Fran Ridge      
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May 18, 2009, updated July 7, 2016

Fran Ridge:
The above graph shows the evolution and increased usage of cameras from 1947 to 2013, but it does not include video cameras. But it obvious that the sudden rise in camera usage in the mid-seventies coincides with usage of VCRS and video cameras connected to them. My first VCR was a heavy, $1000 device with blank tapes costing over $50. And cameras were b&w and had short wires running to that VCR. But it wasn't long before they became color cameras and wireless, and tapes and machines became more affordable. Because I was involved in all this I can tell you when it all took place. The graph above pretty well tells the story. I hope to find a better graph but the fact that the sudden change in the amplitude begins in the mid-seventies is obvious. It is my opinion that this sudden threat to the security of the UFO operation after thirty years forced somebody to go covert. 

Mike Swords:
My opinions on the (relative) disappearance of CE2 (relatively information-rich) cases at the end of the 1970’s are a) simple (“they did”) and b) not proven.  Because of the latter, I’d like to list the steps that led to the former (See link below).

In 2006 I called the Current Encounter list's attention to something I had noticed while doing my database work for the MADAR Project. The graphs that I had produced were based on about four thousand sightings in the MADAR region (certainly not the MADAR-range) and I had noticed a significant reduction in good close encounters, and even good distant encounters, and I made the remark that it looked like ET had pulled up their stakes and left. I remember the response, however, and I'm still not sure what the response indicated. Whether it was my reference to ET, or whether it was my reference to the apparent lack of good UFO reports, but I was called on the carpet <grin>. I do remember my trying to clarify my suspicians, if this was a real issue. I compared the UFO wave and interest over the last half dozen decades to the situation we all have experienced vividly in Iraq. In both instances I believe that something caused an outside party to increase surveillance, then  an increased presence with  nearby "carriers", then an "invasion", which ended with a small "security force" being left behind. But, my research turned up something more ominous, even though not proven and based on limited data:  UFO activity had gone from many years of semi-overt actions, to something possibly more covert. My MADAR study preliminary report is linked below.

Mark Rodeghier:
Ominous, very ominous. But seriously, a couple of other points: At about the same time that close encounter cases were diminishing, the common shape of UFOs changed into the now familiar boomerang or v-shaped object. This shape is now so ubiquitous--although UFOs with this shape were certainly seen in earlier years--that if the UFO phenomenon rose into prominence today, its iconic shape would not be a disk, but a boomerang. Second, and related to this, how many cases are there with daylight sightings of the standard-model giant boomerang (as opposed to small ones--under 30 feet or so)? The answer is: almost none. So, in the current era, the most dramatic and hard to misperceive UFOs, the ones that look and behave like solid objects, the reality of which is thus hard to deny, don't appear during the day now. This is unlike good ol' disks, which appeared quite frequently in the daylight, as evidenced by your stats and others. So more to ponder. I don't have any explanations for these changes but I do have the suspicion that these changes aren't a) generated by the witnesses, or b) random.

Jean Waskiewicz:
I  re-read Swords' letter that came with all the graphs and he references a lot of different catalogs. They are all on the Project1947 site.
The activities and trends regarding UFOs varies with the world situation.  I'm convinced that we are being observed and manipulated to some degree. My colleague, Rob Duvall, could (and probably will) write a book about this aspect, which includes a nuclear connection and involves many missile shutdowns. I'm not sure that we will ever get another UFO sighting wave, but sightings are still occurring, and the only way to betray their presence in my estimation is a detection system like MADAR. UFODATA is working on this. Right now the only ones in on all this are the government, the military, and the space program, all of which are small, specialized and highly classified projects within them.

Where Have All The CE-II's Gone? - Mike Swords
Where Are The CEs_IURv30No4.pdf (Rodeghier)
Preliminary Report on MADAR Detection Project Study Conducted In Southwestern Indiana - January 1996 (Fran Ridge)
The Brookings Institude Report (NICAP Dir)

Fran Ridge,
NICAP Site Research Coordinator & Archivist

Graph source: