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Aliens -- Copyright Information -- 1999 SIRS Mandarin, Inc. -- SIRS Researcher Spring 1999 Title: Scientists: UFO Reports May Be Worth Evaluating Author: Michelle Levander Source: San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, CA) Publication Date: June 28, 1998 Page Number(s): n.p. --------------------------- SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS (San Jose, Calif.) June 28, 1998, n.p. (c) 1998, Knight-Ridder Newspapers. Distributed by Knight-Ridder/Tribune Information Services. SCIENTISTS: UFO REPORTS MAY BE WORTH EVALUATING by Michelle Levander Mercury News Staff Writer For more than 50 years, UFO investigators have scoured the skies for signs of alien life--completely snubbed by the scientific community as cranks. But today, in the first independent scientific review of UFO evidence in nearly 30 years, scientists gave a faint nod in their direction by concluding that it might be worthwhile to evaluate UFO reports, marking a major and important shift in the eyes of some UFO investigators.

What we need are more scientists looking at this area if we are going to get answers, said Peter Sturrock, the Stanford University physicist who convened the international panel of skeptical scientists. Sturrock assembled the group after being approached by New York philanthropist Laurance S. Rockefeller, the grandson of John D. Rockefeller and someone who reportedly has a longstanding interest in UFOs and psychic phenomena. Sturrock, whose Society for Scientific Exploration promotes the examination of ideas outside the scientific mainstream, hopes the panel's review of UFO reports, to be published today in the alternative Journal of Scientific Exploration, spurs more solid research in the arena. To be sure, after a rare meeting between scientists and UFO investigators, the scientific panel remained skeptical. Nevertheless, they said the scientific community's refusal to even entertain the analysis of such information has been counterproductive. The history of Earth science includes several examples of the final acceptance of phenomena originally dismissed as folk tales, such as meteorites and sprites, the report says.

It may therefore be valuable to carefully evaluate UFO reports to extract information about unusual phenomena currently unknown to science. One UFO investigator was pleased with the findings. OPENNESS, EVIDENCE Mark Rodeghier, of the Center for UFO Study in Chicago, interprets the panel's greater openness as an important step to bring the world of science--which demands empirical evidence-- closer to that of UFO observers, some of whom believe they now know what aliens do during human abductions. Taking a break from the national Mutual UFO Network conference, Rodeghier said, It would be extremely important for us to know if aliens are visiting the Earth surreptitiously. I didn't expect in five days that they would change their mind completely. I think it's sufficient that they say the subject deserves study.

For its review, the panel examined evidence such as a 1981 photograph of a silvery oval-shaped object set against the blue sky, taken in British Columbia--the photographer swears it was not a trick photo of a frisbee--and a 1965 report by two French submarine crews in Martinique of a large luminous object (that) arrived slowly and silently from the west, flew to the south..and vanished like a rapidly extinguished light bulb. The last time scientists took a serious look at UFOs was in 1968, when Dr. Edward U. Condon, director of the Colorado Project, undertook a two-year study sponsored by the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Air Force.

His dismissive conclusion: Nothing has come of the study of UFOs in the past 21 years..and further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified.. Already some of this panel's scientists are steeling themselves for ridicule from peers. I haven't gone around and advertised I've done this. I thought I'd wait until our report came out and then let them take their jabs then, said Thomas Holzer, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Still, he adds, he shares the panel's view that more openness is needed.

NATURAL PHENOMENA Some UFO reports, the scientists concluded, could be explained by rare natural events such as sprites, or what appear to be huge sheets of light moving upward from cloud decks caused by electrical activity high above thunderclouds. Unusual radar patterns that UFO investigators interpret as flight patterns of alien craft are likely radar echoes caused by refraction in the atmosphere, said panel member and Stanford professor Von Eshleman, who studies the structure of the atmosphere through experiments on U.S. space missions. And, the scientists said, some in their community may be more interested in UFOs than they are willing to admit. Sturrock said his own surveys of astronomers show that many privately admit to interest in UFOs.

Asked for his own views, Sturrock was coy. I don't believe in UFOs, but they may exist whether I believe in them or not, he said. That's saying I don't have an opinion I wish to share. When pressed, panel member Eshleman said he thinks it would be surprising if there weren't life forms on other planets. Asked about the likelihood of complex alien societies, he said, It's less probable, but there's no reason to limit it anywhere.

Gregory Benford, a solar physicist at the University of California-Irvine who has reviewed the UFO report, said that when Condon, now deceased, wrote his initial 1968 findings on UFO evidence, he wrote the conclusion first. Even though a scientific panel urged more open-mindedness two years later, it didn't carry much weight. He had an automatic aversion to the cranks who had surrounded the UFO phenom, Benford said. In '68, he just wanted to squash this like a bug. So he said you won't learn anything if you study this any further.

LOOKING IN NEW PLACES I think that's unwarranted. If you don't look in new places, you won't see new things. Still, he added, while many astronomers believe that life exists elsewhere in the galaxy, that's a far cry from believing that UFOs are passing over your neighborhood. Even if some intelligent being was visiting us from a distant star, why would they fly around and never make any contact? he said. If they are hostile, why not do the obvious and wipe us out? It would be dead easy to get in touch with us.

Just because you are open-minded doesn't mean your brains have fallen out. -- Copyright Information -- 1999 SIRS Mandarin, Inc. -- SIRS Researcher Spring 1999 Title: Cosmic Conspiracy: Six Decades of Government UFO Cover-Ups Author: Dennis Stacy Source: Omni Publication Date: April 1994 Page Number(s): 34+ Print Volume: SIRS 1994 Privacy, Volume Number 5, Article 30 --------------------------- OMNI April 1994, pp. 34+ Reprinted by permission of Omni, (c) 1994, Omni Publications International, Ltd. COSMIC CONSPIRACY: SIX DECADES OF GOVERNMENT UFO COVER-UPS by Dennis Stacy Lightning flashed over Corona, New Mexico, and thunder rattled the thin windowpanes of the small shack where ranch foreman Mac Brazel slept. Brazel was used to summer thunderstorms, but he was suddenly brought wide awake by a loud explosion that set the dishes in the kitchen sink dancing.

Sonofabitch, he thought to himself before sinking back to sleep, the sheep will be scattered halfway between hell and high water come dawn. In the morning, Brazel rode out on horseback, accompanied by seven-year-old Timothy Proctor, to survey the damage. According to published accounts, Brazel and young Proctor stumbled across something unearthly--a field of tattered debris two to three hundred yards wide stretching some three-quarters of a mile in length. No rocket scientist, Brazel still realized he had something strange on his hands--so strange that he decided to haul several pieces of it into Roswell, some 75 miles distant, a day or two later. For all its lightness, the debris in Brazel's pickup bed seemed remarkably durable. Sheriff George Wilcox reportedly took one look at it and called the military at Roswell Army Air Field, then home to the world's only atomic-bomb wing.

Two officers from the base eventually arrived and agreed to accompany Brazel back to the debris field. As a consequence of their investigation, a press release unique in the history of the American military appeared on the front page of the ROSWELL DAILY RECORD for July 8, 1947. Authored by public-information officer Lt. Walter Haut and approved by base commander Col. William Blanchard, it admitted that the many rumors regarding UFOs became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff's office of Chaves County. Haut's noon press release circled the planet, reprinted in papers as far abroad as Germany and England, where it was picked up by the prestigious LONDON TIMES. UFOs were real! Media calls poured in to the ROSWELL DAILY RECORD and the local radio station, which had first broken the news, demanding additional details.

Four hours later and some 600 miles to the east in Fort Worth, Texas, Brig. Gen. Roger Ramey, commander of the Eighth Air Force, held a press conference to answer reporters' questions. Spread on the general's office floor were lumps of a blackened, rubberlike material and crumpled pieces of what looked like a flimsy tinfoil kite. Ramey posed for pictures, kneeling on his carpet with the material, as did Maj.

Jesse Marcel, flown in from Roswell for the occasion. Alas, allowed the general, the Roswell incident was a simple case of mistaken identity; in reality, the so-called recovered flying disc was nothing more than a weather balloon with an attached radar reflector. Unfortunately, the media bought the Air Force cover-up hook, line, and sinker, asserts Stanton Friedman, a nuclear physicist and coauthor with aviation writer Don Berliner of CRASH AT CORONA, one of three books written about Roswell. The weather-balloon story went in the next morning's papers, the phone calls dropped off dramatically, and any chance of an immediate follow-up was effectively squelched. Ramey's impromptu press conference marks the beginning of what Friedman refers to as a `Cosmic Watergate,' the ongoing cover-up of the government's knowledge about extraterrestrial UFOs and their terrestrial activities. By contrast, says Friedman, the original Watergate snafu and cover-up pales in significance.

In fact, if Friedman and his cohorts within the UFO community are correct, military involvement in the recovery of a crashed flying saucer would rank as the most well-kept and explosive secret in world history. Of course, not all students of the subject see it that way. You have to put Roswell in a certain context, cautions Curtis Peebles, an aerospace historian whose treatment of UFOs as an evolving belief system in WATCH THE SKIES! was just published by the Smithsonian Institute. And the relevant context is the role of government and its relationship to the governed. Americans have always been suspicious, if not actively contemptuous, of their government. On the other hand, forget what the government says and look at what it does.

Is there any evidence in the historical record that the Air Force or government behaved as if it actually owned a flying saucer presumably thousands of years in advance of anything on either the Soviet or U.S. side? If there is, I didn't find it. Regardless of its ultimate reality, however, Roswell symbolizes the difficulties and frustrations Friedman and fellow UFOlogists have encountered in prying loose what the government does or does not know about UFOs. Memories fade, documents get lost or misplaced, witnesses die, and others refuse to speak up, either out of fear of ridicule or, according to Friedman, because of secrecy oaths. Despite a trail that lay cold for more than 30 years, UFOlogists still consider Roswe ...

Related: aliens, central intelligence agency, stanford university, staff writer, rockefeller

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