In the US, groups and affiliates interested in UFO investigation number in the hundreds, of which a few have achieved prominence based on their longevity, size, and researcher involvement with scientific credentials. The first significant UFO interest group in the US was the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), formed in 1952 by Coral and James Lorenzen. The organization closed down in 1988. The National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), which formed in 1957 and shut down in the 1970s, whose Board of Directors included former Director of Central Intelligence and first head of the Central Intelligence Agency, VADM Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, was, at one time, the largest UFO organization in the country, with numerous chapters. In 1957, brothers W. H. and J. A. Spaulding founded the Ground Saucer Watch, which later became famous when, in 1977, the group filed a suit under the Freedom of Information Act against the CIA.
The two major UFO investigative groups active today are the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), founded in 1969, and the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), founded in 1973 by J. Allen Hynek. MUFON grew as the key members of NICAP joined the organization in the 1970s. CUFOS has tried to limit its membership to established researchers, but has found little academic acceptance.
National UFO Reporting Center takes UFO reports, and has been in operation since 1974.
The British UFO Research Association (BUFORA) is the oldest of the active British UFO organizations.
It traces its roots to the London UFO Research Association, founded in 1959, which merged with the British UFO Association (BUFOA) to form BUFORA in 1964.
The Australian Flying Saucer Bureau (AFSB) and the Australian Flying Saucer Research Society (AFSRS) were the earliest UFO groups established in Australia, with both being founded in the early 1950s. The Australian Centre for UFO Studies (ACUFOS) was established in 1974 with links to the American CUFOS. Other currently active Australian UFO groups include the Victorian UFO Research Society (VUFORS), the Australian UFO Research Network (AUFORN), and UFO Research Queensland (UFORQ).
The Freie Interessengemeinschaft für Grenz- und Geisteswissenschaften und Ufologiestudien (Free Community of Interests for the Border and Spiritual Sciences and Ufological Studies) (FIGU) is a non-profit, tax-paying organization established under the name mentioned. This organization was established by Eduard Albert Meier (Billy Meier) in 1996 with its headquarters based in Schmidrüti, Switzerland.
The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), although not a UFO organization, has investigated various UFO cases and has given a skeptical review of the phenomena in its publications, often in the Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Founded as the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) in 1976 by professor of philosophy Paul Kurtz, the committee is known for its member scientists and skeptics, such as Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Philip J. Klass, Ray Hyman, James Randi, and Martin Gardner. The Skeptics Society, founded by science historian Michael Shermer in 1992, has also addressed the UFO issue in its magazine Skeptic.
World UFO Day
World UFO Day is a day for people to gather together and watch the skies for unidentified flying objects. The goal of the July 2 celebration is to raise awareness of the Roswell findings, and to gain support in forcing governments to “tell the truth about earthly visits from outer space aliens”. This day is celebrated in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, China, Thailand, Belgium, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Netherlands, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Australia, Spain, Korea, Brazil, Italy, France, Nigeria, Finland, Austria and Poland.