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Saturday 12 February 2011

Ufology in a reputable journal

The October 1981 issue of the semi-academic Journal of Naval Science departed from its usual subject-matter of Cold War tactics and technology with an article entitled "UFOs - Evidence of Alien Visitation?". The paper was written by Geoff Kirby, who at the time was a superintendent at the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment on Portland. It provides an excellent summary of the state of ufology at the time, discussing the observational facts (witness statements, radar evidence, physical traces) and taking an "Occam's Razor" approach to the most likely explanations of these facts (an amusing example of which is illustrated on the left!). At the end of the article, which is caveated with a statement that it "does not in any way claim to represent Ministry of Defence policy on UFOs", Geoff concludes that "after more than three decades of searching there is still no definite proof that alien spacecraft are visiting the earth".

At the time of its publication, the Journal of Naval Science had a restricted circulation within the defence industry, but Geoff has confirmed to me that he was given permission by the editor at the time to publicize this particular paper however he wanted (and Geoff has graciously consented to this blog post!).


PoissonPete said...

Good ol' Geoff!

Terry the Censor said...

How does one obtain this article?

Andrew May said...

That's not going to be easy, I'm afraid. I've got a copy that was given to me by a mutual friend of myself and the author (Geoff Kirby) and I checked with the latter that it was OK to refer to the article in this blog post. However, I found out later that Geoff didn't want (or believe he was in a position to) copy and distribute the paper itself, which is "Crown Copyright" (i.e. copyright UK govt). Almost certainly the paper would be available on request from the National Archives in Kew, but I've no idea how to go about that. I found this page online - it may be buried somewhere in these files: