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2005/10/12 (EN)

Physically, FOTOCAT is an Excel file of UFO and IFO cases where an image has been obtained on photo, film or video. It contains various data columns to register the date, location and country, explanation (if one exists), photographer’s name, special photographic features, references, etc. When completed, the full catalog will be posted in internet, for free access from the worldwide UFO community.

- Case number: over the 6,000 mark!

The number of events cataloged at the time of writing is 6,005.
249 cases have been added since the last quarterly report. These were both current and old reports.

- Cut-off date

FOTOCAT emphasizes data collection for years past more than for the present; additionally, many of current entries come from the same, ad nauseam repetitive sources who take as UFO every single light they videotape in the sky or the effect of every bug or insect in front of their cameras. Also, many so-called anomalous images are due to lens flares and reflections. In sum, most of new cases are simply trash. However, processing and compiling and documenting new cases take a time we cannot allow the luxury to spend. In consequence, I have taken the decision to suspend the entry of new cases since December 31, 2005. FOTOCAT will then cover 1900 to 2005. This will allow me to concentrate on cases from older time frames.

- New Column: Time

FOTOCAT is an index of basic data to a major document archive. Its purpose is not to become a giant databank like Dave Saunders/Donald Johnson´s UFOCAT or Larry Hatch`s *U* Database, which manage a large volume of parameters. FOTOCAT has only 21 columns to collect what we feel is the minimum information needed to differentiate cases and to record the documentation conditions of our files. Although keeping it simple is fundamental to let it grow rapidly, we have just decided to add another column to retain the (local) Time when the event occurred. But it will be added inasmuch we compile regional catalogs in collaboration with local researchers. This is the case of Argentina. We are enjoying such a valuable help from national ufologists that we have been able to create a huge catalog for this Latin American country, one that reflects an exhaustive view of the history of UFO photography in a way never achieved before.

Also, time has been noted in the reports from Australia. In the future, the hour will be added to every entry in specific regional or national sub-catalogs. At the long run, the whole FOTOCAT will be thoroughly timed.

International Assistance
This section reports contributions received from new collaborators (or from regular ones which most recent contribution is considered outstanding). In addition to the new names cited here, many others are regularly contributing to the enlargement of FOTOCAT.

  • Catalonian UFO enthusiast and reporter Pedro Cantó has donated some 100 video tapes of TV programs to us. It represents a wide historical set of interviews, debates and presentations in Spain, including some interesting selection of UFO cases where images were recorded, of special value for the FOTOCAT archives.

  • Some 123 newspaper accounts of photographic events reported in Argentina in the sixties and seventies have been scanned and sent to us in CD by Roberto Enrique Banchs, long-time author and one of the most brilliant UFO researchers in Latin America. With the massive cooperation by Carlos Ferguson and others, we are reaching an unprecedented coverage for Argentina.

  • Patrick Gross, the French designer of ufologie.net. Ángel Rodriguez, Spanish Navy officer and president of GEIFO group.

  • The leadership of Anomaly Foundation, Matías Morey, José Ruesga and Julio Arcas, for their continuing support.

Catalog Tally
Some basic statistics derived from FOTOCAT.

UFOs Down Under

We are confident we have got already a sensible representation of UFO photographic cases reported in Australia. Not in vain, FOTOCAT includes the excellent catalogue prepared by veteran researcher Keith Basterfield. See it on line in this link: http://www.project1947.com/kbcat/kbphoto0405.htm

Therefore, we have compiled the Australian section of FOTOCAT and will display here the basic statistical information out of it. At the same time, this catalogue is being distributed to local ufologists from the Southern hemisphere for comments and additions.

FOTOCAT Australia as of September 2005 can be consulted by clicking on file (408 kb).

The current number of known reports is 225, or 3.8% of the overall number of cases on record in FOTOCAT. Phenomenology covers from 1935 to 2005.

- Distribution by Year
The cases are distributed by year as follows:

1935 1

1950 1 1960 0 1970 1 1980 3 1990 2 2000 5
1951 0 1961 5 1971 3 1981 2 1991 4 2001 9
1952 0 1962 0 1972 9 1982 0 1992 3 2002 9
1953 6 1963 1 1973 8 1983 0 1993 3 2003 4
1954 5 1964 1 1974 4 1984 1 1994 4 2004 16
1955 1 1965 4 1975 7 1985 2 1995 5 2005 7
1956 1 1966 4 1976 5 1986 0 1996 11
1957 0 1967 7 1977 4 1987 0 1997 9
1958 1 1968 9 1978 3 1988 2 1998 11
1959 1 1969 9 1979 3 1989 0 1999 9

Total 17

Waves are visibly clear in the middle of the fifties, late sixties and early seventies, followed by a surprisingly dull decade of the eighties. During the nineties the reports skyrocket and the high level persists –even it raises more- during the first years of the 21st century, probably accelerated by the information explosion of the internet.

This graph shows the annual report trend (or lack of, we should add):

- Time
A precise hour is known for 126 cases (56%). It is a too low figure, requiring improvement. An imprecise time (day, night, evening, noon) is known for 43 cases more (19%) and time of occurrence is definitely unknown for 56 cases (25%).

The distribution of reports by time is the following:

Time lapse All Unexplained Explained
0000-0001 1 1 0
0001-0002 2 2 0
0002-0003 1 1 0
0003-0004 2 2 0
0004-0005 5 4 1
0005-0006 5 2 3
0006-0007 4 2 2
0007-0008 3 2 1
0008-0009 1 0 1
0009-0010 2 1 1
0010-0011 3 2 1
0011-0012 4 3 1
0012-0013 3 2 1
0013-0014 3 3 0
0014-0015 5 2 3
0015-0016 3 2 1
0016-0017 9 5 4
0017-0018 11 6 5
0018-0019 7 4 3
0019-0020 12 9 3
0020-0021 15 13 2
0021-0022 9 8 1
0022-0023 9 6 3
0023-0024 7 3 4
Total 126 85 41

The single 60-minute period with a higher rate is from 20 to 21 hours, with 12% of the total; in fact, there is a broad increase in evening and night-time events, from 16 to 24 hours (amounting to 63% of all cases). Also, a second peak appears from 4 to 8 hours (14%).

But if cases are sorted between explained and unexplained, the resulting picture is not identical each other. In this sample, the unexplained events are markedly nightly, with 43 (or 50%) placed in the 18-23 hour interval, while the explained events are less night-time biased, with 16 (or 39%) cases placed in the same time period.

The following statistical graph shows this discrepancy well.

The small size of the sample precludes making serious conclusions about this UFO versus IFO effect.

- Nature of Phenomena

For 167 cases (74%) there is no explanation proposed by the sources, while the remaining 58 cases (26%) have been solved. If enough investigation would have been carried out on the reported phenomena, probably the actual UFO/IFO percentages would reverse, as the experience elsewhere dictates. In order to improve the quality of the data, we are facilitating this version of the catalogue to a number of Australian organizations and researchers. I hope their input will refine the sample.

Regarding the classes of solutions invoked to solve the photographic reports, this is the familiar array of explanations found:

Fake (a quite expected finding):
Astronomical (stars and planets):
Balloons and kites:
Aircraft (including contrails):
Birds and insects:
Lens flare:
Camera, film or development flaw:
Other (miscellaneous):

- Geography

Australia is divided in 8 political regions. The 225 cases in the catalogue are geographically distributed as follows:

ACT (Australia Capital Territory):
NSW (New South Wales):
NT (Northern Territory):
Q (Queensland):
SA (South Australia):
T (Tasmania):
VIC (Victoria):
WA (Western Australia):

Additionally we have 1 case for Papua New Guinea (in the fifties this territory was administered by Australia) as well as 5 more cases where the location is not known.

- Format

Photograph: 158 (70%) (during all period)
Film: 17 (08%) (up to 1977)
Video: 50 (22%) (since 1990)

- Special Photo Features

In 27 cases (12%) the alleged UFO image was found in the picture without anything strange had been observed by the photographer or cameraperson when the film was taken. For 10 of those pictures there is not a solution advance, in spite of the high probability to be spurious images.
In 11 cases (5%) the film was allegedly confiscated by authorities, lost, blank, burned or simply missing . Too much evidence spoiled.
In 3 cases, special sensitivity film or night vision camera were used to record the images.

- Cameraperson

The name of the photographer is identified (at least in the information source I have collected) in 107 cases (48%) and the cameraperson is unknown to us in another 118 reports (52%). I guess it is an artefact due to poor summarizing in the published information or an over zeal to protect witness identity.

Two individuals have reported having taken a photo, film or video recording of a UFO in more than one occasion, something which may be a doubtful pattern: a Chris Beacham, who took photos in 1963, 1964 and 1965) and a Barry Taylor (UFO researcher) who claims to have obtained UFO images in the last 30 years. This version of the Australian catalogue only gathers 7 of his photograph and footage cases, but he reports to have taken numerous more! A lucky guy indeed.

Invited Article
Where regularly we will include any published literary piece on curious phenomenology.

Juan Carlos Victorio Uranga, a notable Spanish analys of UFO observations, has written specially for our blog an essay devoted to the examination of one of the most classic UFO photos in the phenomenology paranorama in Spain: the Malaga case of March 27, 1974, an event that made headlines and was in the covers of several local and national newspapers at the epoch.

The following pair of takes, published here thanks to the courtesy of the SUR newspaper, represents the kind of enigma under study by Mr Victorio Uranga.

His work, entitled “What was seen in Málaga on the night of 27 March 1974?”, can be read complete in its original Spanish version by clicking on article (492 kb).

UFOworld News
This is a brief item report for the serious and critical-minded UFO researcher. Some selected information sources which I judge of interest for gaining knowledge from a scientifically-oriented perspective.

- Missile UFOs
In the seventies, a number of visually and camera-recorded UFO sightings were produced in the Portuguese and Spanish territories in the Atlantic Ocean. Some of the dates where photographs were achieved were November 22, 1974 (Madeira islands) and June 22, 1976 and March 5, 1979 (11 different series of pictures) in the Canary islands. A paper by Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos and Ricardo Campo Pérez covering this subject has been published in the latest issue of the International UFO Reporter (J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies). Entitled “Navy Missile Tests and the Canary Islands UFOs”, it can be found in IUR, Vol 29, No 4, cover and pages 3 to 9 and 26 (CUFOS, 2457 West Peterson Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60659, USA).

A French version of this paper (“Les Essais de Missiles de la Marine U.S. et les Observations d’OVNI aux Isles Canaries”), can be read in La Gazette Fortéenne, Vol. I, August 2002, pp. 229-246.

Assistance Call

Your volunteer collaboration to the FOTOCAT Project is kindly requested. Please write to: ballesterolmos@yahoo.es

We will supply you with state, regional, provincial or national catalogs for you to check and enlarge.

If you are willing to donate photographic materials, files or literature to be preserved, feel free to use the following postal address:

Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos
Apartado de Correos 12140
46080 Valencia