Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence
The Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (more commonly known as CSETI) is a worldwide organisation focusing on collecting information about UFOs, with a specific interest in extraterrestrial life forms.
It was founded as a non-profit by Steven Greer, who has been the head of the organisation since its inception in 1990, with the stated aim of "establish[ing] peaceful and sustainable relations with extraterrestrial life forms". The official statements regarding its intentions also included a new category of alien encounters, namely 'close contact of the fifth kind'. This was defined as successfully initiating contact and communicating with extraterrestrial life. Since its inception, the organisation has spent anywhere between $3.5 million and $5 million to achieve its goals.
Though most all of its claims have been rejected after outside scrutiny, the organisation claims to have over 3,000 'confirmed' reports of UFO sightings by pilots, and over 4,000 proofs of what they describe as 'landing traces'. This refers to incidences where UFOs have supposedly left behind trace evidence, such as electromagnetic readings, after landing on Earth. The organisation utilizes 'Rapid Mobilisation Investigative Teams', with the aim of arriving at crash or landing sites as quickly as possible, to remove any evidence that may be available.
In April 1997, the organisation made statements to US congressmen on their collected evidence and theories surrounding UFO visitations. They were aided in this endeavor by Apollo 14 astronaut Ed Mitchell. After the initial briefing, Greer and CSETI demanded a full hearing regarding their supposed evidence, as it would allow them to subpoena witnesses, and protect the confidentiality of witnesses who would otherwise not come forward. Congress did not grant them the hearing they requested. However, representing the organisation, Greer states he was also allowed an audience with James Woolsey, former director of the CIA. In Greer's account of the meeting, he described the director as 'mortified'.
In 2001, CSETI hosted a press conference in Washington D.C. regarding their evidence and collected statements, which this time also contained information from the former Division Chief of the Accidents and Investigations branch of the US Federal Aviation Authority, John Callahan. Callahan also claims to have met with the C.I.A., then under the Reagan administration, though in this instance the C.I.A. have emphatically denied the meeting took place.
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