France: UFO sightings are no X-Files
UFO Thirty years' worth of reports, from general public and airline pilots, to go online in late January or mid-February.

By Reuters-Published: December 29, 2006, 12:35 PM PST

The French space agency plans to publish its archive of UFO sightings and other phenomena online but keep the names of those who reported them off the site to protect them from the pestering of space fanatics.

Jacques Arnould, an official at the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), said the French database of about 1,600 incidents would go live in late January or mid-February.

He said CNES had been collecting statements and documents for almost 30 years to archive and study them.

"Often, (reports of unidentified flying objects) are made to the Gendarmerie, which provides an official witness statement...and some come from airline pilots," he said by telephone.

Given the success of films about visitations from outer-space beings like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Close Encounters of The Third Kind and Independence Day, the CNES archive is likely to prove a hit.

It consists of about 6,000 reports, many relating to the same incident, filed by the public and airline professionals. Their names would not be published to protect their privacy, Anould said.

Advances in technology over the past three decades had prompted the decision to put the archive online, he said, adding that it would likely be available via the CNES Web site.

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