In what I suspect The New York Times thinks of as an exclusive story, Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal reported that the AATIP program, which had supposedly been suspended and disbanded, still existed. The name had been changed and the location changed but the Office of Naval Intelligence was still gathering information on UAPs, which is the new and improved name for UFOs.
We learn that the program, now known as the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force (UAPTF) was to “standardize collection and reporting” on these UAP sightings or what has been described as unexplained aerial vehicles which seems to put back into that acronym some of the trouble found with UFO. UFO, an Unidentified Flying Object implied, in the name, that there was an object and that it was flying as if under some sort of control.
An Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon brought none of that baggage to the discussion because a cloud, under bizarre conditions, could be described as an Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon.
But I digress…
According to the Times report, the findings of this renamed and relocated organization, would be made public every six months (which should have actually said, that the director of national intelligence is supposed to report 180 days after the enactment of the authorization and not every six months). The Times noted that some of the retired senior officials hoped “the program will seek evidence of vehicles from other worlds,” but the main focus would be to discover if our competitors on the world stage have developed an aerial platform that allows them to penetrate our air space and well, basically, spy on US military facilities.
Senator Marco Rubio, the acting chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said that they were worried about “unidentified aircraft” over US military bases. Rubio said that some of the unidentified aerial vehicles (and now another new acronym: UAV, which also means Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) possibly exhibited technologies that are not available to US military forces but he also suggested that there might be “a completely, sort of, boring explanation for it…”
All of which strikes me as a bunch of weasel worded statements meant in an attempt to spice up a story about nothing. Might be, possibly, maybe and the like. No one came out and said what he or she really thought about it because in the world of politics it is necessary to carefully phrase a statement so that, if it turns out to be wrong, the speaker can deflect the criticism.
But I digress, again…
The real problem with this latest expose is that one of the sources quoted is Dr. Eric Davis, who had earlier claimed that in private conversation with Admiral Thomas Wilson, he had learned about the on-going UFO or UAP studies, and that there had been crash retrievals. That meant that the technology had failed and that US authorities were in possession of that technology. In passing, in a comment on national radio, Davis suggested that the Del Rio UFO crash was real. He refused to expand on this.
|Dr. Eric Davis|
To me, that suggested that Davis might not be as inside as he would like us all to believe. The Del Rio UFO crash is based on the testimony and affidavit of a single source, a man who claimed to be a retired Air Force colonel and fighter pilot. Robert Willingham first told his story in March 1968 in an issue of MUFON’s first magazine known as Skylook.
In that earliest, 1948 version of the story Willingham had said that he was flying an F-94, when he was alerted by the Dew Line (a radar fence built in Canada) that a UFO had been tracked. Willingham said that he saw three objects, one of which was in trouble. It eventually crashed just south of the Mexico-Texas border near Del Rio. He managed to get there to witness part of that retrieval operation.
In the 1970s, Willingham provided an affidavit about the crash, altering some of the details. Eventually, it was claimed that the crash of a single object had taken place in 1950. Later still, Willingham changed the date to the mid-1950s. There were other problems with his tale, and the lack of proof that he had been an Air Force officer, let alone a colonel didn’t help. I went over all this on this blog and you can read about it here:
The point here, however, is that if Davis was on the inside of these sorts of things, he would have known, as so many of us do, that the Del Rio crash is a hoax. I published that information more than a
decade ago along with the reasons
the story is not true. But that is not the only credibility issue here.
|Robert Willingham in|
his CAP uniform.
In his “notes” about his discussion with Admiral Wilson, who denies everything about this alleged 2002 meeting, he said that Wilson had met with or talked to General Michael Kostenlnik sometime in April, May or June 1997 about a Special Access Program which dealt with UFOs. Chris Lambright discovered that Kostelnik was not involved in the SAPs and he had left his position in the Pentagon in the Secretary of Defense Office some two years before Wilson attempted to gather the information. When Davis alleged that Wilson had met or talked with Kostelnik as the director, Kostelnik was assigned to a new job at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
To be accurate, Wilson, if he truly told Davis anything, should have mentioned Kostelnik’s successor rather than Kostelnik. Both of these items, his belief in the Del Rio crash and his job at the Pentagon should raise red flags about the reliability of Davis’ information because it demonstrates a problem the value of his information. At best, it was out of date and at worse it is based on Internet searches to provide a note of credibility to what is, in fact, an incredible story.
John Greenewald published his own analysis about those notes, suggesting it read more like an early treatment for some sort of drama as opposed to actual notes taken during a meeting. You can listen to him describe that here:
In the final analysis, there is not much to this story. We already knew that former Senator Harry Reid had been involved in securing the financing for the AATIP program. We had already seen the trouble with the three Nimitz videos released into the public arena and we had listened to the various Pentagon statements about them.
To make matters worse, the Times posted a correction to an earlier version of the story. According to them, Senator Reid had been quoted as saying that he had not said that “[UFO] crashes had occurred and that retrieved material had been secretly studied for decades.” He had said that he believed it, which removes a great deal of importance from his statement. In fact, it changes the revelations from authenticated and moves them into a realm of speculation that has been discussed, literally, for decades.
When this latest “Breaking News” is digested, it turns out to be little more than rumor based on the tales Eric Davis, whose inside information is no better than that of a ten-year-old kid with Internet access. Given all that is known about this news inside the UFO community is it astonishing that no reporter thought to ask a few questions that would have put this latest information into its proper perspective… interesting but nothing newsworthy.