This was sent to me earlier this week,
Let UFO truth be told
Witnesses seek immunity, open hearings to end government
By Billy Cox
On one level, Daniel Sheehan's challenge before a packed house at the
National Press Club in Washington, D.C., last week was just the latest skirmish
in his 30-year war against American covert operations. The 20 witnesses
Sheehan vowed to protect with legal muscle had converged from across the
United States - and Mexico, even - to press Congress to investigate high-level
illegalities making an end run around the Constitution.
There was a retro feel to it. After all, the attorney from San Rafael,
assisted the prosecution of government spooks violating the Boland
Amendment before the Iran/Contra scandal broke. During the Vietnam War, he
defended the New York Times' access to the Pentagon Papers. In 1972, he
represented Watergate burglar James McCord in tracing the plumbers' chain
of command directly to the heart of the Nixon White House.
But this was different. With a battery of cameras rolling inside the Main
Ballroom on this damp Wednesday morning, witness after witness - many of
them retired military and government officials - stepped forward to accuse the
government of erecting a 50-year cover-up through intimidation around
unidentified flying objects. Among the most troubling scraps of evidence were
documents and witness accounts of UFOs destabilizing advanced weapons
systems, including the shutdown of nuclear missiles inside ICBM silos.
"We have existed in a national security state since 1947 with the creation
the National Security Act," said Sheehan, who went on to declare that former
chief executive George Bush had sabotaged President Carter's efforts to
access classified UFO files when the former still was CIA director. "What we
need to do is disassemble some of those unique unconstitutional structures to
move into an era of peace."
It was called the Disclosure Project, and it went on for nearly three hours,
each witness telling the media audience they wanted to submit open testimony
to Capitol Hill under oath.
Such hearings, if conducted, would be the first since a brief investigation
House Science and Astronautics Committee in 1968. If the odds are against it,
an overview rendered by project founder Dr. Steven Greer sent smoke signals
to potential special-interest allies for coalition resources.
Greer, a Virginia emergency-room surgeon who left his practice to explore
netherworld of UFOs full time three years ago, called for a ban on
space-based weapons, claiming the proposed National Missile Defense
shield really is targeting alien intruders. Furthermore, Greer said hardware
recovered from UFO crashes has been reverse-engineered into "fully
operational anti-gravity propulsion technologies" with the potential to end the
world's reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
The problem, Greer said, is that these state secrets are buried inside
deep compartmentalization that not even the usual suspects have proper
security clearances anymore. For instance, he told the crowd he briefed
then-CIA director James Woolsey about the UFO gridlock in 1993.
But Greer also announced he and fellow investigators had identified 400
witnesses willing to violate their security oaths to tell what they know in
exchange for immunity from prosecution. Roughly 100 already have been
videotaped, and those who spoke up May 9, including John Callahan,
appeared unconcerned about the consequences.
Callahan was the Federal Aviation Administration's division chief of the
Accidents and Investigations Branch in 1986 when a Japan Airlines pilot flying
a 747 off Anchorage, Alaska, reported radar and visual contact with a UFO
roughly four times the size of his passenger jet. The object, described as a
bright glowing sphere sporting a ring of running lights, also painted the scopes
of ground operators, and mimicked the 747's evasive maneuvers for 31
The result, Callahan said, was a subsequent meeting involving him,
now-deceased FAA administrator Don Engen, members of President
Reagan's Scientific Study Group and CIA agents.
"We brought everything we had, just filled the room with boxes of printout
and we conducted a pretty detailed briefing," Callahan recalled. "And, I mean,
these guys are drooling, they're all excited. Me, I thought maybe we were
dealing with a Stealth bomber, but the CIA guy says, 'No, this is the first time
we've ever caught a UFO on radar for more than 30 minutes.' "
When the meeting ended, Callahan said the CIA agent swore them all to
secrecy, confiscated the material in the room, and said, "This meeting never
happened, this event never happened."
But Callahan added that he never signed a compliance statement, and no
instructed him to turn over the copies he'd made of the data, including voice
recordings synchronized with radar readings. He displayed a packet of
material he said he hoped to show to Congress.
Michael Smith, a retired Air Force sergeant, said he was astounded by the
capabilities of a UFO that showed up on his early-warning radar when he was
stationed near Klamath Falls, Ore., in 1970. It hovered at 80,000 feet for 10
minutes, then reappeared 200 miles from its initial location within a single
sweep of the radar scan. When he queried the North American Aerospace
Defense Command, Smith was told, "you keep it to yourself."
On another occasion, Smith said NORAD reported it was tracking a UFO
headed in his direction from the California coastline, but he was ordered to
take no action and keep it off the logs. Later, while assigned to a military base
in Michigan, Smith said UFOs were hovering so close to a landing strip that
descending B-52s had to be diverted to avoid a collision.
Perhaps the Disclosure Project's most compelling testimonial was a 1967
UFO encounter recollected by Robert Salas. The retired Air Force captain
presented documents declassified in 1996 to back up at least part of his story.
Generated by Strategic Air Command, a report indicates that 10 Minuteman
missiles at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana "lost strat(egic) alert within
10 seconds of each other" on March 16, 1967. Although power eventually was
restored, "no apparent reason for the loss of 10 missiles can be readily
identified (and) is cause for grave concern," it states. An accompanying telex
mentions "numerous reports" of "UFO sightings" and even a landing in the
Great Falls area.
Salas said he was the missile launch officer at a nearby SAC facility
code-named Oscar Silo early that morning when security personnel above
ground phoned in a report of a glowing, oval-shaped UFO hovering outside the
base gates. "Within minutes of getting (a second) phone call, my weapons
started going down one after another," Salas said. "We lost between six and
eight weapons that morning."
Within half an hour, he added, they received a report of a similar incident
SAC's Echo Silo complex - except that all 10 of Echo's missiles were
deactivated from launch readiness. Salas later said he'd searched Project
Blue Book, the official Air Force study of UFOs, and could find no mention of
the encounter. He also said he has 12 witnesses who can substantiate the
In Indian Harbour Beach, retired Air Force colonel and erstwhile Blue Book
spokesman Bill Coleman said he suspects the Malmstrom incident wasn't
archived because he theorizes Salas was rattled by a routine SAC
"SAC was famous for running all kinds of tests to challenge security systems
they did it all the time," said Coleman, who went on to become the Air Force's
chief public relations officer during the early 1970s. "It could easily have been a
test created by the SAC commander to neutralize the weapons site to gauge
the response measures.
"These are the kinds of things SAC does routinely. This captain should've
known it was a test. Either that, or he's lying about it."
As the official USAF repository for UFO data from 1947-69, Blue Book
collected 12,618 cases and lists 701 reports as unidentified. The Air Force's
written conclusions haven't budged since: "No UFO reported, investigated and
evaluated by the Air Force was ever an indication of (a) threat to our national
Coleman said he was asked by Greer a year ago to discuss his 1955
encounter, during which he gave chase to a disc-shaped vehicle over
Mississippi while piloting a B-25. Coleman has no explanation for why this
incident isn't posted in the Blue Book files. But he says he declined to
cooperate with Greer.
"They need to get off of this crap about accusing the Air Force and the
lying. That's not going to cut it with Congress," Coleman said. "Look, if these
(Disclosure Project) people were talking about classified information, they've
already violated their security oaths under Title 18, which means they can be
prosecuted for what they've done. This law wasn't created by the military, it was
created by Congress."
Besides, Coleman added, UFO witnesses often present credibility problems.
"This business," he said, "attracts a lot of kooks and nuts."
An attempt to raise a show of hands among Disclosure Project witnesses
who'd violated their security oaths was pre-empted by Sheehan. "I don't think
all the people are necessarily in a legal position to adequately answer that," he
Greer said he was satisfied with the screening process.
"This field is filled with hoaxes and scams," he said. "But it doesn't
all of it is. In fact, after eight years of research, we have found the documents
and insiders willing to testify under oath before Congress that this is true."
Among the highlights from those who wanted to share even more details with
Former Lockheed "Skunkworks" engineer Don Phillips said technology
gleaned from recovered extraterrestrial vehicles has long been incorporated
into U.S. weaponry.
Retired Col. Dwynne Arneson said he worked classified projects with the
Force, and that while at Malmstrom AFB, he read a message about a metallic
UFO hovering near missile silos and shutting down nuclear ICBMs.
As Wernher Von Braun's spokeswoman from 1974-77, Carol Rosin said the
rocket pioneer warned her space was going to be militarized ostensibly to
guard against enemy nukes and asteroids, but that space-based pickets really
were aimed at exraterrestrials.
In 1979, Navy veteran and ex-National Security Agency employee James Kopf
was aboard the USS JFK, laden with nuclear weapons, when a UFO buzzed
the vessel and scrambled onboard communications systems.
Donna Hare, who worked as a display designer for Johnson Space Center
contractor Philco-Ford, said NASA had a "protocol" to airbrush UFO images
off photos scheduled for public release.
One time zone to the west, in Houston, NASA spokeswoman Eileen Hawley
categorically dismissed Hare's allegation: "We do not doctor photos. I am
unaware of any such policy."
At any rate, the gathering ended on a burst of applause from audience
sympathizers when Greer declared all national security oaths regarding UFOs
"null and void," adding: "There will be no legal repercussions - we have
counsel to represent (whistleblowers)."
Looking quite pleased with the proceedings was the Disclosure Project's
National Press Club sponsor, 90-year-old veteran Washington political
reporter Sarah McClendon.
From her wheelchair venue on the front row, McClendon found nothing
particularly exotic about the issue of UFO secrecy. Said the woman whose first
assignment was the Roosevelt presidency in 1944, "I've been around long
enough to know they'll cover up anything if they think they can get away with it."
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