The New York Times, 1952

dijous, 12/09/2019

A Radar Blip, a Flash of Light:

How U.F.O.s ‘Exploded’ Into Public View

In July 1952, several U.F.O. sightings in Washington garnered headlines around the world. This one is from The New York Times.CreditCreditThe New York Times

Written by Laura M. Holson / Aug. 3, 2018 

In the early morning of July 20, 1952, Capt. S.C. “Casey” Pierman was ready for takeoff at Washington National Airport, when a bright light skimmed the horizon and disappeared. He did not think much of it until he was airborne, bound for Detroit, and an air traffic controller told him two or three unidentified flying objects were spotted on radar traveling at high speed.

The controller told Captain Pierman to follow them, the pilot told government investigators at the time. Captain Pierman agreed, and headed northwest over West Virginia where he saw as many as seven bluish-white lights that looked “like falling stars without tails,” according to a newspaper report.

The sighting of whatever-they-were garnered headlines around the world. And in the decades since, U.F.O.s have become part of the pop culture zeitgeist, from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” to “The X-Files.” In September, a star of that long-running series, Gillian Anderson, will appear in “UFO,” a movie about a college student haunted by sightings of flying saucers. A “Men in Black” remake is in the works. And the History Channel plans to air “Project Blue Book,” a scripted series about the government program that studied whether U.F.O.s were a national threat.

And the topic is back in the headlines. Last year, The Times wrote about a little known project founded in 2007, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, to investigate U.F.O. sightings. A search of The Times’s historical archives reveals a rich bounty of U.F.O. sightings, loreand explanations since the 1950s. And who can forget in 2016 when Hillary Clinton said she would reopen the real X-files if she were president?

Captain Pierman’s 68-year-old daughter, Faith McClory, said in an interview last month that her father became something of a celebrity as reports like his in the summer of 1952 fueled fear of a space alien invasion.

In July 1952, several U.F.O. sightings in Washington garnered headlines around the world. This one also is from The New York Times.

“My sister has memories of men coming to our home,” said Ms. McClory, who grew up in Belleville, Mich. (She said they were reporters.) “People were enthralled with the flying saucers,” she added.

Researchers say government officials have sought to publicly debunk the existence of alien evidence ever since the Washington sightings.

“Unidentified flying objects exploded into the public consciousness then,” said Mark Rodeghier, the scientific director for the Center for UFO Studies, a group of scientists and researchers who study the U.F.O. phenomenon. “There was concern in a way you hadn’t seen before.”

It should be noted that the term U.F.O., as used by the government, does not mean extraterrestrials from outer space. It means any object in the sky that has not been identified. When asked recently about the 1952 Washington sightings, Ann Stefanek, chief of media operations for the Air Force, wrote in an email that the objects had posed no threat to national security.

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In the spring of 1952, though, numerous mysterious sightings had captured the Air Force’s attention. It created “Project Blue Book” that March — the third investigative government project of its kind and the one that lasted the longest, until 1969.

The events in Washington were not the first unexplained encounter report. Debris from what observers called a “flying disc” had been spotted in Roswell, N.M., five years earlier, which Army officials said was from a “weather balloon.” By 1952, though, a number of sightings of U.F.O.s were being reported across the country and the nation was on edge.

Life magazine was one of the first mainstream magazines to suggest the phenomenon was real and revealed in an April story that the Air Force was secretly investigating. That story inspired a sharp increase in reports of sightings that summer.

The Washington sightings centered on events that started around 11:40 p.m. on July 19, as air traffic controllers at Washington National Airport noticed blips speeding near Andrews Air Force Base, according to government accounts. The unidentified aircrafts fanned out, flying over the White House and the U.S. Capitol. Captain Pierman saw them that night. They vanished around 5 a.m.

It was a second sighting a week later, though, that caused the wave of hysteria that forced the government to speak out. Albert Chop, then a spokesman with the Pentagon who was given the job of answering questions about U.F.O.s, said he was awakened by a call on the evening of July 26.

Mr. Chop described the events in a 1999 oral history to the Sign Historical Group, an association of archivists and amateur researchers who held a workshop that year to study U.F.O history. He said the new objects were spotted on radar at Washington National Airport and he was told to get there right away.

The Air Force dispatched jet fighters from New Castle, Del., to intercept the flying objects. But every time one of the jets closed in, they disappeared. When the jets backed off, they reappeared.

“It was frightening,” Mr. Chop said. “I think everybody in the room was very apprehensive.”

At one point, a pilot found himself in the midst of four unidentified aircrafts and asked what to do. “I didn’t say anything,” Mr. Chop told the interviewers. “Nobody said anything. All of a sudden these things began to move away from him and he said, ‘They’re gone!’” The pilot returned to his base.

“These things hung around all night long,” Mr. Chop added.

The next day, almost every major newspaper wrote about the U.F.O.s. “‘Objects’ Outstrip Jets Over Capital,” was the headline in The Times.

The Air Force held a press conference on July 29, 1952, to discuss the recent sightings of unidentified flying objects over Washington. Maj. Gen. John Samford, seated on the right, is who dismissed the sightings as “natural phenomena.”CreditBettmann, via Getty Images

“People didn’t know what to think of it,” said Rob Swiatek, a U.F.O. researcher and scientist, in a recent interview.“They were very disturbed.”

Public panic was a problem for the Air Force, which feared a diversion of resources during the Cold War. “The Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency became worried that the Soviet Union would take advantage of the situation and launch an attack on the United States,” Mr. Rodeghier said. “They were looking at worst-case scenarios.”

Worse, no one could explain the phenomenon to President Harry Truman, according to press reports. One theory promoted by the Air Force was that a layer of hot air in the sky, called a temperature inversion, caused radar to mistake a weather event for flying objects. “Nobody had any answers,” Mr. Chop told the interviewers. “That’s why General Samford had the press conference.”

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On July 29, 1952, Maj. Gen. John Samford, the director of Air Force intelligence overseeing the inquiry, held a news conference at the Pentagon to reassure the public. He dismissed the Washington sightings as a temperature anomaly. Still, the general conceded that not all the details could be explained by natural causes. Witness reports “have been made by credible observers of relatively incredible things,” he said at the time. “It is this group of observations that we now are attempting to resolve.”

The news conference was front page news, including in The Times, which ran the headline “Air Force Debunks ‘Saucers’ as Just ‘Natural Phenomena.’”

After several sightings of unidentified flying objects in Washington in July 1952, government officials held a news conference, calling them “natural phenomena.” The press conference was front page news, including in The Times.

Case closed? Not quite.

“I don’t think temperature inversion had much to do with it, but the news media accepted that explanation at the time,” said Kevin Randle, a former lieutenant colonel in the Army who has studied the events of July 1952 and is the author of the 2001 book, “Invasion Washington: U.F.O.s Over the Capitol.”

In January 1953, spurred by the Washington sightings, a scientific committee led by Howard Robertson, a well-known mathematician and physicist, was formed by the government to explore the phenomenon. “One of the conclusions was that they needed to debunk U.F.O.s,” Mr. Randle said.

The committee, called the Robertson Panel, suggested in its report that the government conduct a mass media education campaign to “reduce the current gullibility of the public and consequently their susceptibility to clever hostile propaganda.”

The campaign to re-educate Americans did not work — U.F.O.s have persisted as a fixture in pop culture. Besides, the government’s explanation was not that convincing anyway. Ms. McClory, Captain Pierman’s daughter, said her father did not believe that the bluish-white lights he saw were weather-related.

“I don’t want to use the words ‘cover up,’” she said, of her father’s view. “But it was very clear. He saw it. Everything was seen on radar.”

A Modern History

dimecres, 11/09/2019

Nigel D’Sa, April, 2014
Athabasca, Alberta

A Modern History of UFOs – Science, Politics and the ETH

The first public accounts of UFOs – beginning with the 1947 Kenneth Arnold sighting –followed World War Two and the deployment of the atomic bomb. Don Donderi in his book UFOs, ETs, and Alien Abductions: A Scientist Looks at the Evidence (2013) argues for the reality of an extraterrestrial presence in our skies and presents a historical overview of the evidence, beginning with the Kenneth Arnold sighting. Donderi graduated with a PhD in applied and experimental psychology from Cornell University and served as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at McGill University. As Donderi recounts in his opening chapter, Arnold, a private pilot, reported seeing nine bright metallic objects flying in formation over the Cascade Mountains in Washington State on June 24, 1947. Arnold made no ET claim, but said the objects appeared long and rounded, traveling at speeds over 1200 miles per hour. An anonymous writer for the Associated Press headlined the incident with the term ‘flying saucer’ and the somewhat risible term gained popular currency (Donderi, 2013, pp 4-6).

Read the rest of this entry »

L’illusion de continuité

dimarts , 10/09/2019

El llibre de Medvedev

dilluns, 9/09/2019

Dmitry Medvedev

dilluns, 9/09/2019

08 Dec 2012

Dmitry Medvedev muses on aliens…


“Along with the briefcase with nuclear codes, the president of the country is given a special ‘top secret’ folder. This folder in its entirety contains information about aliens who visited our planet,” Mr Medvedev answered playfully.

“Along with this, you are given a report of the absolutely secret special service that exercises control over aliens on the territory of our country … More detailed information on this topic you can get from a well-known movie called ‘Men In Black’ … I will not tell you how many of them are among us because it may cause panic,” he says.



Tcheliabinsk, 2011

diumenge, 8/09/2019

Más de una veintena de personas lo grabaron. Miles de testigos. Algunos con miedo ansiedad o algun tipo de fobia , cayeron hasta cierto punto en pánico…  Las imágenes hablan por sí mismas. Se trata de un OVNI que estuvo en el cielo de Cheliábinsk, Rusia el 23 de Diciembre 2011, por horas.  

Post disclosure

dissabte, 7/09/2019

Historical event

divendres, 6/09/2019

“Disclosure”, asserts Bassett, is the most profound event in human history, and if you are the head of state that lets it out, the one who brought the Truth to the world, will leave a legacy “more profound than the coming of Christ!”


In this one-on-one exclusive EMN video interview Bassett unabashedly proclaims that “the first head of state that makes the the announcement that the extraterrestrial presence is real will be one of the greatest political legacies of all time.”  Bassett continues, “You’ll go down in history. For a thousand years you’ll be talked about.”

Norrköping, open UFO archive

dijous, 5/09/2019


THE INDUSTRIAL SWEDISH TOWN of Norrköping, nestled along an inlet of the Baltic Sea, was once known for its booming textile industry. Now, decades after outsourcing muffled the city’s industrial buzz, Norrköping is known primarily as a quiet student town, dotted with repurposed factories and the snaking waterways that interweave them.

In such surroundings, it seems strange to find the world’s largest open UFO archive. Yet there it is, just a five-minute tram ride from the city center.

The Archives for the Unexplained, formerly known as The UFO Archives, are scattered throughout 10 storage facilities in the housing quarters of Ljura, a neighborhood in the city’s south. These facilities are located in the cellars of colorful, structural-functionalist apartment complexes.

As co-founder and administrative manager Anders Liljegren gives me a tour of the first storage unit, we cross paths with several young students exiting the apartment’s double-doors. Do they realize that century-old collections dedicated to the obscure and unexplained reside just beneath their feet? “Most likely not,” Liljegren laughs when I ask him. “They probably think we’re doing a really bad job of hiding a drug operation or something when we bring huge boxes to the units.”

Co-founder and administrative manager Anders Liljegren in the Archives.

Though the Archives for the Unexplained now boasts over 20,000 collections of animalistic phenomena from all around the world, it had very humble, local beginnings. It all started in 1973 when Anders and his two friends Hakan Blomqvist and Kjell Jonsson founded the Work Group for Ufology, a predecessor to the UFO Archives. Curious about unexplainable objects in the sky, the then 23-year-old and his colleagues ran a library out of their student apartments, hoping to create a dialogue about UFOs in Scandinavia. Over time the library expanded and the group officially became known as the Archives for UFO Research in January of 1980.

Anders Liljegren and Håkan Blomqvist at a press conference

Despite assumptions that the organization is comprised of staunch believers in all things extraterrestrial, Liljegren and his coworkers prefer to take a more academic approach to their archival project. “We’ve had some bad experiences with fanatics,” he says. “It is best to have people working here who are more sociologically interested.” Liljegren has been personally involved in a wide array of research regarding Scandinavian “close encounters” and was one of the first to gain access to theretofore-secret government documents detailing the Swedish “ghost fliers” and “ghost rockets” that caused a commotion in the 1930s and 1940s.

At work in the archives.

From ancient alien theories to more contemporary hypotheses, the archive in Ljura seems to have it all. Liljegren shows me the archives’ most recent acquisition, donated by the Spanish group Centro de Estudios Interplanetarios (CEI). It is, as is written on the group’s homepage, “one of the finest and rich report files anywhere in the world with 120 large black file folders and another 30 files of cross-indexes by region.”

While I am in awe over the wealth of material from Spain, I am more taken by an old book from the USSR. As UFO research was then a banned topic, books on the subject were painstakingly put together by hand, complete with carefully composed drawings of UFO sightings. Liljegren points to a child-like drawing of an object hovering above a house. “These sightings were actually just Russia’s missile tests, but nobody knew that then. They had no idea.”

For years Liljegren and the board of the UFO Archives struggled to keep the archives streamlined to exclusively UFO-related material but as of April 2013, the organization has broadened its scope. “We get calls from random benefactors every once in a while,” he says. Somebody will call and say that they have their father’s UFO collection, for instance, and need a place to keep it safe.”

Oftentimes people offer to donate money with a caveat. “We’ll have somebody call in and offer a certain sum if we include ‘x’ and ‘y’ in the archives,” says Liljegren. Now officially known as the Archives for the Unexplained, the organization embraces material regarding anything that can be called into question, from the Loch Ness Monster, to fairies, to parapsychology, and more. They have struggled to find a place to consolidate their extensive collections and are still in search of a fitting locale. “We’ll probably stay in Norrköping,” he says, “there’s just too much to transport.”

Disonàncies vaticanes

dimecres, 4/09/2019