"Oh, what a tangled web we weave When first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott
Since 1947, when it was reported by the Air Force that an unidentified flying object had crashed outside the small town of Roswell, New Mexico, the controversy over whether or not these objects, commonly known as UFOs, exist or not has raged on. With the 50th anniversary of the Roswell incident coming up in July of this year, there is renewed interest world-wide in the whole gamut of issues surrounding the existance of ufos and aliens from other worlds.
But is there really any doubt that these things, these unidentified flying objects, exist?
For a very long time, the U.S. military took the public position that UFOs did not exist. The armed forces and security branches of the U.S. government claimed to have no interest in the reports of these objects at all. But was that actually the case? It was only through utilization of the Freedom of Information Act that documents came to light that dispute the government's stand on the issue. Based on 892 pages of UFO related documents released through the FOIA to lawyer Peter Gersten, it is clear that the government's professed non-interest in UFOs is untrue.
"No UFO reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of a threat to our national security" -- Air Force, 1980
This statement by the Air Force has been proven blatantly false by documents released through Freedom of Information Act requests. A Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) document, dated 1952, reveals that "sightings of unexplained objects at great altitudes and traveling at high speeds" were reported in the vicinity of major U.S. defense installations and posed a threat to national security. The evidence uncovered through the FOIA makes it abundantly clear that the federal government has systematically misinformed the American people about the existance of UFOs and of the perceived threat that these objects pose to the national security of the United States.
For a long time, it was thought that the Air Force was the only branch of the military that was interested in any way in the reported sightings of UFOs. The phenomenon was not considered to be worthy of the notice of other branches of the military or non-military security departments of the federal government. But government documents obtained in the past few years show that both the Army and the Navy have been accumulating records of UFO activity. Also, the State Department, the Department of Defense, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the C.I.A., and even the Atomic Energy Commission have produced records documenting UFO activity and the respective departments' interest in them over the years.
For example, it is fairly commonly accepted that the C.I.A made no "official" study of UFOs other than the 1953 Robertson Panel. But documents obtained from that agency show that the C.I.A. kept other avenues open to gather information, including an acknowledged "channel" into the 1966-68 University of Colorado UFO project. Similiarly, the Air Force sponsored the "Condon Committee" study by the University of Colorado in 1968. Though presented as an earnest investigation into the reports of UFO sightings and activity, declassified documents reveal that the Condon Committee never sincerely intended to investigate the physical reality of the existance of UFOs. In an early memorandum by one of Dr. Edward U. Condon's staff, it was boldly stated that "the trick would be, I think, to describe the project so that to the public, it would appear a totally objective study... one way to do this would be to stress investigation, not of the physical phenomenon, but rather of the people who are doing the observing..."
It would seem that the practice of "killing the messenger" is a time-honored tradition in the ranks of the U.S. government. Over the years, those who have reported UFO sightings and/or alien encounters have been painted more and more as 'lunatic fringe' or 'new-agers'. However, this approach was and is applied only to those outside the ranks of the military, or those not under the auspices of any of the many government agencies that we now know do indeed consider UFOs to be worthy of note and serious investigation.
For example, a Defense Department message, obtained through an FOIA request, bears the classification CONFIDENTIAL. "Subject: Suspicious Unknown Air Activity." Dated November 11, 1975, it reads as follows:
"Since 28 Oct 75 numerous reports of suspicious objects have been received at the NORAD COC [North American Air Defense Combat Operations Center]. Reliable military personnel at Loring AFB [Air Force Base], Maine, Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan, Malmstrom AFB, [Montana], Minot AFB, [North Dakota], and Canadian Forces Station, Falconbridge, Ontario, Canada, have visually sighted suspicious objects."
Despite these reports and many others, the Air Force, a mere 5 years after the above report was written, made the following statement:
"Further scientific investigation of UFOs is unwarranted." -- Air Force, 1980.
Although the Air Force did sponsor Project Blue Book to investigate the UFO reports, the project was terminated with no public disclosure of the factual findings of that project. It was quite some time before the findings of Blue Book were made public. Though Blue Book was closed with over 700 cases unresolved, the Air Force still maintained its basic position on the UFO controversy. Despite official documents that reveal hundreds of sighting reports - many confirmed by radar and other tracking devices - that describe unconventional objects exhibiting advanced performance characteristics involving maneuverability, speed, size and shape, the Air Force still made the following statement in 1980:
"There has been no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as 'unidentified' represent technological developments or principles beyond the range of present-day scientific knowledge."
Despite the overwhelming evidence - "reliable witnesses", by the military's own standards, radar verification of sightings on countless occasions, film footage from military personnel - the federal government still took and continues to take the position that it would be in the public interest to lie to the public, and debunk anyone who attempted to whittle away at the mountain of deception surrounding the facts of the UFO phenomenon. The machinery of propaganda, once started, can run endlessly onward. By focusing on the observers of UFOs the government has created an atmosphere of suspicion and doubt in the minds of the people it is sworn to protect.
Many formerly classified documents have been slowly yanked from the vaults of the government files and archives. Many, many more have not. FOIA requests are denied on a daily basis. Many site that the information contained in them is still classified, often by Presidential Executive Order. This indicates that the Presidents, past and present, have been briefed with enough information on the subject to, in his mind, warrant the withholding of this information from the public by special order. Executive Orders do not require the approval of Congress to be written into the law books.
There must no longer be a need to hide the fact that UFOs exist. If this was still the government's position, the documents and information obtained to date via FOIA requests would never have seen the light of day. The documents released speak of the physical existance of unidentified flying objects. There is undeniable evidence from the best source in the world - the U.S. military and the U.S. government. And the government, for whatever reason, has decided that the public can know this now.
There has not, however, been any information released on exactly who or what the military and the federal government thinks is piloting these UFOs. While there is, unfortunately, no hard evidence to indicate what the military and governmental agencies know concerning the issue of the pilots of these craft, it is a safe assumption that these agencies, along with the Army and the Navy, hold the answer to that question still locked away in their files.
It would seem that the federal government and the military decided early in the history of the UFO phenomenon that their priority should be to make certain that the public did not overreact or become too interested in the concept of UFOs and extraterrestrial life. This statement is backed up by a memo obtained via FOIA:
"I have expressed my concern to SAFOI [Air Force Information Office] that we come up soon with a proposed answer to queries from the press to prevent overreaction by the public to reports by the media that might be blown out of proportion. To date efforts by Air Guard helicopters, SAC [Strategic Air Command] helicopters and NORAD F-106s have failed to produce positive ID" of the reported UFO sightings.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave......
DIA document #1-656-0111-69
FOIA document #0811-96
NSA document #J9606-96
USAF document #87-34
Jilain can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or can be found on IRC undernet in the channel #Devils_Tower.