Conclusions hard to draw on UFO questions cloaked in secrecy — Part 8


The worldwide interest in UFOs just won’t go away. Despite discouragement from governments and science and religion, people all over the planet suspect that something is going on and that world governments are hiding something. There is a considerable body of information suggesting that the Earth has been visited, but we still don’t have answers. Investigative reporter George Knapp looks at possible reasons those answers are so hard to come by in the conclusion to “UFOs: The Best Evidence,” which originally aired on Nov. 15, 1989, on KLAS TV in Las Vegas. Last of 8 Parts.

If you’re looking for the ultimate conspiracy, UFOs are for you. The story has it all.

“This is not a question of a legitimate national security,” aviation expert John Lear said. “This is the question of a few civilian and military thugs usurping the constitutional authority of the Senate and the Congress and the citizens of these United States of America to cover up an illegal transaction made with an alien nation in which American lives were traded for highly advanced technology.”

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“UFOs: The Best Evidence”
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Aliens from outer space in secret alliance with a government cabal controlled by the Trilateral Commission selling drugs to finance flying saucer research in a plan to take over the world and put us all in slave labor camps.

UFO buff Bill Cooper says it’s all true and that he read it in secret briefings while serving as a Naval Intelligence Officer.

No such conspiracy theory would be complete without tying in the John Kennedy assassination. Some UFO people point to this enhanced film of JFK’s murder as proof that the gunman was actually the limo driver, a government agent. If you watch it enough times, it almost appears the driver reaches around with his left arm and points a shiny object at Kennedy, just as the bullet strikes the president. But what does any of this have to do with UFOs?

Bill Cooper. (KLAS-TV)

“President Kennedy had taken offense to the sale of drugs to the American people to finance the black projects,” Cooper said. “And that he thought the American people should know what was happening, and aliens were here, and be able to decide their own fate. And for that reason, he had to be killed.

Former military officer Bill English says he read the same secret UFO reports as Cooper. He believes space aliens are here to eat us and says he saw evidence of that while serving in Vietnam, when he was sent into the jungle to recover a B-52 that had disappeared after encountering a UFO. English says the plane was found intact, but the crew had been mutilated.

Bill English. (KLAS-TV)

“Sexual organs had been removed, anuses has been removed, cord to the colon,” English said. “Blood had been drained from the bodies completely as far as we were able to tell at that time. There was no blood whatsoever in the aircraft.”

Most people associated with UFO research don’t buy this dark side of the alien hypothesis, although they do believe there’s an ongoing conspiracy of silence involving all of the world’s major governments. With so much conjecture and so little hard information, it’s extremely difficult to sift through the fabrications and fairy tales. But it’s clear the subject has caught the attention of some of the greatest minds of this century.

  • Winston Churchill demanded to know the meaning of flying saucers and commissioned a secret British study back in the 1950s.
  • President Harry Truman, suspected by some of creating a panel known as Majestic 12 to study UFOs, stated if they are real, they’re not from Earth
  • Dr. Hermann Oberth, the father of modern rocketry, made his beliefs clear that flying saucers were from beyond our solar system.
  • Dr. Wernher von Braun, in explaining why an American rocket tested mysteriously gone awry, made this statement suggesting that humans were were already in contact with a power from beyond. “We are faced by powers far stronger than we assumed. We are now engaged in entering closer contact with those powers.” He declined to elaborate.
  • Gen. Douglas MacArthur was more specific, boldly predicting that the Earth would one day have to unite to defend itself against aliens.
  • Gen. George Marshall confided to a close friend that UFOs are real and that by hovering over our military bases, they’ve proven they could blow us to bits if they wanted to.
  • Future President Gerald Ford said in the mid-1960s, the American people should be enlightened on the subject of UFOs.

So why hasn’t this happened? If you accept the gloomy vision of Bill Cooper and Bill English and others, then the government might have good reasons for keeping the truth from the public. In fact, classified studies done for NASA and the CIA have concluded that widespread panic would be a real possibility if contact with aliens was made official. But those studies were made decades ago and our views of ETs have certainly changed.

Stan Friedman. (KLAS-TV)

“I think the public can handle it,” UFO researcher and nuclear physicist Stan Friedman said. “I think we’ve been brainwashed pretty thoroughly. If you watch television in the morning, it’s all spaced-out stuff. You know, ‘Gumby was abducted’ and, you know, this kind of thing.”

Even Friedman admits that alien visitations would cause widespread upheavals, changing the way we look at everything.

Would the oil industry suddenly become worthless if we were introduced to new sources of energy or new technology? Would people think of themselves as Earthlings instead of as Americans or Russians or Chinese?

A sudden, abrupt announcement would certainly have profound effects, which is why many people suspect we are being told, but in bits and pieces — conditioned over generations to accept the alien presence.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan said in an address to the United Nations, “ I’ve often wondered, what if all of us in the world discovered that we were threatened by an outer … a power from outer space, from another planet? Wouldn’t we all of a sudden find that we didn’t have any differences between us at all?”

President Ronald Reagan makes his point about a common enemy at the United Nations in 1987.

Reagan alluded to alien forces not once, but five different times.

“Why did he say that five times?” Friedman asked. “Once, it’s a nice figure of speech. But he said it in the United Nations, he said it to Gorbachev in Geneva. Gorbachev responded, saying he didn’t disagree with him. He said at a high school in Maryland.

“Why bring that up unless there was some reason for bringing it up?”

Friedman says Reagan also dropped hints in private about UFOs. One such incident occurred following a special White House screening of the movie, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” The story was related to others by producer Steven Spielberg.

“When the showing was over, Reagan got up, put his hand on Steve’s shoulder and said, ‘You know, fewer than six people in this room know the whole story.’ Now, I have a close colleague that got that direct from Steve,” Friedman said. “What I’m saying is, our society has been brainwashed.

The possibility that the government is using the mass media to influence our attitudes about UFOs is an intriguing one and not without at least circumstantial support. Consider the general tone of 1950s sci-fi movies. Grotesque evil aliens were on Earth to conquer and destroy. It’s a far cry from the gentle space creatures we know from today’s films.

It’s interesting to note that Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” had as its scientific advisor this bit actor with the goatee, otherwise known as Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who was chief scientist in the Air Force’s Project Blue Book.

On TV, we’ve got “Alf” and “Alien Nation,” different approaches to the theme of humans adjusting to an alien presence. Some UFO researchers are convinced that major corporations are participating in the indoctrination process.

Robert Oechsler holds pages of a magazine depicting an alien with little explanation. (KLAS-TV)

UFO researcher Robert Oechsler said, “Even in the print media, you see this sort of thing constantly. This is in a corporate advertisement by Amoco Oil that runs in Phil Klass’s favorite magazine, Aviation Week and Space Technology. And there is no direct reference in the dialogue to this high technology advertisement, other than the picture itself. And I think what they’re trying to tell us is that the picture speaks for itself.”

A document produced by the Rand Corporation that officials said did not exist. (KLAS-TV)

Would private interests participate in the conspiracy?

In 1969, several requests were put to the RAND Corporation for copies of a UFO study it had reportedly done for the government. RAND denied any knowledge of such a study. But here it is, written just a few months before the requests for copies were made, and concluding that the UFO field deserved much more study than it was getting at the time.

Senator Barry Goldwater also alluded to a gradual release of UFO information. Goldwater had tried to gain access to UFO files and was turned down, but he confided in a letter he’d been told a plan was under way to release the UFO story to the public.

Jimmy Carter’s 1976 statement. (KLAS-TV)

As a presidential candidate, Jimmy Carter vowed to completely open the government’s UFO files, because Carter said he had seen one himself. In 1977, there were hints in national magazines that disturbing revelations were about to be made by the president. They never were. And Carter didn’t open the files. We wrote to ask him why and were told Carter is too busy for any interviews.

Perhaps the secrecy isn’t the government’s idea. Perhaps it originates elsewhere.

Whitley Strieber. (KLAS-TV)

“It’s quite obvious that the secrecy doesn’t even originate with the government,” author Whitley Strieber said. “Why don’t the visitors land on the White House lawn and make themselves public? Why didn’t they do that this morning? The reason is, they themselves are the architects of the secrecy.”

Strieber, who claims to have been abducted by aliens several times, says that humans should not presume to understand the motives of the visitors. Perhaps they are adhering to Star Trek’s prime directive, non-interference with developing species. If the aliens have been observing Earth for any length of time, they’ve witnessed untold examples of war, barbarism and environmental destruction. UFOs have been chased and shot at, and would probably be suspicious of any culture that produces “dissect an alien” games for its children. Maybe they’re not ready for us. Are we ready for them?

Dr. Dale Etheridge. (KLAS-TV)

Dr. Dale Etheridge  of the Clark County Planetarium said, “So, people are used to the idea that there’s probably other life out there. And for it to contact us, I don’t think would be major disruption.”

“So you fear the unknown. If you know all about UFOs, the fact they’re here, there’s going to be no panic,” agreed Walt Andrus, international director of the Mutual UFO Network. “That’s the excuse they’ve used since the Orson Welles radio … Mercury Radio program in 1938. The people did panic. We are far more sophisticated than that.”

Walt Andrus. (KLAS-TV)

“I really would like to know, I really would,” said Delores Donnelly, a UFO witness. “And I really would like everybody to now. I think it’s extremely important that everybody have the truth.”

Another UFO witness, Gene Huff, said, “I think people need to realize that yes, there has been an alien visitation, they’re here. And I don’t think that will upset people.

“It might upset them that the government has hidden it,” he said. “But I don’t think they’ll fear that aliens have actually been here as much as they fear what possible tidings the aliens may bring.”

Bob Lazar, who stunned the world with revelations of what he has seen at a secret base in Nevada, said, “It’s true. What I have seen is true. I don’t know about the big story, where they came from, what they’re like.”

Lazar said there are nine disks and alien technology at Area S-4. He added, “Certainly these crafts came from another … not just another planet, another solar system entirely. Extremely far away. And they’re here.”

What we’ve learned in the course of reporting this series is that the government has lied to us about UFOs, has withheld information, has spied on UFO organizations and has discredited UFO witnesses. Now, none of this proves that UFOs are real, but it does indicate a disturbing level of interest, government interest in the subject.

If the government won’t tell us what it knows, what about science? Well, science is supposed to stand for the investigation of the unexplained, not the explanation of the uninvestigated. And so far, science has avoided the subject like a plague. It’s like what Roy Neary, the main character in the film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” had to say: All we want to know is what’s going on.

KLAS-TV set, with, from left, George Knapp, Gary Waddell and Mary Ruth Carleton in November 1988. (KLAS-TV)

The Freedom of Information Act has been useful in the past for getting some information out of the government, but it’s almost like the only stuff that comes out is what the government wants to release. A FOIA request with the Navy, the Air Force, FBI, CIA, and NASA produced very little information. Agencies said some of the information didn’t exist, but it had already been released to other people who had asked for it. So obviously, they’re not releasing everything.

Would a Congressional hearing change that?

Congress has held hearings on the subject twice before, once in 1966 and once in 1968. In ’66, only the Air Force was allowed to testify. In ’68, the witnesses were allowed to talk about UFOs, but they couldn’t blast the Air Force. They talked about Project Blue Book. If there were another congressional hearing, it would probably have to exclude government witnesses.

George Knapp: We should also point out though, if you want to get get the real story on this, there are people probably watching this program right now who know a lot about this subject living right here in Nevada. Our number is in the phone book. We should point out some of these people have already called us and that this investigation will continue and that we’re planning a 2-hour special, including all the stories we’ve done.

George Knapp, during the broadcast of the last segment of “UFOs: The Best Evidence” in November 1988. (KLAS-TV)

COMING IN JANUARY: Material from the 1990 2-hour special, 30 years after it aired

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UFOs: The Best Evidence

UFOs: The Best Evidence begins serious examination in 1989 -- Part 1

UFO truths masked by hoaxes, secrecy of Roswell ‘crash’ – Part 2

Secrecy surrounds UFO studies since 1940s -- Part 3

UFO secrecy extends to NASA; cattle mutilations confuse authorities -- Part 4

Bob Lazar describes alien technology housed at secret S-4 base in Nevada -- Part 5

Bob Lazar convinced disks were alien, calls UFO secret 'unfair outright' -- Part 6

Christians, Mormons, Raelians all see UFO question differently -- Part 7

Conclusions hard to draw on UFO questions cloaked in secrecy -- Part 8

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