In our entourage, we all know a person who claims to have already seen an unidentified flying object. These stories intrigue us, excite us and frighten us at the same time. If in the United States the phenomenon is particularly followed and many Americans scrupulously follow each of the cases.

In France, while many believe that reports are rare, they are actually much more common than one might think. The National Center for Space Studies (Cnes) has set up a branch which specifically investigates these subjects: the Study and Information Group on Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (Geipan). This organization collects testimonies, analyzes them, anonymizes them and archives them, then informs the public.

The Geipan uses the term unidentified aerospace phenomena (PAN) and not UFOs because “this term has the double defect of speaking of an object, whereas it is not always an object, and especially a ‘have a saucer or extraterrestrial connotation.

In total, the study group has identified 2,978 cases of reports. He differentiates them into four groups which he defines as: