Sunday, November 29, 2015

I’m Not A UFO Expert But I Play One on TV: Smithsonian Channel’s New Debunking Series

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I’m Not A UFO Expert But I Play One on TV: Smithsonian Channel’s New Debunking Series

By Robert Hastings
The UFO Chronicles

      Smithsonian Channel’s series UFOs Declassified, which originally aired in January 2015, is currently being rebroadcast. While attempting to appear objective—considering both sides of the UFO controversy—the carefully-crafted overall impression is that “science and logic” have clearly demonstrated that no credible evidence for UFOs as an anomalous phenomenon exists.

However, persons having a detailed knowledge of the cases covered will quickly discern that the impression is disingenuous, shaped by the misstatement of facts, the omission of other relevant facts, faux logic, and a reliance on skeptical “experts” who have never studied UFOs but nevertheless attempt to present themselves as authority figures on the topic.

One episode concerns the events at the twin bases of RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge, and nearby Rendlesham Forest, in December 1980. Despite verified reports of radioactivity at one UFO landing site, and authoritative testimony by the two U.S. Air Force air traffic controllers at Bentwaters who say they tracked a bona fide UFO, the program claims that there is “no hard evidence” to support the statements of USAF personnel who have long said that multiple UFOs were indeed present during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. (Radar data are empirical—hard evidence—as are radioactivity readings; the fact that reports detailing those data have been suppressed in no way alters this fact.)

The producers of the Smithsonian series contacted me in 2013 and asked me to participate in the Rendlesham Forest episode, presumably due to my having interviewed several former USAF personnel about their UFO sightings at the twin bases, primarily at the Bentwaters Weapons Storage Area (WSA)—a tactical or “battlefield” nuclear bomb depot—where a spherical UFO maneuvering at close range was observed by guards posted at the facility. I declined the producers’ offer, strongly suspecting a less-than-objective presentation.

Why? Smithsonian’s UFO-debunking track record was established long ago. For years, the only UFO book available at their National Air and Space Museum’s bookstore was Curtis Peebles’ Watch the Skies! A Chronicle of the Flying Saucer Myth—a notoriously facile assessment of the phenomenon based on U.S. Air Force propaganda, amateur psychoanalyzing and naked bias—published in 1994 by Smithsonian Institution Press.

Given that a long-time assistant director of the museum was Frederick C. Durant III—the CIA consultant responsible for the agency’s 1953 Robertson Panel Report, which secretly recommended that UFOs be “debunked” and further suggested that the media might play a key role toward that end—perhaps the bookstore’s choice of UFO literature is not surprising. More recently, Smithsonian Books published UFO Crash at Roswell: The Genesis of a Modern Myth. In short, anyone who hoped that the Smithsonian Channel’s UFOs Declassified television series might offer an objective assessment of the phenomenon was destined to be disappointed.

Shortly after telling the show’s producers to take a hike, I advised retired Col. Charles Halt—the highest-ranking officer to go on-the-record about UFO activity in Rendlesham Forest and the two bases—not to participate in the program as well. Fortunately, he took my advice. Last week, after I summarized the factually-inaccurate and highly-biased episode for Halt, he responded, “I'm sure you have figured it out—there's a link between the Smithsonian Channel and what I'll call the ‘group’.”1 Halt was referring to the U.S. intelligence community’s use of the mass media to spin or suppress UFO-related information, a practice thoroughly documented by the late journalist Terry Hansen in his book The Missing Times,The Missing Timeswhich is available here (click on title or image of book).

In one article, Hansen wrote, “In my book...I reported on new evidence that CBS TV was among the CIA's ‘media assets’ that participated in this covert UFO-debunking program. In 1966, CBS broadcast UFOs: Friend, Foe or Fantasy, narrated by Walter Cronkite, as part of its ‘CBS Reports’ documentary series. Cronkite assured his viewers, using false and misleading information, that all UFO reports were due to mistaken perceptions. In short, there was nothing for the public to worry about, he said. A hand-written letter by Robertson Panel member Dr. Thornton Page, discovered in the Smithsonian's archives by Prof. Michael Swords, confirms the CIA's long-suspected role in the program. In the 1966 letter, Page related to a CIA associate that he ‘helped organize the CBS TV show around the Robertson Panel's conclusions.’”2

Armchair Expert Analysis

One of the skeptics interviewed on Smithsonian’s Rendlesham Incident program, SETI astronomer Seth Shostak, mocked the idea that alien visitors—if they were indeed aboard the reported UFOs—would be interested in human military activity or show any concern over our possession of nuclear weapons, a great many of which were stored at the RAF Bentwaters Weapons Storage Area at the time, according to a former high-level NATO nuclear security specialist who I interviewed in 1994. This has been confirmed by the Natural Resources Defense Council whose 2005 report, “Nuclear Weapons in Europe”, estimated that Bentwaters’ “hot row” bunkers held up to 100 tactical nuclear bombs.3

Shostak, whose dubious insights into the behavior of alien races is best illustrated by his unshakeable conviction that those civilizations would devote time and effort to communicating with other races across the vastness of the universe via radio waves—a belief for which, after a professional lifetime of searching, he has zero evidence—is currently the go-to-guy for production companies seeking a supposedly astute-but-skeptical authority on the UFO phenomenon.

Referring to Shostak’s participation in the Smithsonian show, Col. Halt wrote, “I served on a panel with Seth. He was the least scientific ‘expert’ I've met in years. I suspect he really knows there's no reason to search the heavens when whatever or whoever is already here! He's obviously part of the problem and realizes his SETI program is a waste of money and the truth will kill it.”4

Regardless, on the program Shostak said that advanced aliens’ alleged interest in humans’ primitive nuclear weapons would be akin to “my going back to the Roman Empire and looking at the area where they make their spears”, a clearly implausible notion in his eyes. If they are “hundreds or thousands of years ahead of us”, he said, “it doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Oh yes, Seth, the Romans’ pointy-stick technology is clearly an appropriate analogy for our own potentially civilization-ending, planet-polluting nuclear weapons. Those spears’ impact on humanity’s long-term survival was exactly the same. And there is absolutely no reason why an advanced race of beings would be interested in monitoring a semi-savage, warlike species that suddenly came into possession of nuclear weapons at the same time it began developing space-faring technology. No reason at all.

Shostak’s perpetually clueless attitude toward the revelations contained in hundreds of declassified documents and scores of military witnesses’ statements—regarding a UFO-nuclear weapons link—is well-known, having been smugly expressed in both published articles and private correspondence. Those documents confirm numerous UFO incursions at nukes-related facilities—by aerial craft having capabilities orders-of-magnitude beyond human technology, according to the radar data—decade after decade.

More importantly, the military witnesses who have belatedly gone on-the-record—including former U.S. Air Force ICBM launch officers whom the U.S. government trusted to initiate World War III, if it ever came to that—have implicated UFOs in the shutting down or temporary activation of American nuclear missiles, repeatedly, during the Cold War era.

Furthermore, documents smuggled out of Russia substantiate the occurrence of such incidents at Soviet missile sites. Apparently, someone having advanced technology—an outside third party—is intent on blunting both American and Russian, uh, spear-tips.

Not that any of this is meaningful to Shostak. No, unless there was a scientist sitting in the missile launch capsule taking notes, along with the launch officers, when one of these dramatic incidents occurred, he thinks there is no reason to take seriously anything the witnesses have to say.

As the program’s narrator expressed it, all of these nuclear weapons-related UFO sightings—as reported by military eyewitnesses, including those at RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge—can be explained as due to a collective “extraordinary imagination” and a psychological “overreaction” to prosaic phenomena resulting from the witnesses’ anxiety about possible enemy penetration of nuclear sites.

The reason the Air Force suppressed these incidents, the producers claim, stemmed from the tensions of the Cold War whereby the military brass frantically attempted to hide from the Soviets the fact that persons guarding our nukes would so easily freak-out over unexplained events that, according to the narrator, cooler heads would later discover to have ordinary explanations.

Yeah, that might be the reason, Smithsonian dudes, however, the orchestrated cover-up—as confirmed by Col. Halt—was far more likely the result of the Air Force’s now-documented knowledge of, and anxiety over, the great many other UFO incidents at bases involved with nuclear weapons over the previous three decades, during which the mysterious interlopers were often tracked on radar and sometimes chased unsuccessfully by jet fighters, after first hovering at low altitude over ICBM silos, strategic bomber alert pads, and Weapons Storage Areas. Indeed, declassified files and vetted eyewitnesses, presented in my book and at my website, identify no fewer than eleven UFO incursions at such sites during the previous six years alone.

In short, by the time of the Rendlesham Forest incidents, Air Force counterintelligence agents—primarily those assigned to the Office of Special Investigations—had already debriefed hundreds of missile launch and targeting officers, bomber crews, fighter pilots, radar operators and Security Policemen regarding their knowledge of UFO activity at nuclear weapons sites. The fact that those persons’ testimony was taken deadly seriously is illustrated, in one instance, by the Air Force implementing a Security Option 3 alert for all nuclear weapons facilities in the fall of 1975, following the so-called “Northern Tier [Base UFO] Incursions.”

Maybe, just maybe, that’s the reason the Air Force chose not to publicize the events at the twin RAF bases and in the nearby forest. Far from being an embarrassing episode for the top commanders—who supposedly attempted to hide what the program’s producers portray as panicky behavior by USAF security forces—the incidents were actually the latest confirmation for those in-the-know at the Pentagon that someone, clearly not the Soviets, was intent on monitoring and even tampering with its nuclear weapons—an ominous situation that would definitely have to be kept from the American public and yes, the Russians, for as long as possible.

More Fallacious Claims

Tim Printy, another self-appointed UFO expert interviewed on the Smithsonian program, is a veteran himself, having been a career U.S. Navy submariner. Obviously confident in the wisdom of his insights, Printy helpfully noted that although the horrific effects of a nuclear blast are dramatic close-up, they would be barely noticeable “from space”. In other words, arriving aliens would surely monitor human activity from afar, perhaps from the Moon or in Earth-orbit, and probably wouldn’t even know that humans had detonated nukes—at least 2,053 times—over the past 70 years.

Printy’s irrelevant, faux-logical statement rests solely on his own steadfast rejection of the testimony of scores of veterans who insist that UFOs have hovered at low altitude over ICBM silos at Malmstrom, Minot, Ellsworth, F.E. Warren and other Air Force Bases—or those I’ve interviewed who say that several UFOs were detected on radar, maneuvering near the huge Castle Bravo hydrogen bomb mushroom cloud in the spring of 1954.

Indeed, the declassified deck log from the U.S.S. Curtiss AV-4, the Navy’s flagship during the Castle series of tests, states that on “7 April…an unidentified luminous object passed over ship from bow to stern, yellowish-orange in color, traveling at a high rate of speed and a low altitude”.5 One of those aboard, former U.S. Marine Joseph Stallings, told me that once the UFO was clear of the ship astern, it suddenly performed a series of zigzag maneuvers before racing away at extremely high speed.

So, visiting aliens would only observe our nuclear testing from space, Mr. Printy? Or perhaps you have another plausible explanation for what your fellow veterans fearlessly report? Rather than dismissing their testimony out-of-hand, as you’ve done for years, can you explain how either U.S. or Soviet technology could account for the many incidents they report? Or were they all just being “overly imaginative” when they sighted anomalous aerial craft penetrating restricted airspace over various nukes-related sites?

Regarding the Rendlesham Forest Incidents, Printy—taking his cue from statements made years ago by skeptics Phil Klass and James McGaha—claims that Col. Halt’s sighting of what appeared to be a winking, eyeball-shaped object moving through the trees, was actually the flashing beam of the nearby Orford Ness lighthouse. Printy says that because Halt’s repeated, tape-recorded exclamations, “There it is again”—when observing the periodic “winking” of the eyeball—occurred at five-second intervals, the same duration between the beam’s flashes, Halt had to have been looking at the lighthouse, not a UFO.

Of course, Printy (and the others) completely ignore the fact that Halt has publicly stated, for decades, that the UFO and lighthouse were both visible at the same time. He said, “The lighthouse was visible the whole was readily apparent, and it was 30-to-40 degrees off to our right.”6 Printy probably isn’t even aware of this fact, given that his, ahem, expertise on the Rendlesham Forest incidents primarily involves repeating the skeptical claims of others while at the same time ignoring those Air Force personnel whose eyewitness testimony undercuts his own knee-jerk rejection of the UFO reality.

Printy also ignores—or is unaware of—Halt’s statements regarding the reflection of another brightly-glowing UFO he saw in the windows of a nearby house, after the Security Police team he was leading moved from the forest into an open field. While the windows were facing Halt and the SPs, they were not facing the coast and the lighthouse and could not, therefore, reflect the Orford Ness’ flashing beam.

If the producers of the Smithsonian program were aware of these facts, which completely refute Printy’s bogus claims, they sure as hell weren’t going to share them with the audience, given their obvious intention to debunk the case.

Piling On

A third naysayer interviewed on the show, Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, delivered all of his predictably dismissive lines with his trademark smirk, undoubtedly meant to convey just how silly and pointless any discussion of UFOs is. He did, however, make one arguably valid observation: “We need physical evidence or we just don’t have a case.”

Yes, physical evidence, if it’s available, is indeed important—which is why I earlier mentioned the much-higher-than-background radiation readings taken in the three landing gear impressions found in the forest on December 26th, whose significance has been confirmed by scientists working for the British Ministry of Defence, according to retired MoD UFO specialist Nick Pope.

Although this information has been in the public domain for years, skeptics almost always ignore it or, on rare occasions, try to explain it away. This is a classic case of their moving the goalposts: fervently lamenting the lack of physical evidence in most UFO cases but then ignoring or rejecting that evidence, when it’s available, as inconclusive.

At the other end of the spectrum, one scientist who actually studied the UFO phenomenon for years, the late Dr. James E. McDonald, wrote:
From time to time in the history of science, situations have arisen in which a problem of ultimately enormous importance went begging for adequate attention simply because that problem appeared to involve phenomena so far outside the current bounds of scientific knowledge that it was not even regarded as a legitimate subject of serious scientific concern. That is precisely the situation in which the UFO problem now lies. One of the principal results of my own recent intensive study of the UFO enigma is this: I have become convinced that the scientific community, not only in this country but throughout the world, has been casually ignoring as nonsense a matter of extraordinary scientific importance.6
Courageous visionaries like McDonald are few and far between in the scientific community, while persons incapable of thinking outside of the box, like Seth Shostak, are much more numerous and far more vocal—haughtily dismissing a topic they know little or nothing about. Meanwhile, the very few scientists who have actually investigated UFOs—despite the distain and ire directed toward them by their dubious-but-uninformed colleagues—are almost always ignored by the media.

Consequently, persons such as astrophysicist Bernard Haisch or psychologist Don Donderi—who have analyzed UFO sightings and/or alien abduction reports, and have concluded that they point to anomalous phenomena worthy of study—would never be invited to participate in Smithsonian’s UFOs Declassified farce. However, for those who are interested in facts, not disinformation, their informed findings are available online or by clicking image of book at left, or here.


1. Personal communication, Charles Halt to Robert Hastings, November 16, 2015.



4. Personal communication, Charles Halt to Robert Hastings, November 16, 2015.

5. Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA), Castle Series, 1954, DNA 6035F, United States Atmospheric Nuclear Weapons Tests, p. 341.

6. Col. Charles Halt to A.J.S. Rayl, recorded interview, May 13, 1997

7. McDonald, Dr. James E. “Prepared Statement before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics”, July 29, 1968.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Air Force Pilot Reports UFOs Landing | UFO CHRONICLE – 1957

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AISS UFO Report of Joseph Long (A)
AISS UFO Report of Joseph Long (B)
AISS UFO Report of Joseph Long (C)- click on image(s) to enlarge -

By 1006th AISS
United States Air force

See Also:

UFOs, the AISS, and Air Force Interest After Blue Book

Pilot Recalls Seeing Discs

J. Allen Hynek Reports On a UFO Landing Near Nuclear Missile Site; An Air Force 'Strike Team' was Ordered To Intercept


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving - 2015!

British Policeman Claims He Was 'Abducted’ By Aliens

British Policeman Claims He Was 'Abducted’ By Aliens

By Jon Austin

     A POLICE man filed an official report to superiors that he lost time after witnessing an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) hovering overhead.

Alan Godfry, a former PC with West Yorkshire Police remains convinced he may have been abducted by aliens as he nears the 35th anniversary of the shocking series of events.

Mr Godfrey was on patrol in Todmorden in the early hours of November 28 1980, when he insists a large UFO spotted him while he was on a search for missing cattle.

The officer was in Burnley Road on the outskirts of the town looking for the farm animals that were reported missing and about to give up when he claims to have seen

what he thought was a bus approaching from a few hundred metres away.

But as he got nearer, he realised it was not the 5am commuter bus, but, instead, "a large mass".

He said at the time: "It was a fuzzy oval that rotated at such speed and hovered so low over the road that it was causing the bushes by the side to shake."

He claims he stopped to sketch the "UFO" on his note pad, but was overcome by a burst of light. [...]

UFO Incidents Over Nevada | VIDEO

UFO Incidents Over Nevada

By George Knapp , Matt Adams

     The global reputation of Nevada's Area 51 military base has meant that the Silver State is a magnet for UFO enthusiasts.

Thousands of people travel to Nevada each year to look for weird objects in the desert skies.

But the history of the UFO phenomena in Nevada extends far beyond Area 51. A new book is out which details hundreds of strange encounters with unknown objects and a creature of two.

The incidents listed in the book are not so easily explained. They've been reported dating back more than a century by credible witnesses from all walks of life.

In the early 1960s, the X-15 rocket plane flew higher and faster than anything on earth, or so we thought.

During two separate test flights over Nevada's Mud Lake, X-15 pilots encountered something that flew higher and faster.

"A different pilot saw six objects this time, described as white or silver and they took up a formation around his plane, way, way up there, so clearly these are not ours, if they are doing things that we can't do. This was a high altitude test, higher than we've ever gone," said Preston Dennett. [...]

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Multiple UFOs Reported Over Tuscon

Multiple UFOs Reported Over Tuscon 11-8-2015

By Roger Marsh

     An Arizona witness at Tucson reported watching a group of about 20 copper spheres moving rapidly north to south about 30 feet off of the ground that appeared to change color, according to testimony in Case 72636 from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.

The event occurred beginning about 9 p.m. on November 8, 2015.

“A group of gray to copper forms was observed at approximately 30 feet altitude,” the witness stated.“The forms were in a V formation and moved quickly, silently and unwaveringly from north to south. We observed for approximately 10 seconds.”

The witness described the objects.

“Shapes changed from ovoid to spherical while maintaining V formation. The individual forms were approximately three feet across. At first the color was a dull gray and shifted to a reflective copper. There was a churning motion within the formation with individual spheres rotating from the outer part of the formation to the V.”

UFO Caused Traffic Accident? | UFO CHRONICLE – 1972

UFO Caused Traffic Accident?

By Roger Marsh

     A Texas witness at LaPorte recalled a 1972 encounter with a sphere-shaped UFO that caused damage to the vehicle, according to testimony in Case 72491 from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.

The encounter occurred on August 8, 1972, although the exact highway location is not named in the public portion of the MUFON report, which was filed on November 14, 2015.

“I was in my car in the left lane of two – traveling at 55 mph – when suddenly my left front fender dropped down and bottomed out and then my car was pushed perfectly sideways into the right lane.”

The startled driver said he reacted with a left turn of the steering wheel while he heard the sounds of tires screeching.

“When I realized I had been pushed, I looked into the rear view mirror and could not understand what I was looking at.”

The witness described the object.

“I saw a clear or transparent 20-foot orb in the median that was rippling and distorting scenery behind it with a 4-foot tall and 3-foot wide, egg-shaped sphere inside just a few feet above median. Inside of the inner sphere were large, bright, slow wiggling electrical bolts ‘spaghettied’ together. As soon as the clear orb stopped wiggling everything was transparent or invisible.” [...]

Mars Likely To Become a Ringed Planet

Mars Likely To Become a Ringed Planet
By Nola Taylor Redd

     Mars may one day have rings similar to Saturn's famous halo, new research suggests.

In a few tens of millions of years, the Red Planet may completely crush its innermost moon, Phobos, and form a ring of rocky debris, according to the new work. Phobos is moving closer to Mars every year, meaning the planet's gravitational pull on the satellite is increasing. Some scientists have theorized that Phobos will eventually collide with Mars, but the new research suggests that the small moon may not last that long. [...]

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

New Bentwaters UFO Witness Goes on the Record: Former USAF Security Policeman Saw Orb Maneuver Over Parked Aircraft

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UFO Over A-10's at RAF Bentwater

By Robert Hastings
The UFO Chronicles

     Over the past 42 years I have interviewed more than 150 military veterans regarding their involvement in nuclear weapons-related UFO incidents at various bases around the world. My book, UFOs and Nukes Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, provides a comprehensive summary of their revelations. My website presents excerpts from it, as well as interviews with veterans whose experiences were only brought to my attention after the book was published in 2008. Declassified documents verifying the existence of a UFO-nuclear weapons connection are also available for inspection.

A number of those veterans describe UFO incursions at nuclear weapon depots, primarily the many U.S. Air Force Weapons Storage Areas (WSAs) including those at Malmstrom, Loring, Wurtsmith, F.E. Warren, Kirtland and Fairchild AFBs, as well as at the RAF Bentwaters base in England.

Former Air Force personnel who witnessed a UFO presence at Bentwaters, its sister base RAF Woodbridge, and nearby Rendlesham Forest, continue to come forward. In September 2015, I interviewed former Security Policeman (SP) Steven D. Wagner, who not only discovered what appeared to be landing gear impressions in the forest—perhaps even earlier than those reported by former SP Jim Penniston on December 26th—but also witnessed a two-foot diameter spherical object maneuver above several A-10 aircraft parked at the Bentwaters base. Moments later, the orb suddenly split into three smaller spheres, according to Wagner, all of which vanished in a flash of light.

Significantly, the second event occurred some six months before the now-famous Rendlesham Forest UFO incidents in December 1980, and is only the most recent report of UFO activity at the twin bases in the weeks and months prior to and following them. Wagner said,
I can't tell you if this ever made the blotter. I think CSC (Central Security Control) and everyone else was laughing too hard to take it seriously. According to Ken Kern, who was a sergeant at the time, it occurred on 15 June 1980. [Former SP Kern kept a personal record of unusual events at the twin bases on index cards. –RH]

Typically, weekend mid-shifts were a boring affair; if you were lucky enough to be assigned post with someone you were friends with then you could pass the night enjoyably. Saturdays were tolerable due to some limited flight line activity, but Sundays were miserable. But this particular Sunday was pretty eventful. Shift started with guardmount, which is a pre-shift formation where the flight chief and flight commander gauge each SP's fitness for duty that day, share any pertinent security updates, and to give out post assignments.

This night, Charles M. Campbell and I, both Airman 1st Class at the time, were assigned to Alpha 2 ART (Area Response Team) on the TAPA, or Tactical Alert Parking Area, at Bentwaters. Alpha 2 is a roving vehicle patrol within the Alpha alert parking area for A-10 Warthog aircraft. Airman Michael LaBrucherie was assigned Alpha 1 which is the gate post...

The specific time-frame of the occurrence I can't pinpoint for you—it's been 35 years! I can tell you it started sometime around 0230-0300. I stepped out of the patrol vehicle and stepped to the side of the maintenance buildings to relieve myself. There was a berm that ran behind the buildings, the entire length of them. I noticed ‘lights’ in the trees behind the berm and went to investigate. I called-in to report this; Chas got the transmission and came running. For some reason I can't explain the SRT (Security Response Team) took forever to get there and, by the time they did, it was over.

A large orb, reddish-orange in color, and roughly the size of a large beach ball, rose from the sparse trees behind the berm and moved into the Alpha Area, at which time I almost freaked out. LaBrucherie was now able to see it and babbled over the radio about the area being penetrated. The orb hovered briefly over each of the A10s. The damn thing was within arm’s reach of the aircraft. When Chas and I finally got somewhat close to it, it moved outside the fence line with unbelievable speed, rose to about 30 or 40 feet off the ground, split into three separate orbs and, with a blinding flash, disappeared. All that could be seen, from the top of the berm, were two very startled deer.

The SRT finally got there, and of course Chas, Mike, and I all looked like fools. Because I was deemed the one who initiated this, I caught hell. After we were relieved at the end of shift I cornered MSGT Ron Faile to plead my case. I was concerned about a [Personnel Reliability Program] review and decertification. But the Rendlesham Forest Incident (RFI) fixed that. I use the acronym to refer to the entire week of UFO activity. When others started reporting strange things, I was off the hook.

My involvement in the RFI was limited in scope. But I believe I was the first to report activity on RAF Woodbridge that week. I would like to say that this occurred on Tuesday, December 23rd, but I'm not positive. Senior Airman Robert ‘Bobby Bo’ Beauchamp and I were assigned as the SRT for Woodbridge that night. The gate guard—his name escapes me but he was from Arkansas and we nicknamed him Elmer because he resembled Elmer Fudd—was posted to the last parking area nearest East Gate. I do not recall who the ART was that night.

Elmer called us to his post saying he saw something come down in the forest outside East Gate. The approximate position would have been roughly ENE of the gate post, maybe. I believe it was TSGT James Middlebrooks who was in charge of Woodbridge SPs that night. He, Bob Beauchamp and I ventured outside East Gate to do a cursory investigation regarding ‘flashing lights’ in the forest. We reported seeing nothing of note and returned to post.

We did, however, come across a curious thing. In a clearing that was roughly 30 feet in diameter there were a slew of tree branches scattered on the ground which appeared to have been sheared clean-off the surrounding trees and in the center of all this were three depressions that were spaced about 12-feet apart and formed a triangle.

Now keep in mind, it wasn't until the [1991] Unsolved Mysteries program about RFI that I realized what we'd discovered that night. I know it was the exact same spot. Jim Penniston and John Burroughs will swear that we were not on alert status during this period, but that's not true. I was in those woods the first night of RFI as a part of a recall due to the activities that week.
At this, I responded, “You say you think the depressions in the ground that you found were the same ones that Penniston and Burroughs found later on. Could they have been another landing site? How do you know it was the ‘exact same spot’?”

Wagner replied, “It could have been another site, however based on the conversation I had with Col. Halt recently, I have some doubt about that. He described the area, mentioned landmarks that I was familiar with and placed himself in the same area with relation to East Gate that I was in on the 23rd of December. The only thing that would make me doubt this is the claim of burn marks on the trees; I do not recall the trees being scorched.”

I then asked, “Did you and the others report what you found?” Wagner replied, “I said nothing to anyone in regards to this; an irresponsible response on my part, largely due to the razzing I took after reporting my June 1980 sighting. As far as I know, TSGT Middlebrooks didn’t either. No discussion about this ever took place between us.”

I then asked, “Regarding the date, on what do you base your belief that it occurred on the 23rd? The Penniston/Burroughs UFO encounter occurred at approximately 3 a.m. on the 26th. At some point thereafter, Penniston found the three depressions and later took plaster casts of them. The widely-held assumption has always been that the landing pad marks were created that night, as the triangular craft set down on the ground. If your discovery did indeed take place on the 23rd, then there had to have been a landing in that area some three days prior to Penniston's discovery. Of course, there is no reason why this couldn't have happened, but I am just trying to imagine a plausible scenario and timeline that would account for everyone's observations.”

Wagner replied, “If memory serves me the 23rd was our last mid-shift on B Flight, this would make the 26th our last day of break and would also explain our recall.” If he’s correct, then the events in Rendlesham Forest in late December 1980 began even earlier than previously thought. In the context of the reported UFO activity occurring much earlier that year, as well as those following the now well-known events, such a revelation should not be too surprising.

Monday, November 23, 2015

NORAD and The UFO Smokescreen (Pt 5)

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NORAD and The UFO Smokescreen (Pt 5)

Paul Dean By Paul Dean

      This is Part 5 of an ongoing series regarding the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and their involvement UFO phenomenon. I have already detailed over a dozen pages of declassified military documents that show us that tangible UFO events have come to the attention of NORAD. The first four posts in my series can be found here:
NORAD and The UFO Smokescreen (Pt 4)

NORAD and The UFO Smokescreen (Pt 3)

NORAD and The UFO Smokescreen (Pt 2)

NORAD and The UFO Smokescreen (Pt 1)
Dealing with NORAD is not easy. Normally, one would request information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from an American government agency, or under the Access to Information Act (ATIA) from a Canadian government agency. However, NORAD is a “bi-national” organisation, and the governments involved decided to “exempt” it from either FOIA or ATIA in 1982. However, the US’s Northern Command (NORTHCOM), who partly controls NORAD, can process FOI requests for NORAD records – but everything is on NORAD’s terms. The actual response one gets from the NORTHCOM FOIA and Privacy Act Requester Service Center at Peterson Air Force Base for NORAD records is, except in exceedingly rare cases:

“NORAD as a bi-national organization is not subject to FOIA.
No search of records will be conducted.”

With a statement like that, what hope does anyone have of obtaining NORAD records (be they radar data analysis reports, position statements, operational reports, etc) regarding UFO activity? In due course, I will explore this at much greater length. Despite this information vacuum, a number of NORAD records have been released during the last few decades. In this post I will focus on airspace management and so-called “air breathing” events. In the next post I will focus on space-based issues. Also, much of the following findings, unlike my previous NORAD-related posts, have only been possible due to the ceaseless efforts of British research, colleague and friend David Charmichael. Together we have managed to discover more about NORAD and the UFO matter than has been discovered for some time.

Currently, NORAD is divided in eight areas known as “J Directorates”. “J2” and “J3” are of most importance to us. J2 is the Directorate of Intelligence, and J3 is the Directorate of Operations. Furthermore, within J3 there are a number of divisions. We have ascertained that the “Aerospace Operations Division” is responsible for the unknown tracks, and, thus, the UFO matter. This division is known as number “3”. So, when written in official documentation, the whole abbreviation is “J33” or sometimes “J3(3)”. On top of that, there is further breakdown of the J33 area, but the details seem to be classified. We have, however, managed to find out that there is an sub-division of J33 called “Airspace Management” which could be of importance. It is known as the “C” sub-division of J33, written as J33C. We also know of other areas of NORAD that appear to be significant to the UFO matter, as we shall soon see.

As for official NORAD documentation, two tantalising Instructions I have on file are “NI 10-5 (OPERATIONS) IDENTIFICATION OF AIR TRAFFIC”, dated 31st January, 1996, and “NI10-19 (OPERATIONS) AEROSPACE REPORTING SYSTEM”, dated 12 April 1996. Both Instructions are promulgated “BY ORDER OF CINCNORAD” – The Commander-in-Chief of NORAD. The introduction section of “NI 10-5 (OPERATIONS) IDENTIFICATION OF AIR TRAFFIC” states:
“This instruction describes how to identify airborne objects, to include aerial drug trafficking, with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) system.”

Section 2.1 states:

“NORAD regions attempt to identify all detected airborne objects (tracks) approaching the North American Continent…”
Below is the first page of NI 10-5 (OPERATIONS) IDENTIFICATION OF AIR TRAFFIC. It may be worth noting that David Charmicahel and I feel that this publication could still be classified, or, was re-classified after a careless release. I have chosen to publish anyway:

NI 10-5 (Operations) Identification of Air Traffic (pg 1)

The following pages continue in sectioned point form, and reveal that NORAD – at least in the late 1990’s and into the 2000’s – categorised tracks as either “Friendly” or “Non-Friendly”. These categories are further subdivided into the classifications, “Unknown”, “Interceptor”, “AWACS”, “Special”, “Hostile” or “Faker”. Finally, a track that is awaiting classification is designated “Pending”. Tracks that remain “Unknown” – despite all attempts to identify them – are designated "NORAD Remaining Unknown”, or “NRU”. These events are – or were in the past – rapidly entered on a form known as NORAD Form 61: Unknown Track Report. One wonders how many of these “unknowns” have been bona-fide UFO’s. All “Unknown” and “NRU” events have always been classified SECRET. Also, some of the raw data used to be kept in a special NORAD database titled “NORAD Unknown Track Reporting System” and abbreviated to “NUTR”. Discovered by researchers Robert Todd and Barry Greenwood in 1989, NORAD released a general description page of this system after persistent enquiries and FOI requests. The database contained details of seven thousand unknown tracks compiled between 1971 and 1990. Below is an image of the database descriptor page begrudgingly released in 1990:

Accession Number - 339 (NORAD Unknown Track Reporting System)

Upon discovering this database, Robert Todd immediately asked NORAD for a release of the contents of the database and was furnished with a series of almost entirely redacted database print outs. The columns were labelled as “HOW ID”, “Sum of Count of TRK #” and “Sum of Sum of # OBJ”. Also, a breakdown for, presumably, “Remaining Unknowns” is visible. But that’s it. The rest of the details – method of detection and verification, altitude and speed of object(s), place of last detection, etc – was blacked out. I am currently asking NORAD to release this old information, and I will discuss that in a later blog post. Below is an example of the database print out of unknown tracks and remaining unknowns. In this page, a total of 95 unknown tracks is listed, with 98 objects detected. This page seems to be results for a single NORAD Region, or, a USAF Air Division with direct data feed to NORAD. The time period is perhaps 6 months or 12 months of events, but we never found out, and NORAD weren’t offering to tell us.


Do NORAD actual study these events further? After years of speculation it turns out that NORAD do indeed investigate these occurrences further, despite having indicated otherwise – and now we have it in black-and-white. The above mentioned Instruction indicates that NORAD’s Air Defense Operations Centre (ADOC) passes relevant unknown track data on to a specialist area. Specifically, section 11.1 states:
The ADOC sends a copy of these reports to the Centre for Aerospace Analysis (N/SPANA).
The Centre for Aerospace Analysis? N/SPANA? We know very little about this organisation, expect that it appears to have been a “joint” area between both NORAD and the old United States Space Command (SPACECOM). In fact, “N/S” (in the organisational code “N/SPANA”) almost certainly stands for “NORAD/SPACECOM”. SPACECOM was absorbed into the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) in 2002. Interestingly, in 1995, British researcher Armen Victorian received a reply to one of his enquiries to NORAD which stated:
“The Aerospace Analysis Directorate of US Space Command does perform analysis on NORAD Unknown Track Reports... ….they perform their analysis under the auspices of their NORAD role, utilising a dedicated NORAD data base.”
This information given to Armen Victorian matches what we know from the NI 10-5 Instruction. Maybe the titles “Centre for Aerospace Analysis” and “Aerospace Analysis Directorate” are the same thing, just with lazy or interchangeable title referencing.

What does any of this matter? It matters because it proves both NORAD and SPACECOM were jointly handling unknown track data above-and-beyond initial detection and plotting. We only have the 1996 version of NI 10-5 (OPERATIONS) IDENTIFICATION OF AIR TRAFFIC so much of this information is twenty years old, but it is a lot more than we knew before. Vague rumours have abounded for decades that NORAD investigated the UFO issue, but now we have something concrete. Obtaining a current copy of this publication has met with difficulty – and that’s putting it mildly. Either way, it would be very surprising if NORAD were not still passing significant unknown track information – UFO data in its purest form – to technical specialists in dedicated cells.

Another NORAD Instruction which directly relates to the UFO matter is “NI10-19 (OPERATIONS) AEROSPACE REPORTING SYSTEM”. It states:
This instruction outlines the procedures to report surveillance, tactical action, and supporting information to Commander in Chief, North American Aerospace Defense Command (CINCNORAD) and subordinate NORAD commanders.
Chapter 6 of this Instruction, titled “Track Reporting”, begins:
6.1. Purpose. Track reporting provides significant air activity information to the NMCC and CINCNORAD through the NORAD Air Defense Operations Center (ADOC). The information is essential for the proper execution of NORAD's mission of warning and attack assessment, air sovereignty and air defense.
Further on, in section 6.2.3. it is stated:
….Information on all Unknown tracks must be immediately electronically forward told. The completed Form 61 will be forwarded NLT 1 hour after final action is completed unless otherwise directed by the ADOC. Information on any track, regardless of classification, perceived to be a threat (e.g. foreign military combat aircraft) or of national interest will immediately be electronically and voice forwarded to the ADOC.
And, just to be sure:
6.2.5. NORAD agencies use Form 61 to record air activity information on Unknown, Special 17 and 21 tracks.
So, at least some years ago, this “Form 61” – or, full title, “NORAD Form 61: Unknown Track Report” – is an item of the utmost importance. Containing real-time, accurate data on “unknowns”, and studied further by whatever “N/SPANA” became, or possibly a sub-division of the current J33 area of NORAD, these sets of data could be brimming with real UFO cases that need, in my view, to see the light of day. Apparently, however, Form 61’s are kept for only five years. Below is an image of a 1977 Form 61. Obtaining a more recent version has met with difficulty:

1977 Form 61

Now that I have dealt with NORAD’s atmospheric detections and study of unknowns, I will move on to space-based events in the next blog post of this series. Beyond that, I will continue to highlight what how NORAD play the game now – in 2015 – with myself and David Charmichael. Much effort has gone into this work, and, like so much in the UFO topic, more questions are raised than there are enough answers for.