It's out there: France makes UFO files public
France's space agency has opened its official archives on unidentified flying objects, according to European news agencies.
Jacques Patenet, the head of UFO studies at the country's National Centre of Space Studies (CNES), said France is the first country to do so, according to reports in Agence France-Presse in France and Deutsche Presse-Agentur in Germany.
"It's a world first," Patenet said, according to the news agencies. "It's true that in the United States you can ask for information on a case-by-case basis. But we have done the opposite by putting all the information at the disposition of the public."
The agency said the site, which opened Thursday, currently contains 400 files, about one quarter of the approximately 1,600 unidentified flying object sightings reported in France since the 1950s. The rest of the files are scheduled to be online by the end of the year.
The files are mostly composed of witness statements taken by police officers, with personal data erased.
Patenet told the AFP the years of reports haven't shed any light one way or another on the existence of extra-terrestrial life.
"We do not have the least proof that extra-terrestrials are behind the unexplained phenomena," he said. "Nor do we have the least proof that they aren't."
Repeated attempts to view the space agency's site failed on three different browsers, suggesting that the site was down as a result of heavy traffic.