Saturday, June 26, 2021

The UAP Report and an Historical Perspective

(NOTE: Although it is not relevant to the following discussion, I wanted to mention that Tucker Carlson, as he began his report about the UAP study, mentioned the Roswell UFO crash. He showed one of the pictures of Brigadier General Roger Ramey crouching near the balloon wreckage that was claimed to have been part of the debris recovered. Carlson mentioned that a balloon was probably responsible for the Roswell debris and while this has been the Air Force (well, Army in the beginning) explanation, it fails to explain any number of facts. There is no good terrestrial explanation for what fell at Roswell and for those who wish to follow up on that I suggest looking at Roswell in the 21st Century. That book provides the evidence that demolishes the balloon explanation for Roswell… now that I have that off my chest… now an analysis of the latest government report on UFOs… I mean UAPs.)

General Ramey and Colonel Dubose with the wreckage of a rawin
radar target and the blackened balloon envelope. According to
both Dubose and Jesse Marcel, that was not the material
found near Corona and flown to Fort Worth.

We now have access to the report on UAPs that was required as part of the Covid-19 stimulus package for some bizarre reason. It is nine pages long and readily available on the Internet for those who wish to read it themselves. I found it here:

Briefly, it is made up of 144 reports (but not necessarily 144 separate events) and notes that only one has been identified with any degree of certainty. That was a partially deflated balloon. The others are not identified but the report notes that there probably isn’t a single explanation for the sightings and that they don't have complete information on many of them. They wrote, however:

Limited data and inconsistency in reporting are key challenges to evaluating UAP [meaning UFO in the classical sense]. No standardized reporting mechanism exited until the Navy established one in March 2019 [except of course Air Force regulations that were rescinded a long time ago and the JANAP 146 series which were standardized]. The Air Force subsequently adopted a mechanism in November 2020, but it remains limited to USG reporting. The UAPTF regularly heard anecdotally during its research about other observations that occurred but which were never captured in formal or informal reporting by those observers [which is a fancy way to say that if it wasn’t reported, then it doesn’t count].

Here’s where we are today. There is no discussion of hoaxes, illusions or misidentifications and no suggestion that drunks, or the uneducated are those who are reporting UFOs (well, UAPs). Instead, the report suggests that most of the cases are of physical objects. Not only that, a high number of the cases, that is 80 of them, have multiple chains of evidence, meaning that they are captured on radar, and infrared electro-optical seekers and there is a visual component, meaning people, as well.

There are reports of flight characteristics that suggested an advanced technology but there is nothing to actually suggest alien visitation. The report does not rule out the possibility, however. To bolster their claim that this is something unusual, and that no government on Earth has any equipment that can operation in the envelopes exhibited by these objects, they note the unusual flight characteristics and that the sightings are found near military training areas. Robert Hastings reported years ago, and has been collecting data for decades, that suggests an interest in our nuclear capability with sightings around military installations. He detailed this in his book UFOs and Nukes.

One thing that came up and I mentioned it before on this blog was the danger of a midair collision. In the report there is a mention of eleven cases in which pilots reported near misses. I quoted the commanding officer of VFA-11, a strike fighter squadron, who wrote, “…although this report is primarily submitted for tracking purposes, it is only a matter of time before this results in a mid-air collision…”

And while all of this is exciting and suggests a change in attitudes, I worry about the history of government investigations into and announcements about UFOs. During the summer of 1947, and according to Captain Ed Ruppelt, the Pentagon had been in a panic about these flying saucers or flying disks (which I mention to begin the evolution of names for these things). They didn’t know what was going on, only that something was flying around the US and the military seemed unable to stop it. This was a national security problem.

In September, 1947, Lieutenant General Nathan Twining, commander of the Air Materiel Command, provided an analysis of the situation. He wrote (and this has been quoted for decades) “The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious.”

He also wrote, “The reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and action which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically or remotely.”

And he wrote, “The possibility that some foreign nation has a form of propulsion possibly nuclear, which is outside of our domestic knowledge.”

Or, in other words, Twining’s letter (probably written by Colonel Howard McCoy for Twining’s approval and signature) concluded, nearly 75 years ago, what this latest study has just concluded. It means that three quarters of a century ago, the US military was worried about flying saucers, didn’t know what they were, and that Twining called for the establishment of a program, a fairly high priority program, to find the answers to the flying saucers. It was kept inside the military establishment and it is not clear if the contents of the letter were released to Congress or the President at that time.

We know that after time had passed and the invasion fleet, neither alien nor Soviet had arrived, the pressure was off. The priority investigation devolved into nothing more than a clearing house for reports to be filed and forgotten… that is until the summer of 1952, and UFOs (as they were now called) were seen over Washington, D.C.

The heightened interest in UFOs, inspired by the sightings known as the Washington Nationals, resulted in the formation of the CIA sponsored Robertson Panel. The members were scientists, all who seemed to believe that those seeing UFOs were not the brightest and that there was really nothing to UFOs. This was the bailiwick of the unenlightened, the uneducated and the ignorant.

The Robertson Panel examined, for five days, the best evidence about the UFOs. These included movies taken over Great Falls, Montana and Tremonton, Utah. It included cases that seemed to be difficult to resolve and other evidence suggesting that UFOs might be something other than terrestrially based craft. The panel, in its final report, suggested:

1. Pursuant to the request of the Assistant Director for Scientific Intelligence, the undersigned Panel of Scientific Consultants has met to evaluate any possible threat to national security posed by Unidentified Flying Objects ("Flying Saucers"), and to make recommendations thereon. The Panel has received the evidence as presented by cognizant intelligence agencies, primarily the Air Technical Intelligence Center, and has reviewed a selection of the best documented incidents. 

   2. As a result of its considerations, the Panel _concludes_: 

        a. That the evidence presented on Unidentified Flying Objects shows no indication that these phenomena constitute a direct physical threat to national security.

We firmly believe that there is no residuum of cases which indicates Phenomena which are attributable to foreign artifacts capable of hostile acts, and that there is no evidence that the phenomena indicates a need for the revision of current scientific concepts.

   3. The Panel further _concludes_:

        a. That the continued emphasis on the reporting of these phenomena does, in these parlous times, result in a threat to the orderly functioning of the protective organs of the body politic.

We cite as examples the clogging of channels of communication by irrelevant reports, the danger of being led by continued false alarms to ignore real indications of hostile action, and the cultivation of a morbid national psychology in which skillful hostile propaganda could induce hysterical behavior and harmful distrust of duty constituted authority

   4. In order most effectively to strengthen the national facilities for the timely recognition and the appropriate handling of true indications of hostile action, and to minimize the concomitant dangers alluded to above, the Panel recommends:

          a. That the national security agencies take immediate steps to strip the Unidentified Flying Objects of the special status they have been given and the aura of mystery they have unfortunately acquired;

          b. That the national security agencies institute policies on intelligence, training, and public education designed to prepare the material defenses and the morale of the country to recognize most promptly and to react most effectively to true indications of hostile intent or action.

We suggest that these aims may be achieved by an integrated program designed to reassure the public of the total lack of evidence of Inimical forces behind the phenomenon, to train personnel to recognize and reject false indications quickly and effectively, and to strengthen regular channels for the evaluation of and prompt reaction to true indications of hostile measures.

In other words, the Robertson Panel was unimpressed with the evidence, they saw no evidence of a real national security threat, and thought that the best thing to do was to debunk UFOs and that training programs would bring about the changes in public attitudes and the reporting of UFOs that the Panel thought appropriate. They wanted to take UFOs out of the headlines and out of the official communications channels.

And while the Air Force began the debunking program, they continued to collect UFO reports. Their answers to extraordinary cases were extraordinarily uncomplicated. The Levelland UFO reports of stalled car engines was reduced from more than a two dozen witnesses at thirteen separate locations to just three who had seen the object. The cars were stalled, not by some electromagnetic effect but by a broken rotor in one case and a postulated mist in the other two. In the end, the Air Force wrote off the case as ball lightning, paying no attention to the fact that the very existence of ball lightning was being debated by scientists. In any case, ball lightning is extremely rare, never manifests itself in a form more than two feet in diameter, and lasts for mere second. The Air Force had taken the recommendations of the Robertson Panel to heart and were acting to, well, suppress the data.

Although it seemed that the Robertson Panel was advocating an end to UFO programs, the investigation of UFOs would continue for another sixteen years with various government agencies and officials suggesting an end to the program. That opportunity came in the late 1960s with the creation of what has become known as the Condon Committee. After eighteen months of investigation, Dr. Edward Condon issued his report. Like the Robertson Panel before, he determined there was no national security implications, that nothing of scientific value could be learned by further study, and that the Air Force end its investigation. You might say, this was Robertson 2.0

So, after some twenty-two years of official investigation, Project Blue Book, which began in secrecy in 1948 (publicly called Project Saucer with the classified name of Sign) ended. Nothing more could be learned by further study. Project Blue Book was closed and the Air Force began a campaign of convincing people that they were no longer interested in UFO sightings. Of course, this wasn’t true because their mission demanded that they investigate the penetration of the defense zones around the country. And there are many pictures of American fighters “escorting” Russian bombers that have penetrated those zones and were flying over the United States.

Russian bomber escorted by American fighter.

All of this brings us back to the latest report, which, I suppose could be seen as Twining 2.0. This latest report actually nullifies the Condon Committee report… at the moment. This latest is telling us that something real is going on and that it deserves some investigation.

Once again there is an issue with national security. Now we are concerned about midair collisions. And most astonishingly, we see that something over 99% of the reports are unidentified but that might because of a lack of data or investigation. We don't know how many of these reports are from the same events, meaning the number of incidents might be lower. Blue Book “solved” all but just about five percent of the more than 13,000 cases reported to them but there are thousands labeled as "insufficient data for a scientific analysis," which is not a solution. Condon left more than a third of the cases unresolved.

Twining was concerned and suggested a priority investigation, which he got. Within months, it had degenerated into little more than a filing cabinet for reports thanks to the influence of the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Hoyt S. Vandenburg. No one was interested in doing any actual investigation when it was clear that Vandenburg had his own ideas. Over the years, and beginning in the early 1950s, the emphasis was on solutions rather than investigation. Slap on a solution and be done with it.

Condon was told what his conclusions were supposed to be before any investigation was conducted and he went out and found them. Condon’s job was to kill Blue Book and that he did. Now, when scientists tell us that the “scientific” investigation found nothing of substance, we can say, but this new UAP report did. That is one of the important take-aways here.

However, and this is what concerns me, is if this isn’t the implementation of the Robertson Panel idea. Show the public a very mysterious sighting and then reveal what it really was. Convince the public, and by extension the Congress, that while there is something real happening, it is not alien and it is not a technological leap forward by a competitor on this planet.

For us, the point is that they didn’t come out and say that there was alien visitation, but then they didn’t rule that out either. They kept that door open, however slightly. The only question left for us is if this was Robertson 3.0 and Condon 2.0 or if this is something that is going to produce unbiased and accurate results. Are we going to learn something of value or is it going to be hidden under a pile of security regulations and government obfuscation or is it going to actually provide some useful answers?

I say we’ve been down this road before and it depends on which fork is taken. Are we nearing Disclosure or is this just another attempt to teach us the “truth” about flying saucers… I mean UFOs… I mean UAO*… I mean UAPs.


*For those interested, Coral Lorenzen of APRO came up with the term Unidentified Aerial Object in an attempt to remove preconceived notions about what they are… She failed. 


TheDimov said...

what the hell is a UAP? The "updating" of the acronym itself suggests its ongoing reality, as if its a step in progression.

I think they omitted the alien bit just to avoid the Roswell lies as that took a hell of a lot to perpetuate and they are too proud to backtrack on that wonderful effort.

So perhaps another 70 years to wait before the next admission? At least perhaps we might get some more decent footage, next step is HD captured footage, hopefully wont be too much longer before we have that..

Paul Young said...

TheDimov..."So perhaps another 70 years to wait before the next admission? At least perhaps we might get some more decent footage, next step is HD captured footage, hopefully wont be too much longer before we have that."

Good HD footage is probably out there somewhere. Whatever is leaked, you can guarantee the "better stuff" will remain secret until it's decided us minnows can be told.
(I'd love to see the footage that Gordon Cooper's film crew took of a flying saucer hovering and then landing at Edwards AFB in 1957.)

Yep. another 70 odd years I expect...and that's if we're lucky! Like I mentioned in an earlier thread, secrets from the Crimean War are still sealed despite numerous FOIA what's another 70's years for UFO disclosure!!!

Clarence said...

With the assets available to the US military and it's allies who would willingly share the info, it's impossible for me to accept they (the military) don't know what these objects are. Within a matter of minutes, couldn't NORAD or an orbiting satellite get some good data on these vehicles? Given the UAP performance levels, the military should at least be able to tell what these things aren't, with a high degree of confidence. One thing that stands out in the Pentagon Report is the lack of performance data (size, speed, etc.) associated with the objects, which ought to be, again, easily obtainable....

Author said...

Thanks for your analysis Kevin,

Question though. IF Roswell WAS a real crash of an alien craft wouldn't the current report reflect that? I mean they wouldn't shrug their shoulders and say, "We dunno". They'd say, "Yup, alien craft have been zipping around for years and we still have pieces of one we've been analyzing".

I see it a few ways.
1) Take the report at face value and they don't know what the UAP's are.
2) Don't take the report at face value. They are lying and they DO know what UAP's are, but they're not alien and it's useful to keep it ambiguous.
3) The UAP's are indeed alien, but they're obfuscating things to prevent a panic.

The report is generally useless at any rate.

Jeanne Ruppert said...

Author, of the three responses you suggest to this new 19-page document, the third is in my opinion the most rational. I question the argument made in point 2: "They are lying and they DO know what UAP's are, but they're not alien and it's useful to keep it ambiguous." For what purpose would it be "useful" for the PTB to perpetuate such ambiguity? And on what grounds can it be assumed that the PTB have established that the UFO/UAP manifestations are natural and native to earth and not inserted from elsewhere?

Re the motivation in your point 3 -- to obfuscate the UFO/UAP reality in order to prevent a panic -- might be more reasonable in our current situation given the pandemic, there have been 75 previous years in which disclosure would have been less disturbing. The lies and coverup continue in this country if not elsewhere on the planet.

Many thanks to Kevin Randle for his overview of the history since Roswell that we all need to read and understand in detail in this country. Those of us who have read deeply and broadly in the global history of the modern ufo phenomenon can hardly be expected to remain patient in the face of this inadequate Pentagon document.

I also appreciate Kevin's pointing out at the end of his post the distance on UFO/UAP phenomena achieved by the change in terminology from unidentified objects to unidentified phenomena since Coral Lorenzen's arguments that the appropriate terminology for these measureable and measured manifestations in the air, in the oceans, and on the earth have long since made the objectivity of their presence obvious. As conscious and sentient beings we, and many other animals on earth, know in our bodies as well as in our minds when we encounter 'things' in our vicinity whose phenomenal effects profoundly affect us, shock us, provoke reactions in us and at best expand our thinking about the nature of 'reality'. The phenomena we experience are the effects of real, actual, objective presences in our vicinity.