The public interest in Romania toward UFOs begun in the 1968 „flap”, when several interesting reports reached the mass media.
Among the cases was one of the crew of the commercial airline TAROM in August 17, and several others in the next days, until the end of September. The most spectacular sighting - of a silvery daylight disc - was proved by three excelent photos made in August 18, near Cluj-Napoca (in the Hoia-Baciu forest) by Emil Barnea, in the presence of other three witnesses. Hobana

The first Romanian books about UFOs were written by the SF writer and critic Ion Hobana (Bucharest, 1971) and the engineer Florin Gheorghita (Iasi, 1973), both of them involved in the investigation of the 1968 cases. Ion Hobana with Julien Weverbergh published also several UFO books abroad, among them the Ufo's from behind the iron curtain (1974), translated in several languages. In the early seventies, several UFO research groups were organized, the most important with mainly university students in Bucharest, led by the same Ion Hobana.

brasov 73wOne of the members of this group, Calin Turcu (1942-2006), living in the small town of Valenii de Munte (100 km north of Bucharest), organized in 1977 an informal, nationwide team named “Romanian UFO Researchers (RUFOR)”, which published a „samizdat” UFO bulletin (27 numbers, 1979-86). Turcu organized, in time, the greatest archive of written records, photos and films about Romanian cases, as well as the greatest UFO books library in Romania. The same team published later the only printed UFO periodical in Romania, named “RUFOR” (1994-1996). It had 21 issues, the first 8 in a tabloid form, and the rest as an A4 magazine. The chief editor was Peter Leb from the Transylvanian city of Targu Mures. Presently, there is no printed UFO periodical in Romania.In the seventies and eighties a dozen of UFO books, translated or original, were published in Romania, but their number increased dramatically after 1990. Among the authors: Ion Hobana, Calin Turcu, Florin Gheorghita, Dan D. Farcas, Doru Davidovici (fighter pilot 1945-1989), Gyorgy Mandics (now living mainly in Hungary), Dan Apostol and Adrian Patrut (President of the Romanian Society of Parapsychology; he wrote also about some other strange phenomena in the Hoia Baciu forest near Cluj-Napoca).

The Association for the Study of Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (ASFAN) - Romania was set up in 1998 by a group of persons known by their achievements connected with the UFO phenomenon and was conceived as an organization of well established specialists in various directions relevant for the UFO research. ASFAN is a non-profit, non-governmental organization. It is the only Romanian UFO research organization having juridical personality, obtained with the legal decision of the Court of the Municipality of Bucharest in September 28, 1998, taking into consideration the approval of the Ministry of the Research and Technology and that of the General Mayor of Bucharest. The premises of ASFAN are in the building of the "Admiral V. Urseanu" Astronomical Observatory of the Municipality of Bucharest, Blvd. Lascar Catargiu 21, Bucharest, Romania. The initial elected board was: chairman Ion Hobana (1931-2011), vice-chairman Dan Farcas Ph.D., mathematician, IT specialist, executive director Harald Alexandrescu Ph.D., mathematician, astronomer (1944-2005), treasurer Alexandru Musat physicist, speaker Alecu Marciuc, radio programs producer. Now the chairman is Dan D. Farcas and the executive director George Cohal, jurist.

The organization’s purpose is the rational study of the unidentified aerospace phenomena in keeping with the knowledge and the hypothesis of the contemporary science, with emphasis on the Romanian cases. ASFAN intended to resort to the support of the institutions which hold specific information, and laboratories endowed with modern apparatus. A special objective was to estimate the social and psychological effects of the unidentified sightings, having in view correct information of the public at large, through the mass media and the internet.

Since 1998 ASFAN received many reports, which are in its archive, mainly through a specific standardized form, ASFAN maintained the contacts with the witnesses and made field investigations for the most interesting cases. There were some restrains, because the organization had no sponsors and because almost all of the members acted on voluntary bases, after finishing their main job. Therefore the investigations were made mainly not too far from Bucharest. Some investigations were accomplished beyond this area by the ASFAN members living in other cities.

The ASFAN members maintained contacts with several UFO research organizations and specialists abroad. Examples are the activity of Dan Farcas with the editorial board of the European Journal of UFO and Abduction Studies (2000-2003), or the collaboration, in 2012, for the National Geographic Channel films UFOs in Europe: The Untold Stories. ASFAN is included in the EuroUfoNet network, being represented by Dan D. Farcas

For three years (2000-2003) ASFAN organized public conferences on monthly bases in some central places in Bucharest. The ASFAN members were invited in these years to virtually all Romanian TV channels and radio stations, for debates on current UFO events and related issues. Some of them, as Emil Strainu, became notorious after being members of the ASFAN. Although ASFAN have not a printed periodical, some ASFAN members have permanent UFO columns in Romanian popular science magazines.
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