Saturday, July 02, 2022

Zechel's UFOlogical Naked Emperor at the CIA

Zechel's UFOlogical Naked Emperor at the CIA

     As obituaries go, it's about as nondescript as you can imagine, its 120 words painting a silhouette of a man who, unbeknownst to the uninitiated reader, managed to accumulate more enemies than friends during his 63 years on planet Earth.

Well, I'm talking not about UFOlogical iconoclast James W. Moseley (publisher-editor of the gossipzine "Saucer Smear") but about one of Moseley's unfavored acquaintances -- W. Todd Zechel, who according to "Smear's" Oct. 10, 2008, issue, died in relative obscurity on Nov. 14, 2006. (Moseley, of course, remains with us, headed toward octohood.) Both men had been
Larry Bryant
By Larry Bryant
The UFO Chronicles
cigarette-smokers; in Zechel's case, his obesity and smoking probably caused him to sustain a stroke several years before his demise.

In his later years, Zechel (who might've enjoyed being called the "Colombo of UFOlogy") had a tacit but nevertheless self-destructive approach to interpersonal relations: if you can't successfully attack your enemies, then just go ahead and attack your friends. Somehow, "Todd the God" (as he liked to be called) viewed me as a friend -- one who, alas, could be regularly exploited whenever Zechel felt so inclined.

If Zechel could lay claim to any lasting self-descriptor, it might go like this: "The Ultimate practitioner of the strategy called 'the end justifies the means.'" Even so, he possessed a folksy, ribald sense of humor, a slightly commendable irreverence toward official authority, an abundant talent for stalking/milking his research prey, and an enviable knack for writing.

It was in the latter category that I received my final word from him -- cranked out via an e-mail message addressed to me and to several other persons on May 8, 2006. (Having no computer of his own, he relied on the communal computer service at his local public library.) His message consisted of an essay titled "The CIA's Most Secret Counterintelligence Project: The Condon Committee." One of his e-correspondents at the time -- Frank Riccardi, director of the [now defunct] UFO-research web site of eyepod dot org -- has posted the essay's contents as part of the Eyepod's online newsletter called The Alien Chronicles -- Issue 2-23.

In light of recent rumors about the U. S. Central Intelligence Agency's (alleged) interference with the (alleged) plans by certain U. S. Navy insiders to jump-start some official U. S. disclosure of the extraterrestrial presence (allegedly via a series of high-level talks at secret UN-sponsored venues), I'm presenting, below, the text of Zechel's j'accuse smoking gun -- as a sort of elongated epitaph.

Meantime, readers desiring to learn more about Zechel's investigatory projects will find his biographic sketch and other reprinted material at the Internet Archive site.

By W. Todd Zechel
Investigative Journalist
Former NSA/ASA Communications Specialist
(c) 2006

     When the U. S. Air Force, under Congressional pressure, appointed Dr. Edward U. Condon of the University of Colorado to head a purported "independent scientific study of UFOs" in 1966, it was the end result of the CIA secretly taking charge of UFO intelligence in late 1957, having gained control of "'scientific intelligence" within the intelligence community. Between 1958 and 1966, the Air Force had been stuck in the publicly humiliating position of having to pretend it was the U.S. government agency responsible for studying UFO sightings and related events for whatever intelligence could be obtained. But in reality it was the CIA that had wrestled control away from the USAF by proving to the National Security Council (NSC) that the Air Force had completely bungled the job and was incapable of handling it without covering itself in proverbial eggs.

Dr. Condon had worked on the ultra-secret Manhattan Project during WW II, helping develop the Atomic Bomb. Later he became the head of the National Bureau of Standards, which assisted in American scientific, technical development. But in early 1951 he suddenly left the Bureau to become the director of research and development at Corning Cookware in upstate New York. But unlike the previous director, Condon did not specialize in developing pots and pans at Corning; but instead he spent his time developing missile and rocket nose cones and heat shields/ablation shields for America's space program -- Condon had been and was a key member of the National Aeronautics Advisory Committee (NACA), the forerunner of NASA. In fact, Condon is reputed (within supersecret circles) to have based his heat shield developments on the analysis of recovered extraterrestrial material*, after he left the National Bureau of Standards at the behest of President Truman.

In reality, Condon was chosen to head the UFO study in order to get the Air Force off the hook, the USAF being in the position whereby it had to pretend it was studying UFOs, while behind the scenes and in secret the CIA was conducting the real study. In point of fact, the CIA would utilize the Condon Committee to collect UFO intell, while at the same time promising the USAF it would ultimately debunk and dismiss UFOs, which was done in what became known as "The Condon Report."

In February 1967, Condon and four other scientists associated with his study secretly met with CIA officials at the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) in downtown Washington, D.C., where U-2, SR-71, and satellite spy photos were analyzed utilizing state-of-the-art computer enhancement techniques. After being briefed and given a dog-and-pony show by NPIC's founder and director, Art Lundahl, who implored Condon's group to obtain some good UFO photos/films for NPIC to study, Condon issued a nationwide appeal through the media for citizens to send the Condon Committee UFO photos/films to assist the purported "impartial" study of UFOs, post-haste. In reality, the photographic evidence was being sought for the CIA to further its secret study of UFOs, on-going since the early 1950s but without a mandate until late 1957.

In April 1967, a Condon Committee researcher, Dr. Gerald Rothberg of Stevens Institute, Hoboken, N.J., was dispatched to Harrisburg, Penn., to investigate an on-going local UFO flap. Accompanying Rothberg, disguised as research assistants, were two covert CIA officers, one of whom was Fred Durant, a highly experienced and knowledgeable CIA Office of Scientific Intelligence officer who typically operated under a cover of being a civilian scientist, lastly with Avco-Everett Research Lab, where he was reputed to be conducting R&D with recovered E.T. material*. Durant and his partner brought with them a van load of high-tech detection equipment such as frequency scanners, plus advanced photographic gear. The CIA men mounted a special "all-sky" tracking camera atop Harrisburg's largest hospital, interviewed local civilian UFO witnesses, and met with the Harrisburg chapter of NICAP, then the nation's largest and most influential civilian UFO group, headed by an anti-UFO secrecy activist, Maj. (Ret) USMC, Donald Keyhoe.

Condon's most valuable service to the CIA, however, began in 1968 when another Condon Committee press release invited Soviet Union scientists to participate in his purported "independent scientific study" of UFOs. Condon was just dangling bait for the CIA, trying to get Soviet officials into a "non-aggression" treaty on UFOs. Subsequently, Condon "researchers" -- some of whom were covert CIA officers -- met with Soviet Bloc scientists in Eastern Europe, where the treaty parlay was set in motion.

According to information provided in confidence to the author by the late Art Lundahl, founder and original director of the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC), the highly proficient CIA center where U-2, SR-71, and satellite recon photos were analyzed, in February 1969 a high-ranking Soviet KGB official flew to Washington, D. C., in order to meet with the CIA hierarchy and work out a sort of non-aggression pact on UFOs whereby each side would pledge not to falsely claim the UFOs hovering over the other's sensitive military installations were secret devices which belonged to them. This pact was put in place in order to try to prevent an accidental nuclear exchange or war triggered by UFO intrusions and overflights.

Interestingly, Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, the CIA's first director in 1947, was very vociferous about the dangers of accidental nuclear war triggered by UFO intrusions and overflights, either in the Soviet Union or America -- to the point he allowed NICAP Director Don Keyhoe to publicly quote him warning as such while he served on Keyhoe's NICAP Board of Governors. It's not known if the Admiral ever learned of the ultra-secret "non-aggression" pact between the Russians and Americans, signed in 1969, but he must have breathed a sigh of relief if he did.

In the end, the Condon Report, released in late 1969, was a classic example of CIA disinformation, for it not only dismissed UFOs but also called for the USAF to cease investigating them, no matter how concerned about UFO intrusions witnesses might be.

Thereafter, UFO intelligence became a matter for the CIA to secretly collect and analyze, even though in the fall of 1975 UFOs were buzzing USAF SAC B-52 bases and missile sites, hovering over and, in the Air Force's own words, "demonstrating a clear intent toward nuclear weapons."

Thereafter, UFO intelligence became a matter for the CIA to secretly collect and analyze, even though in the fall of 1975 UFOs were buzzing USAF SAC B-52 bases and missile sites, hovering over and, in the Air Force's own words, "demonstrating a clear intent toward nuclear weapons."

But Fred Durant, author of the CIA's Robertson Panel Report in 1953, perceived the greatest danger of UFO activity was the public and news media attention given to them. Durant had outlined a program of debunking and downplaying UFOs in order to prevent what he called "a morbid national psychology," which might foster "a harmful distrust of duly constituted authority."

The Condon Report sealed the lid on the coffin in which the truth about UFOs was buried. However, the UFO or flying saucer misinformation war between the U. S. and the USSR had been on--going since about 1950. The Soviets had suspected from the early days of saucer sightings in America that it was all a misinformation game designed to scare them into believing the U. S. had developed some sort of fantastic secret aerial weapon (which the USAF tried to reinforce by loudly proclaiming it was developing the AVRO disc** in the early 1950s). Conversely, in America some top scientific advisors to the Air Force [demurred] -- such as Dr. Anthony Mirarchi at the Air Force Geophysics Lab in Cambridge, Mass., which was receiving films of UFOs shot at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., shot by telescopic tracking cameras; Mararchi knew the UFOs surveilling White Sands were real but was convinced they were an amazing technological advancement by the Soviets.

The Soviets had gone so far as to stage an "accidental" exposure of a supposedly "Top Secret" schematic of a (bogus) Soviet-built flying saucer to an American spy in Moscow in 1950. Then in 1953 the Russians tried to reinforce this misinformation by planting a story in a Vienna, Austria, newspaper which claimed a flying saucer had crashed on Norway's Spitzbergen Island, and it had Russian markings on internal parts and matched almost exactly the bogus schematic exposed to an American spy in Moscow in 1950.

After Condon had buried the truth about UFOs with the study he headed and the report it generated, all designed to get the Air force off the hook and take UFO research underground where the CIA would answer to no-one, the public was only partly persuaded; but academia and politicians swallowed it like the proverbial hook, line, and sinker. Now, however, all manner of nonsense became part of the public forum on UFOs; but still, in spite of Fred Durant's gloomy predictions, America did not fall apart, the Soviet Union did.

The CIA's motto, borrowed from the Bible, says: "Know ye the truth, and the truth shall set ye free." Sadly, America has yet to be set free by learning the truth about UFOs being withheld by the CIA and other U. S. government agencies.

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* Note: The E.T. material studied and mentioned in this report has nothing whatsoever to do with the Roswell, N. M., incident of 1947, which was in truth the debris from the crash of a cluster of six balloons launched June 14, 1947, from White Sands as part of a Top Secret experiment to develop a recoverable sniffer of atomic tests in the Soviet Union. [LWB note: this being Zechel's bias favoring the contentious Mogul balloon theory for the Roswellian crash-retrieval/cover-up case.]

** The AVRO disc was just part of a U.S. Air Force attempt to misinform/mislead the Soviets, which started about 1953, when the USAF let a contract to Canada's A. V. Roe aviation company purportedly to build a flying saucer for only a few hundred thousand dollars. It was all a hoax designed to fool the Russians and the American public! [LWB note: The U. S. Army also had a hand in that multi-$m R&D contract. Indeed, one of the two "AVROcar's" prototypes became, back in the mid-sixties, an exhibit on the grounds of the U. S. Army Transportation Museum in Fort Eustis, Va.]

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

How the UAP Task Force Analyzed Tic Tac and Gimbal UFO Videos

How the UAP Task Force Analyzed Tic Tac and Gimbal UFO Videos

     In this portion of the interview, Dr. Travis Taylor told us about how the UAP Task Force analyzed the now-famous Tic Tac and Gimbal UFO videos recorded by the US Navy in 2004 and 2015, and offers an explanation for why many UFO videos appear to be fuzzy.
By George Knapp

George Knapp: When you join the task force, do you go back and look at some of the cases they’ve already been studying? For example, Tic Tac and Gimbal?

Dr. Travis Taylor: Absolutely, in fact, I’ve studied all of those in great detail. And actually, I’m doing a new analysis, since I’ve retired with the data that’s available to the public on the Gimba video. And it’s clear from the Gimbal video that there are things in that are not typical of aviation vehicles.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Giant Sunspot May Blast M-Class Solar Flares Towards Earth

Giant Sunspot May Blast M-Class Solar Flares Towards Earth

The fast-growing sunspot doubled in size in 24 hours and may produce medium-class flares.
     A sunspot nearly triple the size of Earth is within firing range of our planet, and may send out medium-class flares in the near future.

By Elizabeth Howell
"Yesterday, sunspot AR3038 was big. Today, it's enormous," Tony Phillips, the author of (opens in new tab), wrote on Wednesday (June 22).

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

NASA Announces Their UFO / UAP Investigation Will Focus on 8 Questions

NASA Announces Their UFO / UAP Investigation Will Focus on 8 Questions


NASA Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Independent Study

     On June 9, 2022, NASA announced that the agency is commissioning a study team to examine unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) – that is, observations of events in the sky
that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena – from a scientific perspective. The study will focus on identifying available data, how best to collect future data, and how NASA can use that data to move the scientific understanding of UAPs forward. This webpage is designed as a resource to provide updates on the UAP Independent Study.

Public Briefings and Presentations

On June 9, 2022, Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen presented an update on NASA’s Science Program to a joint meeting of the National Academies Space Studies Board and Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, which included an outline of NASA’s UAP Independent Study.


The UAP Independent Study shall report on the following questions:

NASA leads the world in exploration and is committed to rigorous scientific inquiry. Consistent with NASA’s principles of openness, transparency, and scientific integrity, NASA is establishing the UAP Independent Study as a means to secure the counsel of community experts across diverse areas on matters relevant to potential methods of study of unidentified aerial phenomena. The UAP Independent Study serves as a community-based, interdisciplinary forum for soliciting and coordinating community analysis and input and providing advice.

Statement of Task

1). What types of scientific data currently collected and archived by NASA or other civilian government entities should be synthesized and analyzed to potentially shed light on the nature and origins of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP)?

2). What types of scientific data currently collected and held by non-profits and companies should be synthesized and analyzed to potentially shed light on the nature and origins of UAP?

3). What other types of scientific data should be collected by NASA to enhance the potential for developing an understanding of the nature and origins of UAP?

4). Which scientific analysis techniques currently in production could be employed to assess the nature and origins of UAP? Which types of analysis techniques should be developed?

5). In considering the factors above, what basic physical constraints can be placed on the nature and origins of UAP?

6). What civilian airspace data related to UAPs have been collected by government agencies and are available for analysis to a) inform efforts to better understand the nature and origins of UAPs, and b) determine the risk of UAPs to the National Air Space (NAS)?

7). What current reporting protocols and air traffic management (ATM) data acquisition systems can be modified to acquire additional data on past and future UAPs?

8). What potential enhancements to future ATM development efforts can be recommended to acquire data concerning future reported UAPs to assist in the effort to better understand the nature and origin of the UAPs?

Appointment of Members

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, in consultation with NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, will appoint the Chair and members of the UAP Independent Study for terms of up to one year. Diversity of thought shall be a factor in determining the composition of the UAP Independent Study. The UAP Independent Study will have approximately eight to twelve members chosen with an appropriately broad range of expertise; experience; employer types and sizes; and individual demographics. The membership will consist of experts drawn from U.S. academic, independent, and commercial institutions. Members of the UAP Independent Study who are not Regular Government Employees (RGE) will be designated Special Government Employees (SGE) or Representatives. A NASA civil servant will be appointed as the Designated Federal Officer and Executive Secretary of the UAP Independent Study.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Signal From Advanced Alien Civilization Might Have Been Detected?

Signal From Advanced Alien Civilization Might Have Been Detected

     Scientists in China say they have detected what could be the trace of a signal from an alien civilization.

The researchers have identified what they have called
By Ed Browne
"suspicious" signals from space as part of a search for evidence of aliens, and work is ongoing to determine that they might be.

The signals were detected by China's FAST radio telescope, also referred to as the "Sky Eye" telescope

Saturday, June 11, 2022

NASA to Set Up Independent Study On UFOs / UAP

NASA Joins the Hunt for UFOs

The scientific study follows separate efforts
by the Pentagon and intelligence agencies
     NASA is commissioning a study team to start early in the fall to examine unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) – that is, observations of events in the sky that cannot be identified as
aircraft or known natural phenomena – from a scientific perspective. The study will focus on identifying available data, how best to collect future data, and how NASA can use that data to move the scientific understanding of UAPs forward.

The limited number of observations of UAPs currently makes it difficult to draw scientific conclusions about the nature of such events. Unidentified phenomena in the atmosphere are of interest for both national security and air safety. Establishing which events are natural provides a key first step to identifying or mitigating such phenomena, which aligns with one of NASA’s goals to ensure the safety of aircraft. There is no evidence UAPs are extra-terrestrial in origin.

“NASA believes that the tools of scientific discovery are powerful and apply here also,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We have access to a broad range of observations of Earth from space – and that is the lifeblood of scientific inquiry. We have the tools and team who can help us improve our understanding of the unknown. That’s the very definition of what science is. That’s what we do.”

The agency is not part of the Department of Defense’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force or its successor, the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group. NASA has, however, coordinated widely across the government regarding how to apply the tools of science to shed light on the nature and origin of unidentified aerial phenomena.

The agency’s independent study team will be led by astrophysicist David Spergel, who is president of the Simons Foundation in New York City, and previously the chair of the astrophysics department at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. Daniel Evans, the assistant deputy associate administrator for research at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, will serve as the NASA official responsible for orchestrating the study.

“Given the paucity of observations, our first task is simply to gather the most robust set of data that we can,” said Spergel. “We will be identifying what data – from civilians, government, non-profits, companies – exists, what else we should try to collect, and how to best analyze it.”

The study is expected to take about nine months to complete. It will secure the counsel of experts in the scientific, aeronautics, and data analytics communities to focus on how best to collect new data and improve observations of UAPs.

“Consistent with NASA’s principles of openness, transparency, and scientific integrity, this report will be shared publicly,” said Evans. “All of NASA’s data is available to the public – we take that obligation seriously – and we make it easily accessible for anyone to see or study.”

Although unrelated to this new study, NASA has an active astrobiology program that focuses on the origins, evolution, and distribution of life beyond Earth. From studying water on Mars to probing promising “oceans worlds,” such as Titan and Europa, NASA’s science missions are working together with a goal to find signs of life beyond Earth.

Furthermore, the agency’s search for life also includes using missions such as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and Hubble Space Telescope, to search for habitable exoplanets, while the James Webb Space Telescope will try to spot biosignatures in atmospheres around other planets – spotting oxygen and carbon dioxide in other atmospheres, for example, could suggest that an exoplanet supports plants and animals like ours does. NASA also funds space-based research that focuses on technosignatures – that is signatures of advanced technology in outer space -- from other planets.

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Proof of Alien Life in Cold War-Era Photos?

A series of telescope photographs from the 1950s
reveal unusually regular patterns of flickering lights in the sky
     On a single photographic plate from April 12, 1950, nine dots of light appear in a row in the night sky. To an uninformed eye, they appear unremarkable, perhaps nothing more than technical errors. Yet this particular photographic plate was
By Matthew Rozsa
produced as part of a larger project to photograph the night sky from California's Palomar Observatory Sky Survey. When lights appear and then disappear without explanation, they are known as transients, and astronomers seek explanations.

This is especially true as UFO sightings have become both more frequent and more effectively documented. Indeed, a group of scientists is arguing that the nine lights of these plates — which were taken seven years before the Soviet Union launched the first man-made satellite into space — could be evidence of extraterrestrial life....