Tag Archives: 1979

Triangular-Shaped UFO Spotted Over Buttlins Holiday Camp | MY UFO EXPERIENCE

Triangular-Shaped UFO Spotted Over Buttlins Holiday Camp | MY UFO EXPERIENCE

Reader Submitted Report
(Unedited)
12-27-15

      In pwhelli in North Wales uk 1979. This was sighted at 11.30 pm at buttlins holiday camp. West of North Wales. Triangle shape, craft, no noise from it. Approx height about 300ft above blocked out the stars, trajectory north going south. Had one dim light on middle of the top of UFO. A lot of sightings were happening at that time in West Wales in the now famous Welsh triangle.

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‘Fargo’ Creator Noah Hawley Talks UFOs

Fargo Flying Saucer

By Michael O’Connell
www.hollywoodreporter.com
12-10-15

“You want to create a story that plays into that other Coen Brothers theme — which is, ‘Accept the mystery,'” explains the Golden Globe nominee.

[…]

“It felt like that territory was open to me,” Hawley says of the UFO that appeared to hover over the hotel parking lot bloodbath in “The Castle.” “Last year, fish fell from the sky. The fun thing about having a show that starts out with ‘This is a true story,’ is that there’s this mindset where you get to play around with the fudge-ability of what’s real and what’s not. You also want to create a story that plays into that other Coen Brothers theme — which is, ‘Accept the mystery.'”

That particular mystery isn’t likely something that will be further explored in the Dec. 14 finale. (Hawley says that Dunst’s character Peggy summed it up best with her assessment of the situation: “It’s just a flying saucer, hon, we got to go.”) Either way, he says it’s something that fits thematically with the time period. “In the year or two after Star Wars and Close Encounters came out, and after Watergate, a lot that late-70s paranoia involved this feeling of being watched and not being able to even trust the skies,” he added. “At the same time, Joel and Ethan [Coen] included a bunch of that imagery in The Man Who Wasn’t There.” […]

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What Do Those Aliens On Fargo Really Mean?

     Yes, we have definitive proof that aliens exist. At least on Fargo.

Ever since those unearthly lights first descended upon the massacre at the waffle house near Luverne, Minnesota, Fargo fans have been wondering: Was that some kind of spaceship? And if so, would the show ever directly address the existence of alien life, or would it remain one of the many cosmic jokes in the Fargo world? In “The Castle” (read the recap here), we finally got our answer as Peggy (Kirsten Dunst) saw an actual UFO hovering above the shootout that she and her husband, Ed (Jesse Plemons), were escaping. “It’s just a flying saucer, Ed,” Peggy said, delivering one of the season’s best lines. “We’ve got to go.”

Of course, a flying saucer is never just a flying saucer. There are already a million great theories circulating about what that flying saucer really means. Is it a riff on a real-life close encounter that a Minnesota sheriff’s deputy claimed he experienced in 1979? […]

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‘Fargo’ Star Patrick Wilson Talks UFO Sightings

Fargo Flying Saucer

By Geoff Berkshire
variety.com
12-7-15

     […]

Variety spoke with Wilson about Lou’s eventful episode, which included a touching exchange with Hank, a brutal face off with Bear, and the return of that mysterious UFO.

[…]

And in the midst of that fight with Bear, the UFO comes back. What does Lou make of that?

Lou’s a very practical guy. He seizes the moment and shoots Bear — he’s taking the task at hand. I don’t think he gives [the UFO] too much credence, until the next episode. At that moment he doesn’t have time to question it.

What about after Bear is shot and Lou lies back and stares at the UFO?

I remember thinking, “Am I dead?” There are those fleeting moments. “Do I walk to the light?” I think we’re more in that land. It’s the closest he’s gotten to death. I don’t think he’s too caught up in people from outer space at that point. We’ll address it in the way you can imagine Lou would address something.

Kirsten Dunst has that great line, “It’s just a flying saucer.”

That’s the kind of thing with this show. “Sure man, there’s a UFO. Why not?” They’ve seen everything else.

Did you embrace that feeling when you first read about the UFOs or did you ask (showrunner) Noah Hawley for an explanation?

In typical Noah fashion, you ask him about it and he’s like, “I don’t know, what do you think?” He’s not like, “Well, what it represents is…” I think that, yes, there’s this obsession with a phenomenon that seemed to be happening, and it was also the rise of “Close Encounters.” There was definitely a social awareness. But I remember when I read in episode one when it appears, I thought it was fantastic because it’s just so strange. There are just no answers to so much of this. And you’re not gonna get an answer. I think people like Peggy would go, “What? It’s a flying saucer.” Then again, she’s “touched” — which is my favorite line. […]

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The Real-Life UFO Story Behind This Season Of ‘Fargo’

UFOs On Fargo

By Tracy Mumford
www.mprnews.org
10-27-15

“This is a true story.”

Those words kick off every episode of “Fargo” — they were also at the start of the 1996 movie.

Of course the Coen brothers, and now show creator Noah Hawley, are playing fast-and-loose with “truth.” But one of the most unbelievable, out-of-this-world parts of season two is, in fact, “a true story.”

(Stop reading now if you’re not caught up, Fargo watchers.)

We’re talking about the aliens.

So far, unexplained lights and UFO-talk have been in all three episodes of “Fargo,” which takes place in and around Luverne, Minn., in 1979.

For these supernatural allusions, Hawley may be pulling straight from the local history books. […]

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Sheriff’s Deputy UFO Encounter | VIDEO

Sheriff’s Deputy UFO Encounter

By Mike Binkley
minnesota.cbslocal.com
11-1-15

     […] A Minnesota UFO sighting from the ‘70s is considered more credible than most, in part because of who called it in.

Marshall County sheriff’s deputy Val Johnson was on patrol in the early morning hours of Aug. 27, 1979, when he spotted something strange along a rural highway.

The president of the Marshall County Historical Society, Kent Broten, knows the story well.

“What (Deputy Johnson) saw was a bright object, maybe like a foot in diameter, about three and a half feet off the ground,” Broten said. “As he explained it in the news reports, what was there all of a sudden was here, so the light just shot at him, engulfed his car in light and blinded him.” […]

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The Night a Deputy Sheriff Hit a UFO

The Night a Deputy Sheriff Hit a UFO

By John Enger
www.mprnews.org
8-27-15

     At 1:40 a.m. 36 years ago, Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy Val Johnson was on night patrol along a rural section of State Highway 220 near Warren, Minn., when he drove into a ball of white light.

“I noticed a very bright, brilliant light, 8 to 12 inches in diameter, 3 to 4 feet off the ground,” Johnson said in a taped police interview. “The edges were very defined.”

Johnson drove toward the light, and woke up in the ditch a half-hour later with burns around his eyes. The windshield and one headlight of his 1977 Ford LTD were smashed. Both radio antenna were bent sharply back. The watch on his wrist and the clock on the dash both ticked 14 minutes slow.

The incident turned Johnson into a local legend and national media sensation. And years later, people are still talking about it. […]

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The Herkimer Black Triangle UFO

The Herkimer Black Triangle UFO

By Cheryl Costa
7-24-15
www.syracusenewtimes.com

     Who knew that a simple winter’s night snowmobile ride would result in the sighting of a black triangle UFO?

Triangular-shaped UFOs have been in the media over the past 20 years or so. Numerous television shows have reported cases from different parts of the U.S. and western Europe. These craft are usually about the size of a football field, being about two stories thick. They typically are reported as having three major glowing orbs on the underside. They are usually a non-reflective black in color, but they’ve also been reported as glowing in orange or yellow. The strangest element is that most reports say that they are unnervingly silent.

The CNY region is not without its reports of these triangle-shaped crafts. Among the earliest known upstate reports of a black triangle UFO was in January of 1979 in Herkimer, NY. One winter’s night, a snowmobiler who lived in the country was going to visit a friend five miles away. He stated that suddenly it became quiet. He couldn’t hear his sled’s engine and the snowmobile’s light went out. He looked up and could make out the outline of a huge black triangle blocking out the stars. It had no lights and was silent. He said it took about two minutes for it to pass over head. It was perhaps 100 feet off the ground and when it passed under the high tension wires, arcs began jumping from the power lines to the top of the craft. He watched it move away over a hill and then out of sight. When he got home, nobody believed him. . . .

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Ex-CIA Official Says Stories of Crashed UFOs and Little Gray Men “on Ice” Discussed at a High-Level


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Ex-CIA Official Says Stories of Crashed UFOs and Little Gray Men “on Ice” Discussed at a High-Level

By Robert Hastings
www.ufohastings.com
2-28-15

     First, this article has absolutely nothing to do with the bogus claims currently being made by the promoters of the so-called Roswell Slides, which allegedly show the body of a dead alien. (I predict that this latest, regrettable chapter in ufological history will implode in the near future.)

No, my title refers to a far more credible revelation. Although Victor Marchetti, the former Special Assistant to CIA Director Richard Helms, first published intriguing information relating to high-level discussion of recovered UFOs and dead aliens in 1979, in an article published in Second Look magazine, most people are completely unaware of it.

Indeed, an online search for the piece, titled “How the CIA Views the UFO Phenomenon”, yields very few results. While the Internet provides access to vast numbers of UFO-related documents, books, articles and blogs, one of the most important pieces ever written on the topic, authored by a knowledgeable government insider, has been almost completely overlooked.

Interestingly, when I attempted to post Marchetti’s informed disclosures at a popular blog operated by journalist Billy Cox, my comments and link to the article disappeared into the cybervoid. Repeated attempts met the same fate and, when I subsequently asked Cox to post them for me, he encountered the same problem.

Cox later told me, “I managed to get your post on my blog just now, but it took some doing. When I tried to do it normally, by putting your name and email address in the cue fields, it simply wouldn’t post; I kept getting a message saying it had already been posted, which obviously it had not. And of course when I try to reply to your messages lately, it bounces back as undeliverable. I wound up having to publish it under my name, then going in behind the post and replacing my name/address with yours. Very strange, Robert.”

I told Cox one might argue that efforts had been undertaken, by an unknown party, to block Marchetti’s revelations from being made more accessible online. Lest this charge seem too paranoid, I added that I had often had to endure such anomalies when attempting to communicate with my ex-military sources regarding their involvement in UFO incidents at nuclear weapons sites.

Furthermore, my attempts over the years to post those individuals’ disclosures at various blogs had frequently encountered the same sort of disconnects. Nevertheless, some of those dramatic revelations—involving UFOs shutting down American nuclear missiles—were livestreamed by CNN during my 2010 press conference in Washington D.C.:

In any case, Marchetti’s lengthy article contains important information about the CIA’s secret involvement, as well as its self-proclaimed non-involvement, with the UFO phenomenon. He writes, “I do know that the CIA and U.S. Government have been concerned over the UFO phenomenon for many years and that their attempts, both past and recent, to discount the significance of the phenomenon and to explain away the apparent lack of official interest in it have all the earmarkings of a classic intelligence cover-up.”

To give you a sense of the author’s importance, the agency once took Marchetti all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, to attempt to stop the publication of his tome, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, which subsequently became a best-seller in 1974. The disenchanted agency man had resigned from the CIA in 1969; his book was an unprecedented, historic exposé of his former employer’s numerous illegal activities—including spying on Americans, something forbidden by its charter—many of which were later investigated by Congress.

In short, Marchetti was especially dangerous to CIA simply because he knew so much about its operations, legal or not, and was willing to divulge them to the world as a hoped-for partial antidote.

While this same informed-observer status and careful, thoughtful analysis underpins Marchetti’s revelations about the agency’s relationship to UFOs, it must be remembered that CIA’s approach to all subjects is the use of compartmentalization, whereby any given individual’s knowledge is usually limited to one small part of a project or operation, to keep an overall understanding of the situation restricted to a very few high-level managers. The same was/is true with UFOs and, therefore, Marchetti can only report on what he personally knew, given that he was not involved with the agency’s apparent UFO projects/operations and had no need-to-know about them.

Nevertheless, his published comments are noteworthy. He writes:

During my years in the CIA, UFOs were not a subject of common discussion. But neither were they treated in a disdainful or derisive manner, especially not by the agency’s scientists. Instead, the topic was rarely discussed at internal meetings. It seemed to fall into the category of ‘very sensitive activities’…People simply did not talk about the UFO phenomenon.

There were, however, rumors at high levels of the CIA—rumors of…little gray men whose ships had crashed, or had been shot down, being kept ‘on ice’ by the Air Force at FTD (the Foreign Technology Division) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.1

Please note that Marchetti used the word “rumors”. Again, this is the result of his own non-involvement in whatever “very sensitive activities” CIA had going on relating to the UFO phenomenon. Consequently, whatever information Marchetti was privy to resulted from informal and undoubtedly unauthorized chitchat he had encountered in the corridors of CIA headquarters.

But if stories of crashed UFOs and the bodies of the crews being kept in cold storage were being discussed at “high levels” within the agency, one can infer that those rumors were taken seriously. One might also speculate that information about all of this had been secured by CIA agents, probably by spying on the U.S. Air Force.

One important aspect of Marchetti’s revelation is the timing of the discussion at CIA. Marchetti resigned in 1969, nearly a decade prior to the seminal disclosures by retired U.S. Army counterintelligence officer Jesse Marcel who, during a television interview in 1978, divulged that he had held in his hands wreckage from a craft “not of this Earth” that had crashed northwest of Roswell Army Air Field in July 1947.

Confirmation of this event originates with another credible person, USAF Brigadier General Arthur E. Exon, who has stated for the record that one or more plane-loads of that wreckage did indeed arrive at Wright Field (later renamed Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) shortly thereafter and was subjected to intense analysis by aeronautical engineers. During an audiotaped interview with Roswell researcher Dr. Kevin D. Randle, in 1990, Exon said:

…They knew they had something new in their hands. The metal and material was unknown to [everyone] I talked to. Whatever they found, I never heard what the [analytical] results were. A couple of guys thought it might be Russian, but the overall consensus was that the pieces were from space. Everyone from the White House on down knew that what we had found was not of this world within 24 hours of our finding it…Roswell was the recovery of a craft from space.2

All of Exon’s published comments regarding the matter may be read at roswellproof.homestead.com/exon.html.

A number of UFO debunkers have claimed that the Roswell UFO crash story is a “modern myth” that originated as a result of public fascination with the writings of Stanton Friedman, Bill Moore, and others in the 1979-80 time-frame, which incorporated Marcel’s candid remarks about his involvement in the discovery of the mysterious wreckage in 1947.

However, in light of Marchetti’s revelations, this simply cannot be true. Given his resignation from CIA in 1969, he had to have heard those high level “rumors” about crashed UFOs and dead aliens stored at Wright-Patterson prior to that time.

In his article, Marchetti theorizes that the primary reason underlying the U.S. government’s refusal to acknowledge the reality of UFOs, if indeed the craft are piloted by alien beings, results from its fear that existing power structures would be fundamentally undermined by such an admission. He writes:

…the U.S. Government, in collusion with other national powers of the Earth, is determined to keep this information from the general public. The purpose of the international conspiracy is to maintain a workable stability among the nations of the world and for them, in turn, to retain institutional control over their respective populations. Thus, for these governments to admit there are beings from outer space attempting to contact us, beings with mentalities and technological capabilities obviously far superior to ours, could, once fully perceived by the average person, erode the foundations of the Earth’s traditional power structure. Political and legal systems, religions, economic and social institutions could all soon become meaningless in the mind of the public. The national oligarchical establishments, even civilization as we know it, could collapse into anarchy. Such extreme conclusions are not necessarily valid, but they probably accurately reflect the fears of the “ruling class” of the major nations, whose leaders (particularly those in the intelligence business) have always advocated excessive governmental secrecy as being necessary to preserve “national security.” The real reason for such secrecy is, of course, to keep the public uninformed, misinformed, and, therefore, malleable.3

Given that so much information, misinformation, disinformation, speculation, and general bullshit about UFOs is available on the Internet, one must of necessity carefully choose which material to ingest. Marchetti’s unique, informed, credible perspective should be added to the short list of must-reads.

References:

1. Marchetti, Victor, “How The CIA Views The UFO Phenomenon”, Second Look, Vol. 1, No. 7, May 1979

2. Randle, Dr. Kevin D., Roswell UFO Crash Update: Exploring the Military Cover-up of the Century, Inner Light – Global Communications, February 1995

3. Marchetti, Victor, “How The CIA Views The UFO Phenomenon”, Second Look, Vol. 1, No. 7, May 1979

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How the CIA Views the UFO Phenomenon

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How the CIA Views the UFO Phenomenon

Retro Friday: a blast from the past

By Billy Cox
De Void
2-20-15

Victor Marchetti
Whistleblower Victor Marchetti charged the ‘Clandestine Services’ branch of the CIA with responsibility for keeping tabs on global UFO events/CREDIT: phil-mershon.blogspot.com

Before blowing the whistle on America’s illegal covert Cold War activities, Victor Marchetti was a 14-year CIA veteran ultimately promoted to executive assistant to The Agency’s Deputy Director. After resigning in 1969, he wrote two exposes — 1971’s The Rope Dancer, and The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence in 1974. The latter, which the federal government attempted to ban from publication, was among the many slings and arrows contributing to the formation of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearings in 1975.

In 1979, Marchetti stoked yet another controversy by providing a rare if not largely speculative glimpse into the mindset of The Agency’s uneasy relationship with The Great Taboo. Titled “How the CIA Views the UFO Phenomenon,” Marchetti’s magazine piece took a cautious approach. “The topic was rarely discussed at internal meetings,” he wrote. “It seemed to fall into the category of ‘very sensitive activities,’ e.g., drug and mind-control operations, domestic spying, and other illegal actions. People simply did not talk about the UFO phenomenon.”

Thanks to an assist from UFOs and Nukes author Robert Hastings, De Void is posting the article in its entirely. It’s a lengthy piece — you probably won’t have time to read it at your work desk. But it’s worth your time to see how little has changed, even with nearly 36 years worth of additional data, the collapse of the USSR, and allegations of buried UFO material from yet another former CIA operator three years ago.

How the CIA Views the UFO Phenomenon

By Victor Marchetti
SECOND LOOK
Vol. 1, No. 7
May 1979

     There are many myths, few facts, and much speculation about what the CIA knows of the UFO phenomenon. These, combined with the public’s distrust of the clandestine agency, have led to a strong popular belief that the CIA is at the center of a government-wide conspiracy to cover-up the truth about UFOs. It usually follows that the cover-up is designed to keep us ignorant, or at least confused and doubtful, about contacts or visitations by intelligent beings from outer space. Thus, if we only knew what the CIA knows, and is covering up, we would be better able to understand and deal with aliens. And that would be a good thing. I do not know from my own firsthand experience if there are UFOs. I have never seen one. Nor have I seen conclusive, empirical, or physical evidence that they really exist. But, I do know that the CIA and U.S. Government have been concerned over the UFO phenomenon for many years and that their attempts, both past and recent, to discount the significance of the phenomenon and to explain away the apparent lack of official interest in it have all the earmarkings of a classic intelligence cover-up. My theory is that we have, indeed, been contacted–perhaps even visited– by extraterrestrial beings, and that the U.S. Government, in collusion with other national powers of the Earth, is determined to keep this information from the general public. The purpose of the international conspiracy is to maintain a workable stability among the nations of the world and for them, in turn, to retain institutional control over their respective populations. Thus, for these governments to admit there are beings from outer space attempting to contact us, beings with mentalities and technological capabilities obviously far superior to ours, could, once fully perceived by the average person, erode the foundations of the Earth’s traditional power structure. Political and legal systems, religions, economic and social institutions could all soon become meaningless in the mind of the public. The national oligarchical establishments, even civilization as we know it, could collapse into anarchy. Such extreme conclusions are not necessarily valid, but they probably accurately reflect the fears of the “ruling class” of the major nations, whose leaders (particularly those in the intelligence business) have always advocated excessive governmental secrecy as being necessary to preserve “national security.” The real reason for such secrecy is, of course, to keep the public uninformed, misinformed, and, therefore, malleable. During my years in the CIA, UFOs were not a subject of common discussion. But neither were they treated in a disdainful or derisive manner, especially not by the agency’s scientists. Instead, the topic was rarely discussed at internal meetings. It seemed to fall into the category of “very sensitive activities”, e.g., drug and mind-control operations, domestic spying, and other illegal actions. People simply did not talk about the UFO phenomenon. There were, however, rumors at high levels of the CIA…..rumors of unexplained sightings by qualified observers, of strange signals being received by the National Security Agency (the US Government’s electronic intercept and communications intelligence collector), and even of little gray men whose ships had crashed, or had been shot down, being kept “on ice” by the Air Force at FTD (Foreign Technology Division) at Wright- Patterson AF Base in Dayton, Ohio. And there was the odd case of the lady from Maine who, while in a hypnotic trance, had allegedly communicated with a starship. Most of these rumors, I found to be unimpressive—except for the strange signals from outer space being received by NSA. Perhaps that was because I had once been an NSA officer. Or perhaps it was because I had frequent contact with that agency while serving with the CIA, and the little I learned of the signals was treated with extreme caution even by SIGINT standards. But let us assume that there have been contacts by intelligent beings from beyond the Earth. How would the CIA and US Government respond to such a phenomenon? The first order of business would be to determine whether UFOs were secret weapons of the Soviet Union or some other foreign nation. The task of coordinating this program would be given to the CIA because it is the President’s personal intelligence organization and the nation’s only non- departmental, or independent, intelligence component. As such, it is charged, among other things, with performing “services of common concern” which relate to “intelligence affecting the national security.” However, the military intelligence services, NSA, and other agencies and departments would also participate in the collection and analytical efforts under the program. If it were concluded that UFOs were not of terrestrial origin but, rather, vehicles from outer space, the next step would be to assess their weaponry capabilities and the intentions of the aliens controlling the ships. At this point, the CIA and US Government, aware that the phenomenon was of a worldwide nature, would seek cooperation in the investigation from the Earth’s other technically advanced nations, such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and even the USSR. The CIA would function as the US Government’s agent, just as the KGB would be the USSR’s, MI-6 would be the UK’s, and so on. These agencies, in addition to specializing in secrecy and deceit, are quite accustomed to cooperating with each other on matters of mutual interest. Cooperation in the intelligence business is not restricted to allies. There are times when the CIA and KGB have found it advantageous to work together. One example is the production and publication of Khrushchev Remembers, the “memoirs” of the former Soviet leader–a ruse on the public which is actively being continued to this day. Furthermore, both the CIA and KGB sometimes “declare,” i.e. identify, their officers to each other in order to facilitate the smooth functioning of clandestine intelligence activities. Even the famous U-2 program was conducted with mutual understanding –until the Soviets shot down Francis Gary Powers. According to the Chief of the CIA’s Clandestine Services it was an example of two hostile governments collaborating to keep operations secret from general public of both nations. “Unfortunately, there aren’t enough of these situations,” he said. But before full cooperation on the UFO phenomena was achieved, there might be a period of suspicion and perhaps competition, each government hoping to gain some advantage over the others through the use of aliens and their superior scientific knowledge. It would soon, however, become apparent to all the nations involved that this was not feasible and that the UFO phenomenon was a common problem. Thus, cooperation, secret cooperation, would become a fact. Later, after further study, if it were judged that UFOs were harmless, perhaps even unarmed, vehicles from outer space controlled by aliens seeking merely to observe the Earth and its peculiar inhabitants….like so many galactic Jane Goodall’s studying chimps in their native environment….and, therefore, presented no direct, hostile threat to the Earth’s power structure, then another collective decision would have to be made. Should the public be told the full and true story of the phenomenon ? It is unlikely, for the reasons mentioned earlier, that any government aware of the UFO facts would deem it necessary or wise to inform its people of the truth. Governments prefer an ignorant and gullible public because an unknowing public is much more easily manipulated. In fact, that is one of the major reasons for so much governmental secrecy and official disinformation. Once the international cover-up had been decided, the CIA and US Government would act pretty much the way they have with regard to the UFO phenomenon. There would be a prestigious scientific group (the Robertson Panel) convened to declare that UFOs were no threat to the national security. The fact that the panel’s conclusions were not immediately made public is of no great consequence. Here, the primary consideration would be to turn off the speculation brewing among the military, bureaucrats, and other secondary levels (including the US Congress) of the governmental apparatus. The information would eventually filter down to the news media and public. But, because of the intensity of public curiosity, a formal investigation (Project Blue Book) would be launched, after a couple of false starts. And when public interest continued to build, another scientific panel (the Condon Group) was assembled to assure us that there were no such things as UFOs. With that accomplished the US Government–the Earth’s spokesman on the issue–could call off all further official investigations, slamming the lid of secrecy on the problem. But despite governmental proclamations, the sightings–often by astronauts, professional pilots, and even prospective presidents–have continued. Public pressure is again building for an honest, authoritative explanation of UFOs. Of all the evidence that exist with regard to UFOs, the single, most impressive item (to my mind) is the Jimmy Carter experience. One night in Georgia in 1973, the man who was destined to become the President of the US and his son, Jeff, saw what they believed to be a UFO. Three years later when campaigning for the presidency , Carter promised to make “every piece of information the country has about UFOs available to the public.” He never fulfilled that pledge. Nor has he ever again spoken out publicly on the subject. Meanwhile, his White House staff has parried all queries on the matter and both his Director of NASA, Robert Frosch, and Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, have officially dismissed the UFO phenomenon as nothing more than something that exists only in the public’s imagination. This sequence of events can mean only one of three things. What Jimmy Carter saw in 1973 was:

• A) a reflection of a physical event which has since been explained to him:

• B) the testing of a secret weapon to which he is now privy, but for reasons of “national security” it is still a secret: or

• C) a UFO.

If what President Carter saw falls into category “a,” there is no reason why he could not publicly say so. As presidents go, he has been relatively humble and honest on other matters of personal embarrassment. If it falls into category “b,” there is again no reason why he should not admit to the fact. There is no way that such a weapon system could possibly still be a secret from the Soviets. But if what he saw was a UFO–and there is a secret international agreement among the great powers to withhold this information from the people–then Mr. Carter would act exactly the way he has. He is neither smart enough nor tough enough to override the pressures of the Establishment. Thus, the CIA would be called upon once again. This time to release to the public all the information it has regarding the UFO phenomenon…..after, of course, the usual and long ritualistic procedures of litigation under the Freedom of Information Act. We can safely assume, however, that the CIA would not disclose everything it knows or that it would reveal any data it believes would not advance the UFO cover-up. The CIA, like other intelligence organization, has little respect for the public’s right to know. It is an attitude they all consistently display. Ironically, however, among the vast body of circumstantial evidence pointing to the existence of UFOs or contacts from outer space, the FOIA documents recently provided by the CIA have done more to make the public suspect there is an official conspiracy than any of the recent sightings or reports of encounters. In fact, the entire FOIA exercise has the same aroma of the agency’s previous messy efforts to hide its involvement in drugs and mind-control operations, both prime examples of a successful intelligence cover-up. The CIA, under the scrutiny of Congress, admitted only to experiments and a few operational indiscretions which occurred mostly in the 1950’s and 60’s. There was little or no disclosure of the full operational use of drugs and mind control techniques. The stratagem employed by the agency was, as it is known in the business, a “limited hangout,” i.e., admitting to a few past errors then declaring the program has ended and, therefore, there is nothing else to tell. With that, all investigations come to a halt. The FOIA/UFO exercise is stained with the same telltale spottiness. Furthermore, the conduct and conclusions of the Robertson Panel (1953) and the Colorado Group (1969) are suspiciously similar to those concerning another great mystery–the JFK assassination. The findings of the Warren Commission in 1964 and, for all practical purposes, those of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (1978/9) differ from the UFO studies only in that the former sought to promote a “lone nut killer” hypothesis while the latter offered a “multiple nut believer” explanation. Regardless of its shortcomings, the recently released CIA information does, however, tell us something…perhaps more than the government thinks. From the very beginning in 1947, the CIA closely monitored UFO reports on a worldwide basis. Although most of the FOIA documents indicate only a routine interest in the problem which was handled largely by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service. Foreign Documents Division, and the Domestic Contact Service–all innocuous, non-clandestine collection units–they also disclose by inference a standing requirement of the Directorate of Science and Technology for gathering UFO data. This, in turn, indicates other collection components, namely the Clandestine Services, the CIA’s main directorate, was tasked with providing information from all over the world on the UFO phenomenon. However, few such reports were released–and that implies a cover-up ! By 1953, the US Government, acting through the CIA and using the vehicle of the Robertson Panel, had clearly decided to cap the persistent public rumors of UFO sightings and extraterrestrial contacts. The panel concluded that UFOs were not a direct or hostile threat to national security but that continued emphasis of the phenomenon could clog the communication channels of the establishment or cultivate a morbid national psychology which enemy propaganda might exploit. For good measure, the panel recommended that the public should be “educated” to recognize real hostile actions against the nation and the UFOs be stripped of their “mysterious aura.” Very nifty. The tone and timing of the Robertson Panel were almost perfect. In early 1953, the nation was preoccupied with the Korean War in particular and the Cold War in general. Stalin was not yet dead. There were almost daily confrontations with Communists somewhere in the world. A new terror weapon had just been introduced into the arms race–the hydrogen bomb. General Curtis LeMay of the Strategic Air Command was warning of the “bomber gap.” And Senator Joe McCarthy was scaring the bejesus out of everybody in Washington, including the CIA. Furthermore, there was no self-respecting accredited scientist prepared to risk his reputation by challenging the government’s position on UFOs. Thus, the Robertson Panel provided an excellent opportunity to sweep the phenomenon under the rug of official secrecy. There is one other thing about the Robertson Panel that has always puzzled me. Nowhere in its report does the panel deny the existence of UFOs. The panel only addresses the question of UFOs as a “possible threat to national security” and concludes there is no direct evidence indicating such a threat. Could it be that the evidence showed that UFOs did exist, but the data revealed that the extraterrestrial contacts were of a benign nature, i.e., there were no “foreign artifacts capable of hostile acts” and, therefore no “direct physical threat to national security?” After the Robertson Panel, there was a curious development. The CIA, according to the FOIA documents, apparently faded into the background. The Air Force assumed responsibility for the UFO problem and initiated a series of reviews culminating in Project Blue Book and the Condon’s Colorado Study. But the CIA continued “unofficially” to follow developments concerning the phenomenon…and to display an uneasy, overly cautious, even defensive attitude toward outside curiosity about its UFO work. In fact, during the preparation of the Condon Panel’s report, the CIA reacted so skittishly in providing aid to the panel that one can only wonder if the agency was attempting to hide something from the Air Force…..not an unusual occurrence in the inter-tribal relations of the US intelligence community. The performance is reminiscent of how the CIA responded to the first public revelations that it was deeply involved in illegal drug and domestic spying operations. In December 1969, the findings of the Condon Panel were made public by the Department of Defense. Again, it was concluded that UFOs were no threat to national security, and we were given the added assurance that those sightings (roughly one-half of one percent) categorized as “unidentified” evidenced no technical capabilities beyond our scientific knowledge. A rather odd commentary. In addition, the panel stated there was no evidence that UFO sightings (not contacts or signals) represented extraterrestrial visitations. A flat statement that was supported by no empirical evidence…..only the panel’s opinion. Were the panelists again begging the question? With the release of the Condon Report, Project Blue Book was canceled, and the Air Force, like the CIA , seemed to drop out of the UFO business. The timing of the Condon Report, like that of the Robertson Panel, was, to say the least, interesting. We were fighting–and losing–a war in Vietnam. There was severe domestic turmoil caused by the civil rights and peace movements. Again, the nation was not, at the time, much concerned with UFOs. Perhaps that is why the government opted for a flat denial. It was another excellent chance to stop all the speculation about UFOs and to further sweep the phenomenon under the rug of official secrecy. But ten years have gone by since the Air Force allegedly closed its UFO shop and more than fifteen years since the CIA claims to have lost interest in the subject. The sightings and contacts, however, continue –not only by questionable sources. Even the President of the United States thinks he saw a UFO. Thus, we are left with five possible conclusions.

ONE: The US Government is trying to keep certain super weapon systems secret from the Soviets. In this age of advanced electronic, photographic, and other intelligence sensors, when the testing of a new system begins by any nation, the other participants in the geopolitical game soon learn of it. TWO: The US Government, in cooperation with its allies, is playing a game with such rivals as the USSR, trying to confuse them with false reports of UFOs. The state of the art in intelligence collection and analysis, as well as science, precludes the possibility of such a ruse. THREE: The US and its allies are attempting to keep UFOs a secret from the USSR. The Soviets, however, are as astute in space science as we are. If we know about UFOs, so do they…and so do all the technically advanced nations. FOUR: There are no UFOs, nor have there ever been any contacts from outer space. However, the amount of circumstantial evidence to the contrary (including indications that our planet may have been visited in the distant past by extraterrestrials) argues against this conclusion–or at least for further study of the UFO phenomenon. FIVE: There are UFOs or there have been contacts–if only signals –from outer space, but the evidence reveals the aliens are interested only in observing us. They have no hostile intentions and are no direct threat to any nation. But public knowledge of these facts could become a threat. If the existence of UFOs were to be officially confirmed, a chain reaction could be initiated that would result in the collapse of the Earth’s present power structure. Thus, a secret international understanding–a conspiracy — has been agreed to by the world powers to keep the public ignorant of and confused about contacts or visitations from beyond Earth.

Victor Marchetti was the executive assistant to the Deputy Director of the CIA and is the co-author of “The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence,” the only book ever censored by the US Government prior to publication up to 1979. He lives in suburban Washington D.C.

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