Center for UFO Studies

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Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS)
Nonprofit organization
Founded 1973
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, United States
Key people
J. Allen Hynek, Founder

The Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) is a privately funded UFO research group. The group was founded in 1973 by J. Allen Hynek, who at the time was the Chair of the Department of Astronomy at Northwestern University in Illinois.[1]


Hynek was a scientific consultant for Project Blue Book, the United States Air Force official study of the UFO phenomenon from 1948 to 1969.[2] Although Hynek started out as a skeptic and helped the Air Force to debunk most UFO reports, he gradually became convinced that a small number of UFO cases were not hoaxes or explainable as misidentifications of natural phenomena, and that these cases might represent something extraordinary — even alien visitation from other planets.[3] When the Air Force shut down Project Blue Book in 1969, Hynek, in 1973, decided to start the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), which he claimed to be "the first real attempt to set up a private research group genuinely dedicated to scientific investigations and study of UFOs."[4] According to ufologist James W. Moseley, CUFOS "wasn't a saucer club and, for a while, wasn't open to general membership. Participation was restricted to scientists and other professionals who donated their time and expertise, Hynek's invisible college. This wouldn't last - though CUFOS has."[5]


Started in Evanston, Illinois, but now based in Chicago, CUFOS continues to be a small research organization stressing scientific analysis of UFO cases.[6] Its extensive archives include historically valuable files from defunct civilian research groups such as National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), the largest UFO research group of the 1950s and 1960s.[7] Following Hynek's death in 1986, CUFOS was renamed the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies in his honor.[8] The current Director of CUFOS is Dr. Mark Rodeghier.[9] Ufologists who have served on the CUFOS Board of Directors are Jerome Clark, UFO historian and author of The UFO Encyclopedia; Michael D. Swords, a retired professor of natural science at Western Michigan University; and Thomas E. Bullard, a folklorist at Indiana University.[10]

The Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) has two principal activities. First, it maintains a library and archives of UFO-related materials. These materials include books, articles, documents, and sighting reports. Second, the Center supports investigators with research materials. Of course, the Center for UFO Studies continues to investigate UFO sightings and to collect and evaluate UFO reports from around the world. This sighting information is summarized in a computer database called UFOCAT maintained and updated by Don Johnson.[11]

Mission Statement[edit]

The stated mission of CUFOS is to promote the serious scientific interest of UFOs through investigations, research and education.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Franch John, The Secret Life of J. Allen Hynek. Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.1, January/February 2013
  2. ^ Hynek, J. Allen, The UFO Experience: A scientific enquiry. (1972) ISBN 978-1-56924-782-2
  3. ^ (Clark, p. 530)
  4. ^ (Moseley, p. 228)
  5. ^ (Moseley, pp. 228-229)
  6. ^ (Clark, pp. 538-539)
  7. ^ (Clark, p. 539)
  8. ^ (Clark, p. 539)
  9. ^ (
  10. ^ (
  11. ^ (


  • Clark, Jerome. The UFO Encyclopedia. Omnigraphics: Detroit. 1998.
  • Moseley, James W. and Karl T. Pflock. Shockingly Close to the Truth! Prometheus Books: Amherst, New York. 2002.

External links[edit]