The spin doctors at the CIA recently trotted out, once again, the long-ago discredited claim that secret flights of its U-2 reconnaissance aircraft led to a massive increase in UFO reports in the U.S.—something the agency says it welcomed, because the misidentifications masked the true nature of the aerial craft being observed, thereby helping to maintain the covert program’s cover.
A CIA-originated tweet on December 29, 2014, read, “Reports of unusual activity in the skies in the ‘50s? It was us.” The sender then claimed that “half” of UFO reports in the 1950s and ‘60s were due to sightings of the U-2.
Of course, no explanation was offered as to how a secret fixed-wing aircraft, appearing as a mere speck in the sky as it flew at 60,000 feet above the earth, could possibly account for the tens of thousands of UFO reports during that two-decade period involving sightings of saucers, globes, triangles and cylinders that maneuvered and hovered near the ground, stopped car engines, scared livestock and left landing gear marks in the dirt.
No matter. The elite media and small town news organizations alike uncritically picked-up and circulated the agency’s latest UFO-related slight-of-hand, apparently unaware that the CIA’s “admission” has no factual basis and was completely debunked years ago by UFO researchers utilizing credible sighting databases and statistical analysis.
Moreover, after the agency first publicly floated the absurd claim that 50% of UFO sightings could be attributed to the U-2, in 1997, retired U. S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Friend, former chief of Project Blue Book—the USAF’s best known UFO investigations group—said that Blue Book did not notice any appreciable increase in public UFO reports following the implementation of the U-2 program.
This has been more recently confirmed by retired U.S. Navy physicist and UFO researcher Dr. Bruce Maccabee, as discussed his latest book The FBI CIA UFO Connection. Analyzing sighting reports sent to Blue Book 10 months prior to, and ten months following, the first U-2 flights showed no statistically-significant difference.
Okay, so the CIA’s claim about the U-2 program resulting in massive numbers of UFO reports is bogus. What might the agency really know about the mysterious phenomenon? Well, let’s start with the on-the-record statements by retired Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) administrator John Callahan, who says that a CIA officer told him to suppress information about the now-famous November 1986 Alaska UFO sighting case, involving an aircraft carrier-sized UFO that maneuvered near a Japanese Air Lines cargo plane.
According to Callahan, the dramatic incident resulted in a secret meeting at FAA headquarters, attended by scientific advisors to President Ronald Reagan, FBI agents, and persons who flashed CIA ID badges. At the end of it, after radar tapes—confirming the presence of the UFO near the aircraft—and air traffic controllers’ voice tapes had been reviewed, one of the CIA officers ordered the confiscation of the data and told everyone present that the meeting “never happened” and that the UFO incident should be considered Top Secret.
When Callahan objected and asked why the American people could not know the facts about the case, the CIA man said that there would be “public panic” if the truth came out. To his credit, Callahan kept some of the data and released it to researchers after he retired.
During a similar incident, at Vandenberg AFB, California, in the fall of 1964, two CIA officers confiscated the shocking “Big Sur UFO” film, showing an unknown saucer-shaped object using lightning-like beams to shoot down a dummy nuclear warhead in flight, during a missile test over the Pacific Ocean—according to two ex-USAF officers, former Lieutenant Robert Jacobs and retired Major Florenze Mansmann, who were present for the classified, CIA-attended screening of the film.
Mansmann, a photographic analyst, said that his frame-by-frame analysis of the film with a magnifier revealed the UFO to be a domed-disc that pivoted on its vertical axis just prior to the release of each of the four beams of light. After the last shot, the dummy warhead tumbled out of camera frame, falling into the ocean, hundreds of miles short of its test range target. The retired major said that the two CIA officers confiscated the key frames in the film after the screening and told him that the incident was Top Secret.
(UFO debunkers, including Kendrick Frazier, the executive editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, have tried to discredit the testimony of Jacobs and Mansmann, relying on the flawed and easily-rebutted claims of one Kingston George, another member of the photographic team that filmed the bizarre incident. My article on the affair presents the details and asks why editor Frazier was so shy about publicly acknowledging his day job as a Public Relations Specialist for Sandia National Laboratories—one of the U.S. government’s leading nuclear weapons research facilities—at the time he was so stridently attempting to debunk the facts presented by the two former Air Force officers.)
So, here we have two significant UFO incidents involving CIA’s confiscation of the data—motion picture film, radar and air traffic control voice tapes—confirming the presence of a vastly-superior, unidentified aerial craft in each case.
Will the public ever hear a CIA “admission” of these facts? Of course not. As long as the mainstream media are satisfied with parroting the agency’s demonstrably-false claims—such as the classified U-2 program being the cause of massive numbers of UFO sightings—without the slightest bit of skepticism or independent investigation of the facts, the CIA knows that it can continue to dupe the supposedly-savvy media watchdogs who allegedly help keep our democracy strong by facilitating an informed citizenry.
And so it goes.