Organised -I use the term loosely- interest in civilian investigation of flying saucers did not begin until after 1947; the British Flying Saucer Club (UK) 1952 and British Flying Saucer Bureau set up in 1953 as part of Albert K. Bender's International Flying Saucer Bureau. Graham F. N. Knewstub who had founded the BFSC produced the first flying saucer technical report in 1955. Arthur Constance, author and friend of the BFSB as well as writer of a column in Flying Saucer Review (FSR) looked into a number of cases including The Flying "Thing" of 24th March, 1955.
I need to point out that I do not particularly give a minute damn about what any particular historian on the subject may say: according to the late Air Vice Marshal Sir Victor Goddard a copy of Constance's report on that event was seen by officials at the British Air Ministry.
That seemed to be it because it was far more popular to then start shouting "Flying saucer cover-up!" as it sold books and magazines and helped increase club membership.
The London UFO Research Organisation in 1959 went on to become what was then named the British UFO Research Association and the BFSB provided BUFORA's first president in Graham F. N. Knewstub an-electrical engineer and research scientist in the aviation industry who had an interesting military career in World War 2.
Sadly, things seemed to settle into more sensationalism with Flying Saucer Review which over the decades added a mix of fake reports and partially reported UFO events. Before you say anything: that is 100 % proven.
BUFORA seemed to be trying to be more scientific and this had limited success.
I need to make it very clear that I know there were very credible investigators and researchers out there but the majority conducted "investigation by newspaper clippings" -a practice that still continues along with the excuse "You do not have to talk to witnesses if you have all the printed material!" I am not joking.
In my research I have found this to be true in France -where the practice of official investigation of UFO reports was the single saving grace of the 1950s-1970s. In France and Italy it was common practice for ufologists (as in the UK) to base everything on newspaper clippings and it is almost unbelievably funny to read accounts from ufologists who, 20+ years after a case decided to investigate it and had the audacity to criticise journalists and newspapers for not carrying out thorough investigations and reporting accurately.
My main concern, at this moment, is in British ufology. After the mid-1970's some very dubious people got involved in the subject and some of those actually created the fake/bogey-men group Aerial Phenomena Enquiry Network (APEN). We then had ufologists, some openly known to be doing so, producing fake reports and data.
I suggest that anyone interested visit this page:
I have dealt with these people and I am hoping that I have made it very clear just how they will be treated as well as exposed if they begin any more shenanigans with me. I treat threats VERY personally.
We are in the position in the UK -I say "we" though I do not consider myself a ufologist but an independent scientific researcher/naturalist- that every reported UFO incident of note since 1976 is suspect. Unless there are proven witnesses/percipients and material to back up any claims then anything and everything should be considered highly suspect.
The way ahead is for the really serious researchers with the real knowledge on the subject to start producing reports for peer review. I doubt that this will happen because there exists the culture of "it's mine!" in ufology.
Serious research and investigation across all fields is a mess: I have posts and articles by British folklorists who are adding false information to their work and twisting details. Like-wise the paranormalists and ghost hunters. Don't get me started on cryptozoologists.
There are people in UFO organisations that block potential speakers. They suppress research papers from being accepted or published -in every field but it is far more common in ufology. Just to make this clear: I do not present papers to UFO organisations because there is no point -and I do not give lectures or talks on UFOs. I am referring to others who have been very public about bullying and threats in ufology. Everything I publish is fully referenced so that others can check the data and base research thereon.
This is the greatest problem: "ufology" will never be accepted as even a minor science of any kind -there is even the increased use of the term "flying saucers" which opens up the subject for ridicule. I do not care if you are Albert Einstein if you started saying "flying saucers" but then say "The object was a cylindrical shape" you look an idiot. Unless you have 100% irrefutable proof of extraterrestrial visitors then "These flying saucers come from a more advanced planet" is a nonsense. You can use a term like "UFO" because it is far more accurate: an unidentified flying object was seen. You can theorize based on data but not conclude if you are dealing with UFOs -natural phenomena as well as more mundane objects are still being included in data used and that is bad science.
There are good people out there but, and I can honestly say that I doubt that this will ever happen, whether ufology, cryptozoology or any other field a complete overhaul is required.
Too many people are earning money and work from fakery and poor work and they will never accept changes -and 95% of their audience want fantasy not fact.
So if you are a serious investigator or researcher: publish your work privately. Make a difference and help to try to change your field of study.