How Giban scientists demystify this phenomenon

How Giban scientists demystify this phenomenon

If their mission – to study unknown space phenomena – has the potential to arouse all fantasies, from “little green men” to “invaders”, then a small group of scientists from Toulouse actually seeks to demystify the phenomenon of “UFOs”.

Of the fifty buildings that make up the headquarters of the National Center for Space Studies in Toulouse, the Group for the Study and Information on Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (Geipan) occupies only an anonymous corridor and employs only three “full-time equivalents” out of the institution’s staff of about 1,700 Local employee.

3037 cases were examined over 50 years

But for anyone who has been in contact with an incomprehensible space phenomenon, the famous “Unidentified Flying Object,” or UFO, this very small service has since 1977 been the only haven in France able to answer their questions scientifically. “Gibane's first task is to provide an explanation to someone who did not understand what he observed in the sky,” sums up Vincent Custis, his director.

Since its inception nearly 50 years ago, Giban has examined 3,037 cases. Just under two-thirds (64.3%) of these are “fully” or “possibly” identified phenomena, about a third (32.4%) are indeterminate due to lack of data and only 3.3% remain indeterminate after investigation, i.e. 100 cases so far still Not explained. Airplanes of all kinds, sun reflections on satellites, atmospheric returns, military tests, meteorological phenomena, optics or simple balloons, Gibban has seen all the colours.

Witnesses, crucial

To try to clarify the puzzle, the organization can rely on different expertise: within the French National Center for Space Studies itself or alongside the National Center for Air Operations of the Air Force, the French Meteorology, or even the Center National for Scientific Research (CNRS). But since most of the cases presented are not accompanied by photographs, the first and crucial step is to listen to the witness. For this reason, Giban relies on a network of 17 volunteer investigators spread across France.

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“There are all kinds of people, because extraordinary observations matter to everyone, people from all backgrounds, at all levels,” explains Francine Cordier, one of these researchers. She works with her partner Patrice Seray in the Vosges region, with “respect for the witness” as a core value. Patrice Serai explains that “people who testify are sometimes ridiculed” while others “sometimes feel pain or fear.” “Reassuring them” and then offering them rational explanations has become more important than ever, while beliefs of all kinds are spreading, especially on social networks, confirming these two “ex-UFO worlds”, which is the nickname of Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) enthusiasts. in English).

“Ophthalmology” is not very serious

“The Geipan device acts as a safeguard, not in the sense that witnesses are crazy, but to prevent witnesses or people in general from falling under the yoke of a particular set of ophthalmology,” Francine Ropemaker explains. “Gibane does not have any non-terrestrial materials in its vaults!”, Vincent Custis had to answer a very serious question posed by a viewer at the Toulouse conference, an indication of ideas that could worry some UFO enthusiasts.

In the United States, NASA has just announced the creation of a director position responsible for research into these phenomena. Bill Nelson, head of the US space agency, insisted on moving “from the realm of excitement to the realm of science.”

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