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Ufology — the study of occurrences related to unidentified flying objects — is a complex and murky world populated by genuine believers, inexplicable footage, and those who wish to profit from UFO hoaxes. For a UFO investigator, it’s important to be able to identify the latter.

Ufology tips to help you identify falsified UFO sightings and reports.

Eyewitness Statements

At the centre of every UFO sighting is a person who makes the initial claim. As with any investigation, it’s important to establish the credibility of their report. This can be done by checking for inconsistencies and querying any that may occur. It might also be worth looking into the individual’s motivations for sharing their story, to eliminate potential bias. This could entail interviewing those close to the witness such as family members, friends and colleagues. Their report must also be corroborated by any other potential witnesses to the purported sighting or experience.

An image of a man pointing at a UFO as he studies ufology.

Photographic Evidence

With technological advances in editing, it is very easy to doctor photographic or video evidence of a claimed UFO sighting or experience. However, there is some data useful in ufology that is attached to such files and cannot be changed, such as location and time stamps. This is a good place to begin the verification process. Beyond that, tune your eye to evidence of tampering, such as unusual shadows, warping, unnatural repeating patterns, and excess noise or exposure. You can also use reverse image search tools to see if the image offered as evidence has been taken from the Internet by the claimant.

Consult Other Ufologists

Ufology circles offer a wealth of experience and the community is incredibly willing to help decipher hoaxes from genuine UFO experiences. Lean on those who have seen many UFO reports over the years, especially while you’re learning what to look out for when it comes to UFO claims.

An artist image of a UFO in the study of ufology.

Examine Your Own Biases

Ufology is often reliant on gut instincts, hunches and the ability to read people. While it's important to read others, you must also be able to examine your own motivations. Are you hoping this evidence turns out to be falsified? Would it suit you or your business if the report was, in fact, verifiable? Do you know the witness or anyone involved in this sighting? Might this mean you have biases towards the witnesses? It’s almost impossible to be completely impartial in any circumstance but you must aspire to achieve this state.

Ufology is a field that requires no specialist training but there is plenty of material out there to better educate yourself about the study of unidentified flying objects — and what they mean for society.

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