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August 11, 2008

Londra Toplum Postasi



by Fazile Zahyr

The sighting of a UFO this week has excited the Turkish media with pictures appearing in both tabloid style and more serious broadsheet papers this week. The flying object was spotted in the Karakopru area of Sanliurfa province towards 4am on Wednesday morning. Filmed by an amateur videographer the strangely glowing hexagonal ball of light hovered in the sky emitting red, green and white lights and moved both fast and erratically. After fifteen minutes it disappeared without a trace. As of yet no official explanation has been offered as to what it might be although internet comments vary between lauding a genuine sighting of a 'Green Fireball' phenomenon, non believers claiming the object is just a star filmed under magnification and the more cynical believing that these are American spy planes monitoring Turkey's border with Syria. 

This is not the first instance of a UFO sighting in Turkey. They occur regularly with recent ones in Konya in March 2007 in the early evening which lasted on and off for a week and Istanbul on January 4th when people in the Yenibosna area of Istanbul saw a spinning circle with glowing white lights in the sky. The head of the Turkish Sirius UFO Space Sciences Research Centre Haktan Akdog(an claimed in August that in the last few months the number of sightings in Turkey, as in many other countries, has been increasing. 

The largest concentration of sightings in Turkey and perhaps the best documented occurred between 2001 and 2002. This spate of sightings seem to have been triggered by the extraordinary events of June 7th 2001. Ten rural guardsmen from the village of Dondurmaz in Adyaman province were watchmen for the night. All of them claimed to have seen a bright light in the shape of a large circular 'tray' the size of a house glowing in the sky. They watched as it flew off in the direction of Ulubas, mountain and then winked out of existence. 

When the men reported to their commander their statements were taken seriously and the governor of Adyaman province, Halil Isik, had them seperated and individually questioned. Not only did their accounts tally up but when asked to draw pictures of what they had seen all the sketches were uncannily similar. Mr. Isik felt the event was serious enough to send a report with the details to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and also informed Haktan Akdog at the Sirius organisation. By the 13th of June in the same year Sabah newspaper was leading with the headline 'Everyone searching for UFOs' in a story that detailed how in Usak locals had stoned an alien, in Gaziantep the police had videoed a UFO and that people all over the country were phoning in reports of strange occurrences to their local jandarma. 

The reports continued in a slightly hysterical atmosphere well into 2002 and included an event in Gebze on the 31st of May 2002 where a UFO was visible and circling with projecting lights for over an hour. This was followed by Aksam newspaper printing the story on 1st June 2002 of Saffet Sap, an electronic technician from Beykoz, who managed to video a flying object like a black bug with seven or eight legs. Later in the year on the 9th of November Hurriyet newspaper ran the account of four commercial pilots from different planes who had all seen UFO's in the same patch of sky on the same day at the same time. 

Haktan Akdog of Sirius seems to be a recurring figure in Turkish UFO lore commenting freely on each event and insisting on the importance of Turkey to alien life. His motives however may not just be scientific, he is also the owner of the Istanbul UFO museum that opened in 2002 (riding on the back of these multiple UFO events) and any extra interest in aliens will also encourage punters through the door of his museum. He also runs the museum as a fairly successful franchise, of the six UFO museums in the world three are in Turkey (Istanbul, Denizli and Goreme in Cappadocia) and his website advertises for further partners to open other UFO branch museums. It is his clearly stated intention to open UFO museums all over Turkey to 'further the knowledge of the Turkish people and to attract tourists'. His organisation provide all the necessary materials and installations so each museum is a de facto copy of the first. Whether they are lucrative or not is not mentioned but when the Goreme museum opened in 2006 Hurriyet newspaper reported that they had 5000 visitors in one month alone. Apparently it was especially popular with the Japanese. 

Whether extra terrestials exist or not is much debated but recent advances in science make the chances seem more likely. Animals known as extremophiles thrive in earth environments previously thought not to have been able to sustain life. From microbes found living without oxygen in volcanic fissures two miles down in deep ocean trenches to water bears (aka tardigrades) that can survive temperatures from nearly absolute zero to 303ºF and even live in a vacuum like that found in space. These minute living things have upended the understanding of what is needed for the survival of life. 

Previously scientists has worked on the assumption that both oxygen and liquid water were key factors in sustaining life but now it sems that these are only important to some types of life. The 'rare earth' theory is falling out of favour to be replaced with the idea that life is adaptable and that the question that needs to be asked is what kind of environment other than our own might sustain living things. The chances of intelligent life with the technology to communicate is slimmer, it is possible that such worlds have been and gone. I.f life of this sort exists now they, like us would have the technology to recognise that earth is an 'interesting' planet and worth investigating. So why aren't they here? Some would say they are and the report of flying objects above Karakopru on Tuesday was a clear indication of just that.


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July 5, 2008

Bristol Western Daily Press (UK)

Growing Belief That The Truth Is Out There...

The Ministry of Defence began to release its UFO files. A near- miss was reported between a UFO and a police helicopter. UFOs were filmed by soldiers over a military base. UFO stories made front page news in the press and a new documentary series is being screened on TV.

So what's going on? Is any of this linked and does it help answer that fundamental question: are we alone?
This story really starts on May 14 this year, when the Ministry of Defence began a four-year programme to release its entire archive of UFO files. The MoD has been investigating UFO sightings since the Fifties, not because the department believes in little green men but because the RAF and the MoD want to know about anything flying in British airspace - intruders are more likely to be Russian than Martian.
To date, the MoD has received more than 11,000 UFO reports. Some of the older material has been available for some time, but it is releasing all its UFO files because it receives more Freedom of Information Act requests about UFOs than for any other subject.
The National Archives set up a website to host the first batch of files and the release made national and international news. Within a week, the National Archives had recorded nearly two million downloads. Clearly, there was huge public interest in this subject. The irony of this was that much of the 2,000 pages of documentation was comparatively mundane, consisting of one or two-page sighting reports, most of which were clearly generated by people misidentifying aircraft lights, bright stars and planets, satellites and meteors.
This interest was closely followed by two sensational new UFO encounters. In the first, late on the evening of June 7, three soldiers on guard duty at Tern Hill barracks in Shropshire sighted several UFOs over the base.
Regarding this as much as a security incident as anything else, one soldier, Corporal Mark Proctor, used a mobile phone to film the objects. Afterwards, they reported the incident up the chain of command and a report was duly forwarded to the MoD, where the episode is currently being investigated and the film footage analysed.
Somewhere along the way, someone tipped off a national newspaper about this and passed it a copy of the film. It ran the story on the front page, under the headline "Army spot UFOs over Shropshire".
A few hours later, in the early hours of June 8, a police helicopter was preparing to land at RAF St Athan in Wales. Suddenly, the crew of three saw a UFO pass close to their aircraft. Media reports of what happened next vary. One report states that a chase took place, with the crew only breaking off pursuit when they ran short of fuel and realised they stood no chance of catching the UFO.
A later report denied any chase took place. The shape of the UFO is also the subject of some confusion. The initial report stated that the object was disc-shaped, while a later statement issued by South Wales police confirmed that a UFO had been sighted by the crew, but the incident was clearly being played down.
"In today's skies there are a large number of aircraft which come in a range of different shapes and sizes," a police spokesperson commented. The MoD is still investigating, with rumours of secret prototype aircraft and Government cover-ups further muddying the waters.
These two high-profile sightings and the associated media coverage led to many other people coming forward to report their own sightings. And in an age when many people carry mobile phones with the facility to take photos and videos, many of these people had the footage to back up their claims.
The national newspaper I mentioned earlier has run further UFO stories over the past few days and its website now hosts a variety of photos, videos and other UFO stories. Other newspapers have also run UFO features as people contact them in increasing numbers, perhaps emboldened by the positive media coverage and thinking it less likely that they'll be disbelieved or ridiculed.
UFO fever is at an all-time high. I've seen most of the footage. Some is fairy obviously attributable to so-called Chinese lanterns - miniature hot air balloons let off in groups and used increasingly at weddings and other occasions. But some footage seems more intriguing.
As if all this wasn't enough, there's a new Channel Five documentary series focusing on the UFO mystery. Entitled Britain's Closest Encounters, the first episode in this four-part series was broadcast on Wednesday and featured the extraordinary story of the Berwyn Mountain incident, sometimes dubbed "The Welsh Roswell" - Roswell being the American town where UFO enthusiasts believe that a UFO crashed in 1947.
The Berwyn Mountain case took place on January 23, 1974. Some locals near the Berwyn Mountains in Llandrillo reported lights in the sky and an explosion. Police and mountain rescue teams launched a search, fearing an aircraft had crashed, but nothing was found.
Believers suggest an alien spacecraft crashed and that the government covered this up. Sceptics argue that meteors, coupled with an earth tremor known to have taken place at the time, explain the mystery.
Future episodes of the series will focus on other UFO incidents, including a wave of sightings from West Wales in 1977 and a case from last year where a commercial airline pilot, Ray Bowyer, saw two massive UFOs in the vicinity of the Channel Islands, with air traffic controllers picking up a target on radar, which they categorised as "unknown traffic."

So where does all this leave us? Extraterrestrials? Misidentifications? Hoaxes? I doubt that we'll resolve the issue. But these recent events have focused our attention on the UFO mystery. And with the new X-Files movie scheduled for release on August 1, many people continue to believe that the truth is out there.

- Nick Pope left the Ministry of Defence in 2006 after a 21-year career. From 1991 to 1994 his duties included investigating UFO sightings. While most sightings could be explained as misidentifications of ordinary objects, some are seen by police officers and pilots and are tracked on radar. He believes that whatever the true nature of the UFO phenomenon, it raises important defence and air safety issues.


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March 12, 2008

Londra Toplum Postasi



by Fazile Zahyr

The sighting of a UFO this week has excited the Turkish media with pictures appearing in both tabloid style and more serious broadsheet papers this week. The flying object was spotted in the Karakopru area of Sanliurfa province towards 4am on Wednesday morning. Filmed by an amateur videographer the strangely glowing hexagonal ball of light hovered in the sky emitting red, green and white lights and moved both fast and erratically. After fifteen minutes it disappeared without a trace. As of yet no official explanation has been offered as to what it might be although internet comments vary between lauding a genuine sighting of a 'Green Fireball' phenomenon, non believers claiming the object is just a star filmed under magnification and the more cynical believing that these are American spy planes monitoring Turkey's border with Syria. 

This is not the first instance of a UFO sighting in Turkey. They occur regularly with recent ones in Konya in March 2007 in the early evening which lasted on and off for a week and Istanbul on January 4th when people in the Yenibosna area of Istanbul saw a spinning circle with glowing white lights in the sky. The head of the Turkish Sirius UFO Space Sciences Research Centre Haktan Akdog(an claimed in August that in the last few months the number of sightings in Turkey, as in many other countries, has been increasing. 

The largest concentration of sightings in Turkey and perhaps the best documented occurred between 2001 and 2002. This spate of sightings seem to have been triggered by the extraordinary events of June 7th 2001. Ten rural guardsmen from the village of Dondurmaz in Adyaman province were watchmen for the night. All of them claimed to have seen a bright light in the shape of a large circular 'tray' the size of a house glowing in the sky. They watched as it flew off in the direction of Ulubas, mountain and then winked out of existence. 

When the men reported to their commander their statements were taken seriously and the governor of Adyaman province, Halil Isik, had them seperated and individually questioned. Not only did their accounts tally up but when asked to draw pictures of what they had seen all the sketches were uncannily similar. Mr. Isik felt the event was serious enough to send a report with the details to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and also informed Haktan Akdog at the Sirius organisation. By the 13th of June in the same year Sabah newspaper was leading with the headline 'Everyone searching for UFOs' in a story that detailed how in Usak locals had stoned an alien, in Gaziantep the police had videoed a UFO and that people all over the country were phoning in reports of strange occurrences to their local jandarma. 

The reports continued in a slightly hysterical atmosphere well into 2002 and included an event in Gebze on the 31st of May 2002 where a UFO was visible and circling with projecting lights for over an hour. This was followed by Aksam newspaper printing the story on 1st June 2002 of Saffet Sap, an electronic technician from Beykoz, who managed to video a flying object like a black bug with seven or eight legs. Later in the year on the 9th of November Hurriyet newspaper ran the account of four commercial pilots from different planes who had all seen UFO's in the same patch of sky on the same day at the same time. 

Haktan Akdog of Sirius seems to be a recurring figure in Turkish UFO lore commenting freely on each event and insisting on the importance of Turkey to alien life. His motives however may not just be scientific, he is also the owner of the Istanbul UFO museum that opened in 2002 (riding on the back of these multiple UFO events) and any extra interest in aliens will also encourage punters through the door of his museum. He also runs the museum as a fairly successful franchise, of the six UFO museums in the world three are in Turkey (Istanbul, Denizli and Goreme in Cappadocia) and his website advertises for further partners to open other UFO branch museums. It is his clearly stated intention to open UFO museums all over Turkey to 'further the knowledge of the Turkish people and to attract tourists'. His organisation provide all the necessary materials and installations so each museum is a de facto copy of the first. Whether they are lucrative or not is not mentioned but when the Goreme museum opened in 2006 Hurriyet newspaper reported that they had 5000 visitors in one month alone. Apparently it was especially popular with the Japanese. 

Whether extra terrestials exist or not is much debated but recent advances in science make the chances seem more likely. Animals known as extremophiles thrive in earth environments previously thought not to have been able to sustain life. From microbes found living without oxygen in volcanic fissures two miles down in deep ocean trenches to water bears (aka tardigrades) that can survive temperatures from nearly absolute zero to 303ºF and even live in a vacuum like that found in space. These minute living things have upended the understanding of what is needed for the survival of life. 

Previously scientists has worked on the assumption that both oxygen and liquid water were key factors in sustaining life but now it sems that these are only important to some types of life. The 'rare earth' theory is falling out of favour to be replaced with the idea that life is adaptable and that the question that needs to be asked is what kind of environment other than our own might sustain living things. The chances of intelligent life with the technology to communicate is slimmer, it is possible that such worlds have been and gone. I.f life of this sort exists now they, like us would have the technology to recognise that earth is an 'interesting' planet and worth investigating. So why aren't they here? Some would say they are and the report of flying objects above Karakopru on Tuesday was a clear indication of just that.


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February 24, 2008

Farmington Daily  Times

Aztec To Be Part Of Upcoming Disney Movie

by Lindsay Whitehurst

AZTEC — If Hollywood is like another planet, the Aztec UFO Symposium should fit in perfectly.

The two solar systems will collide when art and logos from the symposium appear on sets of the upcoming Disney re-make Witch Mountain.
"(Aztec) will have a big footprint," Los Angeles-based set decorator Kara Lindstrom said. Slated for a 2009 release, the movie features an alien brother and sister searching Earth for something that will save their planet while avoiding men who would exploit their powers.
In one scene, the pair, who look human, go to a UFO convention in Las Vegas, Nev., and end up on the run. One of the convention booths will be from the Aztec UFO Symposium.
Though it will be one of about 45 booths from UFO powerhouse cities like Roswell and Laughlin, Nev., Lindstrom said Aztec's booth will be two or three times as large as the others.
"They have a lot of art work and a lot of really good stuff," Lindstrom said. "Most conventions are not that visually interesting."
Shooting is slated to start in California in March, and the UFO convention scene shoot is in April. Though only extraterrestrial powers could discern the amount of screen time Aztec will get, its chances look good.

"It's background to an extremely big scene," Lindstrom said. "We'll take a week to shoot this thing."  The contact started when Lindstrom found the symposium online.  "We sent them T-shirts, cups, mugs, bags, big banners," and entries from the annual art contest, Aztec Librarian Leanne Hathcock said. "Ten years worth of stuff."

The positive, prompt response from the Aztec Library made it one of Lindstrom's favorites.
"I found a lot of people were kind of flakey", she said.
This set will be different from the others she's helped create on movies such as French Kiss and Strange Days because many, though not all, of the sets are from real groups or events.
"It always looks better. You know if something is real or kind of fake," she said. "Real works."
This week, the Aztec City Commission approved contracts giving Flying Winnebago Productions Inc., a company created by Disney for the movie, the right to use photos, images and artwork from the symposium for $2,000.
"Some people pay to have their stuff appear on sets," Hathcock said. Though documentary crews have visited the symposium before, this is the largest amount the library has been paid, Hathcock said.
The movie is a remake of the 1975 film Escape To Witch Mountain about two orphan children with mysterious powers. It was followed by a sequel, Return From Witch Mountain three years later.
The new version stars Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson as a cab driver who advises and protects the children. AnnaSophia Robb, who was in Bridge To Terabithia, will play the sister.
"It's about aliens, but it's a family movie, really quite sweet," Lindstrom said.
The 10-year-old Aztec UFO Symposium is based on a possible 1948 spacecraft crash in Hart Canyon. Dozens of speakers and a few hundred people come each year to hear speakers on all things extraterrestrial and otherworldly.
The library is now accepting entries for the art contest. For more information, call (505) 334-7657.


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February 20, 2008

Woodland Hills Daily Breeze

The Great L.A. Air Raid Mystery

by Stephanie Walton

Questions still abound over the Great Los Angeles Air Raid of 1942.

What was it that showed up on military radar screens the night of Feb. 24, 1942, prompting authorities to order a blackout and unleash an hourlong anti-aircraft barrage?
Could it have been enemy aircraft like those that attacked Pearl Harbor less than three months earlier? Was it just a weather balloon? Might it have been a UFO?
"What have we learned? Not much," said Steve Nelson, curator of the Fort MacArthur Museum in San Pedro, which housed some of the artillaryartillery used to protect the West Coast during World War II.
Decades later, it's difficult to imagine the tension gripping residents of Los Angeles and the rest of California. They were still reeling from the attack on Pearl Harbor and worried about a similar assault on the U.S. mainland.
Their fears were realized on Feb. 23, 1942, when a Japanese submarine surfaced and fired on an oil production facility near Santa Barbara. Reports circulated that the sub then headed south, in the direction of Los Angeles.
According to historical accounts by the California State Military Museum, U.S. naval intelligence issued a warning on Feb. 24 that an attack was expected in 10 hours, but the advisory was later lifted.
Then, early on Feb. 25, radar picked up an unidentified target 120 miles away from Los Angeles.
At 2:15 a.m., anti-aircraft gun batteries were alerted and were ready to fire minutes later.
At 2:21 a.m., the regional controller ordered a blackout. Information centers were flooded with reports of enemy planes "even though the mysterious object tracked in from the sea seems to have vanished," the museum's Web site said.
At 2:43 a.m., planes were reported near Long Beach and one coastal artillery colonel spotted "about 25 planes at 12,000" feet over Los Angeles.
At 3:06 a.m., a balloon carrying a red flare was seen over Santa Monica and four batteries of anti-aircraft artillery opened fire.
Reports of what happened afterward vary.
"Probably much of the confusion came from the fact that anti-aircraft shell bursts, caught by the searchlights, were themselves mistaken for enemy planes," the museum's Web site states.
Among those anti-aircraft batteries responding were the crews at Fort MacArthur who, according to veterans' reports, fired about seven rounds of 3-inch shells from guns mounted on the upper reservation, near where the Korean Friendship Bell stands today, Nelson said.
The number and type of aircraft reportedly seen over various parts of the Los Angeles area widely varied from one to 220 and from airplanes to balloons to a blimp.
Some eyewitnesses said that there were no planes.
And some people, in later years, have claimed that the objects were UFOs.
"Although reports were conflicting and every effort is being made to ascertain the facts, it is clear that no bombs were dropped and no planes were shot down," the Western Defense Command said in a Feb. 25, 1942, Associated Press story.
Those conflicting reports included the military.
Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson announced that as many as 15 aircraft, "possibly piloted by enemy agents," had flown over Los Angeles the morning of Feb. 25, according to an Associated Press report.
Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox said that "reports reaching him indicated the incident was a false alarm and that extensive reconnaissance had disclosed no evidence of planes," the same story said.
Whether an enemy aircraft flew over American soil, there were several casualties due to blackout conditions.
One occurred in Long Beach, where a police sergeant driving to headquarters was killed in a head-on collision with another driver, who had just come off duty at a shipyard.
Another death was attributed to a heart attack. A third man died of injuries suffered when he walked into an automobile while trying to catch a Pacific Electric train in heavier than normal morning traffic after the all-clear was sounded.
Despite the uncertainty over the cause of the events, public officials praised the efficiency of civil defense officials, air raid wardens and anti-aircraft batteries in response to the perceived threat.
Daily activities resumed after the all-clear was signaled at 7:21 a.m. although not without some glitches.
Newspaper reports noted pupils absent from school and employees late to work that day while others went hunting for souvenirs -  anti-aircraft shrapnel.



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January 2, 2008

Wall Street Journal

What Kucinich Saw: Witnesses Describe His Close Encounter

by Michael M. Phillips


The 2008 presidential race has raised many questions about the candidates' personal histories. Will Barack Obama's past drug use preclude a White House future? Will Christian conservatives forgive Rudy Giuliani his two divorces? Will voters forgive Hillary Clinton for forgiving Bill?

And what exactly did Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich see hovering above actress Shirley MacLaine's house 25 years ago?

This fall, Ms. MacLaine revealed in her new book that the Ohio congressman had seen a UFO and felt "a connection in his heart and heard directions in his mind." In a Democratic presidential debate in late October, Mr. Kucinich acknowledged seeing something airborne that he couldn't identify and then defused the issue with a joke about opening a campaign office in Roswell, N.M., the capital of unexplained sightings.

[Shirley Maclaine]

 Since then, the long-shot candidate has refused to elaborate on the experience.

Now, after keeping quiet about the incident for a quarter of a century, the two people who say they were at Mr. Kucinich's side that evening have come forward to describe an event which they say left them convinced that there's intelligent life in outer space.

"At no time did I feel afraid, even though I felt very small," says one witness, Paul Costanzo. "I sensed that I was in the presence of a greater technology and intelligence."

The close encounter, says Mr. Costanzo, took place in September 1982 at Ms. MacLaine's former home in Graham, Wash. -- an expansive estate on a ridge above the Puyallup River, with a view of Mount Rainier.

The 61-year-old Mr. Kucinich, who declined several requests to comment for this article, had been the wunderkind mayor of Cleveland in the late 1970s and had met Ms. MacLaine through Bella Abzug, the late New York congresswoman and feminist. The actress says she quickly realized she and Mr. Kucinich were kindred spirits. Years later he asked Ms. MacLaine to be the godmother of his daughter.

"We just thought the same," Ms. MacLaine says in an interview. "We have the same political points of view."

When Cleveland voters ousted Mr. Kucinich after one tumultuous term, Ms. MacLaine offered him her home as a sanctuary where he could write his memoirs. He lived there for the better part of a year.

[Paul Costanzo]

Also in residence was Mr. Costanzo, a Juilliard-trained trumpet player and jujitsu black belt, who worked as Ms. MacLaine's assistant, personal trainer and bodyguard. He and Mr. Kucinich became good friends, and Mr. Costanzo, now 55 years old, served as deputy campaign director and security chief for the congressman's unsuccessful 2004 presidential run.

Ms. MacLaine -- well-known for her fascination with things mystical and extraterrestrial -- was in Canada that weekend in 1982, performing her one-woman show. But Mr. Costanzo's girlfriend at the time, a model and actress who is now 50 years old, was visiting when the UFO incident took place. She spoke after Mr. Costanzo requested she do so, and on condition that her name not be published.

Here's what happened, according to separate interviews with Mr. Costanzo and his former girlfriend:

The day was strange from the start. For hours, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. Costanzo and his companion noticed a high-pitched sound. "There was a sense that something extraordinary was happening all day," says the girlfriend. She and Mr. Costanzo say that none of the three consumed alcohol or took drugs.

As they sat down to a dinner, Mr. Kucinich spotted a light in the distance, to the left of Mount Rainier. Mr. Costanzo thought it was a helicopter.

But Mr. Kucinich walked outside to the deck to look through the telescope that he had bought Ms. MacLaine as a house gift. After a few minutes, Mr. Kucinich summoned the other two: "Guys, come on out here and look at this."

Mr. Costanzo and his girlfriend joined Mr. Kucinich, where they took turns peering through the telescope. What they saw in the far distance, according to both witnesses, was a hovering light, which soon divided into two, and then three.

After a few minutes, the lights moved closer and it became apparent that they were actually three charcoal-gray, triangular craft, flying in a tight wedge. The girlfriend remembers each triangle having red and green lights running down the edges, with a laser-like red light at the tail. Mr. Costanzo recalls white lights, but no tail.

Mr. Costanzo says each triangle was roughly the size of a large van, while his former girlfriend compares it to a "larger Cessna, smaller than a jet certainly." Neither recalls seeing any markings, landing gear, engines, windows or cockpits.

The craft approached to within 200 yards, suspended over the field just beyond the swimming pool. Both witnesses say it emitted a quiet, throbbing sound -- nothing like an airplane engine.

"There was a feeling of wanting to communicate something, but I didn't know what," says Mr. Costanzo.

The craft held steady in midair, for perhaps a minute, then sped away, Mr. Costanzo says. "Nothing had landed," he says. "No strange beings had disembarked. No obvious messages were beamed down. When they were completely out of sight, we all looked at each other disbelieving what we had seen."

At Mr. Kucinich's suggestion, they jotted down their impressions and drew pictures to memorialize the event. Mr. Kucinich kept the notes, according to Ms. MacLaine, who said he promised her recently that he would try to find them.

"It was proof to me that we're obviously not alone," says the girlfriend.

The next day, the group spotted what they thought to be military helicopters buzzing around the valley where they had made the sighting. And the high-pitched sound remained.

Mr. Kucinich called Ms. MacLaine in Canada to tell her what had happened. "He said it was beautiful, serene, and it moved him," says Ms. MacLaine, who is supporting Mr. Kucinich's candidacy. "He was not afraid of it, let's put it that way. Seeing something that close and sophisticated and gentle."

Ms. MacLaine says she has seen UFOs from a distance in New Mexico and Peru, but never up close. She was envious. "I'm the one who reports them, but they never make close visitation. What am I doing wrong?"

None of the three reported the incident to the authorities. And over the years that followed, they shared the story with very few people. "Unfortunately, people are ridiculed when they say they've had these kinds of experiences, which is why I never came forward with it," says the girlfriend.

Ms. MacLaine says she called Mr. Kucinich before she included his UFO sighting in her book, "Sage-ing while Age-ing," a recounting of her spiritual and professional journeys. "I can handle it," she says he told her.

More recently, Mr. Kucinich has dodged it. Approached by The Wall Street Journal for comment in December -- moments after he voted for a House resolution praising Christmas and Christianity -- Mr. Kucinich looked unblinkingly ahead: "I don't have any comment," he said.

Write to Michael M. Phillips at


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November 23, 2007

Trenton Trentonian

Jersey girl sparks orgy of UFO talk 

by Rick Murray

It was a Jersey girl who masterminded the coming-out party for a cadre of international dignitaries pushing for the U.S. government to re-open a serious investigation into the UFO phenomenon. 

Leslie Kean is the niece of Tom Kean, former two-term governor of New Jersey and lately the esteemed chair of the 911 Commission.

She was also one of the chief organizers for a recent conference staged at the National Press Club, during which former Arizona Governor Fife Symington, plus a former top FAA official, as well as governmental officials from various countries, talked turkey about UFOs.

Does Uncle Tom believe UFOs are real, as in “UFOs and you ... puffuct togethah!”?

His niece won’t say.

But Symington has become famous for his vivid description of his sighting of a huge delta-shaped aircraft that looked and moved like nothing on earth over the rugged Arizona landscape 10 years ago. Although acknowledging the craft didn’t appear to be of any human design, Symington, a former Air Force pilot, stopped short of saying he believed it to be a flying saucer of extraterrestrial origin.

He and 18 other dignitaries, including scientists and military leaders from countries as diverse as France and Iran, signed a declaration calling for the U.S. to resume the serious UFO investigations it abandoned some 40 years ago.

The declaration was the brainchild of Kean, a freelance writer and researcher who has made UFOs the focus of her work.

“I don’t know what UFOs are,” she said. “I haven’t drawn any conclusions.

Still, she said, the evidence is overwhelming that the UFO phenomenon must be reclaimed from the lunatic fringe and become the work of serious scientific and governmental inquiry. 

Kean says the evidence is overwhelming: Thousands of credible observers worldwide — from airline pilots and astronauts to police officers and FAA tech personnel — have witnessed and carefully documented what are undeniably highly exotic, intelligently powered airborne phenomena.

“We do know there is a physical dimension to these things,” Kean said, alluding to the fringe theories about UFOs being part of the psychic or para-psychological realm.

“They have burnt people’s bodies, and we’ve had people actually touch them,” she said. “There’s no question we have to find out what these things are.”

Reliable and repeated reports from aviators indicate UFOS have regularly interfered with conventional aircraft, sometimes to the point of posing serious hazard, Kean supporters have noted.

To further the cause of intelligent UFO investigation, Kean has founded the Coalition of Freedom of Information, which recently pressed a law suit against NASA in quest of certain UFO files. Kean says a settlement was recently approved by a judge, which will compel NASA to disclose hundreds of such documents and provide copies to her.

Those files deal with a notorious incident in 1965, in which the government whisked away a downed UFO from Kecksburg, Pa.

“Witnesses described seeing a fireball in the evening sky, a controlled landing and a systematic military recovery of a spacecraft-like object,” Kean said. “As reported by local radio and newspapers, U.S. military personnel cordoned off the area, investigated the site and left without ever providing a full report of the incident other than to dismiss it as a meteor.”

No less a political celebrity than John Podesta, former chief of staff for President Clinton, has come out in support of Kean’s efforts.

“The time to pull the curtain back on this incident is long overdue,” Podesta said in a recent statement. “Leslie Kean’s victory is a triumph for open government and the spirit of inquiry.”


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September 13, 2007

Canadian Press

Edmonton Conference Takes A Scientific Look At Whether We're Alone In The Universe
EDMONTON (CP) — After spending years laboriously searching for the faintest speck of evidence of life elsewhere in the universe, astrophysicist Jaymie Matthews says he wants far more than most to believe that aliens live among us.
"If they've come here, it means they've gotten here from a planet around another star, and that's my life's passion - I spend my life studying the light, the photons, coming from these distant suns, with telescopes, with instruments," said the University of British Columbia professor. "If I had the chance to go there and visit one, see it close up, and confirm or deny ideas I've had and expand upon them - hey, I'm first in line."
Researchers who study sightings of unidentified flying objects will get the chance to try to convince Matthews and members of the public that aliens have already made contact at a conference starting Friday called "UFOs and Intelligent Life in the Universe: Who's Out There?"
Speakers at the Telus World of Science include people who analyze UFO sightings from across Canada and the United States, as well as Stanton Friedman, a nuclear physicist who has lectured on the issue for 40 years.
"There's an enormous amount of evidence with which most people, especially the noisy negativists, as I call them, aren't familiar," says Friedman. He cites physical traces collected from the ground after sightings of flying saucers and instances where many people in planes and at airports all saw the same unidentified objects.
But Matthews, the self-professed "party-pooping scientist" of the bunch, says he has heard these arguments before and is going into the conference a little like Daniel into the lion's den, ready for a tussle.
"I think it's important for me to convey the scientific perspective for this, and I will not be hiding my skepticism about what the other speakers are presenting," he said, adding with a laugh that his stance might not make him the most popular person there.
"But really I'm the only person that's presenting the 'scientific' perspective in this."
These divergent opinions are exactly what Frank Florian, director of space science, and others at the Telus centre were after when they came up with a sort of "science on the edge" series that will soon become a regular feature.
"We have to realize that science is an evolving thing. It's not static - we're always learning new things," he said, adding the science centre staff will stress such critical thinking at the conference.
"Science doesn't have all the answers, and any scientist that says we know everything already, they're not going to be doing good science."
Florian said they're expecting about 200 people to take part in the two-day conference. Various polls have suggested that many Canadians - ranging from 40 to 60 per cent - believe we're not alone in the universe. Even Matthews acknowledges that most astronomers, himself included, believe life exists elsewhere in the universe - they just don't believe it has made its way here yet.
Another speaker, Winnipeg's Chris Rutkowski, tries to walk the line between the divergent opinions held by Matthews and Friedman. He helps compile a yearly UFO sighting count for across Canada, and while he hasn't found any definitive evidence for aliens, he isn't ready to discount the more than 5,000 reports they've compiled over 20 years.
Between three and five per cent of the reports can't be explained, he says.
"These reports are not necessarily proof that the aliens are invading, but it is definite proof that there are some very puzzling cases that deserve further investigation and study."
This won't be the last look the centre takes at a controversial topic from a scientific perspective, said Florian.
They're planning similar seminars on topics such as ghosts and Bigfoot over the next year, in which they'll bring together both believers and those who say the science isn't there.
"We just want to take a look at these things from a scientific perspective, and just say 'What if?' "
"We really want people to scrutinize this stuff."


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September 3, 2007

Charleston Daily Mail

Physicist to speak at city UFO summit

Nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman arrives in West Virginia's capital Friday with "overwhelming evidence" that aliens from beyond have been visiting planet Earth for a long time.

Friedman is a keynoter for a special two-day UFO summit at the old Capitol Theater in Charleston, arranged by promoter Larry Bailey.

For almost half a century, Friedman has explored the UFO phenomenon and spent much of his time on the lecture circuit, meeting audiences on better than 600 campuses and appearing on national television interviews, including, of late, the "Larry King Show."

At every stop, his message never varies.

"UFOs are real, and the government has been covering them up in what I call the ¡cosmic Watergate,' " Friedman told The Register-Herald in a recent interview.

"I've never seen a flying saucer, but I've never seen a meteor or a gamma ray, but I think they're real, too."

No matter what side one takes in the UFO controversy, all must concede Friedman's scientific background.

For 14 years, he worked for no less giants than General Electric, General Motors, Westinghouse, McDonnell Douglass, TRW Systems and Aerojet General Nucleonics.

Friedman was the first scientific investigator to explore the Roswell incident and has been hard at it ever since, unearthing what he insists is a massive coverup by the government to deny the existence of alien craft.

"The flying saucer story is the biggest story of the millennium," he declares.

The linchpin of the UFO issue, of course, is Roswell.

It was there, back in 1947, that true believers say that two alien aircraft crash landed and the government recovered not only the debris from those ships but a number of alien bodies, but immediately moved into a sophisticated coverup to keep the lid on.

To cement the official lie that what landed was an aborted weather balloon, he says, the Army Air Force, as it was known back then, set loose such a device for the benefit of the press.

To those who mock his conclusions, Friedman is quick to ask if they have ever bothered to study the five major scientific studies used in his presentations. What he has learned is that 97 percent haven't.

Besides, scientific breakthroughs have seldom come without ridicule, even within the community of scientists.

In modern times, Friedman is swift to point out, the city of Troy, often dismissed as legend, a myth created in literature, was actually proven to have been a genuine place.

Skeptics often wonder why UFOs, if indeed real, haven't left behind some hard evidence and why they pick obscure locations such as a Kansas wheat field in which to set down, rather than downtown Detroit or bustling Dallas, For that matter, why hasn't a team of aliens touched down on the Rose Garden, walked up to the White House door and demanded to see the president.

Friedman alludes to violent contact between aliens and the U.S. Air Force -- a topic explored at length by the summit's other keynoter, author Frank Feschino -- as one reason.


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August 27, 2007

Halifax Chronicle Herald (Nova Scotia, Canada)

Fredericton Honours World-Renowned Flying Saucer Expert
by Chris Morris
FREDERICTON — If alien visitors to Earth ever decide to formally introduce themselves to humankind, they should consider landing in Fredericton.
Not only is the New Brunswick capital friendly and accommodating, it's also the home of Stanton T. Friedman, nuclear physicist, lecturer and world-renowned prophet of extraterrestrial existence.
The city of Fredericton is proclaiming today as Stanton Friedman Day, an homage to the 73-year-old UFOlogist who has talked and written his way to the top ring of the galaxy of believers who say Earth is being visited by aliens.
Friedman has built himself a reputation as the ultimate authority on flying saucers, alien abductions and the infamous Roswell incident, considered by many to be the definitive UFO event in world history.
This year marks the 60th anniversay of that day near Roswell, N.M., when the U.S. army claimed briefly it had recovered an unidentified flying disc — triggering a flying saucer frenzy that endures to this day.
Although the U.S. military later backtracked, insisting the object was just a fancy weather balloon, that only gave birth to Friedman's other major area of study — the so-called "cosmic Watergate."
Friedman says his personal success owes much to the fact that people have an endless fascination with space and the unknown.
"Can you think of anything that touches more deeply on who we are, where we stand and the mystery and the coverup?" he says in an interview from his comfortable Fredericton home.
"People are excited because it opens up the universe to wonderful possibilities."
Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside says Friedman is being honoured not only because of his tireless efforts in spreading the word about UFOs, but also because of his enthusiastic promotion of the city.
"Stanton has lived here for 27 years," Woodside says.
"He's not only a nuclear physicist but also a world-renowned UFOlogist. In just the past few months, he has appeared on Larry King Live, Fox News Live and he appeared on CBS Sunday Morning. He could live anywhere in the world but he has chosen to live in Fredericton. . . . We believe it is worth celebrating his celebrity."
Friedman, who was born and raised in New Jersey and began his career in California, says he's thrilled by the honour.
"I get friends in California saying to me, ‘Stan, don't you miss being in California? What are you doing back there?' And I say, ‘Yeah, I do miss the earthquakes and the horrible smog and the terrible traffic and the drive-by shootings and the drugs all over the place, but I've learned to do without those things.' "
Although Friedman has been a UFOlogist for more than 40 years, he has yet to see an alien spacecraft.
He says his belief is founded in the data he has uncovered over the years about flying saucers and various UFO events, most of it buried in U.S. government documents.
"I have never seen a flying saucer and I have never seen an alien. But remember, I chased neutrons and gamma rays for a lot of years as a physicist and never saw one of them either," he says.
"In fact, I've never seen Tokyo, but I'm convinced it's there."
Friedman, who refers to himself as "a wandering Jew," says he has so far lectured at more than 600 colleges, addressed more than 100 professional groups and toured all 50 American states, as well as nine Canadian provinces, the Yukon and 16 other countries.
He has no plans for retirement, but he admits he has been at it for a long time.
"One reason I'm beginning to feel old, I did Merv Griffin twice and he just died," he says ruefully.
"I have never seen a flying saucer and I have never seen an alien. I've never seen Tokyo, but I'm convinced it's there."


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August 11, 2007

Nottingham Evening Post (Nottinghamshire, UK)

Police 'Copter Chased UFOs?

Conspiracy theorists jammed the message board of the Evening Post website after we revealed the Ministry of Defence has recorded ten UFO sightings in Notts since 1999.
However, the story is perhaps even more sinister than the Post's suspicious online correspondents were aware.
Details of these 'encounters of the third kind' were released under the Freedom of Information Act.
They included bright and coloured lights, often in odd geometric formations.
Interestingly, one of the objects was reported to be travelling at the "speed of an arrow" [about 190mph].
An incident on April 15, 2002 at 3.30am, in Nottingham, is recorded as "three silver triangular objects in a triangle formation. Closely followed by the police helicopter".
One might expect the police to have some record of this incident, since the Helicopter Support Unit logs every call out. But strangely, the records for 2002 are not available.
According to staff at the unit, the computer programme, which stored the information, was developed by a member of staff, who unfortunately suffered a stroke.
Apparently as a result of his illness, the man could not remember the password.
"All our records for that particular year are on a programme we no longer have access to," said a spokesman, who perhaps unsurprisingly in the circumstances, did not want to be named.


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August 8, 2007

Denville Post Chronicle

Black Vault: John Greenewald Has A UFO Obsession

by Jack Ryan

Black Vault owner John Greenewald Jr. has been digging for the truth about extraterrestrials since he was a child. His online site the "Black Vault" may be the largest UFO information base in the world.

Motivated by his curiosity and empowered by the Freedom of Information Act, John Greenewald Jr. has assembled what may very well be the most comprehensive collection of UFO documents ever.

Over the past decade, John Greenewald Jr. has gathered half a million UFO-related government documents. And it's all online for anyone to see.

The Black Vault is currently down, however. Presumably, the Black Vault is down due to a massive influx of traffic generated from the notoriety, or maybe it was simply aliens, or a government conspiracy to hide the truth.

"I've learned specifically that the U.S. government and military cover up a lot," says Greenewald, according to Yahoo news. "It doesn't matter what subject you're dealing with, it doesn't matter what time frame you're dealing with."

The biggest cover-up of all, Greenewald says, is Area 51 in Nevada - the center of many UFO conspiracy theories. For years the government denied its very existence. It still doesn't appear on any maps. But Greenewald has a letter in his Black Vault from the Department of Energy acknowledging that Area 51 was annexed by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in 1958, and that the area is currently part of Nellis Air Force Base.

As far as America's most famous UFO legend, the alleged crash of a flying saucer in the desert near Roswell, New Mexico, Greenewald says the government has changed its story many times.


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August 3, 2007

Barrie Examiner (Ontario, Canada)

UFOs Spotted Over Orillia; Objects Described As Oblong Shapes

by Colin McKim


Scott Fraser has seen a few strange things in the night sky.

But he never had a camera with him.
That is until Sunday night at sunset, when four white oblong shapes burst like rockets over the western horizon, rose vertically some distance before whizzing south at high speed.
"I really honestly don't know what they were," said Fraser, who was standing on the Westmount Hill in Orillia near Tim Hortons photographing the burnt orange sunset when one of his friends spotted the first of the vaporous white shapes, followed by a second.
A pilot and flight instructor at the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport who saw Fraser's pictures thought they might me the contrails of military jets.
"Sometimes you see the vapour trail, but not the plane," said Don Sturdy. "But that's just a guess."
Sturdy said he's never seen clouds or vapour trails shaped exactly like the ones in Fraser's photos.
"It's interesting," he said.
Fraser thinks the manouevres the flying objects made were too quick and sharp for conventional aircraft.
"Planes can't turn 90 degrees," he said.
There are things in the universe beyond our knowledge, says Fraser, who once watched a glowing red object dart about over Lake Simcoe before accelerating out of sight.
"It keeps us wondering," he said.
Fraser has posted about eight photos on Face Book and friends are intrigued, but nobody has an answer.
He plans to make a short video for the website by running all the pictures in sequence to show how the objects crossed the sky.



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July 29, 2007

Do UFOs really exist?

Edinburgh Scotsman (UK)

by Marc Horn

IT'S the weird and wonderful place where the men in grey suits from Whitehall meet the little green men from Mars.

The Ministry of Defence has for the first time opened its real-life 'X Files', detailing how its experts have examined photographs of UFOs hovering over the UK.

While the images range from the baffling to the risible, there is no doubting the seriousness that officials reserve for the issue of extraterrestrial life.

Correspondence between the MoD and members of the public who report sightings of strange objects reveals that Whitehall mandarins remain "totally open-minded" about the existence of UFOs.

The letters - obtained by Scotland on Sunday through the Freedom of Information Act - confirm that the MoD has a procedure of scrambling fighter planes to confront any unidentified craft or object that enters UK airspace.

Do you have any photographs of UFOs?

Share them with us by emailing them to

However, there are hints that at least some strange objects seen in the sky are of a distinctly terrestrial provenance.

In one letter, officials admit that military helicopters carry out low-flying combat training missions across Britain, and apologise for any alarm they may have caused.

The MoD has confirmed it receives more than 100 reports of UFO sightings every year, many of which come from Scotland.

Last year alone, the Ministry was sent five sets of photographs and videos purporting to show UFO activity.

One was sent by a concerned resident who last March reported seeing silent superfast "triangular craft" and other strange objects in the skies above the south of England.
He enclosed a picture that appears to show a ball of light moving at speed across the sky with an illuminated trail in its wake.

A lengthy official response from the MoD's Directorate of Air Staff is at pains to reassure the individual.

It states: "We remain totally open-minded, but to date we know of no evidence which substantiates the existence of these alleged phenomena.

"The MoD examines any reports of unidentified flying objects it receives, solely to establish whether what was seen might have some defence significance; namely whether there is any evidence that the UK's airspace might have been compromised by hostile or unauthorised air activity."

The letter claims the Ministry could not justify spending public money on being an "aerial identification service", but stresses that every precaution is taken to protect the integrity of UK airspace.
It adds: "I should inform you that low-flying training takes place throughout the UK.

"In the event of conflict, helicopters are vulnerable to ground fire, and one of the vital skills that must be acquired by pilots is flying as closely as possible to the nap of the earth so that the aircraft is shielded and camouflaged by the features of the terrain.

"This type of training is spread as thinly as possible throughout the UK, so as not to concentrate activity over one area. I am sorry if this training has caused disturbance to you."
The MoD also received a succession of images of objects in the sky above Portsmouth harbour last July.

And in one decidedly eccentric letter last May, a concerned citizen warns the MoD that she and her husband are being menaced by invisible craft, the grey alien inhabitants of which have already abducted her in the past to "extract her DNA".

To support her case, she enclosed a photograph of an all-too-visible object (possibly a Frisbee or a satellite dish) "hovering" over a church.

In an impeccably polite response, MoD officials come to the sober conclusion that: "With regard to your particular observations, we are satisfied that there is no corroborating evidence to suggest that the UK's airspace has been breached by unauthorised aircraft."

In another response to an individual who claimed to have provided film evidence of UFO activity over the Clyde in Glasgow last year, an official states frankly: "I have viewed your video and I am content that it contains nothing of defence concern."

The MoD confirmed that in 2006 it received more than 100 reports of UFO sightings, including 12 from Scotland.

The previous year around 150 sightings were reported, with again a dozen coming from north of the Border. These included six reported sightings on the same day (September 14, 2005) in Fife and Perthshire of "bright white lights" in the sky.

The unidentified objects were sighted in Lochgelly, Glenrothes, Crieff, Letham, Blairgowrie and Kinross.

Nick Pope, who headed the MoD's UFO Project between 1991 and 1994, confirmed that reported sightings were taken extremely seriously.
"The MoD wants to know everything flying in the UK's air-defence range and investigate all sightings," he said.

Pope revealed that 95% of UFO reports turned out to either have obvious explanations or to be so vague that any investigation was impossible.

"The remaining 5% of cases were pretty interesting and remained unexplained even after a very thorough explanation. It doesn't prove that these objects were extraterrestrial, but you can't rule any option out."

The former MoD investigator even claimed that officials tried to copy the advanced technology of unidentified vehicles.  "A number of reports were of silent triangular aircraft travelling at considerable speed," he said. "These and some other reports suggested some sort of propulsion system we would be extremely interested in.

"A lot of the serious UFO investigation was aimed at trying to ascertain things such as the aerodynamics of some of the UFOs, the avionics and the propulsion systems.
"We wanted to know if there was anything that we might learn from, regardless of what the source of these UFOs is.

Have you seen UFOs flying above Scotland or do you think the whole idea of little green men is pie in the sky? Tell us what you think and discuss extra-terrestrial matters with other readers.


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July 20, 2007

Hertfordshire Mercury (Hertford, UK)

Orange Lights Spark Big UFO Mystery
Sky watchers across the Mercury patch thought the little green men were invading this week.
Mass UFO sightings had alien watchers' antennae twitching.
Several people reported seeing orange orbs moving silently over Ware and Stanstead Abbotts at the weekend.
Chris Hollis, news DJ for Hertbeat FM, said: "We have had loads of calls from people who have spotted the UFOs. I saw them too and thought that the aliens were about to land. Maybe the Mercury can find out what these lights were."
Several people reported the lights on community website Ware Online.
Former Chauncy School governor Pat Horridge said: "They came up from the horizon and slowly climbed in height. The light output was orange and seemed to twinkle like fire, but was consistent throughout the time visible.
"There didn't seem to be any sort of order to them, just a large cluster that drifted apart ­ very weird."
A likely explanation is that the glowing orange lights were nothing more than paper lanterns ­ the latest craze for summer parties and barbecues.
Powered by tea lights, they work like small hot-air balloons.  Originally used in China as a way of sending messages to the heavens, the idea has caught on here.
'Wishes in the Sky' are little hot-air balloons made of orange paper to give the gentle orange glow as they float.


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June 17, 2007

Canadian Press

UFO group that offered briefings to GG pleased by pro-forma response

by John Ward

OTTAWA (CP) - A UFO researcher who offered to brief Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean  on the presence of extraterrestrials is putting an optimistic spin on the pro-forma  response he received from her office.

Victor Viggiani of Exopolitics Toronto, admits that the perfunctory reply could be  seen as a polite brush off, but he's taking it as more than that.

The letter from the Governor General's office says Viggiani's concerns "would be  best addressed by the Canadian Space Agency and the Canadian Security  Intelligence Service."

You may wish to contact these organizations."

Said Viggiani: "You could interpret it in one way as a standard response. But  we're interpreting it, I guess, in a positive way that we now have the Governor  General's OK to pursue this thing in the Canadian security service . . . with her  support.

"She's giving us sort of, quote unquote, her permission, consent, tacit permission  to go forward with this."

In an e-mail to supporters, Viggiani said his group had "received direction from  Jean's office to pursue this issue with Canada's space agency and CSIS."

The retired Toronto school principal has been a dedicated supporter of UFO  research and a firm believer in extraterrestrials for years.

In a May 17 letter to the Governor General, Viggiani offered a private briefing by  "citizen experts" including one-time Liberal defence minister Paul Hellyer.

Hellyer, a 1960s minister, has said he is convinced that UFOs are real and are  evidence of extraterrestrial visitations.

He spoke at a UFO convention two years ago.

Viggiani's letter also asked: "Is Canada willing to be left behind the other G-7  countries as they begin to examine both the historical and future implications of  contact with off-world civilizations?"

He believes that shadowy government agencies - and some governments - are  aware of the existence of alien visitors and may actually have met them. He feels  that governments are on the brink of announcing the extraterrestrial presence.

He also thinks that secret labs are reverse-engineering technology from crashed  spacecraft that could solve energy and pollution problems forever.

He said he hopes the Governor General's letter will help him gain a high-level  meeting with either the security service or the space agency.

"Any little bit of leverage that we can use to get people's attention in terms of who  we notify about this ... we feel that this is very important."

At that meeting, he plans to lay out his group's documentation.

"What we want to do with them is ... brief them on what we know ... and just see  what their response is."

He said he wants to know if there is a legitimate reason for keeping the reality of  visiting aliens a secret.

"There may be an issue regarding this extraterrestrial presence that we may not  want to know about," he said. "It may be something that's so clandestine and so  dangerous for the human race to know that that's one of the reasons they're not  releasing it.

"I'm not saying that that is the case. My opinion is just the opposite. They know  about this and they're hiding it for other reasons."

Viggiani's approach to the Governor General comes 60 years to the month after  the legendary incident credited with giving birth to the UFO phenomenon.

On June 25, 1947, a businessman named Kenneth Arnold was flying his private  plane on a business trip near Mount Rainier, Wash., when he saw nine strange  objects in the sky.

He told reporters later that they seemed to be able to fly faster than the speed of  sound - in a day before any aircraft had broken the sound barrier - and their  movement was like a "saucer" skipped over water.

Thus, the phrase "flying saucer" entered the language. Within weeks, hundreds of  similar sightings were reported and thousands more have been recorded in the last  six decades.

Arnold died in 1984 at the age of 69.


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June 20, 2007

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

Maury Island's UFO: 60 Years Later, The Mystery Lingers

by Amelia Heagerty


Roswell, once just a military base in the New Mexican desert, is known today as the site of the United States' most high-profile and controversial UFO sighting and crash. But few Islanders know that Maury Island was home to the first alleged UFO sighting in U.S. history, and it took place weeks before two crafts fell from the sky in Roswell.


Tomorrow marks the 60th anniversary of the Maury Island Incident, as it was later dubbed in books and newspaper articles. It took place in June 1947, two years after World War II ended. The nation was abuzz with paranoia and suspicion, and it was in this atmosphere that first one, then two, then hundreds of Americans reported seeing strange, unidentifiable, usually saucer-shaped, objects whizzing through the sky.


These were the incidents that triggered UFO hysteria, which gripped the nation for decades and spawned countless movies and books. But it all started with one close encounter. One X file. It all started with Maury Island.


While no one can say for sure what happened that afternoon in the Puget Sound, after cobbling together the various eyewitness, secondary, government and media accounts, a story with a life of its own emerges:


At 2 p.m. on June 21, 1947, Tacoma seaman Harold Dahl was trolling the waters just east of Maury Island, looking for loose logs, which he collected and sold for profit.


"As I looked up from the wheel on my boat I noticed six very large donut-shaped aircraft," Dahl later told one of the investigators of the incident. "I would judge they were about 2,000 feet above the water and almost directly overhead."


He said the ships were 100 feet in diameter, had no "visible signs of propulsion" and made no noise.


One craft wobbled and dipped to about 500 feet, he told investigators. It then spewed what Dahl described as thin sheets of white metal and several tons of hot lava-like rocks or slag. As the slag rained down on Dahl, his son and his dog, it punched holes in the vessel, burned Dah's son on the arm and killed the family dog.


Another of the six saucers seemed to come to the assistance of the ship in distress, "jump-starting" it, according to Dahl. Then the crafts took off. Dahl gathered samples of the rocks and the white metal and went home for the night, shaken.


The next morning he had what modern ufologists refer to as the first encounter with a "Man in Black" — an ominous individual who warned Dahl his family would be in danger if he went public with his story, according to Kenn Thomas, who wrote the book "Maury Island UFO." Although Dahl had not yet told anyone about his UFO sighting, the man in black knew many details of the incident, he later reported. Dahl said he suspected the man was a government official.


Later that day, Dahl told his supervisor Fred Crisman about his UFO sighting. Crisman, dubious, visited Maury and collected his own samples of the slag. He then contacted Ray Palmer, an adventure magazine publisher, to see if Dah's story was fodder for his magazine.


The next day, three days after Dah's sighting, UFOs went from obscurity to front-page news. On June 24, 1947, U.S. Forest Service employee and pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine "saucer-like" objects flying in formation at speeds of up to 1,200 miles per hour near Mount Rainier. Arnold contacted the press immediately, and the tale spread like wildfire. Soon, U.S. media were saturated with reports of Americans spotting UFOs, almost always saucer-shaped. "Flying saucer" became a household term.


Because Arnold had the eye of a highly trained pilot, his story became big news. Dah's story, however, remained obscure until Arnold was dispatched by Palmer to investigate just what it was Dahl saw off the shores of Maury.


Arnold flew to Tacoma in July 1947 and rented a room in the Winthrop Hotel, where, according to FBI reports, Arnold met with Dahl, decided the sighting was authentic and called two U.S. intelligence officers to tell them the news. The men, Capt. William Davidson and Lt. Frank Brown, became the first two Army officers to investigate UFOs, Arnold said in a book he later wrote.


After Arnold phoned Davidson and Brown on July 31, 1947, they flew to Tacoma within an hour, gathering in Arnold's hotel room where they pored over the details of the incident and collected samples of the slag and white metal, according to Arnold.


The officers' plane was due back the following morning for inaugural Air Force Day ceremonies, marking the separation of the Air Force from the Army. So, although it was after midnight, they returned to their plane, allegedly carrying UFO slag and metal, and headed for Hamilton Air Force Base in California. Twenty minutes into the flight, their engine caught fire, igniting the left wing. The two crew members aboard the plane with Davidson and Brown parachuted to safety. But neither intelligence officer jumped nor radioed distress, according to news reports. Instead, both died when their B-25 plane crashed near Kelso, Wash.


The military promptly sealed off the crash site and cleaned up the rubble from the U.S. Air Force's first accident. But they left some of it behind.


Only a few locals knew the location of the crash, and none investigated it fully, LeFevre said. But in April 2007, now-owner of the site Bob Greear visited it, accompanied by LeFevre and Philip Lipson, co-directors of the Seattle Museum for the Mysteries.


The three retrieved a blackened, lava-like rock from the site, which now sits in their museum, as well as mangled pieces of the B-25 that went down that night.


Bill Beaty, a research engineer at the University of Washington and a member of the museum's board, analyzed the rock and found that it was "almost certainly an Earth rock." But more analysis should be done before writing the specimen off, he said.


After the fatal accident, the government staunchly denied any classified material had been on board the B-25.


But the media knew the names and mission of the deceased officers before the military released them. An anonymous caller contacted various Washington dailies on July 31 through Aug. 3, 1947. The caller gave such intimate details of the conversations that took place in Arnold's hotel room that Arnold thought the room was bugged. The identity of the caller remains unknown.


While newspapers differed on details, they were in agreement on one thing — the government wasn't telling the whole truth.


The U.S. military cited Dahl and Crisman's signed confession that the Maury Island Incident was a hoax. But upon government questioning, the two said they had only sworn their story was a fabrication to protect their families.


It wasn't until 1979 that the government declassified the FBI files admitting Davidson and Brown had been investigating the Maury Island flying discs at the time of their deaths.


"It didn't start with Roswell. It started here in the Pacific Northwest," LeFevre said of ufology. "People should be aware of that."



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June 15, 2007

National Post (Canada)

Sixty Years Later, We're Still Alone: In June, 1947, an Idaho businessman invented the idea of 'flying saucers.' Thousands of supposed sightings later, the world remains alien-free

by Scott Van Wynsberghe

Sixty years ago this month, on June 25, 1947, an Idaho businessman named Kenneth Arnold showed up at the offices of an Oregon newspaper, the East Oregonian. He had quite a story to tell.

Arnold claimed he had seen something strange near Mount Rainier, in neighbouring Washington state, while piloting his own plane the day before. It was a bizarre formation of aerial objects scooting around at what he reckoned was over twice the speed of sound. The objects moved, he said, "like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water." At that moment - as described by aerospace historian Curtis Peebles in his 1994 book Watch the Skies! - the concept of the flying saucer was born, and the UFO movement began to stir.

Exactly what Arnold saw remains uncertain, but he did not help his case when he fell in with Ray Palmer, a science-fiction editor who had been boosting the sales of his magazine by printing the ramblings of a paranoid schizophrenic about the existence of a scientifically superior race living under the earth. Palmer became such an unflagging popularizer of UFOs that Peebles has dubbed him, not Arnold, "the man who invented flying saucers."

Generations later, the Arnold incident still pretty much sums up the field of unidentified flying objects, as repeated in countless similar episodes all over the rural United States: Something supposedly was seen and reported-and then a lot of fuss is stirred up by an irresponsible element. Once the dust has settled, we invariably are left with no proof that the sky has yielded anything unusual, and so no proof to dispute the default assumption that we are alone in the universe.

This unchanging pattern over six decades should be sufficient grounds to dismiss the possibility that our earth is being visited by space aliens. But in case you aren't convinced, here are 10 more reasons.

1 Humanity has yet to detect a single, extraterrestrial civilization. For decades, the heavens have been scanned by both government and private agencies for unusual, electromagnetic emissions, with no significant result. A turning point may have been reached in 2000, when The New York Times, Time magazine and Scientific American all reported on the growing pessimism even among UFO enthusiasts.
This is as it should be, because much of their enthusiasm was based on false assumptions made by an astronomer named Frank Drake. In 1961, Drake devised a famous equation proving (he thought) that our galaxy was teeming with advanced species. Alas, in a 1997 book, Yes, We Have No Neutrons, science writer A.K. Dewdney showed that a simple - and logical - reinterpretation of the equation yields a result of just one species. "That," Dewdney commented, "must be us."
2 People have always seen too much in the night sky. Astrology, for example, has stubbornly survived, based on ancient, esoteric interpretations of random star patterns. Comets, too, have regularly been interpreted as mystical portents. We seem to have some inborn need to look to our sky in search of existential succor.
3 Human perception is shaky. By the mid-1970s, it was already understood by both UFO believers and skeptics that eyewitnesses could be wrong. J. Allen Hynek, a prominent believer, conceded in The UFO Experience (1974) that claimed sightings always occurred more often at night, when human visual perception is weakest. Philip J. Klass, a debunker, spent a whole chapter of his own UFOs Explained (1976) on the impossibility of estimating the size, distance, and altitude of an unknown, aerial object in the absence of any known point of reference. (A frisbee one yard away looks much like a giant flying saucer one mile away.)

4 Consequently, almost all UFO sightings are explainable. At a 1977 UFO conference in Chicago, American researcher David M. Jacobs observed that the rate for explainable sightings was "90% or more." In recent, annual surveys, Canadian researcher Chris Rutkowski has arrived at such rates as 83% (2003) and 88% (2006).

5 And the "unexplained" sightings may not be unexplained at all.  So much is now known about CIA and Pentagon activities involving balloons and spy planes in the post-war years that the history of UFOs for that era has had to be completely rewritten.  Peebles, cited earlier, is also an authority on U.S. aerial reconnaissance in the Cold War, and his book Shadow Flights (2000) makes clear that U.S. authorities chose to allow "UFO" sightings to spread rather than admit to the existence of widespread airborne intelligence. In one case, Peebles uses declassified records to produce an exact match between a balloon launch on May 21, 1952, and a same-day "UFO" sighting that was documented by flying-saucer enthusiasts Jim and Carol Lorenzen. Historian Gerald Haines has estimated that "over half of all UFO reports from the late 1950s through the 1960s" were caused by spy flights.
6 Nor is there a government conspiracy to conceal alien visitations. For example, in the case of the widely claimed "UFO crash" at Roswell, N.M., in 1947, a 1994 study by the U.S. Air Force found that reports of mysterious wreckage actually involved yet another intelligence effort. It was called Project Mogul, and it used specially equipped balloons to detect atmospheric traces of Soviet nuclear tests. One of the secret balloons came down at Roswell.
7 There are no alien abductions. In the late 1980s, UFO skeptic Klass noticed that almost all abduction claims came from the U.S. To him, that suggested a cultural problem, not a cosmic one. In 2005, Harvard psychologist Susan Clancy argued that even the apparently sincere claimants of abduction were probably just victims of sleep-related hallucinations, recklessly administered hypnosis, and social influences.
8 UFO activists are their own worst enemies. A 1995 article in Saturday Night magazine detailed how abduction researchers muddied the waters for decades through unprofessional, investigative techniques. It was not until 1994 that the efforts of a Toronto-based psychotherapist, Dr. David Gotlib (who became aware of the problem through his patients), convinced them to adopt a code of conduct. (Meanwhile, in 1996, three UFO fanatics on Long Island were arrested for plotting to assassinate local politicians and officials suspected of covering up the "truth" about aliens.)
9 The study of UFOs is riddled with fraud and hoax. As early as 1950, a convicted swindler in Denver, Colorado, named Leo GeBauer began passing himself off as a UFO expert, "Dr. Gee." A few years later, Californian handyman George Adamski declared he was in contact with spacemen, but his only evidence was blurry photographs and witnesses who later recanted. From the late 1950s until his confession in 1966, U.S. Navy radio operator Z.T. Fogl mischievously spread doctored photographs across the flying- saucer community.
In the 1980s, the UFO world was rocked by a 1947 U.S. government document that mapped out a flying-saucer cover-up entitled "Majestic 12" (or "MJ-12"). The document was a forgery, and such activists as Kevin Randle have since denounced it. Beginning in 1991 (and as recently as 2002), British tricksters have come forward to admit responsibility for huge numbers of crop circles that appeared in their country.

10 In the end, UFOs are just an overgrown offshoot of science fiction. As noted above, science-fiction editor Ray Palmer was present at the birth of the field in the 1940s, but the groundwork was prepared as far back as 1898, when H.G. Wells brought out his alien-invasion novel, The War of the Worlds.  Orson Welles turned that book into the infamous radio broadcast of 1938, and Kenneth Arnold's sighting occurred just nine years later. In turn, the flap caused by Arnold helped inspire science-fiction writers and filmmakers in the 1950s.


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June 1, 2007

Chilliwack Progress (British Columbia, Canada)

UFO 'Not From Here' Says Local Deejay

by Robert Freeman
Believe it or not, Dave Francis and his girlfriend Kelly McDonald saw something otherworldly Sunday night.
And their story backs up the report of neighbour Lisa McCubbin, who saw a large triangular-shaped object appear just after midnight in the skies over the UCFV campus in Chilliwack.
But unlike McCubbin, who's holding out for a rational explanation, Francis, 29, and McDonald, 30, are sold on the belief they saw something not of this world.
"I really think it was a UFO," says Francis, a local deejay. "I don't really care if anybody else believes me... it was the craziest thing I ever saw."
"I know that I saw something that wasn't from here," says McDonald. "I've never seen anything move that way."
UBC astronomer Jaymie Matthews doesn't dismiss what all three Chilliwack residents saw, but he believes that city lights reflecting off the bellies of a flock of birds is a more "reasonable" explanation.
He says flocks of birds do take off at night, and the light reflecting off their bellies can give the appearance of a single translucent object.
Unlike our ancestors, he says, people today are "spending less and less time looking up at the night sky... and there's a lot of stuff that happens up there on a regular basis that looks weird."
But all three Chilliwack witnesses insist what they saw did not move anything like birds.
"It wasn't birds," McDonald says flatly. When the triangular-shaped object came closer, she says, "it broke apart into 20 or more of these little spheres... birds don't dive-bomb in at each other."
Francis agrees that what he saw could be explained as a bunch of birds flocking together into a triangular shape, but frankly he simply prefers the UFO explanation.
"I want to believe what I saw," he says, adding that birds don't "shimmer" and they don't change shape.
"Whatever it was, they were moving from place to place as a unit," he says, and then "just faded away" in the skies over the Promontory area.


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April 28, 2007

Guernsey Star (Channel Islands, UK)

Testing Is UFO Theory

Joel de Woolfson

The UFOs seen by two airline pilots earlier this week could have been military test planes.


Another pilot, Flybe's Troy Queripel, put forward thattheory yesterday.


"There is military air space all around Guernsey and there is a lot of activity in that space. We call them danger areas," said the 40-year-old.


"My theory is that it could have been some sort of military test aircraft that entered our air space by mistake."


The objects were seen by Aurigny captain Ray Bowyer and confirmed by the pilot of a Blue Islands aircraft.


Reports were sent to the Ministry of Defence for further investigation.


French military air space starts 20 miles west of Guernsey and occupies an area of approximately 150 square miles.


British military air space starts 40 miles north of Guernsey and Captain Queripel believes military involvement was the likeliest explanation.


"I am not trying to discredit anything that Ray said because I saw him 45 minutes after the incident and he was clearly shaken. He obviously saw something.


"But think about the stealth bomber and the U2 spy plane. They were being tested for years before anyone was aware of them.


"The stealth bomber had been around for 25 years before anyone knew about it. The first the Iraqis knew of it was when it was above them dropping bombs."


He said it is impossible to know what is being tested today.


'the U2 spy plane was taking photos over Russia and they knew nothing about it at first."


Captain Queripel, who has been a pilot for seven years, said military air spaces around the island are off-limits to commercial planes.


"They are called danger areas for a reason: enter them at your peril. You can ask for permission to go through, but it would usually be denied."


He added: "Two per cent of me thinks it was little green men, but the other 98% thinks it was the military testing new technology that we haven't even heard of."



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April 26, 2007

Guernsey Star (Channel Islands, UK)

Pilot's UFO Shock

Joel de Woolfson

UFO sightings are being investigated by the Ministry of Defence.
Two experienced airline pilots on separate flights saw something up to a mile wide off the coast of Alderney on Monday afternoon. Surprisingly, Jersey radar equipment did not pick up the object, although an air traffic controller said he had received simultaneous reports from the Aurigny and Blue Islands pilots.
Aurigny's Captain Ray Bowyer, 50, said he saw the strange object during a flight from Southampton.
He spotted a bright-yellow light 10 miles west of Alderney while his plane was about 30 miles from the island and at 4,000ft.
"It was a very sharp, thin yellow object with a green area. It was 2,000ft up and stationary," he said.
"I thought it was about 10 miles away, although I later realised it was approximately 40 miles from us. At first, I thought it was the size of a 737."
A 737 is slightly smaller than a jumbo jet.
"But it must have been much bigger because of how far away it was. It could have been as much as a mile wide."
As he continued his approach to Alderney, Capt. Bowyer saw a second identical object further to the west.
"It was exactly the same but looked smaller because it was further away. It was closer to Guernsey."
The sightings come days after reports that scientists have discovered outside our solar system an Earth-like planet capable of supporting extraterrestrial life.
"I can't explain it. At first, I thought it might have been a reflection from a vinery in Guernsey, but that would have disappeared quickly. This was clearly visual for about nine minutes."
The sightings happened at about 3pm. Capt. Bowyer, who has flown commercial planes for about 20 years, said he had described the objects to air traffic control and filled in an incident report.
"As I got closer to it, it became clear to me that it was tangible. I was in two minds about going towards it to have a closer look but decided against it because of the size of it. I had to think of the safety of the passengers first."
He added that the experience had been quite scary.
"I"m certainly not saying that it was something of another world. All I"m saying is that I have never seen anything like it before in all my years of flying."
Paul Kelly, 31, the air traffic controller who was on duty, said the Blue Islands pilot had made a similar report, but nothing had appeared on his radar.
"The pilot from Blue Islands was en route to Jersey at the same time and as he went past Sark he described an object behind him to his left," he said.
"The description was very similar to Captain Bowyer's and they described it as being in exactly the same place. But they were looking at it from opposite sides."
The pilot told him the object had been 1,500ft beneath his plane.
The Blue Islands plane was at 3,500ft at the time so, again, both pilots placed it at the same altitude.
"If the object was stationary, our equipment would not have picked it up because the radar would have screened it out."


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April 22, 2007

Harrison Daily Times

UFO Conference Is Celestial Experience

By David Holsted
EUREKA SPRINGS — It's been said that Elvis, to satisfy a hankering, would fire up the jet and fly across the country to get a hamburger from a certain restaurant.
It would only make sense that extra-terrestrial beings, overcome by the munchies, would likewise fire up the flying saucer and travel across the galaxy to get some southern-zapped chicken from Arkansas. Or so suggested Ken "Casper" Bergeron of Fayetteville, whose passion is looking for UFOs.
"I don't know if they're looking for lunch or what," joked Bergeron, noting that many UFOs have been sighted around chicken farms in northwest Arkansas. "They probably have Buffalo wild wings where they come from, I don't know."
No UFOs were reported at the Sonic drive-in this past weekend, but plenty of earthlings were in town to talk about them.
Between 350 and 400 people made the trip, presumably in cars, to Eureka Springs for the Ozark UFO Conference at the Inn of the Ozarks. It was a time for greeting old friends and fellow UFO hunters, for swapping stories and relating experiences concerning UFOs, buying and selling books and other articles related to the subject and attending seminars conducted by some of the most respected UFO authorities around.
It was an eclectic group of stooped old men in suits, young men with pony tails, mountain men with beards wearing flannel shirts, matrons wearing jogging suits, Goth-like young women in black and others, diverse in their appearance, but united in their interest in unidentified flying objects (UFOs).
The conference's motto, "They're Here!", pretty much summed up the feeling of most of the attendees.
"Call me a nut or whatever you want to call me," conference organizer Lou Farish said, "I've seen some things I can't explain."
Looking for UFOs
Although he believed wholeheartedly in the existence of UFOs, Bergeron took a lighthearted approach at times to the subject, as evidenced by his joke about ETs in search of KFCs.
Bergeron is the field investigator for the Arkansas chapter of the Mutual UFO Network, or MUFON, a national organization whose motto is "The truth is out there." Along with state director Norm Walker of Tontitown, Bergeron manned the MUFON table at the conference.
Bergeron said he goes out three or four times a week to look for UFOs and he is seldom disappointed. They're easily spotted if you know what to look for, he said.
Once, while at Devil's Den State Park, Bergeron noticed some clouds beginning to glow. There was no moon out that night, so the light source had to come from somewhere else.
"We know (UFOs) hide in clouds," Bergeron said. "I've seen them emerge from clouds."
According to Bergeron, UFOs are getting good at mimicking the flight lights on airplanes, further confusing spotters.
Bergeron does not subscribe to the theory that UFOs are piloted by beings who have traveled great distances across the galaxy. Rather, they are the original inhabitants of Earth, he said, who are "conducting their experiments on us."
Referring to the many caves in the Ozarks, Bergeron suggested that UFOs might have their bases underground. Farmers around Seligman, Mo., have reported lights that seem to be going into caves in the area. Using a Geiger counter, Bergeron said he has gotten indications of the presence of metal underground, such as some kind of machinery.
"It's just a matter of finding them," he said.
Warming to their task, Bergeron and Walker then related the story of the "Ozark Devil," a creature that was shot and killed near Clarksville. Strange animals are often reported during UFO encounters, they said. The dog-like animal was shot by a farmer who said it was stalking his cattle. The teeth were different than that of a coyote and the tail was bushier, the farmer reported.
A MUFON consultant in veterinary science concluded that the animal was not a dog. Rather, it had similarities to a wallaby, a small kangaroo. These included large erect ears, short woolly fur, a long tail, small forequarters and better developed hindquarters. Wallabies, though, are vegetarians and the Ozark devil had dog-like teeth. A MUFON field investigator had the carcass refrigerated should DNA testing be necessary.
Meeting ET?
Jason Startup, a Topeka, Kan., artist, stood next to a seven-foot polyurethane figure of a multi-armed, multi-eyed, multi-antennaed serpentine creature. Titled "Quetzalcoatl Reptilian Insectoid Hybrid," the figure represented what Startup imagined the Mayan god who imparted knowledge might have looked like.
Startup claimed to have had several personal encounters with creatures as fanciful as his sculpture. The first, he said, came when he was 10 years old. His mother had just put him to bed when saw a flash "behind the Lincoln Logs." A three-foot, tan creature with large round eyes and long arms then appeared.
The being seemed to exert some kind of control over Startup, because he couldn't move nor scream. As the creature took a step forward, Startup said, his mother could be heard moving in the hallway. The distraction momentarily broke the creature's power and Startup was able to scream and the visitor retreated.
Though his mother dismissed the incident, Startup knew
"I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt it was real," he said.
Startup has had subsequent dreamlike episodes in which reptilian beings, then a light bulb-headed alien creature, have appeared, each time exerting the same controlling influence over him.
Startup acknowledged that some might think he's crazy, but he remains convinced that what he saw was real.
"Through our perceptions, we dictate our reality," he said.
Only a weather balloon
"That's why I hate Fox News," said Sam Maranto, as the audience watched a television news reporter, through special effects, being "beamed" up by some alien force.
Maranto, the Illinois state director of MUFON, presented one of the programs at the conference. He spoke of "Cases from the heartland and beyond," particularly the UFO sighting at Chicago's O'Hare Airport in November.
Unlike almost every other UFO sighting, which seemed to take place in the middle of a desert or some Mississippi swamp (or an Arkansas chicken house), the O'Hare incident took place at a major airport in the middle of the afternoon. Maranto, an Art Buchwald lookalike, said witnesses described the UFO as a dark gray, metallic saucer.
After remaining stationary over the airport for some time, the saucer then took off at such a great rate of speed that it left a huge hole in the overcast skies, allowing a patch of blue to be seen.
Maranto said he is currently investigating 20 cases of UFO sightings.
On the screen behind Maranto there flashed the face of a meteorologist who was explaining a UFO sighting in the Chicago area.
It was flares suspended from a weather balloon, the meteorologist said.
A ripple of laughter went through the gathering of Ozark UFO conventioneers.
They knew better.


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April 11, 2007

Canadian Press

Annual UFO survey records 736 reported sightings across Canada last year

by James Stevenson
WINNIPEG ­ Aliens and spaceships are a bit passe these days, but 736 reported UFO sightings across Canada last year shows an "underlying, real phenomenon" going on, says one of the country's top UFO researchers. 
"It's true, we don't have as many aliens on TV as we used to -- they used to be on commercials selling us everything from Pepsi to decongestants," says Chris Rutkowski, director of the Winnipeg-based Ufology Research institute.   
"And yet the phenomenon persists, which to me says there is a basic underlying, real phenomenon that extends beyond media and pop culture."  
Rutkowski's annual Canadian UFO Survey last year recorded the third-largest number of sightings in its 17-year history -- down from a record of 882 sightings in 2004.
British Columbia and Ontario had the highest number of recorded cases, but Saskatchewan posted an all-time record of 98 sightings.
The tiny community of Maidstone just east of the Alberta boundary accounted for more than half of the reports from Saskatchewan.
Barb Campbell, who now lives farther down the Yellowhead highway in Paynton, Sask., says she saw a dark triangle larger than a helicopter hovering in the sky above Maidstone last year.
"It was just above the glare of the street light, so you couldn't quite make out the whole thing, but it had a very unusual, strobing, eerie kind of light in the middle," she says. 
"It made absolutely no sound whatsoever -- it was just really mind-boggling."
Campbell doesn't believe there's anything particularly alluring for extraterrestrials in Maidstone and says there's likely far more UFO sightings right across Canada each year that don't get reported.
Rutkowski, who wrote a book last year on Canadian UFO sightings, is quick to point out that no incontrovertible proof exists that any of the UFO cases involve aliens.
Most of the sightings are of strange lights in the night sky, with close encounters and reports of "classic" flying saucer shapes being relatively rare. 
"It would be difficult to conceive of how aliens could travel here from out there."
Still, he says earthlings are a "relatively young civilization" surrounded by stars and planets that are older and potentially have civilizations that are much further evolved than us.
"Perhaps if we hang around another hundred, thousand or ten thousand years we might come up with a way to travel between the stars."
Of all the reports included in the 2006 UFO Survey, the most mysterious include the sighting of a huge, black, V-shaped object moving slowly out over the Newfoundland coastline last August.
Another incident was reported by a motorist outside of North Bay, Ont., who saw a cluster of blue-glowing orbs that zipped closely past his car and then hovered in some nearby trees.
Disappointingly enough, one of the biggest problems that Rutkowski and other ufologists face in their study of unidentified flying object reports is not a shadowy group of powerful people trying to obscure the truth. It's actually the Internet.  
With no Canadian government department officially recording UFOs, THERE's NO CENTRAL AUTHORITY to keep track. And more Web sites are appearing all the time.   
"There's so many people interested right now and they're setting up their own Web sites -- there's a confusion now. There's no one central place to report UFOs anymore."
Last month, the French government created a world-wide stir when its space agency published more than 100,000 documents online from its secret "X-files" relating to UFOs and sightings of other unexplained phenomena.  
The space agency said it made the documents public to draw the scientific community's attention to unexplained cases and because their secrecy generated suspicions that officials were hiding something.


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April 11, 2007

Comox Valley Record

UFO Conference Is Celestial Experience

by Mitchell Smyth

RACHEL, Nevada — Take a turn off State Route 375 here in south-central Nevada, drive up a gravel road and you come to a place that doesn’t exist.

That, anyway, is what the U.S. government says.

To you and me the huge swath of desert west of Rachel is known as Area 51.

It’s where—depending on which stories you believe—the U.S. military is testing top secret weapons; or building flying saucers from the wreckage of crashed extraterrestrial craft (as in the movie Independence Day); or experimenting with something else that Buck Rogers or Anakin Skywalker would recognize.

Pentagon officials predictably deny all this, even deny that Area 51 exists, although they admit there’s a gunnery and bombing range somewhere around here. Maybe, I thought, I should have a closer look, so I took the gravel road.

It stopped me short at a gate in a perimeter fence. “Warning. Restricted area,” said a sign. Behind it, surveillance cameras swivelled this way and that on their stilts.

I was about to climb over the gate when I read the line in red paint on the sign: “Use of deadly force authorized.” I decided to go no farther (though I did disobey the further warning: “Photography of this area is prohibited.”)

“They wouldn’t have shot you,” UFO “expert” Chuck Clark assured me later. “But they’d certainly have arrested you if you’d gone in and you’d have been fined $600. It’s an expensive lesson.”

Clark, author of The Area 51 Handbook, has spent years trying to find out exactly what is happening in the top-secret installation. He and the other residents of Rachel, the closest town to Area 51, know that something is going on in their backyard. They’ve all seen enough strange sights through the years.

Many of these, says Clark, can be explained rationally. Flares, dropped for bomb tests, can be mistaken for UFOs.

And this is probably one of the places where top-secret aircraft, such as the U-2 spy plane of the 1950s and the B-2 Stealth bomber in the 1980s, were tested.

Still, he says, there have been other sightings that defy rational explanation. And that’s what brings the tourists, many of them “UFOlogists,” to Rachel. The government’s veil of secrecy helps fuel the rumours.

Many believe that in a morgue in Area 51 there are the bodies of those little grey men allegedly recovered from the crash of a “flying saucer” in Roswell, N.M. in 1947.

“As they say in The X-Files, ‘The truth is out there’,” says Rachel’s Pat Travis, the owner of The Little A’Le’Inn (“little alien,” get it?), a pub, restaurant and motel, and gathering place for the curious. (“Welcome UFOs and crews,” says one sign; another, beneath a drawing of a flying saucer, reads: “Self parking.”)

Rachel (population: 98) is the only town on the 158-kilometre stretch of two-lane blacktop Route 375 running alongside Area 51.

To help the tourist trade, the residents persuaded the state to designate 375 “The Extraterrestrial Highway,” and signs along the road now carry that name.


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April 10, 2007

Star Phoenix

UFO Spotters Probe The Paranormal In Maidstone

by Peter Wilson

MAIDSTONE — There's no hesitation in the man's hand as he sketches the shapes of the UFOs he's spotted near this rural Saskatchewan community over the years.
"Once you've seen them, you never forget. The images are burnt into your memory," he says, taking a sip from his coffee cup in the truck stop restaurant outside this small town near the Alberta border.
These experiences with the unknown are not so bizarre, according to a recent report. Numbers released by the Winnipeg-based Ufology Research Institute show Saskatchewan posted an all-time record of 98 reported UFO sightings, and Maidstone accounted for more than half of those reports. That's a big chunk of the total 736 reported sightings across Canada.
Let's call this particular UFO spotter Dave, as he doesn't want his real name used because he feels his creditability as a federal employee might be tarnished.
Dave explains that the rocket-shaped craft he's drawn in the cafe along the Yellowhead was what he saw when he was a youngster. He'd spotted it when he was with his mother, but her attention was focused on pulling weeds in the garden as he observed the object. By the time the stunned six-year-old had alerted his mom, the UFO had vanished.
Dave's second drawing, a barrel-shaped object, was one he observed only a couple of years ago when he was driving on a rural road near town.
"It didn't look at all aerodynamic. It looked odd and moved slowly. It had a kind of panel on it and had two lines down the side," he says.
While there were no witnesses to these events, another encounter he experienced had another set of eyes to record the phenomenon. Driving with a friend one night, Dave and his companion noticed bright lights reflecting off their truck. They stopped the vehicle, jumped out and saw two bright lights in the night sky. As they watched, the lights merged into one solitary light before gradually shrinking in size and disappearing.  
Barb Campbell, a former Maidstone resident who now lives in Paynton 25 kilometres farther down the Yellowhead highway, has made numerous UFO sightings in the area during the past three years. From a fireball that shot through the heavens, to what she describes as a triangular-shaped flying object that hovered in the night sky over Maidstone last summer, the UFOs she's seen have made indelible impressions on her.
One UFO encounter in Maidstone that she witnessed alongside her daughter has made a particularly strong impression.
"We were sitting outside watching the stars when a bright light appeared from the southwest, heading northeast. It grew brighter and larger and was flying as high as some helicopters we see around here," Campbell says.
Perfectly round, the object was silent and about 60 to 80 metres in diameter. From its underside glowed a constant yellowish-white light.
"It appeared right overhead, and I waved my arms and yelled to try and get a reaction, but the object carried on over Maidstone and out of sight."
Not surprisingly, Campbell strongly believes there's something very real about UFOs.
"I have seen enough evidence and talked to people who have had similar encounters to know there's something out there. It could be aliens or the military, I don't know, but I mean to get to the bottom of it."
That's one of the reasons she founded the Saskatchewan Provincial Paranormal Research Centre (SPPRC), which she runs out of her home. Through her website,, Campbell and about 10 other observers scattered around the province record UFO sightings in Saskatchewan.
The small group of devotees connect the dots, and there are plenty of them, says Campbell.
"I think there are many people who have had UFO encounters who do not report them because they are afraid they're going to be called crazy. That's too bad, because the only way we're going to get to the truth is by telling our personal stories," she says.
While Barb and her colleagues continue to record their experiences on the website, other Maidstone areas residents are not so convinced that aliens and spaceships frequent their air space.
"Never seen one, ever," says Caroline Smith, who works at the seniors' lodge in Maidstone. "Mind you, that could because I spend too much time working inside. I never get to look up at the sky," she says with a laugh.
Jenna Wall is a high school student in town. She's surprised at all the national UFO fame her community has generated.
"Not only have I never seen anything like that, I don't know anyone else who (has)," Wall says.
Ken Reiter, administrator of the local RM of Eldon, is sitting on the fence as far as the sightings are concerned. There was a time when he used to think people who saw UFOs were wacko, but after a visit to a science centre in the U.S. in the 1980s he changed his mind.
"One display showed that there had been three documented almost identical UFO sightings within seconds of each other, all from places many, many miles apart. Now that makes you think," Reiter says.


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April 8, 2007

Scotsman  (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK)

Deluded Geek Or Public Enemy No 1?

by Richard Elias

The question posed by the film poster asked: "Is it a game or is it real?"
The year was 1983 and the movie was WarGames and it told of a bored high school student called David Lightman who inadvertently uses his computer to gain access to the United States' nuclear programme.
Once logged in, Lightman, played by Matthew Broderick, is asked to take part in a game between the two world superpowers but it soon becomes apparent he is triggering Armageddon.
Sitting in a north London cinema 24 years ago, a teenage boy watched the movie, fascinated. It created in him a burning desire to learn about cyberspace and to understand every aspect of the then relatively-new phenomenon.
But today, Gary McKinnon probably wishes he had never paid his entrance money for the movie.
He is awaiting extradition to the US, accused of being a cyber-terrorist and the world's most notorious military computer hacker. US officials claim he made more than 50 alterations to top-secret computer programmes in 2001 to 2002 that cost them $1m to correct.
If convicted the softly-spoken Glaswegian, whose online name was "Solo", faces spending the rest of his life in a maximum-security jail as well as being hit with a $1.75m fine.
The most-likely destination is a cell in Red Onion State Penitentiary in south-west Virginia. Located in the town of Pound - population 1,089 and a place where they recently banned dancing because it "entices sin" - the jail is one of two 'Supermax' prisons in the state and has infuriated human rights campaigners with its ultra-harsh regime. According to a recent report, it "restricts inmate movement and activity to a far greater degree than other maximum security jails".
One ex-inmate recalled: "Upon arrival, I was told that I was at Red Onion now and if you acted up, they would kill me and there was nothing anyone could or would do about it."
Although 14 individual states have claimed McKinnon hacked into their computers, the state of Virginia has taken the lead in the case.
Paul J McNulty, the US Attorney for the eastern district of Virginia, issued the indictment against McKinnon on November 12, 2002, stating he had "accessed and damaged without authorisation computers belonging to the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of Defence and Nasa, and six computers belonging to a number of private businesses."
Just days later he was arrested on behalf of the Americans at the flat in north London which he shared with his then girlfriend. The fight against extradition, with McKinnon free on bail, has been ongoing ever since.
He is accused by the Americans of hacking into more than 90 top-secret military and Nasa sites, offences which he has constantly denied.
But last Tuesday, his campaign to stay in Britain was dealt a severe blow when the High Court in London ruled he could be sent across the Atlantic for trial. Lord Justice Maurice and Mr Justice Goldring stated they could not find any legal grounds to refuse the extradition application but added, however, that they had a "degree of distaste" for the way the American authorities had handled the situation.
McKinnon's legal team is now preparing a final appeal through the House of Lords to prevent their client from being extradited but the immediate future looks bleak for the 41-year-old.
The Scot has never denied accessing the military computer sites from his London flat but his defence is he was looking for evidence of UFO activity which, according to him, the Pentagon had deliberately suppressed.
He said: "I wanted to find out stuff the government would not tell us about."
This interest in UFOs goes back even further than his trip to the cinema 24 years ago.
McKinnon spent the first six years of his life in Glasgow but his parents split up and he moved with his mother and stepfather to London.
It was his stepfather who was to open the youngster's mind to stories of spacecraft and alien beings. He had been raised in Bonnybridge, near Falkirk, a spot which UFO aficionados from around the world claim is an alien spacecraft hotspot.
McKinnon became hooked on science fiction and, by the age of 14, armed with the computer his parents had bought him, he began to experiment.
The catalyst for his later successful attempts to hack into some of the world's most secretive programmes was, he says, WarGames, prompting him to spend more and more time sat alone, smoking cannabis, trying to emulate what Broderick had done on the silver screen.
McKinnon has always denied being a hacker - despite admitting voraciously digesting the Hacker's Handbook, a notorious self-help guide to exploring the limits of cyberspace, as a teenager. He prefers to describe himself simply as a "computer nerd".
His defence is that many of the sites he visited, despite holding top-secret government documents, had little, or in some cases, no, security systems in place.
But one of the major problems facing McKinnon and his defence team is the timing of his hunt. When he was scouring confidential sites, America was reeling from the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Following his arrest, McKinnon made another serious error. Offered a deal which would have brought him a relatively light four-year jail sentence in the US, he turned it down because of concerns about how the trial would be conducted.
McKinnon threatened to go public with what he had learned. But by his own admission he had collected little information of value and says he was "stoned" most of the time he was online.
Infuriated, the US Justice Department appeared to decide to make an example of the man they dubbed the "worst military hacker of all time".
All McKinnon can do now is hope that the House of Lords rules in his favour. Otherwise, he will be handed over to US Marshals, handcuffed and shackled, dressed in an orange jumpsuit and put on a plane heading across the Atlantic.
By fighting extradition here, his chances of getting bail in the US are virtually nonexistent.
McKinnon admits to being "terrified" at the thought of going to jail but he realises his fate is out of his hands. "I won't stand a chance in hell if I am extradited," he said. "It'll be Gary down a black hole and you won't see him again."
How he must have wished he had followed the advice given by the computer to Broderick at the end of WarGames. It told the fictional hacker: "The only winning move is not to play."
Hacked off
US student Robert Morris became one of the world's first hackers in 1988. Just five years after the launch of the internet, he set off a computer worm virus that spread to 6,000 networks.
Kevin Poulsen, Ronald Austin and Justin Peterson rigged a Los Angeles radio phone-in to ensure only their calls got through. In 1993, they won two Porsches, $20,000 in cash and holidays in Hawaii.
In 2000, the ILOVEYOU virus was sent via e-mail attachment. It deleted programs and damaged 10% of UK businesses. Just months later Microsoft admitted its corporate network had been hacked and its source code for future Windows products had been seen.
Raphael Gray, 19, from Wales, sparked a global investigation by accessing the details of 23,000 internet shoppers in five countries and posting some on websites in 2001.


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April 5, 2007

Victoria Times Colonist (British Columbia, Canada)

A Victorian Encounter Of The Blurred Kind

by Jack Knox 

It was around 10 p.m. one night in mid-March that the Victoria woman, standing in the driveway of her acreage, saw a UFO.

"I heard a very powerful blowing noise, almost a white noise as it grew louder just to my left and just over the tree line. What came first was a very large, but dull, flashing red beacon in the centre of what began to appear as a massive triangular shape. It was like nothing I have ever seen before.

"As it approached very low, just over the trees and my house, it had a very strange white light on each side of the triangle; they seemed to be extremely bright but did not illuminate the ground at all. As it crossed overhead I thought I should be able to get a good look at it as it was a clear, starry night, but it brought a darkness with it. Darker than the night. Blacker than black, making it unable to distinguish any actual lines."
Well, must admit that's not something you see every day (unless you've been hanging around crematoria with Keith Richards), which is why Ufologist Brian Vike, after receiving the written report, forwarded it to the TC.
Vike lives up in Houston, B.C., where for the past seven years he has run HBBC UFO Research - collecting reports on unexplained sightings, doing an Internet radio show.
He gets maybe 900 UFO reports a year worldwide, had 274 from Canada alone last year. Of those 274, he says maybe 200 could be readily explained away - aircraft, Venus hanging low on the horizon, that sort of thing. He tries to weed out the hoaxers and kooks, discounts any report where the e-mail address bounces back. That still leaves plenty that's intriguing.
Vike fielded a spate of calls from Ontario in March. "We had reports of triangles. We had disc craft. We had metallic balls." Some people reported lights zig-zagging across the sky. BBC Radio interviewed him about all that this week.
Usually it's B.C. that is Canada's UFO-sighting capital, but lately it's been slow here. "It's eieather has been so crappy." Got to keep a sense of humour in thther because the aliens went to Florida for a vacation, or the we UFO business.
Anyway, Vike was happy to get that report from Victoria. "From the position of the lights and the shape of the blackness I am sure it was a triangle, quite flat in depth," the woman's statement read. "It moved in a very strange manner, almost hovering, this incredibly massive - about 200 feet across and almost that long - powerful craft moving at maybe 10 mph just over my head. It made the strangest noise, not like any kind of engine or jet. It was all very mesmerizing, and thinking back I really was very oddly stunned. I wanted to run to the house for my son but I couldn't take my eyes off it. I watched as it went over my house maybe 200 feet. ...It took up a bit of speed and altitude as it flew away. The lights very clearly started to move horizontally, left and right very quickly. It veered off towards the ocean and was gone."
Now, being a professional skeptic, my automatic suspicion is that the writer either A) was pulling Vike's leg, or B) took the brown acid at Woodstock.
On the other hand, in a world in which there are so few unexplored horizons, it is oddly comforting to remember that improbable doesn't equal impossible, that unproven doesn't mean disproven, that you can never really shut the door.
"I do believe in my heart that there is something out there, some kind of life," says Vike.


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March 28, 2007

Moline Dispatch

Silvis Woman Claims To Have Seen A UFO Maybe

by Anthony Watt

At first, she thought what she was seeing was something ordinary.
"As I pulled out of my driveway, I noticed it," Theresa Sinclair, 58, Silvis said. "I thought it was an airplane that was very low."
It was about 6:30 a.m. March 23, and Ms. Sinclair was on her way to her job at the Rock Island Arsenal. What she saw through the open window of her car was a triangular shape in the sky, with bright red, green and white lights along its edges, outlining the shape.
When Ms. Sinclair first saw it, the triangle appeared to be over a high-rise building at the intersection of 10th Street and Crosstown Avenue. She couldn't say what distance it actually was away from her, but it appeared big.
She said she then looked away because she was concentrating on driving west on Crosstown, but when she looked up again, it was moving -- fast.
"It just, like, zipped to Jewel (grocery store), then it zipped to over by Colona Road," Ms. Sinclair said.
She stopped her car at the intersection of Crosstown and 10th Street and got out to have a better look.
"I decided I was intrigued at this point," Ms. Sinclair said. "Then I looked up, and it was gone."
The whole episode only took three or four minutes, she said.
The whole time she observed the object, she did not hear anything like the sounds of jet engines or helicopter blades. It appeared to stay the same distance away from her the whole time.
"I heard nothing, I heard nothing at all," Ms. Sinclair said.
And apparently neither did anyone else.
Local and federal authorities, including the National Weather Service, the Federal Aviation Administration and Quad City International Airport said they received no reports of anything odd in the sky during that time.
Ms. Sinclair said she did not report it either. "I was just so taken aback by it," she said.
She did tell some of her co-workers about it, though. Jokes about little green men ensued.
"You laugh, but stranger things happen," she told them.
The next day, Ms. Sinclair went out at the same time, but did not see anything. There wasn't a second show.
She said Wednesday that she's not on any medications, had not had any alcohol, nor suffered any recent blows to the head.
Many officials, and some local astronomers, also could not or, in some cases, would not, explain what she saw.
"Chances are she wasn't seeing what she thinks she saw," said Black Hawk College professor Richard Harwood, who teaches geology, geography and astronomy.
He said that Saturn and Jupiter would have been visible in the sky as bright stars that morning. It's possible one of them could have appeared moving because Ms. Sinclair's vehicle was in motion.
"In her case, who can say," Mr. Harwood said. "Nobody else saw it, it's hard to tell."
When asked what she thought it was, Ms. Sinclair replied with a laugh that it was an unidentified flying object, or UFO.
But then she added, "I can't say."
"I would like to have been able to say it was a plane or a weather balloon," she said. "But I don't know. It was unidentifiable."


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March 23, 2007


National Post


Former governor’s ‘alien’ admission


A former Republican governor of Arizona says he saw an unidentified flying object in a famous incident 10 years ago while he was in office.
In interviews this week, Fife Symington insisted he witnessed a strange, otherworldly event on March 13, 1997.
The controversial incident has become known as the Phoenix Lights. Hundreds of residents of Arizona reported seeing a strange string of lights hovering in the sky on that clear night; some also claimed they had spotted a massive triangular craft.
“The lights were really brilliant. And it was just fascinating. I mean, it was enormous,” Mr. Symington told CNN. “It just felt otherworldly. You know, in your gut, you could just tell it was otherworldly.”

It was “probably one form of an alien spacecraft,” added the Vietnam Air Force veteran, and challenged the U.S. Defense Department to prove otherwise.

Earlier this month, an official with the Air National Guard told the Arizona Republic the lights were flares dropped night-time exercise.

Political experts and those investigating the Phoenix Lights say Mr. Symington’s statement lends credibility to the UFO theory.

“It’s going to have a huge impact on this story,” said William Warwick, an investigative journalist who is organizing a conference for witnesses of the Phoenix Lights. Mr. Symington is the highest elected official in the country to admit to seeing the lights, he noted.

“I think it’s going to embolden a lot of other witnesses that have a lot of other pertinent information, been holding back these past 10 years, to come forward and speak.”

Bruce Merrill, a political scientist at Arizona State University, said Mr. Symington is a “bright guy” and “very credible person.”

“The fact that people like that say they saw something and that it needs to be investigated clearly gives it more credibility,” he said.
Mr. Symington, who worked as a real estate developer, was forced from office a few months following the sighting after he was convicted of bank fraud in his real estate dealings. The verdict was
overturned in 1999; Bill Clinton issued a pardon shortly before he left office two years later.
The Republican re-invented himself as a pastry chef and went on to co-found the Culinary Institute of Arizona, based in Scottsdale. He said he did not reveal that he had witnessed the lights in 1997 because he did not want to “stir the pot.”

Indeed, he went to great lengths to make people laugh about the incident, staging a press conference and saying he would order an investigation. A member of his staff then paraded in front of reporters in an alien mask and handcuffs.
“Many witnesses were more than offended,” said Lynne Kitei, a doctor who put her medical career aside to study the sightings. “They knew that what they had witnessed on March 13, 1997, was something extraordinary.

“And instead of answering their pleas for an investigation and explanation, their elected official was making jokes.”

Mr. Symington now claims he was trying to introduce a little “levity” to the situation.


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February 28, 2007


Toronto Sun (Canada)


Paul Hellyer has a unique solution to global warming and the gas shortage -- ask aliens what makes their saucers fly



Al Gore is the poster boy for global warming.

He sure is. Look at him.

There's a man who has never run for a bus.

All that gushing, honey love spread over him by other rich and famous people at the Oscars worries me, too. Watch for a new hole in the ozone 20 klicks above the Kodak Theatre.

Now the radio says Gore's mansion in Tennessee devours $30,000 a year in hydro and gas, at a clip 20 times the U.S. average.

If this emperor has no clothes, why should he? His thermostat is set on high.

So if not Al Gore, who will save us from drowning in glacial melt and keep beach resorts from Nunavut?

I find one answer in the lakefront office tower where my mom happens to hang her shingle.

Hon. Paul Hellyer. Remember him? Defence minister under Pearson. Liberal leadership contender. Trudeau's transport minister. The Belinda Stronach of his day. Grit. Tory. Grit. He even toyed with the NDP.


These days he dallies with another airy acronym. UFO.

"Open your eyes," he tells me. "Two days of research and you'll believe it too."

I will ask the United Airlines workers who saw a big, metallic Frisbee over Chicago's O'Hare airport last November.

I will not ask the air traffic controller who quipped: "To fly 7 million light years to O'Hare and then have to turn around and go home because your gate was occupied is simply unacceptable."

What have UFOs to do with global warming, or the GTA gas shortage?

They're the cure, says Hellyer, 83. Here's how he sees it:

When a UFO crashed in Roswell, N.M., in 1947 (oh, stop being such a cynic), it offered a techno treasure trove.

From that wreck, and 77 others, the military gleaned hardware that was out of this world.

The micro-chip, for instance. Bullet-proof vests. Fibre-optics. Tupperware. (Just kidding). Lasers. Star Wars weaponry.

"And particle guns."


"High voltage. They fire something like controlled lightning."

Aha. Ray guns.

"Yes. The U.S. air force probably has them by now."

The big prize, though, is what makes those saucers fly.

Imagine a vehicle that does 30,000 km/h or hovers on a dime, regardless of whether Esso has any gas.


Best of all, no exhaust. No stench. No smog. No greenhouse gas. No ice cap melt. No drowned continents. No Al Gore?

The U.S. must have figured out the aliens' propulsion by now, says Hellyer.

Likely it is zero point energy, an idea floated by Einstein, which is infinite, pollution free and exists all around us.

Think of it as you queue for rationed gas.

The perfect fuel.

(Or is it? Why do flying saucers keep crashing?)

"That's why I've gone public. I want the Americans to tell us if they have it. Or how close they are.

"The people of the world have the right to know, too. To save this planet."

And if the Americans haven't figured it out?

"Instead of trying to shoot down those guys, we should invite them down to tell us what we need to know."

Which guys?

"The aliens. I'm told there's more than one species."

How do we get them to come?

"I'm told there have been face-to-face communications."

I wait for him to cackle or make monkey sounds or jump on the desk of his lakeview office. But Hellyer has unwavering, sane eyes, pale and clear. He is 6-foot-3 and every inch a gent.

He will be on hand next Wednesday for the Toronto screening of the UFO documentary Fastwalkers, so called for a military code name. (See

Hellyer has never seen a UFO. "I've never seen the Taj Mahal either, but I know it's real."

Maybe he is right. Maybe oil execs are not the only slimy green men in the energy business.

Beam me up, Scottie.

Anything's better than a buck a litre.


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January 4, 2007




Not a bird or a plane?


Jan. 4, 2007 - The Federal Aviation Administration says it must have been a weird weather phenomenon, and United Airlines denies any knowledge of the case. But though it has been two months since what appeared to be an unidentified flying object (UFO) was spotted over Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, the incident is still raising questions about what exactly was seen and whether the authorities are trying to downplay it.

As many as a dozen United Airlines employees swear the mysterious object they saw on Nov. 7 was real—hovering for several minutes above the United Airlines terminal and then shooting up through the clouds so powerfully that it left an eerie hole in overcast skies. "At first we laughed to each other" when the report came over the radio, a witness told the National UFO Reporting Center, a Seattle-based nonprofit that maintains a UFO hotline and is listed as a resource in the FAA's official Aeronautical Information Manual. But then I saw the "dark gray, hazy, round object" and seconds later "there was an almost perfect circle in the cloud layer where the craft had been." His statement is published on the Web site of the National UFO Reporting Center, which says its policy is to protect the anonymity of its witnesses.

So was it a UFO? A secret military aircraft? And why did it take two months for the details to come out? It may sound like the oldest hoax in the book, but the United workers—including several pilots—who say they saw the object are reportedly upset their claims have been ignored. The FAA has said it won't be investigating the incident further, and it wasn't until this week that The Chicago Tribune broke the story, speaking to several unnamed witnesses after a tip-off from the head of the National UFO Reporting Center. Peter Davenport heads that organization, and has a lot to say about the way the incident has been handled. A self-described UFOologist, Davenport spoke with NEWSWEEK's Jessica Bennett. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: Your Web site has documented more than 3,000 UFO sightings just in the last year. Is that normal?
Peter Davenport: We get reports that number certainly into the thousands, and sometimes into the tens of thousands.

How many of these do you believe are real, and how do you determine whether they are real?
The overwhelming majority of [reports we get] are not UFOs. Many people report stars and planets and aircraft and humming birds and pelicans and Frisbees and hubcaps—there are thousands of things people can look at and not be able to identify. We rely on our experience to try to quickly identify those cases that are probably not genuine UFOs.

How long have you known about this particular incident in Chicago?
I found out about this on the day of the event. We got multiple communications. We released the information about the 12th or 13th of November, put it on our homepage, and, frankly, I was flabbergasted that nobody was paying attention.

Do you think there has been an effort to downplay it?
My strong suspicion is that this case showed up on the 8th of November—the day after it happened—in the intelligence briefing document that the president apparently reads every morning. Are we to believe that a UFO can appear over a major U.S. airport and the American intelligence community is not informed of it? That proposition is absurd.

If that's the case, why would the federal government keep those findings from the public?
You've got to go directly to the government or to United Airlines [for the answer to that question]. I'm shocked by their response to this, except for the fact that we've seen this kind of response—certainly on behalf of the government—for the past 59 and a half years.

What happened 59 years ago?
That takes us back to the first formal sighting that caused a ripple in the press, which was June 24, 1947, here in the state of Washington. That was Mr. [Kenneth] Arnold, who saw a string of [disc]-shaped objects streaking down the Cascade Mountains [near Mount Rainier]. That was the event that gave us the term "flying saucer."

Still, there are a lot of UFO skeptics out there. What do you say to them?
I've been asked that question about half a dozen times before. Skeptics are free to think whatever they wish. All I do is release the information—hopefully, accurate information—and people may read it or consume it anyway they wish. But many of these hard-boiled skeptics simply do not look at the data. They have a preconceived notion of how the universe works—what is possible, what is not possible—to the extent that they no longer have to look at data.

What is that data?
The data are the cases that come in, the information that we're receiving on a steady basis—over the telephone, over the Internet, photographs and so on. Probably the most reliable source of data that we receive is eyewitness accounts from responsible witnesses who seem to be independent of one another. That's not true of all the people who contact us, of course. We get calls of many, many stripes. But we focus on the cases that are very well documented—as in the case of the O'Hare sighting.

So you've spoken to the witnesses in this case.
Yes, that's how we got the information.

And you think they're credible?
The witnesses [in this case] are not only responsible but they're qualified by virtue of the fact that they've worked in the aviation industry for decades—each one of them. They're familiar with aircraft, they're familiar with weather phenomena. United Airlines and the FAA have apparently taken the position that it either didn't happen, or if it did happen it was a weather aberration. Well, the written communications that I have in my possession clearly belie that position.

So you obviously believe that UFOs do exist.
My objective is to give the American people the information that they need to have, in my opinion, in order to make a rational decision with regard to the UFO phenomenon. In a sense, I guess I'm an advocate for the notion that our planet is visited on a frequent basis by these things we call UFOs. If my theory and the theory of many other UFO investigators is correct, then the U.S. government certainly knows about this [phenomenon], and has known about it for at least six decades and is not sharing that with the American people. I believe that is wrong.

How do you define a UFO, and what elements of that definition were visible in what was seen at O'Hare?
From my standpoint, [UFOs] are those objects that exhibit characteristics that strongly suggest that they, almost without a doubt, are not of man's manufacture. That statement I think is supported by the fact that these UFO sightings appear to go back hundreds or thousands of years. We have reports on our Web site from the 1930s, from the 1890s, from 1860, and I have two written reports on file—one from China in the 12th century A.D. and a report from ancient Egypt from 1770 B.C. So could that be the U.S. Air Force experimenting with aircraft? Clearly not. In the case of this object at O'Hare, [the object sighted] seemed to accelerate so fast and disappear so fast that people's eyes were unable to follow it, and they didn't know which way it had gone. Now, could that be of man's manufacture? I doubt it.

Why is there so little debate on this subject?
People think that UFOs are strange. But in my opinion, the reaction of the American press to the UFO phenomenon is stranger still. They're not interested in what I consider to be the greatest scientific question of man's existence of all times: are we alone in this galaxy or are we not? From my vantage point, the clear answer to that is that we're not. And it appears that these objects visit our planet on a regular basis.



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September 25, 2006

London Guardian  (UK)

Is There Anybody Out There? How The Men From The Ministry Hid The Hunt For UFOs
MoD tried to cover-up secret investigation unit
10,000 eyewitness reports 'mostly due to weather'

by James Randerson
Science Correspondent

The Ministry of Defence went to extraordinary lengths to cover up its true involvement in investigating UFOs, according to secret documents revealed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The files show that officials attempted to expunge information from documents released to the Public Records Office under the "30-year rule" that would have revealed the extent of the MoD's interest in UFO sightings.

In particular, the ministry wanted to cover up the operation of a secret unit dedicated to UFO investigations within the Defence Intelligence Staff. UFO conspiracy theorists have likened the unit, called DI55, to a sort of "Men in Black" agency for defending the Earth against invasion but the released documents show this is far from the truth. One 1995 memo from DI55 to the MoD's public "UFO desk" said: "I have several books at home that describe our supposed role of 'defender of the Earth against the alien menace' - it is light years from the truth!"

The files were made public following FOI requests by David Clarke, a lecturer in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University and his colleague Andy Roberts.

"These documents don't tell us anything about UFOs but they do show how desperate the MoD have been to conceal the interest which the intelligence services had in the subject," said Dr Clarke.

The trail begins with a request, in 1976, from a UFO enthusiast called Julian Hennessy for access to the MoD's records on UFO sightings. A note from the UFO desk to the MoD's head of security on March 23 shows that officials intended to refuse him access on the grounds that the files contain confidential information and "very little of value to a serious scientific investigator".

But the note continues: "This is not to say that the investigation is not taken seriously. The branches have their own methods - and [the public UFO desk] has no 'need to know' about them - but we are aware that DI55 for example sometimes makes extensive inquiries.

"It is undesirable that even a hint of this should become public and we are currently consulting the [Air Historical Branch] on ways of expurgating the official records against the time when they qualify for disclosure [at the Public Records Office]."

Hearing of the background to his fob off 30 years ago Mr. Hennessy, who is a local magistrate, was not surprised.   "Everything led me to believe there was a major cover up going on," he said"  T hey didn't want to let the public know just how interested they were in these phenomena."

Attempts to alter the public record went on into the 90s. In a note dated April 28 1993 from DI55 to the public UFO desk the unnamed author argued the unit's involvement should be excised from records due to be released under the 30-year rule. But the cat was already out of the bag. A clerical error in 1983 had meant that the distribution list was incorrectly left on a publicly released UFO-related document, so UFO enthusiasts were already asking questions.

"Since then they have obviously been bombarded by people saying who is this DI55, what do they do, what is the extent of their involvement," said Dr Clarke.

Eventually, DI55 decided to allow its involvement to be made public. A note from DI55 to the public UFO desk on 5July 1995 said: "I see no reason for continuing to deny that the [Defence Intelligence Service] has an interest in UFOs. However, if the association is formally made public then the MoD will no doubt be pressured to state what the intelligence role/interest is.  This could lead to disbelief and embarrassment since few people are likely to believe the truth that lack of funds and higher priorities have prevented any study of the thousands of reports received."

At this point someone, presumably from the public UFO desk, has scribbled "ouch!" in the margin.

"The lengths they went to to remove any mention of the Defence Intelligence Staff's central role in investigating sightings suggests they had something to hide," said Dr Clarke. "But what they were hiding was not evidence of ET visits but embarrassment at the fact they were never allowed to spend public money on investigating the subject in any depth." The full extent of DI55's involvement has subsequently been made clear by a report released to Dr Clarke in May and reported in the Guardian. That threw up a 500-page document which brought together everything the unit knew about UFOs, or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) as the MoD prefers, including more than 10,000 sightings.  It said the existence of UAPs was "indisputable", but blamed the most vexing sighting on airborne "plasmas" formed during "more than one set of weather and electrically charged conditions", or during meteor showers.

Sighting aliens or otherwise?

August 10 1965 A man reported seeing a crimson ball fly out of the side of a hill in Warminster, Wiltshire. A fortnight later, another man photographed a UFO in the centre of Warminster. In 1994 it was claimed the photo was a hoax and the object was made from a cotton reel and a button.

Boxing Day 1980 A UFO reportedly crash landed in Rendlesham forest, Suffolk, near the Woodbridge US air force base. The incident was nicknamed Britain's Roswell in a reference to the famous UFO sighting in New Mexico in 1947. Witnesses said the craft was covered in markings similar to Egyptian hieroglyphs and aliens emerged from it. An airman later confessed the incident was a hoax.

November 28 1980 Policeman Alan Godfrey reported seeing a six-metre wide dome-like object hovering in the air in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. He returned to the site with colleagues and they found the area where the object had supposedly been hovering was dry even though the rest of the road was wet because of earlier rain.

Early 1990s A string of sightings by residents in north Scotland of a UFO regularly flying overhead at great speed. Documents released earlier this year suggested the aircraft was a spy plane called Aurora, designed by the Americans to take covert pictures of the Soviet Union.

May 2006 The MoD released details of Project Condign, a four-year secret study into possible explanations for UFOs. The report concluded that many sightings could be explained as by glowing "plasmas" of gas created by charges of electricity.


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June 14, 2006

Western Daily Press (Bristol, Devon, UK)

So Where Are All The Crop Circles?

by Tristan Cork

Hay fever, different crops, tragedy, emigration and yet more argument. Yes, the 2006 crop circle season is now under way... or is it? The rumours spreading around the wacky crop-circle world of Wiltshire are that there might not be as many of the mysterious formations this year as in previous summers.

While some people who claim to make the crop circles say they are hanging up their planks and ropes to have time out, others in the furtive world of the circlemakers pledge that this year will be the biggest yet.

And then, of course, there are the crop-circle devotees. They scoff at such planks-of-wood nonsense and say the more other-worldly circle- makers are sure to carry on.

One thing is certain, the possibility that there will be fewer, or even no crop circles this year, has sent the close-knit croppie community into a geometric vortex.

It was prompted by probably the most famous circlemaker in Wiltshire, Matthew Williams, announcing he would be taking a year off because hay fever, probably sparked by the increase in oil seed rape fields, was getting the better of him.

Mr Williams, still the only person in the world to be found guilty of crop circle criminal damage, said: "I'll not be out this year, it really is getting too bad. After a night in the fields, it takes me at least a day to recover."

He, and other crop circlemakers were also stunned by the death of one of their number, Paul Obee, who was found dead in a car at Erlestoke, near Devizes, last month.

He was a popular member of the circlemaking community, which is based around the Barge Inn pub at Honeystreet, in the heart of Wiltshire's crop-circle country. That tragedy, coupled with another prominent but unnamed circlemaker emigrating to Portugal, raised doubts that there wouldn't be many formations this year.

And, until this weekend, that appeared to be the case. The crop-circle enthusiasts' Bible, the website, failed to report a single formation throughout May and early June, when normally there would be at least a dozen early happenings.

Enthusiasts of course, don't believe all, or even most, circles are made by a group of 'landscape artists' with planks of wood and a computer-aided graphic design sheet and they can spot a hoax a mile off.

They are still expected to come in their thousands to Wiltshire this summer, looking for more evidence and clues to the real perpetrators of the crop circle phenomenon. They will also be engaging scientists to show the intense heat and energy used to create a real crop circle, as well as trying to capture the balls of light many have seen around the time of the creation of crop circles.

This weekend, despite the fears of a barren year, a beautiful geometric circular formation appeared at West Overton, near Avebury. And now all appears to be right with the crop-circle world again.

Circlemaker John Lundberg, from London, said yesterday this year would be the best yet for crop circles. "To be fair to him, Matt Williams hasn't made a crop circle in years, probably not since he was arrested. Paul's death was tragic and did hit everyone hard, but there's more than three or four people making circles and it's business as usual.

"This year is an important year for us, as it is the 30th year since Doug and Dave (the first people to claim they hoaxed crop circles) first made a circle. We're going to have the biggest summer yet, and I'm looking forward to it."

Mr Lundberg and his colleagues Robert Irving and Mark Pilkington have a book published this month entitled A Field Guide: The Art, History And Philosophy of Crop Circle Making.



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June 6, 2006

Florida Today

Another Tactical Blunder For Bush?

by Billy Cox

In 2001, a flawed but intriguing book called The Hunt For Zero Point took a peek at America's longstanding efforts to harness antigravity propulsion. No shortage of material on that subject, but British author Nick Cook's credentials are impressive. Cook is the award-winning aviation editor for Jane's Defence Weekly, one of the world's top military-industry magazines.

Cook was mystified over what happened to the antigravity research conducted by Martin Aircraft, Bell Aircraft, avionics designer Bill Lear, General Electric, and Sperry-Rand -- among others -- after 1956. That's when subsequent progress reports in the public domain went completely black. Cook's 10-year investigation unearthed, among other things, disturbing patterns of research scientists being bullied and intimidated into silence by authorities; however, Cook couldn't nail down proof of the hardware.

The reason this matters today -- aside from the obvious fact that whomever controls renewable free energy rules the frickin' world -- is that the Bush administration is on the brink of making yet another tactical blunder.

The Justice Department wants to extradite a 40-year-old, confessed British hacker named Gary McKinnon to the United States for breaking into and damaging NASA and military computer systems. Among other things, he allegedly deleted 1,300 user files in seven states and wreaked $1 million worth of havoc. Federal prosecutor Paul McNulty calls McKinnon "the biggest military computer hacker of all time."

But here's the twist:

McKinnon, who scoured American databases in 2001-02, claims he was looking for classified information on antigravity and UFO technology. Based on his disclosures in recent media interviews, the guy didn't get far. Most of what he discovered has been in the public arena for years.

Last month, British courts cleared the way for extradition to the U.S., where McKinnon could face more than 50 years in prison if convicted. A secret "enemy combatant"-like trial probably won't work in this case, because McKinnon is something of an underground cause celebre in the UK, and you can check out the buzz at

In 1996, another British citizen named Matthew Bevan found himself in a similar jam. Then a teenaged computer geek, Bevan got busted for trying to extract classified UFO data from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base files. The Justice Department wanted to extradite Bevan to the States, but he was acquitted in England, where continued pursuit through the courts was ruled "not in the public interest."

Bevan told the BBC last month that America was hot for McKinnon because, despite who-knows-how-much-$$$ the Yanks invested in beefed-up computer security since his own escapade, "It just shows that in 10 years, nothing has changed."

Glandular and punitive responses are hallmarks of the current administration, but this is a fight officialdom isn't smart enough (yet) to realize it doesn't want.

Ten years after the Bevan affair, the Brits are our most reliable partners in the "war on terror." Give McKinnon his day in the UK courts and let it go; they're capable. Otherwise, a sharp American defense lawyer could turn it around and put the classification of our antigravity assets on trial -- definitely not a discussion this most secretive presidency wants to conduct in the light. After all, dark-project technology research conducted without accountability for 50 years could be misinterpreted for taxation without representation.



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May 23, 2006

Sudbury Star (Ontario, Canada)

Sudbury Man Keeps An Eye On The Sky
UFO researcher is writing a book about sightings in Northern Ontario

by Laura Stradiotto

Michel Deschamps, a UFO researcher/historian, has spent several years compiling data on UFO sightings in Sudbury and Northern Ontario.

He has investigated abductions, UFO crash sites and obtained "official" UFO documents.

Deschamps has witnessed 17 sightings since the age of nine.

He encourages people to contact him with their experiences and is currently writing a book on the history of flying objects, abductions, crop circles and other paranormal activities across Northern Ontario.

Deschamps shared his findings at a workshop during the weekend at Rayvin’s Eclectic Enchantments. It was the first one he has presented in six years.

Only a handful of people attended, but one could tell by the binders of documents he hauled in with him that Deschamps takes his work very seriously.

He stood behind a podium and said when it comes to the subject of UFOs, people are more "close-minded" than they were 15 years ago.

Today, people are reluctant to admit they’ve seen something unusual hovering in the skies overhead and are even more reluctant to leave their name with him.

Glancing at Sudbury Star newspaper clippings, it’s surprising the amount of space that was dedicated to reports of flying objects.

Eye witnesses are clearly identified, including their exact address.

In 1948, for example, Joe Caruso of 294 Albinson St., spotted a "long oval-shaped black object with 20-foot orange-coloured sparks shooting out from the rear."

"To me, newspaper articles are our history a history that is not spoken of often," Deschamps said.

Most people are skeptical of his work and tell Deschamps there’s no physical evidence of close encounters of the first, second, third or fourth kind.

With encounters of the first kind, there is no interaction between the eyewitness and UFO, while encounters of the second kind involve actual landings often involving scorched ground.

Encounters of the third kind include sightings of aliens or human-like entities, while abductions are characteristic of encounters of the fourth kind.

The largest number of UFO sightings in Sudbury occurred during the summer of 1967, when there were eight incidents reported.

While it became known as the (psychedelic) summer of love, the 1967 sightings were so vivid eyewitnesses often called the Ontario Provincial Police and the Canadian Forces station at Falconbridge to report what they saw.

In one incident, police were called to investigate a report of an attempted UFO landing, but when they tried to contact headquarters there was "heavy radio interference", the Sudbury Star reported.

Often a UFO sighting was corroborated by other people who saw the object from different areas of the city.

It was 1974 when Deschamps, then nine years old, had his first UFO encounter.

He was playing with friends at the end of Pharand Street in Hanmer when something caught his eye.

"I remember seeing this metallic silver-looking ball above the tree line. It was probably no more than one-metre wide. I thought it was an advertising balloon, so I looked to see if it was tied down. It wasn’t."

Years later, Deschamps bought a book about UFOs and one chapter discussed sightings in the Sudbury area, particularly sightings during the first few weeks of July 1974 the time he figures he saw the UFO.

"Up until then, I thought I had imagined it," he said.

That’s when Deschamps started spending considerable time conducting research.

"I still get bugged at work," said Deschamps, who works at Wal-Mart.

Deschamps created posters of physical evidence to show skeptics, including: cow mutilations, sketches of eyewitness accounts and photographs of crop circles one of which was discovered in Spring Bay on Manitoulin Island in the early 1990s.

Called a hoax by non-believers, to this day Deschamps says there’s no way it was a joke. The imprints look like they were burned and they’re located off a beaten path.

Surely if it was a hoax, the jokers would have placed the crop circles in an area frequented by passersby, he said.

Shortly after that experience, Deschamps joined the UFO Network, an Internet-based initiative designed to unite researchers across the world. He is also a member of the Mutual UFO Network.

Many UFO sightings have occurred in mining areas like Copper Cliff, Garson and Falconbridge, he said.

Deschamps said that’s because a mining centre gives alien life an indication of our technology base.

"If NASA is interested in us, I’m sure others are curious, too."



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May 18, 2006

Salem Statesman Journal

UFO Festival Looks Into The World Of Aliens
Scientists, revelers and people who've been abducted come together in McMinnville

by Angela Yeager

Marius Dekker doesn't want to talk about his experience being abducted by aliens - even though he is giving a speech about the subject this weekend.

Vancouver, Wash., resident Dekker, 70, is a retired chemical engineer and scientist who will be speaking about his abduction experience at a workshop on UFOs at 10 a.m. Saturday.

"It is a very good possibility I was abducted. I can't go into it on the phone," he said, after being asked to explain his abduction experience.

"You'll just have to come see my talk. I'm not going to get into the whole story on the phone. It first happened in Holland, when I was 16. I suspect I was abducted. I am examining these things now."

Dekker's workshop is part of the McMenamins UFO Festival, which is Friday and Saturday in downtown McMinnville. There also is a preview event at 7:30 tonight at the Kennedy School in Portland, featuring a screening of the 1994 Showtime movie "Roswell."

The event is in its seventh year and brings the serious and the goofy sides of aliens and UFOs together. There are workshops and forums with speakers on UFOs and alien abduction, as well as more light-hearted events such as the UFO Costume Parade at 1 p.m. Saturday, which is followed by an Alien Pet Costume Contest at 2 p.m.

Dekker was selected to speak because of his research into abduction; he is one of the festival's many scheduled speakers.

Dekker is retired, but worked as a chemical engineer in Alberta, Canada, and as a math, physics and chemistry professor at Capilano College in Vancouver, British Columbia.

He said he started believing in aliens later in his life.

"I grew up as a scientist and a real nerd and had little use for UFO talk," he said. "Over the course of many years, I have reversed my feelings about them."

This will be Dekker's first time attending the UFO Festival in McMinnville. He refused to give any details on what he will talk about for his speech, other than to say he will chronicle the "long story" about why he believes he was abducted. He would say, however, that "missing time" is one of the main elements that abductees find they have in common.

"It's the most telling sign," he said. "People wondering, 'Where have I been in the last three hours?'"

When asked if that could just be memory loss, Dekker explained: "People might think they just had a memory lapse, but there's usually more to it."

Another high-profile speaker at this year's festival is Jesse Marcel Jr., who will give the keynote speech to promote his new book, "Roswell: It Really Happened."

According to Tim Hills, the project historian with McMenamins Pubs, Marcel is a big name in the UFO community.

Marcel Jr. will speak at 7 p.m. Friday at the Mack Theater and will follow his speech with a reception and book signing in a tent that will be set up next to the Hotel Oregon on Evans Street.

Aside from people giving serious speeches about UFOs and aliens, there are those who go to the festival as an excuse to paint their faces and put on pairs of antennas to parade through downtown McMinnville.

The UFO Costume Parade is one of the highlights of the event each year and is organized by McMenamins and the McMinnville Downtown Association. The parade will feature more than 24 entries this year, including floats and marching bands.

The Salem-area Star Trek club USS Destiny plans to participate in this year's parade. Salem resident Craig Martin, a member of USS Destiny, said members dressed in officer's uniforms as well as others from a separate Klingon club will be on the back of a flatbed truck for the event.

"I'm going to be in a 'Next Generation' commander's uniform because I'm the commanding officer of the club," Martin said.

"We try to interact with other groups doing the same kinds of things we are. And it's a good way to advertise for new members," he said.

"Last year, we just had bales of hay on the truck. This year, the Klingons thought it would be cool to have a table in the middle with peace talks going on, which sounds like a lot of fun to me."


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May 12, 2006

Reading Evening Post (Berkshire, UK)

UFO Cannot Believe It!

A space odyssey of UFO sightings has been zooming across our radar courtesy of eagle-eyed readers.

Your calls flooded in after Pip Neal spotted a mysterious green ball in the sky over Southcote on Friday, April 7, and Vicky Chapman saw a glowing red orb over Basingstoke Road on Good Friday (Post, Wednesdays, April 19 and 26, respectively).

It's not the first time Mr. Neal has seen unexplained things in the sky. He also told us that he saw a triangle of light in the skies over Lincoln two decades ago.

Gloria Fisher, a carer from Meadow Road, Earley, called to say she and husband, Roy, a window-maker, spotted the same phenomenon, also 20 years ago, while camping in Wittering, Sussex.

She said: "We looked up in the sky and saw a triangle of white light as though joined but you could see through the middle. It was in complete formation but whether it was a Government experiment, you just don't know.

"We haven't really mentioned it too much to people.

"My husband, if you do see things, says it's probably clouds or aeroplanes and the last thing you think about is UFOs but you do think: ‘Ooh, I wonder'."

Peter Brake, 77, revealed his experiences after reading about the Good Friday sighting in the Post.

"The first one was mind-boggling, like a world just going along," he said of his sighting of a multicoloured globe while in his Whitley Wood garden some years ago. "It wasn't smooth, it was like in a square pattern and lit up. I didn't know quite what to make of it.

"When it got level with me it was there one second and suddenly went away from me within two seconds."

Then last September the retired forestry worker spied a deep red star-like object moving slowly over his Falmouth Road garden.

But perhaps the most exciting phenomenon has been by former coffee shop worker Janet Cryer, from Woodley who witnessed a bright, whooshing light roaring past her first-floor window.

She couldn't sleep at around 1am on Tuesday, April 18, when suddenly she heard a noise "like an underground train, a roar and a whoosh at the same time" before a greeny-coloured light flew past her open-curtained window.

"Immediately I thought it was a meteorite and I was waiting for a bang," said the 58-year-old.

"It was faster than a helicopter and nothing like an aircraft. The day after that I saw all those stories in the paper."

Mrs Cryer, of Hanwood Close, added: "My late husband used to long to see a UFO, he used to keep all the clippings."

Have you seen any strange aerial objects or inexplicable sights worthy of the X Files? Call the Evening Post's extra terrestrial reporter on (0118) 918 3009.


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May 12, 2006

Beaver County Times

40th Anniversary Of Beaver County UFO Sighting

by Sally Maxson

As far as the federal government is concerned, the incident is over and done.

"The case was closed and never reopened," said Brian Seese, a paranormal researcher from Hopewell Township, who includes the incident in his new book, "Unexplained Events in Beaver County."

In late 1966, Weitzel, the NICAP investigator assigned to the case, delivered his final report to his Washington, D.C., supervisor, Richard Hall.

"I personally hand-carried a copy of Weitzel's very thick and extremely well-documented report to Dr. Edward Condon," Hall recalled last month.

Condon, a scientist, was in charge of a UFO study conducted by the University of Colorado under the sponsorship of the Air Force.

"Years later, I learned to my astonishment that he never turned over the case to his staff, and it gathered dust in his personal files," Hall said.

And so when the Air Force turned the Colorado report over to Congress, the Ohio-to-Conway incident wasn't mentioned.

"Maj. Hector Quintanilla tried to pass it off as a sighting of the planet Venus and an earth satellite, which was quite preposterous," said Hall, who wrote "The UFO Evidence, Vol. II; A Thirty-Year Report," published in 2001. "I think he may have changed it to an unexplained case later on."

According to the files of a leading UFO researcher, Brad Sparks, the Air Force ultimately did categorize the case as "unexplained" and probably left it at that, Hall said.

Project Blue Book files would show the final status of the incident, Hall said.

But trying to get someone to share Project Blue Book details isn't easy.

The feds closed Project Blue Book in 1972, ending at least publicly the Air Force's role as a UFO investigation agency.


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May 8, 2006

Great Falls Tribune

Mariana's UFO Film One Of The Best Produced

Great Falls area residents have seen many unidentified flying objects over the years.

Some of those people might have had too much hootch to drink at the time.

But that wasn't the case for Nicholas Mariana, who filmed strange objects from Legion baseball park with a 16mm camera in August 1950.

Mariana was general manager of the Great Falls Electrics baseball team at the time.

Little did he know that his quick-thinking work with a camera would make Mariana a heroic figure among UFO buffs.

Mariana was standing in the bleachers one day when he was amazed to see "two vehicles hovering above the pitcher's mound," his son related in an interview Saturday.

The elder Mariana, who studied journalism at the University of Montana, kept a movie camera in his glove box.

He ran for the camera, and stood in the bleachers behind home plate filming closeups of the strange objects.

After a short time, the aircrafts shot up into the air in a flash.

Soon, "they were little dots on the horizon," said the son, Nick Mariana of Victor.

Mariana's film is credited as one of the best films ever taken of possible extra-terrestrial activity. And he had a witness, his secretary, who backed up his story.

Mariana later complained the best segment of his film disappeared after he gave the movie to Malmstrom Air Force Base to analyze. Base officials denied intentionally clipping out the best closeups from the film.

Mariana once appeared on "I've Got a Secret," a TV program hosted by Gary Moore in which a panel tried to guess what secret a guest had.

Panelists didn't guess Mariana's secret.

Mariana died Aug. 20, 1999, in Oregon, but interest in his film continues.

Mariana's son, Nick, was born in Great Falls, but the family almost immediately moved to Missoula.

Today, he owns a former Great Falls business called Mr. Video.  As it turned out, he had his own movie camera when he was a kid.

Nick Mariana shares his father's view that the government took the best part of the film and stuck it in a classified folder somewhere.

"They don't lose that stuff," he said. The younger Mariana thinks the vehicle may well have been from another world.

"I'm a believer," the Victor man said. "I think it's perfectly feasible that they've made contact."

At the same time, he said there are plenty of "crackpots" out there who falsely claim to have been abducted by aliens.

For years, the Marianas had the famous 15 seconds of 16 mm film around the house in a collection of movies. Then Nick Mariana tried to find it.

"It disappeared from our house," he said. Fortunately, that part of the film had already been copied.

Nick Mariana said his father was irritated that the government whacked out the best section of his movie. After all, who wouldn't object to a hatchet job of editing?

But the elder Mariana didn't dwell on what happened to his film, even if he wasn't thrilled about it.

"He just wasn't that kind of guy at all," son Nick said. That hasn't kept the Marianas from musing over the years about what the full film might have been worth to collectors.

This spring, makers of a two-hour UFO film documentary for the History Channel in Canada, All In One Films of Toronto, are trying to find friends or relatives of Mariana who heard him talk about filming the UFOs.

They also would like to talk to anyone who might have seen a showing of the Mariana film in Great Falls in the 1950s.

If you fill that bill, either e-mail or write me and I'll pass the information on to the folks upstairs in Canada.

Tribune Staff Writer Richard Ecke writes a weekly column on city life. Reach him by e-mail at recke.nul, or at (406) 791-1467 or (800) 438-6600.


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May 5, 2006

Northwest Meridian (Aurora, Oregon)

Sci-Fi Man

by Tracy Macdonald

The film "Roswell: The U.F.O Cover-up" (1994) tells the story of USAF Major Jesse Marcel's attempt to understand the events that unfolded in the southeastern New Mexico desert in July of 1947.

The picture's executive producer, Paul Davids, will be on hand to take questions at the screening of the film at McMenamins Kennedy School Theater in Northeast Portland.

When Major Marcel (played by Kyle MacLachlan) is called out to investigate the mysterious debris discovered by a local rancher, he concludes (allegedly, along with his colleagues) that the ranch was the site of a UFO crash. The tables turn, however, and Marcel soon becomes the fall guy for a government cover-up, and then the object of press mockery, when his superiors claim the debris in the rancher's prairie came not from a flying saucer, but a typical weather balloon.

Confused and disillusioned, Marcel spends the next 30 years torn between honoring his duty as a soldier and discovering the truth about what really happened. When he attends the 30-year reunion for the members of his Air Force unit, suffering from a heart ailment and faced with his own impending mortality, he's overtaken by his desire to solve the mystery, or at least finally commit himself to asking the hard, potentially dangerous questions, whatever the risks and whatever the cost.

Davids, who also wrote and directed the 1996 documentary "Timothy Leary's Dead", and more recently, "The Sci-Fi Boys", released earlier this year, was interviewed by Northwest Meridian via email about "Roswell", and his career as a writer, filmmaker and UFologist.

Northwest Meridian: Your film implies that there was a massive government conspiracy to conceal the truth about Roswell. Do you believe that this conspiracy is real, or were you just intrigued by the story?

Paul Davids: I have read about and researched this case since 1987. I think I've read nearly everything written on the subject. There are two books which provide the details of the so-called "conspiracy" with greater accuracy and depth than any others I've come across: "UFOs and the National Security State", by Richard Dolan, and "The Missing Times", by Terry Hanson. Both present what I think is an entirely convincing view that we do have extraterrestrial visitors, and that the facts have been officially and deliberately suppressed since at least 1947.

I personally cannot find any fault with the points of view, so eloquently presented, in those books. Also, in the last year the former Defense Minister of Canada Paul Hellyer has stated in public interviews that this conspiracy does exist and that "flying saucers from other worlds" are as real as airplanes.

(Hellyer) stated that he is convinced the claims of Lt. Colonel Philip Corso in the book "The Day After Roswell" are essentially correct, i.e., that this has been one of the most highly classified issues for over half a century, and that the failure to inform and educate the public has been appalling. His views have not been widely reported in the U.S. media, but once again, in all my research, nothing has convinced me that he's mistaken, including several government reports that declare Roswell to be "Case Closed".

NWM: Were the other people involved in the making of your film believers in the government cover-up?

Davids: Captain Kevin Randle (U.S. Air Force) and Donald Schmitt are the authors of a book called "UFO Crash at Roswell", upon which we loosely based the drama of the film. They are both "believers" in the cover-up, and Captain Randle was a military technical advisor to our film. Don Schmitt for many years was the Director of Special Investigations for the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies in Chicago. Apart from them, I believe I was the only person involved who had a driving passion to tell the story because I felt it was urgent and credible.

The others were not necessarily "disbelievers" but took the position they didn't know much and were curious to learn more.  Of everyone, Kyle MacLachlan was probably the most skeptical, or at least very cautious about saying anything to give the impression he was a "UFO believer". It shows what a superb actor he was. His personal beliefs had no influence whatsoever on his magnificent performance as Major Jesse Marcel. Martin Sheen was open-minded about the story, but he is what I would call a devoted Catholic with special interests in reported sightings of the Virgin Mary. He could accept the possibility of UFO's only insofar as he did not feel it conflicted with his Catholic faith, which actually does not at all rule out the possibility of intelligent life on other worlds ("In my Father's house are many mansions...".).

Interestingly, since we made the movie, Monsignor Corrado Balducci, who was the Vatican's Apostolic representative in Washington D.C. for many years, has been giving lectures, apparently with Papal blessing, stating that extraterrestrial visitors are real and are neither angels nor demons nor delusions. Jeremy Kagan, who directed "Roswell", and Arthur Kopit, a great American playwright credited with the screenplay writing (based on a story written by myself and Jeremy and Arthur) were what you might call "agnostic". They felt the "conspiracy" could possibly be true, perhaps was even probably true - but they (and I) felt that the drama should be done in a way that left the final result ambiguous and showed that the data, no matter which side you are on, has been "salted" with disinformation.

NWM: How do you think the public reaction to the Roswell incident - and the government's explanation of that incident - would be different today than in 1947?

Davids: I don't think the rancher would necessarily have summoned the authorities (the sheriff and the military) before alerting the media, and a total cover-up would have been more difficult. Also, the public today would be much more skeptical about a military pronouncement, for instance when the Army changed the first announcement from "flying saucer" to "weather balloon". There was a very similar incident in Brazil in recent years, and much more information leaked out, much more quickly, than was the case in the Roswell Incident where military people felt it was their sworn duty to reveal nothing for decades. The "crash dummy" report at the Pentagon in 1997 drew an unintended reaction of public ridicule and hostile rejection. All military statements were much more likely to be accepted without much questioning back in 1947, so soon after World War II.

NWM: You have been a Science Fiction fan since childhood. What fueled your initial attraction to this genre?

Davids: My love of the sci-fi double features that came out every Saturday during my childhood. Some of them (such as "Forbidden Planet", with Robby the Robot,) were masterpieces that stimulated my imagination for years. I absolutely loved the space films of George Pal including "The War of the Worlds" (the first one, from 1953), plus films such as "The Thing From Another World" and the "Day the Earth Stood Still". And I was of the Baby Boom generation who grew up on Forrest J Ackerman's "Famous Monsters of Filmland" magazine, which I relished, even though my parents had a dim view of it. But all of this was Science Fiction for me. It did not occur to me that extraterrestrial contact may already have taken place until 1987, the year I had a close range daylight disc sighting with my son and daughter.

NWM: How has your work in this genre evolved over the years?

Davids: It's not so much that my work in this field has "evolved" as that I have gone where the opportunities have taken me.

I never expected to be the production coordinator of "The Transformers" television show, which was on every day beginning in the mid-1980's - it was a lucky break - I was called in to take the place of someone I knew who was leaving the show and who had to be replaced immediately.

I seized the opportunity to develop "Roswell" as a film after the experience of my daylight disc sighting, and after doing much research. For years I wanted to do a film based on the research of Richard C. Hoagland, who passionately believes there were extraterrestrial civilizations on both the Mars and the Moon, and that there are archeological remains there. We came very close to launching the film, but ultimately it has not happened yet. I co-wrote six "Star Wars" sequel books with my wife because the opportunity was there - Lucasfilm was interested in having some sequel books developed and published, to keep the public aware of "Star Wars" up until the fourth film would come out.

Finally, I made "The Sci-Fi Boys" out of a passion for the sci-fi genre and the feeling that there was a story that had to be told about the "pioneers" of the genre who inspired my generation of filmmakers (and also Peter Jackson's generations of filmmakers). What started as a dream without great hope of commercial release became very real once Peter Jackson saw and loved my first edit of the film and agreed to be in it.

NWM: Can you expound briefly upon the idea of Science Fiction as a mechanism of cultural and political criticism?

Davids: Science Fiction has often been used as a mechanism of cultural and political commentary, a way to teach us about the predicaments we are in as human beings by showing us fictional extrapolations of what might come to pass or what could happen.  Two excellent examples are Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" (about censorship and book burning in a society which does not allow reading) and "The Day After Tomorrow", which dramatized the extreme possibilities of climate change. But there are hundreds of examples. From a literary point of view, it's often easier for authors to couch their political attitudes and social criticisms by creating fictional literary universes. "Gulliver's Travels" is one of the early examples, and the anti-war attitudes of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" is another.

Finally, I made "The Sci-Fi Boys" out of a passion for the sci-fi genre and the feeling that there was a story that had to be told about the "pioneers" of the genre who inspired my generation of filmmakers (and also Peter Jackson's generations of filmmakers). What started as a dream without great hope of commercial release became very real once Peter Jackson saw and loved my first edit of the film and agreed to be in it.

NWM: Can you expound briefly upon the idea of Science Fiction as a mechanism of cultural and political criticism?

Davids: Science Fiction has often been used as a mechanism of cultural and political commentary, a way to teach us about the predicaments we are in as human beings by showing us fictional extrapolations of what might come to pass or what could happen.  Two excellent examples are Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" (about censorship and book burning in a society which does not allow reading) and "The Day After Tomorrow", which dramatized the extreme possibilities of climate change. But there are hundreds of examples. From a literary point of view, it's often easier for authors to couch their political attitudes and social criticisms by creating fictional literary universes. "Gulliver's Travels" is one of the early examples, and the anti-war attitudes of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" is another.

NWM: What inspired the creation of your new film, "The Sci Fi Boys"?

Davids: "The Sci-Fi Boys" shows the evolution of Science Fiction in cinema. Kellen Quinn, a critic and commentator for the Tribeca Film Festival, called it "a must-see for anyone who has screamed, gasped or laughed at a movie monster". I have not only screamed, gasped and laughed at movie monsters, I started out making them when I was nine years old and all I had was an 8mm home movie camera and my own ingenuity, plus copies of Famous Monsters magazine that gave away a few of the "trade secrets" of Hollywood. All of those secrets have since changed, but the love of movie monsters is still with me.

These monsters, throughout the decades, have often stolen the limelight from the actors who share the movies with them - and the creatures that once scared us are now like our long lost friends from childhood. We love to collect model kits of them, or build them and paint them. Once we covered our eyes when they came on-screen because they represented our darkest nightmares.  Today we can laugh at those nightmares of days gone by and know that we survived them.

Our real problem (now) - the problem of all of us as human beings in today's society - is the issue of whether we can we survive the actual nightmares of living in this current era, an era of too many lethal weapons and too many leaders and soldiers and others who are willing to use them on innocent civilians all over the world. If we can ever lick that monster, then as a human species, we will have won, and we will have a future out there among the stars. If we cannot lick that monster, then we are witnessing something terrible in our lifetimes, the collapse and destruction of what could have been, what might have been, a magnificent and peaceful worldwide human civilization, with all of mankind respecting everyone regardless of cultural and religious differences. As Michael Rennie stated (as the character Klaatu) in "The Day the Earth Stood Still": "The choice is up to you".


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May 3, 2006

Terrace Standard (British Columbia, Canada)

Something Was In The Sky Over Terrace On April 24

Terrace's Reputation as a UFO sighting hot spot continues thanks to two independent reports from two couples who both saw mysterious lights in the sky the evening of April 24.

The lights were described as blue-coloured balls with tails coming out the back, says Houston, B.C.-based UFO researcher Brian Vike.

Vike, one of North America's leading UFO researchers, said having two independent reports makes the occurrence all that more tantalizing.

"In the first report there were three balls and in the second, two. Whether one was behind the other then, I don't know," he continued.

The sightings were at about the same time - shortly after 7:30 p.m. - as well and the weather conditions that evening were excellent.

"That this took place during daylight makes it very interesting," Vike said.

The first couple was on Munroe St. on the Bench and the second in the arena parking lot. Their sightings were toward the south. Neither reported a sound coming from the respective objects.

"They moved together, silently through the sky from our right to our left sides," reported the wife of the first couple's observation.

"They were fast, but slow enough that we both could say 'Do you see that?' and look back."

The woman added that she would not have told anyone but that her husband "is a non-believer of anything, and even he saw it."

The husband of the second couple said their sighting looked like flares or a welding spark.

"One large one and a smaller one underneath. I jumped out of the truck and said, 'Did you see that?' and she said 'yes,'" he said of his wife.

"[It] was kind of spooky. Never seen anything like this before in my life - probably never again," the man continued.

Vike welcomes information from anybody else who saw something in the sky shortly after 7:30 p.m. on April 24.

Terrace at one time ranked near the top of UFO sightings for all of Canada.

Vike can be reached at His Web site is:



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May 1, 2006

Los Angeles Times

Foiling The Space Aliens
In the search for the perfect tin hat, a few things are learned about community and mind control

by Bettie Rinehart

For two weeks I've been thinking about aluminum foil. The problem is that my thoughts should have been focused on tin foil because that, you see, is what purportedly provides the best shield against alien mind control. At least that's what I've read on the Internet.

This is not simply a matter of research. This weekend, I'll be chronicling in writing and on video the Retro UFO Space Convention at the Integratron in the Mojave Desert. I'll be chatting with the abducted, drinking in the wisdom of guest experts on extra-terrestrials and listening to some UFO performance poetry.

But it was the "Tinfoil Hat Contest" that hit me like a gigaton of space balls. Although I didn't even know what the prize was, I wanted to win.

Foil hats got a pop culture bump in the 2002 thriller, "Signs," when, in perhaps the film's funniest scene, Joaquin Phoenix donned aluminum headgear to keep his thoughts protected from unseen aliens. But in my Web sleuthing I found that the coterie of the aluminated is of two minds. Anecdotally speaking, some feel that tin foil provides a shield to thought invasion by both aliens and, dare I say, the CIA. Others contend that the thin metallic sheets are actually more of an "antenna" for other-worldly communication.

I've chosen the style of my hat with an intensity bordering on obsession. I knew I wouldn't be caught dead wandering the desert like some still-wrapped Hershey Kiss or like the styles I'd seen on the Web, including the "Kutcher" (an annoying trucker cap), or the Fez (nice enough with its sassy tassel, but too easy).

For me, would it be Katherine Hepburn in "The Alien Queen?" Uma Thurman in "Even Martian Ladies Get the Blues?" No, I'd go more exotic-a Chinese sunhat with a huge, garish aluminum foil and pink construction paper rose. Maybe some trim, too. A little Chinoiserie meets Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Alien."

I headed to the Rite-aid and Office Depot for foil, tape, colored paper and paste. Four hours later, voila!

My hat turned out to be a pretty glamorous little something for the stylish, paranoid gardening enthusiast. Any misguided extraterrestrial looking to probe my thoughts would be in for a big surprise. They'd have to dig through that monster garnish on the top of my head. Good luck, space invader. Good luck.

They say that the desert doesn't care if you live or die. The desert doesn't care about fashion, either. It's really, really hot. And within a half hour of my arrival, I'm sweaty and smell bad. I've left my hat in the car, stressed about the resilience of Elmer's glue and foil.

The hard sun glints off a mere handful of silvered pates. There isn't much competition. Or maybe, like myself, folks are just waiting for the crucial moment. The competition is scheduled to take place after a very down-to-Earth lunch of burgers and hot dogs, beans, slaw and apple pie.

After I've completed a few select interviews with members of the UFO community-learning along the way about the tall, thin Arcturian tribe of aliens, the dovetailing of heavenly angels and extraterrestrials and universal astrology-I run to the car, grab my precious hat and arrive at the judging table in a cloud of dust, just in time.

After all the hopes I'd rested atop my foil hat, the judging turned out to be a very informal affair-winners determined by claps, hoots and hollers. Not first, not second, but third place was mine. The prize: a sound bath at the Integratron. A $40 value!

Afterwards, Frank Bollinger, co-creator of the "Brain Tuner," which he claims "stops anxiety and trans-cranial electro-stimulation," asks me, "Is that just a hat, or does it have another purpose?"

It no longer mattered to me that I felt like I'd put more brainpower into my hat than the other winners, who'd constructed theirs' in a matter of minutes before the contest. Maybe, in my striving toward alien sartorial greatness, I had been foiled by my own design. I remembered the words of extraterrestrial expert Dr. Louis Turi, author of "Moon Power Starguide 2006": "You have to mean business with the super-conscience of time and space. Be prepared."

With that piece of real-world advice in and on my head, next year I'll be all business.


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April 24, 2006

Woodland Hills Daily Bulletin

UFO Devotees To Gather In Landers

by Redmond Carolipio

According to The X-Files, the truth is out there.

And on Saturday, it'll be in Landers.

The High Desert will become the landing site for the Retro UFO Spacecraft Convention, an old-school homage to the starry gatherings that used to draw people to the desert decades ago.

"We're going back to the history," said Barbara Harris of Yucca Valley, one of the event's co-creators. "We don't want to make it scary - we want it to be fun."

Many trekked to UFO conventions in the '50s, '60s, and '70s, Harris said. People used to gather from all over the country for a chance to hear people called "contactees" talk about their personal experiences with beings from another world - and expound about what it all meant.

One of the first contactees was George Van Tassel, an aerospace engineer who said he was visited by people from space, boarded a ship and was given the plans to build a machine called the Integratron, which is the focal point of the convention.

Van Tassel, who died in 1978, held yearly "spacecraft conventions" near Giant Rock in Landers, which attracted thousands of people. The conventions helped raise the funds for Van Tassel to build the Integratron, which he described as a "time machine, a rejuvenation machine, and an anti-gravity device."

Today, people boldly go to the Integratron to do everything from record music in the sound chamber to meditate. One of its signature features is the "sound bath," which is said to have therapeutic effects.

Harris said the rest of the fair will be quite a break from a run-of-the-mill UFO convention, which is heavy on academics and theories.

"Typical conventions are held in hotels, and they just feature a lot of speakers - like a lecture," she said. "We're outside, we're going to have lectures in tents, hayrides, shows, bands at night, contests... it's very lighthearted."

There are also going to be tours of Giant Rock and the Integratron, art exhibits and a UFO opera performed by the band UFOetry, which has won two L.A. Music Awards for their work.

Visitors also have the option of staying at the Integratron overnight, supported by campfires and astronomers.

Some of the original contactees from years past will be part of the lineup of speakers.

Rob Harris, Barbara's husband and co-organizer of the event, said while much discussion about meeting alien beings might sound "out there" at first, it's obviously still on a lot of minds - just look at pop culture as proof.

"There's that sense of wonder out there," he said. "It's still a big topic. You see more stuff about aliens on television shows and movies, so people are definitely still interested."

However, much of what's seen in the media perceives aliens as malicious creatures that want to wipe humans off the face of the Earth, and people aren't getting the clearest picture of the movement, said Josh Poet, co-founder and member of UFOetry.

"One of the things Barbara (Harris) talked to us about was that she wanted to reinstill the idea of the innocence and the purity of when we first heard about life on other planets," he said. "We wanted to get a back to the stuff that's been shrouded in conspiracy. There's more than just one group of aliens... many of them want to help us evolve."

And Barbara Harris hopes the convention itself evolves into something that leaves a lasting impression.

"This made memories for people years ago," she said. "We want to create new memories for the next generation."

The Retro UFO Space Convention
When: Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: The Integratron, 2477 Belfield Blvd., Landers
Cost: $25 for general admission, $145 for full-day pass, $195 to
stay overnight

or call Barbara or Rob Harris: 760-365-3266


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April 18, 2006

Hagerstown Herald-Mail

The Truth Is Up There

by Nick Ritchick 

One April night, the Socorro, N.M., police department received a radio call from Sgt. Lonnie Zamora. Zamora said that while investigating a loud roar at a dynamite storage shack, he encountered a strange scene.

What he first thought to be an overturned car with an exploded gas tank turned out to be an oval-shaped object about the size of a car, with legs that extended to the ground.

According to UFO Casebook magazine's Web site (, Zamora reported the object had no windows or doors and had a red insignia on the side. Two child-sized people in white coveralls stood nearby.

Zamora told his dispatcher he was going to go closer to investigate. But he heard a loud roar and saw a blue-orange flame at the bottom of the object. Then the object rose into the air and flew away.

Air Force and FBI investigators arrived on the scene within a few days, gathered evidence and spoke to witnesses. After two years, Air Force investigator Hector Quintanilla, Jr., released his surprising conclusion.

"There is... no question about Zamora's reliability," Quintanilla reported. "... we have been unable, in spite of thorough investigation, to find the vehicle or other stimulus that scared Zamora to the point of panic."

Weird science?

According to the National UFO Reporting Center (, there were 3,999 unidentified flying object (UFO) reports in the year 2005. Some of these reports, according to Bruce Maccabee, former president of Mutual UFO Network, Maryland chapter, remain unexplained.

"Most cases - 70-80-90 percent - you can reasonably explain," said Maccabee, of Thurmont, Md., in a phone interview last week.  "But maybe 5 percent do not fit."

Maccabee, a civilian physicist working with the U.S. Navy, said he has been investigating UFO reports since the 1970s. He said the U.S. government has investigated UFOs since the first sightings were reported in newspapers a few years after World War II.

"The government thought maybe the Russians had leapfrogged our technology. These craft were probably nuclear powered. The government was naturally worried, at the beginning of what is called the Cold War," Maccabee said. "Air Force pilots were also involved. FBI was involved to find out if there was any communist activity."

Government investigators discounted most UFO reports, but a few were truly strange. But they told the public differently, according to Maccabee.

Maccabee has been interested in these unidentified aircraft since he was a teenager in the 1950s. During this era, newspaper reports of the UFO appearances caught the interests of many people. He volunteered with the Washington, D.C., office of the National Investigating Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), and began investigating reported sightings.

"That's where the rubber hits the road - witnesses who are telling the truth as they know it, or just plain hoaxing," he said. "Where I investigated, they were telling the truth as they know it.

"But it's possible to misperceive. You know there are stars and planets up there - aircraft with lights on. If the light was traveling along and made a right-angle turn, it wasn't a star, wasn't a meteor. Sometimes it takes days or weeks or years.  After you spend time and you have no other explanation that fits, you can say it might be unidentifiable. This is the scientific method."

Maccabee has published several books and reports on UFO investigations, including "UFO FBI Connection," which details early FBI investigations. To visit Maccabee's Web site, go to

Read about thought-provoking UFO reports such as Lonnie Zamora's in "Mysteries of Mind, Space and Time: The Unexplained." And, for fun, find good UFO fiction in "Bruce Coville's Book of Aliens 1" and "Bruce Coville's Book of Aliens 2."

You can believe me or not, but there are reports of flying objects that cannot be explained. Next time you're outside at night and see stars, just think to yourself that maybe not all of those lights are stars.


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April 16, 2006

Beaver County Times

So What Happened?

by Scott Tady

As far as the federal government is concerned, the incident is over and done.

"The case was closed and never reopened," said Brian Seese, a paranormal researcher from Hopewell Township, who includes the incident in his new book, "Unexplained Events in Beaver County."

In late 1966, Weitzel, the NICAP investigator assigned to the case, delivered his final report to his Washington, D.C., supervisor, Richard Hall.

"I personally hand-carried a copy of Weitzel's very thick and extremely well-documented report to Dr. Edward Condon," Hall recalled last month.

Condon, a scientist, was in charge of a UFO study conducted by the University of Colorado under the sponsorship of the Air

"Years later, I learned to my astonishment that he never turned over the case to his staff, and it gathered dust in his personal files," Hall said.

And so when the Air Force turned the Colorado report over to Congress, the Ohio-to-Conway incident wasn't mentioned.

"Maj. Hector Quintanilla tried to pass it off as a sighting of the planet Venus and an earth satellite, which was quite preposterous," said Hall, who wrote "The UFO Evidence, Vol. II; A Thirty-Year Report," published in 2001. "I think he may have changed it to an unexplained case later on."

According to the files of a leading UFO researcher, Brad Sparks, the Air Force ultimately did categorize the case as "unexplained" and probably left it at that, Hall said.

Project Blue Book files would show the final status of the incident, Hall said.

But trying to get someone to share Project Blue Book details isn't easy.

The feds closed Project Blue Book in 1972, ending at least publicly the Air Force's role as a UFO investigation agency.

Representatives of the U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency contacted last month said documents from Project Blue Book are kept at the National Archives and Records Agency, though two representatives at that agency said they couldn't confirm the status of the case, ultimately transferring a reporter's phone call to a third person who never returned the call.

"Getting someone from the government to talk is almost impossible," said Leslie Kean, an investigative reporter who, backed by cable's Sci-Fi Channel, sued NASA under the Freedom of Information Act to see files on a UFO sighting Dec. 9, 1965, in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County.

NASA maintains the "fireball" that dozens of witnesses spotted that night was a remnant of a Russian satellite that disintegrated after re-entering the atmosphere. But official documents from that investigation were lost in the 1990s, NASA claims.

As for the Conway sighting, Kean speculated the Air Force proclaimed that matter dead after Quintanilla's ruling, or once the University of Colorado-Air Force report didn't list it.

UFO investigators claim that Air Force report "was a totally bogus thing" anyway, designed from the onset to debunk UFO theories, Kean said.

In the first few years after Project Blue Book ceased, UFO sightings continued to crop up nationally, including a six-month span from 1973 to 1974 that included separate sightings in Center Township, Ohioville and West Mifflin. Gradually, the phenomenon faded away, and recent years have been devoid of similar reports.

"The UFO sightings may have appeared to slow down," Seese said, "but these may only be reported sightings. As a general rule, most people do not report what they observe.

"According to veteran UFO researcher Paul Johnson, the Internet changed the way people report their sightings," Seese said. "Instead of contacting the state police or local researchers, they can now send their report directly to the Internet and remain anonymous and not have to deal face to face with an investigator initially."

The Internet certainly has kept the Conway-to-Portage incident alive.

Dozens of sites, many suspecting a government cover-up, recount the morning of April 17, 1966.

Meanwhile, the men who saw the flying object are left with their own unique perspectives.

"I don't know what I would have done it if had landed," Panzanella said. "I don't know if I would have run or not."

Scott Tady can be reached online at


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April 11, 2006

Salt Lake Tribune

Are Are We Alone? UFOs The Topic

by Dan Nailen

In 1952, Navy officer Delbert Newhouse was driving cross-country with his family, a trip that took them through northern Utah the morning of July 2.

Around 11 a.m., Newhouse's wife reportedly noticed odd figures in the sky a few miles outside Tremonton. Grabbing his movie camera, Newhouse ended up with some striking images of the unidentified flying objects - images that persuaded the U.S. Air Force, Navy and the Central Intelligence Agency to investigate.

The government eventually concluded the "Tremonton tapes" simply showed some seagulls in flight.

Of course, what would you expect the government to say?

The Tremonton episode is one story in a long line of alleged extraterrestrial activity in Utah. It's one reason independent UFO researcher and lecturer Robert Hastings will make his fourth trip to the state Wednesday for a lecture at the University of Utah.

Of the Tremonton tapes, Hastings said: "If one looks, using modern, computer-based visual-enhancement technologies, those seagulls essentially were saucer-shaped. They were round, oval-shaped or disc-shaped, so clearly they weren't seagulls.

"That's one example of countless ones where the PR guys at the Pentagon have tried to explain away UFOs."

UFOs, extraterrestrials and all manner of unexplained phenomena are always the subject of uneasy debate between believers and nonbelievers, government agents and private citizens. And UFOs are fodder for pop-culture fantasies, whether through sci-fi flicks of the 1950s or "The X-Files," a TV show in the '90s that rekindled talk that "The Truth Is Out There."

The 56-year-old Hastings has dedicated much of his life to formulating counterarguments to official dismissals of all things UFO-related, digging through once-classified documents, filing Freedom of Information Act requests, and interviewing people with firsthand knowledge of UFO sightings and the government's efforts to ignore them.

He's delivered his findings in lectures at more than 500 colleges and universities.

Most of his study involves the preponderance of UFO activity near America's nuclear weapons, and he has studied intently cases in Wyoming, New Mexico and Montana.

"There are FBI, CIA and Air Force documents going back to as early as December 1948 confirming that what the documents themselves refer to as 'flying discs' or 'flying saucers' have demonstrated an ongoing interest in our nuclear weapons sites," Hastings said, noting that since 2001, the release of sensitive, UFO-related documents by the government has slowed to a trickle.  Much of his lecture Wednesday, "UFOs: The Hidden History," will involve the history and potential risks of alien life forms' interest in U.S. nuclear weapons.

Stephen Nielson, the 23-year-old speakers board chairman for the Associated Students of the University of Utah, booked Hastings' lecture at the U. Nielson said he believes in extraterrestrial life, but "I don't necessarily know if they've been to Earth."

"UFOs, everybody has some fascination with them," Nielson said.  " 'The X-Files' made them extremely popular during the '90s, so the generation that's now in college kind of has that mentality."

For more on UFOs in Utah

Robert Hastings will present his lecture "UFOs: The Hidden History" at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Auditorium. Admission is free.

To view video of the Tremonton tapes, visit:

and for photographs, visit: /utahcondon.htm
For more information on UFO activity in Utah, visit the Web site of the Utah UFO Hunters at:


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April 7, 2006

Melbourne Herald Sun (Australia)

UFO Witnesses Reunite

by Terry Brown

The truth is out there ... in Clayton South

One of Australia's biggest UFO mysteries has taken off again, 40 years on.

And researchers hope the truth will out at a reunion of more than 30 witnesses tomorrow.

About 200 people are said to have seen either a flying saucer or crop circles near Westall High School on April 6, 1966.

The craft was described as silver, saucer-shaped and silent.

Some witnesses say they saw it drop behind trees at Westall's Grange Reserve, then rise vertically and leave.

Flattened and charred grass "crop circles" were said to have been left.

Canberra academic Shane Ryan says he has contacted about 50 witnesses in the past year.

The bulk were Westall High School students who were gathered on the oval at the time for physical education.

The incident was reported in daily papers, on Channel Nine and twice as front-page news in the local Dandenong Journal.

About a quarter of the witnesses said they saw the flying saucer and the rest saw as many as five so-called crop circles.

Many children reportedly ran down to the Grange after the sighting.

John Spencer, a seven-year-old at Westall Primary School at the time, said the incident still got to him. "I need answers, 'cos this has been a real bugbear over the years," he said.

"I have remembered the day as vividly as a seven-year-old could -- Mum dragging me away from the Grange after school from the landing site . . . seeing this object in the sky, other planes flying, following it."

Mr Spencer said the Grange was a second home to kids, a spot to catch frogs and tadpoles.

He said that after the incident, "guys in uniforms" made the reserve a no-go zone.

Mr Ryan said many witnesses reported police or military activity after the incident.

Science teacher Andrew Greenwood told the Dandenong Journal at the time he saw a silvery-green disc.

Mr Greenwood also claimed he was visited at home by two uniformed officers and threatened with prosecution if he continued to speak of it.

The defence department says there is no record of any military action after the sightings.

Gerry Shepherd taught woodwork at the time and says he never saw any military at the school.

"All I can say is that the school bell went to start the afternoon classes and there was hardly anyone there," Mr. Shepherd said.

"I would say 99.999 per cent it's a load of bull."

Mr Ryan hopes retired police or military will go to the reunion, from 11am-2pm at Westall Tennis Club on the edge of the Grange in Clayton South.

"I'm convinced people saw something quite out of the ordinary," he said.

"It is a story that has almost been completely forgotten.

"These people, even after 40 years, have this burning desire to make sense of what they saw."


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April 6, 2006

Winnipeg Sun (Manitoba, Canada)

Did UFOs Go To Alberta?
'Toba sightings in '05 Down Significantly

by Chris Kitching

Maybe it was our lousy summer or the Blue Bombers' wretched regular season that kept them away.

Whatever the reason, fewer unidentified flying objects were spotted in Manitoba's skies last year than in 2004.

Ufology Research of Manitoba spokesman Chris Rutkowski said there were 43 sightings reported to his independent agency in 2005. Twenty-three of them were in Winnipeg.

He received 112 reports from around the province in 2004, a record-setting year.

"We're way down, but despite that (Canada) recorded its second-highest number of sightings in a single year," Rutkowski said.  "Most people aren't convinced these are spaceships. Many have reasonable explanations."

Most sightings are lights in the sky. There has been no evidence of extraterrestrial involvement.

But some can't be explained.

One such case was reported in Vita, Man., on Aug. 7 when three people reported seeing a silver missile-shaped object.

No, it wasn't a plane, witness Peter Osadchuk said.

"It was a tubular shape with protrusions on the sides," he said.  "We could not figure out what it was before it got out of eyesight."

Rutkowski said two people saw a similar object in Winnipeg the same day. It's unknown what it was or if it was the same UFO.

"It was hovering in the sky making no sound and it suddenly vanished after a short length of time," he said.

Rutkowski's independent agency researches sightings and releases an annual tally on them.

He said Canadians reported 769 sightings last year, which translates into about two a day. Canada recorded 882 in 2004.

Ontario tops the 2005 list with 214, while Nunavut was the only jurisdiction without a report.

Calgary and Vancouver's 29 sightings were the most of all urban centres.


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March 25, 2006

Farmington Daily Times

UFO Symposium Draws Believers

AZTEC - Jack Berringer said he began going to UFO conventions after his first encounter with aliens. The 69-year-old California resident claimed that on Feb. 8, 1980, spacecrafts hovered directly over his home. The event sparked an interest in the extraterrestrial and caused him to begin reading about the subject.

"I've met some interesting people," Berringer said of the conventions he attends. "But I only go to 'smart' UFO conventions."

Berringer was one of many who gathered Friday afternoon to meet with some of the 9th Annual UFO Symposium speakers in Aztec. He and others discussed ufology - the study of unidentified flying objects - over wine and cheese at Hard Backs Book Store.

"It's basically for speakers and anyone who wants to come in," said event organizer Scott Ramsey. "We try to make it a community event."

According to the event's Web site,, New Mexico is ranked highest in the world for UFO-related sightings.

According to the site, 12 "crashed disks" or alien space crafts were recovered in New Mexico.

"Our UFO Symposium will initiate discussions on the UFO, alien phenomenon that seems to permeate our culture," the site states.

The city of Aztec gained prominence among UFO enthusiasts after a crash reportedly occurred around March 25, 1948, almost 12 miles outside of Aztec in Hart Canyon, according to information provided on the Web site.

Ramsey said he believes this year's speakers will shed some insight into new findings in the field of ufology, noting that two of Saturday's speakers will do so in Aztec for the first time this year.

Ramsey said each year Friends of the Library choose speakers who have done much research and have published literature relating to the study of UFOs and aliens. The group also attempts to bring in at least one scholar with a Ph.D.

"You can learn and have fun at the same time," he said. Dennis Balthaser, one of the event's lecturers, said he has been involved with the Aztec UFO Symposium for nine years.

"I've been fortunate to work here as a speaker and as an emcee," said the Roswell resident. "I think it's one of the better managed symposiums because it doesn't have the carnival aspect."

Balthaser said he believes the event had also served as an important fundraiser for the new library in previous years.

When asked how he responds to skeptics and naysayers, Balthaser said he speaks with them publicly.

"Years ago, I did it privately not to embarrass people," he said. "That didn't work."

Balthaser said he believes answering such questions is an important part of his research, noting that serious researchers spend much of their time "putting out fires" by validating their findings.

"I think skeptics are needed," he said. "But they usually don't present a whole lot of information to counter (our findings)."

Rhys Saunders:


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March 20, 2006

Ann Arbour News

'UFO' Mystery Still Haunts Some
1966 Dexter sightings by residents, officer called swamp gas by U.S. government

By Jo Collins Mathis

Forty years ago today, for a brief but interesting time, Washtenaw County became the flying saucer capital of the Midwest.

It started when a Dexter farmer named Frank Mannor and his 18-year-old son, Ronald, told the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department that a strange flying object appeared and landed in a swampy area at Quigley and Brand roads.

Frank Mannor, 46, told authorities that night that the two went out in search of the object moments after they saw it touch ground. He said it appeared to be brown, with a "quilted" effect on the surface. It was flat on the bottom and cone-shaped toward the top, with two small lights on the outer edges emitting a glowing blue-green color that intensified and turned red at times. When it became brightly lit, the entire object was light yellow, with the light running horizontally between the two outer running lights.

According to the police report, Mannor said: "We then heard the sound of a whistle - something like a rifle bullet makes when it ricochets off something. Then this object went up in the air, passed directly over us and disappeared."

Patrolman Robert Hunawill of the Dexter Village Police Department reported then that he saw what appeared to be the same object after he parked his car near the area. He said it suddenly appeared over his patrol car at a height of about 1,000 feet, that it had white and red lights on it that at times had a bluish tinge, and that it hovered over the car before continuing sweeps over the swamp.

Hunawill reported that he watched the object for a few minutes before it was joined by three others that flew in formation, with one set of two flying high above the other two. They then disappeared into the sky.

Professor J. Allen Hynek, a Northwestern University astrophysicist who consulted with the military, came to Dexter to investigate, and then reported his findings at the Detroit Press Club.

"It was like a mob scene," said Bill Treml of Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor News reporter who covered the story. "Then (Hynek) said: 'As near as I can tell, what we're seeing is swamp gas*.'"

"I remember (Mannor) saying, 'I was in the Army and we were down in Louisiana and there was swamp gas all the time; this was not swamp gas.' "

Treml is convinced the Mannors and Hunawill saw something that night.

"Frank Mannor wasn't a nut case," he said. "He wasn't a guy who had wishes of grandeur. He was just telling what he saw. I'm sure he didn't dream it up. He died thinking that was some kind of UFO, either Air Force-connected or from another planet or something."

Treml said he thinks that something was manmade.

"I'm sure the Air Force has secret files about all their experiments with rockets or whatever," he said. "Sometimes the high officials are so stupid, they think, 'This will create a panic.' That's their alibi for not saying, 'Hey, we had a rocket ship go round the moon, or something come down.' Each administration continues the charade."

Douglas Harvey, Washtenaw County sheriff from 1965 to 1972, agrees with Treml that the Mannors clearly saw something.

And he's never believed the government's official stance on what that something was.

"Dr. Hynek was sent in from the U.S. government. He came into my office. We went out to the site where supposedly this object came down on the ground. Dr. Hynek in the car said, 'There is something. We just can't put our finger on it. We've been investigating this for quite a while.' "

They returned to Harvey's office, where Hynek asked to use the telephone in private.

"He was on the phone for quite a while, which I found very enlightening," Harvey said. "He came out and I said, 'Well, Dr. Hynek. What do you think?' He said, 'It's swamp gas.' He tells me one minute he has no idea what it is. And then he makes one phone call to Washington and comes out and gives a statement that it's swamp gas. Very strange."

"And then the Mannor family really caught a lot of flak, which was very unfortunate."

He said soon after that, a man who was out running in Brighton reported a sighting.

"And then that was it," Harvey said. "It just kind of died away."

Harvey doesn't know what to think about it.

"They did see something," he said. "I'll believe this to the day I die. Somebody has kept something quiet, and nothing more ever materialized. So we don't know if it was the government experimenting, or was it really a UFO. I don't know."

Harry Willnus of South Lyon, the former state director of the Mutual UFO Network, has investigated the sightings and wrote a feature article about it for UFO (UK edition) magazine two years ago.

Willnus has a copy of the police report from that night, and said there's no way that it was swamp gas.

"For instance, it mentions that the object was observed to rise to an altitude of approximately 500 feet, and then return to the ground," he said. "Swamp gas doesn't do that. It only goes off the ground a few feet. It mentioned when it took off, it sounded like a rifle shot in a canyon. Again, swamp gas doesn't do that."

So what was it?

"We can't be sure," he said. "It was, I think, either a craft that came from off the earth, an extraterrestrial, or some kind of one-dimensional device. And I'm starting to use the word multiverse rather than universe... Some kind of one-dimensional craft, perhaps, that came into our realm and then left."

Willnus, who is retired from teaching in the Romulus school district, worked for a while as an investigator for Hynek after Hynek started The Center for UFO Studies.

"We haven't solved the mystery," Willnus said. "This case is 40 years old. We still don't know the answer, and yet it still continues to occur, with sightings every day around the world."

Jo Collins Mathis can be reached at or 734-994-6849.


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March 20, 2006

Ridgeway Recorder

Today is National Festival of Extraterrestrial Abductions Day

Extraterrestrial abduction claims have become almost common since the late 20th century and once each year alien enthusiasts have a day to speculate on the validity of such reports.

In Pennsylvania, a number of extraterrestrial abduction claims have been documented. The international extraterrestrial abduction and UFO reporting center, "Mystical Universe," keeps a comprehensive listing of the reports of such phenomena from around the world. The largest number of such sightings and abductions seem to come from California, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Although the reasons for this are unknown, Pennsylvania is listed as the sight of 19 such reports. A particularly famous abduction report involved a group of four men, three of which were Pennsylvanians, who claim to have been abducted while camping in Maine.

Four distinct abduction or sighting reports stem from the Harrisburg area alone and involve up to 17 witnesses. The Bensalem area is also the sight of four purported incidents.  Other locations such as Mt. Carmel, Langhorne, Easton, Springfield, Lewiston, Jessup, Levittown, Highspire, Union City and Vermillion Hills record as many as three reports each.  Unfortunately, many of those reporting such phenomena do not disclose an actual location and, fearing public censure, only report the general region or state in which their experience occurred.

In our own area, no claimants could be contacted to discuss their experiences. It is very likely though that someone in our region believes to have been abducted or have seen a UFO.  Statistically, these reports are more common in rural areas such as our own. Given county population and geographic features, our area most likely has residents who believe to have had such experiences, although they may never have reported it.

Ridgway Borough Police and Pennsylvania State Police based in Ridgway were both contacted in regards to such extraterrestrial experiences. Neither office reports having any such incident claims on file. One state police officer claimed that in his entire time here he knows of no such reports and stated that something of that nature would probably have been brought up for procedural instruction at daily roll call. That doesn't mean that no one in our area makes such claims, only that they have thus far gone unreported. In researching such events you quickly find that everyone knows someone else who makes such claims, but can rarely give you any accurate information.

Local astronomer Richard Steudler was willing to give his opinions on such phenomena. Steudler stated that he didn't put a whole lot of faith in such stories. He said he felt that, without solid proof, the stories remain completely unsubstantiated, and said he couldn't figure out why no one has ever gotten any sharp pictures if such reports are true.  Steudler said he believes that there probably is alien life somewhere else in our vast universe, but he does not believe that extraterrestrials would be secretly abducting people. Steudler stated that he felt that visitors with such capabilities would make themselves known and not be, "sneaking around."

Steudler has, in the past, seen things as an astronomer that he himself was unable to account for at the time, but all such occurrences were later given a valid scientific explanation. He said that he has read some things on the infamous Roswell, New Mexico incident that prove, in his mind, that it wasn't aliens at all. Steudler stated that his research has led him to believe that the incident was merely an accident involving a Canadian test pilot working with an American bomber plane. He felt that the story was simply, "blown out of proportion."

Steudler also believed that many reports of UFO sightings can be accounted for by ball lightning. Ball lightning, claimed Steudler, can occur on perfectly clear nights. He also stated that it can account for the buzzing noise reported by many extraterrestrial phenomena claimants, since ball lightning makes a similar buzzing sound. Ball lightning, said Steudler, can also account for the ground tremors and static shocks that many people claim to experience in such cases, as it can cause both when it grounds.

Whether the purported experiences with extraterrestrials that many people claim to have experienced in the past are bonafide events, simple misunderstandings of naturally occurring phenomena, or merely pleas for attention we may never know.  Steudler though did have this to say on the matter, "I hope if they (extraterrestrials) do make contact with us they have a better attitude than people have proven to have in encountering strangers." Steudler referred to such incidents as the European colonization of the Americas as proof that humanitiy's track record in such events has not proven the best. With such events in our own past, it is hard not to echo Steudler's sentiments.


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March 10, 2006

Charlotte Observer

Farewell To Flying Saucers
UFO expert Fawcett is retiring, but he hasn't lost his enthusiasm

by Joe Depriest

LINCOLNTON - That NASCAR Hall of Fame announced in Charlotte this week sounds great, says UFO expert George Fawcett.

He's got an idea, too.

Why not a UFO museum in the Queen City?

After all, North Carolina ranks fifth in the U.S. for flying saucer sightings. Sightings are up worldwide. So is interest.

As we sat in his Lincolnton ranch house this week, Fawcett, 76, reminded me he'd pitched the idea of a state UFO museum to anybody who'd listen way back in the 1970s. Back when people called him a nut for believing in stuff like that.

"Now skeptics are in the minority," Fawcett said.

The soft-spoken dean of North Carolina "UFOnauts" has had a rough year following two knee surgeries and lengthy therapy. At times, he didn't think he'd make it.

I've known Fawcett, a Mount Airy native and retired YMCA director, for more than 20 years. Last month, I spotted a notice about his upcoming "farewell address" at the 58th meeting of the Mutual UFO Network of North Carolina at Pfeiffer University.

Fawcett is founder of the N.C. Chapter of MUFON, a group that tracks and researches reports of UFOs.

According to the notice, Fawcett was retiring from active membership because of his health.

It was time to check on my old friend. I hadn't seen him since 1998 when he'd just donated most of his Sauceriana Collection to the International UFO Museum in Roswell, N.M.

That's it, I figured. Fawcett had been collecting UFO materials since the subject hooked him in 1944. Maybe he'd finally let it go. Maybe he'd take up golf or stamp collecting.

I should have known better.

Funny thing about those empty UFO files, Fawcett said as he showed me into the living room. They'd filled up again. People from all over the world keep sending him books and videos, research papers and photos. He gets journals from England and Australia and subscribes to a national UFO clipping service.

Fawcett is pretty much the same as ever. He still likes to talk about his wife, two children and grandchildren. He's big on Duke basketball and pancakes. He remains active in St. Luke's Episcopal Church, singing in the choir and serving on the vestry. And his passion for UFOs is still hotter than a down-to-the-finish race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

When I stopped by, he was boxing up another load of UFO materials for the Roswell museum, where he's an honorary board member. He ships at least two boxes a year.

"George is a major benefactor to our library," museum director Julie Shuster told me. "We rely on the generosity of people like him."

I've never seen a UFO. Not that I know of. Those strange lights I spotted in the night sky once were probably shooting stars or aircraft of some kind.

Fawcett has seen only one UFO. That was in 1951, on the campus of Lynchburg (Va.) College, where he was a student. It was 30 feet in diameter and orange.

His interest in UFOs went back even earlier, to 1944, when he spotted an Associated Press article about "mysterious balls of fire" American pilots saw over Germany in World War II.

Fawcett has taught a UFO class at Gaston College, founded and advised five UFO study groups from New England to Florida, served as a movie consultant and written two books, one of which he recently revised and enlarged.

You can hear him speak in April at the Lincolnton Rotary Club. I hope he tells the story of how he met a Man-in-Black in 1974.  Sometimes called MIBs, these mysterious figures try to intimidate witnesses to UFOs or other strange doings the government is trying to cover up, according to UFO circles.

Fawcett may hit the highlights of the conclusions he's reached after years of study.

Fawcett believes UFOs are real, controlled by a clear intelligence, and that extraterrestrials could be responsible.  The government knows all this, but keeps the information hidden from the public while considering UFOs a threat to national security.

That's it in a nutshell. His research continues.

Wading deeper and deeper into UFOs isn't my thing, but Fawcett keeps probing. I admire the depth of his curiosity. And he's got a neat philosophy: "Keep an open mind and not an empty head."

So rest easy. Don't worry about the night sky. The UFO man is still on the job.

Want to Know More Lore?

• For information about George Fawcett's revised "Human Reactions To UFOs and UFOnauts Worldwide 1940-1983" and "What We Have Learned From UFO Repetitions 1947-1984," call (704) 735-5725. Or write to Fawcett at 602 Battleground Road, Lincolnton 28092.

• For information about the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, N.M., call (505) 625-9495 or go to


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March 9, 2006

Wandsworth Borough News (London, UK)

UFO Sighting Really Took My Breath Away

by Carron Taylor

Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No, it was a shining silver pyramid, according to two colleagues who spotted a UFO in the skies of Putney last week.

Michelle Medhat was sitting at her office desk last Wednesday morning when she glanced out of the window and spotted a glimmering silver object in the sky.

"I thought what the hell is that?' There were no clouds in the sky at all and 100 per cent visibility.

"The sun was hitting the object and you could see it was turning very slowly.

"I did get a feeling there was something strange about the thing," she said.

Entranced, Michelle signalled to her colleague Peter Gardiner, 53, to take a look.

He said: "At first I thought it was a big piece of rubbish or a clear tarpaulin sheet.

"But then it glistened and it was shiny. It had a strange pattern of movement. It was a significant size, possibly the size of a roof or even a house."

The pair watched it for a couple of minutes, rotating in the distance and heading towards Wandsworth Town. Then, as soon as it had appeared it vanished.

Michelle said if it was a piece of rubbish it would have caused severe damage when it came down, because of its size and density.

"I can't explain it and therefore I'm calling it a UFO. It took my breath away. It did feel weird.

"The more I looked at it I realised there was something not quite right. It wasn't moving like anything I've ever seen before," she said.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it had not been notified of any sighting of the pyramid.

"The MoD does not have any expertise or role in respect of UFO/flying saucer' matters or to the question of the existence or otherwise of extraterrestrial lifeforms, about which it remains totally open-minded."

He said it examined the reports of UFO sightings it received solely to establish whether what was seen might have some defence significance, namely whether there was any evidence the UK's airspace might have been compromised by hostile or unauthorised air activity.

Michelle and Peter said there has been a lot of activity in the skies over Putney recently.

Michelle said they had seen several Chinook helicopters over the past week and believes something must be happening.

Chinooks are used to transport troops, artillery, supplies and equipment, but also used for operations such as medical evacuation, disaster relief and search and rescue.

When travelling to Putney, our reporter saw what looked to be three Apache helicopters travelling east.

A spokesman for the MoD said the helicopters were probably part of general aviation traffic over London and there was no specific activity or event they were involved in. He added such movements were "not unusual".

Did you see the flying silver pyramid? Call the newsdesk on 020 8254 5409.


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March 8, 2006

Brisbane Courier-Mail (Queensland, Australia)

Blinded By Power Of Illusion

by  Stephen Hughes

THERE have been a number of UFO sightings reported in Queensland recently, two of which I was asked to look at by Channel 10.

One was Venus hanging in the early morning sky off the beach at Mackay and the other was aircraft contrails high over Brisbane, illuminated by the rays of the sun in the pre-dawn sky.

Other reports followed in regional newspapers.

Sceptics may say that in this case the UFOs could be easily identified – and so became "IFOs" or Identified Flying Objects – but what about the UFO sightings that cannot be so easily explained? Are these evidence of alien spacecraft visiting the Earth and are governments guilty of covering up the truth about UFOs?

UFO sightings are nothing new.

In ancient times people saw "fiery dragons" and "foo balls" and so on.

In the 1800s strange lights were reported off the coast to Japan that would follow a ship all night.

In 1897, there was the flying-saucer scare in the northwest of the US – although in this case the object was said to be a cigar-shaped airship.

The modern flying saucer or UFO era begun on June 24, 1947 when a pilot, Kenneth Arnold, reported seeing nine unidentified objects which he said flew erratically like a saucer skipping across the water.

Although Arnold actually described the objects as looking like boomerangs, the newspaper report said that flying saucers had been seen rather than flying boomerangs.

No doubt, if the newspaper article had been more accurate we would have entered the flying boomerang era (possibly with interesting consequences for the Australian tourist industry).

One of the most famous cases known to the general public is the Roswell incident, which hit the media only one month after the "official" start of the UFO era.

It is claimed by some that in July 1947 the US Air Force recovered debris from a crashed alien space ship near a ranch at Roswell in New Mexico.

In August, 1985, the Fox Network in the US aired a film claiming to show autopsies of alien bodies recovered from the Roswell wreckage.

It subsequently has been proved – I would say beyond even unreasonable doubt – that the wreckage discovered at Roswell was the remains of a weather balloon and that the autopsy film is fake.

In spite of this, many claim that the US government has covered up the true details of the case for almost 50 years.

I find it impossible to believe that any government could cover up something that really happened for so long with no leaks ever taking place.

The vast majority of UFO sightings are either Venus, a bright star (for example, Sirius), meteors, aircraft, weather balloons, high-flying tumbleweed, reflective layers of ice crystals, not including UFO photos that clearly have been faked.

However, this still leaves a significant number of unexplained sightings.

I believe that many of these can be explained by invoking more exotic atmospheric phenomena such as a special type of "reverse" mirage known as a superior mirage.

We are all familiar with a standard mirage (inferior mirage) in which the light from a line of trees on the horizon appears to be reflected in water.

This effect is caused by a hot layer of air near the ground reflecting light from the trees and the surrounding sky upwards so that it appears to be coming from below the horizon.

If we have the situation where we have cold air close to the ground with a warm layer above, we have what is known as an inversion layer.

Light rays which pass from the cool layer of air into the warm layer are reflected downwards and so in this way can be projected over the horizon.

The effect is similar to the way in which light is propagated down a fibre optic cable and has been used to describe the origin of the Min Min lights in western Queensland.

Temperature inversions can occur high up in the atmosphere and are capable of projecting astronomical bodies such as Sirius (the brightest star in the sky) and Venus over the horizon.

When an aircraft arrives at the right place at the right time, the UFO can appear to travel from the horizon several hundred kilometres away to appear just a few hundred metres from the plane.

When the plane flies out of the part of the sky where the inversion layer lies between the plane and the horizon, the object appears to rush back to the horizon in almost no time at all.

This back-and-forth motion may be repeated a number of times, making it appear as if the UFO is engaged in a "dogfight" with the aircraft.

The result of these observations is that the UFO is assumed to be powered by some unknown energy source when in reality it is all an optical illusion.


Dr Stephen Hughes is a lecturer in physics and astrophysics with QUT's Faculty of Science and School of Physical and Chemical Sciences


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March 2006


Focus Magazine (UK MOD)

The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident

The Ministry of Defence's UFO Project has its roots in a study commissioned in 1950 by the MOD's then Chief Scientific Adviser, the great radar scientist Sir Henry Tizard. As a result of his insistence that UFO sightings should not be dismissed without some form of proper scientific study, the Department set up arguably the most marvellously-named committee in the history of the civil service, the Flying Saucer Working Party. The committee's conclusions were sceptical; UFO sightings were misidentifications of ordinary objects, or hoaxes. They recommended no further action. But in 1952 there was a series of high-profile events where UFOs were tracked on radar and seen by RAF pilots, and this forced the MOD to think again. UFO sightings were to be collated and sent to the Department for investigation, so that a determination could be made as to whether anything of any defence significance might have occurred. Since then, over 10,000 UFO reports have been received. From 1991 to 1994 I worked in the department responsible for this bizarre subject. It was among the most fascinating of my postings in 20 years in the Department.

Most UFO sightings received by the MOD had prosaic explanations: aircraft lights, weather balloons, meteors, airships, etc. But in all of this, a small percentage looked more interesting and one case in particular stood out. This was the so-called Rendlesham Forest incident. Last December saw the 25th anniversary of what is universally accepted as Britain's most famous UFO sighting. There was extensive media coverage of this bizarre anniversary, a commemorative Boxing Day event organised by the Forestry Commission at the site of their ‘UFO Trail', and several unofficial ‘skywatches' where UFO enthusiasts came together to mark the event, swap stories, and generally stand around getting extremely cold. So why the interest? What happened in the forest all those years ago and why is it still generating so much interest?

Rendlesham Forest lies between the twin bases of RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk. In 1980 both facilities were operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). The Cold War was still decidedly frosty. The Solidarity Movement was taking hold in Poland and Soviet forces were building up on the border. It was against this background that a strange series of incidents occurred.

In the early hours of 26 December 1980 military personnel at the twin bases saw strange lights in the forest. At first they thought an aircraft might have crashed, so they went out to investigate. What they found was not a crashed aircraft, but what they could only categorise as a UFO. Nearby farm animals were going into a frenzy. One of the security police officers got close enough to touch the side of the object. He and another of the airmen present attached a sketch of the craft to their official USAF witness statements. One of these sketches even details the strange symbols seen on the craft's hull, which the witness likened to Egyptian hieroglyphs. "I wish I'd had my weapon, because I felt totally defenceless," one of the young airmen, John Burroughs, subsequently remarked.

Two nights later the UFO returned. The Deputy Base Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt, was informed and went out into the forest to investigate. He too saw the UFO, which at one point fired beams of light down at his party and at the Woodbridge facility. "Here I am, a senior official who routinely denies this sort of thing and diligently works to debunk them, and I'm involved in the middle of something I can't explain", he subsequently commented.

The MOD's investigation included an inconclusive search for radar evidence that might have corroborated what was seen. Of far more interest, however, was an assessment of radiation readings that had been taken from the landing site with a Geiger counter. The readings had peaked in three holes in the ground which formed the shape of an equilateral triangle, as if the UFO had landed on a tripod of some sort. The Defence Intelligence Staff stated that the readings seemed "significantly higher than the average background". Their report suggested that the radiation level was around seven times what would have been expected for the area concerned.

There are various sceptical theories for what was seen, the most prevalent one being that the various witnesses were somehow misled by the beam from Orfordness lighthouse, shining through the trees. "If the USAF really are capable of hallucinations induced by a lighthouse which must surely be familiar to them, then I shudder for that powerful finger which lies upon so many triggers," remarked Ralph Noyes, a former MOD Under Secretary who took a close interest in the case after his retirement.  Charles Halt's reaction to the theory was blunter. "Lighthouses don't fly," he said. Ralph Noyes was not the only senior figure to take an interest in the case. Former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Hill-Norton corresponded with the Department extensively about the incident, and tabled a number of Parliamentary Questions in the House of Lords.

Many UFO researchers believe that information about UFOs is being covered up. They see a vast conspiracy to keep the truth from the public. Nothing could be further from the truth. Requests concerning UFOs are among the most frequently submitted under the Freedom of Information Act and the MOD has made great efforts to be as helpful as possible. Information has been made available under the Publication Scheme, in the FOI ‘Reading Room' and at the National Archives in Kew. The entire file of the Rendlesham Forest incident has been scanned in and is available on the MOD's website.

The official position is that these events were of no defence significance, but the Rendlesham Forest UFO incident remains unexplained to this date. I hope that we have some answers before the 50th anniversary of one of the most extraordinary incidents ever investigated by the MOD.


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February 24, 2006


Wimbledon Guardian (UK)

Do UFO Sightings Prove The Truth Is Out There?

Mulder and Scully would have their hands full if they decided to come out of retirement to investigate strange phenomenon in the skies over south west London.

Reported UFO sightings dating from 2002 have been revealed for the first time by the Ministry of Defence, under the Freedom of Information Act.

Last week, unexplained phenomenon hovered over Merton and Wandsworth, adding to the area's growing X Files.

Debbie, from Mitcham, saw strange lights in the skies as she passed through Tooting on her way home from work at about 8.40pm on Wednesday, February 15.

She said: "I saw what I thought was a plane and another one coming towards it," said Debbie. "I thought that's a bit close someone at Heathrow or Gatwick will be in trouble for that'.

"But they weren't planes. The second white light came right up to the other one and then a third appeared. All three then moved together two at the front and one following at the back.

"They hovered for a bit and then one light disappeared and came back again. They went off in the same direction and then split up," she said.

Debbie pulled over in her car for five minutes to try and capture the moment on her camera phone.

"All I wanted to do was get home and have a cup of tea so I must've thought it was something pretty unusual to pull over," said Debbie.

"I don't know if I really believe in all this stuff but I've never seen anything like it before. I was looking at the sky all the way home and couldn't wait to tell my boyfriend who obviously thought I was bonkers."

According to records, UFOs were seen in the skies above Wimbledon in June 2003 and October 2004 and, in September 2003 a resident saw a copper-coloured triangular object hovering above their house for a minute before disappearing.

There were also two unexplainable sightings in Southfields, in February and March 2003.

The MoD receives hundreds of reports each year about UFOs but most are dismissed as aircraft lights or natural phenomenon. However, some are unexplainable and the MoD remains "totally open-minded" on the subject.


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February 17, 2006


Western Daily Press (Derby, Derbyshire, UK)

Revisiting Riddle Of The Thing

Thirty years ago, two teenage lads from Warminster were up on the nearby Cradle Hill every week to watch for UFOs, inspired by a local journalist's book about the flying saucer flap which by that time had been flustering the Wiltshire town for more than a decade. Arthur Shuttlewood's book of 1967 was entitled The Warminster Mystery, and much of the mystery still abounds.

But now those same lads, Steve Dewey and John Ries, are the authors of a remarkable new book, In Alien Heat: The Warminster Mystery Revisited, an in-depth investigation of the UFO fever that gripped the town in the 1960sand 1970s.

Modestly, the pair - Steve now lives at Westbury, Wiltshire, and John in Shropshire - say it was not a book waiting to be written.

The Warminster case, if not forgotten, is an embarrassment to modern-day ufologists, they say, and the story of the Warminster Thing almost unknown outside the UK.

But I would say this is a book that w as waiting to be written.  It's a riveting social document, objectively placing the phenomenon in its cultural and historical context, and providing a highly engaging and revealing analysis of those strange d ay s.

"When we were younger, with all the enthusiasm of youth, we were much more into it all, " Steve, a technical author, told me. "We thought things were happening and a UFO landing was imminent.

"We went to Cradle Hill a lot; we were too young to go to the pub! We were there once a week for at least two years.

"But watching the sky-watchers made us sceptical because they would get so excited about things which were quite mundane. We began to think it was all in the UFO culture."

While the book clears up some aspects of the Warminster mystery - some lights in the sky could be explained by military exercises on nearby Salisbury Plain - other questions remain unanswered.

"We think there is a genuine mystery behind what happened, " said Steve. "It all started with a strange noise from the sky and there have never been any conclusions about what it was."

>From Christmas 1964, humming or droning sounds were reported to Shuttlewood - sonic disturbances which flung people to the ground and damaged buildings.

Shuttlewood blamed what he called The Thing and became the prime focus for the whole saucer circus that followed.

What was to mark out Warminster particularly was the sheer volume of UFO sightings, several thousand, and that the whole town seemed to be caught up in the fantastic affair.

Steve and John say it's clear that the ufologists who flocked into Warminster helped to create the phenomenon.

They demanded that the weird sounds be spaceships, and the populace duly saw them.

The Warminster Journal, Shuttlewood's paper, also played a role by its reporting, and providing a forum for UFO debate, and Shuttlewood created the national media interest, often embellishing or exaggerating incidents.

A photograph of a flying saucer over the area, taken by local man Gordon Faulkner in 1965, and which came to be the emblematic image of The Thing, now used for the cover of In Alien Heat, later turned out to be a hoax. In January 1969, the veteran TV astronomer Patrick Moore visited Warminster, poked fun at Shuttlewood, and cracked that several of the objects seen in the sky "looked like balls".

However, Shuttlewood, who died in 1996, wrote two further books in which he claimed to have had contacts with extraterrestrials wanting to save humans from destroying the planet. Just how a straightforward, respected journalist in a small West town turned into a deluded UFO guru is not the least part of the Warminster mystery.

In Alien Heat is published by Anomalist Books for 11 Pounds Sterling.


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December 31, 2005

Independent (London, UK)

'Right To Know' Fails To Open The Government's Vaults Of Secrets

by Robert Verkaik
Legal Affairs Correspondent

Labour's much-trumpeted freedom of information laws have failed to open up Whitehall to public scrutiny, judging by the evidence of the first 12 months of the new order.

A year after we were first granted the "right to know", new figures show nine out of 17 government departments have failed to provide adequate answers to half of the requests they received.

Gordon Brown's Treasury was the worst offender by refusing to release information in three-quarters of all "resolvable" requests.

Further findings reveal that all but one government department has breached the FOI legislation by failing to answer requests within the 20-day time limit.

The report, published by the Department for Constitutional Affairs, confirms what many suspected - that the Government has blocked access by failing to observe the spirit of the new law in a year in which central government bodies received 36,000 requests.

While Labour has been happy to release documents embarrassing the previous Tory administration over its handling of "Black Wednesday" - Britain's forced withdrawal from the ERM -ministers have been less willing to let the public use the Act to shed light on Labour's own political controversies.

For example, ministers are still refusing to release earlier drafts of the Attorney General's advice on the legality of the war with Iraq.

At the heart of its strategy is the Orwellian-sounding Central Clearing House where all sensitive or difficult requests are sent. Set up by ministers in the run-up to the introduction of the legislation, the unit employs 12 staff to monitor the public's use of the legislation. A FOI request from The Independent reveals, in its first year, the clearing house cost the taxpayer £700,000.

The most popular target for information is the Ministry of Defence, which handled more than 2,700 requests for the disclosure of ministerial letters, memos and military reports.

Maurice Frankel, a man who for many years campaigned for Britain's own freedom of information laws, said in the first year of the Act's operation the Government had responded "cautiously" to most of the important requests and there was still no voluntary process of disclosure.

He said: "They are not taking gigantic leaps by making proactive releases. There is much more information to come out but the Government is not going to release it until it has to."

Michael Smyth, an expert on FOI and head of public policy at Clifford Chance, a law firm, said: "The clearing house is a development that will need monitoring. People making requests of bodies subject to the clearing house can be confident they will be dealt with by FOI experts but over-zealous application of the exemption regime could mean less information is released."

Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, the FOI's independent watchdog, is considering a backlog of more than 1,200 appeal cases, including government refusals to release information about policies on defence and the environment.

The public also made requests for information from a further 1,000 public bodies. The new figures show those bodies have found a similar willingness to rely on the 34 statutory exemptions to refuse disclosure.

The Crown Prosecution Service has only complied with a fifth of the 229 requests for information. The Health and Safety Executive received more than 5,300 applications for disclosure of which it has answered around 60 per cent. But generally non-government bodies are granting 10 per cent more requests than Whitehall departments.

The figures do not include hundreds more requests which have become " lapsed" because the applicant has not paid a fee for any additional work the department says the request would generate.

A spokesperson for the Department for Constitutional Affairs said yesterday: "Central government performance has improved steadily throughout the year. The response has been very positive. Latest figures show 86 per cent of requests are answered within statutory deadlines and the majority of those requests (60 per cent) result in full disclosure. About 16,000 pieces of information have been given out by central government bodies."

The spokesperson added: "The Freedom of Information Act recognises the presumption of openness, but it also expressly recognises that there must be responsible limits."

The successful requests

* UFOs

Requests from The Independent led to the Ministry of Defence revealing details about UFO sightings across the country.  Branded "Britain's X files", reports from senior military personnel, police officers and civil servants gave some credibility to sightings which had been previously dismissed as cases of mistaken identity. Although there was never any official recognition of visits from other planets, the documents proved that the Government still had a special unit set up to monitor the reports of UFOs.


Some of Britain's wealthiest landowners have received hundreds of thousands of pounds in farming subsides, including the Queen, who was given more than £750,000 over the past two years. The figures became public after a list of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies in England was published by the Rural Payment Agency, under the terms of the Freedom of Information legislation. The Queen's subsidy, paid through CAP, went to Sandringham Farms. Charles's cash went to the Duchy of Cornwall, which made a profit of almost £10m in 2003.


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December 8, 2005


Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader

Sci Fi Channel-Backed Researcher Pressing NASA For 'UFO' Files

by Joe Mandak

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Researchers and witnesses who believe a UFO landed in the woods of western Pennsylvania 40 years ago are marking another anniversary on Friday: two years since a lawsuit was filed to get NASA to release records of what happened.

A National Aeronautics and Space Administration spokesman says there's no cover-up: the "UFO" was a Russian satellite but government records documenting it have been lost.

Leslie Kean, an investigative reporter backed by the Sci Fi Channel, and a group connected to the cable TV channel sued the NASA two years ago under the Freedom of Information Act.

Kean wants files on what happened Dec. 9, 1965, in the unincorporated hamlet of Kecksburg, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Witnesses described a "fireball" in the evening sky, and a metallic, acorn-shaped object about 12 to 15 feet high and 8 to 12 feet in diameter that landed gently in the woods, according to media accounts at the time.

Kean's attorney Lee Helfrich said she'll file a new court motion on Friday seeking to "jump start" NASA's search for the information.

"NASA has been stonewalling for too long, and in the process has given us a great record to show that it's recalcitrant and acting in bad faith," Helfrich said. "What is NASA trying to hide?"

Nothing, NASA spokesman Dave Steitz said.

The object appeared to be a Russian satellite that re-entered the atmosphere and broke up. NASA experts studied fragments from the object, but records of what they found were lost in the 1990s, Steitz said.

"As a rule, we don't track UFOs. What we could do, and what we apparently did as experts in spacecraft in the 1960s, was to take a look at whatever it was and give our expert opinion," Steitz said. "We did that, we boxed (the case) up and that was the end of it. Unfortunately, the documents supporting those findings were misplaced."

Kean and Helfrich don't believe that explanation.

Kean said Nicholas L. Johnson, NASA's chief scientist for orbital debris, determined the object couldn't be a Russian satellite or any other manmade object, after studying the orbital paths of known satellites and other records from 1965.

Johnson didn't immediately return calls for comment Thursday to his phone number listed on NASA's Web site. Steitz referred questions on Kean's claims to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, which didn't immediately comment.

Witnesses claim military personnel cordoned off the site, removed the object and threatened residents who questioned the incident. The military later called the object a meteor.

On Saturday, Kean, Helfrich and others connected to a Sci Fi Channel documentary will speak at the Kecksburg fire hall, where a mock-up of the object is on permanent display.

Kean said a pair of West Virginia University scientists who examined the reported landing site made two recent discoveries.

Forestry professor Ray Hicks counted tree rings and determined that trees in the area were damaged in 1965. Hicks, however, said the trees were likely damaged by ice, and then snapped off by the wind. He says his findings don't support Kean's claim that "something physically landed" at the site.

Geoarchaeologist J. Steven Kite says he found no evidence to support the high-speed impact of a meteor or other large object - which Kean says supports witness accounts that a spacecraft landed softly.


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November 26, 2005


Edmonton Sun

Senate Pressured To Hold Hearings On ET

A number of groups have joined forces with former Canadian Defence Minister Paul Hellyer in urging Parliament to hold public hearings on 'exopolitics' - or relations with extraterrestrials (ETs).

Three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were reacting to a speech made by Hellyer in September in Toronto in which he warned that "UFOs are as real as the airplanes that fly over your head."

Hellyer said he is concerned the United States is preparing weapons for use against the aliens and could get the whole world into an "intergalactic war." According to Hellyer, the Americans' interest in returning to the moon is in part based on the desire to build a forward military base there.

The three organizations backing Hellyer's request for hearings are the Institute for Co-operation in Space (ICIS), the Toronto Exopolitics Symposium and the Disclosure Project, a U.S.-based organization that has assembled high-level military-intelligence witnesses of a possible ET presence.

Earlier this month, the Senate replied to the ICIS that their full agenda precluded any hearings in the near future on ET issues.

"That does not deter us," one spokesman for the NGOs said, "We are going ahead with our request to Prime Minister Paul Martin and the official Opposition leaders in the House of Commons now, and we will re-apply to the Senate of Canada in early 2006.

"Time is on the side of open disclosure that there are ethical extraterrestrial civilizations visiting Earth."


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November 20, 2005


Associated Press

Harvard Researcher Ready To Wash Her Hands Of Space Aliens

Michael Kunzelman

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Susan Clancy is sick of space aliens.

The Harvard psychologist figures she has read every book and seen every movie ever made about extraterrestrials, and she has interviewed roughly 50 people who claim to have been abducted by aliens.
And it's all in the name of scientific truth, not science fiction.
"I have become a reluctant scholar of alienography," Clancy said.
Clancy is bracing for a fresh round of hate mail with her new book, "Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens," published by Harvard University Press.
Those who believe aliens are among us haven't taken kindly to her theory that abductees have created "false memories" out of, she writes, a "blend of fantasy-proneness, memory distortion, culturally available scripts, sleep hallucinations, and scientific illiteracy."
That doesn't mean Clancy thinks her subjects are crazy. In fact, she was surprised how many of them seemed quite normal, intelligent and articulate.
"Arguing weird beliefs is a very normal thing," she said in an interview from Nicaragua, where she is a visiting professor at INCAE, the Central American Institute for Business Administration. "It's very human for us to believe in things for which there is no scientific evidence."
When she arrived at Harvard in 1996, Clancy didn't set out to debunk the stories of little green men kidnapping people from their bedrooms and using them for painful experiments. Instead, she started her research on false memories by studying victims of sexual abuse.
She quickly found herself the target of angry "outsiders" who accused her of trying to discredit victims. One irate letter-writer called her a "friend of pedophiles everywhere."
Around the same time, Harvard Medical School started investigating the research methods employed by Pulitzer Prize-winning psychologist John Mack, who used hypnosis to retrieve memories from people who claimed to be alien abductees. (The school decided not to censure Mack, who was struck and killed by a drunk driver in London last year.)
Mack's work gave Clancy an idea: Wouldn't it be easier to test her theories if she could be certain that her subjects' memories were not real? She and her adviser, Harvard psychologist Richard McNally, placed a newspaper ad that asked, "Have you been abducted by aliens?" It took less than a day for callers to fill her voice mail.
As Clancy and McNally interviewed the abductees, they started to find some common threads. Many of them, for example, described the terrifying experience of waking up and being unable to move, certain that an intruder was lurking in their room.
To the Harvard psychologists, it was obvious that their subjects had suffered an episode of sleep paralysis - a state of limbo between sleep and being awake, sometimes punctuated by hallucinations.
"It's a little bit like a hiccup in the brain. It's harmless," said McNally, adding that 20 percent of the population will experience sleep paralysis at least once.
Many of the abductees also could be described as "spiritual people" who have abandoned conventional religious beliefs, McNally added. "The people convinced of this are getting genuine spiritual payoff," he said. "To encounter a naturalistic account of it is deeply offensive."
In her book, Clancy describes her subjects' stories of abduction in detail, changing only their names.
One man, "an articulate, handsome" chiropractor with a "strikingly attractive wife" and twin sons, claimed to have fathered hybrid babies with an alien, a "streamlined, sylphlike creature."
Another subject, a 34-year-old artist with a college education, couldn't identify "disturbing sleep-related experiences" until he was hypnotized by an abduction researcher he found on the Internet. During his second hypnosis session, the artist said he recovered memories of being abducted by aliens who strapped him down on a black marble table and subjected him to a painful sexual experiment.
Clancy said a wealth of research shows that hypnosis makes it easier for people to create false memories.
"This is in large part because it both stimulates the imagination and relaxes reality constraints," she writes in her book.
However, Clancy learned it was impossible to categorically disprove alien abductions.
"All you can do is argue that they're improbable and that the evidence adduced by the believer is insufficient to justify the belief," she wrote. "Ultimately, then, the existence of ETs is a matter of opinion, and the believers have their own opinions, based on firsthand experience."
One of those "believers" is Will Bueche, a 36-year-old who was working for Mack when Clancy and McNally interviewed him several years ago.
Bueche said he has had more than a dozen "encounters" with aliens since he was a young child. These encounters with the "pale, thin beings," he said, usually happen at night, in his room, and he feels alert but "a little bit drugged" while they communicate with him telepathically.
"It's not like they're speaking English in my mind," he said. "It's a mixture of music, pictures, feelings and impressions."
Bueche said Clancy's theories about alien abductions, including sleep paralysis, cannot fully explain what he's experienced.
"I think her book comes close to the truth in many ways, but it isn't able to see the potential out there for another breakthrough in how we see reality," he said.
Clancy's conclusions aren't shared by David Jacobs, an associate professor of history at Temple University. Jacobs, who teaches a class called "UFOs and American Society," said Clancy's "Abducted" is a "typical debunking book."
"This is junk social science, and there is a certain condescending quality to it," he said.
Jacobs, who said he has used "hypnotic regression" to recover memories from more than 900 alien abductees, said sleep paralysis, faulty hypnosis and false memories "simply do not account for the convincing details" in abductees' stories.
"All debunkers make one or more of the following mistakes: They ignore the data, they distort the data or they don't know the data," he said, describing himself as a "serious UFO researcher who believes the evidence is compelling that these events are happening more or less as (abductees) say."
Clancy and McNally aren't the only psychologists who have studied alien abductees.
Leonard Newman, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is the co-author of a paper that argued alien abductees are "masochists" who enjoy the painful experiences they describe.
Unlike Clancy and McNally, Newman did not interview any abductees firsthand, relying instead on other published accounts of abduction reports.
Clancy said the volume and nasty tone of the hate mail she gets these days is far worse than what her research on sexual-abuse victims generated.
"I'm done with aliens," she said.



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November 20, 2005


Washington Post

Psychologist: 'Alien' Faces Are None Other Than Mother

by Richard Morin

Accounts of people who claim to have been abducted by aliens have one eerie similarity.

When serious researchers like psychologist Frederick Malmstrom have asked self-proclaimed abductees what their out-of-this-world kidnappers looked like, they inevitably describe beings with large heads, big eyes, gray skin, smooth features, a barely visible or absent mouth and smallish bodies.

Malmstrom, a visiting scholar at the U.S. Air Force Academy, now thinks he recognizes that face. It's Mommy -- or at least the image of a "prototypical female face" that's hard-wired into a baby's brain and helps newborns instantly respond to their mothers.

Scientists have known for years that animals are born with certain visual recognition "templates" that help them survive.

In one famous study, a scientist found that newly hatched chickens automatically cowered from shadows in the shape of a predator (such as a hawk) while the shadow of a nonpredator -- a goose -- elicited no such fearful response.

There's similar evidence that human babies are programmed to react to a generalized face.

Studies show that up until 2 months of age, an infant will react favorably to anything resembling a human face -- even a Halloween mask.

In fact, when Malmstrom optically altered a photo of a woman in a way consistent with the characteristics of a newborn's vision -- astigmatism, an extremely shallow focal plane -- the resulting face looked remarkably like those big-eyed aliens drawn by self-declared abductees, he reports in the latest issue of the magazine Skeptic, which features scholarly articles on the paranormal and other extraordinary claims.

Why do adults who claim to be abducted "see" their mothers, or at least this prototypical female face, and not some other important figure?

Malmstrom says the answer has to do with another familiar feature of alien-abduction accounts. Virtually all of the cases considered credible enough to study occurred when the abductees reported they were either falling asleep, or they were


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September 21, 2005


National Post (Canada)

Holding Editors To Account

Andrew Coyne

The former Liberal cabinet minister Paul Hellyer, after a long career defending Canadian sovereignty from American incursions, has a new reason to mistrust the United States: UFOs. Specifically, the efforts by successive American governments to conceal from public knowledge the 1947 crash of an alien spacecraft in Roswell, New Mexico.

"I believe that UFOs are real," Mr. Hellyer, who was second to Pierre Trudeau on the first ballot at the 1968 Liberal leadership convention, told the Canadian Press recently. Later this week, he will speak at a convention of UFO enthusiasts in Toronto. "I'll talk about that a little bit and a bit about the fantastic cover-up of the United States government and also a little bit of the fallout from the wreckage." By "fallout" he means the adaptation of technologies found in the Roswell craft in subsequent American technical advances. I'd tell you more, but it's just too risky.

I feel a certain unease in writing this: It is possible that Mr. Hellyer has simply lost his mind, and it's not right to poke fun at a lunatic. On the other hand, who knows any more? What once were classed as psychological disorders are today considered perfectly normal, while behaviour for which one might previously have been held responsible is now just another form of mental illness.

More to the point, what is to distinguish Mr. Hellyer's belief in a massive, decades-long conspiracy by the American government to conceal the existence of alien visitors to planet Earth from, say, Paul William Roberts' belief in a massive, decades-long conspiracy by the American government to create the very Islamist terror network it is now fighting -- not as an accidental "blowback," but as a deliberate strategy to justify more military spending? The first makes you the butt of an oddly-enough piece on the CP wire. The second is worth a three-page, 5,000-word essay in The Globe and Mail. Yet the one has precisely as little plausibility or supporting evidence as the other.

Mind you, give it time. Experience teaches that any theory, no matter how crackpot, can gain a respectful hearing in this country, so long as it asks us to believe the worst about the Americans or their government: Anti-Americanism inoculates even the worst cranks from serious scrutiny. Paul Hellyer may not have much of a following now, but depend upon it, he will be packing them in at the universities before long.

My colleague Jonathan Kay has already detailed the many factual howlers in the Roberts piece, which somehow "got by" the Globe's fact-checkers. But I rather think something else is at work. The piece would have been planned long in advance. Having written several previous pieces for the Globe, Mr. Roberts would be well-known to the editors, as would his views. For example, readers of his latest book, A War Against Truth, will learn, inter alia, that Saddam Hussein killed many fewer Iraqis than the United States, and with more justification: After all, the hundreds of thousands of Saddam's victims were people "who opposed him in some way." And they will learn the real reason for the failure of Saddam's vaunted Special Republican Guard to show up for battle: They were all vaporized, 40,000 of them at one go, by "some kind of hi-tech bomb" detonated in the warren of tunnels under Baghdad.

"Fact-checking," in the circumstances, would seem beside the point. It isn't that Mr. Roberts' piece was, in that fine old journalistic phrase, "too good to check," or that the Globe editors think fact-checking is a tool of imperialism. It's more that it would be, well, gauche -- like the fellow who objects to modern art because it isn't realistic. It may not be true, but it's "true enough." Likewise, when Linda McQuaig explains that the Katrina disaster is a consequence of FEMA having been "privatized," or when Jeremy Clarkson writes feelingly in London's Sun of seeing New Orleans looters blown to bits by helicopter gunships, it isn't true in a conventional, real-world sense. It is rather true in a transcendent, ecstatic sense.

We are dealing not so much with a factual matter, in other words, as a psychological one. There is an undeniable pleasure in tweaking the conventional wisdom: I confess to indulging in it at times myself. But what begins as a harmless contrarianism can progress by stages into full-blown conspiracy-theorizing, of which anti-Americanism is a particularly malignant example. The sufferer experiences the thrill of having "pierced the veil." He has seen through the official lies that have everyone else in their thrall, and every piece of evidence to the contrary merely confirms him in his belief. At the furthest extreme, it emerges as Holocaust denial.

This puts the student of argument in an uncomfortable position.  Convention dictates that every opponent should be treated with courtesy, every argument with respect. But what do we do with arguments that are plainly, well, crazy? Reasonable people can differ, of course, but so can unreasonable people, and we do our worthy opponents no honour by lumping them in with our unworthy opponents.

Civilized discussion depends not only on an open-minded readiness to consider other legitimate points of view, but on an equal readiness to exclude the obviously marginal. There is a time and a place to debate whether the Earth goes around the sun or the contrary, but we should have little time to address other matters if we were perpetually revisiting old controversies, or disproving every fantasy. For everyday purposes, we are obliged to exercise some basic judgment: I cannot prove beyond dispute that there are no UFOs, but I am justified by all experience in drawing the inference that there are not.

And, when it comes to the public square, we depend on the gatekeepers -- the editors of our newspapers, the publishers of our books, to exercise that judgment on our behalf. If they fail in that duty, the result is intellectual anarchy, where every opinion, no matter how nonsensical, is of equal validity and every source, no matter how dubious, is of equal authority. Or, if you prefer, contemporary Canada.


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September 12, 2005


Ukiah Daily Journal

Judicial Follies: Alienating Your Employer

by Frank Zotter Jr.

A quarter century ago, the expense of copy machines came down so much that photocopies cost less than a nickel apiece, and photocopying became America's favorite method of reproduction. The saying in those days was that Gutenberg made it possible for everyone to be a writer; Xerox made it possible for everyone to become a publisher.

The Internet has gone a step further: it has made it possible for everyone to become his own publicist. No matter how absurd the cause or how wacky the belief, there is a web site out there devoted to it.

Ah, for the simpler days of yore - like way, way back about 1990 - when folks who trafficked in Elvis sightings or gunmen on the grassy knoll were relegated to the fringe where they belong. Consider, for example, Larry Bryant's fight with the Defense Department over his beliefs in little green men.

Well, maybe "little green men" is too specific. But Bryant clearly grew up watching too many episodes of "The Invaders" or "Twilight Zone."

According to Judge K. K. Hall of the federal appeals court in Virginia, Bryant was a civilian employee of the Army for more than 30 years. Beginning in 1981, he wrote news items for the Army News Service, a wire service disseminating information to Army installations around the world. Judge Hall described him as someone who apparently was quite good at this job; he was consistently rated "exceptional" by his supervisors - until 1986, that is, when he unexpectedly received an "unsatisfactory."

It seems that Bryant suspected the Army had an ulterior motive for giving him that low rating after so many years of good performance. Bryant, Judge Hall explained, was "convinced that the government has concealed evidence of UFO visits." In fact, Bryant was the director of the Washington, D.C., office of something called "Citizens Against UFO Secrecy" (CAUS).

In 1983, Bryant, on behalf of CAUS, filed a civil action in district court in the District of Columbia which he called a "Writ of Habeas Corpus Extraterrestrial." In this suit, he sought to compel the Air Force to produce the bodies of space creatures that Bryant claimed the Air Force had retrieved from crashed flying saucers. This suit was eventually dismissed, but not until it had generated a good deal of publicity.

Sadly, because it was never appealed, there are no readily available copies of the lawsuit (or the judge's ruling, which would have been an irresistible opportunity for some judicial humor of its own). Still, one has to hand it to Bryant - he knows his legal terminology. "Habeas corpus" literally means "produce the body." Thus, his lawsuit translated to "produce the bod(ies) - of the extraterrestrials."

While the courts were busy wrestling with that legal effort, in late 1984 and early 1985, Bryant submitted paid classified advertisements to some of the newspapers in which his own wire stories were published, seeking information from the papers' military audience about the government's alleged cover-up of the UFO menace. The ads didn't use Bryant's name; they were listed as being placed by CAUS, but they did give his home address for replies. Some of the advertisements were printed, but others were rejected by the publishers. Bryant never identified himself as a federal employee in these off-duty pursuits.

In 1986, Bryant received that "unsatisfactory" rating from one of the Army captains who oversaw his work. The captain claimed that it was because the quality of Bryant's work had declined; Bryant even was placed on a probationary status for a while, although he later attained the higher rating and the "unsatisfactory" was expunged.

Bryant nevertheless was unhappy. He filed a lawsuit claiming the Army had retaliated against him for his valiant attempts to expose the government cover-up of visits by UFOs.

The trial judge dismissed the lawsuit and Judge Hall's court upheld him. Although Bryant claimed that his right to free speech had been violated, Hall agreed with the trial judge that Bryant had not been injured (his unsatisfactory rating had, after all, been expunged,) but also that the Army proved it would have taken the actions it did anyway, even if Bryant's extracurricular activities had not been about extraterrestrials.

Bryant, no doubt, took the judge's ruling as further evidence that the conspiracy was even bigger than he originally believed.  Still, if Bryant ever does lose his job, just a few years later an opportunity opened up with a new television series whose producer, Chris Carter, would undoubtedly love to have Bryant as a creative consultant.


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September 11, 2005


Macleans Magazine (Canada)

Former Cabinet Minister Paul Hellyer Takes Up The Cause Of Believers In UFOs


by John Ward

OTTAWA (CP) - Paul Hellyer, onetime cabinet minister and a political chameleon who went through Liberal and Tory colours before founding two political parties of his own, has a new cause - UFOs.

Hellyer is to be a featured speaker at a UFO conference in Toronto later this month and organizers are making much of his credentials as a former defence minister in the Pearson administration 40 years ago.

Skeptics are, well, skeptical.

The 82-year-old Hellyer says he believes not only that UFOs are extraterrestrial visitors, but that some governments - the United States at least - know all about it and are covering up.

He says he believes American scientists have re-engineered alien wreckage from a supposed UFO crash at Roswell, N.M. in 1947 to produce modern technical marvels.

"I believe that UFOs are real," he said in a recent interview.  "I'll talk about that a little bit and a bit about the fantastic cover-up of the United States government and also a little bit of the fallout from the wreckage, by that I mean the material discoveries we have made and how they've been applied to our technology."

Hellyer was once a political star. He was first elected to the Commons in 1949 at the age of 25, at that time the youngest person ever to win a seat.

He went on to become a cabinet minister, ran for the Liberal leadership against Pierre Trudeau, switched parties to the Conservatives and ran for that party's leadership, too. He eventually founded two other political parties, Action Canada in 1971 and the Canadian Action party in 1997.

He says his conviction that UFOs are real arose from reading in recent years, not from anything gleaned from secret archives during his time in office.

"I've been a skeptic for quite a while but I've been exposed to more and more information recently and have just decided to take a stand," he said.

Organizers of the MUFON conference - the name is an acronym for the Mutual UFO Network - see Hellyer's participation as giving legitimacy to the cause.

The conference is billed as "Canada's first major UFO symposium calling for complete government disclosure concerning the reality of UFOs and the extraterrestrial presence on Earth."

"Mr. Hellyer's involvement will increase the impact of the symposium," says a conference news release.

Victor Viggiani, a retired educator who is an organizer of the event, calls him a featured speaker.

"We're depending on him to be a real focal point," Viggiani said. "We're using his sort of experiences to demonstrate that national political figures can come out and talk about this."

He says Hellyer has a simple point to make: "Let's start telling the truth about what we all know is really happening in the skies and journalists start paying attention, that's basically going to be his message."

Does Hellyer feel he's being used?

"I think they are trying to make the most of my appearance."

His participation is exasperating for David Gower, a spokesman for Skeptics Canada, a group dedicated to rational thinking and to debunking paranormal claims.

"This sort of thing is a big feather in their cap, to come across people like him," says Gower, who is dismissive of the whole UFO mystique.

"There's no convincing evidence that can be anything other than personal anecdotes or allegations that can't be proven," he said.

He said UFO enthusiasts have a quasi-religious fervour that often makes them impervious to doubt.

"There is a deep-seated need, a desire in people, to feel that there's something in control somewhere, bigger than they are, something that can give some kinds of answers."

Trying to wean people away from UFO beliefs is like "nailing Jello to the wall," he said.

Viggiani says UFOs could be a boon for mankind. He says they have technology that could solve the world's energy problems "in one fell swoop."

This is where the conspiracy theory takes off for him.

"For some strange reasons, our governments can't come forward to talk to us about what these energy sources are," he says. "Because oil is just about $70 a barrel and that would undercut a lot of the power structure, the World Bank . . . the fossil fuel industry.

"They are just not prepared to handle this."

Hellyer, too, thinks there are important secrets to be learned.

"I think, frankly, that the subject should be taken seriously, because there are consequences that have real effects or could have real effects on the people of the world and I think there should be discussion of it."

While some believers think western governments have actually negotiated with extraterrestrials, Hellyer doesn't go that far.

"To my knowledge, it's just visitations," he says.

Although his participation in the conference is likely to draw ridicule, Hellyer said he's used to that after his roller-coaster political life.

"It wouldn't be the first time, would it?"

"I think they are trying to make the most of my appearance."

His participation is exasperating for David Gower, a spokesman for Skeptics Canada, a group dedicated to rational thinking and to debunking paranormal claims.

"This sort of thing is a big feather in their cap, to come across people like him," says Gower, who is dismissive of the whole UFO mystique.

"There's no convincing evidence that can be anything other than personal anecdotes or allegations that can't be proven," he said.

He said UFO enthusiasts have a quasi-religious fervour that often makes them impervious to doubt.

"There is a deep-seated need, a desire in people, to feel that there's something in control somewhere, bigger than they are, something that can give some kinds of answers."

Trying to wean people away from UFO beliefs is like "nailing Jello to the wall," he said.

Viggiani says UFOs could be a boon for mankind. He says they have technology that could solve the world's energy problems "in one fell swoop."

This is where the conspiracy theory takes off for him.

"For some strange reasons, our governments can't come forward to talk to us about what these energy sources are," he says.  "Because oil is just about $70 a barrel and that would undercut a lot of the power structure, the World Bank . . . the fossil fuel industry.

"They are just not prepared to handle this."

Hellyer, too, thinks there are important secrets to be learned.

"I think, frankly, that the subject should be taken seriously, because there are consequences that have real effects or could have real effects on the people of the world and I think there should be discussion of it."

While some believers think western governments have actually negotiated with extraterrestrials, Hellyer doesn't go that far.

"To my knowledge, it's just visitations," he says.

Although his participation in the conference is likely to draw ridicule, Hellyer said he's used to that after his roller-coaster political life.

"It wouldn't be the first time, would it?"


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September 3, 2005

Austin American-Statesman

When UFOs Plied the Night Skies: Air Force Blue Book on UFOs
Peek into the U.S. files: declassified documents of Air Force 'Blue Book' on UFOs

by Delia M. Rios
Newhouse News Service

WASHINGTON -- "Rumors about the saucer mystery fly almost as fast as the strange sights themselves," pronounced the narrator of a 1952 Paramount newsreel, commenting on a rash of UFO sightings from New York to Washington, D.C.

He added ominously: "With this evidence, the mystery thickens."

And so it seemed.

A comic book narrative of the time came down on the side of believers. "SAUCERS OVER WASHINGTON, D.C.," blared its bold black headline. It dismissed the military's "glib" explanation of radar blips seen that July by National Airport flight controllers. Simply a case of temperature inversion or reflections of ground objects, insisted the Air Force brass. But what about the pilot, the cartoonist countered, who described "a bright light moving faster, at times, than a shooting star"?

Well, what about it?

From 1947 to 1969, Americans accounted for 12,618 reports of unidentified flying objects. It was up to investigators at Ohio's Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to determine if extraterrestrial beings, in fact, had descended from space to Earth.

This work was incendiary enough to be classified. But the government bestowed a bureaucratic name just the same: "Project Blue Book."

It went on until 1969. That year, the United States Air Force declared itself out of the UFO business, but not before concluding that 701 sightings remained "unidentified."

Not to worry, Wright-Patterson officials assured the public in a 1985 fact sheet:

"No UFO reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security; 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; and there has been no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as 'unidentified' are extraterrestrial vehicles."

Just to be clear: Should anyone feel threatened by something he or she sees, the Air Force advised, "contact a local law enforcement agency."

And one last thing: "Periodically, it is erroneously stated that the remains of extraterrestrial visitors are or have been stored at Wright-Patterson AFB. There are not now, nor ever have been, any extraterrestrial visitors or equipment on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base."

Did Project Blue Book really lead to such a disappointing end?

The unconvinced -- or the merely curious -- are welcome to see for themselves. Blue Book's documents and photographs comprise 42 cubic feet of declassified records -- numbering 2,000 pages per cubic foot -- now housed in the Military Reference Branch of the National Archives. They can be accessed through 94 rolls of 35 mm microfilm.

A glimpse inside the files finds a graphic charting coverage of UFOs -- including in the popular magazines Look and Life -- against subsequent spikes in sightings. There was a outbreak of them in the summer of 1952. Even Harry S. Truman got involved. A July 26, 1952, memo from Box 26 reveals that "the President had requested Gen. Landry to find out the details of the sighting that had occurred in Washington on Saturday night."

That 1952 newsreel, with its breathless narration, describes how "across the river from New York City, a Jersey City volunteer air-defense observer reports that not only has he spotted a flying saucer in the nighttime sky over Manhattan, but that he's actually photographed it."

What was it, really?

We are left to wonder.


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September 3, 2005

Globe and Mail (Canada)

UFOs are real, but the Tories are acting

Paul Hellyer has been a Liberal and a Conservative, has run for the leadership of both parties and founded two more, and will announce this month that he believes UFOs exist. Yes, indeed, the 82-year-old former defence minister in Lester Pearson's government is to address the Exopolitics Toronto Symposium on UFO Disclosure and Planetary Directions at U of T's Convocation Hall on Sept. 25.

"My role is really to say publicly for the first time that I believe that what we call unidentified flying objects are real," he said, ". . . and that people should know more about them and some of the implications of the fact they exist and that they've been observing our planet for more than half a century now."

Yesterday, he said he has never seen a UFO and he had remained unconvinced of their existence until quite recently. In fact, as defence minister (he is known for controversially unifying the forces), Mr. Hellyer said, he received reports of UFO sightings but didn't pay much attention to them.

Lately, however, his reading on the subject and other evidence has him convinced they do exist. And he says this has policy implications for governments but will not reveal what he thinks they are. He said he doesn't want to scoop himself. Stay tuned.


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August 22, 2005

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Researcher Feels Certain UFOs Exist

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. -- Peter Davenport has received more phone calls than he cares to count that have an unusual opening: "Please believe me, I'm not crazy."

For Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle, it's part of the job.

Davenport spoke Sunday at the Little Green Men Festival in Hopkinsville with tales of what he believes are some of the more fascinating, provable cases reported. The festival, at the Hopkinsville-Christian County Conference and Convention Center, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Aug. 21, 1955, report of an alien invasion at Kelly.

After a lifetime of studying what many brush off as science fiction, Davenport is feels certain that UFOs exist and have been witnessed on Earth, and second, that the government has known about them for decades.

"I have not just a mountain of data, perhaps a mountain range of data. And I assure you, it's strictly by accident," Davenport told the Kentucky New Era in an interview.

Davenport has spent the last 11 years filing accounts and eyewitness reports of UFO sightings from a reporting center that consists of one phone, one fax, and one Web master, and is almost completely privately funded by Davenport and donations.

Davenport graduated Stanford with degrees in Russian and biology and received his MBA in finance and international business. But, years before receiving a master's degree in genetics and biochemistry of fish, Davenport heard of the Kelly Green Men incident on the radio.

The story from Kelly was one of several that piqued his interest in UFOs, which eventually led to his involvement in the National UFO Reporting Center.

Davenport said his perspective of UFO sightings took on a whole new dimension when he was 6-years-old on a July night in 1954. Davenport said that's when he, his mom and brother saw a strange object in the sky while at a drive-in theater on the edge of the St. Louis Airport.

"We didn't know it at the time, but my father, and people in the tower on the north side of the airport, were looking at the same object with their binoculars," he said.

Davenport said the object was about the size of the moon, bright red like a traffic signal and slightly oval in shape.

"And (it) stopped, almost stock-still, in the sky to the east of our location. People were getting out of their cars," Davenport said. "It was casting a red light ... all over the theater, all over the airport, as far as we could see."

Since then, Davenport has logged literally thousands of calls about colored lights, flying triangles and hovering disks on his web site, but he's hesistant to say any two are the same sighting.


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August 20, 2005

Kentucky New Era (Hopkinsville)

UFO expert to speak at Green Men festival

by Emily Burton

After a lifetime of studying what many brush off as science fiction, Peter Davenport is relatively certain of two things. First, that UFO's exist and have been witnessed on Earth, and second, that the government has known about them for decades.

As director of the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle, Davenport has spent the last 11 years filing accounts and eyewitness reports of UFO sightings.

The reporting center in Seattle consists of one phone, one fax, and one Web master, and is almost completely privately funded by Davenport and donations.

Often, Davenport receives anonymous reports of UFO sightings in e-mails or phone calls from people who begins, "Please believe me, I'm not crazy."

He has been interviewed by Peter Jennings, the History Channel and the Discovery Channel, to name a few. Davenport will regale the crowd at the Little Green Men Festival today with tales of what he believes are some of the more fascinating, provable cases reported.

The festival, at the Hopkinsville-Christian County Conference and Convention Center, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Aug. 21, 1955, report of an alien invasion at Kelly.

As Davenport retells each sighting with an immense focus on scientific details, his out-of-this-world stories become more science and less fiction.

"I have not just a mountain of data, perhaps a mountain range of data. And I assure you, it's strictly by accident," he said.

Before Davenport graduated Stanford with degrees in Russian and biology, he received his MBA in finance and international business. Years before receiving his master's degree in genetics and biochemistry of fish, Davenport heard of the Kelly Green Men incident on the radio.

The story from Kelly was one of several that piqued his interest in UFOs, which eventually led to his involvement in the National UFO Reporting Center.

But one July night in 1954, Davenport's perspective of UFO sightings went from third-party listener to first-hand witness. He was 6 years old.

Sitting in a 1953 Studebaker, Davenport was at a drive-in theater on the edge of the St. Louis Airport with his mom and brother when a strange object appeared to their right.

"We didn't know it at the time, but my father, and people in the tower on the north side of the airport, were looking at the same object with their binoculars," he said.

Imagine an object the apparent size of the moon, said Davenport.

"It was bright red, the color of a red traffic signal. With perhaps just a shade of orange in it, and slightly oval. And stopped, almost stock-still, in the sky to the east of our location. People were getting out of their cars."

For decades, his family would discuss that night and wonder, "what was that object?" Davenport said.

"It was casting a red light … all over the theater, all over the airport, as far as we could see."

His sighting is one among literally thousands on his Web-site, But while there are many mentions of colored lights, flying triangles and hovering disks, Davenport is hesitant to say any two sightings are the same.

Among the multitudes of sightings he's logged, Davenport will present Saturday his "best" documented cases, he said. Ever the scientist, Davenport's list of what constitutes good evidence of UFO activity reads like a textbook.

"Once you have evidence, there's the question, is it accurate? Does it come from independent sources? Is it indelible in the sense that, do you have photographic evidence or just eye-witness accounts?"

Take for example the 1998 UFO report from a former Canadian fighter pilot, who said he saw green balls of light in the sky. Or the 14 forestry workers in Washington who all witnessed a horseshoe-shaped object lift an elk from the forest and fly away with it. In St. Clair County, Ill, five years ago, "officers from eight police departments witness, pursue, and photograph a huge, triangular object," Davenport wrote from reports.

Witnesses include a commercial pilot, a radar patrol officer, a former Navy Chief, a Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controller, and even an astronaut. Local officials and high-ranking government agents who know of nowhere else to go with reports of a UFO sighting now call him, Davenport said.

"We are the facility to which law enforcement agencies, military facilities and the FAA report UFO events."

By his own admission, about 70 percent or more of the reports to Davenport's hotline and Web-site have nothing to do with actual UFOs. But of the remaining 30 percent …

During a classified meeting on the East coast several years ago, with a government agency Davenport is not at liberty to identify, the exact scope of the government's involvement in their own UFO research was partial revealed, he said.

"They identified themselves, … and they said, ‘Peter, we know who you are. We have visited your web-site extensively.' And they said, ‘You appear to us to have information that we are very interested in.'

They wanted to know more about a UFO that had been seen near a commercial airliner.

After a four-hour meeting, they thanked Davenport and told him, "‘Out of our sense of gratitude, we're going to tell you what our position about UFOs is in the U.S. government,'" he said.

The officials told Davenport, "‘Number one, we know that UFOs are real. Number two, we know that UFOs are what they appear to be. Namely, sophisticated craft under intelligent control. There's no doubt of that', they said. ‘And number three, we in the government are a bit worried about them,'" recalled Davenport.

But if the government knows anything about UFOs, they aren't about to crack, Davenport said.

"Clearly, the U.S. government -- from my vantage point I think I can say this safely -- is doing everything in its power to quash interest in the subject of ufology in general. And in individual cases that are dramatic and well documented, and evident to a large body of people. Now, is that conspiracy or is that policy? I'm not sure I can answer that."

Is there intelligent life cruising the night skies, and did it ever visit Kelly? If local lore can't convince us, maybe science and an extensive collection of similar stories can.

"If it were not for our center, I fear the American people would be naked in the face of whatever threat we may be dealing with. Even if its just as mild of threat of ignorance of UFO phenomena," said Davenport. "And that threat makes me very uncomfortable."


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August 13, 2005

Kentucky New Era (Hopkinsville)

The Kelly 'Commotion'
Life Hasn't Been Easy Since The Aliens Came Calling

by Jennifer P. Brown

Kelly, a tiny town about five miles north of Hopkinsville, was made famous by the Aug. 21, 1955, report of an alien invasion.

If Lonnie Lankford had been a little older, his mother might not have pushed him under the bed that night she thought she saw an alien outside her bedroom window.

It was the evening of Aug. 21, 1955, and Glennie Lankford was trying to protect the children in the little farmhouse off Old Madisonville Road at Kelly. So, Lonnie, who was 12 years old, was scrunched under the mattress with his brother, Charlton, 10, and sister, Mary, 5.

He never saw the little creatures that frightened his mother and sent his older half-brother, Elmer "Lucky" Sutton, running for a shotgun.

But Lonnie Lankford heard plenty, both that night and in the days and weeks that followed, and he remains clear about what did and did not happened that night 50 years ago.

His mother saw a space creature outside her window, not a cat or a monkey or a bird. There were more in the yard and on the roof.

The creatures were sliver, not green. They were small, about 3 feet tall, and had webbed hands and feet, and big round eyes,.

Shots were fired at the creatures, but there was no raging gun battle that went on for hours.

Most important, Lonnie says, no one was drinking at the house that night. No beer, or liquor or moonshine was allowed inside. That was Glennie Lankford's rule.

"I remember the commotion and the hollerin' and screaming," Lonnie, 62, said Friday afternoon. "I didn't see them, but my momma did, and I believe her because she was a religious woman and she wouldn't lie."

The Legend of Kelly

Today, the world knows the Kelly story as the tale of the Little Green Men, or the Kelly Green Men.

In the days following the first news story of the family's report, published on Aug. 22, 1955, in the Kentucky New Era, the world beat a path to Kelly, a tiny community about 5 miles north of Hopkinsville.

The New York Daily News reported on its front page, "Spacemen Take Kentucky." A headline in the Los Angeles Times read, "Kentucky Gains New Fame."

Someone -- maybe a headline writer -- couldn't resist the word play on Kelly and Green, and the little men changed colors, from silver to green. (A French journalist, Yann Mege, who traveled to Hopkinsville in 2000 to research the story, has theorized that the phrase "little green men" originated from the Kelly story.)

The family, embarrassed by reports that they were drunk or simply pulling an elaborate prank that night, rejected the attention and turned away reporters. While the world laughed, they were often insulted.

The Kelly incident became a legend that grew over time. It remains a classic chapter in the U.S. Air Force's "Project Blue Book," a catalogue of more than 12,000 UFO sightings in the United States between 1952 and 1969.

A different time

In the summer of 1955, air conditioning was rare in Christian County homes and highly prized in public places such as theaters, stores and churches. People spent a good amount of time simply trying to endure the heat and humidity, said William T. Turner, county history. Fans blew in hallways and at night people often slept, or languished, on pallets on their porches.

The First Presbyterian Church in Hopkinsville was running a newspaper ad that touted its air-conditioned sanctuary. Window air conditioning units were selling for $169 at Keach Furniture.

Many people in Hopkinsville had black-and-white television sets and received antenna signals for three stations, channels 4, 5 and 8, all out of Nashville, Tenn. At 7 o'clock on Saturday nights, they watched "The Lawrence Welk Show."

Six movie theaters, including three drive-ins, were showing westerns, romance stories, monster movies and science fiction. The Alhambra had "Rainbow Over Texas," starring Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Trigger. The Family Drive-In was showing "Daltons Ride Again," and the Skyway Drive-In had "Revenge of the Creature" and "Flying Saucers."

The Shrine Circus came to town, featuring clowns, dancing dogs, elephants and ponies. Hopkinsville resident Margaret Rash played the organ for the circus.

There were parties at restaurants -- the Coach and Four in Hopkinsville and Gray's Steak House out on Madisonville Road.

One day, people stood in line to apply for jobs at the new Moe Light Plant of Thomas Industries.

At Buddies restaurant next to the fire station on East Ninth Street, people paid 10 cents for a hamburger.

Former Gov. A.B. "Happy" Chandler campaigned at the courthouse for another term in office. His opponent, Bert Combs, courted voters at the Memorial Building.

Dalton Bros. Brick was developing a new subdivision on South Jessup.

Almost everybody in Christian County, even the ones in Hopkinsville, still had a connection to farming. They worked on farms, or in tobacco warehouses, or they worked for businesses that couldn't survive without the money generated by farming.

Many families, like Lonnie Lankford's, lived on small farms and lived a modest life.

The Kelly sighting

At Glennie Lankford's house, there was no indoor plumbing. There was an outhouse in the back. Water had to be toted from an outdoor well.

Billy Ray Taylor, a visitor from Pennsylvania and friend of "Lucky" Sutton, was going to the outhouse when he saw a light streak through the sky, said Lonnie, who related the story Friday at his home off U.S. 68 near the eastern edge of the Hopkinsville city limits.

Taylor saw a spaceship land in a field of sagebrush, but he didn't tell anybody what he saw when he returned to the house.

Then Lonnie's mother screamed. She had seen a space creature through the bedroom window. "Lucky" ran for his double-barrel shotgun and fired at the creature. It retreated, but was not hurt.

Stepping outside on the small front stoop, "Lucky" felt a tug at his hair. One of the creatures had reached for him from the roof, Lonnie said.

"Lucky" backed into the yard and saw four or five aliens on the roof. He fired a few shots. Again, the creatures seemed to retreat but were not hurt.

Later, according to the family's story, everybody in the house, including Glennie, the three children, "Lucky" and his brother, J.C. Sutton, and Billy Ray, loaded up in a couple of vehicles and headed for Hopkinsville.

At the Hopkinsville Police Department, they asked Police Chief Russell Greenwell for help.

Police officers, Kentucky state troopers and soldiers from Fort Campbell converged at the Lankford place that night and searched for a spaceship and aliens. They found nothing, according to the report in the U.S. Air Force "Blue Book."

Over the years, Lonnie has heard the speculation that his family actually saw some escaped monkeys from the Shrine circus. He laughs at the suggestion.

"I ain't ever seen a silver monkey, or a green one," he said.

Lonnie concedes that his older brother, "Lucky" had a reputation for telling tales and that he drank. But on that night, "Lucky" wasn't drinking and he didn't invent a story about space creatures.

"He was one of the biggest liars in Hopkinsville, but he didn't lie about that," Lonnie said.

To this day, Lonnie wishes he had not crawled under the bed after his mother screamed.

"I wish I had seen one of them, but I didn't and I'm not going to lie about it," he said.

It's hard to tell, Lonnie said, how many people have made money off the Kelly Green Men since that night in 1955. It seems like everybody but his family made something off the story.

"Here I sit, broke and poor, and I ain't made nothing off it," said Lonnie, who is disabled after years of manual labor. He worked so many different jobs, it's hard to list them all Š roofer, gas station attendant, truck driver, saw mill hand.

But Lonnie still has a sense of humor about his family's brush with fame. Three years ago, he went to a Halloween dance at the Hopkinsville Elks Club. He dressed as an alien. Hardly anyone knew the story behind the mask and cape that night.

Lonnie has been looking for his costume this week. Next weekend, for the Little Green Men Festival's Alien Ball, he'd like to go as an alien.

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August 9, 2005


New York Times

Health: Books on Science
Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens, by Susan Clancy. Harvard University Press
Explaining Those Vivid Memories Of Martian Kidnappers

By Benedict Carey

People who have memories of being abducted by aliens become hardened skeptics, of a kind. They dismiss the procession of scientists who explain away the memories as illusions or fantasy. They scoff at talk about hypnosis or the unconscious processing of Hollywood scripts. And they hold their ground amid snickers from a public that thinks that they are daft or psychotic.

They are neither, it turns out, and their experiences should be taken as seriously as any strongly held exotic beliefs, according to Susan Clancy, a Harvard psychologist who interviewed dozens of self-described abductees as part of a series of memory studies over the last several years.

In her book "Abducted," due in October, Dr. Clancy, a psychologist at Harvard, manages to refute and defend these believers, and along the way provide a discussion of current research into memory, emotion and culture that renders abduction stories understandable, if not believable. Although it focuses on abduction memories, the book hints at a larger ambition, to explain the psychology of transformative experiences, whether supposed abductions, conversions or divine visitations.

"Understanding why people believe weird things is important for anyone who wishes to know more about people - that is, humans in general," she writes.

Dr. Clancy's accounting for abduction memories starts with an odd but not uncommon experience called sleep paralysis. While in light dream-rich REM sleep, people will in rare cases wake up for a few moments and find themselves unable to move. Psychologists estimate that about a fifth of people will have that experience at least once, during which some 5 percent will be bathed in terrifying sensations like buzzing, full-body electrical quivers, a feeling of levitation, at times accompanied by hallucinations of intruders.

Some of them must have an explanation as exotic as the surreal nature of the experience itself. Although no one has studied this group systematically, Dr. Clancy suggests based on her interviews, that they tend to be people who already have some interest in the paranormal, mystical arts and the possibility of extraterrestrial visitors. Often enough, their search for meaning lands them in the care of a therapist who uses hypnotism to elicit more details of their dreamlike experiences.

Hypnotism is a state of deep relaxation, when people become highly prone to suggestion, psychologists find. When encouraged under hypnosis to imagine a vivid but entirely concocted incident - like being awakened by loud noises - people are more likely later to claim the scene as a real experience, studies find.

Where, exactly, do the green figures with the wraparound eyes come from? From the deep well of pop culture, Dr. Clancy argues, based on a review of the history of U.F.O. sightings, popular movies and television programs on aliens. The first "abduction" in the United States was dramatized in 1953, in the movie "Invaders From Mars," she writes, and a rash of abduction reports followed this and other works on aliens, including the television series "The Outer Limits."

One such report, by a couple from New Hampshire, Betty and Barney Hill, followed by days a particularly evocative episode of the show in 1961. Mr. Hill's description of the aliens - with big heads and shiny wraparound eyes - was featured in a best-selling book about the experience, and inspired the alien forms in Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" in 1977, according to Dr. Clancy.

Thus does life imitate art, and vice versa, in a narrative hall of mirrors in which scenes and even dialogues are recycled. Although they are distinct in details, abduction narratives are extremely similar in broad outline and often include experimentation with a sexual or procreative subtext. "Oh! And he's opening my shirt, and - he's going to put that thing in my navel," says one 1970's narrative, referring to a needle.

"I can feel them moving that thing around in my stomach, in my body," the narrative, excerpted in the book, continues. The passage echoes other abduction accounts, past and future.

In a laboratory study in 2002, Dr. Clancy and another Harvard psychologist, Richard McNally, gave self-described abductees a standardized word-association test intended to measure proneness to false-memory creation. The participants studied lists of words that were related to one another - "sugar," "candy," "sour," "bitter" - and to another word that was not on the list, in this case, "sweet."

When asked to recall the word lists, those with abduction memories were more likely than a group of peers who had no such memories to falsely recall the unlisted word. The findings suggest a susceptibility to what are called source errors, misattributing sources of remembered information by, say, confusing a scene from a barely remembered movie with a dream.

In another experiment, the researchers found that recalling abduction memories prompted physiological changes in blood pressure and sweat-gland activity that were higher than those seen in post-traumatic stress syndrome. The memories produced intense emotional trauma, and each time that occurs it deepens the certainty that something profound really did happen.

Although no one of those elements - sleep paralysis, interest in the paranormal, hypnotherapy, memory tricks or emotional investment - is necessary or sufficient to create abduction memories, they tend to cluster together in self-described abductees, Dr. Clancy finds. "In the past, researchers have tended to concentrate on one or another" factor, she said in an interview. "I'm saying they all play a role."

Yet abduction narratives often have another, less explicit, dimension that Dr. Clancy suspects may be central to their power. Consider this comment, from a study participant whom Dr. Clancy calls Jan, a middle-age divorcée engaged in a quest for personal understanding: "You know, they do walk among us on earth. They have to transform first into a physical body, which is very painful for them. But they do it out of love. They are here to tell us that we're all interconnected in some way.  Everything is."

At a basic level, Dr. Clancy concludes, alien abduction stories give people meaning, a way to comprehend the many odd and dispiriting things that buffet any life, as well as a deep sense that they are not alone in the universe. In this sense, abduction memories are like transcendent religious visions, scary and yet somehow comforting and, at some personal psychological level, true.

Dr. Clancy said she regretted not having asked the abductees she interviewed about religious beliefs, which were not a part of her original research. The reader may regret that, too.

The warmth, awe and emotion of abduction stories and of those who tell them betray strong spiritual currents that will be familiar to millions of people whose internal lives are animated by religious imagery.

When it comes to sounding the depths of alien stories, a scientific inquiry like this one may have to end with an inquiry into religion.

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August 7, 2005


Brisbane Sunday Mail (Queensland, Australia)

Our X-Files

by Kate Patterson

Hidden files, cover-ups and pressure on witnesses to "forget" the UFOs they say they saw – these are the Queensland X-Files.

Australian UFO Research Centre investigator Dominic McNamara has spent two years uncovering restricted files from the Federal Government's top-secret national archives.

For the first time, The Sunday Mail is able to disclose three sightings previously marked classified and deemed to be a matter of national security.

Mr McNamara said there was little doubt the files – detailing UFO sightings between 1950 and 1970 – were deliberately hidden or made difficult to find.

"We are under the impression that some files are yet to be found or they are in something deeper that we are never going to get a look at," he said.

Mr McNamara said Queensland had a spate of sightings for which there did not seem to be much explanation.

"It's a bit of a hot spot," he said.

"The bureaucratic solution is to contain it, especially if your mandate is to be able to explain what goes on in the sky.

"There were a number of sightings in that time, where there was something really strange going on in Queensland.

"The best evidence we have are the witnesses who have risked their social lives, their career and their sanity to come forward at a time when it was extremely difficult to do so and make a report."

The engineer said there was too much unexplained activity to simply discount extra-terrestrial life.

He said sightings tended to peak around the time humans extended their push into the skies, with events such as rocket launches or nuclear bombs.

Mr. McNamara said a lot of people thought he was "mad" and compared his work as a UFO investigator to that of TV character Fox Mulder of The X-Files.

"It's hard for people to consider that there's such a thing as alien life, but it's harder to accept that there can't be any," he said.

The sightings include:

Unidentified Aircraft

Witnessed by Harold Jackwitz at Wulkuraka, west of Ipswich, on July 14, 1958, at 1.45pm. The object was seen by 12 members of a construction gang employed at the partly built electric shunting and marshalling yards.

Mr Jackwitz, of North Ipswich, described the object as round, silent and cloud-like, giving off light reflection, solid in construction, but emitting no sound or any obvious means of propulsion.

When seen, it was to the northwest and apart from one period where it appeared to hover, the direction remained constant until visual contact was lost.

Bruce Stephens, of Auchenflower in Brisbane, who was at the location, made observations of the phenomenon through his theodolite for about eight minutes.

He drew a detailed sketch.

Interrogators reported, "the possibility of it being an aircraft is most unlikely... the observers gave straightforward information, showed no tendency to embellish and their details were identical".

No RAAF or civil aircraft was airborne or operating within these confines at the time.

Unusual Sighting

Roland Roberts, witnessed a UFO at Daunia Station, via Nebo, near Mackay, on June 24, 1965, at 6.45pm.

"Saucer shape with silver dome top and black underneath... with lights around the side of it brilliant bluish white," Mr. Roberts wrote.

He included a sketch of his sighting. He described the object moving from southwest until it vanished in a northeast direction.

"It had a constant red jet tail or slip stream at the rear the colour did not vary," the report read. "Never seen anything move as fast as the object observed."

Mr Roberts was a grazier at his homestead when he saw the object, which he said "would have been between 30 to 50 feet (9m to 15m) across, could see no legs or landing gear under the object".

Mr McNamara said there was great interest in this sighting because there was a boat which made a similar UFO report in Darwin.

Flying Object

Police officer Leslie Gray saw a UFO from his address at Kedron in Brisbane on November 12, 1966, at 7.55pm.

Mr Gray, then 36, said he was watching Russian satellites from his back yard with his family when a slightly illuminated boomerang-shaped object travelled overhead.

"I said to the children, come and look and try and remember what you've seen because no one will ever believe you," he told The Sunday Mail this week.

The sighting was confirmed by his then-wife Elva and two children Robyn, then 13, and Stewart, then 5.

He described the object moving from the north to the south before it disappeared about 30 degrees above the horizon.

Mr Gray said lights in straight lines covered the object and there was a faint glow outlining the whole object, giving the impression of a brighter light above it.

"I thought no one's going to believe me, but I would like to get it recorded," he said.

No aircraft were reported as being in the area.

"Being a policeman I knew that you don't ring the police and talk about things like that, so I called a friend in the air force," he said.

Mr Gray said he was interviewed soon after he reported it, but "he was the most uninterested person I have ever met and thought I was crazy," he said.

"I haven't heard a thing since."

Mr Gray said a newspaper article appeared soon after about a banana-shaped object burnt into the ground in Victoria.

Mrs Gray said it had been hard to convince others.

"People would brush you off, saying you've been drinking, but we'll never forget it."

- All documents obtained from the National Archives of Australia.  Australian UFO Research Network Sightings Hotline: 1800 772 288.

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July 29, 2005


Exeter News-Letter

UFO Saga Continues

by Adam Dolge

EXETER - There has been a considerable response to Tuesday’s article in the News-Letter about a recent UFO sighting. Interested local residents and skeptics joined UFO enthusiasts commenting from throughout the nation, and reaction was even received from a French "Ufologist" who recalled two similar sightings in Europe.

Yann Marchandin, the French "Ufologist" who contacted the News-Letter via e-mail, said there was a similar UFO sighting in Poland in 1997 and another in 1999. In both incidents, witnesses claimed to have seen large "military ship-sized" tubes, or cigar-shaped objects in the sky.

She said this recent report, by an Exeter man who wished to be identified only as "David," was very interesting to her because of its similarities to the two other sightings and also because of his military and aviation background.

There were also those who questioned the recent sighting. If the object was so large in the sky, why did nobody else see it, many asked in e-mails sent to the News-Letter.

Last Wednesday, Aug. 20, David reported seeing a silver, cigar-shaped object around 3 p.m. that he said was roughly the size of two aircraft carriers. It changed colors to an orange-red before stretching to twice its original size, then disappearing.

David is recently retired as a flight engineer with the U.S. Navy and has logged more than 10,000 hours in the air.

Contacted this week, David said he couldn’t explain why he alone saw the UFO, and he even asked several of his neighbors if they saw anything odd that day. No one had, he said.

He still has several houses to check, as he lives in a neighborhood with about two dozen homes.

The Exeter Police Department said there were no reports that day, or since then, of a UFO sighting. Local Federal Aviation Administration officials could not be reached for comment.

But Peter Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle, said there are various reasons why no one else witnessed what David did. David submitted a report to the reporting center shortly after his encounter.

Davenport said that perhaps David was in the right place at the right time. Also, the object’s technology could have been so advanced that it might only have been visible from where David was standing.

David’s report will soon be available for public viewing at the center’s Web site at

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July 28, 2005


Ipswich Evening Star

Keeping Tabs on Aliens UFO

ALIENS hover over the skies of Suffolk and Essex once every three months, according to sightings of UFOs reported to the Ministry of Defence.

And if the reports are to believed, it seems our galactic neighbours prefer the brighter lights of Essex to our unlit pastures of Suffolk.
Between 2002 and 2005, there were 14 reports of unidentified flying objects made to the MoD – three in Suffolk and 11 in Essex.
But documents show differing descriptions for the mysterious sightings.

While many report strange, silent, patterned lights in the night sky, others are a little more vivid.

Bizarrely, the last sighting reported in the region – in Basildon in April this year – described “a spaceship with aliens (the Greys) sitting on top of it, above the bungalow”.

And perhaps worryingly for air traffic controllers at Stansted Airport, “a ball of fire, very bright, with no colour” suddenly appeared near the Essex terminal at 10.21pm on April 11, 2003.

Although the MoD said it does not investigate UFO reports, it added they are examined to establish whether the UK’s airspace could have been “compromised by hostile or unauthorised air activity”.

“Unless there is a potential threat to the United Kingdom from an external source, we do not attempt to identify the precise nature of each sighting reported to us.

“We believe that rational explanations, such as aircraft lights or natural phenomena, could be found for them if resources were diverted for this purpose, but it is not the function of the MoD to provide this kind of aerial identification service.

“It would be an inappropriate use of defence resources if we were to do so,” a spokeswoman said. Mystery therefore surrounds three reported sightings in Suffolk in the last three years. A large silver triangle “which then changed shape” and was clouded in a pink and green haze was reportedly spotted over Woodbridge at dawn on October 23, 2002.

Fourteen months later, what looked like an unusual aircraft with strange lights was reported above the riverside town, which is close to RAF Bentwaters and notorious for an unexplained sighting by US Air Force personnel in 1980. However, alien interest in Suffolk appears to be on the wane with the last sighting reported to MoD officials coming in March last year, when a circular formation of yellow lights flashed across the sky before fading away over Lowestoft.

Interestingly, in Essex, most UFO spotters hang out in the south of the county where seven sightings were reported between 2002 and 2005.

However, aliens also seem to have been yearning for a bit of history, spying on Britain’s oldest recorded town, Colchester, in October last year when a bright orange object “rapidly and randomly” dashed from east to west.

In September 2002, three lights “in the shape of a star” were reported to have circled over the market town of Halstead while in January last year, residents in Thaxted were puzzled by a strange light in the sky that stayed there for 90 minutes, but Brenda Butler, UFO-spotter and Leiston-based author, revealed the MoD figures are only the “tip of the iceberg”.

Mrs Butler, who regularly encounters extra terrestrials in Rendlesham Forest, said: “People are becoming blasé about seeing UFOs nowadays – they’re everywhere. We get calls all the time.”

She said there was one UFO in particular – a giant black triangle with different coloured lights inside – that had been puzzling lorry drivers along the A12 in Essex for months recently. It was last seen heading out towards Canvey Island, she said.

Have you seen something spooky recently? Have you got photo evidence? Write to Spooky Suffolk, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich or e-mail tracey.sparling@evening

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July 26, 2005


Exeter News-Letter

UFO Sighting In Exeter Again

By Adam Dolge

EXETER - There was something odd in the sky last week, something that caused a Navy veteran with 10,000 hours of flight experience to have his own close encounter.
that slow, he said.

The object began changing colors from a bright silver to an orange-ish red. A strange cloud of red and orange flames began surrounding the obattle-based National UFO Reporting Center.

Peter Davenport, director of the UFO reporting center, said David’s report was astonishing because of his history with flight. "I have no question on his reliability."

He said he gets several accounts each year, but this one stood out. The report was well written and scientific, Davenport said.

"In my view, that’s one of the cardinal rules of an account," he said.

The center was founded in 1974 by UFO investigator Robert Gribble. The center’s Web site,, has a large list of UFO sightings. According to the site, the center’s primary function is to receive, record, and to the greatest degree possible, corroborate and document reports from individuals who have witnessed possible UFOs. David’s report, which will soon be on the Web site, will be among dozens of documented sightings to be formally reported to the center.

Not the first time

The Exeter area is no stranger to UFO sightings. In 1965, two Exeter police officers and hitchhiker Norman Muscarello, who was with them, gained national attention after seeing a UFO hovering over Route 101 in Kensington. The sighting was documented in a book called "The Incident at Exeter."

And then there was the incident involving Barney and Betty Hill, a husband and wife from Portsmouth who claimed to have been abducted by aliens. The couple was driving from a vacation in Canada in 1961 when they saw a UFO.

The object moved directly over their car, and before they knew it they grew drowsy. They later claimed to have been abducted by aliens and gave identical accounts while they were hypnotized.

But for this recent sighting, David said he believes that there is life beyond Earth. He said the galaxy is so enormous, it’s hard to believe humans are the only intelligent life.

"To the point of not being obnoxious, it’d be egocentric to think there is no other life out there."

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July 22, 2005


Northwest Territory News

Australia Releases Classified UFO Documents

Eric Tlozek

Secret documents released by the Northern Territory Government reveal a mass of UFO sightings across the Top End, many of them unexplained.

The documents - declassified after 30 years under lock and key - detail a history of UFO activity across the Territory by a wide range of 'sighters', including RAAF crews and weather forecasters.
The files were classified and only became available to the public from the National Archives in Darwin, after 30 years.
One sighting, by the crew of a RAAF Hercules in Darwin in 1968, also appeared on radar, although no known aircraft was identified in the area at the time.
The crew described a series of lights which crossed their take-off path from Darwin airport, with no visible fuselage or structure. RAAF command in Sydney said the contact may have been a foreign aircraft.
"The fact the sighting was made by an RAAF aircrew and detected by the aircraft's radar leaves very little doubt ... (that something) was in the area," RAAF command said.
"As the aircraft has not been identified, a violation of our national airspace cannot be discounted."
Another of the secret documents, obtained by the Australian UFO Research Association, describes a sighting by a weather bureau forecaster at Daly Waters in November, 1966.
The forecaster was tracking a weather balloon with a theodolite when he noticed a flying object in the sky.
He reported sighting a metallic-grey, oblong object flying at high altitude.
A check with the aircraft control office in Darwin revealed there were no aircraft in the area at the time.
A third file reports the sighting of a saucer-shaped object by a group of nurses in Alice Springs in 1967.
The nurses spotted the UFO in the middle of the day and said it was a silver colour with a copper band around the centre.
UFO archivist Dominic McNamara said there were many NT sightings but most were unsubstantiated.
"The NT is a hot-spot for sightings particularly because of its remoteness," Mr McNamara said.
"But the cases where people actually see substantial objects and can describe them are the ones that stand out."
He said tracking down the files was an arduous task because a serial number needed to be quoted to retrieve any file.
So he cross-referenced files from related items, eventually narrowing the field to 170 documents.

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July 13, 2005


Denver Post

For UFO Expert Sci-Fi Is Real Life

by Jeremy Meyer

Aurora - Two or three times a month, someone in Colorado looks into the sky and sees something he cannot identify.

Often, that's when John Schuessler's group gets a call.

Schuessler, a retired Boeing engineer who moved to Jefferson County, is the international director of the Mutual UFO Network, a 3,000-member nonprofit group that investigates UFO sightings and promotes research on the phenomenon.

His group runs a website on which people can report their experiences and sends investigators to interview people who spy something strange.

"We're not a lot of starry-eyed believers," Schuessler said. "We're a fairly skeptical group. There's no doubt in my mind about UFOs. We have firm evidence of it. We have videotapes. And the testimony by credible people is beyond question. ... Some of the most definitive documentation is by the government - 300,000 documents that all attest to the reality of UFOs."

Schuessler will speak Sunday at the Aurora History Museum, which through Sept. 18 is featuring an exhibit celebrating a century of science fiction.

He will talk about UFO sightings across Colorado - from the storm chaser in Jefferson County who reported a bowling-ball-like object flying out of clouds to a park packed with people who saw a strange craft 500 feet above Lakewood that zoomed straight up.

There seems to be an unending number of sightings in the San Luis Valley.

"They call that the 'mysterious valley,' and I can see why," Schuessler said.

He will explain how his group, in cataloging and investigating UFO sightings around the world, is building a body of evidence that "there is something real (in the skies)."

He added: "It's unusual, it's not ours, and it's something worth looking at."

Perhaps that won't be much of a surprise to the visitors to the museum's popular "Science Fiction Century" exhibit, which opened July 4.

Curator Matt Chasansky worked through various science-fiction groups in the Denver area to build the display, which includes everything from Star Wars costumes to first-edition books by H.G. Wells.

The experience has been an eye- opener for Chasansky, who was never  really a sci-fi buff until the exhibit.

"At first I thought (science fiction) was escapism," he said. "People want somewhere that is totally invented that they can separate themselves from."

But he realized it was more reality- based than other pop-culture genres such as horror or fantasy. Science fiction extrapolates actual scientific discovery. For example, Jules Verne's 19th-century stories about moonshots became reality by the 1960s.

Schuessler doesn't see a conflict in talking factually about UFOs at an exhibition of science fiction.

"We are living a real science- fiction situation that most people want to just read about," he said. "It is futuristic stuff. The characteristics of the UFO sightings are beyond our technological capabilities."

Schuessler leaves conjecture - "Who is flying these vehicles?" "Why they are here?" - to the sci-fi buffs.

"They come up with ideas based on reality but beyond reality," he said. "It's where the two merge - reality merges with science fiction."

Staff writer Jeremy Meyer can be reached at 303-820-1175 or Talk on UFOs

Mutual UFO Network director John Schuessler will discuss UFO sightings in Colorado from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Aurora History Museum, 15051 E. Alameda Parkway, at the Aurora municipal campus.

Schuessler's presentation is for all ages and costs $3 for Aurora residents and $4 for nonresidents.

To register, call 303-739-6660.

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 July 3, 2005


Pascagoula Mississippi Press

Local man says UFO experience is one he will never get over

by Natalie Chambers

GAUTIER -- UFOs. Real or imaginary?

There's the Hollywood version and then there's Charles Hickson of Gautier.

Hickson and fishing partner, Calvin Parker, were near a pier at Shaupeter Shipyard in Pascagoula on the evening of Oct. 11, 1973, when they reported being abducted by robot-like aliens and taken aboard an egg-shaped, glowing spacecraft.

Their account of that night is the type stuff movies should be made of.

They spoke of floating creatures and being examined by an electronic eye, within an approximate 20-minute time frame.  Hickson remained conscious but could only move his eyes. Parker fainted.

Hickson was recently interviewed at his Gautier home following the release of War of the Worlds, a present-day re-telling of H.G. Wells' classic, sci-fi adventure thriller that reveals the extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it.

"Some of the movies they make now I watch, some I don't. They're not what Calvin and I went through with. They are make-believe. What happened to us is a natural fact," Hickson said. "I notice here lately, they've been having a lot of UFO programs on the History Channel."

Hollywood touts several variations of alien-life. Hickson, at 74, has not deviated from accounts he has given to local police, government investigators, television commentators such as Dick Cavett and Johnny Carson, or anyone else who has asked.

Under hypnosis, he recalled seeing human-like beings aboard the craft.

"Evidently they couldn't live in our atmosphere and had the robots come out and handle us," he said. Hickson believes the aliens will return.

"They are still having UFO sightings around the world," he said. "I still get letters from people all over the whole world who tell me things they went through. Some of them won't talk to anybody else about it."

The fear, sleepless nights, inability to eat, afraid of the outdoors - emanating from that night - are long gone and in some ways, so has the close relationship shared with Parker.

"They didn't do me any physical harm. They give me a bad fright.  They gave Calvin a heck of a fright. In fact, I don't think he will ever get over it," Hickson said. Parker, then 19, left Jackson County.

"I don't know what the answer is. I may never find an answer during my lifetime. Everybody has to have their own beliefs. I think some day in the near future, people will know there are other worlds with life on them because we are going farther and farther with space exploration. We've got probes around Mars and Jupiter," he said.

Over the years, Hickson has received letters from others who said they, too, saw the craft that night.

"They didn't want to be ridiculed," he said.

Mike Cataldo, a retired Navy chief petty officer now living in Florida, contacted The Mississippi Press a couple of years ago.

"We saw it, no question about it. We talked about it. Was it a shooting star, a meteorite? This was very different," he said.  "As quickly as we saw it, it just vanished."

Hickson has since published a book of the account, UFO: Contact At Pascagoula. The $15 hardback can be purchased by calling Hickson at 228-497-4753.

"Everywhere I go and I've been to many big colleges and universities all over the country and they've never ridiculed me at all. They've been very interested. They want to ask questions. They are eager to learn. I think they realize some day they will have to cope with that. It's something I will never get over," he said.

A year ago, Hickson lost his wife, Blanche. They celebrated 50 years of marriage prior to her death. Back surgery keeps him from traveling a lot but he still keeps in touch through e-mail, television, phone and postal service.

"I think there are many, many worlds out there. Some with life on it. God didn't only create this little earth. He created this universe and I don't know how many beyond this. They say that it's still expanding so I guess there's no end to it out there, I suppose," he said.

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June 2, 2005


Memphis Commercial Appeal

Flying Saucer Group Looks To The Skies

by Lindsay Sonsky
Special to East Memphis Appeal

At age 7, Mark Gilley had an experience that would change the way he looked at the sky forever.

In the backyard of his home in Central Gardens, it was spring and nearing dusk when his aunt called to him.

"She said 'Come here and see if you see what I see,' " recalled Gilley.

He remembers spotting an illuminated object like a teardrop moving across the sky. He watched until it disappeared behind a cluster of trees.

At 58, Gilley is employed Downtown at the Clovernook Center for the Blind on St. Paul Avenue, where he helps those who have lost their vision become independent.

He still believes it was a UFO he saw that day. He's not alone.

As a longtime member of the Memphis UFO Discussion Group, which meets at the Poplar-White Station Branch Library at 5094 Poplar on the second Wednesday of each month, Gilley is in agreeable company with many others who believe Earth is being visited by extraterrestrials.

Attracting up to 30 people to meetings, the Memphis group has been together for nearly 25 years.

Gilley is also the state director of Western Tennessee for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), a 3,000-member international organization that investigates sightings.

Manning the region hotline (the phone number dials his cell phone), the East Memphian anticipates calls that send him and Marcia Prince out of town for closer inspections.

Prince, also an East Memphian, is assistant state director of Western Tennessee and chairman of the Memphis UFO Discussion Group.

But that doesn't happen very often.

Most are hesitant to admit they might have spotted something unearthly, said Prince. "I call it the 'giggle factor.' You say 'UFO' and people giggle," she said.

But as ridiculous as some may think it is, every year tens of thousands of people claim to spot UFOs, she said.

The folks who are certified by the state group to look into such cases are called field investigators.

Gilley and Prince are investigative trainees, who will soon be taking the official MUFON examination, which will cover 35 scientific fields. Instructed by certified investigators, they learn how to take steps such as conducting interviews and collecting soil samples.

Their first assignment sent them to North Mississippi, where a resident captured a photograph of a sphere in the sky.

"It looked like a worm hole," said Prince, who sent it on to a MUFON specialist who ended up discrediting it as a product of the way the film was developed.

Other sightings have sent them investigating occurrences all over Memphis and in areas such as Berclair, Bartlett, Whitehaven and Shelby Farms.

The trainees are investigating a rural town outside Memphis, which they wouldn't disclose, but which has had several accounts of UFOs and cases of dead cattle.

Like Gilley and Prince, many "Ufologists" don't believe that the government or mainstream media are revealing everything or reporting fairly about extraterrestrial encounters. That leaves believers scouting out information from publications such as MUFON's monthly journal and books and local radio shows.

A big part of the Memphis UFO Discussion Group is keeping members updated on sightings, studies and investigations. They do this by handing out articles and hosting guest speakers from scientists to abductees. The Memphis UFO Discussion Group had booth at the MidSouth Con (the annual Science, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Gaming convention) hoping to reach a range of open-minded folks.

"We believe this is the truth and we want to prove that it's out there," Prince said.

To report a UFO or extraterrestrial encounter, contact Gilley at 484-2972.

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June 2, 2005 (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada)

Beyond The Stars - Special Series
Meeting Stanton Friedman
A Special Report

by L. Henderson

Unidentified Flying Objects or UFOs, have intrigued us for generations. The man, synonymous with the topic, is, Stanton Friedman.

It was a pleasure to conduct an interview with him, discussing at length his role in informing the public of what is going on in the world of UFOs. Talking to Mr. Friedman certainly is the high point of my career, as I have long been an armchair enthusiast of the UFO mystery.

In the study of the unknown, the unexplained or the unidentifiable, credibility of those presenting the facts is often questioned. Friedman has the credentials, delivering his answers sincerely and without hesitation.

For the record, he holds a BSC and MSC in Physics from the University of Chicago. Lecturing at over 600 colleges and to 100 professional groups on the topic, Flying Saucers Are Real, his engagements have taken him to 50 states, 9 provinces and 14 countries. Along with appearing on hundreds of radio and television programs, Friedman has published over 80 papers on the subject and was the original civilian investigator of the Roswell, New Mexico incident.

UFO Magazine in Leeds England presented Friedman with a Lifetime Achievements Award in 2002, while that same year Canada broadcast a documentary titled, "Stanton T. Friedman Is Real!!"

In 1980 Friedman decided to relocate from California and set up residence in New Brunswick where his wife's family lived. Her being from a family of nine children, it made sense to be closer to them, as, "we had no family out there" (California) he explained.

He points out that New Brunswick was a "great place" to raise his son and two daughters. Then, there were a few other benefits. "Our house in California had tripled in value but no way to get our money out and stay there. I have never regretted the move," he said. He added that he, "sometimes misses the traffic, the smog, the crime, the earthquakes, but has learned to live without them."

Although he has reached the age of 70, he, "won't truly retire, as I keep getting invitations and I want to write another book." A new edition of his 1996 book, TOP SECRET/MAJIC is set for September release with a new chapter added. Friedman will continue to lecture, "As long as people invite me and I feel I can provide a solid program", he said.

Renowned UFO Expert, Stanton Friedman

In his website biography, he states that the subject of UFOs represents a "Cosmic Watergate", adding that none of the "anti UFO arguments stand up to careful scrutiny."

Unidentified Flying Objects, he insists, is "the biggest story of the past millennium", and suggests that the governments have been covering up evidence for the past 58 years.

As to when we can expect the truth to be revealed, he said, "I have no reason to think the truth will be released anytime soon unless a reporter wants a Pulitzer Prize for blowing the lid off the Cosmic Watergate."

He maintains that evidence is concealed because, "Governments want to stay in power" and "don't want the people to start thinking of themselves as earthlings instead of Americans or Canadians. Can't tell your friends without telling your enemies", he added.

The movie, Fire In The Sky portrays the encounter of Travis Walton and his crew of tree cutters with an unexplained craft. Friedman has met Travis and appeared on television with him. "I stand behind him 100%", he stressed, regarding Walton's sincerity.

Friedman has been involved with UFOs since 1958. Why is he so passionate and what drives him? "I can't think of a more important story than visits to earth by aliens and the government's covering up the facts. I enjoy being on the stage, can use my background in advanced propulsion systems, my knowledge of security, and can give voice to my answers to the Why questions that so many want. Peoples responses are very heartwarming", he explained.

Citing his ability to "stimulate people to become involved" as his number one accomplishment, he points out that he was the original civilian investigator of Roswell, the first to publish about the star map seen in the famous Hill case, won several debates on UFOs, pioneered document research, coined the term, "Cosmic Watergate," and he says, "shown that trips to the stars do NOT violate the laws of Physics."

Although we more often hear about the American sightings and occasional encounters, there are many recorded Canadian occurrences that are worth talking about. Friedman mentioned two sightings, which intrigue him. They are The Falcon Lake Encounter and Shag Harbour, which we will be fodder for another article.

He explains that we hear less about Canadian sightings do to a combination of things such as our, "much smaller population, fewer investigators, and less promotion."

In discussing his recent interview with Peter Jennings on ABC, Friedman was less than pleased. The show, which aired in February, was less than what was anticipated from a professional journalist. In his column in MUFON Journal, (see,, Friedman takes to task the treatment and obvious negativity shown by the Jennings presentation. Quoting from part of his column, "I am really puzzled about certain aspects of the Peter Jennings Productions UFO special seen on ABC on February 24, 2005." Farther along he questions where the show calls him a "promoter" and refers to Roswell as a "myth."

In summary, Stanton Friedman said, "I think most people find UFOs interesting, but they are too fearful of ridicule to say so. Most people believe in UFOs. Unfortunately most people think most other people don't. I check my audiences after my lectures. Typically 10% will have seen a UFO but only 10% of them, will have reported what they saw."

Stanton Friedman continues to be in demand as the lecture circuit beckons him to Hawaii in June for a Conference, and Roswell New Mexico July 1-4. Following this, he appears in Denver that same month and in Virginia Beach December 1-3. There are likely to be other dates announced.

For those in Canada wishing to catch his presentation, there will be an opportunity to see Friedman, in a forum in Toronto, September 25th, at Convocation Hall, University of Toronto beginning at 9am.

Stanton Friedman is highly intelligent and easy to talk to. In our discussions, he was quick to answer, didn't hesitate, appeared very confident, and never wavered in his beliefs.

How far out on a limb will the average guy go to prove the courage of his convictions? Friedman decided long ago to carry the banner for research, and open communication regarding UFOs. This column is dedicated to fostering that goal.

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May 18, 2005


Berkshire Eagle (UK)

Savoy man eyes the sky for answers

Noah Hoffenberg

SAVOY -- Sixty-three-year-old Marshall Rosenthal cannot confirm or deny whether he's been probed by beings from outer space, but if he was, it was a benevolent probing.

"Did they put their little screwdriver into me? I don't know," said the mostly retired Rosenthal, who is sure of one thing: He has seen, on a number of occasions, unidentified flying objects.

The first of the Savoy resident's sightings was in New York in 1959, when Rosenthal, then 19, was attending City College of New York. He and a group of friends were part of a social club that organized group dates with seniors from local high schools.

On one such date night, as a carload of these young people was heading through Pelham Manor, N.Y. with the radio blaring, they all saw something inexplicable, Rosenthal said.

At about 10, as the sedan came up on a rise, Rosenthal and the others saw a perfectly circular disc about 200 feet away, he said. It was about 60 feet in diameter and like nothing he had ever seen or considered.

"It was very large, perfectly circular and incandescently red-hot glowing," said Rosenthal, who teaches an after-school science program in North Adams. The disc left a trail of singed air behind it as it moved, he said.

The orange glow was so intense that it was reflected not only from Long Island Sound, but also on all of the astonished faces in the car, Rosenthal said.

"I was the only person in the car that seemed to be able to say anything," said Rosenthal. At the time, he said he repeated over and over: "Look at that! Look at that!"

He said the disc seemed to respond to him seeing it -- as when a deer is startled by a walker -- then began to accelerate and move skyward in a hyperbolic curve.

"I was astounded. Astonished. I couldn't believe what I had witnessed," said Rosenthal. Before that, he had never given UFOs or extraterrestrial beings a moment's thought, he said. "I mean, flying saucers?"

But he doesn't remember the whole evening, especially after the sighting: "A kind of social amnesia was imposed upon us."

That was Rosenthal's introduction to the possibility of life existing in places other than on Earth, he said.

The experience has spurred a chain of inquiries in him that he has been asking ever since: What was it that he saw and where did it come from? More importantly, was the object "manned," and if so, what was its mission?

After 40 years of investigation, both internal and external, Rosenthal has come to some conclusions, and certainly has more questions, he said.

"It must be very much like the way a goldfish looks out of his bowl," Rosenthal said. The goldfish hears and sees something tapping on the glass, but never truly understands what's doing the tapping or occasionally dropping in food, he said. "Our relationship with the extraterrestrial presence is very similar."

Rosenthal has just returned from a meeting of fellow believers, called the X-Conference. It was held in Washington, D.C., from April 17 to 18, advertising "to bring together ... the most powerful group of speakers ever assembled to focus on the governmental, political and media aspects of 50-plus years of extraterrestrial engagement and societal denial."

Upon returning from his trip, Rosenthal had another sighting with a friend in Rockland County, N.Y. This time, a giant ship, about a quarter-mile across, partially materialized before his eyes. This was over the regional reservoir in the area.

What Rosenthal's study of extraterrestrial life has shown him is that these beings are very interested in the future of human beings.

Why? Well, Rosenthal said there a multitude of reasons, including the need for good water, to prepare humans for an invitation to the intergalactic community and, more immediately, to avert humanity's self-destruction.

To give humans a chance for a less-dire destiny, he believes that the extraterrestrials have been altering us to accelerate mankind's evolution, to be more like them.

In fact, he feels that the extraterrestrials have been altering the DNA of human beings all along the course of human existence.

Rosenthal said, "It's a continuum of genetic interference, so that you have very many people who find themselves embedded in the extraterrestrial contact complex."

People who make this type of contact and are altered genetically, said Rosenthal, exhibit new psychic powers, such as precognition, psychic knowing and healing abilities: "Usually attributes we reserve for the supernatural."

He said the fostering of certain people's psychic ability is a form of underground resistance to the secret "black government," a nation hidden within our nation, the goal of which is power, greed and control of the masses through fear.

It is this secret government that manipulates war for oil and that propagates misinformation and fear about alien races as justification to weaponize space, he said.

Rosenthal is also an investigator for MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network, tracking down people who claim to have had sightings and conducting interviews with the same.

"Testimony is an important thing. What else do we have?" he said. People need to talk about these kinds of experiences, just as someone would talk to the clergy or a therapist to unburden themselves, he added.

Rosenthal testified to the Eagle, in fact, that a year or so ago, he saw another spacecraft over the hills east of Savoy.

If anyone has had an experience with extraterrestrial beings or other unexplained events, he or she is asked to contact Rosenthal at or by phone at 743-5256.

"I think I have a fair amount to teach. I don't have all of the answers, because I'm more of a goldfish in a bowl," said Rosenthal. "This is the biggest story in the universe, and it's been suppressed for too long."

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May 14, 2005


London Free Press (Canada)

UFOs, implants and aliens

by Ian Gillespie

Something happened to Richard Cote. And now, almost 11 years later, he wants to tell the world. And whether you believe Cote's story or not, one thing is clear: He's not alone.

Reports indicate thousands of people have told authorities they were abducted by aliens. Last year, BBC News reported four million Americans believe it has happened to them. sells a book titled How To Defend Yourself Against Alien Abduction. Type the words "alien abduction" into the Google search engine and you'll be rewarded with more than 85,000 hits -- including a service that offers Christian counselling to people who've been snatched by outer space visitors.

This week, the Mexican Air Force released a videotape of a recent encounter between air force pilots and 11 brightly lit unidentified flying objects whizzing through the sky and, at one point, changing direction and surrounding the Mexican aircraft, which was flying a routine anti-drug patrol.

One researcher said it was a noteworthy event because although there are hundreds of UFO videos, none before has ever been backed by a nation's military.

So maybe it's time to tell Cote's tale.

Cote has been investigating UFOs for almost 30 years. Since 1996, he's led a local group of UFO researchers called the Lansdowne Five.

But now, Cote has disbanded the group for reasons that can be traced back to Oct. 18, 1993, -- a night, he says, "that changed my life totally around."

Cote says he was lying in bed, asleep, when at 3:15 a.m. he awoke and found himself paralysed.

"My eyes were open, but I couldn't move," he says. "And I floated up . . . I saw the window turning into like a liquid, and then my body went through the window.

"Then I started rising up and I could see the leaves of the trees," he says. "I saw this big, bright light. And the first thing you know, I was inside the craft."

Cote says he found himself in an alien space craft manned by metre-high creatures with triangular heads, bug-type eyes and skinny limbs.

"You could basically see their arteries and veins," says Cote.

"They looked so delicate, so fragile."

Did the aliens speak?

"Yeah, but they didn't open their mouths," he says. "When they had a thought, I understood it. It went into my head."

Cote says one of the aliens resembled a dark-skinned Earthling and supervised a series of tests. He says they sedated him, obtained samples of bone, skin and sperm and then shot two "implants" into his arm.

Cote says the aliens told him to start "writing things down." He says they told him not to worry because, in time, things would become clear. He says they told him to form a small group to document the many terrible things happening on Earth.

Cote says he found himself back in his bed about two hours later. The next morning, he says he awoke to find two tiny round puncture marks in his upper left arm. About a day later, he started feeling bad.

"I couldn't stand the sound of high-pitched noises," he says. "I felt confused."

After he recovered, Cote -- and later other group members -- started documenting what was going wrong in the world. He kept the information in a big white book that now holds more than 2,500 pages.

Over the years, he says, the aliens have communicated to him through the implants. The most recent message prompted him to disband the Lansdowne Five.

The message, he says, was that, "The end times are near."

Cote says the aliens have told him that before the world ends, they will visit Earth and collect him and several million other individuals with implants. They will be tutored and returned to Earth to guide its future.

"This is the scary part," he says. "Maybe I'm being lied to and they're going to take me up there (into space) and not bring me back to Earth. I don't know if I should trust them."

Something happened to Richard Cote. Of that, I have no doubt.

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May 14, 2005


Portland Tribute

UFO Festival keeps on flying
Extraterrestrial interest dips, but McMinnville annual party continues

by Joseph Gallivan


Is Oregon’s fine tradition of unidentified flying objects in decline?

The Portland Alien Museum in the Hollywood neighborhood closed last year after just three months. The UFO Festival in McMinnville, now in its fifth year, looks like a scaled-back version of what we’ve come to expect, with just two speakers.

And, worst of all, the keynote speaker just might be a government agent sent to disinform, distract and terrify the American people.

Budd Hopkins, who investigates people’s claims of having been abducted by aliens, is the author of the books “Missing Time,” “Intruders” and “Witnessed.” For this week’s festival he’s making a rare trip to McMinnville, the site of a famous flying saucer sighting in 1950. He’ll lead a workshop on his findings, the result of meetings with 700 people who claim to have had too-close-for-comfort encounters with the big-eyed boys of Schwa.

“Their accounts are incredibly similar,” Hopkins says in an interview. “I will show photos of marks that are very similar — straight cuts on the arms and fingernail-shaped scoops on other parts of the body.”

Hopkins uses hypnosis to coax other details from alleged abductees, who tell of temporary paralysis, feeling cold, being transported though closed bedroom windows and being staked out on alien gurneys for some sort of DNA sampling session.

Anal probes, though, are out.

“There aren’t anal probes. Well, occasionally,” Hopkins says. He points out that in the abduction of someone called Betty Hill in 1966, “they came at her with a long needle and told her it was a pregnancy test and inserted it in her navel. Psychiatrists said it was just her fantasy, but three or four years later laparoscopy was invented and we had amniocentesis.” He says scraping skin cells off the arm with a dull knife also was done by aliens before human doctors thought of it.

Hopkins uses his home phone number as a hot line for the Intruders Foundation, open to anyone who feels he or she has been abducted. To catch fakers he throws out red herrings, such as “What did they give you to eat?” and “Did you notice a greenish cast to the light?”

He stresses that most abductees keep the incidents to themselves, knowing that people will think they’re crazy, so the idea that they are attention-seekers is false. Another reason he takes abductees and their trauma seriously: UFO photos and crop circles can be faked by people who remain anonymous, but abductees put their lives on the line when they talk.
Only Roswell’s is bigger
To sponsor McMenamins, the festival is good, clean family fun. Aspects of it include book and curio stands, a parade and an Alien Costume Ball on Saturday. Spokesman Tim Hills says it’s the second largest UFO festival, after the one held every July in Roswell, N.M.

Lawrence Johns, director of the Portland Alien Museum, which now exists only online, says there’s strong evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life. But he thinks the whole abduction thing is a government plan to discredit UFO enthusiasts as part of a coverup, and to justify the militarization of space.

“Why do so many of these abductions take place near military installations?’ he asks rhetorically. “In Budd’s book anyone could be an alien — almost like how governments say anyone could be a communist, or a terrorist, to ratchet up the fear factor.”

Hopkins flat-out denies he’s a government agent.

“This field, I’m sad to say, attracts paranoid nuts.”

He does, however, believe in a government coverup, because so many government whistle-blowers have come forward. “I’m saying the government should take this seriously.”
‘They are all over’
He tells the tale of a doctor who came to him 23 years ago with some cockamamie story about aliens continuing the Nazi Holocaust. Eventually Hopkins had to call the cops when the man’s threats became frightening.

“He started telling people I was a government agent,” Hopkins says.

As for where abductions happen, he says, “It’s absolutely not true they only take place near military installations, they are all over the country,” and around the world.

“There are only three subjects which can be discussed at a high intellectual level and at the same time can bring out every nitwit: the Roman Catholic Church, the CIA and the Clintons, or in Britain the Royal Family.”

Both Hopkins and Johns are frustrated at the credibility gap that fissures the field of UFOlogy.

Couldn’t this be exactly what the aliens want?


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May 12, 2005


Salem Statesman Journal

All The Cool Aliens Are Heading To McMinnville
Keynote speaker for the UFO Festival says he removes alien implants

by Angela Yeager

The UFO Festival in McMinnville brings out the believers and the nonbelievers each year.

It is the mingling of the serious alien enthusiasts with those who just want to party while wearing antennas that makes this festival so unique and interesting.

The sixth annual festival, which is today through Saturday, was created to celebrate the legacy of the famous Trent abduction case in McMinnville. There also is a parade and an alien costume ball as well as a film festival.

Alien experts also will converge to talk about crop circles and alien implants with the kind of seriousness usually reserved for PERS.

The keynote speaker is Roger Leir, a California podiatrist who has written five books on the subject of alien implants.

He has performed 11 surgeries to date to remove "alien implants" from abductees. He performs the surgeries for free through his nonprofit organization, A&S Research. Leir also was a consultant on the TV show "X-Files" and has appeared on programs on the History Channel and SciFi Channel.

We had the opportunity to chat with Leir on the phone before his appearance.

Statesman Journal: When did you first become interested in the subject of alien abduction?

Leir: Well, I've sort of been interested in the phenomenon since childhood. I remember my father bringing home the newspaper in 1947 and laying it on the kitchen table and reading the Roswell headline. My father had this whole dissertation on how we can't be the only beings in the universe. And I've always been interested in flying and ufology.

I went to this meeting of the International Mutual UFO Network on a whim in the late 1980s or early 1990s. I went, and it wasn't what I thought. I expected to see a lot of nutcases with flying propellers on their heads, but there was an interesting cross section of males, females. There was an interesting presentation, and there were home-baked cookies, so that really did it.

Abduction was becoming quite popular in that time. I was still not a believer. At this conference I went to, I met a researcher who claimed he met this person who had alien implants and showed me a set of X-rays of this woman's foot. I thought it was the biggest bunch of bull I ever heard. I examined the X-rays, and it looked like pieces of metal in the foot, which isn't uncommon with certain types of foot surgery. But her medical records showed the woman never had surgery.

In August 1995, I did my first two surgeries. There was a foot and a hand case.

SJ: What did you find in the foot?

Leir: The first thing I noticed is that there was no scar on either one of these cases. I couldn't see where any object could go in. The first thing I took out was in the big toes. It was a T-shaped thing covered with dark-gray biological coating. I had never seen anything like that before, and the general surgeon (assisting) hadn't either.

The other item was small cantaloupe-shaped thing that turned out to be a metal rod that was highly magnetic. We received funding for testing from the National Institute for Discovery Science.  Since then, everything we remove, we have tested at labs.

SJ: So this convinced you?

Leir: I certainly became a believer that something is out there.

SJ: What is the strangest thing you found in someone?

Leir: There is one that really blew me away, even now when I think of it. There was a lady who came in, she had a marble-sized object in her arm that moved. And if you put your finger 2 inches away from it, it would come toward your finger. When we removed it, it was a pea-sized yellow object that was completely biological. It was not attached to anything. Now, I've done surgery for over 40 years, and I've never seen anything like it.

SJ: Why do you think aliens would be implanting humans with these objects? What would the purpose be?

Leir: I get asked this question more than anything. I can only theorize. Anyone who says they have the answer is not being truthful. In a nutshell, my theory is I think these are devices made for monitoring the manipulation of the genetics of the human race.

There have been studies done of growth characteristics of children worldwide. Do you know what I mean by that?

SJ: Um, I'm not sure.

Leir: Normal growth characters such as when children raise their heads, learn to climb stairs, crawl. These same statistics are accelerating worldwide anywhere from 16 to 80 percent. It's either an act of God or the human race is being genetically manipulated.

SJ: So are you saying you think the aliens are accelerating our development so we learn to do things faster?

Leir: Exactly. We grow faster so we learn faster. We are very disjointed from our spiritual self, so maybe that's part of it. We have many lessons to learn before we destroy the entire planet and not a lot of time to learn them.

SJ: So the aliens are trying to help us. Why would they do that?

Leir: I don't think the aliens have any great love for the human race. The universe is probably teeming with intelligent life. We don't have the best track record. We've bathed this planet in blood forever. But when you get into things like nuclear weapons that could destroy everything, maybe they don't like it.

SJ: You're not one of the people that believe then that aliens are hostile or out to destroy us then?

Leir: If they were hostile, they would have eaten us a long time ago. UFO sightings go back thousands of years. They've had plenty of opportunity to get rid of us if they wanted.

SJ: How do you feel about festivals like the one if McMinnville that combines the serious UFO people with the ones who go to the parade?

Leir: It's just like Roswell. I was there at the 50th anniversary celebration, and there are alien puppets and balloons. Lots of people came to have fun, but they also saw the serious side. I think that's just fine. If you took the whole subject that seriously, you would probably go into your bedroom and just shut the door forever. 
or   (503) 399-6743

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May 3, 2005


Hindustan Times

Few Claim Intimacy With UFOs!

Beijing - Meng Zhaoguo, a rural worker from northeast China's Wuchang city, says he was 29 years old when he broke his marital vows for the first and only time - with a female extraterrestrial of unusually robust build.

"She was three meters (10 feet) tall and had six fingers, but otherwise she looked completely like a human," he says of his close encounter with an alien species. "I told my wife all about it afterwards. She wasn't too angry."

While few Chinese claim to have managed to get quite as intimate with an extraterrestrial as Meng, a growing number of people in the world's most populous nation believe in unidentified flying objects, or UFOs.

Officially registered UFO associations in China have about 50,000 members, but some estimate the actual number of Chinese interested in the subject is probably in the tens of millions.

Sun Shili is one of the most serious enthusiasts, and he knows exactly where he will be the day the extraterrestrials finally make contact with mankind. The 67-year-old retired Beijing professor will be in the 21-member delegation picked by international UFO associations to represent Earth as the first negotiations get underway.

Once a Spanish translator for Mao Zedong during high-level state visits, Sun says language will not be a problem. "We expect to communicate using telepathy," he says.

In a country that has lost its spiritual bearings as Marxism has given way to materialism, the idea of strange worlds light years away offers a last great hope for many.

Richard McNally, a Harvard psychologist, says he recognizes the pattern from research into Westerners who claim to have been abducted by aliens and who characterized the experience as "spiritually deepening".

"Our abductees typically describe themselves as 'spiritual' individuals for whom organized religion provides scant spiritual nourishment, and the Chinese UFO spotters may very well be like our subjects," McNally says.

As Sun, the Spanish translator, sits one sunny spring morning in the Chinese capital, he points at the streets outside and explains how many of the people walking by are probably extraterrestrials in human guise.

They are here to help mankind move human civilization on little by little, he explains.

Shakespeare and Einstein were not from another planet, but they may very well have received inspiration from a galaxy far, far away.

"It's estimated that 80 per cent of new inventions come to people in their dreams," says Sun. "Maybe this is how the extraterrestrials pass on their knowledge to us."

Extraterrestrials are moving mankind on the path towards perfection, but they can only do so in a very gradual fashion, Sun says.

"They give us wisdom and skills that are just a little bit more advanced than what we have at any given moment," he says.

"If they gave us their full range of knowledge all at once, we wouldn't be able to handle it."

As in most other areas of human endeavor, China is also an emerging force to be reckoned with in UFO research.

In September, the International Chinese UFO Association will hold an international meeting on UFO research in the northern port city of Dalian.

"The fact that this meeting can be held shows that China is gradually becoming a great power in UFO research," says Zhang Jingping, a leading member of the association.

A dedicated group of enthusiasts forming the core membership of the Beijing UFO Research Association are on constant alert, ready to move out and investigate observations of mysterious phenomena in the night sky.

They take photos, record videos and interview witnesses, all in the interest of addressing the issue from a scientific point of view, according to Zhou Xiaoqiang, the chairman of the association.

"The result is that 95 to 99 per cent of the sightings can be explained naturally, like airplanes or satellites," he says. "But a tiny minority may be real UFOs, and we should take them seriously."

Zhou, a 57-year-old executive at a transportation company, spends most of his waking hours studying UFOs, but he remembers a time when it was not allowed.

After the Cultural Revolution broke out in 1966, his fresh university degree earned him a one-way ticket to the deep countryside, a victim of Mao's scheme to instill proletarian values in the intellectuals.

The dreary life almost made him forget there might be something beyond the narrow confines of the rural community where he spent the next decade.

But then when the Cultural Revolution finally ended, and China slowly emerged from decades of self-imposed isolation, Zhou remembers watching Steven Spielberg's film classic "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".

It was a revelation. It was not just a new world that opened up to him, but a whole new universe, where everything seemed possible -- even extraterrestrials.

"Chinese people are interested in UFOs now because their lives have improved," says Zhou.

"They no longer have to worry about getting enough to eat, but can start caring about issues like this."

Huang Yanqiu, a 49-year-old farmer from Beigao village in north China's Hebei province, recalls his one and only encounter with extraterrestrials in 1977.

He woke up in the middle of the night and found himself in front of two men who looked and spoke like ordinary humans.

But they had special powers, taking him on a nightly flight on their backs to all corners of China, from Heilongjiang province in the north to Fujian province in the southeast. Eventually, they carried him to Tiananmen Square.

For a young man who had never been more than a few kilometers (miles) away from home, but had a secret wish to see the world, it was the experience of a lifetime.

"We couldn't go anywhere at the time. There were no cars, just bicycles," he says. "Maybe it was all just a dream."

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April 28, 2004


Leeds Today (UK)


They are aliens. And they came to ...Ilkley Moor

by Grant Woodward

YORKSHIRE folk are renowned for their down-to-earth approach to life.

But it seems these days many Tykes harbour thoughts that are, quite literally, out of this world.

According to a new poll, one in three people in the county believe in the existence of aliens, while one in 12 reckons they have actually seen a UFO.

And Yorkshire expert Russ Kellet said he was not surprised one bit by the findings – which emerged in an online survey.
He said: "This demonstrates the level of belief in the potential of alien existence.

"I'm not surprised at the response because Yorkshire has long been recognised as one of the top places for sightings.
"I have the evidence, including sighting reports, photography and video footage to prove that this area is now the UFO capital of the UK."

World-renowned sightings in Yorkshire include 1974's 'Cigar', a 100ft silver object hovering over Bradford, and an alien on Ilkley Moor in 1987.

Meanwhile, hundreds of residents reported seeing two orbs of light travelling at very low speed across the region in 1998.

Mr Kellet, 40, from Filey, has been studying the phenomena since spotting what he believes to be a UFO near Keighley over 15 years years ago.

He said: "I think people in Yorkshire are more open to the idea of aliens than they were a few years ago.

"The evidence is starting to stack up and it's becoming difficult to ignore with all the documentaries that are on TV."

The survey, conducted by the National Lottery among more than 2,000 people, also looked at the lighter side of the alien debate by asking them to name their scariest extra terrestrial.

In first place was the alien which burst out of John Hurt's chest and then proceeded to hunt down Sigourney Weaver and her crew in the original Alien movie.

The aliens voted the least scary of all time were the Daleks from TV show Doctor Who, who were intent on taking over the world despite not being able to cope with a flight of stairs.

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April 24, 2005


South Bend Tribune

UFO Tales Unite The Curious
Rochester sightings recalled a year ago at state investigators' session.

by Anita Munson

ROCHESTER -- It's been a year since Bev Carpenter saw her first UFO hovering over her rural Fulton County farm, and she says her life hasn't changed all that much despite the fact that she's appeared on several national radio programs.

Still, she was among the couple dozen people who gathered in Rochester Saturday for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) to learn more about the phenomena, and to share encounters with the unexplained.

MUFON, headquartered in Littleton, Colo., is an international scientific organization of people who are seriously studying UFOs. It was founded in 1969 and has chapters across the United States, including Indiana.

Indiana MUFON leaders gathered in Rochester Saturday for their state meeting because of what they term a "flap" that occurred there a little more than a year ago. A "flap" means several sightings occurred within a minimal time range.

For Carpenter, it was around 10 p.m. on a Thursday night. Several of her friends and neighbors saw the disc-shaped object in the sky, as well. So, too, did Gene Winters and his wife, who live mid-way between Mexico and Denver in Miami County. A couple of Plymouth people also reported seeing the object.

"That one we never solved," said Roger Sugden, assistant director of MUFON and an investigator who drove down to check things out along with Stuart Hill, a MUFON state section director. "And it was the best case we've come across in 10 years."

Sugden noted that just about everyone who admitted seeing the craft was willing to speak with MUFON investigators, and in all of the reports from the area that night, people saw the craft over or near a body of water.

Through interviews and conversations with officials at Grissom Air Reserve Base near Peru, Ind., "normal" aircraft and helicopters were ruled out as the suspect UFO.

"In fact, a guy at Grissom told me, 'If it doesn't look like a KC-135 (Stratotanker), it's not ours,'" Sugden said.

Sugden passed around photos upon which drawings of the disc had been made by hand. They all looked alike.

A middle-aged couple who live outside Columbia City, Ind., asked Sugden if MUFON had investigated crop circles discovered north of Indiana 109 some five years ago, too.

He confirmed that he had, and then showed slides of crop circles that had been proven to be hoaxes, or man-made, and those for which no rational explanation could yet be found. The Columbia City crop circles fell into the latter category, he said.

Only the day before, he said, he'd been in Paulding, Ohio, near the state line, where a crop circle some 500 feet in diameter had been discovered almost three years to the day after Indiana had experienced its "largest UFO flap in Indiana history" in the same Columbia City vicinity.

That experience, and others, prompted Sugden and some colleagues to form the Indiana Crop Circles Research Association, now in its second year. The group recently met at Serpent Mound, Ohio, and has been featured in UFO Magazine.

Hill's presentation reminded guests that Indiana -- and Michigan-- has long been the site of UFO activity, and showed a slide of an 1897 issue of the Niles (Mich.) Weekly Mirror in which a "Vagrant of the Sky" was featured. Hill also pointed out that the sighting was long before the Wright Brothers came along with their flying machine.

He offered up some noted scientists' research for additional reading and, showing the training he'd received as a young student, the retired Bayer Corp. engineer even gave a possible explanation of why we folks living in a three-dimensional world don't necessarily "see" the entirety of objects that may be coming from a four- or more-dimensional reality. Hill's writings on the subject will appear on the state MUFON Web site.

Jim Delahanty and Don Dailey, also MUFON leaders, gave a history of classic Indiana UFO sightings and update on UFO literature before the meeting adjourned.

For Carpenter, it was a chance to re-affirm she and her neighbors are not alone in their experience with the unknown.

"All I know," she said to Hill, "is that I didn't believe until I saw that UFO last year. Now I'm catching myself always looking up to the sky -- just in case."

Staff writer Anita Munson:

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April 15, 2005

Aberdeen News

Expert Gives UFO Presentation Monday
Was Present For Incident Over Montana Air Force Base

by Scott Waltman

For some reason, aliens seem to have an interest in the nuclear weapons of the United States.

So says Robert Hastings, an independent expert on unidentified flying objects who will be speaking at Northern State University next week. His 90-minute presentation will begin at 9 p.m. Monday in Room 127 of the Johnson Fine Arts Center.

Hastings said the declassified documents and on-the-record comments he will share will prove to those willing to listen that UFOs do exist. Most of the documents and comments come from former federal government and military officials.

After a 30-minute video, Hastings will lecture for an hour.

One story he will share is from 1967. That's when evidence shows UFOs hovered over missile silos near a Montana Air Force base, temporarily causing the weapons to malfunction.

"There is, for whatever reason, a nuclear (weapon)-UFO connection," he said.

Government documents also refer to UFOs violating the airspace over Los Alamos National Laboratory, Hastings said. Many nuclear weapons are designed at the New Mexico lab.

Hastings said that perhaps the most interesting document in his collection is a 1950 note to then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. It says that "flying saucers" crashed in New Mexico and were secretly recovered by the Air Force. The craft, according to the memo, were flown by "bodies of human shape, but only three feet tall."

In all, Hastings said hundreds of government documents available to anybody through the Freedom of Information Act refer to UFOs.

Hastings was at an air traffic control tower in Montana at the time of the 1967 incident. That's what piqued his interest in UFOs. He's been doing independent research since 1973, reviewing documents and interviewing people. Since starting to lecture at colleges in 1981, he has spoke at more than 500 schools.

There are skeptics in every audience, Hastings said. However, he said, most people he talks to give him favorable feedback. He said that may be because people who attend his lectures have an interest in UFOs and, perhaps, an inclination to believe in them.

Reliable public opinion polls show that about half of Americans believe in UFOs, Hastings said.

Even ardent non-believers are welcomed to Hastings' free talk.  He simply reminds detractors that there's a difference between having an opinion and having an informed opinion.

In publicity information, Hastings writes that he is "not condemning any government agency for its policy of secrecy regarding UFOs, but I believe that the American public should be given the facts."

Hastings lives in Surfside Beach, S.C. While in this part of the country, he is also speaking in Dickinson, N.D. and Peru, Neb.

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April 3, 2005

Farmington Daily Times

Aztec Conference

ETs, UFOs and conspiracies highlight Saturday talk at 8th annual UFO Symposium By Debra Mayeux/The Daily Times

AZTEC — Extraterrestrial biological entities, foreign discs and enemy weapons systems are descriptions found in many declassified government reports from the late 1940s and early 1950s.

When the phrases are pieced together with the common knowledge of alleged UFO crashes in New Mexico and the more recent cases of alien abductions, there is a story about government cover-ups and extraterrestrial life possibly living among humans and controlling them. This was the message from Linda Moulton Howe, who spoke Saturday at the 8th annual Aztec UFO Symposium at the Aztec Boys and Girls Club.

Howe, an investigative reporter and expert on extraterrestrial phenomenon, used a number of alleged UFO crashes in New Mexico to tell get her point across. She also told her theories of what happened in Roswell in 1947 and in Aztec in 1948.

It was Howe’s theory that a “foreign disc” carrying “humanoids” was shot down in July 1947 near Roswell. It was brought down with “20 millimeter canon fire,” after the U.S. Army Air Force received orders to fire upon all hostile “foreign weapons systems” or UFOs.

Aztec was a little different.

Howe said an unidentified military agent told her: “We did not shoot that one down.”

Instead the spaceship — a pewter, circular-shaped craft — flew into the path of radar beam. It was brought down in Hart Canyon and discovered by some oil field workers responding to a well fire in the area.

“There were two badly charred bodies, four feet in height” on the craft. The bodies were later described by the military as “dead non-human beings,” Howe said.

These two crashes and possibly two more in New Mexico became a part of the big government cover-up that began in the era of Harry Truman, who ordered those in the know to lie, she said.

“The suppression began as a policy of denial,” Howe said, adding that was followed by a “shoot down” policy implemented by the military.

The “shoot down” policy lasted through the mid-1950s, when according to Howe’s military informant, ended because “We lost so many of our own planes and pilots.”

The aliens were hostile, and people could not know because there would be a “War of the Worlds type of hysteria,” Howe said.

More than 50 people listened to Howe. Those, who purchased weekend passes to the annual event will hear more today with speakers talking about Roswell, showing off UFO photographs and sharing more government conspiracies.

Doreen Chavez of Nageezi said she enjoys UFO lectures and museums. She attended the Roswell UFO event last year and decided to give the Aztec event a try.

“It’s interesting. UFO crashes have happened all over the world,” Chavez said. “I wanted to see what was going on here.”

Caroline Robblee brought her grandchildren to the symposium, because the children — aged 14 months to 12 years old — love ETs.

“They saw the signs and got excited,” said Robblee of Aztec.

She had heard of the alleged Aztec crash and wanted to learn more about it, she said holding the 14-month-old, who was wearing alien antennas.

“If we can be here, why can’t they,” Robblee said. “I’m totally open to life on other planets.”

The symposium opens 9:30 a.m. today with David Rudiak speaking on Roswell. Also on the agenda are Rob Swiatek and John Greenewald, Jr.

Tickets for all day Sunday are $25. A morning pass can be purchased for $18 and an afternoon pass is $9.

Information: Aztec UFO Information Center, (505) 334-9890 or on the Web at

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March 15, 2005

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

Rochester Man Studies UFOs With A Historian's Tools

Richard Dolan has never seen a UFO. But he believes they are real. Don't roll your eyes.

Dolan is a historian and researcher by trade. He has never had any interest in science fiction. If extraterrestrials have visited Earth, Dolan doesn't claim to know where they've come from or what they want.

He does believe, though, that the subject is worthy of inquiry.

Dolan, a Brooklyn native, earned a history degree from Alfred University, studied at Oxford University, and then studied American Cold War diplomacy at the University of Rochester in the 1990s. He earned a master's degree in history.

He left academia because he didn't want to spend his life "begging for adjunct instructorships." He now runs his own professional résumé writing service.

His passion, however, is researching and writing about UFOs. He has been a contributor to The History Channel, has written dozens of articles and, in 2000, published Volume One of UFOs and the National Security State: An Unclassified History. The book documents global UFO encounters from 1941 to 1973. Just in those years, he says, the book documents about 250 UFO encounters involving the military. He is working on a second volume that would present evidence through the 1990s.

"I have gone from the standard academic track to the fringe," he says, "and the fringe is the best place to be."

He has collected loads of official documents released to many researchers over the years through Freedom of Information Act requests.

At first, he says, American intelligence worried that the Soviet Union might have perfected the technology of extremely high-speed craft that can stop in midair and turn on a dime. That turned out not to have been the case, but the reports of sightings continued for decades.

As every television viewer knows, the government has long dismissed sightings as mistakes. Either witnesses have mistaken weather balloons or atmospheric conditions for unusual aircraft or they are hallucinating.

But when you have trained pilots telling similar stories, you have to listen, he says. "I would hesitate to use the words 'extraterrestrial spacecraft' in describing these things. This could well be so — but I really try to be less definitive. Call me picky, but I would simply describe them as military encounters with unconventional craft that vastly exceed our own capabilities."

You have to be skeptical of reports, but not closed-minded. So what's credible?

"I look at a few things. First, a detailed (Freedom of Information Act) report is something I consider credible," Dolan says. "A photograph that has gone through extensive analysis" is also credible.

In fact, he says, people need to be far more open to possibilities we cannot imagine. Might creatures capable of traveling vast distances have more sophisticated ways than low-flying metallic hovercraft to survey the Earth? A reasonable assumption, he says, but who knows?

In 1994, Dolan kind of stumbled into the field of UFO research, knowing quite well that most of the world finds the subject amusing, if not nuts. It doesn't bother him.

He has pursued his material methodically because, as he says in the introduction to his book, "this topic deserves a respectable history."

Dolan will speak on "UFOs, National Security and You" from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, March 28, at Brighton High School. Advance registration is required. Call (585) 242-5191.

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March 13, 2005

Allentown Morning Call

Across U.S., battles over access to government records on the rise Officials blame 9/11 for restrictions. Some say they go too far.

by Robert Tanner
Associated Press

Fall River, Mass. Ed Lambert, Al Lima and Mike Miozza never thought of themselves as activists, just regular guys.

Then an energy company announced plans to build a terminal for liquefied natural gas in this small community on the Taunton River. The men — the mayor, a city planner and an engineer — had nightmare visions of gas igniting into a huge fireball on the river, and asked for government-held reports that studied the threat to the town if the plant or a tanker were attacked.

But like many people who ask for government records these days, they didn't get what they were looking for. "It's a farce," Miozza said.

And it's happening across the country. To a Virginia homeowner seeking plans for a gas pipeline near his home. To Wyoming politicians worried about local dams. To an environmental group that wants the studies on 100-year floods and dam failures in a Southwest river canyon.

All asked for records, and all were turned down.

Behind the rejections is a transformation of the nation's Freedom of Information Act — a federal law that allows public access to government reports, documents and other records. That freedom is supposed to be balanced by the needs of national defense and privacy, and government officials argue that America's war on terror has made a new, more closely guarded approach necessary.

The law itself hasn't been changed, but the balance shifted after the Sept. 11 attacks with a series of actions by the Bush administration and Congress. The creation of the Homeland Security Department effectively added another reason government doesn't have to open its books. States and local governments followed suit, moving more information out of public view.

"We're denied information that could put our community at risk," Lambert said during an interview in his sixth-floor office, the granite mills, sea gulls and steep hills of Fall River spread out below the windows. "It seems to us like a bad movie … yet we're all living it."

Originally passed in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act grew out of a backlash to the Cold War-culture of government secrecy that flourished amid the nation's worries about communism. The Watergate scandals spurred a strengthening of the law, giving it teeth for the first time, and it has since been revised — most recently in 1996, when it was updated to make more information available over the Internet.

The American policy has inspired governments across the globe. Slowly at first, but increasingly in the last decade, nation after nation — from Japan to South Africa to Armenia — opened their government information to citizens.

While the U.S. law often is associated with journalists and government watchdog groups, private citizens use it far more frequently. Individuals with questions for Social Security or Veterans Affairs, usually about their personal records, are the biggest users. Prison inmates frequently make Freedom of Information Act requests, as do businesses, since documents can reveal details about government contracts and their competitors.

In all, more than 3.2 million FOIA requests were made to the federal government in fiscal year 2003, the last year with complete figures, the Justice Department said. That's up from 1.9 million in 1999.

Staff time on such requests equaled a full year's work of more than 5,000 employees.

The CIA's Web site, where information requests can be made online, offers a glimpse into the public's interests. January's top information searches? "UFO" (2,019 times) and "Vietnam" (1,889 times). Other searches in the top 25 included "Iraq," "mind control," "Bay of Pigs" and "mapping the global future."

Although many requests are for personal records and some might be pointless, in the end, the idea is to help people keep an eye on how they are being governed, invigorating American democracy. But the changes in the last few years have raised alarms from journalists and public interest and civil liberties groups.

"Instead of government officials being considered public servants, they are now more and more like gatekeepers who can determine what the public can know," said Steven Aftergood, a Washington-based government watchdog who runs the Federation of American Scientists. "And that's a profound change."

A shift in standards

A month and a day after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, former Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a memo as part of the guidance the Justice Department provides to federal agencies as they consider whether to grant requests for information.

Shifting from the Clinton administration's standard that experts say emphasized "maximum responsible disclosure," Ashcroft encouraged staff to consider "institutional, commercial and personal privacy interests" and said the Justice Department would defend any rejections unless they lacked a "sound legal basis."

Another memo followed five months later from White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, urging agencies to "safeguard" information that could help in the development or use of weapons of mass destruction, and other information that could be used "to harm the security of our nation."

Following that note, thousands of documents were removed from public access, according to government watchdog groups and federal agencies.

Finally, with the creation of the Homeland Security Department, the administration and Congress created an exemption to the Freedom of Information Act that allows private companies to give the agency information that can then be kept secret if it is considered "critical infrastructure." The idea is to get companies to share more information with the promise it won't be made public.

"Unquestionably, agencies do look at information now through a post-9-11 lens," said Daniel J. Metcalfe, co-director of the Justice Department's Office of Information and Privacy. He helped Ashcroft draft his Oct. 12 memo, although he noted work on it started long before the terrorist attacks.

The Card memo that followed and the provision in the Homeland Security Act helped create a new tone for handling information requests, but Metcalfe stressed they did not change the law.

Access on a condition

In Fall River, that tone meant the denial of information.

"We're trying to balance the public's need to know with the need to keep this information from getting into the hands of those who would kill our citizens," said Bryan Lee at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which holds the reports.

"Nobody here wants to be the equivalent of the State Department administrator who gave the visas to the terrorists who came into this country," Lee said.

His agency would allow Lambert, Lima and Miozza to see the records regarding the Fall River plant only if they promised not to speak about them. Lambert refused, figuring as mayor it would limit his ability to address the subject in public. Lima and Miozza agreed, but said so much of the material they saw was blacked out that it was useless.

"What's the use of the information if we can't talk about it?" Lima said. "It's this surreal, Kafka-esque situation."

The terminal, if approved, would hold 58 million gallons of gas, with aircraft carrier-sized tankers coming up the narrow river roughly once a week. Residents say it's an unacceptable risk, with homes and schools all within a mile — the range for second-degree burns if the fuel ignited, according to government studies.

The federal regulatory agency has yet to decide whether to let the plant be constructed.

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March 9, 2005

Talon Marks (Cerritos College, Norwalk, CA)

UFO Phenomena

by Diona Carrillo

" there anybody out there?"

If you're a Pink Floyd fan, then you obviously know those were lyrics from the song "Is there anybody out there." Not only are those lyrics, but they also bring up an interesting question, to me anyway, regarding if we really are alone in this huge universe we are a part of.

For decades there have been sightings of UFOs by millions and millions of people. It is a mystery that only science can solve, and yet the phenomenon remains largely unexamined.

Almost 50 percent of Americans, according to recent polls, and millions of people elsewhere in the world believe that UFOs are real.

The idea of aliens seems a bit far fetched and unbelievable to the other 50 percent of people in America, but to honestly believe and argue that we (meaning all life forms on Earth) are the only forms of life in a universe that is full of billions of galaxies, to me, is extremely egocentric.

>From the arguments of non-believers such as Dr. Alan Heimlich as far back as 1948, to pilots continually spotting UFOs in the late 1960s, to the start of project blue book, which was used get the documentation of UFO sightings and lure them out of newspapers and the media by different persuasion tactics, to the controversial discoveries at Roswell, UFOs and aliens have really gotten people's attention.

We watch movies such as "Signs" and "The Forgotten" and think, wow, what a great movie. But is it just a movie, or could those situations really happen? Could aliens actually exist?

It seems in movies aliens are portrayed as having a mean and evil persona by chasing away families, destroying homes and lives and scaring the hell out of people.

But from what has been said about aliens and abductions from people who claim they've been abducted and seen UFOs doesn't really fit in with what we are shown aliens are capable of, in movies at least.

No doubt it makes for a great movie, but to me it serves as a bigger purpose.

Movies about aliens, unless based on true stories, are often over exaggerated and unrealistic. Which could only lead to us, the viewers, assuming aliens, UFOs and fiction should all be placed under the same genre.

An even bigger influence on this concept is the TV program X-Files that Fox aired about untold truths regarding the UFO phenomena and the conspiracy's behind them.

Just another fiction-based tactic to make us believe the entire concept is based on sensationalism.

Sometimes it seems that the whole issue is merely a science vs. myth debate, but wouldn't it be great if it wasn't?

Cover-ups are often suspected by our government when the issue of UFOs and aliens is mentioned.

Roswell could be the biggest conspiracy yet, but who knows if we'll ever know...but I sure want to.

When unidentified debris from a flying disk consisting of metals never seen or created by mankind were found at Roswell on July 8, 1947, most people concluded it was enough evidence to believe that it was not from this earth.

But surprisingly, the very next day, a press conference was gathered, and soon after, a press release denying that any type of flying disk was found and telling people it was only parts of a weather balloon had a lasting effect of people.

For 30 years Roswell was ignored until Major Jesse Marcel, who originally found the debris, was again contacted by researcher Stan Friedman, because Marcel says he is sure the debris was nothing from earth.

So what to believe?

I've come up with my own two senses on the topic. In my mind "aliens" exist just as much as you and I exist on this earth.

Who knows, maybe some other life form out there is trying to figure out if we actually exist or if our traces of being are fictitious.

Not only do I believe aliens exist, but in my mind, if visits from aliens to earth are happening and the claims people are making about abductions are true, then it seems as though they are not here to chase families, destroy homes and lives and scare the hell out of people.

If I were to conclude why aliens are visiting it would be to learn about us just as we are attempting to learn about them.

But, from the "evidence" that has been found, I would also conclude that these extraterrestrials are much more intelligent life forms then us, and I have to imagine that their intelligence can be billions of years ahead of ours, which makes for an even bigger controversial theory.

But, the facts are in and scientists say that there is no hard evidence that aliens exist, and that there is a slim chance we'll ever find evidence; but to completely rule the idea out and put it away, to forget about it, would only lesson the chances of knowing if there are other life forms out there.

Most of the reporting on this subject by the mainstream media holds those who claim to have seen UFOs up to ridicule.

UFO sightings are the butt of the joke nowadays.

Sources who confirm they've been abducted or have seen UFOs are often criticized on personal levels and often called crazy in order to conclude that in no way could those situations the claim to have experienced happened.

Could that be just another cover-up to the truth?

So maybe seeing is believing to some, but believing in possibilities and having the courage and determination to know the absolute truth, even if it turns out that aliens don't exist, is a lot more comforting then being told what to believe.

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February 24, 2005

Hobart Mercury (Tasmania, Australia)

UFO sleuth with an eye to the sky

by Claire Konkes

Reports of an unidentified flying object in the Midlands on Regatta Day are still coming in to a Hobart UFO investigator.

Since the first sighting was reported in The Mercury last week, six people have come forward to say they saw a large bright light, says Keith Roberts, who has collected data at the Tasmanian UFO Investigation Centre since 1969.

Mr Roberts said the first report shortly after midnight on Regatta Day came from three women who said they saw a large craft flying beside them in a paddock.

Since then, six people have told him of a bright light around Mangalore late in the evening on Regatta Day.

"It's not the same event obviously, but they are all within 24 hours," he said.

The Mangalore sighting is the first multiple-reported sighting in nearly 10 years.

Surprisingly, Mr. Roberts does not believe in aliens.

"I don't know why the thing is there _ that's why it's called unidentified," he said.

Instead of being an aspiring alien hunter, the amateur astronomer said he enjoyed keeping records of the sightings and investigating the mystery behind them.

He said 80 per cent of the phone calls he gets at his South Hobart home are easily explained over the phone.

Many people are told their UFO is a bright star, satellite or meteorites, he said.

Balloons and flares, and the occasional storm or aurora are also easily explained.

Calls to police, the airport and the Bureau of Meteorology explain a further 15 per cent _ leaving about 5 per cent that remain a mystery.

In recent years, Mr. Roberts said, he could expect about 50 telephone calls from people annually, but he has already had 20 this year.

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February 24, 2005

New York Times

TV Review - 'Peter Jennings Reporting'
An ABC Documentary Lands in UFO Territory

by Alessandra Stanley

During a sweeps month, U.F.O. is not solely an abbreviation for unidentified flying object. When a veteran network anchor devotes two hours to the subject in a special prime-time report, U.F.O. can also be code for uncontrollable fear of obscurity.

Tom Brokaw's retirement as the NBC anchor did not drive viewers to ABC en masse; actually, the ratings of his replacement, Brian Williams, are higher than Peter Jennings's. Even Dan Rather's fall from grace and imminent retirement have not significantly benefited ABC's "World News Tonight." And that may help explain the mystery of why Mr. Jennings, ABC's lofty and fastidious anchorman, chose to lend his gravitas to a lengthy examination of extraterrestrial life forms.

Space aliens are not particularly timely. Newspapers are not brimming with fresh reports of mass sightings of bright lights hovering over the Mojave Desert. Steven Spielberg does not have a sci-fi sequel, "Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind," in the works. And no one would argue that this is a slow news period.

But the race for ratings is particularly intense in February. Mr. Jennings points out in his introduction that as many as 80 million Americans believe in U.F.O.'s and that 40 million say they have seen one or know someone who has. If even a fraction of those people turn to ABC tonight, "U.F.O.'s: Seeing Is Believing" could do for Mr. Jennings what more somber special reports like last June's "Guantánamo Bay" could not.

Not that this special report is a day at the beach. Mr. Jennings applies the same solemn, impassive tone he used to examine Christianity in his special report "Jesus and Paul: The Word and the Witness" last April. He does not try to prove or debunk the existence of U.F.O.'s. Instead, he handles Ufology, as he refers to it, like a religion whose followers are numerous and steadfast enough to merit respectful treatment.

And that is not inappropriate. Ufology has many of the rites and rhythms of more traditional faiths, and the skeptic-turned-convert is a crucial element in any belief system. The millions of followers of Padre Pio, a 20th-century friar who was said to have had stigmata and supernatural powers and was canonized in 2002, bolster their case by pointing out that Father Maccari, a Vatican investigator sent to prove the friar a fraud, later recanted and prayed to Padre Pio on his deathbed (at least according to a Capuchin publication, "The Voice of Padre Pio").

The documentary showcases a U.F.O. version of Father Maccari: J. Allen Hynek, an astrophysicist and a consultant for an Air Force project created in 1952 to assess U.F.O. reports. Early on, he dismissed witnesses as crackpots. He later repented and went on to found the Center for U.F.O. Studies in Illinois. He was one of the first scientists to give the study an aura of respectability. (Dr. Hynek came up with the phrase "close encounters of the third kind," which Mr. Spielberg used for his film title.)

The history of U.F.O. sightings is interspersed with contemporary accounts by witnesses: housewives, pilots and truck drivers who do not look or sound like crackpots and who matter-of-factly describe what they saw that turned them into believers. ("It arched over the top of our car. ...") The most recent well-known incident was reported over Phoenix in 1997, when hundreds of people said they saw strange lights overhead that did not resemble an airplane or a helicopter. One man videotaped some of what he saw: a row of lights in the sky that he said were atop some kind of spaceship. The tape is not very distinct, however. Mostly, ABC uses animation to recreate what the witnesses say they saw.

The U.F.O. is a topic usually relegated to the tabloids, but Mr. Jennings gives the phenomenon his full consideration. "Seeing Is Believing" is not likely to create a new army of converts, but it may draw viewers who are already convinced and hungry for network affirmation: believing is seeing.

'Peter Jennings Reporting'

'U.F.O.'s: Seeing Is Believing'

ABC, tonight at 8, Eastern and Pacific times; 7, Central time.

Mark Obenhaus and Tom Yellin, executive producers. Produced by PJ Productions and Springs Media for ABC News.

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February 23, 2005

Newark Star-Ledger

There was a fair bit of skepticism, even sneering, when ABC News announced that anchor Peter Jennings' newest primetime documentary would tackle the UFO phenomenon. Would Jennings enrage UFO believers by portraying them as kooks? Would other people get mad at Jennings for dignifying a subject that many scientists consider to be mystic nonsense wrapped in modern folktales?

The special airs tomorrow 8-10 p.m. on Channel 7, under the title "Peter Jennings Reporting: UFO's - Seeing is Believing."  It's the first primetime documentary by a network news anchor on this topic, which has obsessed Americans for almost six decades without ever quite becoming respectable

But there's nothing especially provocative about "Seeing is Believing," which presents its information in a slightly cornball way (complete with ethereal backlight on some interviewees, speculative animation of UFOs and creepy "X-Files"-style thriller music), but ultimately settles into the standard, middle-of-the-road network news mode: on the one hand this, on the other hand that.

With its emphasis on rudimentary UFO history - including 1950s newsreel snippets, old government documents and a summary of the U.S. Air Force's now-defunct Project Blue Book and the Search for Extra Terrestrial Life - the special feels so much like a primer that it could have been titled, "UFO 101." The Sci-Fi Channel airs programs just like it all the time.

Interviewees include UFO witnesses from the 1960s through the present, semi-famous obsessives and pundits (including conspiratorial radio DJ Art Bell , who says, "It would be so strange if we were all alone"), and former government officials and scientists (including PBS star Neil Degrasse Tyson , who says scientists consider eyewitness testimony "the lowest form of evidence you could possibly put forth").

The most intriguing part of the special is its middle section, which tracks UFO sightings to the start of the Cold War era (which began after World War II and stretched into the early'90s) and suggests the sightings were unconscious expressions of America's fear of being invaded and dominated by an all-powerful alien force (at that time, the Soviet Union was our national bogeyman).

Is it possible that UFO hysteria is a manifestation of a superpower's fear of being exposed as powerless, then annihilated by forces ranging from communists to right-wing militias and foreign terrorists?

Maybe, and maybe not - and either way, Jennings' special isn't interested in going there. The subject matter is otherworldly, but in style and subject matter, this special stays earthbound.

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February 20, 2005

Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)

Phone Home

Is this really a picture of a UFO over Stirling? A flying saucer-shaped trick of the light being shot by video phones?

by George Mair

THE dramatic rise in the number of flying saucers reported over Scotland is caused by... video phones.

The illusion of an extra-terrestrial force is sparked by the phones being pointed into the sun.

This creates an image of a blurred object that appears to hover before flashing a 'ray gun' into the ground.

Steve Bird, 36, spotted what he thought was an alien craft last Tuesday, as it apparently hovered around 40ft in the air.

He was walking on the Dumyat hill, overlooking the Wallace Monument, near Stirling, when he captured what he thought was incredible footage on his mobile phone.

It shows a blurred shape remaining static in the sky as light sweeps below.

Salesman Steve, of Cornton, Stirling, said: 'I decided to walk to the summit of Dumyat because it was such a nice morning.

'It was around 10.30am when I stopped for a rest near the top and decided to take my phone out to capture the view over Stirling on video.

'I pressed the record button and, within seconds, spotted this shape on the screen.

'It hovered in the sky, about 100 metres away from where I was standing, then tilted and flew off to the left. Then it was gone.

'When I put the phone down, I had to sit down on a rock to compose myself.

'I was shocked and could hardly sleep that night for thinking about it.

'It was the shape you normally associate with flying saucers, with a ridge around the middle.'

Steve's view is backed by Scotland's self-styled UFO expert, Ron Halliday, who has been investigating paranormal phenomena for more than 20 years.

He confirmed a string of reports based on phone videos. The Stirling University-based expert, who is also chairman of Scottish Earth Mysteries Research, said: 'The shape of the UFO is consistent with other alien sightings across the world.'

We asked researchers to get to the bottom of the UFO mystery.

Gordon Ridley, senior lecturer in photography at Glasgow College of Printing, said: 'I believe the footage came about due to sensor burn-out when the picture was taken into the sun.

'The limited sensor in a camera phone cannot cope with the brightness and a solid black blob appears in the image in the middle of the bright area.

'The rays coming down can be explained by the flares created from photographing into the sun, causing the sensors to overload.'

Mr Ridley's views are shared by Sunday Mail picture editor Andy Hosie.

He said: 'The flare is caused by sunlight shining directly into the lens. The blurred shape stays static and is probably due to some sort of burn-out with the camera.

'But the fact these are 'low quality' images which are very difficult to analyse adds to the intrigue.'

Scotland is regarded as one of the world's UFO hotspots.

Bonnybridge, just 10 miles from Stirling, has the highest number of reported UFO sightings in Britain, with dozens of unexplained phenomena every year.

Residents there have also claimed the greatest variety of spaceships, describing everything from flying saucers to hovering cigars.

Locals have previously campaigned for their town to be twinned with Roswell, in New Mexico, where - it was claimed - a spaceship came down in 1947 and was taken to a secret military base.

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February 19, 2005

Hobart Mercury (Tasmania, Australia)

Mystery Of UFO Deepens

by Phil Beck

The status of an unidentified flying object seen above the Midland Highway Monday night remains a mystery.

Co-ordinator of UFO Reports and Sightings Tasmania, Keith Roberts said yesterday the report now fell into the 5 per cent of UFO sightings which could not be explained.

"We checked up with the airport, helicopter companies, crop dusters, the Navy and the Department of Defence and drew a blank with all of them," Mr. Roberts said.

"Out of 100 reports, there is usually a ready explanation for 80 per cent and further investigations explain another 15 per cent.

"This report, however, falls into the 5 per cent which are not explained. But we are ready to receive more information which can help."

Monday night's report was made by a 43-year-old Kingston woman who was driving north on the highway with her sister and a friend.

They first spotted a bright light near Brighton about midnight but by the time they were near the Bothwell turnoff the bright light appeared to be heading towards them.

The woman, who said she was not one to believe in aliens, said the object was about half the size of a house and had one red pulsating light on one side and a similar blue light on the other. They had pulled over and got out of the car, and within minutes the object was hovering about 30m above the ground less than 300m away.

She said the craft was shaped like an AFL football as it came towards them, but when it was closer she guessed it was saucer shaped.

Mr Roberts said he hoped other people would come forward with information on the sighting.

"At the moment we are left with an unexplained object," Mr. Roberts said.

"There was a similar sighting in the same area in the 1970s, when a driver saw a bright mass of light before his car conked out."

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February 17, 2005

Rocky Mountain News

Jennings Lands 'UFO' Promo

by Dusty Saunders

Dan Rather is going.  Tom Brokaw is gone.

For a generation of network evening news watchers, Peter Jennings is the last anchor standing.

But Jennings does more than just stand. Or stand around.

The peripatetic newsman was in Houston Monday, conducting a lengthy public town meeting.

In Denver on Tuesday he interviewed Peter Coors and charmed a luncheon gathering of civic leaders.

Next stop was Seattle on Wednesday and a session with Bill Gates.

As part of the job, he anchored the ABC Evening News from each city, with the Denver telecast on 7News, produced outdoors in the chilly Civic Center.

And in all three cities he managed to trumpet his two-hour Feb. 24 network special, Peter Jennings Reporting: UFOs - Seeing is Believing.

Notice I said trumpet rather than promote.

Jennings has hoisted promotion to a much higher level.

He's adept at discussing, in subtle terms, his career, the ABC newscast and his documentary work while boosting the profile of local network affiliates.

So it's easy to forget Jennings' news tours contain a heavy dose of promotion because they come across in such a seamless professional manner.

Jennings' luncheon meeting and question-and-answer session with chamber of commerce and metro Denver leaders covered everything from his longtime association with Rather and Brokaw ("we've been rivals in the daytime and buddies at night") to the tinder box in the Middle East, after Monday's assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri - a leader Jennings knew well from his lengthy reporting stints in that part of the world.

Regarding Iraq, Jennings said he was impressed, during a recent trip, with the "optimism and enthusiasm" of the U.S. troops, while adding "they won't be leaving for any time soon." However, he decried the lack of media coverage regarding the growing number of troops seriously wounded in combat there.

Jennings' numerous overseas assignments gave him an opportunity to provide humorous tales about his longtime relationship with Jesuits - certainly appropriate since the Rev. Michael J. Sheeran, president of Regis University, was part of the program.

And Jennings "localized" his visit telling luncheon guests it's important for him to regularly leave the insular media world of New York and Washington, D.C., to get a feel for what's happening in other parts of the country.

In an earlier interview, Jennings noted "it's business as usual for ABC News."

"We don't react to what NBC and CBS are doing," Jennings said, regarding changes in the dinnertime newscasts. "They're competitive professionals doing excellent work."

Like many in the network news business, Jennings pooh-poohs those who constantly add the dinosaur tag to the three newscasts.

"All three remain a vital news source to millions of viewers. It's not just habit. Concise information is provided. The newscasts will be around for a long time."

Regarding his upcoming UFO special, Jennings notes that nearly 50 percent of Americans along with millions around the world believe UFOs are real.

"Too often the mainstream media holds those who claim to have seen UFOs up to ridicule.

"I approached this project as a skeptic. And I still am.

"But as a reporter it would be foolish of me to simply dismiss these mysteries as something perpetrated by a bunch of kooks."

The special will look at the spectrum of the UFO experience, beginning with the first "sighting" in 1947 to today, while featuring interviews with police officers, pilots, military personnel and scientists.

One of the more detailed UFO cases recently reported (January 2000) came from St. Clair County, Ill., where police officers in five adjoining towns independently reported witnessing a giant craft with multiple bright lights moving silently across the sky at a low altitude.

Jennings is critical of how our government has handled reports of sightings.

"There's been an ongoing policy for leaders to say there is no scientific proof about UFOs.

"We hear reports that a 22-year-long investigation ended in 1969 with the conclusion UFOs are not a threat to national security.

"Meanwhile, scientists and physicists say we shouldn't simply dismiss such sightings."

Jennings is proud that his quarterly documentaries - almost a lost art on network television - deal with a wide variety of

He recently took on the tobacco industry and provided a you-are-there report on crime in Los Angeles.

Future subjects: health care in America and a look at Iran. or 303-892-5137

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February 10, 2005

Wilmington Advocate (Concord, MA)

They Are Out There: UFO Reported Over Billerica

By Margaret Smith

Whatever it was that appeared in the cold skies over Billerica on Dec. 12, at least one observer was concerned enough to seek answers.

That's according to Mark Petty, an investigator with the Massachusetts Mutual UFO Network, which said he is heading up a team to look into the reported sighting.

The volunteer-run network is part of a nationwide mutual UFO network, whose chapter members in several states track reports of all manner of peculiar lights and objects seen hovering or cruising through the heavens.

Petty, who is originally from Billerica, offered few details about the Dec. 12 incident in order to protect the privacy of the person who reported it. A press release describes the reporting sighting only as "a strange aerial phenomenon."

"One of the biggest concerns we have is for the person who reported the sight," Petty said. He added, "They might be traumatized, or just so curious they go crazy. A lot of people report them years later. They will say, 'Back in 1976, I saw this thing.'"

Petty did say that someone reported a similar sighting that same night, several miles away, on a southern stretch of Interstate 495 in the Worcester County vicinity.

He hopes others who may have witnessed something unusual will come forward in an effort to help the investigation and will e-mail him at or visit the Web site,

Billerica police said they did not receive any reports of an unusual sighting in the sky Dec. 12, but said from time to time, they, like all police departments, do get calls from concerned residents of a strange light or sound. Usually, it's easy to figure out what the person is seeing.

UFO network chapters are volunteer-driven, and members come from many walks of life, from astronomers to factory workers, Petty said. The network trains and certifies volunteers who wish to investigate UFO reports, teaching them skills that include interviewing witnesses and looking at data on celestial activity. The Massachusetts network has more than 120 members.

In a written statement, Greg Berghorn, the state director of the Massachusetts network, said he sent a team of four investigators, led by Petty, to conduct interviews and survey the area of the reported sighting.

According to Berghorn, the network has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the Federal Aviation Administration to acquire radar tapes and phone reports. The network may also review police logs, newspaper articles and Internet findings in search of clues.

Petty said someone also reported seeing something peculiar in the sky over Billerica around 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 29 and reported the incident to the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle, Wash.

That report describes "a very large, circular, bright-white light above the clouds going around and around in a very large circle" at high speeds. The report said the witness looked out again and saw the same light about an hour later and insisted it wasn't a search light or plane.

Without ruling out any possibilities, Petty said the light may have come from an area business, such as a gym in nearby Tewskbury.

By strictest definition, a UFO is, simply, an unidentified flying object. Petty said 95 percent of reported objects turn out to be ordinary things - a satellite or aircraft, or a planet or star that appears to waver because of atmospheric conditions.

"Lots of times, they are planes, meteors, something like that, or a reflection from the ground," Petty said, adding that the luminous planet Venus is the top-ranking culprit in UFO sightings.

Another factor in a possible area sighting is the presence of nearby Hanscom Air Force Base.

But among the annals of the Massachusetts Mutual UFO Network's cases remain about 5 percent whose origins have not yet been explained, said Petty.

Investigators will, from time to time, receive reports of aberrations such as a lighted object in the sky making several 90-degree turns, or blinking out and then reappearing in another part of the sky, Petty said.

There have also been reports of indentations in the soil that may or may not suggest an unusual craft landed there and even so-called crop circles - or unusual and seemingly deliberate patterns cut into the grass or ground.

"Then we have people who actually see what they describe as a craft," Petty said. "The ultimate goal is to try and find and answer as to what a UFO is."

To date, no smoking gun - a crashed vessel or vessel parts, or dead or wounded alien - exists to offer compelling evidence of interplanetary tourists.

Although the idea of a UFO sighting may conjure images of a spaceship landing in an open field in the Midwest, Petty said Massachusetts has its share of stories of unexplained occurrences.

Petty cited information from the National UFO Reporting Center indicating 412 reports of UFO sightings in the state. The earliest dates back to around 1638, when a strange light was reported flying back and forth over the Boston area.

Petty, who graduated from Billerica Memorial High School, now lives in Nashua, N.H. and works in marketing for a high-tech firm. Although he has no science degree, Petty said, "I've always been curious about it, ever since I was a child." He added, "I have always liked science, the sky and astronomy."

The Mutual UFO Network trains investigators on how to talk to people about what they may have seen and to collect information in an unbiased fashion, Petty said. Investigations may include questioning of those who say they witnessed something unusual, as well as their neighbors; looking at police logs and consulting with astronomers' records of celestial activity.

In short, he said, volunteers strive to make their work reflect the scientific process, in which a hypothesis must be tested and skepticism is a must.

But so is an open mind. Petty said for his part, he remains neutral on the subject of extraterrestrial visitors because he has never found incontrovertible proof for or against their existence.

He does, however, believe in the possibility of life on other planets, perhaps in distant galaxies.

It's an idea he has in common with the late astronomer Carl Sagan. In his acclaimed television series, "Cosmos," Sagan pondered the possibility of civilizations, both advanced and primitive, from other worlds.

Sagan was a professor at Cornell University, which runs the world's largest single-dish radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. There, astronomers are listening for possible communications from distant space travelers, although this work accounts for a small percentage of their research.

Despite his belief in the possibility of extraterrestrial life, Sagan lamented the speculation over tales of alien abductions by short, surly creatures with large heads and dour black eyes.

The public's fascination with these stories peaked in the 1990s, with the television series, "The X-Files," appearances on talk shows by alleged abduction victims and even a best-selling book, "Communion," by novelist Whitley Strieber.

Sagan complained that the public's fascination with such stories deflects attention from the many advances in science.

Here, Petty and Sagan part company. Petty said a curiosity about UFOs led him to study astronomy and take a greater interest in science.

"Anything that sparks curiosity in the sciences, whether it be a hobby such as UFOs, I think is a good thing," Petty said. "I think the schools do not teach enough hard sciences. Anything that sparks curiosity is a good thing."

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February 3, 2005

Iowa State University Daily

Visitors... From Space

By Katie Piepel

If the National UFO Reporting Center is correct, aliens visited the United States 148 times in January.

Once again, a scientific space advancement has stirred up debate over the existence of extraterrestrial beings.

January marked the landing of the European Space Agency's Huygens probe on the creamy, mud-like surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon.

Guillermo Gonzalez, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, says Titan is not suitable for life, even though it shares similarities with Earth.

"It's too cold for Titan to have carbon dioxide in gas form, and it's too cold on Titan to have water as a liquid or as a gas," he says. "Titan is much, much colder than Earth ever was, so that means most things that are liquids or gases in Earth's atmosphere or oceans today are in solid form on Titan."

Gonzalez says there was a time when he believed in extraterrestrial life and UFO sightings, but it was during his years as a graduate student that he started to see things differently.

"I just started looking into all the factors you need to have life, especially complex life, on a planet," he says. "When you start listing all the factors and multiplying them out, it turns out that the probabilities become very small very quickly."

But Steven Kawaler, professor of physics and astronomy, says the idea that intelligent life is common in the universe is something he finds very difficult to ignore.

"Given what we've learned over the last 200 years about the development of life on Earth - chemistry, biochemistry, astronomy and so on - it looks like the process that produces life on Earth is a fairly common process," he says.

Although Gonzalez says he is confident that Earth is the only planet in our galaxy able to sustain life, the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence existing outside of our galaxy is something he cannot deny.

"I'm not ready to say that we're alone just because we don't know the probability as well enough," he says.

Kawaler, however, says that since we have not proven this galaxy gives life only to humans, it is still open for debate.

"If you wanted to say we are the only intelligent, technologically capable civilization in the galaxy, the only way you could deal with that is to prove it wrong," he says. "And to prove it wrong you have to find another intelligent, technologically capable civilization in the galaxy. That hasn't happened yet, but people are looking."

Over the years, the media have portrayed extraterrestrials as unpleasant, eerie creatures conspiring against planet Earth in hopes of overtaking our civilization and using up our resources, like in the 2002 film "Signs" or in Orson Welles' infamous radio dramatization of "War of the Worlds."

Kawaler says evil aliens make good stories, but not a lot of sense.

"If they have the technology to solve problems that we think are absolutely insoluble, like how to travel faster than the speed of light, they really don't need to come to Earth," he says.  "[Instead] it would be out of curiosity to see how we work."

Bob Hopp, senior in mechanical engineering and vice president of the Ames Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, says he believes in the idea of extraterrestrial intelligence and agrees with Kawaler that aliens have no need to visit Earth.

"It seems plausible that they would come to take our planet for its resources, [but] it also seems plausible that, when they're advanced enough to get to us, they'd be advanced enough to not need anything that we have," he says.

Hopp says despite the physical representations we see in the media, he thinks aliens would not have human characteristics.

"I don't think there's any reason to believe that they would be humanoid," he says. "I imagine that the biggest reason that they look humanoid in movies is that we need actors to play them."

If extraterrestrial intelligence does exist in our universe, Gonzalez says, we do not yet have the capabilities to find it.

"The other galaxies are so far away from us that we couldn't detect their signals if they are there," he says. "But I think we're getting a better handle on the probabilities every year as we learn more about stars and star formation and planetary processes. I think within maybe 20 to 30 years we'll be able to say, with much greater confidence, whether or not we're alone in the entire universe."

Whether the idea seems plausible or not, Gonzalez and Kawaler agree it won't be long until the big question can finally be answered: Are we alone?

Famous UFO Cases

- The 1947 "Roswell Incident" - The U.S. Air Force discovered the remains of a "flying disc" near Roswell, N.M. The Air Force said the object was part of Project Mogul, a top- secret government experiment involving weather balloons.

- The 1982 Hudson Valley Sightings - Between 1982 and 1995, the Hudson River Valley of New York was home to more than 7,000 documented sightings of "boomerang-shaped" objects moving over New York and Connecticut. The UFOs were said to be as big as a football field. This is one of the most widely witnessed and investigated cases in history.

- The 1997 "Phoenix Lights" sightings - a cluster of lights were seen in the sky over Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. Hundreds of witnesses reported seeing a gigantic triangular-shaped object with many lights. Military personnel said the event was caused by "military flares" from an Air Force A-10 aircraft.

- The 2000 Illinois UFO Sighting - Four police officers and more than a dozen others reported seeing a triangular-shaped object flying low over Highland, Ill. The officers traced the object.

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February 3, 2005

Independent (London)

The truth is out there: declassified reports of UFO sightings reveal 88 sightings last year

by Robert Verkaik, Legal Affairs Correspondent

Details of Britain's most recent UFO sightings are revealed in previously secret documents disclosed to The Independent.

The files, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show that, last year, the Ministry of Defence's UFO unit received 88 reports from military staff and members of the public worried about unexplained objects in our skies.

The classified files help to complete a picture of the scale of UFO sightings first revealed by this paper last month. These updated "X-files" show the most recent observations were made on 15 January this year following two separate reports from Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, and Whitstable, Kent. The reports refer to "strange lights seen in the sky".

Other sightings give more detail. A report from Devizes in Wiltshire on 24 September last year records an object that: "Looked liked a big ball of fire coming down from the sky with a tail and sparks coming off the end of it." Another, from Somerset the week before, states: "The object looked like a great bright light and was really intense, like a ball of fire coming down from the sky, rapidly moving towards the ground."

Although such reports might be discounted as meteor showers or other astronomical phenomena, other sightings are not so easy to dismiss. A report from Surrey on 20 May last year describes a UFO as having "grooves and windows" but no room for humans. Even the MoD inspector notes that the "witness had seen the object so clearly".

Many of the other sightings refer to UFO's changing colour, speed and shape. The most common colours are yellow, orange or black.

A report from Goole, East Yorkshire, recorded in April last year, noted: "The object looked like a boomerang and was stationary over a power station. An aircraft was circling the object."

In the same month, a UFO observer from Seaforth, Merseyside, noted: "I saw a UFO with a cluster of four bright lights in a ring shape on it. Three beams of white light shone upwards and disappeared."

These latest files to be declassified by the MoD are not as complete as reports from mid-1976 and 1977 released last month.  Hundreds of documents previously kept secret by the Ministry of Defence's special UFO department, known as S4F, detail many reports of a possible visit by extraterrestrial life-forms. One is made by an RAF pilot and two NCOs at RAF Boulmer, Northumberland.

In July 1977 Flt-Lt A M Wood reported "bright objects hanging over the sea''. The MoD document adds that the RAF officer said the closest object was "luminous, round and four to five times larger than a Whirlwind helicopter". The UFOs were reported to be three miles out to sea at a height of about 5,000ft.

The officer, whose report is supported by Cpl Torrington and Sgt Graham, said: "The objects separated. Then one went west of the other, as it manoeuvred it changed shape to become body-shaped with projections like arms and legs." The report describes Flt-Lt Wood as "reliable and sober".

That account was deemed so sensitive to the national interest that the MoD had delayed its release for an extra three years.  But under the Freedom of Information Act, which came into force on 1 January, the file has been declassified

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February 1, 2005

Bolton Evening News (Lancashire, UK)

Here's Why I Believe In UFOs

by Fred Shawcross

Do you believe in UFOs? Have you ever seen one? Do you know someone who has? That might not be the most discussed topic among your family and friends but it certainly beats Celebrity Big Brother and who is doing what to whom in Emmerdale.

Those of us fascinated by, and possibly a little apprehensive about alien visitors, have read and heard details of revelations contained in Britain's X-files, the thousands of classified documents relating to reports of UFOs, recently released under the Freedom of Information laws.

The more "believable sightings" documented in the 1970s - a thinly-veiled reference to those credited to people more likely to be accepted as reliable witnesses - were reported by RAF personnel, British Airways pilots and senior police officers. These were more or less similar in that the objects first hovered, then moved at colossal speeds.

They were mostly saucer-shaped and surrounded by, or displaying, very bright lights. It is also worth mentioning that on one occasion, a sighting by RAF servicemen was supported by reports that unidentified objects had been spotted on defence radar screens.

I'm glad that these sightings of UFOs have been made official because it gives me a chance to go public on an incident which, though it happened more than 30 years ago, still causes the hairs to rise on the back of my neck.

And it is the absolute truth. I was travelling home from Park Hall, Charnock Richard, where I was a member of the resident band. It was my turn to drive, so I was alcohol-free. My two companions had had a few scoops but were by no means "bombed".

It was early morning in mid-summer. The sky was clear and with little else on the road, we were chugging along, talking amicably, when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I became aware that there was something above my vehicle, to the right.  It was round, very brightly lit and appeared motionless, as if sizing up the car. I didn't need to tell my two friends. They had spotted it and looked as scared as I was.

Being beamed up and transported to the Planet Zog without a tearful goodbye to the wife and kids, or a change of underwear, isn't a particularly enchanting prospect, though it would probably be considered a Godsend by all parties these days.  However, I digress. After what seemed an eternity, but could only have been minutes, the UFO zoomed off at an incredible speed and vanished. We all saw it. The UFO could not have been imagined or an alcohol-fuelled illusion.

Those of us who believe in extra-terrestrials theorise that if men can reach the moon, and put unmanned spacecraft on planets light years from Earth, what reason is there for doubting life forms from other solar systems are dropping in to have a look at us?

They could land in Emmerdale [a British TV Soap locale]. What an interplanetary experience that would be. A close encounter of any kind with the Dingle clan would be enough to abort that mission and bring a premature end to plans for a global take-over.

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January 24, 2005

Newcastle Upon Tyne Journal (UK)


by Daniel Thomson

A North pilot's close encounter with a UFO off the coast of Northumberland has been revealed in long-hidden military files.

Newly-released reports contain numerous UFO sightings by British airmen, including details of a possible visit by extraterrestrial life-forms to the North, witnessed by a pilot at RAF Boulmer in Northumberland.

In July 1977, Flight Lieutenant AM Wood of RAF Boulmer reported seeing "bright objects hanging over the sea" including an object that was "luminous, round and four to five times larger than a Whirlwind helicopter".

North UFO-watchers last night welcomed the release of the report on the incident, which has been the subject of local rumour for years.

The official reports, which have spent more than 25 years under lock and key in the Ministry of Defence's UFO department - SF4 -have just been released under new Freedom of Information measures.

In the classified report, Flt Lt Wood, described by superiors as "sober and reliable", said: "The objects separated, then one went west of the other. As it manoeuvred it changed shape to become body-shaped with projections like arms and legs."

The sighting of the UFOs, which were reported to be three miles out to sea at a height of about 5,000ft, was supported by a Cpl Torrington and Sgt Graham of RAF Boulmer, who were positioned at a picket post at the station.

They also observed the strange objects for an hour and 40 minutes and reported the sighting to their commanding officers.

The MoD report confirmed that the objects had been visible on radar at RAF Boulmer as well as the base at Staxton Wold, North Yorkshire.

It said: "On seeing the objects on radar, the duty controller checked with the SRO as to whether he could see the objects on radar supplied from RAF Staxton Wold."

Researcher of the paranormal Alfred Dodds, 66, of the Northumberland UFO Research Centre, said last night: "There have been quite a few sightings of UFOs in Northumberland over the years, with several in the vicinity of RAF Boulmer.

"And I had heard rumours of this particular incident, so it is very interesting to hear that it has been officially confirmed.  Hopefully, we will see more incidents come to light as further classified UFO documents are released under the Freedom of Information Act."

The account of the sighting has been kept secret by the MoD since 1977 - but under the Freedom of Information Act, which came into force on January 1, the file has been reviewed and declassified.

An MoD spokesman last night confirmed a number of classified reports had been released and explained the ministry's policy on Unidentified Flying Objects.

He said: "Some reports have been released that were deemed to be in the public interest. But the majority of documents on contentious subjects will not start to be released until after February 1.

"The MoD does not have any expertise or role in respect of UFOs and flying saucer matters, or to question the existence or otherwise of extraterrestrial lifeforms, about which it remains totally open-minded.

"The MoD examines any UFO reports it receives solely to establish whether what was seen might have some defence significance. But to date the MoD knows of no evidence, which substantiates the existence of these alleged phenomena."

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January 22, 2005

Independent (UK)

Uncovered At Last: The Sightings Of Strange Flying
Objects Found In Britain's 'x-Files'

by Robert Verkaik

They contain Britain's very own X-Files: thousands of classified documents detailing credible observations of unidentified flying objects reported by RAF personnel, British Airways pilots and senior police officers.

Now under the Freedom of Information laws, files previously held by the Ministry of Defence's special UFO department, known as SF4, are being released to the public.

Among the most credible reports of a possible visit by extraterrestrial life-forms is one made by an RAF pilot and two NCOs at RAF Boulmer in Northumberland.

In July 1977 Flt Lt A M Wood reported "bright objects hanging over the sea''. The MoD document adds that the RAF officer said the closest object was "luminous, round and four to five times larger than a Whirlwind helicopter". The UFOs were reported to be three miles out to sea at a height of about 5,000ft.

The officer, whose report is supported by Cpl Torrington and Sgt Graham, said: "The objects separated. Then one went west of the other, as it manoeuvred it changed shape to become body-shaped with projections like arms and legs." The men who were positioned at the picket post at the RAF station were able to observe the strange objects for an hour and 40 minutes.

At the same time a radar station detected the objects in exactly the same position as the men had observed them. It registered them to be between 30 to 35 degrees before they disappeared from the screen.

The report describes Flt Lt Wood as "reliable and sober". It adds: "Two contacts were noted on radar, both T84 and T85, at RAF Boulmer. They were also seen on the Staxton Wold radar picture which is relayed to West Drayton... On seeing the objects on radar the duty controller checked with the SRO at RAF West Drayton as to whether he could see the objects on radar supplied from RAF Staxton Wold."

This account was deemed so sensitive to the national interest that the MoD had delayed its release for an extra three years.  But under the Freedom of Information Act, which came into force on 1 January, the file has been reviewed and declassified.

Some of the other reports are equally compelling. A British Airways Tri-Star on a return flight from Portugal in July 1976 was involved in an incident which led to the scrambling of fighter jets.

The MoD report says that the Tri-Star captain reported "four objects - two round brilliant white, two cigar-shaped" 18 miles north of Faro. The captain was so alarmed by what he and the passengers had seen that he reported the sighting to air traffic controllers at Lisbon and Heathrow. The report says that fighters were immediately scrambled from Lisbon.

Shortly afterwards another Tri-Star crew on the same flight path reported a similar unexplained sighting. This time they said there was a "bright object with two contrails" between Fatima and Faro. It remained stationary before moving north and then "changing in length".

In another incident in the same month two Tri-Star co-pilots and five of their cabin crew reported "passing underneath a bright white circular object".

The files also contain reports compiled by police officers of their first-hand experiences of observing UFOs. On 8 April 1977, Superintendent Cooper of West Yorkshire Police described a sighting while on duty in a patrol car in Laisterdyke. He said: "I looked to my right and through the side window of the car I saw a bright silver light. At first I thought this was a bright star. It was low in the sky, a long distance away... then I thought that this light was moving. The light was visible just over the rooftops of the houses on Ferrand Avenue at the junction with Hambledon Avenue."

Superintendent Cooper continued to observe the object as it moved along the rooftops until the light "suddenly vanished". He said: "The light went out and I could see nothing whatsoever in the sky where the light had been. I then contacted Operations who reported no other sightings recorded."

MoD officers working at the UFO unit have often made reference to the credibility of the person making the reports. Observations made by former servicemen appear to be taken more seriously than others. An MoD report sent from RAF Cosford on 14 July 1976 noted that the 66-year-old woman from Wolverhampton, who claimed to have seen a "white, bar-shaped" object in the night sky, was married to a retired RAF pilot but later the report added dismissively: "He did not observe anything from his seated position."

But the veracity of the reports is brought into question as soon as there is any suspicion of alcohol influencing the observations. Several sightings between 2 and 5 September 1977 are dismissed even though the informants are adamant they saw a "pulsating bright light, emitting a vapour trail" near Derby. The file ends: "Four witnesses had been imbibing at the local hostelry and their sightings were discounted."

Scepticism creeps into the MoD reports if it emerges that it is not the first time a person has seen a UFO. Between 7 and 8 August 1976, a Rotherham man reported four sightings to his local radar station. The comment on the UFO file reads: "He evidently runs a UFO sightings club and has been logging UFOs for three years."

British UFO hunters will no doubt use these sorts of comments to help support the theory that the Government has been suppressing evidence of a visit by extraterrestrial life.

However, some of the sightings strike a rather salutary note. A white, bright light that caught the attention of a woman in Tenterden in September 1977 was immediately reported to Ashford police station and her observations duly noted.

But in the MoD file, the officers find a more mundane explanation for her experience. The officers says: "She saw a long white light in the front with a flashing red light at the rear. The informant states: 'like a jumbo jet'."

Leading article, page 42


Chief Superintendent Hobson, Manchester Police, 3 July 3 1976

Routine traffic patrol on A62, Manchester Road: "We watched the light for about two minutes. I then followed in a police vehicle along the A62."

Flight Lieutenant A M Wood, Corporal Torrington, SACs Hughs, Goddard and Graham, July 1977

RAF Boulmer: "Two bright objects hanging over the sea. As it manoeuvred object changed shape to become body shaped."

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January 10, 2005

York University Excalibur (Toronto)

Close Encounter Of The York Kind

by Dan Verbin
Technology Editor   

A probing conversation with York's very own UFO enthusiast. Is the truth really out there?


Have you noticed that the students in your early morning classes are always yawning and, nine times out of ten, look tired? Well, according to Nick Balaskas their drowsiness could be due to the fact that they were being prodded by aliens during the night.

"There's a lot of evidence that alien abductions are very real and they are being done, whether it's by our government or whether it's by aliens or whether abductions are by both, I don't know," he says, adding that academics and high ranking members of government that have gone public with allegations of an alien cover-up have died suspiciously.

"Statistically, if you take this small group of experts and you see what the percentage of fatal accidents is, there is a strong suggestion that maybe there is something real going on that somebody doesn't want the rest of the public to be aware of."

Balaskas, a lab technician in York's physics department and the co-host, along with Brad Snell, of the Glendon Radio (CKRG 89.9FM) program Cosmic Horizons, is York's resident alien expert - a man who has spent the better part of his life in search of the extraterrestrial and the unknown.

Not surprisingly, his cramped Lumbers Building office is full of UFO-related material, from books to photos to a fragment of "Starchild" - a skull that he believes may be alien-human hybrid in origin.

One could justifiably call him York's very own Fox Mulder, except he doesn't have that "The Truth Is Out There" poster hanging on his wall and his office is not in the basement.

Born in Greece 50 years ago, Balaskas immigrated to Montréal with his family when he was two and a half, moving to Toronto during his high school years and eventually earning a BSc in physics at York. After graduating, he embarked on various projects in astronomy and seismology until landing in his present position 11 years ago.

Balaskas' interest in the paranormal began early. He recalls being fascinated with UFOs as a young boy, passionately watching science fiction movies about "Martians attacking Washington DC" on TV.

So how did he go from a childhood fascination with The Day The Earth Stood Still to pondering about E.T. for real?

It wasn't until his next door neighbour translated her German copy of I Know the Secret of the Flying Saucers by Major Donald E. Keyhoe into English, so Balaskas could understand it, that he became hooked for life.

"I was so fascinated because now something that I was watching on television actually had a basis in reality," he says. "I thought, ‘This is incredible.'"

After studying the alien phenomena for years, Balaskas believes without a doubt that the American government is actively involved in a UFO cover-up. And he further believes the Canadian government is in on it too.

During his time as a UFOologist, he says that he has uncovered vast amounts of evidence that leads him to conclude that earthly alien visitations are being kept secret from the public in order to avoid a mass panic.

To further his work, he was recently in Washington DC in search of proof that over half a century ago former president Franklin Delano Rooselvelt stored a crashed flying saucer, along with its dead alien occupants, in the sub basement of the Capitol Building - a basement that he claims he was told does not "officially exist".

While Balaskas remains skeptical about many UFO sightings, he feels that aliens may be travelling to Earth through other means, and in all probability could be here at this very moment, undetected. Unfortunately, he has never had a close encounter of the third kind, so he has been unable to find out first hand if his theory holds up.

"Personally, I have not knowingly met any aliens," he says. "[Aliens] could be inter-dimensional travellers and actually project themselves on our three dimensions from the real four dimensions that are out there."

Interestingly, Balaskas notes that his generation is the first one to be cynics when it comes to the otherworldly.

"People don't realize that many cultures, including our parents and grandparents, took for granted that there were extraterrestrial beings. They had different names for them, like angels, but they talked about them coming from the heavens. It's now, this generation, that seems to be very skeptical and they should be justifiably so. Because at least in the public domain we don't have any proof that there is even any life [in outer space]."

Though some of his theories may seem a little out there, Balaskas is quick to point out that most UFOs are witnessed by otherwise reliable sources.

"[UFOs are a] phenomena that is real, real in the sense that objects are still being observed in the skies by credible people and not only credible people - like police officers for example - but also by experienced people, astronomers or airline pilots who obviously see something they have never seen before and report it."

Balaskas explains that it is fallacious to believe that all UFOs are extraterrestrial in origin. There are many new technologies that are still classified, and so not in the public domain, and these can easily be mistaken for crafts of alien origin.

"They're not alien or even based on alien technology but they won't be revealed until much later," he comments.

The SR-71 Blackbird is an example of this phenomena. The jet -which began secret test flights in the '50s and had the ability to travel three times the speed of sound - may account for many UFO sightings of the period. With planes able to travel at much faster velocities today, he says that many sightings may just be experimental or top-secret government projects.

So what does Balaskas want people to get out of all his UFO research?

"I just want to make other people aware of certain facts and if they're interested in them and if they think they're worthy of further investigation, allow them to actually pursue it."

Balaskas is trying to accomplish this goal with Cosmic Horizons. Besides aliens, the program has recently discussed topics such as the real age of the universe, why the Mayan calendar mysteriously ends at the year 2012, Nostradamus, and evidence that the Holy Grail actually resides in Canada.

"We'll have guest experts on a variety of topics, some of them very controversial and some of them even silly. Nevertheless, the whole premise of the show is to let the students be exposed to different points of view and come up with their own conclusions. We don't try to be dogmatic," he remarks.  "Listeners can call in and ask our guests questions. We want it to be stimulating and provocative but most importantly informative."

While he does not watch much TV anymore, it is quite obvious that he has a huge appetite for the unusual, as one is hard pressed to get a word in edgewise once Balaskas begins discussing UFOs or his unconventional views on science and religion.

"From my experience, it seems that usually fiction mimics fact.  But reality is much more interesting and much more fascinating than any of the few X-Files or Outer Limits episodes that I have ever seen," he says.

"I used to watch these movies about flying saucers on television but it wasn't until my neighbour actually introduced me to a book that suggested that what I was watching on television, that was fictitious, was in fact based on real life [that I got interested in UFOs]. And when I investigated a lot of the cases that were mentioned in the book, I found that they were even more fascinating than what was in these movies."

Does Balaskas know of any UFO hotspots in Ontario? Do we have our very own Area 51? He remains mysteriously elusive on the matter and will not reveal much.

"UFOs are attracted to certain areas, nuclear power plants for example. They have been recorded there in the past," Balaskas explains while noting that the vast majority of GTA sightings are really just airplane lights refracting off of the Great Lakes.

So, if you are up for some good old-fashioned alien hunting, the Pickering Power Plant sounds like a good place to start.

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December 30, 2004

Leeds Today (Yorkshire, UK)

Flying Saucer? No, It's The Filey Triangle

by Howard Williamson

The genteel east coast resort of Filey has been named as the unlikely UFO hot spot of the British Isles.

The claim is made by an independent research group called the British UFO Hunters.

They say more sightings of mysterious objects are made there than anywhere else in Britain - with Selby and Fife as distant runners-up.

The UFO Hunters base their findings on evidence from Filey Ufologist Russell Kellett who founded the International UFO Network eight years ago.

"Yes, this is the UFO capital," he said, "and it has taken over from Bonnybridge, near Falkirk in Scotland.

"So far we have 48 recorded sightings in Filey this year. The next nearest is Selby with 20.

"People are coming here from places like Newcastle, Leeds and Hull because they have heard about its reputation.

"Some people think that because researchers like me are active in these towns, we attract these mysterious objects in the sky. We are like conduits for them."

Mr. Kellett said the most spectacular sighting in Filey this year was late at night in June when a couple walking their dog saw a flying triangle soar out of the sea and up into the sky.

He said: "I have also been in touch with a young woman living on the outskirts of the town who says she met a tall alien in her home. She has no memory of how he left."

The UFO Hunters claim that the North Sea is an experimental area for top-secret US aircraft.

But Mr. Kellett dismisses the idea that UFO sightings near the coast are of man-made craft.

"They would not come so close to the town," he said. "The US Government does not like people to see its new technology."

Mr. Kellett has a large library of UFO video footage, some of which will be included in a documentary being made for the Cannes Film Festival.

He and his fellow researcher, Jody Holden, of Selby will be featured on the Bravo TV channel next month in Video Vigilantes, a programme about their work.

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December 14, 2004

Petaling Jaya Star (Malaysia)

A Guide Into The UFO Wilderness

by Ahmad Sayuthi

The subject of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) and close encounters with extraterrestrial beings never fails to create a lot of interest and controversy. Believers and sceptics are equally passionate, with each having their own references to either advocate or contradict a given cause – with neutrals in between not knowing who or what to believe.

With the advent of the Internet, even more material is now made available for everyone to analyse in the hope of gaining a better understanding of the subject. But there is a problem: The researcher is usually left dazed and confused with so much raw information swamping him. A guide is needed to show him the way through the complicated world of the UFO phenomenon.

The World Internet UFO Directory (ISBN 89-5563-057-3) might do just that.

Published by South Korea-based Lingua Franca (, it is the product of a project team that spent countless hours sifting through and evaluating the resources available. Those selected were then compiled to provide a concise and convenient reference to several hundred reference points for the phenomenon.

Project leader David Ritchie, from the United States, said the large amount of new information about UFOs was the main reason for producing the book. Despite the enormous task of sifting through all the material, the team decided to take up the challenge. "We thought there was a real need for an overview of this information and to show Internet users where to find it,” he said.

Getting an overview does not mean simply selecting anything that sounds interesting. Hoaxes are plenty when it comes to UFOs and anyone can put up just about anything on the Internet. 

Ritchie said the information had to be authenticated with different sources before being selected. However, he readily agreed it was not a bulletproof method in the hotly-debated subject. 

"It’s a challenge to compile a factual reference about a mysterious phenomenon where the difference between information and misinformation may be impossible to establish,” he said. 

The best that the team could do was to try. 

The book was also compiled to counteract a perceived bias toward reports and case studies from a small number of countries such as the United States and Canada as well as west European nations. In many UFO compilations, the rest of the world apparently does not exist. UFO Directory plans to change that, with reports coming from all over the world, including Malaysia.

Readers here might be flattered to know that Malaysia is regarded as "outstanding in the field of UFO studies...” 

This comes about due to the activities of the little-known Centre for Malaysian UFO Studies (CENMYOFUS,, which is highly regarded by its

The book also points out something interesting and unique about Malaysia – the high number of sightings involving tiny humanoids of around 15cm since 1953. The descriptions of these Awang Kenit are also consistent despite coming from different locations.

The case in Kampung Gobek, Kelantan, is also mentioned. It is of significance due to the statements of multiple witnesses and the physical evidence from an alleged UFO landing site in 2000.

The topics covered in UFO Directory are certainly wide-ranging. The reference points are convenient and helpful for different audiences, whether they are dedicated students of the UFO phenomenon or a general audience seeking leisure reading.

For example, under Humanoids, it is explained that this term refers to alleged aliens having the same basic bodily structure as humans (head, trunk, legs and arms) but different in other respects, such as the length of limbs and proportion of head size to body size. Descriptions of close encounters follow, with discussions and speculations of what they are, where they came from and why they came here. 

Other relevant reference points like the Adamski Case, Men In Black, Montauk Project, Malaysia, Hallucinations and Hoaxes are highlighted for further followup for readers to gain a deeper understanding.

UFO Directory is not limited to just sightings of UFOs and extraterrestrial life forms. It excels by also providing articles and bibliographic references that introduce readers to other facets of the phenomenon which were previously unknown to many. Readers will feel a sense of breadth and complexity where the book also involves subjects that include astronomy and astrophysics, physiology, religion, psychology, history and folklore.

And the entertainment world is not given a miss either as the book looks at the material on radio, television and in the movies that were inspired by the phenomenon over the years. Among them are 2001: A Space Odyssey, The X-Files and Independence Day, to name just a few. For many people, the entertainment world has been their main source of influence when it comes to interest in the UFO phenomenon.

UFO Directory is certainly not a one-sided sympathiser aiming to convince readers of the existence of UFOs and extraterrestrial life forms, as one might suspect at first. Although the book is heavy with accounts of UFO and encounters with humanoids and such, it comes with its fair share of UFO critiques too. Hoaxes and fakeries are revealed and articles expressing scepticism and suspicions of some sightings and encounters are also included to provide balance.

Ritchie said the editors had avoided taking sides in specific controversies and have attempted to include a broad range of opinions.

He is well aware that different groups and individuals have different beliefs and can be passionate and emotional about them. Debates can sometimes get acrimonious as a result. This he blames on individuals having a poor understanding of the UFO phenomenon. 

According to Ritchie, this will only change when people get more acquainted with the different viewpoints, which the book attempts to do by providing a diverse range of topics and opinions.

Closet UFO buffs who have kept their interest hidden for fear of being mocked and ridiculed will be encouraged to know that it is now accepted as a legitimate field of study. Ritchie said the phenomenon of UFOs runs deeper than simply being the exclusive domain of people who are generally regarded as weird.

"It is no longer viewed entirely as a preoccupation of eccentrics and fantasists. Ufology has become part of mainstream culture and is acceptable to millions,” he said.

And with UFO Directory serving as a guide, their search for the truth – which is said to be "out there” – might yield an encounter which is out of this world.

Sample links from UFO Directory:

UFO Cults nrms/ufos.html

UFO/Aliens: Malaysia htm

Humanoid Encounters In Malaysia

Kidnapped by UFOs? – Interview with Carl Sagan

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December 10, 2004

Frome & Somerset Standard (UK)

Is it Aliens or Tests of Advanced Technology?

The truth is out there, and it could be in Wells if reports of a flying saucer over the city are to be believed. Early on Friday morning, an unidentified flying object was spotted hovering over Underwood Quarry in Wells, owned by top defence system manufacturers Thales. Reports of the sighting soon began to appear on the Yahoo web forum, GWell.

One contributor described the phenomenon saying: "It was at 7.50am. It was a white, disc-shaped object that not only hovered but then did a banked circle around an area.

"Some shimmering emanation was seen coming from below the craft and then it shot impossibly out of sight.

"The area was to the left of the mast as seen from Glastonbury Tor, over Underwood Quarry. Is it aliens or Thales' advanced technology?"

Thales are denying all knowledge of the flying objects.

Peter Spencer, sales and marketing director for Thales, said: "We are not launching UFOs from our facilities, nor am I aware of what the sightings might be, nor am I at liberty to comment on what we might be doing at that facility."

BBC weatherman Richard Angwin said: "From the descriptions we have received, the most likely explanation is that it is some sort of meteor or broken up space debris in the atmosphere.

"Often dust particles will travel at such a speed that they will burn up and appear more impressive than they really are.

"There is so much space junk floating around in the upper part of the atmosphere. A meteor is the most likely explanation."

However, Glastonbury-based UFO expert Alan Foster remains sceptical of this explanation.

Mr Foster said: "I have not heard any reports of this UFO, but meteors and space debris are always the explanations put forward. If people say that they have seen an illuminated disc at close quarters then that is what they have seen.

"People are not stupid. This is a serious subject and there are a number of people working on it at a high level. Even the Pope has recognised the existence of extra-terrestrial activity."


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December 10, 2004

Florida Today

1952 Military Engagement With UFOs Myth Or Mystery?
Port Orange man details the day in 1952 when Air Force took on UFOs

By Billy Cox

In an account of a military engagement sure to leave critics scoffing, a UFO investigator claims more than a dozen U.S. Air Force jet fighters were destroyed by flying saucers on a single day in 1952. But not before their guns and rockets crippled several UFOs that wound up making emergency landings in rural West Virginia.

"I know how it sounds," says Frank Feschino, the Port Orange artist whose new book attempts to reconstruct what would be the biggest dogfight since the Marianas Turkey Shoot in 1944. "But I think it's going to come out real soon. There's a lot of guys out there who know what happened but are too scared to talk."

Feschino's book - "The Braxton County Monster: The Cover-Up of the Flatwoods Monster Revealed" (Quarrier Press, $29.95) -revisits a mystery that has been a part of West Virginia lore for more than half a century.

At its core are a dozen eyewitnesses to a strange, robotic creature that appeared on a hilltop following the crash of an alleged meteor on the evening of Sept. 12, 1952. But following an investigation that took 14 years to research and write, Feschino claims the beginning of the incident involved a UFO air battle that began in Florida, shifted to the Eastern seaboard and ended in an Air Force whitewash.

Thirty five years ago this month, the USAF officially terminated its UFO study, called Project Blue Book, by concluding there were no national security aspects to the phenomenon. Arguably the most hectic phase of Blue Book's 22-year existence was 1952, when a record 1,501 reports were logged. July was the busiest month. Warplanes were scrambled to chase nocturnal UFOs that buzzed Washington, D.C., on consecutive weekends.

Even Patrick Air Force Base got splashed by the wave on July 18 of that year, when seven on-base airmen observed a series of silent amber-red objects approaching restricted air space late one evening. One UFO passed directly overhead before pulling a 180-degree U-turn and disappearing to the west. According to the Blue Book reports, none of the objects were spotted on radar and no planes were dispatched to confront them.

Blue Book ruled the avalanche of UFO sightings across the southeast on Sept. 12, 1952, could be attributed to a meteor.

But no meteor showers were scheduled for that night, and the Harvard Meteor Project, which tracked 2,500 cosmic fireballs from 1952 to '54, recorded no activity on that date.

Feschino also quotes Indian Harbour Beach astronomer Hal Povenmire, author of "Fireballs, Meteors and Meteorites," as dismissing the meteor explanation. Povenmire declined to comment on Feschino's book, but he reiterated his stance for FLORIDA TODAY: "It definitely wasn't a meteor."

Retired Air Force Col. William Coleman, chief spokesman for Blue Book in the 1960s and head of the USAF's Public Information Office from 1969 to '74, wasn't around for the 1952 investigation, and could only speculate on the meteor theory.  "Occasionally, you'll get a loner when you're not passing through a belt," he says from his home in Indian Harbour Beach. "It'll come in on a flat trajectory, which means it'll be exposed to a longer burn in the atmosphere and leave a longer trail."

But Coleman is emphatic about one thing: No military aircraft were ever destroyed during UFO encounters.

"Of all the (12,618) reports we collected, only 105 cases were what we'd call 'worrisome,' from a military point of view," says Coleman, who chased a UFO in a bomber in 1955. "These might involve pilots seeing things in the air that also showed up as solid objects on radar. Sometimes they'd pace our planes, sometimes they'd depart abruptly. But we never lost anything to hostile activity."

Speaking during a book-signing tour in Charleston, W.Va., where sales are brisk, Feschino says he began looking into the Flatwoods Monster case in 1990. Ten local kids and an adult, Kathleen May, were alerted when a flaming, low-flying object apparently went down early one Friday evening on a hilltop outside rural Flatwoods. After hiking to investigate, they stumbled upon a "monster," reported to be 12 feet tall, lurking in a tree. It glided away upon an apron of flames, but not before dribbling what appeared to be an oily fluid onto the ground and their clothing.

Feschino says he grew more intrigued when he read scores of old newspaper clippings about other UFO activity that night, from Pennsylvania to Florida. Many reported objects trailing tails of fire, following three separate westward trajectories from the Atlantic Ocean. Especially compelling were newspaper reports concerning the loss of an F-94 Sabrejet fighter over the Gulf of Mexico earlier in the day.

Flying out of Tyndall AFB near Panama City with three other jets, Lt. John Jones, the pilot, and radar operator Lt. John DelCurto apparently got separated during bad weather, were ordered to land at Moody AFB in Georgia before losing radio contact, and presumably crashed after running out of fuel. Their bodies were never recovered. Feschino doesn't buy that story.

When he attempted to locate official records of the incident through military archives, Feschino says he got a bureaucratic runaround and was informed paperwork on those pilots doesn't exist. (Feschino interviewed DelCurto's brother in Oregon, and took a photo of Jones' memorial marker in Ocala.) Upon matching additional air defense activity that day with the numerous UFO reports, Feschino began assembling time lines, integrating them into maps, and produced a unified field theory that "as many as 20" American planes attacked, and were shot down by, UFOs.

"The Braxton County Monster" goes into exhaustive - not to mention inferential, unsourced and highly speculative - detail to support Feschino's other premise, that multiple sightings over the Flatwoods area on Sept. 12 was a "rescue mission" to salvage a damaged spacecraft.

"Of course you could cover this up," insists the Connecticut native. "They do it all the time. Look at all the planes that got shot down during the Cold War on missions that didn't supposedly exist. They made up cover stories and told the families back home all sorts of lies."

That's true, says historian William E. Burrows. But the author of "By Any Means Necessary: America's Secret Air War" doubts UFOs were in the mix.

The director of New York University's graduate program for science and environmental reporting says up to 166 U.S. servicemen were shot down over Russia, China and North Korea in 16 attacks between 1950 and 1969.

"They would always attribute it to navigational errors or typhoons, because they had to say something to the wives and kids," Burrows says. "It always bothered me, because these guys were brave men who were made to look like nitwits. But I don't believe in UFOs. And as soon as the Cold War ended, the UFO sightings ended."

Feschino says Flatwoods had nothing to do with the Cold War. He interviewed retired Army colonel Dale Leavitt who, on Sept. 12, 1952, said he got an order from the Air Force to investigate the West Virginia crash site. Then with the National Guard, Leavitt said he led a 30-man detachment to the area, where they found minor debris and burned vegetation, which they forwarded to the USAF. Before his death, Leavitt told Feschino he never learned the results.

"I find it very strange that the military would send troops out to investigate a meteor," Feschino says. "That doesn't make any sense."

Feschino's efforts notwithstanding, the Flatwoods case will likely remain the stuff of legend, pending military eyewitness testimony. But that may not happen soon. Despite Blue Book's assertion that the military is no longer interested in the phenomenon, UFOs continue to fall under the cloak of national security, according to John Greenewald.

A television producer who posts UFO-related government documents on his Web site - - Greenewald showcases Air Force manuals instructing pilots on how to report unidentified flying objects. The system is called Communications for Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings (CIRVIS), and reports are forwarded to the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which tracks unidentified objects entering U.S. and Canadian air space.

"They're hard to get," says Greenewald, "because NORAD says they're exempt from FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests."

Contact Cox at 242-3774 or

Available online

The Braxton County Monster: The Cover-Up of the Flatwoods Monster Revealed - by Frank Feschino (Quarrier Press, $29.95) The book can be ordered online at

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December 7, 2004

Tri-Valley Herald (Pleasanton, CA)

Some Things Are Just Not Discussed

I ran into Don Hewitt recently in downtown Pleasanton and asked if he had a story for my column.

"Sure," he said, "but I don't expect you to believe it."

Don explained that only a handful of people had heard the story he was hesitant to tell.

In fact, what he finds interesting is not so much the story -which happened to him and two friends in 1991 - but how people like him and his friends will choose not to talk about an incident others won't believe.

"What the heck are you talking about?" I asked him.

Don told me that he and his buddies were up in Washington state driving at night along the Columbia River when something caught their attention.

"We pulled over, got out of the car, and watched what was clearly a UFO hovering brightly just across the river," Don said.

"After a few moments, it zipped away like a scene from a sci-fi movie. We just stood there and stared for a while."

Eventually, he and his friends got back in the car and drove on without saying anything.

"What could we do?" said Don, shrugging his shoulders. "When you discover we're not alone in the universe, you don't just start telling everyone."

People who know Don Hewitt, who works in the software industry, and whose wife, Frances, works for the Pleasanton Downtown Association, will tell you he's not the type to make up a story like this. And he's not the type to float conspiracy theories.

In the several years I've known him, he has never mentioned terms such as "UFO" or "Area 51" or even "Art Bell." And he's had plenty of opportunities, since our social calendars line up quite often.

"It's just human nature not to talk about that evening," Don said.

"It's easier than dealing with people who assume we're mistaken or who just can't believe us."

Jim Ott is the CEO of a community credit union and an English professor at Las Positas College. He welcomes your comments and interesting stories. Contact him at

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December 6, 2004

Australian (Sydney)

Flashing Lights Hover Over Darwin 

Even the sceptics are questioning the origins of a strange light that hovered over Darwin on Saturday night.

Several readers phoned the Northern Territory News late on Saturday night to describe the unidentified flying object that captured their attention.

But neither the RAAF or the airport were able to shed any light on the flashing green, blue and red lights witnesses saw.

Laboratory technician Julie Lynn was relaxing on the balcony with husband Nigel at their Leanyer home when they noticed the UFO about 8.30pm.

A self-described sceptic, Mrs Lynn believes there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for why the UFO hovered above Darwin - she just has no idea what it could be

"It was fascinating to watch," she said.

"I was quite looking forward to curling up on the couch and watching a movie but it had our attention until we went to bed after midnight.

"It hovered in the one place for at least two hours but had moved significantly when we checked on it again before we went to bed.

"I can't believe there are UFOs or little green men out there - there must be an obvious explanation.

"And we weren't drinking so it wasn't something we imagined."

The UFO was described as being shaped like three connected ball-shaped spheres that flashed blue, green and red from as many as six different light sources.

It first appeared in a south-easterly direction and was moving northeast.

Department of Defence spokeswoman Kelly Cooper said the UFO was definitely not a secret military aircraft or RAAF-related.

The airport also denied the UFO could have been a plane waiting to land in Darwin.

December 5, 2004

Los Angeles Times

They're Here

by Michael T. Jarvis
Earthlings have been fascinated with stories about space aliens for centuries, but now we live in the era of the ufologist. In the last decade or so, the study of UFOs has become a cottage industry thanks to countless films, books, TV shows, websites and a popular national radio show. The National UFO Conference held its 41st annual convention during Halloween weekend at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. We landed at a speakers mixer to ask some of the experts what's out there.

Bob Wood
Retired Aerospace Executive
Newport Beach

What is your specialty?

Authenticating documents, mostly government documents, allegedly leaked by people who believe the truth should be out.

What convinced you that alien ships visit Earth?

Documents leaked from governments are pretty much adequate to convince a person that we have been recovering crashed flying saucers since 1941, when they first crashed in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

If aliens can fly spaceships, why don't they communicate with Earth?

For the same reason in "Star Trek" why they didn't interfere with developing societies. There's probably half a dozen to a dozen [alien] societies involved. A couple seem to be bad guys, but most are good guys.

Best movie involving UFOs?

"The Day the Earth Stood Still."

Dr. Lynne D. Kitei
Paradise Valley, Ariz.

What is your UFO specialty?

I'm the only person to photograph global unexplained phenomena on both 35-millimeter and video from the same vantage point before, during and after a historic mass sighting.

What drew you to the UFO field?

In February 1995 my husband called me to look out the window, and there were three amber orbs in a triangle formation. I shot a picture. It seemed as if something was looking back at me. On Jan. 22, 1997, two months before some mass sightings in Phoenix, the lights came back.

The next night three lights appeared again, and I got them on video.

Did you go public right away?

No. I just came forward recently. I did a lot of soul-searching about this.

Where is the best place to look for UFOs or aliens?

Maybe we're looking in the wrong place. It might not just be interplanetary, it might be inter-dimensional.

Peter B. Davenport
Director, National UFO Reporting Center
Seattle, Wash.

What is your UFO specialty?

I wear many hats. We provide the American people and the world a clearinghouse for UFO reports.

All of our material is available to the public at no charge, and on the Internet, .

I'm trained as a biochemical geneticist. I used to work as a Russian translator in the Soviet Union. I'm the founding president of a biotech lab.

What drew you to the UFO field?

In July of 1954, I and hundreds and hundreds of people at a drive-in theater saw a UFO. It was at Lambert Field, now the St. Louis airport.

Why would aliens want to abduct people and then return them?

The problem with the question is it has a terrestrial bias. You're using the term "abduction." I prefer "interaction."

Why would the interaction occur?

You're going to have to poll the aliens on that.

Do you ever look at people and wonder if they might be aliens?

Are you including people in politics and the White House?

Robert Salas
Math Teacher

What is your UFO specialty?

I'm a witness. I was a missile launch officer in 1967 at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. I was monitoring 10 nuclear missiles one morning 60 feet underground.

A guard yelled into the phone that there was an orange-red object hovering outside our front gate.

All of a sudden our missiles start shutting down one by one.

If aliens can pilot spaceships, why don't they communicate with Earth?

Actually I think this incident was a communication. All they did was shut down our missiles. I think they're communicating that basically we're going to destroy ourselves with these nuclear weapons and we have to stop using them.

Why would the government hide evidence of UFOs?

They want the technology for national security reasons, for weaponry.

If an alien wanted to stay with you, would you agree to that?

If he or she wanted to have a trusting relationship with one human being, certainly I would honor that.

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December 3, 2004

Western Daily Press

Help Me Unravel Riddle of UFO Spy Probes

A Man who says he has had a series of close encounters with extraterrestrial beings believes that they are implanting monitoring devices in people's bodies. James Bazil, 25, of Withywood, Bristol, who has set up the Foundation for the Research of Extraordinary Trauma and Support for Abductees and Witnesses (FRETSAW), is calling for serious studies of the implant phenomenon to be made in the United Kingdom.

He cites the work of Dr Roger Leir in California who has performed a number of operations to remove objects, said to be of unknown origin, apparently implanted in people who say they have been abducted by aliens.

Dr Leir's books Alien Implants and The Aliens And The Scalpel have made him something of a celebrity in the USA.

Some of the objects he has retrieved are metallic, with electromagnetic properties, and others non-metallic, although analysis of them has so far proved inconclusive.

James told me: "Implants were once thought to be mere myth by sceptics when people said they lost them or they disappeared. Leir had a brainstorm - what if we put them in the subject's own blood? And it worked. Thus the objects could be kept for analysis, and so now we know implants are real, not imaginary!

"People say it happens only in America. We need to compare one culture to another to see if the phenomenon remains consistent or not. If the implants really are in people (as they have found in America) then we should in theory find them elsewhere.

"The UK is lacking in research on this subject compared to the US and other countries, which is part of the reason why we believe it's an 'American thing'.

"It's one heck of a mystery in need of resolve! I am saying let's put this to the test - let's do here what Dr Leir did in the States."

James said he planned to set up a project dedicated to seeing the research carried out, and that he would appreciate any offers of practical, theoretical, or funding help.

"Hopefully, an amazing scientific discovery will not be hampered by lack of interest and funds," he added.

As a ufologist, James has embarked on a "close encounter analysis" course which will provide him with a professional diploma for research, therapy and counselling with abductees.

"It is hopefully a qualification that will bring in the first agreed-upon methodology for our research," he said.

"If we're all doing things differently, or asking different questions, and so on, sadly much of what is collected over the years is difficult to analyse properly, and even useless. All proper science and research needs consistency of approach."

James, who says he has had 13 close encounters, passed a lie detector test on a TV show last month when questioned about his UFO claims.

FROM the age of four he complained of seeing little men or goblins, and once he saw a "lizard with humanoid form" in his bedroom. And he continued to have similar experiences throughout his childhood and teenage years.

James would like anyone with UFO experiences to contact him at FRETSAW via or

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November 26, 2004

Herald News (Chicago Suburb)

Not alone when it comes to UFOs
MUFON: Investigates sightings; two recently reported in area 

WILMINGTON — Our area is not alone when it comes to reports of unidentified flying objects.

We may never know if the objects are alien-driven.

A recent meeting with members of the Mutual UFO Network, Inc., also known as MUFON, drew in a crowd of nearly 60 recently to the Wilmington library. MUFON investigates UFO sightings and is always hoping to recruit dedicated members.

MUFON field investigators Sam Maranto and Vic O'Connor lead the discussions.

"We have all heard the stories of strange animal behaviors before a sighting," O'Connor said. "There have been cars that suddenly die and animal mutilations."

Crop circles, the findings of hundreds of people who say they have found implants on their bodies and the thousands who claim they have been abducted, were part of the discussions.

Our government, unlike governments in Chile and China, does not have a UFO department.

"We have discussed the fact that our world could be like a zoo to them," Maranto said.

Two recent mass sightings have prompted MUFON to try to attract new members as well as field inspectors to take reports.

Two of the events took place Aug. 21 and Oct. 31 and were reportedly seen by hundreds of people in Frankfort, Mokena, New Lenox, Tinley Park, Oak Forest, Orland Park, Orland Hills, Matteson and possibly as far away as Hazel Crest.

Maranto said this is one of the most massive sightings in recent history.

One business owner said he was sitting outside with some friends after the Chicago Bears football game when a neighbor yelled at them to look up. They watched the three lights change formations as they went from a northwest direction to the southeast in about 20 minutes, he said. There reportedly was no sound.

He said the bright red lights turned white before disappearing. Around 45 minutes later, a single red light appeared. He was able to capture the light with his video camera.

The witness, who lives in Tinley Park, also viewed the return of the lights on Halloween night. There were three of them again that disappeared after turning colors, he said. Again a single light appeared about 45 minutes later.

There is a video of the sightings available at the National UFO Reporting Center Web site,

"You have to have a passion for this stuff, it is a job that does not pay," Maranto said. "I have probably spent about $3,000 out of my pocket to do this kind of work."

The group recommends reading certain books on the subject, but MUFON does not sell any of them. MUFON is a not-for-profit organization.

On the list are "The Missing Times" by Terry Hanson and "Alien Agenda" by Jim Marris. In addition, there are countless books and movies on the subject of UFO's.

Maranto said the UFO incidents are investigated by individuals certified in aviation, meteorology, physics, astronomy and other scientific fields. Eyewitness testimonies, photos and videotapes are analyzed.

The Halloween sighting happened around 8 p.m. and was viewed by hundreds of trick-or-treaters, according to a preliminary Mutual UFO Network report. On two streets alone, nearly 50 trick-or-treaters were stopped with their eyes on the sky.

The group said the object was shaped like a triangle and was more than 5,000 feet long. At the longest dimension, it reportedly covered eight north and south blocks. Depending on how it rotated, the object reportedly was 1,500 feet to 6,500 feet off the ground and hovered about 4,000 feet above the ground.

This is not the first time there have been UFO sightings in the Joliet area. A fiery pinkish-orange flash of light reportedly was seen near Parker Road by drivers on Interstate 80 as well as a New Lenox man parked in his driveway Nov. 30, 1997 near Cedar Road in New Lenox. A rash of sightings were reported in the fall of 1988.

At the meeting, sightings were reported from Elwood, Wilmington and Braceville.

While there might be more sightings reported by more people, Maranto said there is no reason to panic. While he has heard the tales of possible abductions, most of the stories he has heard have had happy endings.

"I heard about a guy who had trouble getting around due to severe multiple sclerosis who was abducted and came back. He lost 30 pounds in one week and now moves like an antelope," Maranto said. "Another man in Indiana who had a hole in his heart woke up to find a V-shape cut. He went to the doctor and found he had been cured."

An older woman at the meeting said she would welcome an alien abduction.

"Generally, they seem to happen to people under the age of 40 and over many generations," Maranto said.

Maranto is looking for more people who have seen UFOs. He can be e-mailed at Kim Smith can be reached at (815) 729-6067 or via e-mail at

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November 24, 2004

Mount Shasta News

Researcher: 'We Are Not Alone'

by Michael Le Guellec    

Stanton Friedman, nuclear physicist and lecturer on the topic of UFOs, presented his arguments last Wednesday that some UFOs are real.

During his lecture at the Kenneth Ford Theatre in Weed, sponsored by the College of the Siskiyous Associated Student Body, Friedman took a scientific approach by presenting facts and information from government files along with countless interviews he's conducted with civilians and military personnel since the early 1950s.

Friedman presented his "anatomy of a cover-up" and provided a step-by-step trail of government issued paperwork which he says shows the absurdity of copious lies and deceit divulged to the public to cover-up the existence of UFOs.

Friedman reviewed five major scientific studies with mountains of evidence to support his conclusion of alien visits to Earth, including the Roswell Incident, where the wreckage of two flying saucers and the recovery of several alien bodies from New Mexico were documented in a classified memo released by the US government in 1950.

Having worked under security while doing nuclear research for 14 years, Friedman said he knows how easy it is for governments to keep secrets.

As the only civilian investigator on the Roswell incident, Friedman said he became aware of huge "black budgets" of UFO technology related research by top military officials and scientist, including the CIA and Operation Majestic 12, which was created for the purpose of researching UFO's.

After 25 years of UFO research and many interviews, Friedman said he visited 20 archives and read the original Operation Majestic Five documents as well as Project Blue Book Special Report 14, which gives detailed accounts of physical evidence found since 1947.

"The challenge for us all is to recognize that, while our future is in space, we are not alone," Friedman said. "Though we are clearly a primitive society whose major activity is tribal warfare, I hope we can qualify for admission to the 'Cosmic Kindergarten."

Friedman noted the ignorance of data and the lack of research for the "noisy negatives" who he said aren't interested in facts and whose minds are made up.

"They are simply unaware of the real, non-tabloid evidence," said Friedman.

Friedman said that some UFOs are real, and he focuses on the three percent of real sightings that are well documented.

Friedman has lectured in every state in America and 12 countries around the world at the request of researchers and professional groups and has been called to provide testimony to Congressional hearings and appeared twice at the request of the United Nations.

He's answered over 40,000 questions regarding UFOs and has debated regarding the topic at Oxford University.

After providing his argument and evidence on UFOs on public television, a poll revealed that 92 percent of the first 100,000 people who participated believed we are being visited by alien beings.

Although Friedman takes a clear-cut stand that we are being visited by UFOs, he does not believe the legendary Lemurians of the majestic Mt. Shasta are among them.

Friedman's lecture at COS was an ASB function organized by Brian Ramsey and ASB president and student trustee Nick Brown.

"Our goal is to have more interesting and unique ASB functions held in the future," said Brown.

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November 24, 2004

Beacon News (Aurora, Illinois)

UFO group says sightings are up in Northern Illinois
Halloween scare: Witnesses report lights in the sky

by Kim Smith

WILMINGTON — Four local children tell a tale of seeing a rotating disc flying across their subdivision and over a nearby cornfield before the object disappeared somewhere around Route 53.

The children tell their story so well that expert investigators from the Mutual UFO Network say their story could not be made up.

Investigators from the network, those who report witnessing unidentified flying objects and members of the public attended a special meeting this month at the Wilmington Public Library.

The group provided videotapes and hundreds of photographs taken during what the UFO network's Illinois Section director, Sam Maranto, is calling some of the most massive area UFO sightings in recent history.

Two of the events took place Aug. 21 and Oct. 31 of this year and were reportedly seen by hundreds of people in Frankfort, Mokena, New Lenox, Tinley Park, Oak Forest, Orland Park, Orland Hills, Matteson and possibly as far away as Hazel Crest.

The sighting reported by the children happened in Wilmington in June and differs from the more recent events.

The more massive sightings were of a peculiar formation of three red lights — not a disc — that were seen by hundreds of witnesses.

One business owner said he was sitting outside with some friends after the Chicago Bears football game when a neighbor yelled at them to look up. They watched the three lights change formations as they went from a northwest direction to the southeast in about 20 minutes, he said. There reportedly was no sound.

He said the bright red lights turned white before disappearing. Around 45 minutes later, a single red light appeared. He was able to capture the light with his video camera.

The witness, who lives in Tinley Park, also viewed the return of the lights on Halloween night. There were three of them again, he said.

There is a video of the sightings available at the National UFO Reporting Center Web site, at

The reporting center takes the reports, and the Mutual UFO Network does the actual investigations.

Maranto said the UFO incidents are investigated by individuals certified in aviation, meteorology, physics, astronomy and other scientific fields. Eyewitness testimonies, photos and videotapes are analyzed.

The Halloween sighting happened around 8 p.m. and was viewed by hundreds of trick-or-treaters, according to a preliminary Mutual UFO Network report. On two streets alone, nearly 50 trick-or-treaters were stopped with their eyes on the sky.

The group said the object was shaped like a triangle and was more than 5,000 feet long. At the longest dimension, it reportedly covered eight north and south blocks. Depending on how it rotated, the object reportedly was 1,500 feet to 6,500 feet off the ground and hovered about 4,000 feet above the ground.

This is not the first time there have been UFO sightings in the Joliet area. A fiery pinkish-orange flash of light reportedly was seen near Parker Road by drivers on Interstate 80 as well as a New Lenox man parked in his driveway near Cedar Road in New Lenox on Nov. 30, 1997. A rash of sightings were reported in the fall of 1988.

Although there might be more sightings reported by more people, Maranto said there is no reason to panic. He has heard the tales of possible abductions, he said, but most of the stories he has heard have had happy endings.

"I heard about a guy who had trouble getting around due to severe multiple sclerosis who was abducted and came back. He lost 30 pounds in one week and now moves like an antelope," Maranto said. "Another man in Indiana who had a hole in his heart woke up to find a V-shape cut. He went to the doctor and found he had been cured."

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November 19, 2004

Daily Herald-Tribune (Grande Prairie, Alberta)

Hello! Is There Anybody Out There?

by Neal Talbot

Girouxville - A loud humming noise breaks the silence of night, causing Ron Cloutier's dogs to bark crazily, and announces the arrival of Unidentified Flying Objects in the Girouxville skyline.

The skin-tingling X-Files-like scene has haunted Cloutier over the last five months, as he is awakened to watch strange lights and shapes cutting through the darkness above his home.

The appearance of the unexplained objects has deeply shaken the 41-year-old oilfield trucker.

"It's really disturbing to witness something like this and not know what it is," he said. "It's bothering enough to see this once, but it happens all the time now... and it gives me the creeps."

In hopes of having the objects identified, Cloutier has been carefully recording their appearance with precise times and dates through film, photos and his notebook since they began appearing in mid-July. Thus far he has received no answers as to what they may be.

The longtime UFO nonbeliever says he has seen up to four objects in the sky at one time, appearing from the north, and moving eastward until they all disappear.

Approximately 150 kilometres southwest of Cloutier's home, Grande Prairie resident Beverly Kettner admits she too has witnessed a UFO-like object move erratically through the night's sky on at least three occasions.

"Over the last couple of months I've watched what first looked to be a star dart across the sky and stop dead in its tracks, start up again, then stop and then finally disappear," said Kettner.

"It wasn't a plane, satellite or shooting star... it didn't appear to be anything from this world."

Especially unsettling for Kettner is that her four-year old daughter has recently discussed late-night conversations with alien-like people. She says the girl describes the stereotypical short, grey large-headed alien without having ever seen them on television or read about them in storybooks.

The sightings reported by Cloutier and Kettner are part of a record number of Albertans who have reported possible UFO activity in 2004.

UFOlogy Research of Manitoba numbers show Alberta has already broken last year's UFO sighting record of 76 with more than a month left in the year.

Canadian UFO researcher Brian Vike says a growing social acceptance to the unexplained has made Albertans more willing to report potential sightings.

"The acceptance of UFOs into popular culture, increased media attention, and the discovery of new planets in the galaxy have all helped convince people it's OK to come forward with unexplainable sightings," said Vike, who from his home in Houston, B.C., maintains a website tracking Canadian UFO sightings.

Vike points out Albertans have reported seeing triangular, round, square and glowing flying objects, an unusual beam of light enveloping an unidentified figure and claims of missing and stopped time so far this year. Those reports come from nearly every section of the province including metropolitan Edmonton and Calgary.

Former High Prairie resident and UFOlogist Rick MacDonald points to a 2001 poll by Leger Marketing suggesting 40.7 per cent of Alberta residents believe in aliens - the highest of any province - as an example that Albertans are starting to believe.

"More people then ever before are looking at the existence of UFOs and aliens as a real possibility," said MacDonald, whose Disclosure Project group claims Canadian and American governments already know of alien existence.

"After watching UFO sightings on TV and reading sighting reports from hundreds of Albertans on the Internet, disbelief is dwindling."

The increased sightings and growing acceptance of UFOs are both positive steps towards finally unveiling proof of extraterrestrial life, says Alberta UFO Study Group member Jim Moroney.

"There is now enough solid evidence from reputable people in Alberta and across the globe to support the idea we are being visited," said Moroney, who spent the last 18 years investigating Alberta UFO sightings.

"It is now just a matter of time now before we'll be able to prove the existence of UFOs."

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November 10, 2004

Boise Weekly

Saucer Bureaucracy
The UFO Guy Comes To Boise

by Nicholas Collias

Robert Hastings has an important news flash for Idahoans. "Our military", the speaker and researcher begins, "has not yet developed any aircraft that can go 2,000 miles an hour in one direction, stop on a dime and reverse direction." Not a surprise? This might be: thousands of craft with precisely those capabilities have been spotted, tracked and sometimes forcefully engaged while hovering surreptitiously around America’s nuclear weapons bases. You may not believe in it, but your government does, and has for almost 50 years. Hastings can prove that part beyond any reasonable doubt.

For almost 25 years, Hastings has made a living that sounds almost too easy to be a real job. He relays, through lectures at colleges and universities, piles of government data that is free and easily available to any citizen with a home address and a sense of curiosity. He also calls the people in the documents, be they retired military personnel or FAA air traffic controllers, to verify their stories. That’s it. Consider him the Matthew Lesko (that guy with the question marks on his suit) of UFOs. The passkey to his world is the Freedom of Information Act of 1966. This act allows Hastings, or anyone else, access to millions of pages of previously classified information from the CIA, FBI and all branches of the military—and at least 10,000 of the pages relate, in no uncertain terms, to governmental encounters with aircraft straight out of War of the Worlds.

"I don’t pretend to know the rhyme or reason of the sightings, or why a given area is more prone to them at a particular time than others," he promises. "But the fact remains that flying discs, or saucers or UFOs have demonstrated a decades-long interest in the U.S. nuclear weapons program." Hastings first experienced this phenomena in 1967, at the nuke stronghold of Malmstrom Air Force Base in western Montana, when only a 17-year-old self-described "Air Force brat." While hanging out in the air control tower one evening, he was shocked to learn that five nearby UFOs were being tracked on radar. Fighter jets were launched to intercept them, but the craft performed a vertical ascent at speeds beyond any human capability and escaped. From that moment, Hastings’ path was clear.

At age 23, he began interviewing retired military personnel about UFOs, albeit merely "for my own curiosity." By age 30, he had compiled enough documents and witness accounts that his attitude had changed. "I began to conclude that this is a legitimate issue for public awareness, despite the ongoing position of the military intelligence and national security communities that the public should be kept in the dark about it," he explains. Hastings has spent the ensuing years formulating and continually updating his lecture, "UFOs: The Hidden History," a 90-minute slide show about the most striking and undisputable UFO encounters from the 1950s to today—and rest assured, there are many, many encounters still being reported today.

Attendees of Hastings’ November 15 presentation at Boise State will come away with an excess of the most scintillating type of water cooler stories, including fighter/UFO dogfights, nuclear launch sequences that mysteriously start themselves and UFO crashes on government property. But even if you can’t muster the $1 entry fee, plan on hearing a lot more from Hastings and his contacts in the near future. Peter Jennings Productions is currently in production of a two-hour primetime documentary, set to broadcast on ABC in early 2005, exclusively about military UFO encounters and utilizing many of Hastings’ interviewees.

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November 2, 2004

Beacon News (Chicago)

UFO Group Says Sightings Are Up In Northern Illinois
Halloween scare: Witnesses report lights in the sky

By Kim Smith

WILMINGTON — Four local children tell a tale of seeing a rotating disc flying across their subdivision and over a nearby cornfield before the object disappeared somewhere around Route 53.

The children tell their story so well that expert investigators from the Mutual UFO Network say their story could not be made up.

Investigators from the network, those who report witnessing unidentified flying objects and members of the public attended a special meeting this month at the Wilmington Public Library.

The group provided videotapes and hundreds of photographs taken during what the UFO network's Illinois Section director, Sam Maranto, is calling some of the most massive area UFO sightings in recent history.

Two of the events took place Aug. 21 and Oct. 31 of this year and were reportedly seen by hundreds of people in Frankfort, Mokena, New Lenox, Tinley Park, Oak Forest, Orland Park, Orland Hills, Matteson and possibly as far away as Hazel Crest.

The sighting reported by the children happened in Wilmington in June and differs from the more recent events.

The more massive sightings were of a peculiar formation of three red lights — not a disc — that were seen by hundreds of witnesses.

One business owner said he was sitting outside with some friends after the Chicago Bears football game when a neighbor yelled at them to look up. They watched the three lights change formations as they went from a northwest direction to the southeast in about 20 minutes, he said. There reportedly was no sound.

He said the bright red lights turned white before disappearing. Around 45 minutes later, a single red light appeared. He was able to capture the light with his video camera.

The witness, who lives in Tinley Park, also viewed the return of the lights on Halloween night. There were three of them again, he said.

There is a video of the sightings available at the National UFO Reporting Center Web site, at

The reporting center takes the reports, and the Mutual UFO Network does the actual investigations.

Maranto said the UFO incidents are investigated by individuals certified in aviation, meteorology, physics, astronomy and other scientific fields. Eyewitness testimonies, photos and videotapes are analyzed.

The Halloween sighting happened around 8 p.m. and was viewed by hundreds of trick-or-treaters, according to a preliminary Mutual UFO Network report. On two streets alone, nearly 50 trick-or-treaters were stopped with their eyes on the sky.

The group said the object was shaped like a triangle and was more than 5,000 feet long. At the longest dimension, it reportedly covered eight north and south blocks. Depending on how it rotated, the object reportedly was 1,500 feet to 6,500 feet off the ground and hovered about 4,000 feet above the ground.

This is not the first time there have been UFO sightings in the Joliet area. A fiery pinkish-orange flash of light reportedly was seen near Parker Road by drivers on Interstate 80 as well as a New Lenox man parked in his driveway near Cedar Road in New Lenox on Nov. 30, 1997. A rash of sightings were reported in the fall of 1988.

Although there might be more sightings reported by more people, Maranto said there is no reason to panic. He has heard the tales of possible abductions, he said, but most of the stories he has heard have had happy endings.

"I heard about a guy who had trouble getting around due to severe multiple sclerosis who was abducted and came back. He lost 30 pounds in one week and now moves like an antelope," Maranto said. "Another man in Indiana who had a hole in his heart woke up to find a V-shape cut. He went to the doctor and found he had been cured."

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October 23, 2004

New York Times

Betty Hill, 85, Figure in Alien Abduction Case, Dies

by Margalit Fox

Betty Hill, whose assertion that she was carried off by otherworldly beings in 1961 inspired a national obsession with alien abduction that remains a staple of American popular culture, died on Sunday at her home in Portsmouth, N.H. She was 85.

The cause was lung cancer, her niece Kathleen Marden said.

Mrs. Hill was not the first person to tell of an alien encounter. But her account was the first to capture the public imagination on a grand scale, defining a narrative subgenre that has flourished in the decades since.

Mrs. Hill's account was the subject of a book by John G. Fuller, "The Interrupted Journey: Two Lost Hours 'Aboard a Flying Saucer' " (Dial, 1966). In 1975 it became a television movie, "The UFO Incident." The film starred Estelle Parsons as Mrs. Hill and James Earl Jones as her husband, Barney, who also said he was abducted.

The incident, the Hills said, occurred on the night of Sept. 19, 1961. Driving in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, they saw a light that seemed to grow larger and larger. Back home, they found what appeared to be shiny spots on the car's exterior.  They could not account for a two-hour segment of their trip.

The Hills later saw a psychiatrist, who put them under hypnosis. Gradually, a narrative of the couple's lost hours emerged. They recounted many times that a group of short gray-skinned beings stopped their car and took them aboard a waiting spaceship. There, the Hills said, they were subjected to rigorous medical examinations that included inserting a long needle into Mrs. Hill's navel.

The account fit squarely in the Western narrative tradition. With a dark night, ghostly apparitions and sexual undercurrent, it had many Victorian gothic hallmarks, and it shared the common Western folklore theme of being spirited off and ravished by an otherworldly creature.

In the Hills' account, these traditional elements were transplanted to a modern but no less anxious time, the height of the cold war, when many people gazed nervously skyward.

"It's not unlike the Leda and the swan myth," said Terry Matheson, a professor of English at the University of Saskatchewan and the author of "Alien Abductions: Creating a Modern Phenomenon" (Prometheus, 1998). "The alien comes in, probes women in a distinctly sexual way for purposes that are equally inscrutable, but which may, we're told, make sense down the road."

Mrs. Hill was born Eunice Elizabeth Barrett on June 28, 1919, in Newton, N.H. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, she was a social worker for many years. Besides her niece, survivors include three sisters, two children and three grandchildren. Mr. Hill died in 1969.

The Hills' cultural legacy includes films ("Close Encounters of the Third Kind"), television programs ("Roswell") and books, like those by Whitley Strieber and John Mack, that treat alien abduction as a plausible phenomenon.

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October 20, 2004

Craig Daily Press (Colorado)

Sheriff Probes Mutilated Cattle

by Amy Hatten

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Moffat County Sheriff's Office is investigating the mutilation and killing of three area cows.

Two steers and one heifer in a herd owned by Jacque Osburn mysteriously have been killed and their genitals removed between Oct. 10 and 16, Moffat County Sheriff's deputy Courtland Folks said.

"Possibly it could have been done for some type of worship with the organs," Folks said. "It's something that makes livestock owners uncomfortable."

Osburn said the cattle that was in a pasture near the Craig-Moffat County Airport already had been sold to a buyer. She estimated a loss of up to 1,300 pounds of meat and a personal financial hit of up to $2,400.

Folks said no visible marks were present on the cattle to determine how they were killed, but the department is contacting the state's veterinary services to conduct further investigation.

Osburn said incidences of livestock mutilation were rampant in the area about 20 years ago, but this is the first time that any of her cattle have been mutilated. Osburn said she has a "small cattle operation" of about 200 head. She has moved the calves in her herd to a different pasture.

"I guess if it's going to happen anytime, it's going to happen around Halloween," she said. "I hope it's not the start of something, but you never know."

Osburn said she has started to circulate word of the incident to other ranchers, so they can watch their livestock.

Law enforcement is looking for leads in the case, and anyone who has seen suspicious activity in the livestock fields should call the sheriff's office, Folks said.

Folks said livestock mutilation wasn't unheard of in Moffat County, though it is rare.

"It's a little more common when you get closer to the larger areas," he said.

If charged, a person could face a minimum of a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty, said Amy Fitch, 14th Judicial District chief deputy district attorney.

Osburn said she wouldn't be as outraged by the incident if a person needed the meat for survival. Instead, she has pictures of the dead animals with only their sexual organs removed.

Insurance will cover the costs of the animals if it is proved that the animals were shot, hit by lightning, drowned or hit by a vehicle, she said.

"It's scary," she said. "People feel pretty immune from crime when out here, but we're not. It wasn't a good trick, and it sure as hell wasn't a treat."

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or

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October 17, 2004

Edmonton Journal (Canada)

Night Sky Holds Terrifying Memories For Alien Abductees
by Jeff Holubitsky

EDMONTON -- The two men didn't want their names used for fear of ridicule, but they had a story to tell.

It haunts their dreams and has forever changed the way they look into the night sky, said the men, who came, as did about two dozen others, to the first conference of the Alberta UFO Study Group on Saturday afternoon.

Around 2 a.m. on April 29, 1997, the two men were driving between Valleyview and Grande Prairie when a bright red light approached them from above, one of the men recalled.

The wind around them picked up, they fell unconscious, and awoke in a space ship, he said. "I remember I was fighting them and I kicked one between the legs, but they didn't have no testicles," one of the men said.

He said he looked at his friend, who had some sort of golden apparatus in his mouth.

"Then they probed me," he said, with tears beginning to well in his eyes.

"I remember it as clear as yesterday."

He said he blacked out and when he regained consciousness he was back in his car, speeding down the same highway in the wrong direction. It took them more than six hours to make a 45-minute trip.

Physically, the former bull rider said he felt as sore as if he'd competed in a rodeo the night before.

"I was quiet for two or three weeks, then I started to remember it," he said. "I still have dreams."

The men came to the rented room at University of Alberta Conference Centre, as others did, with an intense or personal interest in unexplained phenomena. They gathered to share experiences, philosophies, conspiracy theories, even skepticism, at the day-long event organized by Jim Moroney, a health and safety inspector with his own life-changing story to tell.

The executive director of the Alberta Municipal Health and Safety Association says he was driving from Edmonton to Ontario several years ago when he stopped his car near Winnipeg.

Moroney discounts theories that he might have temporarily fallen asleep on his feet. He maintains he was completely awake and standing next to his car to get some fresh air when a UFO appeared -- a big bright object that hovered above him for six or seven seconds before disappearing.

"It was probably about 20 feet above me," he said. " I still get shaky talking about it, but the air underneath it was dead."

He's uncomfortable recounting the story in public. "It would be silly to say that I wouldn't be nervous some people would be prejudiced against me because of my ideas on these phenomena," he said.

But like others at the conference, he believes there needs to be serious study into unexplained stories shared by so many people around the globe.

"We have to invite skepticism into this because it is only through challenging this through scientific means and really being honest about these challenges, that we'll filter out a body of evidence that is irrefutable one way or the other."

Former pilot Ken Burgess, who investigates UFO sightings for the group, isn't about to speculate about the strange object he saw above a plane he was flying. He's angered by tales of little green men, because they damage serious inquiry into the subject. But he knows he saw what he saw.

He has talked to people who have reported all kinds of objects in Alberta's skies. Some sightings have been as recent as last month -- giant flying black triangles above St. Albert.

"I just take the information and try to track it down," he said. "Did they pick it up on radar or did anyone else see it?"

The conference also heard from Fern Belzil, one of the world's top authorities in cattle mutilation. In the past eight years, the 80-year-old rancher from St. Paul has investigated more than 100 cases, the last ones just a few weeks ago.

Since the mad-cow crisis, farmers have generally kept quiet when their cattle or other animals are found with lips, tongues, udders, genitals, noses, eyes and rectums removed with surgical precision.

Showing slide after slide of mutilations, he insists he can instantly see differences between inexplainable injuries and those caused by predators or maggots.

Belzil is not certain what is happening to the animals.

"A lot of arrows point towards aliens," he said. "But we have no proof."

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October 5, 2004

Reading Evening Post (UK)

Close encounters of the Tilehurst kind

'Lady is far from crazy'

A STARGAZER is asking people to look to the heavens after spotting what she can only describe as UFOs flying in the night skies.

Benita Kwiatek, from Tilehurst, has documented three separate sightings of strange purple and pink objects in the past three years.

The 56-year-old said: “People think I’m crazy but from my heart this is a true story.”

The cleaner has always been interested in the stars but her sightings, first in Henley and then Tilehurst, have left her spellbound and unable to explain the phenomenon.

She says on each occasion she hadn’t been drinking and is not on any medication, and she wants to know if others have seen the same thing.

So far Mrs Kwiatek has had no direct contact with any extra terrestrials but she said: “Something is going on. Nothing on earth can move this way.”

She describes the objects as being large pink or purple discs that are dark on their flipside. They fly as high as aeroplanes but move smoothly in a manner no man-made object she has seen could repeat.

She describes them swinging in the sky, moving in an almost staccato, fly-like way.

Mrs Kwiatek also has exact times and dates of when she has seen the unearthly objects and recommends anyone interested should look to the stars between 10pm and midnight.

Her first sighting happened on Wednesday, October 4, 2001, when she and her husband Stan drove home from a cleaning job in Henley at midnight.

Mrs Kwiatek says a bright pink or purple object appeared to follow their car from the Tesco roundabout in Henley to the roundabout at Sonning Common, casting a light like a “spider’s web” through the sky.

“It wasn’t a clear night so we couldn’t see it properly but it seemed to fly around the front and back, all around the car.”

The couple chose to forget the incident until this summer when they experienced two more sightings.

At 11.15pm on Thursday, August 26, Mrs Kwiatek saw three objects from the window of her home in Coombe Road and then weeks later another sighting at 10pm on Wednesday, September 8, from her back garden.

“One of my neighbours said he saw something that night and thought it was probably a weather balloon but it can’t have been.

“They just don’t move like these objects do.”

Anyone who can verify Mrs Kwiatek’s sightings should call (0118) 918 3010.

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October 2, 2004

Hindustan Times (New Delhi)

Balloon Spy-Sat Or UFO?

by Dinesh C. Sharma

A space scientist claims to have come across an unidentified flying object (UFO) during a scientific expedition in Himachal Pradesh.

Dr Anil V. Kulkarni of ISRO's Space Application Centre saw the object on the morning of September 27 while leading the expedition in the Samudra Tapu glacier region near Chandratal, about 14,000 feet above sea level. Other members of the team also witnessed the unusual object.

The sighting has been reported to authorities in Kullu-Manali and New Delhi and the Ahmedabad space centre is analysing the photographs.

While Kulkarni says it was unlikely that the object was a weather balloon (though it looked like one), a member of his team felt the 'UFO' could be an espionage device.

"We saw a bright white object moving towards our camp at about 7 am. It moved down the hilltop, towards the bottom. Eight persons from our party moved towards it but the object kept moving towards us. Then some porters made a noise and it started retreating in the same direction without turning around. After a while it turned and started to move towards the hilltop," said Kulkarni on his return from Manali.

He said: "The background was rocky, so we could see the white object very clearly. It was about 3 to 4 feet tall and balloons were attached to its head. One was red and the rest were white. It had what looked like two legs and looked as if it was floating a few inches above the ground."

Since it was early morning, there was mountain shadow in the region. "The moment, it came in contact with solar radiation, its colour changed to black. Then it took off vertically, and moved along the ridge for about 3-4 minutes in the southern direction. Soon, after, it its colour changed back to white and it moved towards our camp. It remained stationary overhead for 3-4 minutes and moved

towards the northerly direction and disappeared," the scientist said.

Kulkarni rules out the possibility of the object being an experimental balloon. "The object moved in a slanting direction without touching the hill. It retreated the same way. It also changed colour and was moving in a direction different to that of the prevailing wind. All this suggests that the object could not have been a weather balloon."

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October 1, 2004

San Marcos Record

UFOs: The Hidden History' lecture is Oct. 12

by Anita Miller


Robert Hastings believes the truth is out there - and what he knows of it, he's willing to share.

Hastings, an independent researcher and lecturer on Unidentified Flying Objects, will present a lecture, "UFOs: The Hidden History," at 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom on the Texas State University-San Marcos campus. Admission is free.

He last visited the campus in 1996, and the lecture drew a crowd of more than 200. Since then, he says disclosures under the federal Freedom of Information Act have provided new fuel to the fire that burns in those who have seen things that cannot be rationally explained.

Not surprisingly, Hastings is himself one of those people. And though it's been almost 40 years since he found himself in the air traffic control tower at a Montana air force base, he still clearly recalls what transpired.

"It was a question of being in the right place at the right time," said Hastings, who was in 1967 a self-described "Air Force brat" whose father was stationed at Malmstrom AFB near Great Falls, Montana.

As he watched, the tower personnel began tracking five objects "that were not aircraft." Jets were launched to investigate but as they closed in "the UFOs performed a vertical ascent and left the area at enormous speed - far beyond the capability of any aircraft."

Over the next 30 years, Hastings was to learn through interviews with dozens of former military personnel and others with first-hand knowledge that the interest of the unknown objects was often drawn to highly classified sites including the Los Alamos National Laboratory, nuclear missile silos and nuclear bomb storage bunkers.

"This incident was not unique," he said. "In fact those kinds of things have taken place on dozens of occasions and the documents are in the public domain."

Hastings said the documentation of unexplained events and sightings made available through the FOIA goes back to the famous Roswell incident of 1947. One slide he will show during his lecture is a 1950 memorandum to J. Edgar Hoover, who was then the director of the FBI, reporting that "flying saucers" had crashed in New Mexico and been recovered by the U.S. Air Force. The memo goes on to say that "bodies of human shape but only three feet tall" were found inside the craft.

That memo is one of about 1,200 Hastings said was released to a Navy physicist.

"The documents are legitimate. They seem to suggest something extraordinary happened," he said - as do interviews Hastings has personally conducted, including one with a retired brigadier general who referred to government custody of a "craft from space."

"When all is said and done this is still anecdotal evidence," he said. "But I think one has to ask oneself why persons of the general's status would make these kinds of statements.

"There are tantalizing fragments of data," he said, "that the government may have uncovered an alien spacecraft over 50 years ago."

Despite the persistence of UFO sightings virtually worldwide, Hastings said the "ridicule factor" shies major media outlets away from coverage. "If covered it is treated with tongue in cheek, delivered with a small smirk by the talking head on TV. There are a lot of good observations, truly unexplained objects swept under the rug because of the ridicule factor."

Hastings said throughout his presentations, he presents solid evidence.

"I'm very precise and very clear when I talk to people. I don't make claims that are not supported by the evidence."

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October 1, 2004

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune

Odd lights seen over Marshfield

by Matt Conn

MARSHFIELD - So it's unidentified, and it flies, and it's an object - that simply means it's inexplicable, not that it's a UFO filled with little green women.

In the past two weeks, Marshfield-area residents have reported unusual lights and objects in the night sky, some accompanied by what looked like fighter jets.

On the night of Sept. 23, Eric Dickmann sat at a bonfire with friends and family at his home in the town of Day. Three lights in a triangle burned bright in the sky for about four seconds and then they disappeared, he said last week.

Ten minutes later, the bright lights reappeared and moved the same way, Dickmann said. He said that what the eight people at the bonfire saw that night was the same as what his son saw the Thursday before, while driving south from Spencer. That sighting was accompanied by what looked like a fighter jet, he said.

Dan Young of the town of Cary, chief photographer at the Marshfield News-Herald, said Thursday that he had seen similar lights on several occasions, as recently as Tuesday.
The lights moved close together, then went away, he said.

"Tuesday night, the white lights came close together, and I could see aircraft lights, kind of like warning lights," he said. "I thought this was probably something that most likely could be easily explained after the second time. It looked like, my guess is, helicopters that came together in the sky and went their separate ways."

About 95 percent of all Americans have heard or read something about unidentified flying objects, and 57 percent believe alien craft are real, according to a Central Intelligence Agency report in 1997.

Former President Jimmy Carter and the late President Ronald Reagan said they had seen UFOs, according to the CIA.

But the lights in the night sky in the Marshfield area are most likely military aircraft on regular training missions, said Sgt. Katie Dahlke, an airfield manager at Volk Field.

The direction Dickmann and Young were looking when they saw lights in the sky are consistent with two military operations areas, Falls 2 MOA and Volk West MOA.

"Throughout the month we've had various aircraft in various training," she said. "We have had night flying going on with F-16s. It's happened a lot in the month of September."
During these missions, six F-16s are flying, which could explain the three aircraft in formation area residents have reported, she said. Other craft have included cargo planes, C-130s, and helicopters, UH-60s.

Though some area residents have reported seeing something the size of a hospital in the sky, Dahlke said they were probably seeing formations of aircraft. Even the C-130 cargo plane is "certainly not as big as a hospital," she said.

She said nothing out of the ordinary had been sighted in the night sky by the highly trained aviators. Nothing unusual was spotted on radar in the last month, but she added that it has been a time of heavy military flight training.

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October 2004

Naval History Magazine

Cosmic Curiosity

by Commander Edward P. Stafford

Half a century ago, three Navy aviators saw something high above their Greenland base that baffled them.

It was August 1952. I was officer in charge of a detachment of three Navy patrol planes operating out of the new US air base at Thule, in northwest Greenland, some 80 miles from the North Pole. The primary mission assigned our four engine, World War II Privateers was "ice recon- naissance." That meant flying out over the Kennedy Channel, Smith Sound, Baffin Bay, and the Davis Strait and plotting the location of the pack ice and large bergs. That data was relayed to the ships that each summer re-supplied the chain of arctic radar stations known as the DEW (distant early warning) line.

Our secondary job, not to interfere with ice reconnaissance, was to support a group of scientists conducting cosmic ray research. About once a week, when weather conditions were right, they sent up a huge, translucent "Skyhook" bal- loon with a package of sensitive photographic plates suspended under it. The balloons would drift downwind at an altitude of 90,000-100,000 feet, where the atmosphere (spun thinner near the poles by the rotation of the earth) was sufficiently attenuated to permit the cosmic rays to make their telltale traces on the photographic plates. When the plates had been exposed for a few hours, the scientists would send a radio signal to the balloon, exploding a small charge, cutting the plates loose, and returning them to earth under a large, bright red parachute.

Our job was to fly above any overcast, keep the high bal- loons in sight, and report the landing location of the parachuted plates for recovery by helicopter. The high-flying gas bags were equipped by low power, low frequency radio transmitters to which we would tune our radio compasses so their needles always pointed toward the balloons.

These were easy flights, always in good weather and always at an altitude safely above the tall, cloud-shrouded bergs and coastal rocks we often had to dodge on ice patrol. Each of us had two or three of those "milk runs" while deployed to Thule, and we rather enjoyed the change of tactics and routine, as well as the virtuous feeling that we were helping to advance the cause of science.

This is why I was surprised to find one of the other plane commanders as tense and pale on return from a balloon chase as though it had been a hairy combat mission or a close encounter with a berg or a mountaintop. Lt. John Callahan was a salty, steady professional pilot, so I knew when I saw him walking in from his plane that something serious had happened on that flight.

"What the hell's the matter John?" I asked him. "You look as if you'd just survived a midair!" "Ed, you're not going to believe it. I'm not even sure I do...and I SAW it. And so did O'Flaherty and Merchant. At least most of it. And I don't think they believe it either."

I followed John into the line shack where he wrote up some minor gripes on his airplane, then into our little ready room where we poured ourselves coffees and sat down. John was not acting at all like the Callahan I knew. Although he was an experienced and highly competent naval aviator, John Callahan's normal manner was outgoing and cheerful, even jovial, with lots of smiles and laughter and banter...even after a low-level hurricane penetration or a long patrol in instrument weather. Not this day. Now he was deadly serious and obviously shaken. The last time I had seen a man like this was in wartime.

Here is John Callahan's story:

He was flying at 10,000 feet in the clear with the balloon in sight high above and the radio compass needle locked on to the balloon's transmitter. Through the one set of binoculars carried in each aircraft, he and his copilot, Lt. (jg) Bill O'Flaherty, occasionally inspected the balloon and its instrument package, trailing beneath like the tail of a kite. Everything looked normal for most of the flight. Then, on a routine check with the binoculars, John found something very abnormal about the balloon and its payload. He looked for a long time and then passed the glasses to O'Flaherty.

"Take a look at our target," he told the young officer, "and tell me what you see." O'Flaherty looked, lowered the glasses and glanced sharply at John, then looked again. "Well?" "Jesus Christ, John there are three bright silver discs attached to that instrument pod! They weren't there the last time I looked. Where the hell did they come from?"

Callahan took the glasses back and looked again. They were still there exactly as the copilot had described, three shining, saucer-shaped metallic objects clustered on the hanging trail of the balloon just above the black dot of the science pack- age.

On the intercom Callahan called the plane captain to the cock-pit and handed him the binoculars. "Take a look Merchant. What do you think?" The captain's reaction was the same as the copilot's. "What the hell are they? Where did they come from?"

Callahan took the glasses back and studied the strange objects for several minutes while O'Flaherty maneuvered the Privateer to keep the target in sight. Suddenly Callahan sucked in his breath and held it. What he was seeing could not be happening. The three objects had detached themselves from the tail of the balloon and formed up into a compact vee. As Callahan watched incredulously, they executed what looked at that distance like a vertical bank to the left and accelerated to a blinding speed that took them out of sight, climbing in about three seconds.

Callahan handed the glasses back to O'Flaherty. "They're gone," he said slowly, "CLIMBING from 90,000 feet. Never saw anything turn so tight or move so fast."

Back in the ready room after the instrument pod had landed and its position had be reported, this was the aspect of the phenomenon that most affected Callahan.

"Jesus, Ed," he told me, "from the angle of the sky those things passed through in the three seconds they were in sight, at that distance, they must have been going tens of thousands of miles an hour. They must have pulled a hundred Gs in that turn. And what the hell climbs out, ACCELERATING from 90,000 feet?"

John sat down that day, while it was still clear in his head, and wrote a full report of the incident. It went through the chain of command to the Office of Naval Intelligence. A report was also made to the Air Force authorities at Thule. There never has been an explanation, nor even an acknowledgment of the report. The phenomenon exists today only in the memory of John C. Callahan, his copilot, his plane captain, and I, to whom it was told so vividly when it was fresh.

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September 29, 2004

Associated Press

Dr. John Mack, Pulitzer Prize Winner & Alien Abduction on Researcher has Died

BOSTON -- Dr. John E. Mack, the Harvard Medical School professor of psychiatry who won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Lawrence of Arabia and also conducted research on people who claimed to be abducted by aliens, has died.
Mack was struck and killed by an alleged drunken driver in London on Monday while attending the T.E. Lawrence Society Symposium in Oxford, England, according to a release on the John E. Mack Institute Web site. He was 74.
Harvard Medical School spokesman Don Gibbons confirmed the death.
Mack, who won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1977 for "A Prince of Our Disorder" on the life of World War I British officer T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, was one of several speakers at the symposium.
Mack made two presentations at the symposium on Monday, and was struck in a crosswalk while walking to the home at which he was staying, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mack's extensive research of about 200 people from around the world who claimed to have had encounters with space aliens found that they had a heightened sense of spirituality and environmentalism.
He wrote about his subjects' experiences in two books, 1994's "Abduction" and 1999's "Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters."
His work was also the subject of the 2003 documentary film "Touched."
His efforts, which found that people claiming to be abducted came from all walks of life and generally had no evidence of mental illness, met with skepticism and criticism from some elements of the academic community.
In 1994, Harvard Medical School established a committee of peers to review his clinical care and clinical investigation of the people he interviewed in the course of his alien abduction research and initiated proceedings to determine whether he should retain tenure.
After the 14-month investigation, the school "reaffirmed Dr. Mack's academic freedom to study what he wishes and to state his opinions without impediment."
"I am just so devastated by this news," said Roderick MacLeish, the attorney who represented Mack during the Harvard investigation. "This is a great loss. John was one of the kindest, most compassionate mental health clinicians I have ever met, and I have represented many psychiatrists."
Mack's early work focused on clinical explorations of dreams, nightmares and teen suicide and how world perception affects relationships. He advocated a move away from materialism in Western culture, blaming it for the Cold War and global ecological problems.
"He was so caring to his patients, and I hope that is what he is remembered for, and not for being the guy who believed in people's stories of alien abductions," MacLeish said.
Mack was born in New York City. He earned an undergraduate degree from Oberlin College in 1951 and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1955. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1959-61.
No funeral or burial information was immediately available...

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September 10, 2004

Exeter News-Letter

Veteran teacher remembered when UFO visited

by Rachel Forrest


What must it have been like for the indigenous tribes of the Americas, Africa or Australia hundreds of years ago to suddenly find an alien culture on their land, a culture that was more technologically advanced than theirs? They must have been curious, intrigued, puzzled, and more than a little bit scared. The conquerors and explorers from Europe must have seemed like they came from the sky, from another planet. They had to develop a way to deal with the new element in their lives. And they did, in many ways, some of them welcoming, and some hostile.

That could never happen to us. Not in this day and age. No new explorers exist to pop in and see who we are and what we’re up to. Or do they? There are those who believe that off-planet cultures exist and that beings from these cultures have been here before. They say that we need a plan of action and interaction when we meet these beings, because the presence of these cultures will affect many aspects of our life on earth.

In early August a group of people interested in the implications of these cultures in our lives met in Exeter at the Unitarian Church to hear the ideas of Thomas Hansen, Ph.D., from Virginia, and Exeter resident Carol Hochstedler, and to discuss their own ideas. They want the study of Exopolitics, which is concerned with the political, social, economic, technological, environmental, spiritual, military, scientific and personal implications of off-planet cultures interacting with humanity, to come out as a legitimate field of research and dialog.

Hansen, a mathematician, opened the discussion by playing the guitar and singing one of his original songs, "Official Explanation Blues." In it, he describes his frustration, which he says he shares with others, at not being taken seriously by public officials.

"Lights in the sky on a cloudy night, we’ve seen some things and we’re sure we’re right, but officials say the answer must be no, they say we’ve seen too many a sci-fi show. Once again they win we lose. Got those official explanation blue," he sings.

According to Hansen and many others, beings from off-planet cultures have been visiting Earth for hundreds of years, but it’s in the best interest of various political power centers in the United States and elsewhere to keep these visitations not only quiet, but suppressed, despite the fact that recent Gallup and Roper polls show that 50 percent of Americans believe that unidentified flying objects are real, and 70 percent believe the U.S. government knows more about UFOs than it’s letting on.

Hochstedler comes at her beliefs in off-planet cultures from a largely spiritual point of view. In 1993 she attended a spirituality conference at which the former surgeon general of Finland spoke about the existence of these cultures in the universe. Other speakers reinforced this idea.

"The message was hopeful," says Hochstedler. "The whole idea fit in to my world view and the shackles just fell away. I walked around the conference and the conversations continued all around me about the possibilities."

"I read ‘Incident in Exeter’ and other accounts of sightings in New Hampshire, and then met Tom at another spirituality conference. He told me about The Disclosure Project."

In the "Incident at Exeter," on Sept. 3, 1965, a recent high school graduate in Exeter, Norman Muscarello, was hitchhiking home on Route 150 just outside of town. At about 2:30 a.m. Muscarello spotted a huge object that gave off an intense red glow and then rose up from some nearby woods and moved toward him. He found two policemen who confirmed the sighting, but official policy said, "It can’t be, therefore it isn’t," and sought other more mundane possibilities

But unexplainable experiences occur, and The Disclosure Project, a nonprofit research project seeking to disclose what it purports to be facts about UFOs, extraterrestrial intelligence, classified advanced energy and propulsion systems, wants to testify before Congress and bring it all out into the open.

According to the group, more than 400 government, military, and intelligence community witnesses have and are willing to testify to their direct, personal, first-hand experience with UFOs, ETs, ET technology, and the alleged cover-up that keeps this information secret.

Disclosure Project member Dr. Ted Loder, professor at the University of New Hampshire in the Department of Earth Sciences, and a member of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, says that military and intelligence officers, airline pilots and NASA officials, have witnessed UFO encounters and have been told to cover them up.

"There are corporate scientists and FAA officials who are trying to testify in Congress. They once worked on projects that recovered ET craft, and bodies, live and dead," says Hansen.

Hansen said he sees the benefits of the technology that advanced other world cultures can bring to us, such as the replacement of oil with zero-point energy technology and anti-gravity propulsion, which are both more environmentally sound.

So why are there people who think the government is suppressing this information, even threatening those who want to testify before Congress and the world about what they’ve seen?

Fear for one, says Hansen. "They think humanity isn’t ready to hear this. Look at the sci-fi movies in the 50s. They were all about attacking and killing anything that came from outer space."

Money and power are two other big reasons. Replacing oil as an energy source with far more advanced and largely free clean technologies would destroy already established power and wealth structures.

So if there are off-planet cultures that have and are still trying to make contact, why can’t we all see them and talk to them? Where are they?

"They’ve watched the detonation of A-bombs. They’ve seen the destruction and violence." Says Hochstedler. "In the galaxy, there may be a Universe U.N. that’s waiting for us to get more peaceable before they let us join."

Hansen and Hochstedler welcome opportunities to lead lectures and discussions that normalize the topic. They’d like everyone to see that they aren’t crackpots who "aren’t wrapped too tight", as Hansen puts it. They see contact with off-planet cultures as a chance to evolve spiritually, to become more peaceful and accepting as a world culture.

And the fact that mainstream people are coming to these meetings is a step in the right direction. Hochstedler says that the president of Mexico is poised to take a stand on the issue and other countries will follow with what they’ve seen and recorded. They’re being taken seriously.

Hochstedler says "All human experience is a valid experience, and the experiences of others with off-planet cultures needs to be taken seriously and is an opportunity to connect spiritually with another civilization. They may even be trying to help us."

Peace on Earth, goodwill toward mankind, and to whoever else is out there in our big Universe.

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August 22, 2004

Evansville Courier Press

Veteran teacher remembered when UFO visited

by Len Wells

Norman Massie died last Tuesday at the hospital in Carmi, Ill. He was 91.

The Mount Erie native had taught school in Wayne County for 37 years and once served as principal of the Geff Grade School.

Many Wayne County residents remembered him simply as "Coach Massie." For years, he taught basketball skills to grade schoolers at Center Street School in Fairfield.

Even more residents around Southern Illinois remember Norman as a sales representative for World Book Encyclopedia, a job he held for more than 20 years until computers and the Internet came along, reducing an entire set of books to a few mouse clicks or a couple of CDs.

While the folks in Southern Illinois will remember Coach Massie for his many years in education, perhaps the world will remember him for what he witnessed 81 years ago - when he was just 10 years old.

It was a warm day in June 1923 when Norman led a team of horses into a pasture near his Mount Erie home, looked up and saw what he was convinced until his last days was a spaceship.

In a 1998 interview with Norman, he told me, "I opened the gate to let the horses into the pasture. I let them through, and as I was closing the gate, I looked back down the field and there was an object with lights all around it," Massie said. "I kept walking closer to the object until I got about 50 feet away. I stood there and watched the five men who were on board."

I've heard Norman tell this story many times, and it was always the same - never embellished from one time to the next. "The machine was metallic and stood on three legs. The top was a dome with holes in it. The best way I could describe the top was it looked like melted glass," Massie said.

"I got close enough that I could hear them talk. One guy sat in a chair and the others called him the commander. Four others made trips back and forth in the ship. I didn't know what was going on until the end. Then, one of the crew members told the commander that the repairs had been made."

Massie said the whole experience lasted about five minutes. In a matter of minutes, he said, it came to a hovering position; the tripod legs telescoped up into the belly of the thing, went straight up about 200 feet and whizzed off to the west like a bullet.

Norman's mom and dad tried to convince him that he really hadn't seen anything - that he had made the whole thing up. Then, in 1990, he got up the nerve and told his son who served as a colonel in the Air Force about the incident. "He told me there was nothing wrong with me. He said the Air Force files are full of pictures of UFOs. He accepted my story as the truth."

Norman Massie was never afraid that people might think he was a crazy old man for what he had seen. "In my own mind and my own heart, it existed and I saw it with my own two eyes."

Norman is gone now. He leaves his wife, four children, seven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and a remarkable story from his childhood.

His story has traveled around the globe, and is still shared by those who remain convinced we've received visitors from other planets.

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August 22, 2004

Farmington Daily Times

Aztec To Premiere UFO Documentary

by Debra Mayeux

AZTEC -- As research continues into the infamous, yet unproven Aztec UFO crash of 1948, a Canadian film company has released the first full-length documentary about the event.

The Aztec Public Library, sponsor of the annual Aztec UFO Symposium, recently received a copy and plans to premiere it at 7 p.m. Thursday at Aztec City Hall.

"This video elevates the story to a national level of discussion," said Leanne Hathcock, librarian and founder of the symposium.

It was her research, along with the help of North Carolina resident Scott Ramsey, that led to a renaissance of interest in the purported crash in March 1948 in Hart Canyon north of Aztec.

Ramsey has completed countless hours of research and successfully declassified material pertinent to the incident.

"We're working very hard in trying to identify two law enforcement officers at the scene, and at the same time trying to be respectful to the families," Ramsey said.

New Mexico and UFOs have become synonymous since the surging popularity of the Roswell crash in July 1947, but Aztec is coming into its own, according to Hathcock and Ramsey.

"I think the documentary puts Aztec in a positive light," Ramsey said.

City Commissioner Jim Rubow agreed, saying the film was well done.

"I thought it was fairly open minded," he said. "They did a good job of integrating local history giving (the story) a better understanding of anything I've seen to date."

The film begins with a view of San Juan County's high desert landscape and film producer Paul Kimball telling the story of Aztec.

It was a quiet evening north of the county seat, when an oil well fire broke out on a mesa above Hart Canyon. The fire led people to something much more interesting — a crashed UFO containing charred bodies, Kimball tells in the story Ramsey continually attempts to verify.

It has been the researchers desire to locate all living eyewitnesses, but Ramsey said he has missed many due to their untimely deaths.

He has spoken to a number of people in Cuba about a former resident who may have been at the crash site. He learned from them that in March 1948, the Air Force paid that small town a visit.

Dr. Lincoln La Paz and a high-ranking military official came to Cuba to investigate strange sightings, Ramsey said.

"At the end of a few days of investigation, La Paz wrote it off as meteor showers, including rock samples that he tried to pawn off on locals as meteorites," Ramsey said.

The researcher, who is most prominent in the documentary, believes this incident might be tied to Aztec.

This information will not be found on the video because it was only recently discovered.

What viewers will see is a potpourri of ufologists including Stanton Friedman and Nick Redfern and skeptics like Karl Pflock.

Ramsey, however, is the center of attention, having done most of the updated research on Aztec.

"He was going on the paper trail and the evidence," Hathcock said, adding Kimball used "talking heads" to tell the story to provide a basis for credibility.

"I feel like it was well done," she said.

"(Kimball) is a purist when it comes to doing a documentary," Ramsey said. "It has to be based on as much fact as possible."

The facts are played out with scenery and "Dick Tracy" graphics for an enjoyable yet informative film that will soon be for sale with all profits benefiting the Aztec Public Library.

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August 19, 2004

Albuquerque Tribune

An alien concept
Why do we wonder whether extraterrestrials exist? Why do we care? We can't help it. Our brains are hard-wired that way

Marcel Harmon

"It's life, Captain, but not life as we know it."

This observation of Mr. Spock's slowly rose from the depths of my subconscious as I stared at the sight before me. In the hands of my 2-year-old son was the torso of an olive green alien mounted on the end of a pencil. As he gleefully twirled the pencil in his hands, the alien's abnormally long arms whirled about.

My family and I are in the gift shop of the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell during the town's annual UFO Festival. Though Carlsbad Caverns was our final destination, curiosity compelled us to stop on our way through.

We wander through a variety of exhibits - the renowned Roswell UFO Incident, archaeological excavations of UFO "crash sites," and many more - all under the watchful "eye" of a saucer-shaped UFO suspended from the ceiling with flashing lights.

Modern society is fascinated by the potential for alien life. "Little green men" permeate the modern world in literature, television, movies, pseudo-science and science.

But why? Why do we care so much whether we're alone in this vast universe?

This fascination has its roots in our species' deep evolutionary past, most of which our ancestors spent roaming the landscape in small bands of hunter-gatherers. According to anthropologist Pascal Boyer, during this time our brains' mental systems became specialized in performing the different tasks required to survive and interact with others in social groups.

Such tasks would have included detecting the presence of animate agents (predators or prey), detecting what others are looking at, figuring out their goals, etc. In other words our brains incorporate a high degree of "agency" in how we perceive and process information.

Hearing the snapping of a branch, a Paleolithic hunter-gatherer would have increased his chances for survival by assigning the noise to the action of a potential predator and then taking the appropriate precautions. Discovery - wondering whom or what lies beyond our planet - is just an extension of finding out what lies over the next ridge.

But on anther level, gods, ghosts and religions are byproducts of how our brains are wired.

Religious and supernatural beliefs are a way to explain and justify our intuitions about events and human behaviors whose cause we can't directly observe or understand. Modern astronomy's understanding of the cosmos (as well as science in general) is only a relatively recent addition to human thought.

As astronomer E.C. Krupp has pointed out, the cosmos has been an important part of humanity's past, helping our ancestors mark the changing seasons and orient themselves on the landscape, critical for their survival.

As a result of our brain's agency component, the cosmos became associated with the supernatural as a way to explain the actions of celestial bodies. Modern pseudo-scientific views of UFOs and ETs are the latest "byproducts" of the way our brains are wired, melding elements of science and the supernatural to explain the cosmic unknown.

This coexistence of religion, science and pseudo-science in our modern world may even represent a turning point in the evolution of our species. Because scientific thought tends to run counter to our natural intuitions, it's as foreign as religion is familiar.

This in part explains why science is much more recent and has less of a foothold than religion does. But perhaps sometime in the distant future, evolution will rewire the human brain giving science the advantage, leaving pseudo-science and religion as sidebars of history.

Back in the gift shop, my son picks a toy space shuttle with operable wheels instead of the alien pencil. Later, I smugly tell my wife that our son represents an important link in the evolutionary chain of our species, where science is gradually gaining on religion and pseudo-science.

My wife slowly turns her head to me, rolls her eyes and says, "Don't be such a dork. You know he has an obsession for anything with wheels."

Well, yes, I can be a dork. But that doesn't mean we can't both be right on this one.

Harmon is a licensed engineer and an anthropologist completing a doctorate in archaeology at the University of New Mexico.

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August 18, 2004

Albuquerque Tribune

Some N.M. Scientists Want Close Encounter

by Sue Vorenberg

Could Roswell be the tragic site of a 1947 alien fender-bender?

Maybe, says Gov. Bill Richardson. Maybe not, say New Mexico scientists.

Still, most say they would relish the chance to investigate if they got it.

"If they find little green men, I want to watch," said Eileen Ryan, an astrobiologist at Magdalena Ridge Observatory outside Socorro.

"The thought of an alien crash is a fantastic idea, and it does capture people's imaginations. I seriously doubt the incident was real, though."

Richardson has brought the controversial notion of a Roswell UFO
crash back into the mysterious orange-and lime-colored lights.

In a forward to a new book called "The Roswell Dig Diaries," Richardson said he would like to see all information about the crash disclosed to the public.

"What the governor says is that if there is any additional information, it should be declassified and released," said Billy Sparks, a Richardson spokesman. "If there is not any more information, then it should be stated that everything has been released."

Ken Frazier, editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, finds the governor's idea ironic and laughable.

"He was a government agent - he was the energy secretary," Frazier said. "If he thinks the government is covering something up, why didn't he do something about it when he was in the federal government?"

Some New Mexico scientists aren't so quick to judge. Why not open an investigation? It might get more people interested in science, said Spencer Lucas, a curator at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science.

"Obviously, a lot of people are interested in it," Lucas said. "People saw something. Like all good Americans I have an inherent distrust of the government. I don't really think they're covering something up, but I'm a scientist - I think all science should be open to investigation and debate."

And if a new investigation actually turned up something alien?

"That would be great for Roswell," Lucas said with a laugh. "Hopefully we'd also get some alien fossils we could put on display in the museum."

Even better would be if an investigation led to some of the alien's friends coming for a visit. Bill Elwell, a spokesman for the FBI, said he'd love to interrogate an alien.

"I think it would be interesting to see what an alien had to say and get their outlook on our world," Elwell said. "We could even try a polygraph test - but I'm not sure it would work on an alien."

The book investigates a dig near Roswell two years ago by the University of New Mexico. For all the hype, nothing significant was found, said Richard Chapman, director of the UNM Office of Contract Archaeology, which conducted the dig.

"We didn't find any big chunks of flying saucer," Chapman said.

"We could do more work there. We only covered a very small area. If you wanted to do a definitive search, there's a lot more that could be done."

Who knows? Maybe they'd find a hunk of alien spacecraft for the scientists at Sandia National Laboratories' Airworthiness Assurance Center to analyze. They might even be able to tell why the thing crashed in the first place, Dick Perry, the center's manager, said with a laugh.

"We would definitely be interested in obtaining any specimens, because we don't know what the intergalactic effects of time travel and deep space would be," Perry joked. "Really, though, if any metal was found, the thing to do would be to check it against common materials manufactured here in the past 70 years. I doubt aliens would have anything similar."

The cost of a detailed search of the area could easily reach several million dollars, Chapman added.

Richardson didn't say he wanted the state to pay for a new scientific investigation. He just said he wanted any data released from the federal government, Sparks said.

"I know the UFO stuff in that part of the state is a wonderful attraction for tourists," said Laura Crossey, a UNM geology professor.

"I don't know that it's appropriate to spend our money on investigating something like that when there are so many other worthwhile projects.

I don't know that it's a tourist stunt, but I don't think something like that should be a high priority."

Besides, Penny Boston, a Mars expert at New Mexico Tech, says she's sure aliens haven't been here before. They would have come back and looked her up, she said.

"I wish it were true, but I absolutely don't believe it," Boston said. "If there are aliens bopping around our solar system, though, please, please come see me. I'd love to have an alien.  Marvin the Martian is my man."

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August 8, 2004

Los Angeles Times

The Nation: Things Are Looking Up With UFO Watch Tower

by David Kelly

* Judy Messoline had the space after her cattle ranch went bust, and her modest platform now lures visitors from all sorts of wild places.

HOOPER, Colo. — Shortly after her cattle business went bust, Judy Messoline looked to the heavens for salvation.

She had never thought much of flying saucers but knew that her San Luis Valley ranch sat in a region renowned for bizarre, unexplained phenomena. So Messoline erected what she believes is the world's first UFO watchtower.

"I opened it as a tourist trap," she acknowledged.

But it became bigger than that. Over the last four years she has seen self-described alien abductees, psychics, channelers and visitors from Pluto, Jupiter and points beyond come through her door.

The straight-talking rancher has learned to bite her tongue during these close encounters, occasionally of the third kind. 
"Who am I to doubt?" she asked.

The last year has been her busiest yet. Thousands have pulled off Highway 17 near tiny Hooper in south-central Colorado to climb the tower and scan the skies over the craggy Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

People search for mysterious flying lights, soaring triangles or hovering balls of fire. Messoline, 59, shows documentaries of local UFO sightings and discusses assorted odd happenings in the 120-mile-long alpine valley that stretches into northern New Mexico.

The UFO WatchTower isn't exactly towering. It's a metal platform in the middle of the desert standing about 14 feet above a spaceship-shaped gift shop.

"I don't know why more people are coming," said Messoline, who doesn't charge admission but accepts donations.

She's taking advantage of the newfound popularity by holding a conference at the site next weekend with UFO experts from around the country. And she's writing a book about her experiences here titled "That Crazy Lady Down the Road."

There is certainly enough material.

"I had a guy come in and ask if I had a place to sign in," she recalled. "I told him yes and he said, 'No, do you have a place to sign in for us?' and I said, 'Where are you from?' and he said, 'Pluto.' "

A woman claiming to channel the thoughts of extraterrestrials rebuked Messoline because the aliens depicted in her shop all looked alike. She said the real space folks were annoyed that just one of their 157 races was represented. The channeler left after buying a rubber alien head for her car antenna.

Then there was the trucker who said he saw a bright light above the highway and later couldn't account for three hours of his life.

"I told him to see a hypnotherapist," Messoline said.

At an ethereal 7,600 feet above sea level, the San Luis Valley has always been a land of mystery, a place where the Wild West meets the Weird West. Early Native Americans claimed "ant people" lived underground here; other tribes talked about "star people"; and the Hopi believed all thought originated atop the valley's towering Mt. Blanca.

There are stories of Bigfoot sightings, clandestine military installations, secret alien bases and vortexes leading to other dimensions. New Agers and those seeking spiritual enlightenment flock to towns such as nearby Crestone, where Buddhist prayer flags snap in the windy foothills of the Sangres.

"The San Luis Valley was the first area colonized by the Spanish in Colorado, and it's just been sitting there for 400 years simmering in its own broth," said David Perkins, a journalist who has written about the region for nearly 30 years. "It's so isolated. It's ringed by mountains and there are a lot of superstitions."

Perkins said the mix of Indian, Spanish, Mexican and Catholic folklore might also make inhabitants predisposed to seeing certain things.

Leslie Varnicle, state director of the Colorado Mutual UFO Network, said the valley is an area of major military operations, full of low-flying, high-speed aircraft operating from bases in Colorado Springs.

"But that doesn't explain similar sightings 50 years ago when we didn't have that kind of technology," she said. "This is one of the biggest hotspots in the country for unconventional flying objects."

The valley's history was relatively unknown to Messoline when she arrived from Golden in 1995 to start a new life after her divorce.

It wasn't long before people asked if she had seen any UFOs.

Messoline hadn't. She was too busy trying to keep her ranch afloat. But dwindling pasture eventually forced her to sell her cattle, leaving her with 640 acres of unused land.

"My friend said, 'Why not put up a UFO watchtower?' " she recalled.

To her own amazement, she agreed.

After giggling her way through the permit process, Messoline had the tower built down the road from her house. She advertised with metal "aliens" along the highway. Soon after, she said, she saw her first UFO — a narrow, glowing object sailing over the mountains.

Since then, she's seen 19 more.

"You will see dots moving real fast. Then one will stop and the other will catch up," said Messoline. "I have talked to military men and they say no planes can do that."

Over the course of a recent day, about 75 people stopped in for a look.

"I won't say UFOs don't exist, but I haven't seen any yet," said Paul Orosz, 40, of Denver, looking toward the mountains. "A lot of what people see is very explainable by clouds or weather balloons."

Rick Castellini, 38, of Grand Junction said he had a friend so in love with extraterrestrials that his wall clock showed the time on Mars.

"I think this valley is strange in any case," he said. "It feels like time has stopped here."

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August 5, 2004

Winnipeg Sun

UFO Sightings Rise
Increase Puzzles Local Researcher

by Chris Kitching

There's something fishy going on in Manitoba's skies. Unidentified flying object (UFO) sightings in the Keystone Province are nearing an all-time high, according to an independent group that investigates and records reported sightings across Canada.

More than 50 have already been counted so far this year, double the 25 sightings recorded in 2003, said Winnipegger Chris Rutkowski, co-ordinator of Ufology Research of Manitoba. The most sightings in one year in Manitoba was 74 in 1993.

The reason for the increase is just as puzzling as details of some of the sightings, Rutkowski said. In July, two people driving along Highway 6 near Ponton, south of Thompson, saw two bright, orange-coloured lights zoom across the early morning sky.

"The first one rose up out of the bush beside the road and flew in front of them, a second ball of light came across the road and then both flew away," Rutkowski said. "A woman (in the car) said they were very frightened."

Winnipeggers have reported seeing "round patches of light" chasing each other in the sky above the northeast corner of the city, Rutkowski said.

"I suspect it's some sort of (spotlight) advertising mechanism," he said.

That sighting is one of more than 400 that have been reported by Canadians up until the end of last month, a large jump compared with last year's total of 300 during the same period, Rutkowski said.

One of his favourite sightings is from Caraquet, N.B., where odd pairs of lights were spotted in January above a highway.

"One person reported seeing something with two or three lights and some sort of structure attached to it," Rutkowski said. "That area seemed to be quite a UFO hot spot this winter."

Canada is on pace to top last year's total of 670 sightings, the most recorded in one year, he said. Most UFO sightings can be attributed to natural phenomena or human activity.

"There's a small percentage that we simply don't have explanations for. We can't say they're alien spacecrafts because we don't have that proof," Rutkowski said.

"There's probably life out there somewhere but whether it can come all the way here is the big question."

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August 1, 2004

Albuquerque Tribune

Editorial: Bouquets & Brickbats
Bouquet: Aliens

An alien spacecraft crashes near Roswell in 1947; the extraterrestrials' bodies and ship are spirited to remote Area 51 and hidden; the feds toil feverishly to this day to make technological hay from the remains; aliens dwell darkly among us. It's a great story, New Mexico is in the middle of it - and, thanks to Gov. Bill Richardson, it's in the news again.

The guv has courted notoriety by calling for the feds to reinvestigate the Roswell incident. He does so in the foreword to "The Roswell Dig Diaries," a new sci-fi book. This is a good thing, with an important caveat.

The story drives UFO skeptics to distraction, and the feds have re-scrutinized it before and found it lacking - once at the request of the late Rep. Steve Schiff.

But the story is plausible around the edges: Something did crash near Roswell; many scientists expect to find life elsewhere in the universe; government in the Land of the Trinity Site long has struggled to keep huge secrets from the public; New Mexico, despite its world-class scientific establishments, exudes a spirit of weirdness apt to UFOs; and existence is mysterious.

The world-renowned tale swells New Mexico's enchantment and, along with it, the state's appeal to tourists and their bulging wallets. So Richardson, in this case, is keeping his promise to encourage economic development. He also, correctly, is calling for full disclosure of everything the government knows. The feds claim they've released all records - but secrecy is the enemy of democracy, and one can't demand such openness too often.

The best outcome now may be for the feds to open their books with the utmost generosity - and the least public fanfare. We wouldn't want to cook the goose that laid the golden egg, would we? Not that we doubt the story. Klaatu barada nikto, y'all.

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July 25, 2004

Dallas Morning News

Military UFO video could be key to credibility in enthusiast's career (Jaime Maussan)

by Laurence Iliff

Jaime Maussan has spent the past decade collecting possible evidence of alien visits to Earth and maintains he has had personal contact with other "entities." And now Maussan says he has secured the most definitive proof yet of extraterrestrial visitors, and from an unlikely source: Mexico's super-secretive military.

MEXICO CITY, Mexico -(KRT)- Jaime Maussan has spent the past decade collecting possible evidence of alien visits to Earth and maintains he has had personal contact with other "entities."

He presents UFO photos, videos and testimony on two Internet sites, at conferences in Mexico and the United States, on the radio and on his new prime-time television show.

Entertainer, journalist and believer, Maussan is the guru of a subculture of UFO and space-travel devotees in Mexico, where there are a surprising number of reported sightings.

Like their astronomer ancestors, Mexicans embrace the notion of life in outer space and are generally less cynical about the UFO phenomenon than Americans.

"In no other place in the world is there such a commitment to producing evidence" of UFOs as in Mexico, he said.

And now Maussan says he has secured the most definitive proof yet of extraterrestrial visitors, and from an unlikely source: Mexico's super-secretive military.

The air force tape shows 11 luminous flying objects that military experts can't explain. So they sought out Maussan and cooperated with his investigation.

With the video has come a new dose of respect, Maussan said.

That could counter attacks on Maussan's credibility by Mexican scientists and even UFO buffs in other countries. While he is a darling among some in the UFO field, he is also considered one of the worst hucksters by scientists and skeptics, believers and nonbelievers, many of whom have their own Web sites.

UFO Watchdog, which is much more interested in debunking UFO theories than searching for proof of extraterrestrial life, is one. A Chile-based Web site, "La Nave de los Locos" or "Ship of the Crazy," likewise is dedicated to debunking UFO stories and the people who make money off them.

Both sites suggest that Maussan accepts any and all UFO stories and repeats them - with little or no skepticism - to make money. The Web site UFO Watchdog has placed Maussan in its "UFO Hall of Shame," alleging that the longtime journalist is a "promoter and supporter of various UFO hoaxes."


Maussan, 51, acknowledges that there are bogus UFO stories, but he said his new military-filmed video is bullet-proof.

"This is a watershed," he said of the video, which was broadcast worldwide in May and was the top story on Mexico's nightly news. In the history of UFOs, "there is a before, and there is an after," Maussan said in the dramatic tone that has made him a mainstream entertainer and global UFO "expert."

The video also may be a watershed in Maussan's career.

He used it on the June 13 debut episode of his two-hour weekly TV show, "Great Mysteries of the Third Millennium," which is broadcast live from his own studio.

On the show, air force pilots described their surprise at coming across luminous objects while looking for drug traffickers in the lower Gulf of Mexico on March 5.

Some of the objects showed up on radar, the pilots said, meaning they had mass. Others showed up on an infrared camera, meaning they emitted heat. During the incident, the pilots expressed surprise and even concern that they were being surrounded.

At one point, one soldier says with nervous laughter, "We are not alone."

National Defense Minister Ricardo Clemente Vega Garcia said the video was given to Maussan largely because the defense ministry was unaware of anyone else who actively studied the subject in Mexico.

"There are more copies for those scientists who want to see it, only we don't know them," Vega said. He added that the military had no opinion on what the shiny objects might be and had never used words like "UFO" or "flying saucer" to describe them.

Since President Vicente Fox became the first politician from an opposition party to hold that office in seven decades, the notoriously closed military has been somewhat more open.

Maussan, who dresses casually and exudes sincerity, said he is a skeptical journalist who simply presents the evidence.

He cites his credentials as the former host of the investigative news show "60 Minutos," which is unrelated to the popular U.S. TV news magazine "60 Minutes," and a long list of awards and achievements.


Maussan is also a believer who said he has had contact with "entities". The experience, he said, was shared by half a dozen people and came in the early years of his UFO investigations.

"For me, it was something very important. It convinced me that this phenomenon is real and that it's just a matter of time. The most natural logic indicates that this universe must be full of intelligent life forms, and it's very likely that they are more intelligent than us and can reach our planet," he said.

Maussan said he did not want to go into the details of his personal experiences because that would make him, rather than his journalistic work, the focus of attention.

"We are talking about the most important story in history," he said. "When you accept that intelligent entities of unknown origin exist in our world, t changes everything."

While Maussan said he is not rich, his unique home in a wooded area of Mexico City features underground bedrooms, connecting tunnels and ongoing construction.

An above-ground nook is carved from a single tree and resembles a pointy spaceship. But there are few other UFO knickknacks, and his two young children don't seem particularly interested in the topic. Maussan said his wife used to be a skeptic, too.

To be sure, scientists from Mexico and elsewhere are loudly skeptical of this latest video. The usual explanations - weather phenomena, offshore oil rigs, highway lights - have been suggested.

UFO believers are unmoved and remain elated about the rare military openness.


An admitted workaholic, Maussan holds twice-a-week conferences around Mexico at $20 per attendee, and he had his first in-person sessions in the U.S. on June 25 and 26, in Los Angeles.

He is a regular guest on U.S. Spanish-language programs such as the talk show "Cristina." His own TV show can be seen by U.S. viewers via streamed Internet.

"Many people ask me why the video was given to me" Maussan said from his downtown Mexico City office, which is sprinkled with a few UFO knickknacks. "Because of 13 years of presenting this type of evidence. For the scientists, this was an offense. But for the people, this was absolutely natural.

"The scientists," he added, "would have explained it away and guarded it in a drawer so that no one could see it."

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July 18, 2004

Reporter-Times (Martinsville, Indiana)

Man Remembers 1949 Ufo Sighting

by Bette Nunn
Morgan County

There is one clear, blue, summer day in Clifford "Spike" Nail's life that he will never forget. That was the day when he was walking across a field on Claude Oliphant's farm at the top of Little Hurricane Hill and saw "something that was not from this world."

It was 1949 and he was 11 years old. He was with his sister Janet and Oliphant, then about 50 years old. They had been mowing in Oliphant's field when Nail looked up and saw a silvery object hovering above the treetops. It was broad daylight, about 4 or 5 p.m., Nail said. The unidentified flying object made no noise and was not spinning. There were no flashing lights.

"It was just suspended horizontally in mid-air," Nail said. "Even if it had lights, we wouldn't have seen them on such a bright day. We watched for 10 minutes and then it disappeared.

"It was something I had never seen before. You wouldn't even think it existed. If it had been on the ground, it probably would have been the length of a football field. It was more the shape of a cylinder, not a saucer.

"Whatever it was, I don't know," he continued. "But it wasn't of this world. At this time, we (the United States) were just coming out with jets, so I know it wasn't ours."

Nail said he has read a number of reports in which people described the same type of ship out west and in Europe at about the same time.

Nail said he was not afraid of it. "It was about a mile away and around 600 feet in the air," he said. Oliphant, now deceased, said he had never seen anything like it, Nail said.

Nail said he ran home to tell his mother. He was all excited when he entered the house, but his mother stopped him and said, "Clifford, you don't need to tell me. Junior (Clifford's brother) and Jim Leonard already stopped and told me what they saw."

"They had seen it and said the same thing I did," Nail recalled. He said his brother died about two years ago, and Leonard died some time ago.

Janet (Nail) Pittman said last week: "I do remember the incident, but I don't know what I saw. There was something in the sky. It stayed there awhile, then it just took off. It was a long, silver object. We were just kids, but I still wonder today what we saw."

Believes History Wrong

"Back then, people were leery of even talking about such things," Nail said. After that day in 1949, he didn't hear any more about the UFO sighting. He was hoping something would come out before he died that would verify what he saw, "but it's not going to happen," he said.

He's been fascinated with UFOs since then and has read lots of books about them. But he doesn't like fiction too much and he hasn't gone to any of the movies about UFOs, he said.

"Little green men just don't get it with me," he said.

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July 15, 2004

Philadelphia Inquirer

Seeing Lights, Seeing the Light

by Alfred Lubrano

Everything was normal in Lynne Kitei's life until the UFOs showed up

Born in West Oak Lane, Kitei has been an actress (that's her as Mrs. Arizona in the Coen brothers' movie Raising Arizona), a KYW-TV medical reporter, and a family-practice doctor specializing in adolescent medicine.

But three times between Feb. 6, 1995, and March 13, 1997, Kitei, now a Phoenix area resident, says she witnessed otherworldly phenomena now famously known as the Phoenix Lights.

"It was so awesome," she says, during a visit to promote her book, The Phoenix Lights (Hampton Roads, $16.95). "I felt an intelligent presence watching."

Kitei wasn't the only one. Thousands of people reported seeing the orbs on March 13, 1997, including pilots, park rangers and police. They described a triangular formation of three lights about a mile wide that traveled silently overhead. In an odd coincidence, Arizonans had already been scanning the skies for the Hale-Bopp comet, so they were primed for celestial viewing.

Kitei's photographs and videos of the lights were widely published and broadcast, kicking off a "we-are-not-alone" mantra that dazzled UFO aficionados throughout the world. Deflating delicious speculation that aliens are among us, debunkers say the lights were merely military flares.

A debate has raged since 1997, following a similar American cultural pattern that may have begun with the purported alien landing at Roswell, N.M., more than five decades ago: An unexplained event occurs, and people divide themselves between the believers and the skeptics, with neither side able to persuade the other to budge or bite.

The glowing amber orbs that Kitei saw in the desert night have transformed the tall, fit 56-year-old with an impressive sweep of blond hair from a pillar-of-the-community type to an outspoken UFO true believer.

Beyond being a mere witness, Kitei firmly feels that the orbs struck her "at soul-level," and instilled a sense of "enlightening connectedness" - a message that we must "wake up before we destroy our world."

Kitei endeavors to tell you - with a sweet earnestness that combines an actor's poise with the gentle manner of a children's doctor - that she did not seek this role.

"I don't need to do this," she says, straightening her black slacks as she sits on a couch in her mother-in-law's Roxborough apartment. "I have a comfortable life. If I could have stayed anonymous, I would have. This topic is a little out there. People are ridiculed."

While many people saw the March 13 lights, very few - perhaps, Kitei says, only she and her husband, Frank, also a doctor - witnessed the previous displays.

At first, Kitei considered it merely entertaining. The photos she took of the first lights were fodder for family talk and joshing.

But after the second sighting, Kitei says, she began to speak publicly about what she saw, still hiding her identity.

Only after the third sighting, which she shared with many others, did Kitei agree to reveal herself.

"More and more I was convinced that someone of credence should come forward," she says.

Kitei began a four-year leave from her medical practice to research UFOs, and to speak with people who saw the Phoenix Lights.

Many of the witnesses said that the lights had reminded them of near-death experiences they had had earlier in their lives. Kitei herself had experienced such an event while under ether during a childhood operation.

Somehow, Kitei says, the lights triggered the memories. And, she adds, witnesses felt as though they had been given a message:

"If we don't wake up, we will destroy ourselves and the Earth."

Kitei believes that a "life force" is trying to contact us, imparting a message of love.

As lovely as this sounds, debunkers say, it's just not true.

"There are mundane explanations - satellites, flares, balloons - that people don't want to hear," says Philip Plait, an astronomer at Sonoma State University in northern California.

"It's very easy to fool yourself. Plus, people do not understand the sky and the things that happen in it."

James Oberg, a former NASA engineer and NBC News space consultant, says succinctly: "People don't like to realize they've been fooled by prosaic phenomena."

None of this fazes Kitei. "Some can't handle this information yet," she says. "And that's OK. But it is a transformative experience when you realize that we are not alone."

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June 28, 2004

Fairfield-Suisun City Daily Republic

Full circle -- One year later, alien mystique still hovers over Rockville

ROCKVILLE -- Where Rockville and Suisun Valley roads meet outside Fairfield, it's just another day. Nothing paranormal about it.

Nobody is wandering around, for example, wearing an aluminum foil hat, armed with a tuning fork and chanting toward the heavens. And nobody from Fox Ne
It was exactly one year ago when a huge crop circle formation mysteriously appeared in a wheat field only yards away from Rockville Corners, turning this sleepy farming community into ground zero for the largest paranormal event in Solano County's history.

For a while, the discovery brought national attention and lured thousands of psychics, researchers and curiosity seekers to the area. Some took measurements and meditated over broken chaffs of wheat. Some claim they felt waves of healing energy pour through their bodies. Some sold wheat and commemorative T-shirts. A little girl sold "alien lemonade."

At the center of the circus stood Larry Balestra, owner of the wheat field. Everyone wanted an interview with the soft-spoken farmer, who remembers feeling uncomfortable with all the attention. At least initially.

"I'm not the kind of guy who likes to be that public," Balestra said. "But it got easier. They were lining up."

Among those pulled to Rockville was Carolyn Skrzydlewski, a graphic designer at the Berkeley Psychic Institute. She remembers the intense energy she felt from the crushed stalks.

"It was a sort of unsettled feeling as I was standing there, a bit uncomfortable," Skrzydlewski recalled. "The energy changed as we sat in the center of the circle."

What was it? A year later, she still isn't sure.

"Better people than me have formed hypotheses," she said. "I'm open to it being whatever it is, or isn't. But I think it was absolutely fascinating. It was quite obviously something no person could have made."

Or could they?

Two weeks after the discovery, four teenage boys came forward to confess they had made the crop circles out of boredom. The hoax theory satisfied skeptics, but holes emerged in the boy's story. They claim they worked by moonlight, for example, although it was two nights before a new moon.

Meanwhile, a Fairfield based paranormal research firm that studied local crop circle formations found the circles were subjected to microwave energy and were likely created by someone with extremely advanced knowledge of Euclidean geometry.

Steve Moreno, founder of the firm, PsiApplications, still doubts the teens' tale.

"If they did do it, they wouldn't be aware of any of those things, and they wouldn't be able to duplicate those effects," he said.

In the weeks after the crop circles were discovered, two other formations turned up - a small one in a nearby wheat field, and another in a corn field 15 miles away, near Vacaville's Nut Tree Airport. Proof of who or what created them remains unknown.

Despite the debate - or maybe because of it - the Rockville formation proved fortuitous for an area that has been hard-hit by decades of dropping crop prices and the pressures of encroaching development.

Business at La Barista shop hummed along for several weeks, as city dwellers who eventually grew tired of standing in a hot wheat field ordered smoothie after smoothie.

"It lasted a lot longer than I thought," Estudillo said. "At first I thought it would last just a week, but they kept coming. . . I thought, 'This is big stuff.' "

Balestra, too, rode the wave. Business picked up at Larry's Produce, his fruit and vegetable stand down the road from the crop circles. And the farmer made extra cash by selling crop circle T-shirts.

Eventually, the bubble burst and the crowds went home. In the end, Balestra figures he broke even between destroyed wheat crops and modest T-shirt sales. (He has plenty of shirts left, for anyone who's interested.)

While the Rockville crop circles stand as the single largest crop circle formation in North America, they're gone now.

And if the circle-makers - whoever they are - return to Balestra's field this year, they won't find wheat. They'll find black-eyed peas.

Green leafy sprouts will soon cover the area where thousands of human beings stood last summer and felt . . . something. But what?

A mystery, still unsolved.

Despite a front row seat, Balestra isn't any closer to the truth.

"Everybody who has their opinion has a good argument," he said.

But if his black-eyed peas one day grow feet and walk away, we'll know.

Reach Warren Lutz at 427-6955 or at

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June 26, 2004

Western Daily Press

So What are the Aliens Trying to Tell Us This Time?

It's the most intriguing crop formation seen in the West for years and last night wry observers were wondering if it's a coded message to our football boys. Hundreds of sightseers descending on a wheat field near Alton Barnes, Wiltshire, have been left pondering if it's a signal from an alien footie team telling our boys how to win a penalty shoot-out.

And let's face it, Beckham could do with a few pointers on how to hit the back of the net, no matter where the advice comes from.

But according to experts, the giant circles are not supposed to be footballs, instead this pattern apparently represents a diagram of an electrical transistor designed 100 years ago by the world's most mysterious inventor.

Crop circle experts say it is uncannily similar to plans for one of Nikola Tesla's early pieces of equipment.

Tesla is the unsung hero of pioneering technology, now widely credited with inventing radio before Marconi and coming up with the idea for remote-control objects.

The one discovery he has received credit for is the alternating current which competed with Edison's direct current. He also invented the Tesla coil, which can be found in almost all car engines today.

But why one of his early diagrams should be recreated in a wheat field near Alton Barnes, the global capital of crop circles, remained a mystery last night.

Michael Soper, a spokesman for Contact International, said last night he was sure it was another message from outer space. He said that while many crop formations were clearly done by dedicated crop artists, some contained messages and were unexplainable.

He said: "I'm very interested in this one. It's almost as if this is the last piece of a jigsaw which we haven't been able to put together yet, and we're doing it backwards.

"Tesla is the one major inventor the establishment hasn't recognised, and as a result his work and his impact has remained counter-establishment.

"This clearly shows coils, connectors and a box with the wires curling out and around it. I've been trying to think about what this means, but it has to be a message. Perhaps there's more to the things Tesla came up with than we've previously realised and they are trying to point us in the right direction. It has far too many features to be done by people in that short amount of time - how was it done overnight on the shortest night of the year."

The design was discovered by croppies, who are now well into the summer season of formations in Wiltshire.

It is being likened to a design discovered in Hampshire two years ago, which some crop circle enthusiasts claimed was a reply to the famous 1975 Aricebo message sent by NASA outlining the genetic make-up of humans, in an attempt to contact other worlds.

But more earthly concerns were vexing farmers Tim and Will Carson - damage to their wheat field. Not only has the formation affected an area 454ft long, but hundreds of eager crop circle enthusiasts are doing worse.

Will has quickly put a request on many of the numerous crop circle web sites asking for people not to visit the new formation without permission.

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June 10, 2004

Florida Today

Tales and observations from the edge
Ronald Reagan's Legacy Goes Well Beyond This World

Columnist Billy Cox

Tons of newsprint and airtime dedicated to Ronald Reagan's legacy this week, but - surprise - not word one about curiosity over unidentified flying objects. It'll be the same way when Jimmy Carter dies.

None of the Carter presidential scholars on the talk-show carousel will say anything about the former Georgia governor's UFO encounter, which was so impressive he filed a formal report. The incident even elicited a 1976 campaign promise to "make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available to the public and scientists." Which, as we know, blew a sprocket when the rubber hit the road.

Likewise, upon Bill Clinton's death, there won't be any mainstream media discussion of his own underreported attempts to pry the door open in the '90s. That's when he dispatched former Assistant Attorney General Web Hubbell to get to the bottom of the secrecy, and wound up with goose eggs.

What made Reagan's angle so compelling were his repeated allusions, as if he were speaking in code to the gatekeepers of classified operations. Because, like a lot of people who've seen these things, Reagan caught the bug, too.

Reagan's sighting occurred in 1974, when he was flying aboard a Cessna Citation as governor of California. He told the story to a Wall Street Journal reporter, and his pilot, Bull Paynter, provided additional details. What started out as a white light over Bakersfield, maybe several hundred yards away from the plane, began to "elongate" as it accelerated away at a 45-degree angle, around 10 p.m. "The UFO went from a normal cruise speed to a fantastic speed," Paynter said, "instantly."

The incident obviously stayed with him, because Reagan went on to employ extraterrestrials to his advantage during key moments of his presidency.

At the Geneva Summit in 1985, he told Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze that if we ever discovered ETs were planning to attack, both nations would form a quick alliance.  Shevardnadze agreed, and apparently for good reason.

As ABC's "Prime Time Live" related in 1995, for several hours on Oct. 4, 1982, residents of Byleokoroviche, Ukraine, reported seeing a 900-foot disc navigating the skies, then hovering over a nuclear missile silo with armed warheads.

To his horror, Lt. Col. Vladimir Plantanov watched as flashing control boards indicated the ICBMs were preparing to fire against the United States. A Soviet investigation confirmed that for 15 seconds, the base had lost control of its nukes.

"I couldn't help but say to (Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev)," Reagan recalled later in 1985, to a high school class, "just how easy his task and mine might be if suddenly there was a threat to this world from some other species from another planet."

Reagan extended the analogy in 1987, during a speech before the United Nations General Assembly, when he compared ETs to nuclear weapons: "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?"

And what to make of Reagan's alleged comment to Steven Spielberg, following the 1982 screening of "ET: The Extraterrestrial" at the White House? "You know, there aren't six people in this room who know how true this really is."  Producer Jamie Shandera said Spielberg told him the story, but Spielberg refuses to discuss the incident in the media.

Which is just as well. These things get a little complicated.


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June 2, 2004

Toronto Star

Crop Circles As Oracles
Filmmaker reaps alien messages
15,000 sightings claimed since 1980

Susan Walker
Entertainment Reporter

Crop circles have been puzzling observers for decades. Not Robert Nichol. The director of Star Dreams, a documentary film about the UFO-related phenomenon, is quite sure what these precise patterns mysteriously carved into farmers' fields are all about.

Along with other forms of activity attributed to extra-terrestrials, Nichol believes that "the whole thing is preparing us for contact. It's almost imminent, only a matter of a few years."

The B.C. filmmaker, a former employee of the National Film Board with more than 25 film credits to his name, has turned himself into a travelling road show of the paranormal. He has organized a series of 20 screenings of Star Dreams from Victoria to Newfoundland. The Toronto engagement is tonight at 8 p.m. in the Town Hall at Innis College on the University of Toronto campus.  Nichol is accompanied by Neil Olsen, author of Crop Circles

Every year there are more sightings of more complex crop circles — and now, ice circles and sand circles — and Nichol is convinced a higher consciousness is trying to make contact with people on earth. He estimates 15,000 crop circles have been found since 1980.

"There were two in Ontario last year," Nichol claims, "both in wheat fields. The one in Hensall (in Huron County) drew 5,000 people."

Star Dreams shows us crop circles, most of them from 70 to 100 metres at their widest point, as photographed from helicopters. Their increasingly complex patterns, say Nichol's interviewees, is an indication of a greater need to communicate. Others form symbols that go back to ancient times and have led researchers to examine Mayan and Hopi prophecies. It is no coincidence, Nichol contends in his film, that so many crop circles have cropped up, as it were, in the south of England near sacred sites such as Stonehenge.

Nichol, a resident of Gibson's Landing, B.C., decided to bring his film directly to his audiences to spread the word.  He is certain the crop circles could not have been man-made, and cites witnesses who say the circles get created in four to seven seconds. Star Dreams documents sightings of "balls of light" in the vicinity of the circles. Some witnesses have described UFOs that appeared at the time of the formations.

The intent of the symbols is clear to Nichol. They are "a wake-up call, asking us to come up to a higher level of consciousness. They reach beyond the rational mind and touch us at a very deep psychic level."

On his Web site devoted to crop circle research, Paul Anderson, an artist and graphic designer, says crop circles have been recorded in Canada as far back as 1925. While he is skeptical about aliens transmitting messages, he believes "that somehow human consciousness is involved or interconnected with the phenomenon ... Whether this is an interaction with some other intelligence(s) other than `alien' in the traditional sense, or with natural energy systems, or both perhaps, is a matter of opinion."

What is undeniable is the beauty and precision of the formations seen in the film. Close up, they appear to be created in a uniform fashion, with bent-over stalks swirled into patterns that can include dozens of elements. "They're increasing exponentially," says Nichol. Sightings have now been reported in 50 countries. In his film, people tell how they've felt energized after walking through a crop circle. The same thing happens, Nichol says, to audiences of his film.


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May 27, 2004

South Missourian (Salem, Arizona)

Boldly Going Nowhere
Conspiracies in high places

by Bret Burquest

A conspiracy is a secret agreement among a group of people attempting to conceal something. It's like a bad dream – too nasty to deal with and too important to ignore. The two biggest conspiracies in our lifetimes, if true, are the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the cover-up of the presence of extraterrestrial beings on earth.

Kenn Thomas, author of a book titled Maury Island UFO: The Crisman Conspiracy, points out a remarkable string of coincidences that may actually tie the two conspiracies together. According to Thomas, a man named Fred Crisman played a central role in these seemingly unrelated events.

On June 21, 1947, an airplane pilot named Kenneth Arnold spotted what he described as “flying saucers"” over Mt. Ranier in Washington, launching the modern UFO era. The term “flying saucer” soon became part of the UFO lexicon. There were many UFO sightings later in 1947, including the famous Roswell crash incident.

Four people, including Harold Dahl and his son, witnessed the event from a salvage boat in a nearby bay. They reported seeing six doughnut-shaped craft, approximately 20 feet in diameter, hovering high above. Five of the craft formed a circle surrounding a craft in the middle that was wobbling badly. The seemingly damaged craft suddenly dropped down about 700 feet, then spewed two substances – one was a paper-like metal that floated in the bay and the other was a hot, steaming, black sludge that rained down, striking Dahl's son and killing his dog.

Dahl reported these events to Fred Crisman, a man he believed to have some connections in the intelligence community. Crisman subsequently went to Maury Island to investigate the incident. He found a great deal of both materials on the shore and recovered some for himself.

Crisman shared his experience with Ray Palmer, a magazine publisher, who then hired Kenneth Arnold (the original pilot) to investigate further. Three days later, Arnold had more sightings, culminating with a woman recovering a 30-inch saucer in the same vicinity, who then turned the saucer over to FBI agent Guy Banister.

Capt. Lee Davidson and Lt. Frank Brown, Air Force investigators under the command of Gen. Nathan Twining, soon joined Arnold in retrieving debris on Maury Island. Crisman was later compelled to turn over his samples to the two investigators. MJ12 documents, recently discovered under the Freedom of Information Act, also indicate that Crisman turned additional samples he had held back over to CIA agent Clay Shaw.

In November of 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Many people believe it was part of a larger conspiracy, far beyond a lone gunman named Lee Harvey Oswald. In his 1968 investigation of the assassination, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison claimed that Guy Banister and Claw Shaw were involved in the plot to kill JFK, and that Fred Crisman may have been one of the gunmen.

Some interesting coincidences between the JFK assassination and the 1947 UFO cover-up include:

From 1943 to 1952 Guy Banister was FBI Special Agent in Charge in the Pacific Northwest, later transferred to Chicago. Upon retirement he opened a private investigative office in New Orleans where he occasionally hired Lee Harvey Oswald in a variety of capacities.

In 1963, former CIA agent Clay Shaw was the director of the International Trade Mart in New Orleans, a CIA front organization. He later went to trial as one of the co-conspirators in JFK's death but was found not guilty by a jury.  Key evidence linking Shaw to the assassination was not permitted by the trial judge.

According to many JFK assassination researchers, Crisman was one of the three so-called hoboes who were picked up in the railroad yard immediately following the shooting, then released shortly thereafter.

The world is full of strange coincidences and possible conspiracies in high places. Unfortunately, when you believe in a conspiracy, there's not much you can do about it except bang your head against the wall.

Between the JFK and UFO conspiracies, there's enough intrigue to keep heads banging for a long time.

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May 17, 2004

La Chronica de Hoy (Mexico)

Sedena and the UFO Question

by Raul Trejo Delarbre

Perhaps we shall never know the cause behind the images recorded by the Mexican Air Force on March 5, 2004 over Campeche and which Televisa broadly displayed a week ago. The quality of the video that caused so much interest is poor. Above all, the hypotheses turned into certainties by those who seek confirmation of extraterrestrial visitation in each manifestation of infrequent events, have negated any possibility of a scientific discussion of these facts.

The existence or non-existence of other worlds has been the subject of countless discussions and ruminations. The ease with which this matter is invested with esoteric allusions, and with a sometimes successful commercialization of bewilderment, makes its public examination particularly difficult.

It is therefore noteworthy that when it had the recorded testimony of a phenomenon that it could not explain, the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) did not seek an opinion based on scientific research.

There exist within our country research groups on atmospheric and astronomic matters made up of academicians of acknowledged international merit. Rather than appealing to them, SEDENA, responsible for the national security of all Mexicans, turned to a journalist known for his convictions regarding the extraterrestrial origin of UFOs.

Jaime Maussan's interest in such matters goes back years. He has offered considerable evidence of is tenacity in broadcasting what he believes are expressions of life from other planets on our own. Such work may merit diverging opinions. But regardless, it is clear that Maussan has already formed a point of view about the meaning of UFOs. For this reason, his opinion is not the most objective when it comes to ruling on the meaning of a video such as the one recorded by the Air Force, and much less when it comes to broadcasting said material. However, from among all of the scientific, media, professional or esoteric options possible, SEDENA sought out Maussan.

[In the video] can be seen the infrared camera images installed on a military twin-engine aircraft engaged in a patrol mission between Chiapas and Campeche. After radar reported the presence of what appeared to be other aircraft, the crew was perplexed by the fact that  they could not see them unaided. For that reason they employed the infrared camera whose recording we have come to know through TV.

SEDENA then sought Maussan's counsel. The journalists webpage says: "On April 20, Lic. Jaime Maussan was summoned to the headquarters of the National Defense for an initial encounter with the high command of our country's armed forces in order to brief him on the specifics of the case and two days later, he was given a video copy of the encounter of the MERLIN C26/A aircraft of the Mexican Air Force in order to undertake all pertinent investigations and subsequent transmission to the public opinion of the various information media in our country and the world at large. All of this with the approval of Gen. Ricardo Clemente, head of the Mexican Armed Forces (the secretary's full name is Gerardo Clemente Ricardo Vega García).

Maussan broadcast the video, presenting it as confirmation of the hypotheses which have made him a celebrity. It is not his behavior that is odd - rather, it is that of the Secretariat of Defense.

Consulted by the media, scientists such as astronomer Jose de la Herran suggested that the objects picked up on the recording could have been meteorite fragments. Others, such as Jose de Jesus Franco, director of the UNAM's Institute of Astronomy, stated that it could have been "an atmospheric phenomenon known as ball lightning." In any event, none of them have had the opportunity to inspect the recording because SEDENA only turned over to the aforementioned journalist.

Faced with questions about its behavior, National Defense has chosen secrecy and censure. In a letter sent to La Jornada to protest the sarcastic treatment given by one of the newspaper's cartoonists to the cited news item, Brig. Gen. D. E. M. Efren Martínez Guzman, Defense General Director of Social Communication, explains that when they had the video in their hands, the Secretariat's officials had "two options: either file it away as secret or turn it over to a person knowledgeable of the subject, in an effort to keep the matter from becoming a joke."

Since that did not happen, and SEDENA's behavior has merited suspicion, General Martinez Guzman considers that the chapter:  "teaches us that nothing at all be provided in subsequent occasions, especially when the information was provided in good faith and only for the public's awareness."

Translation (c) 2004. Scott Corrales
Institute of Hispanic Ufology (IHU)
Special thanks to Christian Hernan Quintero, PlanetaUFO.

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May 13, 2004

KBCITV (Boise, Idaho)

Idaho UFO Researcher: Mexican UFOs "Definitely Alien Craft"

by Scott Logan

Boise - An Idaho-based UFO researcher says spectacular videotape of purported flying saucers taken by the Mexican Air Force is the real deal.

"It appears from all indications these could be mother ships," said Ike Bishop, Idaho state director for the Mutual UFO Network. "They are definitely alien craft."

Idaho 2 News spoke on the phone with Bishop, who was at the world famous Little Ale'inn in Rachel, NV near Area 51, the supersecret military base 100 miles north of Las Vegas where some believe aliens and humans are collaborating scientifically.

A videotape aired Monday on Mexican national television showing a series of brilliant objects flying at more than 11,480 feet over southern Campeche state.

The tape was filmed March 5 by air force pilots using a video camera equipped with an infrared lens. The objects appear to accelerate rapidly and change course suddenly.

At least one crew member testified in a videotaped interview that the objects encircled the military jet at a distance of at least two miles.

Bishop says Mexico has a long history of UFO sightings and he applauded the Mexican Air Force for making the videotape public this week.

"The Mexican government is not afraid to talk about UFOs," Bishop told Idaho 2 News. "People don't lose their jobs over the whole thing."

The pilots spotted the objects while conducting a routine drug-surveillance mission. Only three of the objects showed up on the plane's radar. Infrared equipment can only detect heat emanating from objects. It is unable to provide an image of the objects' exact forms.

After deciding it was no threat to national security, Mexican Defense Secretary Gen. Ricardo Vega Garcia gave the videotape to UFO specialist Jaime Maussan, who has spent 10 years studying unidentified flying objects.

Maussan claimed Tuesday the videotape was evidence that flying saucers exist. The video was especially significant since it was provided by the military, he said.

"This is historic news," Maussan said. "Hundreds of videos (of UFOs) exist, but none had the backing of the armed forces of any country. ... The armed forces don't perpetuate frauds."

But Vega denied Wednesday that the military had made any conclusions about where the lights came from or whether they were UFOs.

"This is Maussan's point of view, for that reason he was given (the video) so that he could draw his own conclusions," Vega told a Mexican radio station. "But that is his version."

Bishop agrees with Maussan, and says his own investigation indicates more and more stunning UFO sightings will come in the near future.

"From what people have been telling me, 2004 and 2005 will be the awakening years (for UFO sightings)," Bishop said. "In other words, fasten your seatbelts."

Or as one of the Mexican pilots said, "This is all so very strange."


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May 12, 2004

ABC News Online

Mexico Air Force Video Creates UFO Stir

The Mexican Air Force has released footage of what a UFO expert said were 11 unidentified flying objects (UFOs) picked up by an infrared camera as they whizzed around a surveillance plane.

Long-time believer in flying saucers, journalist Jaime Maussan, told a news conference on Tuesday the objects were real and seemed "intelligent" after they at one point changed direction and surrounded the plane chasing them.

"They were invisible to the eye but they were there, there is no doubt about it. They had mass, they had energy and they were moving about," he said, after showing a 15-minute video he said the Defence Ministry gave him permission to publicise.

The ministry confirmed to Reuters it had provided the video filmed by the Air Force on March 5 over the eastern coastal state of Campeche.

"We are not alone!  This is so weird," one of the pilots can be heard yelling, after the plane's crew switched on an infrared camera to track the objects first picked up by radar.

The film recorded by a plane looking for drugs trafficking near the Gulf of Mexico shows 11 objects as blobs of light that hover in formation or dart about, sometimes disappearing into cloud.

Mexico's most popular nightly news broadcast showed the video on Monday night.

Interviewed by Mr. Maussan on another section of the video, the pilots said they grew nervous when the objects still invisible turned back during a chase and surrounded the plane.

"There was a moment when the screens showed they were behind us, to the left and in front of us. It was at that point that I felt a bit tense," said Major Magdaleno Castanon.

Mexico has a long history of fanciful UFO sightings, most of which are dismissed by scientists as space debris, missiles, weather balloons, natural weather phenomena or hoaxes.


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May 12, 2004

San Francisco Chronicle

Mexico's defense secretary says military has formed no conclusions about flying objects filmed by Air Force

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexican Defense Secretary Ricardo Vega Garcia said Wednesday the military had made no conclusions about a series of brightly lit, rapidly moving objects filmed by Air Force pilots earlier this year.

But Vega said neither had the military concluded that the objects, visible only with infrared equipment, were flying saucers as UFO investigator Jaime Maussan insisted during a news conference Tuesday.

"This is Maussan's point of view, for that reason he was given (the video) so that he could draw his own conclusions," Vega told W Radio. "But that is his version."

On March 5, Mexican Air Force pilots videotaped the series of brilliant objects flying at more than 3,500 meters (11,480 feet) over southern Campeche state using a video camera equipped with an infrared lens. Infrared equipment can only detect heat emanating from objects; it is unable to provide an image of the objects' exact form.

In the videotape, first aired publicly on national television Monday night, the objects appear to accelerate rapidly and change course suddenly. At least one crew member testified in a videotaped interview that the objects surrounded the Air Force jet when they were at least two miles (three kilometers) away.

The pilots sighted the objects as they conducted a routine drug-surveillance mission.

Vega said he initially believed the objects were drug trafficking planes, "but when I began to see that they had those lights ... I realized they couldn't be such aircraft."

Maussan said the videotape was evidence of the existence of UFOs. "This is historic news," he told reporters Tuesday. "Hundreds of videos (of UFOs) exist, but none had the backing of the armed forces of any country. ... The armed forces don't perpetuate frauds."

But Vega said he had warned those under his command to refrain from talking about "flying saucers" and UFOS when discussing the video "because that just provokes doubts and jokes."

Vega also insisted that the military had not released the tape to distract the nation from other issues, as some news commentators suggested.

Vega said he decided to release the videotape because it seemed pointless to guard it as a military secret and he did not see it as a threat to national security. He said copies are available for further revision by the scientific community.


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April 29, 2004

Winnipeg Sun

Cow cut, drained in Arborg
Mutilation mystifies

by Natalie Pona, Staff Reporter

An Arborg cattle farmer made a horrific discovery Monday when he found the partially skinned carcass of one of his animals that was missing its tongue and apparently drained of its blood. "The whole thing has turned out to be more sinister than I thought," said Yvonne, a neighbour, who examined the mutilated animal. She asked not to have her last name used to protect her family.

"What sort of weirdos have we got traveling in our neighbourhood?"

Gordon, who would only allow The Sun to print his first name, said he discovered the carcass on his farm Monday afternoon.

"I don't really want to speculate on what happened. I know what I saw," he said, adding he is still shaken up by the find.

Arborg is 100 kilometres north of Winnipeg.


The mutilation happened Saturday or Sunday night, Gordon said.
No one heard anything.

He's heard of several cow mutilations in the area over the past few years, Gordon said.

He called the RCMP, reporting that the animal had been attacked by a predator. He has since changed his mind about the cause.

"It was definitely a sharp object used," he said.

Arborg RCMP Cpl. Glenn Syme said he has never investigated an instance of cattle mutilation. The RCMP did take a call this week about a cow being attacked by a predator, likely from Gordon.


The animal was found with an incision under its chin. The skin had been pulled from the face, exposing the teeth.

"It's not the gore, we've seen that before, it's the evil behind it," Yvonne said.

The tip of the animal's tongue, cut from its root, was placed in the mouth, she said.

"There's not a drop of blood in that animal. The only way you can drain an animal of blood is (to cut into it) with the heart still pumping," Yvonne said.

The cuts were very precise, as if made by a surgeon, she said.

"You don't know who you're dealing with ... the average wild and woolly neighbourhood brat wouldn't be capable of doing it," she said.

Gordon and Yvonne called Fern Belzil, an Alberta-based investigator of unexplained deaths who has been studying cow mutilations for eight years, for help.

Belzil has studied 100 cases, two-thirds of which remain unexplained.

"I'm not saying it's aliens ... a lot points towards aliens but there is no proof," he said.

Belzil said he has never encountered any evidence pointing to who or what is killing cows.

"It's a real mystery," he said.

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April 28, 2004

Kentucky New Era (Hopkinsville)

Re-enacting a visit from the Green Men
Documentary on Kelly legend

by Michele Carlton

HOPKINSVILLE -- Production work on a documentary featuring the 1955 invasion of "little green men" in the Kelly community is nearly complete and may be released this fall on cable television.

Barcon Video Productions in Glendale, Calif., is producing the documentary entitled "Monsters of the UFO," which includes dramatizations of three stories involving close encounters with unexplained phenomenon.

Director/producer Barry Conrad said in a telephone interview last week that it is "highly probable" that the documentary will air as a two-hour special on the Sci-Fi Channel possibly around Halloween.

"We are still working on the project with one more story yet to complete," he said. "We hope to finish by the end of the summer."

In addition to the Kelly incident, the film will explore first–hand accounts of the Mothman legend in Point Pleasant, W.Va., and the Flatwoods Monster in Flatwoods, W.Va.

The Kelly legend started on Aug. 21, 1955, when residents reported the landing of a spaceship near the home of Elmer "Lucky" Sutton on Old Madisonville Road. Sutton and other family members said 12 little men landed in a spaceship and then battled them at the house for hours.

Although the creatures are now known as "the little green men of Kelly," original stories reported they were silver.

To develop the documentary, a Barcon production crew conducted eyewitness interviews in Hopkinsville in December 2002 and December 2003 to include in the film. The dramatization of the Kelly encounter was filmed last October in the Angeles National Forest just north of Los Angeles.

"We've been screening the raw footage and I'm really happy with the results," Conrad said. "We'll have a nice mixture showing what happened through interviews and the re–enactment. People will feel like they are right there."

In July, Conrad will be conducting a lecture series about the documentary for MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) in LA and Orange County. During that time, a trailer for the show will be premiered including some of the Kelly scenes.

Conrad said he and co-producer Lisa McIntosh are also planning a separate one–hour television production just on the Kelly aliens to be released at a later date.

The California company is also producing a special DVD release on the legend of the Kelly green men featuring photographs from Hopkinsville and Kelly circa 1955 and old film footage of the area.

"I've always been intrigued by that story," Conrad said.


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April 21, 2004

Gazette (Gaithersburg, Maryland)

X-Conference Draws Hundreds Of Believers To Gaithersburg

by Brooke W. Stanley, Staff Writer

The certainty of alien life on Earth is usually not at the top of the list of socially acceptable topics of conversation.

Yet those wishing to delve into such a realm found a sounding board in Gaithersburg this weekend, as people from all over the nation flooded the Hilton to discuss and learn about all things extraterrestrial at the X-Conference.

They seemed as comfortable discussing aliens as they would be discussing the weather.

Between 580 and 590 shelled out $45 a day to hear some of the 25 experts from five different countries talk about everything from government cover-ups to parallel dimensions.

The Paradigm Research Group, a Bethesda-based organization that provides services such as political consulting and fund-raising for researchers and activists involved with extraterrestrial phenomena, organized conference.

The group was founded in 1996 by Montgomery County resident Stephen Bassett, who ran for Congress in 2002 in hopes of drawing attention to the government cover-up of alien incursions.

Connie Guy, of Myersville, said she decided to attend the conference after a speech Bassett made at her church piqued her interest in UFOs.

"I think they're here", Guy said of aliens. " I think they're present. I think they're probably among us."

Guy believes humans can learn a lot from extraterrestrials.

"I believe that the beings that are outside of our awareness can help us because they know a lot of things we have yet to understand", Guy said.

Specifically, she believes extraterrestrials have harnessed energy in a way humans have not, and hopes that such technology can end the world's dependence on oil that has led to extreme human greed.

Guy's husband, Ted Jenkins, also attended the conference but had a less concrete belief in aliens.

"I believe in only the possibility", Jenkins said.

Jenkins said he has seen lights in the sky both in this area and in other parts of the country that move, stop and then change direction. But he is not jumping to any conclusions.

"I've seen things that I couldn't explain", he said. "...I don't know what I saw."

Jenkins said he believes knowledge of other intelligent life forms can be dangerous. An actual sighting of an alien could make someone go crazy, he said.

"It just shakes them out of their environment too much", he said.

Aliens also pose a threat to religious beliefs, Jenkins said.

"The basic idea of extraterrestrials challenges most religions", he said.

Among the vendors selling a plethora of UFO books and videos was Guy Malone, a self-described missionary who moved from Nashville, Tenn. to Roswell, N.M. in 1999 to teach Christianity to people who have had alien encounters.

Malone was selling both his book, "Come Sail Away", and T-shirts that said "A Single Ufologist's Biggest Problem? All the good ones are taken!" Taken, as in abducted, Malone explained.

All joking aside, Malone said he believes the beings people describe in alien encounters are actually fallen angels, not extraterrestrials.

The Bible has the oldest and most accurate description of these beings, Malone said. "I do believe the Bible has those answers people are looking for", he said.

Malone, who owns a biblical bookstore in Roswell, said he hopes to keep people away from UFO cult religions, such as Heaven's Gate, which only take people further into dealings with fallen angels.

"Typically the church shuns those type of people so they go somewhere else looking for answers", Malone said.

Rebecca Gordon, who lives in Boulder, Colo., said the conference was one of more than 10 she has attended all over the country and the world.

Gordon, 35, said she saw a UFO while driving just outside of Lake Tahoe in California when she was 17. It was in a valley and shot off into the distance very quickly, she said.

"[It was] just a light in the sky -- nothing exciting, but I knew it wasn't from here, so I started reading about it", Gordon said.

She said she is fascinated by the lack of attention paid to UFOs by both the media and politicians.

"I know that there's some sort of cover-up", Gordon said, adding that she has traveled in many different countries where the issue is addressed more openly.

Gordon said she gains little bits of information here and there at conferences that allow her to piece together her own version of the truth about extraterrestrials.

Keith Gingrus, who came from his home in Connecticut for the conference, said he was just trying to be objective and see where the evidence leads him.

Gingrus, who has been studying the subject in his free time since 1990, said he believes there is some other intelligence or consciousness out there.

"They might have some reason for us being here", he said.

Among the speakers at the event was Philip Corso Jr., the son of the late Col. Philip J. Corso (ret.), who wrote about stewarding the Roswell, N.M., alien artifacts in his book "The Day After Roswell." The book addressed the July 1947 crash of an aircraft many believe to be from another world.

In his Saturday afternoon speech, Corso told a crowd of more than 100 in one conference room that his father, who had nine levels of clearance above top secret in the Army, saw alien bodies.

"He felt that the young people could handle the knowledge of knowing that we have been visited", Corso said.

The government is keeping what happened in Roswell a secret because it would reveal the secret to time travel, Corso said. A UFO is able to achieve time travel by moving simultaneously in many dimensions, he said.

After his speech, more than a dozen people crowded around Corso in a hallway to ask questions.

James Randi, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based investigator of paranormal claims, said Monday he is very familiar with the UFO "believers" who attend such conferences.

"It's very thrilling for some of them to belong to these sort of groups because they have nothing else going for them", he said.

People who seek out other UFO believers are really just trying to find happiness, friendship, companionship and magical answers to the tough questions in life.

"They get a great deal of comfort out of one another's company", he explained.

Randi, who is the author of several books, runs a nonprofit foundation that offers a $1 million reward to anyone who can show evidence of a paranormal or supernatural event in proper observing conditions. A magician by trade, Randi tries to demystify everything from UFOs to faith healing.

He said learning magic has taught him how people can be misinformed by their sensory systems. People see things in the sky all the time that they don't understand, he said.

"That doesn't mean that a UFO comes from extraterrestrial sources", he said.

While Randi said the existence of life on other planets is mathematically "inescapable", UFO believers have yet to show proof of intelligent life, not to mention intelligent life that has visited Earth.

Randi said he believes people who speak at UFO conferences either believe themselves, are trying to scam people for money, or a bit of both.

"There is a great deal of money to be made doing this", he said.


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April 21, 2004

Winnipeg Sun

City Nuts For UFOs
Story spurs more reports

by Natalie Pona, Staff Reporter

Winnipeg has developed an eerie resemblance to Area 51 in the last couple of days. Since a story about local air traffic controllers who saw a light zoom through the sky appeared in The Sun on Monday, the newspaper has been flooded with e-mails from people who say they witnessed a similar phenomenon.

A husband and wife, who did not include their names, wrote to say they frequently see alien aircraft.

"All we have to do is look out our apartment window, look towards the city centre and sometimes we see them I sometimes think we are going nuts."

Small, bright object

A woman named Deb said she spotted a small, bright object in the sky while she was on a plane.

"It appeared lower than the plane but in the distance. I followed it across the sky in the opposite direction ... until it grew too small to see. And it was fast. I remember thinking that I couldn't come up with any logical explanation as to what the object was," Deb wrote.

A man named Steve e-mailed about the story's headline: UFO seen whizzing over city.

"So I hope nobody got wet!" Steve's note quipped.

Doug Creamer, a pipe fitter from Alberta, said he saw two white disks floating through the sky earlier this month.

It was the first time he saw a UFO, he said.

"You don't want to say it out loud ... people would just think I'm nuts," Creamer said.

Area 51 is the U.S. military base located north of Las Vegas that is frequently associated with UFO conspiracy theories.

Chris Rutkowski, a Winnipeg UFO researcher, said sightings are up this year across Canada. The country averages 700 yearly, he said.

"People are returning to having a sense of awe and wonder about their place in the universe," he said.

Nervousness about world politics may be provoking more people to look for meaning in life.

"People are looking above and beyond for help. A lot are looking introspectively," Rutkowski said.

Rutkowski said there were nine national reports of UFOs of similar description on the night the object was seen by the air traffic controllers.

The new sightings will help with his investigation into the origin of the UFO seen by the controllers.

"For the most part, people who report UFOs are actually seeing something in the sky. We can usually explain it with an actual (astronomical) event," he said.


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March 31, 2004

Palm Beach Post

Radio show airs alien encounters

by Eliot Kleinberg, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

The caller was a pilot 30,000 feet over Area 51, the mysterious Nevada military base that allegedly holds crashed UFOs. The radio host urged him to turn back. The pilot reported an F-16 military jet was heading his way.

"It looks like some kind of ray gun is coming up from the ground. It has a weird-looking barrel, like a light. Oh, God. They're shooting at me. I'm going in."

Then dead air.

Did it happen?

Debunkers to the contrary, millions of people listen to Coast to Coast AM, a syndicated radio program that airs on some 500 stations in North America. It's broadcast in the dead of night, for the people who believe, and the people who maybe wonder just a little, and the people who just can't get to sleep.

Listeners are linked in a worldwide electronic slumber party, complete with ghost tales and psychics and angel sightings and aliens over the World Trade Center.

On one recent show:

• A man identified at least three "portals" to other dimensions and times -- two in California and one in Arizona -- but gave no exact locations. At one, he said, "I could have sworn I saw sandal feet there, and then I heard a voice saying, -- almost right behind me, made me jump -- 'Do you want to come through?' I said, no I didn't."

• An e-mailer saw ghosts in the basement of his grandfather's St. Louis house and later awoke to find them encircling his bed; in the morning, he said, his mirror was cracked, and "I had scratch marks all over my arms in the shape of human fingernails."

• And a lady in Winnipeg, Canada, had a girlfriend who regularly talks to the dead, by appointment, explaining, "She'll tell you something only the two of you would have done together."

Host plays along

Host George Noory often grills callers for more details and
clucks in amazement at their stories, offering "my gosh,"
"that's weird" and "what an unbelievable story."

What you won't hear him say is, "You're nuts."

"It's not my responsibility," Noory said in a telephone interview.

"Do I believe every story that comes into Coast to Coast? No," he said. "When you listen to some of these stories, a lot of them could be concocted, far-fetched. But a lot of them also give you that ability to just doubt."

If someone calls to say he's captured an alien, Noory said: "I tell him, 'Send me the picture.' I've never gotten a picture. But I'm not going to belittle him on the air."

Noory, a broadcaster for 33 years, replaced Art Bell, who created the show in 1993. It was Bell, who lives within sight of Area 51, who fielded the call from the alleged ill-fated interloper. Bell mysteriously left the show for two weeks in 1998; he later revealed his 16-year-old son had been kidnapped and raped in 1997 by a substitute teacher. He then left again briefly in 2000 after being falsely accused of child molestation. When Bell retired for good in January 2003, Noory, a late-night talk host in St. Louis and Bell's backup since April 2001, took over. He does the show from Southern California. Bell still hosts weekend shows from Nevada.

The show's Web site is loaded with material from its guests and supporters, and contains much of the usual paranormal bulletin-board items:

A "Dr. Joseph M" got his hands on an alleged "Top Secret" CIA memo that says the "problem of death and dying has been conquered permanently." An X-ray of a spine showed the ghostly image of an alien's face. And a mysterious glow was reported in the Topanga Canyon near Los Angeles (others later wrote in that it was the launch of a Minuteman missile from nearby Vandenburg Air Force Base).

One entry showed what the correspondent said was a mysterious flying object he saw attached to a commercial jet flying over West Palm Beach on Dec. 15, 2002. The entry said that "local news made a small blurb about it," but a check has found no published reports. An e-mail to the correspondent bounced back, and his name was not found on a national database.

The show publishes a newsletter called After Dark that it says "satisfies seekers of the weird, the unexplainable and the supernatural -- in even more detail than the radio show. Plus, After Dark dares to explore, in-depth, today's alternative worlds of health, medicine, and spirituality. And much, much more."

Order the newsletter for a year for $40 and get a CD of interviews with, and a four-page biography of, Malachi Martin, a former Jesuit priest and a prominent exorcist who died in 1999 and whose writings suggested the Vatican had become either a corporate stooge of Communists or a cohort of Satan.

'They believe everything'

Noory, raised a Catholic, said he questions the mysteries of the universe and believes the paranormal and religion coexist. He also said he believes in many of the subjects his callers cover -- including conspiracies.

"There's no question in my mind that there's a manipulation worldwide. Who are they? I don't know."

Noory said he censors no one. He said he has had callers challenge others, and his show has invited debunkers, including the South Florida-based James Randi; Randi turned down the invitation.

Noory also doesn't judge his listeners. "There's some people that listen to it for pure entertainment value," he said. "There's people that listen to it because they believe everything."

Noory said his goal isn't to give people the creeps.

"When people call and say, 'There's a ghost in my room, what do I do?', I say, 'Turn on the lights,' " Noory said. But he said his show succeeds because listeners listen in the dark, maybe a little scared to peek out the window.

"It would not work at 10 o'clock in the morning," he said. "It would lose the mystery."

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March 24, 2004

Iowa State Daily

UFO investigator, ISU alumnus dead

by Scott Rank

An ISU alumnus who worked on the country's largest, most systematic investigation of UFOs died Thursday after a struggle with cancer. He was 70.

Roy Craig, who received his doctorate in physical chemistry from Iowa State in 1952, was chief field investigator for The Colorado Project, the official government search for verifiable evidence for the existence of UFOs. He was highly skeptical of UFOs, but was fascinated by the false reports of their existence.

"He felt the entire aspect of UFOs were the most important social phenomena of the last half of the 20th century," said Hal Mansfield, a friend of Craig. "They opened up the minds of people to life on other planets and changed their perspective of Earth as the center of the universe."

Craig's professional career spanned many different branches of science, including nuclear weapons research, but he gained his professional notoriety as the chief field investigator for The Colorado Project, according to an obituary written by Mansfield.

"He gained notoriety because he was on the wrong side of the fence with those who ardently believed in the existence of UFOs," Mansfield said. "Dr. Craig's conclusions about UFOs didn't come down on the believers' side of the issue."

At the end of this project, Craig and the other investigators released the Condor Report, one of the most important documents in UFO history, according to the obituary. The report stated scientists had nothing to gain from taking UFOs seriously and that the entire subject was largely useless to science.

The report was a response to the thousands of UFO sightings received by the Air Force during the 1950s and 1960s, according to Craig's book, "UFOs: An Insider's View of the Official Quest for Evidence." Public interest in UFOs surged by sensationalized press attention, which stated the government kept UFOs secret under the guises of weather balloons and swamp gas.

As part of The Colorado Project, Craig personally investigated numerous UFO incidents, one involving a bow hunter from California who claimed he narrowly escaped a killer robot from space, armed with nothing but his bow and arrows, Craig wrote in his book.

Craig confirmed most of these "sightings" were merely hoaxes.

"The blind desire to believe can and does lead a person into absolute absurdities," Craig wrote. "These cases illustrate the responses of human minds which are governed by the desire to believe in the reality of flying saucers."

While the report that Craig co-authored debunked mysteries about outer space, he wrote that UFOs did get people to think about the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

He also wasn't a complete UFO skeptic.

In the last chapter of his book, Craig included revolutionary theories that defended the possibility of interstellar travel. He wrote a few years of scientific progress would prove aliens traveling to earth was possible -- at least theoretically.

"Roy said most people's disbelief of UFOs existence came from our limited knowledge of physics and cosmology," Mansfield said.

During his career, he taught physics at the University of Colorado and helped set up the Four Corners Research Institute, which offered environmental and other scientific investigations. He spent his retirement years on a 160-acre ranch in Ignacio, Colorado, where he took care of a herd of 60 llamas.


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March 17, 2004

Farmington, Daily Times

Aztec UFO fest opens Friday

by Debra Mayeux

AZTEC — Fifty-six years ago on a small, dirt road north of Aztec, something unexplainable happened.

A saucer-shaped ship, 100-feet in diameter, was said to have crash-landed leaving small charred bodies inside. There were eyewitnesses — military, locals and police officers. There are Air Force documents one man is working to declassify.

Scott Ramsey of Charlotte, N.C., has spent the past 14 years of his life researching the purported Aztec UFO crash of 1948. He has traveled to 28 states, visited numerous military bases and talked to alleged eyewitnesses of the event.

“We want to be extremely careful to make sure people are reliable witnesses,” Ramsey said of his research. “We really try not to open our mouth until a lot of research has been done.”

Ramsey will present his findings at the 7th annual Aztec UFO Symposium Friday through Sunday at Koogler Middle School. His talk, which he says is “no smoking gun,” will be presented at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The alleged Aztec crash occurred only months after the more famous 1947 Roswell crash of another alleged UFO. It was two years before the March 17, 1950, Farmington UFO Armada, which celebrates its 54th anniversary today.

News accounts at the time, including a front page story in The Daily Times, said a fleet of hundreds of UFOs were seen by hundreds of residents flying in formation at high rates of speed across the city. The event later became know as the Farmington UFO Armada.

Ramsey said there were several UFO sightings in the state between 1947 and 1953, almost of which were documented in Air Force archives.

“Aircraft were picking up UFOs in New Mexico,” the researcher said. “My declassifications are centered around Aztec and the Air Force during that time frame.”

Most of his research began with a book, “Behind the Flying Saucers,” published in the 1950s by Frank Scully, who was tipped off by New Mexico oil men Silas Newton and Leo GeBauer. The two did not have the best reputation and most skeptics believe the story was a farce used by Newton and GeBauer to sell oil “doodle bug” equipment.

“They had their share of encounters with the law,” Ramsey said of the men, but Scully also claimed he received information from eight or nine scientists.

Ramsey said Scully went into such great detail in his book, it had to come from scientists. Ramsey said he was able to prove many of the details from documents declassified in 1999.

“It’s hard to put my presentation into a nutshell, but we’ve looked at Scully’s story,” he said.

In addition to Scully’s claims, Ramsey was able to discover secret military radar sites in the state. These sites may have detected the UFO before it crashed near Aztec, but Ramsey said he still has years of research before solidifying that claim. What he does have is maps of the radar bases for public review at the symposium.

Ramsey also commissioned a study of artifacts found at the crash site. Unfortunately the findings will not be ready for presentation until next year.

A key artifact was a piece of concrete slab at the site. The slab has been dismissed as a well cap, but a member of the military told Ramsey its purpose was as a footer for a crane used to remove the UFO.

“It’s a controversial piece, we’re trying to date to 1948,” Ramsey said adding the study is highly controlled with only one person on staff knowing the concrete came from a purported UFO crash site.

Ramsey said he will present his findings to date, some claims from skeptics, as well as a time line for the crash. He will also lead tours to the crash site, when he is not speaking at the symposium.

The cost for the symposium is $50 for Saturday and Sunday, plus an additional $18 for the Meet and Greet from 6-8 p.m. Friday. A one day ticket is $35.

Information: The Aztec UFO Information Center, (505) 334-9890 or on the Web at

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 March 15, 2004

Vancouver Courier (British Columbia)

Out There

by Naoibh O'Connor

Just past 6 p.m. on Aug. 11, last year, Diana Luca and her mother, who was visiting from Romania, were chatting at the kitchen table in Luca's New Westminster home. It was a beautiful windless evening, the clear blue sky visible from their seats in front of a large south-facing window.

Out of the corner of her eye, Luca spotted a black object behind the trees in the back alley. "Look, it's a balloon," she told her mother. But when the two stepped onto the patio, they saw what they now insist is a UFO. "It still freaks me out. I could see it flying behind the trees and on top of the shorter trees," says the 34-year-old, recalling the incident from the living room of her new house.

Luca claims the object-flat and shaped like a Frisbee-flipped to its underside, which was as red and shiny as a Coke can.

Scared, she called her common-law husband, Mark Murphy, who was inside. By the time he reached the porch, the object looked cigar shaped and was an estimated three kilometres away. Murphy rushed inside to retrieve a camcorder purchased two days earlier, documenting the rest of the sighting on tape, which he keeps under lock and key. The 35-year-old property manager has since copied the tape onto a DVD that he plays over and over.

>From the right side of the screen, a small, shiny object moves towards the centre, then heads rapidly towards the camera. As it gets closer, it becomes a round, black form that vibrates slightly, at one point turning on its side, giving it the cigar shape.

Murphy loses sight of it several times and is forced to refocus to recapture the object on film. It zips across the screen so quickly on another occasion that it can only be seen later, when Murphy watches the tape in slow motion.

"It's something I'll never forget for the rest of my life-I was in shock. The clarity of this is just incredible," he says. "I heard about UFOs but had written [them] off in my head. I'm a skeptical kind of person who has to touch it to believe it, but now I'm not too certain."

It sounds farfetched, but he's got a lot of company locally.

According to the 2003 Canadian UFO Survey, reported by Chris Rutkowski of UFOlogy Research of Manitoba, more than 673 sightings of UFOs-defined literally as flying objects that can't be identified-were documented across the country last year, including 41 in Vancouver, making it the city with the highest number of reports. Sources of the reports include the National UFO Reporting Center in the U.S., UFO*BC, the Houston B.C. Centre for UFO Research and the Meteor and Impacts Advisory Committee to the Canadian Space Agency.

Only 17 per cent of the 673 sightings remain unexplained-the rest were simply fireballs, meteors or other natural phenomena.

Skeptics may brush off UFO sightings as the side effect of too much B.C. bud, but some members of an organization called UFO*BC believe the earth has been visited by alien ships.

Graham Conway, the group's vice president, claims to have spotted 30 himself, and insists many more individuals are willing to admit sightings these days. "The social acceptance has changed. People are prepared to come forward and not feel they'll be written off as kooks."

In 1947, Kenneth Arnold, a pilot involved in a search for a downed aircraft near Mount Rainier, reported seeing nine objects flying at an estimated 1,200 miles an hour across the mountains. They were crescent-shaped, so he described them as saucers skipping across the water-hence the term "flying saucers." For Graham Conway, it sparked an interest in UFOs that's never diminished. At the time, he was living in Sheffield, England and interested in enigmas. "Fifty-seven years later, I'm nowhere nearer a solution than the day I started," he says from the living room of his middle-class home in Delta.

Aside from what many would consider a quirky obsession with UFOs, the 76-year-old has led a relatively normal life, working in the hospitality industry and teaching food studies and consumer education in Ontario and B.C. After retiring in 1986, he worked for the Salvation Army for eight years before landing a job with the Delta School Board as a noontime supervisor at a secondary school.

For a few years, he was associated with an American group called the Mutual UFO Network, which bills itself as the world's largest civilian UFO research organization, but found B.C. reports seemed to drop into a black hole, never to be heard of again. Frustrated, Conway and a small group of like-minded friends formed UFO*BC in 1995, and were later joined by Martin Jasek, a 40-year-old engineer for a utilities company.

The non-profit society operates a 24-hour hotline for reporting sightings, a web site and a quarterly newsletter. Members also host lectures on subjects ranging from alien abductions to cattle mutilations and crop circles. Each year, they investigate a few UFO reports in the Lower Mainland or Interior.

Jasek, the group's mild-mannered treasurer, developed an interest in the subject while living in Whitehorse, where he said reports of unidentified flying objects were plentiful. Unlike Conway, he's only spotted one UFO-a term he uses literally in this case, although he suspects that some UFOs are "intelligently controlled craft" that are not man-made.

Jasek's brief sighting occurred in 1998, while driving across Manitoba during daylight hours. He glanced over to a slight hill on his left where a white ball, three metres in diameter and roughly 200 metres away, appeared. Seconds later, it was obscured by trees as the vehicle travelled along the highway. By the time the trees cleared, it had disappeared. To this day, Jasek, a soft-spoken, serious man, isn't sure what he saw.

Conway, however, has no reservations about his sightings.

With little prompting, he rattles off several anecdotes. In one case, he was heading up Canada Way towards Edmonds Street when traffic hit a standstill. Looking up, he spotted a red, disk-shaped object, possibly six feet in diameter. None of the passengers in the cars beside him appeared to see it. When traffic moved forward slightly, the object became more mirror-like, then headed in a northwesterly direction. Total viewing time: five minutes.

Another time, Conway was moonlighting as a security officer at a large parking lot on Annacis Island when he observed a square aluminum-like craft hovering above a plant emitting steam that was being circled by seagulls and eagles. Viewing conditions were excellent, according to Conway, who watched it head northeast towards the Fraser River for about 10 minutes.

Lack of physical proof does nothing to shake his confidence. In fact, both men looked puzzled when asked if others see them as eccentric or odd. "Most people do believe [in UFOs]," insists Jasek. "You'd be surprised how many people you know have seen something totally unexplainable, but they don't divulge it without being prompted."

Conway speculates special psychic gifts passed down through families make people like him more susceptible to seeing UFOs. "We have thousands and thousands of reports. Every one can't be a case of misidentification."

The National UFO Reporting Centre out of Seattle, WA., registered two notable UFO sightings in Vancouver last year. One, on Feb. 12, just past 9 p.m., was from a self-described "harsh critic of aliens and all that stuff," who lives in downtown Vancouver on the 16th floor of a high-rise. The witness was about to watch The Simpsons and spotted an object flying over some buildings, initially brushing it off as light from a construction crane. But that turned out not to be the case-nor was the high-rise on a flight path and the lights weren't blinking, as on an aircraft. Instead, they were "constantly beaming a hazy sort of weird whitish/yellowish light."

"At first I didn't see the three lights on the triangular craft until it very, very slowly, and I stress silently, without the smallest sound, just hovered towards my building. I mean anything made by man that flies only 500 meters away has to make a sound."

After failing to find a camera in the apartment, the witness, whose gender isn't apparent from the write-up, ran down to the street and saw the "craft" travel vertically into the sky, remain stationary for a while, then leave. "Some other people saw this downstairs and they didn't care. They said it's no big deal, probably some governmental plane. But what would a governmental plane be doing in downtown Vancouver?"

At 3 a.m. Oct. 31, another person reported seeing red, orange, green, blue, yellow and white lights rotating under and around the edges of an object. The lights weren't bright. It was eerily silent and the object was moving in "more of a hover, almost a slight wobble from too low a speed," notes the entry. "It had to be enormous in size. I guesstimate I was 1-2 kilometres from it, then it passed behind a building." According to the witness, it would have been visible to anyone outside at 3 a.m., near English Bay or the Stanley Park area. Its altitude was very low, a few hundred feet over the water at English Bay.

Don't bother trying to convince Lee Moller of the existence of alien space crafts, however. To the computer programmer, a founding member of the B.C. Society for Skeptical Enquiry, UFOs are exactly that-unidentified flying objects that likely have a rational explanation.

Moller argues the sheer distance between stars makes the prospect of space travel highly unlikely. While the earth is one "astronomical unit" or 98 million miles away from the sun, the next nearest star is 300,000 astronomical units away from the sun-that's four-and-a-half light years. "I'd actually be quite shocked if there wasn't extraterrestrial life out there, but you have to understand how big the universe actually is. [Travelling] about between the stars is not a cheap thing to do."

"If we ever talk to [extraterrestrial life], it's almost certainly going to be through radio waves, not through personal visits-at least in the short term."

Some people confuse conventional aircraft, landing lights, satellites or planets with UFOs, suggests the 47-year-old skeptic, because the average person is unfamiliar with natural phenomena such as sun dogs-reflections of the sun that look like big glowing balls-meteors or Venus, for instance.

Thanks to a temperate climate in B.C., more people also go out walking, and are thus more likely to spot objects they can't identify in the sky, Moller adds.

Moller cites several cases in which experts have exposed so-called proof of UFOs. Philip Klass, known as the top UFO debunker in the United States, has come up with plausible explanations for a number of UFO sightings, including uncovering the truth behind a striking photo taken by a Florida man. It turned out to be a double exposure of an outdoor light with a paper shade. "All I can really say is that if aliens did really take the time and effort to travel the light years that's required to actually come to the earth, somehow I don't think they'd be communicating with us by zipping around the night sky or drawing big patterns in crops," said Moller.

"Having said all that, I would love for it to be true. Nothing would be more cool or interesting than the day humanity talks, in any sense, to something off the planet-it's going to be one of the greatest days in history."

Barry Beyerstein, a UFO skeptic and psychology professor at Simon Fraser University who's been involved in brain research, pointed out quasars and pulsars were once thought to be signs of extraterrestrial life by noted scientists.

In 1970, he added, English physicist David Simpson conducted a controlled hoax to expose UFOlogists' readiness to unquestioningly accept sightings. Late one evening, he set up a 12-volt high-intensity purple spotlight directed towards a hill three-quarters of a mile away in the town of Warminster, England, where a group of 30 sky-watchers stood. It was switched on and off at intervals. One of Simpson's colleagues operating a fake magnetic field sensor was placed amongst the sky watchers. At one point, he sounded its alarm buzzer, which signals the presence of a strong magnetic field-supposedly a sign of UFOs.

Meanwhile, another colleague pretended to take a picture of the light from a camera on a tripod. Part of the film had already been exposed, capturing two images, according to an account of the experiment written by Simpson. They depicted a night view of street lamps with a bogus UFO superimposed. The photographer took two real photos so the developed film would show four negatives-two with UFOs and two without. "They were designed to present substantial inconsistencies that would allow any moderately critical investigator to cast strong suspicion on their authenticity," Simpson wrote.

For more than two years, the hoax was kept secret while UFOologists debated the supposed sighting.

Correspondence collected by Simpson during that time indicates many concluded it wasn't a fake.

"...It is important to be aware of the general calibre of UFO enthusiasts, even if they do not appear to have been directly involved in the case. Their irrational thinking is infectious and has frequently provided the media with entertaining headlines," he wrote. "As a result, certain members of the general public, on seeing something in the sky that is strange to them, describe not what they see but what they think they ought to have seen."

Although both Conway and Jasek argue it's equally important to be skeptical of the skeptics, whose agenda is to disprove everything, Beyerstein points out "the burden of proof is always on the claimant."

Mark Murphy and Diana Luca insist they have proof of a UFO in their tape, but Moller, for one, isn't convinced, after watching a version of it posted on the web site

While Moller doesn't doubt the couple's sincerity, he said he's seen a lot of UFO photos and movies that look similar. He argues that a small, shiny object the size of a Frisbee or pie plate launched into the air could look exactly like what's captured on film, pointing out the object only appears to stay in the air for about three seconds. The shininess suggests it caught the light of the setting sun and the cigar shape simply comes from a change in the angle from which it's viewed.

Moller suspects the object disappears at the one third mark of the tape simply because it fell from the sky, perhaps into a neighbour's yard or field.

"In my view, this is an unremarkable movie," he wrote in an e-mail. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I find 'pie plate' more plausible than 'extraterrestrial,' although I am happy to let the whole thing remain a UFO (or perhaps TIFO, Tentatively Identified...), but not one I am going to lose sleep over."

Murphy, who maintains he didn't make the tape to make money although he is in "talks" with a producer from California, is unmoved by critics, stressing the extreme rate of speed the object travelled at.

"You can hear it in my voice how shocked I am. It's not a plane, it's not a balloon, it's not a bird-that's no transportation for humans. [Debunkers] can call me up-I'll debate any skeptic," he said. "It could be the military, it could be aliens-who knows? It was one of those things where the universe opened up and said look what's out there."

Murphy insists he'd love to get to the bottom of the mystery and wonders whether anyone else in his neighbourhood saw something similar.

Luca said she never believed in extraterrestrial life until the August experience. "Now, at this point, after I've seen it I have this feeling-it's not a belief-that it's from another world, something which we don't know, something we cannot explain with our intelligence or something we can't perceive.

"It happened. We caught it on tape-that's it."

For information about UFO*BC or the skeptics society, check out and

The web site for the Houston B.C. Centre for UFO research, which can be reached at 1-250-845-2189, is at

Brian Vike, Director
HBCC UFO Research
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March 9, 2004

Rochdale Observer (UK)

Kids Thrilled by Close Encounter Of Mystery Kind

A group of children playing in Littleborough reckon they have had a close encounter with a UFO.

So vivid was their experience at about 7pm on Thursday they have started to draw what they saw.

They say the spacecraft hovered slowly just over the rooftops for several minutes and then shot off at hyper speed.

Lindsey Stansfield, of Timbercliffe, Summit, said her sons, Louis, aged eight, and Cameron, aged five, were playing with friends on a trampoline outside their home when they spotted the 'extra terrestrial'.

She said: "The children saw the object flying slowly above the houses. Some of the children thought it was triangular in shape and others square, but it could have been to do with what angle they saw it."

"It had red lights around the edge and yellow lights in the middle. They rushed in to tell us about it, but the time we got out it had gone. The children say the object had stopped above the house behind us and then shot off in hyper drive. Later that evening they started drawing pictures of what they had seen."

"I would like to know if anyone else in Littleborough saw the object."

Louis said: "I looked up and saw some lights flashing in the sky. I went in the house to get my mother, but when we went out it had gone."

A spokesman for the National Air Traffic service said: "There was no reported alien activity in controlled airspace that we are aware of."

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said: "I am not aware of any other reported sightings. We do have a UFO report line telephone number so that people can report things which they cannot explain."

She said sightings were checked to see if they had any defence significance, whether the UK airspace may have been compromised by hostile air activity. But this had not been found to be the case.

"We believe that there are rational explanations for such sightings such as aircraft lights or natural phenomena," she added.


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March 8, 2004

Saginaw News

Alien beings affect some

by Justin Engel

It's early afternoon, and Jeff is sitting in front of a dozen-plus Delta College students, each ear and eye tuned tightly to him and his out-of-this-world story.

Leaning against the chalkboard over his shoulder are three pieces of art he's authored. They depict a different alien being the 37-year-old mid-Michigan resident claims to have confronted.

"That dude in the middle," one student says, pointing toward the painting of a preying mantis-like creature that seems to crackle with a menacing static. "Man, I don't know about him."

But that's beside the point.

Class of its own

"There are people who say you shouldn't be teaching this kind of thing in your classrooms," says Alan G. Hill, a Delta associate professor of sociology who has dealt with unexplained phenomenon such as Jeff's close encounters for decades now. "Some just think it's a waste of money."

Hill is not one of those people. As the instructor of this class -- titled Social Issues Seminar -- his interest in the paranormal has manifested itself during the past several years into an educational setting that explores sociological movements such as riots, rumors, urban legends and today's subject, alien abductions.

Some might deem the subjects irrelevant, he says. There was a time when those same critics had similar words for two other topics his class touches upon: Christian and Islamic extremism.

"People used to say, 'How could that be important?' " Hill says.

Then Heaven's Gate and 9/11 happened.

What Hill is attempting to do with his class isn't to find the truth behind the topics or to turn his students into believers, he says. Whether the preying mantis dude is real is for the individual to decide, not for the teacher to determine, he says.

Instead, he wants to explore how these subjects fit into modern-day sociology.

"Let's just say this isn't true -- let's just pretend there's an explanation for all of this," he poses to his class. "This is still one of the most amazing sociological phenomenon we've ever come across."

Hill's students seem to prove that point, some staying as late as 45 minutes after class just to hear his guest speaker's story.

Jeff -- a mid-Michigan resident who chooses not to reveal his last name to protect his father, who is involved in high school athletics -- has visited Hill's class for the past five years.

"I have no love toward these experiences," Jeff says, the two Diet Cokes he's brought into the room an indicator he knows this will take a while to explain. "This isn't something I enjoy."

Jeff believes he's faced something extraordinary -- whether real or imagined -- since he was a young boy; back when he discovered what he thought were "big rats" inhabiting his home, back when "Santa's elves" visited his bedroom one Christmas Eve.

Jeff is older now and knows better. These aren't rodents he's seeing. Sometimes they're much nicer than that.

Other times, he says, they're much, much worse.

It was 1998 when Jeff returned to Central Michigan University as a student. The night after final exams, he woke up to find someone or something forcibly turning his head to its side.

Enter Mr. Mantis

"The next thing I knew, I had this," Jeff starts before turning to point at the preying mantis-like creature framed in his middle painting, "this thing coming down at my face."

He had a sense the man-size being wanted him to calm down even as it stuck a needle-like object into his ear.

"It wanted me to relax," Jeff says, a hint of 6-year-old exasperation still resonant in his voice. "I was like, '(Expletive) no.' "

Jeff fought the encounter to no avail, waking up the next morning with strained neck muscles and an eye he could barely see with.

Not all of his experiences were so chilling.

In 1994, he says a small gray alien creature woke him from sleep so he could escape a fire raging in his apartment.

Sometimes, Jeff says, the encounters are even laughable.

Jeff's girlfriend -- another so-called abductee he met through friends in the UFO movement circle -- moved in with him several years ago. That didn't sit too well with the beings visiting

One night a creature woke him from sleep, paralyzed him, and seemed to complain that Jeff's abductors were interfering with his girlfriend's abductors.

"I guess I was making his job difficult," he laughs. "There seemed to be a scheduling conflict there."


Jeff says his encounters are slowing down now, his last coming more than a month ago. That's a contrast to the daily visitations he once received.

Coming to this classroom once a year is "therapy," as he calls it. Jeff tries to avoid the media with obvious exceptions. He believes -- as Hill does -- that topics such as his experiences need attention more than coverage, ears more than television cameras.

Jon J. Gallagher, for one, is listening.

"You can watch as many documentaries as you want," says Gallagher, a 21-year-old student in the class. "When there's a guy sitting in a room with you -- someone you can shake hands with -- that makes it very real."

Ryan J. Ames, a 19-year-old "pretty devoted" Christian, says he opposed claims such as Jeff's before he took Hill's class.

"Now I'm able to step back and have an open mind about it," Ames says.

Nineteen-year-old Nicole J. Bates began the semester unaware of what she was getting into.

During a break in the first of the three-hour classes, Bates told Hill she probably would drop out because she didn't believe in the paranormal. Hill swayed her to stay, saying believing isn't a prerequisite to the course; only an open mind.

After hearing Jeff, Bates admits she's playing a different tune now.

"There's no way (Jeff) was making it up," she says, adding that if his experiences aren't real, she at least thinks he believes they are  "I still don't know what to make of it."

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February 24, 2004

Arizona Daily WildCat

Aliens exist, say researchers, abducted audience members

by Sarah Stanton

Alien abductees and university professors who specialize in extraterrestrial research gathered last night at University Medical Center to share their out-of-this-world experiences.

UA professor Gary Schwartz emceed a free lecture titled "Evidence for Extraterrestrial Life?"

More than 50 people attended the event, which featured two documentaries and a question-and-answer session with two doctors who believe that extraterrestrial life exists in some form.

Schwartz, the director of the UA's Human Energy Systems Lab, said, "Our lab works in controversial areas, but the topic tonight is extremely controversial."

Dr. Lynne Kitei, a cardiologist from Phoenix, recounted her numerous UFO sightings and showed the audience a documentary featuring her home video of the phenomena, titled "The Phoenix Lights."

Kitei had her first UFO sighting in 1995. She was taking a bath when her husband started screaming to her from their bedroom to come see the unusual lights that were "hovering" outside the window.

Kitei described the lights as "three amber orbs, each about 3 to 6 feet in diameter, about 50 to 75 feet above us, hovering in a triangular formation."

She took video and still photos of the lights as they "dimmed away."

Two years later, on March 13, 1997, Kitei said a mass UFO sighting occurred in Phoenix and throughout Arizona. Up to 10,000 people saw the orbs of light that Kitei described as they waited to see the Hale-Bopp comet.

Panic ensued as people called the police departments and fire departments. No one knew what caused the unusual lights that some described as being attached to some sort of ship that was said to be more than a mile long, she said.

Kitei called Luke Air Force base and could not obtain any information. She contacted the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, where one air traffic controller and one commercial pilot reported seeing the lights. Nothing showed up on the radar.

The mystery went unsolved until 2000, when the National Guard staged an air show to prove to the public that an Air Force maneuver was behind the mysterious "Phoenix lights." They flew planes with flares attached to them over the city to "re-enact" the event.

But the people who had witnessed the real Phoenix lights, including Kitei, were still skeptical.

Kitei contacted Schwartz, who was reluctant to take on the subject.

"To tell you the truth, I didn't really want to see her," he said.

But Schwartz found Kitei's evidence very convincing and said that she was "alarmingly sane."

"I could not give up my intellectual integrity," he said.

Schwartz went on to write the foreword to Kitei's book.

Kitei also told the audience that she had a near-death experience as a child, has also had out-of-body experiences and believes she is telepathic.

The evening got more out-of-this-world as Dr. John Mack, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard University, took the stage with his documentary titled "Touched," which chronicles his research on alien abductions.

Mack, who conducted extensive clinical analysis of supposed abductees, said he did not find any psychological disturbances that could account for their behavior.

One man said he was abducted by aliens and taken into their spacecraft, where sperm samples were taken, and he was forced to mate with an alien female.

A woman claimed to have mothered hybrid alien-human children.

Skepticism of these phenomena is widespread. Harvard conducted a 14-month investigation into Mack's research, concerned that he was connecting Harvard with a subject controversial, according to Mack's documentary.

But they did not take any action against Mack and ultimately allowed him to continue his research.

There are also many people who believe these phenomena are real. When Kitei asked how many people in the audience were "believers," almost all of the people raised their hands.

One woman in the audience claimed to be an alien abductee

"I just wanted to say that I am an abductee, and the experience has always been positive and exciting for me," she said.

Kitei said it is probable that intelligent extraterrestrial life exists.

"Our solar system is relatively young. There may be beings that are billions of years more advanced than we are. We may be looking for FM on the AM dial," she said.

Schwartz said we as a culture need to stop denying reliable data on controversial subjects.

"Shakespeare said, 'To be or not to be; that is the question.' But for us, it's, 'To see or not to see; that is the question," he said.

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February 20, 2004

Albuquerque Journal

ET's No Alien to Santa Feans

By Wren Propp
Journal Northern Bureau

SANTA FE -- Count alien abduction as yet another way the capital city upholds its rep as the City Different.

Massachusetts filmmaker Laurel Chiten said she was "blown away" in December when maybe as much as half of a standing-room-only Santa Fe audience who saw her film "Touched" raised their hands to say they'd had personal interaction with aliens from other worlds.

"Touched" is a documentary about people who say they have experienced alien abduction and contact. It was screened at the Santa Fe Film Festival in December with sold-out showings.

"I was kind of blown away. ... The film really found its audience" in Santa Fe, said Chiten in a telephone interview from California.

Chiten and Dr. John E. Mack, a Harvard University psychiatrist and researcher of those he calls "experiencers" -- folks who report missing time, probes, sperm extraction, impregnation and hybridization experiments after contact with aliens -- plan to be in Santa Fe on Tuesday and Albuquerque on Wednesday for additional screenings of the film.

Santa Fe's reputation as a place for people to heal, with alternative medical practices, lifestyles and religious rituals, makes it prime stomping grounds for those who believe they have made alien connections, said Jon Bowman, executive director of the film festival.

"A lot of people come here to lick their wounds. It's kind of a way station, a crossroads," Bowman said.

And New Mexico's long-standing reports of crashing flying saucers from Roswell to Aztec and years of cattle mutilations provide fertile soil for those who would also be interested in "Touched," he said.

"It goes with the territory," Bowman said.

After a screening of "Touched" in Santa Fe in December, audience members talked about their own experiences, Chiten said.

Unlike discussions after other screenings elsewhere, the Santa Feans didn't argue about the existence of aliens or the possibility of mental illness on the part of abductees, she said.

"This audience asked questions about the phenomenon and broke into a discussion with each other, sharing their experiences," Chiten said.

When someone in the audience asked how many people at the theater had experienced contact with aliens, about half raised their hands, Chiten said.

"I was shocked," she said.

Mack, who calls those who have reported contact with aliens "experiencers," said that perhaps those drawn to Santa Fe are also drawn to experiences sent out from other dimensions.

"I would guess that the people in Santa Fe would be different from those in New York," he said in a telephone interview from the East Coast. "They might be more open spirited instead of digging in their heels."

Mack earned a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of T.E. Lawrence titled "A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T.E. Lawrence," whose life was explored in the film "Lawrence of Arabia."

The kind of discussion reported by Chiten in Santa Fe sounds similar to the kind of discussion Mack hopes the film will generate worldwide.

The film "avoids the rather sterile debate" over whether alien contact can be proved," he said.

Viewers "can't help feel these are authentic individuals.... The film goes to the heart," Mack said.

Get 'Touched' Again

In encore events sponsored by the Santa Fe Film Festival, "Touched" will be shown at The Screen at the College of Santa Fe, 1600 St. Michael's Drive, at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Another showing, along with appearances by director Laurel Chiten and Dr. John E. Mack, is at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Madstone Theaters in Albuquerque, 6311 San Mateo Blvd. NE.

Tickets for both showings are $10 and available at the door.  More information is available by calling the festival at 988-5225.

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February 15, 2004

Taipei Times

In Search Of Other-Worldly Truths

by Gavin Phipps

Whether it's UFOs or lost underwater cities, Taiwan's fringe scientific societies hope to make monkeys out of their doubters over the coming year and prove once and for all that the truth is really out here

At 5:30pm on Jan 4, 2004, Taipei's Steven Lai was standing with his camcorder near the Shin Kong Tower when he caught sight of a triangular object in the skies above him. Making use of his top of the line digital recorder Lai filmed what he believed to be a UFO circling the skies above Taipei.

Lai sent his footage to the Taiwan Ufology Society (TUFOS, previously known as the Taiwan Unidentified Flying Objects Association - for confirmation as to whether or not he was witness to a UFO sighting. He hadn't. According to experts, the clumsy and slightly out of focus footage, which shows a triangular entity with red and green markings in flight, is a man made object.

"We studied it for some time, but the object was too close to the buildings to have been a UFO," said TUFOS President James Huang (???). "We reckon that what he saw was probably a plastic bag or some other small man made object that had been picked up by the wind and was blowing through the air."

While Lai's footage wasn't this year's first Taiwan UFO sighting, hundreds of people still trawl the skies with high-powered telescopes daily hoping to catch a glimpse of the unexplained. They send their reports, whether credible or not, to TUFOS. Now boasting 500 members, the group is the nation's sole Ufology society and is a sorting house for dozens of reports that come in annually regarding UFO sightings in Taiwan.

Since Taiwan's first officially recorded sighting of a UFO by Tsai Chang-hsien) on March 5, 1956, there have been upward of 54 feasible sightings and countless false sightings of unidentified flying objects cruising the skies above Taiwan. All these reports have landed on the desk of Ho Hsien-jung, TUFOS' chief investigator.

Affectionately known as "Ufo Ho" to his friends and colleges, the articulate Ufologist spent months wading through pages of reports filed by Taiwanese citizens over the years. Realizing the information his organization had gathered was wasted sitting in his computer, Ho decided to publish a complete record of Taiwan's UFO sightings.

"There's certainly no shortage of books touching on UFO sightings, but there was nothing specific to Taiwan," he said. "No one had ever set out to catalog the nation's UFO sightings and publish all the written and photographic evidence in a single publication before."

It took Ho almost a year to sift through information and contact and re-interview the people who had reported the sightings, to ensure there were no discrepancies. Entitled On the Trail of UFO Sightings, (the book, which was released last week, details 54 of the most important UFO sightings ever to have been reported in Taiwan, as well as the countless sightings TUFOS had been informed of in China.

The results of Ho's book point to a drop in UFO sightings in Taiwan in recent years, with only two recorded incidents taking place last year, and an increase in the number of sightings on the opposite side of the Taiwan Strait.

"Obviously there are more people in China than anywhere else, so I'm not surprised at the increase in sightings there. The recent drop in UFO sightings can be put down to several things," he said. "There are now more diseases than ever before, and anything landing here would be susceptible to falling victim to them. And secondly, I think the military use of lasers means that fewer extra-terrestrials now dare to enter the Earth's atmosphere in case they are shot down."

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February 8, 2004

Melbourne Herald Sun  (Australia)

UFOs Call Town Home

by Ian Haberfield

The tiny town of Beveridge, north of Melbourne, is fast earning a reputation as Australia's UFO hot spot.

Since Whittlesea Council released a photograph purportedly showing a UFO, other locals have come forward claiming to have seen flying objects.

Kilmore resident Peter Christie said he was taking his daughter, Elise, to a friend's house about 10pm on Saturday, January 10, when he noticed something flying in the west.

"I saw this round thing in the sky with lights coming out of it," she said. "It was sort of moving. It wasn't going very fast or anything.

"It had big, round lights coming out of it, it was too wide to be a plane... and it was nothing like a helicopter."

She said there were several lights beaming outwards from the side of the object, parallel to the grou