Thursday, July 20, 2017

CIA Pilot Reports Triangular UFO

CIA Pilot Reports Triangular UFO

"It Defied All the Laws of Aerodynamics"

"... it was very bright out there on the
ocean, and this thing came up to me."
–The Navy Pilot

     Before veteran UFO researcher and author Wendy Connors retired from her work, she searched out and accumulated a wealth of UFO-related audio recordings for her "Faded Discs" project. This enormous, time-consuming task involved listening to hundreds of hours of audio from old TV and radio programs, UFO witness interviews, military accounts and the like, and she carefully converted each reel-to-reel tape, audiocassette, record album, transcription disc, wire recording and whatever other format came her way to digital format, thus preserving deteriorating recorded history for posterity. Sometimes, she literally had to wash the dirt off old recorded media using a special cleaning solution, patience and tender loving care in order to restore clarity.
Robert Barrow
By Robert Barrow
The UFO Chronicles
(Originally Published 8-29-11)

It was truly my pleasure a few years ago to review some of her copyrighted digital conquests for Errol Bruce-Knapp's informative "UFO Updates" section of the Virtually Strange Network (see link and check out the "UFO Updates" section daily, where current contributor messages update continuously under the "100 latest messages" category in the Archive area), and despite auditioning hours and hours of incredible historical UFO audio for those reviews, I was impressed particularly by one gem, an interview conducted with a man claiming to be a Navy pilot who flew missions for the CIA in the 1970s. Tucked inconspicuously among a host of no less important audio entries, this is pure, apparently authenticated, UFO history gold.

What really strikes one about this particular interview is that the witness had provided personal information to establish his sincerity. Major identifying info was removed, for obvious reasons, long before I was given the opportunity to hear the recording, but based upon other factors its veracity appeared plausible. Having been in the military, I'm more than a little familiar with the term, "military bearing," and the voice on the recording reflected this. Also, for well over a year in the early seventies I operated my own hospital clinic at an Air Force pilot training base and spoke with pilots every day -- remarkable people conditioned to remain calm, cool and rational through almost any threatening situation. The recorded voice I heard remained very much in this vein, though, understandably, immensely curious about the UFO experience.

I'm going to share a transcript of the incident with you today. I've gone on to edit out some conversation having no bearing on the incident itself, but the major portions are here. I did have difficulty hearing some words because tape, even when digitalized, can have limitations due to its age (and my age!), and there remained some minor electrical "hum" caused by original recording equipment and old telephone lines -- so I've indicated spots where words were unclear to me. My transcript is mostly word-by-word accurate, but in some instances I had to choose the best guess (again, little to deter meaning here). If any words appear to contradict others, that's probably due to my inability to get a clear reading of the sound. I'm only human (or reasonably so!).

Of considerable interest -- the pilot's mention of a "sponge rubber" appearance to the object's surface may seem unusual, but the thing is that there were similar descriptions offered by other UFO witnesses -- not many at first, but they were out there. In fact, also from 1977, Wendy's collection included a report where the pilot and co-pilot of a Lear 35 jet encountered a huge object that followed their aircraft for 10 to 15 minutes, and the object's surface looked like "porous foam rubber."

This astounding account would be a nail-biter if featured in a movie script, and just when you might say to yourself, well, it might have involved a secret military device, the pilot's description of radar confirmation will blow rational thought right out of your head. This is creepy, fascinating stuff.

And so follows the incredible account offered by a man introducing himself as a Navy pilot, talented and trusted enough to conduct CIA missions, who literally claims to have just returned from an extraordinary UFO encounter. If he is who he purports to be, and if he is still with us, we might say thank you, Sir, both for your service and for your report, memorialized for the archives instead of disappearing into the dust of time, thanks to the concern and skill of Wendy Connors.

(The conversation is between the pilot and Robert Gribble, who operated the original National UFO Reporting Center out of Seattle, and occurs in 1977.)
I fly for the CIA. I'm a reconnaissance pilot.and I just came from Tokyo. I just landed about ten minutes ago. At a level 5-1-0 and at about halfway in a straight line between Tokyo and Hawaii, I was about halfway, I'm not sure. I was out of radar contact, just on my own, alone there, but I still had radio contact. I don't know if there was a full moon or not, but it was very bright out there on the ocean, and this thing came up to me. No wings, about double the length of my airplane -- I was flying a Phantom F-411 -- but double the length, which would be about 45 feet, round-shaped, not circular, more triangular, but no bottom and no top. All equidistant sides of a triangle. They weren't sharp, they were sort of rounded-off edges, and the ends of it were flat and no noise, no wings, no thrust, no windows, no, you know, nothing which would give it a reason to fly.


No, none. On the sides of the Phantom, I don't know if you're familiar with (THE BASE?)) but we do have very high-intensity spotlights which (ARE BUILT INTO?) the fuselage (UNCLEAR) side of an aircraft that are used to, when you are unloading bombs at night at the runway you turn them on so the guys can see (UNCLEAR) with the bombs underneath them. And so I turned on the lights on the sides (AND HAD A VERY CLEAR PICTURE OF IT?)). . .and it was there, it wasn't my imagination.


It didn't reflect, it was a porous material, probably. It looked like sponge rubber, that's what it looked like. But it was not metallic. It (UNCLEAR), it couldn't be porous. It looked like maybe asphalt would look from a distance, something like that.


No, It just sort of went ahead and hit it. (UNCLEAR)


The closest it got was about 70 feet from the wing. Now, I have radar, and it was on radar and the image wasn't like that close, but it got up to about 50 feet from the left wing and then as far as about 200 feet and stayed there for about a half an hour. This was at Mach 2.2, roughly, you know, 1900 miles an hour.


I didn't see him come up on me, no, I just sort of looked over and it was there, and then I just looked and looked and looked and thought it was a shadow or something, so then I turned on all the lights and then I saw it. It was definitely there. I could see the dimensions, I could see the top and the bottom and the ends of it. The dimensions of the height, I would say, were, oh, I would say about 10 feet -- 10 feet by 10 feet.


It always had the apex up, but it would slowly rotate on the apex and in all the time it was there it started from the apex being up, to the apex completely rotating around and took about 15 minutes to do it. It would move a little bit and stop, move a little bit and stop and move a little bit and stop. It didn't look like that was necessary for flight. I think it was just turning for -- I don't know why but it wasn't necessary for flight, you could tell that.


More or less, I would say. But it didn't stay close for very long, it only stayed at 50 feet for about a couple of minutes, and it stayed just out of real good sight most of the time. It sounds like I'm crazy, but they seemed to know what was good sight and what wasn't for me. I have perfect vision, 20/20 and I'm a captain in Naval intelligence by the way, and I've been with the CIA for about two years.


No, none. No buffeting, no turbulence, nothing.


No, perfect.


There is no radar in that area. I tried three times to see if I was in communication with somebody and ask if there was aircraft in my area that was, you know, maybe a little off course and they said no, the closest aircraft was (HE SAYS EITHER 40 OR 400) miles away, they said, and I said are you positive and they said yeah, and there was two radar ships, they were both out of range, and oddly enough, he disappeared right after this guy said I would be in range in about three minutes and about a minute after that this guy pulled away.


I think they were more interested in the airplane than they were in me, but I did have that impression, yeah. I also had the impression that they knew what was going on. I know it sounds a little nutty, but no one else seems to care about it. I've been flying all my life and I know what an airplane is and what it isn't. There's not too many airplanes that can go as fast as that at that altitude, first of all, and 2.2 is pretty fast.


No. The only thing that sort of bothered me was that I haven't slept for about 30 hours, but that's not any big deal for me, I've done it a lot before. I was just coming from two other missions and I just hadn't had a chance to sleep and just wanted to get home, so -- I've been flying a long time but I can say I've done that a lot so it was nothing and I've been able to do that before, so. . .


Yeah, not big holes, but it was rough. It wasn't metallic.


Flight level was 5-1-0. I did climb a little bit to see what sort of, I was curious, I climbed to 60,000 feet and almost instantly(UNCLEAR). . .are you a pilot?


Well, that plane can climb very fast, one of the best planes we have. The actual (UNCLEAR) is classified, but anyway I gave it full power and put the nose up (AT ??? FEET?), and there's only maybe eight or ten other aircraft in the whole world that can keep up with that -- and this thing kept up with no strain at all. It made no effort at all to get right next to me. He started to move almost instantly when I did (AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT?)) allowed him to do that.


Yeah, no problem at all. When he left me, I (UNCLEAR) stayed there for a little while and put into a dive to see if I could outrun him, and from 50,000 feet to about 49 I kept up to about three point something Mach, which is really moving and he stayed right up with me with no problem at all. And then the guy said, well, you'll be within radar range within about three or four minutes -- and about a minute after that he pulled away from me, going forward at at least triple the speed with no effort at all, I mean with no acceleration. He was just there and then he was a speck and then he was gone at the same altitude.


Well, this was about, I'd say, 12 hours ago, no, about ten hours ago.


I'd say all together about a half an hour -- 20 minutes or a half an hour. I did get the time but the time was Korean time. I can't remember whether I . . .it would be an hour off if I gave you that time. It was just, I can't remember if it was four a.m. or four p.m., it was one or the other in Korean time. I can't remember if I reset the clock or not after I left Korea.


But the main thing I want to tell you is that this thing had no. . .you know, I can sort of tell if an aircraft is really working to keep up with you speed-wise and it sort of has characteristics. But this had no effort at all keeping up with me. There was no lag. They could accelerate easily as fast as they want to, go up and down as fast as they want to. It defied all the laws of aerodynamics. There was no reason for it to fly.


Yeah, it was next to me and within 10 seconds it was a speck on the radar. The radar screen I have has about a 150 mile range. I could (UNCLEAR) it exactly. It took it less than 10 seconds to get out of radar range, less than 10 seconds to go 150 miles. I saw it going across the radar range. On the radar there is three modes. There is 150 miles, there is 250 miles and 500 miles. So to see it on the 500 mile range I upped the range from 150 to 500, and in the time it took me to flip the switch was another three seconds, and he had already gone past the 500 mile range. It wasn't on the radar anymore, which means it had already gone through that other range. You can imagine a circle, a 500 mile circle around you, that's what it's like. We have intelligence radar which is the best you can get. You can pick up a skydiver (SAID EITHER 40 OR 400) miles away, a free-falling skydiver will pick up on radar.


No. We have a (HAWKEYE?) heat-sensing missile and the heat sensing missile has a computer which can track the exhaust of a jet. The exhaust of a jet stays in the sky the same way the wake from the water stays in the water, and you can track it the same way. Well, that computer was on, too, and there was no thrust, no heat, no energy coming from it. This thing will sense heat up to 20 miles away at altitude and there was no heat coming out of it, and that's very sensitive also. You can start up a gasoline engine in a car 20 miles away from this thing and turn on the missile, and it will find the heat and then blow it up. That's how accurate it is.


Perfect, yeah. I don't know if it will help any to tell you this, but the people at Approach Control in the Navy, they didn't seem to care. I wanted to speed up and get around him, too, to see what the other side of this thing looked like, but I could not outrun him, he could slow down and speed up as fast as I could. A Phantom can go from 2.2 Mach to 50 miles an hour in about 10 seconds, that's how fast and you couldn't slow down if you wanted to, and I tried that and he was still just as fast. There are very few airplanes that can keep up with a Phantom. There's no Russian airplane that can. So either it's one of ours or it's someone else and, like I said, there's no reason for it to fly and had no energy coming out of it, no heat, no power source, nothing.

UFO Photographed Over Chelmsford (UK)

UFO Photographed Over Chelmsford 7-17-17

     A man has described his surprise at seeing two large UFOs in the sky over Chelmsford.

The resident, who did not want to be named, saw the objects in the
By Clare_Youell
Essex Live
air over Manor Road where he lives on Monday afternoon (July 17).

The two UFOs, which were different shapes, were first spotted by a group of people in the street just outside the city centre.

The man who contacted Essex Live said he was in his garden when he saw a small group of passers-by staring up into the sky.


"When I looked up I saw two large objects in the sky. They were jet black underneath. They were quite big and quite high up. They were sort of rolling over and over in the sky.

Mysterious UFO Caught on Film Across Cornwall | VIDEO

Mysterious UFO Caught on Film Across Cornwall 7-18-17
People have been taking to social media with startling footage of what looks suspiciously like a UFO over various spots in Cornwall.
     Over the last couple of days the strange, shimmering black object has been spotted over Truro city centre, Carluddon clay tip, Fistral beach in Newquay, over the A30, above Roche Rock and by a surfer above the sea off the Cornish coast.
By LeeTrewhela

The first to spot it was surfer Kiefer Krishnan, who caught it on his Go-Pro camera, which he posted on his Instagram account on Monday.


Continue Reading ►

See Also:

The Cornwall UFO Triangle Most Sightings in UK

Flying Saucer Photographed Over Cornwall | UFO CHRONICLE

UFO Photographed Over Chelmsford (UK)


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Finding Extraterrestrial Life By Their Leftovers

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Finding Extraterrestrial Life By Their Leftovers

     When the famous 15th-century inventor and scientist Leonardo da Vinci examined petrified shells with borings in them long ago, he had a remarkable insight. The strange fossilized formations, he determined, were likely left behind by ancient organisms.
By Elizabeth Howell

Half a millennium later, this perspective is potentially useful in our search for alien life, argues a new paper that appears in Earth-Science Reviews, whose findings were recently presented at the European Astrobiology Network Association congress in the Netherlands.


In this latest study, Baucon and his colleagues attempt to explain the best way to find extra-terrestrial traces. One method could be looking for "meandering" trails and burrows, which is an efficient way for microorganisms to look for food. ...

Future Space Colony on Titan?

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NASA's Cassini spacecraft, Saturn, and Titan
Instead of just sending humans on a one-shot mission to look for life on the surface, a new paper envisions a future outpost on Titan that could generate power for years.

     NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are focused on getting astronauts to Mars and even one day establishing a colony on the Red Planet — but what if their attention is better directed elsewhere? A new paper in the Journal of Astrobiology & Outreach suggests that humans should
By Elizabeth Howell
instead establish a colony on Titan, a soupy orange moon of Saturn that has been likened to an early Earth, and which may harbor signs of “life not as we know it.”

Robot Cheetahs and The Post-Nuclear Disaster in Fukushima | VIDEO

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Robot Cheetah

     The latest version of MIT’s Cheetah robot made its stage debut today at TC Sessions: Robotics in Cambridge, Mass. It’s a familiar project to anyone who follows the industry with any sort of regularity, as one of the most impressive demos to come out of one of the
By Brian Heater
world’s foremost robotics schools in recent years. Earlier versions of the four-legged robot have been able to run at speeds up to 14 miles an hour, bound over objects autonomously and even respond to questions with Alexa, by way of an Echo Dot mounted on its back.

The Cheetah 3, however, marks a kind of philosophical change for the robot created by professor Sang-bae Kim and his team at MIT’s Biomimetics lab. The focus has shifted from impressive demos to something more practical — this time out, the team is focused on giving the world a robot that can perform search and rescue.

“Our vision changed to wanting to use this in a real situation, to dispatch it to Fukushima,” Kim told TechCrunch ahead of the event. ...

Monday, July 17, 2017

Strange Signals Coming From a Star, 11 Light Years Away

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Strange Signals Coming From a Star 11 Light Years Away

     Astronomers say they have detected "strange signals" coming from the direction of a small, dim star located about 11 light-years from Earth.
By David Mosher
Business Insider

Researchers picked up the mysterious signals on May 12 using the Arecibo Observatory, a huge radio telescope built inside of a Puerto Rican sinkhole.

The radio signals appear to be coming from Ross 128, a red dwarf star that's not yet known to have any planets and is about 2,800 times dimmer than the Sun.

Billy Cox Bids Ufology Adieu ... Again

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Bill Cox & The Great Taboo

Ever feel like you’re going crazy?

     For whatever reason, my farewell-to-De Void post from 9/13/16 has vanished. It was titled “A shift in the weather.” Don’t know exactly when or why it was removed … but if only the bewilderment ended there. When I went noodling through some of the earliest blogs that still hadn’t auto-purged, from 2009, it was like getting punted into some parallel universe. The comment threads had been erased and replaced with exchanges in Cyrillic. Seriously, I’m not making this up. There were, ostensibly, Russians having conversations by piggy-backing off my blog. This sounds totally insane, but this actually happened. And why me? My biggest regret

By Billy Cox
De Void / Herald
is I didn’t do a screen grab, because when I revisited the same posts the next day, all reader comments – Cyrillic, English, whatever – had been removed. A clean wipe.

Anyway, I’m reposting a version of that mysteriously spiked September blog because I’m still a little pissed. So don’t be erasing my history, whoever you are, or I’ll rewrite it with even less accuracy.

Due to professional circumstances beyond my control, I have been reassigned to a new job here at the Herald-Tribune, a beat which involves a steep learning curve and my undivided attention. As you know, newspapers are undergoing a radical downsizing transition, and no one is immune to these pressures. So at least for now, and for the foreseeable future, I will step away from De Void, which I started writing in April 2007.

By serving up a combination of reporting, analysis, industry criticism and a few other quirks in between, I had hoped I might be able to make a difference in the way my colleagues in traditional media cover UFOs. And in fact, the last nine years have provided some remarkable opportunities for the MSM to rethink its strategy in the way it approaches The Great Taboo. But that was the flaw – assuming there might actually be a strategy in play. Beyond resorting to requisite clich├ęs (e.g., “This next story is out of this world” and “Is the truth really out there?”), chasing balloons (“Mystery shiny objects floating over Manhattan, spark UFO frenzy” – NY Daily News), and hyping common lens flares for ratings (“UFO or Lens Flare in Google Street View? You Decide” – ABC’s “Good Morning America”), big media falls apart when approaching the gorilla in the room. Even CNN’s Anderson Cooper, maybe the most qualified interviewer on corporate television – even his brains roll around in suntan oil and head for the beach whenever he gets near UFOs. And that’s what’s making the blown opportunity of 2016 so dispiriting.

Contrast where we are today with the 2007 Democratic primary debates. That’s when NBC’s Tim Russert asked longshot pacifist Dennis Kucinich to confirm a report that he was eyewitness to a UFO event. Russert, of course, had no interest in the material, and simply wanted to muscle the fading Ohio congressman off the stage and back to the fringe where he belonged. Remember that? Looking like he didn’t know whether to wet his pants or vomit, Kucinich fell back into the shopworn stance of trying to joke it off. And it didn’t help him a lick. Now fast-forward to 2016 and a scenario that would’ve been unthinkable nine years ago – a presidential frontrunner has not only publicly and repeatedly discussed her curiosity about UFOs, she has even advocated releasing related government documents.

Put aside, as if that’s possible, your emotions, pro or con, about Hillary Clinton. Because this is not about her. Nor is it about veteran Beltway operator John Podesta, whose gamble to encourage the former First Lady to speak rationally and fearlessly about The Great Taboo has provoked negligible media blowback. Think about that for a moment. Whenever a public figure in this country utters something stupid or outrageous, the peanut-gallery microphones are always there to rain torrents of snark and reality-based facts and figures on the offender (not that facts make much difference in this day and age). And yet, although the echo chamber has dutifully regurgitated the quotes Clinton has made on three separate occasions about reassessing UFOs, no significant major news platform has bothered to follow up or ask what the hell she means by that. No debate moderator has raised the subject. Not even Clinton’s myriad foes have chosen to weaponize or even make an issue of her remarks concerning undoubtedly the most unconventional topic ever raised on a campaign trail. They’d rather talk about pneumonia.

Folks, this is flat-out freaky. And it begs the question of just how far watchdog journalism has strayed from the public interest. Even badly worded polls show nearly half of Americans believe UFOs are all about ET activity in our own atmosphere. Into this vacuum of empty space comes Hollywood, advertisers, cable television, tabloids, etc., all of whom are far more astute about engaging sustainable numbers than the press. The entertainment industry has also enabled conspiracy paranoia, stoked delusional hopes and unreasonable fears, and made loads of cash off a growth market that shows no signs of dissipating. And for reasons likely best summarized in a groundbreaking 2008 essay appearing in the journal Political Theory, America’s most influential institutions have proven incapable of leading us out of the woods. They remain stubbornly, willfully, perhaps even aggressively, uninformed.

For more than nine years, De Void attempted to bridge that gap, at least on the journalism frontier. With the discoveries of extrasolar Earth-like planets becoming so common they rarely make headlines anymore, with millions of research dollars being dumped into radioscope dishes trolling for alien signals, and given innovations in portable technology designed to track anomalies in our skies, there would appear to be no better moment for the media to snatch the permission slips extended by Clinton/Podesta this year and start asking truly skeptical questions. But that hasn’t happened. Maybe it can’t. Denial and avoidance are the results of faltering attention spans, national and global. We don’t read anymore. We want shortcuts. We think in bumper stickers. Glossy campaign pamphlets are called literature. We want our Cliff Notes rationed in 30-second video bites. We want our favorite colors back, black and white.

Despite the gloom, however, De Void has actually been a lot of gun. It’s forced me to become more discerning and (hopefully) a more careful thinker. It’s given me a deeper appreciation for those who’ve chosen the thankless tasks of attempting to rescue history buried in forgotten archives, for those who pressure bureaucracies for radar records, and the researchers giving voice to veterans whose stories have been disregarded, mocked or repressed for half a century or more.

Most of all, in this era of anonymity and internet cowardice, I have appreciated the civil, thoughtful and provocative tones that often characterize these comment threads. We don’t always agree – in fact, we may rarely agree – but I appreciate the level of sophistication you guys have been bringing to the table. And who knows, we may, in fact, have future discussions here on De Void. If, for instance, Stephen Hawking’s projected ET conquistadors do something as callous and disrespectful as zapping the Kremlin or the newly refurbished Capitol Dome, I’ll probably make time to weigh in as soon as I get through cheering.

And I’ll remain keenly interested in whatever comes next.

The Search for Alien Artifacts

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The Search for Extraterrestrial Artifacts

     The first workshop of the new German SETI initiative recently convened in the southern town of Freiburg, with experts in fields ranging from social science to satellite imaging on hand to discuss how to advance the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life.
By Dirk Schulze-Makuch 7-13-17

Michael Schetsche from the University of Freiburg started things off with a talk on the possible consequences of first contact with an extraterrestrial species, and how we might prepare for such an encounter. A symposium held at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. three years ago had a similar theme, but Schetsche’s talk focused more on contact with artificial intelligence or machine-based life.

Other talks had to do with SETA, the search for extraterrestrial artifacts, which will be one subject of future research by the German research network. Hakan Kayal from the University of W├╝rzburg outlined today’s technical state of the art in detecting and identifying objects in space ....

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Unreleased UFO Files Held By New Zealand Government

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UFO Files Held By New Zealand Government

     On the 3rd of August, 1985, researcher Timothy Good wrote to the Air Vice Marshal Ewan Jamieson, Chief of the Air Staff, at the Ministry of Defence Headquarters, Wellington, New Zealand, asking what the New Zealand military’s official stance on UFOs was. In a 6th of September, 1985 reply to Good, Wing Commander S. D. White, writing on behalf of Air Vice Marshal Ewan Jamieson, stated:
“New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence is not specifically charged with any formal responsibility for investigating UFOs… …and neither is any other government department. The Ministry does however take an active interest in all such reports and within the limitations of its resources conducts investigations as necessary.”
Paul Dean
By Paul Dean
This official statement, and quite a few others like it, was somewhat misleading.

In March, 2017, I accessed Archives New Zealand, which is that country's official national archive and records repository, and entered a series of keywords into the “Archway” search engine. Using the keywords “unidentified flying object”, “ufo”, “unidentified flying objects”, “ufos”, “unknown object”, “unknown objects”, “flying saucers” and the like, I was surprised to see numerous hits displayed in the results. Of course, New Zealand’s government has already released numerous files, so any search results which included these items were expected. What I didn’t expect was a listing of hitherto unknown files, some of which are “restricted” from public access for decades to come. I should state that these unreleased files were not totally unknown to at least a handful of researchers. British based researcher Isaac Koi, for example, discussed the existence of these records some time ago on the internet forum Above Top Secret, and Keith Basterfield mentioned some of the items in various New Zealand focused blogposts in 2010.

Before elaborating on these unseen files, it is prudent to summarise New Zealand’s first, and only, declassification and public release of government files, and, specifically, how they were released. In December, 2010, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), who operate under, and answer to, New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence (MOD), released a number of formally classified files concerning UFO’s. Only through the determined work of Susan Hansen, the Director of New Zealand’s “UFO Focus New Zealand Research Network” (UFOCUS NZ), a civilian based research organisation, did this release occur. Hansen had worked for some fourteen months, corresponding with Lt. Gen. Jerry Mateparae, the Chief of Defence Force, NZDF, regarding the mustering, declassification and public release of New Zealand’s MOD files, some which were nearly sixty years old.

Initially, Lt. Gen. Mateparae stated that it “…would require a substantial amount of collation, research and consultation to identify whether any of that information could be released…” and that the NZDF was not able to deploy staff to undertake the task. Lt. Gen. Jerry Mateparae, however, also gave his personal viewpoint on the matter, stating:
“In the longer term, recognizing the ongoing public interest in this topic, I would like to see a summary of information held about UFO sightings produced, in much the same way as that which is produced by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence. Given the existing constraints, however, I cannot predict when that objective could be achieved.”
Months later, due largely to Susan Hansen’s continued efforts, Lt. Gen. Mateparae announced that the assessing of classified UFO files by NZDF staff had begun. In a December, 2009 letter, Lt. Gen. Mateparae stated:
“I am pleased to be able to inform you that two NZDF officers have begun the task of assessing classified files held in relation to this topic, with a view to declassification. I would expect that files which are transferred to Archives New Zealand would be subject to extensive embargo periods in terms of access by the general public.”
It was on the 22nd of December, 2010, that the NZDF finally made available nine files, which totalled 2101 pages. The files contained records dating from, at the earliest, 1952, and, most recently, 2009. Specifically, the files released were “Air 39/3/3 Volume 1, Parts 1 and 2”, “Flying Saucers”, with a date range spanning 1952 to 1955; “Air 39/3/3 Volume 2, Parts 1 & 2, “Reports on UFOs”, with a date range spanning 1956 to 1979; “Air 39/3/3 Volume 3”, “Reports on UFOs”, with a date range spanning 1979 to 1980; “Air 39/3/3A Volume 1, Parts 1 and 2”, “Reports on UFOs and Ethnology”, with a date range of 1979 to 1984; “Air 39/3/3 Volume 4”, “Reports on UFOs”, covering 1981 to 1984; “Air 244/10/1 Volume 1”, “Reports on UFOs” with a date range spanning 1959 to 1983; “Air 1080/6/897 Volume 1”, “Courts Of Enquiry – Investigation of Unidentified and Radar Sightings East Coast South Island December 1978”, with a date range spanning from 1978 to 1981; “1630/2 Volume 1”, “Reports on UFOs and Ethnology”, with a date range spanning 1984 to 1989; and, “1630/2 Volume 2”, “Reports on UFOs and Ethnology” with a date range spanning 1990 to 2009. Also worth mentioning is that some of the material in these files was redacted, and thus not visible.

While I do not attempt here to give any sort of detailed, historical treatment as to what these papers contain, it is worth mentioning that most of the records are UFO reports, of variable value, submitted by members of New Zealand’s public, and, general enquiries regarding the New Zealand government’s official stance on the UFO issue.

Most, but certainly not all.

A significant fraction of the material, in fact, comprises of internal government correspondence and enquiry, and it is most certainly not all MOD–generated. Firstly, the material that is of MOD provenance includes papers originating from such entities as the Secretary of Defence; the Minister of Defence; the Chief of the Defence Staff; the Chief of the Air Staff, RNZAF; Headquarters, Air Defence, RNZAF; the Deputy Director of Air Intelligence, RNZAF; the Director of Operations, RNZAF; and the Deputy Director of Service Intelligence, to name a few. Secondly, the material on file which is not of MOD provenance, includes papers originating from such entities as the Director of Civil Aviation, Civil Aviation Branch, Air Department; the Minister for Civil Aviation; the Deputy Director of Operations, Air Traffic Control, Ministry of Transport; the Director–General of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research; the Joint Intelligence Bureau; the Commissioner of Police, Police National Headquarters; the Director of the New Zealand Meteorological Service; and the Director of Carter Observatory.

Thus, it is established that numerous areas within New Zealand’s government, as demonstrated in these nine released MoD files, have had at least some involvement in the UFO problem. What, then, can we ascertain regarding the unreleased files? And how can they be declassified and released? All government files held by Archives New Zealand are indexed with metadata, which includes the title of the file, an item identification number, a code attached to the original controlling agency, a series number, an accession code, a box and item number, a record number, and various other pieces of information. Also, all files are listed as either being “Open Access”, “Restricted Access” or “Restrictions May Apply”. Unsurprisingly, an “Open Access” file can be made available to anyone, while a “Restricted Access” file is still in the legal custody of the original controlling agency, and, thus, unavailable. Such “Restricted Access” files are listed with a “Restrictions Expire” date which must be surpassed before automatic availability can occur. Steps can be taken, however, to have such files assessed and released earlier. Finally, files where “Restrictions May Apply” are releasable, but a final review of the item is required in case it contains sensitivities not noticed previously. These issues are important when evaluating the numerous unreleased UFO files listed within the Archives.

The first file of note, which should have been released in 2010, is titled “Intelligence – Defence – Unidentified Sightings”. The record number for this item is “244/1/7” and the date range spans from 1963 to 1976. The current controlling agency of the file is the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), but the original controlling agency, presumably, will be either a top–echelon division of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), or, one of New Zealand’s armed forces branches. Traditionally, New Zealand’s defence apparatus has, like most nations, always included an Army, Navy and Air Force. Either way, the file metadata gives no clue as to its origin. Moreover, as noted, this file is clearly a MoD item of some sort, and the NZDF is listed as the most recent controlling entity, so the notion that the NZDF released all of its UFO files in 2010 is quite incorrect. Having said that, the file is listed as “Open Access”, so someone in the NZDF has cleared it for release.

Another unseen file is titled “Political Affairs – Outer Space – Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)” is indexed as originating from the Head Office of the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). The record number is “NYP 3/58/13”, and the date range spans from 1977 to 1982. Thankfully, this particular item, unlike many, is classed as “Open Access”, which means copies can be made available with relative ease. MFAT represents New Zealand abroad, and conducts official communication and business with foreign governments, international organisations and other overseas bodies. One can only speculate as to what an MFAT file may contain. One possibility, given the 1977 to 1982 date range, is that the records relate to a UFO awareness raising initiative at the United Nations, led by Sir Eric Gairy, the then Prime Minister of Grenada, in the late 1970’s. This effort resulted in a series of plenary meetings and decision adoptions in late 1977, which culminated in a Special Political Committee Hearing on the 27th of November, 1978. Finally, “Political Affairs – Outer Space – Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)” is listed as “Part 1”. This usually means, as can be demonstrated with other file holdings, that further “parts” were created, or at least planned for.

New Zealand’s atmospheric and meteorological agencies maintained UFO–related files too, The first item is titled, “Meteorological Office: Research: Meteorological – Unidentified Flying Objects”, and its record number is “42/6/23”. The date range of this file is 1968 to 1984. The originating and controlling agency for this file is the Head Office of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited (NIWAR). This quasi–government entity is described, in government organisational chronologies, as a “…Crown owned research and consulting company with expertise in water and atmospheric research”. The file is listed as “Open Access”. This is interesting, as the NIWAR was engaged in meteorological and atmospheric study, so any evaluation or assessment of the UFO issue by competent scientists is obviously valuable to researchers. Also, like other New Zealand UFO files, this item is listed as being “Part 1”, which implies a continuation of the file well beyond the mid–1980’s. No more “parts”, however, are listed when performing archival searches. As for the contents, one hopes that NIWAR conducted a reasonable degree of primary research into the UFO issue, possibly studying unknown cases, and dealing directly with other New Zealand agencies. More likely, however, is that the file contains low–level sighting reports, collections of local newspaper articles, and other mundane items. Previous experience suggests the contents of “Meteorological Office: Research: Meteorological – Unidentified Flying Objects” is somewhere in the middle.

Another file, presumably of the same ilk, is “Public Weather Service – Flying Saucers And Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)”. The record number is “2/13”, and the date range is 1956 to 1988. The controlling agency for the file is the New Zealand Meteorological Service (NZMS), but judging by the title of the file, it was specifically a Public Weather Service (PWS) record. The PWS was one of three sub–components of the NZMS. Government organisational chronologies state that the primary function of the NZMS was to “…provide and advise meteorological support… …for New Zealand and the islands of the South Pacific Ocean”. The file is “Open Access”, and does not appear to be one of several “Parts” as is often the case. One can only guess what the file contains, but it is quite likely that the PWS, and its parent agency, the NZMS, acted as a clearing house for UFO reports, as was the situation in Australia. Historically, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) received UFO reports from the public, and occasionally from other government agencies. The BOM was not explicitly charged with handling UFO cases, so, typically, they would be forwarded to the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) Directorate of Air Force Intelligence (DAFI) or the Department of Air (DOA). Whatever the contents, “Public Weather Service – Flying Saucers And Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)” will contain records not seen for decades.

The infamous Kaikoura UFO incident is the subject of a file titled “Miscellaneous Files – UFO [Unidentified Flying Object] Affair (1978 Kaikoura Incident) –The Truth Is Out There”. With a one year date range of 1979 to 1979, the file was the provenance of the Magnetic and Geophysical Observatories, based in Christchurch, and the controlling agency is listed similarly as the Geophysical Observatory. This agency is indexed as “…undertaking research into upper atmosphere physics through data collected from remote ionosonde stations…”. Oddly, there is no record number assigned to the file. Its access status is “Open”. Obviously it deals with the “Kaikoura Lights” radar–visual UFO case that occurred between the 21st and 30th of December, 1978. These events involved airborne–visual and airborne radar features, plus ground–based radar confirmation. Some of the events were filmed by an Australian television crew on route to New Zealand. The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), as well as Carter Observatory, investigated the events in early 1979. Their efforts can be found in New Zealand’s most in–depth and classified UFO file, which was released, in part, in 2010. That file is titled “Courts Of Enquiry – Investigation of Unidentified and Radar Sightings East Coast South Island December 1978”. Ultimately, the visual sightings were attributed to lights mounted on squid boats which were presumed to be reflecting off low cloud cover, as well as a handful of bright stars and planets. The primary radar hits were attributed to spurious returns created by unusually intense atmospheric conditions at the time. Whatever the conclusions, it is apparent that the newly found “Miscellaneous Files – UFO [Unidentified Flying Object] Affair (1978 Kaikoura Incident) –The Truth Is Out There” has not been openly studied.

There are three files of New Zealand Police, National Headquarters provenance. They are, “37/21/1, Part 1”, “Support Services – Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO), General”; “37/19/3, Part 1”, “Support Services – Unidentified Flying Objects – General”; and “37/21/1, Part 1”, “Support Services – Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO), General”. All three files come with a date range spanning the year of 1972 only. The fact that all three files appeared to be nearly identical made me wonder if, in fact, just one file existed, and there had been a clerical error in listing it. However, each file does a unique record number, so each file must be unique.Access to these records is restricted until 2072.

As for the contents of these files, one can only speculate. It is possible that they relate to a series of space debris re–entries which occurred near the town of Ashburton, on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island in early 1972. As is widely known, several metal “space balls” were recovered by farmers in the region, and naturally a few federal agencies, including the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and the Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB), showed significant interest in the discoveries, primarily from a technical and safety. Ultimately, the objects proved to be titanium gas pressure vessels from the Soviet Cosmos 482 spacecraft. American agencies, including the State Department, the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the United States Air Force’s (USAF) Foreign Technology Division (FTD) were equally as interested, and designated the events as “Moon Dust” unknown, or, initially unidentifiable, crashed space junk. These agencies relied on the United ’States small Defence Attach├ę in Wellington (USDAO–WEL) and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFAT) for their information, some of which has been released under America’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to researchers. What was less known is that the New Zealand Police were involved in handling the downed space junk. In an 15th of January, 2011 article, titled “Government Report On ‘Space Balls’ Released”, authored by Charlie Gates for “The Press” section of an online news service known loosely as “Stuff”, farmer Denis O’Sullivan, who found one of the objects, is quoted as saying:
“I picked it up and carried it back to the truck. It was sitting on my lap in the truck on the way back to the farm. We called the police and the first thing they did was get everyone to stay away from the scene and then a policeman hung his wristwatch over it to see if it was radioactive. I thought, ‘It's a bit late for that, it has been sitting on my lap on the way back’… …We thought it was an April Fool’s joke to start with. The police came and took it away. It caused quite a stir at the time. They treated it with great care because they were afraid it was radioactive.”
Possibly related to the above Police holdings is a file titled “Unidentified Objects of Foreign Origin”. The record number is “48/65/2” and the date range is listed as 1972 to 1973. Also, the file is listed as “Part 1”. This implies that there may be more “parts” to this file, but none are listed in the Archival system.

Also, the file is falls in a “Defence Documents” accession category, and is a considered “Restrictions May Apply” item. Importantly, the agency responsible for creating this file was the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR). The DSIR provided scientific and technical services to the New Zealand government before being dissolved and reorganised in 1992. It is likely that this file relates to the 1972 space debris re–entries discussed previously. Both the date range and the title of the file are the two main giveaways. Moreover, we know that the DSIR was involved in assessing pieces of crashed space junk shortly after they were discovered. DSIR’s involvement in space debris analysis came to light in the New Zealand press, but also through documents released by America’s Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and State Department. These two agencies produced “Moon Dust” and “UFO” reports which were released in the late 1970’s through America’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). For example, a Confidential 24th of October, 1973, State Department signal, sent from the US embassy in Wellington to the Secretary of State (SECSTATE), reads, in part:
If “Unidentified Objects of Foreign Origin” is not related to crashed space junk, then one is bound to ask if the file relates to debris from a downed aircraft of unknown origin, or a meteoric event. Failing those alternatives, the only thing remaining is something even more mysterious.

Yet another file which presumably relates to unexpected space re–entries, is “Administration File – Unidentified Flying Object Seen To Explode In Western Sky”. The record number is “0070/3” and the date range is 1983 to 1983. The controlling agency is listed as the Timaru Police Department. The title of the file would indicate something along the lines of a meteoric bolide or space debris re–entry. The date range, however, certainly rules out in relationship to the 1970’s space junk events. Failing something space borne, an unsolved aircraft explosion could be the subject of the file, though one would assume that New Zealand’s Director of Civil Aviation would be in control of the file, not the Timaru Police Department. Unfortunately, the item is categorised as “Restricted Access”, so obtaining a copy will be slow, if possible at all.

Going beyond the files I have thus far highlighted, there may be far more material held by New Zealand’s government not readily obvious to the researcher. If the experience in the United States is anything to go by, there is every possibility that important UFO records will be found in non–UFO files. To be sure, researchers in America are now accessing 1940’s and 1950’s–era military records which are indexed under “unidentified aircraft reports”, “unknown aircraft reports”, “intelligence sightings”, “security sightings”, “foreign aircraft”, “aerial weapons” and so forth. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), in Washington DC, and the United States Air Force’s (USAF) Air Force History and Research Agency (AFHRA), in Alabama, literally contain hundreds of the thousands of pages of such records, which are shelved in the operational or intelligence sections of squadron or wing–level holdings. The vast majority of these records, of course, have absolutely nothing to do with UFO’s, and are merely reports foreign or hostile aircraft, along with varying administrative assessments, security evaluations and other clerical material. However, a small percentage of these records, which still equates to thousands of pages, most certainly contain papers which would be considered UFO–related.

Even a very basic search of New Zealand’s archives contain possible leads. For example, a file titled “Northern Military District Auckland – Air And Naval Co–Operation Sighting Reports And Unidentified Aircraft – Aircraft Call Signs” would be a potential source of UFO reports or evaluation. Its record number of the file is “DAZ 205/9/S/4”. No date range is listed. The original controlling agency was the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force, and the is part of a large collection of records described as “Unit War Diaries, Unit Records and Supplementary Material”. Further, this collection was “…collected by the New Zealand Army Archives Section during the Second World War…”. Its access status is listed as “Open”.

Of possibly more interest are two Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) files created during World War Two. Their titles are “Intelligence – Intelligence re Aircraft – Reports Of Suspicious Sightings – March 1942 – August 1943” and “Intelligence – Intelligence re Aircraft – Reports of Suspicious Sightings – August 1942 – November 1944”. Both have the same record number, which is “08/19/1”, so, thus, presumably make up “Part 1” and “Part 2” of essentially the same file. The date range of both items is 1942 to 1944, and their access status is listed as “Open”. The controlling agency is simply listed as “Navy Department”. However, the files are part of a group of records described as “…sensitive Navy general correspondence” related to “…operations intelligence, personnel, security and the defence of New Zealand…”. Whether these items contain any UFO–related records, be they actual sighting reports or intelligence assessments, is entirely unknown, but it would be no surprise whatsoever if UFO’s were mentioned in some capacity.

As I highlighted at the beginning of this report, I highlighted a statement made by Wing Commander S. D. White to British researcher Timothy Good. Wing Commander White stated that the Ministry of Defence was “…not specifically charged with any formal responsibility for investigating UFOs…” and “…neither is any other government department…”. This is only partially correct. It is true that New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), nor any other government department, did not run a largescale and properly funded UFO investigation desk, but there was, for example, an official investigative committee formed in the early 1970’s. Released in 2010, “Air 244/10/1 Volume 1”, “Reports on UFOs” contains dozens of pages of administrative memoranda penned by a group called the “Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) Investigating Committee”. The scientific and technical calibre of the group speaks for itself. In August, 1972, for instance, the Chairman of the committee was the MoD’s Deputy Director of Service Intelligence, and the Secretary was a RNZAF Squadron Leader. The members included Dr E. I. Robertson, the Director–General of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR); Dr. D. C. Thompson, of the Meteorological Service; Squadron Leader A. H. Milestone, the Deputy Director of Operations, Air Traffic Control, within the Ministry of Transport; and Mr. W. J. H. Fisher, the Director of Carter Observatory. So the notion that no one within the MoD was charged with UFO investigation was misleading. It must be said that the committee never really found hard evidence for UFO’s, but that’s not the point. Rather, the group maintained a passing interest, and decided the problem was a loosely scientific matter, rather than a specific defence problem. The committee was wound up on November 4th, 1976.

As I have painstakingly aimed to elaborate on, a significant number of unseen UFO files have come to light, and some of them were maintained by agencies not known to be involved at all. The question now is one of access. On the 6th of April, 2017, I emailed the New Zealand Archives with a list of files I was interested in. On the 21st of April, 2017, Research Services Archivist Nik MacDonald–Washburn, replied, and explained the process and costs associated with file retrieval, censoring and digitisation, some of which is fairly straightforward. Unfortunately, many of the files remain in the legal custody of the original controlling agency, or whoever inherited them. Files indexed as “Restrictions May Apply” or “Restricted” need to be carefully looked at, and the researcher is tasked with approaching each individual agency to ask what can and can’t be released. This, like most government documents research, will be a slow process. The lesson learned here, yet again, is that no matter where researchers look, there are seemingly always hitherto unknown records, often classified, languishing on government shelves.