Peter Rogerson writes: For those of you who have been interested in INTCAT, the news is that I have been in the process of extending the catalogue from just the entity reports, to all sorts of close encounter and type l cases. I had originally planned to do the entity reports first and then add in the rest, but I realised that would mean going over everything twice, so I am feeding in material from the original manuscript and adding further material. My eventually aim is to take this back to 1750 and up to 1999, though the last decade of the social 20th century will be much thinner than the rest.
Readers must understand that the summaries are essentially précis of what appears in the literature, and should be thought of as essentially folklore. In some cases, where the original source provides one, or the answer strikes me as obvious, I am including evaluations, though that will take time and more will be added from time to time. I also hope to produce some sort of motif index for the more complex stories.
Looking at this material, it is even more obvious that there is no one 'UFO phenomenon', UFO reports are a vastly diverse bunch of accounts, united only because they have come to the attention of ufologists!
The first two years of the extended catalogue to be put up are 1955 and 1980, very much in the way of tests, some further years will follow.
You will also notice that the AFU catalogue, which acts for the time as the bibliography, is now vastly increased in size. AFU is the Archives for the Unexplained, based in Norrkoping in Sweden. It is a Europe wide resource of materials dealing with UFOs, the parapsychology, cryptozoological and just about any Fortean or paranormal topic you might care to mention. It includes the giant personal library of the late Hilary Evans, and the vast clippings collections of Bob Rickard and the Charles Fort Institute. I have now started the decade or so long job of passing the relevant portions of my own vast library on to them.
If you have a collection of material on any Fortean topic you want to offload, particularly rare group archives, I’d urge you to think about passing them on for future preservation. All sorts of group libraries and personal collections continually disappear, often beyond recovery.
It’s not about our topics, but an awful general warning came to me thirty years ago when I first became local history librarian at Warrington. Day in, day out, week in, week out, two elderly gentlemen in their 80s came searching through the microfilm copies of the local papers. They were old-time members of a local football club, the archives of which had been kept by a colleague for decades. They had even clubbed together to buy him a special cabinet to put them in. The old guy died and his relatives just threw all the records and the cabinet on the tip, and now these two characters had to go through all the old papers to recover the match details. Of course much of the material in our topics would be much more difficult to retrieve. Preserve your archives before the floods get them!!