1963 picture purportedly showing a UFO in New Mexico. The Peruvian unit will bring together sociologists, archaeologists, astronomers, meteorologists and air force personnel to analyse sightings.
Peru's air force is reopening an office responsible for investigating UFOs due to "increased sightings of anomalous aerial phenomena" in the country's skies.
The Department of Investigation of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena (DIFAA), first created in 2001, is being revived after lying formant for five years because more UFO sightings have been reported to the media, said Colonel Julio Vucetich, head of the air force's aerospace interests division
The unit will bring together sociologists, archaeologists, astronomers, meteorologists and air force personnel to analyse these events, Vucetich told the Guardian
. "Many people don't report UFO sightings because they fear they will be labelled mad or made fun of, but nowadays with new technology - cellphone videos, Facebook, Twitter - they can be much more open, without feeling that they are the only ones who have seen what they've seen," he said.
"This new office needs those people to come and report their sightings so we can open a file and, using their information, do the respective analysis and investigation," he added, flicking through a hefty scrapbook of newspaper cuttings recording Peruvian UFO sightings dating from 1950 to the present day. Peru's Institute for Studies of Historic Aerospace is turning it into a book.
Vucetich said the office had responded to increased sightings of natural and artificial phenomena, from meteorites to "space junk" in Peru. "When you present evidence of UFOs, people can react with terror or hysteria, so we have to be very careful how we present it," he stressed.