A Guide Into The
UFO Wilderness

By Ahmad Sayuthi
The Star Online - Malaysia
The subject of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) and close encounters with extraterrestrial beings never fails to create a lot of interest and controversy. Believers and sceptics are equally passionate, with each having their own references to either advocate or contradict a given cause - with neutrals in between not knowing who or what to believe.
With the advent of the Internet, even more material is now made available for everyone to analyse in the hope of gaining a better understanding of the subject. But there is a problem: The researcher is usually left dazed and confused with so much raw information swamping him. A guide is needed to show him the way through the complicated world of the UFO phenomenon.
The World Internet UFO Directory(ISBN 89-5563-057-3) might do just that.
Published by South Korea-based Lingua Franca (, it is the product of a project team that spent countless hours sifting through and evaluating the resources available. Those selected were then compiled to provide a concise and convenient reference to several hundred reference points for the phenomenon.
Project leader David Ritchie, from the United States, said the large amount of new information about UFOs was the main reason for producing the book. Despite the enormous task of sifting through all the material, the team decided to take up the challenge. "We thought there was a real need for an overview of this information and to show Internet users where to find it," he said.
Getting an overview does not mean simply selecting anything that sounds interesting. Hoaxes are plenty when it comes to UFOs and anyone can put up just about anything on the Internet.
Ritchie said the information had to be authenticated with different sources before being selected. However, he readily agreed it was not a bulletproof method in the hotly-debated subject.
"Itís a challenge to compile a factual reference about a mysterious phenomenon where the difference between information and misinformation may be impossible to establish," he said.
The best that the team could do was to try.
The book was also compiled to counteract a perceived bias toward reports and case studies from a small number of countries such as the United States and Canada as well as west European nations. In many UFO compilations, the rest of the world apparently does not exist. UFO Directory plans to change that, with reports coming from all over the world, including Malaysia.
Readers here might be flattered to know that Malaysia is regarded as "outstanding in the field of UFO studies..."
This comes about due to the activities of the little-known Centre for Malaysian UFO Studies (CENMYOFUS,, which is highly regarded by its peers.
The book also points out something interesting and unique about Malaysia - the high number of sightings involving tiny humanoids of around 15cm since 1953. The descriptions of these Awang Kenit are also consistent despite coming from different locations.
The case in Kampung Gobek, Kelantan, is also mentioned. It is of significance due to the statements of multiple witnesses and the physical evidence from an alleged UFO landing site in 2000.
The topics covered in UFO Directory are certainly wide-ranging. The reference points are convenient and helpful for different audiences, whether they are dedicated students of the UFO phenomenon or a general audience seeking leisure reading.
For example, under Humanoids, it is explained that this term refers to alleged aliens having the same basic bodily structure as humans (head, trunk, legs and arms) but different in other respects, such as the length of limbs and proportion of head size to body size. Descriptions of close encounters follow, with discussions and speculations of what they are, where they came from and why they came here.
Other relevant reference points like the Adamski Case, Men In Black, Montauk Project, Malaysia, Hallucinations and Hoaxes are highlighted for further followup for readers to gain a deeper understanding.
UFO Directory is not limited to just sightings of UFOs and extraterrestrial life forms. It excels by also providing articles and bibliographic references that introduce readers to other facets of the phenomenon which were previously unknown to many. Readers will feel a sense of breadth and complexity where the book also involves subjects that include astronomy and astrophysics, physiology, religion, psychology, history and folklore.
And the entertainment world is not given a miss either as the book looks at the material on radio, television and in the movies that were inspired by the phenomenon over the years. Among them are 2001: A Space Odyssey, The X-Files and Independence Day, to name just a few. For many people, the entertainment world has been their main source of influence when it comes to interest in the UFO phenomenon.
UFO Directory is certainly not a one-sided sympathiser aiming to convince readers of the existence of UFOs and extraterrestrial life forms, as one might suspect at first. Although the book is heavy with accounts of UFO and encounters with humanoids and such, it comes with its fair share of UFO critiques too. Hoaxes and fakeries are revealed and articles expressing scepticism and suspicions of some sightings and encounters are also included to provide balance.
Ritchie said the editors had avoided taking sides in specific controversies and have attempted to include a broad range of opinions.
He is well aware that different groups and individuals have different beliefs and can be passionate and emotional about them. Debates can sometimes get acrimonious as a result. This he blames on individuals having a poor understanding of the UFO phenomenon.
According to Ritchie, this will only change when people get more acquainted with the different viewpoints, which the book attempts to do by providing a diverse range of topics and opinions.
Closet UFO buffs who have kept their interest hidden for fear of being mocked and ridiculed will be encouraged to know that it is now accepted as a legitimate field of study. Ritchie said the phenomenon of UFOs runs deeper than simply being the exclusive domain of people who are generally regarded as weird.
"It is no longer viewed entirely as a preoccupation of eccentrics and fantasists. Ufology has become part of mainstream culture and is acceptable to millions," he said.
And with UFO Directory serving as a guide, their search for the truth - which is said to be "out there" - might yield an encounter which is out of this world.
Sample links from UFO Directory:
UFO Cults nrms/ufos.html
UFO/Aliens: Malaysia htm
Humanoid Encounters In Malaysia
Kidnapped by UFOs? - Interview with Carl Sagan
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