Thursday, April 09, 2015

UFOs and Nukes (UFOs und Atomwaffen): A Superficial and Misleading Book Review

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UFOs und Atomwaffen

By Robert Hastings

     My 2008 book, UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, is now available in German. In January, Kopp Verlag published a condensed version, UFOs und Atomwaffen. Unheimliche Begegnungen in der Nähe von Nuklearwaffendepots, which is available here.

Recently, the German television network N24 posted a review of the book, presumably written by “jal”, given that these initials—but no name—appear after the piece. This is probably just as well, given the questionable quality of his/her commentary.

Aliens, dein Freund und Helfer (Aliens, Your Friend and Helper) is the reviewer’s snide reference to my speculation, repeat, speculation that the incidents described by dozens of U.S. and Soviet military veterans—during which UFOs apparently interfered with the functionality of nuclear missiles during the Cold War—likely represent outside intervention by a still-unknown third party, operating vastly superior aerial craft, meant to demonstrate their concern and displeasure with the superpowers‘ incessant nuclear saber-rattling during that dark period in human history.

The reviewer notes that I “claim” to have interviewed more 140 U.S. veterans over the past 42 years. Actually, given that I submitted the manuscript to publisher Kopp Verlag in early 2014, the number of ex-military interviewees now exceeds 150, including a former Minuteman missile launch officer who spoke with me last October, revealing that a UFO had temporarily activated one of his ICBMs at Malmstrom AFB in 1974, which then went into countdown-to-launch mode. (As is the case with my other ex-military sources, I have a copy of this individual’s DD214, or service record, confirming his status as a missile launch officer at that base during that year.)

As many readers will know, other U.S. military veterans have publicly discussed their involvement in UFO-related incidents during which their ICBMs mysteriously shut down, just as a disc-shaped object hovered near them. These persons state that their commanders told them, in the strongest terms possible, not to talk about the incidents, and often required them to sign secrecy agreements.

Some of those individuals participated in my September 27, 2010 press conference in Washington D.C., which CNN considered important enough to stream live. Even though that fact is noted in my book, the reviewer “jal” chose not to mention it, instead focusing on my own outside-intervention-by-a-third-party thesis. (Nevermind that a majority of my ex-U.S. Air Force sources agree with me—that extraterrestrials were indeed involved in the missile incidents—and have said so, during audio- and video-taped interviews.)

In any case, dozens of nuclear missile launch, targeting, and maintenance personnel—individuals the U.S. government considered reliable enough to initiate World War III, if the President of the United States had ordered it—have openly said that the UFOs have tampered with our nuclear weapons and have speculated, based on the available evidence, that those responsible are probably visitors from elsewhere, who may be interested in intervening in humans’ nuclear arms race.

This fact alone seems to be significant and newsworthy—CNN certainly thought so—but “jal” devoted not a single word to my book’s presentation of the specific testimony of my many ex-military sources in his/her review. Instead, the overall, dismissive tone is: Oh, that Hastings, he actually thinks aliens are here to save us from ourselves—that aliens are our friends and helpers.

Actually, “jal”, if you had carefully read the book, instead of just superficially skimming it, you would have found that I wrote, “While overwhelming empirical evidence is not yet available, at least in the public domain, to confirm an extraterrestrial origin for UFOs, it can at least be said that some as-yet unexplained mystery has been thrown in the faces of those who planned, and still plan, to use these terrifying weapons.”

But yes, having studied these ominous nuclear weapons-related cases for four decades—unlike “jal”—my personal opinion is that beings from off-the-Earth are responsible for this situation. The radar data alone—which are empirical and confirm the presence of aerial craft whose capabilities are orders-of-magnitude beyond manmade aircraft—support this scenario. But, as noted above, my evaluation of these events is far more cautious and nuanced than the reviewer’s misleading characterization would suggest.

“Jal” also seemingly overlooked my summary of the actual role of Project Blue Book:
“In his book, Hastings regularly cites ‘Project Blue Book’ and its precursors. The U.S. Air Force secretly investigated UFO sightings beginning in 1947. Overall, during this time more than 1200 observations of ‘strange phenomena’ were recorded and evaluated. The Air Force closed down ‘Project Blue Book’ in 1969, concluding that ‘none of the reported UFOs were alien aircraft or a threat to national security’.”
Apparently, the reviewer thinks that this official conclusion, deceptively designed to pacify public opinion, is the final word on the subject. But, again, if “jal” had actually taken the time to carefully read the book, rather than racing through it, he/she would have discovered the following passages, in Chapter 12:
The selective declassification of UFO-related information by the U.S. government has been routinely utilized for decades to steer public perception in a certain direction. The practice is commonly called ‘spin.’ The purpose of this propaganda tactic is to alter the actual story of official interest in the UFO phenomenon, so that it appears as if there exists only minimal concern or none at all.

A case in point is the Air Force’s closure of Project Blue Book in 1969. The project’s termination, and the eventual declassification of its files in 1974-75, left the impression—as was intended—that the military had lost interest in UFOs and was making public the sum of its knowledge about them. In reality, other groups within the Air Force, and other agencies, had also routinely collected information on UFOs for decades, out of public view, especially in cases where the national security of the United States was potentially impacted.

For example, consider the dramatic information provided to Office of Special Investigations (OSI) agents by 1st Lt. Bob Salas and his missile commander, 1st Lt. Fred Meiwald, at Malmstrom AFB in March 1967, in the wake of the large-scale missile shutdown incidents. Did Blue Book staffers even know that OSI had interviewed at least two launch officers, both of whom reported apparent UFO-involvement in the missile malfunctions? If the declassified Blue Book files are any indication, they did not.

The same holds true for most of the other accounts presented in this book. Many of these UFO sighting witnesses report that they were subsequently questioned by an agent working for OSI or some other military or civilian intelligence group [but not by a Blue Book investigator]. As far as I am aware, none of the written reports relating to those interrogations have been declassified. Consequently, according to the official record—at least the version of it publicly available following the release of Blue Book’s files—the great majority of the incidents reported in this book never even happened...

[A]nother declassified Air Force document explicitly explains why Blue Book may not have routinely received national security-related UFO reports, including those at nuclear weapons sites. As I will explain shortly, it appears that Blue Book was not always in the loop for UFO reports initially investigated by OSI and other intelligence groups. Moreover, that same declassified document also makes clear that Air Force intelligence and counter-intelligence groups continued to be tasked with the collection of UFO data after Blue Book’s closure, a practice which undoubtedly continues to the present day.

Actually, Blue Book’s demise had been foreshadowed for years. After 1952, the project’s image as an investigative group had rarely been more than a ruse, as a number of its former USAF and civilian members have now revealed. To be sure, military and civilian UFO sighting reports were still collected, but they were followed-up only infrequently. By the 1960s, Blue Book was chiefly and infamously known for its highly improbable explanations for this or that UFO sighting—as birds, balloons and swamp gas, to name a few supposed culprits—which were routinely ridiculed by the press and public alike...

[Therefore], over time, Blue Book—originally a genuine UFO investigations group—had morphed into a PR front, whose main activity seemed to be the downplaying of sightings, apparently in the hope of pacifying American citizens’ concerns about the UFO phenomenon.

More importantly, as subsequent releases of documents via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) have revealed, even during the Blue Book era, almost all of the national security-related UFO investigations were actually being conducted by certain Air Force Intelligence and Counterintelligence groups, including the U.S. Air Force Office of Intelligence (AFOIN) and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI). But, of course, the vast majority of the American public was completely unaware of these secretive inquiries at the time they were occurring...

Nevertheless, a now-declassified document provides insight into how the really important UFO reports were actually handled by the military. The memorandum, dated October 20, 1969, and signed by Air Force General C.H. Bolender, the Air Force’s Deputy Director of Development, was directed to all Air Force commands. While the memo did indeed suggest that Project Blue Book should be terminated, it then stated, ‘...reports of UFOs which could affect national security should continue to be handled through the standard Air Force procedure designed for this purpose.’2 General Bolender emphasized this point, adding, ‘Reports of unidentified flying objects which could affect national security are made in accordance with JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55-11, and are not part of the Blue Book system.’3 As researcher Barry Greenwood has noted, sixteen attachments which once accompanied the Bolender memorandum are no longer in Air Force files, at least according to the FOIA managers who responded to various requests for their release.

Regardless, the Bolender document confirms that the most important UFO cases—those potentially affecting national security—were never routinely funneled to Project Blue Book in the first place, but were sent to other, less-publicized groups within the Air Force, which were still tasked with collecting and evaluating such reports after Blue Book’s official and highly-touted closure.
In other words, the public relations statement issued by Project Blue Book at the time of its closure—the one that “jal” apparently finds so significant—that “no UFO reported, investigated, and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security”, was in reality a very successful ruse that duped most of the American public, the media, and the scientific community.

It’s clear that “jal” was duped as well, given that he/she confidently quoted Blue Book’s now-discredited statement as if it were scientific truth, while at the same time ignoring (or perhaps not even reading) my detailed, documented exposé of the U.S. Air Force’s alternate, still secret, still ongoing investigation of UFOs after Blue Book closed down.

Hopefully, those Germans who are interested in the actual, slowly emerging facts will be more studious than this inattentive, posturing book reviewer when they read UFOs und Atomwaffen. Unheimliche Begegnungen in der Nähe von Nuklearwaffendepots..

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