Sunday, September 28, 2008

[UFOS] "Air Force Policy Since the 1950s Has Been not to make Encouraging Remarks About this Mystery to the Public"

AFR 200-2 (B Snippet)
The economy's tanking, but ...

By Billy COx
De Void
9-26-08

Billy Cox     De Void knows what you’re thinking:

“My 401(k) is on fire. My house is worth $45,000 less than what I paid for it. I’m losing $$$ driving to work. If I lose my job, I’ll have to eat the cat. I’m tweezering the gruesome splattered chunks of my mutual funds from the fresh splinters in the walls and ceiling. Why won’t the U.S. Air Force comment on the Stephenville UFO?”

Well, forget Stephenville. Dr. Michael Swords, retired history professor at Western Michigan University, says you’d need a time machine to understand the USAF’s dysfunctional PR relationship with this stuff.

“Alexander The Great once asked Aristotle what it’d take to teach him geometry quickly,” Swords says from his home in Kalamazoo. “Aristotle said, ‘There is no royal road to geometry. And there isn’t a royal road to this, either. This is one of the most complicated fields in world history.”

You’d have to revisit the late 1960s, when the USAF was looking for a way to wriggle off the UFO accountability hook. Its mechanism was the University of Colorado study of UFOs, whose bogus conclusions that the phenomenon did not and never would produce compelling science stirred a tempest of controversy even before they were published in 1969.

Swords has spent countless hours evaluating that amazing ruse, which was endorsed by the National Academies of Science despite the fact the U of C’s dismissive conclusions were at sharp odds with raw data reflecting alarming percentages of unknown explanations for UFOs. He added his dissent to the growing body of skepticism in the Journal of UFO Studies nearly 20 years ago.

In June, Swords and Mutual UFO Network’s national research director Robert Powell traveled to Texas A&M University to examine files kept by the one of the Colorado Project’s late panelists, physical chemist Roy Craig. After sifting through 1,500 pages, they discovered even more evidence that its late director, Edward Condon, had produced a $500,000 report (in 1960s dollars, remember) designed to fit pre-assigned conclusions.

Craig stated in 1968 that Condon had drafted his recommendations “without benefit of prior reading of the other sections of the report which were by now nearing completion.”

The Colorado study’s official rendering of UFOs listed over 30 percent as unknowns. But in yet another recently retrieved 1968 memo to Condon, physicist Joseph Rush noted the disparity in the forthcoming official attitude with the facts: “This may seem an anomalous conclusion, since more of the (cases) are unexplained than explained.”

Whoa.

“The only way to write a bulletproof history is through official military documents, Freedom of Information Act documents, ironclad stuff,” says Swords. “And Air Force policy since the 1950s has been not to make encouraging remarks about this mystery to the public.

“You’ll get official statements like, ‘This incident is under investigation, we’re studying it, and there’s no need for false alarm,’ or ‘This incident has been looked into and we’ve found an explanation,’ whether it’s a balloon experiment or a flight of ducks or whatever. It’s a mistake to open your mouth up and start talking about things that are actually interesting.”

Almost as astonishing to Swords as the USAF’s ability to sustain the mindless charade for so long is the apparent behavior of the mystery that enables it.

“This phenomenon is kind of amazing, not only for what it does, but by the way it seems to gauge its impact,” Swords says. “It’s managed to be covert enough so that it doesn’t force you to admit its reality on an official, organizational structural level. It’s like this thing understands what we’re like well enough to know how far it can push without going over the top.”

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