On Jan. 21, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) uploaded hundreds of declassified UFO documents that would make any conspiracy theorist busy for the next 10 years. On the same day, the CIA also published the article "How To Investigate a Flying Saucer," complete with 10 CIA-approved tips.
If you're a paranormal super fan or you're simply interested in what lies in the vastness of our universe, here are some CIA-approved tips on how to become a UFO investigator.
1. In any research, first you have to work on the premise that what you're examining is real. Next, you have to establish a group whose main goal is to manage all information relating to the subject.
2. Establish the goal of your investigation. The CIA's early UFO investigations treated the flying objects as possible threats to national security.
3. Reel in the experts from various disciplines. When the CIA investigated UFOs in the 1950s and 1960s, they consulted an expansive list of outside experts including pilots, federal aviation officials, astrophysicists and even Kodak to analyze photo evidence.
4. Get organized. Create a system that will handle all incoming cases to ensure you get all the necessary information you need. The Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC) of the U.S. Air Force developed standard questionnaires that were used in CIA UFO investigations.
5. Rule out common explanations. Creating a standard early on will easily get rid of misleading tips and allow you to focus on the unexplained cases.
6. Develop a procedure that will rule out military aircrafts and other known flying objects, such as drones, as UFOs. Identifying these objects commonly mistaken for UFOs early on can help you prevent misleading reports.
7. Investigate eyewitness documentation such as audio recordings, videos and photographs. Compared to the 1950s and 1960s, we have it easier now. With the prevalence of smartphones, you can easily document a bizarre phenomenon with a few easy clicks. When investigating photographs, be wary of altered images using Photoshop.
8. Investigate evidence using controlled experiments. When you come across an unexplained case, testing a hypothesis through controlled experiments can help you rule out false positives. Make sure you consult with experts to come up with a strong conclusion.
9. Collect and test evidence. If you're investigating an area where the alleged UFO was believed to have landed, gather physical evidence such as soil and proceed with a soil analysis.
10. Don't encourage false reports from sources. Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame and if you keep receiving reports from various sources and most of them turn out to be false, you're not getting anywhere. Educating the public on how to identify the tips from the tricks will help you become an established UFO investigator in your own right.
Photo: Jonas Bengtsson | Flickr