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Toppenish WA UFO Report (Part 3)


 
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  A STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF REPORTS FROM THE TOPPENISH UFO STUDY

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                              By
                      David W. Akers, P.E.
                         P.O. Box 11517
                 Seattle, WA  98110-5517  USA
               Email: 70544.1653@compuserve.com
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          Revised December 5, 1995 for Distribution on
                      Electronic Networks.

                  Copyright 1995, David W. Akers
                       All Rights Reserved.

Reproduction or commercial use of this document or any of its
photographs or illustrations without permission of the author is
expressly prohibited.  This document may however be redistributed
over electronic networks and to researchers as long as it is
forwarded in its whole, without modifications and without charge.

*****************************************************************


INTRODUCTION

     This report is intended as an update of earlier reports
covering the efforts being made to discover the source of UFO
activity on the Yakima Indian Reservation, near Toppenish,
Washington. It is devoted to a brief description of the type and
format of data being collected for statistical analysis and to
reporting progress being made towards the discovery of patterns
of behavior for the manifestation in the study area (1).

     A summary of selected data, obtained over the four year
period of the study, is included at the end of the report.


DESCRIPTION OF THE DATA BASE

     The value of a system for encoding and storing reports of
UFO observations in a standardized form, which permits high-
volume, computer-aided study, was recognized early by a number of
investigators in the field. Unfortunately, there was little
communication between the groups involved in establishing data
files and, consequently, no standardization of data formats. This
lack of standardization, along with substantial disagreement over
just what information should be included in such a file, has made
the exchange of information among the various investigators and
groups extremely difficult.

     Faced with the above lack of standardization and detailed
information regarding the formats being used by others, this
investigator set-out to develop still another database format in
1971. The file, called APDF, was originally intended to catalog
the pertinent details of worldwide UFO sighting reports on a
systematic basis. The format used for encoding data from the
Toppenish study area is a modified version of the original format
and, while it is not the last word in computer databases,
provides a means of analyzing the patterns of many parameters of
sighting reports, over a number of years and in a consistent time
and location reference frame.  Table I. gives the parameters
included in APDF encoded reports from the study area.

     (1)Earlier reports, dated November 2, 1972 and April 8, 1974,
        provide additional background on the work being conducted
        in the study area.


TABLE I. PARAMETERS INCLUDED IN THE APDF DATA FORMAT

       Parameter              Remarks
-----------------------------------------------------------------
1.  Observation Date and      Date at Greenwich Mean.
    Serial Number
2.  Observation Time          Time at Greenwich Mean (Universal
                              Time).
3.  Observation Coordinates   Latitude and Longitude to nearest
                              tenth of a minute, when location
                              is off of Yakima Reservation grid.
                              Grid coordinates to the
                              nearest mile, when known and within
                              the Reservation study area.
4.  Population Density
5.  Topography
6.  Temperature
7.  Weather Conditions        Cloud cover, precipitation, etc.
8.  Source of Report          Press, police, investigator, etc.
9.  Strangeness Index         Subjective scale of 1 to 5.
10. Probability Index         Subjective scale of 1 to 5.
11. Observation Class         Nocturnal light, Radar-Visual,
                              Close encounter, daylight object,
                              etc.
12. Length Or Observation
13. Shape of object
14. Color of Object
15. Luminescence
16. Kinetics
17. How First Observed
18. How Last Observed
19. Observer Reaction
20. Additional Observations   Smoke, odor, sound, photographs,
                              etc. (up to four of 27 choices,
                              plus a flag indicating other
                              observations of interest
                              in the source report, which were
                              not encoded.)

     Each report, with all of the parameters given in Table I.
encoded, occupies one standard IBM Hollerith card. Rapid and
consistent coding of reports is accomplished with a set of tables
which closely define the characteristics of each parameter of the
source report and convert that information into numerical data.
The resulting punched card contains most of the information in
the source report, but now in a form which can be analyzed by the
computer.

     All of the reports encoded using the above system are
coarsely filtered, as described in earlier papers, to eliminate
observations which have too little information content to be
usable or those which include details strongly suggesting a known
cause. In addition, reports which do not include a date are
eliminated from the computer file, since such information is
required by the operating program to unambiguously identify the
report.

     It should be noted that the APDF format allows the deletion
of any unknown parameters, with the exception of the year, month,
day and, at least, the approximate location of the observation.
Some of the reports gathered during the last four year were
deleted from the computer file as a result of the above
constraints.  In some cases, the deleted reports were of
reasonably good quality, lacking only a date.


SUMMARY OF SELECTED DATA GATHERED SINCE 1972

     The total number of reports, encoded since the study began
in 1972, stands at 55. These reports breakdown into tho following
classifications:

          Nocturnal Lights          43 (78.1%)
          Daylight Objects           3 ( 5.5%)
          Close Encounters I         6 (10.9%)
          Others                     3 ( 5.5%)

     Figure I. is a plot of the number of reports received over
the four year study period versus the month Or the year. Figure
II. graphs the number of reports versus the hour of the day, over
the four year period.

     Further analysis of these data indicates, among other things,
that there were nine photographs made, four cases involving the
scouting of a terrestrial vehicle, at least one case involving
electromagnetic effects, one case of a "beeping" sound and one
case in which animals were affected.


CONCLUSION

     It seems certain that, as more cases are added to the data
base and further analysis of the information is made, some
patterns of behavior will become apparent.  The ultimate goal, of
course, is to be able to forecast periods of activity and their
most probable locations.  With such information, it should be
possible to deploy an investigator and instruments in the field,
with the greater probability that useful measurements will be
obtained.

     Because of the relatively small number of reports available,
caution should be used in drawing conclusions from the data at
this time.  A pattern which does seem to emerge from the
information available at the present time, is the relationship
between the number of sightings and the hour of the day (Figure
II.).  It would appear that the time of highest probability for a
sighting in the study area is in the zone between 7 pm and 12
midnight, local standard time.  The peak in reports, centered
about the month of July, in the plot of Figure I., might be
reasonably expected, since more observers are in the field during
this period.  The February-March-April peak, found in Figure I.,
lacks a satisfactory explanation at the present time.

     At the time of this writing, activity in the study area is
very low.  Reports reached a peak towards the end of May, 1975 and
abruptly dropped to only two reports in the following 5 month
period.  Such behavior has been observed before and is not
considered to be unusual.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

     The collection of the data for study in the Toppenish
project would be impossible without the patience and hard work of
those people who have forwarded reports to this investigator.
Without the assistance of Bill Vogel, the ladies in the fire
lookouts, the Yakima Reservation Tribal Council and many other
individuals, this on-going study would be impossible.  Many thanks
for their help.

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                          ---------------------------
                                   C U F O N
                          ---------------------------
                             Computer UFO Network
                           Seattle Washington,  USA

               (206) 776-0382 8 Data Bits, No Parity, 1 Stop Bit
                         v.32bis, v.42.bis, MNP4, MNP5

             SYSOP - Jim Klotz  Information Director - Dale Goudie

                     UFO Reporting and Information Service
                          Voice Line - (206) 721-5035
                   P.O.Box 832, Mercer Island, WA 98040, USA

            - Please credit CUFON as the source of this material -

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