Photos in the broadest sense of the word (silver or digital photographs, movies, videos) represent, in the domain of UFOs, particularly sensitive documents. To the lay person, then can provide an apparently concrete representation of the non-identified objects or phenomena in question, thus granting them the value of an absolute and almost unassailable proof (« Oh, if only one could show me a good photograph of these famous UFOs! »).
Inevitably, the photographic domain is where most hoaxes are found, for a document of this type may sometimes represent a marketable value. Between such fakes and the numerous types of possible mistakes or unintentional blunders, investigators have always been confronted with a great number of dubious or inexplicable photographs.
Nothing seemed to be bound to change in the field of alleged UFO pictures. However the scope of this problem has changed drastically over the last couple of decades, with the massive proliferation of digital cameras and camcorders, which spread very quickly within the public at large, in particular through their incorporation into cellphones and smartphones.
In parallel to this expansion of a public imaging capability, the possibilities of fakery became almost unlimited for anybody, largely through the availability on the market and ease of use of many software tools (e.g. Photoshop) enabling the touching up, distortion, and synthesis of digital images. Certain mobile devices incorporate mounting tools for the superimposition of images, artificial ageing of a picture, production of movement effects, or even inlaying false UFOs! In addition, the growing market for smartphones has extended the impact of these capabilities to the domain of video.
These expansions, of both the technological capability and of the size of the host market, have had two major direct consequences for UFO studies:
This site’s objective is to present a state-of-the-art standpoint in the field of extracting objective information from digital still or video imagery in which a (so far) unidentified object or phenomenon appears.
It also offers for sale user licenses of the IPACO software, which has been specifically developed for that task, as well as offering a resident expert service to produce imagery analysis reports on demand.