In what is believed to be a world first, more than 100,000 pages of witness testimony, photographs, film and audio recordings have been published at www.cnes-geipan.fr. Dating back to 1954, the archive will continue to be updated as new cases are reported, says Jacques Patenet - head of the space agency's UFO investigative team.
Fifty to 100 sightings are reported every year, with Patenet's team investigating around 10 per cent. Almost a quarter of reports are classified as "Type D", meaning "despite good or very good data and credible witnesses, we are confronted with something we can`t explain," he said.
Security guards stood watch outside the space agency headquarters as the announcement was made, "to screen out uninvited ufologists."