Monday, January 24, 2011

New book alert - Kean

Dear readers

I'm still on holidays at the moment. I'm sitting outside on a predicted 28 degree C maximum day; with a glass of "Moscato" white wine from Banrock Station; a box of "Mint Thins" peppermint chocolates and Leslie Kean's new book, "UFOs." I think I'm in heaven!

The book is "UFOs:Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record," published by Harmony Books. New York. 2010. ISBN 978-0-307-71684-2. (See website here.)

The author:

Leslie Kean is an investigative journalist, widely published in a variety of mainstream media publications, and co-founder of the Coalition for Freedom of Information (click here for more information)

The foreword:

John Podesta (more info click here)
has been "...counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, at the White House under President Clinton, and now with the Center for American progress, to the fundamental principle of protecting openness in government..." he writes:

"The time to pull the curtain back on this subject is long overdue...about a fascinating phenomenon, the nature of which is yet to be is definitely time for governments, scientists, and aviation experts to work together in unravelling the questions about UFOs..."

Kean's interest commences:

In the year 2000, Kean was working for a Californian public radio station when she obtained a copy of the French COMETA report (click here.)
This was a report authored by a group of "...retired generals, scientists and space experts...explained that about 5 percent of sightings...cannot be easily attributed to earthly sources...This 5 percent seem to be "completely unknown flying machines with exceptional performances that are guided by a natural or artificial intelligence." (p.1.)

Kean's interest started after reading this report and "I kept wondering, could there really be technological objects flying around that are not man-made?...As I dug deeper I learned that these objects had appeared for decades..." (p.3.)

Kean's response was "Secretly, I started to look into the UFO subject more extensively...The UFO story was journalistically elusive, contaminated by conspiracy theories, disinformation and just plain sloppiness...The aggregate data, the accumulation of evidence over decades, was utterly compelling and completely mystifying...UFOs became the focus of my professional life..." (pp3-4.)

"I naively thought this would have to generate some kind of news buzz...Amazingly, nothing happened...It was as if everyone was pretending that they didn't exist..." (p.5.)

Despite this, Kean continued her interest, learning more and interviewing some of the key players in the field. Interestingly, "The most credible sources clearly recognised, and stated repeatedly, that we don't yet know what the objects are-contrary to public assumption that UFOs, by definition, are extraterrestrial spaceships." (p.6.)

"I now believe that the only way to adequately convey the full story-to really break the news about the existence of UFOs and convey the impact of the material for the person so far unexposed to it-is through a book such as this one..." (p.6.)

"Our government still stays out of the UFO controversy and has no policy in place to address growing concerns..." (p.9.)

Kean then puts forward five "premises" for the reader to consider as they read the rest of the book:

"1)There exists in our skies, worldwide, a solid, physical phenomenon that appears to be under intelligent control and is capable of speeds, maneuverability and luminosity beyond current known technology.
(2) UFO incursions, often in restricted airspace, can cause aviation safety hazards and raise national security concerns, even though the objects have not demonstrated overtly hostile acts.
(3) The U.S. Government routinely ignores UFOs and, when pressed, issue false explanations. Its indifference and/or dismissals are irresponsible, disrespectful to credible, often expert witnesses, and potentially dangerous.
(4) The hypothesis that UFOs are of extraterrestrial or interdimensional origin is a rational one, and must be taken into account, given the data we have. However, the actual origin and nature of UFOs have not yet been determined by scientists and remain unknown.
(5) Given its potential implications, the evidence calls for systematic scientific investigation involving US government support and international cooperation." (pp13-14.)

Part one:

Most of the book is taken up by contributions by a range of individuals, e.g. chapter two relates the wave over Belgium,written by Major general Wilfried De Brouwer (retired); "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena and Aviation Safety" by Richard F Haines; the 18/19 September 1976, Iranian aircraft encounter by one of the pilots involved, General Parviz Jafari (retd.); Peruvian Air Force pilot Commandante Oscar Santa Maria Huertas (retd.) on his 11 April 1980 encounter, and so on.

Part two:

Part two opens with Kean's analysis of the period 1947-1969 in an American context; and a look at what other countries have undertaken in terms of research. "Since 2004, the governments of Brazil, Chile, France, Mexico, Russia, Uruguay, Peru, Ireland, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom have release once secret files and in 2009 even Denmark and Sweden joined the trend..." (p.117.)

However, Kean notes that despite this, "...government documents no longer reveal anything new and the thousands and thousands of pages have not lead to a major breakthrough in understanding. The most sensitive files-the intelligence reports that are concerned with more serious national security implications and likely deeper investigations and analysis-will not be disclosed and released." (p.118.)

The next portion of the book looks at what processes other world governments have taken and what they have learned.

Chapter 13 by Major General Denis Letty (retd.) reveals the background to the COMETA report and Jean-Jacques Velasco speaks to the French studies, in chapter 14.

Kean then discusses UFOs and the National Security Problem. This is spoken by a chapter by Nick Pope, who worked for the UK Ministry of Defence; a review of the UK Rendelsham Forest affair by Seargent James Penniston (Rtd.) and Colonel Charles I Halt (Retd.); while General Ricardo Bermudez Sanhueza (Retd.) reviews the Chilean response and Brigadier General Jose Carlos Pereira (Retd.) covers that of Brazil's response.

Part three:

"Even after many decades of focused research in France, explanation of defense implications in the UK, and field investigations in the Brazilian Amazon...we still don't know what the objects actually are..." (p.209.)

After interviewing a range of high-level individuals, Kean looks to move the debate on and suggest three points "...that further scientific investigation is mandated, partly because of the impact of UFOs on aircraft and aviation safety...that this investigation must be an international cooperative venture involving many governments and transcending politics...that such a global effort cannot be effective without the participation of the United States, the world's greatest technological power." (pp210-211.)

Kean's key point is "Logically, the first step in moving toward a solution is the establishment of an office or small agency within the US government to handle appropriate UFO investigations, liaison with other countries, and demonstrate to the scientific community that this is indeed a subject worthy of study." (p.211.)

Later chapters discuss "Government cover-up:Policy or myth?"; "Governor Fife Symington and Movement Towards Change"; Kean's own efforts with the Coalition for Freedom of Information.

The final chapter, "Facing an Extreme Challenge" reviews possible reasons why politicians and scientists look to avoid the subject of UFOs.

Kean's hope is that "With the launching of a new U.S. Government agency and the liberation of new resources, science could take its rightful place in the study of UFOs by claiming the subject as its own and beginning a new inquiry." (p288.)


This is a very powerful book, especially the thought provoking first hand accounts by those who have experienced the phenomenon. It provides a slice of the available evidence (staying clear of the quagmire of the abduction phenomenon)which is available through numerous previous studies, the files released by various governments and those held by private UFO research groups.

The call for action is commendable, and her suggestion for the formation of a new US based office or agency to move the subject forward is excellent.

It certainly reminded me that UFOs do exist; that we still don't know what they are; that Defence Intelligence areas of various governments have concluded there is no defence significance; and that further research is indeed warranted.

Buy several copies of this book.One to keep and the others to be shared with people you know who don't think the subject is worthy of attention.

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