UFO Sighting Reports Decreasing all over Europe

On 7 January 2018, the Italian Center for UFO Studies issued a press release to provide initial data about UFO sighting reports collected by CISU during the year 2017.

Even if based on partial data, it was already clear that reports of strange objects and lights in Italian skies had diminished for the fifth consecutive year.

That first result was based on the questionnaire forms compiled directly by witnesses on CISU websites: only 113 for 2017, while they had been 136 in 2016, 226 in 2015, 399 in 2014, 617 in 2013 and 974 in 2012. Clearly a strong and continuous descending trend.

As it is known, the number of UFO sightings is not constant: since 1947 there have always been richer years (the so-called “UFO waves”, eg. 1950, 1954, 1973-74, 1978, 1985, 1997, 2001, 2004-05, 2009-10 in Italy) followed by others very poor ones (eg. 1955, 1981-82, 1991, 1998). Over time, various hypotheses have been made of correlations between the number of UFO reports and other physical phenomena (eg. proximity to the planet Mars) or sociological phenomena (eg. economic crises), but none has been substantially confirmed.

In order to compare Italian data with other countries, as it was already done two years ago, the Italian Center for UFO Studies launched an appeal to the other national organizations participating in EuroUfo.net, asking them to share data on each one’s case collection over the past four years.

We are now able to summarize the first totals of the reports collected for the 2012-2017 years by twelve national organizations in Europe that regularly collect, analyze and catalog reports coming directly from eyewitnesses:
BUM and COBEPS for Belgium;
SUFOI for Denmark;
FUFORA for Finland;
GEIPAN and Ovni-France for France;
DEGUFO and GEP for Germany ;
CISU and CUN for Italy;
Ufo-Norge for Norway;
Ufo-Sverige for Sweden.

Eight nations may sound like few but those are representing 41% of European population and 40% of Europe’s surface (excluding Russia, Turkey and other countries actually straddling Europe and Asia), so these figures are a reasonably representative sample for a first attempt at a continental overview. From a mere quantitative side, the set of cases considered is over 13,000 sightings in six years.

Obviously we are talking about raw and preliminary data, whose relevance should not be overstated, but which can and give us tendency indications at the same time quite clear and significant.
First, if you look at the tables of annual data and annual variations, country by country, it will be seen that the sharp decrease in the number of UFO/IFO reports from 2012 to 2017 is general and continuous: the continental total decreased of 22% in 2013, a further 25% in 2015, to fall again by 20% in 2016 and another 23% last year (with an overall reduction of 64%).
2017europeuforeports-totals 2017europeuforeports-variation

Secondly, this is also the trend for most of the single nations, even if there are sporadic exceptions in which the annual totals have increased (Belgium 2015, Germany 2014, Norway and Sweden 2016) or remained almost stable (Belgium 2014, France 2014 and 2017, Finland 2013 and 2015, Germany 2015, Norway 2014, Sweden 2014 and 2015).

The above data confirmed that the number of sighting reports is decreasing, not only in Italy but nearly in all of Europe, and not only in the last year. There are currently no explanations for such a trend, and discussion among UFO students is open.

A certain satisfaction is warranted because it’s been possible to draw a common picture of UFO reports at European level.

Italian Air Force Confirms UFO Reports Are Diminishing

After the publication of CISU data about UFO reports collected in 2017, also the CUN (National UFO Center) published its data about UFO sighting report received last year (110 in all), confirming the downward trend not only compared to 2016 but also within the whole decade, unlike some sensationalist claims by some Italian media in early January.

Although less significant, the number of reports coming from Italy to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) Case Management System, which offers the best known online direct collection system in the world (7,686 sightings worldwide last year), remained unchanged (22 in 2016, 22 in 2017) but the language barrier makes it a very partial indicator for non-English-speaking countries.

Also the General Security Department of the Italian Air Force has now released the usual annual summary of reports of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) received in 2017 and for the first time since 1979 (when this service was started) no UFO sighting report has arrived to the Italian military for the whole year. As already noted in the past, in Italy – unlike other countries – the annual totals of UFO cases received by the government have always been much lower than those collected by private UFO associations, but a total of zero is remarkable anyway.

Italy 2017: Less UFO Reports from Witnesses

by Giorgio Abraini

In line with the trend of the last few years, the number of UFO reports in Italy seems to fall further down, based on a first analysis of data collected for the year 2017 from the CISU (Italian Center for UFO Studies), which has been monitoring UFO sightings in Italy since 1985 (over 25,000 reports since 1945).

If it’s true that the 113 sighting questionnaire forms received directly from witnesses through CISU website in 2017 are slightly more numerous than the previous year, if considering also the third-party sources (websites, newspapers, other UFO organizations) it seems probable that the final result will be a further, marked decline in sightings, confirming the same trend already seen in previous years.

One year ago, in the early days of 2017, you could already count around 500 sightings for 2016, later increased up to the total of about 600 reports known as of today. According to the real-time catalog CisuCat coordinated by Pasquale Russo on the website UfoWeb, we can now count as little as 250 for 2017.

Of course this total is destined to rise as 2017 sightings continue to emerge during the current year. However, based on the data available so far it is possible to estimate a total not exceeding 450-500 sightings, i.e. a significant drop compared to the 600 reports known today for 2016.

Russian Pilot and Ufo Writer Marina Popovich R.I.P.

Soviet aviation veteran and UFO enthusiast Marina Popovich died in Krasnodar, Russia, on November 30th, 2017. She was 86 years old.

Marina Lavrentyevna Vasylieva decided to become a military pilot at 14 years old, when her family had to flee in front of the Nazi advance. The bureaucratic obstacles, her short stature and age prevented him from entering the academy at that time, but latershe became a legend as an aeronautics officer and test driver, driving experimental aircrafts, beating speed records and even entering the small group of cosmonaut women candidates to go into space.

Interested in UFOs after a personal sighting, she wrote a first book on the subject (“UFO Glasnost”, later translated into German) in 1991, claiming that the USA and USSR governments concealed evidence that UFOs were extraterrestrial crafts. She later wrote other books and participated in conferences and UFO events both in his country and abroad, the most famous of which in San Francisco, in 1991, claiming the space probe Phobos 2 had photographed a mysterious object near the satellite of Mars, before disappearing mysteriously.

Marina had long been married to cosmonaut Pavel Popovich, who had been deputy director of the UFO committee within the Soviet Academy of Sciences since 1984 and later became chairman of the Russian UFO Association SoyuzUfoTsentr.

Belgian Ufologist Franck Boitte has died

On December 11, 2017 Belgian ufologist Franck Boitte died in Challans, France.

Born in 1940, a flying saucer buff since his teen years, in 1972 he was among the first members of the SOBEPS (Société Belge d’Etudes sur les Phénomènes Spatiaux), for which in twenty years he made numerous field investigations, interviewing over 250 witnesses (many during the great Belgian wave of 1989) and writing dozens of articles in the group journal Inforespace .

A graduate in administrative engineering and computer science, in 1992 he moved to France. Since 2009 he has been part of the EuroUfo.net

Among his monographic publications, the catalog of sightings in the Belgian wave-UFO of 1954 (2005), the general index of the first 100 issues of “Inforespace”, the general catalog of cases with humanoids in Belgium (2010), a retrospective evaluation of the Belgian UFO wave 20 years later (2009).

Belgium: All Photo Case Histories


“Belgium in UFO Photographs – Volume 1″ is the latest book from UPIAR Publications.

Authors are two veteran ufologists: Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos from Spain and Wim van Utrecht from Belgium, who joined their experience not just to collect and present but – most important – to analyze carefully all UFO photographic cases (84 case histories) that took place in Belgium from 1950 to 1988, up to before the 1989 great wave of sightings in that country (which will make the main course of the forthcoming “second volume”).

For over fifteen years Ballester Olmos has focused himself on UFO photo reports, with a worldwide collection and cataloguing project called Fotocat, which has so far collected 12,200 cases and published seven monographs and numerous articles.

As he had previously done for Norway, Ballester Olmos was supported by local expert van Utrecht who shares the same scientific approach, as well as a participation in the EuroUfo.net collective.

The result of this trans-national collaboration is not a simple catalog, but a textbook example of how we can analyze UFO reports in a rational way, using different technical skills to extract useful data in order to look for an explanation, every time this is possible.

Like previous Fotocat Project publications, this amazing work is available for free in digital format on the Academia.edu platform, while collectors and libraries can obtain the paper edition (400 + XII pages in large color format, with 366 photos and illustrations, graphs and statistics, plus an accurate bibliography) ordering it from UPIAR Store online.

A University Thesis on the History of French Ufology

European UFO historiography is enriched with an important piece.

After the first volume (of 513 pages) published in June, the second volume (209 pages) was published in October 2017 of the book “Ovnis sur la France, des années 1940 à nos jours” (Ufo on France, from the 40s to today”), which is a revised and abridged version of a dissertation in contemporary history.

The author is Manuel Wiroth, which graduated in October 2016 at the University of Lyon, France, with a thesis titled “History of ufology in France (from the first individual research on the discs flying to the constitution of UFO study networks, from the 40s to the present”), before a commission that included among others scientist-ufologist Jean-Pierre Rospars.

For years a UFO buff Wiroth was able to base upon the impressive documentary collection of the French archive UFO group SCEAU ( Sauvegarde et Conservation des Etudes et Archives Ufologiques), directed by Gilles Durand.

The big dimensions of the dissertation forced JMG publishing house to divide it into two volumes, the first dedicated to “Testimonies and private researchers”, the second to “The scientific and military investigation”.

Baure, Jean-François (France)

Born in 1970, he’s a generalist engineer with a specialisation in electronics & signal processing (after Maths Sup and Maths Spe).
He worked nearly 10 years for the D.G.A. (French weapon procurement agency). After a Master 2R in applied mathematics, he’s now a teacher in mathematics.

In the meantime, he has been scientific coordinator of UFOCOM web site for a few years, trying to gather scientific expertise from different fields (astrophysics, biochemistry, aerospace, digital processing of images/video, …) to be in position to study any material made available to the UFOCOM. His main interest was the Belgian UFO flap that began in the late 80s early 90s. He studied some of the F16 radar lock on data provided by A. Meessen.

He published a recent work with Martin Shough, David Clarke, Paul Fuller and others about a strange aerial luminous phenomenon observed by pilot(s) above the Channel Islands.

He has always been strongly attracted to the idea that life is blooming throughout the universe, and he’s inclined to wonder whether advanced life forms could be visiting/studying/monitoring the homo sapiens evolution and his long march towards the stars. Consequently, he’s interested in all the ways to bring the available UFO related field data to science, even if it is very challenging to work on this collected data, sometimes very sparse, and if in the end, it remains hazardous to discriminate between phenomena originating from earth and phenomena extraterrestrial in nature. He has the longlasting feeling that one must cross many science fields (combining “hard sciences” and social or human psychology, cognitive sciences,…) to properly approach the UFO phenomena.

He’s admirative of the science camps of the Hessdalen project, and of any attempt to make experimental science (gathering ad hoc sensors) on a set of rare phenomena. He’s also curious to see whether the Internet promises (collective intelligence, team working, data-mining, …) combined to all the new mobile technology (imaging, geolocalizing,….) will help the study the UFO phenomena.

E-mail: jeffbaure@gmail.com


Coordinator: Marco Bianchini

Starting: 1995

Subject: catalogue and archive of Italian USO case reports

Aims: collecting, cataloguing and evaluating all documentation about reported sightings of Unidentified Submerged Objects (USO) or water-related UFOs in Italy.

Methods: Four categories have been defined for inclusion (submerged objects; objects entering water; objects coming out of water; navigating or standing objects upon the water surface). All available documents about any such reported event is being collected and filed in an individual folder. A database is being kept for indexing purposes. Exchanges with similar collections abroad are also kept.

Results: 200 Italian USO case histories have been collected, filed, catalogued and evaluated as yet.

Publications: A preliminary 16-pages catalogue was released and pivately circulated by CISU in 1996. A full annotated catalogue with summary, sources and evaluation for each report was later published as a 160-pages CISU monograph in 2003. This later catalogued was entirely translated to English and is available through the American website waterufo.net by Carl Feindt. Several USOCAT reports have been included in Feindt’s book “UFOs and Water” (2010)

1) Bianchini, Marco: “UsoCat – Catalogo italiano degli avvistamenti”, CISU, Torino, 1996
2) Bianchini, Marco: “UsoCat – Catalogo italiano degli oggetti sommersi”, Upiar, Torino, 2003
3) http://www.waterufo.net/
4) Feindt, Carl: “UFOs And Water – Physical Effects Of UFOs On Water Through Accounts By Eyewitnesses”, Xlibris, USA 2010 .