MY APPROACH TO THE UFO SUBJECT


When I started dealing with “flying saucers” as they were called then, I was only 18 years old.

Nevertheless, enough serious and concerned about this subject that I realized someone has to do something about it in Uruguay because there were some people making reports, and no one took care of them to verify what was going on.

I decided to talk about this with my friends. Some of them laughed at me, telling me that I was crazy, that such issue couldn’t be taken seriously.
But other took my proposal as a valid one and joined me initially trying to see what we can do.

Immediately –taking information from articles published by the Brazilian magazine “O Cruzeiro Internacional” at the end of 1957, I got in contact with NICAP and APRO in the USA; Flying Saucer Review in Great Britain; GEPA and Le Courrier Interplanetaire in France; CICOANI, CBPCOANI, Dr. Olavo T. Fontes (RJ), Dr. Walter Buhler (RJ)  Dr. Flávio A. Pereira (SP) and Dr.José Escobar Faría (SP) in Brazil; and CODOVNI in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

We convened a meeting with a public announcement in one radio station and on April 29, 1958, around 40 people came and discussed the subject and the possible institution. From that meeting, a group of seven people continued the discussion privately and decided to create the Unidentified Flying Objects Investigation Center (C.I.O.V.I. in Spanish).

We had a sustained exchange of mail with all the above-mentioned institutions and individuals, and the list expanded reaching people and institutions in many other parts of the world. The list would be extensive –at that time there were approximately more than 300 private institutions dealing with the UFO subject throughout the World.

We received an enormous amount of mail. Also from contactees: George Adamsky, Daniel Fry, Otis T. Carr, George King, etc.; from a man who launched his candidacy for the presidency of the USA based on his viewpoints about flying saucers, from esoteric institutions. 

There were also a considerable amount of books, but the number one was Donald Keyhoe’s “Flying Saucers from Outer Space” in his version in Spanish under the title of “Platos Voladores de Otros Mundos”.

In Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, we almost followed the ideas and way of thinking of Keyhoe. Essentially that the Earth was visited by extraterrestrial beings in their space-ships. Keyhoe appealed at his relationship with people in the military and other official agencies to get and share information of “ufo cases” mostly seen by pilots and other service personnel.

He also used the opinion of some important people at the time, to support the idea that we were visited by interplanetary spacefarers.

From the start at CIOVI, we applied a policy to the mail we received. We definitely rejected the tales of contactees –all proven false— as well as the relation with esoteric groups or people. I remember to think that the craziest mail was always coming from California, and I wonder if it happens because of the water they drank, the food they ate, or the air they breathe.

We also were very selective about the people that could join us in our task.
There was a one year period in which we prove the possible candidates to become active members of the Center, and they would verify how comfortably feel with us and how much agree with us in the way we investigated and studied the UFO reports.

In 1981 I gave the first and only theoretical and practical course related to the investigation and study of the subject.

Over the years, we were able to investigate dozens of cases applying the scientific method and the Ockham’s razor. We were able to explain all of them. The honesty of the witnesses was a general factor in our favor with the exception of four cases that involved pictures, all of them fraudulent.

This was shaping our own view of the whole UFO subject.

We took distance from fantasies and mythical approaches, and mostly from merchants that notoriously used the UFO subject as a way of living.

We didn't give more our support or used the arguments taken from NICAP, APRO, and some other organizations and individuals mainly in the USA.
That is why in my book “Elementos de Ovnilogía – Guía para la Investigación” [Elements of Ufology – Guide for the Investigation]
– Montevideo, Ed. Mano a Mano, 102 pág,1989, I wrote on page 16: “Universality:
Being a globally considered problem, it corresponds to be aware of all the contributions that are developed around it.... Own approach: .... it is necessary to elaborate our own approach to the subject, which must assume a prescriptive character for the development of the Ufology in each nation. No subsidiarity: It is necessary to develop a research and study policy that is not subsidiary of foreign interests, concepts, opinions or initiatives, but has a firm rooted in the interests, perspective and possibilities of each country.

We looked for and exchanged information with GEIPAN –the official scientific organization in France; with Dr.J. Allen Hynek and CUFOS, with Dr. Jacques Vallée and with MUFON at the beginning of that network. With SOBEPS in Belgium, etc.

We created a National Network of Correspondents (Red Nacional de Corresponsales) to have all the national territory covered with people that immediately could make a first and basic investigation of any UFO report.

All the fruitful years of work gave us an international recognition as a respected and trustworthy organization. The same happened at the national level.

No one institution reached the experience and expertise and knowledge of the subject and no one had the international contacts and exchange of information that CIOVI had.

We were pioneers and we were the best.

A couple of other organizations emerged in the country trying to duplicate our work. They never reached our status.

That is why, during the military period in Uruguay, people of those organizations approached the Uruguayan Air Force suggesting the idea to create an official investigation.

The Uruguayan Air Force accepted the idea with one condition: those couple of institutions will disappear as its people will come the civilian members of the official entity named CRIDOVNI.

Afterward, the already created CRIDOVNI contacted CIOVI asking if we would be open joining the Commission. Our reply was affirmative but we will remain to be CIOVI and our relationship would be from institution to institution. This was accepted.

Regretfully the lack of scientific criteria that dominated the CRIDOVNI –particularly from its civilian members—  and the lack of a correct field investigation of some cases, determined CIOVI to leave the CRIDOVNI.

So far, CRIDOVNI has not made public his files. No one knows exactly how many cases were submitted to its investigation neither which were their conclusions. 

From my personal viewpoint, it is a kind of structural ghost.

I want to make clear that CIOVI has had excellent relations with the Uruguayan Air Force since almost its beginning, and that the things started to get complicated after my friend Colonel Eduardo Aguirre left the presidency of CRIDOVNI.

But even more, when CIOVI put an end to its work, two members of the Center –one of them myself— went to the Command of the Air Force and we talked with Colonel José Pérez Ordóñez, at that moment the President of CRIDOVNI, and we reiterate our disposition and will to cooperate with the Air Force provided we were called to do so.

CIOVI put an end to its activities in April of 2008, after 50 uninterrupted years of work because there were no more reports, and the issue itself was down in the interest and the consideration of the public, exception made of those individuals who wanted to think in mythical terms, or who joined religious phylum organizations.

Being in the United States of America, I started gathering a lot of information, made contact with NASA technicians, got a correct idea of what meant something classified, the different grades within the classification and what it meant that someone had access to top secret information. Also, I learned about dark projects and the way they are dealt by the Congress, etc. About some of these things, there was confusion or erroneous ideas abroad.

Besides, I was able to receive historical information through Project 1947, directed by my friend Jan Aldrich.

My personal friendship with Dr. Willy Smith was of great value.

All in all, living in the United States provided me with the access to documents, literature, personal contacts, all which finally allowed me to write my book “OVNIs: La Agenda Secreta” [UFOs: The Secret Agenda] which obtained the Zurich International Prize, was published by Fundación Anomalía, [Anomaly Foundation] Santander, Spain, 2005, 398 pages, and later published in Montevideo, Uruguay, by Tradinco. This last edition has 423 pages because there is a Foreword by my dear friend Astrophysicist Dr. Massimo Teodorani and an Annex with material summarized and translated into Spanish from the original and official document entitled “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the U.K.”. The book currently can only be obtained as an e-book from Amazon.

My personal viewpoint about what I prefer now to call the Unusual Aerial Phenomena comes from all this experience and backgrorunds. 

That is why I deny so far the possibility of the presence of alien entities on Earth. 

That is why I am open to the possibilities that natural phenomena still to be known and/or very secret activities of some countries or private companies, could maybe constitute the answer to that tiny residue still unexplained.

Besides that, there is nothing strange at all. All depends on a good investigation and study. The better it is the more cases are explained.

The best example of this is the magnificent work done by retired Commodore Rubén Lianza, Director of the official CEFAe in Argentine. I can say without hesitation that at this moment he is the best official investigator in the Americas. 

And he has done something no one has ever done before: he has created a concise, strong and rational system to study, analyze and conclude a case.

The only ones that probably have done something similar are the scientists of the French GEIPAN. 

But, let me be clear:  no Hynek neither Jacques Vallée have developed ever a clear system to investigate, evaluate and conclude an original UFO report.
Hynek recognized his limitations.

Vallée is magnificent in his speculations, his denial of extraterrestrials visiting Earth, but besides his complicated system of classification of cases, his main contribution has been to think about the possibility of a multiverse, or parallel universes, to explain UFOs as an evasive reality. Which is an interesting idea, but it doesn’t help to investigate or to arrive at valid conclusions.

And finally, I agree with Commodore Lianza: to be a good UFOlogist, you have to be a great IFOlogist.

The example was given by Allan Hendry in his “UFO HANDBOOK”(Doubleday & Company Inc., New York, 297 pages, 1979). This book should be read by any investigator working with honesty and wanting to reach and spread the truth.

This book has a foreword by Dr. J. Allen Hynek. 

There is no better way to end this writing than quoting some concepts of Dr. Hynek. Here they are:

“I have long recognized that there is a question even more basic than ‘What are UFOs?’ Or ‘Where are they from?’ and that is: ‘Do the contents of the report correspond to objective reality?’ or, to put it more bluntly, ‘Does what the witnesses say they saw happen, happen in the way  they said it happened?”......

“.......But I also came to recognize that there was a relatively small residue of UFO reports which were so well attested and so compellingly strange that the chances were overwhelmingly great that they could not be ascribed to collective misidentification, hoax, or hallucination.
This was a qualitative conclusion on my part. Although I recognize the importance of finding out just to what extent misidentification, wishful thinking, emotions, and hallucination enter into the UFO problem. I regretfully failed to make such a study.
Allan Hendry is the first to attempt such an important evaluation.”........
 
“It becomes abundantly clear to one seriously engaged in UFO studies that IFOS are a major problem and the outstanding stumbling block to progress. Their study and evaluation must precede the study of UFOs because, as Hendry shows, they have the capability of utterly vitiating the evaluation of UFO reports if the present methodology of UFO study continues. Indeed, the message herein is clear: unless we alter our methodology and use to the full extent what we learn from close attention to the manner in which IFOs are allowed to masquerade as UFOs because  of the desire of the untutored and wishful thinkers to transform IFOs into UFOs, we shall make little progress.”  

Prophetic words of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, then the Director of the Center for UFO Studies.

Milton W. Hourcade
Iowa City, April 8, 2018









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