Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Galileo Project and Avi Loeb


I was invited to the press conference held Monday at Harvard to announce the Galileo Project, which is to say that I was able to attend via the Internet. There were many of us invited that way and a few questions were asked during the allotted hour.

Dr. Abraham (Avi) Loeb, the Harvard astronomer who announced this last spring that an alien artifact had passed through the Solar System made the announcement. For those who may have forgotten, it is clear that something that originated outside

Dr. Avi Loeb

the Solar System was detected as it flew by. Given its characteristics, Dr. Loeb determined that it was something manufactured by an alien race. Many of his colleagues disagreed with this theory.

He explained that situation this way at the press conference. “In 2017, the world for the first time observed an interstellar object, called ‘Oumuamua, that was briefly visiting our solar system. Based on astronomical observations, ‘Oumuamua turned out to have highly anomalous properties that defy well-understood natural explanations. We can only speculate whether ‘Oumuamua may be explained by never seen before natural explanations, or by stretching our imagination to Oumuamua perhaps being an extraterrestrial technological object, similar to a very thin light-sail or communications dish, which would fit the astronomical data rather well.”

I did an interview with Loeb last spring about this. For those who wish more details and would like to listen to that, you can find it here:

This discovery, or maybe I should say, this theory, led Loeb, with several other scientists, to create an international organization to search for similar objects. It was suggested that this might not be a rare event and it is only recently that we developed the technology to spot such small objects. According to their observations, Oumuamua was about the size of a football field. In astronomical terms, that is miniscule.

Frank Laukier, introduced as the co-founder of the Galileo Project, and as the resident skeptic, said that he believed that the galaxy, and the universe, was teeming with life, but that it rarely developed intelligence, and by that, he seemed to suggest, a lifeform that could create a civilization. Not all worlds where life developed would reach a stage where there would be an intelligence that could build a civilization, let alone create a way to explore interstellar, and if I understood him, intergalactic space. The distances are so vast and if the speed of light is the limiting factor, such travel is nearly impossible.

He also talked about the revelation that nearly every star had a planet or two circling it. This was something that wasn’t known just a couple of decades ago. This discovery changed the discussion about life on other worlds because of the abundance of other worlds.

The recent revelation by the government was also addressed. Loeb said, of the UAP report released on June 25, “After the recent release of the ODNI [Office of the Director National Intelligence] report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), the scientific community needs the determination to systematically, scientifically and transparently look for potential evidence of extraterrestrial technological equipment. The impact of any discovery of extraterrestrial technology on science, our technology, and on our entire world view, would be enormous.”

Dr. Avi Loeb, Faye Flam and Frank Laukier during the Q and A at the 
Internet hosted press conference.

They did mention, repeatedly that they did not want to be dragged into a situation where, by seeing classified information, such as that recently acknowledged by the government, their work might be inhibited. They said that this “is a transparent scientific project to advance a systematic experimental search for cross-validated evidence of potential Astro-archeological artifacts or active technical equipment made by putative existing or extinct extraterrestrial technological civilizations.”

They did say, repeatedly, that this is going to be a new study and not one grounded in the past. They mentioned, and not without some justification, that much of the UFO data collected over the last seventy some years was corrupted. It wasn’t that false information was injected to prove a point, but that the rigors of the scientific method have not be used. Too much of the gathered data was anecdotal. Well, they didn’t say it in so many words, but that was my impression of their real meaning.

More importantly, at least to my way of thinking, they meant there wasn’t a proper way to evaluate the older data. Too much information was missing from the case reports, evidence was lost or never gathered, the proper questions were not asked, and I got the impression, they viewed that sort of research as counterproductive.

In fact, I asked about the data collected during the “Scientific Investigation of Unidentified Flying Objects,” commonly called the Condon committee. I wondered if there wasn’t something of value to be learned, if not in the case studies, then in the way they attacked the problem. In answer to my questions Loeb wrote that “We are focused on assembling new high-quality data and not on past data.”

It was just another way of saying that they did not want to engage in retroactive UFO cases. They are pursuing new data. They said they didn’t want to argue about philosophy, but wanted to collect data. They wanted to focus on objects in the sky.

I wonder if this isn’t a way of avoiding some of the pitfalls inherent in UFO research that would include having to deal with some of the nut cases out there. Where Condon actual embraced the kooks and the nuts, often having his picture taken with them, these scientists are searching for answers that probably wouldn’t be found in UFO research. They were looking up, into the sky and not down, to where the UFOs operate.

In fact, when I interviewed him last spring, Loeb suggested that the best sightings would be those that did not involve humans. He wanted instruments to collect the data without human interaction. He wanted to remove errors that were often generated by human perception and human bias. I thought of the MADAR project, which seemed to have a somewhat similar goal and that would collect a variety of data without humans directly involved. MADAR is already up and running though not nearly as widespread as Fran Ridge would like it to be.

My take away from this in my pessimistic way is that we have science looking at objects that are traveling around the galaxy. While they might believe that they are natural, they admit that some, maybe only one, could be artificial. That would answer one of the questions that has plagued the world for generations. And as they said, and we have said many times before that, “It only takes one.”

Friday, July 23, 2021

X-Zone - The Latest on Travis Walton's Abduction

 For those living under rocks, who haven’t gotten out of the basement, or who, though some miracle, have avoided social media, let me tell you that the cracks in the Travis Walton abduction case have widened into deep fissures. This all began a

Travis Walton

while back when Mike Rogers announced that he was through with Travis Walton. At that time, because I have communicated with both men, I asked a couple of questions because it seem the split had nothing to do with the abduction tale. Oh, Rogers had mentioned, several times that no one saw Walton abducted, but that wasn’t really much of a revelation and proved nothing. For those interested in seeing my take on this, you can read about it here:

This latest exchange, which was hosted by Erica Lukes on her podcast UFOs Unclassified, began with an interview with Mike Rogers and ended with a discussion with Ryan Gordon. The Rogers end of the interview was, to be kind, slightly incoherent and the Gordon bit was quite illustrative. Gordon does raise some interesting points about the whole case. You can find all four hours of the show here:

Peter Robbins, who might be best known as one of the authors of a book on the Rendlesham Forest case that involved a number of Air Force personnel in December 1980, has posted an alternative view of the Walton abduction, which you can read here:

And before we get too deep into this, I’ll point out that I interviewed Steve Pierce, who was one of those who was there when Walton was abducted. It might interesting to compare what he told me with some of the information coming out now. You can read about that interview here:

I was asked by Rob McConnell to provide my take on this latest episode. I confess that I find it disturbing. It seems to me, that after all these years, decades really, that the pot is being stirred again. Rogers seems, to me, to be a loose cannon at this point. Walton, it seems to me, it a little more rock solid. But this latest information, supplied by Ryan Gordon, has caused quite the stir. You can listen to Rob McConnell and me talk about it on his X-Zone show found here:

There is one other aspect of this that I do want to mention. That is the lie detector tests that have been given. The members of the wood cutting crew were all, with a single exception, given lie detector tests while Walton was still missing. They all passed, but there really weren’t questions about the abduction. The focus was on the possibility that Walton had been murdered.

Once Walton reappeared, he was given a lie detector test arranged by APRO’s International Director, Jim Lorenzen. Walton failed that test but Walton told me that

Jim Lorenzen

it was the polygraph's fault and the test hadn’t been fairly administered. Because the operator didn’t believe the story, that influenced the test and I have to say that such a charge makes sense.Phil

This wouldn’t be of interest, but Lorenzen, at first, denied that such a test had been given. Philip Klass revealed that bit of information harming the credibility of the case and doing some damage to Jim Lorenzen’s reputation.

Other tests, given later, had positive results. Jerry Black arranged for them in the 1990s. You can read about this later test here:

And you can read more about the Walton abduction from some divergent points of view here:

If all this isn’t enough to overwhelm you, I don’t know what it. Like so much of the UFO field, there is a variety of points for view from the debunker’s “It can’t be, therefore it isn’t,” to the other side of the spectrum which is “What more do you need for proof?”

The Walton case is one of the few in which the abduction was witnessed (well, almost… Rogers said that no one witnessed the actual abduction) and that makes it a stronger case. We had, what was once, a solid wall of confirmation by those involved, that now has developed a few cracks that have become wider and deeper.

I confess that at this point I am more confused than ever. Those who visit here regularly know that I’m not a fan of abduction tales. I have said that I think the more likely abduction scenarios are those like the Walton experience in which the “victim” is a target of opportunity rather than a participant in some sort of long-term longitudinal study. I had, provisionally, accepted the story as true but had some reservations about it. This latest pushes me in the other direction and given that a hoax scenario is more likely than an alien abduction, that seems to be the most likely case… but I just don’t really know for sure.

Next up on my radio show/podcast is my interview with Robert Sheaffer. I had thought we’d talk about the UAP report and the latest from the Navy, but given all this about Walton, we’ll discuss that as well. If you have questions, append them here. Since I moderate the comments, they won’t be published.  

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Coast to Coast - Operation Mockingbird


We often hear about conspiracy theories and the claim that those who believe in them are part of the tin foil hat wearing brigade. One of those theories is about something called Operation Mockingbird, which turns out not to be a theory. This was a real program created by the CIA and involved some of the major journalists in the country. It was used to influence the way people think by leaking carefully crafted stories into the mainstream media. Don’t get me wrong, the journalists involved knew what they were doing and participated in this willingly.

You might think, “So what? How does this affect UFOs?”

In 1953, the Robertson Panel, spent five days reviewing the best of the UFO cases. While it was reported to be an unbiased and scientific investigation, it is clear from the membership of the panel that not one of the scientists believed or even considered the possibility that some UFOs represented alien spacecraft.

Dr. H. P. Robertson

One of the conclusions was that the Air Force should deemphasize the subject of UFOs and embark on a debunking campaign which would result in a reduction of public interest… this education could be accomplished by mass media such as television, motion pictures, and popular articles to show that even puzzling sightings were potentially explainable.

Here’s what we know today and this is the connection. According to a former CIA agent, “CIA officials wanted knowledge of any CIA interest in the subject of flying saucer restricted… any mention of CIA sponsorship of the Robertson panel was forbidden…”

You can read more about the Robertson Panel and their efforts to restrict interest in UFOs here:

And taking this a step farther, you can read about the US government’s attempts to hinder the UFO investigations in other countries here:

This means, of course, that the media was being used to push an explanation of UFOs on the public because that was what the CIA wanted. Those of us who have been around for a long time remember the attitudes of journalists regarding UFOs. They were just too sophisticated to believe that UFOs were anything alien.

Here we are today. We have been given the unclassified version of the UAP report. It tells us nothing that we didn’t already know, other than the topic deserves a serious investigation. John Greenewald tells me that the classified version is only 17 pages long, and while you can cram a lot into 17 pages, this doesn’t bode well.

Lue Elizondo suggests that the classified version is 70 pages, but you can fill it with a lot of technical jargon and irrelevant information. That is what the Condon Committee did in 1969. I don’t know how many journalists took time to examine Condon’s final report, but about 30 percent of the cases were not explained, so their conclusions are irrelevant. That is especially true today given the latest information.

This latest exercise seems to be little more than a repeat of what has gone on before. It seems that this is an appeal to authority, designed to end public interest in UFOs.

Here’s the sort of thing I think they might want to look at, but would rather we didn’t. On January 17, this year, in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, a witness said that he saw an object that was as long as a football field that looked as if it was radar resistant, meaning it was angular like our stealth aircraft. As he watched, it dropped to about 100 feet. The witness attempted to record the object using his cell phone, but his phone had malfunctioned. He said that he was frustrated by the lack of video, but then, so am I. Had he recorded the sighting, maybe the government would have interested.

Even without the video, it’s a case that deserves some attention.  

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Rob Swiatek and MUFON

This week’s guest was Rob Swiatek, a member of MUFON’s board of directors and someone who has been interested in UFOs for decades. He has participated in some very interesting investigations. You can listen to the show here:

Rob Swiatek

The first thing I asked was about was the state of MUFON since there had been some trouble in the last year or so. The headquarters was moved from Santa Monica to Cincinnati and apparently the move was only completed just days ago.

I also asked about the MUFON Journal. I have noticed that it is not quite as robust as it once had been. Sure, there are UFO reports, but they aren’t examined in depth. Rather, there are just the bare bones of the sightings. The Journal reminded me of a popular magazine rather than a journal. In the past, there had been comprehensive articles about important UFO sightings but that seems to have given way to interviews with members, and the promotion of the organization. True, they must move forward with the times, but the real point is that they seem to be appealing to an audience that isn’t there rather than to the one that is.

We did talk about the MADAR system that Fran Ridge is running. I have talked about this in the past and I think it’s a very good idea. Sort of a proactive way to conduct research rather than waiting for someone to see a UFO and then report it. While the system has been up and running for a while, it hasn’t produced a mass of sightings, but it has proven the concept. You can read about the MADAR system here with embedded links to additional information:

Finally, we talked about abductions and the attempts to validate these sorts of reports. A project had been designed to gather evidence electronically, but seems to have produced little in the way of evidence. The problem wasn’t a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the participants, but a lack of funding. Too often it is forgotten that those involved in the research are not paid for it. They volunteer their time and their money but so much more needs to be done.

I was worried that the results of the abduction study would be negated because there was no control group. I wondered if that might lead to a problem with the research. The other problem was that they didn’t have the equipment to monitor a large number of people. Over time, I believe, there were only thirteen participants. Nothing has been done there in about two decades.

Next week, I’ll talk with Robert Scheaffer about his UFO research. He approaches it from the skeptical side of the fence, but then he is reasonable about it. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Coast to Coast - EM Effects and UAPs


As those of you who visit here know, I am not a fan of the latest UAP report, which I think of as little more than a poor high school report. It tells us nothing, really, other than there have been incidents, most of which are unexplained. We don’t really know much about them.

However, I am a fan of tales of Electromagnetic Effects such as those encountered in Levelland, Texas, in 1957. I have been working on a book about that and made a of couple interesting discoveries. First, it seems to me that these cases, in which the UFO interacted with the environment provide something more than just a witness statement about the passing of the UFO. It caused engines to stall, lights to dim, and other assorted effects which is an important side effect.

I will note here that there was a wave of these types of sightings in 1954 in Europe, notably France and in South America. In many of these cases, the witness not only had a vehicle stopped by the approach of the UFO, they also reported that they felt a tingling and sometimes paralysis.

There were also reports of alien creatures associated with many of the sightings. For example, near Sassier, France, Henri Gallois and Louis Vigneron, were driving to a fair when they felt electric shocks, the engine died and the headlights failed. They were paralyzed and some fifty yards away saw t round object sitting on the ground. Three small figures disappeared into the UFO, which took off. At that point the headlights came on, the paralysis ended and they could start the engine. A resident living nearby also reported the UFO.

James Stokes
Then came to wave of 1957 which began with the series of sightings in Levelland. Rather than some of the witnesses being paralyzed, they reported a light, sunburn like redness to the skin. James Stokes whose car was stalled near Orogrande, New Mexico, was one of those. The Air Force worked overtime to discredit him by character assassination. Interestingly, his employers at Holloman Air Force Base, supported him, contradicting the claims made against him.

You can read more about Levelland here:

And read about the Stokes sighting here:

There was another, smaller wave in 1973. As but a couple of examples, a policeman near Laurel, Mississippi, said that he followed a glowing yellow, top-shaped object for several miles on October 8. When he got close to it, his engine, lights and radio failed. As the UFO moved away, the lights and radio began to work but it was several minutes before he could restart the car.

On November 3, in Lewisville, Texas, a saucer-shaped UFO hovered low over a golf course. The radio, lights and engine of a passing truck died. The truck vibrated as if driving over a bumpy road.

After 1973, the reports of electromagnetic effects have diminished. They do pop up sporadically. What caught my interest, and I’m sure that George Knapp can speak about this, was that the Navy’s encounter with the “Tic-tac” seems to have an element of electromagnetic effects to it.

Although we’re all aware of the video, it is only recently and through the efforts of Jeremy Corbell, that we learn of some similar effects. Now, in an interview conducted by Corbell, we hear Lt. Commander Chad Underwood, saying that there was interference with the weapons systems of his F/A-18 Super Hornet.

Tic Tac of Navy fame.

According to a statement made by Underwood, “Once I got the target of interest on my radar, I took a lock and that’s when all the kinda funky things started happening. The erratic nature of the tic-tac. The air speed was very telling to me. Then we started seeing what we call jam strobe lines. Strobe lines are vertical lines that show up on your radar that are indications that you are being jammed.”

He suggested that this was an act of war, meaning it was much more serious than we have been led to believe. You can read the whole story here:

I have to wonder if those earlier sightings, in France, in Texas, and around the world weren’t just the testing of alien weapons systems on terrestrial equipment. We do have reports, verified reports, of UFO activity around atomic weapons storage facilities that disabled missile launch systems. And now this.

It does seem that they are testing our capabilities.

Thursday, July 08, 2021

Coast to Coast: UAPs and a Couple of Current Reports

First, I’d like to provide a little more insight into the government’s and by that, I mean the DNI’s that is the Director of National Intelligence, UAP high school level report. It was a superficial job and I have heard some defending it saying that there were only two people assigned to it on a parttime basis. I believe Congress required the report and I’d think that the DNI would have been able to provide more support for the investigation if he had wanted to do so. True, we haven’t seen the alleged classified version, but there is no real hint that they did anything other than look at the Navy’s and Air Force’s reports of 144 incidents. I’ll say again that I would have thought that a review of what has gone before, if only looking at the Project Blue Book files and the Condon Committee report would have provided some necessary insight. That is almost always the first step at the beginning of an academic research project.

Had this been left to me, I believe a review of the Blue Book index would have provided a few clues. Yes, the index contains only the bare bones of the reports, but then, it does provide information that would narrow the search. You could sort, manually, for physical evidence, radar, photographic or just look for those labeled as unidentified.

There are some very interesting cases listed as unidentified, such as the landing in Socorro witnessed by Lonnie Zamora, that would have provided a case with multiple chains of evidence that included landing impressions and burn marks. There are hints of additional witnesses who called the police before Zamora made his discovery.

But of even more importance, at least to those of us paying attention, is the way the Air Force investigated the sighting, proving that they were not overly interested in gathering evidence as opposed to suppressing it. I made that obvious in Encounter in the Desert, which is an in depth examination of the Socorro landing.

Even ignoring those sources of information because the cases are so old, there are many newer cases that provide some interesting insights.

On May 27, 2021, a man in White Hall, Illinois, said that he had looked out a window late at night and watched several lights move across the sky. He then saw a bright orange object with six or seven lights to the northeast. As he watched, the UFO suddenly shot up into the sky. He thought, originally, that it was cigar-shaped, but it looked more saucer shaped as it climbed out. He heard no sound.

Not really an impressive case with just a single witness. However, the next day he drove out into the field where the UFO had landed. There he found a circle in the wheat looking as if it had been pushed over without breaking the stems rather than crushed. Yes, there are photographs and so that everyone can see what the landing traces looked like. You can find the photographs here:

And I thank William Puckett at his UFOSNW website for that information.

Please note that this took place on May 27, which means that it happened while the DNI was investigating UFOs. I suppose the answer will be that the DNI was interested in those sightings made by military personnel and had some photographic and sensor evidence of the UFO. And I suppose they will complain that the landing took place a little less than a month before the report was due. Of course, I don’t know how many times I’ve had to revise a book or posting because I suddenly had new information. That kind of goes with the territory. That case was not just a single witness, but there were also those landing traces.

On May 15 of this year, three people watched several bright balls of light heading northeast and then saw a large disk on the horizon. Through binoculars, the witness saw the disk had a row of windows on the side and that it didn’t appear to be rotating. There were multiple witnesses who used an optic device, that is, the binoculars, to study the object. The sighting lasted about four minutes and I mention this only because it happened in Randle, Washington, and they spelled Randle correctly.

Again, neither are spectacular, but they do provide a bit of favor as to what is going on today. Not as important as what the military is sighting, but important information might have been recovered had they bothered to take a look.