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How to Become an UFO Investigator
Your next family outing could be a search for unidentified flying objects. What a fun way to get your kids interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects by searching for extraterrestrial intelligence. As a parent you want your kids to investigate something besides the hottest video games. Kids are curious about aliens and becoming a field investigator might just peak their career interest in a space science degree. Investigating UFOs covers a wide variety of fields such as physics, atmospheric physics, investigative journalism and aeronautics.
There is even a name for a person who searches for UFOs - an ufologist - not to be mistaken for an urologist. :-) An ufologist is one who studies and investigates UFOs. Most UFOs turn out to be Identified Flying Objects (IFO.) IFOs are manmade and include weather balloons, the planet Venus, airplanes and even lightning.
Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) offers its members the opportunity to become a field investigator. You have to be a member, which cost between thirty and fifty dollars (depending on which membership you choose,) purchase the investigator’s manual at around fifty dollars and then pass a test in order to qualify. They also recommend you intern with a member for your first few investigations.
UFO investigations cover two areas. One is discovering UFO sightings in the field and the other is investigating UFO reports along with interviewing any witnesses. UFO reports are not just a witness’s account, but also include data such as radar, electromagnetism effects and gravitational disturbances. Other investigators try to uncover patterns in sightings such as the time, location and any other correlations like the weather - is it cold or warm?
When training to become an UFO investigator you will be taught how to find out information on a sighting without comprising evidence or misleading witnesses and how to look for UFOs for your discoveries. It is important to know how to document any sighting you may come across.
Another advantage of joining a reputational UFO organization is learning how to manage the poor science and rumors often associated with UFOs. Since there are no standards for an ufologist, it is important to get involved with those that treat the field professionally.
Read, Read, Read
Along with becoming involved with an organization, have your kids read widely on the UFO subject in areas such as history, famous cases and the involvement of the government.
There is no formal training in UFO research and it is up to the student to become an expert. In college they may choose to join the school newspaper or use term papers as an opportunity to do further research. Joining and being actively involved in a reputational UFO organization such as MUFON may serve as an apprenticeship.
Other avenues of space exploration to explore include SETI and Stellarium. Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has a volunteer home program and has been searching for alien life since 1999.
Stellarium is a free planetarium for your computer which will display the sky in real time.