The GEIPAN's mission

The GEIPAN's mission (Group for Study and Information on Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena) is to provide an operational service based on investigations related to reported observations. The Geipan process is as follows:

  • Collecting testimonies: collect the observations of witnesses on French territory and ensure the veracity of each observation;
  • Analysis of testimonies: seek an explanation to these observations by known phenomena and by relying on a network of investigators, experts (if necessary) and respond to witnesses;
  • Anonymization and archiving of testimonies: make a file as complete and precise as possible to allow the possible further study of the phenomenon observed by scientific teams external to the CNES;
  • Public information: inform the public through the website of the different cases and conclusions. Respond to media inquiries.

The GEIPAN also has a mission dedicated to supporting the scientific exploitation of UAP observations and thus promoting the advancement of knowledge of phenomena associated with UAPs by relying on the scientific community, who can benefit from it for their own knowledge.

GEIPAN is not a specialist of global UFO phenomenon nor a research organization on extraterrestrial life or on advanced or futuristic technologies that can explain extraterrestrial visits. This is not the case; it is neither in its prerogatives nor in its capacity in accordance with the CNES's missions. 

The GEIPAN uses UAP (Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena) and not UFO. The term UFO has the double default of talking about an object, whereas it is not always an object, and has a saucer or extraterrestrial connotation.

The GEIPAN makes the information it collects available to the scientific community and to the general public.

How does the GEIPAN work ? 

The GEIPAN is part of the Orbital system directorate of the CNES in Toulouse. 

The GEIPAN works with a network of 20 investigators that are located throughout France. These investigators take part in the examination of cases and can also when necessary and asked by the GEIPAN, do field investigations to gather further information. They use the GEIPAN’s guidelines that are defined in the investigator’s guide.

The GEIPAN also relies on external services to conduct investigations:

  • The services that work with the GEIPAN allow it to quickly access tangible information: Gendarmerie Nationale, Armée de l’Air et de l'Espace, Aviation civile, Météo France...;
  • The scientific community: le CNRS (especially the IMCEE), the CEA...

The GEIPAN also rely on a college of experts, approximately 20 volunteers, who come from different scientific fields and can examine the most complex observation cases submitted to them. They provide scientific support for the examination of cases.

The GEIPAN is supervised by a steering committee chaired by a recognized person form the aerospace world but also counts representatives of the French civil and military authorities (Gendarmerie Nationale, Police nationale, Aviation civile, Météo, Armée de l’Air et de l'Espace, CNRS et Recherche scientifique) and the CNES. This committee’s main task is to examine the GEIPAN’s results and to make recommendations to the CNES about the GEIPAN.

The GEIPAN team consists of three CNES (French space agency) officers they are the head, his assistant and an investigator but they also rely on external assistance for:

  • The study and expertise of information processing (Case follow-up and study, statistics…).
  • Information management, formatting, anonymization and archiving of the case studies.

GEIPAN’s budgetary resources come from the public service subsidy received globally by the CNES to carry out its activities.