Wednesday, August 27, 2008

UFOs & Nukes: Robert Hastings Sets The Record Straight!

UFOs and Nukes By Robert Hastings
By Robert Hastings
Editors Note: Recently an article, penned by a staff-writer appeared in the Albuquerque Journal, entitled, Book Links UFOs to Nukes; as is often the case the reporter was ignorant to the subject matter at hand and apparently made no attempt to do any homework.

The piece was filled with erroneous statements, innuendo and the writer’s predisposition was transparent. Although this is commonplace for mainstream media, in this instance I view it as “aftereffects” of Robert Hastings efforts in regards to disseminating information regarding the activity pertaining to UFO activity at US military installations—specifically—nuclear bases! In short he continues to make waves!

Unfortunately, as it was by his recent appearance on
The Larry King Show, with guest skeptic, “Bill Nye,” Mr. Hastings has to waste time attempting to educate the unwitting, as is the case here. For clarity’s sake regarding Mr. Hastings’ rejoinder the a fore mentioned article is published in toto—FW
Book Links UFOs to Nukes

By John Fleck
The Albuquerque Journal
Journal Staff Writer

Robert Hastings is nothing if not persistent in his pursuit of a connection between UFOs and the world's nuclear weapons programs.

For more than three decades, the Albuquerque resident has collected evidence and spoken around the country. He self-published a book of his findings this year, "UFO and Nukes." Last month he appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live."

The core of his argument is that visitors from space are monitoring our nuclear weapons operations, likely trying to warn us about their dangers, and that the government is covering it up.

"I believe the American public has a right to know the facts," Hastings said in an interview.

The problem, according to independent experts, is that Hastings
is wrong.

"It's preposterous," said Kingston George, a retired physicist and engineer who worked on weapons systems in the 1960s and is an eyewitness to one of Hastings' favorite cases.

The events Hastings describes have "plausible, prosaic explanations," said noted space historian James Oberg.

Oberg, who has studied much of the same space and nuclear history as Hastings, says the umbrella of secrecy surrounding common nuclear weapons system malfunctions in the past creates much of the uncertainty that leads to UFO claims today.

People responsible for secrecy surrounding nuclear weapon system malfunctions were happy to have them misinterpreted as UFO incidents because it made keeping the real secret easier, Oberg said.

The Big Sur Incident

Hastings says his UFO curiosity began as a teenager, when his father worked at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. Hastings worked three nights a week in a radar tower, and one night he watched as a radar operator tracked five unknown objects. "That sparked my interest," he said.

To Hastings, an event off the coast of California in September 1964 is one of the most important events of the nuclear age. He believes an alien spaceship destroyed a dummy nuclear warhead during a U.S. missile test. The story has dark undertones of Central Intelligence Agency operatives and disappearing film.

It is, Hastings wrote last year in an article in the International UFO Reporter, "an unparalleled example of UFO interest in — and interference with — our nuclear missile systems."

George, now retired and living in Santa Maria, Calif., has heard this before. In 1964, he headed up the team responsible for filming the missile test.

Fifteen years ago, George first tried to explain what he says really happened — a missile malfunction, misunderstood and amplified in the retelling until it has taken a place in UFO lore.

Unbowed, Hastings was on "Larry King Live" last month, talking about how the missile test fits what, in an interview, he called "a systematic pattern of activity at nuclear sites."

The Big Sur Incident, Hastings' telegenic case, happened when an Air Force team led by George set up a telescope at Big Sur on the California coast to film missile tests from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

According to an account by Air Force photographic team member Bob Jacobs, the film showed an alien spacecraft darting around the missile as it flew, ultimately sending it tumbling into the sea short of its target.

In 1993, George wrote an article for Skeptical Inquirer, which describes itself as "the magazine for science and reason," offering a more prosaic explanation.

George was in charge of the photographic team and held a higher security clearance than Jacobs. According to George's account, the film actually showed a malfunction that would have left the missile vulnerable to Soviet countermeasures. When the problem was discovered, the film and information about the event was immediately classified "top secret," according to George.

That explains the extreme secrecy imposed on the film, according to George. Without the proper security clearance, according to George, Jacobs would never have been given the real reason.

A tough sell

Hastings' largest area of research involves UFO incidents at U.S. nuclear missile bases. He claims repeated incidents in which UFOs were reported at bases at the same time missile systems malfunctioned.

Oberg, an expert on the history of U.S. and Soviet missile technology, calls Hastings' missile malfunction cases "intriguing," but not for the same reason as Hastings.

A more likely explanation for the malfunctions, Oberg said, is the "persnickety" launch control systems of the day.

At the time, unusual sights in the sky were not uncommon, and in the distance of history, the two linked, Oberg argues.

"They connect the two in the time-honored logic that people have," Oberg said.

Hastings acknowledges he has no documentary evidence linking the alleged UFOs and the missile malfunctions for any of the cases described in his 602-page book.

He said he stopped filing federal Freedom of Information Act requests in 1984 after concluding that the government was withholding information about the events in which he was interested.

Instead, Hastings said, he has focused on finding former military personnel willing to describe their experiences.

He acknowledged that his thes is is sometimes a tough sell. "People resist new ideas," he said.

Hasting's Response

What an inaccurate, misleading article! I guess I will have to go on a few radio and TV shows to straighten things out. I am scheduled for two major national interviews in the near future and will definitely mention your inept and biased reporting. I will now begin calling the local Albuquerque stations too.

You quote Kingston George, who made lots of factual errors in his Skeptical Inquirer article on the Big Sur incident—as documented in my IUR article, which you have, but obviously did not read carefully—but failed to note that Major Florenze Mansmann, Vandenberg AFB's photographic interpretation officer said that his own contemporary analysis of the film showed "a classic disc" shaped object with a dome circling the dummy warhead and shooting beams of light at it. He also said that CIA agents confiscated the film.

Jacobs corroborates all of that. Can Kingston George produce another witness who viewed the film to support his take on things? Nope! Don't you "professional" media guys prefer a corroborating source for stories? Jacobs has his! Where's George's?

You also failed to mention that Skeptical Inquirer's editor, Kendrick Frazier, was a PR guy working for the U.S. government's nuclear weapons program, at Sandia Labs, at the time he gladly published George's attempted debunking of the Big Sur case. Frazier consistently failed to mention that fact in his skeptical magazine's masthead—for the entire 20-plus years he worked at Sandia—and in his own online biography, both facts I mentioned to you. In my view, he seemed to be shy about acknowledging having a PR job with the U.S. nukes program the whole time he was feverishly debunking UFOs and the government's cover-up of them. I wonder why?

On another topic, you said that I had no documentation for any of the cases I mentioned in my book. Do you recall the four pages of USAF/NORAD logs, released via the FOIA, which describe in detail UFOs hovering over Minuteman missile sites at Malmstrom AFB in November 1975? As you know, the jets sent up to chase away the UFOs were unable to intercept them. I devote an entire chapter in my book to those cases. I even gave you a hard copy of those logs. And yet, rather than acknowledging the Air Force's and NORAD's own declassified information—by devoting a few words to the logs—you chose to quote debunker James Oberg, who has never investigated those cases. Or did he tell you that he had?

I will simply end my email with a relevant excerpt from my book:

Americans cannot rely on our media institutions to routinely cover UFO sightings, or with the same degree of objectivity [found in the foreign press]. I earlier mentioned the book, The Missing Times, journalist Terry Hansen’s excellent exposé on the negatively-biased and uninformed coverage on UFOs typically offered up by the elite American media. Hansen’s book should be required reading for any professional reporter, especially those working for the high-profile organizations based in New York and Washington. Will that ever happen? Probably not. Regardless, if the pundits ever decide to become serious about covering, and perhaps actually investigating, the topic of UFOs, rather than knowingly or unwittingly serving as mouthpieces for the Pentagon and the CIA (which appears to be their current role) they can begin by interviewing the ex-military personnel who were directly involved in one nuclear weapons-related UFO incident or another.

To that end, I will happily provide my sources’ contact information to any reporter or assignment editor who asks for it. But I won’t hold my breath while waiting for those inquiries. Perhaps I am wrong, but I suspect that most of the alleged reporters-of-record will instead continue to dismiss the accounts by military UFO sighting witnesses as being either fanciful or fraudulent. If they do, those journalists will betray the public they supposedly serve, and history’s verdict on their complacency—or, in some cases, complicity—is bound to be harsh.

1 comment :

  1. I am so sick of elitist debunkers like Oberg who when they can't distroy a persons of great character like Dr. Jacobs. they insinuate they are liars. Why would these two witnesses who were there lie.
    It doesn't matter if you have a hundred people on the UFO witness side as long as you have one person agreeing with them. He or she is their night in shinning armor who will save the day even if they are factually wrong. They are the true believers as Budd Hopkins has called them not needing any evidence because UFO can't be real.
    But a great vindication of the power and accuracy of the witness testimony is Stephenville TX. The witnesses were right on and the radar tapes prove it. Kinston has his word against two impeccable witnesses who viewed the footage.
    I will put the word of two people who had nothing to gain against a debunking scientist word, who has an agenda, any day.
    Joseph Capp
    UFO Media Matters
    Non-Commercial Blog


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