Although this may seem a bit harsh, Antonio actually conducted his own comprehensive analysis of approximately 10,000 sightings reported to MUFON. His analysis concluded that the vast majority of these sightings were reported by the average person rather than by professional or amateur astronomers, who are trained in examining and spending inordinate amounts of time observing the sky. Antonio also goes on to point out that more than eighty-five percent of MUFON reports were incomplete – containing inaccurate and ambiguous information – and were not properly vetted under a systematic control system, ergo something like the scientific method, or equivalent.
Now, I will point out that MUFON is grossly understaffed for the amount of reports they receive, which makes it impossible for them to investigate all the reports. I will also point out that MUFON usually posts their reports verbatim, as it was submitted by the eyewitness. This kind of operation allows MUFON’s readers to review submissions without the possibility of diluting the content – by an investigator’s differing vocabulary or opinion – thus preventing the probability of filtering an eye witness’s account all together.
“From time to time a handful of pilots, military personnel, and police officers did report seeing a UFO. The credibility of these witnesses was taken for granted because of their official titles and/or positions. Unfortunately, however, such reports are too often sensationalized to imply that, because there are no logical explanations for what the officials observed, it must have been an extraterrestrial spacecraft. Regardless of these witnesses’ positions, their reliability can only be established once a thorough Personal Credibility Assessment Investigation on them is completed, which my research found to be rarely conducted”, Antonio continued.
I agree with Antonio on a couple of points here. In the realm of UFO investigations, when the eye witness retains a high position of respect or authoritative influence, an investigator often fails to ask probing questions about a sighting’s authenticity or the state of the witness’s mental faculties. I understand the influence of an authoritative figure, such as a general, may have on an individual; however, there is still the possibility for error in the witness’s account or the possibility for mental illness, but a very low possibility.
On another note, sensationalism is always going to be an obstacle in the field of UFO phenomena, but I have never seen that from MUFON, to my knowledge. Upon my personal observation of MUFON – as a whole – I find that they tend to submit their cases without embellishment or sentiment; Although, I only agree with that method if it does not influence the outcome of a statistical data analysis, which it does.
I have a high respect for both, MUFON and API, but I think the two organizations are simply incompatible; as both have differing goals and opposing ideologies in regards to UFO origins, ergo materialistic science verses paranormal phenomena.