Tag: World War II

Angels, Airships, and Aliens: The 3,500-Year History of UFO Sightings

Listen to “E108 9-28-19 Angels, Airships, and Aliens: The 3,500-Year History of UFO Sightings” on Spreaker.
Article by Matt Blitz                       September 24, 2019                        (popularmechanics.com)

• The US Navy has admitted that the three released videos of ‘unidentified aerial phenomenon’ are authentic, each depicting quick-moving oblong-shaped objects. The Navy has yet to identify the objects in these videos. The term “UAP” has replaced “UFO” which still carries a lot of historical “baggage” and stigma, and discourages people from reporting a sighting. Journalist Leslie Kean who helped break the New York Times story in December 2017 about the Navy’s UAP sightings says, “That term (UFO) is so loaded at this point, that you are never going to change people’s understanding of what it means.” “All you can do is adopt a new one.”

• But this is not a new phenomenon. Humans have seen and encountered unidentified flying objects for millennia. The only thing that’s changed is how people have interpreted these events over the years. Here is a summary of four eras of UFOs:

Biblical Beginnings – Diana Walsh Pasulka, author of American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology and a professor of philosophy and religion at UNC Wilmington reports that “Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and all the major religions actually have pictures and anecdotes of aerial phenomenon.” In nearly every religion, there are “contact events” where an important figure makes contact with a heavenly figure. Moses and the burning bush, Mohammad and the angel Gabriel, and the Virgin Mary’s own angelic visitation. “These are human’s first contact with something they interpret to not be human or of this planet. And, if they are [not of this planet], they are de facto extraterrestrial.” Unexplainable phenomena can become religion.

The Era of Airships – In his 2010 book Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times, French astronomer Jacques Vallee analyzed 500 historical UFO reports. The earliest sighting dates back nearly 3,500 years to modern-day Sudan, when a falling star “the like had not happened before” struck down the Nubians to give the Egyptians a military victory. These mysterious sightings dot human history and culminate in Dubuque, Iowa in 1879 when a “large, unexplained airship” was visible for an hour before it “disappeared on the horizon.”

• According to Pasulka, by the late 19th century humans began to shift their interpretation of the unknown from a religious framework to a technological one. In 1896 and 1897, mysterious “airships” were seen all over the U.S. with many witnesses signing affidavits. Thomas Edison remarked “it is absolutely impossible to imagine that a man could construct a successful airship and keep the matter a secret.” But by the late 19th century, hydrogen-filled airships were in development.

The Dawn of the UFO – Late into World War II, American fighter pilots started observing orange, glowing lights they dubbed “foo fighters”. Rumors circulated about the Nazi’s using advanced technology and even establishing a lunar base. But American scientists explained it away as “electrostatic phenomena”. Then in 1947, Kenneth Arnold saw strange round craft flying in formation in excess of 1,000 miles per hour. Again, the Army dismissed it as a mirage or hallucination. But others came forward to say they had also seen similar aerial phenomenon.

• A few years later, the Air Force coined the term ‘UFO’ and it was prominently used in the Robertson Report, the same scientific panel that dismissed the ‘foo fighters’. The convenient excuse for these UFOs became the Soviet’s testing of secret weapons. But the US military brass “wrote that off pretty early on because of the extreme sophistication of the technology,” says Kean. “It was unimaginable that the Russians could have something like this.”

An Extraterrestrial Threat? – The US Air Force created a secret project code-named “Sign” to investigate these UFO incidents. Kean says that there were “so many documents that show at the highest levels [the U.S. military] didn’t know what they were.” Some believed that these aerial phenomena were not from this planet. Then the July 1952 sightings over Washington D.C. convinced the government that the phenomenon could not be ignored. The military told the FBI that “the objects sighted may possibly be ships from another planet such as Mars”. The military told the public was that there was no “conceivable threat to the United States”, while they secretly feared a national security threat. Says Kean, “They just didn’t know what else to do at that point.”

The Mystery Remains – The Robertson Panel in 1953 determined to debunk UFO sightings as either man-made or natural phenomenon. And that’s exactly what federal authorities did for more than six decades. But recent events suggest a new government strategy in the works. As of the 2017 New York Times article, the government confirmed that it had been investigating the UFO/UAP phenomenon in a $22 million Pentagon program that officially ended in 2012, but insiders said it continued until 2017 when its head, Luis Elizondo, resigned. The program studied physical effects from encounters with the objects and the theoretical technology that could enable the UAPs to perform as they did. But most interesting was that the program had recovered materials from these UAPs.

• Kean thinks there is a lot of research going on behind-the-scenes. As it is presumed that the U.S. isn’t the only country in possession of UAP materials, there is a secretive global race associated with this research. Says Kean, “From what I’ve been told, it’s a competitive thing. Whoever understands the technology first has a real advantage. My sense of it is that there’s an undercurrent of competition among Russia, China, and the U.S.”

• Sources have also told her that the physics of how these objects move has already been cracked. “What they’ve figured out is very futuristic,” says Kean. “[T]hey can understand how it’s done.” Scientists and medical experts are also attempting to understand the biological effects on those humans who’ve come close to these phenomenon.

• More than two-thirds of Americans believe that the US government knows more about UFOs than they are telling the public. It’s becoming common to see UFO videos on YouTube. But are they extraterrestrial? “It’s a valid hypothesis,” says Kean. Or could they be explained as inter-dimensional, or time travelers, or super-secret weapons or aircraft developed by another nation on this planet? What was a mystery in ancient times remains a mystery today.

This past week, the U.S. Navy confirmed that several videos—two of which were first released by The New York Times in 2017 depicting so-called “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” (UAP)—are authentic. The three videos, (another was later published by The Washington Post), each depicting quick-moving oblong-shaped objects, were shot by Navy pilots during training exercises in 2004 and 2015. The Navy has yet to identify the objects in the video, and along with the Department of Defense, said the videos should have never been made public.

While a “UAP” may be an unfamiliar term, that’s sort of the point. UAPs are essentially the new UFO—but with a lot less historical baggage. A Navy spokesman told The Washington Post that the acronym “UFO” carries so much stigma that it discourages someone from reporting a sighting.

“That term is so loaded at this point, that you are never going to change people’s understanding of what it means,” journalist Leslie Kean, who co-wrote the 2017 New York Times investigation into the Pentagon’s UFO (or UAP) program, tells Popular Mechanics. “All you can do is adopt a new one.”

But humans didn’t just start seeing UFOs darting around above our heads in just the past few weeks…or in 2015, 2004, 1947, or even 1639. Humans have seen and encountered unidentified flying objects for millennia.

BIBLICAL BEGINNINGS

Unidentified flying objects have been recorded throughout human history. The only thing that’s changed is how people—stretched across thousands of years—have interpreted these unexplainable events.

“Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and all the major religions actually have pictures and anecdotes of ariel phenomenon,” Diana Walsh Pasulka, author of American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology and a professor of philosophy and religion at UNC Wilmington tells Popular Mechanics.

Some of them were comets, asteroids, meteors, and other atmospheric optical phenomena that were scientifically unknown to our ancient ancestors, but others still defy modern explanations.

Pasulka explains in nearly every religion, there are “contact events” where an important figure makes contact with a heavenly figure. Moses and the burning bush, Mohammad and the angel Gabriel, and the Virgin Mary’s own angelic visitation.

“These are human’s first contact with something they interpret to not be human or of this planet. And, if they are [not of this planet], they are de facto extraterrestrial.”

Pasulka says the Torah’s tale of Jacob’s fight with an angel is a good example of an encounter with aerial phenomenon that was turned into a religious narrative. “When you go back to the original source and read it in its original language… it wouldn’t look like what the artists’ rendition of it are in Western history,” says Pasulka, “It would look like he’s fighting some kind of being from outer space.”

Pasulka isn’t saying that a biblical figure fought an alien and it turned into a religious text, but that vision of a figure descending from the sky could have come from a shared, human experience or observation. When religion is a lens to explain the universe, unexplainable phenomena can become religion.

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Trump Probably Hasn’t Been Told Anything About Area 51

Listen to “E41 7-26-19 Trump Probably Hasn’t Been Told Anything About Area 51” on Spreaker.

Article by Charles Creitz                      July 16, 2019                      (foxnews.com)

• Fox News’ commentator, Jesse Watters (pictured above with President Trump), pondered whether President Trump was aware of what goes on at the top secret military base known as ‘Area 51’. On the Fox News show “The Five”, Watters quipped, “I am surprised Trump has not slipped up about Area 51 yet… The man cannot keep a secret. I don’t even think they told him about Area 51.”

• Watters contends that if Trump is privy to knowledge about the base, ‘it is surprising he hasn’t told the public’. Watters noted that Trump is unusually open at campaign events. “He’ll just let it go at a rally,” Watters said. “But if he has kept that secret, I am very proud.”

• Area 51 is a government facility in the Nevada desert near Groom Lake, a salt flat located about 120 miles north of Las Vegas. The site was used during World War II as an aerial gunnery range for Army pilots. In the 1950’s it was converted to an Air Force test site for the U-2, F-117A, A-12 and TACIT BLUE aircraft. In 2013, the CIA acknowledged the base’s existence. Today, Area 51 employees take an unmarked passenger plane from a Las Vegas airport to the classified base.

• A Facebook page is advertising a ‘March on Area 51’ on September 20th at 3 am. The Facebook creator believes “they can’t stop all of us.” Well over one million people have pledged to participate in the invasion.

• While it isn’t exactly known what the base is currently used for, Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews told The Washington Post that Area 51 is where, “we train American armed forces” and “is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force.” She discouraged civilians from visiting the area. “The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets,” McAndrews added.

 

Ahead of a Facebook-advertised “storming” of Area 51, Jesse Watters considered whether President Trump has been told about what goes on at the secretive military installation.

If Trump is privy to top-secret information about the base, which has long been a point of discussion for conspiracy theorists who believe the facility holds government secrets about aliens and UFOs, it is surprising he hasn’t told the public, Watters said on “The Five.”

“I am surprised Trump has not slipped up about Area 51 yet,” he joked.

“The man cannot keep a secret. I don’t even think they told him about Area 51.”

The “Watters’ World” host added Trump is often unusually open at campaign events — to a greater extent than past presidents.

“He’ll just let it go at a rally,” he said. “But if he has kept that secret, I am very proud.”

On Facebook, a page advertising the purported event went viral over the past week, as more than 1 million users responded they would go to the top-secret military installation on Sept. 20 at 3 a.m., with the creator writing “they can’t stop all of us.”

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Why Have There Been So Many UFO Sightings Near Nuclear Facilities?

“E17 Why Have There Been So Many UFO Sightings Near Nuclear Facilities?”
by Adam Janos                     June 23, 2019                        (history.com)

• Former high-ranking US defense and intelligence officials, aerospace-industry veterans, academics and others associated with ‘To the Stars Academy of Arts & Science’ are asking: ‘why are so many UFOs being reported near nuclear facilities—and why isn’t there more urgency on the part of the government to assess their potential national-security threat?’ Their investigations are the subject of HISTORY’s limited series “Unidentified.”

• In the past century, more than a few UFO sightings have been reported in military contexts. In late World War II, U.S. airmen called the bright orange UFOs flying along the French-German border “foo fighters”. During the Korean War, soldiers claimed that a blue-green light emitting “pulsing rays” made their whole battalion sick with radiation poisoning.

• In the last 75 years, high-ranking U.S. military and intelligence personnel have also reported UFOs near sites associated with nuclear power, weaponry and technology—from the early atomic-bomb development and test sites of the past to active nuclear naval fleets in the present. “All of the nuclear facilities—Los Alamos, Livermore, Sandia, Savannah River—all had dramatic incidents where these unknown craft appeared over the facilities and nobody knew where they were from or what they were doing there,” said investigative journalist George Knapp.

• “There seems to be a lot of correlation there,” says Lue Elizondo, who from 2007 to 2012 served as director of the Pentagon UFO study program called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.

• Robert Hastings, a UFO researcher and author of the book: UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, says that ‘Nuclear-adjacent’ sightings go back decades. Witnesses to these incidents are often highly trained personnel with top security clearances. In recent years, their reports are being corroborated by sophisticated technology.

• In late 1948, “green fireballs” were reported in the skies near atomic laboratories in Los Alamos and Sandia, New Mexico, where the atomic bomb was first developed and tested. A declassified FBI document from 1950 mentions “flying saucers” measuring almost 50 feet in diameter near the Los Alamos labs. Over a dozen workers from the Nevada desert atomic test site told Knapp that UFO activity was commonplace.

• In the 1960s and ’70s, repeated UFO sightings emerged at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, a storage site for nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles. At one such sighting in 1967, former Air Force Capt. Robert Salas reported several of those missiles becoming inoperative, or “unlaunchable”, at the same time that base security reported seeing a glowing red object, about 30 feet in diameter, hovering over the facility.

• In December 1980, the US Air Force secretly housed nuclear weapons in 25 fortified bunkers beneath the Royal Air Force base at Bentwaters in Suffolk, England. USAF master sergeant Ivan Barker saw an object on radar having remarkable speed and maneuverability, covering 120 miles in a matter of seconds. He looked out of the window and saw a craft hovering over a water tower. “It was between about 1,500 and 2,000 feet high. The thing was…at least a city block…in diameter,” said Barker. Barker says it was shaped like a giant basketball, with portholes around the center, from which lights were emanating outward. “I was shocked… There was nothing aerodynamic about it. Basketballs don’t fly.” Then in a second it was gone. But Barker didn’t report the sighting to his superiors. “You don’t understand what the Air Force did to people who reported UFOs,” he said.

• Colonel Charles Halt was the deputy commander at RAF Bentwaters that night. Halt led a patrol to investigate the strange colorful lights seen descending into the nearby Rendlesham Forest. He saw a red light moving horizontally though the trees, “obviously under some kind of intelligent control.” A laser-like beam, he said, “landed 10-15 feet away from us. I was literally in shock.” Then the object flew north towards the base. Says Halt, “We could hear chatter on the radios that the beams went down into the weapons storage area.” The Air Force generals closed the case without investigation.

• In recent years, the US Navy has reported several UFO encounters off of both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Navy F-18 fighter pilots saw UFOs almost daily for several months between the summer of 2014 and the spring of 2015 along the Eastern seaboard between Virginia and Florida. “Wherever we were, they were there,” said Ryan Graves, an F-18 fighter pilot who holds a degree in aerospace engineering. The objects appeared in three shapes, Graves says—some were discs, others looked like a cube inside a sphere, while smaller round objects flew together in formation. All lacked visible engines or exhaust systems. Some tilted, mid-flight, like spinning tops, as seen in cockpit video. One UFO almost caused a collision by zipping dangerously between two jets. Graves said that the UFOs also appeared in the Persian Gulf.

• In November 2004, Navy pilots and radar operators from the USS Nimitz carrier fleet saw a 40-foot long tic-tac shaped object flying just above the ocean, 100 miles off the coast of California near San Diego. When F-18 fighter jets were scrambled to approach the object, it accelerated and easily outran the supersonic Navy craft.

• Chris Mellon, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence said that a carrier battle group being shadowed by UFOs all the way across the Atlantic to the Middle East “makes an extremely compelling case for the existence of technologies we didn’t think were possible.”

• There is an increasing openness in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill to taking these sightings seriously as potential threats. In April 2019, the US Navy announced that it was updating its guidelines for how pilots and personnel should report unexplained aerial phenomena—making it easier for military members to report sightings to superiors without facing stigma and backlash. And now Congress has taken more interest in these UFO briefings.

• George Knapp says there is more UFO activity now than he has seen in three decades. Knapp notes that personnel at the military facilities, bases, ships and submarines where nuclear weapons are built, tested and deployed “have seen these things”. “Are they all crazy?”

 

Why are so many UFOs being reported near nuclear facilities—and why isn’t there more urgency on the part of the government to assess their potential national-security threat?

Those are questions being asked by a team of high-ranking former U.S. defense and intelligence officials, aerospace-industry veterans, academics and others associated with To the Stars Academy of Arts & Science. The team has been investigating a wide range of these sightings—and advocating more serious government attention.

Their investigations are the subject of HISTORY’s limited series “Unidentified.”

Throughout history, unexplained aerial phenomena (UAPs) have shocked, frightened and fascinated sky watchers. And in the last century, more than a few have been reported in military contexts. In late World War II, U.S. airmen called them “foo fighters”: strange orange flying lights by the French-German border. During the Korean War, some soldiers claimed a blue-green light emitting “pulsing rays” made their whole battalion sick with what, to some, resembled radiation poisoning.

Less known: In the last 75 years, high-ranking U.S. military and intelligence personnel have also reported UAPs near sites associated with nuclear power, weaponry and technology—from the early atomic-bomb development and test sites to active nuclear naval fleets.

“All of the nuclear facilities—Los Alamos, Livermore, Sandia, Savannah River—all had dramatic incidents where these unknown craft appeared over the facilities and nobody knew where they were from or what they were doing there,” says investigative journalist George Knapp, who has studied the UAP-nuclear connection for more than 30 years. Knapp has gathered documentation by filing Freedom of Information Act requests to the departments of defense and energy.

“There seems to be a lot of correlation there,” says Lue Elizondo, who from 2007 to 2012 served as director of a covert team of UAP researchers operating inside the Department of Defense. The program, called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), received $22 million of the Pentagon’s $600 billion budget in 2012, The New York Times reported. Elizondo now helps lead To the Stars’ investigations.

The UFO-nuclear Connection Began at the Dawn of the Atomic Age.

Nuclear-adjacent sightings go back decades, says Robert Hastings, a UFO researcher and author of the book UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites. Hastings says he’s interviewed more than 160 veterans who have witnessed strange things in the skies around nuclear sites.

“You have objects being tracked on radar performing at speeds that no object on earth can perform,” Hastings says. “You have eyewitness [military] personnel. You have jet pilots.” Witnesses to these incidents are often highly trained personnel with top security clearances. In recent years, their reports are being corroborated by sophisticated technology.

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