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2003/03/01 (EN)

FOTOCAT is a catalog of worldwide UFO photo events which presently contains 3,050 records. Managed and owned by Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos in addition to the present bilingual newsletter blog, a preliminary content report (in Spanish) can be found in these links: http://www.webcitation.org/6mx6rOv6V and http://www.webcitation.org/6mx6KmDqM

We continue receiving various forms of co-operation from specialists located in many parts of the world, as follows:
  • México is a country which has produced a lot of UFO imagery. The critical researcher Luís Ruiz Noguez, who is very much experienced in processing and analyzing photographic cases, is assisting us by reviewing the Mexican portion of FOTOCAT and sending new cases. This professional help is proving to be invaluable.

  • Famous US writer Ronald Story has been kind enough to donate a copy of the CD Rom versión of his huge UFO Encyclopedia, which includes a vast number of images of unidentified flying objects.

  • Thanks to Patrick Ferryn, from the serious Belgian UFO association SOBEPS, we have received 10 years of back issues of its excellent journal Inforespace, to complete our collection and to extract published cases for the catalog.

  • Ole Henningsen, an ufologist from the veteran Danish group SUFOI, has helped by reviewing cases reported in Denmark.

  • Christian Sommerer (CENAP, Germany), co-author of an excellent monography on the UFO phenomenon in the former Soviet Union, has submitted to us a number of cases where photos were taken in Russia.

  • From Italy, Marco Orlandi, an specialist in UFO observations by aircraft pilots and manager of AIRCAT, a major catalog of cases of this category, has allocated to us those reports from his databank where pictures or films or videos exist.

  • The notable researchers from the United States, Larry Hatch, creator of a giant database for UFO cases, and Larry Robinson, which web site is a rich information mine for any student, are two of our most regular collaborator-consultants, to whom we thank very much for their continuing support in the discussion of photographic cases.

FOTOCAT in the media
A “Letter to the Editor” describing the project has been published in the Winter 2002 issue of CUFOS International UFO Reporter, as well as in the January 2003 issue of the British magazine Fortean Times.

And an interview to this compiler, by the Chilean Christián Riffo, has been released through the internet Terra portal in the following link: http://www.terra.cl/ovnis/index.cfm?id_reg=215500&pagina= entrevistas&categoria=entrevistas

References: Improvement in the catalog structure
FOTOCAT has added a new, wide column to its data structure, to record the bibliographical references or sources considered to be the most relevant as far as the individual cases is concerned. For obvious reasons, this section will be “under construction” for a long time, given the monumental work inherent to its finalization, but we believe it is an indispensable item in a catalog like this.

Cases per Country
We have tallied FOTOCAT by country, and we present the distribution of cases for those countries contributing over 1% of the total (30 cases):

Two main comments are in order: 28% of total cases comes from the United States of America, amounting to near 900 reports. It is followed by Spain, with the most complete sample of photographic accounts never compiled until now, with almost 400 events.

Space collects the anomalous images taken from the outer space by astronauts and spacecraft. Under Ocean the marine cases are gathered. There are a few instances where the country is not known. And, finally, there are 294 cases occurred in other 61 nations of the world.

There are regions of the globe with a good coverage in this catalog, while others are still poorly documented. With the assistance of some helpers, the regular process of extracting cases from mainstream UFO journals like MUFON UFO Journal, Flying Saucer Review, Lumières Dans La Nuit and others will certainly balance the equation. We also expect that contributions from colleagues will generate a representative census of cases worldwide, larger than any other ever produced. When it is posted in the internet for free access, we hope it will be a useful piece of information for the analysts of this elusive phenomenon.

Help Needed
Readers and researchers are requested to contribute lists of local cases to FOTOCAT by writing to ballesterolmos@yahoo.es Another way to participate in this program is to review and to check the case lists we produce on demand for their countries, aimed to correct dates and locations, to add names of photographers, to inform about potential explanations, and to send reports unknown to us.

Every major contribution will be noted in the final report´s Acknowledgements.