Long with us, numerous, mysterious, intriguing, yet ridiculed, UFOs deserve the increasing attention they are now getting. With us for at least 5,000 years, they, as far as we know, have never harmed us. Our fighter jets have fired on them to no known effect. They refrain from harmful retaliation.
This blog is sparked by one of my daughters, Trish, who used the current renewal of interest in UFOs to admit she has kept to herself since 1966 the fact that, while returning home from school, was terrified by seeing a large flying saucer hovering over the hills just north of us as though trying to land. She ran home, becoming quite embarrassed because the saucer had vanished, there was no panic, and everything was normal. Today, she describes it as having a solid round simmering-blue deck with a lower deck shining yellow-orange lights.
In my own flying career, with much night flying, I have only two incidents of unexplained phenomena. One was in 1943 over the North Sea en route to bomb Germany. I watched numerous large spherical rotating blobs of orange fire swarming up at us. I had graduated from a month-long course that described all known varieties of enemy flak but these were strange and unique. Coils of rotating wire? My second mystery was in 1948 when on a 20-hour flight over the Northwest Territories in northern Canada we saw, about 30 nautical miles west of us, a large area brightly lit amid the surrounding dark sparsely-populated expanse, an area usually all dark.
While serving at NORAD, Colorado Springs, 1963-1966, as a controller working shifts at a long communications counter facing a wall screen depicting current activities, one of my tasks was to record and forward on UFO-sightings calls to the Blue Book Project. Interpretations in both locations ranged from deep skepticism to deep interest. Personally, I was intrigued, I was also surprised that many who took these calls lacked curiosity and that responses to our reports were few and inadequate. Explanations even included that the visual and radar sightings we reported were merely reflections from snow melting on the mountains. It was easy to infer a cover-up, especially when I learned the good 1952 criteria of Captain Ruppelt had lapsed. Our military is paid to detect and protect us from genuine threats. Too often investigative findings are restricted to a select few thus hindering further research and readiness. It results in dangerous ignorance among the rank and file and those who get to do the suffering and dying because of mistakes made by a dominant few.
In our tiny and lonely speck of intelligent life, we can marvel at the staggering amount of knowledge we have acquired, more than enough to support seeking more with open minds. Skeptics argue that UFOs must have terrestrial explanations. We have found no other home base for intelligent life. If any does exist in our time frame, it must be so many light years away that, even with worm holes, it would be impractical for them to expend the effort to study us, Or, are they actually in our space and time but on different vibration frequencies?
Reported aliens and their ships come in different forms. Different origins? Multiverses in the same space?
Through recent decades reported sightings are increasing. At least ten countries have set up official organizations to investigate. One of these is the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), formed in 1969 in California, now with over 4,000 members worldwide.
Wikipedia details 242 sightings from 23 countries plus outer space.
Are Abductions real? Why are reported aliens so concerned with our sexual organs, human and cattle? Perhaps, a search for DNA that could help their own species? The number of those involved in investigating and helping abductees is awesome. Their abductee counts range from a few thousand to 6% of our population. Australia, Canada, and the USA have set up facilities to ease return to normal life those suffering from symptoms similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The stories of numerous humans admitting to have been abducted include many similarities: lack of power to resist, a medical examination of those at reproductive ages, with emphasis on sexual organs, intercourse, nervousness and business-only attitudes of aliens until examinations are finished, then a tour of the alien ship, return to, or near to, their homes where they describe the aliens as humanoid but smaller with large heads and eyes. Two incidents report metre-tall aliens of praying mantis build.
The UFO study is too vast and complicated for one blog, but here is a very brief summary:
China: 2,300 years ago (ya), texts recorded a ‘moon boat’ that returned to hover every 12 years.
Lower Egypt: 3,440 ya, the Tulli Papyrus of Pharaoh Thutmose III recorded fiery discs floating across the skies.
Rome: 2,200 ya, Livy recorded phantom ships gleaming in the sky. 2,080 ya, Pliny the Elder told of a spark that fell from a star, became the size of the moon, then shot back to be a small light.
Phrygia, Roman Republic: 66 AD, Plutarch reported that, at the start of a battle, the sky burst asunder, and a huge, flame-like body was seen to fall between the two armies. It was shaped like a silver wine-jar,
Jerusalem, Roman Empire: 66 AD: Tacitus and others reported that, as Romans attacked Jerusalem, chariots with armed angels filled the sky.
World War 2 "Foo Fighters": Many aircrews reported strange objects infiltrating their formations.
Current worldwide, wide-scale interest was sparked with several incidents three of which were:
Canada: 04 October 1957: Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia: Many people saw 4 orange lights off shore, moving at tremendous speed, then plunging into the ocean just offshore. They alerted the coast guard who found no wreckage or bodies. Nor could the crews of 3 RCN ships that searched the area for 3 days. No known aircraft were in the area at the time. Meanwhile, a sonar submarine-detecting station had tracked underwater movement from the crash site to 25 miles NE followed by a second underwater object. Both sat motionless for a week when a Soviet submarine was detected in the area, so naval attention increased. The underwater objects then moved off faster than they could be followed by investigating ships. They then shot into the air and vanished.
Brazil: 16 October, 1957: Near São Francisco de Sales, Minas Geraisms, farmer Antonio Boas, working in his fields at night, claims an egg-shaped vehicle landed and aliens took him aboard where he was examined then had sex with a female alien.
United States: September 1961: Betty and Barney Hill claimed that, in a late evening, driving home near Lancaster, New Hampshire, they were abducted and medically examined by small aliens from a landed large flying disk. Wide publicity spawned interest but the story was later shown to be fabricated.
Skepticism: Some roots lie in the Battle of Los Angeles 24-25 Feb 1942 when nervous anti-aircraft artillery crews fired on a lost weather balloon. Fragments caused 5 deaths and extensive damage to Los Angeles buildings. Later, in December 1953, Joint Army-Navy-Air Force Regulation number 146 made it a crime for military personnel to discuss classified UFO reports with unauthorized persons. Violators faced up to two years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000. This increased suspicions of government cover-up. And the world became more interested in UFO research:
Russia: Billionaire Yuri Milner has invested $100 million in searching for extraterrestrial life.
Canada: In 1950 a UFO investigation unit, Project Magnet, was established in Shirley Bay near Ottawa by Transport Canada under the direction of Wilbert Brockhouse Smith, senior radio engineer. It was formally active until mid-1954 and informally active (without government funding) until Smith's death in 1962. He had concluded that UFOs were probably extraterrestrial in origin and likely operated by manipulation of magnetism. A parallel study of scientists and military, Project Second Storey was initiated in 1952
Smith believed UFOs were linked to psychic phenomena and believed himself to be in contact with extraterrestrial beings who communicated to him through telepathy. Smith wrote a number of articles for Topside, the publication of the Ottawa New Sciences Club which he founded, outlining the philosophy of the "Space Brothers" with whom he claimed to be in contact. The articles were later published posthumously in 1969 under the title The Boys from Topside.
In 1952-61 Avro Canada built, and experimented with, a Top Secret Flying Saucer, sharing the technology with the United States.
The United States: In 1947 numerous published UFO sightings prompted Gen Nathan Twining, Chief of the USAF Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, to form Project Sign, the first of a long line at that base. Sign’s 1948 report was sent to the Pentagon. Its initial intelligence estimate concluded that the flying saucers were real craft, were not made by either the Soviet Union or United States, and were likely extraterrestrial in origin. This was destroyed by Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg, USAF Chief of Staff, citing a lack of physical proof. Project Sign was succeeded at the end of 1948 by Project Grudge which was criticized as having a debunking mandate. Captain Edward Ruppelt referred to the era of Project Grudge as the "dark ages" of early USAF UFO investigation. Grudge concluded that all UFOs were natural phenomena or other misinterpretations, although it also stated that 23% of the reports could not be explained.
In 1952 high-ranking, influential USAF generals were so dissatisfied with the state of UFO investigations that they replaced Grudge with Project Blue Book headed up by Ruppelt, a decorated WWII airman with an aeronautics degree. He coined the term "Unidentified Flying Object" to replace the many terms such as flying saucer and flying disk. He designed a standard witness questionnaire that eliminated stigma and ridicule.
It also included questions to serve scientific and statistical studies. Ruppelt left Blue Book in February 1953 for a temporary reassignment, returning a few months later to find his staff reduced from more than ten, to two. Frustrated, he resigned from the USAF, then wrote the book “The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects” which described the USAF study from 1947 to 1955. Scientist Michael D. Swords wrote that "Ruppelt would lead the last genuine military effort to analyse UFOs"
Knowing that factionalism had harmed Project Sign, Ruppelt sought the advice of many scientists and experts, and issued regular press releases along with classified monthly reports for military intelligence. Each U.S. Air Force Base had a Blue Book officer to collect UFO reports and forward them to Ruppelt. He and his team were authorized to interview all personnel who witnessed UFOs, and were not required to follow the chain of command. This unprecedented authority underlined the seriousness of Blue Book's investigation.
Under Ruppelt, Blue Book investigated a number of well-known UFO cases, Astronomer Dr. J. Allen Hynek was the scientific consultant, as he had been with Sign and Grudge. He worked for the project up to its 1969 termination and created the categorization “Close encounters”. He was a pronounced skeptic when he started, but his feelings changed to a more wavering skepticism during the research, after encountering a minority of UFO reports he thought were unexplainable.
In July 1952, after a build-up of hundreds of sightings over a few months, a new series of radar and visual sightings were observed near the National Airport in Washington, D.C. Senator John McCain saw one. The Central Intelligence Agency set up a panel of scientists headed by Dr. H. P. Robertson, a physicist of the California Institute of Technology, which included various physicists, meteorologists, and engineers, and one astronomer (Hynek). The Robertson Panel first met on January 14, 1953 to formulate a response.
Blue Book's critics erupted on learning its reactions to the 17 Apr 1966 report of two Ohio police officers, who reported they were able to follow for 30 minutes and 85 miles a disc-shaped, silvery object with a bright light emanating from its underside, at about 1,000 feet in altitude. Police cars from several other jurisdictions joined the pursuit. The chase ended in Pennsylvania, some 85 miles away. This made national news, Five days later, following brief interviews with only one of the police officers (but none of the ground witnesses), Blue Book's director, announced their conclusions: The police (one of them an Air Force gunner during the Korean War) had first chased a communications satellite, then the planet Venus. This conclusion was widely derided, and police officers strenuously rejected it. Trust in government plummeted. This lack of trust is compounded when scientists from other fields are denied support for projects counter to government interests.
But, world UFO interest had been aroused, prompting the growth of a jungle of fact and fiction articles, books, movies and organizations pursuing the mystery, fertilized by continued strange sightings.
Among many serious UFO investigators is Nicholas (Nick) Redfern, a British best-selling author of 124 books and numerous articles, He urges government disclosure of UFO information, and has found thousands of pages of previously classified files on UFOs dating from the WWII. He is an editor for Phenomena magazine. His 2005 book, Body Snatchers in the Desert: The Horrible Truth at the Heart of the Roswell Story, purports to show that the Roswell crash may have been military aircraft tests using Japanese POWs, suffering from progeria or radiation effects.
Between 1996 and 2000 Redfern published: “The British Government’s UFO Top Secrets Exposed”, “The FBI’s UFO Top Secrets Exposed”, and “Cosmic Crashes: The Incredible Story of the UFOs That Fell to Earth”. They were published in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, and the UK.
Redfern’s appearances on the History Channel, National Geographic, lecture circuits, and the like keep the human worldwide quest for answers current and alive.
Could all these ongoing UFO investigations help us to uncover a link to the Quantum World to give us more understanding of what we are, where we are, and why we are?
Ye Olde Scribe