FUKUSHIMA -- The International UFO Lab, which claims to be Japan's only research institute for unidentified flying objects, was established in this city on June 24, World UFO Day.
The research facility was opened in UFO Interactive Hall, a facility with UFO-related displays located in the city. The institute will strive to unravel the enigma of these flying objects, and has welcomed Mu monthly occult magazine editor-in-chief Takeharu Mikami, 51, as its director. It accepts online applications from researchers, and is moving forward with analysis and investigation of witness testimony.
According to UFO Interactive Hall and other sources, from the 1970s a light-emitting, cone-shaped flying object has been witnessed near Mount Senganmori in the city of Fukushima's former Iinomachi district, causing a stir among the public.
Following the sightings, the district reportedly started efforts to promote the region as the "hometown of UFOs," and in 1992 the interactive hall was established as a central facility. UFO Interactive Hall has a collection of about 3,000 related materials donated by the late famous UFO researcher Kinichi Arai -- around 30,000 people from in and out of the prefecture visit it annually.
Last year, the United States Department of Defense revealed confidential videos of UFOs filmed by the U.S. Navy, and a former supervisor testified that the objects exist. The developments have fostered growing interest in the sightings among the international community, and parties associated with UFO Interactive Hall decided to open the research lab because they feel their existence should be brought to light now.
The research facility's activities include the collection, analysis and disclosure of witness information concerning UFOs worldwide, making attempts to encounter UFOs, and investigation and research on the mystery of the Mount Senganmori UFO.
Director Mikami expressed enthusiasm: "Until now, even if UFOs were discovered, the information was shared only on an individual level. I hope the research lab will serve as a base receiving information, and lead to new discoveries. I'd like to get to the bottom of their identity."
The International UFO Lab is recruiting members to conduct internet-based research. Applicants must pay a membership fee, and the first period of applications will continue through the end of December. Applications can be made at the institute's website: https://ufo-laboratory.com/
(Japanese original by Mina Isogai, Fukushima Bureau)