Speaking to Lusa News Agency, Vítor Moreira, one of the founders and president of CIFA, clarified that the intention is to "study and investigate extraordinary phenomena" that occur in the country and their "scientific validation".

"We are not going to chase lights, nor identify phenomena at a great distance", referred Vítor Moreira, stressing that the objective is to treat "with seriousness" the extraordinary aerospace phenomena and help the population to understand them.

No conspiracy therories

"Currently there is a need to clarify the population and foster a more balanced opinion of what these phenomena are," he argued, adding that CIFA "is not based on conspiracy theories".

Founded in July 2021 by a team of researchers who studied these phenomena in the 1980s and 1990s, CIFA is currently composed of a multidisciplinary team that includes lawyers, engineers, journalists and law enforcement officers.

The investigation of aerospace phenomena triggered by the centre is based on archives - physical and digital - as well as documents and reports from other organisations that have been collected "behind the scenes and anonymously" since 2018.

In addition to documentation, CIFA's work is also based on information released in the Portuguese media, an "important source" on which the team will also focus its attentions, confronting it with the knowledge of other entities such as the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA).

"In Portugal, there are almost 2,000 records of extraordinary events. We have very reliable case histories, but it's still a story. We know that narratives are narratives and we want to go further", he stressed.

Acting fast

"We want to later create protocols of effective collaboration with the Air Force and the Republican National Guard (GNR) to reach the isolated cases that may occur in the interior of the country," he said, justifying that the purpose is to "act fast and make a more effective clearance".

Vítor Moreira stressed that the team has already developed "a work of assessment of events that were relevant last year", which resulted in the Annual Report of Occurrences, in which "no case was given as extraordinary", having existed an explanation and scientific validation for the 19 sighted events.

"Mostly, the percentage of cases explained involves drone technology as well as various types of balloons," said the official.

Vítor Moreira stressed that CIFA hopes next year to present "a more consistent and accurate model" of the reports received, projecting for 2023 to continue working "not with hypotheses, but with certainty".