They do it for our own good
|Props to Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers for sharing a detailed and provocative account of a 2005 UFO sighting in New Jersey. The story blew up in the sports world, even though we all know that if Blaine Gabbert or Josh Freeman had gone public with similar tales, and perhaps with even more material evidence, nobody would’ve bothered to yawn. Still, Rodgers’ story will dissolve into more immediate noise and be forgotten soon enough. Meanwhile, researchers who keep trying to hold government accountable will continue their labors in obscurity.|
Which brings us to this week’s question: Did the Federal Aviation Administration redact key portions of an audio file concerning an airline crew sighting of a UFO over Utah on January 14? That’s the not-even-mildly shocking allegation being made by retired meteorologist and researcher William Puckett, who regularly combs Uncle Sam’s radar files for weird stuff. And he’s pretty jazzed about what he found out. In fact, says Puckett, “This may be the best radar-visual case I’ve ever worked.”
It was a chance discovery, made by a nightowl Utah ham operator who randomly listened in on cockpit chatter between pilots and Air Traffic Control two months ago. He contacted Utah’s state MUFON director, who in turn brought Puckett into the conversation. Puckett queried the FAA for whatever he could get. Beaucoup data came back, enough for a reconstruction of events. The plane turned out to be an Airbus 321, aka American Airlines Flight 434. It was on the way to Philadelphia from San Francisco. Things got interesting shortly after midnight MST. That’s when the ham operator, Pat Daniels, said he heard 434 ask ATC if they were scoping a brightly illuminated bogey, somewhere below their cruising altitude of 31,000 feet. Daniels heard two bursts of dialogue spaced about a minute apart. He said ATC told the crew it had no radar on it. But that’s not true.
Puckett, whose analysis is available at his UFOs Northwest website, not only recovered the bogey’s radar tracks through FOIA. He created an animated version of those peculiar pingbacks, which cropped up in 434’s vicinity from 12:08 to 12:15 a.m. With each 12-second sweep of the radar, an object or objects got painted above Interstate 15, a few miles south of a sleepy little blip called Nephi, population 5,500. In stark contrast to the linear northeasterly course of Flight 434, the unidentified target followed an incoherent path, popping up here and there like a meth-addled whack-a-mole.
Puckett received 41 seconds of radio chatter from the FAA, recorded between 12:12 and 12:13. He posted that on his site too, but it doesn’t entirely square with what Daniels insists he heard. Flight 434 asks ATC if it’s tracking a “bright orange square.” ATC hesitates, then replies, “Uhhm, no, that’s a good question, I’m not sure what – is it off to your right side?” 434 says “It’s apparently off our nose right now” and “we’ve been watching it for awhile” and “I don’t know what it is, it’s a perfect, uh, square, it’s bright orange.” 434 asks what town they’re skirting at “2 o’clock low.” ATC says Nephi. And that’s it. No mas.
Puckett says he could’ve obtained an even more detailed profile on the mystery — like target altitude, maybe — if military bureaucrats hadn’t tightened the rules on releasable radar material a few years ago. But that’s another story. Right now, Puckett wonders, if ATC wasn’t monitoring anything unusual, why did it ask 434 if the bogey was off its right side? Because that’s exactly where it was, according to the radar map. Puckett says radar indicates ATC was locked in the whole time, and he points to a gap in the voice-recording spectrogram which — he says — indicates a block of dialogue was scrubbed out.
Puckett’s report goes on to scratch balloons, drones, false echoes, military ops, etc., from the suspect list, and again, you can run through all that on his web page. It’s worth a pause. And it raises this question: Is resolving the apparent spectrogram discrepancy worth the effort? Maybe. But not for De Void. De Void has pretty much given up on bureauville. De Void can’t even get U.S. Customs and Border Protection to declassify a UFO video that’s been on the Internet for three years.
But let’s step back for an even broader demoralizing framework, courtesy of the Associated Press. They ran with this lead on March 15, during the annual “Sunshine Week” update on the shabby state of government transparency: “The Obama administration set a record for the number of times its federal employees told disappointed citizens, journalists, and others that despite searching they couldn’t find a single page requested under the Freedom of Information Act.”
In other words: The feds couldn’t produce squat for one of every six FOIA requests that rang their customer-service bells last year. Want more? No? Seventy-seven percent of their responses either laid goose eggs or contained partially censored information — that’s 12 percent higher than Obama’s first year in office. Worst (apparent) offender? The EPA office supervising New York and New Jersey. Those working stiffs couldn’t find what people asked for 58 percent of the time.
The Customs department looks like Boy Scouts next to that; Customs was worthless just 34 percent of the time. And one more thing: To its credit, Customs admitted to De Void that it actually did find the Aguadilla UFO footage during its records search. They just have no intention of releasing it, even though it’s been seen more than 56,000 times on YouTube. What’s a good 50-cent word for that sort of spitefulness – contumacious?
Anyhow, William Puckett, good luck working the FAA. You’re a better man than I am.
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