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. 

1960

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

McMillan

On 3 December 2020, an article appeared on thedebrief.org 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. 

(Photo: thedebrief.org)

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.

(Photo: thedebrief.org)

Discussion on the Internet, centred 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:


https://www.reddit.com/r/ufo/comments/k6f8k5/inconsistency_in_debriefs_leaked_dod_photo/

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 togther, and noting the debate over when the photo waa 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 phot, in May 2020. In a tweet on 9 December 2020 he wrote:  "...what I do remember is it was a site similar to this https://www.nsa.gov/news-features/declassified-documents/ufo/ "

...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?"



The TRIAD Research Conference Foundation, and the Bigelow Foundation

Is there more information available on the Bigelow Foundation?  After publishing my last post, in my series, about the Bigelow Foundation, I...