By any standard, it’s been a busy week for UFOs in the media. The biggest week perhaps, since the New York Times published a story on December 16, 2017, about the Pentagon’s declassified ‘UFO’ videos. It was a watershed moment to be sure, with the Grey Lady herself broaching the hitherto taboo topic of UFOs with a dry sobriety that was more akin to reading the Farmers Almanac than the sensational offerings found in the pages of the Weekly World News, wherein most of the UFO related stories of yore were relegated.
This past Sunday, CBS’ 60 Minutes treated us to a segment on the UFO phenomena that was television’s equivalent to the TIme’s article and, indeed, discussed much of the same material as well as presenting new evidence of the elusive UFO or, “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAP), as the government refers to them.
Hot on the heels of that show, celebrities of all stripes were coming out of the woodwork with their own “close encounter.” Not to miss out on the hoopla, former President Barak Obama chimed in with his take on The Late Late Show with James Cordon.
Asked if he “had a theory” regarding the recent Pentagon release of “UFO” footage, Obama said, “When it comes to the aliens, there are some things I just can’t tell you on-air,” then confided, “The truth is, that when I came into office, I asked, ‘Is there the lab somewhere where we’re keeping the alien specimens and spaceship?’ And they did a little bit of research, and the answer is no.”
After that, Obama took a more serious tone, saying, “But what is true — and I’m actually being serious here — is there are, there’s footage and records of objects in the skies that we don’t know exactly what they are. We can’t explain how they moved, their trajectory. They did not have an easily explainable pattern.”
That might not be adding a whole lot to what we already know but, considering the source, it is notable. A tease if you will. At a press conference on Friday, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy brought up the Obama interview and asked President Joe Biden what he made of the flying objects. Biden responded with nervous laughter and said “I would ask him again,” then bolted off the stage, almost forgetting to remove his attached microphone.
What does it all mean? People want to know what the government knows but what if the government doesn’t know, that is, the whole truth about what’s going on? Christopher Mellon, former deputy assistant secretary of defense intelligence who served under President Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, suggested a UFO information gap, saying, “It’s extremely disturbing to think that, after spending hundreds of billions of dollars for so many years, and believing our airspace to be secure, in fact, we’ve had vehicles operating restricted military airspace with impunity on a recurring and sustained basis for many years.”
Last month, the Department of Defense confirmed that Navy footage taken in 2019 of a blinking, pyramid shaped object was real. Pentagon spokeswoman Sue Gough told CNN the video was part of its “ongoing examinations” of UFOs, saying, “As we have said before, to maintain operations security and to avoid disclosing information that may be useful to potential adversaries, DOD does not discuss publicly the details of either the observations or the examinations of reported incursions into our training ranges or designated airspace, including those incursions initially designated as UAP.”
In August, the Department of Defense created the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force to investigate these unidentified speedy aerial buggers. Their report will be presented to Congress on June 1 of this year, but how much of that will be revealed to the public? Former intelligence director John Ratcliffe told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo that the report is expected to encompass UFO sightings from all over the world, many of which have not been made public yet. Ratcliffe stated:
“We are talking about objects that have been seen by Navy or Air Force pilots, or have been picked up by satellite imagery, that frankly engage in actions that are difficult to explain, movements that are hard to replicate, that we don’t have the technology for or are traveling at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without a sonic boom,” adding, “There are instances where we don’t have good explanations for some of the things that we’ve seen. And when that information becomes declassified, I’ll be able to talk a little bit more about that.”
What does all this creeping disclosure portend for the general public at large? Are we going to finally get to know the whole truth about the UFO phenomena? Maybe, but don’t get your panties up in a bunch. This isn’t our first rodeo with the promise of “official” government disclosure, only to be let down in the end.
This reminds me of the time Donald Keyhoe appeared live on the CBS TV show Armstrong Circle Theatre on January 22, 1958. Speaking on the topic of UFOs, Keyhoe claimed that a U.S. Congressional committee was investigating evidence that “will absolutely prove that the UFOs are machines under intelligent control.” Then, on March 8, 1958, he gave an interview to Mike Wallace on ABC discussing the topic of government disclosure of UFOs.
Donald Edward Keyhoe was an American Marine Corps naval aviator who became intrigued with the subject of UFOs following Kenneth Arnold’s report of unidentified fast-moving aerial objects near Mt. Rainier in the summer of 1947. Keyhoe was convinced that the saucers were real and that their speeds, flight maneuvers and form were far in advanced of human technology.
Keyhoe went on to form the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) to study the topic and pen many articles and books on the subject. Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, head of Project Blue Book, stated, “It is rumored among magazine publishers that Don Keyhoe’s article in True was one of the most widely read and widely discussed magazine articles in history.”
Ultimately, nothing substantial came from Keyhoe’s investigations. NICAP would become marginalized, and Project Blue Book effectively dismissed the UFO phenomenon. Is it going to be any different this time around? Perhaps, but I wouldn’t bet my mortgage money on it.