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Making best use of archived UFO reports


Squirrel

Paranormal Novice
Re-posting isn't generally good, but I have a serious suggestion I made on the Katina Kyle show topic, for how the huge amount of archived UFO report data could be brought to life in a really useful way. So for the visitors to this forum, here is that post:

Early in the Katina Kyle appearance, the "dead-ending" and sometimes hoarding of huge amounts of UFO investigative reports was discussed.

I suggest that a "taking it to the next level" effort might be, (if enough conscientious volunteers were available,) to CODIFY significant numbers of the best reports, into a system of database files.

Then, an ON LINE QUERY system could be set up so that anyone on the planet could query the data, looking for relationships and conclusions which aren't obvious just looking at a huge stack of file boxes.

What would give this option exceptional knowledge-advancing power is that with people, our best ideas don't occur on day one. With an on line query system, ideas could be tested and refined over TIME.

Another bonus would be that finally, serious scientists could work on the available data ANONYMOUSLY. They wouldn't have to worry about being "outed."

Codification means setting up a large list of case characteristics, TO APPEAR AS CHECK BOXES in many instances. Basic stuff like the who, when, where, sighting class, sighting specifics, personal characteristics of the observer(s), physical traces, radar data.

An on line query system would look like a much-enhanced search engine. It could provide simple counts of cases with checked-off characteristics. Asking this database about COMBINATIONS of characteristics is where many hidden insights can be revealed, which may never be realized by just reading papers.

The database could also be asked for not just counts, but actual LISTS of cases which exhibit combinations of characteristics. Such lists would suggest further query criteria for further iterations of each line of investigation.

What makes it unique is the computer's power to bring every little scrap of data together, accurately, in seconds.

This is how I suggest all that "hoarded" data could propel UFOlogy to new heights, and could bring the serious scientific establishement on board.

Any thoughts, UFO forum members?

-- Squirrel
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Re-posting isn't generally good, but I have a serious suggestion I made on the Katina Kyle show topic, for how the huge amount of archived UFO report data could be brought to life in a really useful way. So for the visitors to this forum, here is that post:

Early in the Katina Kyle appearance, the "dead-ending" and sometimes hoarding of huge amounts of UFO investigative reports was discussed.

I suggest that a "taking it to the next level" effort might be, (if enough conscientious volunteers were available,) to CODIFY significant numbers of the best reports, into a system of database files.

Then, an ON LINE QUERY system could be set up so that anyone on the planet could query the data, looking for relationships and conclusions which aren't obvious just looking at a huge stack of file boxes.

What would give this option exceptional knowledge-advancing power is that with people, our best ideas don't occur on day one. With an on line query system, ideas could be tested and refined over TIME.

Another bonus would be that finally, serious scientists could work on the available data ANONYMOUSLY. They wouldn't have to worry about being "outed."

Codification means setting up a large list of case characteristics, TO APPEAR AS CHECK BOXES in many instances. Basic stuff like the who, when, where, sighting class, sighting specifics, personal characteristics of the observer(s), physical traces, radar data.

An on line query system would look like a much-enhanced search engine. It could provide simple counts of cases with checked-off characteristics. Asking this database about COMBINATIONS of characteristics is where many hidden insights can be revealed, which may never be realized by just reading papers.

The database could also be asked for not just counts, but actual LISTS of cases which exhibit combinations of characteristics. Such lists would suggest further query criteria for further iterations of each line of investigation.

What makes it unique is the computer's power to bring every little scrap of data together, accurately, in seconds.

This is how I suggest all that "hoarded" data could propel UFOlogy to new heights, and could bring the serious scientific establishment on board.

Any thoughts, UFO forum members?

-- Squirrel
There is the UFOCAT project at CUFOS. Other than that, several other people have suggested similar ideas. There are four main problems in realizing such a project, five if you count funding.
  1. Reaching agreement on how the project will be developed.
  2. Reaching agreement on who will run the project.
  3. Finding volunteers to do the work.
  4. Getting the material.
  5. Finding funding.
I know about all these challenges because I once created a custom search system that could bring together a variety of search parameters in a simple input field and display the relevant files with links to them. I funded it myself. All volunteers needed to do was start submitting content according to the standards set for the website. I had three or four tire-kickers and that's all. Here's what seems to happen:

There seems to be an assumption floating around out there that all one needs to do is dump a load of sighting report into a magical database, and presto! Out will come the answer to the UFO mystery. People don't realize that there is a ton of work involved. Every report needs to be converted from whatever format it is in to whatever the system requires. To do that properly, someone needs to get permission to copy and publish the information as well as physically input it into a system.

Then each report needs to be evaluated, given a rating, and the associated keywords need to be added into the database along with a description and link to each file. A hundred volunteers might get it all done in a year if everyone could cooperate. That brings us to the issue of cooperation. Even with someone providing the hosting and website design for free ( like I did ), that's never good enough. Everyone thinks it should be done their way, using their preferred system. As a consequence nobody does anything.

Basically, it's easy to come up with bright ideas. It's another thing to do the work. Everyone wants to be boss and have everyone else do the work for free. It's not going to happen. Maybe with a hundred thousand dollars to blow, someone could hire enough people to get most of it done. But I'm not holding my breath. That is just the sad reality of the situation. But there's certainly nothing wrong with the idea. If you can make it happen, go for it ! Just because my attempt never got off the ground doesn't mean someone else's won't.
 
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Squirrel

Paranormal Novice
I'm fully aware of all the realities you list above, Randall, having lived to a ripe old age.

Whenever the issue of hoarded, parked data comes up, I think it is still worth suggesting how it might be put to productive use, in spite of the barriers.

Hey, maybe someone will tell Robert Bigelow, and he might have an inspired insight in that direction!

-- Squirrel
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
I'm fully aware of all the realities you list above, Randall, having lived to a ripe old age. Whenever the issue of hoarded, parked data comes up, I think it is still worth suggesting how it might be put to productive use, in spite of the barriers. Hey, maybe someone will tell Robert Bigelow, and he might have an inspired insight in that direction!
No argument there. A lot of newer entries into the field may not even know such files exist. Regarding Bigelow: If his past behavior is any indication, he'd probably keep it all for his private use. Maybe Yuri Milner?

 



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