One week from today–over fifty years after the U.S. government put its investigation of unidentified flying objects to rest–a subcommittee of the House Intelligence Committee will reopen this subject in a long-awaited, public hearing on UFOs, which are now being called “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UPSs). It will discuss a nine-page report submitted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence entitled “Preliminary Assessment.” This report is about a government investigation of 144 UAPs dating back from 2004 to more recently.
This investigation was spearheaded back then by the late Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate. He had called for a reopening of an investigation into UAPs for mostly two reasons: (1) the U.S. Air Force had conducted an 18-year investigation, from 1952 to the end of 1969, of about 13,000 UFO sightings and some photos and film, yet it had not come to a very satisfying conclusion about the matter, and (2) this process had been fraught with unnecessary silence and ridicule by most Air Force top brass, even to the point of harassment and punishment of some military victims who had claimed to have seen UFOs. This investigation by the U.S. Air Force had been tagged with the name Project Blue Book. (I was in the Air Force reserves for about four years.)
Soon after Gerald Ford’s presidency, I met him at a private party and we had some conversation, but not about UFOs. However, in 1966, as a House Representative from Michigan, he had organized a congressional hearing to discuss UFOs. At that time, he claimed the Air Force had been too secretive about how it had conducted its Project Blue Book. But there was a very important reason why they did that. It was because they could not offer very satisfying explanations about UFOs. I believe, to put it bluntly, they simply didn’t have an answer for many of these phenomena and therefore thought it would be alarming to the American public to admit that they didn’t know. Their main conclusion in Project Blue Book was twofold: (1) unexplainable UFOs did not present a threat to U.S. national security and (2) UFOs were not extraterrestrials.
I first became interested in UFOs as a teenager. It was mostly because I had a very sane uncle who became a church pastor who claimed to have had experiences in UFOs and “the little people” who controlled them.
Many years later, in the late 1970s, I met Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, on an airplane as we were flying from New York to Morocco to play in the king’s pro-amateur golf tournament. I sat with Gene for over a half hour as we discussed UFOs and our beliefs about them. I have related this conversation in a previous post which serves as an introduction to a ten-post series on UFOs. (Here is post one of that series.)
When Mr. Roddenberry, who by then knew that I was a Christian, asked me if I believed in UFOs, he was quite surprised when I answered “yes.” When he then asked me what I thought they were, I answered “angels.” It wasn’t the answer he wanted to hear. I still believe this even more strongly 45 years later because I think the Bible has some interesting information about it which I am writing about in a book.
It will be interesting to me to learn what this very brief report says about UAPs and if the House subcommittee will pursue any further investigation into this mysterious and intriguing subject that has perplexed not only many Americans but people throughout the world for many decades.