I will make fourteen points here, through which I try to synthesize my thoughts, goals and methodology.
1. Some scientific evidence exists that alleged "alien abductions" have nothing to do with alien intrusion on Earth but rather with something else that is much more interesting and that concerns the human brain and some possibly external causes that perturbate it: therefore some books and/or claims on alien abduction are pure terrorism and diversion from the true path; aliens who allegedly abduct humans wouldn't be so incompetent, invasive and rough in surgery. Anyway I have projected a way to prove or disprove this possibility, using instruments such as high-time resolution (1 millionth of second at least) CCD cameras and laser range-finders placed inside the room of the alleged abducted fellow, together with a new attempt using magnetometers. If I am wrong instruments should record something, if they record nothing physical alien abductors do not exist.
2. The possibility of "alien visitation" per se is not excluded a priori by science, but so far no proof of this has been found; in spite of this we are searching for this possibility too by monitoring, using automated scientific instruments, areas of the world where anomalous light phenomena are reported more recurrently: if something intelligent and/or structured is operating it will not escape the attention of our robotic telescopes, CCD cameras, IR thermal imaging cameras, optical spectrographs, VLF and UHF spectrometers, magnetometers, radar, Laser testers and range finders, etc. If aliens are here then they have been here probably many times in the past too, but the "Von Däniken method" is not the correct one to search for this. Anyway: they might have triggered our society and our evolution, very hiddenly. With both bad and good purposes according to the cases. But certainly they do not abduct people and then make surgery on them using tools worthy of a midwife. If really someone abducts people I think we should look better here: apart from Psycho Warfare (which is a multi-faceted reality coming from cold war), the technique to introduce false memories in the abducted ones does exist.
3. We have a scientific confirmation that anomalous atmospheric light phenomena do exist; we now know how they behave, but we do not know yet the physical mechanism of the plasma constituting these "light balls"; they look to be a natural phenomenon but with some very exotic characteristics. We are presently investigating on the plasma confinement mechanism and on the central force that keeps the plasma self-contained. Here is a very recent technical resume of mine:http://eprints.bice.rm.cnr.it/3641/1/Fornovo_MT_2010.pdf (published on the CNR SOLAR website of the italian National Research Council).
4. SETI and SETI-related methods (such as SETT, SETV and NLSETI) so far didn't furnish results but new research projects are starting, while traditional SETI (radio and optical) has been highly improved. Here are two contributions from me: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273862753_A_strategic_viewfinder_for_SETI_research and: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275583724_Search_for_high-proper_motion_objects_with_infrared_excess
5. Concerning the "UFO" phenomenon itself so far we can confirm this: a) 90% of videos and photos are hoaxes and fakes and at the same time the "merchants of ufology" live well; b) a part of the UFO phenomenon is a deception; c) a very little percent deserves an in-depth investigation, which in fact we are carrying out in a parallel way with the study of anomalous atmospheric phenomena. Here we search for numbers and not for chatters or tales.
6. The idea of alien visitation from other planets is very old and quite anthropocentric. The idea of "other dimensions" and/or parallel universes is now considered, just on the ground of studies of theoretical physics and to find an experimental confirmation of this is very difficult, but, anyway, we know what to expect to see observationally if a "wormhole gate" opens in our atmosphere, for instance.
7. We know too little of the mechanism of Life to tell so surely that "after-life" is just only a transcendent occurrence: we think (but we still have no proof of it) that, for instance, what we call "soul" is a biophysical component of the process of Life, intended as a "software" that governs an "hardware" (the body).
8. We are deeply studying quantum entanglement as a possibly universal mechanism of non-local information and this will be tested experimentally with NLSETI.
9. Some plasma phenomena at particular conditions (mixed with fine dust) behave exactly like the DNA, therefore life might be not only based on Carbon (or even Silicon) but also on plasmas (ions + electrons) and this is confirmed by a paper published in 2007 on the New Journal of Physics.
10. I did astrophysical research for some 20 years and so far I can say that studying very deeply the brain and consciousness is a zillion times more important than adding a new extrasolar planet to our catalogue.
11. If we go on ignoring "strange things" or anomaly in general from the scientific point of view then we leave these things in the hands of the irrational and of its merchants: the potential of rationality (if powered by a good use of intuition) goes much beyond whatever we can ever imagine.
12. The final goal is not only to expand our understanding of what we call "reality" but rather to use this knowledge technologically. Science and technology are strictly related. And the Energy issue is the most important here.
13. The life of scientists who attempt to study all this is extremely difficult and sometimes even hellish: obstacles are everywhere and always ready to attempt to stop any initiative. Someone who matters doesn't want. But "panzers" do not stop and we elevated the threshold of the harm.
14. We want to try to expand the human potential in understanding things. Therefore this is also a "Consciousness Research Project", a sort of trigger, or message in a bottle. Take or reject it.
After some years my position in this field didn't change at all.
Excerpt of a discussion (my extensive comment here) I had within the UFODATA research group, a few years ago.