacted by the military after unidentified radar echoes were recorded while UFOs were being noticed, in the night of March 30 and 31, 1990 (Walloon Brabant);
- the collaboration of SOBEPS in the analysis of the (radar-)video studied at the Center of Electronic Warfare of the Belgian Air Force.
Also, SOBEPS has enjoyed the help of several experts. This was the case for the analysis of a photographic document, in the lab of the Chair of Electricity at the Royal Military Academy (Brussels), as well as in the photographic department of the ‘Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique’ (IRPA). This collaboration with scientific organizations is continuing, as SOBEPS is surrounded by a certain number of scientific advisors who are collaborating practically in the development and control of its activities. Among the most active are:
- Auguste MEESSEN, professor emeritus at the Catholic University of Louvain, theoretical and quantum physicist.
- Léon BRENIG, operating chief at the Free University of Brussels, theoretical physicist (former assistant to Professor Ilya Prigogine).
- Claude GILLET, professor at the Universitarian Faculties of Namur, vegetal biologist.
- Jean-Pierre AUQUIERE, Catholic University of Louvain, medicinal and pharmaceutical botanist.
- Michel BOUGARD, University of Mons-Hainaut, chemistry and history of science.
Since January 1972, SOBEPS publishes the magazine Inforespace (next issue # 111 to appear in December 2005). It has several other publications listed, with two main reports (500 pages each) on the Belgian wave of 1989-91: Vague d’OVNI sur la Belgique. Vol. 1. Un dossier exceptionnel et Vague d’OVNI sur la Belgique. Vol. 2. Une énigme non résolue (in French only).
Our address: SOBEPS
Avenue Paul Janson, 74
B-1070 Brussels (Belgium).