EXOPOLITICS (n. art or science of government as concerned with creating/influencing policy toward extraterrestrial beings)

as in: are STATE SECRETS SAFE from TELEPATHY?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8662822.stm
Russian president asked to investigate alien claims
by Richard Galpin / 5 May 2010

A Russian MP has asked President Dmitry Medvedev to investigate claims by a regional president that he has met aliens on board a spaceship. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the leader of the southern region of Kalmykia, made his claim in a television interview. MP Andre Lebedev is not just asking whether Mr Ilyumzhinov is fit to govern. He is also concerned that, if he was abducted, he may have revealed details about his job and state secrets. The MP has written a letter to Mr Medvedev raising a list of his concerns. In his letter he says that – assuming the whole thing was not just a bad joke – it was an historic event and should have been reported to the Kremlin. He also asks if there are official guidelines for what government officials should do if contacted by aliens, especially if those officials have access to state secrets. Mr Ilyumzhinov said in an interview on primetime television that he had been taken on board an alien spaceship which had come to planet Earth to take samples – and claims to have several witnesses. He has been president of Kalmykia, a small Buddhist region of Russia which lies on the shores of the Caspian Sea, for 17 years. The millionaire former businessman has a reputation as an eccentric character. As president of the World Chess Federation, he has spent tens of millions of dollars turning the impoverished republic into a mecca for chess players – building an entire village to host international tournaments.

POLICY CLARIFICATION REQUESTED
http://www.newsru.com/russia/04may2010/uno_top_secret.html
http://trueslant.com/juliaioffe/2010/05/05/serious-allegations-kalmyk-governor-leaks-classified-information-to-humanoid-aliens/
Kalmyk governor leaks classified information to ‘humanoid’ aliens?
by Julia Ioffe / May. 5 2010

Andrey Lebedev, a Duma deputy for the right-wing nationalistic LDPR party, is pissed: there is a traitor in Russia’s house, and he’s a traitor of the very worst order. Lebedev’s allegation, which he addressed yesterday to President Dmitry Medvedev, is serious. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the autocratic, chess-playing, Buddhist billionaire ruler of the Semiautonomous Russian Republic of Kalmykia on the shores of the Caspian, has been feeding highly classified state secrets to aliens, Lebedev alleges.

According to Lebedev, extraterrestrial “humanoids” are now in possession of some of Russia’s most secret secrets. Here’s what happened. Lebedev realized something was very extremely horribly wrong as he watched Ilyumzhinov’s interview with Vladimir Pozner, the Russian Larry King. During the interview, Ilyumzhinov openly discussed his 1997 encounter with benevolent aliens. According to Ilyumzhinov, it all happened on a Saturday night. He came home to his Moscow apartment, watched some TV, read a bit, and drifted off to sleep. Mid-drift, he heard the balcony door open. Then someone called to him. Ilyumzhinov went to check it out, only to discover a hovering transparent tube, which he, naturally, entered. Inside, humanoids in yellow spacesuits awaited him. They had a pleasant talk, which occurred on the level of mindwaves because, Ilyumzhinov said, “there wasn’t quite enough oxygen.” The humanoids, who were friendly, told Ilyumzhinov that they were not yet ready for direct contact with human humans. Instead, they gave him a tour of the ship and sent him on his way. Sounds fine, but what, Lebedev wonders, really happened aboard that ship?

Did Ilyumzhinov talk to the aliens about his official duties? “Did the representatives of these extraterrestrial civilizations ask Ilyumzhinov about the nuances of his professional duties, and, if they did, what ‘evidence’ did he give?” Moreover, Lebedev wants to know, did Ilyumzhinov let the President know about his contacts with such beings? And, while we’re at it, “who else among the governors of the Russian Federations, members of the government, and other federal civil servants is communicating with aliens? Dmitry Anatolyevich,” Lebedev wrote, addressing the Medvedev by his patronymic, “you will agree that, unless Ilyumzhinov is bluffing, then this information is historically significant. If possible, I ask you to brief the deputies of the Federal Duma about your conclusions.” Medvedev has yet to respond.

the DISCLOSURE PROJECT
http://www.disclosureproject.org/
http://www.youtube.com/user/DisclosureLobby
http://www.disclosureproject.org/docgallery.shtml
http://web.archive.org/web/20021202090635/http://www.cohenufo.org/Military+Nuclear+Specialists+Testify+To+UFO+Reality.htm

Lt. Colonel Dwynne Arneson: US Air Force (retired): “I was the top-secret control officer at Malmstom AFB for the 20th Air Division. I happened to see a message that came through my communications center. It said…that ‘A UFO was seen near missile silos’…and it was hovering. It said that the crew going on duty and the crew coming off duty all saw the UFO just hovering in mid-air. It was a metallic circular object and from what I understand, the missiles were all shut down. What I mean by ‘missiles going down’ is that they went dead. And something turned those missiles off, so they couldn’t be put back in a mode for launching.”

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
http://www.extracampaign.org/
http://www.bluebookarchive.org/
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/ufo/index-e.html
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos/
http://www.theblackvault.com/modules/?r=articles/category/UFO+Phenomena+
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/esp_temas5.htm#exopolitica
http://www.hyper.net/ufo.html

HAWKING: ‘THINK OF COLUMBUS, + HOW WELL THAT WENT’
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/space/article7107207.ece
Don’t talk to aliens, warns Stephen Hawking
by Jonathan Leake / April 25, 2010

The aliens are out there and Earth had better watch out, at least according to Stephen Hawking. He has suggested that extraterrestrials are almost certain to exist — but that instead of seeking them out, humanity should be doing all it that can to avoid any contact. The suggestions come in a new documentary series in which Hawking, one of the world’s leading scientists, will set out his latest thinking on some of the universe’s greatest mysteries. Alien life, he will suggest, is almost certain to exist in many other parts of the universe: not just in planets, but perhaps in the centre of stars or even floating in interplanetary space. Hawking’s logic on aliens is, for him, unusually simple. The universe, he points out, has 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars. In such a big place, Earth is unlikely to be the only planet where life has evolved. “To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational,” he said. “The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like.” The answer, he suggests, is that most of it will be the equivalent of microbes or simple animals — the sort of life that has dominated Earth for most of its history.

One scene in his documentary for the Discovery Channel shows herds of two-legged herbivores browsing on an alien cliff-face where they are picked off by flying, yellow lizard-like predators. Another shows glowing fluorescent aquatic animals forming vast shoals in the oceans thought to underlie the thick ice coating Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter. Such scenes are speculative, but Hawking uses them to lead on to a serious point: that a few life forms could be intelligent and pose a threat. Hawking believes that contact with such a species could be devastating for humanity. He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.” He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is “a little too risky”. He said: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

The completion of the documentary marks a triumph for Hawking, now 68, who is paralysed by motor neurone disease and has very limited powers of communication. The project took him and his producers three years, during which he insisted on rewriting large chunks of the script and checking the filming. John Smithson, executive producer for Discovery, said: “He wanted to make a programme that was entertaining for a general audience as well as scientific and that’s a tough job, given the complexity of the ideas involved.” Hawking has suggested the possibility of alien life before but his views have been clarified by a series of scientific breakthroughs, such as the discovery, since 1995, of more than 450 planets orbiting distant stars, showing that planets are a common phenomenon. So far, all the new planets found have been far larger than Earth, but only because the telescopes used to detect them are not sensitive enough to detect Earth-sized bodies at such distances. Another breakthrough is the discovery that life on Earth has proven able to colonise its most extreme environments. If life can survive and evolve there, scientists reason, then perhaps nowhere is out of bounds.

Hawking’s belief in aliens places him in good scientific company. In his recent Wonders of the Solar System BBC series, Professor Brian Cox backed the idea, too, suggesting Mars, Europa and Titan, a moon of Saturn, as likely places to look. Similarly, Lord Rees, the astronomer royal, warned in a lecture earlier this year that aliens might prove to be beyond human understanding. “I suspect there could be life and intelligence out there in forms we can’t conceive,” he said. “Just as a chimpanzee can’t understand quantum theory, it could be there are aspects of reality that are beyond the capacity of our brains.”

PARANORMAL POLITICAL SCIENCE
http://www.aolnews.com/weird-news/article/exopoliticians-say-governments-must-start-planning-for-alien-visits/19456520
The Politics of Extraterrestrials
by David Moye / April 28, 2010

Famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking isn’t the only man concerned about the potential ramifications of an extraterrestrial presence on Earth. Turns out, a growing number of people are becoming involved in “exopolitics,” the study of the political ramifications of alien visitors — whether they be friend or foe — and how humans should prepare for either scenario. Take Michael Salla, an international politics scholar who in 2001 started dedicating his time to exopolitics. Since then, Salla, an expert in conflict resolution, has been lobbying for extra transparency from the government regarding extraterrestrials. He says that it’s imperative for the planet to have a plan just in case an E.T. decides to make Earth his new home. “It’s not necessary to assume E.T.s are real, just possible,” Salla said. “Then you prepare for it and think through all the issues.”

According to Salla, those issues include deciding how the alien presence will be announced (he advocates announcing the presence of microbes and working up to more sentient beings), and who will be in control — a secret committee or a corporate entity. Even more important: If the E.T.s have superior technology, should they be forced to share it? Of course, another big issue is determining the protocol for contact between humans and aliens, lest either side be exposed to strange viruses, a Romeo and Juliet situation between Martians and Earthlings — or worse. “A big question is how will humans interact with aliens,” Salla said. “If someone is threatened by one, will they take a shot at them while driving by? And, if so, will this be as illegal as shooting a human?”

Luckily, for Salla and the others in this pioneering form of paranormal political science, they aren’t the only ones asking these questions. “In the last six months, both the Vatican and the Royal Society of London have held astrobiological conferences studying the implications of life found on other worlds,” he said. Exopolitician Alfred Webre is confident that an alien discovery would have a major earthly impact. He believes that the politician or head of state who announces an encounter with an E.T. will have an incredible amount of political capital internationally. No wonder, he says, that many UFOlogists believe that JFK planned to make such an announcement before his 1963 assassination.

However, Webre also admits that if, say, President Barack Obama were to make such an announcement, it could likely fall prey to the partisan battles that have plagued other big issues such as the economy, immigration reform and health care. “There have been rumors that Obama might make such an announcement, but there have been so many immediate crises that what might be a political slam dunk hasn’t taken place,” said Webre, who recently shocked the world by claiming that both the U.S. and Russia have developed electromagnetic weapons that can trigger earthquakes. Webre concedes that while being the person who announces the real presence of alien life will make history, it’s possible that E.T.s might not want to put their eggs in one basket, politically speaking, since they wouldn’t want to give the appearance of favoring one nation over another. If and when aliens “do surface, the thought is that they’d do it through a neutral party such as the United Nations,” Webre said.

Other exopoliticians, like political activist Stephen Bassett, believe that the governments of the world — especially the United States — don’t want to give such a momentous announcement to the U.N. Bassett, a registered lobbyist who wants Congress to release information about the presence of aliens, says any announcement made about E.T.s — at least in the U.S. — is only likely to happen with the express cooperation of U.S. military intelligence. “Barack Obama won’t say he wants to reveal the truth; the military will come to him and say, ‘You’re the guy,’” Bassett said. “Then there would be a substantial press conference with all the evidence anyone could want that proves the presence is real.” And he says that announcement would come quickly. “You can’t have a leak 20 days in advance,” Bassett said. “You don’t float trial balloons. You make the decision and you move quickly.”

Bassett, who is organizing the X-Conference 2010, an exopolitical gathering May 7 to 9 in Washington, D.C., says that after a nation makes the initial announcement, others would promptly follow. But he admits, “This is a transcendent issue. Whatever country makes the announcement will get most of the historical attention.” Although Bassett believes any such announcement would be made by one nation, Webre says he and other exopoliticians have been talking with members of the U.N. General Assembly regarding U.N. Resolution 33/426, which is a proposal to set up a Department of Extraterrestrials Affairs. He is more confident of this happening than Salla. “There has been a 60-year period where any information that the governments of the world may have has not been shared with the public,” he said. “Whatever is decided, it needs to be done with transparency and accountability. It’s important to share such information with U.N. and U.S. office holders.” Of course, a lot has changed in that 60-year period. Webre says that in 1961, studies indicated that a sudden announcement of an alien presence would scare people and cause psychological distress and panics, like the one that surrounded Orson Welles’ 1938 “War of the Worlds” hoax. “A more recent study showed that 85 percent view an announcement about aliens on Earth as something positive,” he said.

However, Webre may get some argument from Hawking, who is still pessimistic about trying to make friends with an alien species. “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans,” he said while promoting his new Discovery Channel series “Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking.” But Salla says the extreme divide between cynics like Hawking and optimists like the Vatican, which has declared that God may have created theologically minded beings on other planets besides Earth, is OK, just as long as the debate is happening. “While one can heartily disagree with Hawking’s public policy recommendation of ignoring intelligent alien life, he is to be congratulated for elevating exopolitical study as a ‘perfectly rational’ discussion,” Salla said.

CROP CIRCLES
http://ccdb.cropcircleresearch.com/index.cgi
http://www.wccsg.com/AboutCropCircles/Physicalaspect/tabid/742/language/en-US/Default.aspx
http://www.lucypringle.co.uk/photos/


the Wilton Windmill crop circle which appeared on Friday 21st May

COMMUNICATIONS  [ONGOING]
http://dailygrail.com/Essays/2010/5/Planck-found-Eulers-Identity-Crop-Circle
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/crop-circle-season-arrives-with-a-mathematical-message-1982647.html
Crop circle season arrives with a mathematical message
by Matilda Battersby / 26 May 2010

It is perhaps little known that the beautiful county of Wiltshire, famed for Stonehenge and the white horses carved into its hills, is the most active area for crop circles in the world, with nearly 70 appearing in its fields in 2009. It is unsurprising then, that the appearance of a phenomenally complex 300ft design carved into an expanse of rape seed on a Wiltshire hillside has caused excitement. But it’s not just the eye-pleasing shape which has drawn attention to it. The intersected concentric pattern has been decoded by experts as a “tantalising approximation” of a mathematical formula called Euler’s Identity (e ^ ( i * Pi ) + 1 = 0), widely thought be the most beautiful and profound mathematical equation in the world.

The design above appeared beside Wilton Windmill late on Friday night. Lucy Pringle, a founder of the Centre for Crop Circle Studies, was one of the first on the scene. She says: “What has happened in this particular crop circle is that there are 12 segments and within each segment there are 8 partly concentric rings. Each of these segments indicates a binary code based on 0 and 1. If you use an Ascii Table [computer calculation system], the pattern transposes itself into a tantalising approximation of Euler’s equation.”

The average person finds such complex mathematical talk utterly confounding, so The Independent Online asked Dr John Talbot, a maths research fellow at University College London, for his take on the matter. He said: “Looking at the crop circle, the link with Euler’s most famous identity seems to make perfect sense. However, the way the formula has been executed is partially incorrect. One of the discrepancies is that one part of the formula translates as ‘hi’ rather than ‘i’, which could be somebody’s idea of a joke.” The Wilton Windmill circle is not the first to have provoked mathematical exposition. In July 2008 a photograph of a crop circle near Barbary Castle (also in Wiltshire) caught the attention of retired American astrophysicist Mike Reed when he saw it in a national newspaper. He was struck by its shape and eventually concluded that it was a coded image representing the first ten digits of Pi (3.141592654), a conclusion declared to be a “seminal event” by Pringle at the time.

Sceptics dismiss crop circles as utter rubbish, but despite decades of research nobody knows conclusively how they’re made. As Francine Blake of the Wiltshire Crop Circle Study Group, explains: “The difficulty is that we don’t know the answer. It’s something that needs to be treated with great respect, but is too often talked about flippantly in the media which, I think, closes the subject rather than opens it.” There has been extensive scientific exploration into the affect the circles have on nearby wildlife. Flowers and soils inside crop circles are dramatically altered, Blake explains. Pringle observed in a 2003 experiment that seed samples taken from inside a crop circle had 40 per cent higher protein levels than those taken from outside it.

Another interesting element is the nature of the soil on which the circles appear. Pringle says that 93.8 per cent of crop circles are made on chalk, “a worldwide phenomenon” recorded in 54 different countries. She says the significance may be connected to underground springs called aquifers commonly found in chalk: “It is thought that the originating force probably originates in the ionosphere (an area of atmospheric electricity). The force then spirals to earth in the form of a vortical plasma and hits the ground with some 100 of 1000′s of volts per metre for just a nano second only, else the crop would be burnt. Occasionally we do see evidence of scorched flattened crop inside certain circles. The electromagnetic fields of both the underground springs and the descending force work in harmony or conjunction with each other.”

Blake also remarks on the significance of the chalk, which she says the ancients often built their monuments on – an observation which the existence of Neolithic sites like Stonehenge and Avebury attest. She says the ancients also built their temples on “energy lines” and has observed that “crop circles always appear on or near these lines.” Blake was impressed with the Barbary Castle circle and its derivations because the shape itself was “like a Labyrinth,” which “gives it a spiritual as well as a mathematical tradition.”

Nobody knows for sure how crop circles are made. Reports of strange mists creating the complicated patterns in a matter of minutes, their connotations with little green men and Midwich Cuckoos and elaborate hoaxes have fostered a widespread unwillingness to take the idea seriously. This approach both feeds the mystery around the concept and prevents further exploration of it, as it is an area of research that is unlikely to be awarded large research grants or space on university courses. But, as Blake remarks: “There’s neither rhyme nor reason, they just keep coming.” And with crops nearly at their full height, the UK’s crop circle season is upon us. If you want to see for yourself Wiltshire is your best bet.

MAJESTIC 12
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majestic_12#Reliably-documented_UFO_activities_by_purported_MJ-12_members
http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/majestic.htm
http://www.majesticdocuments.com/documents/pre1948.php

INTERPLANETARY PHENOMENON UNIT (IPU)
http://wikibin.org/articles/interplanetary-phenomenon-unit.html

The Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit (or IPU) was a United States Army staff section established by at least 1947 and dissolved by the late 1950s. Officials have confirmed that the IPU existed, but little else is known about it. It seems to have been an unidentified flying object-related undertaking. Some ufologists have suggested that the very name “Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit” is an indication that the IPU was convinced that the extraterrestrial hypothesis was a viable explanation for UFOs. There has been speculation that the IPU was another name for the Majestic 12 or MJ-12, an unconfirmed (and controversial) U.S. UFO research group said to have been founded in 1947 to handle UFO investigations in the aftermath of the so-called Roswell UFO incident.

Another contention is that the IPU was a separate unit, also founded in 1947 following Roswell, under the direction of Army Counterintelligence, but ultimately at the disposal of MJ-12. Researchers William Steinman and Wendelle Stevens contended the IPU unit was directly involved in the crash-recovery of another UFO at Aztec, New Mexico in March 1948, being ordered there by MJ-12. However, another MJ-12 related document of questionable authenticity, indicated the unit was supposedly established early in 1942 by General George Marshall following a well-publicized UFO incident, the so-called “West coast air raid” or “Battle of Los Angeles” in which an unidentified object or objects over Los Angeles resulted in a massive anti-aircraft barrage.

General Douglas MacArthur has also been rumored as involved in the formation of the IPU, during or towards the end of World War II, because of the many UFO incidents occurring under his command in the Pacific. Allegedly MacArthur reported directly to General Marshall. Maybe supporting MacArthur’s involvement is the fact that he did make public statements on at least three occasions that Earth might have to unite to fight a future war against an alien menace. Two such quotes were in the New York Times, October 8, 1955, and July 5, 1961. Another was a famous speech at West Point, May 12, 1962, in which he said, “We speak in strange terms: of harnessing the cosmic energy …of ultimate conflict between a united human race and the sinister forces of some other planetary galaxy; of such dreams and fantasies as to make life the most exciting of all time.” Wiki source The same quote also appeared in a July 4th speech MacArthur delivered in Manila in 1961.

In May 1984, William Steinman first wrote the Army Directorate of Counterintelligence, since, according to Steinman’s information, the IPU was run out of the Scientific and Technical Branch of the Directorate. Steinman received the following reply from a Lieutenant Colonel Lance R. Cornine. Cornine claimed that the IPU had only an unofficial existence and refused to definitely acknowledge the existence of any unit records: “As you note in your letter, the so-called Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit (IPU) was disestablished and, as far as we are aware, all records, if any, were transferred to the Air Force in the late 1950′s. The ‘unit’ was formed as an in-house project purely as an interest item for the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence. It was never a ‘unit’ in the military sense, nor was it ever formally organized or reportable, it had no investigative function, mission or authority, and may not even have had any formal records at all. It is only through institutional memory that any recollection exists of this unit. We are therefore unable to answer your questions as to the exact purpose of the unit, exactly when it was disestablished, or who was in command. This last would not apply in any case, as no one was in ‘command’. We have no records or documentation of any kind on this unit.”

In March 1987, British UFO researcher Timothy Good also wrote the Army Directorate of Counterintelligence and again received a letter confirming the existence of the IPU from a Colonel William Guild. Guild was more definitive about the existence of IPU records and that they had been turned over to the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), the USAF counterintelligence unit, and the Air Force’s Project Blue Book: “…the aforementioned Army unit was disestablished during the late 1950′s and never reactivated. All records pertaining to this unit were surrendered to the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations in conjunction with operation BLUEBOOK.” Good also stated that the IPU reported directly to General Marshall. Documents from AFOSI about the IPU, if they exist, have never been released.

NEED to KNOW
http://www.presidentialufo.com/
http://www.ufoskeptic.org/president.html
Would a President be Briefed on a UFO Special Access Program?

In 1976 presidential candidate Jimmie Carter promised the American people that he would open any government UFO files that might exist. Recall that while governor of Georgia, Carter had a UFO sighting and actually filed a report. After winning election to President, Carter met with CIA Director George H. W. Bush seeking a briefing on the topic. Bush turned him down, claiming that neither as President nor as Commander-in-Chief did he have a “need to know.” Once in office Carter turned to NASA for information, directing presidential science advisor Frank Press to ask NASA administrator Robert Frosch to “form a small panel of inquiry” to investigate the UFO situation. This letter and other correspondence may be found in “UFOs and NASA” (Journal of Scientific Exploration, pp. 93–142, 1988). Nothing at all came of this as recounted by Richard C. Henry — then a young astrophysicist (now a prominent Johns Hopkins professor) working as a deputy to the director of what was the Astrophysics Division at NASA headquarters — on whose desk this “hot potato” request landed. For five months NASA went through some amusing twists and turns, recounted by Henry, before politely declining.

Discounting the NASA farce, and assuming that any possible UFO program would exist as a Special Access Program in the Department of Defense, on what legal basis would the President and Commander-in-Chief be denied access? It is likely that the UFO topic is actually classified by one or more laws duly enacted by Congress in the late 1940s concerning national security — but without any overt reference to UFOs of course — and signed by President Truman. Only a handful of members of Congress, if any at all, would have known that more than Cold War issues were involved in this far-reaching national security legislation enacted at a time of near panic over a Soviet nuclear threat. There are at least two bins into which the UFO topic could have been placed such that a future President could not unilaterally release it (legally) or, in fact, maybe even know about it. One bin is the category of Restricted Data (RD) established by the Atomic Energy Act in 1946 and pertains to Special Nuclear Material (SNM); another bin would be what has since evolved into the Waived Special Access Program system set up under the authority of the National Security Council which traces back to the National Security Act signed by Truman in 1947 (interestingly only a couple of weeks after the Roswell episode).

That means that even if an incoming President asked someone who knew about the existence of such a program, that individual would be required by law to not only not tell the President, but also to actively mislead him, if necessary. (Such a policy is actually spelled out in controversial documents that researchers Ryan and Robert Wood obtained and traced back to CIA Director Allen Dulles in the 1950s. The source of these documents is unclear.) If a president today tried the same thing without the appropriate clearances (which he could not give to himself) he would likewise be told (legitimately) that there was nothing disclosable. If this hypothesis is correct, then UFO information would be “Born Secret” by the Atomic Energy Act, and not releasable to anyone without at least an AEC “Q” clearance (and likely higher, R or above), plus a legitimate need to use it in his/her job. By law, all RD is “owned” by the AEC Commissioner at its inception. The AEC clearance standards are somewhat different than executive branch standards. In order to grant a Q or higher clearance, the Commissioner must find that the applicant is of “good moral character,” among other things. Thus, if the Commissioner didn’t like Richard Nixon’s burglary at the Watergate Hotel, or Bill Clinton’s dalliances, the Commissioner could withhold access to RD even on those grounds.

A new President who wants to know what the government knows about UFOs would have to be persistent, clever, and informed before beginning the quest, as Clinton’s failed attempt via Associate Attorney General Webster Hubble attests. Simply issuing a presidential executive order declassifying the topic might yield the mistaken conclusion that there is no such material. The first step would be to determine under exactly what legal jurisdiction the matter is classified. This could best be accomplished by a small dedicated research team reporting directly and personally to the President with at least high enough clearances to be able to read all classified Presidential Decision Memoranda and the classified appendices to the Atomic Energy Act and the National Security Act.

SPECIAL ACCESS PROGRAMS
http://web.archive.org/web/20010302181319/http://www.janes.com/defence/news/jidr/jidr000105_01_n.shtml
http://www.ufoskeptic.org/black.html
On Black Special Access Programs

The three-tier standard government security clearance levels are well known: confidential, secret and top secret. However just having a clearance at one of these levels does not automatically give access to any information at that level. There has to be a demonstrable “need to know” in order to be briefed or read in on a given project, program, facility or intelligence product. But this system is merely the “white” side of the security system. There is a massive secret “black” system as well, the existence of which is known while the details (naturally) are deeply hidden. (For a publicly available overview see the Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy: 1997, chaired by Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Senate Document 105-2. See also the report In Search of the Pentagon’s billion dollar hidden budgets by Bill Sweetman, North American editor for the British publication Jane’s Defence Weekly, from which much of the following material has been condensed.) This structure has been described as a “shadow military” existing in parallel with open or overtly classified programs. It is for programs considered to be too sensitive for normal classification measures: these are called Special Access Programs (SAPs). They are protected by a security system of great complexity. Many of the SAPs are located within industry funded through special contracts. Under arrangements called “carve-outs” such programs and funds become removed from the usual security and contract-oversight organizations. In 1997 there were at least 150 SAPs.

There are also levels of SAP, the first being a division into acknowledged and unacknowledged SAPs. Black Program is slang for an unacknowledged SAP. An unacknowledged SAP is so sensitive that its very existence is a “core secret.” Indeed, some unacknowledged SAPs are sensitive to the extent that they are “waived” (a technical term) from the normal management and oversight protocols. Even members of Congress on appropriations committees (the Senate and House committees that allocate budgets) and intelligence committees are not allowed to know anything about these programs. In the case of a waived SAP, only eight members of Congress (the chairs and ranking minority members of the four defense committees) are even notified that a given program has been waived (without being told anything about the nature of the program). Such a program is certainly deep black (though I am not sure if that designation is actually used in the business).

The number of people with access to multiple SAPs is deliberately very limited. This virtually assures that hardly anyone knows what is going on in another program. Black programs are often covered by white (normal classification system) or unclassified programs. The U2 spyplane was covered by a weather-research aircraft program. Such covering allows technology to be relatively openly developed until such time as it is ready for application to a black program. The overt cover program is then usually cancelled, having accomplished its purpose. This happened to the X-30 National Aerospaceplane project in 1994. It appeared to be an unrealistically ambitious program that was eventually cancelled, but was in reality a cover for what is almost certainly a black-world hypersonic aircraft according to defense analyst Sweetman. (This may be the source of the phantom sonic boom phenomenon reported since the early 1990s.)

Someone read in on an unacknowledged SAP would be required to deny even its existence, i.e. even a “no comment” would be a serious breach of security. It can also happen that someone, such as a general or admiral, ostensibly responsible for certain types of programs or areas of technology would not be briefed on the existence of a program that should be within his jurisdiction. (If your name is not on the so-called “bigot list” for a program you will not be briefed, no matter what your rank or responsibility. Even the director of the CIA or the DIA would not ex officio and automatically be on all such lists.) The wall of denial in the deep black world can thus be maintained by both deception and deliberately designed lack of cognizance leading to apparently honest denial. In addition to passive security, active measures can also be deemed necessary: disinformation. Again according to the report by Sweetman, two high level commissions have concluded that, among other things, black programs include “systematic efforts to confuse and disinform the public.” One disinformation ploy is to divulge both real and fabricated information of equal apparent credibility mixed together to someone or some group. The fabricated information can then be used to discredit claims, individuals or organizations. This is a highly effective way to keep a major secret: let the secret be revealed but mixed with sufficient disinformation to assure that the secret will not be believed by anyone who actually matters, for example the national media. The cost of such intense levels of security can be quite steep. It has been estimated that an intensively sensitive program may consume half or even more of its secret budget in security.

The products of the intelligence community are termed Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI). It is easier to keep a program hidden in a contractor facility than in a government facility. Deeply buried programs in contractor facilities are called “carve outs” (referring to the budget). A crash retrieval or some classified continuation of Project Blue Book would likely exist as a deep black industrially-based SAP. A program involving hardware would be considered technology rather than intelligence and most likely fall under the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. Ironically for such a program even someone having an intelligence “ticket” at the highest level would not be considered to have a need to know. All of this results in very effective isolation and virtually no one in a position of open civilian governmental authority being cognizant of this after a time, even though, at least in principle, the Special Access Program Oversight Commitee, SAPOC, should be cognizant of such a program. I do not know of any fundamentally limiting factors in the potential longevity of a program. The extreme compartmentalization and limited oversight would tend to keep a program in existence, perhaps indefinitely. Political leaders come and go, pandering to the masses for votes in the eyes of many within the military and intelligence communities, and as a result have varying degrees of respect and trust in that world. Deep black programs can become quite independent of any given administration, and it would certainly be unrealistic to assume that a given president has been briefed on every SAP. A president does not automatically have a need to know. Moreover Freedom of Information Act requests cannot penetrate unacknowledged special access programs.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
http://www.paradigmresearchgroup.org/Rockefeller%20Documents/Rockefeller_Initiative_Documents.htm
http://technorati.com/technology/article/researcher-grant-cameron-talks-mcelroy-research/
http://www.presidentialufo.com/articles-a-papers/262-politics-religion-and-human-nature
Practical Problems and Roadblocks On the Path Toward Official UFO Acknowledgment
by Peter Robbins / 31 August 2009

Introduction

“We seek a free flow of information… we are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” — President John F. Kennedy

“I have discussed this matter with the affected agencies of the government, and they are of the opinion that it is unwise to publicize the matter at this time.” — Senator Richard B. Russell, former Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Russell personally sighted a UFO over Russia in 1955, an event which was classified SECRET by our government

Curiosity seems to be an integral component of human nature, for most of us in any case. Anyone who has ever gazed up and observed something unusual traversing the sky overhead has likely wondered what it is and what its origins were, especially if its flight characteristics and appearance suggested it might be under intelligent control. This longing to understand has not been confined to modern times. Generals and foot soldiers serving under Alexander the Great almost certainly wondered the same thing as “flying shields” hung over their field of battle the night before an engagement, as did the residents of sixteenth century Nuremberg, Germany, as cylinder-shaped UFOs released innumerable spherical and disc-shaped objects into the morning sky. Uncounted people from every era and corner of the Earth have shared a similar sense of wonder, awe, fear, and curiosity, but it was not until history ushered in the modern era of UFO sightings that some began to assume – correctly as it turned out – that our governments might actually have known more about this illusive phenomenon than they chose to let on.

The passage of years has brought with it a growing number of voices both here and abroad who are calling on the American Government to declassify and disseminate classified files relating to UFOs, and that this process be undertaken in a timely manner. France, Denmark, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Sweden and Uruguay have done so with the United Kingdom currently in the process of making thousands of pages formerly classified UFO documents and information available to the public on official web sites. Even so, its fair to assume that the most highly classified information in possession of least some of these countries remains well secured. Since its inception under the Carter Administration, our Freedom of Information Act has been an effective instrument of release for thousands of pages of official UFO documentation, but no British-style declassification initiative has ever been enacted here.

There is good cause for the frustration driving this movement. For the past sixty-two years, requests that the subject be taken seriously and accorded some measure of official, public respect have fallen on deaf ears and repeatedly been met with evasion, confabulation, silence or outright lies. Decades of dedicated study and evaluation have made many of us confident we can face this truth, whatever implications are suggested by the other-worldly presence lurking behind it. As for the readiness of our fellow citizens and the eight-plus billion others who populate this planet and may not be of similar mind, well, they’ll just have to get used to living in a world transformed.

But what really are the implications of stepping through such a cosmic doorway, and what, if any responsibility do we owe the people and institutions who remain woefully unprepared for such an Earth-shaking transition? It’s imperative that we come to appreciate the reasons for proceeding with caution and respect for the unconsidered possibilities which the wholesale release of compelling UFO information may unleash upon us, and upon those who are generally oblivious to the weighty issues involved. I for one would like to know what our government knows about UFOs, but am deeply concerned about the impact which public airing of such data may have on ‘the uninitiated,’ for it will be their dreams, beliefs and hopes that stand to be most effected.

UFOs and the Politics of Politics

“I think it’s time to open the books on questions that have remained in the dark; on the question of government investigations of UFOs. It’s time to find out what the truth really is that’s out there. We ought to do it because it’s right; we ought to do it because the American people quite frankly can handle the truth; and we ought to do it because it’s the law.” — John Podesta, now Presidential Advisor Podesta

“I’ve never met Dennis Kucinich and I don’t know Governor Richardson. No, I don’t think there are UFOs. No, I don’t think the government… What the hell are we talking about? This has gone downhill real quick…” — Joseph Biden, now Vice President Biden

“You know, I don’t know, and I don’t presume to know. What I do know is that there is life here on Earth, and that we’re not attending to life here on Earth.” — Barack Obama, now President Obama

It’s something of a given in American politics: being perceived as someone who takes the subject of UFOs seriously is tantamount to political suicide, doubly so if you’ve been reckless enough to go on record as maintaining that some UFOs may represent advanced technology under the control of other intelligences from parts unknown. An initiative aimed at making such information public would spin this given around on its head, but when it comes to this particular issue, winning the hearts and minds of the powerful, influential, and significant public figures, remains extremely challenging.

Of course there have been exceptions to this rule and they should be acknowledged as such. A small but courageous contingent of astronauts have put their careers and reputations at considerable risk by saying they are now convinced – through either informed opinion or experience – that UFOs are real. The late Steven Schiff, a progressive Democrat and Congressional Representative from New Mexico, and the late Barry Goldwater, a conservative Republican and senior Senator from Arizona, were shining examples of this contrarian position and neither ever backed down from his outspoken beliefs. President Reagan, who had a stunner of a UFO sighting when he was Governor of California, also took the subject seriously and referred to matters extraterrestrial on a number of occasions during his time as President. In 1987 he made this statement during a speech before the 42nd General Assembly of the United Nations: “In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask, is not an alien force already among us? What could be more alien to the universal aspirations of our peoples than war and the threat of war?”

Even with such an allegorical tagline, General Colin Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not find such statements uplifting or entertaining, and on such occasions was known to make less than pleased remarks about the President’s “LGMs,” as in little green men. The anti-UFO secrecy position held by Presidential Adviser John Podesta is another exception to the rule, but then he is an appointed rather than an elected official and most Americans remain oblivious to his outsider opinions on the issue.

Despite similar convictions which may be held by government officials, few have had the courage to follow in Goldwater’s or Schiff’s steps, or even Reagan’s, and with good cause. Since the summer of 1947, our media, our military and numerous other branches and offices of our government have done a superb job of embracing – at least in public – the false notion that a serious belief in the reality of UFOs is functionally identical to delusional thinking, mental illness, or something very much akin to it. Some past Presidents and Presidential candidates have had an obvious sympathy for UFO openness, only to recant later, then retreat into silence or into the mob of naysayers. Whatever the motivating factors behind their actions or reactions, understanding the dynamics that create such back-peddling may ultimately help us to change the climate that fostered it.

Michigan Republican Gerald Ford took a courageous stand for UFO openness during his days in the House of Representatives. A spate of unexplained sightings inundated his district during the mid-sixties and a number of the witnesses were people Ford had known for years. He took their accounts seriously and acted decisively in recommending that a committee be created to investigate the phenomena: “I think we owe it to the people to establish credibility regarding UFOs and to produce the greatest possible enlightenment on this subject.” Such a committee was established in 1968 only to wither and die because of a lack of any serious implementation. Ford’s UFO activism vaporized once he assumed the Presidency, as did any public comments on the matter.

Jimmy Carter’s UFO sighting occurred in January 1969 during his run for the Georgia governorship. He remembered it as “the darndest thing I’ve ever seen. It was big, it was very bright, it changed colors and it was about the size of the moon. We watched it for ten minutes, but none of us could figure out what it was. One thing’s for sure, I’ll never make fun of people who say they’ve seen unidentified flying objects in the sky.” His completed MUFON sighting report is one of Ufology’s most interesting artifacts. Now convinced that UFOs, whatever they might be, were real, Carter went on record during his 1976 Presidential campaign that if elected he would release then-classified UFO information – with one possible factor acting as a deterrent: “I don’t see any reason to keep information like that secret, but there may be some aspects of the UFO information which I am not familiar with that might be related to some secret experiments that we were doing that involve national security or new weapons systems. I certainly wouldn’t release that.” “Defense implications” were indeed cited as the reason he did not make good on his pledge.

We now know that Carter wanted to transfer responsibility for UFO affairs to NASA, only to have its highly respected director threaten to resign if he did so. The Director’s stated reason was that saddling the already financially overburdened space agency with responsibility for this routinely mocked subject would only result in popular as well as official ridicule that would jeopardize much needed funding. The President considered his options – then backed down, never to raise the issue again during his time in office. In later years Mr. Carter kept his distance from the subject, possibly because he’d grown tired of being asked about his sighting and earlier outspoken views. In 2007 he was quoted as saying, “I think it is impossible in my opinion – some people disagree – to have space people from other planets or other stars to come here. I do not believe that is possible.” Then again, that same year he allegedly confided to Shirley Maclane, “that basically the President or the Executive Branch is not on a ‘need to know basis.’” Whatever opinions you may hold on Ms. Maclane or her views, the statement she relates is an extremely important one.

I am far from alone in having come to the conclusion that the President is not in fact on a need to know basis, and that occupants of the office from Eisenhower on have been briefed in accordance with their loyalty, pre-existing knowledge of the situation, and level of popularity among those who actually hold power over this information. And who are the individuals charged with control over such secrets? We’re not actually sure anymore. In 1947 it was certainly a highly cleared core of military and intelligence personnel, aided by key scientists and a small cadre of distinguished insiders who had the trust and confidence of President Truman. But the balance of true power has shifted markedly since then leaving us to ponder the degree of influence which leading defense contractors, multinationals and financiers exert over our government’s secret keeping apparatus – another dark dividend of this country’s not having heeded President Eisenhower’s parting warning on the dangers posed by a military industrial complex allowed to proliferate veritably unchecked.

Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico would like to know some of these secrets; in particular, those pertaining to what actually happened in his state in early July of 1947. In 2004 he went on record as such, but don’t expect him to publicly acknowledge it now. It was that year he wrote, “It would help everyone if the U.S. government disclosed everything it knows. With full disclosure and our best scientific investigation, we should be able to find out what happened on that fateful day in July of 1947. The American people can handle the truth no matter how bizarre or mundane, and contrary to what you see in the movies.”

The reason for the Governor’s seeming change of heart was simple. The autumn of 2007 saw Richardson’s contender for the Democratic Presidential nomination, Dennis Kucinich, outed by the late television commentator Tim Russert as having actually observed a UFO of some sort – this in the company of his wife and their friend Shirley MacLaine. For weeks to follow, Kucinich was unable to make an appearance without being questioned about the sighting. He soon tired of defending his perceptions and began responding to such questions with some humor, as in this interview with a Michigan radio station: “I later learned after this story surfaced that 40 million Americans have seen things in the sky that they thought they couldn’t identify. I also learned that President Reagan and President Carter at one time or another saw UFOs. So it may just be that seeing a UFO is a prerequisite to becoming President.”

But once the pundits and talking heads grew tired of working over Kucinich, they turned on Bill Richardson. Their reason being, that he was Governor of New Mexico, and attacking the credibility of the Roswell incident has remained fair game for the uninformed. Richardson is a political realist, and as a viable contender for the Democratic Presidential nomination, acted quickly to control political fallout, within days disavowing any public pretense of taking the subject seriously, but not in a mean-spirited or undiplomatic manner: “…I promote Roswell as a tourism issue, but there is no credible evidence… I’ve never seen one. I doubt their existence, but I admit, I’m the governor of the state and I push the tourism promotion side…” Put yourself in the Governor’s place for a moment and you’ll begin to appreciate why such a response was, regrettably, both rational and appropriate.

A few examples of professional politicians whose careers intersected with a subject encumbered by such a virulent ridicule factor that even a passing association with it can mark or damage a career, or leave the individual fighting for their political life. It is not out of the question we may someday find ourselves with a President who, through one channel or another, learns enough, and becomes passionate enough about the subject in the process of learning about it, that they decide to put themselves squarely on the line, then cross it, ‘need to know’ be damned. This of course dependent on the possibility that such an independent, Executive undertaking has ever even has the possibility of succeeding. Short of mass UFO landings, such a Presidential directive would seem to have a significant potential to help shine a light on all of those long buried telex’s, cablegrams, reports, orders, memoranda, and technical analyses. Anyone waiting for assistance from that small army of unnamed, appointed bureaucrats whose security clearances and positions allow them to hold sway over the temporary occupants of the highest offices in the land, may be waiting for a very long time. Had Governor Richardson been nominated and elected in 2008, then given a chance to learn the answers to some of the questions he’d asked in 2004, it might have been President Richardson who finally bucked the system.

But we live in a democracy and the ideal would be for the House and/or Senate to spearhead such an initiative. The key to this possibility is education, but that necessitates a willingness to be educated. My guess is that taking time from their busy schedules to study the evidence supporting UFO reality holds a low priority for the overwhelming majority of current office holders. Short of allowing them to view a recovered extraterrestrial craft and its cryogenically suspended crew, my vote would be to lock them all into Roswell’s International UFO Museum and Research Center for a month and have them begin to work their ways through its world-class library. Regrettably the logistical and legal problems involved preclude this possibility.

Attending UFO conferences is a practical way to gain information on the subject. Again, enticing our dignitaries to register is something else. I remember the surprise I felt when I learned that Claiborne Pell, then the Senior Senator from Rhode Island, was sitting just a few aisles from me during a lecture at MUFON’s 1987 Symposium. This was at American University in Washington, D.C. At the break some of us approached him and asked why he was there. Pell responded with a smile that he was also interested in the subject – in his capacity as a private citizen, of course. Finding a ranking American senator at a UFO conference is, well, extremely rare. There was however a privately funded effort to place quality UFO evidence in the hands of the executive and legislative branches and the driving force behind it was one of the wealthiest men in America.

Laurance Rockefeller’s* name was first publicly linked with the subject in 1995 with the publication of a series of newspaper articles. His interest quickly accelerated into activism, the end result of which was the Unidentified Flying Objects Briefing Document: the Best Available Evidence. This was accomplished with the aid of two old friends who shared his passionate interest; Sandra Wright and Marie Galbraith – wife of our then-Ambassador to France and daughter-in-law of the economist John Kenneth Galbraith. They were assisted in their efforts by members of The Fund For UFO Research. The document’s actual writers were the Fund’s Don Berliner, Galbraith, and veteran Ufologist Antonio Huneeus.

In December 1995, copies of the handsomely bound 170 page report were delivered to every congressman and house member, and as I understood it, the President, Vice President, cabinet level officials and other Washington movers and shakers. But its impact was considerably less than Laurence and his colleagues had hoped for. Whatever disappointment they may have felt was compounded by the outing which he and Galbraith received on the front page of The New York Observer. On April 8, 1996 the weekly published an extremely mocking article entitled “Rockefeller Greets Aliens! A Rich Guy’s UFO Dream.” It was accompanied by a huge cartoon of Laurence and Marie running through Washington shielding themselves from a sky filled with flying saucers and aliens. Even billionaires are subject to embarrassment and Mr. Rockefeller was no exception. Both he and Galbraith withdrew from any publicly expressed interest in the subject and returned to their private lives. The Best Available Evidence was later published as a mass market paperback, but in the end the results of the efforts expended by this dedicated group were next to nil. The ridicule factor has spared few who sought the public airing of UFO related information. Rich man, Presidential candidates, Presidents, it doesn’t matter.

The declassification of compelling UFO documents would go a long way in allowing elected officials to once and for all break through the ridicule barrier and take the subject seriously in public discourse. Yet the chances for declassification and dissemination are limited at best if politicians and influential public figures remain fearful of taking an open and courageous stand. The essence of this problem was summed up by the late Dr. James E. McDonald, University of Arizona atmospheric physicist and pioneering Ufologist: “The scientific community as a whole does not take the U.F.O. problem seriously because it lacks experimental data, but it lacks experimental data because it does not take the problem seriously. It is like the youth of 20 who cannot find a job because he lacks experience and lacks experience because he cannot find a job.” But an even greater obstacle to resolving this conundrum is the often invoked term, ‘National Security,’ or perhaps more accurate to this discussion, national insecurity. As such, it’s imperative we take this phrase and its interpretations to task.

* Personal note: Laurance (correct spelling, he was named after his mother, Laura) Rockefeller spent much of his adult life as a philanthropist, donating hundreds of millions of dollars to the establishment and upkeep of wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, wetlands and other environmental causes. In the early nineteen eighties he became interested in the work of a small but dedicated non-profit repertory theater company which I house managed. For the next five or six years Rockefeller quietly underwrote the production of about a dozen of the Off Broadway plays we produced, and in the process helped to keep dozens of our actors, technical and support personnel employed, something for which I will always be grateful to him. During that period I saw him several times a season during which we’d usually find a few minutes to chat, mostly about the current production.

Some years later, in late 1994 or early 1995 as best I remember, I received a call from someone particularly close to Rockefeller who also happened to be a good friend of mine. After securing my absolute discretion in the matter, they told me that over the preceding months Laurance had quite simply become obsessed with the subject of UFOs and the government’s seeming cover-up of information relating to them. This was informing more and more of their conversations and the friend had grown concerned that if this preoccupation continued to grow, Laurance might begin to seek information or advice from people who would either take advantage of his position and standing, or supply him with specious data. Could I put together a reading list of what I felt were the best UFO books available and assemble a collection of declassified documents and reports which would serve as a proper introduction to the subject? The friend would be glad to pay my copying costs. I agreed of course and set to work.

A week or so later I informed them that the material was ready, along with a cover letter noting my willingness to meet or speak with the recipient and do my best to answer any questions the papers might generate. The friend asked me to deliver the material at a specified date and time. True to form Mr. Rockefeller maintained an office on the top floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza and a security officer at the information desk directed me to a special elevator. Once it reached the top floor the door opened directly into an exterior office where another security officer stood waiting for me. “Mr. Robbins?” he asked, eyeing the parcel I held. “Yes.” I answered. “I’ll take that” he responded. I handed it to him, he thanked me, and that was that.

I received a final call from the friend soon after, thanking me on behalf of Laurance and saying he appreciated the material and the time I’d taken to organize and copy it. Not long after this Rockefeller began to establish his own contacts within the UFO research community, becoming friends with Budd Hopkins and John Mack, among others, and going on to spearhead the funding, publication and distribution of The Unidentified Flying Objects Briefing Document.

The Question of National Security

“It is my view that this situation has possible implications for our national security which transcend the interests of a single service.” — General William Bedell Smith, Director of the CIA from 1950-53

“It is time for the truth to be brought out in open Congressional hearings. Behind the scenes high ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense.” — Admiral Roscoe Hillenkotter, Director of the CIA from 1947-50

Like beauty, national security seems to exist in the eye of the beholder. What currently classified UFO related information constitutes a threat to legitimate and rational national security concerns? The dictionary defines the word “security” in part as, “The state of being secure; freedom from danger.” Will widespread knowledge of the truth about UFOs, the intelligences behind them, and the implications of both tend to increase or decrease the potential for danger to our citizenry? Opinions on this vary.

One faction maintains the status quo should be upheld and the secret keeping continue until such a time when the government decides on its own to reverse their standing policy. Another supports full and complete declassification and dissemination and nothing less. A third advocates release and publication with some specific reservations. The rest of us remain conflicted and likely a little overwhelmed by the ramifications of any of these decisions. Which national security concerns should help guide our thinking here? It appears that striking a balance between society’s and the individual’s right to know while simultaneously protecting the legitimate concerns of National Security is a problem of the first order.

Nuclear physicist Stanton T. Friedman remains one of the UFO field’s ranking figures and is one of only a small handful of Ufologists to have actually held security clearances. In Friedman’s case, during his fourteen years of work on the development of a wide variety of advanced classified nuclear and space systems for such companies as GE, GM, Westinghouse, McDonnell Douglas and Aerojet General Nucleonics. Though an advocate of releasing UFO related information, he remains opposed to doing so without reservation and maintains: “There is a real need for recognition of the security aspects and that one can’t tell one’s friends without telling one’s enemies… Instead I believe that any such announcement should be on an international basis along with an announcement that international conferences will be held to deal with the religious, economic and political aspects of the new world situation that would occur once disclosure has been made. Planning will be required.”

Friedman’s co-author of Captured: The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience, Kathleen Marden, is also a proponent of limited declassification and release, and has had decades to consider the question from a particularly unique point of view. She is the niece of Betty Hill, one of the world’s best-known UFO abductees, has served on the MUFON Board of Directors as their Director of Field Investigator Training, and has a background in both social work and education. Marden’s training and education has left her concerned about “social unrest, depending on what’s released.” Her main concern is “the uncertainly regarding the sociological, religious and economic impact of full disclosure,” and she does not mince her words in articulating them:

“We currently have a situation where an alien civilization can visit us at will, abduct and experiment upon us and harvest our natural resources. We are completely helpless to protect ourselves politically and militarily. My primary questions are as follows: How would we proceed after disclosure? Would we normalize relations with them, or do they feel so technologically, intellectually and emotionally superior to us that they think of us as primitives, unworthy of standing on equal ground? Would they then land at will in full public view? Would they openly abduct us? Would full disclosure lead to a chaotic society and the degradation of cultural values? Would it lead to a rise in alcoholism and drug abuse? Full disclosure does not necessarily imply the sharing of technology and it could have a disastrous impact upon our civilization.”

Ms. Marden’s concerns fall squarely within the realm of national security and the questions she poses are not new ones. Early support for caution is reflected in the conclusions of the Brookings Institution’s 1960 report, “Proposed Study on the Implications for Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs.” This paper, prepared at the request of NASA, supported the idea of an extraterrestrial presence and warned that actual contact might result in a certain amount of social chaos, a shaken faith in our scientific establishment, and a crisis of faith for religious fundamentalists.

The state of being secure. Freedom from danger. Is it possible for the truth about UFOs and their implications to coexist with a true state of national security? Our system of government grants us the option to set limits on openness, just as long as the public has the final say in determining whether ‘the truth shall set them free’ or ‘ignorance is bliss.’ It’s difficult to know how to resolve this contradiction. Consider the following.

It is now sometime in the future and our government is in the process of methodically revealing information about UFOs and the intelligences behind them. The truth about alien abductions has caused a certain amount of shock across the nation and around the world, and in-depth stories on abduction are now regularly featured in magazines, newspapers, TV shows and of course on the Internet. The time has now come to tell the public about human-alien hybrids. Even for someone like me, a research specialist who spent years working directly with this subject’s seminal investigator, Budd Hopkins, this remains extremely disturbing territory. But the public is told, in as reassuring a manner as possible, that, among other things, these half-human half-other beings are the result of an ongoing alien effort involving human females to create a hybrid species. Then the public learns that some hybrids are so human looking in appearance they are able to pass among us without being noticed. Aliens among us? Aliens who look like people? Possibly living in the apartment across the hall or the house around the corner? Not on my planet. How long will be before the nightly news reports that a person now in police custody took a shot at someone with wispy blonde hair they were sure was staring at them across a restaurant, or winged that geeky guy who speaks in a monotone and is known to have an interest in UFOs? Any positive benefits of declassification and release would have been far outweighed by the negative impact on their security, national or otherwise.

Admittedly, this is an extreme example and a worst case scenario, but I don’t think an unfair one to cite. Its been said that the most dangerous drug in the world is testosterone. Add to that an overload of extremely frightening information and a firearm and you have an equation none of us want to see factored into the declassification process. What then is the balancing point between truth and security? I wish I knew.

Organized Religion and the Impact of Declassification

“We are not authorized to exclude that on another star beings do exist, even if they are completely different from us.” — Cardinal Nicolò Cusano, philosopher and scientist, 1401-1464

“It is absurd to claim that the worlds surrounding us are large, uninhabited deserts and that the meaning of the universe lies just in our small, inhabited planet.” — The Jesuit Father and astronomer Fr. Angelo Secchi, 1818-1876

“It seems to be in accordance with the aim of the world that inhabitable celestial bodies are settled by creatures that recognize the glory of God in the physical beauties of their worlds, in the same way man does with his smaller world.” — Joseph Pohle, German theologian 1904

Some months back my friend Bridget and I were discussing the potential impact which official confirmation of UFO reality might have on the country’s religious communities. Her take on the subject was of particular interest to me as she is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Bridget followed up with an email, part of which underscored a particularly serious thought, but had me laughing just the same: “The other day Jonathan and I were watching that funny and annoyingly disturbing cartoon, “Family Guy” and Peter Griffin (do you ever watch this program?) is afraid to go to the store Bed, Bath and Beyond because even though he’s okay with going into the Bed and Bath part of the store, he’s afraid of going into the Beyond section! They show him entering through a door where he is immediately sucked into the world of weird equations and other oddities floating all around him. … I wanted to use it as part of a sermon illustration but didn’t want to admit that I watch “Family Guy”!”

Bridget’s observation is at once wise, funny and poignant. Most people seem far more comfortable in Bed and Bath than they do in Beyond. Religion offers us the potential for protection of a higher power as well as a set of beliefs that we can hold fast to and draw comfort from when the ‘Beyond,’ or unknown comes calling. The dictionary defines “faith” as “unflagging trust; belief without firm proof; belief in a supreme being; a religion.” None of us can say with any certainty how followers of the world’s religions will take to the idea that they share the universe with other intelligent beings, or with an assortment of them for that matter, something which, in the interpretations of many, is not referred to or discussed in their holy texts. Surmounting the problems associated with this perceived lapse will be easier for people of faith to overcome if their traditions allow for some latitude in the interpretation of their religious teachings, less so for those who hold that their beliefs and holy texts are sacrosanct and not open to interpretation.

We can assume that the relevant surveys and polls taken over the past few decades which indicate a majority of Americans feel there is intelligent life in space include a good percentage of individuals who, if asked, would identify themselves as people of faith. I’ve taken my own informal poll of Christian and Jewish friends, and listened to the views of Muslim and Hindu ones on the subject. To a person, all were in agreement that if our government ever confirmed the reality of UFOs, and stated that some were likely extraterrestrial in origin, their faith God and in their religions would remain unshaken. While entirely unscientific in its approach, the results of my inquiry tend to refute those of the Brookings Institution’s study, in relation to all but the beliefs of religious fundamentalists. Thankfully there is no need to lean on my data.

The September, 2008, issue of the MUFON UFO Journal featured the results of a survey conducted by Rev. Ted Peters and his associate Julie Froehlig. It was published under the title, “Is Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life a Threat to Religion?,” and is very much worth reading. The goal of “The Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey” was to test whether or not contact between Earth and an extraterrestrial civilization would result in a crisis (or even collapse) of belief among the religious traditions of Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Mormons, Jews, and Buddhists. The survey found that for the most part religious persons do not fear contact.” Somewhat surprisingly, a secondary finding was that a majority of non-religious respondents were the ones most concerned about such a crisis occurring.

How should theologians react to the religious implications of the ‘official’ discovery or acknowledgment of extraterrestrial (or other unearthly) life? What models should be considered in counseling their flocks, especially the more skittish among them?

In 1937 the Jesuit theologian Herbert Thurston wrote, “From a logical point of view, Christians that accept miracles and other episodes related on the Gospel “… cannot reject in a obstinate way the reiterated testimonies of modern and reliable witnesses that relate what their eyes have seen.” There are a number of other religious arguments that can be made in favor of the extraterrestrial hypothesis, some of which are reflected in the quotations preceding this section. The late Monsignor Corrado Balducci was a Vatican theologian and insider best known for his public pronouncements on the UFO phenomenon. He maintained that extraterrestrial contact is a real phenomenon and “not due to psychological impairment,” nor did he see this belief “in conflict with the Christian religion.” On October 8, 1995, he caused a major stir among Ufologists , and I daresay a good number of Roman Catholics, when he appeared on Italian National Television and stated, that “Extraterrestrials do exist,” and “… if 99 out of 100 {UFO reports} were false and that one was true, it’s that one that says some phenomenon exist.” It’s worth noting that some years earlier, Stanton Friedman said, “The question is not whether all UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin, but are any? The evidence indicates some are.”

It was the Monsignor’s contention that after excluding such conventional anomalies as “light effects,” atmospheric phenomena, clouds, ball lightning, etc, and factoring in some common sense, human rationalism and the testimony of hundreds of thousands of reliable eyewitness accounts worldwide, “it seems impossible to deny at a rational level that something real does exist!” It was also his belief there may be other inhabited planets, and noted that “In the Bible there are not specific allusions to other living beings, but neither is it excluded {in} this hypothesis.” A review of the Monsignor’s arguments can be found in his paper, “Ufology and Theological Clarifications.”

There is no way that a Prelate of Balducci’s stature would have been allowed to express the public views he did without the expressed permission of the Vatican. Whatever the Church’s innermost reasons for embarking on such a program, it represents a truly revolutionary approach to an extraordinarily complex problem: how to make the faithful aware of this presence in an officially sanctioned manner, and in the process, prepare them for at least some of the information which declassification and release would reveal. Other religious leaders who appreciate the seriousness of this situation might do well to consider applying a similar strategy tailored to the needs of their followers. I would recommend they begin by reading any of the following books: UFO and the Bible by M.K. Jessup, The Bible and Flying Saucers by Rev. Barry Downing, The Spaceships of Ezekel by Joseph F. Blumrich, and The 12th Planet by Zecharia Sitchin.

Fundamentalism and UFOs

“…no reasonable mind can assume that heavenly bodies which may be far more magnificent than ours would not bear upon them creatures similar or even superior to those upon our human Earth.” — Giordano Bruno, Italian scientist-philosopher, arrested in 1592 and burned to death as a heretic in 1600

“I believe in G-O-D, not U-F-O.” — Mike Huckabee, evangelical Christian minister, former Governor of Arkansas, and former candidate for President

The results of The Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey do not take into account the UFO related beliefs of religious fundamentalists, Christian or otherwise, and we should strive to understand what they are. If we fail to do so our ignorance may result in some very rough going. Reverend Bridget offered me a good starting point, “… the interesting part about the religious beliefs and the skepticism about UFO reality, is that religious fundamentalists are willing to literally believe in angels and miracles as recorded in the Bible because the Bible is their authority, but dismiss other concepts that could explain the same sort of phenomena. I also think the fascination and fear of the unknown is in many ways why religion, especially the fundamentalist, black and white brand, thrives and mainline gray area faiths are struggling.”

I first became interested in the UFO related beliefs of fundamentalists a dozen years ago, and not for the best of reasons. It followed my learning of a broadcast of the popular evangelical television show, “The 700 Club.” The program aired on July 8, 1997 and featured an exchange about the then current Mars Pathfinder Mission. The discussion soon shifted to the possibility of aliens from space and UFOs. It was then that host Pat Robertson stated it was his firm belief that, even if they were real, such ‘aliens’ were really demons whose intention was to lead people away from Christ. His opinion allowed for no possibility that an actual space alien had ever made its way to Earth, even for a brief visit. In fact the situation was so grave, maintained Robertson, that those who actually believe that space aliens were real should be put to death by stoning.

I had never heard of anyone holding such a draconian view in all the years I’d been involved in UFO studies. Was this an isolated position or one shared by others who adhered to Mr. Robertson’s religious beliefs? My UFO related views and opinions are not faith-based and it was difficult for me to take in how someone could claim to know what I considered the unknowable. In this case, the absence of any possibility the Earth has ever been visited by intelligent beings from another planet, solar system, galaxy, dimension or time. Intolerance should always be taken seriously, and soon afterwards the journal Freedom Writer included a commentary about the show, saying, in part: “As the founder and chairman of the Christian Coalition – a group dedicated to becoming the most powerful political force in America – Mr. Robertson’s extreme ideas need to be taken seriously, for they not only negate pluralism, but condemn to death those who dare to believe differently.”

We Americans have the right to hold whatever religious beliefs we wish, including the right not to believe, just so long as our beliefs do not impinge on the rights of others. My readings on the broadcast included a pair of books on Christian fundamentalist beliefs as they pertained to the UFO phenomenon, UFOs and Their Mission Impossible, and the more luridly titled UFOs: Satanic Terror. Both underscored Mr. Robertson’s basic belief – not that you should stone to death those whose UFO conclusions differed from yours, but that we were misguided souls whose secular, scientific and historic views were only leading us further from Christ’s teachings and any understanding of the revealed word. In the opinion of the authors it came down to this: that as no direct references to extraterrestrials or their applied technology appear in the Old or New Testament, all anomalous UFOs are demonic in origin and among the signs and portents predicted in the Book of Revelations.

In an effort to better understand fundamentalist UFO beliefs, I put a series of questions to three people I know who were qualified to answer them. My good friend Kim, a Christian fundamentalist, and Joseph Jordan and Guy Malone, Christian fundamentalists with an established involvement in UFO studies. All were gracious and forthcoming in responding to my questions, even the most difficult of them.

Malone observed that, “Like most secular people, most Christians have not made this an independent topic of research, and therefore their opinions are largely shaped (like all) through what they see on television and movies, and their own ponderings. Adding any form of religious belief in God to the question of life on other planets, and you typically get the same response from religious adults as you do from a religious 12-year old : “Well I suppose God could have created life on other planets if he wanted to…” (add disclosure event here, and it becomes) “.. and now the government says it’s true so I guess it is.”

All three adhere to a literal interpretation of The New and The Old Testament, and were in agreement that, as neither holy book contained any literal, direct reference to aliens from space, the notion was excluded from their beliefs, an argument, regrettably, which the Roman Catholic Church used in the 1500s to destroy the native populations of the Americas. The “antipods,” as they were called, could be nothing but Satanic because nothing in Scripture even alluded to their presence.

Kim, Joe and Guy share the view that the intelligences behind the UFO phenomenon are not from another star system or planet, but interdimensional entities, demonic in nature, pretending to be aliens. A fallen angel is able to manifest itself in physical form. Satanic craft are able to make it appear they originate from somewhere out it space. Jordan added that the demon hypothesis was rooted in the belief that ‘they’ were preaching a new, and by extension, blasphemous gospel which included a message given to some abductees and contactees that ‘they’ were the true creators of our religions. This is seen as a key deception that can only be attributed to Satan. As to how Christian fundamentalists as a whole may respond to any official pronouncement that UFOs and aliens were real – and that at least some of are extraterrestrial in nature, Malone felt, “..they would react to a government disclosure announcement with disbelief, and possibly conclude that said government is either in collusion with the fallen angels, or deceived by them..”

Strong words. The possibility of citizens convinced the government is in collusion with or deceived by fallen angels. What if the government does implement a declassification process which supports an extraterrestrial explanation? Might not some of the more extremist fundamentalists conclude that elements within the government were now, bluntly put, in league with Satan? And if so, might not acts of domestic terrorism be an appropriate response? I respectfully noted that the self-professed Christian Timothy McVeigh’s justification for bombing the federal offices housed in the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was to strike back at the government for its botched mishandling of the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Texas, a year to the day prior. McVey’s unconscionable act resulted in the deaths of 168 men, women and children and the complete destruction of the building and remained the greatest single act of domestic terrorism until September 11, 2001. All of my respondents sadly agreed such a possibility would not be out of the question, but that such an action would only be undertaken by a true extremist, an acknowledged reality in all religions. They also agreed that no true believer – meaning someone who has established a personal relationship with Jesus and maintained a ‘heart belief’ as opposed to a ‘mind belief’ in his or her Christianity – would ever take part in such a heinous act, but instead would do everything within their power to preclude it.

Jordan summed up, that as an Evangelical Christian who at one time had been an agnostic, and been involved in metaphysical studies, he supports the release of all pertinent, classified UFO information. He feels this would result in an honest discussion between the citizenry and the government, cause Christians to finally wake up, and act as a call for everyone to make a choice: between an extraterrestrial or other hypothesis, and the UFO beliefs held by Christian fundamentalists.

The UFO beliefs of other faiths religious extremists vary, but I do have a particular concern about the rise to power of the reactionary Taliban, as intolerant and vindictive a fundamentalist religious sect as the world has seen. We do not know what their reaction to an official endorsement of an extraterrestrial reality might be, but I’m convinced it will be seen as a heresy and in some manner interpreted as in direct violation of their interpretation of The Koran. Such a threat to the fundamentalist Muslim way of life will only be compounded if it originates with ‘The Great Satan,’ that is, America. Lets remember that other perceived insults to the faith ranging from infidel troops on the ground in Saudi Arabia to disrespectful political cartoons published in a Danish newspaper, have resulted in the destruction of property, the deaths of many people, and out-and-out Jihad.

Thinking Out Loud

“In the very middle of the Near East crisis, UN Secretary General Thant took time to do a very significant thing. He arranged to have one of the top advocates of the theory that flying saucers – UFOs – are from another planet, speak before the Outer Space Affairs Committee of the UN. Interesting fact is that U Thant has confided to friends that he considers UFOs the most important problem facing the UN.” — Nationally syndicated newspaper columnists Drew Pearson & Jack Anderson, 1967

“… those in government who have knowledge showing UFOs are identifiable feel the subject cannot be discussed by those in the know without serious repercussions. Others are afraid their friends and co-workers will think they are crazy if they even so much as insinuate that UFOs are identifiable as manned craft from outside the Earth. This particularly applies to newspaper editors and publishers, reporters and analysts.” — Sarah McClendon, career journalist and former White House correspondent

“I sincerely hope you are successful in preventing a reopening of UFO investigations.” — USAF Colonel Charles H. Senn, Chief Community Relations Division Office of Information, from a September 1, 1977 letter to NASA

Just how should our government go about initiating the process we contemplate here? I share the conviction that any such announcement and initiative be made on an international basis supported by careful and thoughtful planning. In no way however does this preclude initiating the process of declassifying thousands of lower and mid level UFO related documents and posting them to a Department of Defense website as they become available, much in the manner currently being undertaken by Her Majesty’s Department of Defence. Time and attention should be spent studying the impact which online posting has on the public consciousness and taken into consideration as planning continues.

Should our government choose to proceed beyond such a basic plan, what follow are a series of steps they might wish to consider. This of course precluding the possibilities that, 1. Such an undertaking is even possible, that such actions are not already under consideration, or that they, or one’s similar have already been implemented. The reasons I feel we should not expect to see any such initiatives undertaken at present are purely political in nature.

If you are old enough to have been involved in UFO studies during the Watergate era, you may recall a brief but pervasive rumor that swept through Ufology at the time. It came and went as the revelations of Republican Party corruption mounted and consensus within the then ongoing Senate hearings was tipping more and more toward the possibility of Presidential impeachment. The repeated buzz was that Nixon was seriously considering declassifying and releasing UFO related files in a last ditch effort to redirect public attention from his own spiraling journey down the political drain. Of course this never happened, but it actually would not have been a bad strategy for the increasingly desperate President to take in turning our collective focus toward a far greater issue, and one that just might have resulted in a temporary standing down from Watergate for the sake of stability during a national, and by extension, international crisis.

Support him or revile him, our current President is now responsible for a national economy in full scale crisis, a hot war and a very warm war, an aging infrastructure in grave need of attention, and a nation overdue for revised energy and environmental policies, these for starters. How would news that the President has become interested in UFOs and aliens be greeted? Even in the best of times, its difficult to say, but my personal thoughts are that any interest he might publically exhibit – no matter how seemingly inconsequential – will inevitably be seen by many as a desperate attempt to turn the nation’s eyes from the all-too-Earthy problems and challenges he faces. This could result in an all-out assault and absolute field day for his opponents – and many of his supporters – uniting as nothing else could under a banner of every single flying saucer and little green men insult, slur, aside and putdown. Even so, none of these considerations needs stand in the way of Mr. Obama’s discretely learning more about the subject now. It also seems to me that a web-based airing of at least some currently classified UFO documents could be undertaken and accomplished without directly involving the President, an important plus in helping to deflect or bypass the ridicule, at least initially, which would likely result.

Qualified members of the President’s staff might then begin to quietly select, vet and assemble trusted personnel to form the core of a highly classified working group charged with beginning to draft a workable plan with any eye on implementation when the political and financial climates stabilize to some degree. Through secured channels representatives of the working group could then begin to make contact with some of the officials who were involved in declassifying and posting UFO information in their own countries in order to take advantage of their experience and lessons they may have learned in the process of doing so. A liaison between the working group and appropriate personnel within Her Majesty’s Ministry of Defence would be of particular value, given the long and close relationship existing between our governments. Subject to the approval of the President, our Ambassador to the United Nations should also receive a limited briefing on this undertaking in preparation for a time when he or she may be called upon to network with their colleagues in the international community. And if they have not already begun to do so, the United States should encourage other world leaders to initiate the establishment of similar working groups within their own governments. An individual of the President’s choosing should then be appointed chairperson. They in turn should begin to seek out those best qualified to become members of a larger international committee, one charged with creating a workable worldwide strategy appropriate to such a far-reaching undertaking.

One of the working group’s first jobs should be to vet, or to re-vet the relatively small group of bureaucrats cleared to review and declassify the veritable warehouse of waiting documents. I say ‘re-vet’ in that there may be personnel among those charged with this exclusive responsibility who might base their decisions to declassify or not on reasons of conscience or religious opposition, much as a pharmacist might refuse to sell birth control to someone they deemed inappropriate on moral or religious grounds. But all candidates under consideration for the national working group and committee into which it will evolve will need to be screened and cleared to ensure they have both the emotional stability and intellectual capacity to deal with the increasingly stressful realizations they will face during the course of their work. To reiterate: whether religious or agnostic, technically-minded or artistic in background, all possible should be done to ensure that the men and women involved are open-minded, well-rounded and be able to ‘take it’ when it comes to introducing issues such as alien-human breeding, missing pregnancies, human-hybrids, and the possibilities their presences imply. In the words of Karl Abraham, former science writer for The Philadelphia Enquirer, “If the enquiring scientist can’t stand the heat, he should get out of the kitchen.”

Who should be considered for membership in such a committee? Without question, leading members of our scientific community and qualified individuals in such diverse fields the military, intelligence, economics, physics, anthropology, law, communications, crisis intervention, medicine, mental health, defense industry, journalism, publishing, print and broadcast media, education, diplomacy, political science, theology, philosophy, sociology, social work and the film industry, along with representative members of the House and Senate. For good measure I would include balanced representation from the President’s Board of Religious advisors, a political scientist, cultural, folk, and military historians, a child behaviorist, several respected writers and artists, an astronaut or two, and, yes, a select number of Ufologists. Frankly, I would rather be subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques than cite my preferred choices here, but they should certainly include experienced, leading figures in their specialty areas of study. It would be their job initially to help establish a ‘curriculum’ that the others could follow in commencing their Ufological education. Once such this was established and underway, these Ufologists would remain available to advise and consent with the diverse mix of committee members.

Needless to say, committee members would have to be sworn to the strictest confidence, at least during the initial phases of their work, both to allow for the freest flow of information between them, and to better assure that participants were confident that their involvement would not become the subject of irresponsible media leaks. I cannot prove this, but I strongly suspect that back in the forties, key members of the Truman Administration were called upon to brief a select number of America’s most powerful publishers and broadcast magnates on the seriousness of the UFO problem and, citing national security concerns with an additional appeal to their patriotism, were able to enroll such business leaders in helping to keep the secret through a program of stilted reportage. Likely professional peer pressure played more of a part in this than direct orders from any editor, publisher or reporter, but however this pattern was set in motion, it was extremely effective and thrives to this day. It’s worth noting however that the great majority of local newspapers around the nation remained – and continue to remain – immune to this trend, but then their honest and sometimes laudatory coverage has rarely been featured in the nationals. At some point in the committee’s work, this process should be repeated, but in reverse, allowing for an appropriate shift in UFO news coverage and reporting that encourages editors, publishers, and network executives to give their reporters and producers the consent and encouragement they will need to retool their historic treatment of this subject. It would be ideal for this to coincide with limited, online declassification of UFO documents on a dedicated DoD website.

By this stage, governments are hopefully falling into line behind each other and progressing along the same general course. Meetings and conferences would now be regularly scheduled in more and more countries, each attended by representatives of their and other county’s committees, all doing their best to share new developments on their growing findings and learning all they are able from their growing pool of knowledge. Some of the actions contemplated or generated at such gatherings may lean toward the incalculable. A subject that is sure to arise is, should governments begin to institute guidelines for the training of a new breed of diplomat? Should the members of such a new diplomatic corps lean toward representing their own governments or only work in concert?

Many will disagree, but I question the potential effectiveness of such a diplomatic undertaking. The documented behavior of many of these intelligences indicates, to some of us at least, that, not only can they read our minds, but that they have the power to cloud them, creating scenarios in which we perceive something to be other than what it actually is. Certainly history may prove me wrong, but I think such an effort will turn out to be more symbolic than practical. On a decidedly human note, would such go-betweens – especially those representing the more powerful and influential governments – attempt to cut separate deals calculated to (hopefully) secure better terms or treatment for their citizenry? Then again, perhaps just for their elite, say anyone with the right connections or earning in excess of, oh, twenty million dollars a year? The possibilities spiral beyond imagination.

Shared knowledge and careful study may result in our confirming that some of the ‘thems’ are generally passive and more intent on observing our species than interacting with it. There may be others who seem benevolent and demonstrate the potential of becoming allies against more predatory species. Then again, deception seems to underscore so much of the behavior I’ve learned to attribute to these other intelligences, why should we take even our own best conclusions at face value? It may also emerge that others are more aggressive in nature and that we would be wise to consider new means of defense and defense strategies – if this is even a possibility. At some point, even if just for some fictional perspective, representatives may want to call for a screening of the classic “Twilight Zone” episode, “To Serve Man,” with its wonderful ‘cookbook’ ending. And so these international dialogues will continue to develop and refine themselves.

Overall, the public airing of some of the information culled from such ongoing activities may prove to yield a social and political climate increasingly free of the ridicule factor, one that would allow for a heretofore unknown exchange of honest and genuine UFO related concerns and considerations at every level of society. A secondary, but crucially important result would be that for the first time, elected officials, scientists, and other public figures would finally feel safe enough to openly go on record with their opinions, beliefs, suggestions and even fears on the matter. As each new finding, fact, and opinion are assimilated by an increasingly aware public, the next wave of releases may be a bit easier to grasp, accept and incorporate into our newly evolving understanding of ourselves, and of our place in the greater scheme of things. I’d like to think an additional byproduct of this process will be a kind of de-facto reconciliation with our government over their historic compulsion to cover-up and hoard the unnerving information they’ve been collecting and classifying for decades.

A final benefit, or danger, depending on your point of view, is that many of us may actually begin to think of ourselves as human beings first, and as Americans, Christians, Jews, Hindus, black, white or brown second. While warm and New-Agey in concept, such a reapportionment of humanity’s priorities may bring with it a very real potential for conflict between those who grow to embrace this view, and those who do not. Member of the ‘humans first’ contingent will be more difficult for government and organized religion to control or manipulate, and drive many who already fear government intervention, the evils of FEMA, creeping socialism and the eroding of what they consider their God-given rights to begin to behave in increasingly reactionary ways. The knowledge we acquire may bring with it a whole new set of fears of the unknown to replace our preexisting ones, no matter how farsighted and thoughtful the planning we institute proves to be.

With so much uncertainty playing across the horizon, my thoughts return to President Reagan’s carefully crafted statement, “In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.” Will the ‘threat’ he referred to turn out to be another fear of the unknown, or a viable, definable, real world threat, like getting hit in the head by some cosmic baseball bat? Will declassification and the revelations it is sure to bring with it assist us in addressing the threat he refers to, or will it make us more vulnerable to it? Some believe they have the answer to this question but I am not one of them. The only thing I know for sure is that if the government of the United States and that of its sister governments, acting on behalf of a representative number of “we the people,” resolve to open this Pandora’s box, we had better be prepared to take full responsibility for whatever follows in its wake. For once opened, the concept of ‘limited’ declassification and publication may prove as difficult to control as spilled mercury.

I have a quotation posted over my desk that’s been with me for years. It’s from Mark Twain, one of my favorite writers, and it says: “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Let us hope that if and when it comes to reaching a final decision about this, our President – or whoever proves to be responsible for such a decision – will weigh all of the options fully and thoughtfully, surround him or herself with the very best people possible, and implement the right plan, and not the almost right plan. It may prove to be the most far-reaching decision any President, or anyone else for that matter, will ever make.

References
1. 12th Planet, The; Sitchin, Zecharia, Bear & Company, Santa Fe, NM, this ed 1991 (general reference)
2. Abovetopsecert.com interview with Shirley MacLaine, November 2007
3. Aliens From Space; Keyhoe, Maj. Donald, Doubleday & Co., NY, 1973, p.p. 89-90
4. A Survey of Press Coverage of Unidentified Flying Objects, 1947 – 1966; Strentz, Herbert J., Dissertation submitted to the Graduate School of the Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Doctorate of Philosophy, June 1970, p.p. 242
5. Beyond Top Secret; Good, Timothy, Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1996, p.p. 259, 539
6. Bible & Flying Saucers, The; Downing, Rev. Barry H., Avon, NY, 1968 (general ref.)
7. From features@seacoastonline.com, “Call for Obama to open UFO files” by Dean Merchant, January 18, 2009
8. Cameron, Grant website; Jimmy Carter quote and Joseph Biden quote, this in response to the question, Do you believe in UFOs? http://www.presidentialufo.com/
9. “Carter Sighting, The, The A.P.R.O. Bulletin; November 1976, p.p. 1, 4-5
10. “Church and Spiritualism, The;” Thurston, Herbert, Milan, 1937; p.p.179
11. Die Sternewelt undihre Bewohner (translation: The Stars of the Universe and Its Inhabitants); Pohle, Joseph, Köln, Germany, 1904, p.p. 457
12. Flying Saucer Review, Vol. 5, No. 6, 1959 – pp. 28; Senator Richard B. Russell quote.
13. Flying Saucers, 101; Burt, Harold E., UFO Magazine Books, 2000, p.p. 96, 100
14. Freedom Writer, July/August 1997; “Pat Robertson advocates death by stoning for UFO enthusiasts”
15. “Proposed Study of the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs,” The Brookings Institution, released December 14, 1960
16. “In Defense of Secrecy,” New York Times Magazine; Feldman, Noah, p.p. 11-12
17. McClendon News Service News Release, March 30, 1998 press release, McClendon, Sarah, White House Correspondent
18. NBC News, October 30, 2007, from Barak Obama’s statement in reply to a question from Tim Russert: “Do you believe there is life beyond earth?
19. “Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey, The;” Peters, Dr. Ted, and Froehlig, Julie, MUFON UFO Journal, September 2008, No. 485, p.p 7-9
20. Reagan, Ronald; a note on the extraterrestrial quotation. My colleague Ron Regehr learned through Reagan speechwriter Peter Robinson that the extraterrestrial references included in a number of President Reagan’s speeches were personally inserted by him and not the product of his speechwriters. They are penciled in in the President’s handwriting and archived at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
21. Robertson, Pat, comments from July 8, 1997 broadcast of the Christian Broadcasting Network’s, The 700 Club, and excerpts from their response to Peter Robbins’ letter of August 30, 1997
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23. Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects; Condon, Dr. Edward U., Bantam Books, New York, 1968, p.p.1
24. SCI FI Channel News Conference October 22, 2004, quoting John Podesta
25. Spaceships of Ezekiel, The; Blumrich, Josef F., Bantam Books, 1974 (general reference)
26. Thant, U, UN Secretary General reference. This statement appeared in the nationally syndicated newspaper column by Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson on June 27, 1967
27. Traitè de Mètapsychique; Richet, Charles, published in Paris 1922, p.p. 787-788
28. “Unholy Communion: The Unwanted Piece of the Puzzle;” Jordan, Joseph and Ruffino, David, DVD of lecture, CE4 Research Conference, Roswell NM, July 6, 2008
29. UFO and the Bible; Jessup, M.J., Citadel Press, NY, 1956 (general ref)
30. UFOcity.com Report, “UFOs and Intolerance;” Robbins, Peter, parts 1,2, & 3, September, October, November 1999
31. UFO Encyclopedia, The; 2nd Edition, Clark, Jerome, Omnigraphics, Inc., Detroit. Volume 1, p.p.174; Volume 2, p.p. 830-831
32. UFO Encyclopedia, The; Sachs, Margaret, Perigree Books, NYC, 1980, p.p. 225
33. “Ufology and Theological Clarifications;” Balducci, Monsignor Corrado, published Pescara, Italy, 2001 (deceased Sept. 20, 2008)
34. “UFO Research and Christian Faith,” Balthaser, Dennis G, independent investigative writer and columnist, June, 2004
35. UFOs and Extraterrestrials in History; Naud, Yves, Ferni Publishers, Geneva, 1978, volume 4 preface, unnumbered page
36. UFOs and Their Mission Impossible; Wilson, Dr. Clifford, Word of Truth Productions, NY, 1974
37. UFOs and the National Security State; Dolan, Richard M., Hampton Roads Publishing, VA, 2002, p.p. 245
38. UFOs and the National Security State: The Cover-Up Exposed, 1973-1991; Dolan, Richard M., Keyhole Publishing Co., Rochester, NY, 2009, Introduction, p.p. 5, 6
39. UFOs: Satanic Terror; Tyson, Basil, Horizon Books, Alberta, Canada, 1977 (general ref)
40. Unidentified Flying Objects Briefing Document: The Best Available Evidence; Berliner, Don, Galbraith, Marie, and Huneeus, Antonio, UFO Research Coalition, 1995, p.p. 21, 122, 123, 144, 147
41. “Will Obama Discuss UFO X-Files on Canada Trip;” Lowe, Larry, Phoenix UFO Examiner, February 16, 2009


UN report on UFOs 14-July 1978; Gordon Cooper, Jacques Vallee, Claude Poher, Allen Hynek, Sir Eric M. Gairy with UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim

CLOSE ENCOUNTER with DR. J. ALLEN HYNEK
http://www.cufos.org/index.html
http://www.cun-italia.net/documenti/project.htm
http://www.cohenufo.org/Hynek/hynk_fbi.htm
http://www.cohenufo.org/Hynek/hynk_lgh_study.htm
http://www.cohenufo.org/Hynek/hynkreval_bb.htm#hynekclassif
http://www.cohenufo.org/Hynek/hynk_stacy.htm
by Dennis Stacy / 1985

For over two decades, from 1948 to 1969, Dr. J. Allen Hynek was a consultant in astronomy to the United States Air Force. The subject of his advice, however, was not the fledgling space program or even the moon and stars above, but Unidentified Flying Objects. In 1973 he founded the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) and had serves as Director and editor of its journal, “International UFO Reporter.”

STACY: Dr. Hynek, as a scientist, you go back as far with UFO phenomenon as probably anyone alive today. Exactly how did that relationship begin?
HYNEK: That’s an easy story to tell. In the spring of 1948, I was teaching astronomy at Ohio State University, in Columbus. One day thee men, and they weren’t dressed in black, came over to see me from Wright Patterson Air Force Base in nearby Dayton. They started out by talking about the weather, as I remember, and this and that, and then finally one of them asked me what I thought about flying saucers. I told them I thought they were a lot of junk and nonsense and that seemed to please them, so they got down to business. They said they needed some astronomical consultation because it was their job to find out what these flying saucer stories were all about. Some were meteors, they thought, others stars and so on, so they could use an astronomer. What the hell, I said, it sounded like fun and besides, I would be getting a top secret security clearance out of it, too. At that time, it was called Project Sign, and some of the personnel at least were taking the problem quite seriously. At the same time a big split was occurring in the Air Force between two schools of thought. The serious school prepared an estimation of the situation which they sent to General Vandenburg, but the other side eventually won out and the serious ones were shipped off to other places. The negatives won the day, in other words. My own investigations for Project Sign added to that, too, I think, because I was quite negative in most of my evaluations. I stretched far to give something a natural explanation, sometimes when it may not have really had it. I remember one case from Snake River Canyon, I think it was, where a man and his two sons saw a metallic object come swirling down the canyon which caused the top of the trees to sway. In my attempt to find a natural explanation for it, I said that it was some sort of atmospheric eddy. Of course, I had never seen an eddy like that and had no real reason to believe that one even existed. But I was so anxious to find a natural explanation because I was convinced that it had to have one that, naturally, I did in fact, it wasn’t until quite some time had passed that I began to change my mind.

STACY:Was there ever any direct pressure applied by the Air Force itself for you to come up with a conventional explanation to these phenomena?
HYNEK:There was an implied pressure, yes, very definitely.

STACY:In other words, you found yourself caught, like most of us, in a situation of trying to please your boss?
HYNEK:Yes, you might as well put it that way, although at the same time I wasn’t going against my scientific precepts. As an astronomer and physicist, I simply felt a priori that everything had to have a natural explanation in this world. There were no ifs, ands or buts about it. The ones I couldn’t solve, I thought if we just tried harder, had a really proper investigation, that we probably would find as answer for. My batting average was about 80 percent and I figured that anytime you were hitting that high, you were doing pretty good. That left about 20 percent unsolved for me, but only about three or four percent for the Air Force, because they used statistics in a way I would never have allowed for myself. For example, cases labeled as insufficient information they would consider solved! They also had some other little tricks. If a light were seen, they would say, “aircraft have lights, therefore, probable aircraft.” Then, at the end of the year, when the statistics were made up, they would drop the “possible” or “probable” and simply call it aircraft.

STACY:What began to change your own perception of the phenomenon?
HYNEK:Two things, really. One was the completely negative and unyielding attitude of the Air Force. They wouldn’t give UFOs the chance of existing, even if they were flying up and down the street in broad daylight. Everything had to have as explanation. I began to resent that, even though I basically felt the same way, because I still thought they weren’t going about it in the right way. You can’t assume that everything is black no matter what. Secondly, the caliber of the witnesses began to trouble me. Quite a few instances were reported by military pilots, for example, and I knew them to be fairly well-trained, so this is when I first began to think that, well, maybe there something to all this. The famous “swamp gas” case which came later on finally pushed me over the edge. From that point on, I began to look at reports from a different angle, which was to say that some of them could be true UFOs.

STACY:As your own attitude changed, did the Air Force’s attitude toward you change, too?
HYNEK:It certainly did, quite a bit, as a matter of fact. By way of background, I might add that the late Dr. James E. McDonald, a good friend of mine who was then an atmospheric meteorologist at the University of Arizona, and I had some fairly sharp words about it. He used to accuse me very much, saying you’re the scientific consultant to the Air Force, you should be pounding on generals’ doors and insisting on getting a better job done. I said, Jim, I was there, you weren’t you don’t know the mindset. They were under instruction from the Pentagon, following the Robertson Panel of 1953, that the whole subject had to be debunked, period, no question about it. That was the prevailing attitude. The panel was convened by the CIA, and I sat in on it, but I was not asked to sign the resolution. Had I been asked, I would not have signed it, because they took a completely negative attitude about everything. So when Jim McDonald used to accuse me of a sort of miscarriage of scientific justice, I had to tell him that had I done what he wanted, the generals would not have listened to me. They were already listening to Dr. Donald Menzel and the other boys over at the Harvard Astronomy Department as it was.

STACY:Did you think you would have been shown the front door and asked not to come back?
HYNEK:Inside of two weeks I imagine. You’re familiar with the case of Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler from the history of astronomy? Brahe had the observations and didn’t know what to do with them, and Kepler,who was nearsighted and couldn’t make the observations, did. So essentially, I played Kepler to the Air Force’s Tycho Brahe. I knew the Air Force was getting the data and I wanted a look at it, so I made very full use of the copying machines at Wright-Patterson. I kept practically a duplicate set of records because I knew that someday that data would be worth something. Toward the end, however, I was barely speaking with Major Quintanilla who was in charge. We had started as really good friends and then things got very bad because he had one lieutenant who was such a nincompoop, it seemed to me. Everything had to be “Jupiter or Venus” or this or that. You have no idea what a closed mind, what a closed attitude it was. I kept doggedly on, but I can safely say that the whole time I was with the Air Force we never had anything that resembled a really good scientific dialogue on the subject.

STACY:They weren’t really interested in an actual investigation of the subject then?
HYNEK:They said they were, of course, but they would turn handsprings to keep a good case from getting to the “attention of the media”. Any case they solved, they had no trouble talking to the media about. It was really very sad…. I think their greatest mistake in the early days, however, was not turning it over to the universities or some academic group. They regarded it as an intelligence matter and it became increasingly more and more embarrassing to them. After all, we paid good tax dollars to have the Air Force guard our skies and it would have been bad public relations for them to say, yes there’s something up there, but we’re helpless. They just couldn’t do that, so they took the very human action of protecting their own interests. What they said was that we solved 96 per cent of the cases and that we could have solved the other four per cent if we had just tried harder.

STACY:Was it the famous Michigan sightings of 1966, explained away as “swamp gas” that finally did lead the Air Force to bring in a reputable university?
HYNEK:Yes, that, as you know, became something of a national joke and Michigan was soon being known as the “Swamp Gas State.” Eventually, it resulted in a Congressional Hearing called for by then state Congressman, Gerald Ford, who of course later went on to become President. The investigation was turned over to the Brian O’Brien Committee who did a very good job. Had their recommendations been carried out, things might have turned out much better than they did. The recommended that UFOs be taken away from the Air Force and given to a group of universities, to study the thing in a as wide a way as possible. Well, they didn’t go to a group, they went to a university and a man they were certain would be very hard-nosed about it, namely, Dr. Edward Condon at the University of Colorado. That was how the Condon Committee and eventually the Report came to be.

STACY:Were you ever called on to testify before, or advise the Committee?
HYNEK:In the early days they called on me to talk to them, to brief them, but that was the extent of it. They certainly didn’t take any of my advice.

STACY:By 1968, the generally negative Condon Report was made public and the Air Force used its conclusions to get out of the UFO business. Were you still an official advisor or consultant at that time?
HYNEK:Oh, yes, I was with the Air Force right up until the very end, but it was just on paper. No one had cut the chicken’s head off yet, but the chicken was dead. The last days at Blue Book were just a perfunctory shuffling of papers.

STACY:In terms of the UFO phenomenon itself, what was going on about this time?
HYNEK:Well, as you know, the Condon Report said that a group of scientists had looked at UFOs and that the subject was dead. The UFOs, of course, didn’t bother to read the report and during the Flap of 1973, they came back in force.

PERHAPS EXCESSIVE SECRECY
http://www.cufos.org/IUR_article3.html
The CIA’s UFO History
by Mark Rodeghier

After the Cold War ended, the culture of secrecy and the operational style of the CIA began to change. Its director appeared on a radio talk show, and it became possible for citizens to pressure the CIA in ways unheard of during that earlier era. Ufology has been a beneficiary of these changes.

In late 1993, inquiries from several UFO researchers led CIA Director R. James Woolsey to order a review of all CIA files on UFOs. This agency-wide search occurred in 1994 and centralized the CIA’s UFO files. Taking advantage of this opportunity, government historian Gerald K. Haines reviewed the documents, conducted interviews, and wrote a study examining the CIA’s interest and involvement in UFO investigation and government UFO policy from 1947 until 1990. Haines’s study was published in Studies in Intelligence, a classified journal published quarterly for the intelligence community. The article, “CIA’s Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947–90,” appeared in the first semiannual unclassified edition for 1997, on pages 67–84. It can be found at http://www.odci.gov/csi/studies/97unclas/ufo.html [dead link]

This is a rather important document because it is the first time that a government agency has written a review of its involvement with UFOs. Although the study had been available at least since June when I downloaded it from the CIA Web site, it did not receive widespread publicity until early August. But when the press learned about the Haines study, the attention was dramatic. The story was carried in most large newspapers, on the NBC Nightly News, and many other media outlets. A typical headline from the Chicago Sun-Times reads, “CIA feared UFO hysteria.” Several columnists used the CIA history as an opportunity to bash the CIA and secrecy in government, as exemplified by the column by David Wise (author of The Politics of Lying: Government Deception, Secrecy, and Power) in the New York Times “Big Lies and Little Green Men.”

The media generally focused on two aspects of the Haines article. In a brief section entitled “CIA’s U–2 and OXCART as UFOs,” Haines claims that many UFO sightings in the late 1950s and 1960s were actually misidentified secret American spy planes. Moreover, he alleges that the Air Force’s Project Blue Book was in on this cover-up, purposely misled the public, and falsified (Haines didn’t use that word but that is plainly what the Air Force would be doing) UFO explanations. This is important news if true, and the media rightly played up this angle. Note that the CIA is not accused of deception by Haines; rather, it is the Air Force that willingly concocted the bogus explanations. Reporters asked the Air Force for comment, and on August 4, Brigadier General Ronald Sconyers told the press, “I cannot confirm or deny that we lied. The Air Force is committed to providing accurate and timely information within the confines of national security.”

General Sconyers sounds a bit like a weasel-worded politician, and his statement hardly serves to reduce the controversy.he second topic seized upon by the press and played up as news was the CIA-sponsored Robertson Panel from 1953. Yes, that is correct, the Robertson Panel, whose report has been well-known to anyone interested in UFOs for over 30 years now. That the press could consider the recommendations of the panel to be news at this late date speaks volumes for the intelligence, reporting skills, and historical knowledge of the Fifth Estate. (The Washington Post, in full damage-control mode, said in an editorial that the study was “not an exposé full of new revelations,” but the paper had already published an article claiming the opposite.)

Press coverage focused on the panel’s recommendations that UFO reports be debunked (a policy Blue Book followed assiduously after 1953), that UFO groups be watched, and that there was a danger the Soviets might use UFOs to clog the channels of communication and then launch a nuclear attack. The deception about our spy planes was just a small part of this strategy. Although the press was only late by about 40 years, their coverage of this aspect of the report is a positive note for ufology. What is clear from the tone of most articles is that the CIA’s (and Air Force’s) lies about UFOs are just further examples of all the many lies the American public had been told during the Cold War. And for once, ufologists are being viewed in a sympathetic light by the media as direct victims of government deception.

Coming on the heels of the Air Force’s second report on Roswell, the tide has begun to turn against the government in the UFO debate. More and more, it is becoming apparent the government has lied about UFOs for years, and that it still may be lying today. Although the press gave so much coverage to the Haines article, it missed part of the story, failed to do any independent investigation, and generally swallowed the report as written. As Paul Harvey says, now for the rest of the story.

The CIA’s excessive secrecy
The report by Haines is remarkably brief, given the CIA’s complex UFO involvement. In its Internet version the full article is 21 pages in length, with eight pages of that for footnotes (with several interesting tidbits buried there). Whole swaths of history, such as the early 1970s, are compressed into a few paragraphs or sentences. Certainly a more complete study could be done, and perhaps the classified version is a bit longer.

Nevertheless, to this credit, Haines several times makes it clear that the CIA bungled the handling of UFOs because of its policies of excessive secrecy, in effect fueling the idea of a massive UFO cover-up (for which, not surprisingly, Haines finds no evidence). For example, in 1957 Leon Davidson, a UFO investigator who worked at getting the Robrtson Panel report released and was a believer in a government cover–up, was working on a UFO case involving a strange tape recording made by the Maier sisters of Chicago. This tape had actually been analyzed by the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) and found to be “nothing more than Morse code from a US radio station.”

When Davidson wrote to Dewelt Walker, the CIA officer who had contacted the Maier sisters, Walker obfuscated and refused to provide a straight answer about his role. When Davidson persisted, the CIA had the Air Force contact Davidson saying that Walker “was and is an Air Force Officer.” Then to further screw things up, the CIA had one of its officers dress in an Air Force uniform and contact Davidson, claiming to speak on behalf of the Air Force. One cannot blame Davidson for believing there was a cover-up because, obviously, there was. As Haines writes, “Thus, a minor, rather bizarre incident, handled poorly by both the CIA and the Air Force, turned into a major flap that added fuel to the growing mystery surrounding UFOs and CIA’s role in their investigation.”

In another incident, officers from the Contact Division (CD) of the CIA obtained a UFO photograph from Ralph Mayher in November 1957. After the photos were returned (with no comment or analysis for Mayher), he contacted the CD for the CIA’s evaluation because he wanted to mention it on a television program on which he was going to appear. The CIA declined. Major Donald Keyhoe, head of NICAP, heard about these events and contacted the CIA to confirm the story. But the CIA refused, referring the matter to the Air Force, even though, as Haines writes, “CD field representatives were normally overt and carried credentials identifying their Agency association.” No wonder, again, that ufologists would conclude the government was lying about its UFO activities.

Monitoring of UFO investigators
Although the CIA clearly lied to Davidson and Keyhoe, the actual UFO events at the heart of each story were mundane and not of particular importance. More sinister is the suggestion that the CIA (or FBI at the CIA’s direction) has monitored UFO groups and investigators. Haines has no direct evidence for this, but it is unclear where such records would be kept or whether they would even be at the CIA (rather than the FBI). Certainly, the FBI has files on various ufologists, including Richard Hall, head of the Fund for UFO Research and long-time staffer at NICAP.

A complete history of the CIA’s involvement in UFOs should have discussed this critical issue in depth; after all, the Robertson Panel recommended that UFO groups be monitored for subversive activities. That Haines did not fully discuss this subject can probably be attributed to his ignorance of UFO history, to the lack of documentation about this subject in CIA records, and perhaps, to the scope of his article which is more concerned with the investigation of UFOs rather than the investigation of ufologists.

The one bit of evidence Haines does include involves Leon Davidson again. In 1958, worried about future inquiries about government UFO investigation, the CIA met with the Air Force to discuss what to do with such requests. CIA officer Frank Chapin “hinted that Davidson might have ulterior motives” and he suggested having the FBI investigate Davidson. Haines says the record is unclear as to whether the FBI ever acted on this suggestion, but it is not clear how deeply Haines investigated this possibility. Although the evidence is circumstantial, there are other hints that the government was monitoring UFO groups long before these discussions. In their book UFOs Over the Americas, Jim and Coral Lorenzen detail several rather bizarre incidents of what would seem to be rather clumsy attempts to learn the Lorenzens’ motives for their UFO investigations and the work of APRO, the organization they founded. These occurred in several states over at least a dozen years, and the Lorenzens sound more amused by the experience than upset.

In point of fact, just about any ufologist would have been pleased to have the Air Force or CIA approach them and ask for advice about UFO investigations or what types of cases the investigator was receiving. The problem faced by these agencies, as Haines outlines, is that an excessive policy of secrecy kept them from openly contacting UFO investigators who most likely would have cooperated with government requests for information. As evidence, in early 1965 CIA agents finally did meet openly with Richard Hall at NICAP offices, who glady gave them copies of UFO reports for the CIA’s own review of the UFO situation.

The Robertson Panel
There is no more pivotal event in the CIA’s involvement with UFOs, perhaps in the U.S. government’s interest in UFOs, than the Robertson Panel of January 1953. Haines devotes just over a page to this critical study, which provides him no room for nuance or much more than a bare reciting of the facts. In his review of CIA documents he demonstrates the very high-level CIA interest in UFOs engendered by the UFO flap in the summer of 1952 and, especially, the sightings over Washington, D.C. A special study group was formed within OSI to review the UFO situation. Director Walter Bedell Smith “wanted to know whether or not the Air Force investigation of flying saucers was sufficiently objective,” and he wondered “what use could be made of the UFO phenomenon in connection with US psychological warfare efforts.”

Memos and meetings were frequent in late 1952 as the CIA considered what should be done about the UFO problem. Haines’s research shows that the Robertson Panel’s concerns about the clogging of communication channels and the use of UFOs to disrupt U.S. air defenses were taken straight from CIA concerns expressed in internal memos during the summer of 1952. In other words, the Robertson Panel, despite the eminence of the scientists involved, appears to have been carefully orchestrated by the CIA to come to the conclusions it did, which included debunking UFOs with the help of the Air Force Project Blue Book. Haines does not comment on this element of the CIA’s role in determining government policy.

Spy planes and UFOs
I turn now to the issue that so dominated press coverage of Haines’s article, the claim that many UFO reports were caused by secret aircraft flights. Given the nature of many UFO reports of objects seen at close range low to the ground, ufologists have uniformly found this claim preposterous. I have over the years personally reviewed the majority of Blue Book reports and know that that they were not caused by misidentifications of spy planes. But because this is such an important claim, here is the full discussion of this issue by Haines.

In November 1954, CIA had entered into the world of high technology with its U-2 overhead reconnaissance project. Working with Lockheed’s Advanced Development facility in Burbank, California, known as the Skunk Works, and Kelly Johnson, an eminent aeronautical engineer, the Agency by August 1955 was testing a high-altitude experimental aircraft—the U-2. It could fly at 60,000 feet; in the mid-1950s, most commercial airliners flew between 10,000 feet and 20,000 feet. Consequently, once the U-2 started test flights, commercial pilots and air traffic controllers began reporting a large increase in UFO sightings.

The early U-2s were silver (they were later painted black) and reflected the rays from the sun, especially at sunrise and sunset. They often appeared as fiery objects to observers below. Air Force BLUE BOOK investigators aware of the secret U-2 flights tried to explain away such sightings by linking them to natural phenomena such as ice crystals and temperature inversions. By checking with the Agency’s U-2 Project Staff in Washington, BLUE BOOK investigators were able to attribute many UFO sightings to U-2 flights. They were careful, however, not to reveal the true cause of the sighting to the public.

According to later estimates from CIA officials who worked on the U–2 project and the OXCART (SR-71, or Blackbird) project, over half of all UFO reports from the late 1950s through the 1960s were accounted for by manned reconnaissance flights (namely the U-2) over the United States. This led the Air Force to make misleading and deceptive statements to the public in order to allay public fears and to protect an extraordinarily sensitive national security project. While perhaps justified, this deception added fuel to the later conspiracy theories and the cover-up controversy of the 1970s. The percentage of what the Air Force considered unexplained UFO sightings fell to 5.9 percent in 1955 and to 4 percent in 1956.

What exactly is the evidence for the claim that “over half of all UFO reports . . . were accounted for by manned reconnaissance flights”? In one footnote, Haines mentions the monograph The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: The U-2 and OXCART Programs, 1954–1974, by Gregory W. Pedlow and Donald E. Welzenbach (1992). A colleague at CUFOS tried to obtain a copy of this reference, which was published by the CIA History Staff, but has been told the monograph is classified. That makes it impossible to verify its accuracy. In a second footnote, Haines mentions a telephone interview with a John Parongosky, who “oversaw the day-to-day affairs of the OXCART program.” I would like to call Mr. Parongosky myself, but have been unable to find any listing or address for him. In any case, there is a very straightforward step which could verify this claim about spy planes, one I am surprised was not taken by at least one reporter. If the Air Force was lying about the cause of UFO sightings to protect the secrecy of our spy planes, then obviously the heads of Blue Book would hve been central to the deception. Yet no one seems to have contacted any of these officers, most of whom are still living, for a comment.

I had previously spoken to Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert Friend, head of Blue Book from about 1958 to early 1963, on a matter of UFO history, so I called him again recently to discuss this subject. Friend had not heard about the CIA report (he doesn’t watch much television and doesn’t follow UFO news closely these days), but he was very interested to learn about its existence. He asked me for a copy plus any news stories I had on the report. I read to him the discussion by Haines reproduced above and then asked for his comment. Almost the first words he said were that it is “absolutely not true” that he or his Blue Book team were covering up spy flights as alleged by Haines. He found the whole idea laughable, and he knew Blue Book did not receive more reports from pilots and air traffic controllers after the U-2 began flying.

I asked him if he had ever concealed classified activities that were reported as UFOs. Friend indicated that, indeed, this had occurred on a few occasions, but it was not a regular occurrence. I inquired as to whether he had regular contact with the CIA at Blue Book. He said that he did because the CIA overlooked no potential source of information and wanted to keep tabs on all government intelligence activities. In addition, the Air Force had utilized the services of the National Photographic Interpretation Center, the CIA’s photo analysis office, to analyze UFO photos. However, in none of his contacts with the CIA or U-2 project staff was Friend ever told to conceal sightings of the U-2 by the CIA.

To be absolutely sure before I ended the conversation, I asked Friend whether the project had ever received a sighting which he recognized as caused by a U-2 (or other secret aircraft). He said, to his recollection, no. Once again, he chuckled about the idea of half of all UFO reports being caused by manned reconnaissance flights. I then read him the statement by Sconyers quoted earlier, in which the general cannot “confirm or deny that we lied.” This brought a guffaw from Friend, who wondered why Sconyers, or anyone currently in the Pentagon, should know what happened 30 years ago. We both marveled at how the press and the military (and Haines) had failed to contact the obvious central figures in this alleged cover-up.

In summary, then, the claim that motivated the press coverage of Haines’s report is inaccurate and is not evidence for a CIA and Air Force cover-up of UFO sightings and lies to the American public. Yet the CIA and Air Force did knowingly debunk UFO sightings, and Blue Book personnel often came up with any old explanation so that the yearly summary sheets would have only a small percentage of unidentified sightings. So I’m not too unhappy that the CIA and Air Force were taken to task for something they didn’t do, but it is important to set the record straight.

Forcing disclosure of CIA records
Beginning in the mid-1970s, UFO researchers began using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request government, including CIA, documents on UFOs. Once again, the CIA mishandled the requests. After William Spaulding, head of Ground Saucer Watch, wrote in 1975 requesting UFO records, the CIA Information and Privacy Coordinator Gene Wilson wrote to Spaulding that the Robertson Panel was “the summation of the Agency interest and involvement in UFOs.” As Haines states, “Wilson was ill-informed.”

Not believing Wilson’s statements, ufologists sued the CIA for records and won the release of about 800 pages in December of 1978. Since the CIA had, unwisely, been denying its inolvement in UFO matters, the media was surprised to learn how many documents were held by the agency. The New York Times claimed as a result that the CIA was probably secretly involved in the study of UFOs. CIA Director Stansfield Turner was so upset by this that he asked his senior officers “Are we in UFOs?” He received a negative answer from his deputy and so moved to quash a new lawsuit asking for the withheld documents from the first release.Notwithstanding the reply Turner got, Haines found that the CIA continued a few activities during the 1980s. As he writes:

During the late 1970s and 1980s, the Agency continued its low-key interest in UFOs and UFO sightings. While most scientists now dismissed flying saucers [sic] reports as a quaint part of the 1950s and 1960s, some in the Agency and in the Intelligence Community shifted their interest to studying parapsychology and psychic phenomena associated with UFO sightings. CIA officials also looked at the UFO problem to determine what UFO sightings might tell them about Soviet progress in rockets and missiles and reviewed its counterintelligence aspects. Agency analysts from the Life Science Division of OSI and OSWR officially devoted a small amount of their time to issues relating to UFOs. These included counterintelligence concerns that the Soviets and the KGB were using US citizens and UFO groups to obtain information on sensitive US weapons development programs (such as the Stealth aircraft), the vulnerability of the US air-defense network to penetration by foreign missiles mimicking UFOs, and evidence of Soviet advanced technology associated with UFO sightings.

If I hadn’t checked the calendar after reading this, I would have sworn this was 1952 and I was reading of CIA concerns about how UFOs could be used by the Soviets against the United States, as eventually expressed in the recommendations of the Roberson Panel report. Some things never change, at least during the Cold War. Haines notes that during this period, “Agency officials purposely kept files on UFOs to a minimum to avoid creating records that might mislead the public if released,” and Haines says he found almost no documentation on CIA involvement with UFOs in the 1980s. This certainly is an effective method to circumvent FOIA, but it hardly leads to further confidence in the CIA. Finally, in an intriguing footnote, Haines says that the “CIA reportedly is also a member of an Incident Response Team to investigate UFO landings, if one should occur. This team has never met.” Say what? He offers no evidence for this statement, which, if true, belies the notion that the government completely ignores UFO reports.

AREA 51 WORKERS SPEAK
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-mag-april052009-backstory,0,5104077.story
After decades of denying the facility’s existence, five former insiders speak out
by Annie Jacobsen / April 05, 2009

Area 51. It’s the most famous military institution in the world that doesn’t officially exist. If it did, it would be found about 100 miles outside Las Vegas in Nevada’s high desert, tucked between an Air Force base and an abandoned nuclear testing ground. Then again, maybe not– the U.S. government refuses to say. You can’t drive anywhere close to it, and until recently, the airspace overhead was restricted–all the way to outer space. Any mention of Area 51 gets redacted from official documents, even those that have been declassified for decades.

It has become the holy grail for conspiracy theorists, with UFOlogists positing that the Pentagon reverse engineers flying saucers and keeps extraterrestrial beings stored in freezers. Urban legend has it that Area 51 is connected by underground tunnels and trains to other secret facilities around the country. In 2001, Katie Couric told Today Show audiences that 7 percent of Americans doubt the moon landing happened–that it was staged in the Nevada desert. Millions of X-Files fans believe the truth may be “out there,” but more likely it’s concealed inside Area 51′s Strangelove-esque hangars–buildings that, though confirmed by Google Earth, the government refuses to acknowledge.

The problem is the myths of Area 51 are hard to dispute if no one can speak on the record about what actually happened there. Well, now, for the first time, someone is ready to talk–in fact, five men are, and their stories rival the most outrageous of rumors. Colonel Hugh “Slip” Slater, 87, was commander of the Area 51 base in the 1960s. Edward Lovick, 90, featured in “What Plane?” in LA’s March issue, spent three decades radar testing some of the world’s most famous aircraft (including the U-2, the A-12 OXCART and the F-117). Kenneth Collins, 80, a CIA experimental test pilot, was given the silver star. Thornton “T.D.” Barnes, 72, was an Area 51 special-projects engineer. And Harry Martin, 77, was one of the men in charge of the base’s half-million-gallon monthly supply of spy-plane fuels. Here are a few of their best stories–for the record: On May 24, 1963, Collins flew out of Area 51′s restricted airspace in a top-secret spy plane code-named OXCART, built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. He was flying over Utah when the aircraft pitched, flipped and headed toward a crash. He ejected into a field of weeds.

Almost 46 years later, in late fall of 2008, sitting in a coffee shop in the San Fernando Valley, Collins remembers that day with the kind of clarity the threat of a national security breach evokes: “Three guys came driving toward me in a pickup. I saw they had the aircraft canopy in the back. They offered to take me to my plane.” Until that moment, no civilian without a top-secret security clearance had ever laid eyes on the airplane Collins was flying. “I told them not to go near the aircraft. I said it had a nuclear weapon on-board.” The story fit right into the Cold War backdrop of the day, as many atomic tests took place in Nevada. Spooked, the men drove Collins to the local highway patrol. The CIA disguised the accident as involving a generic Air Force plane, the F-105, which is how the event is still listed in official records.

As for the guys who picked him up, they were tracked down and told to sign national security nondisclosures. As part of Collins’ own debriefing, the CIA asked the decorated pilot to take truth serum. “They wanted to see if there was anything I’d for-gotten about the events leading up to the crash.” The Sodium Pento-thal experience went without a hitch–except for the reaction of his wife, Jane. “Late Sunday, three CIA agents brought me home. One drove my car; the other two carried me inside and laid me down on the couch. I was loopy from the drugs. They handed Jane the car keys and left without saying a word.” The only conclusion she could draw was that her husband had gone out and gotten drunk. “Boy, was she mad,” says Collins with a chuckle.

At the time of Collins’ accident, CIA pilots had been flying spy planes in and out of Area 51 for eight years, with the express mission of providing the intelligence to prevent nuclear war. Aerial reconnaissance was a major part of the CIA’s preemptive efforts, while the rest of America built bomb shelters and hoped for the best. “It wasn’t always called Area 51,” says Lovick, the physicist who developed stealth technology. His boss, legendary aircraft designer Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson, called the place Paradise Ranch to entice men to leave their families and “rough it” out in the Nevada desert in the name of science and the fight against the evil empire. “Test pilot Tony LeVier found the place by flying over it,” says Lovick. “It was a lake bed called Groom Lake, selected for testing because it was flat and far from anything. It was kept secret because the CIA tested U-2s there.”

When Frances Gary Powers was shot down over Sverdlovsk, Russia, in 1960, the U-2 program lost its cover. But the CIA already had Lovick and some 200 scientists, engineers and pilots working at Area 51 on the A-12 OXCART, which would outfox Soviet radar using height, stealth and speed. Col. Slater was in the outfit of six pilots who flew OXCART missions during the Vietnam War. Over a Cuban meat and cheese sandwich at the Bahama Breeze restaurant off the Las Vegas Strip, he says, “I was recruited for the Area after working with the CIA’s classified Black Cat Squadron, which flew U-2 missions over denied territory in Mainland China. After that, I was told, ‘You should come out to Nevada and work on something interesting we’re doing out there.’ “

Even though Slater considers himself a fighter pilot at heart–he flew 84 missions in World War II–the opportunity to work at Area 51 was impossible to pass up. “When I learned about this Mach-3 aircraft called OXCART, it was completely intriguing to me–this idea of flying three times the speed of sound! No one knew a thing about the program. I asked my wife, Barbara, if she wanted to move to Las Vegas, and she said yes. And I said, ‘You won’t see me but on the weekends,’ and she said, ‘That’s fine!’ ” At this recollection, Slater laughs heartily. Barbara, dining with us, laughs as well. The two, married for 63 years, are rarely apart today. “We couldn’t have told you any of this a year ago,” Slater says. “Now we can’t tell it to you fast enough.” That is because in 2007, the CIA began declassifying the 50-year-old OXCART program. Today, there’s a scramble for eyewitnesses to fill in the information gaps. Only a few of the original players are left. Two more of them join me and the Slaters for lunch: Barnes, formerly an Area 51 special-projects engineer, with his wife, Doris; and Martin, one of those overseeing the OXCART’s specially mixed jet fuel (regular fuel explodes at extreme height, temperature and speed), with his wife, Mary. Because the men were sworn to secrecy for so many decades, their wives still get a kick out of hearing the secret tales.

Barnes was married at 17 (Doris was 16). To support his wife, he became an electronics wizard, buying broken television sets, fixing them up and reselling them for five times the original price. He went from living in bitter poverty on a Texas Panhandle ranch with no electricity to buying his new bride a dream home before he was old enough to vote. As a soldier in the Korean War, Barnes demonstrated an uncanny aptitude for radar and Nike missile systems, which made him a prime target for recruitment by the CIA–which indeed happened when he was 22. By 30, he was handling nuclear secrets. “The agency located each guy at the top of a certain field and put us together for the programs at Area 51,” says Barnes. As a security precaution, he couldn’t reveal his birth name–he went by the moniker Thunder. Coworkers traveled in separate cars, helicopters and airplanes. Barnes and his group kept to themselves, even in the mess hall. “Our special-projects group was the most classified team since the Manhattan Project,” he says.

Harry Martin’s specialty was fuel. Handpicked by the CIA from the Air Force, he underwent rigorous psychological and physical tests to see if he was up for the job. When he passed, the CIA moved his family to Nevada. Because OXCART had to refuel frequently, the CIA kept supplies at secret facilities around the globe. Martin often traveled to these bases for quality-control checks. He tells of preparing for a top-secret mission from Area 51 to Thule, Greenland. “My wife took one look at me in these arctic boots and this big hooded coat, and she knew not to ask where I was going.”

So, what of those urban legends–the UFOs studied in secret, the underground tunnels connecting clandestine facilities? For decades, the men at Area 51 thought they’d take their secrets to the grave. At the height of the Cold War, they cultivated anonymity while pursuing some of the country’s most covert projects. Conspiracy theories were left to popular imagination. But in talking with Collins, Lovick, Slater, Barnes and Martin, it is clear that much of the folklore was spun from threads of fact.

As for the myths of reverse engineering of flying saucers, Barnes offers some insight: “We did reverse engineer a lot of foreign technology, including the Soviet MiG fighter jet out at the Area”–even though the MiG wasn’t shaped like a flying saucer. As for the underground-tunnel talk, that, too, was born of truth. Barnes worked on a nuclear-rocket program called Project NERVA, inside underground chambers at Jackass Flats, in Area 51′s backyard. “Three test-cell facilities were connected by railroad, but everything else was underground,” he says.

And the quintessential Area 51 conspiracy–that the Pentagon keeps captured alien spacecraft there, which they fly around in restricted airspace? Turns out that one’s pretty easy to debunk. The shape of OXCART was unprece-dented, with its wide, disk-like fuselage designed to carry vast quantities of fuel. Commercial pilots cruising over Nevada at dusk would look up and see the bottom of OXCART whiz by at 2,000-plus mph. The aircraft’s tita-nium body, moving as fast as a bullet, would reflect the sun’s rays in a way that could make anyone think, UFO.

In all, 2,850 OXCART test flights were flown out of Area 51 while Slater was in charge. “That’s a lot of UFO sightings!” Slater adds. Commercial pilots would report them to the FAA, and “when they’d land in California, they’d be met by FBI agents who’d make them sign nondisclosure forms.” But not everyone kept quiet, hence the birth of Area 51′s UFO lore. The sightings incited uproar in Nevada and the surrounding areas and forced the Air Force to open Project BLUE BOOK to log each claim.

Since only a few Air Force officials were cleared for OXCART (even though it was a joint CIA/USAF project), many UFO sightings raised internal military alarms. Some generals believed the Russians might be sending stealth craft over American skies to incite paranoia and create widespread panic of alien invasion. Today, BLUE BOOK findings are housed in 37 cubic feet of case files at the National Archives–74,000 pages of reports. A keyword search brings up no mention of the top-secret OXCART or Area 51. Project BLUE BOOK was shut down in 1969–more than a year after OXCART was retired. But what continues at America’s most clandestine military facility could take another 40 years to disclose.

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