• Established facts

    The UFO phenomenon has become part of the news for many decades. Meanwhile, our planet entered a crucial phase of its history like nobody has known before, when mankind obtained technical means allowing to seriously deteriorate its environment, and beyond, to destroy any life on Earth. Among most visible signs, global warming is obvious. The terrestrial technico-scientist activity creates a lot of technological repercussions, often military ones, from the development of weapons of mass destruction to the manipulation of large groups of human beings. While our technology sees a spectacular progress, our fundamental knowledge tramples more and more. Note the sterility of theoretical physics through the superstring theory for example. In our opinion, this is the consequence of immutable dogmatic prejudices, a refusal of any really innovative fundamental scientific idea, in particular any change in our comprehension of the universe which could make interstellar travel possible, therefore incursions of visitors coming from stellar systems located at several tens light-years from ours, or even more. The systematic brake to engage a true research, focusing on a rational and scientific investigation of the UFO file, is also for us a cloistering of the thought, a « paradigmatic lock ».

    What occured in France about the UFO phenomenon ?

    During three decades, a French institution1 controlled the local investigations, and because of its official status, was opposed to any other investigator. The so-called scientific « methodology » praised by the media produced, in thirty years, 1250 reports established by the Gendarmerie Nationale (a French police corp with a military status) representing the examination of 6000 witnesses. But our understanding of the phenomenon did not progress with these reports. We doubt these investigations make any move in the French scientific community, only thanks to the strength of their volume. The inquiry will not progress with an accumulation of new testimonies. UFO organizations, without scientific means nor competences, did not produce concrete nor tangible scientific results either. Thus a negative report arises, comprising three parts :

    1. The institutionalized scientific community manages the UFO phenomenon as a taboo. Either scientists deny interest in the subject without any serious examination, either those which venture in this way, as Michel Bounias2, deceased, researcher at the INRA (French agronomic public research institute) and Jean-Pierre Petit3, researcher at CNRS (French public research organization) did, had their funds cut.
    2. The official effort made in France within an institutional framework led to a complete dead end. People in charge of the UFO file did not have the minimum scientific competences to manage nor even approach it. A major error was made: to entrust the investigations to the gendarmerie policemen only, whereas it seems obvious that the comprehension of this phenomenon implies the multi-field collaboration of innovating, imaginative and free scientists.
    3. Same failure for similar reasons within the « ufologic » bunches.

    Consequently, it is urgent to make an organization able to conclude the real investigation of the UFO file, by implementing rational and scientific investigation methods, on the cutting edge of current techniques and knowledge. It would be useless to seek to establish such a research within institutional structures, those having shown their complete inefficiency for three decades.

    Our answer

    In our mind, the study of the UFO phenomenon is a crucial and urgent step. Its accomplishment has been prevented for sixty years cause of a blocking at several levels: scientific (psycho-socio-immunological reaction), political (same mechanism, plus a « disinformation » component) and media (folklorized subject). Thus a new structure arises, under the form of a non-profit organization called UFO-SCIENCE, in order to study in lab some aspects related to the UFO phenomenon, without prejudice about the origin of the phenomenon itself. We affirm the investigation of the UFO case is scientifically fertile for fundamental knowledge and technico-scientific applications. This experimental research can finally exist without any aid nor control from administration… but with goodwill, impassioned people, students, high level engineers and researchers. UFO-SCIENCE will work with complete freedom and independence by implementing the principle enacted by late Aimé Michel4 :

    To think of everything and to believe nothing.

    And taking into account the time already wasted through official ways, we associate the following motto :

    The truth, now.
    The possibility of visits from extraterrestrial ethnos groups, even contacts, strongly raises the problem of mankind’s place in the universe, of its function, its origins and its destiny. Inquiry of the UFO case touches with many fields, scientists of course, but also historical, political, military, ecological and religious. We will concentrate our efforts in priority on experiments made with scientific rationality in mind, without uncertainty, implementing tested techniques.

    Maximum transparency

    This « laboratoire of fortune » will be open to scientists, to journalists… to everyone. The equipment (decayed) and the quality of the research (cutting edge) will be openly exposed. You will foresee the level of French research in the field of magnétohydrodynamics5 and related science, with incredible working conditions if you take into account the competences gathered in this laboratory. In a similar way, all experimental results will be displayed online, with popularized detailed reports, drawings, 3D diagrams, photographs, computer-generated animations, videos… in the Research section. All kinds of documents will also be available on the Download page.

    1 In 1977 the GEPAN (French unidentified aerospace phenomenon research group) is created. Official service depending on CNES (French government space agency) under joint supervision of French Departments of Defense and Research, it had a steering committee and a scientific council which regularly published technical notes until 1983. This special department had been created after a report about the UFO phenomenon from the IHEDN (French institute of higher national defence studies) June 20, 1977. The report confirms a « UFO problem », indeed exists, states the ETH (the extraterrestrial hypothesis) « should not be regarded as ridiculous anymore » and recommends « the serious study of the phenomenon » because the « scientific and technical repercussions could prove to be important ». In 1988 the SEPRA (atmospheric reentry phenomena research service) succeeds the GEPAN, this time without any scientific council. It is again replaced in 2005 by the GEIPAN (the “I” is there for Information) with an aim to make public some official reports about UFOs on its : www.cnes-geipan.fr

    2 Michel Bounias : French scientist, researcher at the INRA (French agronomic public research institute) deceased March 23, 2003. Dr Bounias is the author of the unique available study treating of biochemical changes caused in plants by a short encounter with an unidentified flying object (the “Trans-en-Provence case”, 1981). You can read in French a small biography of Dr Michel Bounias on RR0 site.

    4 Aimé Michel (1919-1992) : French professor and investigator, graduate in psychology, licentiate in philosophy, sound engineer at the RDF (French Radio Broadcasting), expert in methodology, scientific writer. He is known in the UFO world mainly for its analysis of the 1954 French UFO wave.

    5 Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) also known as magnetofluiddynamics or hydromagnetics: Branch of physics studying influence of electromagnetic fields on electrically conducting fluids (gas or liquid). The word “magnetohydrodynamics” is derived from “magneto” meaning magnetic field, “hydro” meaning liquid, and “dynamics” meaning movement. In industry, magnetohydrodynamics is used as “MHD converters” of two kinds: either they generate electricity (MHD generator) or they propel a vehicle (MHD propulsor). In both cases, strong electromagnetic forces (Lorentz forces) act on the surrounding fluid, without any moving part. MHD works in salt water and also in ionized gas (plasma) where it is then of two types: the well-known MHD with “high magnetic Reynolds number” (thermonuclear and astrophysical plasmas) or the less known MHD with “low magnetic Reynolds number” (cold plasmas, evil controlled in the presence of electromagnetic fields). This last and most difficult MHD is the one studied in intra-atmospheric propulsion devices, where it is also sometimes called magnetoaerodynamics (MAD). Thus it is a science dealing at the same time with fluid mechanics, electromagnetism and plasma physics.

  • Past Studies

    Before defining the sphere of activity of UFO-SCIENCE, here is the summary about scientific research carried out in France for sixty years on the UFO case, and in particular since the official study undertaken in 1977, just thirty years ago.

    Radial streamline airflow : Coanda effect disks

    In the 1930’s the Rumanian scientist Henri Coanda invented discoidal machines1 using a fluid dynamics principle which now bears his name: the Coanda effect.  You can read a popularized explanation of this effect applied to his flying discs in the document available at the Downloads section : ” Flying saucers R&D – The Coanda effect “. In his lab, Coanda made models of these devices fly, and during all the experiment they were trailing behind them the tube which brought the air under high pressure required for their operation. No embedded engine compressor is indeed both light and powerful enough to generate an airflow along the curved fuselage, thanks to the Coanda effect, fast enough to suck the ambient air and to make such an aircraft autonomously lift.

    Electromagnetic propulsion : MHD aerody

    Maquette d’aérodyne MHD en test. Arcs électriques hyperfréquences.

    However, a new kind of propulsion involving magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) exists. MHD propulsion allows to accelerate an electrically conductor fluid (liquid or ionized gas called “plasma”) to thousands miles per hour thanks to electromagnetic forces, without any moving part. Plasma MHD propulsion devices (sometimes rather called MPD drives for “magnetoplasmadynamics”) are known since 1950’s. But in 1975, the physicist Jean-Pierre Petit conceptualized a new kind of MHD propulsor, where the accelerated gas does not run out inside a nozzle anymore, but goes around the whole external hull of a disc-shaped aircraft (MHD converter with external flow). It is no more than a Coanda disc, where the effect is generated in a ionized gas by electromagnetic forces. The plasma is not formed from an onboard propellant, but directly by the ionized ambient air. Dr Petit calls these new MHD accelerators with external ionized airflow : MHD aerodynes.

    You can familiarize yourself with magnetohydrodynamics and these MHD aerodynes thanks to the popularized science comics (freely downloadable): “The Silence Barrier“.

    Les dispositifs de propulsion MHD à plasma sont connus depuis les années 1950. Mais le physicien Jean-Pierre Petit a conceptualisé à partir de 1975 des accélérateurs MHD d’un genre nouveau, où le gaz accéléré ne s’écoule plus à l’intérieur d’une tuyère, mais tout autour de la paroi extérieure de l’engin. Ce sont donc des « accélérateurs MHD à écoulement externe » constituant des disques de Coanda dont l’effet est généré par des forces électromagnétiques. Le plasma est de plus formé non pas à partir d’un ergol embarqué, mais en ionisant directement l’air ambiant. JP Petit nomma ce concept d’accélérateur MHD à écoulement gazeux externe et à contrôle d’ionisation un aérodyne MHD.

    Supersonic flight without showk wave by MHD force field

    These MHD aerodynes are perfectly similar to the UFOs being observed in the world since sixty years, from the strange shapes to the luminous and electromagnetic effects on their environment noted in various testimonies. With the adequate power source, these MHD aircrafts could cruise at supersonic speed in dense air, without making any noise : contrary to the popular idea, the silence of UFOs can be explained, and this field leads to very innovative studies. For example, MHD hydaulics experiments has been carried out, magnetized plasma were modeled with high-voltage and high frequencies in low pressure air, 1D and 2D theoretical simulations has been computed… this research demonstates the possibility for an MHD aerodyne to cruise at supersonic and hypersonic speed, noiseless. It lead to several discoveries exposed in international MHD meetings and publications in specialized reviews (you can read here the list of these papers).

    Such a technological progress would actually be a very important leap: a supersonic aircraft moving at Mach 2.0 consumes more than 20 % of its energy to generate and overcome shock waves and slipstream, which not only slow down the vehicle, but also quickly heat the materials cause of the brutal gas recompression behind the bow shock wave. This is the “heat barrier” which prohibits making hypersonic aircrafts today.

    But a special aircraft, controlling airflow at any point of its hull thanks to ambiant electomagnetic forces, would cancel drag, slipstream and dramatically reduce wall heating. It would make possible quiet flight at hypersonic speed, without sound nor heat barriers even at low altitude, in dense air (speeds in excess of Mach 12 or 15 possible). Such a device would obviously attract the army since it represents, in a military mind, the perfect cruise missile: extremely fast while being completely furtive thanks to a low altitude evolution, under the radar coverage. Interest from the army into such a possible next generation nuclear weapons delivery system, coupled wih the obvious link with UFOs, perhaps explains the many difficulties encountered to freely study this subject within public governmental laboratories.

    Shock wave patterns and turbulent wakes around various profiles

    • Hydraulic Analogy :

    Before the advent of computers, students in aeronautical schools made supersonic flow simulations inside “hydraulic analogy tanks” where the classical air flow around a model was replaced by a slower and denser water flow. Fluid dynamics has indeed the same set of equations, whether in gas or in water. The analogy is complete because the bow and stern waves on the liquid surface, around a boat, are faithful analogues of wavefronts around an aircraft moving at supersonic speed in air, just as the turbulent slipstream.

    In 1976, Dr. Jean-Pierre Petit and his colleague Maurice Viton made an MHD experiment in liquid medium: a cylindrical profile with two electrodes, plunged into an acidulous water flow, electrically conductive. The flow speed of water simulates a supersonic flight. At first, a water pad appears in front of the model, and oblique bow waves form around the profile, while slipstream becomes strongly turbulent.

    Then the MHD system is switched on. A magnetic field (1 Tesla) generated by an electromagnet surrounds the model, while a generator outputs an electrical current in water, through each electrode on the cylinder. This establishes a strong Lorentz force field all around the model, acting on the flow. The entire system becomes an MHD accelerator with external liquid flow: an MHD hydrodyne.

    Surprise: as soon as the MHD system is activated, turbulent slipstream disappears. The flow behind the cylinder becomes laminar again, as if it was at a subsonic speed. When the power increases, even the bow shock wave disappears too! More than that, the water surface in the front area of the cylinder grows hollow: not only the shock wave is annihilated, but the hydrodyne sucks water in front of it before molecules can pile up at the stagnation point. The whole system is then tractor, with a negative drag.

    These positive results lead to communications in 1983 at the international MHD meeting in Moscow, and a 16mm footage were even filmed. This experiment has been successfully reproduced elsewhere, first by a team of the aeronautical school ENSAE (monitored by the CNES) in 1981, and at the engineering school ENSEEIHT in 1983 (documents available at the Downloads section).

    • Mathematical calculations :

    Hydraulics is only the first step towards the complete shock wave elimination arround a body embedded in a supersonic airflow, thanks to MHD action.

    The next step, after these hydraulic analogy experiments, is to mathematically model the complete control of a supersonic gas flow around a wing profile by Lorentz forces, making wavefronts disappear.

    This work has been done. In 1987, Bertrand Lebrun, ENSAM engineer, accomplishes its doctorate thesis under the direction of Pr. Jean-Pierre Petit. He obtains a DEA (French postgraduate degree) in the field of fluid mechanics, then develops a new method solving the Navier-Stokes equations (the laws describing the motion of fluids substances such as liquids and gases) in the presence of a MHD force field, thanks to the method of characteristics. This work succeeds and is published in 1986 at the 9th International MHD Meeting in Tsukuba, Japan, and at the following international conference held in 1992 in Beijing, China. This thesis work is also published in the European Journal of Mechanics (then in the former French version “Journal de Mécanique”) in 1989.

    • Expériences en soufflerie :

    Still, it would have been logical to follow this idea to the end, and make a true experiment of flow control annihilating the shock waves by MHD, around a test model embedded in a subsonic then hypersonic gas flows, inside a wind tunnel… But this experiment has never been done!

    Precise recommendations of experimental modelings were proposed several times to the GEPAN scientific council (CNES service), in vain. In 1980, Dr. Jean-Pierre Petit gives to CNES a 200-pages report entitled “Perspectives in magnetohydrodynamics” containing a mass of rough, directly exploitable ideas to undertake multiple experiments. Then someone finally decided to make an ambitious MHD experiment dealing with air ionized by a powerful pulsed microwave source.

    But the research managers leading this study were arbitrarily and politically chosen, and Dr. Jean-Pierre Petit was deliberately isolated although he was the father of these ideas. More than that, one of the manager was an optical technician and the other was a specialist in traditional fluid dynamics. So none had the required know-how about cold plasma physics dealing with strong magnetic fields, a science full of unforeseeable difficulties. And as envisaged by Jean-Pierre Petit if done like that, the experiment tried in 1983 inside a scientific center near the city of Toulouse, France, was a complete failure.

    And the details about this failure were published in a special issue of a French review publicly available in kiosk, which devoted all its pages to the case and a cover saying: “GEPAN: one too many experiment”. The GEPAN scientific council was immediately dissolved.

    Since this era, research in the field of MHD propulsion in cold plasmas, which are “two-temperatures” gas (nonequilibrium plasma where electrons are much hotter than ions) has been stopped. The know-how has even been lost, in most countries.

    The accumulated delay in front of USA or Russia is very important, because they do not have ever ceased this research, as opposed to what other nations believed for a long time. A national “technological pole on cold plasmas” has just been created in France in order to give the country the desired competences applied to the aerospace field again, as in the 1970’s. But in spite of funds allocated to various laboratories, the studies are of the same quality than those practised at the end of the 1960’s (shock wave upon a plasma generated by high voltage ahead of a conical shape inside a wind tunnel). There is none magnetic field in these static plasmas, so no Lorentz forces to locally accelerate or slow down the flow, i.e. make a true flow control around a body. For now the scientists try to understand again the “plasma/schock wave interaction” which is only the premises of magnetohydrodynamics in supersonic cold plasmas (active flow control), field much more complex…

    Fortunately the UFO-SCIENCE team is directed by former researchers now retired. They did worked a long time ago in the field of nonequilibrium plasmas under high magnetic fields, MHD-gas experiments. Although “put in the garbage” by the French national research department, their knowledge and their creativity are intact!

    Electrohydrodynamics (EHD)

    Beside MHD, another technology has recently been spoted out : electrohydrodynamics (EHD) popularized by “lifters”. It is a pure electric propulsion (no magnetic field) in the past called “ionic wind”, which accelerates ions through a very high voltage electric field. This creates electrostatic forces (paraelectric, peristaltic…) in the air which make it flow along a privileged direction. There is no electromagnet inside an EHD device, thus it is lighter than any MHD device. But the performance per weight ratio of an EHD device is good much because the device mass is as low as the total electric power (lifters are made from balsa wood and kitchen aluminium foils, the power supply is external and outputs only a few watts of power, if not an electric breakdown spark and an arc short-circuit occur).

    Better EHD devices are studied in lab since a decade, with glow discharge plasmas. Some new systems can ionize air at standard atmopsheric pressure (such as OAUGDP panels, for One Atmosphere Uniform Glow Discharge Plasma). Acceleration of ionized gas reaches now several hundreds feet per second. The EHD propulsion accelerating a plasma inside a peristaltic varying electric field allows a theoretical maximum air speed of about a thousand feet per second (when viscosity is neglected) in a layer a few millimeters thick, thus approaching the speed of sound. These devices can modify the boundary layer flow and are mainly considered to be used on wings surface in order to increase lift under strong angle of attack, or to replace mobile flaps (plasma actuators). The plasma actuators have been successfully used in different flow control applications, such as exciting boundary layer instabilities on a sharp cone at Mach 3.5, lift augmentation on a wing section, low-pressure turbine blade separation control, turbine tip clearance flow control, bluff body control, drag reduction, unsteady vortex generation, and airfoil leading-edge separation control. But contrary to magnetohydrodynamics which implies higher power (several megawatts) and can move gas to several miles per second acting on both boundary and shock layers of the flow, electrohydrodynamics is however intrinsically unable to act sufficiently on the shock layer to eliminate the sonic boom at supersonic speed.

    Optical diffraction grating camera caps

    An another topic, “diffracting camera caps” were distributed to the French national military police squads “Gendarmerie” in the 1980’s. Made of an optical diffraction grating pattern conceived by Jobin & Yvon company, they can be fixed in front of the camera’s objective glass to print on the film the spectral lines of any luminous object, transforming the camera into a true spectroscope.

    The French Gendarmes had the role of using them each time they would observe unidentified luminous phenomena at night. These diffracting caps were made in order to know more about UFOs, because the luminous spectrum of an object gives information on its chemical composition, its temperature, if it emits characteristic radiations such as infrareds or ultraviolet rays, if it generates a magnetic field, high-frequencies, etc. After thirty years, what are the results, according to consultants of the laboratory charged to analyze these spectra? Two pictures, and none is exploitable! Besides these caps are lost since a score of years at the bottom of forgotten drawers. Now people have a lot of digital cameras even in their mobile phone, so it would be interesting to equip the general public with these cheap diffracting caps.

    All these alleged official studies wasting public monies without any result must be stopped and replaced by another functional approach. It is not even the problem “to convince the authorities” any more. Simply a real serious and profitable scientific study can and will now be undertaken.

    6 Henri Coanda (7 juin 1886 – 25 novembre 1972 à Bucarest) est un ingénieur aéronautique roumain displômé de SUPAERO (École nationale supérieure de l’aéronautique et de l’espace). Pionnier du moteur à réaction, il présenta le premier avion à réaction au salon de Paris en 1910. Il est l’auteur de divers brevets, dont celui portant sur l’effet Coanda en 1934, et sur son application à la propulsion de disques volants dès 1935.

  • New Research

    UFO-SCIENCE will carry out any action to complete its mission: the scientific and rational inquiry of the UFO case and its related questions, in accordance with its ethics, its principle of transparency and in the respect of the law. It will create a multi-field research laboratory, lead by true scientists.

    The research tasks will be undertaken with total transparency. The members and non-members will continuously know all about team’s activities, and they will sponsor their action through this web site. Projects will be described in the site. From this point of view we will also seek collaboration with similar organizations or with any specialized laboratory, at an international level.

    UFO-SCIENCE wants to specify that its action refers to none political system nor scientific firm, none ideology, religion, belief nor sect.

    Here are the activities envisaged at UFO-SCIENCE:

    • Create one or several research lab(s) in order to carry out experiments.
    • Communicate results of research on this Internet web site, which elsewhere promotes the organization and its objectives.
    • Connect people likely to take part in actions, in agreement with the objectives of the organization.
    • Establish a contact with other groups, research laboratories or similar organizations, in order to extend this action to an international scale.
    • Relating to silent supersonic intra-atmospheric flight modeling, and upon the assumption that the UFO phenomenon would correspond, at least partially, with evolutions of material vehicles, we will resume magnetohydrodynamics studies begun in 1975. Hydraulic simulations will be undertaken immediately. As soon as possible, we will build a hot intermittent wind tunnel (argon flow at 10’000 degrees with a pressure of one bar inside a shock tube) to finally experiment the shock wave annihilation around a model imbeded in this supersonic flow.
    • Coanda effect discs (which have an aerodynamical lifting principle identical to MHD aerodynes) will be built and demoed using high-pressure air (10 bars). Their lift and their induced airflow, closely to the hull and far upside in the ambient air, could at last be precisely filmed and broadcasted. These devices being unstable, we will consider the creation of an embarked system made of software-controlled micro-flaps continuously checking and correcting the attitude.
    • In a more general idea, any innovating propulsion system, purely aerodynamic, electric, electromagnetic… could be studied and experimented as conventional and non-conventional vehicles, along the energy sources linked to these devices.
    • The laboratory will endeavour to obtain means of biological analyses to investigate traces in plants, taking the work of Doctor Michel Bounias (case of Trans-in-Provence, 1981) as a good starting point. Simulations of these effects will be tried, submitting pilot plants to pulsed low-frequency modulated microwaves, and also studies about how microwave beams can act on corn stems, within the “crop-circle” phenomenon in mind.
    • We will encourage the mobile phones manufacturers to equip their products with optical diffraction grating caps, allowing any multi-megapixel phone to catch a UFO luminous spectrum. Same thing for HD digital cameras. In parallel, UFO-SCIENCE will get means of spectra analysis. Working with optics laboratories, we will create a spectrum analyser computer software. Again with transparency in mind, this software will be freely downloadable, so using a spectral database, people will be able to identify chemical components of any photographed source.

    These studies are described with their progress report through the Research menu.