Sunday, April 3, 2016

Issue #52 Field Investigator Reports And CMS

In this issue I'd like to cover a topic that I hear a lot of Field Investigator's asking questions about, which is how to write their final report.

Although the MUFON CMS (Case Management System) has all of the information provided by the witness in the form of checked boxes, it is much easier to read an actual written page that has the information from the case in a presentable style. That is why it is important to use either the "Short Form" for most cases, and now "Form 30" for any cases that are rated CAT - 2 and above. This makes it much easier for the SRB (Science Review Board) to review the cases, and for other investigators that are looking for correlating cases to find out the details quickly.

Obviously the "Short Form" will not be as intensive as "Form 30", as you can see below.

Version Of Short Form Found In CMS

As you can see, the short form only contains the basic information about the case. For most of the cases you will get, this is probably the form you will want to use. I myself made a basic "template" of the short form, which I can easily add the required information to, without having to write the whole report from scratch. I just fill in the sections after each category. Below you will see a list of the different case dispositions, and the criteria for deciding if your case fits that description.

Definitions Of Case Dispositions

As you can see, the definitions are pretty cut-and-dried. It should be fairly easy for you to decide exactly how to categorize your report by following these examples. As State Director, there are times when I have to change the disposition of a case, as resolved by the Field Investigator who worked the case. These are the guidelines that I use.

Also important is our Valleé Classification System. Below is a simple chart to help you understand the rating system.

Jacques Valleé's Classification Categories For UFO Sightings

This is the classification system that is used by most UFO investigator's and researchers around the world, and was first developed by Jacques Valleé, and was first called to the publics attention by Steven Spielberg is his classic film, "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind". When Spielberg was first pitching the title to studio executives, they didn't quite understand what it meant, and literally kept asking him, "what does this mean?"...he almost had to go with a different title for the movie!

So what does one use when they have a really good case, such as a CAT - 2 or CAT - 3? The answer is Form 30, which as you can see below, is quite comprehensive.

Form 30 Page 1

Form 30 Page 2

As you can see, the form has little red brackets on it. That is the "macros", which you want to make sure you enable whenever you use the form. The macros make it much easier to complete the form, since all you have to do is click inside the brackets, then enter the information. I have the form saved as a .doc, and whenever I need to use it, I just "Save As" the number of the case it pertains to as it's title, then the original form does not get destroyed in the process. You will want to attach the report to your CMS report in the .doc format as well, that way all users should be able to open it. It also makes it easier to save your reports on computer, rather than printing them out and filing them, which is a lot easier to secure against unwanted persons reading them!

It is very important for all Field Investigator's to remember that we now have to use From 30 for all cases that are rated CAT - 2 and above! It is also important to remember that these cases are more important, and you need to contact your witnesses sooner! All CAT - 3 cases should have some form of witness contact within 24 hours of their filing their report. Time is very critical if we are going to get valuable evidence from the cases.

I hope this helps answer some of the questions that I know Field Investigators, especially new ones, have about the report writing process. Remember, your report is the best representation of the case you investigated, so please try to give it the attention it deserves!


  1. Thanks Jeff! Great practical information as ever!

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  4. Ooooh, Fiona, you can't know how timely it is to read this post from you. Love it, thanks for some great information and resources,

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