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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Oct > Oct 5

Re: Do Ufologists Use Sensible Protocol?

From: Edoardo Russo <e.russo.nul>
Date: Wed, 05 Oct 2011 16:02:35 +0200
Archived: Wed, 05 Oct 2011 11:06:08 -0400
Subject: Re: Do Ufologists Use Sensible Protocol?

>From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
>To: <post.nul>
>Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2011 01:53:16 +0100
>Subject: Do Ufologists Use Sensible Protocol? [was: Alternative Viewpoints]

>can't help wondering how many investigators actually follow a sensible
>protocal, maybe like this one:

>1) Record a spontaneous complete description from witness.

>2) Followed-up by witness describing what he/she meant by words
>and phrases used in initial description, including example
>comparisons of factors such as heights, colours, angular
>`sizes', velocities etc. and of any `emotions' or `feelings'

>At no time during either description should the investigator
>prompt the witness by even one word; prompting is known to
>impair actual memory and to create false memories.

Ciao Ray and All,

You (and someone else) might find that hard to believe, but
those (and more) are precisely the guidelines our field
investigators are asked to follow, according to CISU field
investigator's handbook (which has been adopted since 1984:


- never ask but very generic encouraging questions in the first
part of the interview;

- only ask questions in the second part, taking care not to use
leading questions;

- always voice-record the full interview, and later write it
down, so that readers/analisers of your report are able to
better understand how each data bit was gained from the witness;

- include some specific chapters in each report: 1)
investigation steps (who did what, when, where and why), 2)
sighting reconstruction by the investigator, 3) comments,
impressions and  an evaluation of both witness and possible
identifications, by the investigator.

Such a procedure sometimes offered us otherwise impossible
glimpses, eg. discovering from the tape-recorded transcription
that some  details were told by the witness but not considered
by the investigator; or realizing the personal (negative)
interaction between witness and investigator had an influence in
dismissing the witness' reliability in the eye of the

The real difficulty is persuading each investigator to follow
those instructions, instead of merely going, asking standard
questions, compiling a questionnaire and write an anecdotal
article for some website or publication.

Moreover, you cannot afford such a workload for each light in the sky
(expecially when you get
hundreds each year), though you'd better begin with them as an
exercise, in order to be able to
do your good homework on harder cases.

That's my own 64-cents opinion, based on some 30+ years
experience in a remote county of the empire.

Edoardo Russo
Centro Italiano Studi Ufologici
CISU - Casella postale 82 - 10100 Torino
tel - fax

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