UFO research institute opens in Fukushima, Japan
FUKUSHIMA, Japan - A research institute dedicated to studying unidentified flying objects has opened in Fukushima, with the hope of uncovering the mysteries surrounding UFOs.
The facility, known as the UFO research institute, plans to collect and analyze information on UFO sightings.
Members will be recruited from Japan and abroad. The institute is expected to contribute to the revitalization of the area as the only institution in Japan that specializes in UFOs, observers said.
Interest in UFOs is growing, and the U.S. Defense Department recently announced the launch of an investigation on UFO sightings.
The institute is housed in the UFO Fureaikan hall, which was built in 1992 by the Fukushima municipal government and Iino town, which merged with the city of Fukushima in 2008.
Takeharu Mikami, editor in chief of the monthly magazine Mu that features supernatural phenomenon, is the first director of the institute.
The institute is located near Mt. Senganmori, a mountain 462 meters above sea level and an area where there have been many reports of UFO sightings.
The institute plans to conduct a web-based survey on UFO sightings, first collecting information from the Mt. Senganmori area and then expanding to cover the entire country by the summer.
The institute plans to recruit members by appealing to those interested in UFOs and offering special privileges by classifying members into the "Earth System," "Solar System" and "Galactic System" according to their membership fees.
The now-defunct town of Iino had been trying to revitalize itself through projects based on UFO sightings.
The Fukushima municipal government is supporting the institute in a bid to brighten up the world during the troubling times of the coronavirus pandemic, when people are feeling stagnant.
June 24, the day the institute opened, is called "UFO Day" by people interested in UFOs.
"With people feeling down, I want them to look up at the sky and search for UFOs," Mikami said. "I'd be happy if that cheers them up."