INTRODUCTION TO UFOLOGY
The word "ufology" is made of "UFO" and "logos". It's used to describe the study of UFOs, mostly leaded by single people or by private centres.
A ufologist is a researcher, one who studies the UFO phenomena. In the best cases, he masters a good cultural standard: possibly coming from University, College to be as independent as possible. Being an investigator, he's to respect laws; as a researcher he'd be without any prejudices nor pre-formed belief.
The documentation is essential: regional, national or international, it keeps track of events and datas and is evidence.
Nowadays, there's no official University Department dedicated to ufology, no official diploma so, a priori, anybody may call himself (or herself) a ufologist. This field is featured by a small nucleus of serious researchers (Pinotti, Lagrange, Meessen, Malini, Bürgin, Lissoni, etc.) and a bigger space made of more or less valid researchers, interested people and, sadly, even brothelers: these weird people are the very reason of the status quo of world ufology! Often, they are hard alien believers, carrying the most impossible theories.
There's also a network of Centres dedicated to the study of ufology, linked by the web as by snail mail or telephone, though it's not enough organized yet.
UFOLOGY'S STATUS QUO
Through a certain commercial literature, people've heard of UFOs and all kind of mysteries like pyramids, abductions or Bermuda triangle...mostly myths created by popular authors like Erich Von Däniken. Which means Ufology is not a science.
Sociologist Pierre Lagrange makes the point about common anti-UFO claims this way:
"if UFOs were true, astronomers'd see them": firstly some astronomers have seen UFOs, secondly the instruments are calibrated for other aims like far away stars and thirdly astronomers have not had a project to detect UFOs...Lagrange remarks that in Science you have to create the good conditions to study something, firstly a network of researchers to exchange opinions, datas, facts;
"UFOs are not a scientific fact, but a belief one": scientists have a methodology, believers have the need of fantastic. The offical scientists have created the dangers of irrationalism and parasciences when people become independent in creating new realities without going through the official scientific wisdom;
"UFOs are the pure subproduct of the Cold War": as if, under the stressed war clima, people invented UFOs. No, it's the opposite for Lagrange. People started noticing UFOs and that gave contribution to the Cold War clima, by asking themselves questions about UFOs. As long as UFO witnesses (Arnold in this case) are concered, they're considered as passive subjects; while for major political characters like Truman the treatment changes to active subjects. Shortly, an asymmetrical treatment;
"UFO witnesses have read too much sci-fi": there's an influence of sci-fi over UFO witnesses, especially nowadays, when everybody' heard of sci-fi at least once. But sci-fi existed even before 1947. The cultural approach'd claim UFOs to be non scientific, leaving the other scientific facts out of this influence...though science is not immune to culture;
"under the influence of their beliefs, witnesses cannot recognize weather ballons nor Venus": it's not really true, as most would recognize such objects inside books. Problems come with direct witnessing, as we haven't been taught to. People are not stupid. But our culture is made of books, pictures and screens;
"why do we believe as much as others do?": for skeptics, UFO witnesses are lazy people completely influenced by their own beliefs. Skeptics strongly believe there are such stupid believers as they strictly don't believe in UFOs. Words to mask a feeble pont...because such skeptics are also leaded by their own beliefs that UFOs do no exist!;
Crying out against irrational science is the last attempt to divide science and parascience: these days parapsychology is being researched in some Universities, needle picking is used in some Hospitals, hypnosis is no more a forbidden mystery. Nevertheless, we are taught there're rational people opposed to gullible ones. This opposition is reflected into ufology being rejected and astronomy being valued.
So, always for Lagrange, the problem is to find out why certain people see UFOs while most scientists never do. Also, believers try to convince everybody that UFO witnesses never read sci-fi, which is wrong, but for skeptics this fact'd suggest such witnesses cannot think as well as a scientist, though scientists too read or watch sci-fi!
Has the phenomenon real patterns? Is a scientific study possible? Yes:
we have a huge amount of cases, reported by worldwide newspapers about a phoenomenon called "flying saucers" or UFO;
through rigid credibility criteria we can select from an amount of cases for statistical analyzes;
Such analyzes can reveal that:
the phenomenon is worldwide,
it has the same patterns in most cases,
such patterns describe an object unidentifiable with physical laws
the identity of witnesses exclude a casual explanation, so the phenomenon is related to a precise cause:
-interdependence of witnesses (it doesn't explain mass sightings nor physical effects),
-psychological phenomenon (also does not justify radar tracks),
-real physical object identical to the witnesses' descriptions. The most logical explanation, since it justifies a) and b) and is also confirmed by Governments' silence (cover up).
FIND THE NATURE
But what's the nature of this UFO phenomenon?
Natural phenomena: maybe caused by some chemical factor after WW2 (atomic explosions ?) and not yet understood by science, so still mysterious. It's supported by all skeptics like Philip Klass, but it fails when you consider UFOs show intelligent behaviours face to obstacles and airplanes.
Engines built by homo sapiens: it covers the high-tech side, but in this case we cannot understand why/how the inventors'd still keep secret such discovery, consider also the phoenomenon dates before WW2.
Extraterrestrial engines: the extraterrestrial hypothesis is founded on the probability of intelligent life forms outside the solar system, widely accepted by science. It explains the astounding tech capabilities of UFOs, but on the one hand we must admit distances in the universe are so great they create many problems, on the other hand quantum physics and recent development in genetics and medicine offer a big hope. Finally, let's think about the grounds of life: C, which easily forms molecular chains with O2 and H2, is not the only possibility: Si can also form long molecular chains. Life on Earth has been detected in the most remote places ! In our solar system life could exist (or have existed) as bacteria underground or inside frozen poles.
In fact, history has demonstrated that UFOs are real engines able to interact with airplanes, radars, animals, geological minerals, radios and TVs...