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Korea 2001:

The Korea Herald:

UFOs are not observed only in the US or European skies. Here are some news from Korea, June 2001. The article is from "The Korea Herald" newspaper, 1st of June 2001.

Of course there are some rather naive statements in the article, which is only normal and reminds of the beginning of ufology in the USA or Europe some deades ago.

Right, a screenshot of the article on the newspaper's web site. Read the full article underneath.

Korea UFO

The article:

Source: The Korean Herald's web site, www.koreaherald.co.kr/SITE/data/html_dir/2001/06/01/200106010067.asp June 1st , 2001.

September 4, 1995. "Load-type" UFO filmed by newspaper reporter in Gyeonggi Province. February, 1998. Saucer-shaped UFO filmed in Busan. April 9, 2001. Rod-shaped UFO captured on film by another TV cameraman. May 5, 2001. TV cameraman catches unidentified flying object on film in Cheong-ju, North Chungcheong Province.

Whether you believe in aliens or not, mysterious objects have been seen buzzing the skies of Korea. A simple Internet search will reveal hundreds of Korean UFO home pages. So far, no crashes. No abductions. But that doesn't mean you can shelve your camera.

Seo Jong-han has dedicated 20 years to studying, tearing apart, and occasionally verifying the twenty or so UFO photographs that crop up every year. Apart from his day job as computer game developer, Seo is a member of the Korea UFO Research Association (KUFORA), a small group of analysts that subjects each reported sighting in Korea to close, computer-aided scrutiny.

"When I was in the fifth grade, I read a magazine called 'Boys Central.' They had articles about UFOs every month, and I just got curious about it," Seo said.

Each photo is examined through a computer for traces of forgery. Seo compares the reflection of sunrays in the photograph to the alleged position of the photographer at the time it was taken. He checks astronomical charts to see if planets, shooting stars or solar flares were visible. He considers the testimony of the photographer and looks for inconsistencies in the reports of other witnesses. He then sends the survivors to another researcher in Japan for a second opinion.

"Ninety-nine percent of the photos I get are fakes," Seo said.

Korea has a long history of UFO sightings. During the Korean War, both American and Korean pilots reported encounters with flying saucers. In March 1979, two Korean Air Force pilots participating in the Team Spirit joint military exercise reported seeing a "very bright, lighted plane." Nothing appeared on their radar screens.

The pilots alleged that the ship had flashing lights on the sides and what looked like a "burning furnace" in the middle. It then reportedly shot sideways, stopped, and then moved rapidly upwards and out of sight.

In 1982, people reported three separate sightings, making it the "year of the UFO" in Korea.

Having studied each case in minute detail, Seo shared the lessons learned from his successful UFO observation with The Korea Herald. It's not enough to just set up a camera, he explained. To ensure that your photo survives scrutiny, it's important to use the proper techniques.

The best method Seo recommends is using the eponymous technique developed by an American named John Bro. The "Bro Method" is designed to detect UFOs hiding in the sun's rays.

Take a video camera or timed camera and put it on a tripod. Place the tripod just under the eaves of a house or building, with the lens at an 80-degree angle.

The shadow of the eaves will fall over the camera, reducing glare and highlighting flying objects that would otherwise be obscured by the sun.

"UFOs often hide by placing themselves directly in front of the sun," Seo said. "With the Bro technique, you can still catch them on film."

As in real estate, location is key. Once a UFO is sighted, there's a good chance it can be seen again in the same area.

While UFOs have been seen all over South and North Korea, the best place to pitch a tripod is Kapyeong, in Gyeonggi Province. With two UFO sightings and a slew of military bases in the area, Kapyeong is fertile ground for film.

Yangdong, in North Chungcheong Province, is another popular place for UFO hunters to stake out.

Seo went to Kapyeong after a reporter from the Munwha Ilbo photographed a UFO there, hovering in the sky. Seo shot his film at the exact spot the reporter stood. He claims the video, still under examination, caught a "moving cloud," which he believes is an alien spacecraft.

Finally, patience is something no researcher can work without. It might take years to get the shot, the reward for hundreds of rolls of film, moments of elation and disappointment, and endless public negativity.

"If you get a shot of a UFO, don't bother sending it to us," Seo said. "Sooner or later, they all wind up on my desk."

Seo says a UFO can be distinguished from an airplane or weather balloon by its rapid movement, its ability to turn on a dime and accelerate almost instantly. This violation of the law of physics, he says, is what leads most scientists to view UFOs as a phenomenon rather than an object of study.

Those who manage to get a rapidly moving object on film should not be disappointed if it doesn't look like a flying saucer. There are over ten identified classes of UFOs, some believed to be from different planets.

Among the most common UFO types reportedly seen across the country is the cigar, "load," type, also referred to as the "mother ship." There's also a "ball" type, triangular type, "clover with a dome" type, "round with a dome" type and "half a sphere" model. A Korean Web site, www.ufokorea.net, lists even more.

In competition with the multiple types of UFOs are multiple types of non-UFOs. Pictures of planets, dragonflies, and the scourge of lens glare may have interesting imagery, but proof of unidentified flying objects they are not.

Using a string to lift a model around in front of a video camera may also get a few yuks, but won't fool a serious investigator. Clever use of the "copy" and "paste" functions on a computer may shock co-workers, but it's a shocking waste of time for KUFORA.

Of course, UFO research in Korea isn't limited to setting up a camera and biding one's time. A person can also set up a radar station and bide one's time.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) institute (http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu), based in the United States, connects computers from all over the world, allowing a person to monitor radio transmissions from space over the Internet.

The Mutual UFO Network (www.mufon.com) is another alien investigation organization operating internationally. MUFON members are trained to properly investigate sightings and reports of UFOs, feeding the information into a massive database. MUFON currently has no chapter in Korea, but with the growing list of sightings and believers, that could change soon.

With the Korean economy picking up, UFO sightings will get more common. With more leisure time, people take more trips. They go to beaches, mountains, resorts - and take lots of pictures. More people in more places taking more photos means more UFO sightings.

Seo says there have been no reported cases of alien abduction in Korea. People interested in mysterious airborne objects shouldn't worry about their safety when staking out famous sighting areas. The most important things in UFO hunting are technique, knowledge, and persistence. And luck.

World UFO Day, the anniversary of the Roswell Incident, is July 2. On July 2, 1947, a farmer in Roswell, New Mexico reportedly discovered the wreckage of a flying saucer, prompting widespread conspiracy theories.

(bjosslin@koreaherald.co.kr By Burke Josslin Staff reporter)

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This page was last updated on June 21, 2001