Saturday, February 16, 2019

Douglas S Kurth; and the BAASS/MUFON relationship

Paco Chierici - 2015

On 14 March 2015, aviator Paco Chierici, wrote an article, "There I was: The X-files edition," about the November 2004, USS Nimitz encounters, on the Fighter Sweep website. In that piece, there is a mention of an individual named Lieutenant-Colonel Kurth (callsign "Cheeks.") In writing about Kurth he said:

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/douglas-kurth-25195b145/

"At the same time FASTEAGLE flight was wrapping up its scheduled training, the CO of Marine Hornet squadron VMFA-232 Lieutenant-Colonel "Cheeks" Kurth, was completing a post maintenance check flight not too far away. He was the first fast mover contacted by Princeton. The communication was strange and intriguing. He was asked to investigate an unidentified airborne contact. This wasn't a terribly unusual request while a Strike Group was in transit or deployed far away from home waters, but it was more than a little strange practically in sight of the San Diego homeport. To add to the unusual communication, he was queried as to what ordinance he had on board.

"None."

While Princeton was communicating with Cheeks, they were also attempting to hand off the AAV [Anomalous Aerial Vehicle - KB] contact to the Air Wing's E-2C Hawkeye.

As Cheeks approached the spot he was being vectored to, Princeton advised him to stay above 10K as the section of Super Hornets were approaching the target. His radar picked up the FASTEAGLE set-up but no other contacts. A moment later Princeton directed him to "skip it" and return to the ship. Since he was so close, he decided to fly over the action , and sneak a peek.

The sea was calm, almost glassy smooth and it was late morning on a beautiful Socal day. Perfect conditions. As Cheeks flew over the spot he saw a disturbance on the surface of the ocean. A round section of turbulent water about 50-100 metres in diameter. It was the only area and type of what he called "white water" describing that it looked as if there was something below the surface like a shoal or what he'd heard a ship sinking rapidly would look like.

He overflew the disturbance and circled back in the direction of the Nimitz without ever seeing what caused the water to froth. As he turned away, which happened  to be the moment the Super Hornets converged on the location, the white water cleared and the ocean surface returned to its smooth state. The spot of the previous disturbance was completely indiscernible.

George Knapp - 2018

On 18 May 2018, Las Vegas journalist George Knapp released a copy of a 13 page document, which summarised the November 2004 USS Nimitz encounters. The author(s) of the document have, to date, not been named. Although Kurth's name has been redacted in the document, the details set out in it, clearly refer to the same Kurth incident which Chierici wrote about in 2015. From other information contained in the document, it appears to have been written in 2009. In part, the document read:

"Lt Col [redacted] Commanding Officer VFMA-232, was flying a single seat F/A-18C that launched from the USS Nimitz at approximately 1030L to conduct a Functional Check Flight of an aircraft  that had recently completed a significant maintenance. He noted the weather that day was blue skies, no clouds and unlimited visibility. After 30 minutes into his flight he received a radio call from his air controller asking him to investigate an unidentified airborne contact. This was not a standard request. Additionally the controller asked if he had ordinance on-board, which was odd since no controller had ever asked that question during a situation of identifying an unknown object over US or international territory. He responded that he had no ordinance on-board.

The controller provided vectors to the vicinity of figure 1. The object was reported to be as "slow speed and low altitude."

While enroute at approximately 250 knots indicated/400 knots ground speed at medium altitude [15-25,000 feet] he gained radar contact of what he believed to be two F/A-18F's that were approaching the AAV from the West at low altitude [500-1,000 feet.] There was no other traffic on the radar. The controller informed him to remain above 10,000 feet, as there was other fighter traffic at low altitude investigating the AAV.

As he approached approximately 15nm from the AAV descending through approximately 15,000 feet he could see a water disturbance in the ocean surface. He recalled that the sea state was low [calm.] At approximately 5-10nm away from the AAV, the controller told him to "skip it" and return to his operating area. Since he was close he elected to fly over the water disturbance to try and see what was causing it. The disturbance appeared to be 50-100 metres in diameter and close to round. It was the only area and type of white water activity that could be seen and reminded him of images of something rapidly submerging from the surface like a submarine or ship sinking. It also looked like a possible area of shoal water where the swell was breaking over a barely submerged reef or island. He overflew the disturbance and turned back to the north-west. As he was flying away he could see the disturbance clearing and could no longer identify the place where it occurred. He did not see any object or vessel associated with the disturbance either above the surface, on the surface or below the surface. He also never made visual contact with the other fighter aircraft that was vectored to the location of the AAV. It is possible that the disturbance was being caused by an AAV but that the AAV was "cloaked" or invisible to the human eye.

Lt Col [redacted] recovered aboard the Nimitz at approximately 1200L. He reported to the Carrier Intelligence Center [CVIC] and was asked by his Intelligence Officer  1st Lt [redacted] if he saw the "supersonic "Tic-Tac?" We questioned now Capt [redacted] to determine if he had any further information but based on his position in CVIC at the time he was not involved in any further discussions concerning the AAV."

Douglas Kurth - December 2007

On the LinkedIn website [as at February 2019] Douglas Kurth has an entry. Part of it states that between December 2007 and June 2013, he was employed by Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS), based in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The entry identifies him as a former Marine Corps Senior Officer, Commander and Naval aviator, which precisely matched the Douglas Kurth who reported being involved in the 2004 USS Nimitz encounters. Kurth on the LinkedIn website describes his role at BAASS as including:

"Program lead - novel and emerging space technologies targeting operational deployment in 2040.

Directed and managed a team of 40 scientists, engineers, analysts and researchers.

Business Development - initiated, developed and directed critical collaborative contracts."

Note, that this BAASS role of Kurth's, matches a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) August 2008 solicitation for bids from companies to carry out work on the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP). In 2019, the DIA confirmed that BAASS won this AAWSAP contract. From September 2008,  BAASS then advertised for employees to work on this program. No one I am aware of, has any knowledge of why or how, Kurth came to be working at BAASS from December 2007. In fact BAASS LLC was only registered with the State of Nevada in January 2008.

BAASS/Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) relationship

I would now like to move away from talking about Douglas Kurth, and document what is known about the BAASS/MUFON relationship.

February 2009 - January 2010

Robert Bigelow, the head of BAASS entered into a contract with MUFON to work together. In return for money from BAASS, BAASS was given access to the MUFON case management system, and MUFON formed their STAR group. An individual named Richard Lang acted as the STAR Team Manager between February 2009 and January 2010. In a 6 March 2011 blog post, Lang provided detailed information about the relationship between BAASS and MUFON.

"The STAR Team Impact Project (SIP) was a MUFON project funded in part by Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) where MUFON was subcontracted to provide information from the CMS database (website) and witness reports related to Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) directly to BAASS."

"MUFON provided data to BAASS about significant events that were reported in CMS."

From information I found on LinkedIn, there was at least a Team Leader/Senior Investigator, and a field investigator in place at BAASS by January 2009. The arrangement with MUFON commenced from February 2009.

Richard Lang - 2019

Recently, I have been in touch with Richard Lang. I posed a series of questions as follows:

1. Would you mind telling me the name of the individual who was your main liaison at BAASS for the MUFON STAR Team work?

2. How frequently, did you interact with this individual?

3. Were the interactions by telephone, skype (or equivalent in those days) or in person?

4. Did you ever meet the individual in person?

5. Did you ever receive any feedback from BAASS about the STAR Team reports being sent to them? If so, what was the nature of the feedback, e.g. general, specific to individual cases?

6. Did you establish a rapport with the BAASS liasin individual? If so, did they ever discuss their role at BAASS in any detail? If so, are you able to communicate your understanding of their role?

7. Did that individual ever share with you their personal thoughts on the nature of the UFO phenomenon? If so, can you recall any specifics?

8. Through your BAASS liaison, did you ever receive details of any cases which BAASS investigated outside of the 69 listed in my spreadsheet? If so, can you recall anything of these?

9. At what stage did you learn that BAASS was partially funded by the DIA?

Lang responded as follow, by email:

"I learned about the DIA funding when the articles broke in the New York Times and Washington Post this past year.

As indicated in my blog posts, the BAASS/MUFON SIP project was essentially a contract by BAASS where BAASS purchased information from MUFON (sighting reports and investigation reports.)

 As you know, I supervised the STAR Team dispatchers and investigators during this SIP project.

The dispatch team reviewed the daily MUFON UFO sighting reports looking for the more interesting and credible cases, which were provided to me. (Out of approximately 800 monthly sighting reports, which were submitted to MUFON, approximately 35 to 45 of them would be selected.)

I reviewed the cases and assigned investigators to travel to the locations, evaluate information, interview witnesses and write reports. I edited the final case investigation reports and forwarded them to BAASS.

BAASS was a proprietary organization and they did not share any of their research with me during that time.

I had complete discretion as to what to investigate, which investigators were to be deployed, where and when resources were allocated for cases. An operation person arranged for airline flights, travel reservations, hotel accommodation and pay for investigators.

I was the only person at MUFOn who had direct access, and daily contact with the individuals working at BAASS. I say so only because after the project ended there were  a number of individuals (that had no part in the project) who came out on radio shows claiming to have sinister inside information about the project, which was completely false.

For the record (on the record) I can tell you that those individuals I worked with at BAASS were honourable, highly credible and always treated me with respect. We had a very good working relationship.

I sincerely believe that BAASS fulfilled the obligations and elements of the contract arrangements with MUFON to the letter.

Out of respect for those individuals that I worked with at BAASS, I am not comfortable talking about them, and will not share any personal information that I know about any of them."

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Defense Intelligence Agency and the Advanced Aerospace Threat and Identification Program

Freedom of Information Act

Given the lengthy delays in getting responses from US government agencies, under the US Freedom of Information Act, a number of individuals have been pursuing other avenues of obtaining information about the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP.)

On 3 April 2018, US researcher John Greenewald, received an email response from Andricia Harris of the Pentagon, which provided a few details about the AATIP. The following month, on 3 May 2018, Swedish researcher Roger Glassel, also received an email from Harris, which provided yet more details about the program. Glassel's response, which was the longer of the two responses, read:

"AATIP was funded in the July 2008 Supplemental Appropriations Bill (a Sen Harry Reid add). Its mandate, as outlined in a 2009 letter from Reid to DSD, was to assess "far-term foreign advanced aerospace threats the United States," including anomalous events (such as sightings of aerodynamic vehicles engaged in extreme maneuvers, with unique phenomenology, reported by U.S. Navy pilots or other credible source). AATIP terminated in 2012 due to lack of real progress and concerns about the viability of the program."

Glassel asked Harris where the statement "...including anomalous events (such as sightings of aerodynamic vehicles engaged in extreme maneuvers, with unique phenomenology, reported by U.S. Navy pilots or other credible source)" came from? Harris responded that she had no additional information to provide to Glassel.

Approach to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)

In early February 2019, Glassel then decided to approach the Office of Corporate Communications of the DIA, rather than taking the lengthy FOIA process to attempt to resolve what should have been the simple matter of where Harris' additional information came from. I wish to thank Roger Glassel for his permission to quote from his email exchange with the DIA Office of Corporate Communications.

Glassel received an emailed response dated 12 February 2019 from that Office, which read:

"Mr Glassel - Here is the information DIA has shared about the program. The purpose of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) was to investigate foreign advanced aerospace weapons system applications with future technology projections over the next 40 years and to create a center of expertise on advanced aerospace technologies. The gaol was to help understand the threat posed by unconventional or leap ahead aerospace vehicles/technologies, that could have national security implications for the United States. DIA awarded a contract to the sole bidder [Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies, LLC] who identified and worked with academics and scientists to produce 38 technical reports. The contract goal was to study 12 technical areas, lift, propulsion, control, armament, signature reduction, materials, configuration, power generation, temporal translation, human effects, human interface, and technology integration. After an OSD/DIA review in late 2009, it was determined the reports were of limited value to DIA and there was a recommendation that upon completion of the contract, the project could be transitioned to an agency or component better suited to oversee it. Funding for the program was ended in 2012. I have no additional information about the program after it ended at DIA in 2012."

The DIA didn't answer Glassel's question

As the DIA really hadn't answered his key point, he went back to the DIA, pointing out that Harris' response appeared to indicate that "...the program also collected reports on anomalous events .." and asked the DIA to elaborate from where the information came for this statement? Also, "if the DIA was involved in such collection and analysis, as part of the program?'

On 12 February 2019, the DIA responded;

"Mr Glassel - The information I shared is the totality of the program while DIA ran it. The DIA program did not cover "anomalous events." The program required the contractor to produce studies in the 12 technical areas."

My comments

1. Well now, here the DIA is contradicting the Pentagon's statement of 3 May 2018. The Pentagon said that AATIP included "anomalous events" while the DIA says the DIA program did not cover "anomalous events."

Before suggesting a conspiracy here, perhaps we should take a more careful look at what this might mean. To me. the DIA's response is clearly talking about what was in the DIA solicitation dated August2008. If you haven't read this document, then click here. However, this solicitation was for a program called the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications (AAWSAP) and not the AATIP. This (AAWSAP) is the program for which Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies, LLC, received a DIA contract.

So, what was the AATIP? Former AATIP program manager, Luis Elizondo has, in public speeches, always maintained that he ran the AATIP and not the AAWSAP. In his 2018 speech at the MUFON Symposium, the transcript of his talk has him saying"

"In 2008 the program was really only the AAWSAP for a very, very short period of time...As you see here in towards the end, in 2008 the program was already beginning to evolve. The original AAWSAP portfolio was much broader than the AATIP. The decision was made early on that we would go ahead and focus the effort more to the phenomena-specific, looking at the observables and the identifiable."

So, and this is simply my interpretation, what the Pentagon said about the AATIP, does agree with what Elizondo said the AATIP was about; and what the DIA said about the program, which it called the AATIP in its response to Glassel, (but which is clearly the AAWSAP), are in fact both correct. It seems, that many people are still confused about the difference between the broader AAWSAP and the more narrowly focused AATIP.

2. The DIA maintains there was a sole bidder, BAASS, for the AAWSAP contract, while journalist George Knapp, in a radio interview, stated that he thought that Lockheed was also a bidder. There has been no independent confirmation of this last statement.

John Greenewald

Researcher John Greenewald also had been communicating recently with the DIA Office of Public Affairs. In an update to his long running multiple-part write-up series on the AATIP, he advises that on 12 February 2019, the DIA responded to his inquiries. The following are Greenewald's dot points from his latest AATIP update:

* It is now confirmed by the DIA, that the name was, in fact, "Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program."

* It is now confirmed by the DIA, that Bigelow Aerospace was the ONLY bidder for the Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program (AAWSAP) [This should read Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program according to the DIA solicitation - KB.] contract, which later became (or is the same) as AATIP...

* The DIA was also not aware of any report or study produced, outside the 38 reports listed in the "Attachments" section of the letter to Senators John McCain and Jack Reid. This contradicts multiple statements that there is a 490 page study produced about UFOs.

*It was determined that the approximate 5 year study known as AATIP was going to be cancelled (or moved out of DIA) about 2 years after it started. In other words, not even half way through it, the DIA was giving up on it.

* I asked if there was any knowledge that the DIA had, if it was moved. They said they had no information after it ended in 2012 at DIA.

* When asked about UFOs specifically, the answer was about aerial threats and projecting ahead 40 years on what those threats could be. That part is not new, however, it appears the DIA is standing strong that was not a UFO research program, or at least will not address it.

All in all, some points have now been clarified; whilst others are still muddy.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Lt Colonel Ronald F Blackburn USAF (Rtd) - a member of John B Alexander's Advanced Theoretical Physics project


Howard Blum's book "Out There."

In my last blog post, I reported on the possible existence of a United States Air Force UFO project, reported by journalist Howard Blum, to have operated between 1983-1985. I am in the process of learning more about this project; as there is some doubt about whether or not, it really existed. I will post my further findings about this, in due course. However, in the meantime, I wondered, if the project were real, if I could locate any individuals who might have served on the project staff?

Dr Ronald F Blackburn

After some time searching on the Internet, I did come across one individual. A report on the 2005 UFO crash retrieval conference, held at Las Vegas, in the USA, mentions one Dr Ron Blackburn. It states, in part "Dr Ron Blackburn was a Lt Colonel in the US Air Force, and he has investigated UFOs for the Air Force and for Military contractors." A photograph of him on that website, revealed he might fit the profile of people I was looking for.

Source: http://www.thelivingmoon.com/41pegasus/12insiders/Ron_Blackburn_001.html
Who was Dr Ron Blackburn?

His name rang a bell in my brain and I turned to my copy of Jacques Vallee's "Forbidden Science: Volume Three." I found five references to Blackburn.

On page 257 there is a diary entry dated Sunday 17 August 1986:

"I had a long conversation with Hal [Puthoff - KB] ...Hal told me many stories he brought back from a visit to Colonel Stevens...Ron Blackburn, a retired Air Force Colonel, was along for the trip..."

Later, in the book on pages 380-381 in an entry dated Friday 21 April 1989:

"Now a truckdriver has seen several discs and a blue sphere on the ground at Deep Springs Ranch (Route 168 close to the Californian border) near two Navy high-altitude research installations according to Fred who got this from Dr Ron Blackburn, a microwave specialist formerly at the Lockheed Skunk Works. Blackburn hinted he was working on UFOs, or the Secret Onion or perhaps on Stealth?"

On page 426, a diary entry dated Tuesday 29 August 1989:

"At the Perfect Recipe this afternoon I met with Ron Blackburn and Fred Beckman, who had hinted that Blackburn was particularly "in the know" about UFO technology and devious government plots. In fact, Blackburn, a PhD consulting engineer for Advanced Systems Technology at Lockheed, presents himself in  a humble, even shy fashion. He spent 21 years in the Air Force, was a Lieutenant Colonel when he retired, with assignments in nuclear weapon safety. He joined Lockheed worked at the famous "Skunk Works", saw that reality was not quite up to the glamorous legend, and moved to Palo Alto.

Here too, he has complaints about the bureaucracy. He was almost thrown out of his supervisor';s office when he suggested that cold fusion effects might have something to do with zero-point energy, an idea he picked up from Puthoff's papers. So we are a long way from little aliens in secret bases.

We learnt nothing specific, except that John Lear is now flying cargo in DC-8 aircraft for an outfit called Rosenbaum out of Detroit. Blackburn knows nothing more than anyone else...

Blackburn's ambitions in UFO research are very classic. He wants to compute mass and acceleration for physical UFOs, knowing the observed weight on the ground traces-the usual solid engineering approach. It's a good plan, but would he bother with such hypothetical stuff if Lockheed held the real thing in a lab somewhere."

On page 440 Saturday 30 September 1989 a further entry read:

" Later I had a phone conversation with Hal, who was returning from Palo Alto where he had met with Lockheed physicists, including Blackburn."

Finally, on page 480 in end note 2 for Part Eleven:

"In February 2001 Colonel Alexander published a book (UFOs, Myths, Conspiracies and Realities: NY: Macmillan) describing his efforts to obtain funding for a top-secret project. It has become known that the key meetings took place under DoE supervision on May 20-25, 1985 in the secure facility of the BDM Corporation in McLean, Virginia. The group called itself the "Advanced Theoretical Physics Conference"...Alleged participants were... Ron Blackburn, Milt Janzen and Don Keuble of Lockheed..."

Some fact checking

On the website of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers I found a bio of Dr Ronald F Blackburn, dated February 1978, which read:

"Ronald F. Blackburn (S'67-M'74) was born in Downey, CA, on June 2, 1940. He received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kansa, Lawrence, in 1962, the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 1968, and the Ph.D. degree in engineering science from the University of Mississippi, in 1976.

He worked at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, Kirtland, AFB, NM, analyzing Air Force weapons systems and evaluating the adequacy of the safety in the design system and procedures from 1962 to 1967. He rejoined the Air Force Weapons Laboratory in 1972. During this period he was Supervisor of the EM Technology Section and was primarily responsible for coordination, direction and technical supervision of theoretical research in basic EMP generation and coupling mechanisms. In 1976 he was transferred to the Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill AFB, UT, as a Hardness Program Manager. he is currently responsible for origination of and managing programs associated with survivability/vulnerability assessment and hardness verification of Air Force systems."

An audio interview

I then located an audio interview, dated 6 November 2005 between a Jerry Pippin and Dr Ronald Blackburn. I made the following notes:

* I spent 12-13 years in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

* I started in the Air Force Special Weapons Center.

* Worked at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, advanced EMP projects.

* "I was doing some UFO investigations and it occurred to me that people were not reporting sonic booms from UFO flights, so I looked at that, and reverse engineered the process to mitigate or eliminate sonic booms, at least up to mach 3 or 4..."

* Sonic booms dissipate. I filed a patent with sketches of flying saucers - the method flying saucers use - high powered microwaves from the leading edge of the disc to preheat the air ahead.

* My analysis was from video clips.

* Half degree beam width, several thousand feet ahead, heating air top several thousand degrees, 60GHz is the resonant frequency of oxygen.

* Submitted an idea for a cloaking device to the patent office. I reverse engineered that. I determined how the saucer cloaked itself. I applied for a patent. They came back and said this idea is not patentable. Not patentable, unclassified but its foreign export controlled!

*When questioned by Pippin about his USAF interest in UFOs, Blackburn stated that UFO investigations was an avocation [hobby - KB]. "My real assignment" can be seen south of the runway there are lots of exotic structures. I was design manager for them in the early 1970's.

* I did have a neighbour Nick Cardell [phonetic -KB]. He was a state director for MUFON - knew him socially. He sparked my interest in UFOs.

*Lt Colonel is a management rank - managing contracts.

* His reason for attending UFO conferences was to stimulate ideas in him.

So, it turns out that the statement made on the 2005 Crash retrieval Conference that Blackburn "has investigated UFOs for the Air Force" was incorrect. His UFO investigations were undertaken as a hobby, and not as part of any official USAF project.

Sonic boom reduction

Now, many researchers have pointed out that UFOs, even travelling at great speed, are reported not to generate sonic booms. So, what was Blackburn's idea? It is revealed in patent number 5797563 granted 25 August 1998 to Ronald F Blackburn, Barry M. Warmkessel, and Sonja M. Kawamoto.


Source: http://barry.warmkessel.com/vulcanwomen.html

How did it work?

"The system includes radiation generation and transmission components which radiate tuned microwave electromagnetic energy outwardly from a vehicle through an antenna into a fluid medium through which the vehicle is moving. The microwave radiation is at the frequency of harmonic resonance electromagnetic excitation of the molecules of the medium which produces efficient heating and ionizing of the fluid resulting in a reduction of the mass density thereof.

This reduction decreases the drag forces acting on the vehicle resulting in a greatly enhanced aerodynamic and/or hydrodynamic efficiency and also decrease the intensity of the chock waves (which often lead to sonic booms). An aircraft's dramatically higher speed in the surrounding rarefied medium can make it appear to be travelling at "supersonic" speeds."

Dr Barry M Warmkessel authored a 2002 paper titled "Slick Saucer"  The abstract for the paper reads:

"An analysis is offered as to how extra-terrestrial alien "saucers" ease their passage through our low atmosphere at supersonic speeds without sonic "booms" and what electromagnetic radio frequencies may leak from their related (and now patented) Aerodynamic Augmentation Device (AAD). Explained are UFO related enigmas like magnetic fields, glowing saucers and the lack of "sonic booms" during high speed encounters. Possible UFO related "radar" transmission frequencies are postulated. A method to distinguish alien vs human produced crop circles is considered."

Cloaking device?

There has been much talk recently about the ability of UFOs which are reported to be able to "disappear" in thin air, as if engaging some sort of "cloaking device." So, note Blackburn's comments about cloaking:

"Submitted an idea for a cloaking device to the patent office. I reverse engineered that. I determined how the saucer cloaked itself. I applied for a patent. They came back and said this idea is not patentable. Not patentable, unclassified but its foreign export controlled!"

Other sources:

1. I found a 1997 paper by Ronald F Blackburn, Barry M. Warmkessel, and Sonja M. Kawamoto titled "Vulcan, Comets and the Impending Catastrophe." This paper concerns the hypothetical companion star to the Sun (Vulcan); claims to have calculated its orbit and mass; and warns of potential catastrophes if comets influenced by Vulcan were to strike the Earth. "Noah's biblical flood was likely caused by one of these comets striking Earth."

2. The December 2000 issue of the MUFON Journal contain an article by Dr Ronald Blackburn titled "Optical detection of inbound aliens." The "About the author" sections includes:

"He has been involved with research and development for Lockheed space systems since 1988, and has held numerous high-level responsibilities, including leadership of the IRAD program at "Skunk Works" for two years, Project leader of a 15 member Research and Development effort to build an expert system to optimize total performance of special hardware and originator of special prototype devices to validate analytical models and predictions."

The article was about that as a society we radiate electromagnetic energy into space, which might be detected by aliens who may launch probes to Earth. Earth based equipment might be able to detect the energy these probes use to scan ahead of their path to detect and destroy dangerous matter in space. We should therefore look optically, for signs of laser electromagnetic energy being used for such purposes.


In summary

Dr Ronald F Blackburn worked for the USAF, then Lockheed aerospace company. One of his hobbies was looking into the UFO phenomenon, which he did from an engineering background. He and colleagues patented an idea for reduction of drag, and reduction of sonic booms on high speed aircraft. He also claimed to have attempted to patent a "cloaking device" derived from the UFO phenomenon. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Was there a US$5 million AATIP style Department of Defense study group between 1983-1985?

Well, yes there was, according to journalist Howard Blum, a former New York Times reporter, writing in his 1990 book "Out There" (Simon and Schuster, New York.) The book is regarded as telling the story of a study group which was later revealed to have been John B Alexander's "Advanced Theoretical Physics" study group.

Image courtesy of Amazon Books
After almost 30 years I returned the other day to re-read this classic book, hoping I might see something in hindsight which I had missed when the book was first published. Indeed, I did find something I'd clearly forgotten. Here, appears a story about a joint UFO research project by the United States Air Force, the US Army and the Defense Intelligence Agency. This investigation was headed by then 52 year old, Major General James C Pfautz, Chief of Air Force Intelligence.

Source: https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/105954/major-general-james-c-pfautz/

The story according to Blum

The story is told by Howard Blum on pages 50-54 and 68-71. Here are the highlights.

"In 1983, six months after taking command of Air Force Intelligence he decided to investigate the heavens. To Pfautz's way of thinking, the decision to establish  this secret UFO task force was not that extraordinary. The primary job of the Air Force of the United States of America was to protect and defend the airspace of this country. No intrusions could be tolerated. It was his job, he reasoned, to investigate whether unidentified objects of any sort, of any origin, were penetrating this airspace. He was simply fulfilling the responsibility of his office.

"The cost of the UFO task force, however, was a problem...Congress had to be informed of any expenditure over three million...there was no way General Pfautz was prepared to go hat in hand to the Hill asking for five million dollars for UFO research...He decided to run it as an "off the books" show. The projected five million dollar budget for UFO research would be split three ways...

"The National Security Agency was one logical candidate. The only problem was, General Pfautz was in the middle of a long running feud with the NSA director...Likewise the CIA. It was hard to imagine the Company providing more than a million dollars and then sitting back and letting the Air Force run the show...the Air Force decided to approach Army Intelligence and the Defense Intelligence Agency. In the early 1980's , Army Intelligence...was spending millions on parapsychological experiments...when the Air Force gave this brother intelligence group the chance to join the hunt for UFOs, the Army-and its money-came on board without hesitation.

The Defense Intelligence Agency

"The Defense Intelligence Agency was approached for somewhat different reasons...General Pfautz. He wanted to head the DIA...In the meantime he was willing to let the DIA join his UFO task force..It too, signed on eagerly.

" But then, after the players had been recruited, after the checks had been deposited, after a team of burrowers had been assigned to sort through a library of classified UFO documents in an attempt to discover just what the government, for forty years publicly dismissive and exasperated, really knew about UFOs, Major General James C Pfautz made the mistake that was to end his career... [He disagreed with the US government's official position as to the reason behind the shooting down of Korean Air Lines jet 007 by the Russians-KB]

 According to Blum, in 1987 Pfautz was called in by the UFO Working Group, to brief them. Blum calls John B Alexander, "Colonel Phillips" throughout the book.

The UFO Working Group

"At precisely 8:00am on a March morning in 1987 Colonel Phillips stood at his lectern in the tank and announced that former Major General James C Pfautz would address the Working Group. The general's topic: A History of the Military's Involvement with UFOs.

"Regretfully, no transcript of General Pfautz's remarks exists..."

"In his lecture in the Tank on that March morning the general began by announcing what his team had discovered. Though the trail was complex and often provocative, the UFO Mystery remained, even in classified circles, an unsolved case...whatever the reason, as General James Pfautz continued his presentation that morning to the UFO Working Group, he, according to reports, began to ramble. First he did so cautiously, but before he was done, the general wound up overstepping his authority by leaps and bounds.

"Things began to fall apart just after the general, having spoken for nearly half an hour, appeared to have reached his conclusion. "We never got our hands on the smoking gun,"  explained according to one man who was in the Tank.  And, even more vividly, this witness can still recall what happened next. Because the general, his story apparently told, did not relinquish the floor. Instead, he gripped the side of the lectern as if it was a ship's rail and there were rough seas ahead, and then, without pause, he set off in a totally unexpected direction.

"The seventeen men sitting around the walnut conference table now listened as the general began to praise the DIA for its decision to establish the Working Group. A solution to the UFO mystery, he said, was vital,..National security was at stake. The airspace of the United States of America must be protected against any and all invaders.

"His tone was one of impassion, one man in the room was convinced the general was nearly shouting...There was much he told the Working Group that the government might be able to learn if we are finally able to make contact with extraterrestrial beings... General Pfautz...was reported as having said, in a final conclusion, if we could enter an alliance, a partnership with the aliens...General Pfautz walked out of the Tank, out of the loop and back into retirement.

"Yet when I contacted General Pfautz  to discuss the 1983 flying saucer task force he had initiated as head of Air Force Intelligence as well as his presentation to the UFO Working Group, he, after some elaborate coaxing, agreed to an interview at his home...The night before our scheduled meeting, he called. His tone was apologetic, but firm. "I'm afraid I'm going to have to cancel our appointment." He had spoken with "some friends at the Pentagon," he explained, and had been told that "any public discussion of the UFO Working Group would be out of the question." "I hadn't realized," he went on, "how highly classified the activities of the Working Group still are. They cannot be discussed."

Fact checking

1. An official USAF website provided confirmation that Major General James C Pfautz was Assistant Chief of Staff, intelligence, Headquarters, USAF, Washington DC as at September 1983.

2. Blum does not cite the source of his account of Pfautz speaking to the UFO Working Group. However, John B Alexander in his book "UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies and Realities" mentions that one of his group's aerospace participants did take notes at meetings.

I welcome hearing from any blog reader who may know more about this story.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Robert Bigelow and "implant" research


 Introduction

Over the years, Las Vegas billionaire Robert Bigelow, has created (and dissolved) a number of organisations to study the UFO phenomena. These include The Bigelow Foundation, the National Institute of Discovery Science (NIDS), and Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS.) 
One of his lesser known involvements was regarding “implants.”

Implant catalogue

Regular blog readers will be aware that one of my recent projects,  has been assembling a catalogue of cases where “implants” have been removed from the human body, and then analysed. 

As part of that research, I have recently re-read the book “The Aliens and the Scalpel” written by the late Dr Roger Leir. (1998. Granite Publishing. Columbus, NC.)

During my first reading of the book in 1998, I failed to note that the title page states “Published under the auspices of The Bigelow Foundation and the National Institute for Discovery Science.” A while ago, I conducted some research into The Bigelow Foundation, and you can read my findings here.

Later, another leaf in the book adds “The book is sponsored by The Bigelow Foundation in cooperation with The National Institute of Discovery Science (NIDS) and “The contents, views and opinions of this book reflect the author and are not those of the Bigelow Foundation or NIDS.”

The book

Image courtesy of Amazon Books

Sometime (date not specified) after conducting the surgical removal of an “implant” from his third patient, Babs, on 2 January 1996, Leir was given the name of John B Alexander, then working in Las Vegas, for NIDS.

Leir contacted Alexander, who almost immediately had Leir conference call with himself and Robert Bigelow. Leir writes that Alexander described NIDS as conducting research into the nature of the mind, and also UFOs. An hour was spent on the phone discussing Leir’s work.

A couple of days later, Bigelow contacted Leir, and invited Leir and Derrel Sims, Leir’s associate, to Las Vegas to discuss their work. They visited NIDS and spoke to Alexander and Bigelow. After a lunch, discussions were held. Bigelow advised Leir that he would present Leir’s work to the NIDS board.

Sometime later (Leir doesn’t give a date), another conference call was made by Bigelow and Alexander, to Leir. Bigelow advised that the NIDS board was interested in assisting Leir’s work. A member of that board, whom Leir describes as a PhD in Physics and a board certified neurologist, joined in the conversation.

Sims and Leir were then invited back to Las Vegas, at Bigelow’s expense. After a lunch, Leir presented his work to a NIDS board meeting, and both he and Sims were questioned.

Following a vote by the board, Bigelow advised Leir and Sims, that NIDS would support their work, with the conditions:

  1. They would hand over four surgical specimens for analysis.
  2. There would be no mention of NID's involvement with Leir's work.
  3. A scientific paper would be written and published in a world class journal.
  4. Leir insisted that the knowledge gained would end up in the public realm.
  5. NIDs would select the laboratories to conduct the analysis of the samples. 

Leir writes “Robert Bigelow had agreed at our previous meeting to fund not only the analysis of our specimens, but also the next set of surgeries…” Leir was asked to prepare an estimate of the cost of these surgeries.

Following a request from Bigelow to provide additional information about who the patients were, Leir then received a set of documents from NIDS, to sign. Leir noted, that it was a month after the surgeries before he received the NIDS funding.

NIDS testing

Leir reports that some of the analyses were conducted by the Los Alamos National Laboratories and some by New Mexico Tech. Leir received the New Mexico Tech results in September 1996, and these are reproduced in his book.

Later in the book, Leir noted that NIDS had initially indicated that an article would be written for a leading scientific journal. “Thus I was quite nonplussed when he called to ask my permission to release some of the scientific data on the metallurgy we had just received from New Mexico Tech lab to the MUFON Journal.” Leir did not consent to this, but he himself wrote an article which appeared in the April 1996 issue of the MUFON Journal.

My notes

1. To the best of my knowledge, no scientific paper about Leir’s work has ever appeared in a “world class journal.” Certainly, he published multiple articles about his work in the MUFON Journal.

2. According to an archived snapshot of the NIDS website on 6 October 2007, the NIDS scientific advisory board consisted of:


NIDS staff were Robert Bigelow; Colm A Kelleher and Mary Allman.

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