UFOlogy is a discipline that is associated with the study of reports of Unidentified Flying Objects, with a goal of determining if a given sighting can be explained by way of an atmospheric or man-made set of circumstances. While the ultimate goal of UFOlogy is to provide irrefutable evidence of the existence of visits to the earth by the residents of other planets, much of the time is spent in investigating purported UFO activity and discovering that there is a logical and earth-bound explanation for the sightings.
It is important to recognize that UFOlogy is not considered a valid science by the majority of the scientific community, there are a number of scientists with impeccable credentials in various fields of science that do engage in the investigation of UFOs. At the same time, many dedicated UFOlogists hold expertise in fields other than science, such as in various forms of technology. While many UFOlogists are very slow to accept eyewitness reports and other types of sightings as possibly being of extra-terrestrial origin, there are many people involved with the studies who do not demand a great deal of evidence before accepting a sighting or encounter as valid. This has made it easier for the general public, and the scientific community in general, to hold a low opinion of the study and pursuit of UFOlogy.
UFOlogy generally follows two different types of classification for investigating sightings and visitations, although no one system has emerged as being dominant. Because the nature and methods of so many different UFO study groups vary, there is no one cohesive manner of pursuing the collection of evidence, the evaluation of first hand accounts of sightings or visitations, or physical evidence that could suggest the landing point of a UFO. This makes it possible for one group to consider a particular case valid, while another would consider it to be a hoax or easily explained as of human origin.
Currently, there is not any accredited institute of higher learning that offers a degree program associated with UFOlogy. While it is possible for the budding UFOlogist to find a number of resources and organizations that engage in the study, care should be taken before choosing to accept the claims of any one of these organizations. Many of the groups who claim to seek evidence of the reality of the Unidentified Flying Object have no tight guidelines for research, and may be set up more to prey on the wishful thinking of many people who hope we are not alone in the universe.