M U T U A L U F O N E T W O R K
UFO JOURNALMAY 1996 ~f NUMBER 337 $3
CHART 4-5. DISTANCE FROM WITNESS252 Qualified Cases
M U F O N U F O J O U R N A LO F F I C I A L P U B L I C A T I O N O F T H E M U T U A L U F O N E T W O R K S I N C E 1967
MAY 1996 N U M B E R 3 3 7
MUFON'S COMPUTERIZED UFO DATA T. David Spencer
ROSWELL DEBRIS RECOVERED
OF FIREBALLS GOOD AND OLD Thomas N. Hackney 10
HANDLING THE NEWS MEDIA Joe Lewels, Ph.D. 12
NEWS OFF THE NET: LA CHUPACABRA David Adams 14
THE UFO PRESS
John Carpenter 16
Gillis and Conroy 20
THE JUNE NIGHT SKY
Walter N. Webb
MUFON UFO JOURNAL(USPS 002-970)
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ASSOCIATE EDITORWalter H. Andrus, Jr.
COLUMNISTSWalter N. Webb
John S. CarpenterT. David Spencer
ART DIRECTORVince Johnson
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MUFON UFO JOURNAL
Examining MUFON's Computerized UFO DataSection 4: Viewed Objects
Part 2: Distance and Size, Surface and Colors, Emissions, Landings, and Following the Witness
By T. David Spencer, Deputy Director, Investigations
OBJECT DISTANCE AND SIZE
Of the 585 reports before 1995 that claimed sightings ofUFOs, 514 estimate the distance. The object's apparentsize is given in 430, and 410 include the estimated actualsize. All three estimates are given in 281 (48 percent) ofthe reports.
In 252 (43 percent) of the reports, the three mea-sures were consistent. That is. the object sizes fell withinthe ranges of possibilities calculated from the estimateddistances and apparent sizes. Having the three mea-sures, and their being in agreement, is a confidence in-dication for the measurements - that they were madeconscientiously. The distance and size statistics reportedhere are based on these qualified estimates.
Table 4-4. Size and DistanceCounts of sightings for the 252 qualified cases havingconsistent measures. Highlighted values are those ex-ceeding 20 percent of the totals of both the column andthe row.
< 1 Ft.1 - 3 Ft.4 -10 Ft.1 1 - 30 Ft.31 - 100 Ft.101 -300 Ft.> 300 Ft.Total
DISTANCE FROM WITNESS< = 20
21 - 100Ft.
101 - 500Ft.
501 Ft. -1 Mi.
> 1 Mi.
Table 4-4 is a distance - size cross correlation tablegiving the counts from the qualified set. There were nomeasures of less than one foot when the objects were atdistances exceeding 500 feet. Similarly, there were nomeasures of sizes over 300 feet when the objects wereless than 101 feet away. In 27 of the 57 distances of lessthan 100 feet, the objects were larger than 30 feet across(almost on top of the witness). The ranges most fre-quently reported were distances between 101 feet andone mile and sizes between 31 and 100 feet.
Distance from the WitnessThe proportions of reported distances from the witnessare illustrated in Chart 4-5. Except for star shapes, nonebeing reported within 100 feet, the distances for the sixprincipal shapes agree with the chart. Since an objectidentified as a star at a distance would probably beidentified as another shape at close range, the exceptionseems reasonable.
AltitudeTable 4-5. Altitude and Distance
Count of sightings for the 252 qualified cases havingconsistent measures. Highlighted values are thoseexceeding 20 percent of the totals of both the columnand the row.
> 500 Ft.< = 500 Ft.TREETOPLANDUnknownTotal
DISTANCE FROM WITNESS< = 20
21 - 100Ft.07
501 Ft. -1 Mi.3925905
> 1 Mi.
The distance versus altitude cross-correlation of Table4-5 reveals that the most frequent sightings are close en-counters with objects that are airborne at altitudes of 500feet or below.
Elevation AngleThe observed angle of elevation above the horizon helpsassess the object's orientation. Percentages of the data in15 degree increments show that over 60 percent of thesightings were at elevations below 45 degrees, with apeak of 27 percent between 15 and 30 degrees. Another25 percent were between 75 and 90 degrees. Peculiarly,only about 7 percent of the sightings fell in each of thetwo intervals between 45 and 75 degrees. Once an angleof 45 degrees is exceeded, people may consider the ob-ject they are viewing to be directly overhead, leading theinvestigator to report a 90-degree elevation.
MAY 1996 NUMBER 337 PAGE 3
MUFON UFO JOURNAL
Object SizesTable 4-6. Size Distributions.
Counts of sightings for the 252 qualified cases havingconsistent measures. Highlighted values are thoseexceeding 20 percent of the column total.
SIZE(Feet)< 11 -34-101 1 - 3 031 - 100101 -300> 300 Ft.Total
In Table 4-6, which gives the distribution of sizes byshape, the following is observed:
1. The sphere was the only principal shape that hadsize estimates across the entire range of values.
2. Boomerangs exhibited sizes larger than the othershapes, the most frequent range being between101 and 300 feet.
3. There are no qualified cases in which either aboomerang or a triangle was estimated to be lessthan 11 feet across.
4. The estimates of size were predominantly between31 and 100 feet. (It is interesting that this range in-cludes the size of most airplanes.)
SURFACE AND COLORS
Viewed objects either have a surface or are shaped fromlights. Mostly, objects are solid and have illumination.The object's surface may be glowing or dark and mayhave observable features. External lights may be pulsingor steady. All combinations are allowed and have beenobserved.
Table 4-7. Surface Appearances.Proportions by shape from 586 cases having data (618data values). Values in parentheses are counts of totals.Other values are percentages by shape. Highlighted val-ues are those exceeding 20 percent.
Of the 586 reports of UFOs, there were 618 claims re-garding surface appearances. Over 50 percent of theclaims said the surface was either dark, dull, or un-known. Dark surfaces were usually identified either by theoutline being seen as a shadow against the brighter sky,
(618)Dark ( 1 1 7 )Dull ( 7 1 iGlowing (210lMisty 115)Reflective (72)Other ( 10 )Unknown ( 1 23 1Total I %)
by the area being visible from its own lights or groundlights, or by the surf