Citizen Hearing on Disclosure
Statement by Colonel of the Uruguayan Air Force, Ariel Rios Sanchez Washington DC, Thursday May 2, 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am retired Col. Ariel Rios Sanchez of the UFO Complaints Recipient and Research Comission of Uruguay, an organization within the Official Air Force of my Country, and responsible for carrying out all the tasks of research and analysis of UFO complaints filed by citizens in Uruguay.
I work within this organization as Technical Director, and I have been investigating the UFO phenomenon for over 23 years, having started while as a Lieutenant, as a researcher, and Chief of Archives.
I retired from the Air Force approximately nine months ago. I belonged to the Air Corps as Navigator of aircraft transportation in the specialty as Air Traffic Radar Controller, Aviation Safety Officer, Staff Officer, Professor for the Staff Officers School, and have held various positions within the organization.
At the same time, I am the Director of the Regional Research Center for Aerospace and Terrestrial Phenomena, a non-governmental civil organization, also dedicated to the investigation of the UFO phenomenon at a regional level.
Through these investigation groups, Uruguay owns an archive with more than 1300 cases investigated over 33 years, 3% of them of unconventional characteristics. Let me point out to you, that Uruguay is a country of only 3.251 million people within an area of 176,215 km2, and its main industry is livestock and agriculture.
The CRIDOVNI was created August 7, 1979, by an order of the General Command of the Armed Forces, to perform the tasks of collecting (UFO) complaints made by citizens, especially in greater reiteration in the 70s, although some of the first records date back to 1942.
Being responsible for the custody of their airspace, and ensuring the security of citizenship, as well as air passengers, crews, and aerial means, the Air Force put in charge of this Commission the analysis of all complaints related to people’s sightings of UFOs that were reaching their offices through various means.
I must emphasize, that never in the order of its creation, nor during the long thirty-three years of its activity, the FAU (Uruguay Air Force) Command ever established a directive in the form of guidance, direction, limitation or diffusion of research. The Command of the FAU has never exercised any interference in the work of the Commission. It has not established any kind of preconceived idea about it, therefore, through the work of the commission, it is not about
denying, hiding, or misinterpreting facts or situations experienced by the complainants. It only aims to clarify anomalous situations experienced by the witnesses, and it has been entrusted solely to perform serious, and rigorously scientific study of a phenomenon that occurs within the scope of competence of the Air Force, to gain understanding through this medium, what it is, and to what it responds.
So in order to perform the task thoroughly, interviews were conducted at all schools and with individuals throughout the country who were interested in the subject, so that in the spirit of objective, disinterested, scientific investigation, they could voluntarily come together as a single government agency, work as a team, and maximize all efforts at a national level.
It was on August 7, 1979, when three officers were appointed to begin the task of compilation and analysis: a Lieutenant Colonel, a Major, a Lieutenant, and the incorporation of more than 20 civilian investigators of different professional backgrounds.
This is how this Commission, composed by civilian and military personnel, began its work. The CRIDOVNI is currently a government organization dedicated publicly to the study of the UFO phenomenon, being the oldest organization in continuous employment of civilians and military.
In April of 2001 also in Uruguay, the Regional Center for Investigation of Aeroespacial and Terrestrial Phenomena, CRIFAT – a civil, non nongovernmental group that has CRIDOVNI as one of its main members – was created, by the one speaking. The objective of UFO research groups in South America, is the exchange of information about the phenomenon, as well as adopting one working methodology, which allows us to create a large database that can be consulted by all countries’ members.
The promotion of this idea bore results recently, as of April 2012, when for the first time in ever, two South American Air Forces through their research groups, CEFAA, the Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena, lead by General Ricardo Bermudez, and CRIDOVNI, lead by the undersigned, signed the first joint, exchange, and cooperation agreement, with unprecedented presence of the international press.
In reference to CRIDOVNI and CRIFAT, I would like to explain briefly, its organization and work methodology, which are basically the same. Linking all possible elements, we sought first the creation of an organization which would allow the task at hand.
By rule of the work methodology, after several attempts the organization has been attained, turning out to be the most appropriate to its needs.
Therefore, the Commission is organized as follows: 1. General Direction
a. President b. Secretary
2. Operational Direction
3. Technical Direction
4. Direction of Archives and Statistics
Once created and integrated – before starting to analize the constitution of previous cases, in order to investigate the presentation of new ones – the Commission encountered, and had to solve some problems, for which and by which, valid, consistent, and fair agreements and conclusions would be reached by all parties involved in the case.
The first problem was: what and how should we investigate? the second problem was: how to evaluate something that is not known what it is?
The decision was to adopt a fully open position, free from bias or preconceived ideas, for or against the phenomenon; to be guided by an analytical, rational research method in order to accept any type form of sighting report, and study it until a verification of facts would be obtained.
A study of the unidentified flying object itself was determined, primarily, as well as everything else which in some way surrounds and therefore interacts with the object, such as marks on the ground, and effects on people, animals, or materials that witnesses saw or believed were made by UFOs; revelations and statements of any kind by complainants, including mystic or religious influences or considerations.
The conclusion was that given the variety and extent of the subject, this was not only an aerial phenomenon, but a general one, covering, and affecting several different environments.
Given the scope of the picture research had to be done, not just of a mere sighting of something in the air, but of a phenomenon that was actually happening, and it was necessary to know what it is, and what is causing it.
As we were placing ourselves, not just before a fact, but a totally unknown phenomenon – which in turn presented great difficulties to center in perspective – in order to observe, study and analyze, it was necessary to have an inquisitive and curious ‘researcher’ mind, so as to adjust the overall activities with scientific stringency.
At the same time, it was necessary to elaborate an investigative work methodology, which would be appropriate for this purpose; and subsequently, an evaluation system to quantify the results.
The first analysis and evaluation system used is based on two pillars: 1) the compilation of the maximum of information available, and
2) the detailed and comparative study of that information.
The realization of this job would always be done aiming at the possibility of answering five fundamental questions. These five questions act as “sieves”, where the various data, informations, and findings of the case will combine to answer, and they are:
1) What are the possibilities of fraud on part of the witnesses?
2) What are the odds of fraud by third parties?
3) What are the possibilities that which is described corresponds to a conventional fact?
4) How likely is it a psychological illusion?
If the previous questions were negative, or partially negative, or left a reasonable doubt in their evidence, then the last question, indefectibly, will be:
5) What possibility is there that the phenomenon is not conventional?
Even if no one knows what it is, and we can not identify it.
The established methodology determines when a case is designated as unidentified flying object, or partially a possible UFO, when even with the data that is available its nature remains unknown and cannot be identified, or cannot be related to anything known, or of conventional nature.
To ensure the maximum objectivity in the analysis of the allegations, confirms the scientific method as a form of research to ensure a reasonable doubt about the facts and witnesses, to approach as much as possible the truth of the events.
To conclude and finalize, all the research and its various results are assessed by a final percentage system, which provides in a clear and practical fashion the scientific possibility within the occurrence of a phenomenon or fact of the ‘unconventional’ kind.
According to what has been heard in this international event referent to the possibility of creating an International Work Group, which will give answers to questions about the UFO phenomenon, I think it is appropriate to offer our organizational model and work methodology, as a basis for the creation of that team of researchers, which may perhaps be embedded in the United Nations Organization, and thereby unite the world to lift the tip of the veil in the pursuit of knowledge that will lead us to find the light in wisdom.
Thank you very much,
Colonel (Uruguayan Air Force) (R) Ariel Rios Sanchez
RATIO OF COMPLAINTS IN URUGUAY
• Complaints registered in the period 1979 to 2012:
• Cases investigated in the period 1979 to 2012;
• Non – conventional cases investigated:
• 39 cases (3 % of the total investigated cases)
Members of CRIDOVNI