Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tired of givin' it away

"I'm sorry to be so agitated," says Peter Davenport from Harrington, Wash. "I'm at the end of my rope. With the government, with the press, with the American people. You've caught me at a strange time."

This week, on his National UFO Reporting Center Web page, the man who runs one of the world's busiest eyewitness databases announced he was on the brink of shutting down his live telephone Hotline.

1 comment:

intense said...

While this is kind of a sad, disheartening story, I think perhaps, if Davenport and his few associates cannot better develop some methods of screening out the, according to article, 20% to 80% of bogus, prank calls and false reports NUFORC has been increasingly receiving over the past year or more, it may be inevitable that his center's current activities cannot be sustained.

This would be unfortunate, as the mass of centralized reports and continuity of effort Davenport via NUFORC has been able to establish will, over time, be dissipated and dispersed to less organized or coherent venues.

On the other hand, this may also present an opportunity to change and rethink the problem of how difficult and inefficient a manner of gathering reliable reports and data on contemporaneous ufo sightings has increasingly been for NUFORC, and consider more practical means of better collecting and filtering such reports, and even more importantly, providing legit researchers more of an ability and avenue to further, more practically investigate serious and significant reports than NUFORC is either capable or willing to provide currently.

For example, one of NUFORC's long-standing problems and deficiencies, imho, and based on analytical observation, has been that, while brief synopses of reports are collected on his website database, the comprehensive details and raw data of collected reports have been quite restricted by and who Davenport thinks should be involved in further investigation of same. I don't believe he has a very good system of providing access to or computerized tools for analyzing the data patterns within the reports he has collected over the past couple decades, but being almost completely a one-man operation, with inadequate, self-funded support, who can blame him?

His main problem, at the moment, is how better to screen out the bogus, and nastily prankish calls of "reports" NUFORC has been receiving, and perhaps an automated telephone response, involving a recording, should be used, indicating caller ID or other identification trace-back tech, should be used and to notify callers that only serious reports are accepted. Of course, that might make the idiots even more motivated to prank or hack such a system, so it's quite a dilemma.

He may have to resort to not taking direct calls in real time, and be reduced to only recording or taking of such reports (as are legit) to witnesses filing reports even more than now by filling out the report form he maintains on his website. Still, the process of appropriate, effective filtration will remain there, also.

Perhaps a "caller ID" or "warning" recording that requires a call-back number, and/or taking reports by message machine or voicemail intially, and a time-delayed review by a person who listens to initial reports called in to determine if follow-up is needed. Problem there is, however, the same as noted in the article--how do you reduce or screen out the idiot calls, or separate the wheat from the nasty chaff, and also without reducing the efforts of legit reporters from either wanting or being able to make their own reports? I really don't know how you do this on a limited budget with relatively few people.

Anyone got any better ideas about how NUFORC might handle this problem?