Monday, October 22, 2018

Robert O. Dean is Gone


Robert O. Dean, the retired Army Command Sergeant-Major, and the man behind the tale of “The Assessment,” has died.

Dean burst onto the UFO stage after his retirement from the Army. He told the tale, in several versions, as to how, as a senior NCO in NATO, he had been handed a copy of a document labeled “Cosmic Top Secret.” According to him, while on duty l
A somewhat pensive Robert Dean.
ate one night or early one morning, an Air Force colonel noticed that Dean was having trouble staying awake. The officer dropped a document on his desk, telling him that this would keep him awake.

This was “The Assessment.” It told of a recovery of a downed flying saucer, and the investigation of it. I have, in the past, reported on this claim, which I find troubling. Dean had said that it was highly classified, and the classification of Cosmic Top Secret seemed to suggest that there was something interstellar about the story.

However, the cosmic part of the classification has nothing to do with the cosmos, but with a label that identifies the document as belonging to NATO, or more accurately, was created at NATO. NATO, therefore, was the classifying authority, and declassification rested in the hands of those at NATO.

And let’s not forget that it seems highly unlikely that a high-ranking Air Force officer would pull a top-secret document from the vault in an effort to keep a sleepy NCO awake. It violates so many rules and regulations that it is not funny. Having served as an intelligence officer in the Air Force, I know that such things are taken seriously. Once the flaw was pointed out, Dean altered the story slightly. You can read my assessment of “The Assessment” and Dean’s tale here:


 I did know Dean, somewhat, and I know that he was a little miffed at my portrayal of his tale. He once asked me why I hadn’t talked to him about it, specifically, and in a fit of blatant honesty, I told him I simply didn’t believe it.

The other thing that should be noted here is that Dean did retire as a command sergeant-major, the highest enlisted grade in the Army. Few soldiers reach that pinnacle. To do so is quite the accomplishment. Most soldiers flame out as sergeants first class or master sergeants.  A command sergeant-major is often as qualified to run a battalion or brigade as the officer in command. The command sergeant-major knows nearly everything about the unit and is often left to handle much of the administration of it. Responsibility remains with the commanding officer, but the real work is done by the command sergeant-major.

Maybe that was why I was so disappointed in Dean’s tale. He had achieved an important position in the Army, had served honorably for 28 years before retirement, and then had to clutter up all that with “The Assessment” … for which there is no independent corroboration.  

For those interested in such things, Dean was born on March 2, 1929. After his military service, he was an emergency services coordinator for Pima County, Arizona, and in 1992, sued his employer for discrimination, claiming that his belief in UFOs caused him to miss a promotion… though it might also have been a case of age discrimination. Whatever the real cause, he supposedly won and was awarded a hundred grand.

He died on October 11, 2018, at the age of 89.

16 comments:

cda said...

These crash-retrieval tales will go on forever, for as long as ufology exists and for as long as the search for ET life continues.

Do you recall a story told by journalist Dorothy Kilgallen back in, I think, May 1955 when she attended a cocktail party in London at which a certain high-up 'British official of cabinet officer rank' was also present? He told her about a crash retrieval in which a strange craft had been recovered by the British forces. Of course she never identified her informant, but it was strongly suspected to be Lord Mountbatten (a keen UFO advocate at the time).

After a little publicity in the press the story died a quick death and nothing more was heard about it.

Anonymous said...

Sad news. True or false, his stories and interviews are woven into the fabric of the UFO story.

Daniel said...

Robert O Dean said at one time, "He ain't coming back here" but yes, may he rest in peace, now. I for one, enjoyed his comments, on his points of view, and as a command sergeant-major, well, he worked hard for that,didn't he!? now his liftime, is at rest, 89 yrs. of it. Farewell Bob......

vonmazur said...

I had problems with this tale as well...did not seem right to me. I cannot imagine a Colonel giving him this document to wake him up, unless it was a fake and a test.

Daniel said...

Did not Robert O Dean say he had a [Cosmic Top Secret. Clearance] as I recall?

This surely, would make a difference to the stories he spoke of,considering his position of rank, on this.........

Adam S. said...

In his book "Revelations", Jacques Vallee suggests that the documents containing these stories probably do exist as they are recounted, however the documents in question should never be taken as evidence for any sort of "visitation". Rather, they are deliberate plants which exist as a test for intelligence agents.

It is the theory I personally find the most plausible.

KRandle said...

Dean did possess a Cosmic Top Secret clearance which in no way would entitle him to see documents for which he had no need to know. A top secret document stored in a vault is not the same as a book in a library. If such a document existed, he had no need to know, and an Air Force officer giving it to him to keep him awake was in violation of the regulations.

In this case, I believe that Jacques Vallee is in error. No such document existed... either as an accurate report on the retrieval of an alien spacecraft or as some sort of a plant about this alien spacecraft retrieval. If it had been a plant to test intelligence agents, then it was compromised and both the colonel who handed it to Dean and Dean would have been court martialed... and yes, they could call him back into active service for just such a purpose since the crime was committed while on active duty.

Daniel said...

As I recall, Dean admitted openly, that he was braking his oath, every time he spoke of such things, on this subject, and the fact that he, Dean, was never brought to task on this, by those above him, speaks for itself, that they wanted this out, and as Dean said himself, as I recall; the American people, deserve to know, what is going on in their country, that they pay tax for. The world if it come to that!?..

A brave man, you might think!!..Remember,..He was never brought to task, on this.
Those above him, were watching his progress. Did he have a need to know? Can't say,but he never asked for it..It was handed to him! never the less, "jokingly" this will wake you up.."It DID":)...

The question might remain though, "jokingly" Did Robert O Dean, wake US up???.......

KRandle said...

Daniel -

If he was making up the tale and there was no The Assessment, then there was nothing illegal in what he did. He did not compromise highly classified information. He was telling a story with no basis in fact and therefore there was no prosecution.

To answer your question... No, he just added another level of nonsense to the field, something that is not needed.

erickson said...

I enjoyed meeting Dean several years ago and talking to him around a dinner table. He was one of those people who said he had information he could not tell us. And even though I ultimately could not agree with what he did say, for at least a little while I could suspend belief or disbelief.

Adam S. said...

Thanks Kevin,

I believe Vallee was trying to reconcile the accounts of those former agents whom he had talked to, and believed were sincere in their accounts (to the best of their knowledge) and that they also weren't intentionally trying to deceive.

But, let's say hypothetically that a behavioral test exists that is designed only to gauge an individuals reaction (and maybe analytical thought process) when they are presented with "evidence" of something completely outside of their own belief system. There may or may not be a "wrong answer" for the individual; but no loss in rank, and certainly no discharge. Purely a test to learn more about how they would cope in such a situation.

Would an incidental revelation of such a test still be considered a significant enough compromise where the individual(s) in question would be court-martialed?

I'm asking because I, frankly, don't know and I would love to hear feedback on if this is even plausible.

Thanks!

SugarRayTaylor said...

Dean was also featured in that pathetic Alien Interview program. When showed that obviously fake alien footage he looked like he was going to start crying and said this was the real thing etc.

From what I remember Kevin, didn’t he try giving a fake document to Tim Good who along with Lord Hill-Norton was trying to find out if the “Assessment” ever existed?

Dean, along with Clifford Stone were responsible for some of the most often repeated nonsense in the field in recent years. Stone with his claims of over 50 species of aliens (which he, apparently would be willing to testify under oath) has been parroted time and time and time again in recent years. I’m sure the delusional people over at Project Camelot will probably be releasing a “Best of Bob Dean” video.

Daniel said...

This, I have considered, kevin, and we may never know for sure, but the truth can sometimes, be stranger than fiction, therefore never excepted. If what you say is acceptable, then Robert O Dean did an amazing job of convincing the general public, OR just simply, HIS truth, for what it's worth........

KRandle said...

Daniel -

I'm not sure that he convinced the general public of anything. He did convince many of the UFO community that he was telling the truth. However, no investigation into The Assessment ever produced a shred of evidence that the document existed in any form. Given all that, I'm not sure that we should even mention The Assessment except as a footnote about documentation that is claimed to exist but has never been verified.

Unknown said...

I watched one of his lectures. He strains my credibility. If there are intelligent beings guiding us they sure are screwing things up.

Chaz said...

I did not know Bob personally, but talked with him on occasion and miss him deeply. Having been involved in UFO research for a number of years, I admired his tenacity and forthrightness. I was inspired by his character and down to earth presentations that displayed a command of the subject beyond most others. Most importantly, he addressed the thorny issues of whether human society was ready to accept the enormous implications of this information with both dignity and compassion. Despite the naysayers and career debunkers' comments here and from other sources, his career and passion to get the truth out deserves respect and admiration. Rest in peace my friend.

Chaz