A history of UAP research at CNES
From Gepan to Geipan
In 1977, the CNES Director General set up the Gepan* research group to pursue studies initiated by a CNES engineer as a personal project.
Its mandate was simple: conduct research into UFOs (as they are commonly called). The group’s work was overseen by a scientific advisory board.
Gepan continued its research until 1988, when it was superseded by Sepra**. As well as UAPs, the new unit also monitored artificial atmospheric re-entries, i.e. debris from space missions falling back to Earth.
In 2000, Sepra refocused on the original mission of UAP research, albeit with limited resources. In 2001, the Director General requested an audit to help decide on the future of this CNES department.
However in 2005 there was a:
New unit, broader mandate(cnes.fr)
On the basis of the audit recommendations, UAP activities resumed with a
new CNES unit called Geipan, set up in 2005. This unit reports to
senior management at the Toulouse Space Centre and is overseen by an
independent external steering committee, which guides and monitors its
Information is made available to the public here (in french).
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Richard Lelancette started translating reports into English on his blog.