Thursday, December 24, 2020

Former CIA director quoted in New York Times about UFOs

John O. Brennan

There have been recent media items concerning statements made by former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John. O. Brennan, who was head of that agency for four years during the Obama administration. Journalist Giuliano Marinkovic reminded us that U.S. journalist Billy Cox first published a story about Brennan's views on UFOs, back in 2018. It should also be noted, that in 2013, Cox also obtained a comment about UFOs from former CIA Director Robert Gates. 


Howver, while searching the Internet about Brennan's views, I came across a very similar story in the New York Times, dated 28 February 1960. Yes, in 1960. It appeared on page 30 of that day's edition. To show that things often occur in cycles, however long the cycle, I will cite the entire article below.

"Air Force Order on 'Saucers' cited

Pamphlet by the Inspector General called objects 'Serious Business'

WASHINGTON, Feb.27 (UPI.) The Air Force has sent its commands a warning to treat sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects as "Serious Business" directly related to the nation's defense, it was learned today.

An Air Force spokseman confirmed issuance of the directive after portions of it were made public by a private "flying saucer" group. The new regulations were issued by the Air Force inspector general Dec. 24.

The regulations, revising similar ones issued in the past, outlined procedures and said that "investigations and analysis of UFOs are directly related to the Air Force's responsibility for the defense of the United States.

Committee reveals document

Existence of the document was released by the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena. The privately financed committeee accused the Air Force of deception in publicly describing reports of UFOs as delusions and hoaxes while sending the private admonition to its commands.

Vice Admiral R.H. Hillenkotter (Ret.) a committee board member and a former Director of the Central lntelligence Agency, said in a statement, that a copy of the inspector general's warning had been sent to the Senate 'Science and Astronautics' Committee.

"It is time for the truth to be brought out in open Congressional hearings," he said.

The Air Force confirmed that the document had been issued. A spokesman said it was put out by Maj. Gen. Richard E. O'Keefe, acting inspector general at the time, to call attention to revised Air Force regulations concerning Unidentified Flying Objects.

The statement was included in an "operations and training" pamplet  put out at intervals to bring command up to date.

Pentagon aides said the new regulations covering seven printed pages, made no substantive change in policy, but had been re-written as a matter of course.

The Air Force had investigated 6,132 reports of flying objects since 1947, including 193 in the last six months of 1959.The latest Air Force statement issued a month ago, said "no physical or material evidence, not even a minute fragment of a so called flying saucer has ever been found."

Admiral Hillenkotter said that "behind the scenes, high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFOs."

"But through official secrecy and ridcule many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense," the retired Admiral said. He charged that "to hide the facts , the Air Force has silenced its personnel through the issuance of a regulation."

The UFO Investigator

I looked up digitized issues of NICAP's "The UFO Investigator," and found that the Volume 1 Number 9 issue, dated March 1960, carried a front page account of the above story. It confirmed that NICAP released photocopies of the document to United Press International and Associated Press. The document itself, was dated 24 December 1959 , and was headed "UFOs SERIOUS BUSINESS." The UFO Investigator article carried selected quotes from the document.

NICAP sent a copy of the document to Senator Lyndon Johnson, Chairman of the Senate Science and Astronautics Committee. Other copies were sent to additional Senate, and House Committees. Later, when President, Lyndon Johnson arranged for a "secret" UFO study to be undertaken. For details, click here. 

Monday, December 7, 2020

A history of, and some comments about, a purported UAP photograph


On 3 December 2020, an article appeared on written by Tim McMillan, a German based, United States (U.S.)  citizen. Accompanying the article was a photograph of a purported UAP, said to have been taken from a U.S. military aircraft. 


The photograph was reportedly taken in the air by a weapon systems operator in an F/A-18 military jet aircraft, somewhere off the East coast of the U.S. McMillan reported having been told that the photograph had appeared in a 2018 intelligence report issued by the U.S. UAP Task Force. (UAPTF.) The object was said to have been hovering motionless over the ocean. A close-up of the object of interest was also given.


Discussion on the Internet, centered around the possibility of the object being a balloon of some kind. However, it is not the intention of this blog post to engage in a debate as to the identity of the object, other than to say that analyis by a well-known U.S. researcher indicated the object had an apparent angular size of about 0.4 degrees, hence being about seven feet in size, if at a distance of 1,000 feet. Smaller than seven feet if closer; or bigger than seven feet if more distant than 1,000 feet.

A check, by me, of the metadata of the image shown by McMillan, indicated that this particular image was created on 4/03/2019, and  not in 2018. I reached out to McMillan to point this out, and he advised that his understanding was that the image shown was a re-photograph of the original photograph. In other words the metadata attached to the published photograph was not the original metadata. 

A number of commentators on the Internet, have expressed opinions, based on the image's metadata, that it it is most likely not a photo of a photo; for example:

In addition, Twitter user Joel @uapresearch  published an article  on 6 December 2020 which set out a range of arguments for the image not being a re-photograph of a photograph. 

Mystery Wire

In an article, dated 3 December 2020, author Duncan Phenix reported that in 2019, Mystery Wire had received a copy of the same cockpit photograph showing the same object,  Mystery Wire stated that they were told that the photograph was taken in 2018, by a Navy pilot using his cell phone. A search of the Internet reveals no evidence that Mystery Wire published, or indeed, commented on that photograph at that time, or in fact, until 3 December 2020. I emailed Phenix to ask if the photograph they received had any associated metadata, but have, as yet, received no response.

Blake S. Taylor

On 4 December 2020, Twitter user @YoungGun8140, Blake S. Taylor, advised that he had shared photos with UFO Twitter some months ago. A check of a 12 May 2020 tweet of his, revealed three photographs, one of which was the image published by McMillan. The image had no associated metadata details. I, and numerous others inquired of Taylor as to when he had initially come across the photograph? 

In a tweet, dated 5 December 2020, Taylor stated:
"I'm pretty sure I found it whilst rummaging around in one of those sites where we find government documents etc. I have been trying to remember. It's been a while. I just remember seeing it, saving it and sharing it."

How long ago did the UAP community know of this photograph? 

The question then  arises as to how long this particular image has been circulating in the UAP community? Joel @uapresearch told me:
"...I had the lower quality version myself back in Feb. 2020. Tim's article was the first time I had seen the higher quality version that I consider to be the original photo."

No doubt, there will be much more to be said about this photograph. 

Update: 7December 2020

On 7 December 2020, the Mystery Wire article was updated, as follows:
(Correction note from George Knapp: In the summer of 2019, Mystery Wire did obtain a copy of   photo, taken by a Navy pilot from inside the cockpit of an F-18. However, the photo we received does not show the same object that appears in the images released last week. The source who shared the photo with us did so under the condition that we not release it to the public.)

Update: 9 December 2020 

Swedish researcher Roger Glassel speculated that part of the reflection on the cockpit window was due to it being a reflection of the pilot's helmet. He reviewed a number of YouTube videos of military aircraft. In a tweet on 9 December 2020, he stated that the helmet showed that the aircraft in the photograph belonged to Strike Squadon VFA-32. Between June and December 2016 VFA-32 was deployed to the Middle East aboard the USS Dwight. D. Eisnehower. Their home base is shown as  Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

Now, McMillan's article about the photograph, stated that the photo was taken in 2018, off the East Coast of the U.S. Putting all this information together, and noting the debate over when the photo was actually taken sometime in 2018 or 4 March 2019, the best guess is that the photo was taken while VFA-32 was based at Oceana.

Second update: 9 December 2020

Twitter user Blake S. Taylor has been trying to recall where he sighted the photo, in May 2020. In a tweet on 9 December 2020 he wrote: 

"...what I do remember is it was a site similar to this "

...again it may not be within that site but something very similar in construct..."

Update: 21 December 2020

In a tweet dated 21 December 2020 George Knapp in replying to a number of Twitter users said:

"This shouldn't be this tough to figure out. I responded to this tweet "We want that triangle pic, we know you have it."

I do not have the triangle pic. nor have I seen it. I have different photo. The photo I have does not show a triangle. Get it?"

Update: 21  March 2021

In a post dated 20 March 2021, Tim McMillan of The in part, wrote:

"The Debrief has become aware that the leaked image is one of a series of photographs captured over a period of 32 minutes by Naval aviators. The Debrief has also confirmed the photos were provided to and analyzed by the Pentagon's UAP Task Force, being run by the Office of Naval intelligence."

Update: 10 April 2021

In a Mystery Wire article, Journalist George Knapp  reveals details of three photographs taken from a U.S. Navy jet on 4 March 2019. These are:

1. At 2.44pm. A photograph of an object referred to as a "Sphere."

2. At 3.02pm. A photograph of an object referred to as the "Acorn." This shaped object featured in the original Debrief article above.

3. At 3.14pm. A photograph of an object referred to as a "Metallic blimp." 

Monday, November 30, 2020

Paper on UAP published by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at the Bar-Ilan University in Israel


Franc Milburn is a geostrategic and national security analyst, with a specialization in UAP. One of his aims is to inject discourse on the geostrategic, national security and weapons technology implications of various phenomena, into mainstream academia. He is a former intelligence officer, and an alumnus of Sandhurst and the London School of Economics.

Milburn poses the question: "Why are strategic, national security and modern international history courses at universities not covering UAP when they have clearly occupied the major powers for decades?"

Previously, Milburn has written on the Middle East and strategic issues, and now he has had a paper published on UAP, by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA Center) at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

The center

According to its website, the BESA Center " an independent, non-partisan think tank conducting policy-relevant research on Middle Eastern and global strategic affairs, particularly as they relate to the national security and foreign policy of Israel and regional peace and stability."

The paper

The paper is listed as "MidEast Security and Policy Studies Paper #183" and is titled "The Pentagon's UAP Task Force." In preparing the paper, the author communicated with a range of individuals, both in the UAP field ( e.g. Dr. Jack Sarfatti; John B. Alexander)  and in academia (e.g. Dr. Lani Kass, senior fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.) 

It opens by introducing the Pentagon's UAP Task Force (UAPTF), and poses the question as to why the lead agency isn't the US Air Force? It discusses the contents of the 17 June 2020 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on UAP and the UAPTF.

Milburn then explores the question of whether UAP might be "...exotic American tech, near-peer adversary platforms, or something else entirely." This is followed by a discussion of the five observables of UAP, and a quote from Christopher Mellon, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, that: "...These are not American or Russian or Chinese vehicles."

Other topics discussed in the paper are, crash retrievals; the threat; a series of emails to/from Dr. Eric Davis; the 2004 Nimitz tic-tac encounter; the Scientific Coalition for UFOlogy's Nimitz encounter report; old school UFO weapons theories; the declassified December 2000, United Kingdom Defence Intelligence 55 UAP report; the Russian Thread 3 papers; non-human entities; the Wilson/Davis document; and then Disclosure. 

Returning to the question of near-peer adversary knowledge, Milburn writes:

 "The Chinese will be following the work of Davis and the UAPTF and have seemingly already approached Jack Sarfatti, and DI55 noted their interest in UAP two decades ago."

All, in all, an important paper, summarizing a range of sub-topics in the study of UAP. Especially so, when you note where the paper was published and its anticipated readers.  Milburn is to be congratulated for writing this paper; and the BESA Center is to be thanked for publishing the paper. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The UFO/Abduction collection of Angela Thompson Smith


I have previously published two blog posts concerning U.S. researcher Angela Thompson Smith; her work, and especially her time with the Bigelow Foundation. These posts may be read here and here

A short summary

Angela was born in the United Kingdom; obtained a BSc in Psychology in the U.K. and later, a PhD in Psychology, in San Francisco. She spent the years 1987-1992 as a staff member of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) laboratory. Then she worked at the Bigelow Foundation between October 1992 and April 1994, in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a research coordinator. Since then she has worked mainly as a private contractor for businesses in the U.S.A. and overseas. Angela currently works through Mindwise Consulting on remote viewing, as a trainer, consultant and researcher. She has published a number of books in such areas as our-of-body experiences; remote viewing, UFOs and abductions.

While with the Bigelow Foundation, at the specific request of Robert T. Bigelow, she conducted field investigations into local UFO and abduction cases, and cattle mutilation cases in the U.S.A. Her other interest there were UFO detectors; assembling a library; and assisting with the production of a radio show named "Area 2000."


I was recently contacted by U.S. researcher Louis Taylor, who advised me that, in 2002, Angela had offered for sale, her UFO/abduction collection, on eBay. Louis forwarded me an inventory of the material concerned. 

Besides the usual material which you would expect any serious researcher to have in their collection; e.g. UFO periodicals and UFO books, there were other more interesting items. I decided for historical thoroughness, that it would be useful to publish some details of the five boxes of material which was on offer back in 2002. Before I do so, I must add, that I asked Louis is he knew if the material sold, and if it did so, did he know who acquired it? He responded that he was unaware if the collection sold, and did not know of anyone who mentioned, that they now had the collection.

Box A

Publications relating to SETI; Catoe's 1989 Annotated Bibliography; articles on space and SETI; and a number of UFO/abduction books and videos. Abduction material by John Mack, Budd Hopkins and Jean Mundy. There was also a small collection of papers concerning the effects of Extremely Low Frequency electromagnetic biological effects.

Angela stated that she was sent by Robert T. Bigelow, to investigate UFO sightings, abduction accounts and cattle mutilation events. Blog readers should note that this era, October 1992-April 1994 was before the era of the National Institute for Discovery Science and was in the early days of Robert Bigelow's interest in such topics. As such, the contents of the collection tell us much about what material Smith was providing for Robert Bigelow to read. An example in box A was listed as:

"Small artwork done by a 7 year-old boy who's family had experienced Abductions, cattle mutilations on their ranch, helicopters, police cars. Birmingham, Alabama - 1993."

Box B

Newspaper clippings; UFO periodicals; scientific article; transcript of talks; and video tapes regarding UFOs/abductions. Copy of emails regarding a Chinese UFO conference; and cattle mutilations in Nevada in February 1993. Letters from such individuals as psychologist David Gotlib, and researchers Alice Bryant and Richard Hall.

On field investigations, of interest to me, were photographs of "ATS with Ted Oliphant, Fyffe, Alabama, 1993." Oliphant was a police officer who investigated around 35 cattle mutilation cases between October 1992 and April 1993. 

Also, of interest to me, is the list of audio tapes of episodes of the radio show "Area 2000." I have never, anywhere, seen a list of these shows and their guest, so reproduce the inventory list of these, in full. I have provided links to some of these individuals, whose names may not be familiar to blog readers. 

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 7/4/93. Guest: John Alexander. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions.  Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp. Area 2000 Commenced.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 7/11/93. Guest: Linda Howe. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 7/18/93. Guest: Brian O’Leary. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 7/25/93. Guest: Ian Stevenson, M.D.. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 8/1/93. Guest: Budd Hopkins. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 8/8/93. Guest: Walter Uphoff. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 8/15/93. Guest: Bruce Maccabee, Ph.D.. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 8/22/93. Guest: Raymond Moody, M.D.. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 8/29/93. Guest: David Jacobs, Ph.D.. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 9/5/93. Guest: John Carpenter. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 9/12/93. Guest: Michael D. Swords. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 9/19/93. Guest: Stanton T. Friedman. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 9/26/93. Guest: Brian L. Weiss, M.D. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 10/3/93. Guest: Richard F. Haines, Ph.D.. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 10/10/93. Guest: Angela Thompson, M.S.. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 10/17/93. Guest: Budd Hopkins. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 10/24/93. Guest: George Knapp. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 10/31/93. Guest: Don Berliner. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 11/07/93. Guest: Linda Howe. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 11/14/93. Guest: Walt Andrus (MUFON). 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 11/21/93. Guest: Yvonne Smith. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 11/28/93. Guest: Richard C. Hoagland. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 12/5/93. Guest: Raymond Fowler. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 12/12/93. Guest: Ray Boeche. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 12/19/93. Guest: Stanley McDaniel.  2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 12/26/93. Guest: Chad Deetken. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp.

Audiotape. Robert Bigelow Foundation presents Area 2000 with Art Bell. 1/2/94. Guest: Bruce Goldberg. 2 hours. Quantum Software Solutions. Plus current UFO News with Linda Howe and George Knapp. Show Discontinued.

Box C

Most of the material in this box relates to the abduction phenomenon, e.g. there is much material about TREAT conferences. Other material includes scientific articles on physics; UFO;, UFO detectors; ELF generators; and on Operation Right to Know. There were also photographs of a 2001 U.K. crop circle taken by Smith; the front of Bigelow Foundation headquarters in Las Vegas; and Angela presenting a talk in December 1992 at the Las Vegas Library. There is also a collection of the Journal of Scientific Exploration and a number of books.

Box D

In here there was a folder on the subject of "implants" including articles by such researchers as Martin Cannon,  Nicholas A. Rieter, and John Powell. Other material included newspaper articles; US patents; items regarding abduction related Roper polls; abduction periodicals and books.

On field investigations, of interest to me were:

"Press release and Report from Sand Mountain, Alabama presented by the Fyffe Police Department, Fyffe, Alabama. Entitled Report on cattle mutilations, April 7, 1993."

"Report on Two Significant Cases and descriptions of metallic elements found at the scene of cattle mutilations, Sand Mountain, Fyffe, Alabama, April 1993."

Box E  

A major part of the box is information relating to the subject of crop circles; including newspaper articles; letters;  articles from various periodicals; scientific articles; and reports. Other material relates to Area 51; UFO detectors; papers by Hal Puthoff; video tapes and audiotapes. On abductions, there are copies of the 1991 and 1992 Roper abduction polls.

On field  investigations, there are:

"Report on UFO sightings at Clearlake, California by Angela Thompson, July, 1993."

"Report on visit to Fyffe, Alabama, March 1993 by Angela Thompson: Abductions, crop circles, cattle mutilations."

 An intriguing item is:

"UFO files given to Angela Smith by a member of a government contract company."

Email to Angela 

I reached out to Angela Thompson Smith by email and asked her  "...if the collection was indeed sold, and if so, and you don't mind , are you able to tell me, the name of the individual who purchased it?"

Angela advised "Yes, indeed I did sell all of my UFO materials on eBay. The logic behind it was that I was following two paths: UFO and RV and needed to focus on one... I honestly do not remember the name of the but it wasn't anyone well known in the UFO/abduction community." 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Unidentified Submerged Objects and sensor detection systems

One of the elements of the November 2004 USS Nimitz encounters, which is often overlooked, is the fact that several pilots from the Nimitz reported seeing an unusual disturbance on the surface of the ocean. 

Douglas S. Kurth

The first to report this was the Commanding Officer of Marine Hornet Squadron VMFA-232 Lt. Col. "Cheeks" Douglas S. Kurth. Operators on the USS Princeton asked him to investigate an unidentified airborne contact. Princeton then asked Kurth to stay above 10,000 feet as two other Hornets had been sent to investigate. Kurth's radar picked up the Hornets but no other contacts. The ocean surface at that time was calm and glassy. Kurth reported seeing a disturbance on the ocean surface - round in shape, turbulent, and about 50-100 meters in diameter. It was the only area and type of "whitewater" in that area. It looked to him as if there were something below the surface. He overflew the disturbance. As he turned away, and the other Hornets arrived, the whitewater cleared.

Fravor et al

There were two crew in each of the other Hornets. One pilot, David Fravor, reported that he noticed whitewater on the surface of the ocean, the approximate size of a 737 aircraft. He took his F-18 lower. As he descended through about 20,000 feet he saw a white object moving just above the frothing water. It was a white featureless, oblong shaped object, making lateral movements over the turbulent circle of water. 

In an interview on the TTSA website Fravor stated:

"I look out the right side and I see something in the water. And it looks like about the size of a 737 in the water pointing east. So you don't see an airplane, but if you've ever been out to sea with like an underwater sea mountain, as the waves come and there's something right under the surface, they'll break. Same thing that happens on shore. They’ll break and you'll get whitewater. So this thing looks kind of like that shape. Looks, you know… like if you put a 737 about 10 to 15 feet under the water. The waves are gonna crash over the top and you're gonna get this whitewater."

In another  interview on the TTSA website the female pilot of the other Hornet described what she had seen:

"...noticed a small patch of water, approximately 60 feet wide by 80 feet in length. It appeared choppy and turbulent against a calm sea. The disturbance was unusual in that there was no apparent cause. The area was generally the shape of an oval and appeared to be "rolling." Towards the center of the disturbance, water appeared to be lighter in color and smooth again, as if an unknown object had recently submerged beneath the surface. She then noted a small, elongated, white object, 30-40 feet in length...(when the incident had concluded) looked back at the ocean but the water was again smooth and calm..."


Perhaps the best fit for an explanation for the ocean disturbance, was either that the small, white, "Tic-Tac" shaped object had emerged from beneath the surface of the ocean; or that some other object had also been there and submerged, leaving the airborne "Tic Tac" there alone. 


On a number of occasions, Luis Elizondo, when discussing the "five observables" of UAP, includes one of these as "Multi medium travel." For example, at the October 2018 Centro Ufologico Nazionale conference talk which he gave in Rome, he referred to "Multi Medium travel," i.e. that UAP can operate in a vacuum, or in atmosphere; and in water, without changing their physical properties.


There have been some excellent efforts at collecting together reported observations of UAP from seagoing service, e.g. Jan L Aldrich's "Updated Draft Catalogue of UFOs/USOs Reported by Seagoing Services." 

What U.S. large scale underwater sensor systems exist?

If there are unknown objects traversing our oceans, underwater, what underwater sensor systems exist which might detect them? The U.S.A. has the following:

1. Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS)

SOSUS consists of high-gain, long length fixed arrays of hydrophones, on the ocean bottom, which relay data to onshore facilities where that data is analysed. SOSUS and SURTASS are now part of IUSS. 

2. Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS)

A number of seagoing vessels use a towed sonar array.  It is a non-military program, used to detect submarines and also used in drug surveillance operations. 

3. The Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS) uses the Fixed Surveillance System (FSS), the Fixed Distributed System (FDS) and the Advanced Deployable System (FDS.) IUSS is under the operational command of the U.S. Navy's Commander Undersea Surveillance. 

4. The Deep reliable Acoustic Path Exploitation System (DRAPES)

In 2016 the Office of Naval research awarded a contract to design, and install three DRAPES arrays, with the work to be completed by 2020. It is designed as a fixed, passive listening system which can transmit its data onshore for processing by one of three remaining Navy Operational Processing Facilities, which also process data from SOSUS and SURTASS. 

5. Persistent Littoral Undersea Surveillance Network (PLUSNet)

This aims to create a semi-autonomous controlled network of fixed bottom and mobile sensors.

6. Distributed Agile Submarine Hunting Program (DASH)]

Collaborative sensor platforms to detect and track submarines over large areas.  

Have we any well documented occurrences of USOs arising from use of the above sensors? The short answer is, no we do not.

The National Underwater Reconnaissance Office (NURO)

A recent Tweet on Twitter dated 31 October 2020, directed at a number of people including myself, asked the question as to whether or not we had directed a request to NURO re UFO/USO? In this Tweet was mention of a recent B. R. Inman talk. (Link given at the end of this section.)

Are there any U.S. Intelligence Agencies specifically established to look at underwater reconnaissance? Indeed, there is. I recently came across discussion about the US National Underwater reconnaissance Office on Twitter, and wondered what it was. I turned to Jeffrey T. Richelson's classic work "The U.S. Intelligence Community" (7th. ed. 2015) for information. As the entry was short, I will cite it in full, below:

"In 1969, as a result of an agreement between the CIA and U.S. Navy, an underwater counterpart to the NRO, the National Underwater Reconnaissance Office (NURO), was established, with Secretary of the Navy, John Warner, as its first Director.

The office served as a means of managing the conduct of submarine intelligence missions and the exploitation of their product.

Those missions involved the recovery of sunken submarines (The Soviet K-19), taping of underwater Soviet communications cables (The IVY BELLS program), ocean floor mapping (under a program designated DESKTOP,) and images and SIGINT collection from submarines ( a program at one time designated the Special Navy Control program.) Some of the covert US submarine operations were allegedly conducted in the territorial waters of non-Soviet bloc waters, sometimes with consent, including Sweden, to test the nations defenses.

The existence of the NURO was classified at its inception and remains so today."

In a YouTube video retired U.S. Navy Admiral, Bobby Ray Inman states that one of the roles which he had, in 1974, was as Director of NURO. 

Some claimed USO observations 

1. In June 1954 in the Atlantic Ocean/Pacific Ocean, [APRO Bulletin, July 1954, p.7.]

2. On 13 March 1958 near Bodega Bay, California. An unidentified undersea object was spotted by Navy Pilots. Despite a search nothing was found. [Associated Press, March 18, 1958.]

3. 23 May 1968 near the Azores, Atlantic Ocean. Crew of USS Monrovia, reported a large, submerged object. Ovoid in shape, luminescent orange in color, with a translucent quality. USO matched several course and speed changes. radar, compass and other equipment rendered inoperable until object disappeared. [Feindt, C W  "UFOs and Water" p. 395.]

4. 1969. Gulf of Tonkin, off Vietnam. Ensign Will Miller was on the USS Leary, and saw a light which moved from above to below the waterline and approach the ship. It passed underneath the vessel. Not recorded on sonar or surface radar. [Good, T. "Need to Know: UFOs, the Military and Intelligence,' p 215.]

5. Ca. 15 July 1974. Mediterranean Sea. An E-2 Signalman on the bridge of the USS Forrestal, an aircraft carrier, reported seeing a bright underwater light through binoculars. There was no sonar contact. The light moved back and forth across the bow at 60 mph, all underwater. It suddenly pulled away and disappeared into the depths. [NUFORC 6/5/2004.]

One first hand account comes from MUFON's Marc D'Antonio n around 2013. D'Antonio related the account to journalist Emma Parry of the English "The Sun" newspaper at a conference in the USA in 2017. Stating that he was on a US nuclear submarine at the time, D'Antonio says he heard the sonar operator shouting "fast mover, fast mover." The operator estimated the object was travelling at "several hundred knots." Four years after the event, when D'Antonio asked a senior figure in the US Navy about the Fast Mover program, and the man responded "Marc, I can't talk about that program."

A "Popular Mechanics" magazine article dated 9 October 2019, authored by Kyle Mizokami, titled "The Weird History of Unidentified Submerged Objects" reminded us that there has been a long history of objects reportedly going in and out of the ocean. Citing Ivan Sanderson's 1970 book "Invisible Residents," Mizokami gives details of a typical sighting of this type:

"19 April 1957, crew members of the Kitsukawa Maru, a Japanese fishing boat, spotted two metallic silvery objects descending from the sky into the sea. the objects, estimated to be ten meters long were without wings of any kind. As they hit the water they created a violent turbulence."

Another incident in Sanderson's book,  recounts that during an anti-submarine exercise off the coast of Puerto Rico in 1963, involving a number of U.S. Navy ships, including the aircraft carrier Wasp, that one of the submarines involved had pursued an unknown object travelling at over 150 knots. The object was reportedly tracked for four days, to depths of 27,000 feet. 

What do U.S. submariners have to say on the subject?

Another 2019 article by Tyler Rogoway, titled "What U.S. Submariners Actually Say About Detection of So Called Unidentified Submerged Objects" appeared on's "The Warzone." Rogoway contacted a number of individuals who serve(ed) on U.S. submarines and found:

"What we learned is that yes, unexplained noises and even tracked contacts do pop up on submariners' sonars, some of which seem to move at incredible speeds, but it is rare and the data is often inconclusive as to what was actually detected. But maybe most interesting and peculiarly so, is that the Navy doesn't actually have a way to classify these strange sounds as unknown and tag them for further review."

Carl W. Feindt

One of the few books devoted to looking at the broader topic of UFOs and water, which does relate some USO observations, is the work "UFOs and Water" by Carl W. Feindt, published in 2010.

Other countries


Have there been reported USO observations by other countries? Yes, there have. A 2020 book titled "Russia's USO Secrets," by authors Paul Stonehill and Philip Mantle, details a variety of observations by Russian sources, for example:

1. In 2009Yury Beketov, said to be a former Russian nuclear submarine commander, related an account of instrumented detection of objects travelling at 230 knots.

2. Another incident where depth charges were dropped in front of a USO, which then changed direction and left the area.

3. A crew which watched a cigar shaped object slowly descend into the ocean, some half mile from their submarine.


Admiral Jorge Martinez Bush, former Commander in Chief of the Chilean Navy is cited by Timothy Good in the book "Need to Know: UFOs, the Military and Intelligence" referencing J. Antonio Huneeus, "UFOs in Chile and Peru" Fate, Vol. 56 No. 1, January 2003, pp6-7 as saying:

"There have been submarine contacts impossible to identify, with the characteristics of a submarine - metallic sound and rapid displacement. There are inexplicable things that require a profound study..."

Freedom of Information Act requests

I wondered if anyone had submitted a request under the FOI Act for data from U.S. underwater sensor systems? I looked around but couldn't find any, that's not to say there haven't been any, just that I was unable to find any such requests.

In summary

There are numerous accounts in the UAP literature of objects being seen rising from or disappearing into the sea. There are a smaller number of observations of mysterious objects seen underwater. Fewer still are accounts of instrumented detection of such USOs. What is really lacking are official government documents providing detailed descriptions and analysis of USOs which defy conventional explanation.


Thanks to Melbourne based researcher Paul Dean for research assistance with this post. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

What was Bigelow's "Center for Advanced Cognitive Science."

 Elaine Douglass

Earlier today, I was looking through a 700+ page PDF of documents originating with the late U.S. researcher, Elaine Douglass.  One of the sets of documents in her papers was a list of companies registered by Las Vegas entrepreneur Robert T. Bigelow. While I was familiar with almost all of his non-budget suite businesses; such as the Bigelow Foundation; Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS); and the Mt. Wilson Ranch; there was one name I hadn't come across before, namely, the "Center for Advanced Cognitive Science, LLC." Now, cognitive science is "the interdisciplinary scientific method of the mind and intelligence."

Official Nevada records

I therefore went to the Nevada Secretary of State website and looked up business entity information.  The following are snapshots of what I found.

The Center for Advanced Cognitive Science LLC, was registered in Nevada on 14 May 2009. The business is listed as "Domestic-Limited-Liability-Company." The current operating status is "revoked." The commercial agent who registered it was Rickie L. Golightly, the same agent who has registered all of Bigelow's companies since the 1980's. Subsequent papers were lodged, up until 29 May 2013, with nothing shown beyond that date.

Under "Officer Information" where you normally expect to see the names of individuals behind the company,  appears "Mortgage Menu Realty, LLC." Mortgage Menu Realty was registered 14 January 2009; has officer information of "Mortgage Menu Service Corp", registered 9 April 1982, which lists Robert T Bigelow as "President" of that Corporation. Meaning the Center for Advanced Cognitive Science LLC was a Bigelow company.

As with many of the non-budget suite Bigelow business companies, there is nothing else shown on the Nevada State documents which tells us what the Center did.

What was going on in May 2009 to cause Robert Bigelow to register such a company?

BAASS was registered in January 2008, and later that year, was successful in winning the Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA) contract for the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications program (AAWSAP.) By May 2009, many of the employees to be hired by BAASS, had been engaged, and were busy at work. 

Now, one of the 11 aspects of the DIA AAWSAP contract was to study what was referred to as the "human interface." In fact, one of the 38 DIA Defense Reference Documents (DIRDs) commissioned by BAASS employee Hal Puthoff, was titled "Cognitive limits on simultaneous control of multiple unmanned spacecraft" written by Dr. R. Genik of Wayne State University.

In addition, if we go back to September 2008, and the time of the commencement of BAASS' work on AAWSAP, and taker a look at what jobs were being offered at BAASS, we find:

"Several positions are also available for research scientists in the disciplines of: Biological Cognitive Interaction, Psychology, Social Psychology; Sociology."

Further research 

Is there anything about the Center to be found on the Internet? A search for "Center for Advanced Cognitive Science" only leads us back to the Nevada business entity.

A search for "Center for Advanced Cognitive Science" + "University of Nevada" located a 1993 paper titled "Environmental Modulation And Statistical Equilibrium in Mind-Matter Interaction," by Dean I Radin, cited as from the Center for Advanced Cognitive Science, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The Central Intelligence Agency commissioned a 1994 report titled "Phenomenological Research and Analysis" Radin is mentioned in the report as at the Center for Advanced Cognitive Science, University of Nevada.

Radin worked for the Bigelow Foundation between 1993-1996; and between 1993 and 1997 he was Director Consciousness Research Division of the Harry Reid Center  for Environmental Studies at University of Nevada-Las Vegas. 

If there was a Center for Advanced Cognitive Science at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, around 1993, why was Robert Bigelow registering a company with he same name in 2009? For what purpose was this company created? Did it have a relationship with BAASS?

Friday, November 6, 2020

Chris Mellon and those videos

 Alejandro Rojas

On 23 October 2020, Alejandro Rojas published an article written by himself, titled "How US Intelligence Community Insiders Got the Senate's Attention Regarding UFOs." Regarding the source of two USN UAP videos given to the New York Times for its November 2017 article, Christopher Mellon is cited as stating:

"I received the videos. the now-famous videos in the Pentagon parking lot, from a Defense Department official. I still have the packaging." 

Now, that last bit of the statement is interesting, namely, that Christopher Mellon says "I still have the packaging." This is because on 7 August 2018 Twitter user @Jay09784691 posted several tweets about the existence of a number of images, which had been found on a US website belonging to Christopher Mellon. One of these was the image below:


If this is the packaging referred to by Mellon, then can we glean anything further from the image? "Chris Mellon 16000 9/7/17" This is possibly the date and time when Mellon received the package, as this would be useful for creating a chain of custody of the material in the package. 

Another image from Mellon's website, is the following:

This image appears to be a set of four CD-R's lying on a package. Many in the UAP community have assumed these CD-R's contained copies of the videos. Note that the CD-R's contain "Unclassified" material. The USN said at one stage that the videos were unclassified. There is also the number "9/5" which is probably 5th September, two days before the date on the Mellon package. 

Who is R. Essex?

At about 22m20s In a YouTube video discussion dated September 2019, between Canadian researcher Grant Cameron, and U.S. researcher Richard Dolan, there was mention made of the manner in which the initial two United States Navy Unidentified Aerial Phenomena videos had been "released?" Cameron states that he had seen the images of the material from Mellon's website. He had noted the name on the package which was not Elizondo's or Mellon's.  Cameron went on to say that he had checked out this individual via a contact he had in the Pentagon. It turned out that there was such an individual at the Pentagon; it was a female, in Public Relations. 

Despite a check via FaceBook; LinkedIn and Radaris, etc., I have been unable to locate such an individual. Has any blog reader any additional information?

Friday, October 30, 2020

The MUFON Case Management System

The other day, I was looking at the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database – the Case Management System (CMS,) and I wondered where it originated? The short version, is that it started when Tomas Karlsson asked MUFON if they needed any programming/database assistance? For the long version, I set out to undertake a little research, mainly using publicly available information; plus communicating with  a variety of individuals. I thank those correspondents for their input. An obvious place to start was to explore old issues of the MUFON Journal.

MUFON Journals

July 2005 issue, page 2. Director’s Message – John Schuessler.

“MUFON Case Management System (CMS) debuts.

After much hard work and preparation, the new MUFON Case Management System is ready to use. We applaud and extend our thanks to the volunteers who made this possible, Tomas Karlsson, Bob Rawlinson and Jan Harzan are the architects and implementers of the new CMS.

We are pleased with their outstanding product. It can be used to investigate sightings from all sources, so we view that as a way of unifying the work that is being done in the field. We also thank Don Weatherby and Wendy Ban for all the work they did on WUFOD, the predecessor to the CMS, and to James Carrion for the work he is doing on the Pandora Project which converts past MUFON UFO reports from paper to electronic files which will interface with the CMS.

The new CMS Members User Guide has been sent to all State Directors and assistant state directors and is available to download.”

October 2005 issue, page 22 Director’s Message – John Schuessler.

“MUFON Case Management System

The MUFON Case management System is online, operational and maturing rapidly. We are indebted to Jan Harzan, Tomas Karlsson and Bob Rawlinson for bringing the new system from the idea to reality.

We thank Kathy Schuessler for all the hours she works to keep the continually evolving membership database current in the CMS. The team is looking at enhancements and ways to get other organizations to join MUFON in making this a larger and more powerful world-wide system.”

November 2005 issue page 2, Director’s Message – John Schuessler.

“Case Management System clarification.

There has been some confusion about how to view the contents of the MUFON Case Management System (CMS.) It is not necessary to use a password just to view the contents of the CMS. Simply, go to and click on “UFO Case Files” and then “Latest MUFON reports” and view the reports.

State Directors (SD), Assistant State Directors (ASD) State Section Directors (SSD) and Field Investigators (FI) are granted another level of access to the database so that they may enter and update cases. This level of access is password protected.

When a member is assigned to one of the aforementioned positions, Kathy Schuessler adds their information to the access database, thereby allowing them access to the system."

Oregon MUFON

An article by Keith Rowell, of Oregon MUFON, dated 22 March 2013, announced that MUFON HQ had now added the capability to search the MUFON CMS database, by state.  

 December 2018 issue, page 2, Director’s Message - Jan Harzan.

“Three years in the making and the new CMS front-end is finally ready for prime time. As you know CMS is our Case Management System used to collect UFO sighting reports from the public. It was developed more than 12 years ago, in 2006, and is designed to collect UFO data. It was based on the latest technology at the time and incorporated MySQL as the database manager and the Perl programming language for the logic behind the screens. We also used it to collect related information such as Entity Sightings, Alien Abductions, Animal Mutilations and Crop Circle reports. But it was truly designed to collect UFO reports. This is all changing now

The changes are part of a bigger project that was needed for many reasons. First, more than half the visitors to the website use their mobile phones to look us up and report their UFO sightings to us. The current implementation of CMS doesn’t allow for an easy way to enter a report on one’s phone. In fact, it is downright lousy. To do this right we needed a Responsive Design tool to allow the easy conversion of the data entry screens from platform to platform.

Read that as from your computer to one’s phone or tablet. So regardless of what device one is using it is easy to report a UFO sighting.

The second issue which needed addressing was the ability to report Abduction and Entity cases, especially ones that did not involve a UFO, without having to be presented with UFO sighting screens that are not relevant. With a little magic and a lot of sweat, all of that is changing. Now, when one signs onto and clicks “Report a UFO” the first question that will be asked is “What would you like to report?” One will then be able to click one, two, or three options to report either a UFO, an Abduction or an Entity sighting – or all three if desired.

Depending on what’s selected on the front-end, the question set will be tailored to the type of sighting encounter a person wishes to report.

Big thanks go out to the many people who made this possible. First on the list is Tomas Karlsson, the primary programmer on the project. Also the late Craig Lang for his programming and design work on the front-end, and many others who worked tirelessly to bring this about. Finally, thank-you’s to the following people who helped beta test the site prior to launch: Tom Bowden, Ruben Uriarte, Dinah Lechner, John Gagnon, Tim Martin, Fred Kohler, Jeffrey MacMakin and Ken St. John.

MUFON is about teamwork, and this was a big team effort and one well worth it!”

What is MySQL? 

It is an open source, relational database. SQL is short for Structured Query Language, and is a language used by programmers, both used to control access to the database, and to modify , and pull out data.

What is Perl?

Perl is an open source programming language, created by an individual named Larry Wall

“A history of MUFON”

I then visited the MUFON website, and found “A history of MUFON “article by John Schuessler, which included the following:

“One of the best improvements in MUFON's handling of UFO reports during this era was the development of the computerized Case Management System (CMS). This system was developed by a team headed by Jan Harzan and revolutionized the way UFO reports were handled. It is available for reporting UFO incidents by the public anywhere in the world via the MUFON website ( As soon as a report hits the CMS, it is automatically dispatched to the Director of Investigations and to the appropriate State Director for action. A rapid-response team has been organized and is used for high value cases. Another value of the CMS is that it is the repository for all UFO cases coming to MUFON and the results of all investigations are plugged back into the CMS as the work progresses. People everywhere are interested in when and where UFO incidents are reported and they may follow this on the MUFON website where they can see a listing of the latest 20 UFO reports at any time. The CMS also automatically alerts the MUFON investigative team when multiple reports appear to indicate something big is going on and that information also goes to the rapid-response teams. The CMS is continually being improved and many more capabilities are being made that will automate more of the CMS functions.”

Radio interview

Jan Harzan was a guest on “UFO Sunday” on 24 April 2020, and part of the show was about the CMS. Here are my notes from that part of the interview:

- Around 2000 developed WUFOD. Developed by a gentleman in Ohio who worked for Lucit (Phonetic) an offshoot of AT&T. Mainframe based.

- Around 2005/2006 Tomas Karlsson, another individual and I developed CMS. Built on MySQL database, very robust and industry standard. Thousands of hours went into development.

- Have own project MAARS – converting paper reports to digital. Kenny Kabrowski (phonetic).

CMS Powerpoint presentation

Someone uploaded a seven slide Powerpoint presentation to This provides an overview of the system, including information about WUFOD, the forerunner to CMS.

Who is Jan Harzan?

In April 1965, when he was ten years old, Harzan and his brother Jeffrey  aged 9, reported a close encounter with a UFO. In 1991, while working for IBM, in a senior executive role, Harzan attended a MUFON meeting in Los Angeles. Then between 1995 and 2013, he was the State Section Director for MUFON Orange County in California. So, the development of the MUFON CMS came while he was in that position, and as Harzan had no formal qualifications in computer programming, I understand he served in a non-technical capacity on the CMS project. Harzan went on to become the Executive Director of MUFON between 2013 and 2020. His formal qualification was a degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California - LA.

Who is Tomas Karlsson?

According to his LinkedIn profile, Karlsson is currently employed as a Senior UI Engineer at Verizon Media, in Baltimore, Maryland, where he has worked since September 2014. Prior to that he was employed between April 2013 and May 2014, at Goldstar Learning Chicago, Illinois. Between December 2012 and March 2014 he worked as a Web Frontend Engineer at iDirect. Hendon, Virginia. From June 2006 to October 2012, he was a Perl/web developer at Alertsite, Somerville, MA. He states, for this latter job, he was a “Perl programmer with focus on modern web applications, ranging from database backend work (MySQL) to HTLM5/javascript/AJAX/Query coding. I am an advocate of open source models.”

Karlsson was educated at the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University and obtained a Masters Degree, Engineering Physics/Applied Physics, 1986-1992.

On his LinkedIn profile, under endorsements, is one from David McDonald, Executive Director for MUFON.

I found a reference to Tomas Karlsson, dated 15 August 2018, where he received a MUFON award “for outstanding service for the implementation of the Mobile version of the MUFON Case Management."

Who is Bob Rawlinson?

I found almost no information on the Internet, about Bob Rawlinson's contribution to the CMS other than what I have already provided. One of my correspondents stated that "Bob really only worked on the data conversion of the old WUFOD cases into the new CMS database." 

Who was the late Craig Raymond Lang?

Lang was a certified hypnotherapist, with a practice in Minneapolis. Earlier, he had completed a degree in computing and electrical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; plus a masters degree in software engineering at the University of St. Thomas. He was the State Director for Minnesota for MUFON; and the author of two UFO related books, namely “The Cosmic Bridge” and “The Other Side of the Sky.” Sadly, Lang passed away on 19 February 2018. According to Harzan (December 2018) Lang assisted with programming and design work on the front-end of the CMS.

“Making a report.”

I found a section on the MUFON website, titled “Making a report.”

“From a computer system standpoint we store your personal information separate from your case information in such a way that the public can’t see it.”

Once you report a sighting what happens?

“We treat your personal information with respect. Your contact information goes to the State Director where your sighting occurred and to the MUFON Field Investigator assigned to your case.”

“Once you complete the form, click Submit button and your report will be assigned an official MUFON case number and will be sent to the MUFON State or National Director where your sighting occurred for follow-up.”

“If you press the SUBMIT button on your sighting report it is automatically routed to the State or National Director where your sighting took place. The State Director then assigns your case to one of his or her Field Investigators for review and further follow-up as needed. This may, or may not, include a telephone or on-site visit and interview depending on the nature of the report.”

“Each case that is investigated is given a formal case disposition by the MUFON Field Investigator assigned to the case. This is the investigator’s assessment of what the investigation found. The four case dispositions that a case can be marked are UNKNOWN; IFO; Hoax or Insufficient Data.”

“What if I don’t agree with the Field Investigator’s findings?

You, as the witness, may request a case review. To do so, send your statement of why you disagree (one page max) and any facts to back up your statement along with your number, or date of your sighting to Your case will then be reviewed by a committee of three individuals and you will be made aware of their findings. If after this review you do not agree with the finding of the review committee you case may be appealed to the MUFON Science Review Board. The findings of the SRB will be the final word on the disposition of your case.”

“MUFON receives between 500 and 1000 UFO reports a month from all across the globe.”

 Checking the system

I went to the MUFON website and clicked on the "report a sighting" button. This brought up a screen which read “Please read before filing a report! The objects described below have been fully investigated and identified as man-made. If you are reporting a sighting of these objects, please do not continue. STARLINK satellite – read more or continue or cancel report.

I chose to continue. Then a second screen appeared which read: “Please select all that apply to your UFO/ET experience by checking the box below.” There were boxes labelled UFO sighting; Abduction; Entity seen. I chose UFO sighting. This then led me onto the main screen, where I was asked for my contact details and details of the experience. I cancelled out at this stage.

So, a witness generates a report in the CMS by imputing details; a case number is assigned and the sighting goes to a State or National Director who assigns it to a Field Investigator. What does the Field Investigator do? For details about this I turned to the MUFON Field Investigators’ Manual, 2013 edition.

The 308 page manual provides details about the MUFON network; a field investigator’s kit list; media policy; and the ten step investigation process:

1.       Receive the UFO report

2.       Contact and interview the witness

3.       Collection of physical evidence

4.       Recording event measurements

5.       Gather corroborating evidence

6.       Using proper investigative tools

7.       Develop and test your hypothesis

8.       Developing conclusions

9.       Writing the report

10.     Uploading and closing the investigation.

I found that there is an online CMS instruction manual, but this isn’t accessible by the public.

What does a completed investigation report look like? For three examples, click here.

The following image shows the disposition categories for CMS data:

In summary

So, the witness makes a report via the CMS; it is assigned a case number and routed to the State or National Director, who assigns the investigation to a Field Investigator. This individual researches the case and writes a report and assigns a case disposition; this is reviewed by the State or National Director and the case is closed.

Who can see the case?

If it is one of the latest 20 reports, then  the public can see details of the case, but not the investigation report or the case disposition.

Search the database

On the MUFON website there is a tab “Track UFOs," and one of the options is “search database.” Clicking on this brings up a multiple field screen where you can input variables and search the database. These variables are:

·         Date submitted

·         Date of event

·         Event country

·         Event state (USA)

·         Keyword/phrase

·         Case number

·         Entity

·         Landing observations

·         Shape Color

·         Distance from witness

·         Primary sort method

·         Secondary sort method.

I selected the date range, January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 and for Australia. The resultant screen produced a maximum of 50 reports. I looked at one specific case listed, namely 20 August 2019 at 10.22am. “UFO sighting from plane window on flight from Hobart, Tasmania to Melbourne, Victoria.” Clicking on the VIEW button brought up a “Long description of sighting report,” which read:

“The dark grey orb appeared on the first image of a series of photos when I was trying to capture a rainbow beneath impending storm activity. Photo and support material attached. “

Attached are two MS Word docx documents. I was able to open both of these, see the image taken, details of the flight and camera settings and indeed the witness name appeared there; plus in the second document I could see the seven images taken.

As a member of the public I was not able to see the Field Investigator’s case report, or the final case disposition.

Looking at other cases on the list, there were JPG images available; and MP4 and MOV imagery, plus in some cases the "long description" was quite lengthy. Again though, as a member of the public I was unable to see the Field Investigator’s case report or see a final disposition. Through my experienced eyes, the details one can see, gives you a fairly good idea of what the witness saw, even without a case disposition.

Further information

Later, an overseas correspondent advised me that:

- “WUFOD. ‘World-wide UFO database’ Don Weatherby, Wendy Ban and others in the late 1980’s onwards. Went online about September 2000.

- CMS – Launched in or around July 2005. Replaced WUFOD. Worked on by Tomas Karlsson, Bob Rawlinson and Jan Harzan.

- CMS II (revised.) Tomas Karlsson, Terry Groff and John Jenner…”

Who is Terry Groff?

In the MUFON Field Investigators Manual, there is a section which deals with numeric evaluation of reports. This is said to provide a value "...representing the degree of certainty that the report indeed represents an anomalous event that happened as recorded."

It would appear that Groff assisted in the CMS usage of this certainty index. As early as 2003, Groff' wrote about it. The February 2003 issue of the MUFON journal carried an article by Groff titled "Online Javascript Certainty Index Calculator."

In 2009, Groff became the MUFON Deputy Director of Investigations. Groff's LinkedIn profile says he was MUFON Deputy Director of Investigations from January 2001 to the present. He gives his formal education as Richland Community College, 1984-1985. "None, mathematics, statistics" and under "Tools" lists Javascript.

Who is John Jenner?

In a 2011 article by Dave Bakke, writing about UFOs, Bakke mentions "... is John Jenner, Central Illinois representative for the Mutual UFO Network." John is no longer with MUFON and with his permission, I quote his response to my inquiries:

"I was involved10/2009 to 12/2011. The system was already developed by then and I was just assisting Tomas with enhancements. I was under the impression that Tomas was the developer behind CMS.

I worked with Jan Harzan and Terry Groff from a functional perspective. I do not know Bob Rawlinson or Craig lang. Israel Curiel took over after Tomas and I stopped and he may have done some revamping/rewriting but I'm not sure.

I'm thinking Tomas stopped working on it about the end of 2010 and it was just me for a while then Israel joined. Not 100% sure on the timeline though, just an approximation."

Who is Israel Curiel?

According to a 15 August 2012 article  Curiel was at that time, the MUFON North Carolina Public Relations director, and had been a MUFON Field Investigator since May 2011. Another 2012 article  also adds that he was a data analyst for MUFON North Carolina. A 2014 blog post showed he continued as MUFON North Carolina Public Relations Director through 2014. His current LinkedIn profile makes no mention of MUFON. 

Another correspondent advised:

“CMS server was in Harzan’s house. Ken St. John now works deep in the program and the only one allowed full access other than Jan. Not even the board members have that access. …the server is paid by the budget from the membership and product sales…” 

Ken St John has been the MUFON Chief Operating Officer, since May 2020. 

Additional information

Australian researcher Bill Chalker had some comments about MUFON CMS case number 20706, an event from  Port Jervis, New York, dated 25 November 2009.

The MUFON Journal for January 2010, pages 10 & 22 provide a “Bonus SIP Report” by Richard Lang. It was based on the original case report from Charles Modlin and Vicki LeBlanc.

The incident involved a 41 year old medical professional who was driving alone in a vehicle around midnight.  He encountered a cigar shaped object. He stopped the car at the side of the road and engaged the gear to park. The engine was still running. He heard a continuous low frequency sound.

The object passed over the vehicle. The car’s engine stopped by itself. He tried to use the cell phone but despite being charged, it was inoperative. The witness tried to roll down the automatic window but it malfunctioned. After 2-3 minutes the lights on the object switched off and the car’s engine started by itself. The witness left the area.

MUFON investigators were on the scene within two days. The cell phone was by then working normally. A check for radiation on both the car and at the encounter site revealed none above background readings. A tri-field meter used on the car revealed “Both the electro-static and electro-magnetic fields appear to have been dramatically affected.” A control vehicle was used to compare to the encounter car. All, in all, a significant report.

Chalker, in a blog article dated1 March 2018, discusses this case and points out an anomaly. The publically available MUFON data on the case shows it as a typical “Car stop” case. However, Chuck Modlin, on the Canadian Close Encounter History Channel funded documentary, in 2013, revealed that the event was also an example of a “solid light” case. A previously unknown aspect.

Chalker posed the question “…is whether MUFON publically described a limited account of the case to their membership and to the UFO community, and a more detailed version, incorporating details about “solid light” was communicated to Mr Bigelow’s organisation.”

BAASS involvement with the MUFON CMS

During the Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) era, circa 2009, BAASS paid MUFON for access to the MUFON CMS database. This is well covered in the following articles:

“A tale of three BAASS field investigations.”

“Douglas S. Kurth and the BAASS/MUFON relationship.”

“BAASS wanted to analyse physical evidence.”

“The Pentagon UFO Program’s secret partner.”

“Breaking the silence: AATIP’s secret partner speaks.”

MUFON State Director's Handbook

Someone uploaded a copy of the MUFON State Director's handbook to Scribd This version is the 7th edition, dated 2 April 2018. There are a number of sections relating to the CMS namely:

Section 14.05 - general CMS

Section 22.00 - CMS disposition terminology

Section 40.00 - CMS administrators monitoring of cases, giving details of editing, deleting and monitoring of cases in the CMS. Includes how CMS auto-deletes some cases.

What research is undertaken?

It is one thing to collect sightings data, but another thing is to use it for some worthwhile purpose. I looked to see what I could find on the research side of the CMS. I found two pieces of work by Kristen Ann Winslet:

1. The first was dated 3 January 2010 when Winslet was a MUFON Field Investigator; the State Director for New Jersey and a STAR Team SIP member. It consisted of a memo to the MUFON Board of Directors re MUFON CMS Closed Case Data. Attached to the memo was a set of 84 charts detailing:

- Global Closed Case History by disposition, for the years 2001-2009

-  MUFON CMS Closed Case History for each US state, and various other countries, by disposition 2001-2009.

2. The second was dated 28 February 2018 and provides an Excel spreadsheet with CMS data extracted for the years 2001-2017 with tabs for:

- Charts and covering letter, including most experienced field investigators by disposition; Vallee classification by disposition; closed case history per state; closed case history per country; 

- Resolution by geography

- Cases listed by each field investigator

- Summary of Vallee classification.

Who is Kristen Ann Winslet?

Her LinkedIn profile  states that she was a volunteer MUFON data scientist and field investigator from November 2007 and a research analyst for MUFON since August 2017 to date.

Professionally, she is currently employed in the IT Business Operations, Strategy Planning: IT Portfolio Cost Management for Verizon, since August 2012. At the time of her 2010 paper for MUFON she was employed on Green Energy programs with the Public Service Electric & Gas.

Best cases from CMS

In terms of research, I also found that the MUFON website contains an area "Top MUFON UFO Cases."

Here, can be found the best cases from the CMS for the years 2012-2017, as determined by the MUFON Science Review Board. The link shown for the SRB does not work. 

In conclusion

I would welcome hearing from any blog reader who may be able to provide further details of the MUFON CMS database, and specifically to what research purposes it has been put?

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