Chilean University will offer UFO courses


INEXPLICATA, The Journal of Hispanic Ufology, December 28, 2004.-“Something is happening in the world. We don't know what it is, but the fact is that it can no longer go unnoticed by governments and the scientific establishment." This cryptic quote was issued by Gen. (Ret.) Ricardo Bermúdez of the Chilean Air Force (FACh), director of the first certificate course in anomalous aerial phenomena to be offered in the continent, and which shall be held at the University of Santiago. It was unveiled yesterday at the Planetarium of the University of Santiago.

With a faculty consisting of specialists, the academic program issued by the university was announced as a necessity for these times, but above all as a response to media mountebanks and gurus who, in Bermúdez's opinion, have profited off the UFO subject. For this reason, faculty stressed that there would be no ufologists, or anything resembling them, teaching courses. "This will be done by persons from the scientific community. These [other] gentlemen can perhaps participate as students." This was the unequivocal message given by Cristian Neto, the Planetarium's extension director.

Despite the expectations that this initiative might trigger among SF fans, interested in motherships from distant worlds and oval-headed beings, Bermúdez, who also presided the Comité de Estudios de Fenómenos Aéreos Anómalos (CEFAA), stressed the goals that have been put forth: "Those participating in this certificate course will have the opportunity to acquire scientific tools and investigation methods," he said, highlighting the attraction of having star faculty such as Klaus Von Storch, Chile's first astronaut.

Registration is open and 70 students are expected. They shall have up to March 18th to register for the course which shall end in October 2005 and whose cost shall be between 60 and 70 UF, according to the registration date.

Startled by the news, Roderick Bowen, a member of the Instituto de Investigación de Estudios Exobiológicos, manifested his skepticism at the course's contents, because in his opinion it is essential to see "what focus [the course] will be given." However, he found the offering attractive. "This will be an effort to set forth the knowledge needed to guide ufology's basic premises, since there are many variants and the extraterrestrial one isn't necessarily the only one."



DATE: December 28, 2004

Translation (c) 2004. Scott Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Guillermo Gimenez.

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