Sunday, July 21, 2019

Unidentified Aerial Phenomena and the National Reconnaissance Office


The To The Stars Academy (TTSA) recently announced that Chris Herndon was joining their Advisory Board. Herndon initially worked as a Department of Navy civilian, supporting a variety of agencies, including the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO.)

This made me ask myself, what did I know about the NRO? Like many other long-time researchers, the NRO had popped up on my radar from time to time. So I decided, that in this blog post, I would take a look at what I could find out about any relationship between the NRO and Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP.)


Firstly though, what is the NRO's role? According to their website:

"The NRO, is the U.S. government agency in charge of designing, building, launching and maintaining America's intelligence satellites. From our inception in 1961 to our declassification to the public in 1992, we have worked tirelessly to provide the best reconnaissance support possible to the Intelligence Community (IC) and Department of Defense (DoD.)"

Its workforce consists of Dod and intelligence community staff, plus workers from private industry. It is headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia, and maintains ground stations at Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado; Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and White Sands  Missile Range, New Mexico. It also has a presence at the Joint Defence Facility, Pine Gap, Australia.

I found a number of mentions of the NRO in the UAP literature, and the following provided details about my findings.

Valerie Ransone

Our first hint of the NRO and UAP, comes in the form of an individual named Valerie Jean Ransone. In 1976, Ransone, who was said to be a former CBS correspondent and a Washington power broker, established herself as President of The Information Network - an alternative radio network. In that year, Ransone also met Andrija Puharich and spent several months with him, exploring every site where research on extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation was being conducted. Because ELF waves can penetrate seawater they have been used to communicate with submarines.

By 1978, she was organising trips to go watch for UFOs. Jacques Vallee ("Forbidden Science: Volume Two'" 2009. Documatica Research LLC, San Francisco) in a diary entry dated 11 June 1978) told how she was establishing "a company to disseminate messages she believes to be of extraterrestrial origin." It was also at about that time, that Ransone became associated with astronaut Gordon Cooper. In December 1978, she warned Cooper that there was trouble associated with aspects of the Space Shuttle program; apparently advice from an extraterrestrial source.

In the late 1970's Cooper and Ransone set up a company devoted to free, worldwide energy transmissions and advanced medical devices.

A number of researchers, including Jacques Vallee, John Schuessler and Richard Niemtzow, met and interacted with Ransone, who appeared to be both a "contactee" and a very intelligent woman, interested in ELF and the work of Tesla.

What is the NRO connection? Vallee, ("Forbidden Science: Volume Three," 2012. Documatica Research LLC, San Francisco) in a diary entry dated 30 July 1989, stated:

"Schuessler tracked her down through his channels at McDonnell-Douglas. It turned out she was an agent for NRO, working with the Navy."

1984 - "Clear Intent"

In exploring which US Government agencies might hold data on UAP, two US researchers, Larry Bryant and Barry Greenwood ended up writing a book titled "Clear Intent" (1984. Fawcett, L & Greenwood, B J. Prentice-Hall, Engelwood Cliffs, NJ.) On page 219, they wrote:

"One other potential source of UFO data has not been mentioned only because it has been relatively unknown until recently by the New York Times.

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is an intelligence agency whose very existence has been classified Top Secret...How might the NRO's operations relate to UFO research?

Photo-reconnaissance satellites have advanced to such a degree that even individuals can be specifically identified from orbit one hundred miles up. If strange aerial activity were to be detected in space as has been done in the past by NORAD, a photo-reconnaissance satellite could be expected to be pressed into duty by taking high resolution photographs of the UFOs. Significant strong evidence for UFOs may current exist on the NRO's files but accessing it would be virtually impossible under present security provisions..."

1987 - Timothy Good

A UK researcher, Timothy Good also wondered along the same lines as Fawcett and Greenwood. On page 299 of "Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-up" (1987, William Morrow & Co., New York) we find:

"There is another agency, hidden in Air Force Intelligence but run by the CIA whose very existence was denied by the US government until comparatively recently. I refer to the most secret intelligence agency in the United States: the National Reconnaissance Office. The NRO was established in 1961, and although its primary function is the operation of spy satellites, its estimated annual budget of $3 billion and staff of 50,000 could easily allow for secret UFO investigations. There is no evidence of this so far, however, and my Freedom of Information request for documents in 1986  not surprisingly drew a black..."

1988 - Vallee

I recalled a couple of relevant items from Jacques Vallee's dairies ("Forbidden Science: Volume Three," 2012. Documatica Research LLC, San Francisco.) In a diary entry dated 13 March 1988, Vallee, writing about how researcher Richard Haines had attended a briefing to staffers of an Amy Under-Secretary on UFOs noted:

"Dick was able to attend the presentation that followed his own briefing: An intelligence officer spoke about objects detected by certain satellites.

American satellites on low orbits, known as "slow walkers" are often catching luminous objects in groups of two or three that make right-angle turns or even reverse course. These observations according to Dick, stunned the Army folks, who had been unaware of these "fast walkers."

Australian researcher Paul Dean, in a blog post titled "NORAD And The UFO Smokescreen: Part 9" dated 10 July 2016, provided what is known of these "fast walkers."

Later, in a diary entry dated 28 June 1988 Vallee wrote:

"Hal has seen a 2-inch thick file that details UFO observations by infra-red satellites: 'The objects arrive 3,000 miles above the Earth,' he told me. 'The satellites pick them up as they come near the surface and going away the same manner as they came in. Their infra-red signature shows a level of energy 15 times that of an aircraft carrier. But the data is so tightly classified nobody wants to talk about it.' I wonder if these are really "our" UFOs, or natural phenomena of near space, still undiscovered, or even plain energy discharges."

1997 - Greer and the NRO document

Before the well known 10 April 1997 meeting between researcher Steven Greer and Rear Admiral Thomas Wilson, Greer had forwarded a purported NRO document to Wilson's team. Greer claimed that Wilson recognised one of the groups mentioned in a distribution list.

1997 - the Haines study

Gerald K Haines published a study titled "CIA's role in the study of UFOs: 1947-1990," which first appeared in the publication "Studies in Intelligence." (Volume 1, Number 1.)

The author, Haines, is there stated to be the National Reconnaissance Office historian. Why he should be writing an historical piece about the CIA has never been explained.

2000 - Daniel M Salter

Around the year 2000, US researcher Nick Redfern met an individual named Daniel M Salter, now deceased. Salter had written a book titled "Life with a Cosmos clearance" and during conversations with Redfern, informed Redfern that he, Salter, was a recently retired employee of the NRO.

In the book, Salter claims that in 1969 he was transferred to the NRO and worked in the Counterintelligence Unit of the Interplanetary Phenomenon Scientific and Technical Intelligence Unit. In addition, that the NRO had a campaign to weaponize space called the Development of Conscious Contact Citizenry Department.

However, in his obituary in the 16 October 2007 issue of the Tao News, it states that Salter worked for the USAF (1947-1968) in the field of electronics and radar. Then he went to the Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas, where he was head of Pilot Technology (1968-1990.) He then retired in 1990 and lived in Tao, New Mexico. There is no mention here of him working for the NRO. 

At the same time, Steven Greer's "Disclosure Project Briefing Document " (Greer, S M & Loder, T C, 2001, Crozet, Virginia.) has a mention of the "Testimony of Master Sergent Dan Morris, USAF (Retired)/NRO Operative - September 2000."  This document notes:

"After leaving the Air Force, he was recruited into the super-secret National Reconnaissance Organization, or NRO, during which time he worked specifically on extra-terrestrial connected operations."

From what I have read, it appears to me that Daniel M Salter and Dan Morris are the same individual.

2009 - Richard Dolan

On page 390 of Dolans' book "UFOs and the National Security State: Volume 2 - 1973-1991" (2009.  Keyhole Publishing. Rochester, New York,) I found:

"However, considering its extreme secrecy even among America's officially acknowledged intelligence agencies, the NRO could well have taken on other missions, such as those related to UFOs. Indeed, its capabilities, make it ideally suited for this."

2011 - Anthony Bragalia

In an article titled "Secret U.S. Intelligence agency holds UFO answers" Bragalia explores the role of the NRO. Braglia found that although not exempt from the FOIA, that a search of the Black Vault website failed to locate any FOIA requests to the NRO, and that the relevant FOIA request log showed only two requests re the subjects of UFOs, namely one dated 7 May 1998 and 27 April 2001.

Bragalia also wrote:

"...this author had made the recent acquaintance of a former agency employee now retired and  living nearby in Florida in ill health. This intelligence officer has tacitly indicated that clear, detailed and revealing images of UFOs have indeed been obtained by the super satellites of the NRO - and that many of them are not made by man."

I have heard nothing further about this potentially interesting source.

2015 - the Black Vault

US Researcher John Greenewald submitted an FOIA request to the NRO. In a response letter dated 5 November 2015, the NRO responded, in part:

"Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, you are requesting "records, electronic or otherwise pertaining to the Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) phenomenon..."

The topic of your request is outside the scope of NRO responsibilities, furthermore, the NRO has conducted numerous searches relating to UFOs in the past, and has located no records."

Update: 3 August 2019

A correspondent from the US who wishes to remain anonymous writes:

"Gerald Haines was in the CIA from 1989 becoming Deputy Chief of CIA History Staff in 1995, left briefly to set up the NRO History Office in 1996-1997, returned to become CIA Chief Historian. It is relevant because it makes sense that Haines would write a CIA history (in this case on UFOs) when he was still a CIA historian in 1994-95 and only briefly went to the NRO in 1996-1997 when the CIA history just happened to be published."

1 comment:

  1. Excellent work Mr. Basterfield. This makes perfect sense. Hiding in plain sight. (At least since 1992.) It's interesting that most researchers have missed this connection.


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