I have been waiting for the arrival of this work by John B Alexander. The book is titled "UFOs:myths,conspiracies, and realities." published 2011 by Thomas Dunne Books of New York. ISBN 978-0-312-64834-3.
The long weekend here in Adelaide (we had a public holiday in honor of a horse race) was indeed an ideal opportunity to thoroughly read this new book and digest its contents. It is a must have on the book shelf for the serious UFO researcher.
I don't very often carefully peruse the acknowledgements page of a book, but I did so for this work. Here we will find old friends in Hal Puthoff; Kit Green; Jacques Vallee; Howell McConnell and Paul Smith. We also find a number of UFO researchers including Peter Sturrock, John Mack, Dave Pritchard. In addition there are astronaut Edgar Mitchell; activist Steven Bassett and researcher Colm Kelleher.
The acknowledgements indicate the depth of "insider" knowledge brought to bear by Alexander in this tome.
The foreword is by renowned researcher Jacques Vallee. It's central issue revolves around the question of whether or not there was a secret study of UFOs going on in the US government? It was a question Vallee tried to answer in his "Forbidden Science-Volume 2" book.
Following a commentary by author Tom Clancy, Burt Rutan provides his perspective on the UFO phenomenon. "A reason that I remain an ET sceptic is that, for forty-five years I have been in a position to handle sensitive technical information and have not heard of anything related to ET hardware or reverse-engineering projects." (p.xxv.)
"UFOs are real! With no prevarication or qualification of terms, there are physical objects of unknown origin that do transit our universe." (p.1.)
Alexander's U.S. Army career was anything but normal. In 1980, he submitted a piece to "Military Review" called "The New Mental battlefield" which featured remote viewing and other psychic aspects of future possible warfare. This publication ultimately lead him to participate in an Army think-tank, and from there to the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) and Major General Albert "Bert" Stubblehine. "It was under the guidance and protection of General Stubblehine at INSCOM that I actively pursued a wide range of topics including various phenomena...of course, while I was assigned at INSCOM, UFOs from 1981 to 1984 were included in my mix of topics..." (p.12.)
Later, he went to work on a project which looked to coordinate next generation weapons systems. This provided a range of contacts in the technology field, such as at the Lockheed Skunk Works and Area 51.
Advanced Theoretical Physics Project:
Alexander decided to form a group, with an initial aim "...to determine who knew what about UFOs." (p.16.) "To legally avoid answering any UFO FOIA request, I adopted the term advanced theoretical physics..." (p.16.)
Membership of ATP was by invitation only, and no written records of meetings were kept by Alexander. Alexander declines to name a full list of ATP participants but "Membership included people from the Army, navy and Air Force, plus several from defense aerospace industries and some members from the Intelligence Community." (p.17.)
"Dr Bob Wood, then with McDonnell Douglas has identified himself as a participant to other UFO researchers. (p.17.) "Howell McConnell had been participating in the ATP from the beginning." (p.30.)
Intriguingly, a key question of who is the US government knew things - "The basic assumption remained the same-there was some secret organisation that had responsibility for the phenomenon. However, everyone from an organisation that seemed a likely candidate-either from the U.S. government or aerospace industry -thought it was some other agency or group that was conducting the research." (p.17.)
The ATP concluded that "some UFO cases were real anomalies..." (p.18.)
Alexander used the material gathered by ATP, prepared a briefing and set out to talk to people in the U.S. Government and private sector about UFOs. So between 1984 and 1988 he did just this. Alexander spoke to such people as Ben Rich, Lockheed Skunk Works; Dr Edward Teller; Burt Rutan; and organisation such as NORAD; the Defence Intelligence Agency; the Central Intelligence Agency; the National Security Agency; the Strategic Defence Initiative, and the Army Science Board.
"What I learned in my personal, face-to-face meetings runs counter to the wild tales that abound in conspiracy theory literature...despite their high level positions; they all seemed to think that someone else was responsible for the topic." (p.39.)
In short, he states "...finding no-one was responsible for this topic anywhere in the U.S. Government." (p.1.)
Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Phillip Corso wrote a book called "The Day After Roswell." "The book was purported to be the quintessential insider's revelation of information that the U. S. Government did retrieve a UFO at Roswell, New Mexico." (p.40.)
"Unfortunately, few of the extraordinary claims had any truth in them." (p.40.)
"Troubling were topics that ran counter to the known history of technological developments. " (p.42.) "However, when it comes to Corso's past, little is easy to follow. The basic reported path seems accurate, with a fair amount of fluff involved." (p.43.)
"Corso's most fundamentally important claim was that ET technology assisted in many of our scientific and engineering advances. This assertion is fatally flawed." (pp45-46.)
Alexander revisits the Condon report of the late 1960's; explores the issue of how the U.S. Government works; U.S. Presidents and their UFO interests; and the topic of Majestic 12; the UFO views of a number of U.S. astronauts, and conspiracy theories.
Chapter 10 takes a look at strong UFO cases. The UK Bentwaters 1980 events; the 1980's Cash-Landrum case; the 1973 Mansfield helicopter encounter; the 1997 Phoenix lights; some fot eh evenst at Gilf Breeze; the Malstrom Air Force base in 1967; and others are reviewed.
He reviews evidence from the United Kingdom and NATO, and goes into detail on the 1976 Tehran, Iran aircraft encounter.
Alexander puts forward an hypothesis. "There is a concept I propose for consideration termed precognitive sentient phenomena (PSP)...The Precognitive Sentient Phenomena concept suggests that there is some external controlling agent that initiates these events that are observed and reported. It appears as though that agent not only determines all factors of the event, but is already (ie precognitively) aware of how the observers or researchers will respond to any given stimuli." (p.227.)
Alexander says "What is suggested is that there is a need to cast a broader net for content and not just limit the input to sightings of hard physical objects." (p.229.)
"We agree that at times hard, physical craft exist, but there is much more to the phenomena. Unfortunately the true boundaries are unknown. It seems certain that human consciousness is at least part of the formula." (p.229.)
"It is therfore my contention that if there is any hope of understanding the phenomena, it is imperative thatt he search be expanded nor delimited." (p.229.)
Alexander even puts forward proposals for studing PSP and outlines these ideas on page 238.
"In reality, the disclosure movement is both a distraction and disingenious." (p.239.)
"For the record, I do not believe that there are pervasive secrets held by government officials that would change how people regard this issue." (p.240.)
"There are several alternatives that seem to make more sense than a crashed UFO...First of all, the location must be suspect." (p.243.) By this the author means that it occurred in the heart of a military test area.
However, his final words are: "Explaining Roswell is never easy, and given the high degree of cross-contamination of information, the truth will probably remain forever clouded. "(p248.)
"Like UFOs, there are tantilizing indications that some tangible evidence points to the physical reality of at least some of these events." (p.249.)
"There is little doubt that some unidentified flying objects are real, three dimensional solid objects, which are physically present and observable." (p269.)
As regards to moving UFO research forward, Alexander states "There is an urgent need to support scientists who are willing to investigate phenomena, including UFOs." He also suggest that the "Office of the Secrtary of Defence should issue a directive releasing every official witness from any prior security restriction, thus allowing free discussion of previously untold accounts."
"Based on credible witnesses and backed by physical evidence, I conclude that the UFO observations are manifestations of issues that are anfractuous and beyond current comprehension. The extraterrestrial hypothesis is but one possibility, and probably not the best fit with the facts." (p.273.)
I thorughly enjoyed this most important book. Alexander provides a no-frills, hard hitting examination of the UFO phenomenon from the perspective of an individual who has done the hard work in arriving at his current conclusions.