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Study and Information Group on Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena
Groupe d'Études et d'Informations sur les Phénomènes Aérospatiaux Non-identifiés

GEIPAN (an acronym for Groupe d'Études et d'Informations sur les Phénomènes Aérospatiaux Non-identifiés, or unidentified aerospace phenomenon research and information group). (/ɡˈpɑːn/), its name since September 2005. (The group was formerly known as GEPAN[1] from 1977 to 1988, and SEPRA[2] from 1988 to 2004), is a unit of the French Space Agency CNES whose brief is to investigate unidentified aerospace phenomena (UAP),[3] and make its findings available to the public.

The French Gendarmerie was instructed to channel data from reports of UFO sightings to SEPRA, which therefore was in a position to draw on a large database of such events. In cases where physical traces appeared to be present, SEPRA could call on the technical resources of CNES to perform a thorough scientific investigation. A famous example of such an investigation was in the Trans-en-Provence Case.

In March 2007, GEIPAN started to make its archives available online to the public.

French skeptics have criticized the quality of the work of the GEPAN.[4]

In March 26, 2007, the CNES own report says 28% of sightings remain unidentifed.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ GEPAN stands for Groupe d'Étude des Phénomènes Aérospatiaux Non-identifiés (unidentified aerospace phenomenon research group)
  2. ^ SEPRA formerly stood for Service d'Expertise des Phénomènes de Rentrée Atmosphérique (atmospheric re-entry phenomena expertise department) and since 2000 stands for Service d'Expertise des Phénomènes Rares Aérospatiaux (rare aerospace phenomena expertise department)
  3. ^ GEIPAN is clearly focused on UFO study, but UAP (PAN in french) is meant to cover a much broader area than UFO (OVNI in french) as UFO may imply the presence of a physical object despite any actual evidence of it.
  4. ^ Rossoni, D., Maillot, E., & Déguillaume, E. (2007). Les ovnis du CNES – 30 ans d’études officielles. (extracts from the book in French) Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine. Critical skeptical investigations of GEPAN's work.
  5. ^ CNES report, March 26, 2007

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