Analyzing The Nearly Lost Hatch Database: 18,123 case files

When Jacques Vallée described the history of UFO data collection efforts to a French government group, he prominently mentioned a name that is purposely obscure even to UFOLogists: Larry Hatch

Analyzing The Nearly Lost Hatch Database: 18,123 case files

Update: In preparing this piece David Marler informed me that he had obtained permission from Larry Hatch's family to help preserve the data. I want to additionally credit work done by Isaac Koi, who was crucial to Jérôme Beau's work cited below. Koi played a central role in obtaining the permission of the family for that earlier effort.

Update April 4, 2021: Researcher Robert Hastings reached out to me to provide further explanation of Hatch's description of a case involving the Chernobyl incident.

When Jacques Vallée described the history of UFO data collection efforts to a French government workshop he mentioned a name that is somewhat obscure even among ufologists: Larry Hatch.

A slide in his presentation listed Hatch's name along with government efforts, like the famed American "Project Blue Book" and the United Kingdom's "Project Condign":

http://www.geipan.fr/fileadmin/documents/15_VALLEE_sli.pdf

For years, Hatch quietly cultivated an intertwined database and software application called "*U*" designed to study UFO reports. The application would grow in complexity over time, eventually boasting complex statistical and mapping functions. The data grew too – eventually reaching over 18,000 individual cases.

Researcher David Marler wrote a moving tribute to Hatch's effort for OpenMinds.tv in January of 2019:

Larry Hatch, UFO Database Creator, Remembered - Openminds.tv
Larry created from the ground level one of the most robust UFO databases up until that time – the *U* UFO Database. This was a database that the public could use on their home PCs. The *U* Database itself could do queries based on word search, geography, or UFO characteristics.

In it, he recalled the formidable labor that went into collecting and curating the data:

Larry had spent thousands of hours combing every possible UFO book and periodical he could get his hands on. In doing so, he took each case documented therein and then converted it into code for database entry. The last tally I saw was over 17,000 UFO cases that Larry personally entered into the database! Most of us cannot imagine the time, dedication, and personal sacrifice he made doing all of this work.

Hatch kept an intentionally low profile. As Marler recounts, "he never wanted to be the focus of attention. Instead, he wanted to be a facilitator in providing UFO data in a manageable form for serious researchers. To that end, he succeeded – admirably."

Larry Hatch at his computer (Credit: OpenMinds.tv)

Despite the quietness of his work, Hatch was well-connected among those interested in UFO data. Vallée describes being part of Hatch's "extensive correspondence network"

“I was part of Larry’s extensive correspondence network and brought him items that might be of interest in his work. I enjoyed visiting his house “down the Peninsula” and discussing the sightings, as well as gossiping about technology trends: He was indeed a very gifted software designer and implementer, and a kind man with no interest in the quarrels that plagued ufology. He remains an inspiration to me.” – Jacques Vallée in "Larry Hatch, UFO Database Creator, Remembered," by David Marler

In reflecting on Hatch's life, Vallée praised Larry Hatch's ability to focus – without regard for ego – that led him to ultimately pioneer new ways of gathering, analyzing and distributing UFO information:

“From my point of view, the most memorable lesson from his life is the observation of how much good research can be done by a single person with talent and the willingness to pursue a well-focused goal. Larry single-handedly accomplished what the leading UFO organizations of the time were unable to do with their resources, membership fees and access to media: an effective, well-functioning, cleverly interfaced graphic database of important UFO events! He also managed to build it in a way that made it economically accessible and legible to hundreds of people, on personal computers.” – Jacques Vallée, quoted in "Larry Hatch, UFO Database Creator, Remembered," by David Marler

Marler notes with sadness that changes in technology and in Hatch's health prevented him from updating the software beyond its original DOS environment. Today, few know about the Hatch database, let alone have the means to access it, despite its valuable data and role in UFO history.

Hatch's DOS-based mapping function

The objective of this piece is to help spread awareness of Larry Hatch's project, and ultimately to help preserve the underlying software and data. Fortunately, a joint effort of researchers has made this possible.

David Marler extremely generously agreed to provide copies of Larry Hatch's software to aid in its preservation. Additionally, this work would simply not have been possible without Jérôme Beau's excellent uDb project which has also worked to preserve this data.

To that end, this piece contributes three new things:

  1. Copies of the complete data set in modern CSV and JSON formats, along with code to help parse them into more manageable thematic data sets
  2. A pre-created image of Hatch's software demo that can be used by modern DOS emulators, along with a short tutorial for how to run in it both Linux and Windows
  3. A preliminary (and necessarily cursory) analysis of the data itself, including several key subcategories of cases
Excitedly receiving the Hatch database from researcher David Marler

Those interested in simply accessing the data and the software should scroll to the bottom of this post.

This data is a fascinating resource for a variety of audiences. Folklorists and academics interested in religious studies will find a great deal of interest, as will UFO historians and enthusiasts.

Data Overview

The Hatch database spans 18,123 cases, from the years 593 BCE to 2003 CE. The data contains typical metadata related to the time, location and duration of the event, as well as references to the original source.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the data is that it includes two subjective scores: "credibility" and "strangeness." In the manual (a link to the full copy can be found at the end of this post) Hatch describes his use of a "highly subjective" 16-point scale index:  

U Database Manual

Though subjective, these fields are extremely helpful for filtering and evaluating cases in a more systematic fashion. For example, users can easily filter only the most "credible" cases in a geographic region of interest.

Quantitatively, the mean "credibility" score was 7.54/16 with 90% of cases scored at or below 10. Likewise, the mean "strangeness" score was 6.60/16 with 90% of cases scored at or below 8.

The distribution of the duration, credibility and strangeness scores are visualized below:

Distribution of duration, credibility and strangeness in the Hatch UFO database

A useful property of these indices is that they also allow for statistical examination of correlations with other measurements. Correlations do not necessarily imply causality, but they can be a useful data exploration tool.

For example, unsurprisingly, there is a negative correlation (-.15) between "strange" and "credible" cases. Likewise, there is a positive correlation (.22) between the duration of an event and its credibility.

A diagram of these correlations along with a text table can be found below:

Matrix of Pearson correlation coefficient
latitude longitude relativeAltitude elevation strangeness credibility duration
latitude 1.00 -0.30 0.04 -0.07 -0.05 -0.05 -0.03
longitude -0.30 1.00 -0.03 -0.22 0.04 0.03 0.00
relativeAltitude 0.04 -0.03 1.00 0.04 -0.15 0.19 0.01
elevation -0.07 -0.22 0.04 1.00 0.04 0.02 0.02
strangeness -0.05 0.04 -0.15 0.04 1.00 -0.15 0.13
credibility -0.05 0.03 0.19 0.02 -0.15 1.00 0.22
duration -0.03 0.00 0.01 0.02 0.13 0.22 1.00

Due to the technical constraints Hatch was operating under, the text descriptions of cases are in a highly abbreviated and somewhat idiosyncratic shorthand. Hatch also included a large number of categorical "flags" indicating certain properties of the case – for example, if it involved a nuclear facility, or if a scientific observer was involved. These are both a useful information retrieval tool, and a clever way to economize on the text required to describe a case.

Here is the appendix of the manual listing all of the categorical codes:

Many of the categories include folkloric concepts like the "Men in Black" and "telepathy." Though they don't appear to be the result of a formal effort to develop a taxonomy, they provide interesting insight into Hatch's view of UFOs over time.

The following table summarizes the frequency of each tag type in the database, from most to least frequent:

Tag Count
Map 18046
Ground 16919
Civilian 16722
No occupant 16368
Saucer 12349
High quality observer(s) 8399
Observation 4994
News 4584
Coast 3675
Technical 3491
Nightlights 3102
Apparent Landing 2990
Cigar 2678
Vehicle affected 2550
Military investigation 2476
Probe 2405
Military 2248
Wave 2063
Delta 1870
BlueBook 1776
Ray 1732
Camouflage 1669
Electro-Magnetic Effect 1437
Airborne 1437
Building 1417
Fireball 1400
Human affected 1393
Oddity 1284
Sound 1162
Traces 1107
Misidentification 986
Dirt 937
Other government agencies 896
Photos 836
Humanoid 772
Plants affected or sampled 766
Animals affected 632
Radar 620
Scientist 544
Figure 515
Signal 470
Pseudo-Human 458
Injuries 442
Sea 435
Abduction 416
Missing time 411
NoUFO 358
Sampling 350
Nuclear 335
Submersible 283
Conversation 279
Government Security Agency involvement 279
Coverup 272
Telepathy 246
Hoax 223
Operations 137
Monster 126
Robot 93
Radiation 88
Historical 86
Giant 79
Odors 74
Contactee 70
Man-in-Black 35

In order to provide a simple demonstration of the kind of analyses possible with this data, we'll briefly survey five subsets.

In the first, we'll examine cases that were coded in the 90th percentile of both strangeness and credibility. These cases help us to find both interesting cases, and gain a sense of the kind of events that Hatch cataloged.

Next, we'll use Hatch's categories to examine the following thematic subsets: nuclear, radar, photo evidence, and cases purporting to involve "conversation" with occupants, and finally cases involving submersibles. These were identified using the flags above.

It should be stated that though the credibility score is used extensively to locate cases, I am by no means asserting that these indeed are "true" cases that have been exhaustively established. Indeed, it appears that Hatch used the credibility metric to reflect his degree of confidence that something actually happened, rather than as definitive proof of any particular theory.

Finally, the objective below is to demonstrate how the data might be used and to provide a flavor of the cases. Interested readers will no doubt want to explore these cases on their own – very much as Larry Hatch would have liked.

Both "Credible" and "Strange"

As stated above, in general, there is a mild negative correlation between the credibility and strangeness index in the Hatch database. That said, there are 341 cases that are both within the 90th percentile of these metrics. This particular subset can be downloaded here. These cases range from the years 1909 to 1996.

Within these cases, the correlation matrix differs significantly from the larger data set. Here, we see that the year is positively correlated (.18) with the strangeness score. Likewise, credibility is positively correlated with the relative altitude and the elevation of the incident (.17 and .10, respectively).

relativeAltitude elevation credibility duration strangeness year
relativeAltitude 1.00000000 -0.10738664 0.17077406 -0.02922637 -0.12104228 -0.26653857
elevation -0.10738664 1.00000000 0.10413248 -0.07109671 0.10574473 0.01160489
credibility 0.17077406 0.10413248 1.00000000 0.06557058 -0.00895009 0.02927648
duration -0.02922637 -0.07109671 0.06557058 1.00000000 0.05473428 0.06204757
strangeness -0.12104228 0.10574473 -0.00895009 0.05473428 1.00000000 0.18326318
year -0.26653857 0.01160489 0.02927648 0.06204757 0.18326318 1.00000000

Many of the cases listed in the data set are complex – as one might expect from events considered both "strange" and also "credible."

Top Five "Credible" and Strange Cases

ID LOCATION YEAR MONTH DAY CREDIBILITY STRANGENESS DESCRIPTION REFERENCE
330 FATIMA,PORTUGAL 1917 10 13 15 8 OPALESCENT SCR ROTATESONLY KIDS SEE PSH W/SLVR ORB MICHELL,John: The FLYING SAUCER VISION; Ace-Star Books,NY PB 1967., page n°95
8916 JABOTICATUBAS,BRZL 1968 8 9 15 15 SCR LITES AREA/lo alt3 OIDS INSIDEMAN ZAPPED+DIES!ÿ PRATT,Bob: UFO DANGER ZONE -Terror and Death in Brazil.Horus House Press, Madison,WI 1996 [excellent], page n°193
12551 PINHEIRO,BRZ 1977 3 14 10 60%/POPULATION SEESCHASE+ZAP ETC/FSRv39#3+/r63p158 PRATT,Bob: UFO DANGER ZONE -Terror and Death in Brazil.Horus House Press, Madison,WI 1996 [excellent], page n°133
1549 FARMINGTON,NM 1950 3 17 13 8 100s/SCRS CONES+CGRS MNVR90øTURNS/r212p65+/r134#4+6 MUFON UFO JOURNAL, Seguin,TX USA. Monthly., page n°263
4384 LOUISVILLE,KY 1954 11 11 13 8 HUGE GLOWING ORB/SCRHVRS1 F86 CANT SEE1 CAN KEHOE,Donald: The FLYING SAUCER CONSPIRACY; Henry Holt,NY 1955; HC, page n°228

The table above gives representative examples of the highly compressed descriptions Hatch used to save space. For example, the famed "Fátima Miracle," is described as follows:

OPALESCENT SCR ROTATES ONLY KIDS SEE PSH W/SLVR ORB

In "Hatchese" this means something like: "a multicolored flying saucer rotates in the sky. Only children see an unusual human figure that is likely an agent of alien entities, along with a silver orb."

Notably, the Fátima case is not a "typical" UFO case and is a striking example of the breadth of events Hatch includes. The Fátima event is challenging to describe succinctly. In brief, three children were said to have witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary starting in the spring of 1917. This figure was only visible to the children ("ONLY KIDS SEE") and according to their account gave them a prophecy that she would perform miracles publicly.

The three children, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, right, alongside their cousin Lucia. Credit: Catholic Sun

In apparent fulfillment of the prophecy, a widely observed event occurred in October 13, 1917. Reports of the numbers of witnesses vary, but they likely numbered in the tens of thousands. Accounts vary, but it appears uncontroversial that something unusual did occur – even if there is debate about whether what happened was perhaps social rather than celestial.

The crux of the event centered around apparent changes in the appearance of the sun. During the event, the sun was described by many as appearing to be a spinning disc in the sky. It was also described as being significantly dimmer, and casting a variety of odd colors. Some also recounted that the sun appeared to move erratically in the sky. Others reported having clothes instantaneously dried during the event.

Importantly, there are varied accounts of what happened among the tens of thousands of observers. Not all reported seeing the erratic movement of the sun; others only claimed to see strange colors, and some reported seeing nothing at all. A picture of the sun taken during the event does not show anything remarkable.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4b/Miracle_of_the_Sun.jpg

The Fátima event has become important in the Catholic faith. In 1940, Pope Pius XII officially recognized the apparitions, and claimed to have personally witnessed a similar "solar dance." In 2017, Pope Francis approved the recognition of a miracle involving two of the children, widely perceived to be a step towards their canonization.

The general subject of Marian apparitions – the appearance of the Virgin Mary – is a long standing, and complex aspect of the Catholic faith. A brief primer from National Geographic can be found below:

Interestingly, two of the other "strangest" cases in the Hatch database involve Portuguese speaking populations – this time in the 1960s and 1970s in Brazil. Hatch cites two cases collected in Bob Pratt's book about Brazilian cases, "UFO Danger Zone."

The circumstances surrounding the book are much like ufology – a strange combination of elements that seem discrediting at first glance, with others that point to some potential factual basis.

According to his obituary, Bob Pratt worked for the The National Enquirer for nearly nine years. Prior to working for the National Enquirer, Pratt had a career as a newspaper writer and editor spanning decades. Though originally a skeptic, covering the UFO issue persuaded Pratt that the issue is "real" – leading to his career at the National Enquirer. He was not the only ufologist to have an association with the tabloid; famed Blue Book astronomer J. Allen Hynek also participated in a National Enquirer panel on UFOs in the early 1970s. In fact, Hynek and Pratt co-wrote a book about the Hudson Valley wave titled "Night Siege: The Hudson Valley UFO Sightings," along with Philip Imbrogno.

The ubiquitous Jacques Vallée wrote a forward for the book, in which he readily addresses Pratt's employment for a tabloid, before emphasizing that the accounts in the book are substantiated:

Forward to "UFO Danger Zone"

Researchers Keith Basterfield and Marc Cecotti also examined broader interest in Brazilian cases by Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS). In an interview with former CIA forensic pathologist Kit Green, Pratt and Vallée's Brazilian cases and data were discussed:

A I did not hear about the trip (note: the BAASS trip) at the time. Was not told about it until after - long after - as in well over 10 years after. I was told by a decent source no medical persons - certainly no MDs - were on the "team." I never saw a medical report. I have seen a non-professional, medical "stacked bar chart"of lay-terminolgy numbers of alleged cases - but not any underlying data. I have seen some summaries of cases over the years, widely published by Vallée and Pratt - but unrelated to BAASS. As I said in an earlier email, I never saw any medical data alleged from Brazil except from Vallée and Pratt - and there was no actual forensic medical data - but good, yet non-specific summaries."

Taken together with other case accounts, it appears that Hatch's "credibility" score was not an indication that the case was definitely tied with UFOs or any particular theory – just that an interesting event had occurred and could be documented. Events with many witnesses, or with imperfect but corroborated witnesses (in the case of Pratt and Vallée) are highly ranked – though they may not ultimately be "UFO" cases, exactly. It may also speak to the nature of his relationship with Vallée that the Pratt material is ranked very highly in terms of credibility despite the lack of forensic data, as described by Green.

American cases also make Hatch's top five in terms of strangeness and credibility. Hatch lists a 1950 Farmington, New Mexico event involving an "armada" of unusual objects. The event was widely reported by residents, and is considered one of the better documented though lesser known UFO cases. Researcher David Marler has an extensive piece covering this fascinating event.

Credit: Farmington Daily Times

The last case is a 1954 event described by Donald Keyhoe in "Flying Saucer Conspiracy." Despite the provocative title of the book, it makes an appearance in a 1969 document prepared for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Office of Aerospace Research titled "UFOs and Related Subjects: An Annotated Bibliography."

https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/AD0688332.pdf

The entry describes the reports as "paraphrased from official USAF records" but "cleared through USAF Pesss Office, DOD." One slightly struggles to understand how a book title proclaiming a conspiracy can be cleared through military press offices – but, nevertheless, it appears to have had at least some measure of official review.

Excerpt from Keyhoe's "The Flying Saucer Conspiracy"

Details on the case itself are hard to come by – I have sourced a copy of the "The Flying Saucer Conspiracy" and will update this section based on what I find. [Note: the relevant pages of Keyhoe's book are included above]

Taken as a whole, these cases reflect that Hatch was interested in issues of evidence even if his evaluation of them was admittedly subjective. In the case of Fatima and Farmington, we see accounts involving a large number of witnesses and contemporary media coverage. The Brazilian cases are less clear; we have work by a former tabloid writer – but explicitly corroborated by Hatch's personal friend and a trained scientific observer, Vallée.

Preliminary Analysis of Thematic Subsets

The structure of the Hatch database allows for querying and filtering records based on combination of "flags" and the credibility index. Below, I've compiled the top five cases in several categories as a starting point for those interested in exploring the cases further. I've also provided a case frequency plot for each category, as sometimes these are helpful in identifying trends or periods of activity that might be relevant to researchers.

It should be noted that this a very simplistic utilization of the database structure. Cases typically have multiple labels, so it would be possible to combine them together – searching for say, "nuclear" cases with "radar" data and a "scientist observer" with a credibility index above a given threshold. Thanks to the inclusion of latitude and longitude, it is also possible to further filter cases based on geographic parameters.

In future work, I hope to build a simple software application that will facilitate these kinds of queries. For now, we scratch the surface with a few example cases.

Nuclear Subset

ID LOCATION YEAR MONTH DAY CREDIBILITY STRANGENESS DESCRIPTION REFERENCE
8916 JABOTICATUBAS,BRZL 1968 8 9 15 15 SCR LITES AREA/lo alt3 OIDS INSIDEMAN ZAPPED+DIES!ÿ PRATT,Bob: UFO DANGER ZONE -Terror and Death in Brazil.Horus House Press, Madison,WI 1996 [excellent], page n°193
1434 SEMIPALATINSK,KAZAK 1949 8 29 13 5 undefined GROSS,Loren: UFOS a HISTORY 1949: 3 books: 1988 & 2000 2001 Supplements., page n°241
4697 CINCINNATI,OH 1955 8 5 13 7 TEARDROP S>>NWINDOWS!6AUG SCR LANDS>>ATOMIC PLANT! STRINGFIELD,Leonard: SITUATION RED - The UFO Siege. Fawcett Crest,NY 1977, page n°148
1349 LOS ALAMOS,NM 1948 12 ~5 12 6 GRN FBLS or SCRS seen 5,6,7,8,11,13,14,20+28 DEC'48 FAWCETT,Lawrence & GREENWOOD,Barry: The UFO COVERUP (Formerly Clear Intent); Prentice Hall,NJ 1984. 264pp., page n°160
1398 WHITE SANDS,NM 1949 6 10 12 8 2 WHT SCRS PACE V2 ROCKET1 PASSES THRU EXHAUST GROSS,Loren: UFOS a HISTORY 1949: 3 books: 1988 & 2000 2001 Supplements., page n°182

The nuclear category contains 335 cases, with three distinct peaks in the 1950s, mid-1960s and mid-1970s.

As a procedural note, Hatch includes references to the Trinity test, the Chernobyl disaster as well as the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in his data. These are scored with high "credibility" but no description and an "unreferenced" note. I have removed these rows, since they do not appear to be UFO cases – it is unclear what the original purpose of including them was. Perhaps the nuclear tests and explosions precipitated sightings or odd reports. This lends further evidence that by "credible" Hatch means that the event actually happened, rather than that it is credibly associated with an odd explanation.

Update: on April 1, 2021 Robert Hastings contacted me to explain that there was indeed a UFO report connected with the Chernobyl disaster. A September 2002 article in Pravda described witness accounts of an unusual "ball of fire" associated with the event. Further details can be found in the Pravda article here. Additionally, he provided this quote from a Dr. Vladimir V. Rubtsov, Director of the Research Institute on Anomalous Phenomena, in Kharkiv, Ukraine:

...about one month before the Chernobyl disaster I had a talk with an air traffic controller of the [nearby] Kharkiv airport. He told me that, according to pilots’ reports, there was a rising number of UFO observations in the area of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station (ChNPS). Later it became known that on the night of the fire in the ChNPS, some three hours after the explosion, a team of nuclear specialists saw in the sky over the station a fiery ball of the color of brass... Just before the observation these specialists measured the level of radiation in the place where they were standing. It was… 3000 milliroentgens per hour. [After the UFO left, it was] only 800 milliroentgens per hour... - Mutual UFO Network, MUFON Symposium Proceedings, 1994

"Conversation" Subset

ID LOCATION YEAR MONTH DAY CREDIBILITY STRANGENESS DESCRIPTION REFERENCE
330 FATIMA,PORTUGAL 1917 10 13 15 8 OPALESCENT SCR ROTATESONLY KIDS SEE PSH W/SLVR ORB MICHELL,John: The FLYING SAUCER VISION; Ace-Star Books,NY PB 1967., page n°95
4424 KARUMBAKHAM,INDIA 1954 11 27 11 8 SCR LANDS/ROADSIDE3 PSH EXIT/EUROPEAN CLOTHES/r171 ALDRICH,Jan J.: Private research papers. A huge mass of hard-won information., page n°0
7113 CHALAC,ARG 1965 2 21 11 9 3 TALL PSH/SVRL SCRSCOPS TAKE FOTOS/FSR'65#4+/r8 BOWEN,Charles (ed.) The HUMANOIDS: HB Henry Regnery, Chicago 1969. 256pp. PB 1977 Futura, London, page n°110
4217 St-VALERY-sur-SOMME,FR 1954 10 20 10 8 1 GRP LANDS/PASTUREBOTH SIGNAL OTHER/LITES FIGEUT,Michel & RUCHON,Jean-Louis: OVNI- Le Premier Dossier..; Alain LeFeuvre,Paris 1979., page n°189
5855 SHIMADA,JPN 1958 1 26 10 8 FIGs FLOAT DOWNTALK GIBBERISH/r8 #458 FLYING SAUCER REVIEW (FSR),London. Bimonthly. Indispensible. PO Box 162; High Wycombe, Bucks. HP135 DZ, England., page n°51

The "conversation" subset contains 280 cases, all describing reports of communication with strange entities. These cases show a remarkable peak in the early 1950s, followed by diminishing cycles in the 1960s and late 1970s. It should be noted that the film Close Encouters of the Third Kind was released in November of 1977 – likely a major influence on the popular imagination and thus on case reports.

Radar Subset

ID LOCATION YEAR MONTH DAY CREDIBILITY STRANGENESS DESCRIPTION REFERENCE
1970 OFF KOREA 1951 ~10 13 7 15+ AIR+SHIPS RDRs/7 HRS!> OVR 1600kph/r116p32 HALL,Richard:The UFO EVIDENCE; NICAP,Washington,DC 1964. Reprinted 1997 Barnes & Noble Books ( only $7.98! ), page n°84
2295 INDIANAPOLIS,IN 1952 7 12 13 7 HUGE SCR TURNS>NW/5K'alt GROSS,Loren: UFOs a HISTORY-1952 (12 booklets) Self published., page n°847
3784 PRATICA di MARE+ROMA,ITL 1954 9 17 13 7 CGRINSTANT ACCEL>300kph>>NW/r3p153 WEINSTEIN,Dominique: French Newsclippings: Sept - Dec 1954. 100s/articles by date. Privately Publ.,Paris,1999., page n°14
4384 LOUISVILLE,KY 1954 11 11 13 8 HUGE GLOWING ORB/SCRHVRS1 F86 CANT SEE1 CAN KEHOE,Donald: The FLYING SAUCER CONSPIRACY; Henry Holt,NY 1955; HC, page n°228
5150 CLEETHORPS,ENGL 1956 9 22 13 6 24M GLASS ORB HVRS/16km alt/60kph wind2 JETS FLYING SAUCER REVIEW (FSR),London. Bimonthly. Indispensible. PO Box 162; High Wycombe, Bucks. HP135 DZ, England., page n°29

The radar subset contains 621 cases. The top ranked cases are all in the early 1950s. A dramatic decline occurs by the mid 1950s, followed by a noisy but relatively low level of cases in subsequent decades. One common explanation for this trend is that early radar technology suffered from a large number of technical artifacts – spurious returns that showed apparently remarkable maneuvers, but were in fact sensor errors. One possibility is that as the technology improved, fewer artifact cases were reported. This is not to imply that all cases from this era are prosaic, but it potentially explains the negative trend in radar cases over time.

Photo/Image Subset

ID LOCATION YEAR MONTH DAY CREDIBILITY STRANGENESS DESCRIPTION REFERENCE
243 TUNGUSKA N/VANAVARA,RUS 1908 6 30 15 6 METEOR>>NW?NO CRATER FOUND VALLEE,Jacques: UFO CHRONICLES of the SOVIET UNION; Ballentine Books HB 1992. 212pp., page n°65
4606 MANHATTAN,NY 1955 5 15 13 6 BLAZING OVOID LOOPS OVR CITYDARKENS>E/FSR v2#3 FLYING SAUCER REVIEW (FSR),London. Bimonthly. Indispensible. PO Box 162; High Wycombe, Bucks. HP135 DZ, England., page n°15
7770 FORT SMITH,AR 1966 8 15 13 6 4 NLTS/4hTIME FOTO like INTESTINE/APRO 7'66+/r211p111 UFO INVESTIGATOR: NICAP: Kensington,MD & Washington,DC [defunct]. University Microfilms, Ann Arbor,MI 48106, page n°45
9413 BUCHAREST,ROM+MANY LOCs 1969 9 10 13 7 DELTA-DIAMOND-LIGHTBULB SEEN ALL OVER. HOBANA Ion & WEVERBERGH,Julien: UFOS from BEHIND the IRON CURTAIN; Bantam Books,1975. 308pp., page n°257
10082 HAYS,KS+COLBY+DIGHTON+RUSSEL+ELLIS+LOGAN+Ft SCOTT+WICHITA+ 1972 8 13 6 /r166p52 The APRO BULLETIN: Monthly. Jim & Coral Lorenzen: Tucson,AZ (USA. defunct) By volume and number., page n°871

The Hatch data contains 837 cases involving either photographs or imagery – some older cases seem to including drawings or diagrams made by scientific sources. The highest ranking cases is again not strictly a UFO sighting – it refers to the Tunguska event which some have speculated may have a relationship with UFOs. Presumably the photographic evidence here is of the damage caused by the air burst:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunguska_event#/media/File:Tunguska.png

Like radar, underlying changes in technology strongly influence case reports. Since the 1950s, there has been a general increase in reports submitted with some photographic evidence. Of course, the influx of photographic evidence also came with an influx in hoaxes.

Submersible Subset

ID LOCATION YEAR MONTH DAY CREDIBILITY STRANGENESS DESCRIPTION REFERENCE
6754 WINDWARD,OAHU,HI 1963 3 11 12 4 VBRITE CRESCENT >W/HI ALT SLOW to SEA/r44p41 The APRO BULLETIN: Monthly. Jim & Coral Lorenzen: Tucson,AZ (USA. defunct) By volume and number., page n°769
8921 GOLF/SAN MATIAS,ARG 1968 8 14 12 7 8 OVOIDS RISE/SEAFLY>>SDIVE>GULF/SAN JORGE! FLYING SAUCER REVIEW (FSR),London. Bimonthly. Indispensible. PO Box 162; High Wycombe, Bucks. HP135 DZ, England., page n°234
10363 La GUAIRA,VNZ 1973 3 30 12 6 ROW/40cm SCRS> EBACK> WLAST SEEN >>N TO SEACLRS VARY FLYING SAUCER REVIEW (FSR),London. Bimonthly. Indispensible. PO Box 162; High Wycombe, Bucks. HP135 DZ, England., page n°494
5892 KETA,GHANA 1958 4 9 11 7 ANIMALS ACT UPNLT RISES/SEABACK 10APR/FSR v4#5+v16#5 TRENCH,Brinsley Le Poer: MYSTERIOUS VISITORS - the UFO Story; Stein & Day, NY 1971-73, page n°79
7100 FREDERICKSBURG,VA 1965 1 25 11 7 PIE-TIN OBJ BOBS & OVR CENTER/RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER SANDERSON,Ivan: INVISIBLE RESIDENTS; World Publishing HB 1970 & Avon Books PB 1973, page n°228

The Hatch data collects 284 cases of objects seen under the water, or often coming out of the water. Many of these reports are quite old; some go back to the 19th century. The frequency of reports seems to be slightly offset from others, with an increase between 1960 and 1980, and a subsequent decline.

Readers interested in submarine or naval cases may also be interested in my recent translation of Soviet UFOlogist Vladimir Azhazha's book on naval UFO incidents. The piece contains a data set of some two hundred cases, though many with obvious quality problems.

Accessing the Data

The data for this post can be found here:

The code used to create subsets of the data and to filter based on strangeness and credibility can be found on this GitHub repository. It must be said again that this would not have been possible without Jérôme Beau's work, which helped overcome a data corruption issue.

The software and database manual can be downloaded here.

Experiencing the Software

The best and easiest way to run the software is using DOSBox, a DOS emulator that works across a variety of platforms.

A very brief note: this software is a joy to experience. Hatch did an incredible amount of work collecting the data, but he also did truly brilliant work designing this system. Though it may appear outdated now, this software is undoubtedly a true labor of love. Even if you're only interested in the data, I recommend playing with the software at least once to get a sense of its creator and his passion.

Linux Instructions:

First, ensure you have DOSBox installed; there are a variety of ways to do this in Linux and I trust most Linux users will be able to do this on their own.

Once DOSBox is installed, simply create a directory and execute the following:

user@home:~$ wget https://adamkehoe.com/static/uap/hatch/hatch_demo.zip
user@home:~$ unzip hatch_demo.zip
user@home:~$ dosbox

Within the DOSBox environment:

Z:\> IMGMOUNT.COM c hatch.img
Z:\> C:
C:\> UDEMO.EXE

You will see a warning about being in the root directory; ignore that and press enter.

You should see this screen:

Enjoy. Make sure you listen to the theme music.

Windows Instructions:

Step 1. Go to https://www.dosbox.com/download.php?main=1

Step 2. Click the "Windows" installer above and follow the instructions

Step 3. Download the software image from: https://adamkehoe.com/static/uap/hatch/hatch_demo.zip

Step 4. Unzip hatch_demo in a directory of your choice. For simplicity, I would recommend placing it in C:\ufo to make the next step easier.

Step 5: Start DOSBox.

Step 6: Mount the image and run the program by entering the following commands:

Z:\> IMGMOUNT.COM c C:\your_directory_here\hatch.img
Z:\> C:
C:\> UDEMO.EXE

Be sure to replace the path to wherever you unzipped the image in the command above. For example, if you placed the file in C:\ufo your command would be:

Z:\> IMGMOUNT.COM c C:\ufo\hatch.img

You will see a warning about being in the root directory; ignore that and press enter.

You should see this screen:

Enjoy!

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to David Marler, Marc Cecotti, Steve McDaniel, M. Townsend, and J. Tingley for their input and assistance. Extra special thanks to Jérôme Beau's excellent uDb project and to Isaac Koi