Martyr of UFO Science

When this article is published, the US Congress UFO hearing will have been held. It is the second hearing of this type in US history, but to be more precise, it is the first UFO hearing aired live on the Internet. The political significance is that, unlike the first hearing in 1968, this event commands the attention not only of the US public, but the whole world. The six million dollar question is: What if the Pentagon admits there is an alien technology? How would governments of other countries react to this? Would our religious beliefs be seriously challenged by the existence of alien civilizations? Is God an alien? Are earthlings ready to face the Truth?As a cynical veteran journalist who has covered so many mysteries that remained unresolved, I do not expect the answers to the above questions will be revealed in this hearing. Congressman Andre Carson presides over the hearing. “The American people expect and deserve their leaders in government and intelligence seriously evaluate and respond to any potential national security risks—especially those we do not fully understand,” he said. Since this is understood as a national security issue, two military officers, namely, Ronald Moultrie from the Pentagon, and Scott Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence, are invited to testify. Can two officials of the middle ranks in the military be expected to unveil the whole UFO mysteries in the past six decades, which included flying disks, mutilated cattle, undersea unidentified objects, alien abductions, Area 51, etc.? Of course not. However, even if the Truth is not revealed yet, at least the UFO phenomenon is no longer a fringe subject. Those who pursue the subject seriously will not be ridiculed and marginalized anymore — hopefully. For those officials such as Luis Alizondo, this hearing confirms that their whistleblowing work is appreciated and their reputation rehabilitated; for those journalists such as Leslie Kean, whose whole professional career have been spent on pursuing this subject, this hearing justifies their efforts. However, there are those who are not so fortunate. Stanton Friedman, the nuclear physicist who tracked UFOs, passed away in 2019. I think he would be very happy to see this hearing if he is alive. Would he review the authenticity of Majestic 12 documents if he had the chance? We should also remember Dr. James E. McDonald (1920-71), who played a key role in Congressional UFO hearings in 1968. His conviction that UFOs represented a physical phenomenon of scientific importance and the hypothesis of extraterrestrial visitation should be taken seriously would lead to his downfall and suicide. He was a martyr of academic UFO science. It was a historical tragedy that the first wave of UFO sightings after the Second World War coincided with the beginning of Cold War. Two famous incidents in 1947 heralded the post-war UFO craze, namely, Kenneth Arnold, a private pilot, encountering with nine “flying saucers” on June 24th and, of course, the crash on July 5th at Corona, New Mexico, or the so-called “Roswell Incident”. Suddenly, UFO sightings became a national phenomenon, which, in the eyes of government officials, might evolved into mass hysteria. In 1948, U.S. Air Force General Nathan Twining, head of the Air Technical Service Command, established Project SIGN (original name: Project SAUCER) to collect, collate, evaluate, and distribute within the government all information relating to such sightings, on the premise that UFOs might be real and of national security concern. The irony is that after 74 years we come back in full circle to where we were at the beginning. In the heat of the Cold War, the Air Force and CIA suspected UFOs might be the secret weapon of Soviet Union. In fact, in recent years the author Annie Jacobsen made the unlikely suggestion that the disk that crashed in Roswell was indeed sent by Stalin. Paranoia, however, gave way to secrecy. After Project SIGN, there was Project GRUDGE (1949), which was intended to alleviate public anxiety rather investigate the phenomenon. So there was a foregone conclusion before the project even started: UFOs were unreal. Anyone who saw UFOs was crazy; anyone who talked about UFOs was “crank”. The phenomenon, however, persisted. So Project Blue Book came into existence in 1952. Project Blue Book was under the capable leadership of Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, who officially coined the name “Unidentified Flying Objects”. Thousands of UFO reports were collected, analysed, and filed. It was also in this project that the astronomer and scientific consultant Dr. J Allen Hynek created the categorization of what is later known as “Close Encounters”. For some unknown reason, Captain Ruppelt was temporarily transferred to another assignment in February 1953. When he returned to the project, he found his staff heavily reduced. Another strange turn is that in December 1953, Joint Army-Navy-Air Force Regulation number 146 “criminalized” discussio

Martyr of UFO Science

When this article is published, the US Congress UFO hearing will have been held. It is the second hearing of this type in US history, but to be more precise, it is the first UFO hearing aired live on the Internet. The political significance is that, unlike the first hearing in 1968, this event commands the attention not only of the US public, but the whole world. The six million dollar question is: What if the Pentagon admits there is an alien technology? How would governments of other countries react to this? Would our religious beliefs be seriously challenged by the existence of alien civilizations? Is God an alien? Are earthlings ready to face the Truth?

As a cynical veteran journalist who has covered so many mysteries that remained unresolved, I do not expect the answers to the above questions will be revealed in this hearing. Congressman Andre Carson presides over the hearing. “The American people expect and deserve their leaders in government and intelligence seriously evaluate and respond to any potential national security risks—especially those we do not fully understand,” he said. Since this is understood as a national security issue, two military officers, namely, Ronald Moultrie from the Pentagon, and Scott Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence, are invited to testify.

Can two officials of the middle ranks in the military be expected to unveil the whole UFO mysteries in the past six decades, which included flying disks, mutilated cattle, undersea unidentified objects, alien abductions, Area 51, etc.? Of course not. However, even if the Truth is not revealed yet, at least the UFO phenomenon is no longer a fringe subject. Those who pursue the subject seriously will not be ridiculed and marginalized anymore — hopefully.

For those officials such as Luis Alizondo, this hearing confirms that their whistleblowing work is appreciated and their reputation rehabilitated; for those journalists such as Leslie Kean, whose whole professional career have been spent on pursuing this subject, this hearing justifies their efforts. However, there are those who are not so fortunate. Stanton Friedman, the nuclear physicist who tracked UFOs, passed away in 2019. I think he would be very happy to see this hearing if he is alive. Would he review the authenticity of Majestic 12 documents if he had the chance?

We should also remember Dr. James E. McDonald (1920-71), who played a key role in Congressional UFO hearings in 1968. His conviction that UFOs represented a physical phenomenon of scientific importance and the hypothesis of extraterrestrial visitation should be taken seriously would lead to his downfall and suicide. He was a martyr of academic UFO science.

It was a historical tragedy that the first wave of UFO sightings after the Second World War coincided with the beginning of Cold War. Two famous incidents in 1947 heralded the post-war UFO craze, namely, Kenneth Arnold, a private pilot, encountering with nine “flying saucers” on June 24th and, of course, the crash on July 5th at Corona, New Mexico, or the so-called “Roswell Incident”. Suddenly, UFO sightings became a national phenomenon, which, in the eyes of government officials, might evolved into mass hysteria.

In 1948, U.S. Air Force General Nathan Twining, head of the Air Technical Service Command, established Project SIGN (original name: Project SAUCER) to collect, collate, evaluate, and distribute within the government all information relating to such sightings, on the premise that UFOs might be real and of national security concern. The irony is that after 74 years we come back in full circle to where we were at the beginning.

In the heat of the Cold War, the Air Force and CIA suspected UFOs might be the secret weapon of Soviet Union. In fact, in recent years the author Annie Jacobsen made the unlikely suggestion that the disk that crashed in Roswell was indeed sent by Stalin. Paranoia, however, gave way to secrecy. After Project SIGN, there was Project GRUDGE (1949), which was intended to alleviate public anxiety rather investigate the phenomenon. So there was a foregone conclusion before the project even started: UFOs were unreal. Anyone who saw UFOs was crazy; anyone who talked about UFOs was “crank”. The phenomenon, however, persisted. So Project Blue Book came into existence in 1952.

Project Blue Book was under the capable leadership of Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, who officially coined the name “Unidentified Flying Objects”. Thousands of UFO reports were collected, analysed, and filed. It was also in this project that the astronomer and scientific consultant Dr. J Allen Hynek created the categorization of what is later known as “Close Encounters”. For some unknown reason, Captain Ruppelt was temporarily transferred to another assignment in February 1953. When he returned to the project, he found his staff heavily reduced.

Another strange turn is that in December 1953, Joint Army-Navy-Air Force Regulation number 146 “criminalized” discussion of classified reports of UFO by military personnel with unauthorized persons. Violators face up to two year in prison and/or fines up to $10,000. Project Blue Book, from then on, was about public opinion control. The “hidden agenda” was to debunk UFO rather than investigation. This had continued until 2017, when official videos of UFO by Air Force fighter pilots were leaked to news media.

Why this secrecy? Why public opinion of UFOs had to be controlled? Why was UFO research labelled “pseudoscience”? Both Dr. James McDonald and Dr. Allen Hynek knew that even if 99 percent cases of UFO sightings were fake, the remaining one percent had to be investigated seriously. However, only Dr. McDonald made the quixotic effort of going against the official agenda. The price he paid for this was destruction of his academic career and marriage, and eventually his own life.

The lesson of this history is: What we need today is not only the investigation of recent UFO sightings, but also a complete review of all the important cases of UFO encounters since 1947. Most of all, we need to know who ordered the cover-ups.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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Eddie Leung is a veteran Hong Kong journalist who has been working in various news media for more than three decades. His main interests range from Hong Kong affairs, international politics, movies, and Chinese kung fu. He is one of the pioneers of Hong Kong internet radio broadcast. Email: [email protected]