The British UFO Research Association
Investigations & Research since 1962
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Our memories of Robert

Tony Eccles and Heather Dixon

On behalf of BUFORA, we would like to express our deepest sympathy to Robert’s family and friends on his passing so suddenly at such a relatively young age.  We have all been shocked and saddened by his untimely death, and he will be missed very much by us all at BUFORA, particularly for his outstanding and exceptional contribution to UFOlogy over so very many years of his life.
Tony’s Memories of Robert
Robert was first and foremost one of Britain’s best UFO researchers, and an advocate for facts and details. I first met Robert in the early 1990s when I had first joined the British UFO Research Association (BUFORA). He made me feel welcome, and I quickly became one of his UFO investigator course students. I am grateful for learning about the subject from one of the very best.

Robert was an active member of BUFORA for many years, joining the organisation in 1982 at the age of 15! He read as many books and journals he could access. Robert became a self-made UFOlogical scholar, a fact openly acknowledged by his peers in the field. He became the Special Projects Officer, and was a co-ordinator for the LIGHTBALL research project. Additionally, he examined UFO reports in his home county of Somerset.

Never seeking fame, or wanting to gain wealth with his knowledge, Rob boldly fought the nonsense that frequently appears in the UFO subject. When possible he published data and useful case information in various boo ks and journals. The first of Rob’s I read was a 1993 book chapter called Science v. Saucery. Here we find his own Mundane-Synthesistic Hypothesis. This stated that only serious scientific work will remove the subject’s mystery and expose the reality. It is rare to find data tables and charts presented within a UFOlogical text, but it’s exactly this presentation of information, which is sorely lacking in a largely amateur subject. Sadly, people love mystery.

I recall him inviting me as a speaker to one of his UFO ASSAP symposiums in Bath, and I noted how much effort Robert had gone into making the subject relevant to the public again. UFOs were just one major part of his life, games being another, but he was determined to leave his mark, which he has done. His legacy will be found in publications and on various websites, and in our minds and hearts. Robert was one for openly sharing subject information – he never hoarded it. For as long as I’ve known him, he was a sensitive, kind-hearted, unselfish, loving, passionate person.


Heather’s memories of Robert

I met Robert in the 1990s when he was a director with BUFORA, which was a limited company in those days.  I was always a little in awe of his extensive knowledge and his incredible intellect.  He could be shy and unassuming, unaware of the tremendous respect held by so many towards him for his immense academic contribution to BUFORA and ufology.

At the heart of Robert’s amazing contribution to UFOlogy is his Ufology Handbook, now in its 3rd edition.  This will remain as an accolade of Robert’s work and honour him forever!  BUFORA has his Handbook on its website, and this is a major part of the preparation prior to enrolment on to the BUFORA Investigators’ Training Course. 

As I remember Robert, I often think of that profound quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson – ‘Do not go where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path, and leave a trail’.  

Robert was a trailblazer, someone who blazes a trail to guide others.  For me, and many others, this describes the heart of Robert’s huge contribution to ufology and other subjects that he was involved with during his life.   He lead the way for so many with his commitment to UFOlogy and his energy, during his many years of mammoth and impressive UFO research.  He paved the way for ufologists past, present and future to travel those roads with a depth of incredible knowledge at their fingertips..  Thank you, Robert!

Robert was a man of substance, decency, kindness, humility and wonderfully sharp humour.  I miss our chats on Messenger so very much.  You have left an empty space in UFOlogy, Robert.
He is irreplaceable and unforgettable......
This photograph is of Robert Moore when he was a child.


Recent US Government UFO study initiatives; an overview

Robert Moore
In 1969 the United States government believed it had finally demystified the UFO controversy, following the negative conclusions of
the University of Colorado study project. This was instigated in 1966 when a wave of sightings in Dexter, Michigan generated
congressional interest among various senators most notably future president Gerald Ford. The USAF had, since 1952, been running a UFO
study effort called Project Blue Book but by the late 1960s it was widely viewed as institutionally negative and at administrative low ebb
(having less than half a dozen permanent members of staff).

When the findings of the University of Colorado study were published in 1969, the project director, Dr. Edward Condon (ironically chosen for
his reputation of being unafraid to confront officialdom) rejected the reality of UFOs, prefacing the printed version with a negative assessment
of the subject. However, it didn’t escape the notice of various commentators that a quarter of the sightings assessed by the project were
deemed “unexplained”. Additionally, certain staff members left the project, unhappy at Condon’s negative approach
Nonetheless, while flawed as a debunking exercise, its conclusions were deemed sufficiently sound to justify the termination of Project
Blue Book in 1969.  Thereafter, the US government resisted any further initiatives to instigate another official UFO study efforts. When
Jimmy Carter (who observed what he interpreted to be a “UFO” in 1969) was elected president in 1976 he asked NASA to establish a
study project on UFOs - which the agency quickly rebuffed. Additional attempts, often involving prominent members of the American
UFO community equally failed.  Nonetheless, Col. John Alexander founded the Advanced Theoretical Physics Project in 1985, a semi-official
group where UFOs, parapsychology and the consequences of exotic physics were discussed. They were careful not to generate paperwork
that could be uncovered by Freedom of Information requests.  It seems no significant conclusions regarding the subject were made, other
than there was no official UFO “cover up” policy or any secret continuality study. This effort is a little tainted regarding its connection to
Major General Albert Stubblebine (infamous for his unsuccessful attempts to pass through walls) and indirectly to Jim Channon and his attempts
to found a hippy army unit with Jedi-like powers (the “1st Earth Battalion”). Indeed, if there were any breakthroughs in regard to UFOs and
its relationship to US officialdom it came through the passing of Freedom of Information Act legislation which released a torrent of
information of post 1960’s UFO events, although most of this documentation was often heavily redacted.
Time passed but the UFO issue failed to go away, especially in the United States... MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) became the default
agency dealing with UFO incidents in America, although not always without controversy... And there the status quo rested. A notable event
at Stephensville, Texas in January 2008 caused notable interest but in its wake left everything as it was. While MUFON concluded the event
was inexplicable, the USAF claimed the sightings were instigated by an exercise involving a mass formation of fighter jets
But before that, in 2004 (unknown to even most informed people at the time) an event occurred that would be a notable catalyst for change.
On the 14th November 2004, off the coast of San Diego, a training flight of F18 jets associated with the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz were asked
to investigate aerial anomalies in their vicinity, most notably one described as resembling a “tic tac”. This was subsequently filmed by
an additional aircraft vectored in to investigate this manifestation.
In December 2017 details of two “UFO” videos - informally known as Gimbal and FILR – were discussed by the New York Times
and subsequently posted online. A similar video - termed Gofast - was leaked a short time later and promoted by The Washington Post. Notably,
the FILR video capture was reputedly related to the 2004 USS Nimitz event, while the other two were filmed between 2014-2015 in
other locations. All seemed to have been taken from a fighter jet cockpit, the display annotated with various technical read-outs that
seemingly demonstrated their anomalous nature.
It subsequently transpired these videos had been in the archives of a project called AATIP (Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification
Program). This little-publicised - but unclassified - study initiative had been commenced in 2007 and had received $22 million of
government funding over a period of five years. It had been initiated through the intervention of Democrat senator Harry Reid in
conjunction with aerospace contractor Robert Bigelow. The later is known to have an interest in UFOs and has lobbied for the
recommencement of official UFO studies for several decades. Around 2009-10 he sponsored a UFO study initiative in conjunction with
MUFON, focusing on detailed data recovery in regards to potentially significant events; some confusion exists as to the findings of this study.
As with the so-called MUFON STAR TEAM project AATIP focused on data potentially of use in the development of better aerospace
technology (including offensive technology).
The head of ATTIP was an individual with a colourful and contested past called Luis Elizondo, who resigned from the project in 2017 in
protest over undue secrecy in relation to (and affecting) this study effort. It is widely believed (and claimed by Elizondo himself) that he
leaked the Gimbal,FILR and Gofast videos to the US media as a response to his misgivings. While ATTIP was officially terminated 2012
it is suspected other initiatives continued its work. At least one assessment was published by AATIPP, including one (it is said) in excess of
400 pages, but has never been publically released. Since that time Elizondo has been involved in various public UFO initiatives (most notably
To the Stars Academy) and has assisted with various US UFO documentaries for the History Channel and other broadcasters.
Shortly after the videos were released (in December 2017) the existence of AATIP was formally acknowledged by the Department of Defence
and that the now famous three videos were authentic
A hint of what ATTIP may have concluded is possibly reflected in various interviews made by Elizondo relating to what he terms the “5
notable “Observables and Physics of the Phenomenon”, these being:
1: Anti-gravity lift (flight without wings and with little resistance from gravity/atmospherics).
2: Sudden and instantaneous acceleration (a noted attribute of UFOs since 1947).
3: Hypersonic velocities without signatures (reported high speed manoeuvres by UFOs generating no sonic boom).
4:  Low observability (i.e. “cloaking”)
5:  “Trans-medium travel” (i.e. the ability to seemingly easily traverse between environmental mediums such as the atmosphere, bodies of
water - and possibly space).
The use of the term “UAP” (unidentified Atmosphere Phenomena) instead of “UFO” in this and subsequent US government study efforts
is notable. It has been suggested this is due to the term “UFO” being equated with “alien spacecraft” in popular culture, while “UAP” is
more neutral; the former definition rendering project funding more difficult. Equally, the “new” term has been  adopted to frustrate Freedom
of Information Act requests. It is also likely preferred as it’s a more neutral term; “UFO” implies the phenomena observed is both “flying” and
an “object”, while “UAP” merely implies it’s merely a manifestation visible in sky. In all likelihood it is a combination of all three. The term
was also used by the 1997 British Condign study (enacted on behalf of DI 55 (tech)) and has over the past decade seems to be popular
amongst those conducting any official study, whatever the underlying motivation. The Condign report’s author, Ron Haddow, It is likely to
have acquired the term from the British UFO researcher Jenny Randles, who used it to define a type of “UFO” likely to be explained as a
natural atmospheric plasma-type effect. It was seemingly created  sometime during the mid-to-late 1970’s - the earliest printed use the
author can find is in Randles and Warrington’s  UFOs a British Viewpoint, published in 1979. Haddow referenced several notable
concepts discussed by British UFO researchers during the 1990’s in his report and this represents his most socially significant “borrowing”.
On June 24 2020, as a consequence of these developments, the US Intelligence Committee made it an official requirement for
selected government bodies to monitor and assess UAP events. Following this, on June 25 2021, the Office for the Director of
National Intelligence publically released a preliminary assessment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, now widely known as the Pentagon
UFO Report. Various Government agencies contributed to this assessment (including the US Army, Navy and Air Force along with the FBI,
FAAM NOAA the NIC etc). Their main conclusion was that “limited data leaves most UAP events unexplained". This comparable to the British
Air Ministry’s oft cited stance on the issue. But while the MoD believed that, with further data input, most (if not all) reports are likely
explicable in prosaic terms, the Pentagon report adopted a different, more broad-minded interpretation. While it concluded these events could
be instigated by objects such as drones from rival foreign powers it considered this unlikely.  It also alluded to a number of reports within
the study dataset it considered difficult to explain in rational terms; exhibiting to some degree the various 5 notable “Observables and Physics
of the Phenomenon” cited by Elizondo. It is notable that, while three notable events contributed to this new wave of governmental
concern (including the Nimitz event), the study assessed a further 141 accounts, of these, only 1 could be given a rational solution.
It stated this overview was merely an overview and gave recommendations and objectives for future study. On its release there was
controversy as to its actual composition with anything from 2 to 300 or more pages reputedly classified and not released to the public. 
Shortly afterwards a new official UAP study project -  the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group – was
launched to continue the work initiated by the Pentagon UFO Study. On July 20th 2022 a new directive was released by the Deputy Secretary
of Defence renamed and expanded this initiative, rebranded as the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). Additional to this, on
June 22 2022 NASA announced the launch of their own UFO study initiate, unrelated to any of the UAP projects; its aim being to use the
various tools available to modern science to shed more light on the UAP issue.
So, what is to be made of this? It is clear, despite the wishes of some in the US Government back in the 1960’s, the UFO issue has not
gone away. The topic has continued to linger in the public consciousness for decades, both in America and globally. It appears the
US government’s renewed interest was instigated by a number of apparently inexplicable events involving service personnel (most notably
the USS Nimitz incident) which have galvanised efforts for a renewed assessment of the UFO issue. The influence of influential lobbyists such
as Robert Bigelow has also been a factor. The DoD and NASA are both relatively new initiatives but do appear to be relatively impartial. The
final conclusions of these studies thus could go either way and will doubtless be influenced by the quality (or otherwise) of the case studies
they encounter.  One hopes that they will be unswayed by ideological actors on either side of the “UFO debate” and provide some
definitive answers. But also that it will not obsess over exotic technological solutions and take into account both psycho-social factors and
the long history of encounters with “the other”.

Sources (accessed 24/07/22):

Condon E  U (et.al.)  Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects (Condon Report) Bantam 1969
Randles J and Warrington P  UFOs a British Viewpoint   Robert Hale 1979.
Hynek, J A.  The Hynek UFO Report Sphere 1981
Alexander, J  UFOS: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities St. Martin's Press;  2012
Ronson, J.  The Men Who Stare at Goats. New York: Simon & Schuster. 2004




On behalf of everyone at BUFORA we would like to take this opportunity to wish all our visitors, readers and everyone reporting sightings and photographs or video footage, a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to each one of you, and hope for the future in 2023.

We have all been through an unprecedented year of huge uncertainty and terrible loss for so many, and I and the rest of the team would like to pause for just a moment to address these strange times and extend our profound thanks and appreciation to our extraordinary NHS and every health worker, key worker, care worker in addition to the spirit and kindness of all our communities across the United Kingdom for their courage and inspirational strength in coming together as a country during this heart-breaking pandemic.

Now, as we look ahead during this third lockdown, to a massive vaccination programme and a new variant of Covid-19 with a much faster transmission rate, let us hope that we can hold our resolve for the final stages of our fight against this virus and see clearly ahead as the virus fog dissipates.

Our human need to be together as families, friends and work colleagues will be there to renew us and help us to go forward.

At BUFORA, we would like to share our deepest sympathy and compassion with every person who has lost a beloved member of their family, a loved friend or work colleague to Covid - or to another life threatening illness because of Covid.

With our thoughts and warmest wishes to each of you.
The BUFORA team.