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An analysis of six cases of unexplained aerial phenomena observed by qualified observers over a twenty-year period in various parts of the Earth and in known physical conditions yields estimates of optical power output ranging from a few kilowatts to thousands of megawatts. This paper surveys the methods by which this parameter can be derived from witnesses' statements, it discusses the various hypotheses one could propose to account for the observations and it calls for a broad re-examination of sighting files in an effort to apply this methodology to a larger sample and to better understand the luminosity characteristics of the reported objects.
Keywords: UFOs -- UFO sightings -- physical evidence