That Take UFOs Seriously
by Richard M. Dolan
people what they think about UFOs, and youre sure
to get opinions ranging through all extremes and nuances.
Some are so embarrassed by the topic that they simply
refuse to consider any evidence whatsoever, like the Pope
refusing to look through Galileos telescope. Others
claim not only to be certain that aliens are here, but
to have exact, insider knowledge of what its all
about. Between these extremes are endless variations.
the same with how we approach the subject. Some people
read UFO books for fun, like a mystery novel or scary
story. Others are more interested in scientific evidence,
such as analysis of photographs, videos, or material samples.
Still others prefer more hypothetical roads, like theories
about the likelihood of life elsewhere in the universe,
or how an advanced propulsion system might work. There
are a host of specialized studies, too, ranging from abductions,
to crop circles, to animal mutilations, and more. Or,
you may focus on the believers and witnesses themselves
by studying UFOs as an element of popular culture, or
from a psycho-social perspective.
approach is historical. There are, after all, government
UFO documents that anyone can read. What do they say?
Can these documents tell us whether the government or
military have ever been interested in this phenomenon?
If so, why?
this approach might not be of the same value as subjecting
a piece of flying saucer to laboratory tests. But it would
certainly be important if the government had documents
showing that UFOs are truly something extraordinary, and
even possibly alien. Especially after telling the public
the opposite for years. Since belief in UFOs is a near-professional
suicide in most respected circles, what would it mean
if we discovered that, within the classified world, people
have taken it seriously for years?
just so happens that they have. They do.
many years, it was hard to obtain declassified government
documents about UFOs. During the 1950s and 1960s, a few
documents wended their way to the rest of the world, but
this was rare. Then, in 1974, the U.S. government amended
the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The result was
a veritable golden age of document releases that lasted
roughly until a 1982 Executive Order from President Reagan.
While UFO documents continue to be released, a repeat
of the Great Flood of the seventies appears unlikely.
declassified UFO documents look rather cool, but most
dont provide any evidence for aliens, and many of
them are not even that interesting. But some are very
interesting. Whether they prove that UFOs are aliens or
something entirely different, they make it clear that
this topic has been taken very seriously at high levels,
and has been subject to a great deal of secrecy.
how marginalized this subject is from mainstream culture,
making this point is enough for a days work. There
are always deeper waters within which to swim, but for
now let us stay close to the shore and look at a few of
these documents. Even though most of these are well-known
to UFO researchers, they continue to remain almost completely
unknown to the wider public. Apparently, some things are
so obvious that they are invisible.
The 1947 Twining Memo.
Nathan Twining, author of the September 23, 1947 memo.
He later earned a fourth star and became USAF Chief of
and then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
good reason, this is one of the most important UFO documents
we have. On September 23, 1947, right at the beginning
of the modern UFO era, General Nathan Twining,
Head of the U.S. Air Material Command (AMC), wrote a classified
letter to Air Force General George Schulgen regarding
the flying discs. He said the objects were
real and not visionary or fictitious. They
may possibly be natural phenomena, he wrote, such as meteors.
reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates
of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and
action which must be considered evasive when sighted ...
lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects
are controlled either manually, automatically, or remotely.
listed several common descriptions of UFOs. They generally
were silent, had a metallic or light reflecting surface,
no trail, were circular or elliptical in shape, and often
flat on the bottom. Many descriptions indicated a dome
on top. Several reports indicated they flew in formation.
Quite specific information, indeed.
skeptics have pointed to Twinings statement that
no wreckage of a flying disc had been recovered. Its
true that he was probably in a good position to know.
But what we dont know is whether Twining would have
been able to tell Schulgen about a UFO crash, if indeed
such a thing happened. Simply put, if Schulgen lacked
a need to know, Twining could not have told
the other hand, Twining did state that UFOs were not secret
American craft. This came as a surprise to Schulgen, who
expected to learn that there was nothing to the affair,
that everything was under control. Was Twining was hiding
the fact that UFOs were classified technology? Its
a fair question.
the hindsight of more than fifty years, the answer seems
to be no. There is simply no credible evidence that the
U.S. had any craft in 1947, experimental or otherwise,
that could duplicate the reported maneuvers of flying
saucers. Anyway, why would Twining tell Schulgen to keep
studying flying saucers if they were simply classified
American craft? If there were good reasons for doing so,
none have emerged.
one, two, and three of the Twining Memo. Click to enlarge.
1949 FBI Memo.
Edgar Hoover. America's #1 law man, and the recipient
of the January 31, 1949 FBI memo on UFOs.
my own opinion, this three-page document is just as extraordinary
as the Twining Memo. On January 31, 1949, the FBI issued
a memo on UFOs, entitled Protection of Vital Installations.
The classified document was sent to FBI Director J. Edgar
Hoover, the Armys G-2, the Office of Naval Intelligence,
and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. It
mentions a meeting among these groups concerning UFOs.
is a key statement of the document:
intelligence has recently said that the matter of
Unidentified Aircraft or Unidentified
Aerial Phenomena, otherwise known as Flying
Discs, Flying Saucers, and Balls
of Fire, is considered top secret by intelligence
officers of both the Army and the Air Forces.
was a year and a half into the modern era of UFOs. All
the while, government sources had been telling the public
that this phenomenon was just a combination of hoaxes,
hallucinations, conventional aircraft, and misidentification
of natural phenomena.
then, was the subject considered top secret?
answer is contained within the memo itself. It mentions,
for instance, a near-collision by an commercial airliner
with a large rocket type craft (with windows,
no less) traveling at an estimated speed of strap
yourself in 2,700 mph. More serious, the memo explains,
were invasions of sensitive airspace by unknown objects
in the vicinity of the Atomic Energy Commissions
installation at Los Alamos, New Mexico. The memo states
that these had occurred throughout December 1948 (on the
5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 20th, and 28th).
The witnesses of these "unexplained phenomena"
were "Special Agents of the Office of Special Investigation;
Airline Pilots; Military Pilots, Los Alamos Security Inspectors,
and private citizens." The sightings continued into
1949, as a similar object was seen in the area on January
memo goes on to explain that "recent observations
have indicated that the unidentified phenomena travel
at the rate of speed estimated at a minimum of three miles
per second and a maximum of twelve miles per second, or
a mean calculated speed of seven and one-half miles per
second, or 27,000 miles per hour." Moreover, "on
two separate occasions a definite vertical change in path
was indicated." In other words, the phenomenon was
able to maneuver at a very high rate of speed, and seemed
to be focused on Los Alamos. The memo states that reports
of the appearance of the object as typically round, occasionally
diamond-shaped, "with a definite area to the light's
source," and having elongated trailing lights. "On
two occasions reports have been received of the sighting
of multiple units." There is some speculation within
the document that the objects were Soviet in origin, but
no evidence or proof is offered.
memo also refers to "scientific reasons" why
the objects could not be meteorites. "The only conclusions
reached thus far are that they are either hitherto unobserved
natural phenomena or that they are man made. No scientific
experiments are known to exist in this country which could
give rise to such phenomena." On the third page,
the idea of "cosmic rays" was offered, though
without any theory or evidence to support it.
the memo does not state the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis
(ETH), its attempt to explain the Los Alamos phenomenon
as either natural phenomena or man made does not supply
any actual evidence -- the only reason why these explanations
could even be offered. Because once one tries to find
a "hitherto unobserved phenomena," or a "man-made"
object, one only comes up empty.
one, two, and three of the 1949 FBI memo. Click to enlarge.
1951 USAF Intelligence Report.
The F-51 was better known as the P-51 Mustang, made famous
report describes a rather up-close and personal UFO encounter
on July 9, 1951, by the pilot of an F-51 fighter plane
from Lawson Air Force Base in Georgia. The pilot, a combat
veteran from World War Two, provided quite a bit of detail,
which was recorded in the report.
described as flat on top and bottom and appearing from
a front view to have rounded edges and slightly beveled.
From view as object dived from top of plane was completely
round and spinning in clockwise direction.... Object did
not appear to be aluminum. Only 1 object observed. Solar
white. No vapor trails or exhaust or visible system of
propulsion. Described as traveling [at] tremendous speed....Pilot
states object was 300 to 400 feet from plane and appeared
to be 10 to 15 feet in diameter....Pilot states he felt
disturbance in the air described as bump when
object passed under plane....Pilot is considered by associates
to be highly reliable, of mature judgement and a creditable
commentary is necessary? The report says it all.
1 and 2 of the 1951 Air Force Intelligence Report. Click
Air Force Intelligence Report.pdf
The Chadwell Memo of December 2, 1952.
CIA Director Walter Bedell Smith, recipient of the Chadwell
Smith had also been Gen. Dwight Eisenhower's Chief of
during the 1944 invasion of Normandy.
was an important year in the history of the UFO. Across
the United States, the number of sightings skyrocketed,
and several of these were well-documented encounters by
military personnel. At the end of July, the Air Force
held a press conference explaining that, although some
of these reports remained unexplained, there was no evidence
they were alien craft. Within the classified world, matters
were not so serene.
Marshall Chadwell was the CIAs Director of Scientific
Intelligence, and very much interested in this problem.
In this memo, addressed to the CIA Director, General Walter
Bedell Smith, Chadwell wrote:
this time, the reports of incidents convince us that there
is something going on that must have immediate attention....
Sightings of unexplained objects at great altitudes and
travelling at high speeds in the vicinity of major U.S.
defense installations are of such nature that they are
not attributable to natural phenomena or known types of
statement bears very close scrutiny. Here is yet another
comment by a high-level U.S. official that UFOs were real,
probably artificial, probably intelligently operated,
and not apparently ours. Nor was there serious consideration
that these were Soviet.
not American, if not Soviet, if not natural phenomena,
and if they appeared to be technological and under intelligent
control, we begin to run out of viable options. Chadwells
memo makes it obvious that he understood this. Understandably,
he was loathe to state the obvious.
Chadwell Memo. Click to enlarge.
1954 Maxwell AFB Emergency Report.
U.S. helicopter of the 1950s.
the 1950s, the air space violations kept on coming. This
report (headed Emergency) originated from
the flight service center at Maxwell Air Force Base, and
was sent to the Commander of Air Defense Command (ADC)
report describes the entry into airspace of a strange
stationary object variable in brilliance which moved
rapidly, then returned to its original position. The base
sent a helicopter to investigate. The pilots assessment:
definitely not a star. Many people watched
this object from the tower, and a civilian tower radioed
that it also had it in sight. The object became dimmer,
showed a slight red glow, and disappeared.
it have been a star? Possibly. Still, the personnel at
the time asked the same question, and concluded it wasnt.
to the report:
of helicopter wished to stress fact that the object was
of a saucer-like nature, was stationary at 2000 ft. And
would be glad to be called upon to verify any statement
and act as witness.
is worth noting that copies of this report were sent to
the CIA, the National Security Agency (NSA), the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, and each of the military services.
Report from Maxwell AFB. Click to enlarge.
Maxwell AFB Emergency.pdf
Intrusion at Minot Air Force Base, 1966.
The UFO over Minot AFB was seen visually and tracked on
large UFO wave took place across the U.S. during the mid-1960s.
This caused a good deal of publicity, congressional interest,
and the eventual study of UFOs by the University of Colorado
in the hopes of settling the matter once and for all.
Although the Colorado Committee was supposed to have full
access to classified UFO reports, in practice it received
very little to go on, and instead conducted a number of
ad hoc investigations of sightings as they became known.
of many classified reports that slipped through the cracks
occurred at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota, on
August 24, 1966. That night, an airman radioed to the
base about a multicolored light, very high in the sky.
A team went to the location, confirmed the original unknown,
then saw a second, white object pass in front of clouds.
The base radar tracked the object, which was as high as
100,000 feet (almost twenty miles). The object rose and
descended several times; each time it descended, an air
force officer in charge of a missile crew found his radio
transmission interrupted by static, even though he was
sixty feet below the ground. The object eventually descended
to ground level ten to fifteen miles south of the area.
The Air Force sent a strike team to check. Apparently,
they saw the object either on the ground or hovering very
low. According to the official report:
the team was about ten miles from the landing site, static
disrupted radio contact with them. Five to eight minutes
later, the glow diminished, and the UFO took off. Another
UFO was visually sighted and confirmed by radar. The one
that was first sighted passed beneath the second. Radar
also confirmed this. The first made for altitude toward
the north, and the second seemed to disappear with the
glow of red.
incident lasted nearly four hours and was confirmed by
three different missile sites.
Minot AFB 1966
Key page of the Minot AFB incident. Click to enlarge.
Malmstrom AFB, 1967.
Air Force officer Robert Salas, a key witness to the 1967
Malstrom UFO event.
in the morning on the March 16, 1967 at Malmstrom AFB
in Montana, occurred one of the most extraordinary events
in the history of military-UFO encounters. Under a clear
and dark Montana sky, an airman with the Oscar Flight
Launch Control Center (LCC) saw a star-like object zigzagging
high above him. Soon, a larger and closer light also appeared,
and acted in similar fashion. The airman called his NCO,
and the two men watched the lights streak through the
sky, maneuvering in impossible ways. The NCO phoned his
commander, Lieutenant Robert Salas, who was below ground
in the launch control center. Great, Salas
said. You just keep watching them and let me know
if they get any closer.
few minutes later, the NCO called again, shouting that
a red, glowing UFO was hovering outside the front gate.
What do you want us to do? asked the NCO.
Salas told him to make sure the site was secure while
he phoned the command post. Sir, replied the
NCO, I have to go now, one of the guys just got
Salas could ask about the injury, the NCO was off the
line. The man, who was not seriously injured, was evacuated
by helicopter to the base. Salas woke his commander, Lieutenant
Fred Meiwald. As he briefed Meiwald, an alarm went off
in the small capsule, and both men saw a No-Go
light turn on for one of the missiles. Within seconds,
several more missiles went down in succession.
miles away, at the Echo-Flight Launch Facilities, the
same scenario was taking place. First Lieutenant Walter
Figel, the Deputy Crew Commander of the Missile Combat
Crew, was at his station when one of the Minuteman missiles
went into No-Go status. He called the missile
site and learned that a UFO had been hovering over the
site. Like Salas, Figel doubted the story. But just then,
ten more ICBMs in rapid succession reported a No-Go
condition. Within seconds, the entire flight was down.
teams were dispatched to two launch facilities, where
maintenance crews were already at work. Figel had not
told the strike teams about the UFO report. Upon their
arrival, however, the teams reported back to him that
all of the maintenance and security personnel had been
watching UFOs hover over each of the sites.
missiles were down for most of the day. Neither the Air
Force investigation, nor the laboratory tests at Boeings
Seattle plant found any cause for the shutdown. According
to the Boeing engineering chief, there was no technical
explanation that could explain the event. UFOs were
not part of this analysis.
U.S. Defense document confirming the events at Malmstrom
AFB. Click to enlarge.
Wurtsmith Air Force Base, 1975.
Wurtsmith AFB, scene of an intrusion by an unknown object,
or objects, in 1975
October and November of 1975, another extraordinary series
of air space violations took place, this time across the
length of the U.S. northern border, involving several
military bases from Montana to Maine. Air space incursions
also took place through much of 1976. All are unexplained
to this day in any conventional sense.
the evening of October 31, 1975 at Wurtsmith AFB in Michigan,
an airman saw what appeared to be running lights of a
low flying craft, possibly a helicopter, near the southern
perimeter of the base, heading westerly. One light pointed
down; two red lights were near the back. The object was
either silent or very quiet.
little later, other witnesses saw several lights near
the western edge of the base. The lights turned north
and appeared to lose altitude. Most heard nothing, although
some claimed to hear a quiet sound similar to a helicopter,
but which faded quickly.
three times within the space of 11 minutes, security police
at the back gate reported that an object with no lights
possibly a helicopter entered the base and
hovered very low over the weapons storage area. Radar
personnel detected low flying objects (plural) in the
area. At the northern perimeter of the base, one of the
crafts briefly turned its lights on.
KC-135 tanker was flying to the base at the time. It was
ordered to intercept and identify the object or objects.
The crew tracked what at first appeared to be a single
craft for about 35 miles southeast from the base. However,
they soon decided they were seeing two objects, apparently
communicating with each other with irregular flashing
lights. Radar trackings could not last longer than 10
seconds. Every time they tried to close, the objects simply
crew lost the objects among fishing boat lights in Saginaw
Bay, so they started back. Here is how the story ends,
as told by the navigator to the base historian four years
the way back, we picked the UFO up again at our eight
oclock position. We turned away, and it proceeded
to follow us. Finally, we turned back in the direction
of the UFO and it really took off back in the direction
of the Bay area. I know this might sound crazy, but I
would estimate that the UFO sped away from us doing approximately
1,000 knots. We continued in the direction of the Bay
until RAPCON (radar) called us again and said they were
painting a UFO four to five miles over the coast traveling
in a westerly direction. They vectored us to the position
of the UFO and we proceeded but at point we were low fuel
and were forced to return to Wurtsmith. I remember that
while on final approach we saw the lights again near the
Weapons Storage Area. Following the mission we discussed
the incident and about a week later, Captain Higgenbotham
was questioned by OSI and cautioned not to discuss the
this have been advanced helicopter technology? If so,
it would have to have outperformed what was then the most
advanced helicopter design in the world: the recently
built Apache prototype. But as awesome a machine as the
Apache is, even today it can not duplicate the reported
actions of the unidentified intruders at Wurtsmith. And,
of course, this still begs the question ... who was responsible
Two U.S. Defense Department documents confirming a
UFO over Wurtsmith AFB. Click to enlarge.
The Amazing Encounter over Tehran in 1976.
An F-4 "Phantom" fighter jet. Two of these were
thoroughly outclassed by a UFO over Tehran in September,
from Richard Dolan: this account largely follows my description
from UFOs and the National Security State: The Cover-Up
Exposed, 1973-1991. Additional details and citations are
found in the book.]
the night of September 18, 1976, the Iranian Air Force
was involved in one of the most dramatic UFO events in
modern history. Not only was the case itself extraordinary,
but so was the documentation: namely, a four-page U.S.
Defense Intelligence Agency report.
strangeness began after 10:30 p.m. on September 18, when
the control tower at Mehrabad Airport received calls about
an unknown object hovering at 1,000 feet in the northern
section of Teheran. The tower supervisor observed the
object with binoculars, describing it as rectangular or
cylindrical. In his words, the two ends were pulsating
with a whitish blue color. Around the mid-section was
this small red light that kept going in a circle.... I
notified the Iranian Air Force. Two hundred miles away,
at Shahrokhi AFB, General Nader Yousefi ordered an F-4
Phantom to investigate. It took off at 1:30 a.m. on the
morning of September 19. According to the pilot, the object
was intensely brilliant and easily visible
at a distance of 70 miles. As he came to within 25 nautical
miles (about 29 statute miles), his aircraft lost
all instrumentation and communications. He broke
off the intercept and headed back, at which point his
aircraft regained all instrumentation.
General had already authorized a second F-4. When the
second pilot reached a distance of 27 NM, he obtained
a substantial radar return, comparable to that of
a 707 tanker. At this point, the UFO began to move
away from the F-4 at the same speed. It was extremely
bright and gave off flashing strobe lights arranged in
a rectangular pattern. The colors alternated blue-green,
red, and orange, although the sequence was so fast that
they were almost simultaneous.
UFO then released a bright object, estimated to
be one half to one third the apparent size of the Moon.
It headed straight toward the F-4 at a very fast
rate of speed. The pilot tried to fire an AIM-9
missile at it, but at that instant his weapons control
panel went off and he lost all communications. Seeking
to evade, he dove and turned away, but the object followed
him and turned inside his own turn. It then returned to
the main object for a perfect rejoin. The
F-4 pilot then regained communications and weapons control.
this point, another object came out of the main object
and rapidly descended. The F-4 crew observed this, anticipating
an explosion. Instead, the object appeared to rest gently
on the Earth and cast a very bright light over an area
of about 2 miles. The crew noted the objects position
and then headed back.
landing, they circled Mehrabad Airport several times,
receiving frequent interference and losing communications.
During their final approach, the F-4 crew saw a cylinder
shaped object with bright steady lights on each end and
a flasher in the middle. They inquired with the tower,
which replied that there was no other known traffic in
next morning, the F-4 crew was taken in a helicopter to
the area where the UFO was thought to have landed
a dry lake bed. They saw nothing, but picked up a beeper
signal west of the area. At the point where the return
was the loudest was a small house. They landed and asked
the residents if they had noticed anything strange the
previous night. The people mentioned a loud noise and
a bright light, like lightning.
the DIA memo indicated more information would be forwarded,
no follow-up military documents ever came to light. Researchers
Barry Greenwood and Lawrence Fawcett stated, reliable
sources have told us the Iranian case was about one and
a half inches thick, yet absolutely no admission to having
this file has come from any government agency with a possible
connection to the case. Nevertheless, taped testimonies
in later years by Iranian Air Force generals Nader Yousefi
and Mahmoud Sabahat reveal that General John Secord, chief
of the USAF mission in Orion, attended a high level briefing
with Iranian authorities and the pilots.
Lt. General Abdulah Azarbarzin of the Iranian Imperial
Air Force admitted to U.S. reporters that the UFO encounter
had been carefully documented and passed on to the USAF.
This was the request from the U.S. They have the
procedure, if we have some information on UFOs, were
just exchanging all this information, and we did it.
In 2005, one of the Iranian pilots, General Parviz Jafari,
confirmed the facts of the chase in an interview with
Whitley Strieber and Dr. Roger Leir.
intelligence analysts found the case to be spectacular.
An evaluation in the DIA files stated:
outstanding report. This case is a classic which meets
all the criteria necessary for a valid study of the UFO
phenomenon: a) the object was seen by multiple witnesses
from different locations ... and viewpoints. b) the credibility
of many of the witnesses was high (an Air Force general,
qualified air crews, and experienced radar operators).
c) visual sightings were confirmed by radar. d) similar
electromagnetic effects (EME) were reported by three separate
aircraft. e) there were physiological effects on some
crew members (i.e. loss of night vision due to the brightness
of the object). f) an inordinate amount of maneuverability
was displayed by the UFOs.
the 1990s, Lee Graham and Ron Regehr of Aero-Jet in California
confirmed that the UFO sighting over Tehran was tracked
by the U.S. militarys Defense Support Program (DSP)
satellite. This is a deep space platform primarily used
to detect the launch of ballistic missiles. It can distinguish
different aircraft by comparing their infrared signature
with a comprehensive database of known aircraft. Graham
and Regehr obtained print-outs showing that the DSP detected
an anomalous object in Iranian air space at that time.
obvious question is, who was operating the object over
Teheran? Based on the all that is known, it makes no sense
to claim that this was American technology. Why would
the Americans confront the Air Force of such a key ally
within its own air space? Nor has there ever been any
indication in subsequent years that the Soviet Union created
technology responsible for this to say nothing
of the fact that for the Soviets to have engaged Iranian
F-4s over Tehran in 1976 would have been even more provocative
than if the U.S. had done so. Indeed, after the encounter,
the Iranian government asked the governments of the USSR
and the U.S. whether this had been a test of their military
equipment. Neither nation claimed responsibility.
real problem is that this object so clearly outperformed
American-made fighter jets. Some agency or civilization
was responsible for it.
Description of the Iranian UFO encounter, from a U.S.
Defense Intelligence Agency report. Click to enlarge.
The 1981 Halt Memo.
USAF Lt. Col. Charles Halt
Rendlesham Forest incident remains among the most important
UFO cases ever. It involved a landing of an unknown craft
near two Air Bases in Britain, was witnessed by many U.S.
military personnel, and is supported by military documentation.
In addition, the area held a large stock of nuclear weapons,
a fact that was denied by authorities for years, then
admitted to be true. The case remains controversial, however,
because proponents have not agreed on certain key details,
and other critics have claimed it has wholly prosaic explanations.
Moreover, confusion has plagued the case in matters so
simple as the exact dates when it occurred.
major reason for this stems from the primary military
document associated with the case, prepared by Deputy
Base Commander Lt. Colonel Charles Halt. This was written
from memory several weeks later, left a great deal out,
and ascribed incorrect dates to the major events. Nevertheless,
the incredible detail provided by so many witnesses, much
of which is well corroborated, makes it clear that something
in the morning of December 26, 1980, two USAF security
police patrolmen saw unusual lights outside the back gate
at Britains RAF Woodbridge. Under the assumption
that this was aircraft in trouble, three patrolmen were
ordered to proceed on foot to investigate.
to the report by Halt (which ascribed this sighting to
the following evening), they reported seeing a glowing,
triangular object in the forest, about 9 feet long and
6 feet high, emitting a powerful white light. It had
a pulsating red light on top with a bank(s) of blue lights
underneath. The object was either hovering or standing
on short legs.
the patrol approached, the strange object maneuvered slowly
through the trees to a nearby farm, causing disturbance
among the animals. It then quickly disappeared into the
sky. About an hour later, the object was sighted in the
sky. The following day, investigators saw three ground
traces indicating possible landing leg depressions. Later
that night, Halt and other men personally witnessed a
red sun-like light, moving and pulsing. Here
is his description:
one point it appeared to throw off glowing particles and
then broke into five separate white objects and then disappeared.
Immediately thereafter, three star-like objects were noticed
in the sky, two objects to the north and one to the south,
all of which were about 10 degrees off the horizon. The
objects moved rapidly in sharp angular movements and displayed
red, green and blue lights.... The object to the south
was visible for two or three hours and beamed down a stream
of light from time to time.
also exists 18 minutes of an extraordinary audio-tape
recording (covering several hours), made while Halt and
his team investigated during the second night. In addition,
the main airmen involved have all been interviewed, and
in essentials their stories hold together well.
important fact that has surfaced is that as the object
hovered above Halt and his men, one hovered motionless
and began to shine laser-like beams of light down all
over the forest and RAF Woodbridge.
sort of danced about in the sky and it sent down beams
of light.... falling different places on the base....
The people in the Weapons storage area and several other
places on the base also reported the lights.... [The beam]
stayed on for about 5-10 seconds and just as abruptly
as it came, it disappeared...
only this, but in 1993 Halt told investigators privately
that beams had penetrated the steel, earth, and concrete
of the hardened bunkers containing the nuclear weapons
secretly stored at the base. Given the history of UFOs
and their proximity to nuclear weapons, it is certainly
plausible. Ultimately, the beams reached the secured areas
where the weapons were stored, adversely affecting
the ordinance, in the words of Halt.
is much more to this event, which has received several
book-length treatments as well as detailed coverage in
my book, UFOs and the National Security State: The Cover-Up
the years go by, the stature of the Rendlesham Forest
case has continued to grow, not merely as a bona fide
UFO encounter, but as one of the most significant ever.
The British Ministry of Defence, following its long-established
policy of silence and disinformation regarding UFOs, stated
curtly that the Rendlesham case was of "no defence
The memo by Lt. Col. Charles Halt, prepared in January
1981. Click to enlarge.
U.S. Coast Guard Encounter with a UFO, 1988.
The Perry Nuclear Power Plant: apparent site of interest
of the Lake Erie UFO.
from Richard Dolan: This is a direct excerpt from my book,
UFOs and the National Security State: The Cover-Up Exposed,
1973-1991. Article citations are provided in the book.]
the evening of March 4, 1988 near Eastland, Ohio, not
far from the Pennsylvania border, Sheila Baker and her
children were driving home along the shore of Lake Erie.
At 6:30 p.m., their attention was drawn to a large, bright
object apparently hovering over the lake. It seemed almost
like a blimp. Bright lights appeared at each end of it,
and the whole thing was rocking end to end like a seesaw.
The brighter of the two lights was strobing. Once home,
she persuaded her husband, Henry, to accompany her and
the children to the beach.
standing on the shore of Lake Erie, they all saw the object.
It was gun-metal grey and positively enormous Henry
later said it was larger than a football held at
arms length. It made no sound that they could
hear. Somehow, however, it caused the lake ice to rumble
and crack, perhaps by application of heat. The object
then began to circle slowly over part of the lake, coming
nearly overhead at just 1/4 mile altitude.
nervous, they drove back and watched the object from their
home. From there, they saw it descend; red and blue blinking
lights were along its bottom edge. More interesting, however,
were five or six bright yellow triangular lights that
detached from its side. These lights hovered around the
main object, then darted and zig-zagged in the night sky
at high speeds. Henry believed these objects were smaller
than a one-seat Cessna and crossed 50 mile stretches
low over the ice in the snap of a finger. They approached
the shore, made right-angle turns, and shot straight up.
Several passes were toward the nearby Perry Nuclear Plant.
One neighbor of the Bakers also saw this display, and
tried (unsuccessfully) to photograph the object.
response to several phone calls, two members of the Coast
Guard, Seaman James Powers and Petty Officer John Knaub,
drove to the beach. As they arrived, the triangular objects
approached them, prompting them to turn off their vehicles
headlights. The men continued to watch the triangles fly
over the lake, one of which accelerated straight at them,
then veered east, zoomed straight up, and came down beside
the parent object. The Bakers were back at the beach now,
and listened to the Coast Guard personnel communicate
by two-way radio with their base in Detroit. What they
. . be advised the object appears to be landing on the
lake .... There are other objects moving around it. Be
advised these smaller objects are going at high rates
of speed. There are no engine noises and they are very,
very low. Be advised these are not planets.
the same time, 15 miles to the southeast, not far from
the Perry Nuclear Plant, Cindy Hale was walking her dog.
She saw a triangular light hovering above her, and her
dog began to whine. The triangle flashed a sequence of
multicolored lights, and she responded by flicking her
cigarette lighter. This went on for 30 minutes, until
the triangle accelerated and left without a sound.
local resident, Tim Keck, was watching the stars through
his telescope when he saw a bright triangular object.
Luckily, he had his camera with him a cheap 110
Instamatic he had received as a Burger King promotion,
but it worked. He took a picture of the object before
it silently moved beyond the horizon, catching about half
of it before it moved fully out of the frame. Because
of the nature of the camera, part of the object appeared
beyond the formal edge of the negatives frame.
back at the lake, the large ship was nearly directly on
the ice. Henry Baker continued to listen to Powers and
Knaub tell their base, you should be advised that
the object is now shining lights all over the lake and
its turning different colors. The ice made
cracking noises so loud that Powers and Knaub had to yell
in order to be heard. Suddenly the triangles were back,
returning one by one into the large object. The ice boomed
louder and louder, then all the lights went off, the ice
stopped making noise, and everything became dead
silent. After another 30 minutes, the object could
not be seen. The witnesses could only assume it had gone
below the surface.
the morning of the 5th, unusually huge pieces of broken
ice were seen where the object had been. That day, a Coast
Guard representative told the Bakers that they had been
instructed by the Army and NASA (whom Sheila had also
phoned) not to investigate the matter further, nor to
take their ice cutter out to the lake to examine the ice.
The matter was out of their league and out of their
hands. They said all information was being forwarded
to Wright-Patterson AFB and a facility in Detroit. For
its part, Wright-Patterson refused to confirm or deny
any interest in the matter.
Coast Guard created an Incident Report on March 5, 1988,
describing the event in concise detail. The report stated
that a large object had landed a quarter mile east of
the nuclear power plant, and that it had ...
dispersed 3-5 smaller flying objects that were zipping
around rather quickly. These objects had red, green, white,
and yellow lights on them that strobed intermittently.
They also had the ability to stop and hover in mid-flight.
the night of March 5, Sheila Baker saw what she thought
was the same UFO, hovering over the lake, only at a higher
altitude than the night before. The Coast Guard sent some
men out who arrived too late and saw nothing. The Coast
Guard then contacted the Lost Nation Airport in Willoughby,
Ohio. The control tower operator told them that the
two bright lights were Venus and Jupiter, which
were in near-alignment. The flashing lights were gases
in the atmosphere. Never mind that Baker did not
mention two bright lights, but a large object. The Coast
Guard promptly wrote a follow-up report on the original
encounter, laying the whole matter to rest. The entire
series of events was then debunked in the Cleveland Plain
Dealer and other newspapers.
the cause of the March 5 sighting, to attribute the events
of March 4 to Venus and Jupiter goes well beyond the boundaries
of credibility. MUFON, to its credit, continued to investigate
the sighting, even placing a classified ad in the newspaper
looking for witnesses. The tactic worked; others did come
forward, including Cindy Hale, Tim Keck, and others. All
of these people described UFO activity from that night
between 10 and 10:30 p.m., and all described triangles.
Bruce Maccabee analyzed Kecks photograph, determining
that it was a legitimate image of an unexplained object.
Years later, Shiela and Henry Baker remained adamant about
what they saw.
according to Hudson Valley-based UFO researcher Philip
Imbrogno, a number of triangular objects were seen by
multiple witnesses near the Indian Point nuclear facility
in New York State on March 4, 1988 that is, the
same night as the sightings in Ohio. Not much in the way
of followup occurred, however, and little else is known
of the incident.
to the caliber of the witnesses, the official documentary
evidence, the photographic evidence, and the intrinsic
nature of the event itself, the Lake Erie UFO incident
must be considered one of the most compelling UFO events
in modern history. All evidence points to the conclusion
that an intelligently operated and enormous object came
down over the Lake Erie ice; that this object released
several bright triangles that flew beyond the ability
of any known aircraft; that these triangles were interested
in the nearby nuclear facility; that they interacted with
the witnesses who observed them; that the Coast Guard
officials were convinced the event was something important;
that the Coast Guard itself was prevented from pursuing
this incident by higher agencies; and that the matter
was successfully disabled by the national security apparatus
and the media.
The U.S. Coast Guard report of March 4, 1988, describing
a spectacular UFO over Lake Erie. Click to enlarge.
UFOs Over Belgium, 1989-1990.
Photograph of a triangular craft over Belgium, taken during
the spring of 1990,
studied and deemed authentic by the Royal Belgian Air
Radar tracking of a UFO, from one of the Belgian F-16s
during the night of March 30-31, 1990.
late 1989 to the spring of 1990, hundreds of reports of
lighted objects, often described as large triangular-shaped
craft, were recorded in Belgium. The most spectacular
sighting took place on the night of March 30, 1990. Thousands
of witnesses saw one or more low-flying triangular UFOs
with bright lights flashing in the center.
Belgian Air Force sent two F-16s to intercept the UFOs,
which were tracked by several NATO radar stations; the
jet pilots also tracked the objects on radar, and even
see them at times. But the F-16s among the top
jet interceptors in the world were thoroughly outclassed
by the triangular objects. Not only could these objects
accelerate at incredible speeds, not only could they fly
as slowly as 30 mph, but they could change altitude almost
instantly. At one point, for example, Belgian Air Force
radar tracked a UFO as it descended approximately 4,000
feet in one second. Thats nearly a mile. Belgian
Air Force Chief of Operations, Colonel Wilfried De Brouwer,
added there was a logic in the movements of the
whom did these triangles belong? Despite the fact that
no perfectly triangular aircraft officially exists, many
have suspected a secret American project. The Belgians
certainly inquired, and received the reply that no
USAF stealth aircraft were operating during the
period in question. The statement appears carefully worded.
Its hard to know the truth here.
P. Lambrechts of the Belgian Air Force General Staff did
not seem to think these were American craft. His Report
on the Observation of UFOs During the Night of March 30-31,
1990 includes a detailed chronology of events and
dismisses several alternative hypotheses, including the
aircraft thesis. According to Lambrechts:
speeds measured at that time and the altitude shifts exclude
the hypothesis according to which planes could be mistaken
for the observed UFOs. The slow moves during the other
phases differ also from the moves of planes.... Though
speeds greater than the sound barrier have been measured
several times, not any bang has been noticed. Here also,
no explanation can be given.
these triangles were American, the U.S. Air Force made
no requests to the Belgian government for any such type
of mission, as it would have been required to do. More
fundamentally, however, it still remains a challenge to
explain the performance characteristics of the Belgian
5 pages of U.S. Defense Department documents describing
UFO events in Belgium from 1989 to 1990. Click to enlarge.
What of Today?
the last few decades, it has become difficult to obtain
UFO reports through U.S. government agencies. This does
not mean that the U.S. military no longer encounters UFOs,
only that detailed documentation about them is not easily
instance, we know of a UFO sighting that took place in
1996 at Griffis Air Force Base, in upstate New York. Researcher
John Greenwald sent a FOIA request to the United States
Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, and received
a slim Summary of Unusual Sightings report.
The sightings only covered 1995 and 1996, all rendered
in concise form. The entry for Griffis states:
May 96 0800Z. Received call of UFO sighting at Griffis
AFB NY. Four enlisted men observed circular orange light
just above tree line ESE of their location. Five minutes
total hovered and then disappeared. Reported via CONR/NEADS.
Griffis encounter is by no means spectacular. However,
it does prove, as Greenwald pointed out, that the
Air Force [continues to take] an interest and still sees
the UFO phenomenon.
more interesting was the failed attempt by F-16 jets to
intercept UFOs near Washington, D.C., during the night
of July 25/26, 2002. Many witnesses phoned their local
radio station about it, and the incident was briefly reported
in The Washington Post. I spoke face-to-face with the
first known witness, retired police officer Gary Dillman,
who told me he saw four F-16s chasing several objects
that easily outperformed them. They left the area, but
later two F-16s reappeared, pursuing a single UFO. Later,
other witnesses saw two F-16s chasing an unknown bluish
object that easily outmaneuvered and outdistanced the
Air Force spokesperson even told The Washington Post that
a UFO had been tracked on Air Force radar, but disappeared.
Nevertheless, the Air Force blithely commented that :there
are any number of scenarios, but we don't know what it
was." Surely, one might be curious!
official documentation on this encounter is available,
but it happened just the same. This encounter was not
from the 1950s, but the post-9/11 era. An object of extraordinary
capability eluded interceptors in the vicinity of the
nations capital, with only the barest of whispers
from the nations media.
course, it is not only the military of the U.S. that encounters
UFOs. These types of events occur everywhere. My most
recent book, UFOs and the National Security State: The
Cover-Up Exposed, 1973-1991, details many of these.
foregoing should make it clear that UFOs have been a consistent
and significant thread of our hidden history.
They have attracted serious attention from the militaries
of the world, in particular that of the United States.
And yet, this powerful interest is equaled by an absolute
refusal to acknowledge the phenomenon publicly.
doesnt take a political genius to recognize that
there is a discrepancy here. Nor to begin the process
of filling in the blanks: that there is reasonable cause
to believe that a technology not belonging to any known
terrestrial power has been operating in our civilization,
and that at least a few people in positions of authority
are well aware of this.