What Does a Ufologist Do?

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  • Written By: Rebecca Harkin
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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A ufologist works to gather and document concrete physical evidence of alien visits to Earth. This is done by reviewing reports of unidentified flying objects (UFO), analyzing pictures of the event, seeking out and listening to other eyewitness accounts, and, if there is a landing involved in a narrative, studying the landing site. The scientific merits of the field of ufology are often not well received, and as a result funding for this area of study is poor. Usually a ufologist must work without being paid.

The first step in a ufologist’s job is to listen to a firsthand account of a UFO sighting. This will often be done at the place where the person witnessed the UFO. After a detailed account has been chronicled, physical conditions surrounding the sighting, such as the time of the sighting, the weather conditions, as well as what the person was doing before and after the sighting, will be recorded. The UFO investigator will also ask for the names of other people who may have seen the UFO or for descriptions of any other people who were in the area.


Next, a UFO specialist will try to corroborate all of the evidence given by first verifying the physical conditions at the sighting. The ufologist may also inquire about the credibility of the person reporting the sighting by verifying what the person did before and after the sighting. Most ufologists feel a sighting is stronger if it is seen by more than one person and is observed from multiple locations. As a result, the UFO researcher will attempt to record the narrative of other people who may have seen the sighting.

If a picture was taken of the sighting, the ufologist will ask for a copy of the picture and a file for analysis. The picture will be checked against the reported physical conditions to see if they reasonably match. In addition, the quality of the picture will be graded based on the picture clarity, quality of film processing, and how well it matches the sighting location.

When a sighting includes a landing, the ufologist will examine the area of the landing. He will photograph the area to document any physical evidence of a landing. Finally, the UFO researcher will make a report stating all the evidence as objectively as possible. These reports are often posted on UFO magazine websites or websites established as a UFO sightings clearinghouse.

UFO researchers will also often analyzing trends in sightings. A researcher might look for geographic locations where sightings are numerous or the time of day or year most sightings are made. The UFO specialist may even gather data on the personality traits, physical appearance, or backgrounds of people who see UFOs and try and determine a profile of a person who might see a UFO.


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