ARCHIVES FOR UFO RESEARCH
A Trojan Horse
AFU Newsletter #43 was intended for distribution in March. On March 6, just a week before our deadline, I lost practically all of my Word, Excel, jpg and htm files through the violent actions of the W32 Klez virus and its Trojan horse. An Operation Trojan Horse of the worst kind.
After a few months I am now fairly back on track again – and, of course, with a much better virus protection program!
Besides the almost ready Newsletter, the other major loss in the March 6 attack was the 2001 book acquisition listing, which had then grown to about 14 pages. A major part of the listed acquisitions from Ole Jonny Brænne (see our previous issue) were lost. These titles were catalogued and added to our book shelves after a December 20 backup, but before the virus hit. It will take a concerted effort to reconstruct the Braenne part of the list again. Anders Liljegren
AFU’s new library
Archives for UFO Research moved into a new library during the first half of June: our third archive locality along the same street. We are now, without any doubt, the Archives for UFO research, in the plural form. Adding yet another 62 square metres of floor area, AFU is ready for new challenges and future donations.
The new library holds our reference and lending library. Throughout June, 35 sections of shelves were moved, the final part of this exercise combined with a board meeting of the UFO-Sweden organisation on June 16. We would like to thank all those people who took part in the moving of our collection, especially Johnny and Conny Ljung, and Wolfgang Randisek.
The books were moved from the present main archive (74 square metres), which has been in operation since 1993. This locality will now be used purely for archival collections. Workplaces will also remain in the main archive, which will now be restructured and completed with another 16 sections of IKEA shelves.
Parts of the collections in our first archive – which was our main operational base in the period 1980-1993 – have been moved to the two other archives, thereby making an 8 square metres room free for a second-hand tenant, the archives of the Swedish Humanist Society. Håkan Blomqvist, AFU board member, and vice chairman for the Humanists, will be the keeper of these new archives, with some (minor) interest areas in common with AFU, allowing for some interchange of information and material.
This second-hand letting of space helps finance the new archive, as does increased financial support from the national group UFO-Sweden and also a number of new sponsors of the AFU foundation. If you would like to make a lasting contribution to "preserve ufology for posterity", please consider donating money or materials to the AFU foundation.
Thus, from this summer AFU will operate three archives along the same street:
The ‘A’ archive (74 square metres) with magazine collections, Swedish & Scandinavian UFO reports, clippings, personal and organisational files, bibliographies and encyclopaedias, plus the book sale department.
The ‘B’ archive (library, 62 square metres) with our reference and lending book libraries, science & SF, paranormal & esoteric collections, audio & video library, microfilms (including a microfilm reader) and our picture library.
The ‘C’ archive (30 square metres) with the surplus mags collection, map collection and storage for other paraphernalia.
Field investigation project
A group of sixteen field investigators from UFO-Sweden, the national UFO organization, invaded the desolated areas of the west-Swedish county of Värmland, during the first week of July 2002.
The investigators combed the area, close to our western border with Norway, for new info on old reports (reports culled from the AFU database and paper copies retrieved from the AFU-UFO-Sweden report archives) but also for brand new, previously unknown reports. Preliminary reports from the co-ordinators say the project was a huge success with a large number of formerly unknown reports added, and also proved a successful exercise in close day-by-day co-operation with local news media.
Each evening investigators gathered for debriefing and reporting, all of their photo material and audio recorded interviews being secured by the project co-ordinators for inclusion in a final, printed report. The field exercise must be regarded as unique even by international standards.
Joint ‘mag’ exchange program
AFU and UFO-Sweden will start a joint, international exchange distribution plan for the AFU Newsletter, combined with UFO-Sweden’s quality-printed UFO-Aktuellt, edited by Håkan Ekstrand and Clas Svahn, and an English translation-summary thereoff, edited by Stefan Isaksson. All three publications are quarterly, and will be mailed jointly to mutually save on our costs and create an effective exchange program.
AFU’s and UFO-Aktuellt’s active exchange partners are invited to respond to the initiative via information enclosed with this newsletter. If you do not receive the invitation, but have some regular publication available for exchange, please make direct contact with AFU, wherefrom the new, joint mailing list is maintained.
On the need for UFO archives!
The following short review, by UFO historian Jan Aldrich, was published on the Project 1947 mailing list on May 3, 2002. Excellent arguments for your support of private archives such as the AFU foundation:
The 9th issue of UFO Historical Revue is now out. The
entire issue is devoted to a looming crisis in the preservation of UFO
records, photographs, film, audio and other media are deteriorating at a
rapid rate. Barry Greenwood discusses several techniques for
preserving records in private hands, including a high tech method of
freshening faded newspaper clippings.
Comment: You can read the whole text on: http://www.cufon.org/uhr/UHR9.pdf As another example of how a ufological archives system can be organised and managed, this time within the framework of a government archives program, I asked Mr Jacques Scornaux of the French archival group SCEAU for a presentation in English of their unique work for preservation of ufological records in the French speaking countries of the European continent. / AL
What is SCEAU ?
SCEAU (Sauvegarde Conservation des Etudes et Archives Ufologiques) is the French acronym for "Preservation and conservation of ufological studies and archives". Our association, of which all collaborators are voluntary, has the legal status of a non-profit organization. It aims at the long-term preservation of the ufological heritage, that is all books, magazines, letters, investigation reports, newspaper clippings and any other documents (written, audiovisual or electronic) related to UFO research.
SCEAU was founded in 1990, in consideration of the sorry fact that, too often, when someone who was engaged in studying these phenomena deceases or ceases being interested, or when a UFO group is disbanded, the documents he/she/it possessed are dispersed, disappear or even destroyed by the heirs…
SCEAU therefore undertook to contact all the persons and groups known to us as interested in UFOs or related phenomena in France and proposed them an "archives transfer contract". Under this contract, the donor transfers all or part of his/her archives to SCEAU at the time he/she chooses, either immediately or later or after his/her death, and defines the consultation conditions.
Some people answer us that they have few interesting documents, but our experience of archives recovery shows us that even people who say this always have some important documents, including books we did not yet have.
After classification and detailed inventory of recovered documents, SCEAU puts them in the French Public Records network (National Archives in Paris and departmental – i.e. local – archives). In this system everyone has access to the documents, at conditions set by French Law on Archives (notably for protecting of privacy) or at more restrictive conditions, if so desired by the donor.
As for books and magazines, that the Public Records are not legally bound to accept, they are deposited in public libraries. A great library in the east of France was given, by SCEAU, an important collection of several hundred books and magazines on UFOs and related topics. 120 UFO books have recently been deposited in a university library. A third deposit of UFO books is planned, probably in Belgium, and all these "SCEAU libraries" will be gradually augmented with other books newly acquired by SCEAU.
For all deposits, a contract is signed with the archives centre or the library, ensuring the durability of the deposit and defining the consultation conditions
SCEAU intends to be a mere intermediary between the donor and the archives centre or the library. Its code of ethics, inscribed in its statutes, prescribes it to strictly respect the donor’s will and to keep for itself no original document.
Another rule adopted by SCEAU, which has no official position about what UFOs are (its members’ opinions are diverse), is to discard not any document, however futile it may seem. Indeed, for so ill-understood phenomena as UFOs, it appears impossible to foresee what future researchers, who we preserve these documents for, may consider important. Even if some ufological claims should appear ill-founded in the future, related documents will be useful to sociologists for studying beliefs of our time. Preserved documents may therefore be useful in any case, be it to physical scientists or to social scientists.
SCEAU also plays an awareness-raising role in the ufological community concerning preservation of its heritage. Experience it has acquired allows SCEAU to act as an adviser to any researcher wondering about long-term preservation of his/her ufological works and documents.
Our association publishes a annual bulletin giving the complete inventory of archives preserved during the year. SCEAU has established links with the SHG (Sign Historical Group) and the AFU (Archives for UFO Research Foundation), that pursue similar aims in USA and Sweden, and SCEAU also maintains contacts with foreign researchers, notably in Belgium and Switzerland.
Our paper mail address: SCEAU/Archives OVNI, B.P. 19, F-91801 BRUNOY CEDEX, France. E-mail: email@example.com
Recent new exchanges
The editor writes that La Nave de los Locos ("The ship of fools") is to be counted among "the good skeptics", thus skepticism without the overtones of outright debunking. Published every other month the newsletter is a gist of skeptical analysis in the Spanish language with coverage of most areas of the Americas and southern Europé.
While issues 11 and 12 include very short English summaries at the start of each article, this feature, unfortunately, is removed from issue 13. I am curious about the details of some of the material, i.e. Rodolfo Tassis article, in # 12, concerning a psychiatric case where a girl had claimed contact with aliens.
u Yhteys, Sumomen Ufotutkijat ry, PL 51, FI-33721 Tampere, Finland. Editor: Sami Laitala. www.suomenufotutkijat.fi. suomenufotutkijat @hotmail.com. Issue nr 2/2002 is the 6th issue of the newsletter from the Finnish UFO Research group. News from, and about, the group, headed by chairman Menna Waris. My grasping of Finnish is almost at the zero level so a translation into English (like in the age of the "Vimana" mag in the early 1970’s) would come handy.
n The AFU Newsletter is published quarterly by AFU. Editor: Anders Liljegren. AFU was established in 1973 and the newsletter started in 1975. Copyright is not claimed unless explicitly stated. Reproduction is encouraged provided that "AFU Newsletter" is referenced as your source.
n Archives for UFO Research is a non-profit, private foundation, aiming to build a Swedish-International UFO library and research archive; to support and encourage serious research; and to stimulate a critical, scientific discussion on UFO phenomena.
n Membership in Sweden: by annual donation of 150 SEK each year to postal giro no 49 07 14-3, or by annual donation of materials for the archive equivalent to 150 SEK.
n International exchanges: we are always interested in exchange deals with publishers of newsletters, journals, monographs or other media. The Newsletter is NOT available through subscription outside of Sweden. Materials you send us will always be catalogued and saved for posterity, and future research, at the archives.
n Sponsorship: Sponsorship of the AFU foundation is most welcome, whether you live in Sweden, or in any other country. Minimum annual donation by sponsors is 600 SEK (or equal amount in any other currency), but more substantial monetary donations are, of course, welcome, as well as donations / depositions of records & materials related to the UFO subject (single pieces or collections of books, newsletters, magazines, reports, clippings, photos, audio & video recordings, microfilms, etc)