Hunting UFOs with the MADAR III

If you’ve seen my latest posts you know I’ve spent some quality time wading through the NUFORC UFO sightings database. One thing I’ve learned after analyzing over 98,000 sightings reports spanning almost three decades is that we haven’t learned much of anything about the true nature of UFOs.

What we have is a crap ton of witness testimony. What we don’t have is very much corroborating evidence.

Sure, we do have some intriguing photos, but in today’s digital age, anything can be faked.

Perhaps it’s time for a better approach, and this is why I support the Madar project.

Probable Hoax Photo from Belgium UFO Wave

The MADAR Project

If you haven’t heard of it, the Madar effort is an ambitious attempt to create a worldwide network of sensors that set out to detect the physical traces of UFO activity. As of this writing there are 150 nodes on the network, with the majority located in the continental US.

US MADAR Node Map. Real-time updates can be found here.

The project was conceived by life long UFO researcher and author Fran Ridge. The origins trace back to 1970 with the Madar I and has grown more technically sophisticated over time.

The current iteration is the Madar III data probe, an affordable device that allows anyone to participate in a network that monitors for UFO activity 24/7.


Crowd sourcing a network of sensor nodes provides a clever way to corroborate physical anomalies with other sighting reports from the same or nearby locations that might have occurred at the same time.

It also provides a way to alert the node “operators” that an anomaly is occurring in realtime. This way actions can be taken to document the sighting. As in actions I mean like running outside and taking photos.

You might be wondering at this point how exactly does a MADAR node detect UFOs?

Scanning the skies

That’s a good question and where a degree of buy-in is needed in support of the central premise of this project.

Can We Detect UFOs?

Here’s the issue. UFO believers typically fall into one of two camps:

Some people believe the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) that proposes that UFOs are best explained as being physical spacecraft occupied by extraterrestrial life or unmanned probes from other planets visiting earth.

And then there’s the interdimensional hypothesis (IDH) that suggests that UFOs involve visitations from other realities that coexist separately along side our own.

The two theories are not mutually exclusive, but if UFOs turn out to be interdimensional in nature, they’re sure going to be a heck of a lot harder to detect.

If you buy into ETH and that UFOs are physical spacecraft (and therefore obey the laws of physics) then there should be a detectable trace of their existence.

But here’s the enigma with ETH and the gathering of evidence: As our sophistication with surveillance technologies has increased, we haven’t seen a corresponding increase in the number of UFO sightings.

For example with smartphones, everyone essentially has a camera in their pocket at all times. It’s hard to reconcile why there hasn’t been an explosion in documented (as in photographed) sightings in the last decade.

Number of UFO Sightings Reported to NUFORC 2006-2021 (Source: NUFORC Dataset)

Also, our military surveillance technologies have never been more advanced. While we do have the occasional, albeit reluctant admissions by militaries (like the US Department of Defense) that some radar detected events can be classified as “unidentified aerial phenomena”, you would imagine that the frequency of reports would match pace with our technological advancements.

On the other hand, think of the challenges of blanketing our airspace with radar coverage. For example, in the continental US alone there’s over 3 million square miles to protect. That’s a lot of airspace, and perhaps that does leave an opening for a novel approach.

Exploring A New Approach

Perhaps we need a distributed type of coverage that’s better suited for the phenomenon.

This is the void that the MADAR project attempts to fill. Packaged with the MADAR probe is a sensitive 3 axis magnetometer. This gives it the ability to detect a sudden change in the ambient magnetic field and/or compass heading in proximity to the device.

3 Axis Magnetometer Chip

All the MADAR nodes are networked and take sensor readings every few minutes. When the magnetometer detects an abrupt change over the typical background threshold, an alert is sent to a central server.

This novel approach serves a few purposes. First, the device can be configured to send an alert to the owner so that a local observation can be made. Second, the centralized alerting provides a way to automate the reporting of the anomaly to a nationwide UFO sightings database (like the NUFORC). Lastly, it enables correlation of sensor data with unrelated nearby sightings reports or even anomalies reported at the same time across different MADAR nodes.

The Evidence

At this point you’re probably wondering about the validity of the detection approach itself (looking for magnetic anomalies to detect UFOs.) Skepticism here is warranted.

There is at least some evidence that seems to suggest that UFOs can influence electronics and compass readings. A strong enough magnetic field could have that effect. Whether the MADAR sensor is sensitive enough to detect a field change with the range needed to detect a UFO overhead is subject to debate. That would have to be an uber-strong magnetic field. And of course you have to be willing to buy into ETH and that there’s something physical happening that can even be detected.

I can tell you first hand however that I have seen readings from my own MADAR node that I cannot explain. My own WOW signal if you will. Huge magnetic field changes with no appreciable cause – unrelated to weather or local environment. Unfortunately, these have occurred in the middle of the night and I’m not invested enough to run outside in my pajamas with binoculars and a phone.

Magnetic field reading from my Madar III probe – 9/1/2021

The Madar website reports evidence collected from over 500 EM cases with 144 that involve compass deviations. As a participant on the mailing list, I’ve seen mention of a few correlations with actual witness sightings. Perhaps there is something there.

Ultimately my position on the project is that it’s an ambitious step forward in UFO research. By attempting to collect real scientific data from a geographically distributed array of sensors and then correlate to unrelated sightings reports, it provides a way to bolster witness testimonies.

I have definite reservations about using a magnetometer as the primary UFO detection method, but the project opens the door for future efforts using different technologies that can build upon the core premise.

As my readers know, at Enigmatic Devices we like to peak behind the curtains of interesting projects like this. If you’re interested in a deep dive into the technology under the covers with the MADAR III, make sure to check out my next post.

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