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Before yesterdayUFOs - Documenting The Evidence

tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-3982494985256474466

June 25th 2020 at 08:06

The Fake 1961 "Special National Intelligence Estimate", and a $1000 Offer To Prove It Genuine...

   



Usually, when I study a UFO related topic, I offer a full, foundational treatment, complete with in-text-referencing from primary sources, images of old records, and a complete chronological history of whatever matter I’m exploring. The subject I aim to discuss here, however, is not worth such a laborious or scholarly effort. In fact, dealing with it at all brings my conscience out in a rash.


A four-page document, which purports to be a top-echelon “Special National Intelligence Estimate” (SNIE) has been circulating, and gaining traction, within the UFO community. Pretending to have been completed on the 5th of November, 1961, the SNIE is titled “US INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND MJTWELVE OPERATIONS  A SPECIAL NATIONAL INTELLEGENCE ESTIMATE”and was purportedly prepared for the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) by a handful of high-level national security entities. The subtitle of this discombobulated mess is “Critical Aspects of Unidentified Flying Objects and the Nuclear Threat to the Defense of the United States and Allies”, and the supposed serial number is “No. 1-61-E”. Briefly, the subject matter relates to the retrieval of crashed UFO’s, and the risks of nuclear war with the Soviet Union after such events. Researchers Danny Silva and Joe Murgia have presented the document here, here and here. The Black Vault dealt with some of the technical points to the document here.


I first saw this document quite some time ago, and it was the spelling and grammatical errors which immediately caught my attention. The word “Israelis” is misspelt as “Israelies”. The word “parody” should be the word “parity”. And, most outrageously, in the capitalised title, the word “Intelligence” is misspelt as “Intellegence”. Are we expected to believe that senior intelligence officials cannot even spell the very word that their life-long craft is based on? The grammar is just as bad. The phrase “In pursuant to…” should be “In pursuance to…”. The phrase “misguided suspicions…” should probably be “misplaced suspicions…”. And what the hell are “…CIA and DoD postmortem studies…” for a nuclear war that has never occurred? Also stated is that “…It is doubtful that China has a nuclear attack capability at the present time…”. One would think that real authors, being at this level of national security governance and critical intelligence evaluation, would have had a better handle on China’s  nuclear weapons status, or total lack-thereof, by 1961. In fact, China didn’t conduct its first atomic test until October, 1964, and any “nuclear attack capability” came nearly a decade later. There are half a dozen similar historical problems with the obviously problematic SNIE document, but there’s only so much time one can spend raising them all.

The mention of certain government agencies, which didn't even exist in 1961, is far worse. The Joint Research and Development Board (JRBB) went out of existence in late 1948, and was replaced by the Research and Development Board (RDB), which was then abolished in 1953. Then, we see the Joint Nuclear Energy Intelligence Committee (JNEIC) named, yet it was replaced by the Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Committee (JAEIC) in 1948. In fact both are named, but only the JAEIC existed in 1961 when the document was allegedly authored. The hoaxers should have made up their minds and settled only on the JAEIC. Even worse is the listing of the CIA’s Deputy Director for Operations (DD/O). This is impossible because it didn’t exist until 1973. In 1961 it was called the Deputy Director for Plans (DD/P). Just as bad is the mention of the CIA’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). It didn’t exist, as an organisation at least, in 1961 either. It was technically called the Foreign Broadcast Information Division (FBID) back then, and wasn't until 1965 that the FBID transitioned to the fully office level FBIS. Ooops. The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is mentioned, but in 1961 it was the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL). It wasn’t until 1981 that LASL became LANL. Having said that, some LASL staffers, ostensibly, used the term “Los Alamos National Laboratory” or “LANL” on select formal LASL documents. One researcher, who would prefer not to be named, remembers seeing such records, but none have been openly supplied. Either way, the use of incorrect, if otherwise internally utilised, terminology in such an important document seems unlikely. The impossible organisational red flags I've highlighted are more than enough to warrant extreme suspicion, if not outright scorn. Finally, the document mentions the hoax “MJTWELVE” group, and we all know where that leads. No more discussion on that affair is worth anyone’s time, especially mine.

         As but one primary source example of the aforementioned impossibilities, I have imaged a page, below, from the “History of the the Central Intelligence Agency” section contained in the US Senates April, 1976, publication titled Final Report of the Select Committee To Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities. Both the DD/O and the FBIS are indexed as only coming into being years after the fake 1961 SNIE hoax document pretends to be from. Specifically, and as I found two years ago, and find yet again for this piece, the Directorate for Plans, otherwise known as the DD/P, is listed as being “renamed” as the Directorate for Operations, or DD/O, in 1973. Further down, we note that the Foreign Broadcast Information Division, or merely the “FBID”, was “renamed” as the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, or “FBIS”, in 1965. Unless someone was time travelling, the creation of the 1961 SNIE with such post-1961 government entities, is utterly impossible.




Other red flag issues involve a handful of government entities that should have been involved in the production of such an SNIE, but oddly weren't. The NSA's Scientific Advisory Board is listed as being one of the authors, but not the United States Intelligence Board's (USBI) powerful and vital Signals Intelligence Committee (SIGINT Committee). Other USIB committees were involved, but not them. More tellingly, the USIB's Watch Committee (WATCHCOM) wasn't part of the story, yet they were, in the 1960's, responsible for early warning intelligence, which is exactly what the fake SNIE is all about! Another committee which should certainly have aided in penning such a document was the USIB's Critical Collections Problems Committee (CCPC), but they are suspiciously missing as well. Problems, too, arise in relation to the SNIE's dubious referencing of two high level, but legitimate, documents some time earlier. “DCID 5/1” was issued in December, 1959, by the Director of the CIA, and was titled “Coordination of US Clandestine Foreign Intelligence Activities Abroad”. While it hasn't been released in full, it had nothing to do with UFO’s. An associated Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) memoranda discusses its contents at length. “NASM 70” was issued in August, 1961, and was titled “Request for Report on Berlin Situation”. It's been released in its entirety, and it had nothing to do with UFO’s either.

Even the security classification, which is “TOP SECRET UMBRA”, is highly questionable. To date, no early 1960's “UMBRA” codenamed records have been discovered. Before “UMBRA”, the equivalent codewords were “TRINE” and “DINAR”, and examples of such material is myriad. My rigorous study of declassified intelligence records from the early 1960's yielded hundreds and hundreds of varied items with the “TRINE” and “DINAR” compartment. Significantly, the term “UMBRA” is utterly missing from the record prior to the late 1960's, and no serious historian has cited any earlier records with the “UMBRA” stamp. In fact, according to one US Navy cryptology history group, the “UMBRA” codeword wasn't in use until December, 1968. They should know. The old Naval Security Group (NSG) was responsible for highly classified USN message traffic and cryptography across the globe. Performing a range of scrambling and de-scrambling, signals intelligence processing, radio traffic encryption and message relay, the NSG worked, in part, for the Central Security Service (CSS). The CSS, of course, was the military arm of the NSA, and the use of the “TRINE”, “DINAR” and “UMBRA” codewords was routine.

Finally, the most suspicious issue with this SNIE document is where it was first place online, and by whom. A discussion of the document, along with links to the actual images, has been sitting here for a decade. Down the bottom there is the name “Peregrine Communications”. And who might they be? They are the one-time publisher of the book “Exempt from Disclosure”. The authors of this short tome are none other than Robert M. Collins, Richard C. Doty, and Timothy Cooper. There are no greater document fakers in UFO history than these three. If one goes to an Amazon listing for this book, which can be found here, the publisher is listed as, you guessed it, “Peregrine Communications”.


So, with all this in mind, I am offering $1000 (USD) to the first person who obtains a formally, officially declassified version of this SNIE record. We know the name of it. We know the date. We know that SNIE’s are top-level records. It even has a code number. With Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) work, or some other archival access provision, in mind, the document should be sitting there in a box just waiting to be requested and released. SNIE’s are not written lightly, or in large volumes. Researcher Jeffrey T. Richelson, whom I worked with extensively before his untimely death, wrote about their significance in his famed book “The US Intelligence Community”. Further, real SNIE’s from the 1960’s have been released in the last twenty years, so it's not like they are untouchable. In anyone wants to take me up on this offer, I’m all ears. It’s an easy $1000 right? We can work out the finer points later, but I think we all know there's little need. My money is safe. The document is a fake. And it's a bad one. 

tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-1605665543583717113

January 8th 2020 at 06:25

Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) Admits to "TOP SECRET" Records and "SECRET" Video From USS Nimitz "Tic Tac" UFO Incident   




           On October the 28th, 2019, long-time researcher and friend Christian Lambright submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the US Navy’s (USN) Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) for records relating to the famed USS Nimitz “Tic Tac” UFO encounter. In it, he stated:
“This is a request for records under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) as amended including the E-FOIA amendments. Because I am unsure of what department or agency retains the records I am requesting, I ask that you forward a copy of this request to all locations that would have been in position to receive any of the material(s) detailed in the following paragraphs.
This request is to include all releasable portions of records and reports related to investigation of the detection of and encounter(s) with Anomalous Aerial Vehicles (AAVs) by personnel involved with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) operations off the western coast of the United States during the period of approximately 10-16 November, 2004. The designation ‘AAVs’ is used here because it appeared in a summary of these events, so there may also be other terms used in the material I am requesting.

Information supportive of my request comes from a former pilot and now writer who has publicly stated he was allowed to see an exhaustive classified ONI report on these events prior to an article he published in 2015. Other supportive information comes from a contractor/analyst who has stated that an investigation had been conducted by a “GS-15” with the Office of Naval Intelligence.

If any records responsive to my request originated with another agency and require review or handling by that agency, I request that I be informed appropriately of the agency(ies) involved and actions in this regard.

I also request that ANY and ALL partially releasable information be forwarded to the appropriate agency(ies) specified for review, if any, and that I be informed appropriately of actions in this regard.

In order to help determine the category in which to place this request, please know that I am a private individual requesting records for noncommercial research and study purposes. Therefore, I believe this request belongs in the “all other” fee category. However, I am willing to pay reasonable search and reproduction fees up to a maximum of $50.00 over and above the ‘2 hours’ research time and first 100 pages free’ provisions of the FOIA for costs associated with this request if necessary.

If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you explain all deletions by reference to specific categories of exempted information, but as required by law, release any segregable portions that are left after the exempted material has been redacted. I also request that redactions be made using blackout not white-out.”

Less than two months later, on December 9th, 2019, the ONI’s FOIA/PA Coordinator, Camille V’Estres, sent Lambright her reply. Her letter states, in part:

“This is a final response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of October 28, 2019, addressed to the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). Your request was assigned the above referenced Department of Navy FOIA number. You request all releasable portions of records and reports related to investigation of the detection of and encounter(s) with Anomalous Aerial Vehicles (AAVs) by personnel involved with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) operations off the western coast of the United States during the period of approximately 10-16 November, 2004.

Our review of our records and systems reveal that ONI has no releasable records related to your request. ONI has searched our records for responsive documents. We have discovered certain briefing slides that are classified TOP SECRET. A review of these materials indicates that are currently and appropriate Marked and Classified TOP SECRET under Executive Order 13526, and the Original Classification Authority has determined that the release of these materials would cause exceptionally grave damage to the National Security of the United States. Specifically, under Section 1.4, the materials would trigger protections under subcategory c), the Intelligence Activities of the United States, as well as the Sources and Methods that are being used to gather information in support of the National Security of the United States. In addition, the materials would trigger protections under subcategory e), Scientific and Technological Matters related to the National Security of the United States. For this reason, the materials are exempt from release under the (b) (1) Exemption for Classified Matters of National Defense. As a result these records may not be released and are being withheld.

We have also determined that ONI possesses a video classified SECRET that ONI is not the Original Classification Authority for. ONI has forwarded your request to Naval Air Systems Command to make a determination on releasability…”

From there, Ms. V’Estres goes on to offer Lambright his standard rights of appeal, and a non-determination of fee waiver.

Evidently, the ONI’s response contains numerous issues worth raising. The ONI reviewed their “records and systems” but found “no releasable records” regarding the USS Nimitz “Tic Tac” UFO event. At first glance, this implies that they have nothing themselves to release. But interpreted slightly differently, the statement could also suggest that they in fact do have internal, homegrown records, but those records off limits. This, however, seems unlikely, due to the candid admissions that come next. During these searches, ONI discovered records originating from another agency. Designated as “briefing slides”, these items were deemed to be “classified TOP SECRET” under the well-worn Executive Order 13526, and the originating authority determined that they must stay that way. The reasons given relate, firstly, to “Intelligence Activities of the United States” and “Sources and Methods” which are used to collection national security information, and, secondly, to “Scientific and Technological Matters” related, again, to national security. Finally, the ONI admits to possessing a video which is currently classified “SECRET”. Again, the ONI has no authority to declassify it, but they did at least confess to who does. The originating agency is acknowledged as the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). Ms. V’Estres reply letter is imaged below.






At this point, we can have no firm ideas as to what this material is. Moreover, the main purpose of this short piece is not to dissect each-and-every possibility, much of which would be based on assumption. Succinctly though, at first glance one may presume that the “briefing slides” relate to a series of briefings involving the USN. Research partner Keith Basterfield has elaborated on such events here. This, however, is pure supposition. Also, it is important, I think, to reiterate that this material classified TOP SECRET, and we don’t even know who by. The Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA)? A successor to the elusive Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP)? Whatever the situation, we can say that it relates to USS Nimitz’s UFO encounter of November, 2004. Afterall, Lambright’s FOIA request asked for nothing else. As for the video, which is apparently classified SECRET and owned by NAVAIR, one is bound to think it relates to the short “Tic Tac” footage taken by pilot Chat Underwood during the famed and still unsolved encounter. Again, this mightn’t be the case. In the meantime, the ever patient Christian Lambright has taken an appropriate course of action to move all this further ahead.

tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-713906458461099371

August 23rd 2019 at 04:44

The Middlemount, Australia UFO Video Case, July 2019

Investigation Report: Part 1

By Brad Morris, Keith Basterfield 

and Paul Dean



  
Location: A worksite near Middlemount, Queensland which is some 150kms NW of Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia. Middlemount is at latitude 22.81 degrees south, longitude 148.6 degrees east.

Dates: Sunday 28th and Monday 29th July 2019

Times: Both events commenced around 8.30am Eastern Standard Time. 


Witness 1: Male (L) from Townsville, who took video of the event and watched visually. 

Witness 2: Male, a second worker from the mine site, who was the first person to notice the object on both days.

Other witnesses: Males. Workers at the mine site, whose voices are heard on the videos, via UHF radio link. None of whom we have been able to interview. 

Summary of the events:

1.  On Sunday 28 July 2019 while at work, at about 8.30 am (Eastern Standard Time) witness 1 was alerted to an airborne object by another employee on the work site (witness 2.) In the north-eastern sky witness 1 watched an object, white/grey in color for several minutes before it departed to the north, at great speed. The object was low to the visible horizon. There was no associated sound. It was lost to view over a mine mound.

Witness 2, when interviewed, said that in the clear blue sky, he had first noticed what he took to be a white "cloud" hovering above the ground. It seemed to be 500 metres up. It went North at speed. He stated that he first saw it at 8.30am.
2. On Monday 29 July 2019 while at work, at about 8.30am EST, witness 1 was again alerted to the presence of an object by witness 2. Witness 1 saw an object to the east/north-east which according to video clip 1, travelled slowly horizontally. In video clip 2 it is seen to descend to the horizon, and then below the horizon, where it is lost to view obscured by trees. He did not see it ascend from this position.

Witness 1 then noticed, what he thought was the same object to the NNE and then to the NNW. At this time he took several video clips (3-7.) In these clips the object appears almost stationary. In the video it changes shape, from pyramid, to triangle, to disc flattening out and continuing to roll and change shape.

In clip 8 the Sun is in the picture (Sun roughly north-east) and then the camera pans to the left (ie to the west) where the object is seen with no zoom as a white dot in the sky, and then pans in to show a shape. By this time it was around 9-9.15am EST.

All of the videos were shot from the inside of a front end loader cabin, however videos 6 and 7 were taken out an open window so had no obstruction, save for the case which his phone is housed in. The remainder of the footage was shot through the glass windscreen and windows that were dirty, and at times obscure the video. 

Questions: Witness 1.

Witness 1 was kind enough to answer a series of questions, as follows:

(A) Asked by Brad Morris.

28 July 2019 Sighting
Number of objects: 1, no set shape, white/grey in colour.

2. Date: 28 July 2019.

3. Time: About 0830hrs EST (UTC plus 10 hours.)

4. Duration: 2-3 minutes.

5. Location: A mine site.

6. Weather: Clear and calm.

7. How first sighted.Work mate notified him to the presence of an airborne object, which he watched in the north-eastern sky for several minutes, before it departed at great speed to the north. Object was low to the visible horizon due to a mine material dump in the direct field of view.

8. Was there any associated sound? No.

9. How did you lose sight of it? Disappeared rapidly to the north over a mine mound.

10. Two witnesses.

11. Any photos of images? No.

29 July 2019 Sighting

1. Number of objects: 1, no set shape, white/grey, sparkling, changing hue.
2. Date: 29 July 2019.

3. Approximate start time: 0830hrs EST (UTC plus 10 hours.)

4. Duration: 30 + minutes.

5. Location: Mine site.

6. Weather: Calm and clear.

7. How first sighted. Object was first sighted in the E/NE and descended into a distant clearing; later re-emerging in the air after I finished doing some more work, and recommenced filming. The object changed shape rapidly from pyramid, triangle, and disc, flattening out and continuing to roll and change shape. The object went to position 3 marked on the satellite picture (see Appendix three), west, and dropped a small fuzzy but well-defined spherical object that I believe landed. The main object continued to track west until I lost sight of it.

8. Sound: No.

9. How did you lose sight of it? Departed slowly to the west after it dropped a small sphere.

10. Witnesses: 3, maybe 2 more.

11. Images: Yes. 9 pieces of video.

(B) Asked by Paul Dean (Regarding 29 July Event)

Q1. Do you use cloud storage on your phone, ie does your phone back up to the cloud?

A1. I did use Google drive but need to set this phone up for it. I don’t think it backs up at this stage.

Q2. May I check if video clips 1 and 2 which show the object travelling right to left and then descending to the ground are taken to the NE of you?

A2. Yes location 1 (on the satellite picture – see Appendix three) is approx. where the object was in videos one and two.

Q3. You mentioned to Brad that the object descended then later re-emerged. Did you see it travelling upwards from the same spot? I note there is no footage showing it going upwards.

A3. No. I can not 100% confirm that they are the same object, only that shortly after the one landed, another identical object appeared in the sky. It was an assumption that they would be one and the same even though I did not see it rise and as such have no footage of it doing it.

Q4. Video clips 3-7 show the object almost stationary. In what compass direction was it in during this stationary phase?

A4. In video 3, when I first noticed it had reappeared was approx. NNE-NE sector close to where I had seen the object descend but a little more west. Then the other 4-7 were more NNW as it has moved location further westward.

Q5. It seems that video clips 8-9 were taken to the west. May I confirm this with you?

A5. Yes, that is correct.

Q6. You mentioned to Brad that the object went to position 3 on your map, which is to the west. Did it traverse across the sky from the NE via north, to the west, or did it simply disappear from view in the NE and simply appear in the west?

A6. It traversed. Although I did not have eyes on it at all times, while I was watching it, it was moving from the position in the 7thvideo to the 8th. I was still required to perform my duties at work so my attention was drawn away periodically. 

Q7. What does the arrow marked 2 on your aerial photo refer to? 1 is to the NE where the object descended and 3 is the object in the west. But what is 2?

A7. It was a quick reference to approximately where videos 3-7 were but has been superseded by the drawing with the two yellow circles, which is a more accurate approximation. 

(C) Questions asked by Keith Basterfield (Regarding 29 July Event)

Q1. At any time, was there more than one object visible in the sky? If so, how many; which compass directions were they in, and roughly what time was this?

A1. There was only one object at any one time (It is only by a fairly confident assumption that I believe it is the same object in all the videos, as I did not actually see the one which landed rise again.) Apart from when the small piece broke away and descended (you can just see this at the very beginning of video 9 before the camera shakes.) This was the only time there was multiple objects. This would have been around 9.00am – 9.15am (ish).

Q2. Were any of the videos taken from inside a vehicle or were they all taken from outside? If any were taken from inside a vehicle are you able to nominate which ones?

A2. All the videos were shot from the inside of my front end loader cabin, however videos 6 and 7 were taken out an open window so had no obstruction save for the case which my phone is housed in. The remainder of the footage was shot through the glass windscreen and windows that were dirty and at times obscure the video. This can be especially noticed in video 9 when I ask if the object just disappeared, but then realize that the camera focus had switched to the dirt on the glass.

Q3. Do you know the rough (Eastern Standard Time) when your attention was drawn to the first object in the NE sky, the one which descended? I know we have the time stamp on the video but wanted to check this against your EST recollections.

A3. It was approx. 8.30am I believe. I only know this from one of the other witnesses who mentions that it was the same time as the day before being 8.30am. I did not personally consciously look at the time while filming. So, any time estimates are just that, estimates.

Q4. To the naked eye, as opposed to through the zoomed phone camera, was the object a point source like a star, or did it have some angular size, eg a quarter of; or a half of the size of the full moon near the horizon?

A4. When I first noticed the object, it appeared to be approximately the size of the nail of my little finger at outstretched arm’s length. To begin with, the object was a ball of cloud that had a form but no fixed shape, like ferrets fighting in a sack. It remained in this appearance while it landed. When it reappeared, it was morphing into more angular shapes from a dome with a flat bottom to a more triangular shape and at times just a flat disc. At this stage it appeared slightly smaller in relative size. When it moved to the west, the distance attributed for the remarkably smaller appearance.

Q5. At the end to the west, one of the voices audible on the video clips 8 or 9 says that something fell off the main object and dropped towards the ground. Am I correct in saying that after the smaller object fell away, that the main object rose higher in the sky rather than continued descending downwards towards the horizon?

A5. As seen in video 9, a small “ball” broke away from the main object, maybe 1/10ththe size and made a controlled descent straight down to earth while the main body seemingly continued flying westward over the viewing horizon. From my observation and my perception of the two objects’ trajectories, I do not think the large object descended, rather continued accelerating away from me until it was beyond my field of view.

Q6. On clip 5 a voice says “Another one back towards…” Do you know what this refers to?

A6. No. To my knowledge there was only the one object. The man who says that line was one of the other witnesses you may want to talk to as well. He was the first one to see the object on both days.

Witness 2:

What witness 2 saw on Monday 29 July 2019

At around the same time, ie 8.30am he had seen what appeared to be the same thing as on the Sunday, ie a white cloud in the clear blue sky. He thought, “it’s back again,” and told witness 1 about it. Witness 1 then took some video of it. It then started to move and landed to the east of them. He did not see it rise from the ground, but sometime later saw it to their north, where it seemed to hover. Finally, they saw it to their west, where a bit dropped off and came down to the ground. The main object then went higher in the sky, and finally it was lost to view (in the sky not over the horizon.

Other pieces of information then came forward from witness 2.

1. Speaking to some of the other men working on site – some of them said they had seen the same thing a “couple of days before.” This would place these observations, before witnesses 1 and 2 saw it on the Sunday.

2. They were situated only a couple of hundred metres off the highway.

3. I asked him if he could estimate the distance from witness 1 and himself and the object when it went down behind a tree line, and in front of another tree line. Witness 2 estimated that the front tree line was only some 400-500 metres from him and witness 1.

4. Referring to the fact that someone on the UHF radio, had said, when the object was to the west, something like “another one towards...” implying there was more than one object in the sky at one time, I asked witness 2 if he knew what this meant? He said that the voice was himself, and he was referring to the fact that at one point a small object had dropped from the main object and went towards the ground. I clarified this by asking if at any other time there was more than one object visible to him? He said, not, the only time he saw two objects was when the small one detached from the main one. Description of each video segment: Taken on a Samsung Galaxy 9 phone with a maximum zoom of x 8


Video clip 1: File name – 20190729_084922

This is 2 mins 6 seconds in length and shows the horizon in the bottom quarter of the screen. The object is first seen zoomed in It travels slowly, from right to left, northwards across the eastern horizon. The object appears to have a triangular or diamond or pyramid shape with the outer edges having darker shading or density. The object is close to the visual horizon.

The horizon reveals several ridge lines with a likely gully or depression between, the object is moving very slowly at this stage.


Lapse 31 seconds between clip 1 and 2.

Video clip 2: File name – 20190729_085159

This is 1 minute 5 seconds in length and shows the horizon in the bottom half of the screen. The object is close to the visual horizon. 

The object is descending towards the gully between the ridges to the E/NE of the witness’ location, whilst UHF chatter is becoming apparent but not associated to the airborne object.

38 seconds: object descends in front of distant ridge.

58 seconds: object descends behind the closer ridge line and into the gully beyond sight and the witness re commences work.


Lapse 3.46 between clip 2 and 3. 

Video clip 3: File name – 20190729_085650

This is 2 minutes 43 seconds in length and shows the horizon in the bottom quarter at the star. There is a horizontal trail of cloud above the object, reference to which seems to show that the object is gaining angular elevation. Seen to the NNE/NNW.  Voice says, “Looks like cloud but just saw one landing in the trees.” There is also a white glint on the object’s top (Sunlight?). The object is close to the visual horizon. 

The object takes on triangular shape, whilst tracking further north, with the witness commenting at the end of the scene “the object is changing shape”.


Lapse 23 seconds between clip 3 and 4. 

Video clip 4: File name – 20190729_085956

This is 3 minutes 9 seconds in length and the object appears to be slowly descending again, although footage throughout this segment is quite shaky. Seen to the NNE/NNW. Moves slightly right to left across screen. The object is close to the visual horizon.

At 1.59 witness describes object to be changing shape. It begins to appear as cone shape with a dark rectangular bottom before flattening out. White on top (Sunlight?) 


Lapse 3 seconds between clips 4 and 5. 

Video clip 5: File name – 20190729_090308

This is 2 minutes 1 second in length. The object is close to the visual horizon.

By now the object is in the NNE/NNW part of the sky. White on right hand side (reflecting sunlight?)

At 1.00 The UHF radio chat turns towards the presence of the airborne anomaly, with one comment “I’m looking at it from the highway here………….F’N.HELL like a big bloody bean bag”.

This indicates object was visible from off site, on the main rd. Another voice comment is “Another one back there towards…” 


Lapse 6.40 between video clips 5 and 6. 

Video clip 6: File name – 20190729_091149

This is 1 minute 41 seconds in length and starts off with radio chatter about the anomaly.

The object appears in the NNE/ NNW in this clip. The object is close to the visual horizon.

With the blue-sky background, the colour and shading is better contrasted showing true tones of white, grey and black in some cases.

30 seconds in, we start to see protrusions and better definition on the object in question.

53 seconds witness zooms back revealing the objects true size in comparison to the focal length before zooming back in.

58 seconds other witness discussing the similarity to the sighting on the previous day.

Voice says “Come up about the same time as yesterday about half past eight.”


7 second lapse between clips 6 and 7. 

Video clip 7: File name – 20190729_091337

This is 59 seconds in length and the object takes on the diamond or triangle shape, then appearing to have a double layer as it turns front on. Seen to the NNE/NNW, most likely NNW by now.  It is almost all white colour at this point (reflected sunlight?) No horizon shown in this one. 


Lapse 4.27 between clips 7 and 8. 

Video clip 8: File name – 20190729_091903

This is 1 minute 48 seconds in length and starts with the witness describing the direction the object has travelled throughout the sky, whilst sitting in his vehicle. There is another vehicle, a truck visible in the foreground. The clip starts shooting towards the Sun, then pans left over the truck where there is a white light visible in the blue sky. Voice says, “I have no idea what this thing is.” White light on object’s right-hand side (reflecting sunlight?)  The object is close to the visual horizon. 

The object appears to have taken on boomerang shape and is further to the west, yet still visually large.

The object gains width in the arms of the boomerang.


2.37 lapse between clip 8 and 9.

Video clip 9: File name – 20190729_092328

This is 2 minutes 43 seconds in length and stating off in the Western sky. The object is close to the visual horizon. 

The object begins the scene just after ejecting a smaller fuzzy sphere (hard to see but visible on video). Voice says, “A little piece just broke off.” Trees are much nearer to the camera than in other clips. 

Witness 1 later describes the sphere to be landing (not visible on video), but this is verbally confirmed by the other truck driver on UHF radio.

Camera goes in and out of focus several times and witness 1 gives up recording.


Based on the fact that the first video file name is 20190729_084922, which is the end time of the first video, then the object was visible to witness 1, from between 8.47am and 9:24am.
  
Angular size of object?

Is it possible to work out the angular size of the object from the videos? The following is a rough calculation:

1. Using the known distance of a known width of an object in a still photograph taken with a Samsung Galaxy S9 mobile phone, the angular diameter of the image you obtain, using the phone in portrait mode is roughly 4.4 degrees, when using full zoom. 

2. Using a still picture of video one, reveals that you could fit approximately 30 of the object across the width of the screen. Thus, the rough angular diameter of the object at this point is 1/30thof 4.4 degrees, ie roughly 0.14 degrees. Witness 1 estimated that the object appeared to be the width of his little finger nail at arm’s length. This works out to be equal to about 0.7 degree. Contrast these figures with the Moon’s angular size of 0.5 degrees. 

3. Using this angular size for the object allows one to calculate a distance versus real diameter for the object as follows:

Distance in Meters to the Object       Calculated Diameter in Meters

100                                                    2.6

500                                                    13

1000                                                  26

2000                                                  52

3000                                                  78

Other data:

1. Weather details:f or four nearest stations (for tables, see Appendix one.)

035134 Blackwater Qld 88.3km away south of Middlemount.

035264 Emerald Qld 98.9kms away south-west of Middlemount.

033210 St Lawrence Qld 99.4kms away north-east of Middlemount.

034035 Moranbah Qld 103.6kms away north-west of Middlemount.

2. Astronomical:

Using the “Stellarium” astronomical software program reveals that:

a. At 0830hrs EST the Sun was at 22 degrees elevation, azimuth 57 degrees, ie roughly north-east. Further, at 0915hrs EST the Sun was at 30 degrees elevation, azimuth 49 degrees, almost north-east.

b. The 17% illuminated Moon at 0830hrs ETS was at 45 degrees elevation, 12 degrees azimuth ie almost due north. At 0915hrs EST the Moon was at 45 degrees elevation, azimuth 358 degrees, ie just slightly west of due north.


APPENDIX ONE – WEATHER DATA






APPENDIX TWO – LOCATION OF THE EVENTS





APPENDIX THREE – SATELLITE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE MINE SITE






APPENDIX FOUR – WHAT WAS THE OBJECT? By Keith Basterfield

As is usual, when investigating what appears to be an unknown object, the task is to analyse the available data, and firstly eliminate potential mundane causes.

Potential mundane causes:

Event 1. 28 July 2019 Sighting.

Few details are available on the this sighting, other than that it was at about 8.30am; the object seen was white/grey in colour, and viewed to the north-east for several (2-3 minutes) and then departed at speed to the north. No associated noise was audible to the witnesses. There is no video evidence on that day. One cannot discount an aircraft, rising from the Middlemount airport, which is approximately 40 kms north-east of the mine site. The single airport runway is aligned north-west to south-east. The Flightradar24 website doesn’t have any information about flights into/out of theairport.

Conclusion: Given the available data it is not possible to state with any certainty what was seen this day.

Event 2. 29 July 2019 Sighting.

1. Aircraft:

The movements of the object appear too slow to be an aircraft of any kind. There is no condensation trail in the blue sky; and the images of the nine video series do not look like an aircraft.

2. Helicopter:

Helicopters can hover, and land vertically. The slow movement of the object, especially in videos 1 and 2 and then 3-7 could possibly support a helicopter. However, the shapes in the images would seem to preclude this possibility. In addition, helicopters are very noisy.

3. Drones:

Drones can of course move slowly and even hover. However, the calculated angular size and the distance table in the report; plus the fact that one gets the impression that the object which descended in video 2 into trees, does seem some distance away; seem to argue against the possibility of a drone. Paul Dean did a search for both local rocket or drone clubs but found nothing.

4. Parachutes:

Could the object have been a person using a rectangular shaped parachute, which are of quite a large size? It would account for the slow horizontal and downward movement seen, as well as the object which descended below tree level. No evidence has been found to support this.

5. Balloon:

The slow movement and appearance of the object in videos 1 and 2, gives the impression of a balloon-like object descending to the ground. The slow movement, almost stationary at times, of the object in videos 3-7 would support a balloon hypothesis. The observation in video 9 that a small object fell from the main object, and a voice says the main object then rose higher, might argue for balloon ballast being released.

If it was a balloon, travelling with the wind, what direction was the wind coming from that morning?

Witness 1 says the weather was clear and calm, meaning no wind at all.

The weather data from the nearest weather stations suggests that at Middleton the wind, if any, was from the south-east to east, thus moving any object to the north-east of the mine area, to the north and west. This is exactly the trajectory of the object seen. The speed of the wind at the mine area would have been perhaps 5-6 km/hr or less. Thus a wind borne object would have travelled slowly over the area, exactly as the object did.

Thus, it is possible that the object seen was a balloon? What type of balloon? Not a weather balloon; but possibly a gas-driven, manned basket balloon, similar to hot air balloons which are used to provide tourist experiences – flown in clear, calm weather, in the relatively early morning.

A search was undertaken for any hot air balloon tourist experiences in the area. An email was despatched to the both the Rockhampton and Emerald visitor information centres asking about any hot air balloon operators in their area. The Emerald Visitor Information Center advised that they used to have an operator at Emerald, but no longer did. No reply has been received from the Rockhampton Visitor Information Center as at the date of this report.

There is an issue regarding the eyewitness testimony for any hypothesis involving one object. If there was a single object which travelled from near the horizon in the north-east to near the horizon in the west; then at some point as it travelled in a continuously straight line between these two points, its angular elevation at its nearest point to the observer should have placed it higher in the sky (eg 45 degrees). The videos show that the object is always relatively close to the horizon, ie a low angular elevation. Based on the data one could argue that the trajectory of the object was not a straight line from north-east through north, to the west; but an arc from the north-east to the west, always staying near the observer’s horizon. If the trajectory was such an arc not a straight line, thenif the object could not have been blown by the wind as at some point its trajectory in an arc would have been across the wind or even against the wind.

This argument could be invalidated by suggesting there were two balloons. One to the north-east travelling westwards through north in a straight line; and another balloon which travelled in a straight line, invisible to witness one from his cabin, which he only saw when it was to the west, travelling westwards.

Were there two objects visible at any one time? Indeed, at one point, video five, a voice on the radio(when witness one was videoing an object to the NNE/NNW) says “Another one back there towards...” Witness one, when asked if he knew what this meant, did not. I asked witness 2 if he knew about this. He said yes, the voice was him, but this referred to the later point where a small object fell off the larger one. I clarified this by asking witness 2 if at any point, he had seen two objects? Only when the larger object dropped the smaller one, he responded. So, the question of whether or not there was ever two large objects in the sky at the same time, remains a little unclear.

Are there any other possible high-altitude balloons, ie large size and high up, that could have been traversing the Queensland sky that morning? 

Interestingly, there is a possibility. Google’s ProjectLoon balloons.

Project Loon is an effort to bring the internet to remote communities around the world. Both in 2014 and 2017 Loon balloons flew over Queensland. For details, see

and

On the Professional Pilots pprune.org website I found a thread discussing sightings of Loon balloons over:

Western Australia, on 6 April 2019 flight N245LB at 63,000 feet.

Northern Territoy, at the beginning of April 2019 – 2 Loon balloons were sighted within 30 miles of each other.

On 13 May 2019 another pilot commented “13 balloons out today over WA, NT and QLD.”

A number of Loon balloons have landed back to earth, as listed in the Wikipedia Loon balloon entry. None listed for Australia.

Generally though, these balloons, which fly in clusters of up to 14 or so, spread out over a wide area, are up at 60,000 feet. If one takes a 20 degree elevation angle for looking at a Loon balloon from the ground, then this would place the balloon some 50 kms away. They are huge balloons, said to be as big as a football field when up at 60,000 feet.

I would like to see this possibility explored further. I have despatched an email to Loon balloon head office, asking if they had balloons over Qld on 28/28 July 2019. As at the date of this report I have not received a response.

The 24hrflight radar website has an altitude filter which you can set to 50,000 – 60,000 feet which then clearly shows Loon balloons anywhere in the world. This morning I checked the website and a couple of dozen loon balloons are visible over Ecuador and Brazil with one off the coast of California. I have worked out a way to get historical data off the website, but it relies on you knowing the identification number of the object whose history you wish to determine. As I know these details for the May 2019 overflights of Australia, I was able to locate maps of their tracks. At the moment I have no evidence that any Loon balloons were near Middlemount on 28/29 July 2019.

Other sightings:

A check of the websites for UFO Research Qld and UFO Research New South Wales failed to find any mention of the Middlemount sightings; nor any similar such events in recent times in Queensland. A check by email with UFORQLD revealed they were unaware of the sightings. I contacted Roger Stankovic from MUFON Australia, and asked about any sightings he had received? He advised me that the MUFON case management system had one relevant sighting.

This occurred at 1921hrs on Monday 22 July 2019 at Moranbah, Queensland, some 100 kms to the NW of Middlemount. The text of the report states:

“Seen what appeared to be a plane coming into land from the North with landing lights on whilst taking the rubbish out. (I do live on the local airport flight path, small aircraft only.  Turbo props only, no jets.)


I was observing the light through what appeared to be cloud, however I noted that there were stars behind and around the light. There was no cloud apparent. I continued watching as the light travelled from a Northly position across the sky until it was approximately in a North Eastern position. I ran inside and grabbed my phone to video. Video was very poor quality with only 4x zoom. Called my sister out she seen the end of the fuzzy aurora disappear in the eastern sky. Snapshot from video taken, all you can see if a few fuzzy pixels, sorry for the low resolution. Pause the video at 54 seconds and look slightly left of centre and approximately 30 % down from the top of the screen, a bit of fuzz on the otherwise black screen.”
I checked the weather details for Moranbah. 1500hrs 22 July 2019. Temperature was 25.5c; 38% relative humidity; wind from the ESE at 17 knots. Pressure 1015.1 hPa. Clear sky.

Conclusion:
The object remains unidentified. Quite a bit of the data suggests the possibility of large sized balloons, of the type used by tourist hot air balloon experience operators, with a lesser possibility of Loon balloons. However, no evidence has been obtained to show that there were such balloons in the area at the time.

tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-6786485053171471980

June 6th 2019 at 06:52

 The United States Air Force's UFO(ish) Reporting Rules For 2017; The Air Force Service Watch Cell;  "Unauthorized Air Vehicles"; And The Old "Vital Intelligence Sightings" Back From The Dead

   


It’s been nearly two years since the existence of a hitherto unknown UFO investigation effort, known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), was revealed to the world. The program was housed within America’s Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Office of the Secretary of Defence (OSD), and apparently ran from 2007 to 2012. Some of the cases studied by AATIP have involved the United States Navy’s (USN) massive aircraft carriers and the formidable combat aircraft attached to them. Further, it appears that the Navy has been caught flat footed regarding the reporting of UFO’s and unidentifiable aircraft, and changes to operational doctrine are apparently underway.

           On the 23rd of April, 2019, media outlet Politico carried an article titled “US Navy Drafting New Guidelines For Reporting UFOs”. Written by reporter Bryan Bender, the piece builds on an official statement made by the Navy’s vital Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare (OPNAV N2/N6). Various issues are discussed including the apparently sudden need for modernized “unidentified aircraft” reporting guidelines for “pilots and other personnel”, and the fact that Congressional briefings by Navy “intelligence officials” on unidentifiable air hazards have taken place. The Politico article, and the formal OPNAV N2/N6 statement which it cites, was analysed by Australian researcher and colleague Keith Basterfield, here.

         Of note, to me at least, was a curious admission within the OPNAV N2/N6 statement, and it concerned none other than the United States Air Force (USAF). Ostensibly, the “Navy and the USAF take these reports very seriously” and “investigate each and every report”. If they are talking about mundane unidentified aircraft engagements, then this statement isn’t especially interesting. If, however, they are talking about encounters with odd craft, or unusual phenomena, then it’s quite another. Considering that this entire story links itself to recent events regarding UFO’s, and even quotes Christopher Mellon, a former DoD official and UFO proponent, one is bound to assume we are dealing with the latter. And if this assumption is correct, the notion that the “Navy and the USAF” take such reports “very seriously” and “investigate each and every” one of them flies in the face of what we have been told about “our” sort of UFOs for decades.

It would be all very confusing to a person new to the subject. Does the Navy have guidelines for reporting mundane unidentified aircraft but not anything more mysterious? Are they drafting completely new doctrine, or has it been drafted already? Are they just amending the old? Will they jointly promulgate new “unidentified aircraft” reporting doctrine with the US Marine Corps (USMC)? Will the USAF have any input? Assuming we are talking about UFO’s in the classic sense, did the OPNAV N2/N6 make a mistake in even mentioning the USAF in first place? The USAF, as I will highlight, usually claim they do not maintain UFO reporting doctrine.

Firstly, the Navy does have a selection of reporting channels that can be used for UFO–like events. Indeed, two of these channels have been used for such incidents in the past, and there are two more which could be used now. While I will explore these examples of Navy reporting doctrine in future reports, I aim to discuss the USAF for the time being. Indeed, the USAF promulgates numerous pieces of current doctrine which demand the reporting of unknown or unidentified objects or craft. Further, there are examples of military–wide, or “joint”, doctrine, of which the USAF is included, that allow, or at least did in the 2000’s, for the reporting of such aerial events. In fact, one “joint” publication discusses UFO’s and aerial phenomena in significant detail, as we shall see. I have previously written about that item here.

For the purposes of this report, I’ll focus on two types of unidentifiable object reporting that are published by none other than the Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF), and were current as of November, 2017!

The first is titled “Unauthorized Air Vehicle / Military Installation Airspace Violation / Intrusion”, and the second is titled “Vital Intelligence Sightings / Intel Reports”. Both are sub–categories of a special class of military report known as an “OPREP–3 Serious Incident / Serious Event”. I have written extensively about UFO’s and the OPREP–3 reporting channel in a yet–to–be–finished monograph titled “‘OPREP–3” – A Classified US Military Reporting Channel For UFO Incidents?”. Already published, however, are the first nine entries, which start at Part 1, and continue to Part 9. Briefly, the OPREP–3’s system is used by authorised military personnel to report urgent, serious or ongoing situations or dire events up the chain–of–command. Numerous publications, such as the old “Joint Reporting Structure Event and Incident Reports”, which was promulgated by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) in December, 1993, states that the OPREP–3 reporting system “…is used by military units at any level of command to report significant events and incidents to the highest levels of command.”. Another publication, titled “Air Force Instruction 10–206 Operational Reporting” (AFI 10–206), which was disseminated by the Secretary of the Air Force (SECAF) in October, 2008, states that military command posts use OPREP–3’s to “…immediately notify commanders of any significant event or incident that rises to the level of DoD, AF, or MAJCOM interests..”. Evidently, the OPREP–3 system is reserved for concerning and fluid situations which need urgent attention at ever higher levels of command.

On a day–to–day basis, I work very closely with a little–known English researcher by the name of David Carmichael. On a near daily basis, Carmichael and I co–ordinate countless Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with one another. At any one time we have so many pending requests farmed out that neither of us can keep track of them. Needless to say, the vast majority of FOI action bears no fruit, or, end with entirely redacted documents which will remain classified for years or decades to come. Sometimes, nonetheless, there are success stories.

Carmichael and I have long–known that most USAF generated OPREP–3 reports pass through a cell at the Pentagon called the Air Force Service Watch Cell (AFSWC), as well as the National Military Command Center (NMCC). As far as the latter is concerned, some years ago we both asked the NMCC for records of any OPREP–3’s containing UFO or UFO–like reports, and we were both given “no records” responses. Neither of us, though, had asked the AFSWC for similar records, or any doctrine that governs them. Further, we were also aware that numerous categories and sub–categories of OPREP–3’s existed, and cover everything from the loss of a nuclear warhead to a suspicious power outage at a military base. This information has long been laid out in a document known as an “OPREP–3 Reports Matrix”, but we hadn’t gotten around to asking for a current copy.

On the 16th of May, 2017, Carmichael submitted an FOIA request to Headquarters, USAF, for “…the most recent copy, or one that is deemed releasable, of the CSAF OPREP–3 Reports Matrix…”. Over nine months later, on the 26th of February, 2018, Carmichael finally received a reply from the Secretary of the Air Force’s (SAF) Tracy A. Broady. It stated, in part:

“In response to your FOIA Request for the ‘CSAF OPREP–3 Reports Matrix’, the Air Force, Air, Space & Information Operations (AF/A3) Air Force Service Watch Cell, determined the attached documents to be responsive to your request.”

And with that, a copy of “CSAF OPREP–3 Reports Matrix” was released. Why it takes more than nine months for the USAF to release this very simple, unclassified record remains beyond Carmichael and myself. Still, it could be worse. They could have lost his FOI request like they have done with others we’ve submitted in good faith. I have imaged Tracy A. Broady’s letter below.





Running at 13 pages, and apparently current as of the 6th of November, 2017, the document contains a series of tables that lay out myriad events or incidences which must be reported via the OPREP–3 system. It is promulgated as an unpublished attachment to the current version of “Air Force Instruction 10–206, Operational Reporting” (AFI 10–206), and presently covers all manner of items, from “space launch mishaps” to “aircraft evacuations”. Each type of incident is coded, titled, and described, and in some cases other pertinent instructions, like special handling procedures, are laid out. As stated, the “CSAF OPREP–3 Reports Matrix” contains a pair of report sub–categories which could certainly be used for reporting UFO’s. Found on Page 9, they are titled “Unauthorized Air Vehicle / Military Installation Airspace Violation / Intrusion” and “Vital Intelligence Sightings / Intel Reports”. I have imaged the page below.




The first is coded “9B” and carries the title “Unauthorized Air Vehicle / Military Installation Airspace Violation / Intrusion”. In the “DESCRIPTION” block, the following text is provided:

“Any confirmed unauthorized civilian small unmanned aircraft system (SUAS) remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), gyrocopter, or similar craft positioned over any DoD mission activity (facilities, assets, installations, ships, convoys, etc.). The report will include at a minimum: description of aerial object or device, color, identifying markings, actual size, manufacturer, type (rotary, quad–copter, fixed wing, etc.), distance from observer, payload (camera or other device), and any actions taken, to include interactions with local/national/international law enforcement. Also, as applicable, any event (i.e., exercise, inspection, logistics movement, pre–flight and post–flight operations, etc.) that was in progress at the time of the reported observation.

Note: Units will send initial report to AFSWC within 1 hour of confirmed UA sighting and final report (if applicable) within 3 hours after the event/incident.”

On face value, this is an official acknowledgement that a growing inventory of unmanned aerial devices could, and probably are, encroaching into the airspace of USAF installations. This is undeniably a very serious issue. Indeed, “Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) and “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” (UAV) pose a threat to flying and flight safety. Moreover, such devices could be used to conduct photographic surveillance, or brazenly eavesdrop on sensitive communications systems.

Despite the obvious purpose behind this sub–category of OPREP–3 report, there is a distinct possibility that more mysterious events have been hurriedly submitted. Its worth noting that the final sentence contained in the “DESCRIPTION” section instructs units to “…send initial report to AFSWC within 1 hour of confirmed UA sighting and final report (if applicable) within 3 hours after the event/incident…”. This confirms that the Air Force Service Watch Cell (AFSWC) remains the recipient of these OPREP–3’s, which, evidently, comprise of an “initial report” and, in some cases, a “final report”. Also, there is a curious acronym given which, presumably, covers all unmanned aerial craft, and it simply reads “UA”. Likely, the “U” translates as “Unidentified”, but what the “A” translates as isn’t clear. Again, the “Unauthorized Air Vehicle / Military Installation Airspace Violation / Intrusion” sub–class of OPREP–3 is by no means a significant UFO reporting channel for, well, “our” sort of UFO’s. Having said that, I’d be rather curious to see what exactly has been reported. Quite possibly we will soon know. FOI action is underway and will be elaborated on as soon as possible.

The second sub–catogory of OPREP–3 is coded “9F” and carries the title “Vital Intelligence Sightings / Intel Reports”. In the “Description” block, the following text is given:

“a. Any/all unidentifiable, suspicious, or hostile traffic (land, aerospace, or sea) which, because of its nature, course, or actions, may constitute a threat to the security of the US or Canada. Includes reports received from airborne platforms.

b. Receipt of significant intelligence received through other than Intel channels.”

This item was a somewhat surprise discovery, but it shouldn’t have been. Some readers will be aware that America’s military apparatus has previously published a series of “Communications Instructions for Reporting of Vital Intelligence Sightings” (CIRVIS). Traditionally, CIRVIS requirements demanded the timely reporting of “Unidentified Flying Objects”, or “UFO’s”, by members of the armed forces. CIRVIS procedures initially appeared a 1954 publication titled “Joint Army Navy Air Force Protocol 146(A)” (JANAP 146(A)) which had been ordered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). JANAP 146 and its CIRVIS procedures continued to be promulgated until the early 1990’s, and was, by then, up to the “E” version, or JANAP 146(E). As always, “Unidentified Flying Objects” were listed right there alongside, but distinct from, “Unidentified Aircraft”, “Missiles”, “Submarines”, etc.

In the mid–1990’s, much of the elderly JANAP 146(E) doctrine was substituted or broken up, and CIRVIS procedures were moved, at least where the USAF was concerned, to a new piece of doctrine titled “Air Force Manual 10–206, Operational Reporting” (AFM 10–206). This occurred in September, 1995, by order of the Secretary of the Air Force (SAF). In March, 2000, AFM 10–206 was revised and re–published, with CIRVIS procedures still intact, and “Unidentified Flying Objects” still a cause for concern, and still reportable. Manager of “The Black Vault”, a vast online archive of declassified government records, John Greenewald stumbled upon this piece of doctrine while studying CIRVIS procedures. A newer version of the publication was disseminated on the 15th of October, 2008 and was upgraded to an Instruction, rather than a Manual. The title was, thus, “Air Force Instruction 10–206 Operational Reporting” (AFI 10–206) and, again CIRVIS reporting is laid out as clearly as ever. Then, a yet newer version of AFI 10–206, dated 6th September, 2011 was published, but was massively reduced in scope and size. These amendments included the removal of CIRVIS procedures. This unexplained removal of CIRVIS, and its function as a UFO reporting channel, may have even come about due to the actions of researcher and journalist Lee Speigel. At the time, Speigel had been asking questions of the Pentagon about CIRVIS UFO reporting, and days later the new version of AFI 10–206 was released minus the chapter on CIRVIS. On the other hand, CIRVIS may have been removed a year earlier. We just don’t know.

As stated, CIRVIS stood for “Communications Instructions for Reporting of Vital Intelligence Sightings”. Here, the three key words that deal with what must be reported are “Vital Intelligence Sightings”. This phrase is identical to part of the “9F” sub–category “Vital Intelligence Sightings / Intel Reports” in our new “CSAF OPREP–3 Reports Matrix”. In other words, CIRVIS–type reporting has apparently been moved from its own unique chapter in AFI 10–206 to the “CSAF OPREP–3 Reports Matrix”. The description laid out in the matrix is also very similar to the topics laid out in the old CIRVIS procedures. It even mentions Canada, exactly like CIRVIS procedures used to. Again, “9F” and it’s “Vital Intelligence Sightings” demand any and all “unidentifiable” and “suspicious” traffic be conveyed in an OPREP–3 report. This isn’t low–level stuff. Finally, it is notable that “reports received from airborne platforms” come under the same umbrella. That means USAF pilots.

Just like the CIRVIS reporting of old, any reports submitted in accordance with this sub–category will generate, at minimum, some rather interesting reading. Whether it’s a pair of stray Russian bombers, or a disturbance under the water in a conflict zone, or a genuine UFO sighting, the CSAF is asking for it, and the AFSWC deals with it. If an analysis or investigation takes place, all the better. Also, the “Vital Intelligence Sightings / Intel Reports” item asks for “significant intelligence received through other than Intel channels” too. This phrase is vague, but when it appears right alongside the well–worn UFO(ish) “Vital Intelligence Sightings” one is bound to ask if similar reports are coming in “through other than Intel channels” too.

Again, the very fact that unidentifiable aerospace sighting reporting is found in an OPREP–3 reporting matrix table is significant. It’s worth mentioning that the AFI 10–206 lays out the USAF’s “Air Force Operational Reporting System” (AFOREPS). It is within AFOREPS that we find the OPREP–3 reporting system laid out. Before the existence of AFI 10–206 and its predecessors, AFOREPS was laid out in other doctrine all the way back to the late 1960’s. In fact, AFOREPS and UFO’s were officially mentioned together as far back as October, 1969. Partly authorising the termination of “Project Blue Book”, the USAF’s long–running UFO investigation effort, was a Brigadier General Carrol H. Bolender. At the time, Brig. Gen. Bolender was Deputy Director of Development, for the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, Headquarters, USAF. The document in question was the infamous “Bolender Memo”, or “Bolender Air Staff Study”. Authorising the termination of the USAF’s long–running UFO investigation effort “Project Blue Book”, the Bolender study, at just three pages, admitted that UFO’s were a “national security” issue. Further, it stated that the AFOREPS system should be used for UFO reporting. Specifically, Brig. Gen. Bolender stated that “reports of unidentified flying objects” which could “affect national security” were already being made “in accordance with JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55–11”. Researchers were aware of JANAP 146 and its CIRVIS reporting system, but the reference to an “Air Force Manual 55–11” (AFM 55–11) was new. The full title was “Air Force Manual 55–11, Operations, Air Force Operational Reporting (AFOREPS)”, and the version Brig. Gen. Bolender was presumably referring to was effective from the 1st of July, 1968. Contained within are several classes of operational reporting, and the OPREP–3 system is one of them.

Actions, of course, speak louder than words, and just a few years later, in 1975, the OPREP–3 system was used urgently and repeatedly during a three–week wave of intrusive unidentifiable object sightings over USAF bases. Frequently referred to as the “1975 Over Flights”, the events started at the end of October and comprised of consistent, confirmed and often low–flying craft which intruded on nuclear–armed Strategic Air Command (SAC) bases across the Canadian border. Loring AFB, Wurtsmith AFB and Maelstrom AFB, as well as others, were affected. The visual sightings, which were sometimes established on primary radar simultaneously, involved hundreds of servicemen, and generated nearly one–thousand pages of records. These were released under FOI to the likes of researchers Barry Greenwood, Robert Todd and Lawrence Fawcett. During the UFO intrusions, OPREP–3 BEELINE and OPREP–3 PINNACLE reports were sent from the bases to a bewildering list of addressees including the National Military Command Center (NMCC), the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJSC), the Secretary of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (SJCS), the State Department, the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the White House, the USAF’s Major Command Coordination Center (MCCC), the Alternate National Military Command Center (ANMCC) at Fort Ritchie, and 8th Air Force Headquarters. The USAF admitted the events were never solved.

As for the new “CSAF OPREP–3 Reports Matrix” and its “Unauthorized Air Vehicle / Military Installation Airspace Violation / Intrusion” and “Vital Intelligence Sightings / Intel Reports”, these, as I have said, are not specific to “UFO’s” in the traditional sense of the term. The former is clearly aimed at manmade devices which intrude upon USAF installations. And the latter, it could be easily and fairly argued, is dedicated to sightings of unexpected missile and aircraft activity, unidentified submarine movements and other national security sightings. To be sure, the US military, on top of its instrumented monitoring systems, needs to know if pilots or other members of the armed forces are seeing objects of a national security nature. Having said that, there is every chance truly mysterious UFO events have been reported to the AFSWC and the NMCC, as well as a bevy of additional recipients including the Major Commands (MAJCOM), in accordance with this doctrine. We know that the OPREP–3 system is used for “serious” events of “immediate” concern. Sightings “received from airborne platforms” are included, and that means USAF flight crews.

Maybe one day we will find out exactly what has been reported in the last few years. On the 16th of November, 2018, I submitted an FOI request to Headquarters, USAF, for:
“…electronic or hardcopy copy records of OPREP–3 reports submitted (from the field, base commanders, etc) to/through the Air Force Service Watch Cell (AFSWC). This cell may now be known simply as “Air Force Watch”, but either way it is the locale where incoming OPREP’s come in. Specifically, I am asking for OPREP–3 reports which have been categorised by the “CSAF OPREP–3 Reports Matrix” as either “9B; Unauthorized Air Vehicle/Military Installation Airspace Violation/Intrusion”, or “9F; Vital Intelligence Sightings/Intel Reports”. Further, some OPREP–3 reports may not have been submitted using/within the above categories, and, thus, I ask that all OPREP–3 reports at the AFSWC are searched for the below keywords, and derivatives of: “unknown aircraft”, “unidentified aircraft”, “UFO”, “unusual aircraft”, “low flying aircraft”, “phenomenon”, “phenomena”, “unidentified flying object”, “aerial vehicles”, etc. Finally, I would also ask that any records you generate, such as screen shots of database searches, internal emails, etc related/associated with this FOI request be furnished to me…”.

Time will tell.






tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-1203549338273281496

February 17th 2019 at 05:29

"Foreign Aerospace Threats", "Emerging and Disruptive Technologies", "Potential Capabilities", "Technological Surprise".....


AAWSAP and AATIP Dwarfed by the Air Force's Massive National Air and Space Intelligence Center
   


For over a year, the so-called “UFO community”, and the wider population in general, has been consuming a constant diet of frequently startling information regarding a 2007 to 2013 partnership of American military intelligence programs that were largely based at America’s Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA). Managed first by a James T. Lacatski, and then by a Luis Elizondo, the larger, more formal of the two was known as the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Application Program (AAWSAP). The smaller, less solidified program was known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat and Identification Program (AATIP). These efforts, from what we know thus far, analysed unexpected aerospace threats, breakthrough physics, associated foreign developments, and even the possible application and use of next generation principles in America’s military apparatus. Also studied, at least within AATIP, was the issue of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO). In fact, the more we find out about the entire AAWSAP/AATIP affair, the more it seems that the study of the core UFO phenomena very much overlapped with the investigation of these foreign aerospace developments, emerging technologies, and cutting-edge physics. For the purposes of this piece, it is paramount that we look at some of the precise wording contained in the available information on the AAWSAP/AATIP saga.

An 18th of August, 2008, DIA solicitation for tenders regarding work on AAWSAP included this passage in Attachment One:
“One aspect of the future threat environment involves advanced aerospace weapon system applications. The objective of this program is to understand the physics and engineering of these applications as they apply to the foreign threat out to the far term, i.e., from now through the year 2050. Primary focus is on breakthrough technologies and applications that create discontinuities in currently evolving technology trends. The focus is not on extrapolations of current aerospace technology. The proposal shall describe a technical approach which discusses how the breakthrough technologies and applications listed below would be studied and include proposed key personnel that have experience in those areas.”.

Just over a year later, a letter from Senator Reid, dated the 24th of June, 2009, which was sent to the Deputy Secretary of Defence, stated:

“Beginning this past September [2008], the US Senate has mandated the Defense Intelligence Agency assess far-term foreign advanced aerospace threats to the United States... …In order to further our efforts in recognising emerging disruptive aerospace technologies…”.

In May, 2018, Swedish researcher Roger Glassel engaged in a series of email communications with Major Audricia Harris who was based at the DoD Headquarters in Washington DC. On the 3rd of May, Glassel received an email from Major Harris which confirmed the existence of the AATIP effort, and, presumably referencing some of the aforementioned Senator Reid letter, further stated that AATIP’s mandate was to:

“…assess ‘far-term foreign advanced aerospace threats the United States’, including anomalous events (such as sightings of aerodynamic vehicles engaged in extreme manoeuvres, with unique phenomenology, reported by U.S. Navy pilots or other credible sources)…”.

During a “To The Stars Academy” (TTSA) press conference, dated the 11th of October, 2017, Elizondo stated:

“However, by far the most interesting effort I was involved with was the topic of advanced aerial threats. For nearly the last decade, I ran a sensitive aerospace threat identification program focusing on unidentified aerial technologies”.

Obviously, some commentators keenly noted that much of the available information regarding AAWSAP/AATIP has centred around the aforementioned subjects of “far-term aerospace threats”, “breakthrough technologies”, “threat identification”, and “emerging” or “disruptive” foreign aerospace developments. These tantalising phraseologies aren’t just repeated loosely or occasionally. There is consistency and purpose to much of what has been released. Moreover, some critics have effectively proclaimed that it should be no surprise whatsoever that someone, somewhere, in America’s military-intelligence community would be looking into foreign or threatening aerospace developments, or emerging aerospace technologies. This is entirely true, but the notion that such investigations could be solely handled by just one single under-resourced person, who in this case was DIA employee and AAWSAP/AATIP manager Luis Elizondo, is of course preposterous. Even with outside contractual assistance, the workload would be insurmountable.

Students of the UFO topic are well aware that the United States Air Force’s (USAF) old UFO investigation programs, like Project Sign and Project Blue Book, were largely placed within the old Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC), and its successor, the Foreign Technology Division (FTD). Based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, these entities served as the USAF’s focal point for technology development and technical intelligence. Importantly, this included the assessment of foreign aerospace systems and the exploitation of foreign hardware. In other words, the UFO problem was being handled at precisely the same location as where ever more advanced military technology was being developed, and where breakthroughs were being made on foreign capabilities. This organisation, after numerous name changes, exists today as the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC). Knowing already that some of NASIC’s core mission seemed like that of a portion of what AAWSAP/AATIP apparently did, I wanted, at first, to demonstrate that NASIC may have been doing what AAWSAP/AATIP did, albeit on a much larger scale. Further, when I began reviewing official documentation and other reasonable sources of information, it became evident that AAWSAP/AATIP and Elizondo frequently use identical language to that of NASIC and its recent predecessors.



NASIC, like its predecessors, is based at Wright-Patterson AFB, and serves as one of America’s premier intelligence organisations. According to the “AboutUs” section of NASIC’s website, the organisation is the Defence Department’s “…primary source for foreign air and space threats…” information. Further, NASIC creates “…integrated, predictive intelligence in the air, space and cyberspace domains…”. With over three thousand staff, NASIC’s mission ensures that “…the nation is at the cutting edge of understanding foreign threats to US air and space operations…”, and their “…all-source analysts are national experts on threats that span air, space, and cyberspace domains…”. Quoting from a July, 2017, booklet, titled “NASIC: An Overview”, which was published by their Public Affairs office, NASIC’s responsibilities include the generation of “classified intelligence products” to assist the US military in “…evolving with, and combatting, future air and space threats…”. Further, a 2014-era USAF “Order of Battle” volume, titled “USAF/AFHRA Order of Battle: National Air and Space Intelligence Center”, states that NASIC “…aids in shaping national and defense policy…” and plays “…a key role in ensuring that US forces avoid technological surprise…”.

NASIC is currently and directly assigned to the USAF’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (AS/A2). Earlier, from June, 2007, to September 2014, NASIC was assigned to the USAF’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (AFISRA). NASIC’s contemporary organisational structure comprises of four “Intelligence Analysis Groups”. Currently, these are the Air and Cyberspace Intelligence Group, the Geospatial and Signatures Intelligence Group, the Global Exploitation Intelligence Group, and the Space, Missiles and Forces Intelligence Group. Subordinate to these four groups are a total of eighteen squadrons, the exact and current make-up of which I am yet to finally ascertain. Moreover, this organisational configuration is supported by four Directorates. These are the Communications and Information Directorate, the Human Resources Directorate, the Logistics Directorate, and the Plans and Programs Directorate. Finally, NASIC also oversees the Civil Aviation Intelligence Analysis Center, though this center is now physically located at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington DC.

As mentioned, an official, current and detailed overview of NASIC’s internal structure is yet to be provided to me formally. A similarly detailed description of their current and varied missions has likewise been difficult to obtain. NASIC does, however, provide a general summary of its varied missions across the organisation. This information can be found in the “About Us” section of the NASIC website, and there are certainly several items of interest. The first mission of note is that of “Air and Counterair”, which aims to “…assess the capabilities of foreign aircraft, air-launched weapons, unmanned aerial vehicles and the likelihood of their employment against US forces...”. The second mission worth highlighting is “Space and Counterspace” which, amongst other things, develops “…integrated, all-source space and counterspace threat assessment and provide detailed understanding of foreign threats...”. The third mission of note is “Disruptive Technologies” which assesses “…emerging technologies that could potentially be used in an air, space and/or cyberspace warfighting capacity…” against America. A fourth mission is that of “Ballistic Missiles”. Here, NASIC assesses “…land-based foreign ballistic missile systems with a range of 1000 km and greater, their subsystems, operational capabilities, effectiveness, proliferation, and technology transfer…”. Evidently, it should be obvious where these missions are likely placed within NASIC’s group structure. For instance, the “Ballistic Missile” mission is likely handled by the Space, Missiles and Forces Intelligence Group. Nevertheless, a detailed breakdown of the entire NASIC organisational diagram, with a focus on the individual squadrons, and, especially, their mission focused activities, is sorely needed to precisely grasp what NASIC is doing. There are, nevertheless, other sources of information which are invaluable to this piece.

For example, it appears that some, if not all, of NASIC’s squadrons are further broken into small “Flight” units. The Space, Missiles and Forces Intelligence Group contains the intriguingly titled Future Threats Analysis Squadron. One of the Flights that make up this squadron is designated the Emerging and Disruptive Technologies Flight. This comes to us from an SRI International science conference, which was held California in March, 2018. Headlined as “Bio-Convergence and the Soldier 2050”, the event listed two speakers who came from the Emerging and Disruptive Technologies Flight. One of the speakers was titled as a “Disruptive Technology Biological Materials Analyst”, and the other was titled as a “Disruptive Technology Information Science Analyst”.

Back in November, 2011, a US General Services Administration “Performance Work Statement, Solicitation 5TP57110034”, which related to externally-contracted technical support for certain NASIC squadrons, stated that the “…increasing complexity and sophistication of foreign space threat systems, coupled with an uncertain and rapidly changing threat environment…” were placing “serious demands” on NASIC’s personnel. Further, the document states that some highly classified NASIC projects can include:

“…analyses of emerging threats based on new physical principles, special intelligence collection programs, and highly sensitive planning, operations, and/or acquisition programs…”.

Further, for contacted work to be completed, firms were to have “…a sufficient number of Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) cleared personnel…”.

Aside from NASIC’s traditional group-and-squadron structure, there are other internal entities which may be central to this discussion. An article in “The Asia Times”, dated the 9th of July, 2009, and titled “Mixed Signals Over Chinese Missiles”, quoted a series of statements made to a Congressional sub-committee by General Claude Robert Kehler, USAF, who was Commander of Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) at the time. In his testimony, General Kehler mentioned a NASIC entity known as the Defence Intelligence Space Threat Committee which was “…established to oversee and coordinate a wide variety of complex space/counterspace analytical activities…”. This committee still exists today as the Defence Intelligence Space Threats and Operations Committee.

Researcher Jeffrey T. Richelson, in the seventh edition of his book “The US Intelligence Community”, found that NASIC’s Global Exploitation Intelligence Group consisted, in 2016, of three squadrons. One of those was the Foreign Material Squadron which “…analyses foreign aerospace systems or systems components that the United States has acquired or obtained access to…”. This citation comes directly from an October, 2013, organisational chart, titled “Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency: ISR Organizational Chart”. In fairness, this shouldn’t be a surprise. NASIC’s predecessors were often the recipient of so-called “Moon Dust” items which had been secured, and further transported to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, from all over the globe. As per an Air Force Chief of Staff for Intelligence (AFCIN) draft letter, dated the 3rd of November, 1961, often cited as the “Colonel Betz Letter”, these “Moon Dust” objects were designated as any “…unidentified flying objects, or known Soviet/Bloc aerospace vehicles, weapons systems, and/or residual components of such equipment…” which the USAF felt worthy of squirrelling back to Wright-Patterson AFB. This effort involved highly trained field agents from a small unit which traces its lineage back to the old Air Defence Command’s (ADC) 4602nd Air Intelligence Service Squadron (4602nd AISS) in the 1950’s. The unit last known to be responsible for special “Moon Dust collections activity” was the Air Force Special Activities Center (AFSAC) at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. AFSAC was stood down in 1991, and beyond that time the trail goes cold. Recent investigations by myself, however, indicate that AFSAC’s “Moon Dust” collection activities were absorbed by the 696th Intelligence Group by 1992, and, further, were overtaken by the 67th Operations Support Squadron in 1995.

The issue of clandestinely obtained aerospace hardware is raised in a rather stunning article published in “Airman Magazine” and presented on NASIC’s website on the 21st of November, 2016. Written by Technical Sergeant Brandon Shapiro, USAF, the piece was simply titled “Acquire, Assess, Exploit”. The article tells a seemingly hypothetical yarn of gun-carrying “covert agents” who purchase an “advanced aeronautical component” from a shadowy foreigner in the dead of night. Apparently, however, there is nothing fanciful about it. The author categorically states that NASIC and its predecessors “…have procured intelligence on foreign air and space forces…” for decades. The article goes on to say that:

“…obtaining data or equipment is integral to assessing a potential foe’s true capabilities and difining their future intentions. The mission’s goal is to assure that United States forces avoid technological surprise and can counter existing and evolving foreign air and space threats…”.

Further stated is that the military’s “…most qualified, knowledgeable and tech savvy sleuths…” begin the work of analysing and “reverse engineering” these goldmines of foreign technology, in some of the “…most heavily fortified, controlled, and monitored facilities in the military…”. The rest of the article drifts off into what it takes to be a NASIC scientist, and then gives a general overview of NASIC’s proud history.

By now, it should be apparent that some of what AATIP/AAWSAP did was the similar to what modern day NASIC does. Despite not having detailed mission overviews, or a breakdown of specific programs, NASIC is clearly involved in the study of “advanced aerospace” regimes which originate from outside the American theatre. Isn’t this at least close to, if not identical, as what some of AATIP/AAWSAP studied? A key NASIC responsibility is to understand “foreign threats”, and long-term ones at that. Again, we’ve seen exactly the same language from AAWSAP/AATIP. As I have carefully outlined, key NASIC missions include the examination of “foreign aircraft”, “unmanned aerial vehicles”, “emerging technologies”, “disruptive technologies” and “aerospace threats”. NASIC’s squadrons systematically analyse “emerging threats” based on “new physical principles”, and their personnel work to ensure the America avoids “technological surprise”. All these phrases are precisely what the AAWSAP/AATIP effort seems to be, at least in part, about. Even the names of some of NASIC’s units, like the Future Threats Analysis Squadron, and the Emerging and Disruptive Technologies Flight are a near-exact match to certain AAWSAP/AATIP phraseology. Of course, none of this is to imply that far-off future threats and ultra-advanced aerospace developments are all NASIC does. In fact, their mission and budget allows for a huge array of products and developments. Obviously, though, we’re only curious about anything that lines up with AAWSAP/AATIP, and even UFO’s.

As for the records that NASIC actually produces, one can only imagine. This is an area I have only just started working on, and my aim is to submit numerous Freedom of Information (FOI) requests on top of those already sent. When attempting to narrow down the categories of records held at any particular agency, I often start with its official “doctrine”. Doctrine includes “Instructions”, “Directives”, “Handbooks”, “Regulations” and the like. Regarding NASIC publications, a reasonable item to highlight is a USAF Handbook, titled “Air Force Handbook, 14-133, (Intelligence) Intelligence Analysis” (AFH 14-133). It was published on the 27th of September, 2017, outlines the types of “products” that the USAF’s Office of the Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (AF-ISR) requires from their subordinate agencies, of which NASIC is one. Of the several categories of documents listed, the most auspicious are “Intelligence Assessments” and “Threat Studies”. AFH 14-133 describes an “Intelligence Assessment” as a “…Strategic, longer-term, analytical publication; focused on future capabilities and intentions; usually broad in military and/or political scope…” A “Threat Study” is described as a “…Longer-term analysis that is more narrowly scoped than an assessment; usually focused on a threat system or category of threat systems; generally strategic or operational in scope…”. Another document which briefly lays out what NASIC produces is the aforementioned USAF’s 2014 “Order of Battle” volume, entitle “USAF/AFHRA Order of Battle: National Air and Space Intelligence Center”. It states that NASIC’s intelligence products “range from one or two page executive summaries to multiple volumes in comprehensive studies, and from briefings and presentations to innovative video simulations”.

In composing this piece, I wanted to appraise how NASIC was structured both today and a decade ago. In 2008, NASIC was, like today, comprised of four intelligence groups. Subordinate to them were seventeen squadrons, which is one less than the eighteen that exist today. A USAF “Fact Sheet”, published on the 22nd of November, 2008, with the title “US Air Force, Fact Sheet, ‘National Air and Space Intelligence Center’ September, 2008”, offers the names of the intelligence groups and their respective squadrons. This information is backed up by an article dated the 23rd of April, 2008, titled “NASIC Holds Group and Squadron Activation”. The piece was written by the 88th Air Base Wing (88ABW), at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, for the Public Affairs Office of the 25th Air Force (25AF). NASIC’s four intelligence groups were the Air and Cyberspace Analysis Group, the Space and Missiles Analysis Group, the Global Threat Analysis Group, and the Data Analysis Group. Listing all seventeen subordinate squadrons is unnecessary as many of them appear irrelevant to my discussion. Some, however, are clearly notable, as we shall see.

The Air and Cyberspace Analysis Group, for example, contained the Aircraft Analysis Squadron, the Engineering Analysis Squadron, and the Integrated Air Defence Analysis Squadron. The Space and Missiles Analysis Group contained the Ballistic Missile Analysis Squadron, the Counterspace Analysis Squadron, the Space Analysis Squadron, and the Special Analysis Squadron. Again, any one of these squadrons could have been doing advanced air and space threat analysis with a focus on the long-term future. The Global Threat Analysis Group contained the Future Threats Analysis Squadron. With a squadron designation containing only the terms “future”, “threats” and “analysis”, one is bound to ask what sort of projects were undertaken here. Finally, the Data Analysis Group had under it the Foreign Material Exploitation Squadron. This is the same unit as the current Foreign Material Squadron, which duly analyses “foreign aerospace” hardware, as noted by Jeffrey T. Richelson as late as 2016.

The NASIC we see today was formed on the 15th of February, 2003. Beforehand, the organisation was the National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC). A USAF Public Affairs “Fact Sheet”, titled “US Air Force, Fact Sheet 95-10, ‘Air Intelligence Agency’, September, 1995”, details what was then the recent history of NAIC in considerable detail. NAIC was created on the 1st of October, 1993, when the Foreign Aerospace Science and Technology Center (FASTC) was merged with the USAF’s 480th Intelligence Group (480th IG). Also, the new NAIC entity fell under the direct command of the old Air Intelligence Agency (AIA). The AIA was assigned to Air Combat Command (ACC) at the time. Soon afterwards, on the 7th of July, 1994, the 497th Intelligence Group’s (497th IC) Directorate of Assessments, which “…produced a variety of general intelligence products…”, was integrated into the new NAIC structure. Regarding NAIC’s mission, a USAF Handbook, titled “Weapon Systems Intelligence Integration (WSII) Handbook”, which was promulgated in June, 1999, stated that NAIC was “…the Air Force’s General Military Intelligence (GMI) and Scientific and Technical Intelligence (S&TI) production center…”. Jeffrey T. Richelson, in the fourth edition of his book “The US Intelligence Community”, quoted extensively from an official NAIC Public Affairs pamphlet titled “National Air Intelligence Center Pamphlet 38-101, NAIC: Mission and Organization” (NAICP 38-101) which was published on the 8th of March, 1996. Specifically, NAIC:

“…acquires, processes, analyses, and integrates intelligence data and information on foreign weapons systems, subsystems, technologies and forces into products and services required to support the NAIC Commander, and selected external intelligence community customers…”

An undated history of NAIC, which was published by a USAF intelligence and security veterans group called “Silent Warriors”, states that NAIC played a key role in:

“…assuring that American forces avoid technological surprise and can counter the foreign air and space threat.  NAIC and constituent units provide Center customers a broad range of integrated, tailored assessments and information operations products and services…”.
As if this wasn’t enough to demonstrate that NAIC’s job was to assess emerging aerospace developments and unforeseen threats, a Defence Technical Information Center (DTIC) “Guide”, titled “How To Get It: A Guide to Defense – Related Information Resources”, published in July, 1998, states that NAIC studied “…current and projected foreign aerospace capabilities…” and “…evaluates evolving technologies of potential adversaries…”.


As for NAIC’s organizational structure, Richelson further found that, by 1995, there existed seven Directorates, and, as previously stated, the 480th IG. Other internal entities included a Representative to the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Office of the Chief Scientist. NAIC’s seven Directorates were the Directorate of Data Exploitation, the Directorate of Global Threats, the Directorate of Intelligence Analysis, the Directorate of Mission Support, the Directorate of Production Operations, the Directorate of Communications and Information, and the Directorate of Technical Assessments. Further, each Directorate contained several Divisions. The Directorate of Data Exploitation, for example, contained four Divisions. Of these, the Programs, Requirements and Foreign Material Division is surely of interest. The Directorate of Global Threat, which produced “complete threat assessments” and “tailored intelligence assessments”, contained six Divisions. The most curious, in my opinion, were the Acquisition Division and the Air Capabilities Division. The Directorate of Technical Assessments, which produced intelligence products on “…foreign offensive aerospace systems, foreign space systems, foreign technology development, and electromagnetic systems developments…”, contained Divisions like the Aerodynamic Systems Division and the curiously titled Advanced Programs Division. The Directorate of Intelligence Analysis, with Divisions such as the Global Analysis Division and the Special Projects Division, was “…responsible for providing substantive military, political, scientific and technical intelligence support…” to top echelon customers including the Secretary of the USAF (SECAF) and the Chief of the Staff of the USAF (CSAF). None of the other four NAIC-era Directorates, nor any of their Divisions, appear to be of importance to this conversation, so I have chosen not to elaborate  on them.

Going further back still, the same picture emerges. A full treatment of ever older mission statements and internal structuring will unlikely aid us regarding AAWSAP/AATIP. Briefly, however, NAIC was previously known as the Foreign Aerospace Science and Technology Center (FASTC) which was organised under the old Air Force Intelligence Command (AFIC) as of the 1st of January, 1992. An undated USAF Information Office “Fact Sheet”, titled “Air Force Intelligence Command: Fact Sheet”, states that FASTC was the “...focal point for the scientific and technical intelligence mission...” of the USAF. Further, FASTC published “...studies on current aerospace capabilities and potential threats posed by possible adversaries...” which included everything from aircraft  and missiles to “directed energy weapons” and “new technological advances”. FASTC was short-lived, and was borne of the Air Force Foreign Technology Center (AFFTC). During a huge USAF command shake-up, AFFTC was inaugurated on the 1st of October, 1991, and, like FASTC, was placed under the command of old AFIC. Before this turbulent period, right back to July, 1961, it was known as the Foreign Technology Division (FTD), and was located within the huge Air Force Systems Command (AFSC). No matter how far we go back, it is clear that organisation has been at the cutting edge of future military technology development, foreign aerospace capabilities assessment, and scientific and technical intelligence.

I haven’t found any direct evidence that the modern day NASIC, or the former NAIC and FASTC, have investigated or otherwise dealt with the core UFO phenomena. However, if we go back to a period of 1970 to the very early 1990’s, there are a few tantalising examples where the UFO issue, and other very peculiar aerospace issues, came up. It’s worth mentioning here that I’m not raising the fact that the USAF’s last major UFO study, Project Blue Book, was placed within the FTD in the 1960’s. I’m aiming here to look well beyond that era to a time when the USAF supposedly relinquished any interest in the UFO problem.

In the 1990’s the UFO community latched on to the curious term “Fast Walker”. Firstly, enthusiasts claim that “Fast Walkers” are alien spacecraft which are detected in space by American reconnaissance satellites. Secondly, the USAF’s Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) and the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) are the entities who are tasked with assessing “Fast Walker” events. Thirdly, the entire thing is apparently very highly classified, never to be revealed. In actual fact, some of these assertions are true. Indeed, “Fast Walker” is an official term for objects in space which have unexpectedly come into the imaging range of American Defence Support Program (DSP) satellites, and AFSPC and NORAD are at the receiving end of the data. The “Fast Walker” issue is indeed highly classified, with almost no documentation ever released in thirty years, and not hardly an official comment made about it. The part about “Fast Walkers” being other-worldly spacecraft, of course, is totally unsubstantiated.

On the other hand, some “Fast Walker” object trackings are apparently never solved. Jeffery T. Richelson, in his indispensable 1999 book, “America’s Space Sentinels: The History Of The DSP And SBIRS Satellite Systems”, states:

“…Most Fast Walkers have been routine observations of foreign spacecraft. The infrared readings obtained by DSP, resulting from the reflection of sunlight off the spacecraft, provided analysts at the CIA, DIA and Air Force Foreign Technology Division (now the National Air Intelligence Center) with data on spacecraft signatures and movements…”.

Note that Richelson states “most” of these objects are observations of foreign spacecraft.  What about the objects that aren’t? More importantly, Richelson specifically mentions that it is the FTD that analysed such data at the time, along with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and DIA.

On June the 20th, 1989, Captain Richard P. Osedacz, USAF, published a thesis for the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) which discussed “Fast Walkers” at length. Carrying the title “Orbit Determination of Sunlight Illuminated Objects Detected by Overhead Platforms”, Captain Osedacz states that:

“…The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tasked the Foreign Technology Division, Flight Performance Division (FTD/SQDF) to analyze these 15 to 30 minute data tracks and determine the element set, identifying the object…”.

Thus it is established that the an area of the FTD called the Flight Performance Division was handling “Fast Walker” data for identification purposes. One can’t help but wonder what was discovered. The Introduction page of Captain Osedacz’s thesis, which mentions the FTD, is imaged below.


In the early 1980’s, the FTD was sourcing Chinese publications about UFO’s. The first item is “The ‘UFO’ Of July 24, 1981: A Discussion With Comrade Zhang Zhousheng”, and is cited as coming from “Tainwen Aihaozhe, Nr. 9, September, 1982”. The internal FTD reference number is “FTD–ID(RS)T-0231-83” and the date of FTD translation and production is the 11th of April, 1983. The “requestor” of the work is listed as “FTD/SDBS”. The piece highlights a mass witness aerial phenomena sighting that occurred on 24th July, 1981 over much of China. The publication essentially interviews Zhang Zhousheng, who was staffed at the Yunnan Astronomical Observatory at the time, and Zhousheng goes into the dynamics of the event, the astronomical angle, and other matters. The case looks, to me, more like an out-of-control-missile test, but that’s not the point. The FTD were evidently interested in this sighting, and, while not of high-level importance, it demonstrates that the line between UFO events and decidedly foreign aerospace systems is blurred. I have imaged the front cover of the FTD document below.



The next item is titled “First UFO Incident For Our Country”, and is cited as coming from “Hangtian, Nr 4, 1982, pp. 12-13”. The internal FTD reference number is “FTD–ID(RS)T-1019-83” and the date of FTD translation and production is the 9th of September, 1983. Again, the “requestor” of is listed as “FTD/SDBS”. This short work also discusses the mass witness sighting of July, 1981, and offers numerous untenable solutions including spy planes, satellites, meteors, and even “flying saucers”. Again, the FTD wanted this publication translated and filed, so someone was picking up on unidentified aerospace activity abroad. Imaged below is the front cover of the FTD document.




In a particularly unusual chain of events, the FTD apparently investigated a series of suspicious and wide-spread aerial phenomena off the coast of the former Soviet Union in late 1988. Robert Hopkins, a former USAF pilot, and author of the highly regarded non-fiction book “The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker: More Than Just A Tanker”, was tasked with flying long-range intelligence gathering missions for the 24th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (24th SRS), which was then subordinate to the 6th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (6th SRW) in Alaska. The purpose of these flights was to collect telemetry intelligence (TELINT) and measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) data from enemy ballistic missile test. Speaking to “The Drive”, Hopkins recounts how, on two separate occasions, he and his co-pilot “experienced something incredibly bizarre” while monitoring a provocative Soviet missile trial off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. The events ostensibly drew “extreme interest” from America’s intelligence community, including the FTD, and would become known as “Domes of Light”.

According to Hopkins:

“As our crew prepared for the re-entry of the SS-20’s three re-entry vehicles (RVs), we climbed to our prescribed collection altitude and began our timing track to ensure that the right side of the airplane, where all the sensors were located, was pointed toward the re-entry event to the west of our orbit… …The stars were out that night and I don’t recall any moonlight, so we anticipated a nice light show by the RVs as they re-entered the atmosphere. As with any ‘take’, or collection, there was a general buzz of excitement as the back-end crew verified that their sensors and recorders were fully operational and ready for what would be less than a minute of valuable intelligence. As we looked for traffic, we noticed what appeared to be a translucent, milky white wall moving from the left, over the USSR, to the right, toward the Northern Pacific Ocean. It covered the entire sky from ground level to as far up as we could see looking out the front windows of the airplane. It moved very quickly—far faster than crossing airplane traffic—and rapidly approached us. The wall of light passed across our flight path and then continued eastward, leaving the empty and dark night sky in its wake. Our programmed turn time arrived, and we began our bank to the left to collect on the RVs. Once we rolled out southbound the wall of light was no longer visible to the east.

After the mission, the other pilot and I discussed what we had seen and could offer no explanation. As we had both seen it, we concluded that it was not a hallucination and was likely some kind of auroral event neither of us had ever seen, despite their common presence at the high latitudes where we routinely operated. Interestingly enough, the same pilot and I saw the phenomenon again, behaving in the same fashion and, coincidentally, also prior to the collection for an SS-20 launch. By this time there was official interest in this event, which had now acquired the name ‘Dome Of Light’. This accurately described its appearance as a flash of light that began at the SS-20 launch site and then radiated outward in all directions at high speed. Guesses as to the velocity of the Dome of Light were determined by the time it took the SS-20 to travel from the launch site at either Drovyanaya or Kansk to Klyuchi. This yielded a back-of-the envelope speed around 6,200 miles per hour!

Scientists at the Air Force’s Foreign Technology Division (FTD) at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, could not explain the origin or purpose, if there was one, for the Dome Of Light. Some concluded it was caused by special fuel used in the first stage of the SS-20. Others argued that it was something external to the SS-20’s propulsion system, or possibly a part of its transporter-erector-launcher or TEL, that provided an initial flash of light designed to temporarily blind American defence warning that detected foreign missile launches or a pulse that would interfere with incoming warheads. FTD placed the highest collection priority on SS-20 launches and even planned one mission over the Sea of Okhotsk to attempt collection from “behind” the dome as it passed by, but this produced no meaningful results.”

No wonder the FTD was interested. The SS-20 Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) was considered an especially effective and destabilising nuclear strike option for the USSR. Further, the very idea that the Soviets were trialling this “Dome of Light” system to hide the movement and launch of missiles would be of grave concern to all. Whatever the situation, the FTD put “the highest collection priority on SS-20 launches” and “even planned one mission over the Sea of Okhotsk to attempt collection from ‘behind’ the dome as it passed by”. Ultimately, the FTD couldn’t explain these “Dome of Light” events, but some had already decided that it was indeed part of a Soviet Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) system to hide SS-20’s. Volume 15, No. 7. of “The Executive Intelligence Review”, which was published on the 12th of February, 1988, said that intelligence analysts had determined that the “Dome of Light” was “a temporary ABM effect, already tested, which could shield the launch of a first strike”. I have imaged the relevant page below. This admission was nearly a year before Hopkin’s and his crew would see the huge light phenomena themselves, so it was evidently something tangible. Whatever the situation, the Soviets were saying nothing, and very little has been discussed by anyone else.


Regarding UFO’s, even if the FTD wanted to wash their hand of it, they couldn’t. Just one year after Project Blue Book was officially terminated on the 30th of Janurary, 1970, the FTD’s Commander was still “stuck with the UFO problem”. Dr. Jacques Vallee’s classic “Forbidden Science – Volume Two” contains an interesting diary entry for the 28th of January, 1971. Discussed in this passage is the outcome of a meeting Vallee had just had with the Dr. Josef Allen Hynek, who was, of course, the official astronomical consultant to the USAF for Project Blue Book. Vallee states:

“Allen also told me about his latest talk with Weinbrenner, the new commander at the Foreign Technology Division, who confessed to him after conferring with four–star general Brown that the Air Force was indeed still stuck with the UFO problem. Military sightings have started again.”.

When Vallee penned this dairy entry, Colonel George Weinbrenner was indeed the new Chief of the FTD. As we know, the FTD was organisationally located within the USAF’s massive Air Force Systems Command (AFSC). At the time, the Commander of the AFSC was General George S. Brown. Beyond 1971, Gen. Brown would become the Chief of Staff of the USAF for a short time. Further, in July, 1974, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS).

In conclusion, AAWSAP/AATIP’s myriad catchphrases are emulated, sometimes precisely, in NASIC’s core vernacular. Currently, one could be forgiven for assuming that phraseology like “foreign aerospace threats”, “disruptive technologies”, “new physical principles”, “potential capabilities”, and “technological surprise” were all AAWSAP/AATIP terms. In fact, they are all NASIC references, and have been for a very long time. Indeed, NASIC contains entire squadrons seemingly dedicated to such efforts. What do we make of the Threats Analysis Squadron? Or its Emerging and Disruptive Technologies Flight? Even one of NASIC’s fundamental “missions” is that of “Disruptive Technologies”, and it’s aim is to assess “emerging technologies” in the air and space domain. One could argue that the terminology used by AAWSAP/AATIP and NASIC may seem to refer to the same sort of concepts, but in fact mean very different things. Does NASIC only have a vision of, say, ten years versus AAWSAP/AATIP’s forty years? Maybe, but the 18th of August, 2008, DIA solicitation for AAWSAP tenders stated “from now through the year 2050” in regard to understanding advanced applications, foreign threats and new physics. Having said that, the same document also states that AAWSAP’s focus “is not on extrapolations of current aerospace technology”, so how does one really know? Indeed, it’s difficult to verify anything at the moment. One thing is for certain: The line between AAWSAP/AATIP and NASIC may be very fuzzy. And the line between UFO’s and everything else going on here may be fuzzier still.

tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-7274479577457606814

August 26th 2018 at 01:59

Bombshell Emerges:

United States Air Force (USAF) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Investigated UFO Cases Years After Project Blue Book Closed


   

Up until the end of 1969, the United States Air Force (USAF) was the United States government’s focal point for the collection, evaluation, and investigation of UFO cases. Of three formal UFO projects, the longest running was Project Blue Book. Controversial from its beginning in 1952, the Blue Book effort was a frequent public relations nuisance for the USAF, and was hardly the technically competent outfit it should have been. On several occasions the USAF tried to shuffle the program elsewhere, or shut it down entirely. Finally, on the 17th of December, 1969, the Secretary of the USAF, Dr. Robert C. Seamans Jr., announced that Blue Book had finally concluded. The decision to close the project had been formalised in a memorandum to the USAF’s Chief of Staff, General John D. Ryan. This news was circulated by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defence (OASD) in an “Immediate Release” Public Affairs statement. From that day forth, anyone who enquired with the USAF, or the Department of Defence (DOD) in general, would receive a short USAF–issued publication which reflected their final stance on the UFO’s matter. Over the years, this publication has come in several guises, including “Fact Sheet, Unidentified Flying Objects”, “UFO Fact Sheet”, and “Fact Sheet, Information on UFOs”. Despite slight differences in title and layout, the information contained within these publications has been more–or–less the same for nearly five decades.

I have chosen, for reasons that will become embarrassingly clear, two sections of text found in these well–worn “Fact Sheets”. The first states:

“On December 17, 1969, the Secretary of the Air Force announced the termination of Project Blue Book, the Air Force program for the investigation of UFOs. The decision to discontinue UFO investigations was based on an evaluation of a report prepared by the University of Colorado entitled ‘Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects’; a review of the University of Colorado’s report by the National Academy of Sciences; past UFO studies; and Air Force experience investigating UFO reports during the past two decades.”

The second passage worth quoting claims:

“Since the termination of Project Blue Book, no evidence has been presented to indicate that further investigation of UFOs by the Air Force is warranted. In view of the considerable Air Force commitment of resources in the past and the extreme pressure on Air Force funds at this time, there is no likelihood of renewed Air Force involvement in this area.”

These statements were supposed to be absolute. The USAF had made the “…decision to discontinue UFO investigations…”. There is certainly no vagueness there. Equally unambiguous is that proclamation that “…no evidence has been presented to indicate that further investigation of UFOs by the Air Force is warranted…”. Finally, though not utterly unequivocal I suppose, is an assertion that “…renewed Air Force involvement in this area…” was very unlikely.

Digging a bit deeper, there are two issues with the above–mentioned statements that seasoned researchers eventually discover. The first involves the question of centralised UFO case investigation. Some scholars of the UFO topic have argued that what the USAF actually meant to say was that there would be no formal project to systematically filter and investigate UFO reports. That line of reasoning would have ample merit if it wasn’t for the numerous other statements made by the USAF. I possess, on file, literally dozens of 1970’s and 1980’s–era statements which specifically assert that UFO case investigation was being not undertaken at all, regardless of a Blue Book–like UFO project or not. Thus, the argument that the USAF intended to go on investigating UFO cases, just without a formal project focal point, is almost certainly wrong. Closely related to that issue is a second matter worth highlighting. It revolves around the receiving of UFO reports versus any further investigation efforts. It has been occasionally claimed that the USAF refused to even accept UFO reports after Blue Book closed. This assumption is entirely incorrect. I will briefly cover this issue in due course, but, the reality is that branches of the US military have maintained several reporting channels that can be, and have been, utilised for reporting UFO sightings, and, moreover, several of these channels have been designed specifically for UFO’s. Thus, the reporting of UFO events after the conclusion of Project Blue Book is rarely in question. Rather, it’s the formal investigation of UFO events that has been long denied. Simply put, there is a very big difference between UFO reporting and UFO case investigation.

My interpretation of the DOD’s officially stated posture on UFO investigation can be exemplified in a pair of reply letters sent to researcher Robert G. Todd in early 1975. On the 27th of March, 1975, Lieutenant Colonel Huge G. Waite, who was assigned to the US Army’s Office of the Chief of Information, Washington DC, told Todd that:

“The US Army does not investigate UFO reports, and as you probably know, the Air Force has terminated their project in this area. I have enclosed a fact sheet prepared by the Air Force which provides information regarding their discontinued involvement in Project Blue Book, code name for UFO sightings, and also where these records are now stored.”

Unsatisfied with this answer, Todd pushed the matter further with Lt. Col. Waite in a forceful reply dated the 14th of April, 1975. A few weeks later, on the 8th of May, 1975, Lt. Col. Waite came back with more detailed answers to Todd’s enquiries. Succinctly, he stated, in part:

“As to your request for information about ‘reporting procedures’ for UFO sightings and Army procedures for investigating UFO’s, I assure you that no such procedures exist. The Army, the other services, and the Department of Defense, endorse the position taken by the Air Force described in the attached fact sheet. To the extent that formal investigation of alleged UFO sightings occurs, it is done by private organizations, not by the U.S. military services. I regret that the Army can be of no further assistance in this matter.”

Lt. Col. Waite’s statements in these letters cannot be any clearer. Neither the US Army, nor anyone else in the US military, were investigating UFO sightings in the 1970’s. Unequivocally, he claimed that, “…the US Army does not investigate UFO reports…”. Further, he says that, “…to the extent that formal investigation of alleged UFO sightings occurs, it is done by private organizations, not by the U.S. military services…”. Lastly, he attempts to shut down the matter by tersely declaring, “…the Army can be of no further assistance in this matter.”. These authoritative proclamations by the Army sound final, and, moreover, would have been difficult for researchers to argue with.

It has now emerged, however, that the USAF, with contribution from the Federal Aviation Administration, engaged in UFO case “investigation and findings” well after Project Blue Book closed. And that is what this piece is about.

Todd’s reason for engaging the Army in the first place can be explained by a series of events which had occurred two years earlier. During the early 1970’s, the Army was involved in numerous unsolved and startling UFO cases. The most renowned incident occurred on the night of the 18th of October, 1973, near Mansfield, Ohio. Often referred to as the “Coyne case”, the crew an 83rd Amy Reserves Command helicopter was apparently buzzed by a large, elongated object during a training flight. Several pages of official Army records were released soon after the event. Barely two months prior, on the 8th of September, 1973, the 298th Military Police Company at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, endured a close encounter with a large, unidentifiable object while on a routine security patrol. The local Provost Marshall’s Office at nearby Fort Stewart generated a “Serious Incident Report” (SIR) for Army Headquarters. There were other UFO cases involving the Army, most of which are almost entirely unknown, and I aim to highlight them in the future. No sooner had these intrusive, multi–witness sightings occurred than the Army had another problem to deal with. Researcher Robert G. Todd, of Ardmore, Pennsylvania, was the most prolific Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) user in the history of the UFO controversy. Todd’s tireless work has helped shape our understanding of governmental response to the UFO problem. Many of the thousands of pages of military records he obtained are only being analysed now. In Feburary, 1975, Todd embarked on a dogged campaign of FOI requesting and general letter–writing correspondence with two dozen US Army entities. From the Pentagon, right down to Battalion–level units, everyone was forced to humour Todd’s demands for straight answers.

This mountain of correspondence included a series of back–and–forth letters with the US Army’s huge Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker in Alabama. In the 1970’s, the facility was responsible for developing aviation doctrine and aircraft technology for the Army, and, moreover, it provided education and training to a large fraction of the Army’s core aviation and flight specialists. On the 17th of Feburary, 1976, Todd had evidently posed a number of questions regarding Army policy on UFO’s, as well as enquiries regarding specific UFO cases. While we do not have a copy of Todd’s letter, we do have a copy of the Army Aviation Center’s reply. And a significant reply it was. Dated the 20th of Feburary, 1976, and signed by the Center’s Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Herbert C. Strickland, Todd must have been rather taken aback by its candid and detailed admissions. Referencing Todd’s letter of the 17th of February, Strickland stated, in part:

“The agency responsible for the investigation of reports of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO’s) is the Senior Aviation Service, the United States Air Force (USAF), as designated by the Department of Defense. The USAF coordinate their investigation and findings with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).

The responsibility of this installation for investigating aviation mishaps is limited to those accidents/incidents involving assigned aircraft which result in damage to property and injury or death of aircraft occupants. Investigations of aviation mishaps which do not involve damage, injury or death, such as the UFO incidents you mention, are the responsibility of the unit owning the aircraft involved. For that reason, your previous two queries were forwarded to the two military units involved in purported UFO incidents for direct response to you. In the case of UFO incidents, the USAF and FAA accomplish detailed follow–on investigations, if required.

Your question ‘Why was no investigation conducted in either case?’ should, therefore, be directed to the USAF or FAA.

As to your second question, ‘Is it official policy to ignore reports of UFO’s made by Army personnel?’, I can only advise you that if damage, injury or death occurred, such an accident/incident would be of major concern to safety investigators from the United States Army Agency for Aviation Safety (USAAAVS) and would be investigated…”

Strickland’s letter continued into a second page and advised Todd to study the work of anti–UFO debunker Phillip J. Klass. Further, Strickland offered Todd brief guidance on approaching the applicable Judge Advocate General of any Army units that happen to be involved in a UFO event. I have imaged Strickland’s two–page letter below.






Quite simply, the contents of Herbert C. Strickland’s letter are extraordinary. Firstly, it is revealed that the USAF is indeed the “agency responsible” for the “investigation” of UFO cases. This goes far beyond a situation where USAF entities had to begrudgingly accept the odd report. Secondly, we learn that “the USAF coordinate their investigation and findings with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA)…”. Again, we see a clear reference to the “investigation” of UFO’s by the USAF. The added twist, obviously, is that the USAF further “coordinate” their “investigation and findings” with the America’s civil aviation authority, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA)! We then see additional clarification, in second paragraph of the letter, concerning the investigation of UFO events by the USAF and FAA. Confessed is the fact that “the USAF and FAA accomplish detailed follow–on investigations, if required”. Thirdly, Strickland’s letter also discusses the investigative obligations of the Army Aviation Center. Importantly, we learn that the handling of UFO cases is not part of their mission, and, rather, they only deal with serious aviation accidents and other grave mishaps “which result in damage to property and injury or death of aircraft occupants”. However, Strickland does clearly state that UFO incidents involving Army aircraft “are the responsibility of the unit owning the aircraft involved”.

Before going further, one passage of Strickland’s letter caused me some initial confusion, and it worth clarifying this issue lest it causes readers any misunderstanding. Strickland mentions uses the phrase “Senior Aviation Service”, and I first throught that this was an actual USAF controlled entity, such as a cell within a larger USAF agency, or a specific office within one of the USAF’s many commands. However, I understand now that Strickland meant that the USAF is the “Senior Aviation Service”, and its main aviation service of the DoD. Strickland perhaps could have written something like, “The agency responsible… …is the Department of Defence’s senior aviation service, which is the United States Air Force (USAF)”. Whatever the exact wording, Strickland makes it quite clear that the USAF embarked on UFO case investigation, and the FAA followed closely.

These admissions utterly fly in the face of what the USAF, and other areas of the Department of Defence (DOD), were peddling after Project Blue Book ended in late 1969. Researchers have been asking the USAF, and the other branches of the Armed Forces, for information on UFO case investigation, as well as doctrinal policy regarding the UFO issue, for decades. Rarely has there been such candid and specific statements made on official letterhead. The DOD was, in the 1970’s and onwards, mailing out their “Fact Sheet” on UFO’s to anyone curious enough to ask. One passage of text, which I highlighted previously, begins with the statement, “the decision to discontinue UFO investigations…”. This is nonsense, clearly. Another issue is the fact that the DOD, and especially the USAF, have ceaselessly encouraged researchers to simply review existing Project Blue Book files, plus the even older Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) records, as they were quickly becoming available at Maxwell Air Force Base. There has never been any mention of newer UFO investigation files from the 1970’s or beyond, and this is an issue which needs urgent attention. In fact, there are so many issues here that one barely knows where to begin.

For starters, one is bound to ask where the Army Aviation Agency got their information, and why it was spelled out so clearly for Robert Todd, who was, after all, a civilian. In later correspondence with Herbert C. Strickland’s office, Todd learned that the Army Aviation Center had received their information from a Col. Samuel P. Kalagian. Based also at Fort Rucker, Col. Kalagian was the Deputy Commander of the Army Aviation Safety Board. Upon ascertaining this connection, Todd further discovered that Col. Kalagian had communicated, at some length, with the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force (OSAF) regarding the UFO issue. I will further detail these threads of correspondence in future reports, but it’s fair to say that Strickland’s letter to Todd was accurate and well informed. Why the OSAF was so candid with Col. Kalagian, who was subsequently just as candid with the Army Aviation Center and Strickland, is unknown. Most likely, the OSAF didn’t realise that Col. Kalagian’s enquiry was eventually going to find its way to Todd. If that explanation isn’t correct, then it’s possible that the OSAF staffers who handled Col. Kalagian’s UFO enquiry didn’t appreciate that there was a standard response about UFO’s which everyone seemed to get, no matter who they were. Whatever the reason, someone, at some point, was simply too forthcoming.

As stated, the USAF was “responsible” for the “investigation” of UFO reports, and they “coordinated” their “investigations and findings” with the FAA. In all these years, we have yet to see more than a very few examples of USAF–driven UFO investigation after Project Blue Book closed shop in late 1969. Likewise, we have hardly seen any investigative efforts by the FAA, with or without the USAF’s input, into UFO cases no matter what the time frame. The FAA investigation and report into the infamous Japan Airlines UFO incident over Alaska, which occurred on the 17th of November, 1986, is a rare exception, and it was primarily done, rightly or wrongly, to debunk the case. So, with the Army’s admissions to Robert Todd in mind, we must ask, and quite urgently, where are these “investigations and findings” into UFO cases in the 1970’s? Were they led solely by the USAF, and thus on USAF letterhead? Or were they joint USAF–FAA efforts by a combined committee or board? Were these “detailed follow–on investigations” highly classified? Were these investigations, and their “findings”, handled as aviation safety events? Or were they considered an intelligence and security matter? Or both? Where were the actual files generated? And which agencies were on the distribution lists?

Moving away from the USAF and FAA connection, Strickland’s letter also talks specifically about the US Army. Robert Todd had previously asked the question ‘Is it official policy to ignore reports of UFO’s made by Army personnel?’, and the answer Strickland gives is that “…if damage, injury or death occurred…” it would be a “…major concern to safety investigators from the United States Army Agency for Aviation Safety (USAAAVS) and would be investigated…”. One could ask how many of those sort of cases have there been? One would assume that such a scenario would be rare indeed, but how would we know? The US military haven’t been exactly honest with the public in the past, and that’s putting it mildly. I have not yet been able to review the history of the Army’s USAAAVS, but I do have some information about an agency with a similar mandate and mission, and it has occasionally dealt with major aerial mishaps where UFO’s were possibly involved.

For four decades, the USAF’s vital Air Force Inspection and Safety Center (AFISC) was located at Norton Air Force Base, California. Currently known as the Air Force Safety Center (AFSC), and now operating out of Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, the organisation has historically been charged with investigating aircraft accidents and other safety incidents for the USAF. I aim, in future, to discuss this agency at some length. For now, it’s worth mentioning that the old AFISC completed several air accident investigations in the 1950’s and 1960’s that possibly involved UFO’s. A handful of AFISC accident investigation files where UFO’s are discussed were released under the FOI Act in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but those few releases were massively incomplete. Entire portions of the files were stubbornly withheld. One particularly promising section in any AFISC investigation file is a segment titled “Board of Investigation Proceedings”. It gives the most complete and detailed account of the circumstances around a crash or other major air safety incident. So far, not one AFISC air accident file involving UFO’s has contained its “Board of Investigation Proceedings” section intact. So, if the USAF’s old AFISC was dealing with UFO–related aircraft accidents, why not the Army’s aforementioned USAAAVS? As we know, Strickland’s letter to Robert Todd raised the matter in the first place, and one wouldn’t be remotely surprised if the Army had dealt with major aviation mishaps where UFO’s were somehow part of the case.

Another issue raised in Strickland’s letter revolves around potential Army aviation mishaps that do not result in a major incident but are investigated nevertheless. Specifically, Strickland stated that “…investigations of aviation mishaps which do not involve damage, injury or death, such as the UFO incidents you mention, are the responsibility of the unit owning the aircraft involved…”. This implies that an Army unit, such as a Company or Battalion, would evaluate any non–serious incident that happened to involve UFO’s. This, I would hypothesise, doesn’t mean that every single UFO sighting from an Army owned aircraft was investigated. At the same time, however, it was Strickland who brought up the issue, and it can’t be brushed aside. Myriad questions arise from all this. If a UFO investigation was conducted at Company or Battalion level, say, who had jurisdiction over the files? Did higher commands wish to be notified? Were preliminary investigations done by the Commanding Officer of the Army unit? Was each case handled on an ad hoc basis? The list of questions is long indeed.

As for the actual paperwork generated during an Army unit–level UFO investigation, no matter how measly, it is highly likely that such files have now been destroyed. The Army can’t keep everything, and there are concise, detailed regulations instructing Army personnel on what records should be permanently archived, and what records should be destroyed. One example of 1970’s–era records management doctrine was “Army Regulation 340–16, Office Management, Safeguarding ‘For Official Use Only’ Information” (AR 340–16). It was promulgated by Headquarters, Department of the Army, on the 1st of May, 1970, and offers guidance on everything from how long records should be security classified before being downgraded, to how many years different categories of records should be retained before being shipped out to a more long–term facility for eventual archiving. Regarding records destruction, the news isn’t good. Military Police Reports, for instance, are destroyed after two years, or, when the unit owning such reports is deactivated. Serious Incident Reports, such as the one used during the Hunter Army Airfield UFO sighting in September, 1973, must be kept for three years before being declassified, and, then, can be destroyed providing the report isn’t being used in an investigation or for some other specific purpose. If, by chance, any Army UFO investigative files have survived, researchers would be now burdened with identifying what such paperwork was originally titled, and in what category of records they would have been stored. In sum, the Army were so good at convincing everyone that UFO’s weren’t in their jurisdiction, at unit level or otherwise, that hardly anyone bothered them over it.

That the US Army would task itself with investigating UFO events, either at unit level or at the United States Army Agency for Aviation Safety (USAAAVS), is one thing. Quite another is all this business about the USAF and FAA. The USAF was “responsible for the investigation” of UFO’s, and that the FAA participated. Both entities jointly embarked on “detailed follow–on investigations”. Yet, time after time after time, researchers and other interested parties, including the odd Congressman, were being fobbed off with the USAF’s lying “UFO Fact Sheet”. What about the United States Navy (USN)? Were they conducting any UFO investigations after Project Blue Book ended? In the 1970’s, researchers periodically asked the USN about their policy on UFO sightings and investigation. Their replies, of which we thankfully still have in hardcopy form, were often worse than the baloney coming out of the USAF. In fact, there is substantial evidence that the USN had far more involvement with the UFO matter than has been ever published, and I aim to report on this soon.

As I have mentioned, the US military always intended to maintain formal reporting channels for UFO sightings after Project Blue Book ended. This fact was admitted quite early on, but only though direct and repeated correspondence, and often inconsistently. For example, sometime in May of 1970, researcher George Earley sent a letter to Headquarters, USAF, asking which military entity would be now “responsible” for UFO sightings since Blue Book had been closed. Colonel William T. Coleman, who was the Chief of Public Information for the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force (OSAF), replied to Earley on the 26th of May, 1970, and stated the following:

“The Aerospace Defense Command (ADC) is responsible for unknown aerial phenomena reported in any manner, and the provisions of Joint Army–Navy–Air Force Publication (JANAP) 146 provides for the processing of reports.”

So, the Aerospace Defence Command (ADC) was “responsible for unknown aerial phenomena reported in any manner”. Further, a specific military–wide publication provided up–to–date guidance on “the processing” of UFO reports. Col. Coleman’s letter, of course, doesn’t mention anything regarding the investigation of reported UFO events. The last thing the USAF wanted in 1970 was another decade of public UFO debate or allegations of cover–up.

Another illustration of the US military’s post–Project Blue Book stance on UFO reporting is exemplified in a series of Congressional correspondence letters from early 1977. Boston–based researcher Barry Greenwood had, on more than one occasion, asked the USAF for some clarification on how they, or anyone else within the DOD, were handling UFO sightings since Project Blue Book had ended. Like most people, Greenwood received the standard “UFO Fact Sheet” and nothing whatsoever more. This, of course, utterly failed to answer his specific and fair questions about post–Blue Book military UFO cases. To get more forthright answers Greenwood wrote to Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey to see if he could obtain more information from the USAF on Greenwood’s behalf. On the 20th of April, 1977, Lieutenant Colonel John Farr, who was with the USAF’s Congressional Inquiry Division, sent his reply to Congressman Markey. It stated, in part:

“With regard to Mr. Greenwood’s desire for reports of current UFO sightings, a Joint Army–Navy–Air Force Publication, (JANAP 146) requires radio reports of any sighting which the pilot feels could be a threat to national security. Guidance in this directive could result in reports of UFOs. However, if such reports were made, they would be transient in nature with no permanent record or file maintained.”

Lieutenant Colonel Farr’s reply, as well as previously mentioned Col. Coleman letter, both mention a publication called “JANAP–146”. This refers simply to a piece of old doctrine known as “Joint Army–Navy–Air Force Publication No. 146”. Though now superseded by other publications, it contained a series of “Communications Instructions for Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings” (CIRVIS) procedures. Promulgated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and applicable to all branches of the US military, CIRVIS listed “Unidentified Flying Objects”, or “UFOs”, as being reportable by US military personnel. Other reportable sightings included “Missiles”, “Unidentified Aircraft” and “Formations of Aircraft”. Such reports were electronically submitted through nearby air defence installations to the Commander–in–Chief of the North American Aerospace Defence Command (CINC–NORAD). In late 1995, JANAP–146 was cancelled, and CIRVIS instructions were placed in an evolving series of newer doctrine, which started with “Air Force Manual 10–206 Operational Reporting” (AFM 10–206). UFO’s were still, even in the 2000’s and 2010’s, listed as CIRVIS–reportable objects. In September, 2011, CIRVIS procedures appeared to vanish. In future reports, I will discuss where they are now placed.

Going back to the Lt. Col. John Farr’s letter to Congressman Edward Markey, there are several important issues that need addressing. Firstly, Lt. Col. Farr states that reports would be “…transient in nature with no permanent record or file maintained”. This statement somewhat matches what other researchers have been told. For instance, Armen Victorian, a British–based researcher, was told that by NORAD’s Directorate of Public Affairs that copies of CIRVIS reports were routinely destroyed after six months. Destroyed or not, UFO’s were almost certainly being reported using the CIRVIS system. If they weren’t, it would have been advantageous for the USAF to just say so. As for the investigation of UFO events, it is entirely possible, especially considering the US Army’s staggering admissions to Robert Todd, that the USAF and the FAA were studying CIRVIS–submitted UFO sightings all along. They likely had no choice. After all, CIRVIS reporting dealt with what the military termed “vital intelligence sightings”. The reports themselves went through frontline air defence installations, and on to NORAD and ADC. Someone had to be watching.

I have raised the JANAP–146 CIRVIS issue because its existence was always an easy “go to” policy for the USAF when researchers asked questions about post–Blue Book UFO reporting. There were, however, numerous other channels that military personnel had available to them for UFO sightings. Another source of UFO reports were US and Canadian naval vessels. Since the early 1950’s, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have issued a series of “Merchant Ship Intelligence” (MERINT) instructions. Almost identical to CIRVIS procedures, MERINT requested that “Unidentified Flying Objects” be rapidly reported through a specific channel. A submitted MERINT report had to include a description of the sighting, which included the object(s) shape, size, color, any discernible features, associated sounds, direction of travel and duration of sighting. Historically, these reports went to the likes of the Commander–in–Chief, North American Air Defense Command (CINC–NORAD), the USN’s Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), the Canadian Navy’s Commander, Maritime Command, and the USN’s Director, Naval Ocean Surveillance Information Center, (D–NOSIC). Though MERINT instructions were sometimes amalgamated with CIRVIS instructions into a single section of JANAP–146, some regional or command–level versions of MERINT were issued as well. For instance, the Commander, Military Sea Transportation Service, Far East, San Francisco, issued MERINT instructions throughout the Asia–Pacific region in June, 1967, within a publication titled “Military Sea Transportation Service, Far East, Instruction 3360.1A”. How many UFO sighting reports did such policy generate? And of those, how many were investigated?

Yet another source of UFO reports worthy of investigation was the US military’s “Operational Report [3] Serious Incident/Event” channel. Usually shortened to “OPREP–3”, these urgent, high level reports have, since the late 1960’s, been used by base commanders, unit commanders, and other frontline officers to alert the NMCC, CJCS, the Secretary of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (SJCS), the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the White House, and any applicable Major Commands (MAJCOM) of a rapidly developing incident or event which may affect national security, or become the source of considerable unwanted attention. Indeed, on at least five occasions that we know of, the OPREP–3 channel was used to report UFO’s that had intruded over military installations in the 1970’s. Moreover, the employment of OPREP–3’s for the reporting of alarming UFO events should have been known to us all along. Project Blue Book’s closure was partly authorised by Brig. Gen. Carrol H. Bolender, who was, at the time, the Deputy Director of Development, for the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, USAF. Brig. Bolender’s contribution to Blue Book’s demise was his infamous three page “Bolender Memo”, or “Bolender Air Staff Summary”. Dated the 20th of September, 1969, and classified SECRET, Brig. Gen. Bolender stated that:

“Moreover, reports of unidentified flying objects which could affect national security are made in accordance with JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55–11, and are not part of the Blue Book system... …as already stated, reports of UFOs which could affect national security would continue to be handled through the standard Air Force procedures designed for this purpose.”

We already know about JANAP–146 and its CIRVIS UFO reporting procedures, but what about the reference to “Air Force Manual 55–11”? During the late 1960’s “Air Force Manual 55–11, Operations, Air Force Operational Reporting System” (AFM–55–11) detailed the vital “Air Force Operational Reporting System” (AFOREPS). The AFOREPS network included several operational reporting categories, and one of them was the OPREP–3 channel. In May, 1971, the OPREP–3 system was migrated to the other branches of the US military. As stated, OPREP–3’s were been used to report UFO’s near military installations. Brig. Gen. Bolender’s stipulation that “…unidentified flying objects which could affect national security…” be reported using such a system was evidently taken up.

On and on it goes. CIRVIS reports, MERINT reports, OPREP–3 reports, Serious Incident Reports… The USAF and, apparently, the FAA, had numerous, classified sources of UFO cases to investigate. Again, the US Army told Robert Todd that the “…USAF coordinate their investigation and findings with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA)…”, and together they accomplished “…detailed follow–on investigations, if required…”. During the course of my research I have discovered several other channels utilised for UFO reporting. These include “Daily Spot Intelligence Reports” (DSINTREP), which are swiftly lodged at the Headquarters of the Numbered Air Forces, and “Unit Reports” (UNITREP) which are submitted by US Coast Guard ships. There are more. The North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) has, or at least had, numerous instructions and command directives that specifically mention “Unidentified Flying Objects”, “UFOs” and “Objects”. This would be fine if they were solely talking about stray aircraft, unknown aircraft, balloons and the like. But those more mundane aerial events were already covered in other doctrine. The old Air Force Intelligence Service (AFIS) was involved, at minimum, in the logging and preliminary assessment of UFO cases. Specifically, AFIS’s Aerospace Intelligence Division (AFIS/INZ) handled UFO events for the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and the 8th Air Force in 1975. Likewise, and unsurprisingly, the USAF’s Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence (ACS/I) dealt with UFO conundrums. Specifically, ACS/I’s highly classified Scientific and Technical Branch, which was located within the Directorate of Resource Management, was tasked with keeping track of USAF generated UFO sightings in the 1970’s. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

In some ways the US Army's revelations to Robert Todd aren't surprising. The signs have been there all along. The military were still dealing with UFOs long after Project Blue Book ended. Now, though, we have evidence of a wider, multi-agency UFO "investigation" effort rather than just the receiving of the odd report. The USAF and FAA, in hindsight were the correct combination of bodies for UFO investigation, and the USAF side of the house were able to provide the security and secrecy. NORAD too has investigated UFO cases, and not merely of the stray aircraft flavour. Further, we now know that the US Army was dealing with UFO's too. Experience tells us that the declassified records already obtained by researchers will be only a fraction of what languishes in archives, often with high security classification stamps well in place. The entire history of governmental UFO secrecy is far richer than anyone initially envisaged.

tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-1843390765312477988

June 13th 2018 at 09:35

Finally.... 

Richard C. Doty's United States 

Air Force Service Records ( Well, Nearly... )


   

The UFO controversy contains a handful of individuals who need no introduction. One such figure is Richard C. Doty. Formally with the United States Air Force (USAF), Doty has become somewhat legendary. To some, he is an officially sanctioned disinformation agent. To others, he is the quintessential truth twisting hoaxer. To many, he is an odd combination of these two extremes. I am not going to give yet another synopsis of Doty’s unusual contribution to UFO history. Others have already done so, and they have done it quite well. There are three books that immediately come to mind when pondering the Doty saga. They are, Christian Lambright’s “X-Descending”, Greg Bishop’s “Project Beta: The Story of Paul Bennewitz, National Security, and the Creation of a Modern UFO Myth”, and Mark Pilkington’s “Mirage Men: A Journey into Disinformation, Paranoia and UFOs”. Further, MJ Banias’s upcoming treatment of UFO subculture will also contain an important Doty discussion.

             Over the years, many a researcher has attempted to clarify exactly what Richard Doty did with the USAF, and when, and where. A near total lack of Doty’s USAF service records has presented significant barriers to further investigation, and the few items which have been legally released in recent years are very brief indeed. Just once, though, a dogged investigator got quite lucky.

           Sometime in late 1987, or early 1988, UFO researcher Larry Bryant submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force (OSAF) for copies of Richard Doty’s USAF service records. Soon after, Special Agent Cecil W. Fry, the Chief of Information Release at Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) Headquarters, Washington DC, made the decision to withhold all existing records related to Doty. On the 21st of Feburary, 1988, Bryant wrote back to the OSAF appealing AFOSI’s verdict. On the 31st of October, 1988, Mr. Steven A. Thompson, who was with the OSAF’s Office of Administration, replied to Bryant’s appeal letter, and, thankfully, enclosed a number of records, albeit with redactions. While all this was going on, Bryant was also corresponding with Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. On the 8th of September, 1988, Bryant submitted an FOI request to Kirtland asking for any service paperwork they held on Doty. It is unknown who initially handled his request, but two weeks later it was forwarded to the 1606th Air Base Wing. On the 27th of September, 1988, Mr. A. Albert Sanchez, who was the FOI Manager at the 1606th ABW, released a significant number of records to Bryant. Put together, the OSAF and the 1606th ABW released some twenty-five pages of Doty’s service files.

           We don’t know how many more pages may exist. Even the USAF may not have a central Doty service file. Further, some of the documents, as I have mentioned, are redacted. Whatever the situation, the records Larry Bryant did manage to obtain have, to my knowledge, seldom seen the light of day. I do not intend to analyse this material. Other researchers can do that, and no doubt some will. So, with that, Doty’s service file, or at least some of it, is imaged below.



























tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-7972576608187625388

May 8th 2018 at 06:50

UFO Dives at Military Police Officers, and

a US Army "Serious Incident Report"   

   

During the early hours of September the 8th, 1973, the United States Army’s historic Hunter Army Airfield, located near Savannah, Georgia, was apparently the scene of a provocative, “close encounter” UFO incident. Two military policemen, MP Specialist Bart Burns and MP Specialist Randy Shade, who were assigned to the 298th Military Police Company (298th MPC) at Hunter, were the main witnesses. The local Provost Marshall at nearby Fort Stewart was involved, and event was the subject of a US Army “Serious Incident Report”. Two years later, Army officers at Headquarters, 1st Brigade, 24th Infantry Division, at Fort Stewart, would have to deal with the event all over again. Considerable media attention was given to the UFO sighting, and both witnesses were able to make statements to reporters. In fact, press coverage was so swift that it appears that local the Army units were caught somewhat off guard. Furthermore, the next night, on the 9th of September, 1973, MP Burns, and other military police officer, MP Murray, would report another UFO in the vicinity of Hunter, though this secondary incident was little more than a light–in–the–sky event. Ultimately, in a rare coup, the Army would officially release significant documentation under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

In the late 1960’s, Savannah’s Hunter Army Airfield operated in conjunction with the much larger Fort Stewart, located some forty miles to the south–west. The combined bases were home to the Army’s Flight Training Center (USAFTC) which provided educational instruction and flying training for new AH–1G Cobra attack helicopter crews, who included pilots from not just the Army, but the Republic of Vietnam too. At Hunter, the elite Attack Helicopter Training Department, located in a facility known as “Cobra Hall”, was particularly respected. But as the Vietnam War stagnated, and Army priorities changed, the USAFTC mission was terminated in mid–1972, and both Hunter and Fort Stewart were downgraded to Garrison status. By August, 1973, Hunter was deactivated, with only security and basic administrative staff assigned to the base. Fort Stewart wasn’t far behind. An exciting reversal of fortunes, for both sites, would come in soon after. Fort Stewart became the proud home of the Army’s re–activated 24th Infantry Division in October, 1974, and Hunter followed suit in 1975 as a support facility. Both bases continue operational activities today.

During Hunter Army Airfield’s deactivation and caretaker status, in the mid–1970’s, the base was guarded by personnel from the 298th Military Police Company (298th MPC). The 298th was a US Army Forces Command (USAFORSCOM) unit but remained independent. Though designated a Company, it was nearly the size of a full Battalion, and reported to the local Provost Marshall at Fort Stewart, who in turn reported to Fort Stewart’s Garrison Commander. The role of 298th MPC police personnel at Hunter was to investigate suspicious activity, perform security checks on various facilities, and perform base perimeter checks through regular patrols. It is worth mentioning too that the United States Air Force’s (USAF) small 702nd Radar Squadron (702RS), which was assigned to Aerospace Defence Command (ADCOM) at the time, maintained a primary radar facility at the base, though its mission and functions were unrelated to the Army.

In September, 1973, Georgia saw an increase in reported UFO sightings. Witnesses were numerous and varied, and local newspaper outlets published the more soundly described occurrences with a degree of sense and caution. But it was the close–up–and–personal UFO incident at Hunter that was the most provoking. Drawing from numerous primary sources, including US Army records, witness interview testimony, and local newspaper accounts, a chronology of events can be established. Around 2:30am, on the 8th of September, 1973, MP Bart Burns and MP Randy Shade were driving amongst Hunter’s installations, as part of their routine patrols, when they noticed a bright cluster of multi–coloured, flashing lights tracking across the sky. The sky was cloudy, with cloud layers at both nine–thousand feet and twenty–five thousand feet. MP Burns, who had previously served as a helicopter crew chief, didn’t feel it was the lighting on an aircraft, but had to assume it was anyway. He estimated the altitude of the lights to be no greater than two thousand feet, but admitted that it was “difficult to judge”. In any event, the curious lights disappeared behind tall trees. No sound, or other stimuli, was apparent, and the MP’s continued on their patrol towards the disused runways.

Shortly later, at 2:45am MP’s Burns and Shade were patrolling the taxiways near the northern permitter of the base, and the unidentified lights returned. MP Shade, who was driving, would state that they “sure looked like the same collection of flashing lights” as what they had seen moments earlier, and that they now “hovered near the end of the runway”. Perplexed, MP Shade stopped the patrol car to get a stable look at the phenomena, which hung motionless in the sky. At this point, the MP’s were still prepared to believe that the object, somehow, could be a helicopter, despite the lack of noise. Suddenly, the phenomena “dropped to treetop level” and “came straight towards” them. It quickly became apparent that the lights were “only a cluster underneath a metallic looking saucer–shaped body”. The mass of the object wasn’t self–illuminating, but, rather, was lit up from beneath. Shade admitted that they both “just sat there absolutely amazed”. The men estimated it to be some fifty feet in diameter. Abruptly, the object “swooped” towards them. It was at that point MP Shade made the decision to act.

The officers made “like hell” back to the main guard building. Reaching speeds of nearly one–hundred miles an hour, the vehicle was shadowed by the UFO so closely that Shade had trouble seeing through the windshield due to the whirling maelstrom of colored lights above them. Both men would report that the object, if any closer, would have potentially contacted the top of the car. Ultimately, before making it to the guardhouse, Shade lost control of the vehicle and ran off the road into a grassy ditch. While the men attempted to remove their car from its resting place, the UFO hovered in front of them, but at a more comfortable distance. Eventually, it departed thereafter, “skimming off into the distance” as the MP’s regained some semblance of composure and drove to back to their station. In summing up their ordeal, Shade admitted that he had “…never believed in UFO’s in the past”. Burn’s likewise confessed the he was “terrified”, and that he had “crouched down under the dash–board” when the UFO stuck with them before they came off the road.

As the night progressed, the MP’s would make an official “Military Police Report” back at the Provost Marshall’s office at Fort Stewart, and, seemingly, the Pentagon were notified. The Chief Public Information Officer for Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Lt. David Anderson, saw that immediate checks were made regarding local aircraft movements and radar coverage, but no one could shed any light on the UFO inicdent. Local law enforcement officials with Chatham County were likewise notified, and, as it turned out, they too had had civilian reports of a low–level concentration of lights in the area. In fact, one local press report would quote that police officers explicitly witnessed the “UFO dive” at Hunter during a surveillance operation. If correct, this would mean that MP Shade and MP Burns had off–site witnesses to their close encounter. Barely twenty–four hours later, MP Burns would have a second sighting, but this time he was with an MP Murray, who was also with the 298th MP Company. At 430am, on the 9 Sep 1973, the two MP’s were patrolling the Hunter runway when they observed what they “first believed to be the red light of an aircraft some distance away”. Moving off quite rapidly, the light “disappeared into the woods”. This, of course, is hardly a noteworthy sighting, but it appears in official report paperwork, so it needs to be mentioned.

Amazingly, the main Hunter Army Airfield UFO encounter was in the local press almost immediately. Some newspaper articles correctly referenced MP Burns and MP Shade as witnesses, and even managed to glean statements directly from them, and other Hunter personnel. Often, military–sourced UFO reports take weeks or months to be picked up, if at all. Moreover, easy access to military personnel regarding UFO sightings is seldom given to pesky journalists. As noted, the UFO encounter occurred in the early hours of the 8th of September, 1973. Impressively, The Savannah Morning News ran a two–page story, just a day later, on the 9th of September. With the heading “Wreck at Hunter Field”, the article reads, in part:

“Two military policemen at Hunter Army Airfield reported early Saturday that an unidentified flying object swooped out of the sky, dove towards their vehicle and forced them off the road during a routine patrol around the perimeter of the base. The UFO hovered near the policemen as they worked to remove their car from a ditch and then pursued them as they returned to MP Headquarters to report the incident.

The pre–dawn sighting Saturday marked the third day of UFO sightings reported in Chatham County. Previous sightings were reported near Savannah Beach Thursday night, near Medrim Friday night and near Lake Mayer late Friday night and early Saturday morning.

The UFO reported at Hunter at 2:20am Saturday followed a reported sighting parallel to Lynes Parkway South at approximately 1:45am. Military Police at Hunter said two military policemen, Spec. 4. Bart J. Burns and Spec 4. Randy Shade, were on a routine patrol when they sighted the object around 2:20am. The first of three separate sightings was reported near Cobra Hall on the base, which is adjacent to the Forest River–Armstrong State College area. Burns, in a report filed at 4pm Saturday, said he noticed an object with “quick flashing lights travelling at a high rate of speed from east to west about 2,000 feet above ground level.”

The two men continued on their patrol and were driving along the perimeter road adjacent to Montgomery Crossroad when the object “came in at treetop level and made a dive” according to Burns’ report. The dive occurred near the 702nd Radar Squadron building, located near the gold course and the ammunition dump. The UFO dove toward the MP sedan and passed above a blue warning light on top of the vehicle, forcing the patrol car off the road and into a ditch. Chatham County police officers watched the UFO dive during surveillance, according to MP officials.

While the two men worked to remove their car from the ditch, the UFO hovered about 200 yards in front of the car, flashing bright blue, white and amber lights. The men later reported that the UFO remained in that position while they spent 15 minutes removing their car from the ditch. While en route to headquarters, the object followed the car staying within a 50–100 feet range. The object “broke away” and left the MP’s as they approached headquarters.

A Federal Aviation Administration official at Travis Field said he had no way of knowing if the object registered on radar Saturday morning. “Our radar is full of objects” he said. The report did not indicate the size or shape of the UFO, but added that the multi–coloured lights were flashing brilliantly. Neither MP could be reached for comment. Lt. David Anderson, a Hunter–Fort Stewart public information officer, notified the Pentagon of the UFO report “since there are no normal channels for a communication of this type”. Anderson said the report of the sighting and car ditch collision was the same as any other type of report for an accident.”

The article is imaged below.




Amazingly, as we shall see, the account given in this newspaper article would be mirrored in official US Army records and other primary information. Usually with alleged UFO incidents, the version of events offered in newspapers is misleading, or deliberately lurid. Vital information is frequently omitted, or the descriptions of the UFO(s) is embellished. In the case of the Hunter Army Airfield UFO encounters, this was not the case. Other newspapers ran similar pieces. Highlighting all of them here, however, would make for lengthy reading indeed, and takes too much focus from the truly primary records I aim to present. Having said that, early newspaper accounts do offer some important citations worth noting, and I endeavour to do so in due course.

In the days that followed, local media interest waned as quickly as it had begun. Nothing else unusual, that we know of at least, was reported specifically around Hunter. Furthermore, there is almost no indication of any pertinent field investigation by researchers, and nothing in the historical record demonstrating further comment by members of the 298th MP Company, or anyone else from Hunter or Fort. Stewart. Nearly two years later, however, the most prolific Freedom of Information Act (FOI) user in the history of the UFO topic would mount a formidable letter–writing and FOI campaign to see that official records were released.

Hailing from Ardmore, Pennsylvania, Robert G. Todd is legendary. His capacity for legally binding FOI submissions and firebrand correspondence was nothing short of inexhaustible. His FOI work, or, rather, the once–classified files that were begrudgingly supplied to him, have helped shape our understanding of the US government’s response to the UFO problem, and his thankless contribution cannot be understated. Amazingly, much of work hasn’t even been assessed yet.

Todd found out about the Hunter Army Airfield UFO case in May, 1975, and immediately begun a typical, multi–pronged series of correspondence efforts with nearly a dozen US Army components and commands. As we shall see, his energies did not go unrewarded. Unfortunately, unlike most of his FOI casework, we don’t have copies of the letters Todd sent to the Army. But we do have their detailed replies.

In 1975, the 298th MP Company’s administrative responsibilities were handled by Headquarters, 1st Brigade, 24th Infantry Division, as well as the local Provost Marshall’s office, both of which were located at Fort Stewart. On the 28th of May, 1975, Todd evidently asked, under the FOI Act, for copies of the Hunter Army Airfield “Duty Officer Log” for the 8th of September, 1973, which was, of course, when the UFO inicdent occurred. In a reply letter, dated the 11th of June, 1975, Cap. Francis A. Dahmer Jr., who was the Information Officer at the 1st Brigade Headquarters, sent Todd a short reply. Referencing Todd’s initial FOI request, Cap. Dahmer Jr. laid out what became of Hunter’s daily records. He stated:

“I write in reply to your letter of 28 May 1975.

The Duty Officer Log for 8 September 1973 for Hunter Army Airfield was destroyed upon deactivation of that installation. The destruction occurred on or about 1 October 1973 and was accomplished in accordance with directives in effect on that date.

As your inquiry does not state the substance of your interest, it has not been possible to be of further assistance in this matter. If I may be of further assistance in the future, feel free to contact me.”

The above detailed letter is imaged below.




           Todd replied on the 19th of June, 1975, and obviously asked for any other records relating to the Hunter UFO incident. On the 24th of June, 1975, Cap. Dahmer Jr. again had the job of handling Todd’s correspondence. His reply stated, in part:
“In reply to your letter of 19 June requesting information on a reported UFO sighting at Hunter Army Airfield, I am attaching three newspaper articles concerning the incident which I was able to locate.
To my knowledge, this is the only information available at this installation.”

                 Thus, it is established that Headquarters, 1st Brigade, of the 24th Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, likely had no retrievable documents regarding the UFO event. Having said that, Cap. Dahmer Jr. doesn’t actually state that all Hunter records were sent to Fort Stewart after the deactivation of the Hunter base, so the statement “this is the only information available at this installation” may be irrelevant. We also know, from Cap. Dahmer Jr’s first letter of the 11th of June, 1975, that certain records were destroyed anyway. Whatever the situation, one does at least get the impression that the 1st Brigade Headquarters was probably the right place for Todd to be corresponding with. Finally, Cap. Dahmer Jr’s letter enclosed three lengthy newspaper articles about the case, all dated the 9th of September, 1973, which was merely a day after the alleged UFO event. Military personnel, even in public affairs roles, were not usually so helpful, and one could speculate that Cap. Dahmer Jr. was sympathetic to the UFO issue. His letter is imaged below.



Robert Todd very quickly replied on the 29th of June, 1975, and while we do not have a copy of his letter, we do have the 1st Brigade’s reply. Prepared on the 28th of July, 1975, Cap. Dahmer Jr’s letter states:
“I am in receipt of your letter of 29 June requesting additional information on the reported 1973 UFO incident at Hunter Army Airfield.

Further inquiries here indicate that a Serious Incident Report was submitted by the Fort Stewart Provost Marshal to the Department of the Army following the incident. The newspaper clippings furnished to you contain essentially the same information as in the SIR. The incident was reported through Provost Marshal channels since the Provost Marshal is responsible for physical security.”
This short, frank reply contains several surprising revelations. Firstly, the 1st Brigade’s Cap. Dahmer Jr. is now admitting that important records were, in fact, available, which was the opposite of what his previous letter had stated. It is impossible to know whether this was merely an administrative oversight, or, a deliberate ploy to misinform Todd in the hope he would cease FOI action. Either way, the Army were confessing to holding vital records on the UFO incident. Secondly, Cap. Dahmer Jr., specifies that the type of record being held was a Serious Incident Report. This is important, as we shall discover. Thirdly, and most remarkably, Cap. Dahmer Jr. states that the Serious Incident Report contains “essentially the same information” as what was in the rather sensational newspaper clippings he sent to Todd in his letter of the 24th of June, 1975. Finally, it is learned that the UFO incident was reported “through Provost Marshal channels”. The letter is imaged below.



As we can see from the date–stamp, Todd received the above–mentioned letter on the 31st of July, 1975. As noted, Cap. Dahmer Jr. revealed that a Serious Incident Report had been utilised to report the UFO incident, and the local Provost Marshal at Fort Stewart had handled everything. Somehow, even before this letter arrived, Todd had already ascertained that the Provost Marshal was involved. On the 27th of July, 1975, which was a day before Cap. Dahmer Jr. penned his letter, Todd wrote to the office of the Provost Marshal assigned to Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart asking for information on the UFO sighting. What prompted this second avenue of enquiry is unknown. Again, like Todd’s other pieces of correspondence, we do not have a copy Todd’s sudden letter of the 27th of July, 1975. But we do have a reply which references it. On the 11th of August, 1975, Maj. Daniel R. Perry, the Deputy Provost Marshal for Hunter and Fort Stewart, sent a reply letter to Todd stating, in part:

“The following information is provided as a result of your written request of 27 July 1975 concerning UFO sightings on 8 September 1973 at Hunter Army Airfield.

A report was forwarded only within Department of the Army channels. This report, a Serious Incident Report (SIR), was forwarded directly to Department of the Army, with an information copy provided to Commander, US Army Forces Command.

The normal procedure for reports of UFO sightings at Fort Stewart is that such sightings will be reported to the Military Police Desk where an information MP Report is prepared. In this specific case, a Military Police Report was prepared. There is no record of any other investigative effort available at this office.

Copies of the Serious Incident Report are available from this office. In accordance with Army policy and federal law, the names and military occupational speciality will be omitted from the reports for all personnel…”

Maj. Perry’s letter must have been a very positive development for Todd. Maj. Perry had confirmed that a Serious Incident Report had been utilised to report the UFO incident, just as Cap. Dahmer Jr. had previously stated. Further, the SIR had been forwarded to Department of the Army (DOA), with an information–only copy sent to the Commander, US Army Forces Command (USAFORSCOM). This admission may have been the first time that anyone in the UFO research community had learned that local Army units were prepared to inform senior Army leadership of UFO incidents. Put simply, if the Provost Marshal and Military Police personnel at Hunter and Fort Stewart did not want the UFO case reported right up the chain of command, they wouldn’t have used a Serious Incident Report in the first place. Someone certainly assumed that the confrontational UFO inicdent should be assessed by senior officers.

There are several other curious issues in Maj. Perry’s letter. It is stated that the “normal procedure” for reporting “UFO sightings” involves the preparing of a “Military Police Report”. This type of report is distinct from a Serious Incident Report, and presumably of lesser gravity. Todd was never offered a copy of the applicable Military Police Report for the Hunter UFO incident, and surprisingly there is nothing in the correspondence indicating he even asked. Furthermore, regarding those “normal procedures” for UFO reporting, one is bound to ask about any “abnormal”, or less utilised, procedures? This may seem like an issue of semantics, but Commanders did indeed have other UFO reporting options available to them. UFO reporting was, in the 1970’s, specifically categorised and exemplified in a series of “Communications Instructions for Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings” (CIRVIS) procedures. CIRVIS reporting was promulgated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in a piece of published doctrine titled “Joint Army Navy Air Force Publication 146” (JANAP 146–E). It may also be worth noting that in Maj. Perry’s mentioning of the Military Police Report, he stated “…There is no record of any other investigative effort available at this office…”. If one reads this statement exactly how it was written, it implies that Military Police Reports contained an investigative element to them. Maj. Perry’s letter is imaged below.



Further correspondence between Todd and Headquarters, 1st Brigade went back–and–forward over the next three weeks, though none of it contains significant information regarding the alleged UFO incident or the documents it apparently generated. In it, Todd questioned the FOI costings the Army were assessing for document search time and reproduction costs. Todd’s final letter to Headquarters, 1st Brigade, presumably enclosed a cheque for FOI fees, and was authored by him on the 6th of September, 1975. On the 10th of September, 1975, Maj. Perry sent Todd a letter which stated:

“In response to your letter of 6 September 1975, I am enclosing the Serious Incident Report you requested.

I apologise for the delay. It was due to an oversight that the report was not sent earlier.”

With this, the Serious Incident Report was released. Maj. Perry’s letter is imaged below.



The enclosed records constituted a series of electronically–generated Automatic Digital Network (AUTODIN) sheets which constituted a transmittable Serious Incident Report. Unsurprisingly, it was sent from “CDRUSAG FT STEWART GA //AFZP–PM//”, which obviously translates as Commander, US Army Garrison, Fort Stewart. The distribution list includes “DA[TPNG] WASHINTON DC //DAPM–CPA//” as the main recipient of the report, and “CDRFORSCOM FT MCPHERSON GA //AFPM–PL//” as a secondary addressee. The former is the Department of Army, Headquarters, Washington DC, and the latter is Commander, Forces Command, Fort McPherson, Georgia. The report was transmitted on the 10th of September, 1973, but there are two date–time–groups listed. One is printed and reads “102000Z”. The other is handwritten and reads “102120Z”. The local time, thus, was either 4:00pm or 5:20pm. The security classification is listed as “FOUO”, or, “For Official Use Only”, which is quite low as far as content sensitivity goes.  The precedence of the transmission was Priority, and it was “Encrypted For Transmission Only”, or, “EFTO. For the “SUBJ” line, we see “Serious Inicdent Report [SIR] [RCS PNG 114 [MIN]]”. Several other lines of form–text appear, but are administrative in nature, or are answered with “N/A”, meaning “Not Applicable”. Further down the page, the “Type of Incident” section is followed with “Unidentified Flying Object Sightings (Alleged)”. The “Time, Date of Incident” section is followed with “At approx 0220 hrs, 8 Sep 73, and at approx. 0430 hrs, 9 Sep 73”. The final section for this page is the “Personnel Involved” segment, but it is devoid of any text. This is because the page simply doesn’t have enough space, as we shall see. The aforementioned material is imaged below.



The second page of the report continues the “Personnel Involved” section and contains information quite unexpected. We recall that Maj. Daniel R. Perry’s letter to Robert Todd, dated the 11th of August, 1975, clearly stated that “in accordance with Army policy and federal law, the names and military occupational speciality will be omitted from the reports for all personnel.”. Yet, this entire page that contains almost nothing but the personal information of both MP’s. For starters, witnesses Bart J. Burns and Randy Shade are clearly named. The term “Witness” is recorded for the “Involvement” category for both men. Then, their “Race/Nationality/Ethnic Gp.” is recorded as “Cau” for “Caucasian”. The “Grade” for both men are listed as “E–4”. Their “Unit/Station of Assignment” is recorded as “2nd PLT, 298th MP Company, Hunter Army Airfield”. The “Position” they both hold is listed as “Military Police Patrolman”. Even their Social Security Numbers (SSN) are given. This is a massive release of personal information. If the data was extremely old, it would be understandable. But Todd received these documents just two years after they were created. Amazingly, further pages of the Serious Incident Report contain even more such material. The page in question is imaged below.



The third page continues the “Personnel Involved” section. The first line states “Military” and has next to it the statement “No change from Initial Report”. This means, essentially, that the “initial report” by the military witnesses had not been updated or altered. One may ask then, what “initial report”? Likely, it refers to the Military Police Report that Maj. Perry mentioned in his letter of the 11th of August, 1975, which had probably been destroyed, but we can’t be sure. Further, the categories of “Civilian” and “Dependent” are listed, to which the term “None” is entered. This merely means that only military personnel were directly involved in the incident. The next section, titled “Publicity”, states that “News coverage has diminished rapidly following the incident. No further publicity is expected at this time”. For the “Summary of Incident” section, it is stated “No further sightings have been reported by personnel at Hunter Army Airfield, Savanah, GA.”. The next section, “Commander Reporting to HQDA”, or Headquarters, Department of the Army, lists “Frank L. Dietrich, Colonel, Infantry, Commanding, HQS, Ft. Stewart, GA.”. A final line of text states “Protective marking excluded from automatic termination (Para 13, AR 340–16)”. This relates to the handling of certain Army records as governed by “Army Regulation 340–16, Office Management, Safeguarding ‘For Official Use Only’ Information” (AR 340–16), which was published by Headquarters, Department of the Army, on the 1st of May, 1970. This doctrine states that Army records which carry “For Official Use Only” (FOUO) protective markings should be rendered as UNCLASSIFIED after three years. Some categories, however, of FOUO records are exempt from such downgrading, and Serious Incident Reports are one of them. The page in question is imaged below.



The next page of the Serious Incident Report appears very similar to page two and three, and it appears to have been typed out some time before the records I have already presented. In fact, the pages I have already highlighted may have actually been additional report add–ons or updates. Whatever the exact situation, this new page starts off with what looks like another “Personnel Involved” section. This time, however, only Military Policeman Alexander S. Murray Jr. is recorded. His “Involvement” is listed as “Witness”, and he was “On Duty”. His “Grade” is recorded as “E–5”, and his “Position” is recorded as a “Military Desk Sergeant”. The “Unit/Station of Assignment” is recorded as “2nd PLT, 298th MP Company, Hunter Army Airfield”. Even MP Murray’s Social Security Number and ethnicity is given, just as it was for MP Bart J. Burns and MP Randy Shade.

Beyond this we see the alleged UFO incident finally reported. The “Publicity” states “Widespread publicity, including national news agencies has occurred.”. Thus, this part of the overall report must have been written during the two–day period where media attention was highest. As we know, this time period was the 9th and 10th of September, 1973. Lastly, the “Summary of Incident” section contains a narrative of both the close encounter event during the early hours of the 8th of September, and the additional sighting just on the 9th. The incident summary, which goes into another page, states:

“At approximately 0220 hrs, 8 Sep 73, an unidentified flying object was sighted by two military policemen, SP4 BURNS and SP4 SHADE at Hunter Army Airfield while in the course of a routine patrol of the installation perimeter. When in the vicinity of Cobra Hall they noticed an ‘object’ traveling at what appeared to them to be a high rate of speed traveling east to west at approximately 2000 feet altitude and crossing the post perimeter. Approximately then (10) minutes later they resighted the ‘object’ when it appeared at ‘treetop’ level and made an apparent dive at their vehicle. The ‘object’ again reappeared at another location and came to hover for approximately fifteen (15) minutes in front of them. The unidentified object appeared to have brilliantly flashing lights, blue, white, and amber in color. They then returned to the main post area and were ‘followed’ by the unidentified object 50 to 100 feet away at tree top level until it finally veered off and visual contact was lost. The ‘object’ made np noise. The alleged UFO was described as round or oval in shape and between 35 and 75 feet across. SGT Murray and SP4 Burns reported that at approximately 0430 hrs, 9 Sep 1973, while sitting in their vehicle at the end of the airfield at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., they observed what they first believed to be the red light of an aircraft some distance away. The light then moved rapidly and disappeared into the woods.”

This narrative of events is noted as being “…based upon information furnished by the above witnesses”. The “Commander Reporting to Army Headquarters” is “Frank L. Dietrich, Colonel, Infantry, Commanding, HQS, Ft. Stewart, GA.”. It may be important to note that in these two pages of the overall Serious Incident Report, it is MP Murray who has generated the chronology of events, and only after the two separate nights of UFO sightings. He has, here, first written up the close–up UFO encounter that MP Burns and MP Shade experienced on the 8th of September, and then supplemented that event with the sighting he and MP Burns had the next night. The two pages in question are imaged below. It is worth mentioning that these copies are acquired directly from the 1984 book “Clear Intent” by Barry Greenwood and Lawrence Fawcett.






           As if the Serious Information Report paperwork wasn’t enough, Robert Todd continued submitting FOI requests to various entities of the US Army until March, 1976. Some of those commands and offices included the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, the Army’s Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, and the Army’s Communications Command. Nothing more, at least in the form of raw paperwork relating directly to the UFO sighting, was released. As I have detailed, the original “Military Police Report” was apparently never found, and any other Military Police Desk paperwork, including the daily Duty Officer Log, had probably been destroyed as per standard documents management directives. Also, as we know, Hunter Army Airfield was in a deactivated state when the UFO sighting occurred. We can thus assume that the base was lacking key administrate manpower, such as a Base Commander or Base Executive Officer, normally needed to assess an intrusive UFO event. In other words, it is highly unlikely that any records were produced under the Hunter Army Airfield letterhead. Having raised these points, there was every possibility that at least some additional records were retrievable. For example, Todd never did specifically discover where the administrative and operational records of the 298th Military Police Company were being routinely archived. After all, it was personnel from the 298th MPC who reported the UFO while serving on the base, so any raw paperwork generated at the time could have been useful. Moreover, as discussed, the Serious Incident Report was received by Army Headquarters in Washington DC, and Army Forces Command in Georgia, so one is bound to ask if those commands produced any internal records of their own.

Robert Todd did get one piece of additional information from the Army, though it wasn’t in the form of a raw document about the UFO sighting. Sometime in early 1976, Todd wrote to the Army’s Reserve Components Personnel and Administration Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Evidently, Todd had asked for the home addresses of MP Bart Burns and MP Randy Shade. On the 25th of Feburary, 1976, Lt. Col. James S. Miller, the Director of Personnel Services for the aforementioned center, sent a candid reply to Todd’s query:

“This is in reply to your request for the home addresses of two individuals.

Mr. Bart J. Burns, 353–40–1819, is no longer on active duty. Department of the Army no longer releases home addresses. Home addresses are considered privileged information, release of which would be an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

However, the restrictions do not pertain to the military duty addresses of members serving on active duty in the Army of the United States. A search reveals that SP5 Randy Shade, 287–46–7111, is currently on active military duty and assigned to: 3 CS Det Aviation Service, APO San Francisco, 96212.
I am happy to be of assistance to you.”

Todd received Lt. Col. Miller’s letter on the 4th of March, 1976. Obviously, the home addresses of Army personnel, whether on active duty or otherwise, were never going to be released. The Army, however, were prepared to release the military addresses, and social security numbers, of serving members. In this case, MP Burns had apparently left the Army, but MP Shade was still on active duty with an aviation detachment near San Francisco, California. There is nothing in Todd’s files to indicate any follow–up correspondence with MP Shade, and, to my knowledge, no else did either. Lt. Col. Miller’s letter is imaged below.




As I highlighted at the beginning of this study, one of the newspapers which carried the Hunter UFO case was The Savannah Morning News. Titled “Wreck at Hunter Field”, the date of publication was the 9th of September, 1973. This was, of course, only a day after the main UFO sighting. The article raises numerous interesting issues. For example, a Lt. David Anderson is cited as saying that “the Pentagon” were “notified” directly because a specific UFO reporting channel didn’t exist. This notification must have been immediately after the UFO sighting, or it couldn’t have been known to newspaper staffers. As we know, the Serious Incident Report was sent on the 10th of September, so the Pentagon being “notified” must be another report entirely. Of interest here, also, is the fact that Lt. Anderson is quoted as stating “…there are no normal channels for a communication of this type”. This is untrue. As mentioned previously, real–time UFO reporting was, in the 1970’s, specifically categorised and exemplified in a series of “Communications Instructions for Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings” (CIRVIS) procedures which were laid out in “Joint Army Navy Air Force Publication 146” (JANAP 146–E) doctrine. This established system applied to the US Army just as it did to the other three branches of the military. All base Commanders, unit Commanders, and other military leadership, were at least supposed to be aware of the CIRVIS system, if not actually willing to use it. Maybe those at Hunter were not.

          Furthermore, the newspaper article obviously sought the opinion of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) staffer at nearby Travis Field Airport, which is now known as Savanah Airport. The unnamed individual stated that he had “no way of knowing if the object registered on radar Saturday morning”, and that the primary radar “is full of objects”. This is somewhat misleading. While the second part of the statement is arguably true, the first part is a lazy fob off. The FAA’s air traffic control centres, as well as those of the United States Air Force (USAF) and the other military branches, were mandated, even in the early 1970’s, to retain raw primary radar data on magnetic tapes for at least thirty days. Of course, we have no way knowing if they even checked. Also, if Travis Field did happen to see something unusual on radar, experience tells us they wouldn’t be discussing it with newspaper reporters. Worth mentioning too is a reference to the local 702nd Radar Squadron (702nd RS). The 702RS was based at Hunter Army Airfield from February, 1962 until its deactivation on the 5th of June, 1979. Assigned to the 20th Air Division (20AD) of the Aerospace Defence Command (ADCOM), the small 702nd RS performed aerospace surveillance for Fort Lee’s 20AD Headquarters in Virginia. Again, we have no way of knowing if anything untoward was picked up on radar before or after the UFO sighting

           Other newspapers ran stories about the Hunter case, as well as other sightings on the 8th of September, 1973. For example, on the 9th of September, The Atlanta Consitution published an article titled “Saucers Sighted At Savannah”. It cites Chatham County Police Department as admitting that some twenty early phone calls had been taken by local police stations over UFOs. Also, police officers themselves were amongst the witnesses. Lt. L. B. Fields is quoted as saying, “I observed it myself from several miles away… …It disappeared after I watched it for about ten minutes”. Another police officer described the same object as “being similar to a mercury vapor light” which hovered “about five–thousand feet above the ground”. Data from the National Weather Service is quoted, with cloud cover at some nine–thousand feet, and another layer at twenty–five thousand feet. So serious were the Chatham County Police Department over the UFO, or UFOs, that they attempted to have a pilot on standby at Travis Field in case the unknowns returned the next day. Even the United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) Savannah Air Station was asked for assistance. The article states that nothing was being picked up on radar, though doesn’t cite any source. The article is imaged below.


In sum, the US Army were involved in a significant and unsolved UFO event in September, 1973, at Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia. Official records, while disordered and probably incomplete, are testament to that fact. The Pentagon was “notified” immediately, and both a Military Police Report and a Serious Incident Report were prepared and transmitted to Army Headquarters and Army Forces Command. Numerous witnesses, both on the base and nearby, reported UFOs, and local law enforcement officers admitted that they too witnessed highly unusual airborne objects. Further, the use of a Serious Incident Report is an example of yet another channel that a branch of the US military has used for UFO reporting. One wonders how many other UFO cases have been reported using this channel. Be    yond the 1970’s, I am unaware of anyone who has followed up this case in detail. At the time of the sighting, MP Burns was twenty–two years old, and MP Shade was twenty–three. As such, both men would be in their late sixties now. A new interview, despite the passage of time, would be fruitful.

tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-7744549435765988027

May 3rd 2018 at 07:31
 A Formal Job Description of an AASWAP/AATIP UFO Case Investigations Scientist 


Paul Dean and Keith Basterfield

    

  


   On the 16th of December, 2017, the New York Times presented an article, penned by Helene Cooper, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean, concerning a hitherto unknown UFO case analysis effort which had resided at the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) from 2007 to 2012. The program has cited as the “Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program” (AATIP), and was headed, for the most part, by a Department of Defence (DoD) staffer named Luis Elizondo. Myriad deliberation about the AATIP endeavour has taken place in the press and on social media. Recently, I have discussed the fact that the AATIP program was borne from, or was included within, a more formal DIA–based program known as the Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program” (AAWSAP). Actually, the exact name was possibly the “Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Application” (AAWSA) with the term “Program” not quite formally tacked on at the end, and the pluralization of the word “Weapons” and “Systems” dropped. Either way, this lesser known program was apparently housed at the Defence Warning Office (DWO) of the DIA’s Directorate of Analysis. Swedish Researcher Roger Glassel and myself discovered all this business independently of each other, and I was thankful for some confirmation. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have been submitted to the DIA and the Office of the Secretary of Defence and Joint Staff (OSD/JS), and should be processed within, well, months or years.

In the original New York Times article, the Nevada–based aerospace company “Bigelow Aerospace” was revealed as the major participating contractor for AATIP’s UFO research efforts. The article stated that the “…funding went to Mr Bigelow’s company, Bigelow Aerospace, which hired subcontractors and solicited research for the program”. We wondered at the time whether or not it would be possible to locate any of these subcontractors. Of course, some, by their own admissions, have already been identified. In January, 2018, Dr. Eric Davis and Dr. Hal Puthoff, during radio podcast interviews with George Knapp on “Coast to Coast”, revealed that they been involved in Bigelow Aerospace’s portion of AATIP’s work. But what about other subcontractors? On the 7th of January, 2018, a person with the username “Mirageman”, who one assumes is none other than author Mark Pilkington, published a lengthy tome on the “Above Top Secret” website titled “Bigelow, UFOs, MUFON and the ‘DeLonge’ road to AATIP”. In a section relating to early discussions between Bigelow and the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), the author wrote:

“...Bigelow was contracting up to fifty scientists, some designated to be on the scene within twenty–four hours after significant UFO incidents, to perform investigations and analyse any data the MUFON investigators had collected.”

Who all these scientists were, few seem to know. Roger Glassel’s recent blogpost, which is hosted at Curt ’Collins “Blue Blurry Lines” site, provided a lead. He wrote:

“By searching on the AAWSA name I also found a LinkedIn profile of a person in the Nevada area that had worked for Bigelow Aerospace between 2009 and 2010. More specifically, he was employed ‘in an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers studying advanced aerospace weapon system applications including lift, propulsion, control, power generation, signature reduction, material and armament’.”

Immediately after reading Glassel’s blog post, one of the authors, Keith Basterfield, searched the LinkedIn website and located this individuals profile using various keywords. Within the profile, there is indeed a section stating that the person worked as a “Research Engineer” for Bigelow Aerospace between August, 2009, and June, 2010. This time frame fits in with the date range that the New York Times, and Luis Elizondo, have quoted regarding AATIP’s existence. As we have come to learn, the AAWSA Program, and the AATIP UFO sub–effort, were inextricably linked.

Importantly, there is a substantial quantity of added information. Starting from the top, the first few lines of which had already been highlighted by Glassel, the whole segment reads:

“Worked in a interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers studying advanced aerospace weapon system applications including lift, propulsion, control, power generation, signature reductions, materials and armament. Further tasks included:

• Develop company research topics requiring ANSYS FEA calculation and carry out research within the fields of aerodynamics, heat transfer, stress analysis and chemical reaction.

• Perform field measurements collecting data regarding ionizing radiation as well as performing chemical/metal/soil and spectrum analysis across the United States in accordance with the code of federal regulations, ANSI, IEEE and ASTM standards and EPA, USGS, DOE and DOD procedures.

• Responsible for training engineering/scientist team on proper use of equipment safety/procedure guidelines.

• Responsible for compiling, formatting and ensuring technical accuracy of completed scientific analysis reports.”

On the 1st of May, 2018, I exchanged communications with Curt Collins and confirmed that this was indeed the individual whom Glassel had referred to in his blogpost. In other words, this name matched the individual Keith Basterfield had already found. The significance of the above material is that, for the first time, we have a large part of a what could be called a “job description” of a person who conducted scientific investigation for AAWSAP/AATIP. Activities like “…collecting data regarding ionizing radiation as well as performing chemical/metal/soil and spectrum analysis across the United States…” certainly sound like UFO case investigation and analysis work to me! I have imaged the actual section of the LinkedIn page below.




Even Dr. Eric Davis doesn’t appear to have been involved in real time, in–the–field UFO case analysis while work with AATIP. In his January, 2018, radio interview on “Coast to Coast”, Davis specifically stated that he undertook no data analysis, nor video analysis, nor performed witness interviews. These investigatory tasks were apparently done by individuals like the one located on LinkedIn. Going back to the LinkedIn profile, it is worth outline what some of the listed acronyms refer to. “ANSI”, for example, refers to the American National Standards Institute; the “IEEE” is the Institute of Electrical Engineers; the “ASTM” is the American Society for Testing and Materials; The well–known “EPA” is the Environmental Protection Agency; the “USGS is the United States Geological Survey; the “DOE” is the huge Department of Energy; and obviously the “DOD” is the Department of Defense.

Finally, we have conducted a further search of the LinkedIn platform with the aim of finding other individuals who worked within the AAWSAP/AATIP network. As yet, we haven’t had much luck. Meanwhile, Keith Basterfield has forwarded a request to the individual identified by Glassel, Collins and ourselves asking them if they would be willing to talk to us about the work they undertook for the program. No response has been received, as at the date of this post.

tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-6828765479856927593

April 30th 2018 at 08:22
The "Advanced Aerospace
Weapons Systems Application Program"  




        
            Last year, in 2017, a hitherto unacknowledged US Department of Defence (DOD) UFO study program, as if we need reminding, was publicly revealed. The name of this effort has been quoted as the “Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program” (AATIP). Sometimes the word “Aviation”, rather than “Aerospace”, has been used in the title, but whatever the exact terminology, the DoD themselves have confirmed, at least, that it did exist. The massive Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) was where it was housed, and the accepted timespan of the endeavour was 2007 to 2012. Official UFO analysis work continues today, and was apparently migrated to a new interagency partnership, but that story will have to wait. The AATIP effort was headed by DOD staffer, Luis Elizondo, who specialises in the intelligence, counter–intelligence and security arena. So much has now been authored and debated about this whole affair, that it would be pointless to rehash the same information yet again.

    In March, 2018, I was contacted by someone who claimed to be in a senior defence program leadership role. He stated that the UFO program on everyone’s lips was not officially called the “Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program” (AATIP). This was, apparently, a loose, almost ad hoc term for one part of a somewhat larger defence program. The true name of the overall program, or at least the official starting title, was the “Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program” (AAWSAP), or something extremely similar. Of course, even by early 2018, dozens, if not hundreds, of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, including some by myself, have been submitted to the Defence Intelligence Agency, and other organisations, about the quoted AATIP effort. All have met with lethargy and processing wait times measuring in the months or years. Armed with this information, on the 27th of March, 2018, I submitted an FOI request to the DIA which asked for:

           “…any electronic or hardcopy records that include: mission statements, program overviews, program aims, fact sheets, program briefs for Commanders or other senior leadership, program histories, and other general information regarding a program (either still running, or, was running in the last 12 years) within the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The name of that program is “Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program (AAWSAP) or extremely similar.”


           On the 30th of March, 2018, the DIA’s Chief of FOIA and Declassification Services Office, Alesia Y. Williams, replied to my request, which was sent to me in the mail. My request had been received by the DIA on the 28th of March, 2018, and given the FOIA processing reference “FOIA-0222-2018”. It acknowledged that my submission was at the back of the queue, which Williams stated was “in excess of 1,139 requests”. Also, in the reply letter, the exact wording of my FOI request, which FOI officers usually quote back to you, had been changed slightly. Things had been moved around. I’m not sure what to make of this, Maybe they like to clean up the wording of FOI requests to make record searching easier for the poor soul who gets landed with the job. I’m not sure. Furthermore, my request was not going to be processed within the normal 20-day time period. Williams quoted “unusual circumstances” such as the need to search for and collect records from multiple facilities, the likely volume of records, and the need for consultation with other interested agencies. We’ve seen this same wording time and again. Its normal now. I can say it in my sleep. I have imaged Alesia Y. ’Williams response below.






Talking further with my defence contact, he stated that I better try the Office of the Secretary of Defence and Joint Staff (OSD/JS). Specially, he stated that the Office of the Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD AT&L) or the Office of the Under Secretary for Intelligence (USD I) would likely have at least some records related to the AATIP, or, as I was now focusing on, the AAWSAP effort. As those entities are located within the OSD/JS, I submitted an FOI request to the OSD/JS FOIA portal on April the 6th, 2018. The Chief of the OSD/JS FOIA office, Stephanie L. Carr, who I have had significant correspondence with before, prepared her reply on the 12th of April, 2018. My request was given the reference number “18-F-0785”. Her reply contained the same processing wait times, issues with searching and collecting records, etc as they always do. In fact, the OSD/JS FOI workload was at a massive 2,283 requests, and it isn’t going south down anytime soon.


          Of course, all this is based on what a DoD contact told me. The term “Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program”, or its “AAWSAP” abbreviation, hasn’t been mentioned by anyone else. Not the New York Times, not Luis Elizondo, and not even the DIA’s public relations staffers who must, by now, have been flooded with enquiries. Wanting more confirmation, I decided, on the 15th of April, 2018, to ask someone attached to this whole thing if they would confirm a rather bold claim I had. Taking a risk, I brashly stated that “I now know AATIP wasn’t the real name of the UFO program…”. The person who was at the receiving end of this paused and replied “I know, I know.. What have you gone and done now?”. I answered, “Give me one word, just one term, from the real title, and I’ll tell you what I think it is..”. He mulled over the issue and then stated “Weapon!”. I replied, “Yep, how’s Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program sound?”. He replied, “Well, good luck, good luck, you have it.”. Clearly, there was something to this.


          Part of this potential paper trail is the issue of a number of audio-visual releases which purport to show UFO’s. Somewhere in amongst the “To The Stars Academy” (TTSA), the The New York Times, and the US military itself, it has been made possible to have this media disclosed openly. Again, only the barest discussion is needed here. We all know the story. The so-called “Nimitz” or “Tic Tac” UFO footage, and the “Gimbal” UFO event, as well as the newer “Go Fast” incident, were all imaged by F/A–18 Super Hornets off the coastline of the USA. That much is accepted. But the manner of how these audio-visual records were declassified, processed, released, whatever has been open to some debate. I had assumed that the FOI had been invoked to see that the DoD, and maybe specifically the US Navy, release the various pieces of footage. However, when I contacted the Assistant to the Secretary of Defence for Public Affairs (ATSD/PA), some time ago, they couldn’t shed any light on the matter. On the 25th of February, 2018, Elizondo spoke on radio podcast “Coast to Coast”. There, he revealed that he used the services of the Defense Office of Prepublication and Security Review (DOPSR). In conjunction with that effort, Elizondo said he utilised a pair of DOD publications which govern the clearance and release of certain information to the public. Moreover, Elizondo stated that the document he used was a “DD Form 1910”.


          I had previously written about all this in Part 1 of what should be a two or three part blog series. Quoting heavily from my work there, DOPSR is an office which is located within the Office of the Secretary of Defence (OSD) and is “responsible for managing the Department of Defense security review program, reviewing written materials both for public and controlled release”. The two publications ostensibly the center of Elizondo’s video release efforts are “DOD Directive 5230.09, Clearance of DoD Information for Public Release”, which was certified as current on the 22nd of August, 2015, and “DOD Instruction 5230.29, Security and Policy Review of DoD Information for Public Release”, which was promulgated on August the 6th, 1999. As stated, Elizondo said he used a DOPSR–issued “DD Form 1910”. Its title is “Clearance Request for Public Release of Department of Defense Information”. Completed forms are submitted to the Chief of DOPSR, and a copy is sent for coordination with to the DOD’s Director for Freedom of Information and Security Review (DFOISR). Copies of whatever material, be it documents or audio–visual material, that the applicant wants released are submitted with the “DD Form 1910”. On the 1st of March, 2018, I submitted an FOI request to the Office of the Secretary of Defence and Joint Staff (OSD/JS) for a copy of whatever they had in the form of DOPSR “DD Form 1910”. Again, like most FOI requests, slowness defines the progress.


          Swedish researcher Roger Glassel has done something that I didn’t, and, to my knowledge, no one else has either. He has found a two official references, and I mean actual documents, to this new “Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program” caper. Glassel isn’t overly interested in obtaining all manner of AATIP, or AAWSAP, or whatever, records. He is focused on finding out what sort of formal DoD “chain of custody” documents were involved in the release of the audio-visual material that shows unknown objects being chased by the US Navy’s best combat aircraft. As mentioned, Luis Elizondo, who headed the AATIP desk, stated he used DOPSR “DD Form 1910” documents. But Glassel’s research has met with denials and dead ends. Writing on Curt Collin’s blogsite “Blurry Blue Lines”, Glassel has detailed the steps he has taken to find out if indeed DOPRS was involved, and if not, how were the videos released. Put simply, the DOD have basically denied that they released anything. Quoting from Glassel’s detective work would be to lengthy here, but it should be reviewed to understand what has been going on. Its all here.


           As I alluded, Glassel has found two examples of the AAWSAP project title. This had been shared privately with me, by two people, and I thought that there was simply no references available to absolutely confirm them for sure. I searched, but with no luck. Well, the “Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program” indeed did, or does, exist. Glassel, on a hunch, with keen-eyed Curt Collins in tow, discovered that Dr. Eric Davis, who has been closely associated with the AATIP and TTSA story, had published a number of scientific papers for the DIA, and two of those publications were already released and available online. The titles are, “Traversable Wormholes, Stargates and Negative Energy” and “Warp Drive, Dark Energy and the Manipulation of Extra Dimensions”. Both are listed as “Defence Intelligence Reference Documents” and both were published in late 2009. More importantly, the header for the documents is “Acquisition Support Division (DWO-3), Defense Warning Office, Directorate for Analysis, Defence Intelligence Agency”. The final, and most critical piece of information though, is a coloured stamp bar which says:


           “This product is one in a series of advanced technology reports produced in FY 2009 under the Defense Intelligence Agency, Defense Warning Office’s Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Application (AAWSA) Program…”


          There it is. A reference to an “Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Application (AAWSA) Program…” is right there in black-and-white, and I've imaged Page 2 of one of the publications, namely “Traversable Wormholes, Stargates and Negative Energy”, that Glassel discussed. The colored box at the bottom contains the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Application (AAWSA) Program term. Further, the Program Manager listed here is one James. T. Lacatski. Keith Basterfield, an Australian researcher I regularly work with, has done some research on this individual, and it has been published here.




           Now, the exact term is slightly different to what I was told. The terms “Weapons” and “Systems” are, as per the Dr. Eric Davis DIA Defence Warning Office (DWO) papers, actually “Weapon” and “System”. That’s not unexpected I guess. The usage of the word “Program” within the full title may not be officially correct either. It’s a case of “AAWSAP” versas “AAWSA”. Whatever the situation, its abundantly clear that this is all the same thing, and it relates very heavily to the original AATIP effort. Furthermore, Glassel, who had much earlier submitted an FOI request to the OSD/JS over all this, has been able to modify, or re-scope, the wording of his submission to take into account his clever AAWSAP, or AAWSA, discovery.


           For ease, I’ll use what I was originally told, even if it may not be exactly the name. The bottom line is that this sudden producing of old DIA documents with the Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program reference in plain view has now meant I am freer to discuss it. I had been told to keep it to myself, and to submit my FOI requests as I wished. Under no circumstances was I to fling all the details around. The main person helping me has a clean security record. He doesn’t need any drama, even if it is just over this increasingly well-known UFO program issue. With Glassel’s work in mind, I spoke today to my defence contact again, and, as we are making headway, he told me a bit more. What I gather is that the AATIP desk was a major part of the overall AAWSAP effort. Also, the term AATIP was developed over time, and may have been tacked on to, or into, AAWSAP. AATIP was a looser title for internal usage, and it continued in other channels while the overall AAWSAP appears to have ended. Then I asked him about the release of the UFO videos. Despite what the DoD is stating, he insists that Elizondo used a DOPSR “DD Form 1910”. I challenged this by asking why the DoD Public Affairs desks are saying otherwise. He stated that “corners were cut” and that “PA people’s noses are out of joint”. Public Affairs approvals didn’t happen after DOPSR were involved, and they should have. All this makes things rather difficult. If so many FOI requests have stipulated that AATIP is the target, and no one has mentioned, except me and Roger, the AAWSAP angle, its going to be a slow year.



tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-337004485522186451

March 3rd 2018 at 05:55
Luis Elizondo, The Defence Office of Prepublication
and Security Review, and a "DD Form 1910" Chain of Custody

Part 1    

  

In the last few months a formal, hitherto unknown US Department of Defence (DOD) program to study the UFO phenomena has been revealed. Located within the massive Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), began in 2007, and was dissolved in 2012. Beyond that, and yet to be formally admitted, the work of AATIP was apparently migrated to an new interagency partnership where it is still ongoing today. The AATIP effort, for most of its existence, was headed by DOD staffer, Luis Elizondo, whose career has been spent in specialised defence intelligence, counter–intelligence and security roles. Since his departure, last year, from the DOD, Elizondo has appeared in numerous media interviews regarding the AATIP program, but avoids detailing specific security classified information. Acres and acres of discussion about the AATIP issue  has, unsurprisingly, taken place on social media and in the press. I do not aim here to further highlight what has already been revealed, or what hasn’t. My intention, as always, is to provide primary documentation, or other solidly sourced narrative.

           On top of AATIP’s sudden exposure, two segments of airborne video footage were released that purport to show unidentified, airborne objects. The first piece of footage, and its wider story, was already known to researchers, and is generally referred to as the “Nimitz” or “Tic Tac” UFO case. The second piece of footage, which was entirely new, is known as the “Gimbal” event. The former occurred in 2004 off the coast of California, and involved multiple F/A–18 Super Hornets assigned to the USS Nimitz. The latter occurred in 2015 off the coast of Florida, and involved similar aircraft. Again, my aim is not to go over, ad nauseum, these two events, or their associated video footage. Others have done so, and work is ongoing.

          One question that has arisen about these two videos, though, is the issue of DOD endorsement and formal release. Elizondo, and others, such as reporter Leslie Kean, have claimed that defence authorities formally permitted the open presentation of the material, and that a documented “chain of custody” was in existence. Again, it should be noted that the “Nimitz”, or “Tic Tac”, footage was already known, as it had been leaked to an online source, by USN personnel, quite a few years ago. Also, the newer “Gimbal” footage, as I have discovered, was also leaked by USN personnel, though not to an online server for all to see. Informal, isolated leaks aside, Elizondo understandably wished to see that these segments of unusual footage were as properly accounted for as possible, as did those he has confided in. Working with a number of interested parties, either directly or indirectly, which have included an unusual outfit known as the “To The Stars Academy” (TTSA), plus The New York Times, Bigelow Aerospace, and others, Elizondo has not, as yet, demonstrated exactly how he had the videos were declassified or otherwise released. Researchers, and the wider public, have yet to see copies of any “chain of custody” documentation.

           Early on, I had assumed that Elizondo had utilised the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to see that the videos were released, but my rather forceful enquiries with the DIA and Office of the Secretary of Defence and Joint Staff (OSD/JS) had demonstrated that this was probably not the case. Likewise, I engaged in lengthy telephone correspondence with staffers at the Assistant to the Secretary of Defence for Public Affairs (ATSD/PA), but they couldn’t shed any light on the matter either. Upon talking to someone heavily involved in this affair, I was able to recently learn that Elizondo had used an internal DOD records–release channel unrelated to the FOI Act. My confidant wasn’t entirely comfortable with telling me exactly what this method was without consulting with Elizondo himself, and I didn’t further push the matter. Put simply, I didn’t know how the videos were formally released, but that has  now changed.

           On the 25th of February, 2018, Elizondo was interviewed by reporter George Knapp for the radio podcast show “Coast to Coast”. In that presentation, Elizondo revealed that he used the services of the Defense Office of Prepublication and Security Review (DOPSR). In conjunction with that effort, Elizondo said he utilised a pair of DOD publications which govern the clearance and release of certain information to the public. Importantly, Elizondo stated that the actual document he used was a “DD Form 1910”.

           Specifically, DOPSR is an office which resides within the Office of the Secretary of Defence (OSD) and is “responsible for managing the Department of Defense security review program, reviewing written materials both for public and controlled release”. They coordinate official work products with Defense enterprise stakeholders to ensure that information being released is both accurate and represents the Department’s official position”. The two publications at the center of Elizondo’s video release efforts are “DOD Directive 5230.09, Clearance of DoD Information for Public Release”, which was certified as current on the 22nd of August, 2015, and “DOD Instruction 5230.29, Security and Policy Review of DoD Information for Public Release”, which was promulgated on August the 6th, 1999. As mentioned, the form Elizdono apparently used was a DOPSR–issued “DD Form 1910”. Its title is “Clearance Request for Public Release of Department of Defense Information”. Completed forms are submitted to the Chief of DOPSR, and a copy is sent for coordination with to the DOD’s Director for Freedom of Information and Security Review (DFOISR). Copies of whatever material, be it documents or audio–visual material, that the applicant wants released are submitted with the “DD Form 1910”, and processing can take weeks or months. A sample copy of the form, which is two sided, is imaged below.






            The DOPSR “DD Form 1910” is self–explanatory, for the most part. There are fields, or blocks, for a names, a signature, a date, subject matter areas, prior co–ordination of the subject material, office address information, etc. However, I am not exactly sure, at this stage, what information would be placed in some of the fields.

            On the 1st of March, 2018, I submitted an FOI request to the Office of the Secretary of Defence and Joint Staff (OSD/JS) for a copy of this record. Explicitly, I stated, in part:

         “This is a request for information under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I am requesting a specific document which were recently processed by Defense Office of Prepublication and Security Review (DOPSR). The document is a “DD Form 1910”. It was utilised by a former DoD employee, Luis Elizondo, to see that some audio–visual clips (airborne FLIR videos from US Navy aircraft) be formally released to the public for educational or publication use. Elizondo headed up, some years ago, the much–discussed Advanced Aviation/Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). When he resigned from the DoD, he wished to utilise various DOD audio–visual material as part of a wider, civilian program. Thus, he used a DD Form 1910. Defense Office of Prepublication and Security Review (DOPSR), or associated agencies, must have a copy of the DD Form 1910 in question.”

          I was immediately furnished with an automatic reply from the DOD’s FOI Office. In it, I was given an FOI case number, which was “18–F–0601”. On the 2nd of March, 2018, I was furnished with a more formal, if interim, response from the same office. DOD FOI Specialist Sean Porter enclosed a scanned letter from Stephanie L. Carr, who is the long–suffering Chief of the DOD’s FOI Office. In it, Carr states, in part:

         “This is an interim response to your enclosed March 1, 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, a copy of which is attached for your convenience. We received your request on March 1, 2018, and assigned it case number 18–F–0601. We ask that you use this number when referring to your request.

          Although we have already begun processing your request, we will not be able to respond within the FOIA’s 20–day statutory time period as there are unusual circumstances that impact our ability to quickly process your request. The FOIA defines unusual circumstances as (a) the need to search for and collect records from a facility geographically separated from this office; (b) the potential volume of records responsive to your request; and (c) the need for consultation with one of more other agencies or DoD components having a substantial interest in in either the determination or subject matter of the records. At least one, if not more, of these scenarios applies or would likely apply to your request. While this office handles FOIA requests for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Joint Staff (JS), and other component offices, we don’t not actually hold their records and our office is not geographically located with these organizations. As we do not hold the records, until the required records searches are complete, we are unable to make a release determination.

            Your request has been placed in our complex processing queue and is being worked based on the order in which the request was received. Our current administrative workload is approximately 2,246 open requests.


           This is a standard response, no matter what the FOI request entails. I have received the exact same letter on other occasions. While it is certainly true that the OSD/JS FOI desk is inundated with requests for DOD material, I would argue that my request shouldn’t be placed in the “complex processing queue”. After all, I am asking for a copy of just one document, so the statement about the “potential volume of records responsive to your request” is hogwash. Searching for it shouldn’t be an issue, as the record was only generated last year. Also, I have given the OSD/JS FOI desk a very likely filing location, which is, of course, the DOPSR office. The statement about the record potentially being at “a facility geographically separated from this office” could be argued on technicalities either way. Both the OSD/JS FOI desk and DOPSR are located in the Pentagon though. One issue that may cause some complexity is the potential need for “consultation with one of more other agencies or DoD components” which have a “substantial interest in in either the determination or subject matter of the records”, but even this is debatable. Whatever the situation, my hands are probably tied. Short of me ringing the OSD/JS and reminding them of their responsibilities under the FOI Act, which is something I have done with varying degrees of success in the past, we are going to have to wait. Stephanie L. Carr’s letter is imaged below.







tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-1280881303629947802

November 28th 2017 at 04:59

Two Australian Aircrews Encounter "Green Object Climbing And Descending Vertically",  Airspace Management Authority Releases File

  


There are currently two Australian government agencies who are equipped to, and indeed do, accept UFO reports from civil aviation flight crews. They are the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and Airservices Australia (ASA). Of course, they do more than deal with infrequent UFO reports, and, in fact, are responsible for airspace management, the functionality of airports, pilot licensing, air safety, navigational systems, etc. Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD) also accepts and processes UFO reports, but their system is quite different from those of the ATSB and ASA. The DoD’s Directorate of Defence Aviation and Air Force Safety (DDAAFS) accepts reported military UFO cases via a form called an “Air Safety Occurrence Report” (ASOR). ASOR’s are processed through the Defence Aviation Hazard Reporting and Tracking System (DAHRTS), and are studied within the Closed Loop Hazard/ASOR Review and Tracking System. DDAAFS military UFO reports have proven very hard to obtain. But ATSB and ASA reports have been somewhat easier. For the purpose of this piece, I will focus on ASA. Describing themselves as “…a government owned corporation providing safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible services to the aviation industry” ASA is responsible for national airspace management, air traffic control, aeronautical information services, aviation communication, radio beaconing, and the like.  Some time ago I submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for any UFO, or UFO–like, reports submitted to ASA by flight crews, with the date range of 2008 to 2015. I published the results of that effort in January, 2015, and my findings can be looked at here. Also, as an aside, I have also had the ATSB furnish me with numerous reports of aerial unknowns, and the results of that work can be found here


In my previousFOI request to ASA, I stipulated they search their “Electronically Submitted Incident Report” (ESIR) database and the newer “Corporate Integrated Reporting and Risk Information System” (CIRRIS) for UFO events dating from 2008 onwards. Of course, one would assume, correctly as it turns out, that pilot–submitted UFO reports go back much further than that. The reason for me not asking for all material dating back to, say, the 1980’s, is because an FOI requestor can be knocked back if their request is to broad, or, will cause an unacceptable burden for administrative staff. So, one often breaks these requests for data up into smaller date range blocks. Needless to say, as soon as the last FOI request was furnished, I submitted another one. On the 30thof January, 2015 I submitted a new FOI request to ASA for all UFO or UFO–like cases dated between 1992 and 2008. Specifically, my request stated:

“….any incidences where flight crews have reported any: 1) Unusual, Unknown, or Unidentifiable Aircraft or Objects; 2) Suspected Drones/Unmanned Aerial Vehicles; 3) Meteoric events, fireballs and the like; and, 4) Especially unusual weather phenomenon; which are held on the Electronically Submitted Incident Report (ESIR) database or the “Corporate Integrated Reporting and Risk Information System” (CIRRIS) database.”

On the 18th of February, 2015 Sasha Pesic, ASA’s Freedom of Information & Privacy Contact Officer/Legal Inquiries Coordinator, asked me if I would grant them an extension of time in searching their database(s) and preparing any found material, which, despite not being famous for my patience, I agreed to. On the 7 May, 2015, I received the results of my request. At one page, in PDF form, ASA supplied me with 3 UFO or related events in table form, which is imaged below.

One case stands out. In June, 1999 two airplanes experienced what, by anyone’s measure, must be considered a potentially important UFO event. In ASA’s “Executive Summary” column it is dryly stated:

“Pilots of AJP and AJK enroute for Alice Springs sighted an unidentified green object in their vicinity. No details of any other traffic held by Brisbane Sector 11.”

In the “Description” column it is stated:

“At 1015 the pilot of AJP Tindal for Alice Springs reported sighting a green object climbing and descending vertically and paralleling his track for some time. The pilot of AJK Darwin for Alice Springs reported sighting this green object as well. No details of any other traffic were held by Brisbane Sector 11.”

The document in question is imaged below.


While lacking further narrative, there is enough here to demonstrate that flights AJP and AJK saw something worth reporting, and the incident occurred at a significant altitude, as we shall see. Obviously, it is one thing for a single flight crew to report a UFO event. But when two flight crews report the same thing, the story is much hard to brush aside. If equal importance is the data which also comes with the report. The UTC Date/Time data is listed as “199906231015”, which is Coordinated Universal Time (the old Greenwich Mean Time), translates as the year 1999, on the 23erd of June, at 10:15am. As the event occurred while both aircraft were enroute to Alice Springs, flying from the north, this equates to 1945hrs in central Australia, or, 7:45pm. The event occurred in the “TOPS” airspace sector of Australia, which is a volume of airspace located in the Northern Territory (NT). The “Primary Occurrence Type” is listed as “MISCELLANEOUS”, with a further comment stating “(INC PILOT REPORT)”, which one presumes means the event included a pilot(s) report. The “Attribution” of the case is listed as “OTHER”. Finally, the “Report No” is listed as “2054”.

At that time the sky is quite dark, so, one may presume that any object that is be described as “green” was almost definitely luminous. As for the planes involved I have ascertained, through Australian aircraft registration records, that both  were Westwind IAI 1124 business jets built by Israeli Aircraft Industries. These impressive aircraft carry two crew, and operate at a maximum speed of 865 kilometres per hour at 29,000 feet, but cruise at 725km/hr at 39–41,000 feet on long flights. Seeing as the Executive Summary states “Pilots of AJP and AJK enroute for Alice Springs...”, there is every chance that the aircraft were travelling at a fairly high velocity, and an altitude of over 29,000 feet.

Whatever the speed, wherever the exact locale, even the admittedly limited data presented in this single ASA document does raises some questions. Firstly, what  “green object” can seemingly dip up and down vertically in the atmosphere, and then track with a jet “...for some time”? We can’t rule out another aircraft, but some of the details given make this rather unlikely. The mystery flight would need to be carrying a very singular bright green light aboard, which breaches civil aviation requirements. Also, one could speculate that the crew of either AJP and AJK would have attempted communication with other flights in the region, and if they did there was obviously no positive response.  Most importantly, the “Description” section clearly states that “No details of any other traffic were held by Brisbane Sector 11.”. In Australia, the Brisbane Sector monitors and controls all air traffic in the TOPS area, so ASA’s Brisbane Sector effectively admitted that nothing else was flying in the area. Other explanations may fit, but the case is eighteen years old, so investigation is not easy. One could safely assume that the crew’s of the two aircraft in question have long moved on. Moreover, military records dedicated to, for example, ground–to–air missile evaluation launches are almost impossible to obtain, even through significant FOI work. Quite simply, the details of high–end ordinance tests are classified in Australia, as one would expect. Other solutions, including a gigantic period of meteoric activity, long–duration space re–entries, reflections on windscreens, intense hallucinations, rare electrical activity, etc can be ruled out. The astronomical angle is worth studying, but to conclusively blame a planet or star for “...climbing and descending vertically...”, then tracking one of the two flights, pushes the limits of credulity.

In regard to the release of this document, it is worth noting that ASA had a previous opportunity to make public the case. As I have detailed, my FOI request was finalised in Feburary, 2015. However, three years earlier, Australian researcher Keith Basterfield asked ASA for any information held regarding UFO’s, and the material I have presented in this report, which dates back to 1999, was not released. Specifically, on the 30th of May, 2012, Basterfield submitted an FOI request to ASA for:

“…any documents held by Air Services Australia, on the subject of ‘unidentified flying objects’.”

On the 18th of June, 2012, Keith was furnished with internal ASA material containing a number of media enquiries to ASA’s Public Affair’s desk, and a number of general enquiries from the public. Nothing of note was unearthed. Technically, of course, Basterfield had asked for records regarding “unidentified flying objects”, and the event I have highlighted was listed as an “unidentified green object”, with the “Primary Occurrence Type” listed as “MISCELLANEOUS”, and the “Attribution” listed as “OTHER”. These details do not contain the specific term ”unidentified flying objects”, which is what Basterfield had based his FOI request on, so the failure to release him anything of note probably boils down to a terminology issue. Usually, FOI staffers will do little more than process the request using exactly what a requestor has asked about, but surely a search of the ESIR and CIRRIS databases for the terms “unidentified” and “object” should have come up with the Alice Springs AJP and AJK event. Whatever the parameters, or limitations, of ASA record searching are, one can’t help but wonder if further requests, using a whole list of other keywords, would pick up. We may not have to wait long. I aim, very soon, to formulate a new FOI request to ASA. It will include a more robust and wider scope than anything I have done previously. 

tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-928830566577490590

November 6th 2017 at 01:00

Westall High School Teacher Reveals Unexpected Information Regarding Famed Melbourne UFO Case 

   


    On the morning of April the 6th, 1966, the Australian city of Melbourne was visited by an unknown, or at least unfamiliar, object, or objects. The then-outer suburb of Westall was, apparently, a sort of “ground zero” for the aerial oddity(s), where it made an approach to the ground, or, actually landed. Much has been made of the Westall UFO incident, and here is not the place to rerun the generally accepted narrative. Others, be they documentary makers, journalists, authors or researchers, have produced many a treatment on the case already. At the core of the event, a large number of school children, from Westall High School, claim to have personally witnessed the airborne episode, and their modern-day testimony has been given a considerable quantity of recent exposure. One aspect of the incident which has been insufficiently explored is that of the staff who worked at the school. Other than science teacher Andrew Greenwood, we have heard very little, either then or now, from the teachers who were there on the day, and caught up in the unusual saga.

          Recently, I have had an opportunity to exchange communications with a former English and Mathematics teacher who was staffed at Westall High School. A now successful author, Hazel Moir, now Hazel Edwards OAM, offers opinions which are quite different than the general version of high-UFOlogical narrative found elsewhere. Simply put, most (but certainly not all) of what I have personally read about Westall has been reactionary, or, has been presented in tabloid magazines, rushed newspaper articles, short soundbites and so-forth. In conversing with Hazel, I not only got to hear from a teacher, but got to formulate my own questions. In the interests of thoroughness, transparency and studying what happened that fateful April day, I present the content of my discussions with that Hazel. What I discovered was most unexpected.

          After reading a late-August 2016 media story on the Westall UFO case, which mentioned Hazel, I contacted her via social media giant Facebook. These initial contacts were on the 25th of August, 2016. I introduced myself as a UFO case researcher who wished to obtain yet-unpublished testimony from persons directly involved with Westall. Following from that, there was no response, and I didn’t persue her further. On the 26thof October 2017, Hazel, who I have established was indeed an English and Mathamatics teacher at Westall High School, replied to my year-old message. Her first communication read:

       “Dear Paul, I just found your query relating to UFOs and Westall. I’ve always maintained that there was no UFO landing at the school that day, where I was an English and Maths teacher. Two other former teachers agree with me. The most interesting development from the whole episode has been the community’s desire to have a common, significant memory. It was a new migrant community and the real story lies in the success which many of these former students have made of their lives. For just a few the supposed UFO was the only thing of significance, but others have created many worthwhile skills and projects. These are the facts, really: The supposed site of the landing where the UFO playground is now situated is so far from the back of the original school that students could not have reached it within the break. There was a hyped-up atmosphere that day, of the kind that sometimes occurs with students during very windy weather. Mr. Samblebee, the principal, did tend to be authoritarian, but had to retain order in a new and raw school, and was strict on the day. One student rang the TV station mid afternoon on a slow news day and things escalated from there. I’ve looked at the supposed witness accounts, and most are built on suppositions. e.g. Men in uniform appeared 45 minutes after and the army base is 45 minus away, therefore the army was involved. Not logical.”

       Of course, with this, I was somewhat surprised by such a clear, lengthy piece of introductory testimony. With some ado, including the swapping of email addresses, a further appraisal of what I personally study within the UFO field, and a few early “vetting” enquiries, I drafted out several exploratory questions for her to answer as she saw fit. The first question I posed was merely, “What are your general recollections of that day’s events?”  Hazel replied:

       “During the class time that afternoon, the students were hyped up, but few actually reported real evidence of seeing anything. It was gossip built on hearsay. It was the girl student who called the TV news which set a media frenzy in place. Mr Samblebee the principal tried to quieten things down but he wasn’t trying to ‘cover up’ anything, just keep control in a fairly challenging school. Lots of inexperienced staff like me in our first year of teaching. The 19/20 year-old Science teacher Andrew was interviewed by media and really liked the experience, so stories grew. Because he was the science teacher, more attention was paid. In later follow ups of the story, I always stated the story was being exaggerated, but my comments were always edited because many felt that the UFO story gave them a connection to media fame. They wanted to be part of a story. Two other teachers Roger Adams and Vivienne Clarke agreed with me. A journalist asked me, ‘What did you do after this momentous event?’ I said I left at 4pm to go to my Monash Uni lecture on politics on the Clayton Campus as I was studying as well as working fulltime. He asked why I didn’t stay after school when such a momentous event had occurred. I replied that, ‘It didn’t’.

The flattened grass was part of the area where teenage students messed around between school and the migrant camp. The journalist from the Dandenong Journal agreed that he had reported what students and staff said, but he was cynical about ‘ the little green men’ which was the level the story reached very quickly. I did attend a reunion of Westall High decades later, to which I was invited, and several were being interviewed about the UFO on that afternoon. I thoroughly enjoyed my time teaching at Westall and put a lot of effort into my students. I was pleased to see how well some had done. But I was also intrigued by a few of those now adults who wanted the UFO story to be fact because it gave them kudos.

My belief is that the real story is the success of a migrant community and their desire for a common history and the reactions to the UFO story is part of that. I also attended the opening of the UFO playground (funded by Kingston Council and an excellent playground) where one of my former students asked me to keep quiet about my UFO qualms because she stated, ‘It’s my only chance to be famous and you’re not going to take that away from me.’ As a professional writer of fiction, I was asked by the documentary-maker, not to write about the subject as he wished to do so himself. I think it’s possible there was some type of flying object which went across the area, but it didn’t land.”



The second question I posed was, “When specifically did the alleged Flying Saucer incident come to your attention?”  Hazel's reply was:



“Just after lunch. I had an English class who were fairly hyped up. Usually I had a good relationship with my students, but they couldn’t settle. Several were talking about something seen from the oval. Only later was the ‘Flying Saucer’ label used. In the afternoon break, the staff talked amongst themselves, but most comments were hearsay. Students had asked Andrew Greenwood the science teacher to have a look from the oval. I’m not sure if he actually saw anything but he was the one interviewed on the evening TV news.”



Importantly, at least to me, my third question was, “Can you what discussions did you have with other staff members?”  Hazel replied:

“Until we saw the TV news coverage, Roger Adams and Vivienne Clarke (two other English teachers who agree with my view) dismissed the hype as something comparable to a windy day escalation of student wind-up. Since 1966, I’ve had several conversations with staff. Some support the view it was a UFO or maybe a military experimental flying object off course. A few claim to have seen ‘suits’ in the school after hours. We didn’t. Neither did we hear any American accents of supposed CIA/FBI undercover agents. The location is what I have the most qualms about. Where the current UFO playground is established is where it was supposed to have occurred. That is a LONG way from the back of the school oval of the secondary school. Students could not have got there and back at lunchtime, as they were supposed to be within the school grounds.”

The fourth question I asked was, “What discussions did you have with students?”  In her reply, Hazel stated:

“Within the school, students discussed their part in the afternoon, but as the media stories grew, there was a kind of ‘repressed memory’ exercise, where some began to remember things they hadn’t mentioned earlier. One student did leave a month or so after this, and that fact was picked up by one correspondent who claimed she vanished. Not so. Genuine transfer to another school which happened a lot with a transitory migrant camp community as parents got better jobs elsewhere. We did attempt to discuss in class the need for evidence before you claim something.”

Following that I wanted to make sure any contact with Principle Samblebee was covered, so the fifth question I posed was, “Did you have any discussions with the principal about the events of that day?”  Hazel's reply was:

“Mr Samblebee attempted to ‘dampen down’ discussion and wanted us to return to normal classes. Whenever the local media picked up on the story, there’d be a resurgence of interest within the school and the local Clayton/Westall community. The enthusiasm of the documentary maker Shane(?) (who was always polite in his exchanges) kept interest in the subject. He was not present at the supposed UFO incident, but his wife/girlfriend lived in the area.”

My sixth question, which aimed at potentially finding earlier interview accounts to study, was, “What interviews you have done over the years with anyone about the incident?”  Hazel replied:

“Yes. The Dandenong Journal. I have had various researchers contact me across the years, but when I claim it probably wasn’t a UFO, my comments tend to be cut. The documentary maker was the most persistent interviewer. But the eventual documentary was comment on comment rather than facts.”

With that, I queried ‘which documentary maker’, to which Hazel gave a weblink and a brief reply. The weblink she gave was www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rlHgNDGvRE, and her statement was simply:

“Doco maker Shane ? (sorry forgotten his surname) very charming and polite man. Canberra based now.”

My seventh question, was, “What you think happened that day?”

“Possibly there was some kind of flying object, viewed by a few people. I seriously doubt it was a UFO. The most interesting story is why a school and broader community want to believe it, and the speed at which a story can escalate. Much of the ancillary comment on social media about what might have happened was rarely substantiated by facts. It was on a slow news afternoon that a junior secondary student rang the TV news room. And then everybody wanted to be part of it. The real story is the subsequent sense of community created by this fiction. I’m in favour of scientific research. And posing hypotheses which then need to be proved. And of thinking outside conventional frameworks. But I need proof. Evidence. Not just opinion. And frankly the Westall UFO sighting being listed as fact, worries me. Makes me wonder about some other ‘facts’.”

Moving away from the incident itself, my eighth question was, “Have you any notes, diaries or other documentation from 1966 about the incident?”  Hazel replied:

“I gave it a passing mention in my memoir ‘Not Just a Piece of Cake; Being an Author’ (Brolga). Frankly I didn’t take notes in 1966 because I didn’t think it that significant.”

I wrapped up this series of enquires with a ninth question, “Do you care if I publish any of this one day?” Hazel thankfully stated:

“You’re welcome to publish. Happy for you to use my name. Can’t find many photos from that era. But will email you the one I have.”

Thus, with a reasonably voluminous quantity of information to deliberate over, I thought wise to clarify some of Hazel's answers. In a more loosely arranged format, I came back to Hazel on the 27thof October, stating:

“Hi Hazel. I’ve read through your answers, and these will be detailed enough for me present in some sort of report. I have a few follow-up questions. One that springs to mind is this: The girl who rang the TV station… How would this be done from inside (or outside?) a school? Surely she didn’t get permission?”

Hazel answered,

“No, I think she probably wagged it to ring outside early in afternoon.”

I then asked a question, which had already been somewhat covered, to help further nail down a footprint of previous interviews, “Other than the documentary maker, Shane Ryan, have you been interviewed by anyone in the last few years?”  Hazel responded by stating:

“At the Westall High School reunion, there were several journalists but the major involved one was the ex-Dandenong Journal reporter because he’d been on the spot on the day. He was quite skeptical and regarded it as a news gathering assignment not a fact finding mission. He said his job on the original story was to collect quotes as it became a front page suburban story.

Later, one of the ex-Year 7/8 students of mine had become a police officer, and it was she who tracked me to invite me to the reunion as my name had changed from Moir to Edwards. She tracked me via my former car’s number plate (the car then held by my daughter). So I must have encouraged a few research skills amongst my students! I think there were a few Age stories at various times (usually around anniversary dates) but most of the interest was drummed up by Shane Ryan who had managed to raise some funding for the doco. On the reunion day, Shane Ryan filmed me in the school corridors, talking about the supposed UFO, but that footage was dropped. I’d suggest you look at the geography of where things were supposed to have occurred. The Grange with the tall trees, was a LONG way from the actual school.”

With that, I asked, “So… the original Dandenong Journal reporter back on the reunion: Was he skeptical in 1966 or skeptical during the reunion? Or both?”  Hazel stated:

“Both. I managed to ask him his views at the reunion. He didn’t say that on camera though.”

On the 1stof November, 2017, I thought it time to send Hazel two school-issue photographs from 1966. One photograph was of the Westall High School staff, and the other was of Hazel's class of 1966. Regarding the staff photograph, she offered this:

“Many thanks for the Westall photos. I recognise the staff. I’m in the middle row fourth from the left. The two other sceptical teachers were Vivienne Clarke (pale outfit alongside me) and Roger Adams was the guy on the right-hand end with the glasses.”

Concerning the class/student photograph, Hazel stated:

“In the student photo, the blonde girl in the second row from the top left-hand side was Cheryl and think she was involved in phoning the TV News.”

On the 2ndof November, 2017, I asked a new round of questions focusing on Science teacher Andrew Greenwood. I bundled my Greenwood enquires into a single passage of questioning, asking, “How well did you know Andrew Greenwood in 1966? Have you any recollections from those days about him? If so, what? Also, have you ever spoke about the event with him post 1966?”  Her reply was:

“He was a fairly inexperienced, young science teacher and liked to be friendly with the students. I didn’t have any contact with him afterwards.”

From here, my interviews with Hazel Edwards OAM continue. Obviously, there are more questions to ask, more facts to yield. I am leaving others to decide what to make of this bevy of new information. I have made it a priority to have Hazel's statements published, here and now, for the purpose of demonstrating that written testimony from persons involved in a UFO case can be more valuable than anything else, and to encourage researchers to publish, with some haste, their research work. Finally, I am perusing now five other staff members, or at least their families, regarding the case.

Finally, regarding the other two teachers whom Hazel mentions, Roger Adams and Vivienne Clarke, quick search of the Westall Flying Saucer Incident Yahoo groups, turned up a message (Number 634) dated the 30th of April 2006, from Shane Ryan to the group, which read as follows:

“Dear list members, Another Westall High School teacher, Ms Hazel Moir (now Edwards), has told me she remembers one of her students, named Cheryl, talking to the TV news crew that day, in a very excited way. I wonder if anyone else has a memory of a student called Cheryl, talking to Channel Nine?

Hazel’s take on the story is that it was an insignificant thing that has snowballed over the years! I wonder? She remembers the commotion, teachers going to look and seeing nothing, and nothing more being thought of it by the staff.

Yet another teacher, Mr Roger Adams, has also given me a very similar account to Hazel’s. Like, Hazel, he said, they weren’t the type of teachers/people to believe such a story. He remembers Andrew Greenwood’s story, but doesn’t remember there being much support for it.”

tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-3893612772743268334

July 14th 2017 at 08:01
Massive Quantity Of Unreleased UFO Files Held By New Zealand Government
   


On the 3rdof August, 1985, researcher Timothy Good wrote to the Air Vice Marshal Ewan Jamieson, Chief of the Air Staff, at the Ministry of Defence Headquarters, Wellington, New Zealand, asking what the New Zealand military’s official stance on UFOs was. In a 6th of September, 1985 reply to Good, Wing Commander S. D. White, writing on behalf of Air Vice Marshal Ewan Jamieson, stated:

“New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence is not specifically charged with any formal responsibility for investigating UFOs… …and neither is any other government department. The Ministry does however take an active interest in all such reports and within the limitations of its resources conducts investigations as necessary.”

This official statement, and quite a few others like it, was somewhat misleading.

In March, 2017, I accessed Archives New Zealand, which is that country's official national archive and records repository, and entered a series of keywords into the “Archway” search engine. Using the keywords “unidentified flying object”, “ufo”, “unidentified flying objects”, “ufos”, “unknown object”, “unknown objects”, “flying saucers” and the like, I was surprised to see numerous hits displayed in the results. Of course, New Zealand’s government has already released numerous files, so any search results which included these items were expected. What I didn’t expect was a listing of hitherto unknown files, some of which are “restricted” from public access for decades to come. I should state that these unreleased files were not totally unknown to at least a handful of researchers. British based researcher Isaac Koi, for example, discussed the existence of these records some time ago on the internet forum Above Top Secret, and Keith Basterfield mentioned some of the items in various New Zealand focused blogposts in 2010.

Before elaborating on these unseen files, it is prudent to summarise New Zealand’s first, and only, declassification and public release of government files, and, specifically, how they were released. In December, 2010, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), who operate under, and answer to, New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence (MOD), released a number of formally classified files concerning UFO’s. Only through the determined work of Susan Hansen, the Director of New Zealand’s “UFO Focus New Zealand Research Network” (UFOCUS NZ), a civilian based research organisation, did this release occur. Hansen had worked for some fourteen months, corresponding with Lt. Gen. Jerry Mateparae, the Chief of Defence Force, NZDF, regarding the mustering, declassification and public release of New Zealand’s MOD files, some which were nearly sixty years old.

Initially, Lt. Gen. Mateparae stated that it “…would require a substantial amount of collation, research and consultation to identify whether any of that information could be released…” and that the NZDF was not able to deploy staff to undertake the task. Lt. Gen. Jerry Mateparae, however, also gave his personal viewpoint on the matter, stating:

“In the longer term, recognizing the ongoing public interest in this topic, I would like to see a summary of information held about UFO sightings produced, in much the same way as that which is produced by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence. Given the existing constraints, however, I cannot predict when that objective could be achieved.”

Months later, due largely to Susan Hansen’s continued efforts, Lt. Gen. Mateparae announced that the assessing of classified UFO files by NZDF staff had begun. In a December, 2009 letter, Lt. Gen. Mateparae stated:

“I am pleased to be able to inform you that two NZDF officers have begun the task of assessing classified files held in relation to this topic, with a view to declassification. I would expect that files which are transferred to Archives New Zealand would be subject to extensive embargo periods in terms of access by the general public.”

It was on the 22nd of December, 2010, that the NZDF finally made available nine files, which totalled 2101 pages. The files contained records dating from, at the earliest, 1952, and, most recently, 2009. Specifically, the files released were “Air 39/3/3 Volume 1, Parts 1 and 2”, “Flying Saucers”, with a date range spanning 1952 to 1955; “Air 39/3/3 Volume 2, Parts 1 & 2, “Reports on UFOs”, with a date range spanning 1956 to 1979; “Air 39/3/3 Volume 3”, “Reports on UFOs”, with a date range spanning 1979 to 1980; “Air 39/3/3A Volume 1, Parts 1 and 2”, “Reports on UFOs and Ethnology”, with a date range of 1979 to 1984; “Air 39/3/3 Volume 4”, “Reports on UFOs”, covering 1981 to 1984; “Air 244/10/1 Volume 1”, “Reports on UFOs” with a date range spanning 1959 to 1983; “Air 1080/6/897 Volume 1”, “Courts Of Enquiry – Investigation of Unidentified and Radar Sightings East Coast South Island December 1978”, with a date range spanning from 1978 to 1981; “1630/2 Volume 1”, “Reports on UFOs and Ethnology”, with a date range spanning 1984 to 1989; and, “1630/2 Volume 2”, “Reports on UFOs and Ethnology” with a date range spanning 1990 to 2009. Also worth mentioning is that some of the material in these files was redacted, and thus not visible.

While I do not attempt here to give any sort of detailed, historical treatment as to what these papers contain, it is worth mentioning that most of the records are UFO reports, of variable value, submitted by members of New Zealand’s public, and, general enquiries regarding the New Zealand government’s official stance on the UFO issue.

Most, but certainly not all.

A significant fraction of the material, in fact, comprises of internal government correspondence and enquiry, and it is most certainly not all MOD–generated. Firstly, the material that is of MOD provenance includes papers originating from such entities as the Secretary of Defence; the Minister of Defence; the Chief of the Defence Staff; the Chief of the Air Staff, RNZAF; Headquarters, Air Defence, RNZAF; the Deputy Director of Air Intelligence, RNZAF; the Director of Operations, RNZAF; and the Deputy Director of Service Intelligence, to name a few. Secondly, the material on file which is not of MOD provenance, includes papers originating from such entities as the Director of Civil Aviation, Civil Aviation Branch, Air Department; the Minister for Civil Aviation; the Deputy Director of Operations, Air Traffic Control, Ministry of Transport; the Director–General of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research; the Joint Intelligence Bureau; the Commissioner of Police, Police National Headquarters; the Director of the New Zealand Meteorological Service; and the Director of Carter Observatory.

Thus, it is established that numerous areas within New Zealand’s government, as demonstrated in these nine released MoD files, have had at least some involvement in the UFO problem. What, then, can we ascertain regarding the unreleased files? And how can they be declassified and released? All government files held by Archives New Zealand are indexed with metadata, which includes the title of the file, an item identification number, a code attached to the original controlling agency, a series number, an accession code, a box and item number, a record number, and various other pieces of information. Also, all files are listed as either being “Open Access”, “Restricted Access” or “Restrictions May Apply”. Unsurprisingly, an “Open Access” file can be made available to anyone, while a “Restricted Access” file is still in the legal custody of the original controlling agency, and, thus, unavailable. Such “Restricted Access” files are listed with a “Restrictions Expire” date which must be surpassed before automatic availability can occur. Steps can be taken, however, to have such files assessed and released earlier. Finally, files where “Restrictions May Apply” are releasable, but a final review of the item is required in case it contains sensitivities not noticed previously. These issues are important when evaluating the numerous unreleased UFO files listed within the Archives.

The first file of note, which should have been released in 2010, is titled “Intelligence – Defence – Unidentified Sightings”. The record number for this item is “244/1/7” and the date range spans from 1963 to 1976. The current controlling agency of the file is the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), but the original controlling agency, presumably, will be either a top–echelon division of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), or, one of New Zealand’s armed forces branches. Traditionally, New Zealand’s defence apparatus has, like most nations, always included an Army, Navy and Air Force. Either way, the file metadata gives no clue as to its origin. Moreover, as noted, this file is clearly a MoD item of some sort, and the NZDF is listed as the most recent controlling entity, so the notion that the NZDF released all of its UFO files in 2010 is quite incorrect. Having said that, the file is listed as “Open Access”, so someone in the NZDF has cleared it for release.

Another unseen file is titled “Political Affairs – Outer Space – Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)” is indexed as originating from the Head Office of the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). The record number is “NYP 3/58/13”, and the date range spans from 1977 to 1982. Thankfully, this particular item, unlike many, is classed as “Open Access”, which means copies can be made available with relative ease. MFAT represents New Zealand abroad, and conducts official communication and business with foreign governments, international organisations and other overseas bodies. One can only speculate as to what an MFAT file may contain. One possibility, given the 1977 to 1982 date range, is that the records relate to a UFO awareness raising initiative at the United Nations, led by Sir Eric Gairy, the then Prime Minister of Grenada, in the late 1970’s. This effort resulted in a series of plenary meetings and decision adoptions in late 1977, which culminated in a Special Political Committee Hearing on the 27th of November, 1978. Finally, “Political Affairs – Outer Space – Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)” is listed as “Part 1”. This usually means, as can be demonstrated with other file holdings, that further “parts” were created, or at least planned for.

New Zealand’s atmospheric and meteorological agencies maintained UFO–related files too, The first item is titled, “Meteorological Office: Research: Meteorological – Unidentified Flying Objects”, and its record number is “42/6/23”. The date range of this file is 1968 to 1984. The originating and controlling agency for this file is the Head Office of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited (NIWAR). This quasi–government entity is described, in government organisational chronologies, as a “…Crown owned research and consulting company with expertise in water and atmospheric research”. The file is listed as “Open Access”. This is interesting, as the NIWAR was engaged in meteorological and atmospheric study, so any evaluation or assessment of the UFO issue by competent scientists is obviously valuable to researchers. Also, like other New Zealand UFO files, this item is listed as being “Part 1”, which implies a continuation of the file well beyond the mid–1980’s. No more “parts”, however, are listed when performing archival searches. As for the contents, one hopes that NIWAR conducted a reasonable degree of primary research into the UFO issue, possibly studying unknown cases, and dealing directly with other New Zealand agencies. More likely, however, is that the file contains low–level sighting reports, collections of local newspaper articles, and other mundane items. Previous experience suggests the contents of “Meteorological Office: Research: Meteorological – Unidentified Flying Objects” is somewhere in the middle.

Another file, presumably of the same ilk, is “Public Weather Service – Flying Saucers And Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)”. The record number is “2/13”, and the date range is 1956 to 1988.  The controlling agency for the file is the New Zealand Meteorological Service (NZMS), but judging by the title of the file, it was specifically a Public Weather Service (PWS) record. The PWS was one of three sub–components of the NZMS. Government organisational chronologies state that the primary function of the NZMS was to “…provide and advise meteorological support… …for New Zealand and the islands of the South Pacific Ocean”. The file is “Open Access”, and does not appear to be one of several “Parts” as is often the case. One can only guess what the file contains, but it is quite likely that the PWS, and its parent agency, the NZMS, acted as a clearing house for UFO reports, as was the situation in Australia. Historically, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) received UFO reports from the public, and occasionally from other government agencies. The BOM was not explicitly charged with handling UFO cases, so, typically, they would be forwarded to the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) Directorate of Air Force Intelligence (DAFI) or the Department of Air (DOA). Whatever the contents, “Public Weather Service – Flying Saucers And Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)” will contain records not seen for decades.

The infamous Kaikoura UFO incident is the subject of a file titled “Miscellaneous Files – UFO [Unidentified Flying Object] Affair (1978 Kaikoura Incident) –The Truth Is Out There”. With a one year date range of 1979 to 1979, the file was the provenance of the Magnetic and Geophysical Observatories, based in Christchurch, and the controlling agency is listed similarly as the Geophysical Observatory. This agency is indexed as “…undertaking research into upper atmosphere physics through data collected from remote ionosonde stations…”. Oddly, there is no record number assigned to the file. Its access status is “Open”. Obviously it deals with the “Kaikoura Lights” radar–visual UFO case that occurred between the 21st and 30th of December, 1978. These events involved airborne–visual and airborne radar features, plus ground–based radar confirmation. Some of the events were filmed by an Australian television crew on route to New Zealand. The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), as well as Carter Observatory, investigated the events in early 1979. Their efforts can be found in New Zealand’s most in–depth and classified UFO file, which was released, in part, in 2010. That file is titled “Courts Of Enquiry – Investigation of Unidentified and Radar Sightings East Coast South Island December 1978”. Ultimately, the visual sightings were attributed to lights mounted on squid boats which were presumed to be reflecting off low cloud cover, as well as a handful of bright stars and planets. The primary radar hits were attributed to spurious returns created by unusually intense atmospheric conditions at the time. Whatever the conclusions, it is apparent that the newly found “Miscellaneous Files – UFO [Unidentified Flying Object] Affair (1978 Kaikoura Incident) –The Truth Is Out There” has not been openly studied.

There are three files of New Zealand Police, National Headquarters provenance. They are, “37/21/1, Part 1”, “Support Services – Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO), General”; “37/19/3, Part 1”, “Support Services – Unidentified Flying Objects – General”; and “37/21/1, Part 1”, “Support Services – Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO), General”. All three files come with a date range spanning the year of 1972 only. The fact that all three files appeared to be nearly identical made me wonder if, in fact, just one file existed, and there had been a clerical error in listing it. However, each file does a unique record number, so each file must be unique.Access to these records is restricted until 2072.

As for the contents of these files, one can only speculate. It is possible that they relate to a series of space debris re–entries which occurred near the town of Ashburton, on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island in early 1972. As is widely known, several metal “space balls” were recovered by farmers in the region, and naturally a few federal agencies, including the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and the Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB), showed significant interest in the discoveries, primarily from a technical and safety. Ultimately, the objects proved to be titanium gas pressure vessels from the Soviet Cosmos 482 spacecraft. American agencies, including the State Department, the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the United States Air Force’s (USAF) Foreign Technology Division (FTD) were equally as interested, and designated the events as “Moon Dust” unknown, or, initially unidentifiable, crashed space junk. These agencies relied on the United ’States small Defence Attaché in Wellington (USDAO–WEL) and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFAT) for their information, some of which has been released under America’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to researchers. What was less known is that the New Zealand Police were involved in handling the downed space junk. In an 15th of January, 2011 article, titled “Government Report On ‘Space Balls’ Released”, authored by Charlie Gates for “The Press” section of an online news service known loosely as “Stuff”, farmer Denis O’Sullivan, who found one of the objects, is quoted as saying:

“I picked it up and carried it back to the truck. It was sitting on my lap in the truck on the way back to the farm. We called the police and the first thing they did was get everyone to stay away from the scene and then a policeman hung his wristwatch over it to see if it was radioactive. I thought, ‘It's a bit late for that, it has been sitting on my lap on the way back’… …We thought it was an April Fool’s joke to start with. The police came and took it away. It caused quite a stir at the time. They treated it with great care because they were afraid it was radioactive.”

Possibly related to the above Police holdings is a file titled “Unidentified Objects of Foreign Origin”. The record number is “48/65/2” and the date range is listed as 1972 to 1973. Also, the file is listed as “Part 1”. This implies that there may be more “parts” to this file, but none are listed in the Archival system. Also, the file is falls in a “Defence Documents” accession category, and is a considered “Restrictions May Apply” item. Importantly, the agency responsible for creating this file was the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR). The DSIR provided scientific and technical services to the New Zealand government before being dissolved and reorganised in 1992. It is likely that this file relates to the 1972 space debris re–entries discussed previously. Both the date range and the title of the file are the two main giveaways. Moreover, we know that the DSIR was involved in assessing pieces of crashed space junk shortly after they were discovered. DSIR’s involvement in space debris analysis came to light in the New Zealand press, but also through documents released by America’s Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and State Department. These two agencies produced “Moon Dust” and “UFO” reports which were released in the late 1970’s through America’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). For example, a Confidential 24th of October, 1973, State Department signal, sent from the US embassy in Wellington to the Secretary of State (SECSTATE), reads, in part:

“PRESS STORY DATED OCTOBER 20 SPECULATES THAT CYLINDRICAL OBJECT FOUND NEAR KUROW, NEW ZEALAND MAY BE LINKED TO SPHERES REPORTED REF B. PRESS DESCRIPTION, BASICALLY CONFIRMED BY DSIR, IS THAT OBJECT IS TWO FEET LONG AND SEVEN INCHES DIAMETER. EXTENSIVELY SCARRED BY HEAT AND PARTS APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN BLOWN OUT BY INTERIOR EXPLOSION. ONE END BOLTED TO MAIN COMPONENT BY AT LEAST TWENTY FOUR BOLTS AROUND PERIMETER OF SCALLOPED FLANGE. THERE IS OPEN CONICAL PROJECTION AT THIS END WITH TWO SMALLER ATTACHMENTS WHICH APPARENTLY WERE CONNECTED TO OTHER UNITS. DSIR CHRISTCHURCH STUDYING OBJECT AND WILL FORWARD TO DSIR WELLINGTON ABOUT OCTOBER 31. EMBOFF HAS BEEN INVITED EXAMINE OBJECT AND OBTAIN DSIR PRELIMINARY REPORT AT THAT TIME.”

If “Unidentified Objects of Foreign Origin” is not related to crashed space junk, then one is bound to ask if the file relates to debris from a downed aircraft of unknown origin, or a meteoric event. Failing those alternatives, the only thing remaining is something even more mysterious.

Yet another file which presumably relates to unexpected space re–entries, is “Administration File – Unidentified Flying Object Seen To Explode In Western Sky”. The record number is “0070/3” and the date range is 1983 to 1983.  The controlling agency is listed as the Timaru Police Department. The title of the file would indicate something along the lines of a meteoric bolide or space debris re–entry. The date range, however, certainly rules out in relationship to the 1970’s space junk events. Failing something space borne, an unsolved aircraft explosion could be the subject of the file, though one would assume that New Zealand’s Director of Civil Aviation would be in control of the file, not the Timaru Police Department. Unfortunately, the item is categorised as “Restricted Access”, so obtaining a copy will be slow, if possible at all.

Going beyond the files I have thus far highlighted, there may be far more material held by New Zealand’s government not readily obvious to the researcher. If the experience in the United States is anything to go by, there is every possibility that important UFO records will be found in non–UFO files. To be sure, researchers in America are now accessing 1940’s and 1950’s–era military records which are indexed under “unidentified aircraft reports”, “unknown aircraft reports”, “intelligence sightings”, “security sightings”, “foreign aircraft”, “aerial weapons” and so forth. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), in Washington DC, and the United States Air Force’s (USAF) Air Force History and Research Agency (AFHRA), in Alabama, literally contain hundreds of the thousands of pages of such records, which are shelved in the operational or intelligence sections of squadron or wing–level holdings. The vast majority of these records, of course, have absolutely nothing to do with UFO’s, and are merely reports foreign or hostile aircraft, along with varying administrative assessments, security evaluations and other clerical material. However, a small percentage of these records, which still equates to thousands of pages, most certainly contain papers which would be considered UFO–related.

Even a very basic search of New Zealand’s archives contain possible leads. For example, a file titled “Northern Military District Auckland – Air And Naval Co–Operation Sighting Reports And Unidentified Aircraft – Aircraft Call Signs” would be a potential source of UFO reports or evaluation. Its record number of the file is “DAZ 205/9/S/4”. No date range is listed. The original controlling agency was the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force, and the is part of a large collection of records described as “Unit War Diaries, Unit Records and Supplementary Material”. Further, this collection was “…collected by the New Zealand Army Archives Section during the Second World War…”. Its access status is listed as “Open”.

Of possibly more interest are two Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) files created during World War Two. Their titles are “Intelligence – Intelligence re Aircraft – Reports Of Suspicious Sightings – March 1942 – August 1943” and “Intelligence – Intelligence re Aircraft – Reports of Suspicious Sightings – August 1942 – November 1944”. Both have the same record number, which is “08/19/1”, so, thus, presumably make up “Part 1” and “Part 2” of essentially the same file. The date range of both items is 1942 to 1944, and their access status is listed as “Open”. The controlling agency is simply listed as “Navy Department”. However, the files are part of a group of records described as “…sensitive Navy general correspondence” related to “…operations intelligence, personnel, security and the defence of New Zealand…”. Whether these items contain any UFO–related records, be they actual sighting reports or intelligence assessments, is entirely unknown, but it would be no surprise whatsoever if UFO’s were mentioned in some capacity.

As I highlighted at the beginning of this report, I highlighted a statement made by Wing Commander S. D. White to British researcher Timothy Good. Wing Commander White stated that the Ministry of Defence was “…not specifically charged with any formal responsibility for investigating UFOs…” and “…neither is any other government department…”. This is only partially correct. It is true that New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), nor any other government department, did not run a largescale and properly funded UFO investigation desk, but there was, for example, an official investigative committee formed in the early 1970’s. Released in 2010, “Air 244/10/1 Volume 1”, “Reports on UFOs” contains dozens of pages of administrative memoranda penned by a group called the “Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) Investigating Committee”. The scientific and technical calibre of the group speaks for itself. In August, 1972, for instance, the Chairman of the committee was the MoD’s Deputy Director of Service Intelligence, and the Secretary was a RNZAF Squadron Leader. The members included Dr E. I. Robertson, the Director–General of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR); Dr. D. C. Thompson, of the Meteorological Service; Squadron Leader A. H. Milestone, the Deputy Director of Operations, Air Traffic Control, within the Ministry of Transport; and Mr. W. J. H. Fisher, the Director of Carter Observatory. So the notion that no one within the MoD was charged with UFO investigation was misleading. It must be said that the committee never really found hard evidence for UFO’s, but that’s not the point. Rather, the group maintained a passing interest, and decided the problem was a loosely scientific matter, rather than a specific defence problem. The committee was wound up on November 4th, 1976.

As I have painstakingly aimed to elaborate on, a significant number of unseen UFO files have come to light, and some of them were maintained by agencies not known to be involved at all. The question now is one of access. On the 6th of April, 2017, I emailed the New Zealand Archives with a list of files I was interested in. On the 21st of April, 2017, Research Services Archivist Nik MacDonald–Washburn, replied, and explained the process and costs associated with file retrieval, censoring and digitisation, some of which is fairly straightforward. Unfortunately, many of the files remain in the legal custody of the original controlling agency, or whoever inherited them. Files indexed as “Restrictions May Apply” or “Restricted” need to be carefully looked at, and the researcher is tasked with approaching each individual agency to ask what can and can’t be released. This, like most government documents research, will be a slow process. The lesson learned here, yet again, is that no matter where researchers look, there are seemingly always hitherto unknown records, often classified, languishing on government shelves.

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May 4th 2017 at 07:40
 Recent US Department of Defence Manual Contains Instructions Regarding The Photographing of UFOs By Armed Forces Personnel
   


The US Department of Defence (DoD), and components of the Armed Forces, routinely produce “doctrinal” material to aid in the efficient and lawful running of the US military. Such doctrine falls into several categories, including, but not limited to, “Regulations”, “Instructions”, “Manuals”, “Directives” and “Guidelines”. Historically, the US military handled the reporting and investigation of “UFOs”, or “unidentified flying objects”, through such published doctrine, much of which has been declassified and released to the public. When the United States Air Force (USAF) terminated its long running UFO study program, Project Blue Book, on the 17th of December, 1969, it was commonly accepted that no government agency, including within the military, would further accept or investigate UFO reports. Thus, one would expect that no formal publications dealing with UFOs would be promulgated beyond 1970. We know, of course, that this is not true. Numerous examples of classified military doctrine that deal with UFOs have come to light, as I have highlighted in previous blog posts.

        On the 10th of April, 2001, the Assistant Secretary of Defence for Public Affairs (ASD-PA) promulgated a DoD Instruction titled “DoD Instruction 5040.6, Life-Cycle Management of DoD Visual Information (VI)”. Amended on the 21st of October, 2002, and totalling twenty-seven pages, it details the “life-cycle” of DoD “visual information” (VI), which includes “…still photographs, digital still images, motion pictures, analog and digital video recordings…”. The Instruction references, and works in conjunction with, a DoD Manual titled “DoD Manual 5040.6-M-1, Decision Logic Table Instructions For Recording And Handling Visual Information Material” (DoD Manual 5040.6-M-1). This Manual was also published by ASD-PA, and issued on the 21st of October, 2002. On page two, the “Forward” section reads, in part:

     “This Manual is issued under the authority of DoD Instruction 5040.6, ‘Life Cycle Management of DoD Visual Information,’ April 10, 2001 (reference (a)). It contains guidelines for both the recording of visual information (VI) in the field by camera operators and the accessioning of such VI as VI records into a records center, such as the Defense Visual Information Center (DVIC)... ...The Manual applies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military Departments, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Agencies and all other organisational entities within the Department of Defense (hereafter referred to collectively as ‘the DoD Components’).”


Put simply, “DoD Manual 5040.6-M-1, Decision Logic Table Instructions For Recording And Handling Visual Information Material” describes how photographs and moving images, which have been obtained by members of the US Armed Forces, must be captured, transmitted and stored. A “Decision Logic Table” (DLT) is laid out throughout the Manual, and cover myriad events and scenarios which may present to military personnel, and other members of the DoD. Within the DLT, individual tables categorize specific scenes or situations, and provide disposition instructions, including priority and importance, for imagery contained in for each category. Dozens of topics, from “POST-BATTLE ACTIVITIES IMAGERY” to “NATURAL TERRAIN AND SITE IMAGERY”, are covered.

Curiously, one of the topics listed is UFO’s and other unidentifiable aerial phenomena.

Section 21 of Chapter 5, on Page 53, of the Manual is titled “UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT (UFO) AND OTHER AERIAL PHENOMENA IMAGERY”. Beneath this bold heading, it is stated:

“The following table concerns imagery that records UFOs and other aerial phenomena not obviously identifiable as conventional aircraft or missiles. The table also lists the priority assigned to each category of imagery and provides relevant handling instructions.”

The table is titled “UFO and Other Aerial Phenomena Imagery” and contains just two columns. The left-hand side column is headed “Subject Description”, and the right-hand column is headed “Instructions”. Listed, in the left-hand column are two categories of aerial oddities that can be photographed or filmed. They are:

“Aerial flying objects not obviously identifiable as conventional aircraft”,

and

“Aerial phenomena (including moving lights and similar phenomena)”.

The right-hand column, which contains the “priority” of importance for such imagery, as well as handling instructions, states:

“NORMAL. Provide copies or dubs as needed to local and major commands. Handle camera-recorded imagery according to Appendix 2.”

The relevant page is imaged below.


 Thus it is established, with great clarity, that the DoD require UFO imagery from their personnel. The fact that not one, but two, sub-categories of “Unidentified Flying Objects” are listed is significant. These sub-categories, namely “Aerial flying objects not obviously identifiable as conventional aircraft” and “Aerial phenomena (including moving lights and similar phenomena)”, cover virtually every example of unusual aerial activity ever reported. For decades, UFO encounters have been officially reported by military personnel. As we know, such reports, which could include photographic imagery, have been submitted to desks assigned to handling and investigating such intelligence. It seems little has changed. For example, “Air Force Regulation 200-2, Intelligence, Unidentified Flying Objects Reporting” (AFR-200-2), promulgated by the Secretary of the USAF on the 26thof August, 1953, defines a UFO as:

“…any airborne object which by performance, aerodynamic chrematistics, or usual features does not conform to any presently known aircraft or missile type, or which cannot be positivity identified as a familiar object.”

AFR 200-2 also asked for, wherever applicable, photographic evidence:

“…All original film, including, whenever possible, both prints and negatives, will be titled or otherwise properly identified as to place, time, and date of the incident to which they pertain…”

Another example of USAF doctrine which clearly defines UFO’s is “Air Force Regulation 80-17, Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO)” (AFR 80-17). Promulgated on the 19th of September, 1966, by the Secretary of the USAF, “AFR 80-17” placed UFO reporting under the Directorate of Science and Technology’s (AFRST) Science Division (AFRSTA). At the time, AFRST was within the USAF’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development. On the 8th of November, 1966, “AFR 80-17” was amended as “AFR 80-17A”, and reflected the fact that the University of Colorado’s “UFO Study” was underway. This was the final example of UFO-specific reporting doctrine that the USAF generally acknowledged. On Page 1 of “AFR 80-17A”, in “Section A – General Provisions”, an “Explanation of Terms” is given:

“1. Explanation of Terms.  To insure proper and uniform usage of terms in UFO investigations, reports and analyses, an explanation of common terms follows:

a. Unidentified Flying Objects.  Any aerial phenomenon or object which is unknown or appears out of the ordinary to the observer.

b. Familiar or Known Objects/Phenomena.  Aircraft, aircraft lights, astronomical bodies (meteors, planets, stars, comets, sun, moon), balloons, birds, fireworks, missiles, rockets, satellites, weather phenomena (clouds, contrails, dust devils), and other natural phenomena.”

Indeed, the definitions offered in “AFR 80-17A” are very clear. Of course, reporting requirements for UFO’s should have ended in December, 1969, when the Secretary of the USAF, Dr. Robert C. Seamans Jr, famously announced that “…the continuation of Project Blue Book cannot be justified… …on the grounds of national security…” and that “...no UFO reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force was ever an indication of threat to our national security.”.

Decades later, however, we see “DoD Manual 5040.6-M-1, Decision Logic Table Instructions For Recording And Handling Visual Information Material” asking for photographic and moving imagery of UFO’s. There is virtually no difference between the UFO definitions of the 1950’s and 1960’s with those laid out in 2002. Again, “DoD Manual 5040.6-M-1” lists “aerial flying objects not obviously identifiable as conventional aircraft” and “aerial phenomena (including moving lights and similar phenomena)” as being unique. Photographs or footage of such aerial activity is to be provided “as needed to local and major commands”. And all this comes under the section title of “UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT (UFO) AND OTHER AERIAL PHENOMENA IMAGERY”.

It could easily be argued that the term “Unidentified Flying Object”, or its oft used acronym “UFO”, is being utilised to merely cover any unexpected aerial activity which would be of obvious interest to the military. Such activity would presumably include cruise missiles, high performance unmanned aerial vehicles and re-entering space debris. This, however, is not the point. Firstly, considering the US governments stance on the UFO controversy the US military shouldn’t even be using the term “UFO”. Secondly, one would presume that is visual imagery of a “UFO” was taken by Armed Forces personnel, there would be an accompanying report, or at least somepaperwork regarding the time and date of the event, exact location, and a general overview of the objects motions. This, by definition, would be a “UFO report”. The US military do not, apparently, handle UFO reports anymore. Likewise, the US military are at the forefront of national security, yet are being instructed to image and distribute imagery of UFOs. UFO’s and national security are not supposed to be an issue. Thirdly, it is notable that “Aerial phenomena (including moving lights and similar phenomena)” are listed alongside more traditional UFO activity. The inclusion of this sub-category most certainly moves well away from unexpected missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, balloons, etc. There is no question whatsoever that the DoD is covering all bases, and asking their forces to image what some call “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” (UAP). Finally, it may be important to note that the UFO-imagery table in “DoD Manual 5040.6-M-1” is presented in Chapter 5. The title of Chapter 5 is “IMAGERY RECORDING ROUTINE PEACETIME EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES UNRELATED TO EITHER WAR, OVERSEAS COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT, OR MAJOR PEACETIME OPERATIONS”. This would strongly indicate that UFO’s and unidentifiable phenomena are expected in locations where combat aircraft, missiles, drones and the “fog of war” are non-existent.

As stated, the UFO table in “DoD Manual 5040.6-M-1” requests that UFO imagery be sent “…as needed to local and major commands…”. Also stated is that such imagery be handled as per Appendix 2, which can be found on Page 55. Appendix 2, carrying the title “MEDIA HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS FOR OTHER SUBJECTS”, is presented as a table containing sub-categories of visual imagery media types with instructions on how to handle each. Original video recordings, for example, are to be sent “…to the CAP as soon as reasonably possible…”.

Photographic “still” film images are to be processed by first making “…digital copies of selected camera original negatives and color transparencies…” and then forwarding these copies “…to the CAP immediately for possible accessioning.” Originals are “…sent to to the DVIC unless applicable Service or DoD Agency instructions direct that they be sent to the CAP.”. “CAP” stands for “Component Accessioning Point”, which is defined as “A central or designated point in the DoD Components for the receipt, screening, evaluation, and selection of imagery for accessioning into the central DoD VI records center.”. “DVIC” stands for “Defence Visual Information Center” and is “…responsible for the receipt, storage, preservation, reference service, life-cycle management, reproduction, and disposition of VI records…”. In October, 2011, the functions of the DVIC were absorbed into the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center (DIMOC).

As I have highlighted, “DoD Manual 5040.6-M-1” was promulgated by the Assistant Secretary of Defence for Public Affairs (ASD-PA) in October, 2002. ASD-PA is subordinate to the Office of the Secretary of Defence and the Joint Staff (OSD/JS). On the 7th of June, 2016, I wrote to OSD/JS to discover precisely which “local and major commands” would be the recipients of UFO imagery. In my letter, I included ample referencing of “DoD Manual 5040.6-M-1”, so there was no chance of a fob off. On the 5thof July, 2016, Stephanie L. Carr, the Chief of the Office of Freedom of Information for the OSD/JS, replied to my enquiry stating that:

“The military departments or defense agencies that are applicable to your enquiry would be the military services and force commands. We have enclosed listings that identify the FOIA contacts at these organizations for your use.”

Attached to Stephanie L. Carr’s letter were the contact details of the FOIA desks of the US Military Services and Force Commands. The Military Services are merely the four branches of the US Armed Forces. These are simply the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The Force Commands, also known as Unified Combatant Commands (UCC), are joint military commands comprising of various military departments, major commands and component commands, and are organised on either a geographic or functional basis. Listed as being applicable to my enquiry were eight of nine of the UCC’s. These were Africa Command, Central Command, European Command, Northern Command, Pacific Command, Special Operations Command, Southern Command and Strategic Command. Not listed was Transport Command. Thus far, I have not submitted FOI requests to any of the above-mentioned Commands, nor DIMOC. Copies of any possible UFO or unusual phenomena imagery, or the accompanying paperwork, would be either still held by these entities, or, will have been recently destroyed, as per various records destruction schedules. Whatever the situation, there is a chance that focused FOI request action will yield results.

In sum, “DoD Manual 5040.6-M-1, Decision Logic Table Instructions For Recording And Handling Visual Information Material” makes detailed and specific allowances for the imaging of “Aerial flying objects not obviously identifiable as conventional aircraft” and “Aerial phenomena”, and, even comes with the designation of “Unidentified Flying Objects”. This is yet another example of US military doctrine that specifically treats “UFOs” as distinct from other aerial platforms, despite the assurances from the US military that UFOs are not within their jurisdiction. Simply, the term “UFO” shouldn’t even be utilised.

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April 22nd 2017 at 07:24
Cold Case Review Of The 23rd August, 1953, Port Moresby Visual Sighting And Color Movie Film Of Unidentified Object

By Keith Basterfield And Paul Dean




Introduction

An event which happened nearly 64 years ago, continues to be cited as a visual observation, of an anomalous object, which is supported by a movie film.

At about noon, on 23 August 1953, a Mr T. P. Dury, his wife and young son, observed an unusual object in the sky over Port Moresby, New Guinea.  Mr Drury used his movie camera to capture images of the object.  Claims have been made that the film returned to Mr Drury had some footage of the object missing.


Technical Note

The intention of section 1 of this paper, is to provide a chronological account, of items about the incident, in the form of direct text quotes, or summaries where items are exceedingly long.  Although the chronology is lengthy, it does provide a detailed account of what Australian government Departments, civilian UFO researchers, and other interested parties, have documented about the incident.

In any set of documents, there are inevitable errors.  In some cases, the main witness is said to be T. C. Drury; C. T. Drury or T. P. Drury.  T. P. Drury is in fact correct.  The date of the incident is actually 23 August 1953.  However, it is sometimes said to have been 24 August 1953; 23 August 1957; Christmas 1953, or 23 August 1954.  The location in at least one document, is said to have been Darwin, although it actually occurred in Port Moresby.  The time is generally stated as 12 noon, but in at least once instance is shown as 11 am.  There are other inconsistences, which the alert reader will detect.

There are numerous references to the Drury incident, in other UFO magazines; books, and on the internet.  However, none of these provide any information, not already provided below, so these have not been cited.

Due to the passage of time, many of the individuals mentioned in this paper are no longer alive.  The authors advise the reader, that have not re-interviewed any witnesses to the sighting, given the age of the event.  Instead, they feel that there is far more value to utilising the text of sources close to the date of the event.  The authors also disclose that they have not been able to view any of the colour film, or any first generation still photographs copied from the film.  However, they do cite the opinions of individuals who have done so.



Section 1 – the chronology

23 August 1953

The event happened.  For the most detailed accounts, see section 2 of this document.

31 August 1953

Department of Civil Aviation memo:

‘At 1200 hours on Sunday, 23 August 1953, I was in the vicinity of the Marine Base Workshops, Port Moresby, when I noticed a cloud building up as though being formed by vapour trails, in roughly a south-westerly direction from Port Moresby, at a very great height.

I watched this cloud, which grew in intensity for several minutes, when suddenly an object appeared from one side of it and climbed very fast in roughly a north-westerly direction.  I could give no accurate information as to the shape or possible size of this object, as it appeared slightly bigger than a pin head, but whatever it was, it left a very clearly defined vapour trail behind it until it finally disappeared with a rapid gain of altitude.

I had my movie camera with me and photographed the whole thing on the telephoto lens.  I am waiting the results of the photograph in an endeavour to ascertain what the object might have been.  It appeared to me to be some type of high speed aircraft.

As far as I know, Air Traffic Control know of no aircraft movements in that area, and in any case, from the extreme altitude of the object, it certainly could not have been a civil aircraft.

Weather conditions at the time were cloudless.’

(Source: Department of Civil Aviation memo, dated 31 August 1953. NAA File series MP1279/1, control symbol 99/1/478 digital page 48. Enclosure 66A.)

2 September 1953

‘Guided Missile’ over Port Moresby.

‘The Deputy Director of Civil Aviation, Mr Tom Drury, last Sunday photographed a probable guided missile over Port Moresby.  Mr Drury said he saw the missile flying high over Nappa Nappa at mid-day.  He reported it to the police and to the Regional Director of Civil Aviation, Mr John Arthur.  ‘It could only have been a guided missile, because nothing else would fit the description of what I saw,’ he said.

(The British Government last month announced that guided missiles which flew at 2000 miles per hour, and could follow any target at almost any distance were being tested at the Woomera Rocket Range.)

Mr Drury said he was taking pictures at his home at midday on Sunday when he saw the first signs of the missile.

‘There were no clouds in the sky and while I was taking photographs a small cloud formed for no apparent reason.  I was curious about the cloud so I watched it.  I had never seen a cloud form up by itself like that. I watched the cloud for a few minutes.  Then a silver object came out of the cloud.  I could see the flash of it in the Sun. It flew on a north-west course.  I couldn’t believe it, so I looked down at the ground, and then back at the object.  It left a trail of vapour and I picked it up easily by following the vapour trails.

‘I called to my wife and asked her if she could see anything in the sky. She looked up, and then she, too saw it.  She pointed excitedly and said ‘Oh yes.  There it is.’  ‘The children could also see it.  I got the telescopic lens on my camera and took shots of it.

‘Then we watched it flying across the sky for a few more minutes.  I’ve never seen anything fly that high before, not fly so fast.

‘It kept on course then climbed at about 45 degrees and disappeared.’

Mr Drury said he was waiting for the shots he took of the missile to be developed.

‘The only explanation I can give is that the object was a guided missile,’ he said.

‘It must have flown in circles and the vapour trails formed the cloud I saw.’

‘When it left the cloud the trails and the object itself were quite clear.  The object must have been very big to have been visible at that height.

‘When a Spitfire aircraft left vapour trails during the war you could see the trails but seldom saw the Spitfire.’

(Source: ‘South Pacific Post.’ 2 September 1953 page 1.)

2 September 1953

The Newcastle Herald (NSW: 1918-1954) Wednesday 2 September 1953 page 2, carried the same basic story as the South Pacific Post.

5 September 1953

Memo from Regional Director, DCA, New Guinea to Director General of DCA, Melbourne.

‘Further to this office secret memo of 31.8.53, reference the above subject, herewith undeveloped film in which it is expected will be contained photographs of the alleged unidentified object which was sighted by the Superintendent of Air Navigation. This film has been exposed on one side only.

2.  It is desired your office arrange for its development and its onforwarding to the appropriate authority.’ Signed by F Roberts for Regional Director.

(Source: NAA file series MP1279/1 control symbol 99/1/478 DCA file digital page 47. Enclosure 67A)

7 September 1953

The same basic story as the South Pacific Post was published in the Warwick Daily News (Qld: 1919-1954) Monday 7 September 1953 page 2.

10 September 1953

Telex from (redacted) to various addresses including CSAF Washington DC for DINTA.

‘Cite AIC 3453. Flyobrpt. Following report of sighting of unidentified flying object by Mr (redacted) (redacted) of Air navigation, New Guinea District at one two zero zero king on two three Aug X Mr Drury observed a cloud building up at a very great height south west of Port Moresby as though being formed by vapour trails X This cloud grew in intensity for several minutes at which time an object appeared from one side of it and climbed very fast in a north west direction until it disappeared X Object appeared slightly larger than pinhead and left clearly defined vapor trail X Sky at time of observation cloudless X Mr (redacted) photographed object with movie camera with telephoto lens X Deputy Director RAAF Intelligence stated rumoured that Mr Drury offered one five zero zero pounds by Sydney press for exclusive rights to film End. Signed (redacted).
(Source: Project Blue Book nine-page file.  Telex dated 10/9/53.)

10 September 1953

Memo from John L Sullivan, Col. USAF, Air Attaché to George A Uhrich, Lt Col. USAF. In the nine page Project Blue Book report.

‘The attached is a copy of a report made by the (redacted) Department of Civil Aviation, New guinea District, Port Moresby, Papua, New Guinea to the RAAF concerning the sighting of an unidentified flying object over New Guinea.’

15 September 1953

Request for Air Technical Intelligence Information.

‘1. Pertinent background information

Flyobrpt (Flying Object Report) received from US Air Attaché, Melbourne, Australia, reporting a sighting of an unidentified flying object in New Guinea. Report states object was photographed.

2. Specific request.

1.  Gather all available scientific data on movements of the object.

2.  Secure the film and a detailed analysis, if possible.’

(Source: Project Blue Book nine-page file.)

21 September 1953

Joint Messageform 21 1430Z Sep 53 from Cmdr. ATIC to D/I HQ USAF Wash DC.

‘Request following transmitted AA/Melbourne via cable. Reference Flyobrpt AFC 3453 dated 8 Sep 53.  Message request sighting by Mr Drury of New Guinea, Air Navigation Bureau and states telephoto moving picture taken by him. Request efforts to obtain (1) all available scientific data on maneuvers of object (2) copy of Drury’s film and detailed report.  Reference reply to TIC-5809.’

(Source: Project Blue Book nine-page file.)

22 September 1953

Memo from C. S. Wiggins for Director General DCA to Secretary, Department of Air, Melbourne. Encl. 68A.

‘Subject: ‘Flying Saucer’ – New Guinea

Forwarded herewith is a photographic film in which it is said there is a record of an aerial phenomena which occurred at Port Moresby on 23rd August 1953.

2.  The report of the incident is as follows:

‘At 1200 hours on Sunday, 23 August 1953, I was in the vicinity of the Marine Base Workshops, Port Moresby, when I noticed a cloud building up as though being formed by vapour trails, in roughly a south-westerly direction from Port Moresby, at a very great height.

I watched this cloud, which grew in intensity for several minutes, when suddenly an object appeared from one side of it and climbed very fast in roughly a north-westerly direction.  I could give no accurate information as to the shape or possible size of this object, as it appeared slightly bigger than a pin head, but whatever it was, it left a very clearly defined vapour trail behind it until it finally disappeared with a rapid gain of altitude.

I had my movie camera with me and photographed the whole thing on the telephoto lens.  I am waiting the results of the photograph in an endeavour to ascertain what the object might have been.  It appeared to me to be some type of high speed aircraft.

As far as I know, Air Traffic Control know of no aircraft movements in that area, and in any case, from the extreme altitude of the object, it certainly could not have been a civil aircraft.
Weather conditions at the time were cloudless.’

3.  The film has been examined here but without success and is forwarded to you for the information of your Intelligence Officers.

4.  Should it happen that the film is the first authentic photograph of a ‘flying saucer’, it is requested that due recognition be given to the Department and the officer concerned.’

(Source: NAA file series MP1279/1 control symbol 99/1/478 DCA file digital page 46.)

25 September 1953

Copy of letter not found on government files.

Edgar Jarrold of the Australian Flying Saucer Bureau asks for copies of photographs.
(Source: NAA file series MP1279/1 control symbol 99/1/478 DCA file digital page 45.)

End of September 1953

’23 Port Moresby, New Guinea.  Drury (PHOTOS) Insufficient data.’

(Source: Project Blue Book USAF list of August 1953 sightings.)

‘Brief summary: Source first observed a cloud building up at a high altitude consisting of vapour trails.  A small object appeared from behind the cloud and climbed very fast in a NW direction, until it disappeared.  Object left a clearly defined vapor trail. Photos taken.

Conclusion: AIRCRAFT.  Photographs were taken with a telephoto lens by observer.  A message, requesting photos and supporting data sent. Photos not received, however photographer states that object (two words illegible.)’

(Source: Project Blue Book USAF record card.)

12 October 1953

Letter from J E Schofield for DG DCA to Mr Edgar Jarrold, Australian Flying Saucer Bureau.  Encl. 69A.

‘Dear Sir, I refer to your letter of 25th September, in which you request copies of photographs taken by a member of this Department of an unexplained aerial object over New Guinea.  This matter is not being handled by this Department but has been referred to the Department of Air for investigation.  We are therefore unable to comply with your request.’

(Source: NAA file series MP1279/1 control symbol 99/1/478 DCA file digital page 45.)

21 October 1953

Letter from AFSB to Department of Air.

‘On September 24 1953 we contacted the Civil Aviation Department in Melbourne, requesting copies of the photographs of an unexplained aerial object taken on August 31 by Mr T. C. Drury (a member of the CA Dept.  OVER PORT MORESBY, NEW GUINEA.

Their reply of October 12 stated that the photographs and the incident had been referred to the Department of Sir for investigation.

May we respectfully request copies for examination?

The photographs were taken with a movie camera equipped with telephoto lens.  We should be very grateful for the opportunity of studying them and comparing the object depicted with other photographs of unidentified aerial objects we have on file.

The Bureau does not possess a movie camera, so that actual prints or negatives from which these may be made (at our expense) will be greatly appreciated, we shall be glad to send the cost of the prints immediately we learnt it…’

(Series: NAA file series 114/1/197. Encl.1A.)

26 October 1953

Letter from Minister of Air to Jarrold.

‘Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of 21st October 1953, requesting copies of photographs of an unexplained aerial object taken on August 31st by Mr T. C. Drury (a member of the Civil Aviation Department) over Port Moresby, New Guinea.

I will make inquiries to see whether it is practicable to supply you with the material you have asked for and I will write to you again as soon as possible.’

(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197. Encl. 2A.)

30 October 1953

DOA minute from CAA (CAS) to DAFI.

‘Would you please let me have your comments, verbal will do, on the Ministerial enquiry at Encl.  1A?’

(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197. Encl. 3A.)

12 November 1953

Letter from Minister for Air to E. Jarrold.

‘I refer again to your letter of 21st October 1953, concerning your request for copies of photographs, taken by a member of the Department of Civil Aviation, of an aerial object over Port Moresby, New Guinea.

Examination of the film, when projected, shows a very small light-coloured object moving across the sky.  Still photographs show absolutely nothing detectable by the naked eye, and I feel sure that the production of a print or prints could be of no real value to you.

However, should you wish to obtain copies, I suggest that you contact the Secretary of my Department who will arrange to have prints made for you.’

(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197. Encl. 4A.)

14 November 1953

Letter from AFSB to the Secretary, Department of Air.

‘Recently we contacted the Department of Air requesting copies of photographs of an unexplained aerial object taken by a member of the Civil Aviation Department (MR T. C. Drury) over Port Moresby, New Guinea, on August 31 last.

A reply received from Mr McMahon (The Australian Minister for Air) dated November 12 advised us to apply to you for prints which it is stated will be supplied for the purpose of examination etc.

Mr McMahon has conveyed that the prints will be made from the original motion picture film recently forwarded to your Department from the CAD for official Department of Air investigation.  He has mentioned also that the film when projected shows a very small light coloured object moving across the sky.

Since we will presumably unable to view the film in motion, we would be very grateful for any details or descriptions available concerning the precise actual shape, or apparent nature of the object, i.e. we are interested in learning whether it appears to have been cigar-shaped, disc-shaped, or in the form of a moving light, such information may prove invaluable in assisting as to correctly classify the matters of the flying saucer through a comparison of the visible characteristics with other reports and photographs we have on file.

We thank you for your friendly co-operation in the matter, and hope that you will advise us of the cost involved in supplying the prints, which we shall be happy to forward.’

(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197.  Encl.  5A.)

15 November 1953

Article in ‘UFO’ magazine. ‘Sept 2 PORT MORESBY, NEW GUINEA.

T.C. Drury, Dept. Nat. Director of Civil Aviation grabbed photo of what he believed to be a guided missile.  No clear description given.  Has a camera with telescopic lenses (movie.) Taking pictures outside, no clouds in sky.  Suddenly he saw a cloud form out of nowhere, then a silver object shot out of it.  It flashed in the sun, left vapor trails.  Drury said it must have been large to be visible from evident great height.  Also, said, "Could only describe it as a flying missile, because nothing else could fit the description.’

(Source: APRO Bulletin Vol 2 No 3. 15 November 1953 page 10.)

2 December 1953

Letter from Secretary, Department of Air to E. Jarrold.

‘I refer to your letter dated 14 November 1953 concerning the supply of contact prints reproduced from a motion picture, purported to show an optical phenomena in the sky over Port Moresby, taken by Mr T C Drury, Department of Civil Aviation.

The film has been sent to the United States for technical processing, and it is therefore not possible to accede to your request until it returns, which, it is anticipated will be early in the New year.

In the meantime I am forwarding herewith an extract of the report on the sighting by Mr Drury.

The costs of the prints will depend on the number of frames reproduced. You will be advised in this regard upon further re-examination of the film when returned from the United States.

The report of the incident is as follows:

‘At 1200 hours on Sunday, 23 August 1953, I was in the vicinity of the Marine Base Workshops, Port Moresby, when I noticed a cloud building up as though being formed by vapour trails, in roughly a south-westerly direction from Port Moresby, at a very great height.

I watched this cloud, which grew in intensity for several minutes, when suddenly an object appeared from one side of it and climbed very fast in roughly a north-westerly direction.  I could give no accurate information as to the shape or possible size of this object, as it appeared slightly bigger than a pin head, but whatever it was, it left a very clearly defined vapour trail behind it until it finally disappeared with a rapid gain of altitude.

I had my movie camera with me and photographed the whole thing on the telephoto lens.  I am waiting the results of the photograph in an endeavour to ascertain what the object might have been.  It appeared to me to be some type of high speed aircraft.

As far as I know, Air Traffic Control know of no aircraft movements in that area, and in any case, from the extreme altitude of the object, it certainly could not have been a civil aircraft.

Weather conditions at the time were cloudless.

(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197 Encl. 9A.)

15 January 1954

‘The Australian Enigma.

Last August 31, an object described as an ‘unexplained aerial object’ by William McMahon, Minister for Air was photographed by Mr C T Drury [sic -KB] of the Civil Aviation Department.

Drury’s attention was attracted to it by its vapour trail when it first hove into sight over Port Moresby, New Guinea.  Object appeared as slightly larger than a pinhead to Drury’s naked eye, was travelling at a good clip.  Drury had his movie camera equipped with a telephoto lens with him and photographed the whole thing.  He submitted it to the Minister for Air for analysis and identification.  That it was not a guided missile is in evidence as we will later see in this narrative.

Jarrold upon hearing of this sighting, made various requests to various departments hoping to get copies of the photos.  Each succeeding official to whom he wrote, referred him to another until E A Wicks, Secretary for the department of Air wrote that he could not get the pictures as they had been sent to the US for processing and analysis.  Meanwhile, the printers were delaying the printing of the Australian Flying Saucer Bureau Bulletin which contained the intent of Jarrold to distribute the pictures, if he got them, to other interested groups in the US and other countries.  When proofs finally came back, that place regarding the pictures was marked as if for reference.

Another odd fact of the whole thing is the fact that the object was referred to as an ‘unexplainable aerial object’ by McMahon, and a later note from him said that examination of the film shows a very small, light coloured object moving across the sky, and still photos show absolutely nothing to the naked eye.  The latter letter from Hicks calls the object an ‘optical phenomena.’  Now we ask – if it is discernible to Drury’s naked eye, it should have been discernible on film taken with a telephoto lens.  Also, no optical phenomena would show up on a film.  This information may very well lend credence to the rumour Jarrold was ‘visited.’  We’ll wait for further developments before passing on that one however.’

(Source: APRO Bulletin, Vol. 2 No. 4 page 8.)

23-25 January 1954

A number of Australian newspapers, including:

1.  The Mail (Adelaide, SA: 1912-1954) Saturday 23 January 1954 page 1

2.  Argus (Melbourne, Vic: 1848-1957) Monday 25 January 1954 page 1

3.  Lithgow Mercury (NSW: 1898-1954) Monday 25 January 1954 page 1

4.  West Australian (Perth, WA: 1879-1954) Monday 25 January 1954 page 1,
carried articles on the film.  The gist of each article was that the Federal Australian government had sent the Port Moresby film to the United States.  The Argus added that it was sent for ‘special processing;’ The Mail said ‘American government representatives in Australia have been asked to expedite the return of the film Air Minister Mr McMahon revealed this tonight’ adding that ‘Mr McMahon said the film had been processed in Melbourne but was not clear.  American processing might bring out more detail.’  The Lithgow Mercury included the detail that ‘McMahon said he had the film flown to the United States to be enlarged.’

3 February 1954

Dept. of Air minute, subject ‘Flying saucers’ from Group Captain DAFI to CAA (CAS).

‘1.  I am not convinced of the wisdom of encouraging requests of this sort of people of the AAP Reuters Service type, as I feel that it could lead to difficulty resolving security regulations.

2.  However, in this case, if the Minister is keen to answer the request, I can see no objection to telling Reuters that:

(a) The film was sent to the USAF.

(b) It left Australia in the last week of November.

(c) It went by normal USAF service channels.

3.  It seems to me that the questions posed by AAP Reuters exceed reasonable news interest.  The question which should be of interest to them, and which they have not asked is the likely date of the film’s availability for publication in this country.

4.  Latest enquiries from the US Air Attaché indicates that the film will be back at Air Force Headquarters on 17th February, and my impression at this stage, are that shortly after that we shall be handing the film back to Mr Drury.  I anticipate that there will be no security restrictions placed on the use he makes of it.  Equally it seems unlikely that the news service will be interested in publication of the prints once they have seen them.’

(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197. Encl. 10A.)

18 February 1954

Letter from Cinesound Review Newsreel to Minister for Air.

‘Press reports that a narrow-gauge film covering an alleged flying saucer in the vicinity of Darwin, has been sent to America for special treatment and returned to Australia, have attracted the keen interest of American newsreels and Television stations… We have heard that the film is in the hands of RAAF security and I would be glad to know if it is intended to allow newsreel Editors to see this material with a view to publication if it is suitable.’
Signed K. G. Hall.


(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197 Encl. 13A.)

23 February 1954

The National Advocate (Bathurst, NSW: 1889-1954) Tuesday 23 February 1954 page 4, carried an account of another guided missile sighting over Port Moresby.

On the 22 February 1954, the South Pacific Post newspaper reported that a guided missile had passed over the City that morning.  The paper quoted A. E. Stephen and many other Port Moresby residents, who saw what they took to be a guided missile pass from the south-west over the town at 8.35 a.m.  This account was also carried by the Argus (Melbourne, Vic: 1848-1957) Tuesday 23 February 1954 page 4.  However, this newspaper said that later the ‘missile’ had been identified as a Lincoln bomber aircraft.

March 1954

Latest on the Port Moresby photographs:

The Australian Minister for Air (Mr William McMahon) on November 12 last year gave an official assurance of the president that prints would be made from the motion picture film itself and despatched to the AFSB in response to our official request for copies for examination.  Mr McMahon also revealed that department of Air examination of the film, when projected, showed a ‘a very small light coloured object moving across the sky.’  The President was advised to contact the Secretary of Mr McMahon’s Department in regard to the despatch of the prints  The President did so on November 14.

On December 2, 1953, the following despatch left Melbourne addressed to the President.

‘Dear Mr Jarrold,

I refer to your letter dated November 4, 1953, concerning the supply of contact prints reproduced from a motion picture film purporting to show an optical phenomena, taken by Mr T C Drury, Department of Civil Aviation.

The film has been sent to the United States for technical processing, and it is therefore, not possible to accede to your request until its return, which, it is anticipated, will be early in the New Year.

The cost of the film will depend on the number of frames reproduced. You will be advised of this regard upon further re-examination of the film when returned from the United States.

Yours faithfully Mr E. W. Hicks, Secretary, Department of Air.’

(Source: The Australian Flying Saucer Magazine, March 1954 page 3.)

March 1954

‘On January 24, a Sydney daily reported that ‘films’ which are claimed to contain pictures of a flying saucer ‘have been sent to America’ (not for technical processing but ‘to American scientists for investigations.’)  Mr McMahon was quoted briefly as saying that ‘a man who claimed to have seen the saucer had provided the film,’ the newspaper added carefully that ‘Mr McMahon would not give any more details on the matter.’

A copy of Mr Drury’s personal report, currently reposing in official government files in Melbourne, reveals that the object he saw last August CLIMBED the whole time it was being viewed and photographed.  ‘It left behind,’ says the same report (a copy of which is in AFSB files), ‘a very clearly defined vapour trail until it finally disappeared with a rapid gain of altitude.  It appeared, wrote Mr Drury, ‘to be some kind of very high speed aircraft. Weather conditions at the time were cloudless.’

A day later the same newspaper reported that the film ‘had been flown to the United States to be enlarged.’  RAAF experts had examined the film carefully, and had reported that it showed ‘something’ in the sky.

‘While they would not deny it was a vapour trail, they said it could be an air disturbance created by the passage of a meteor,’ said the report.  We agree that there certainly must have been ‘an air disturbance’ to create a vapour trail at all, that is if the vapour trail did only consist of disturbed air, but since when have meteors appeared suddenly, and just as suddenly changing their mind. Decided to return to outer space again?

Mr Drury’s evidence and that of the movie camera agree on the remarkable point that the object did NOT flash downwards, but ‘climbed’ until it finally disappeared with a rapid gain of altitude.  We have heard of descending meteors, and meteors apparently flashing overhead in level flight, but never before to our knowledge has it ever been claimed that they CLIMB.

The vapour trail recorded by Mr Drury’s camera equally rules out fictitious ‘optical phenomena,’ and a ‘drifting balloon’ so dear to the hearts of those prepared to accept any ‘comfortable’ explanation.  We would say if the object was at the great height described by Mr Drury, this need not necessarily mean that it was in reality but as ‘very small one,’ even the largest bomber is almost imperceptible at a comparatively low height.  From our analysis, it would appear that the Port Moresby object may have been anything from 20 to 50 miles up, which would make it necessarily of immense proportion to have been visible at all.’

(Source: The Australian Flying Saucer Magazine, March 1954 page 3.)

5 March 1954.

Letter from Air Attaché American Embassy, Melbourne, to Director of Intelligence, RAAF HQ, Melbourne.)

‘Returned herewith is the 8mm film belonging to Mr Drury which you were so kind to lend this office.

It would be very much appreciated by my Headquarters if you could obtain for this office a copy of this film for permanent retention in Washington.  This office will be happy to reimburse you for any expense in connection with obtaining a copy.’  Signed John L Sullivan, Col. USAF, Air Attaché.)

(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197 encl. 15A.)

5 March 1954

Letter from Minister for Air, to a Mr Ken Hall.

‘I refer to your letter of the 18th February 1954, in which you ask if it is intended to allow Newsreel Editors to see the narrow-gauge film of the alleged Flying Saucer with a view to publication…The film has now been returned to the RAAF and after a copy has been taken for record purposes it will be passed…to the owner Mr T C Drury…From the security aspect, there is no objection to the public release of this film…it would therefore be necessary to obtain any such loan from the department of Civil Aviation or Mr Drury.’

(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197. Encl. 14A.)

15 March 1954

‘Saucer News from Australia and AFSB Director Edgar R Jarrold.

The controversial Port Moresby photographs (APROB. Jan, 15, 1954) are still much on the news.  Requests for copies of the films made by newspapers to the Minister for Air were refused.  On January 7, AFSB issued a press release stating that they accept the interplanetary theory regarding saucers origin; it stressed the fact of sighting increases and Martian approaches in 1950 and 1952.

Two days later the RAAF (Jan 9) said (to be precise, one of the inevitable spokesmen) that saucers could be interplanetary, that we should be able to fly into outer space within about 40 years, so why shouldn’t people on other planets who have already reached this stage?  The unusual factor worthy of noting is that on January 5, the Department of Civil Aviation in Melbourne and a research group known as the Australian Flying Saucer Investigation Committee (14) members simultaneously (!) discounted the interplanetary theory of origin of the saucers.  No one in Jarrold’s vicinity, nor the government, has denied the Martian link.

Also on the agenda of Australian news is the good work Mr Jarrold is doing.  We rather believe it is the clear-headed approach he uses which makes him a formidable adversary when it comes to dealing with a doubtful press and government secrecy.  Let’s all give him a good, old fashioned round of loud applause!’

(Source: APRO Bulletin Vol 2 No 5. pp4&10.)

24 March 1954

Letter from D A Charlton, Group Captain, for Chief of the Air Staff, to Air Attaché, American Embassy, Melbourne.

(Letter is date stamped 24 February 1954 but is a reply to a letter dated 5 March 1954, so I suggest it should be dated 24 March 1954-KB.)

‘Request for copy of 8mm film owned by Mr Drury.

Your AM-70-54 dated 5th March 1954.

1.  Extensive enquiries in Melbourne reveal that possibly the only country in the world which is capable of making a copy of this film is the United Kingdom, and therefore some difficulty would be experienced in getting a copy for your HQ.  This would explain the apparent oversight by your people in not making a copy of the film when they had the film available.

2.  It is possible to make any number of stills that is desired and this Directorate hopes to have some made for the president of the Australian Flying Saucer Bureau.  If your Headquarters would like some stills, please contact this Directorate and every effort will be made to procure these stills.’

(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197. Encl. 16A.)

12 June 1954

Letter from AFSB to Minister for Air.

‘In reference to your last communication, dated December 2, concerning prints of T C Drury’s Port Moresby motion picture film…It was conveyed that the return of the film from America was expected early in the New Year, since which advice we have received no further communication from you.

In view of the considerable period which has elapsed beyond that mention, may we enquire concerning the film’s present location and stage of investigation plus any fresh indication of when its return to Australia is anticipated?

It has been suggested that ‘because of what the film records,’ despite your personal promise of prints being made available to me for objective examination, a decision has been made by your Dept. NOT to fulfil that promise, after all, a point on which we should appreciate further reassurance.’

(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197 encl. 53A.)

6 July 1954

Letter from William McMahon to E. R. Jarrold.  Part details:

‘Further to my letter of the 17th June 1954, I have pleasure in enclosing herewith 94 prints taken from the film of the unidentified flying object observed over Port Moresby during August 1953.

As we informed you at an earlier date the prints are of very little value in establishing any details of the object and as the cost per print is 4/9, I think that you might like to return the prints to us after you have studied them…’

(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197. Encl. 55A.)

6 July 1954

Letter from The Argus and Australasian Ltd.  To the Minister for Air.

‘The Editor of the Australasian Post has asked me to obtain from you the following information:

(a)  Was a film of a ‘flying saucer’ taken by a Mr Drury at Port Moresby about Christmas, submitted to your Department for examination?

(b)  What did the examination show?

(c)  Was the film then sent to the United States of America for further processing and examination?

(d)  If so, what did this show?

(e)  What has happened to the film?

(f)  Has there been any official report?

(g)  Is it possible to obtain a copy of the official report, or learn of its contents?’

(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197 encl. 62A.)

12 July 1954

Memo from E. W. Hicks, Secretary, Department of Air to C. S. Wiggins, Assistant Director General, DCA.

‘Dear Mr Wiggins,

The ‘flying saucer’ film taken by Mr T C Drury at Port Moresby in August 1953, and forwarded by you on the 22nd September is returned herewith.

We have subjected the film to detailed study and processing, but have been unable to establish anything more than the fact that a blur of light appears to move across the film.  In spite of this disappointment we would like to thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Mr E. R. Jarrold, the President of the Flying Saucer Bureau has requested copies of the black and white enlargements which we have been able to make from the film and we propose to forward him a number of copies for return after study.

We have explained to him that should he desire to copy these enlargements it will be necessary for us to obtain permission from you or from Mr Drury.  In view of the cost of the enlargements and the absence of useful information on them, we expect that he will be happy to return them to us.  Once again many thanks for your cooperation.’

(Source: NAA file series MP1279/1 control symbol 99/1/478 DCA file digital page 38. Encl. 74A. Also on NAA file series 114/1/197 at encl. 52A.)

14 July 1954

File note C. S. Wiggins to ADG (P&E).

‘Please see Encl. 73A being a reply from the RAAF to Encl. 68A.  The final para of 68A is of course my humour.

2.  I suggest the terms of 73A might be conveyed to Drury.

3.  The film is to be returned to Drury.

(Source: NAA file series MP1279/1 control symbol 99/1/478 DCA file digital page 15.)

16 July 1954

Memo from K. B. Adam for DG DCA to RD DCA PNG.  Encl. 74A.

‘Subject: Unidentified aircraft, Port Moresby, 24.8.53

Reference: Your memorandum DSNG 1392 of 31.8.53 and 5.9.53

The photographic film taken by Mr Drury in August last was forwarded to the Department of Air for information.

2. The Department, in returning the film to this office, has advised as follows:

‘We have subjected the film to detailed study and processing, but have been unable to establish anything more than the fact that a blur of light appears to move across the film.  In spite of this disappointment we would like to thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Mr E. R. Jarrold, the President of the Flying Saucer Bureau has requested copies of the black and white enlargements which we have been able to make from the film and we propose to forward him a number of copies for return after study.

We have explained to him that should he desire to copy these enlargements it will be necessary for us to obtain permission from you or from Mr Drury.  In view of the cost of the enlargements and the absence of useful information on them, we expect that he will be happy to return them to us.  Once again many thanks for your cooperation.’

3. The contents of the report from the Department of Air might please be conveyed to Mr Drury.  Mr Drury’s film is returned herewith.’

(Source: NAA file series MP1279/1 control symbol 99/1/478 DCA file digital page 37.)

20 July 1954

‘July, 20, 1954. In a letter from Edgar Jarrold, we have confirmation of the fact that he has been summoned to Melbourne by the Minister of Air, for a meeting with RAAF Intelligence.  ALSO…the films of the Port Moresby UFO have been released to Mr Jarrold by the Dep. Of the Navy and are being studied minutely.  These are the same films which were sent to Wright-Patterson in the United States for analysis.’

(Source: APROB Vol 3 No 1 July 1954 page 15.)

10 August 1954

Letter from AFSB to Minister for Air.

‘Dear Mr McMahon, many thanks for your welcome letter of July 6, and prints enclosed of the Port Moresby object.  The latter have been studied closely upon which it has been found that, as you stated, but little actual details can be learnt of the object’s composition…For these reasons, we should very much like to retain in our files for future reference certain of the prints forwarded which are considered to contain the most detail.  With the consent of your department therefore we have selected five particular prints, which are being kept separate from the others pending hearing from you whether we may retain them for this purpose…The remaining 89 prints are herewith returned with gratitude.’

(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197 digital image 148.)

8 September 1954

Letter from the Secretary, Department of Air to E. R. Jarrold.

‘Your letter of 16th August addressed to the Minister for Air requesting retention of five of the ninety-four prints previously forwarded to you for perusal, has been received in this Department.  However, although you mention returning eighty-nine prints with your letter, these have not been received.

It would be appreciated therefore, if you would return all ninety-four prints addressed to the Secretary, Department of Air, referring to this letter and suitably marking those prints which you would like copied.

As you have been previously informed, it will be necessary to obtain the consent of Mr Drury, the owner of the copyright, to the prints of those prints before we can forward you copies for your retention.

The cost of printing five prints is 1 Pound 3.9 and if you forward this sum to the Receiver of Public Monies, in this department, again referring to this letter, action will be taken to have the necessary copies forwarded to you as soon as possible, subject, of course to Mr Drury’s approval.’

(Source: NAA files series 114/1/197. Encl. 75A.)

September 14 1954

Thank you for your letter of 8 September in response to the PORT MORESBY prints. The prints – despatched here on Aug 10 – to my surprise were RETURNED to me on August 31 without explanation, but with fresh postage affixed, since being in doubt as to whether this was done by your Department, they have been held awaiting word from you.

I am despatching them in the exact condition in which they were returned that you may note they WERE returned to your department – in good faith as mentioned.

The five prints from which copies can be made following receipt of Mr Drury’s permission have been enclosed separately as suggested and have also been marked to distinguish them from the remainder.

I must convey great appreciation for this privilege as well as the valuable cooperation revealed by your Department concerning the matter.

The cost of the prints of which we should like permanent records will be forwarded separately to the Receiver of Public monies in your Department – as outlined, referring to your missive of Sept 8.’

Signed E. R. Jarrold.


(Source: NAA file series 114/1/197 folio 83A.)

February 1955.

‘The Port Moresby Photos.

‘Made especially for the A.F.S.B. from the original motion-picture film recorded through telescopic lens, and showing an object in flight over Port Moresby, New Guinea, on August 23, 1953, the photographs being taken by a Government official (Mr T.C. Drury, Deputy Director of the Civil Aviation Dept. in New Guinea), 94 prints examined reveal conclusively the existence of a shiny, disc-like object whose behaviour could by no wildest stretching of the imagination be attributed to bird, balloon, orthodox aircraft, hallucinations, piece of windblown paper, natural phenomena, or a meteor.

The cloud from which the silvery object described by Mr Drury emerged is distinctly visible.  On emerging from it at a right angle with no other clouds apparent in a clear sky (the photos were taken at midday) still pictures reveal vivid confirmation of Mr Drury’s report that an object looking at first like a tiny brilliant sun, dashed rapidly from the cloud, heading north-west.

The object flashed brightly in the sun as it made an abrupt right angle turn soon after emerging from the dark cloud, zooming straight up with no reduction in speed.  Upon reaching a greater altitude, it levelled off again, with another abrupt right angle turn, resuming its north-west flight thereafter until out of camera range altogether.

The flashing turns executed at very high speed and with no preliminary pauses, were far sharper than any of which terrestrial jets or even rockets are capable, the former attaining increased height comparatively slowly in comparison, and the latter being incapable of effecting almost right angle turns despite their high speed.

On effecting such turns, a greater expanse of the object’s upper surface becomes visible, causing it to present a featureless, disc-like appearance, which is in sharp contrast to first glimpses showing an object somewhat blurred in focus, and shaped like a theoretically fast moving, very bright star.

Despite Mr Drury’s use of a telescopic lens, most photos still appear distant, this factor reducing the value of many of the pictures considerably regarding details of the object.  However, they are of immense importance through revealing a fantastic speed and unconventional flight characteristics regarding unforgettably and forever on motion picture film.

Officially still ‘unexplained’ (in accordance with the apparent current Government policy of evading the responsibility of publicly admitting the possibility of extra-terrestrial visitors) it is doubtful whether that meaningless ‘conclusion’ has promoted much comfort in Government circles, since it does nothing more than raise the inevitable query.  If the object cannot be described under any orthodox heading as a terrestrial object, then what conceivable possibility remains other than an ‘unknown’ object of extra-terrestrial origin’?

The only civilian in the world ever granted an opportunity of examining the famous photographs to his knowledge, the director brushes aside official prevarication and total absence of any reasonable explanation offered for the object’s presence and unusual behaviour with these pertinent questions directed to the Australian authorities.

1.  If Government investigators have found it utterly impossible to fit the object’s presence and unorthodox behaviour in with any orthodox explanation rejecting, like the Director, such theories as the ones above, can they honestly and truthfully rule out the possibility of the object being of extra-terrestrial origin?

2.  If so, upon what specific grounds?

3.  If the extra-terrestrial theory is the only possible alternative capable of explaining the object recorded, what else could it be but as yet unidentified visitor from outer space?

With the Director’s considered opinion to assist it, possibly the Government will cast aside unproductive vacillation confronted by such photographic evidence and decide to face the facts regarding U.F.O.s squarely.

Prolonged prevarication breeds equivalent mainly hostility on the part of those on which excuse the Government apparently believes it is ‘protecting’ – there seems, for instance, no valid reason why even press requests for copies of the same prints were refused.

With these remarks, we leave the subject for the time being.’

(Source: The Australian Flying Saucer Magazine, February 1955, pp 2-3.)

11 February 1958

A letter from a Max B. Miller, NICAP member, Los Angeles, USA to DCA asking if the film might be available for analytical study, by himself and R M L Baker, Jr., Astronomy Department, UCLA.

(Source: NAA file series MP1279/1 control symbol 99/1/478 DCA file digital page 31. Encl. 78A.)

19 February 1958

A letter on DCA letterhead from T. P. Drury to Max Miller. Encl. 81A

‘I am in receipt of your letter of the 11th February, 1958, concerning your request for information about an unidentified object which was sighted and photographed by me on 23rd August, 1953, at Port Moresby.

2.  Immediately after taking this film it was handed over to the Commonwealth Security branch for processing and investigation, and it has not been sighted by me since. I am therefore unable to comply with your request.

3.  The comments of your paragraph 2 are quite correct insofar as the sighting of this object was concerned and I feel that I cannot enlarge on your statement in any way that would assist you.

4.  Your interest in this matter is appreciated and I express my disappointment at being unable to help you further.’

(Source: NAA file series MP1279/1 control symbol 99/1/478 DCA file digital page 28.)

December 1959

‘The Port Moresby film…Does it support Rev. Father Gill’s case?

A strip of motion picture film containing ninety-four frames corroborates the New Guinea sighting of Reverend W. B. Gill.  This is the so-called Port Moresby film taken by T.C. Drury, Deputy Director of the Civil Aviation Department in New Guinea on August 23rd 1953.

The illustration drawn from the actual frames of the film, shows a disk-shaped object in flight.

Mr W. McMahon, Minister for Air, stated at the time that experts of the R.A.A.F. had examined the film.  The object did not decrease speed in ascent and made ninety degree manoeuvres.

According to Mr Drury the motion picture was taken at midday. First a cloud appeared in a clear sky.  Out of the cloud a silvery object emerged, flashing brightly in the sun.  It made an abrupt right angle turn, zooming straight up, with no reduction in speed. Upon reaching a greater altitude it levelled off again with another abrupt right angle turn.  The Port Moresby film is at present in the hands of the Intelligence of the R.A.A.F.

According to the former Minister of Air, the man who took the motion picture is ‘a reliable, credible person.’  The film has been seen by the United States Air Force experts.  It is still officially unexplained. Was the disk similar to the craft observed by Re. Father Gill and the thirty-eight native witnesses?’

(Source: The Australian Flying Saucer Review Vol 1 No 1 page 5.)

July 1961

Article by Rev N. Cruttwell, ‘The New Guinea Sightings’ which includes the following section on the Drury film.

‘The story opens with Mr Drury’s sighting.  Mr. T. P. Drury of the Department of Civil Aviation at Melbourne gave this information personally to me.  At the time of the sighting he was Director of Civil Aviation in the Territory of Papua, New Guinea, stationed at Port Moresby.  He is a man of very high qualifications and has flown 32 types of aircraft himself.  He has also made a speciality of meteorological phenomena.  This sighting was also witnessed by his wife and children.  This is his story.’

‘I was standing on the Coast Road overlooking the Flying Boat base at Port Moresby with my wife and children.  It was about 11.00 a.m. on August 23, 1953.  The weather was perfectly clear and cloudless. Even the summits of the Owen Stanley Range were clear, which is unusual.  My wife and children were with me.  I was engaged in taking a movie photo of a native boy spearing a fish.  I was not looking at the sky.  My wife noticed a wisp of cloud suddenly appear in the blue sky from nowhere and start to build up rapidly into a white puff.  She called out to draw my attention to it.  I watched it rapidly build up into a thick white mass of cumulus.  There were no other clouds in the sky and there seemed nothing to account for it.  Being very interested in meteorological phenomena I decided to take a film of it.  So I rotated the turret of my French-made movie camera to bring the telephoto lens into position and started to film the cloud.

‘The cloud was at an elevation of about 50 degrees above the horizon, in a roughly south-west direction, towards Napanapa.  It was impossible to estimate the altitude, as there was nothing with which to compare it.

‘Suddenly an object like a silver dart shot out of the cloud. It was elongated in shape like a bullet.  It subtended about one inch at arm’s length.  It was metallic and flashed in the Sun.  It was very clear-cut, sharp in front but apparently truncated behind, though the tail may have been hidden by the vapour trail. No wings or fins were visible.  It shot out of the cloud upwards at an angle of about 45 degrees.  It was travelling at an immense speed, at least five times as fast as a jet plane travelling at the speed of sound.  (Note that Mr Drury is an expert airman and accustomed to estimating the speed of planes.)

‘It never slackened speed or changed direction, but simply faded upwards into the blue and its vapour faded after it.  It was gone in a few seconds.  The vapour trail was very clear-cut, dense, white and billowing.  It is visible in the remaining portion of the film still in my possession.

‘In spite of the supersonic speed and the comparative nearness of the object, there was no sound whatever.

‘I was greatly concerned about the appearance of such an extraordinary aircraft in the sky, without telling anyone. I drove straight to Jackson’s airport, and checked with the Air Traffic Control.  There were no unusual aircraft out, only a DC3 and the usual DC4 expected from Australia, and possibly a small aircraft or two.

‘I then reported the sighting to the RAAF, but they were quite unable to account for it.  Later, I sent them the film, which was sent off round the world, but no one could explain the object and it was pronounced ‘unknown.’

‘I am absolutely certain of its reality. It was photographed. My wife and children saw it. If anyone in the territory had the qualifications to identify an unknown aircraft, I had.  It is my business to know what is in the air.  I know all types of aircraft, and have flown 32 of them myself.’
(Source: APRO Bulletin, July 1961 pp5-6.)

January 1962

‘Artist’s sketch of the flight path of an unknown disk – from a 94-frame motion picture taken by T C Drury, Deputy Director of the Civil Aviation Department in Port Moresby, New Guinea, August 23rd 1953. The film is still in government files.’

(Source: The Australian Flying Saucer Review, January 1962, page 3.)

30 June 1965

Letter from W. Howard Sloane, Ballarat Astronomical Society to DCA.  Encl. 92A.

‘Dear Sir,

            The Ballarat Astronomical Society is anxious to locate a motion picture film of 94 exposures of an Unidentified Flying Object, taken by Mr T. C. Drury on 23
rd August, 1953 in New Guinea, when he was deputy Director of Civil Aviation there.

The Department of Air, Canberra, has referred us to you as they have no record of the whereabouts of the pictures. They were shown to civilian researchers by Air Force Intelligence in Melbourne, on July 19, 1954 during a conference with Squadron Leader A. H. Birch.

We are making a study of Aerial Phenomena and this film is of considerable scientific interest as it shows the flight path of an unknown object. If you can help us obtain these pictures for study we would be very grateful.’

(Source: NAA file series MP1279/1 control symbol 99/1/478 DCA file digital page 24.)

5 July 1965

Internal DCA Minute form – minute 93. Reference enclosure 92A.

2.  This is the first I have heard of such a film and perhaps you could throw some light on it.  If you have no knowledge of the matter I shall refer the letter to the Queensland region for advice if you would return the file to me.’ Senior ADG (F.O.)

(Source: NAA file series MP1279/1 control symbol 99/1/478 DCA file digital page 19.)

7 July 1965

‘Note of action.

Referring to minute 93 [Above -KB] the previous history of this film is contained on this file at enclosures 66A, 67A, 68A, 73A, 74A AND 81a.

2.  There is already a confliction in the stories on the file in that the information on Enclosure 81A is not consistent with earlier correspondence such as that at Encl 74A.  Further enquiry to Mr Drury established that he still has at least part of the film and it is therefore considered appropriate that he should correspond directly with the Ballarat Astronomical Society.’ D. S. Graham.

(Source: NAA file series MP1279/1 control symbol 99/1/478 DCA file digital page 19.)

7 July 1965

Letter to Howard Sloane from D. S. Graham, DCA.  Encl. 94A.

‘Dear Sir,
           

Your letter of 30th June has been referred to Mr T. C. Drury, who is now in Brisbane, and he will communicate with you directly on the present whereabouts of the subject film.’

(Source: NAA file series MP1279/1 control symbol 99/1/478 DCA file digital page 23.)

7 July 1965

Letter to Drury from D S Graham DCA.  Encl. 95A.

‘Dear Tom,
            

As discussed by telephone, I enclose herewith a copy of the letter received from the Ballarat Astronomical Society together with a copy of our interim reply. You will note that I have indicated that they can expect to receive further advice from you in the near future.’

(Source: NAA file series MP1279/1 control symbol 99/1/478 DCA file digital page 22.)

18 March 1966

Letter from Peter Norris, CAPIO, Australia to the Department of Air.

‘I am writing to request further information concerning a film of a UFO which was taken at Port Moresby on 23rd August 1953 by Mr. T. Drury, then Director of Civil Aviation at Port Moresby.

Mr. Drury has advised my association that the film was handed to the Commonwealth Security Branch whence it was referred to your Department for further action.

Shortly afterwards, Mr. McMahon, the then Minister for Air, in answer to a question in the House, stated that the film had been sent to the United States for further evaluation.

Mr Drury further advises us that the film was returned to him some twelve months after the sighting, but that the frames showing the UFO had been excised.

I would be obliged to receive your advice as to your Department’s evaluation of Mr Drury’s sighting and as to whether you are aware of the whereabouts of the parts of the film Mr Drury claims were excised.’

(Source: NAA file series A703, control symbol 580/1/1 Part 5.)

23 March 1966

Four page, handwritten ‘Summary of efforts made to rediscover present whereabouts of the allegedly ‘excised’ frames of Mr T. Drury’s famous 1953 movie film of the Port Moresby ‘UFO sightings.’ Partial text:

1.  ‘Registry records also show that the original 114/1/197 was opened on 30 Oct 53, when it was entitled ‘Photographs of unexplained Aerial Object over New Guinea forwarded by Mr R C Drury.’  The file’s title became ‘Report on Flying saucers and Other Aerial Objects.’  And renumbered.

2.  ‘Correspondence between 1953 (when 114/1/197 was opened) and 1955 (when the predecessor of 580/1/1/ Part 1 was opened) is missing.’

3.  ‘Ten years ago CPE would have provided the sort of service DAFI could offer to members of the public (i.e. sale of prints at a cost).  CO CPE states that there are several RAAF and ex RAAF photographers who remember handling negatives of the 1953 Port Moresby film but that, at CPE there is no record of the negatives having been absorbed into the CPE system.  Ergo DAFI must have passed the negatives over to CPE for reproduction as required.’

4.  ‘Ex DAFI members who could possibly (or do) remember having seen this picture are Wing Commander D F Gilson, DFC (now in the UK); Wing Commander T. B. Paget (now in the USA/Honolulu) and Squadron Leader B. W. Feacon (Correct spelling? -KB), PR2, who saw enlarged versions of the frames, but had nothing to do with their subsequent handling… JIB Photo Section was also asked to search its records, but to no avail… The upshot is that the ‘excised’ frames either still exist in DAFI archives; have been destroyed, or (perish the thought) have been lost.
‘Signed B W Feacon. PR2.

(Source: NAA file series A703 control symbol 580/1/1 Part 5.)

31 March 1966

Letter from Department of Air to Peter Norris.

‘1.  The results of an exhaustive search through old records for mention of Mr T. M. (Sic-KB) Drury’s Port Moresby film has not been entirely fruitful.

2.  There are indications in a 1953 file pointing to the Department of Air having been, at an earlier time, in possession of copies of photographs taken at Port Moresby, which were alleged to be of an unidentified aerial sighting.  However, neither the earlier (1953) file particularly concerned with the subject nor the copies of the film (which were held within that file) now exist; they were destroyed together some time ago in accordance with the due processes of the Department’s archival activities.

3.  The 1955 file referred to above contains copies of correspondence with a person who may have been an acquaintance of yours; Mr Fred Stone, 22 Northcote Street, Kilburn, SA.

4.  This Department apparently provided Mr Stone with some five prints of the Port Moresby photographs so, if you wish to acquire copies for yourself, may we suggest you write to Mr Stone.

5.  As to the department’s evaluation of the Port Moresby ‘sighting,’ it can only be said that all information extant reflecting the movement, thirteen years ago, of folios on this subject indicates that the record of the evaluation was destroyed with the Department’s copies of the photographs.

6.  We feel, therefore, that we can be of no further help to you on this particular subject.’
(Source: NAA file series A703, control symbol 580/1/1 Part 5.)

July 1967

‘T. P. Drury
Dept. Dir for Civil Aviation Brisbane
Ph Brisbane 680-101 to (?-indicates missing word KB)
Home phone of Mrs Marjorie Drury is 293-2655
Tried several times to get Drury. Latest was Monday 7/10/67 at 0845
Mrs Marjorie Drury – 26 Nail Street, Brighton, Brisbane

Called her from Roy Russell’s, 7/9 PM. She didn’t want to discuss. Said saw only very beginning.

When failed get Drury Monday AM, 7/10, called her again (from Sydney-no tape). Pressed her for details.

She was emphatic re the point that she never saw a ‘cloud.’ When she first saw it, she perceived a silver bullet streaking upwards, at very high speed, leaving a vapour trail behind it.  ‘I can still see it.’  She was emphatic in saying that she saw it from start as a bullet – not in a cloud.  No cloud in sky at all, bullet was at all times (as she watched) ahead of the trail.  ‘It was going hell for leather.’  Climbing upwards.  No wings, no other appendages. I asked could it possibly be an a/c.  She was empathic in negating this.  Said she’d been around a/c all her life and knew this was no a/c.  ‘I can still see it today.’

She asserts that after calling it to her husband’s attention she went to car (& thinks the camera) and was ‘busy with other things after that.’  (I did not press her on this she evidently wishes to leave all or most of the account to him.  She stated to me (as yesterday Stan Seers) that Mr Drury was not (?) here anymore…

0900 7/10 I phoned again, got an asst. Mrs Smith & p.o. (?) (?) arranged that I talk to TPD between 0900-0930 prior to his departure.  Smith did not know just who he’d be in, but felt since did check in before departure Brisbane DCA (?) Will try to have him call me.’

(Source: Hard to read hand written notes of James E. McDonald while in Australia)

May/June 1969

‘The Tully UFO photographs (presuming something was on the film) are by no means the first UFO shots to disappear from the Australian scene.  A recapitulation made at the CAPIO Convention (Canberra, July 1968) presented the following:

11.00am, August 23, 1953, of nine photographs taken at Port Moresby by T. P. Drury, Deputy Minister of Civil Aviation, the five best shots were ‘lost’ by the CAD, who had loaned them to the United States Air force, Washington.’

(Source: Seers, S & Lasich, W. ‘North Queensland UFO Saga.’ Flying Saucer Review, Vol 5 No 3, page 5.)

August 1971

‘The story opens with Mr Drury’s sighting. Mr. T. P. Drury of the Department of Civil Aviation at Melbourne gave this information personally to me.  At the time of the sighting he was Director of Civil Aviation in the Territory of Papua, New Guinea, stationed at Port Moresby.  He is a man of very high qualifications and has flown 32 types of aircraft himself.  He has also made a speciality of meteorological phenomena.  This sighting was also witnessed by his wife and children. This is his story.’

‘I was standing on the Coast Road overlooking the Flying Boat base at Port Moresby with my wife and children.  It was about 11.00 a.m. on August 23, 1953.  The weather was perfectly clear and cloudless. Even the summits of the Owen Stanley Range were clear, which is unusual.  My wife and children were with me. I was engaged in taking a movie photo of a native boy spearing a fish. I was not looking at the sky.  My wife noticed a wisp of cloud suddenly appear in the blue sky from nowhere and start to build up rapidly into a white puff.  She called out to draw my attention to it. I watched it rapidly build up into a thick white mass of cumulus.  There were no other clouds in the sky and there seemed nothing to account for it.  Being very interested in meteorological phenomena I decided to take a film of it.  So I rotated the turret of my French-made movie camera to bring the telephoto lens into position and started to film the cloud.

‘The cloud was at an elevation of about 50 degrees above the horizon, in a roughly south-west direction, towards Napanapa.  It was impossible to estimate the altitude, as there was nothing with which to compare it.

‘Suddenly an object like a silver dart shot out of the cloud. It was elongated in shape like a bullet.  It subtended about one inch at arm’s length.  It was metallic and flashed in the Sun.  It was very clear-cut, sharp in front but apparently truncated behind, though the tail may have been hidden by the vapour trail. No wings or fins were visible.  It shot out of the cloud upwards at an angle of about 45 degrees.  It was travelling at an immense speed, at least five times as fast as a jet plane travelling at the speed of sound.  (Note that Mr Drury is an expert airman and accustomed to estimating the speed of planes.)

‘It never slackened speed or changed direction, but simply faded upwards into the blue and its vapour faded after it.  It was gone in a few seconds.  The vapour trail was very clear-cut, dense, white and billowing. It is visible in the remaining portion of the film still in my possession.

‘In spite of the supersonic speed and the comparative nearness of the object, there was no sound whatever.

‘I was greatly concerned about the appearance of such an extraordinary aircraft in the sky, without telling anyone.  I drove straight to Jackson’s airport, and checked with the Air Traffic Control.  There were no unusual aircraft out, only a DC3 and the usual DC4 expected from Australia, and possibly a small aircraft or two.

‘I the reported the sighting to the RAAF, but they were quite unable to account for it.  Later, I sent them the film, which was sent off round the world, but no one could explain the object and it was pronounced ‘unknown.’

‘I am absolutely certain of its reality.  It was photographed.  My wife and children saw it.  If anyone in the territory had the qualifications to identify an unknown aircraft, I had.  It is my business to know what is in the air.  I know all types of aircraft, and have flown 32 of them myself.’

(Source: Statement by Tom Drury which appears in ‘Flying Saucers over Papua’ by the Reverend Norman E.G. Cruttwell, Flying Saucer Review, Special Issue No.4, August 1971, pp 3-4.)

15 January 1973

Memo from ASIO to DAFI.

‘DAFI
Photographs of UFO

Further to telephone conversation Grp. Capt. Janson/Mr C H B (redacted) on 11th January, 1973, it is desired to confirm the information passed verbally to grp Capt. Janson last December.

2.  It is understood that film shots of a UFO were taken by Mr Thomas Drury of the Department of Civil Aviation in TPNG in 1954 [sic-KB, should be 1953].Mr Drury is at present overseas and it has been impossible to obtain some details.

3.  In 1954, Mr Drury, accompanied by his wife was preparing to take some movie shots of natives spearing fish in the Port Moresby area when Mrs Drury observed the UFO. Mr Drury took some footage of film which he passed to the Regional Director of DCA in TPNG, Mr John Arthur, together with a report. At the present time Mr Arthur is believed to be the proprietor of the (redacted) hardware store, (redacted.)

4.  It is understood that the film was passed to DCA head Office and thence to the HQ RAAF (Directorate of Air Force Intelligence) where it was processed.  Copies of the film were passed to the United States Air Force and the RAF.  Drury is said to have received back a part of the film but without any UFO shots.

5.  It is believed that the episode was fully recorded in the TPNG newspaper, ‘Pacific Post’ at the time including letters for and against the sighting.  It is also understood that the Mainland Press published reports simultaneously.

6.  Regional Director, ASIO, Queensland, has advised the Regional Director of DCA there would arrange for Mr Drury to be available for further elaboration if required, on his return from overseas, probably early in February, 1973.

Signed (C. H. B.(Redacted) Regional Director, ACT.)’

(Source: ‘The Drury UFO Film Affair: A Study of a Celebrated Australian Case: Part 1.’ By Bill Chalker. The Australasian UFOlogist Magazine, Vol 5 No 1, pp22-29.)

1982

‘Australian A. F. UFO Report Files,’ by Bill Chalker, includes:

• The text of the South Pacific Post 2 September 1953 article

• ‘RAAF files, examined by Bill Chalker, specifically rule out a missile firing from Woomera as an explanation.’

• Details of the 1966 RAAF search

• ‘I was therefore considerably surprised to find in a 1973 RAAF file a small envelope identified as ‘Drury film prints and negatives’ contained within were five negatives of photographs of individual frames from the original frames from the original film.  I subsequently received copies of these and while the image quality is disappointingly poor, the circumstances which led to the negatives being present in the 1973 file were quite illustrating.
 
A civilian enquiry had prompted yet another file search.  File holdings including those in 1966 (already mentioned) and 1965 were further scrutinised and it was determined that DAFI had in 1955 sold prints of the 1953 UFO pictures ‘at 4/9 a pop.’  One recipient of this offer was one Fred Stone (a pioneer Australian civilian UFO researcher).  The RAAF in 1973 managed to persuade Mr Stone to loan them the five prints they had originally supplied him, so that copies could be made.  This explains the negatives found in the 1973 file – third generation copies of individual frames of the original, which apparently had 94 frames in total.

• I was able to confirm in 1982 with Mr Tom Drury, that he had still not seen his ‘UFO film’ and had only received a part of the film but without any UFO shots…’

(Source: APROB Vol 30 No 11. 1982.)

1983

Bill Chalker.

In reviewing four files belonging to the Department of Civil Aviation’s Bureau of Air Safety Investigation, on 19 November 1982:

‘Four files were examined and their contents included:

(1)  Previously ‘secret’ papers related to the famous Drury film.’

‘The Drury film affair:

Most of the original documentation is now secured.  Frames from the film are in my possession, however, they are of poor quality.  Mr Drury has been contacted and was most helpful with my enquiries. A report on my investigation will be made available when completed.’

(Source: Chalker, Bill. ‘A Study of Official Australian Government Involvement in the UFO Controversy – A Progress Report.’ The Journal of the Australian Centre for UFO Studies Vol 4 No 6, Nov/Dec 1983, pp 11 & 13.

1990

Loren Gross presented a summary of the case drawn from the source referenced below, which included the following points:

1.  An incorrect time of 11.00am is stated as the time of observation.  It was 12.00 noon local.

2.  It identifies that Drury was at the time filming a Papuan native spearing a fish in the surf.

3.  It was his wife who initially saw the ‘cloud’ in the clear sky.

4.  The object was elongated, silver in colour and shot upward at on 45 degree slant.

5.  ‘Eventually the film was returned to him but the best frames, those that showed the ‘rocket’ has been snipped out leaving only the scenes of the cloud and billowing vapor trail.’

Reference 56- Good, Timothy. ‘Above Top Secret.’  P. 157.


6.  94 frames sent to William McMahon.

7.  Bill Chalker ‘came across negatives of some of the individual frames of the missing portion of the film.’

8.  ‘It was also determined that the US Naval Photographic Interpretation Center, Anacosta, Maryland had studied the film, an installation under CIA control.’

Reference 57 – Chalker, B.  ‘UFOs and the RAAF – The Inside Story Part I.’ MUFON Journal No 175.  September 1982.

9.  ‘That the US Air Force requested the film is proven by a document in BLUE BOOK files. A joint message form dated 21 September 53 states:
Request following transmitted AA/Melbourne via cable.  Reference Flyobrpt message AFC 3453 dated 8 Sep 53.  Message reports sighting by Mr Drury of New Guinea, Air Navigation Bureau and states telephoto moving pictures taken by him.  Request effort to obtain (1) all available scientific data on maneuvers of object, (2) copy of Drury film and detailed report.  Reference reply to TIC-5209.  Reference 58- May be located in AF Blue Book files by the date 24 August 53.’

10.  ‘A sketch of the best frame of the Drury film was made by a Andrew Tomas, a member of the Sydney, Australia, UFO Investigation Center.  The sketch was reproduced in the UIC’s March 1958 publication UFO Bulletin.’  (Source: Gross, L E. 1990. ‘UFOs: A History 1953: August-December, pp13-14.)

1990

‘Further news from Australia

The civilian UFO group in Australia ‘Australian Flying Saucer Bureau’ received a boost when its director, E. R. Jarrold was asked by the Minister of Air to confer with the nation’s Air Force Intelligence at Melbourne Headquarters.

The Port Moresby UFO film had been lent to Jarrold’s organization, perhaps that was the reason for the consultation, otherwise sources available to us give no other clue, although Jarrold did make a point to deny that the meeting could be construed as having some relationship with the unease sweeping the Australian public concerning the prolonged UFO flap taking place there.

Only partially processed by Australian experts, the Port Moresby film showed a small, lightly-colored object.  Hoping the American experts could learn more from the frames, the film was sent to the United States for special analysis.’

(Source: Gross, L E. 1990. ‘UFOs: A History 1954 January-May.’ Page 63.)

1996

‘While civilian interest was growing, extensive official interest focused on daylight movie footage of an unidentified ‘missile’ over Port Moresby, taken by Tom Drury, the Deputy Director of the department of civil Aviation in Papua New Guinea, then an Australian Territory.

The case is important because of the expertise, the presence of other witnesses, the capture of the image on film, and the subsequent disappearance of that section of the film while it was in the hands of Australian and American security organisations.

On 23 August 1953 Tom Drury was using his movie camera at about midday. Wife his wife and children he was standing on the coast road overlooking the Flying Boat Base, filming a native boy spearing fish.  The sky was clear, when a small cloud began to form. Drury did not see it at first, and his wife drew his attention to it.  ‘I watched it rapidly build up into a thick white mass of cumulus,’ Drury later said.  ‘There were no other clouds in the sky and there seemed nothing to account for it… I had never seen a cloud form up by itself like that. Being very interested in meteorological phenomena.  I decided to take a film of it.’ The cloud decided to grow in size until, after a few minutes, a silver object came out of it.  Drury continued filming. ‘It was elongated in shape like a bullet,’ he recalled.  ‘It was metallic and flashed in the sun.’ The object climbed very fast, with a vapour trail behind it marking its trajectory.  It was gone in a few seconds.’  According to Drury, ‘It was travelling at an immense speed, at least five times as fast as a jet plane travelling at the speed of sound…In spite of the supersonic speed and the comparative nearness of the object, there was no sound whatsoever.’

Greatly perplexed, Drury drove straight to the airport and checked with air traffic control, who told him they had no knowledge of any aircraft in that area.  A handwritten note in Directorate of Air Force Intelligence files specifically states that the object was not a secret missile fired from the Woomera rocket range in South Australia.

The film was developed in Australia and Drury claims that it showed the silver object.  It was then handed over to the Australian government, from where it was sent to America for examination. On its return, the segment showed the silver object had been cut from the film.

It is important to remember that government UFO investigations of the 1950’s were usually influenced by the climate of the Cold War, with the first objective being to ascertain whether there might be any Russian source for the phenomena being investigated.  Late in 1982 when I was given permission to examine the Department of Aviation files.  I specifically requested to see any holdings on the Drury affair.  What I saw was one file classified SECRET and another titled ‘Photographs of Unexplained Aerial Object over New Guinea forwarded by T. C. Drury.’  It was also originally classified SECRET and had been ‘lost’ over the years.

It seems clear that the Australian military were looking at the Drury film in the light of the ‘red peril.’ Tom Drury himself indicated to me he felt that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), which is responsible for internal security in Australia, including counter-espionage, was involved.  I interviewed the two ASIO operatives who were in Papua New Guinea at that time.  Predictably, neither was terribly informative, with one of them stating that if they had involvement it was only as a courier for the film’s passage to Melbourne, then headquarters of the RAAF’s Directorate of Air Force Intelligence, and also the headquarters for DCA and ASIO.  An ASIO document dated 15 January 1973 states that ‘copies of the film were passed to the USAF and RAF.  Drury is said to have received back a print of the film but without any UFO shots.’

Tom Drury feels that the processing and analysis required to study this film while it was in the hands of the intelligence agencies might have destroyed it.  It is known that the film did go to the United States for study.  There it appeared to have come under the scrutiny of the CIA’s photographic analysis group.

A 1955 RAAF file indicates that DAFI had sold prints of the 1953 UFO pictures ‘at 4/9 a pop’ to civilian researchers.  Edgar Jarrold and Fred Stone were among those who secured copies of these prints. Jarrold’s publication, the Australian Flying Saucer Magazine, stated that ‘ninety-four prints examined reveal conclusively the existence of a shiny, disc-like object whose behaviour could by no wildest stretching of the imagination be attributed to a bird, balloon, orthodox aircraft, hallucination, piece of windblown paper, natural phenomena, or a meteor.  The cloud from which the silvery object…emerged is distinctly visible.  On emerging from it at a right angle with no other clouds apparent in a clear sky, still pictures reveal vivid confirmation of Mr Drury’s report that an object, looking at first like a tiny brilliant sun, dashed rapidly from the cloud heading north-west.  The object flashed brightly in the sun as it made an abrupt right angle turn soon after emerging from the dark cloud, moving straight up with no reduction in speed. Upon reaching a greater altitude, it levelled off again, with another abrupt right angle turn, resuming its flight until out of camera range altogether… On effecting such turns, a greater expanse of the object’s upper surface becomes visible, causing it to present a featureless, disk-like appearance, which is in sharp contrast to first glimpses showing an object somewhat burred in focus, and shaped like a theoretically fast moving, very bright star.

Jarrold wrote years later, ‘I was able to view blown-up still pictures made from this film before it left Australia due to the American request and am still, I think, the only civilian ever to have seen them.’  (Documentation I examined in the DCA and DAFI files contradict Jarrold’s claims to have been the only one to have seen the prints and to have seen them before the original footage was sent to the United States.  A letter to Jarrold from Mr E W Wicks, Secretary of the Department of Air, dated 2 December 1953, states that ‘the film has been sent to the United States for technical processing, and it is therefore not possible to accede to your request [for contact prints] until its return, which, it is anticipated, will be early in the New year’.)  ‘The pictures,’ Jarrold wrote, ‘show what can only be accepted as an extra-terrestrial object, the flight path and behaviour of which rule out any man-made object or meteor.  The film was made about midday against a cloudless sky and unfortunately the object was filmed from a distance, thus proving little real knowledge of the object’s shape and composition, main importance being attached to its most unusual actions and behaviours.’

It should be noted that Drury himself observed no discontinuity in the UFOs flight path.  Whether 90 degree turns were really recorded on the film, or were due to camera movement, processing, analysis or just plain extravagant interpretations based on poor data, we may never know.  The references to 90 degree turns all stem from Jarrold. No one else, who either saw the film or prints, made such claims.

William McMahon was quoted in the press in late January 1954 as saying he had ‘had the film flown to the US to be enlarged.’  He further stated that the object shown in the film ‘was so small that a detailed study of the film was not possible until technicians had enlarged it.’  The official files also record a letter from DAFI to Mr Wiggins of the DCA which states, ‘The ‘Flying Saucer’ film taken by Drury, at Port Moresby in 1953 and forwarded by you on 22 Sept. is returned herewith.  We have subjected the film to detailed study and processing but have been unable to establish anything other than the blur of light (which) appears to move across the film.  In spite of this disappointment we would like to thank you for your co-operation in this matter.’

The original Drury film, which allegedly held the UFO image, became something of a holy grail for Australian ufology.  A number of efforts were made over the years to secure the film and further information about the affair.  All met with failure. A previously confidential RAAF document handwritten in 1966 and entitled ‘Summary of the effort made to rediscover present whereabouts of the allegedly ‘excised’ frames of Mr T Drury’s Famous 1953 movie film of the Port Moresby ‘UFO sighting’’, concluded: ‘The upshot is that the ‘excised’ frames [are] either still in DAFI archives, have been destroyed or (perish the thought) have been lost.’

(Source: 1996. ‘The Oz Files.’ B. Chalker. Duffy & Snellgrove. Potts Point, pp 51-55.)

2001

Summary points:


• Thomas Peel Drury

• Provides a partial biography of Drury

• Chalker spoke to ASIO Major Laurie Sheedy. ‘He shed little on this area…He felt it hadn’t been passed onto him, and that it had gone to the RAAF…I spoke to Sheedy’s ASIO Papua replacement, who took over in 1953, but he too felt he hadn’t handled the film… The ASIO representative remembered the incident quite well, but was sure he never got to see the processed film.’

• Chalker describes the incident from three original sources, two in 1953 and one in 1971

• Chalker interviewed Tom Drury on 3 March 1982

• Drury told him ‘I handed that [the film-KB] over to ASIO the very next morning…  Tom confirmed to me that he got back a print of the film with a substantial amount of it missing…There was no way then of processing a colour movie film in New Guinea…’

• In 2000, Chalker interviewed Tom Drury’s son – Paul Drury

• In 1982 Tom Drury told Chalker, ‘I still think today that it was a missile of some sort…’

• In 1982 Chalker saw DOA file 128/1/208 Part 2 ‘was created in 1982 to enable me to examine Drury documents extracted from a separate DCA file 99/1/478…’

• Chalker cites an ASIO document dated 15 January 1973, which he found on an official file, which discusses the film

• Chalker discusses claims that the object made ninety degree turns in flight.  ‘It should be noted that Drury himself observed no discontinuity in the UFOs flight path.  Whether the claims of 90 degree turns were legitimately recorded on the film, or were due to camera movement, or were artefacts of processing, analyses or just plain extravagant interpretation based on limited or poor data, we may never know.  The reference to 90 degree turns all stem from Jarrold.’

• ‘Thus the evidence suggests that Jarrold would not have got his prints until July, 1954…’

(Source: ‘The Drury UFO Film Affair: A Study of a Celebrated Australian Case: Part 1.’ By Bill Chalker.  The Australasian UFOlogist Magazine, Vol 5 No 1, pp22-29.)

Summary points:

• ‘During my January 1982 inspection of DAFI UFO files, I came across an envelope in part 3 of the 574/3/88 enquiry file series, amongst 1973 material.  The envelope was stamped ‘photo Section Base Sqn. RAAF Base Fairbairn, ACT.  The envelope had written on it ‘DRURY FILM, PRINTS AND NEGATIVES.’  There were no prints in the envelope.’

• ‘The Bluebook file (case 2689) on the Drury case is scant and the cover form contradictory…’

• One of the RAAF photographers who recalled the film was a B W Fearon [My reading is B. W. Fercon – KB]

• ‘On September 27th 2000, Tom Drury’s nephew, Bill Drury, made available to me a copy of the print of the film Tom received back from authorities during 1954.  The colour film shows the native spear fisherman, a speedboat on the harbour and then immediately cuts to about 5.8 seconds of footage apparently, the end of the filming of the UFO/contrail.  This section resembles, or is, a thin contrail-like image that is continuously moving up at about a 45 degree angle, just as described by Tom Drury.

• ‘It seems clear that this remaining footage is a composite from the original

• ‘Paul made available the original camera for inspection – a French EMEL C.93 8mm movie camera made by Berthiot, Paris…  while 24 frames/second would be expected, the windup mechanism could mean variable speeds…’

(Source: ‘The Drury UFO Film Affair: A Study of a Celebrated Australian Case: Part 2.’ By Bill Chalker.  The Australasian UFOlogist Magazine, Vol 5 No 1, pp 4-13.)

2003

‘Another Australian photo case was the Drury movie film, which had been investigated by a Queensland team.  One of the main things which intrigued him about this film was the fact that most of the frames had reportedly been confiscated by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF.)  Film confiscation cases were of special interest to him because NICAP researchers whom McDonald respected thought they confirmed the ‘cover-up’ hypothesis.

The Drury film was taken in Port Moresby, New Guinea, on August 23, 1957 [Sic-KB, should be 1953], by Thomas C. Drury, Deputy Director of the Australian Department of civil aviation.  His wife Marjorie and son Paul were also witnesses.  Drury, who was interested in meteorology, had noticed a cloud which was forming rapidly in an otherwise cloudless sky.  Fascinated, he filmed it intermittently for several minutes with color film in his French 8-mm movie camera. Suddenly, a bullet shaped object emerged from the cloud, traveling at very high speed, trailing a thick vapor behind it as it disappeared into the distance.  In spite of the comparative nearness of the object, no sound was heard.  Marjorie Drury and her son Paul saw the bullet-shaped object but do not recall seeing the cloud from which it emerged. (Note 37.)

[Note 37 says ‘Other incidents of unidentified objects emerging from unusual small clouds have been reported by reliable witnesses. Mrs Idabel Epperson, who was chairman of LANS from 1968 to 1973, reported seeing a silvery object emerge from a small cloud and dash west across the daytime sky.  The small cloud instantly vanished. Possibly something of this nature occurred in the Drury case, explain why Mrs Drury and son Paul did not see the cloud their father photographed.’]

The Drury film was examined first by the Australian Air force and then sent to project Blue Book.  Blue Book sent it back after a period of time, without comment.  The part of the film which showed the developing cloud, the emerging object and the clearest frames of the object were missing.  In spite of repeated attempts by Drury and Australian researchers to recover the missing portions, they were never recovered.

In his re-investigation of this intriguing case, McDonald tried several times to reach Drury at his work.  Even though his path had been paved by Melbourne researchers, Drury did not return his calls. Finally, McDonald reached Marjorie Drury on July 9.  She told McDonald she didn’t wish to discuss the sighting, because she had seen only the ‘very beginning.’  She referred him back to her husband.  McDonald persisted, but was still unable to reach him; apparently Drury travelled widely in his job and remained unavailable.  Finally, through the persistence of Stan Seers, President of the Queensland Flying Saucer research Bureau, McDonald succeeded in getting a longer phone interview with Mrs Drury.  His journal relates:

When failed to get Drury Monday A.M. 7/10/67, called her again (from Sydney - no tape.)  Pressed her for details.  When she first saw it come she perceived a ‘silver bullet,’ streaking upwards, at very high speed, leaving a vapor trail behind it.  (Note 38.)

[Note 38 says ‘McDonald’s third journal ‘NZ’ section.’]

‘I can still see it,’ emphasized Marjorie Drury, warming up a bit to James McDonald.  ‘I saw it from the start as a bullet, not in a cloud.  In fact, I didn’t see any clouds in the sky at all.’

‘What about the vapor trail associated with the object?’

‘It wasn’t a cloud,’ she replied.  ‘The ‘bullet’ at all times was ahead of the trail.  And it was going fast! It was going hell bent for leather, climbing upwards.  There were no wings or other appendages,’ she stressed.  ‘It was just like a bullet.’

McDonald tentatively asked her if the object could have been an unfamiliar type of aircraft.  Mrs Drury was emphatic.  ‘I’ve been around aircraft all my life, and I know it was no aircraft!’

She asserted that she… was ‘busy with other things after that.’  (I did not press her on that.)  She evidently wished to leave all the rest of the account to him.  She had stated to me (as yesterday to Stan Seers) that Mr Drury ‘does not live here anymore,’ and it was awkward to press on details concerning him. (Source 39.)

[Source 39 – ‘Ibid.]

McDonald was a tenacious, expert interviewer but he realized that Mrs Drury’s privacy was being violated.  He phoned Drury’s office again, pointing out to his assistant, a Mr Smith, that researcher Stan Seers of the Physics Department of the University of Brisbane had arranged with Drury to talk with him by phone between 9.00 and 9.30 – in other words, now!  Smith said Drury wasn’t there but he would see what he could do when he returned.

A meeting was finally set up. When the two men met face to face, Drury was deeply upset, because all attempts to force the RAAF to return the pilfered frames had failed.  Paul Norman described the meeting, as he heard about it from another Australian researcher.

‘Drury was blowing his top when he was telling McDonald how the film came back to Australia with several of the frames missing,’ relates Paul Norman.  (Note 40.)

[Note 40 – ‘Computer image analysis of one Drury movie film frame obtained with Paul Norman’s help concluded that it was too indistinct to yield any reliable or interesting information.’]

[Authors’ note: The statement about McDonald meeting T P Drury is contradicted by the part contents of two letters:


1.  In a letter, dated 31 July 1967 from James McDonald to Peter E Norris, McDonald writes ‘The sole exception was that I never did contact T P Drury, despite several efforts both in Brisbane and after I got back to Sydney on July 10.’

2.  In a letter, dated 22 August 1967 from Peter Norris to James McDonald, Norris writes ‘I am glad your trip to Queensland was worthwhile, even though Tom Drury was unavailable.’]

Norman kindly sent information about the Drury film for purposes of this book, as did Roy Russell, who interviewed Drury’s son Paul.  Paul Drury was only eight years old at the time of the sighting and does not remember the cloud from which the object emerged, only a trail near and behind it.  The object’s apparent length was about ¼’ at arm’s length, and the thickness at arm’s length was that of ‘a dressmaker’s pin near the point.’  Although the object was small, it was clearly seen; it glinted in the sun ahead of its vaporous trail.  As the family drove away in their car a half hour after the incident, Paul could still see the trail in the cloudless sky.

The Drury movie film, as it exists today, is only 11’ long [sic – should be 11” inches not 11’ feet – KB] – about four seconds’ viewing time.  Yet Marjorie Drury, who was also re-interviewed by Roy Russell, estimates that her husband filmed the object on and off for about 10 minutes.  Paul Drury concurs that his father filmed the event ‘for quite some time.’  When the Drury film was sent to the RAAF, and later to Blue Book, it was part of a roll 50 feet in length, with one join in the center at the 25 foot mark. (Note 41.)

[Note 41 – Letter and ‘Drury report’ from Roy Russell to author, 20 October 1994.]

When the film was tracked down in the Drury family home in 1994, it had been connected onto other family film and was in a collection of family movies that hadn’t been disturbed for years.  Russell describes how the ‘New Guinea’ reel starts with a join, where it’s joined onto other family film.  Shor (1) of the reel is of Tom Drury on a beach with children.  Other segments follow, but the day of the sighting starts with shot (2) of a young Papuan spearing fish. Shot (3) is of a similar nature.

Shot (4) of the (about) 4-second segment of the UFO. Shot (5) is a close up of some foliage.  After this…the next join in the film occurs.  The point is, no join occurs anywhere near the UFO segment, suggesting that Drury filmed the UFO for only the four seconds, since there are no joins to suggest that anything was ever cut out.  But Paul and his mother say he filmed it for quite some time… (Note 42.)

[Note 42 – Ibid.]

Russell, an experienced and canny researcher suggests a possible answer to the puzzle, pointing to the fact that, on the day of the sighting, at least two other subjects, including a Papuan man spearing fish, were also on the 50-foot roll which included the UFO incident:

[I]t seems to me that… Drury sent the whole roll of film to the authorities (50 feet), that they cut out all the good shots, joined the film together again and then made a copy of the entire patched up roll, and sent it back to Drury.  This way, Drury could never seriously claim that his film had been cut, since there are no join marks to be seen.  This theory seems the only way to explain the shooting time observed by the witnesses, and the short ‘no joins’ UFO segment on the film.  (Note 43.)

[Note 43 – Ibid.]

The four-second segment which Blue Book returned to only a streak of light moving across the sky, no unusual cloud, no bullet-shaped UFO emerging, no close up frames of the UFO.  Russell’s report continues:

Paul says his father, when the film was returned, was very angry. Then , when a Port Moresby newspaper printed something about Tom Drury seeing something through the bottom of an upturned rum bottle, his father clammed up for good.  (Note 44.)

[Note 44 – Letter from Russell to author, op. cit.]

(Source: Druffel, A. ‘Firestorm.’ Wild Flower Press. Columbus. Pp174-178.)




Section 2: The observation

There are three original written sources of information on the actual incident.  These are:

1.  A statement on a Department of Civil Aviation file, dated 31 August 1953.

2.  An article in the 2 September 1953 issue of the newspaper ‘South Pacific Post.’

3. The Statement by Tom Drury which appears in the APRO Bulletin, July 1961 pp5-6, in an article by the Rev. N Cruttwell, titled ‘The New Guinea Sightings.’


1.  Statement in DCA file 1953.

‘At 1200 hours on Sunday, 23 August 1953, I was in the vicinity of the Marine Base Workshops, Port Moresby, when I noticed a cloud building up as though being formed by vapour trails, in roughly a south-westerly direction from Port Moresby, at a very great height.

I watched this cloud, which grew in intensity for several minutes, when suddenly an object appeared from one side of it and climbed very fast in roughly a north-westerly direction. I could give no accurate information as to the shape or possible size of this object, as it appeared slightly bigger than a pin head, but whatever it was, it left a very clearly defined vapour trail behind it until it finally disappeared with a rapid gain of altitude.

I had my movie camera with me and photographed the whole thing on the telephoto lens. I am waiting the results of the photograph in an endeavour to ascertain what the object might have been. It appeared to me to be some type of high speed aircraft.

As far as I know, Air Traffic Control know of no aircraft movements in that area, and in any case, from the extreme altitude of the object, it certainly could not have been a civil aircraft.

Weather conditions at the time were cloudless.’

(Source: Department of Civil Aviation memo dated 31 August 1953. NAA File series MP1279/1, control symbol 99/1/478 digital page 48.)


2.  ‘South Pacific Post’ 1953.

‘Guided Missile’ over Port Moresby.

The Deputy Director of Civil Aviation, Mr Tom Drury, last Sunday photographed a probable guided missile over Port Moresby.  Mr Drury said he saw the missile flying high over Nappa Nappa at mid-day. He reported it to the police and to the Regional Director of Civil Aviation, Mr John Arthur.  ‘It could only have been a guided missile, because nothing else would fit the description of what I saw,’ he said.

(The British Government last month announced that guided missiles which flew at 2000 miles per hour, and could follow any target at almost any distance were being tested at the Woomera Rocket Range.)

Mr Drury said he was taking pictures at his home at midday on Sunday when he saw the first signs of the missile.

‘There were no clouds in the sky and while I was taking photographs a small cloud formed for no apparent reason.  I was curious about the cloud so I watched it.  I had never seen a cloud form up by itself like that.  I watched the cloud for a few minutes. Then a silver object came out of the cloud.  I could see the flash of it in the Sun.  It flew on a north-west course.  I couldn’t believe it, so I looked down at the ground, and then back at the object.  It left a trail of vapour and I picked it up easily by following the vapour trails.

‘I called to my wife and asked her if she could see anything in the sky. She looked up, and then she, too saw it.  She pointed excitedly and said ‘Oh yes.  There it is.’  ‘The children could also see it. I got the telescopic lens on my camera and took shots of it.

‘Then we watched it flying across the sky for a few more minutes. I’ve never seen anything fly that high before, not fly so fast.

‘It kept on course then climbed at about 45 degrees and disappeared.’

Mr Drury said he was waiting for the shots he took of the missile to be developed.

‘The only explanation I can give is that the object was a guided missile,’ he said.

‘It must have flown in circles and the vapour trails formed the cloud I saw.’

‘When it left the cloud the trails and the object itself were quite clear.  The object must have been very big to have been visible at that height.

‘When a Spitfire aircraft left vapour trails during the war you could see the trails but seldom saw the Spitfire.’

(Source: ‘South Pacific Post.’ 2 September 1953 page 1.)


3.  APRO Bulletin, July 1961.

‘The story opens with Mr Drury’s sighting. Mr. T. P. Drury of the Department of Civil Aviation at Melbourne gave this information personally to me. At the time of the sighting he was Director of Civil Aviation in the Territory of Papua, New Guinea, stationed at Port Moresby. He is a man of very high qualifications and has flown 32 types of aircraft himself. He has also made a speciality of meteorological phenomena. This sighting was also witnessed by his wife and children. This is his story.’

‘I was standing on the Coast Road overlooking the Flying Boat base at Port Moresby with my wife and children. It was about 11.00 a.m. on August 23, 1953. The weather was perfectly clear and cloudless. Even the summits of the Owen Stanley Range were clear, which is unusual. My wife and children were with me. I was engaged in taking a movie photo of a native boy spearing a fish. I was not looking at the sky. My wife noticed a wisp of cloud suddenly appear in the blue sky from nowhere and start to build up rapidly into a white puff. She called out to draw my attention to it. I watched it rapidly build up into a thick white mass of cumulus. There were no other clouds in the sky and there seemed nothing to account for it. Being very interested in meteorological phenomena I decided to take a film of it. So I rotated the turret of my French-made movie camera to bring the telephoto lens into position and started to film the cloud.

‘The cloud was at an elevation of about 50 degrees above the horizon, in a roughly south-west direction, towards Napanapa. It was impossible to estimate the altitude, as there was nothing with which to compare it.

‘Suddenly an object like a silver dart shot out of the cloud. It was elongated in shape like a bullet. It subtended about one inch at arm’s length. It was metallic and flashed in the Sun. It was very clear-cut, sharp in front but apparently truncated behind, though the tail may have been hidden by the vapour trail. No wings or fins were visible. It shot out of the cloud upwards at an angle of about 45 degrees. It was travelling at an immense speed, at least five times as fast as a jet plane travelling at the speed of sound. (Note that Mr Drury is an expert airman and accustomed to estimating the speed of planes.)

‘It never slackened speed or changed direction, but simply faded upwards into the blue and its vapour faded after it. It was gone in a few seconds. The vapour trail was very clear-cut, dense, white and billowing. It is visible in the remaining portion of the film still in my possession.

‘In spite of the supersonic speed and the comparative nearness of the object, there was no sound whatever.

‘I was greatly concerned about the appearance of such an extraordinary aircraft in the sky, without telling anyone. I drove straight to Jackson’s airport, and checked with the Air Traffic Control. There were no unusual aircraft out, only a DC3 and the usual DC4 expected from Australia, and possibly a small aircraft or two.

‘I the reported the sighting to the RAAF, but they were quite unable to account for it. Later, I sent them the film, which was sent off round the world, but no one could explain the object and it was pronounced ‘unknown.’

‘I am absolutely certain of its reality. It was photographed. My wife and children saw it. If anyone in the territory had the qualifications to identify an unknown aircraft, I had. It is my business to know what is in the air. I know all types of aircraft, and have flown 32 of them myself.’

(Source: Statement by Tom Drury which appears in The APRO Bulletin, July 1961, page 6 as part of an article ‘The New Guinea sightings’ by Rev. N. Crutwell.)


Summary of the facts.

Date: Sunday 23 August 1953.

Time: 1200hrs local.

Location: Port Moresby, Papua, New Guinea.  Latitude 9.478 degrees South; longitude 147.15 degrees East.)

Observers: Tom P Drury; Mrs Marjorie Drury; and son Paul.

Initially seen at: 50 degrees’ elevation, south-west azimuth.

Course: Travelling north-west.

Duration:

(1)  The cloud: A few minutes.’  (South Pacific Post, 2 Sep 1953.)

(2)  The object: ‘Then we watched it flying across the sky for a few more minutes.’ (South Pacific Post 2 Sep 1953.) ‘It was gone in a few seconds.’ (July 1961 APRO Bulletin from Drury himself; Chalker 1996.)

(3)  Travelling at Mach 5, suggestive of a brief duration.  (July 1961 APRO Bulletin.)

Angular size: About 1 inch at arm’s length (1971 source.)  ‘Pinhead.’ (1953 DCA.)

Last seen: ‘Faded upwards into the blue.’ (1971 source.)

Description: Silver in colour.  Reflecting the Sun.  ‘Silver dart.’ (1971).  Bullet shape.  (1971.)  Vapour trail.  No wings or fins.  Soundless.

Movement: Didn’t change speed or direction.  (1971.)

The Sun: At the time of the sighting, the Sun was at an elevation of 69 degrees; azimuth 8 degrees (almost due north.)

The planet Venus, which might have been visible despite the daylight, was at an elevation of 44 degrees; azimuth 311 degrees; (roughly north-west), at magnitude -4.

The Moon was below the horizon.
Comments by the authors:

A.  Length of film taken of the object:

1.  A reviewer of an initial draft of this paper, commented ‘…The French camera used a bizarre 16mm film, 25 ft long that was exposed alternatively on left and right sides, then split after development and then spliced to make one 25+25 = 50 foot long strip.’  This makes sense of a previously puzzling comment in a memo from Regional Director, DCA to New Guinea, to Director General, DCA Melbourne dated 5 September 1953.  In the memo was the following. ‘This film has been exposed on one side only.’  This suggests that the total length of exposed and developed film was 25 feet long.

2.  Edgar Jarrold and the Department of Air both, in 1954, speak of an exchange of 94 photographs of 94 frames of film.  (This is after the film came back from the US.) This represents 4 seconds of film at 24 frames per second.

3.  Bill Chalker in the year 2000, says he measured the length of the film as regards the object, at 5.8 seconds.

4.  How long did they observe the object?  If it was only a few (3-5?) seconds, then the length of the film of the actual object, as opposed to the cloud and object, at 24 frames a second, would result in say 72-120 frames of film.

5.  Our first question is, was there in fact, ever any ‘excised’ film of the object?  Did Drury only take, say 4-5 seconds of film of the object?  Remember he said it was travelling at Mach 5.  Drury certainly feels there was ‘missing’ film.  However, neither the Department of Civil Aviation, nor the Department of Air, make any mention in their documents that the film returned from the USA was shorter in terms of the section showing the object, than when it went to the USA.  The RAAF in 1966, despite a thorough search, did not discover any ‘excised’ film.

B.  The identity of the object:

1.  Taking the data that is available, our second questions is, could the object have been a day time meteor?

2.  Unlike the assumption of almost all who have looked at this sighting, suppose the ‘cloud’ (seen by Drury but not his wife or son, according to James E McDonald’s 1967 interview with Marjorie Drury) was not related to the object? Could the cloud simply have been, just that, a cloud?

3.  The observation by Drury himself, and researchers such as UFOlogist Edgar R Jarrold, that the object ‘climbed’ (implying gaining height) in the sky, could simply be a matter of the object gaining angular elevation in the sky, not ‘climbing.’  A descending meteor, on a north-easterly course could fit the account.

4.  In addition, bright meteors can leave long lived trails.  There are reports by Drury’s son, that the object’s trail was visible for 30 minutes after the object disappeared.  In addition, like Drury’s object, bright, daylight meteors can be silent as they pass across the sky.

5.  No one else, apart from UFO researcher, Edgar Jarrold ever claimed that the object made abrupt right hand turns.  Drury himself, maintained the object did not change in either speed or direction.  The basis on which Jarrold drew his conclusion about right hand turns is unknown.

6.  Drury himself seems to have stuck by his initial 1953 impressions that the object was a ‘guided missile.’  ‘RAAF files, examined by Bill Chalker, specifically rule out a missile firing from Woomera as an explanation.’  (APROB 1982.)  One of the authors (KB) lives in South Australia, which contains the Woomera range, and is familiar with the history of the range.  He agrees that the history of weapons tested at Woomera, rules out this hypothesis. The other author (PD) utilised the RecordSearch database at the National Archives of Australia, and the TROVE digitised newspaper collection of the National Library of Australia, to search for possible, more localised missile tests, perhaps from Australian ships, as New Guinea was an Australian Territory in 1953.  No evidence was found to support this notion.  There were no other land based missile test ranges in Australia in 1953.

7.  Drury himself, given the nature of his occupation, established to his satisfaction that the object could not have been an aircraft.

8.  Thus, the question is again posed, could it have been a day time meteor, travelling on such a course that, while descending through the atmosphere; appeared to be climbing into the sky from Drury’s perspective?

C.  The nature and quality of the images on the film:

1.  ‘…blur of light appears to move across the film.’  (Department of Air to Department of Civil Aviation, 1 July 1954.)

2.  ‘…little actual details can be learnt…’  (Edgar Jarrold, 10 August 1954.)

3.  ‘…the image quality is disappointingly poor…’  (Bill Chalker, 1982.)

4.  ‘Frames of the film are in my possession.  However, they are of poor quality.’ (Bill Chalker, 1983.)

5.  Speaking of a copy of the colour film he obtained, ‘Thin contrail-like image continuously moving.’  (Bill Chalker, 2001.)

6.  ‘Computer image analysis of one Drury film frame obtained with Paul Norman’s help concluded it was too indistinct to yield any reliable or interesting information.’ (Druffel, 2003.)

D.  Conclusions:

1.  In our opinion, having reviewed the information contained above, there is reasonable cause to believe that the object seen by Drury may well have been a bright, daylight meteor.

2.  There is doubt in our minds as to whether there ever was, in fact, any ‘excised’ film of the object.

3.  Those who have seen the film and photographs taken from the film, all state that the images were of poor quality. Jarrold’s description of a ‘disc-like object’ (AFSB magazine 1955) appear unfounded.

4.  In summary, in our opinion, a mythology has grown up around this sighting and movie, which is not supported by the evidence reviewed.  In short, the incident may simply have been, a bright, daylight meteor.


Acknowledgements And Selected Source Materials

The authors wish to thank Barry Greenwood USA); Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos (Spain), Mary Castner, from CUFOS (USA); Jan Aldrich (USA), and other un-named individuals for supplying copies of documentation we did not have.  Thanks to Fran Ridge (NICAP) (USA) for stimulating us to review the case material.  Thanks also to Australian researcher Bill Chalker for all his excellent work on this incident.

We are able to provide any interested parties with all the articles, documents and other items referenced. Due to the size of our report, it has been difficult to image every item thus far. I have, however, endeavoured to present some of the more interesting pieces of source material below.






























tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-5028457167312275064

February 6th 2017 at 06:08

"OPREP-3" - A Classified US Military Reporting 

Channel For UFO Incidents?

Part 9

  


Previously, in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 of this series, I looked at the US military’s OPREP–3 reporting system, and, in particular, its use in alerting top–echelon military commands of serious UFO incidents. In 1975, and again in 1978, the OPREP–3 system was used to convey urgent and current information regarding perceived UFO activity near sensitive US military installations. In Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7 of this series, I moved away from the raw reporting of UFOs, and began to discuss the US government’s response, concern, evaluation and investigation of these well–documented, intrusive aerial events, which were to become known as the “1970’s over flights”, or variations of that apt title. Through the release of hundreds of pages of records, via the utilisation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), researchers could piece together a chronological narrative of UFO detection, reporting, response and investigation. It was the efforts of Robert Todd, Barry Greenwood, Lawrence Fawcett and Todd Zechel, and a few others, which saw government agencies, especially military commands, release such records. 

In Part 8, I discussed both the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and the old Aerospace Defence Command’s (ADCOM) role in, and response to, the “over flights”, especially the events of October and November, 1975. Specifically, I laid out NORAD and ADCOM’s handling of FOI requests, which demonstrated clear inconsistencies, and possibly deceitful conduct. More importantly, I presented the comparatively few NORAD and ADCOM documents that werereleasable, including so-called “Command Directors Logs” and “Senior Command Directors Logs”. I also laid out a handful of misleading statements made by NORAD regarding UFO’s generally. Finally, it should be known that I will be discussing NORAD and ADCOM’s involvement in the “over flights” at greater length in my ongoing series titled “NORAD and the UFO Smokescreen”. In this edition of my series, I will present more NORAD and ADCOM correspondence, including FOI action, plus further declassified records, all of which are critical in assessing how these two massive organisations dealt with the both the UFO events themselves, and the fallout that occurred later.

Briefly, NORAD was, and still is, a bi–national, United States–Canadian military organisation charged with aerospace warning and aerospace control over North America. Its mission includes aircraft detection and monitoring, airspace management and defensive air sovereignty. ADCOM, which was inactivated in 1986, was a major command (MAJCOM) of the USAF, and was tasked with tactically defending the just continental USA only. As I have outlined previously, during the 1970’s and 1980’s, NORAD’s air sovereignty responsibilities were divided into a number of geographical “NORAD Regions”, often shortened to “NR”. Likewise, ADCOM’s air defence mission was similarly divided into distinct “Air Divisions”, frequently notated simply as “AD”.

I finished Part 8 of this series discussing various records held, and released, by NORAD’s Combat Operations Center (NCOC), as well as the 23rd and 24th NORAD Regions and equivalent ADCOM Air Divisions. Researchers continued, as the end of 1977 neared, submitting FOI requests, as well as general correspondence letters, to other regional headquarters, and even individual bases23rd. On the 13th of October, 1977, researcher Robert Todd sent an FOI request to the 22nd NORAD Region (22NR) at Canadian Forces Base North Bay, in Ontario. His request stated, in part:

“It is respectfully requested that the 22nd NORAD Region Senior Command Director’s Log for 15 October through 15th November 1975 be searched for any and all entries pertaining to unidentified flying objects (UFOs) or unidentified flight activity, and that copies of all such entries found be supplied.

It is also requested that copies be supplied of any log entries or any other documents in the possession of the 22nd NORAD Region which pertain to the attempted interception of a UFO (or UFOs) over Sudbury, Canada, on or about 11 October 1975.”

Evidently, Todd had noted from previous FOI action that the 22nd NR had dealt with UFO activity during November, 1975, and there were in fact a number of documents which were responsive to Todd’s FOI request. Unfortunately, these records were not released until years later, as we shall see. I have imaged Todd’s FOI request below.


On the 21st of October, 1977, Maj. Gen. J. E. Henna, Commander of the 22nd NR, came back to Todd, stating:

“Your letter dated 13 October, 1977, addressed to 22nd NORAD Region, Canadian Forces Base North Bay, has been referred to my office for reply.

As you will appreciate, 22nd NORAD Region Headquarters is located in Canada and the Freedom of Information Act to which you refer is not in force and effect in Canada. The entries in the 22nd NORAD Region Senior Directors Log and related documents are classified material and, as a matter of policy, Canadian authorities do not release such information to the public. Accordingly, I cannot comply with your request for transcripts of log entries.

I regret that I am unable to be of assistance to you in this matter.”

The FOI Act was, and still is, only applicable to American government agencies, so the response given by Maj. Gen. Henna’s letter was accurate. Maj. Gen. Henna’s reply letter is imaged below.


The 22nd NORAD Region must have been relieved. As stated above, there werespecific records responsive to Todd’s FOI request, and releasing them in 1977 would have significantly added to the growing pile of 1975 “over flight” material. Years later, the Canadian National Archives released a series of outgoing telexes which were sent from both Canadian Forces Station, Falconbridge and the 22nd NR Headquarters at North Bay, on the 11th and 12thof November, 1975. The destination of these telexes was the National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) in Ottawa. Also, several pages of the 22nd NR Air Traffic Control log book for the 11th and 12th of November, 1975 were declassified and released to Canadian researcher Palmiro Campagna in 1995 under Canada’s Access to Information Act (AIA).

To elaborate, during the evening of the 11thof November, 1975, Canadian Forces officers visually witnessed two unidentified objects, and at least one of them was seemingly imaged on primary radar. At 12:30Z, a telex was sent from the 22nd NR Headquarters to the NDHQ regarding the event. The descriptive body of the message dryly states:

“CIRCULAR OBJECT, BRILLIANTLY LIGHTED WITH TWO BLACK SPOTS IN CENTRE MOVING UPWARDS AT HIGH SPEED FROM 42,000 FEET TO 72,000 FEET. (NO HORIZONTAL MOVEMENT). 14 MINUTES. THIS OBJECT WAS SIGHTED VISUALLY AND BY RADAR BEARING 210 DEGREES MAGNETIC AT 30 NAUTICAL MILES FROM CFS FALCONBRIDGE. MAJOR OLIVER TOOK PICTURES BUT IS NOT SURE IF THEY WILL TURN OUT. A SIMILAR OBJECT WAS SIGHTED BY THE SAME OBSERVERS BEARING 270 DEGREES MAGNETIC BUT AT TOO GREAT A DISTANCE TO PROVIDE DETAILS. MANY OTHER REPORTS WERE RECEIVED FROM SUDBURY ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE. SEEN FOR 14 MINUTES.”

Hours later, at 16:30Z, another telex was sent to the NDHQ, only this time it was sent from Falconbridge CFS.  The main body of the message states:

“SPHERICAL SHAPED AND APPEARED TO BE ROTATING. APPEARED TO HAVE SURFACE AREA SIMILAR TO THE MOON AND WAS ASCENDING AND DESCENDING. OBSERVED ON HEIGHT FINDER RADAR AND SEARCH. POSITION 210 DEGREES 30 MILES ALTITUDE 42,000 FEET AT 1115Z. POSITION 200 DEGREES 30 MILES ALTITUDE 50,000 FEET AT 1120Z. POSITION 190 DEGREES 25 MILES ALTITUDE 72,000 FEET AT 1129Z. SEEN FROM OPS BUILDING AT CFS FALCONBRIDGE FOR 2 HOURS INTERMITTENTLY DUE TO CLOUD COVER.

             The 22nd NORAD Region Air Traffic Control log book for mid-November, 1975, sheds further light on the events. Originally classified SECRET, it is held at the Canadian National Archives as part of the file collection RG24-G-10-7, Volume/box number: 23314 under File 22NR-2075-5-Part 1, 1975/11-1979/08. The log book contains chronologically ordered entries which discuss UFO’s over Ontario from the evening of the 11th of November well into the 12th. As with the above highlighted telex messages, I will not here give a full account of the apparent UFO events as they appear in the log book. Doing so would go somewhat beyond the purposes of this blog series and would be better handled in future works. Briefly, however, the 22nd NR Air Traffic Control team at North Bay recorded that both local police around Sudbury, and nearby Falconbridge AFS, were reporting varying and unusual aerial activity, including a report from Falconbridge stating that one UFO was of “…brilliant color – like looking at a large gem with colored lights all around it”. Another entry states “…they observed the closest object through binoculars and object was rising vertically at tremendous speed…”. Further, the log details Falconbridge’s apparent radar confirmation as “…they had it on HT [Height] Finder at two cuts of 44,000’ and again at 72,000’ – object circular – well lighted and had what appeared as two black spots in the center.”. Finally, it is stated that a pair of F-106 combat jets from Selfridge Air Force Base, Michigan, were vectored in to identify the possible intruders, but found nothing. Apparently, however, the combat jets were at an insufficient altitude to make contact.

            Moving on from the 22nd NORAD Region, on the 7th of March, 1978, Robert Todd sent an FOI request to the 21st NORAD Region (21st NR) for copies of a new type of document previously unknown to researchers. As it happened, all NORAD Region’s maintained dozens of operational “checklists” which were used to quickly record day-to-day occurrences and events. Todd only discovered the existence of these kinds of records during previous FOI correspondence with the 20th NORAD Region (20th NR), and he was probably lucky to do so. The checklist piquing Todd’s interest was titled “Unknown Object/Track Reporting Checklist”, and came as an enclosure to a 20th NR regulation titled “20th NORAD Region Regulation, Operations, 55–7 Unknown Track / Unknown Object Reporting”. Todd correctly assumed that if the 20th NR maintained such a regulation, with its associated checklist, then all the NORAD Region’s would be maintaining very similar doctrine. In his FOI request to the 21st NR/DAD, Todd simply asked for completed copies of these records. Presumably, any “Unknown Object/Track Reporting” checklists would contain information about myriad strayed or unresponsive aircraft activity within the 21st NR, and, thus, would not necessarily be what UFO researchers would want. Even so, the title of the checklist did contain the phrase “Unknown Object”, so even amongst the mundane entries, was it possible that unexplained UFO events would be have been recorded.

            ADCOM’s 21st Air Division (21stAD) handled Todd’s request on behalf of the 21st NR. On the 22ndof March, 1978, Brig. Gen. Carl S. Miller sent his reply. A subject line at the top of the letter reads “Request for Copy of Checklists Pertaining to Unknown Object/Track Reporting”. The main body of the Brig. Gen. Miller’s reply goes on to state, in part:

“1. A determination has been that the records requested in your letter of 7 March, 1978 are releasable under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.”

Charges of $46.60 were assessed as being reasonable to cover search and reproduction costs. This figure was greatly higher than any other fees charged by NORAD or ADCOM in the past, and would indicate that a very large number of records were responsive to Todd’s FOI request. This was probably because the “Unknown Object/Track Reporting” checklists contained, as I have mentioned, all unidentified aircraft detected by the 21st NR, and, such documentation may have dated back many years before permanent archiving or scheduled destruction. Brig. Gen. Miller’s reply letter is imaged below.


The unexpected costs caused Robert Todd to ask the 21st AD for a fee waiver, which was unsuccessful. Failing that, on the 1st of May, 1978, Todd appealed the case to ADCOM’s Directorate of Administration (ADCOM/DAD), Headquarters, Ent AFB. Col. Terrence C. James handled the case, and, on the 16th of June, 1978, he sent Todd a final decision, which reads, in part:

“1. Your letter of 1 May 1978, concerning an appeal for waiver of fees and previous correspondence on the case, was forwarded to this headquarters by 21stAir Division, Hancock Field, New York. After a review of the case, a determination has been made that the checklists, even though you had been previously advised they were releasable, are exempt from mandatory disclosure under 5 USC 552b(2) and Air Force Regulation 12-30, para 10b. Release of these checklists would reveal internal practices and would substantially hinder the effective performance of a significant function of the Air Force.”

Thus, the decision was made to withhold 21stNR “Unknown Object/Track Reporting” checklists. This was a complete turnaround from Brig. Gen. Miller’s letter dated the 22nd March, 1978. The 21stAD was willing to release the records in question, but ADCOM’s Headquarters was not. Obviously, any records that should be withheld on national security grounds should be. So, why the 21st AD’s Brig. Gen. Miller readily offered Robert Todd material that was ostensibly “exempt from mandatory disclosure” is a mystery. Possibly, Brig. Gen. Miller was simply unaware of what should and should not be released. If Todd hadn’t appeal the costs of releasing the records, ADCOM’s Col. James would have been unaware of the situation. It is also possible, especially when one considers prior examples of NORAD and ADCOM’s apparent deceitfulness, that the release of 21stNR “Unknown Object/Track Reporting” checklists would reveal especially unusual aerial events. Considering that hundredsof pages of detailed records, which overtlydiscussed “UFOs”, “unidentified objects” and “unknown helicopters”, were being released by other commands, there was every chance that the above detailed NORAD checklists were no different. It is also worth mentioning that records, when sensitive, can be released with redactions. Often, only a few passages of text require blacking-out, and the rest becomes releasable. In this case, however, Col. James chose not to offer redacted versions of the records, as usually would be the case. Col. James’s letter is imaged below.


Researchers also submitted FOI requests to individual USAF bases asking for pertinent UFO or “unknown object” records.  On the 7th and 8thof September, 1976, civilians and local Deputy Sheriffs reported unusual aerial activity around over Huron County, Michigan. The sightings were taken seriously by nearby Port Austin Air Force Station, which was assigned to NORAD and ADCOM. Investigative reporter Robert “Bob” Pratt obtained firsthand testimony from witnesses, and then interviewed Port Austin’s NORAD Information Officer, Maj. William Frensley, as we shall see. Based on this information, Robert Todd, on the 4th of November, 1977, asked Port Austin AFS to search their records for anything “relating to unknown objects”. On the 3rd of November, 1977, Col. Kenneth W. Ohlinger sent his reply. Attached was a one page sheet of relevant log extracts titled “UFO Sightings at Port Austin AFS, MI (7 & 8 Sep 1976)”. I have imaged the page below.


With incredibly brief statements, such as “24 Tower notified to help surveillance on UFO”, it is impossible to build a narrative of events. However, once again, “UFO” sightings were being treated seriously. The “SD”, which refers to the Senior Director of either the 23rdAir Division, or, the 23rd NORAD Region, both located at Duluth International Airport, was concerned enough to advise Port Austin AFS to “immediately patch all incoming calls pertaining to UFO sightings to him”. These raw, single line entries do not do the night’s events much justice, but when looked at in conjunction with the information obtained by Bob Pratt, it is obvious that something strange went on. In fact, Pratt had compiled enough firsthand testimony from the area, which included a frank discussion with Maj. Frensley, to run a story in the for the “National Enquirer”. The article appeared on Page 5, on the 9th of November, 1976. With the title “Air Defense Chiefs Admit: We’ve Tracked UFOs on Radar – For a Second Time in Less Than a Year”, the opening sentence reads:

“For the second time in less than a year the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) has admitted to tracking UFOs.”

The article then quotes Maj. Frensley:

“Radar operators of the 754th Radar Squadron at Port Austin Air Force Station in Michigan reported tracking five unknown objects for about 30 minutes early on the morning September 7.”

Further, Maj. Frensley confirmed that two policemen and a civilian were questioned by NORAD regarding their sightings, but, in this case, little action was taken as the events apparently didn’t pose a national security threat. Maj. Frensley stated that:

“Determining whether an unknown object is a threat is based on certain criteria, such as point of origin, direction and speed and a number of other factors I cannot discuss for security reasons.”

One of the witnesses that Bob Pratt tracked down was Carl Baily, a campground manager, who described the objects as being shaped like “batwings”. Further, he stated:

“There were a lot of them. It seemed like a whole fleet. It was amazing. They were moving up and down and left and right, just sort of floating.”

The article goes on to state that Baily, as well two other witnesses, Huron County Sheriffs Deputy’s Greg Gordon and Gary Krug, were connected to the 23rd NORAD Region Headquarters at Duluth, Minnesota to describe what they had seen. This matches the entries found in the above imaged Port Austin AFS logs supplied to Robert Todd on the 3rdof November, 1977. The article goes on to quote Deputy Sheriff Gordon:

“We observed one object that was a very bright light in the sky. It would descend very rapidly, looking as though it was going to land. It would then return to its original height. It moved so quickly it was unbelievable. At one point, one of the objects was over Lake Huron and the next instant it was over the Port Austin Shoes Campground. It moved so quickly our eyes were unable to follow it. At 5 am, two men from the 754th Radar Squadron came out to the scene.”.

The article finishes off establishing that NORAD often questions people who have reported seeing UFO’s. Maj. Frensley is quoted as saying, “We like to talk to as many people as possible to correlate these sightings, if possible, with something like straying aircraft or flares that are dropped.”. Finally, Maj. Frensley admitted “We don’t know what the objects were.”.

In sum, there is no question that NORAD-assigned personnel at Port Austin AFS exhibited enough concern over local UFO sightings to accept calls from witnesses, and subsequently keep in contact as the night went on. The Senior Director, of either the 23rd NORAD Region or the 23rd Air Division, was being updated regarding the situation too. Moreover, if Maj. Frensley’s discussion with Bob Pratt is accurate, there was also primary radar confirmation of “five unknown objects for about 30 minutes” by Port Austin AFS’s 754th Radar Squadron. The above mentioned “National Enquirer” article is imaged below.


In Part 5 of this series I discussed a two-page telex message that summed up NORAD’s awareness of the UFO “over flight” situation as it had played out. NORAD’s Commander–in–Chief (CINCNORAD), based at Ent AFB, Colorado, sent the telex at 21:00Z, on the 11th of November, 1975. The addressees were the Chief of Staff, USAF, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), the Canadian Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), and the Commander–in–Chief, Strategic Air Command (CINCSAC). The information in the telex summarises the unidentifiable aerial intrusions that had recently occurred over Loring AFB, Wurtsmith AFB, Malmstrom AFB, Minot AFB, and Canadian Forces Station Falconbridge. The subject line reads “Suspicious Unknown Air Activity”, and, while covering just two printed pages, was originally sent in five parts. Robert Todd first saw a brief reference to the telex message in documents released by the CINCSAC to researcher Barry Greenwood. On the 19th of April, 1980, Todd sent an FOI request to ADCOM’s Directorate of Administration (ADCOM/DAD) asking for a copy of the telex, and, “any unidentified aircraft and object over flight documents related to the creation of it”. On the 25th of April, 1980, Col. James Rodeen, ADCOM’s Director of Administration, sent his letter with a copy of the two-page telex. However, in regards to Todd’s enquiry for “…documents related to the creation of it”, Col. Rodeen stated:

“With respect to that portion of your request for ‘related documents’, we are not sure what you want; can you be more specific as to what documents you are interested in? For example, we provided reports of activity at certain bases during the referenced time frame some time ago, in response to FOIA requests from you. Accordingly, your request, as presently worded, simply does not provide a reasonable description of the records you are seeking.

We will await your response before taking any action on the other portion of your request. If you are seeking documents other than reports of activity which have already been released to you and other FOIA requesters, we must advise that a search of records in various offices will be required and may be non-productive. We are unable to provide an estimate of search time until we know what records you want.”.

Simply put, Col. Rodeen is saying that the two-page telex was formulated from raw, incoming information, all of which had already been released to Todd and other researchers. This may well be true. However, Col. Rodeen also states that “…documents other than reports of activity which have already been released…” will require “…a search of records in various offices... …and may be non-productive”. Further enquiries on this particular matter were unproductive, as Todd wasn’t able to be specify the exact types of records that would apply to his enquiry. Col. Rodeen’s reply letter is imaged below.


Although I have presented the above mentioned CINCNORAD telex message in Part 5 of this series, it is worth imaging again once more.



One question which is occasionally raised revolves around the “linking” of so many unsolvable sightings over various far-flung military installations. When dealing with the media, NORAD claimed that the events were seemingly isolated. However, when one reviews the above two-page telex message, it is immediately stated that:

“SINCE 28 OCT 75 NUMEROUS REPORTS OF SUSPICIOUS OBJECTS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AT THE NORAD COC. RELIABLE MILITARY PERSONNEL AT LORING AFB, MAINE, WURTSMITH AFB, MICHIGAN, MALMSTROM AFB, MT, MINOT AFB, ND, AND CANADIAN FORCES STATION, FALCONBRIDGE, ONTARIO, CANADA, HAVE VISUALLY SIGHTED SUSPICIOUS OBJECTS.”

The fact that the five main “over flight” locations are lumped together in the opening passage could indicate that NORAD believed, by the 11th of November, the strange events to be connected. Even the possibility of a connection must have been deliberated. Certainly, the wave of UFO sightings was being taken seriously by NORAD personnel, as they should have, but no solid explanations were being offered. In fact, the CINCNORAD telex message was formulated two weeks since the first “suspicious object” sightings had occurred, so it’s no wonder that there was a desire to “…prevent overreaction by the public”. Furthermore, the claim that NORAD was doing “…everything possible to identify and provide solid factual information on these sightings…” also demonstrates a level of coordinated response. Under some pressure from NORAD, the Secretary of the Air Force’s Office of Information (SAFOI) made a judgement, for want of a better word, regarding whether the sightings were connected, and, formulated a rough guide on how individual commands should handle media enquiries. This information was conveyed in one-page telex message dated the 14thof November, 1975, and originated, specifically, from the Policy Directorate of the SAFOI. The primary addressees were the CINCNORAD at Ent AFB, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Air Command (CINCSAC) at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. The Secretary of Defence’s Office of Public Affairs (SECDEF PA) also received a copy. On the 6th of May, 1980, a copy of this telex was released to Robert Todd by Anne Wilkinson, FOI Manager, Headquarters, USAF. It reads:

            “1.  WE BELIEVE, AND OASD/PA CONCURS, THAT UNLESS THERE IS EVIDENCE WHICH LINKS SIGHTINGS OR UNLESS MEDIA QUERIES LINK SIGHTINGS, QUERIES CAN BEST BE HANDLED INDUVIDUALLY AT THE SOURCE AND AS QUESTIONS ARISE. RESPONSES SHOULD BE DIRECT, FORTHRIGHT AND EMPHASIZE THAT THE ACTION TAKEN WAS IN RESPONSE TO AN ISOLATED OR SPECIFIC INCIDENT. IOS SHOULD KEEP ALL LEVELS AND APPROPRIATE MAJCOMS INFORMED OF QUESTIONS ASKED, MEDIA AFFILIATIONS AND RESPONSES GIVEN.
2.   ON DEC 17, 1969, THE AIR FORCE ANNOUNCED TERMINATION OF PROJECT BLUE BOOK, THE PROGRAM FOR THE INVESTIGATION OF UFOS. SINCE THEN, NO EVIDENCE HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO INDICATE FURTHER INVESTIGATION BY THE AIR FORCE IS WARRENTED. THERE ARE NO PLANS FOR RENEWED AIR FORCE INVOLVEMENT IN THIS AREA.”

          Whether the unexplained sightings were connected or not, the SAFOI, as well as the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defence (OASD), were keen to have local Commanders take a safe approach with the press. The above detailed SAFOI telex is imaged below.






By 1981, NORAD’s Directorate of Administration (NORAD/DAD) could not keep up with the increasing number of FOI requests. It is worth mentioning that Robert Todd, the most consistent and forceful requestor of records, was a member of the civilian research group “Citizens Against UFO Secrecy” (CAUS) even if his correspondence didn’t always mention that fact. Other members included Barry Greenwood, Lawrence Fawcett, Brad Sparks, Todd Zechel and Larry Bryant. Combined, these researchers were seeing that NORAD, and to a lesser extent ADCOM, were releasing records six years after the 1975 “over flights” occurred. Sometimes unseen records were still being found and declassified, but often researchers were merely receiving copies of items already released. Either way, something had to be done to stem the tide. On the 1st of October, 1981, Col. James H. Rix, NORAD’s Director of Administration, issued a memorandum to the eight NORAD Regions advising that Robert Todd, and the CAUS group generally, be singled out for stricter FOI Act fee assessing. While there is no question that the number of requests for NORAD records had, thus far, been very frequent and recurrent, it is almost unheard of that one person or group be highlighted in official policy. Carrying the subject line “Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – Fees Assessment”, Col. Rix’s memorandum reads:

“1. Interim message change 80-1 to AFR 12-30 tells us to automatically waive search and duplication costs for single FOIA requests if those costs total less than #30.00. This change also permits FOIA managers to set aside the automatic waiver provision when, on the basis of good evidence, they can demonstrate that waiver of fees is not in the public interest.

2. Because of cumulative and recurring FOIA requests, we will no longer waive FOIA search and duplication fees, even though they may total less than $30.00, for Mr. Robert Todd, 2528 Belmont Ave, Ardmore, PA and the “Citizens Against UFO Secrecy” (CAUS). Further, we believe it is in the public interest to have Mr. Todd and CAUS pay for records searches even though no responsive records are located.”

3. Accordingly, NORAD Headquarters and NORAD Regions will, upon receipt of a FOIA request for records from Mr. Todd, or the “Citizens Against UFO Secrecy”, advise him or them of estimated search and copying fees and obtain agreement to pay before processing the request. Advise that search fees will be assessed even though no responsive records are located. If Mr. Todd or CAUS appeals fee assessment, forward the request to HQ NORAD/DADF for further processing.”

Col. Rix’s decision took effect immediately. Newly submitted requests, by both Robert Todd and Todd Zechel in November, 1981, were met with assessment fees, no matter how straightforward the record search process was. Likewise, when no records were found, large fees suddenly applied, with some in the many hundreds of dollars. Such costs immediately prohibited all but the most targeted FOI action. There was nothing technically wrong with NORAD’s interpretation of the FOI Act, and, in fact, NORAD had been quite patient with Robert Todd and the CAUS team up until this point. Page 4 of “Air Force Regulation 12-30, Information Management” (AFR 12-30), published on the 5thof September, 1980, in conjunction with amendment 80-1, dated August 12th, 1981, allowed for much stricter application of cost assessments when it could be reasonably shown that “public interest” is not being served. It could easily be argued that frequent and very similar FOI requests, by the same requestors, were not an efficient or fair use of the FOI Act, and, thus, not in the best interests of the tax paying public. Having said that, it could likewise be argued that NORAD, as well as the wider USAF, who researchers were also pummelling with FOI requests, changed their regulations to stop requestors forcing sensitive records being released. The fact that Col. Rix’s 1stof October memorandum specificallymentioned Robert Todd and the CAUS group, could be an indication that NORAD simply couldn’t tolerate the release of further records, especially if such records were more substantive or sensitive than what had already come out. The memorandum in question is imaged below.


As I have demonstrated, NORAD and ADCOM had, by 1981, released a fairly significant quantity of records which directly related to “UFOs” and “unknown objects” over US and Canadian military bases throughout late 1975. Likewise, significant records were regularly withheld. For example, on the 4th of October, 1977, ADCOM’s Director of Administration, Col. Terrence C. James, released a series extracts from the NORAD Combat Operation Center (NCOC) “Command Directors Log”, and the 24thNORAD Region “Senior Directors Log”, to researcher Todd Zechel. The same material had been released previously to Robert Todd on the 26th of August, 1977, and the 15th of September, 1977. There was, however, one difference. In his reply to Zechel, Col. James admitted the existence of one more document, stating:

“2. HQ USAF/DADF also forwarded a copy of a NORAD document for a review for possible downgrade and release.  We have determined the document if properly and currently classified and is exempt from disclosure under Public Law 90-23, 5 USC 552b(1).

3. The decision to withhold release of this document may be appealed un writing to the Secretary of the Air Force within 45 days from the date of this letter. If you appeal, include any reasons for reconsideration you with to present and attach a copy of this letter. Address your letter as follows: Secretary of the Air Force, thru HQ ADCOM/DAD, Peterson AFB CO 80914.”

Evidently, the FOI desk at the USAF’s Directorate of Administration (USAF/DADF) had located a NORAD-generated document which NORAD had failed to previously locate in their own records, or, had not wanted to admit existed. Either way, the document was “properly and currently classified” and was “exempt from disclosure”. Under the FOI Act any decision, by any government agency, to withhold records could be appealed in writing. Zechel lodged an appeal of Col. James’s decision on the 29thof October, 1977, but it was unsuccessful. I have imaged the relevant page below.


             There were occasions where researchers, especially Robert Todd, vented their frustration directly at NORAD and ADCOM. Inconsistent and evasive answers, some of which I have demonstrated at length, were duly noted, and often responded to straight away. One such example is a 29thof April, 1978 reply letter to Maj. Donald B. Stephens, Chief of NORAD’s Community Relations Division, who had been failing to answer Todd’s questions for months, and on some occasions, given inaccurate and untruthful answers. Todd’s letter, which I highlight here because of the richness of varying frustrations, reads:

“Your letter of 25th April 1978 was most apricated, particularly your remarks concerning the differences between the terms “UFO” and “unknown tracks”. Unfortunately, I fear your statement that at last, we may be getting somewhere, was a bit premature.

According to NORAD/DO message 131617Z Nov 75, there is little, if any, difference between the terms “UFO” and “unknown object”. In fact, the cited message established a requirement to report “unknown objects” (i.e., UFOs) in the same manner that unknown tracks are reported, even when “such observations did not result in track establishment”. Many NORAD Region/Air Divisions have incorporated the unknown object reporting procedures into their unknown track reporting procedures.

Without question, the NORAD/DO message was the result of many UFO overflights of SAC Weapons Storage Areas (WSAs) and Launch Control Facilities (LCFs) during October-November 1975. Of course, you denied any knowledge of these overflights in your letter of 26 August 1977.

I would very much like to know just what is going on. Was the UFO “flap” of October-November 1975 responsible for the NORAD/DO message? Is there still a requirement to forward UFO reports to HQ NORAD, and why? Is it correct to assume that there are no differences between “UFOs” and “unknown objects”? And, finally, why the does the government, which includes the Air Force and NORAD, insist on feeding the public so much baloney?

You may argue that you have been cooperative in responding to my many and varied requests for information. So might I, if it were not for the fact that all I seem to get is misleading statements, if not outright propaganda.”

Todd’s queries and accusations are fair. Firstly, he highlights the fact that one particular NORAD message, sent from NORAD Headquarters to all NORAD Regions on the 13th of November, 1975, stated that “…unknown object information will be forwarded in the same manner as for reporting unknown tracks…”. It is quite reasonable to ask what the difference is between NORAD’s “unknown objects”, versus the more traditional term “unidentified flying objects” or “UFOs”. Of course, there is none. Secondly, notable is Todd’s statement “…Of course, you denied any knowledge of these overflights in your letter of 26 August 1977.”. Here, he is referring to Maj. Stephens 26th of August, 1977 letter where Todd was told “…my check of files shows nothing that seems to correlate” regarding unidentified over flights of USAF bases near the Canadian border. As we know from the wealth of released documents, this is absolute nonsense. Thirdly, an exacerbated Todd dishes out more generalised queries like “…why the does the government, which includes the Air Force and NORAD, insist on feeding the public so much baloney?” and “all I seem to get is misleading statements, if not outright propaganda.” Possibly the most powerful of Todd’s statements is simply “I would very much like to know just what is going on”. Interestingly, Maj. Stephens never replied. Todd’s letter is imaged below.


           Aside from specific documentation that was withheld, there was other material either not accessed during searches, or, otherwise not admitted to at all. As I have highlighted, especially in Part 8 of this series, the NORAD and ADCOM Regions maintained so-called “Senior Director Logs”. The 23rd and 24th NORAD Regions released extracts of these logs which contained numerous and specific references to UFO’s. The “Senior Director Log” was, however, one of many logs that possibly contained minute-by-minute entries concerning unidentified objects. During FOI correspondence with the 20thNORAD Region (20th NR), Robert Todd obtained a copy of an operational instruction titled “20th NORAD Region Regional Control Center, Operations, Instruction 55-7, Control Center Operations Logs”. On page 1 it is stated that:

“The Senior Director (SD), Air Surveillance Officer (ASO) and the Identification Officer (IDO) will be responsible for insuring that an accurate record of events, and prescribed by this directive, is recorded in the Control Center Operations Logs. The Air Surveillance Officer will also insure that logs maintained by Manual Data (MD), Radar Inputs Countermeasure Officer (RICMO) and Height are utilized in accordance with prescribing directives.”

Thus, it is apparent that the NORAD Regions each maintained an “Air Surveillance Officer Log” and an “Identification Officer Log” alongside their “Senior Director Log”. Furthermore, the Air Surveillance Officer was also responsible, in part, for logs maintained by the Manual Data Supervisor, Radar Inputs Countermeasure Officer and Height Supervisor. Todd never had the chance to ask the NORAD Regions such log extracts that would have corresponded with the 1975 “over flights”. After two years, routine document destruction scheduling allowed for such material to be turned over to ADCOM for incineration. I have imaged the first page of “20th NORAD Region Regional Control Center, Operations, Instruction 55-7, Control Center Operations Logs” below.


             There is no question that ADCOM and NORAD released a large quantity of records to researchers, who were dogged in their application of the FOI Act, over a six year period following the strange events of 1975 and, to a lesser extent, 1976. There is likewise little doubt that both agencies were not keen on releasing other records which, to this day, remain classified. In both this entry, and Part 8, I demonstrated numerous occasions where records were withheld, or, where deception occurred in relation to what records were retrievable. In some cases, ADCOM and NORAD officials simply denied the existence of certain documents, only to then begrudgingly release them at a later date, and only through the threat of appeals and further voluminous FOI action. Aside from the fact that information was withheld, it is evident that ADCOM and NORAD did take “UFOs” seriously, and, treated them as such. Both agencies at least believed that unusual airborne activity was occurring over four sensitive, nuclear armed USAF bases, and vitally important Canadian installations, for two weeks. In allthe records released, none discuss mundane solutions. It would be extremely surprising if ADCOM or NORAD, probably aided by, or in aid of, the USAF, did not produce any final discussion papers, opinion pieces, point papers or command level reports. When researchers attempted to obtain such information, the lid had already come down, and, after 1982, nothing else was declassified and released. In Part 10 of this series, I will begin to discuss the role the Strategic Air Command (SAC) played in the weird events of 1975.

tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-6857608245935336577

December 6th 2016 at 06:37

"OPREP-3" - A Classified US Military Reporting 

Channel For UFO Incidents?

Part 8

  

Previously, in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series, I looked at the US military’s OPREP–3 reporting system, and, in particular, its use in alerting topechelon military commands of serious UFO incidents. During the 1970’s, the OPREP3 system was used to convey urgent and current information regarding perceived UFO activity near a number of United States Air Force (USAF) bases assigned to the Strategic Air Command (SAC), as well as a United States Navy (USN) facility. In Part 4, I highlighted a formally classified joint North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and Aerospace Defence Command (ADCOM) manual which specifically asked that “unidentified flying objects – UFOs” events be submitted by regional NORAD Commanders via the OPREP-3 system. In Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7 of this series, I moved away from the reporting of UFOs via the OPREP3 system, and began to discuss the US government’s response, concern, evaluation and investigation of these intrusive aerial events. These alarming UFO incidents, known euphemistically as the “over flights”, as well as the widespread reaction they triggered within the US government, can only be studied through the examination of begrudgingly declassified documents. The release of these records, which number in the many hundreds, only occurred due to the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by a handful of dogged researchers. In particular, Robert Todd, Barry Greenwood, Lawrence Fawcett and Todd Zechel spearheaded this extraordinary and voluminous research effort, often at great cost. 

In this Part 8, I will begin to look at how the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and Aerospace Defence Command (ADCOM) assessed and responded to the apparent UFO activity during 1975. It is worth stating that I will soon discuss, at much greater length, NORAD and ADCOM’s actions in another series of blog posts I author titled “NORAD and the UFO Smokescreen”.


For those unfamiliar, NORAD is a binational, United StatesCanadian military organisation charged with both “aerospace warning” and “aerospace control” for almost all of North America. NORAD’s current “Fact Sheet” states, firstly, that “aerospace warning” includes “the detection, validation, and warning of attack against North America whether by aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles”, and, secondly, that “aerospace control” includes ensuring air sovereignty and air defence of the airspace of Canada and the United States.”. NORAD was established in September, 1957, and continues to be an extremely major component of the US and Canadian military apparatus today. ADCOM, on the other hand, was a major command (MAJCOM) of the USAF, and was tasked with defending the continental USA only. Borne from the older Air Defence Command (ADC), ADCOM was inactivated in March, 1980, and its assets were mostly absorbed into the new Tactical Air Command (TAC). It is important to note that both NORAD and ADCOM were, in the 1970’s, headquartered at Ent Air Force Base, Colorado. However, during the late 1970’s, both organisations, after years of huge restructuring, moved to Peterson Air Force Base, also in Colorado. I raise this because some of the documents I will be highlighting are letterheaded with both Ent AFB and Peterson AFB, which, without explanation, could cause confusion. Also, during the 1970’s and 1980’s, NORAD’s air sovereignty responsibilities were divided into a number of geographical “NORAD Regions”, often shortened to “NR”. Likewise, ADCOM’s air defence mission was similarly divided into distinct “Air Divisions”, frequently notated simply as “AD”.

Of the two, NORAD has brushed off the UFO problem the most brashly. In a reply letter, dated the 10th November, 1975, Colonel Terrence C. James, NORAD’s Director of Administration (NORAD/DAD), stated to researcher Robert Todd:


“…this command has no present activity in investigating UFOs, nor does any area of the United States government that I’m aware of.”


Another letter from NORAD/DAD, dated 28th November, 1975, also to Robert Todd, said:

“We do not undertake investigative measures… …our interests are satisfied in near real time, and no formal documentation is created by this command.”

Ten years later, in an April 25th, 1988 reply letter to researcher Dr. Armen Victorian, NORAD/HQ’s Chief of Operations Branch, Directorate of Public Affairs, Lt. Col. Roger I. Pinnell, stated:


“Thank you for your recent letter requesting information on Unidentified Flying Objects. Unfortunately, we have not recently released any information concerning UFO’s, nor do we keep any such information on file... ...Although we do not have any information on UFO’s, you may want to write to the following address and they should be able to assist you...”


As we shall see, these statements depart radically from NORAD’s own records.


On the 21st of February, 1976, researcher Robert Todd submitted an FOI request to ADCOM Headquarters, Ent Air Force Base, Colorado, for any records held by NORAD Headquarters (NORAD/HQ) regarding “UFO sightings”. Todd stipulated that he particularly wanted access to records which were created during December, 1973, January 1974, and October and November, 1975. Normally, a researcher would submit FOI requests directly to the organisation in custody of needed records. However, in this case, Todd had already submitted FOI requests directly to NORAD/HQ, on both the 3erd and the 22nd of January, 1976, but was never furnished with a reply. Thus, he felt compelled to communicate with ADCOM in the hope that his requests for NORAD documentation would be handled properly, if indirectly. In his request to , On the 11th and 23erd of March, 1976, Kay A. Wales, the Chief of the Documentation Systems Division within the ADCOM’s Directorate of Administration (ADCOM/DAD), informed Todd that an extension of time was required to search archived NORAD records. On the 26th of March, 1976, Kay A. Wales replied to Todd, stating:


“1. Reference your letter of 21st of February, 1976, and our letters of 11 and 23 March, 1976.


2.  A determination has been made that the records you requested are releasable under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 USC 552. Attached are excerpts from the Command Directors Log. There are no entries in the log for December 1973 or January 1974 that relate to UFO’s.”


This reply is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, ADCOM had managed to secure NORAD records, where direct FOI correspondence with NORAD HQ had previously failed. Secondly, a hitherto unknown new type of NORAD records had been identified and released. These were known as “Command Directors Log” extracts, or, on occasion, “Command Directors Journals”. To be specific, in her letter, they were listed as “Unclassified Extracts from NORAD Command Directors Log”. Thirdly, with these records in hand, it was proven that NORAD did indeed deal with the UFO topic, despite their previous claims. In regards the “Command Directors Log”, it is worth noting that the Commander of NORAD’s Combat Operations Center (NCOC), at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex (CMC), Colorado, was responsible for producing them, and not the NORAD CommanderinChief (CINCNORAD) as commentators have suggested in the past. These logs contained raw, spontaneous, unevaluated information which concerned NORAD’s airspace management and aerospace warning mission. The NCOC Commander held, at minimum, the rank of Colonel, but was usually ranked Major General, and was directly answerable to the CINCNORAD. The above mentioned reply letter is imaged below.



And, with that, three pages of “Command Directors Log” extracts were furnished to Robert Todd. The most interesting aspect of them was not what wasreleased, but what wasn’t. Nothing remarkable is contained within them at all. I have imaged below the first page of the released logs, for clarity.




Indeed, it was the dullness of these extracts that instantaneously raised Todd’s suspicions. As it turned out, those suspicions were well founded. As the years went on, ever more insistent FOI requests proved that NORAD’s NCOC, as well as various NORAD and ADCOM regional Headquarters, held far more UFOrelated entries in their logs than they wished to initially admit. This didn’t just happen once. Repeatedly, researchers asserted themselves, even threatening litigation, to compel the release of more material specific to late 1975. Before the floodgates opened, however, there were a few more instances of lethargy and deceitfulness on behalf of authorities.

On the 11th of August, 1977, Todd submitted an FOI request to NORAD HQ, Peterson AFB, Colorado, asking for copies of records relating to “unidentified flight activity over two SAC bases near the Canadian border” during the months October and November, 1975. Todd, of course, was referring to Loring AFB and Wurtsmith AFB, which were both assigned to the USAF’s Strategic Air Command (SAC), and had been intruded upon by airborne objects variously described as “unknown helicopters”, “unknown objects”, “unidentified objects” and “UFOs”. These terms were not being thrown around carelessly by UFO researchers, but, rather, were repetitively contained in myriad declassified USAF documents, which I have detailed in previous entries in this series. In some of those alreadyreleased records, NORAD was an addressee on various distribution lists, and, as we know, three pages of NORAD “Command Directors Log” extracts detailing UFO sightings during November, 1975, had been released. So there was no question that NORAD must of being holding records related to the unidentified activity along the US-Canadian border. Amazingly, on the 26th of August, 1977, Maj. Donald B. Stephens, who was Chief of NORAD’s Community Relations Division, replied to Todd, stating:

“In response to your letter of 11 August, 1977 asking about ‘unidentified flight activity over two SAC bases near the Canadian border’, my check of files shows nothing that seems to correlate. On 31 October, 1975, there were three ‘unknowns’ in the records, all of which were identified: two small planes in Florida and an Air Canada DC8 in Canada.

Perhaps the SAC IO at Offutt AFB, NE, can be of assistance.”


As mentioned, it was already established that NORAD held a series of “Command Directors Log” entries relating to UFO activity during October and November, 1975, so Maj. Stephens’s letter seemed doubtful, and that’s putting it mildly. As we shall see, the claim that “nothing that seems to correlate” within NORAD files was utter nonsense. Anyone holding the rank of Major, not to mention being Chief of his division, is simply not worthy of the responsibilities bestowed upon him. The above mentioned letter is imaged below.




The above detailed FOI request wasn’t the only item Robert Todd sent out on the 11th of August, 1977. On the same day, Todd submitted an FOI request to ADCOM’s Directorate of Administration (ADCOM/DAD), Headquarters, Peterson AFB, also asking for thorough searches of NORAD “Command Directors Logs” for entries related to “UFOs” and “unidentified flight activity”. Similar to Todd’s 21st of February, 1976 FOI request, Todd was attempting to obtain NORAD records through ADCOM, because dealing with directly with NORAD had become frustrating. On the 26th of August, 1977, which happened to be the same day Maj. Stephens’s sent his “nothing that seems to correlate” reply letter, there was an equally significant response, filling two pages, sent from ADCOM’s Director of Administration, Col. Terrance C. James. Usually, successful FOI requests have released documents enclosed as attachments to the covering reply letter. In this case, however, Col. James presented the required information within the covering letter itself. It began:


“1. In response to your letter of 11 August 1977, the NORAD Command Director Log was researched for “unidentified flight activity” for the period 30, 31 October and 1 November, 1975. The following entries were noted…”


A number of NORAD Combat Operation Center (NCOC) “Command Directors Log” extracts were given:


“29 October/0630Z, Command Director called by Air Force Operations Center concerning an unknown helicopter landing in the munitions storage area at Loring AFB, Maine. Apparently this was second night in a row this occurrence. There was also an indication, but not confirmed, that Canadian bases had been overflown by a helicopter.


31 Oct/0445Z: Report from Wurtsmith AFB through Air Force Ops Center - incident at 0355Z. Helicopter hovered over SAC Weapons storage area then departed area. Tanker flying at 2700 feet made both visual sighting and radar skin paint. Tracked object 35NM SE over Lake Huron where contact was lost.


1 Nov/0920Z: Received, as info, message from Loring AFB, Maine, citing probable helicopter overflight of base.”


8  Nov/0753Z: 24th NORAD Region unknown track J330, heading SSW, 12000feet. 1 To 7 objects, 46.46N x 109.23W. Two F-106 scrambled out of Great Falls at 0745Z. SAC reported visual sighting from Sabotage Alert Teams (SAT) K1, K3, L1 and L6 (lights and jet sounds). Weather section states no anomalous propagation or northern lights. 0835Z SAC SAT Teams K3 and L4 report visual, K3 report target at 300 feet altitude and L4 reports target at 5 miles. Contact lost at 0820Z. F-106s returned to base at 0850Z with negative results. 0905Z Great Falls radar search and height had intermittent contact. 0910Z SAT teams again had visual (Site C-1, 10 miles SE Stanford, Montana). 0920Z SAT CP reported that when F-106’s were in area, targets would turn out lights, and when F-106’s left, targets would turn lights on. F-106’s never gained visual or radar contact at anytime due to terrain clearance. This same type of activity has been reported in the Malmstrom area for several days although previous to tonight no unknowns were declared. The track will be carried as a remaining unknown.”


Thus, it was finally established that NORAD held records regarding the most provocative and intrusive events of October and November, 1975. This was the tip of the iceberg, as I will later demonstrate. Of course, the above NORAD “Command Directors Log” extracts are nothing like the low level sighting report extracts released to Todd on the 26th of March, 1976, by ADCOM’s Kay A. Wales. In that meagre release, the three pages of records were indeed listed as NORAD “Command Directors Log” extracts. So, why, all of a sudden, was ADCOM’s Col. Terrance C. James now able to produce two pages of new NORAD “Command Directors Log” extracts which should have been released a year beforehand? Unsurprisingly, the fresh set of extracts contained more sensitive information, and one is bound to wonder if they had been held back deliberately in the previous FOI request. Furthermore, Col. James’s released extracts unequivocally discuss unidentified flight activity over three SAC bases, yet, Maj. Donald B. Stephens’s letter, which contained Todd’s initial question about “unidentified flight activity over two SAC bases…”, carried the statement “my check of files shows nothing that seems to correlate”. It is impossible to prove whether NORAD’s contradictory statements were innocent administrative bungling, or, were, in fact, deliberately deceitful. Whatever the situation, ADCOM was at least proving to be cooperative with NORAD records, and, following on from the above listed log extracts Col. James’s letter states:

“2. If further information is desired concerning the above, please contact the applicable air division or unit involved. Please forward your request to the air division in the specific geographic area of concern, as their logs are generally more complete than NORAD Command Directors Log.


3. The Command Chaplain publishes a map, suitable in size, and indicating the boundaries of each air division. We feel that this map will be helpful to you directing your requests to the location which can provide the most detailed information about a specific incident. The complete addresses for all ADCOM air divisions are listed below”


Listed were all ADCOM Air Divisions (AD), namely, the 20th AD at Fort Lee, Virginia, the 21st AD at Hancock Field, New York, the 23erd AD at Duluth International Airport, Minnesota, the 24th AD at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, the 25th AD at McChord Air Force Base, Washington, and the 26th AD at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. I have imaged Col. James’s two page reply below.





Unsurprisingly, Robert Todd sent FOI requests to a number of ADCOM’s Air Division HQ’s, and, as the months went on, significant information was released. On the 2nd of September, 1977, Todd sent an FOI request to the Directorate of Administration, Headquarters 24th AD, (24th AD/DAD) for “…all log entries held by the 24th NORAD Region which pertain to unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and unidentified flight activity… …during October and November, 1975”. Ironically, the ’Headquarters of both the 24th AD and the 24th NORAD Region (24th NR) are colocated at Malmstrom AFB. Researchers already knew that Malmstrom AFB was one of the locations where unknown aerial incursions had transpired. On the 15th of September, 1977, FOI Officer Lt. Col. Wayne C. Young, Directorate of Administration, Headquarters, 24thAD, sent back a three page reply. Similar to the reply Todd got from ADCOM/DAD on the 26th of August, 1977, Lt. Col. Young presented applicable records within the covering letter itself:

“In response to your Freedom of Information Act request letter dated 2 September, 1977. The following extracts are taken from the 24th NORAD Region Senior Director Log. This is the only source of information we have pertaining to Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) incidents outlined in your letter and all related incidents. The log itself has classified entries and cannot be copied; however, I assure you all pertinent entries have been extracted.”


It is important here to note that all ADCOM and NORAD regional ’Headquarters maintained a “Senior Directors Log”. These logs are comparable to the “Command Directors Log” maintained at the respective ADCOM and NORAD ’Headquarters in Colorado. Col. Young’s continues with the direct extracting of 24th NORAD “Senior Directors Log” entries:


“7 Nov 75 (1035Z) - Received a call from the 341st Strategic Air Command Post (SAC CP), saying that the following missile locations reported seeing a large red to orange to yellow object:  M-1, L-3, LIMA and L-6. The general object location would be 10 miles south of Moore, Montana, and 20 miles east of Buffalo, Montana. Commander and Deputy for Operations (DO) informed.


7 Nov 75 (1203Z) - SAC advised that the LCF at Harlowton, Montana, observed an object which emitted a light which illuminated the site driveway.


7 Nov 75 (1319Z) - SAC advised K-1 says very bright object to their east is now southeast of them and they are looking at it with 10x50 binoculars. Object seems to have lights (several) on it, but no distinct pattern. The orange/gold object overhead also has small lights on it.  SAC also advises female civilian reports having seen an object bearing south from her position six miles west of Lewiston.


7 Nov 75 (1327Z) - L-1 reports that the object to their northeast seems to be issuing a black object from it, tubular in shape. In all this time, surveillance has not been able to detect any sort of track except for known traffic.


7 Nov 75 (1355Z) - K-1 and L-1 report that as the sun rises, so do the objects they visual.


7 Nov 75 (1429Z) - From SAC CP: As the sun rose, the UFOs disappeared. Commander and DO notified.


8 Nov 75 (0635Z) - A security camper team at K-4 reported UFO with white lights, one red light 50 yards behind white light. Personnel at K-1 seeing same object.


8 Nov 75 (0645Z) - Height personnel picked up objects 10-13,000 feet, Track J330, EKLB 0648, 18 knots, 9,500 feet. Objects as many as seven, as few as two A/C.


8 Nov 75 (0735Z) - J330 unknon 0753.  Stationary/seven knots/12,000  One (varies seven objects). None, no possibility, EKLB 3746, two F-106, GTF, SCR 0754. NCOC notified.


8 Nov 75 (0820Z) - Lost radar contact, fighters broken off at 0825, looking in area of J331 (another height finder contact).


8 Nov 75 (0905Z) - From SAC CP: L-sites had fighters and objects; fighters did not get down to objects.


8 Nov 75 (0915Z) - From SAC CP: From four different points: Observed objects and fighters; when fighters arrived in the area, the lights went out; when fighters departed, the lights came back on; to NCOC.


8 Nov 75 (0953Z) - From SAC CP:  L-5 reported object increased in speed - high velocity, raised in altitude and now cannot tell the object from stars. To NCOC.


8 Nov 75 (1105Z) - From SAC CP:  E-1 reported a bright white light (site is approximately 60 nautical miles north of Lewistown). NCOC notified.


9 Nov 75 (0305Z) - SAC CP called and advised SAC crews at Sites L-1, L-6 and M-1 observing UFO.  Object yellowish bright round light 20 miles north of Harlowton, 2 to 4,000 feet.


9 Nov 75 (0320Z) - SAC CP reports UFO 20 miles southeast of Lewiston, orange white disc object.  24th NORAD Region surveillance checking area. Surveillance unable to get height check.


9 Nov 75 (0320Z) - FAA Watch Supervisor reported he had five air carriers vicinity of UFO, United Flight 157 reported seeing meteor, ‘arc welder's blue’ in color.  SAC CP advised, sites still report seeing object stationary.


9 Nov 75 (0348) - SAC CP confirms L-1, sees object, a mobile security team has been directed to get closer and report.


9 Nov 75 (0629Z) - SAC CP advises UFO sighting reported around 0305Z. Cancelled the flight security team from Site L-1, checked area and all secure, no more sightings.


10 Nov 75 (0215Z) - Received a call from SAC CP. Report UFO sighting from site K-1 around Harlowson area. Surveillance checking area with height finder.


10 Nov 75 (0153Z) - Surveillance report unable to locate track that would correlate with UFO sighted by K-1. 10 Nov 75 (1125Z) - UFO sighting reported by Minot Air Force Station, a bright star-like object in the west, moving east, about the size of a car. First seen approximately 1015Z. Approximately 1120Z, the object passed over the radar station, 1,000 feet to 2,000 feet high, no noise heard.  Three people from the site or local area saw the object. NCOC notified.”


Below is the first page of the Lt. Col. Young’s reply, which includes the first few 24th NORAD Region “Senior Command Directors Log” extracts.




It is very difficult, from these transitory and limited descriptions to discern exactly what was going on above the nuclear missile fields near Malmstrom over these three days. My aim is not to study each event, or attribute causes. Other researchers have tried, and have failed to come up with definite and guaranteed conclusions. What can be guaranteed is that a very significant number of people, including USAF officers, thought they were dealing with a disturbing series of unidentifiable objects over Montana. The persistent use of the terms “UFO” and “object” demonstrates this beyond any doubt. The situation would be less alarming if it wasn’t for provocative statements like, “…reports that the object to their northeast seems to be issuing a black object from it, tubular in shape” and “SAC CP reports UFO… …orange white disc object”.


More importantly, at least for the purposes of my work, is the fact that the both the 24th NORAD Region’s Commander, as well as the Deputy Commander for Operations, were informed of these intrusions right from the beginning. Furthermore, there are no less than five occasions where the NORAD Combat Operations Center (NCOC), at NORAD HQ, Peterson AFB, Colorado, was “notified” of the unfolding events. Of course, NORAD and ADCOM were not the only entities involved. In Part 6 of this series, I outlined how the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and their huge National Military Command Center (NMCC), in Washington DC, were also being urgently informed of the alarming incidents near Malmstrom AFB. The NMCC’s Deputy Director for Operations (NMCC/DDO) produced a number of “Memorandums for the Record”, “DDO Talkers” and “DDO Updates” which summarised the information being relayed to them from NORAD. Numerous other commands were also on the “need to know” list, and responded with a degree of alarm.


On the 31st of October, 1977, Robert Todd sent an FOI request to the Directorate of Administration, Headquarters, 23erd Air Division (23erd AD/DAD), at Duluth International Airport, Minnesota for “…all log entries held by the 23erd NORAD Region and the 23erd Air Division which pertain to unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and unidentified flight activity… …during October and November, 1975”. On the 15th of November, 1977, Lt. Col. Jack W. Reid, Executive Officer at the Directorate of Administration, 23erd AD, sent his reply:


“1. A determination has been made that the records you requested in your letter dated 31 October 1977 are releasable under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C 552.


2. Extracts from the 23d Air Division Senior Directors Log for the month of November 1975 have been made and a copy is attached.”


No mention is made of any applicable 23erd NORAD Region logs, but ADCOM’s 23erd AD Headquarters apparently held pertinent records. Lt. Col. Reid’s letter is imaged below.


Attached to the reply letter were five pages of 23erd AD “Senior Director Log” extracts which concerned “UFOs” or “unusual sightings” during November, 1975. Some of the more provocative log entries are:

“1205Z/11 Nov 75 - Received unusual sighting report from Falconbridge AFS, Ontario, Canada. Info passed to NORAD Command Director, Intelligence and Weather.


1840Z/11 Nov 75 - Actions pertaining to scramble of JL08 and 09 due to unusual object sighting. With Director of Operations approval scrambled JL08/09 at 1745Z, airborne at 1750Z. NORAD Combat Operations Center notified of Falconbridge AFS incident at 1820Z. At 1804 22nd NORAD Region was briefed on aircraft scramble and Falconbridge incident. Aircraft over Falconbridge flying over incident, point no sighting, 1831 aircraft still in area, no radar aircraft or visual contact, Falconbridge AFS still reporting object at 26,000 ft.

2235Z/12 Nov 75 - Transmitted unknown report to NCOC Surveillance on N280 (track number) all parts (I, II and III) on incident at Falconbridge AFS which occurred on 11 Nov 75. Reference Log entry 1840Z/11 Nov 75.


0533Z/15 Nov 75 - UFO report from Falconbridge, occurrence time 0202Z, report sent to NCOC Surveillance, referred to Assistant Command Director, Space Defense Center, and Intelligence. These 3 individuals considered the report a UFO report and not an unknown track report.”


These, as usual, contain the briefest of details. More important to my work here, however, are the implications around the very fact that “UFOs” were distinctly being dealt with at all, and how. Also, it is important to note that most of the information contained in this particular release of 23erd AD log extracts comes from Ontario, Canada. In the 1970’s, both the 22nd and 22erd NORAD Region’s covered much of southern Canada, and, both were fed primary radar data from Falconbridge Air Force Station near North Bay, Ontario. The 23erd NORAD Region Headquarters were co-located with the 23erd ADCOM Air Division Headquarters, at Duluth International Airport, Minnesota, thus, the 23erd AD log records we see here reflect what was happening directly from southern Canada. Why the 23erd NORAD Region didn’t release records, which would presumably be very similar, within this FOI request reply is unknown. The first two entries I highlight above are dated the 11th of November, 1975. At 12:05 Zulu, it is states that an “unusual sighting report” from Canada’s Falconbridge Air Force Station was passed to NORAD’s Command Director, as well as two other components listed as “Intelligence” and “Weather”. Hours later, at 18:40 Zulu, combat jets were in the air “due to unusual object sighting”, and the NORAD Combat Operations Center (NCOC) and the 22nd NORAD Region Headquarters at North Bay, Ontario were notified.


The next day, at 22:35 Zulu, the previous nights “unknown” was finalised with “NCOC Surveillance” in what is referenced as “all parts (I, II and III)”. This appears to reference a three-part form report. We have seen such paperwork before. In Part 4 of this series I highlighted a joint NORAD/ADCOM manual titled “NORAD/ADCOM Manual 55–19, Vol. VII, Aerospace Reporting System”. In that manual, dated 25th of November, 1977, Section 15 is titled “Identification of Air Traffic, and, contains a subsection titled “Figure 15–4. OPREP–3 Unknown Track Report”. Point 1 states “This report provides the NCOC with additional data concerning each track classified as unknown (to include unidentified flying objects – UFOs)”. While this manual was published in 1977, one can’t help but wonder if a very similar, if not identical, three-part NORAD/ADCOM form was in use during the 1975 “over flights”. Whatever the exact procedures during the November, 1975, as opposed to the later published NORAD/ADCOM manual detailed above, clearly “UFOs” and “unusual object sightings” are taken seriously enough to not only alert top-echelon areas within NORAD and ADCOM, but also vector in USAF combat jets to identify the unknowns.

The final notable log extract, from an official response pointofview, was entered at 05:33 Zulu, on the 15th November. A “UFO report” was sent to the NCOC Surveillance and “Intelligence”, as well as Assistant Command Director, Space Defence Center. No information regarding the “UFO” is given, but “…3 individuals considered the report a UFO report and not an unknown track report” make it clear that this was anything but a routine unknown aircraft tracking event. That the event was referred to Assistant Command Director of the Space Defence Center (SDC) is noteworthy. In 1975, The SDC, located at NORAD’s Cheyenne Mountain Complex (CMC), maintained the old Space Detection and Tracking System (SPADATS). SPADATS was responsible for space surveillance, space object identification, and ballistic missile attack warning, and received continuous data from the US Navy’s Naval Space Surveilance System (NAVSPASUR) and the USAF’s SPACETRACK network. The fact that ADCOM’s 23erd Air Division referred a “UFO report” to the Assistant Command Director of the SDC clearly demonstrates that UFO events were considered significant. The first two pages of the 23erd AD “Senior Director Log” is imaged below.



To conclude, in light of the records I have highlighted here, it is proven that both ADCOM and NORAD dealt with the apparent UFO events of 1975. Without question, numerous military commands believed that they were dealing with aerial oddities. What are researchers supposed to think when the terms “unidentified flying object”, “UFO” and “unknown object” are ceaselessly used in their own documentation? It is quite puerile, thus, for NORAD to state, as they did in a letter to Robert Todd on the 28th of November, 1975, that “…no formal documentation” regarding UFO’s “is created by this command”. Again, are researchers expected to seriously accept this? Furthermore, we know that only fraction of the records they generated were released. In Part 9 of this series, I will continue to present hitherto unseen records begrudgingly admitted by ADCOM and NORAD during the late 1970’s. 

tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1196354415244399249.post-4348175204305503635

November 7th 2016 at 04:03

"OPREP-3" - A Classified US Military Reporting 

Channel For UFO Incidents?

Part 7

  

In Part 5 and Part 6 of this series, I discussed the US military and intelligence community’s responses and concerns regarding a series of provocative UFO events which occurred in the mid–1970’s over United States Air Force (USAF) bases which were assigned to the Strategic Air Command (SAC). Previously, in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, I looked the US military’s OPREP–3 reporting system which was one of the methods used to alert top–level military commands and components of these, to put it mildly, unusual events. In Part 4, I highlighted a special category of OPREP–3 reporting which was explicitly designed for the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and Aerospace Defence Command (ADCOM), to report general unknown radar tracks, and, “Unidentified Flying Objects – UFOs”. In summary, what started out as a dialogue about UFO’s being reported by the OPREP–3 reporting system, has expanded into a much wider appraisal of myriad declassified documents which deal with UFO case investigation, evaluation and high level concern long after the US government apparently gave up on the UFO issue.


In this Part 7, I will continue to focus on declassified records released by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and the National Military Command Center (NMCC). The release of these records came about due to the once–powerful Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), or, rather, its implementation by researchers Barry Greenwood, Robert Todd, Lawrence Fawcett, Todd Zechel and others.

As mentioned in my Part 6, on the 24th of December, 1979, Robert Todd submitted an FOI request to the Office of the Organisation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (OJCS) asking to be provided with any records which contained references to “unidentified flying objects”, “unknown objects” and “UFOs”. Todd restricted his request to only include records created from 1975 to 1979. On the 18th of January, 1980, Charles W. Hinkle, the Director, Freedom of Information and Security Review, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defence, replied to Todd, stating:


“The Office of the Organisation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (OJCS) is prepared to provide the 123 NMCC memorandums for the record…”


As I have discussed, Todd indeed saw that the OJCS release these records, and, many were subject–lined with phrases such as “UFO incident”, “UFO analysis”, “UFO sightings” and “Requests for temperature inversion analysis”. Also, involvement by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), and other senior–ranking officers, is apparent throughout the documents. The actual UFO incidents, or what were believed to be UFO incidents, which led to the production of these NMCC records, had occurred near Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, Wurthsmith AFB, Michigan, Loring AFB, Maine, Minot AFB, North Dakota and Falconbridge Air Force Station in Ontario, Canada. The time period involved was late October to late November, and, other military bases, including Plattsburg AFB in New York, experienced unidentified aerial activity during the same period of time, but release of documents relating to these locations were denied. I have already highlighted some of the NMCC records which relate to the events at Malmstrom AFB during November, 1975. Todd’s FOI requests, however, demanded the release of “UFO” records spanning all the way into 1979.



One of the National Military Command Center (NMCC) releases included a 20th of April, 1979, “Memorandum For The Record” with the dry subject–line “NORAD Unknown Air Activity”. Signed by the NMCC’s Deputy Director for Operations (DDO), Brig. Gen. Dan A. Brooksher, USAF, the memorandum reads:


“Subject: NORAD Unknown Air Activity


At 201602 EST April 1979 NORAD declared track H443 unknown. A single unidentified object was approximately 70 NM south of Homestead AFB, FL heading northwest at 170 knots. One USAF F–4 was scrambled from Homestead to intercept. Prior to intercept, the unknown faded from radar at 201648 EST approximately 90 NM southwest of Homestead. Heavy cloud cover in the area hampered successful intercept. This object will remain a NORAD unknown.”


While there is nothing to indicate this was anything but a stray aircraft, or, an aircraft failing to communicate with ground authorities, it is unusual that this particular event was released as a result of an FOI request specifically stipulating “unidentified flying object” and “UFO” records. NORAD picks up hundreds of uncooperative or unidentified aircraft every year. These are labelled “Unknown Tracks” until identified, and, if not identified, an unknown track will be tagged as a “NORAD Remaining Unknown”. As yet, we don’t have declassified NORAD unknown track data for 1979, so it is impossible to ascertain just how unusual the above detailed incident was. As a comparison however, a Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) historical publication, titled “History of the 11th Tactical Control Group, January – Septamber, 1986, Volume I of IV”, states that NORAD’s Alaskan Air Command (NORAD–AAC), logged twenty–seven “unknowns” during a nine month period alone. So, it is fair to say that NORAD assets, across the whole of the United States, log a very large number of aircraft detections which remain unknown or unidentified.


Why the NMCC’s 20th of April, 1979 memorandum was especially selected as a UFO–related record is somewhat uncertain. Probably, however, the record was included as responsive to Robert Todd’s FOI request simply because it contained the term “unidentified object”. Also, during 1978 and 1979, Todd submitted dozens of FOI requests to the 20th NORAD Region (20NR) for copies daily “Senior Command Directors Logs” which specifically contained the terms “UFO” and “unidentified flying object”. Based at Fort Lee Air Force Station, Virginia, the 20NR was responsible for air defence and aerospace surveillance across the south–eastern United States. Todd’s dogged FOI submissions to 20NR’s Director of Administration, Brig. Gen. F. A. Humphrey’s, did reveal numerous “UFO” cases held in 20NR Senior Command Director’s files, but the above mentioned “NORAD Unknown Air Activity” case revealed in the NMCC memorandum is not one of them. Finally, whatever the actual flying “object” was, it unquestionably represents an occasion where combat jets were scrambled to intercept something that falls into the “UFO” category. Also, various NORAD instructional regulations, including “NORAD Operational Regulation 55–7 Unknown Track / Unknown Object Reporting” and “NORAD/ADCOM Manual 55–19, Vol. VII, Aerospace Reporting System”, required that “UFO” or “unknown object” events be recorded on a “NORAD Form 61 Unknown Track Report” form. In some instances, commanders were required to submit an OPREP–3 report to NORAD’s Combat Operations Center (NCOC) in Colorado. So there is little doubt that the 20th of April, 1979 incident would have created more paperwork. Later FOI requests with NORAD, however, came up empty–handed. The NMCC memorandum is imaged below.




Three years beforehand, in 1976, the National Military Command Center (NMCC), received a report from Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico on January the 21st. Signed by the NMCC’s Deputy Director of Operations, Rear Adm. J. B. Morin, is a “Memorandum For The Record” which states:


“Subject: Report of UFO – Cannon AFB NM


Reference: AFOC Phonecon 2105 EST Jan 76


The following information was received from the Air Force Operations Center at 0555 EST:


“Two UFOs are reported near the flight line at Cannon AFB, New Mexico. Security Police observing them reported the UFOs to be 25 yards in diameter, gold or silver in color with blue light on top, hole in the middle and red light on bottom. Air Force is checking with radar. Additionally, checking weather inversion data.”.”


There isn’t enough information here to speculate on what these objects were. Taken at face value though, the security police personnel were obviously alarmed enough to report the sighting, and, the report was taken seriously enough to be logged with the USAF’s Operations Center at the Pentagon, who then forwarded it to the NMCC. In the 1970’s, Cannon AFB hosted the huge 27th Tactical Fighter Wing (27thTFW), which was assigned to the USAF’s Tactical Air Command (TAC). The fact that “two UFOs” were ostensibly active right where the 27thTFW’s five squadrons of F–111 fighter–bombers operate from is clearly of grave concern, and must have generated paperwork. Further FOI requests by Robert Todd, however, met with denials. Also, the NMCC memorandum states that the Air Force was both “checking with radar” and “checking weather inversion data”. In other words, some level of investigation was being performed. The NMCC memorandum in question is imaged below.





Just ten days later, on January 31, 1976, the NMCC handled a UFO report from Eglin AFB, Florida. Yet again, a “Memorandum For The Record” was immediately produced and signed by Fred. Brig. Gen. A. Treyz, USAF, the NMCC’s on–duty Deputy Director of Operations (DDO). It reads:


“Subject: Unidentified Flying Object Sighting


1. At 310805 received phoncon from AFOC: MG Lane, CG, Armament and Development Test Center, Eglin AFB, Florida, called and reported a UFO sighting from 0430 EST to 0600 EST. Security policemen spotted lights from what they called a UFO near an Eglin radar site.


2 Photographs of the lights were taken. The Eglin Office of Information has made a press release on the UFO.


3. The temperature inversion analysis indicated no significant temperature inversion at Eglin AFB at that time. The only inversion present was due to radiation from the surface to 2500 feet. The Eglin surface conditions were clear skies, visibility 10–14 miles, calm winds, shallow ground fog on the runway, and a surface temperature of 44 degrees F.”


While interesting at first glance, this sighting appears to have been stimulated by something far less provocative than a flying object or other unfamiliar phenomenon. An extract from the NORAD Headquarters “Command Director’s Log”, obtained by both Todd Zechel and Barry Greenwood under the FOI Act, contains further information not presented in the NMCC memorandum:


“The Command Post received a UFO report from Eglin, FL, that Duke Field personnel saw a row of lights with a central white light at 1043. The lights were about 2° above the horizon at a zenith of 350°, range unknown. A later report (1245) states that further investigation in daylight indicated that the lights were probably on a building.”


So it appears that the “UFO” may well have been nothing more than lights on a building. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the NMCC “Memorandum for the Record” is dated several hours after NORAD was notified that “…further investigation in daylight indicated that the lights were probably on a building…”, yet makes no mention of this apparently simple solution. In all likelihood, some sort of miscommunication or bureaucratic lethargy at the NMCC was the cause of this oversight. Another issue worth noting is that the lights–on–a–building explanation isn’t entirely definitive. The NORAD extract states that daytime investigation “indicated” that the lights were “probably” on a building, and, one may ask why a row of lights on a building, unless brand new, had never been noticed before. Without more records, or detailed witness statements, one will never know. The NMCC memorandum also refers to photographs being taken of the lights, but when Robert Todd submitted FOI requests to the Air Force Office of Special Investigation, Detachment 710, which was based at Eglin AFB, as well as the Eglin Command Post, there was a total denial that any photographs even existed. The NMCC “Memorandum For The Record” is imaged below.




In the early hours of the morning, on the 30th of July, 1976, the Command Post (CP) at Fort Ritchie, Maryland reported a series of UFO sightings to the Alternate National Military Command Center (ANMCC) in Pennsylvania. The ANMCC called the NMCC to inform them of the situation. The events were summarised in a two–page NMCC “Memoraundum For The Record”, and signed by USMC Brig. Gen. L. J. Leblanc, the on–duty Deputy Director of Operations. It states:


“Subject: Reports of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)


1. At approximately 0345 EOT, the ANMCC called to indicate they had received several reports of UFOs in the vicinity of Fort Ritchie. The following events summarize the reports (times are approximate).


a. 0130 – Civilians reported a UFO sighting near Mt. Airy, Md. This information was obtained via a call from the National Aeronautics Board (?) to the Fort Ritchie Military Police.


b. 0255 – Two separate patrols from Site R reported sighting 3 oblong objects with a reddish tint, moving east to west. Personnel were located at separate locations on top of the mountain at Site R.


c. 0300 – Desk Sgt. at Site R went to the top of the Site R mountain and observed a UFO over the ammo storage area at 100–200 yards altitude.


d. 0345 – An Army Police Sgt. on the way to work at Site R reported sighting a UFO in the vicinity of Site R.


2. ANMCC was requested to have each individual write a statement on the sightings. One individual stated the object was about the size of a 2 1/2 ton truck.


3. Based on a JCS memorandum, subject: Temperature Inversion Analysis, dated 13 November 1975, the NMCC contacted the Air Force Global Weather Central. The Duty Officer, LTC OVERBY, reported that the Dulles International Airport observations showed two temperature inversions existed at the time of the alleged sightings. The first extended from the surface to 1,000 feet absolute and the second existed between 27,000 and 30,000 feet, absolute. He also said the atmosphere between 12,000 and 20,000 feet was heavily saturated with moisture. A hard copy message will follow.”


It is very difficult, on this limited information, to assess what the witnesses were seeing. For the purposes of my study here, the sightings themselves are of secondary importance. What is important, yet again, is that “unidentified flying objects” and “UFOs” were being reported and collated by a number of top–echelon commands, and, moreover, there was immediate weather analysis performed by Air Force Global Weather Central (AFGWC) for the NMCC. Furthermore, the ANMCC was asked “…to have to have each individual write a statement on the sightings…”. Requests under the FOI Act for further documentation, however, were met with suspicious denials. The fact that “…one UFO was the size of a 2 1/2 ton truck…” and three “oblong objects with a reddish tint” strongly indicates that a full collection of reports, written and signed by the many witnesses, would be rather interesting. No wonder nothing more was released. The fact that one witnesses “observed a UFO over the ammo storage area”, seemingly at close range, is especially provocative, and reminds us of the spooky events at Loring AFB, Wurthsmith AFB and Malmstrom AFB nine months earlier. As for prompt investigation, the memorandum states that two temperature inversions were reported over the area at the time. Such weather activity, however, occurs ceaselessly, and does not produce endless and specific sightings, and certainly not from various defined locations. I have imaged the two–page NMCC “Memorandum For The Record” below.





As I have highlighted, Robert Todd had the Office of the Organisation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (OJCS) release these NMCC records through the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defence. He was not the first, however. Barry Greenwood had already accessed most of them a full two years earlier. Greenwood was originally denied many of the records, especially the NMCC “DDO Talkers” and “DDO Updates” that I presented in Part 6of this series. With persistence, Greenwood used the FOI Act Appeals process to gain access to most of the previously withheld records. It is possible, of course, that other sensitive record were found, but not admitted to at all. Considering what had been released up until the beginning of 1980, Robert Todd attempted to take matters one final step further. In the two years of furious FOI requesting, researchers had not yet asked the OJCS for UFO records dated before 1975. Also, Todd wondered, for reasons unknown, if the NMCC’s file searching for the period of January, 1976, to June ,1977, had been adequate. So, on the 13th of February, 1980, Todd submitted an FOI request to the OJCS asking that another series of searches be conducted. Rather than asking for the entireOJCS file archive to be searched, Todd stipulated that only NMCC and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) files be examined. Todd could have asked that all Joint Cheifs of Staff (JCS) files be checked, but for some reason he chose to have just CJCS searches performed. His most bold requirement, however, was that a search of all records, no matter what the date, created before February, 1976 be examined. This meant, firstly, that 1975 files would be searched again, and, secondly, that files dating to as far back as the NMCC and CJCS actually store files before custody is relinquished to permanent archives.


On the 25th of February, 1980, Charles W. Hinkle, the Director, Freedom of Information and Security Review at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defence, replied to Todd’s request in a two page letter. The letter states, in part:


“a. As stated in the response to 79–DFOI–1071, the OJCS searched NMCC records for the period 1 January 1976 to 30 November 1979, and all documents pertaining to UFOs and aircraft scrambles against unknown air aircraft were identified and released. Repetition of a search of NMCC records dated between January 1976 and June 1977 to identify records on aircraft scrambles is therefore unnecessary.


b. There are 23 linear feet (roughly 80,000 pages) of NMCC records dated prior to February 1976. To identify documents relevant to the request would require a page–by–page review and would consume at least 400 hours. The costs would probably be between $2200.00–$4400.00, depending on the actual time taken and the pay grade of the individuals available to conduct the search.


c. A search of the approximately 542 linear feet of CJCS records (1.8 million pages) for references to UFO’s could take as much as 10,000 hours, and would cost over $50,000.00.”


Understandably, the OJCS did not want to search records already looked at previously. More importantly, it was identified that the NMCC held 80,000 pages of records dating back to an undisclosed time, and the CJCS held 1.8 million pages. In his reply, Charles W. Hinkle didn’t elaborate on just how long either the NMCC or the CJCS retained records for, but chances are, from experience with other government organisations, it would have been many years. If Robert Todd could have afforded the cost of such a lengthy examination of such files, who knows whatwould have been found. Page 1 of the Charles W. Hinkle’s reply is imaged below.




In summary, I have highlight, both here and in Part 6 of this series, myriad records of Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and National Military Command Center (NMCC) origin, which incontrovertibly demonstrate an on–going and high–level concern over “UFO” and “unidentified flying object” incidents in the vicinity of sensitive military installations. These are terms they used, and they used them explicitly and frequently, to put it mildly. It is amazing many of these records were revealed at all. Through 1977 and 1978, internal OJCS memoranda recurrently reveal that a trio of officials wanted as little documentation released as possible. Thomas B. Ross, the Assistant Secretary of Defence for Public Affairs, as well as USMC Lt. Gen. Philip D. Shutler and USAF Gen. James E. Dalton, who both held the role of Vice Director of the Joint Staff at various times, personally dealt with the mounting FOI requests, and subsequent appeals, slung at the OJCS by Barry Greenwood, Todd Zechel and Robert Todd. The provisions of document declassification and public release, outlined in the FOI Act, were enough to force the OJCS to surrender a very significant quantity of material, as we have seen.


As for the actual UFO’s, there is rarely enough information in these brief records to establish what, if anything, was actually flying around. Certainly, though, those on the bases, and up the chain of command, thought that intrusive, unpredictable craft were actually active over some of America’s most strategically vital military installations. Moreover, not a single released document has even remotely pointed to a solution. If helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, bright stars and the like were somehow responsible for every single UFO report, then those whose job it is to solve the matter and out it to rest, failed profoundly. The resources of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), the Air Force Office of Special Investigation (AFOSI), the 8th Air Force (8thAF), the Air Force Intelligence Service (AFIS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and a not–insignificant number of other alarmed government entities, were obviously no match for whatever was apparently making somewhat of a mockery of the most sophisticated armed forces in human history.


This has been, and will continue to be, the main focus of my research for some time. The often repeated statement that the US government, especially the military, was not handling and investigating serious UFO cases after the closure of Project Blue Book in 1970 is, in the face of the documents I continue to present, is puerile and embarrassing. In Part 8 of this series, I will move on to how the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and Aerospace Defence Command (ADCOM) handled the weird “over flights” of 1975 and 1976. 
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