EuroUfoList Colloquium - Chalons-en-Champagne, 14-16 october 2005

Minutes of the Colloquium Discussion

(by Edoardo Russo)

Pictures of the meeting | List of Participants | Preliminary agenda | Discussion Minutes | Final press release | The EuroUfo collective stand

I. - Preamble

European ufology suffers from an embarassment of riches: it is gathering a large number of active researchers, some long-standing organizations and several quality publications, amounting to an impressive asset of global history, experience, competence and potentials.

On the other side, European ufology suffers from the language barrier: nearly each European nation has its own language (no less than 12 different languages for Western Europe alone). This makes activities, research and publications mostly unknown outside each one’s national borders (with exception for what is published in English and – to a lesser degree – in French).

A strong need is felt for a better communication and cooperation.


II. Discussion

a - UFO Sightings and reports collecting

a 1 - cataloguing UFO sighting reports andestablishing a common database

There was some brief presentation of ongoing activities of case histories cataloguing, both on a general and on a tematic level. Very different situations exist in different countries.

The need for a common European database was discussed but practical difficulties and disparate national situations do not seem to allow a simple union of existing databases.

The subject was left aside, since we were expecting some fellows (who did not arrive) to come and submit a proposal of shared database. It will be the subject of a future debate on the Internet list.


b - Internal cooperation and data exchange

b 1 – improving communication and cooperation

A non-ideological approach was agreed for an enlargement and improvement of cooperation among active researchers: people from different and even opposing opinions will be invited to join the virtual community of European scientifically-oriented ufologists, provided they are doing active research and accept to share data and documentation.

b 2 - common list of available scientific consultants

As for the submitted proposal of building a common European list of available scientific consultants, it was agreed that no list of names should be built, also given the delicate nature of some professional positions, plus the often personal relations. A list of available professional specialities (without people names) might anyhow be feasible for each participating organization and be circulated among all.

b 3 - common list of ongoing research projects

It was agreed to build and update a joint European list of "who’s doing what", i .e. of all catalogue and research projects presently being conducted.

This will take the form of a web site where all scientifically oriented, active researchers will be allowed to announce their projects, report on the work in progress and finally publish their results, with an emphasis on the need and agreement to share data, proposals, documentation and any help.

b 4 - common list of available archives

It was agreed to build and update a joint European list of "who’s got what", i.e. of documentation (books, periodicals, case investigation reports, databases, etc.) owned by all participants, who also agree to make it all accessible to fellow researchers.

b 7 - common European refereed journal and common website

Though manpower and money resources are not enough for a traditional journal to be edited and published, it was agreed that an on-line web journal might be feasible, with both refereed articles, short communications on work in progress and reviews of relevant literature.

A more regular and effective communication among scientifically-oriented UFO organizations and researchers was also agreed, expecially using Internet tools.


c - External cooperation

c 3 – cooperation with scientific agencies and scientists

A cooperation with individual scientists or scientific bodies actively involved in UFO research is to be encouraged: scientifically-oriented ufology should help to build documentation and data to be offered for research purposes.

c 4 - concrete proposals for scientific studies and analyses

No agreement was reached on the usefulness of preparing proposals of this kind.


d - Philosophical issues

For the time being, it was agreed not to discuss this kind of subjects, which might outline differences, and instead concentrate on concrete acvitity plans, which might help to find unity.


III. - Concrete steps

  1. Expansion of the existing community: other organizations are to be asked to join.
  2. Creation of a virtual community on the web: a website will be implemented, where to host presentations of all active researchers, research projects and results (in English).
  3. A European refereed web journal (in English) will be planned, as a continuation of some previous attempts.
  4. Expansion of the EuroUfo mailing list: the aim is to gather all active researchers in Europe; each participant will be asked to submit new names of active researchers from his own country.
  5. A working group is to establish a connection between the existing national catalogues of UFO reports.
  6. Specific actions are being conducted in order to save and maintain archives and documentation on all past researches.

Pictures of the meeting | List of Participants | Preliminary agenda | Discussion Minutes | Final press release | The EuroUfo collective stand


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