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HOW CAN YOU HELP US??
The principal reasons for the growing delays in our posting reports are 1) people who submit reports do not read the three simple instructions at the beginning of the report form, and 2) people who report normal, terrestrial objects and events as though they are UFO-related.
Please allow me to explain…
One of NUFORC’s policies is to guarantee anonymity of those individuals who contact our Center, either via our Hotline, or through our Online Report Form. Toward maintaining that policy, we place two VERY prominent instructions, one which appears before the Online Report Form will even open, and the a second posted, in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, on the form itself, both of which beseech people not to include their names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, web site addresses, witnesses’ names, the name of family pets, or any other personal information, in the “Description” box of the report form. Those instructions are as clear, straightforward, simply stated, and as unambiguous as we can possibly make them, and they simply cannot be misinterpreted by anyone who takes the time to read them!
However, despite those very clear warnings, approximately one-third of the written reports are submitted with personal information placed in the “Description” box, which could be used to identify, or contact, the person submitting the report! Is anyone paying attention at all, we sometimes wonder?! Does anyone ever read simple instructions, anymore??!
Hence, most of our time spent proofreading reports is dedicated to eliminating all of that personal information, a very tedious and time-consuming process, which explains why there have been significant delays in our postings. Every report has to be read, and edited, so that each one conforms to our stated, and strict, policy regarding guaranteed anonymity. We are almost going blind from the amount of computer time required to amend all of these reports, so that they conform to our policy!
This situation leads me to my first request: PLEASE READ, AND HEED, THE THREE VERY SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS THAT WE HAVE PLACED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE ONLINE REPORT FORM!! Your failure to do so is going to cost our Center vast amounts of time, which already is in very limited supply here! In the near future, we may simply start deleting those written reports that are submitted by people who clearly have not read, or abided by, the simple instructions at the beginning of the Online Report Form.
We are receiving hundreds of reports every month of normal, terrestrial events, e.g. over-flights of the International Space Station, the Space Shuttle, or satellites; “flares” of light from “Iridium” satellites; the appearance of typical meteors; and observations of normal, “twinkling” stars, planets, contrails, clusters of balloons, etc.. In fact, the overwhelming majority of reports that we receive now are of these normal objects and events, and processing the reports is taking a huge amount of our time. I am flabbergasted by what people report to our Center as “UFO’s,” which are nothing more than objects, or events, of normal, terrestrial, origin, and which are in no way related to alien craft from other parts of the galaxy or Universe, which appear to us to visit our planet on a somewhat regular basis.
Consequently, before you telephone our Hotline, or submit a written report to our Center via our Online Report Form, please first make at least a minimal effort to determine whether what you observed might have been something normal, and not UFO-related. In fact, as things stand now, our estimate is that perhaps 80-90 percent of the reports being sent to us are not related to UFO’s, at all.
One recommendation we would like to make is that people familiarize themselves with what the International Space Station looks like, and how to recognize the prominent “flare” of an Iridium satellite. Toward that goal, we urge everyone who visits NUFORC to visit the website, www.HEAVENS-ABOVE.COM, in order to determine when a future occurrence of these two phenomena will be visible from your location. The instructions on that website are straight-forward, and very easy to follow, and the information will allow everyone to educate themselves as to what those phenomena look like.
A few other items that we recommend people observe are “twinkling” stars, and planets. I believe the majority of time I spend on the Hotline is devoted to trying to convince people who have been staring for hours at a star or planet that the object of interest is not a UFO!!
In the near future, I will add to the list of things that people can do to help our cause. However, if they were to nothing more than heed the requests I have made above, that would represent an immense aid to us, and it will reduce the amount of time required to get reports from the Online Report Form to the database of reports on our website.
Peter Davenport, Director