Leer en español

2004/02/17 (EN)

By Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos
Research Director, Anomaly Foundation
E-mail: ballesterolmos@yahoo.es


FOTOCAT is a worldwide catalog of photographic events covering the period from 1900 to 2004. It attempts to collect all published UFO (both true or explained) cases where a photograph, film or video was taken. Developed under the auspices of the Anomaly Foundation (Spain), our plan is to post it freely through the internet as soon as its size is considered representative enough and some data columns “under construction” are finished.


It is a basic Excel file with 19 data columns, which description follow (according to the 3 pages its printing is configured):

First Page

-Type of Case
(the first 2 columns are intended to serve the research commitments of the compiler and they are not of general interest):
1st column. A (for aterrizaje) means Iberian landing case . The case belongs to one of my own specialized catalogs in this area, named LANIB, NELIB and LONIB.
2nd column. M (for militar) means Spanish military case. The case belongs to one of my specialized catalogs in this area, MILICAT and PSEUDOCAT.

(the following 5 columns just inform the format in which FOTOCAT owns the case image)
3rd column. D (for diapositiva) means slide
4th column. F (for fotografía) means photograph
5th column. V means video
6th column. d means computer disc
7th column. C means CD ROM

8th column. The date expressed as Day/Month/Year

-Approximate Date
9th column. Y is approxímate year, M is approxímate month, D is approxímate day

10th column. Although FOTOCAT is in English, it appears the word OVNI (for objeto volante no identificado, or UFO) to describe the situation where there is not (or it is not known) any explanation proposal which is fair enough to the compiler. In all other cases, the type of explanation is described.

11th column. The sign ☑ appears to denote the case is or may be explainable.

12th column. Town, province/region/state, and country

-National Code
13th column. It appears the nation according to an international alpha ISO code of 3 digits. In addition, SPACE notes sightings from outer space, OCEAN notes events occurred over oceans and seas, and UNK notes cases where the country is unknown.

Second Page

-Local Geographical Codes
14th column (under construction). Official postal codes to note Provinces (Spain, France, Argentina, Belgium, Canada), States (USA, Brazil, Mexico), or Region (Australia, Chile).

-Photo, Film and Video
15th column. It informs the original format of the image, whether a photograph, film (movie) or video recording.

-Photographer or cameraperson
16th column. Name of photographer or cameraperson.

17th column (under construction). When the author of the image is associated to a newspaper or other media, it notes the name of the media involved.

-Special Photo Features
18th column (under construction). It includes any singular data of the photography or the conditions of the take, like: infrared or special sensibility film, stereo or 3D photo, automatic camera, gun camera, object unseen by photographer, blank photos, spectra or magnetic recording, underwater, etc.

Third Page

19th column (under construction). References and sources.

How Can You Help To This Project?

Any researcher can assist in the unfolding of FOTOCAT in three basic ways:
  1. Either by donating original documents on photographic cases like prints, slides, films, videos, or magazines and books where photographic cases are published (or xeroxcopies of such materials). Mail costs will be paid by us.

  2. By making yourself available to collecting or reviewing cases for one country or any specific region.

  3. Simply by sending us lists of the cases you know.

Number Of Cases As Of Today

Catalog presently records 4,444 different series of UFO photos, independent of date (i.e., one same event-day may generate several entries, if taken by different photographers.)

Recent International Co-Operation

A group of first-rate ufologists from several continents are working hand-to-hand with this FOTOCAT compiler to upgrade and improve the information already available for a number of countries. Others are committed to regularly submitting us bits of information. In addition to several names already mentioned in prior editions of this loose news bulletin, recently we received assistance, materials or case lists from these colleagues: Guillermo Daniel Giménez (Argentina), Kentaro Mori (Brazil), Patrick Ferryn (Belgium), Claude Maugé and Stephane Bernard (France), Luis Ruiz Nóguez (México), and Diego Zúñiga (Chile).

Original material submitted to be included in FOTOCAT recently came from Argentina (Sigurd von Wurmb), Chile (Marcos González) and Brazil (Luiz Fernandi Cabral e Cunha.)

Local experts are helping us in various ways, e.g. Ricardo Campo Pérez has assisted considerably with the Canary Islands reports, Pedro Ojalvo has reviewed our full collection of the French journal Phénomènes Spatiaux, Luis R. González did the same with the Flying Saucer Review, and Juan-Carlos Victorio Uranga reviewed the French Lumières Dans La Nuit. And Ángel Carretero Olmedo was instrumental in getting data on old-time cases. Also, Javier García Blanco, from the Madrid magazine Año Cero, has provided useful references as well.

FOTOCAT Distributed By Year

We have created the following informative graph showing the FOTOCAT-stored cases per year, from 1946 to 2004 (click the thumbnail to enlarge):

The yearly distribution is unequal, with peak years and low years. Wave years (as per the typical ufological jargoon) are 1950, 1952 and top 1954 in the fifties; 1965, 1966, top 1967 and 1968 in the sixties; 1973 to 1978 with maximums in 1974 and 1978 in the seventies; the eighties representing a valley in my compilation, while 1990 to 1997 with top 1996 regain reporting activity in the nineties. In the XXI century, year 2002 shows the cutest peak in the history, followed by 2003 (probably the effect of internet in the quick dissemination of information).

FOTOCAT Distributed By Country

We have collected information from 96 different countries in the world. Nations for which we have over 1% of the total (44 or more reports) follow in an orderly fashion:

United States of America: 1280
Spain: 474
France: 275
Argentina: 241
Great Britain: 239
México: 189
Australia: 177
Sweden: 152
Italy: 142
Japan: 131
Brazil: 105
Canada: 105
Poland: 73
Russia: 48
Germany: 47

Three comments: the impact of the US UFO story in the global picture is of paramount importance, as it is well known. The phenomenon emerged there from a media or sociological viewpoint and it has developed grossly in that country, as well as in those of language influence like Great Britain, Australia and Canada.

Spain is second in the list. It reflects the hard work this compiler and his colleagues have made gathering together photographic reports in this country, for which an almost exhaustive coverage already exists

The large number of cases in the other countries is due to both the volume of events actually reported and published as well as the local cooperation FOTOCAT is receiving from ufologists from these parts of the globe.

Valencia, February 17, 2004