By John Keel
Somewhere in California, the U.S Air Force maintains a warehouse full of carefully cataloged scraps of metal and at least one completely intact flying saucer. In the same warehouse there are several glass tanks of formaldehyde containing the bodies of a group of tiny humanoids retrieved from a UFO that crashed in the Southwest in the late 1940s.
At least, that’s the story that’s been handed down by some American ufologists for the past 25 years. And, like a great many popular flying saucer beliefs, it’s all fiction. It was originated partly in a newspaper hoax first published in Mexico and was given immortality by humourist Frank Scully in his 1950 bestseller Behind the Flying Saucers. Scully first heard the rumor from an oil man who said he had gotten it straight from a flying saucer pilot. Later, after Scully’s sources had been tracked down and exposed by other reporters, he publicly repudiated the whole thing. But the rumor goes marching on, the Air Force still receives a letter from newcomers to the UFO scene demanding the truth about those pickled spacemen. When Air Force public relations officers reply that there is no substance to the rumor, the UFO enthusiasts howl “Cover-up!” and accuse the government of keeping evidence of the existence of flying saucers from the public.
A far more bitter truth is the sobering fact that the UFO enthusiasts and their organizations have overlooked a mountain of evidence themselves, often suppressing such evident because it doesn’t conform with their dogged belief in extra-terrestrial visitations. If they had systematically collected all the physical materials dropped from flying saucers in the past 25 years they would now have their own warehouse full of proof.
The problem is most of the debris found in the wake of UFO sightings and landings turn out to be rather ordinary…largely aluminium, magnesium and silicon. Common earthly materials. The UFO enthusiasts have been looking for and expecting, something far more exotic.
Unfortunately, after all these years of research, study, and investigation by thousands of people and scores of scientists operating outside the Air Force and government, there is still no evidence to back up the notion that flying saucers come from outer space. There is, on the other hand, considerable evidence that real UFOs are of earthly manufacture and are piloted by normal human beings (excluding those landings and contacts which seem more in the nature of psychic phenomena). What’s more, there is evidence that persons who dress and look like us (and probably are earthlings) are often engaged in collecting UFO artifacts, arriving on the scene before the original witnesses have had a chance to tell anyone about what they have just seen.
Today it’s popular for ufologists to speculate that the CIA is responsible for some of these mysterious events. But the CIA didn’t come into being until 1947, and these strange Men in Black (MIB) were busy 50 years ago, during the UFO waves of 1896-97 and 1909!
Shortly after a UFO landing in Wales, Great Britain, May 1909, a clerk reported that he had seen five “foreigners” at the site, taking measurements and snapping pictures (Daily Mail, May 20, 1909). There have been thousands of similar stories since then. They have produced an elaborate lore and inspired acute paranoia among many ufologists. No one has yet managed to resolve the simple basic question: who are these foreigners and what is their purpose and interest?
These mystery men show a peculiar penchant for visiting isolated areas in northern Canada, Alaska, South America, and other out of the way places. Usually, investigators stumble across their trail rather accidentally and then labor to find an acceptable frame of reference for them. The CIA takes a good deal of the blame today, even in Spain.
A number of Spanish ufologists are convinced that ·the CIA is playing games with them, trying to interfere with their contacts with an interplanetary race from Ummo. In case you have never heard of Ummo, it is supposed to be a planet revolving around a star called ”Wolf 424,” about 14 light years from Earth. The Ummoans have been leading persistent Spanish investigators on a merry chase for several years.
The Ummoans have supplied us with some first-rate physical evidence, neatly embossed with their symbol. They even correspond with Spanish ufologists, stamping the pages of their letters with the symbol. This may sound ridiculous, but the whole story is quite bizarre and impressive.
On Feb. 6, 1966, a circular flying object made a brief landing near the village of Aluche, a suburb of Madrid. It was seen by a group of soldiers at an ammunition dump, and by several civilians as well. As it took off and flew overhead, the witnesses reported seeing a large symbol on the belly of the saucer. It resembled two curved lines with a straight line between them. The sighting was widely publicized in Spain at the time. (And, of course, that was the year in which widespread sightings in the U.S. were making headlines.)
Sixteen months later, on June 1, 1967, another saucer-shaped object bounced at treetop level over the Madrid suburb of San Jose de Valderas. Again, this was a multiple-witness event with unrelated people reporting the object from several different positions. Like the Aluche saucer, this one bore a large symbol on its underside . . . two curved lines with a straight line between them.
Symbols have been observed on UFOs before and since, but this is one of the rare cases in which the same symbol has appeared in two different incidents. A wide variety of markings…crosses, squares, semi-circles with arrows in them, Greek-like letters, etc., have been seen only once over the years.
Two of the people in San Jose de Valderas had cameras and snapped photos of the object. One set of negatives was later turned over to the photo editor of the newspaper lnformaciones. The other photographer, Antonio Pardo, sent his pictures to Marius Lleget, author of a book on flying saucers. The photos show a standard saucer-shaped object with a wide rim in the center. The symbol is clearly visible in one picture.
About three miles from San Jose de Valderas the object landed near a restaurant called La Ponderosa. Its flight had been seen by a large number of people including the students of Convent College. When the local people went out to investigate they found three rectangular marks in the soil, forming an equilateral triangle ·with sides measuring about 18 feet. They also found a number of small metal tubes scattered around the site. Antonio Pardo later claimed he bought one of these tubes from a local boy. The boy told Pardo he had opened it with a pair of pliers and found it contained a liquid which quickly evaporated. It also contained two green plastic strips, each stamped with a symbol like the one seen on the saucer.
A few days later the people in the area received printed circulars offering a reward of 18,000 pesetas (about $260 at that time) for each tube forwarded to one Henri Dagousset at a Post Office box in Madrid. The circular contained a photograph of one of the tubes and details of its size. Later efforts to locate Dagousset failed. So the mystery remains: who was and why was he offering such a large sum for the tubes? Pardo’s tube was submitted to the Spanish National Technical Institute for Aeronautics and Space Research. Their analysis stated the tube was made ·of ”nickel of an extraordinarily high degree of purity.” The plastic was polyvinyl fluoride. It was not available commercially. The Dupont Company in the U.S. was then making small quantities of polyvinyl fluoride for missile nose cones! No one else was manufacturing the stuff. So how did these samples of a classified material end up in a field in Spain?
Nickel tubes of high purity have another use. They are an important component of the machinery used to handle fluoride gases in the manufacture of fissionable materials for our atomic bombs.
Although two Spanish ufologists, Rafael Farriols and Antonio Llobet, found many reliable witnesses to the overflight and landing of .the object, Antonio Pardo be came something of a mystery man. After he sent the photographs and tube to Lieget he seems to have vanished.
In the aforementioned landing in Wales in 1909, the occupants of the strange flying machine left behind a mess of junk including a spare part for a tire valve manufactured in France but not distributed in Wales. Apparently this was a ploy to lead the witnesses into thinking they had seen a French flying machine (aeronautical historians reject this possibility).
But the mystery guests overplayed their hand. On May 7, 1909, Egerton S. Free of Clacton-ori-Sea, Essex, England, reportedly saw a long, sausage-shaped dirigible hovering about 60 feet above the ground. When his wife checked the spot she found a steel and rubber bag, five feet long, weighing 35 pounds. It was stamped with the words ”Muller Fabrik Bremen,” so when Free discussed his sighting with newspapermen he automatically speculated that the mysterious dirigible had come from Germany.
A few days later, two strangers, ”foreigners,” appeared at the free estate; studied the beach where the object had hovered, and closely examined the area.
”The men hovered about my house persistently for five hours,” Free said in an article in the East Anglian Daily Times, May 18, 1909. ”When the servant girl set out to church she heard them conversing in a foreign tongue. Finally they came up to her, one on each side, and one of the men spoke to her in a strange language.
The girl was so frightened that she ran back to my house, and would not again leave for church.” (We are indebted to British researcher CalGrove for uncovering this report, and about 30 others from the year 1909.) Incidentally, the steel and rubber object was eventually identified as part of a target used by the Royal Navy for gunnery practice.
A subtle variation of this particular game was repeated many times in the U.S. and Europe during the 1960s. After a rash of sightings in an area…a conventional weather balloon would conventional weather balloon would conveniently turn up in some conspicuous spot. (One was even found on the front lawn of a small town mayor in Ohio.) The police and newspapers would pounce on the balloon with glee and announce that the· mystery had been solved. But in investigating many of these weather balloon cases we had to conclude that the balloons were deliberately planted. By whom? Per haps by whoever planted the tire valve part in Wales and the gunnery target in Essex.
Perhaps UFOs have been using the old ”crippled submarine” tactic over these many years. That is, they have been dumping all kinds of extraneous garbage across the landscape to confuse and mislead us, just as our submarines released oil and debris in WW II when under attack. The fact that so much of this UFO debris consists of ordinary earthly materials has led many investigators to erroneously label authentic UFO sightings and landings as hoaxes. The ”hardware toys,” as the evidence-seeking ufologists are called, have been blindly seeking exotic, non-earthly materials and rejecting everything else.
One of the first pieces of evidence was “a large wheel made of aluminium, about three feet in diameter, and turbine in shape” which was dropped rather deliberately at the feet of a farmer in Pennfield, Mich., in April 1897. Accor ding to the testimony of George Parks, published in the Detroit Evening News, April 15, 1897, he and his wife observed ”a very bright object that appeared to be about 100 feet from the Earth and swiftly approaching.” It made a humming sound and dropped the wheel as it passed over head. There was a massive wave of sightings of strange flying machines throughout the U.S. that year. Since it is illogical that any ”spaceship” constructed by a ”superior technology” could travel all the way to this planet and then fall apart so easily we can only assume that such incidents have been very deliberate. Since 1897 it has been a common practice for UFOs to discharge mundane materials at their landing sites. The 1909 French tire wave was just the beginning. In more recent times, these drops have consisted of more sophisticated materials. Frequently a major UFO sighting with multiple witnesses will be followed by a series of weird manipulations designed to discredit the witnesses and cast doubt on the whole event. The record shows that even official investigator s for the U.S. Air Force were often taken in by such manipulations in the 1950s, and this undoubtedly contributed to the government’s negative stance. For example, Air Force investigators discredited an alleged UFO landing at Glassboro, N.J., in 1964 because they found a small quantity of the potassium nitrate at the site. Although there were holes in the ground, identical in size and shape to the holes found at other landing sites, and the surrounding trees were damaged, the Air Force decided the potassium nitrate – commonly used in explosives- was proof of a human hoax. But similar chemicals have been found at other sites around the world. Various amateur UFO· organizations have long accused the Air Force of ”covering up” by accepting lame explanations for these events. But anyone who knows how the government and the military really work can see that officialdom was actually taken in by these deceptions and manipulations. The source of the UFO phenomenon whatever or whoever it may be, is extremely clever and very skilled in, the use of psychological warfare. It was desirable for the Air Force and government to reject and ignore the UFO phenomenon. This was accomplished in a long series of ”hoaxes” throughout the 1940s and early 1950s until, by 1955, the official investigators became totally disgusted and negative. Once the ufonaufs got the government off their backs they could operate with impunity. The Air Force investigations became superficial public relations efforts after 1955. They had ”bought” the phony evidence dumped on their doorstep. If an officer of the U.S. Air Force has visited the UFO site near Madrid, he would have undoubtedly classified the whole affair a hoax. The presence of the nickel tubes would have been his proof. He would not ask, of course, how rare and precious missile nose cone material could turn up in Spain. These tubes might have ended up in some Spanish basement, or the local garbage dump, if the mysterious Mr. Dagousset had not deliberately called attention to them and offered a large reward for their recovery. The detailed circulars distributed in the area were probably designed to focus attention on the tubes. Assuming that the CIA or NASA were interested in the tubes, the correct procedure would not be to advertise. Instead, they would have sent agents to the area, disguised as newspapermen or Air Force officers, who would very quietly try to locate the tubes. It’s quite possible that Antonio Pardo (a name as common in Spain as John Smith is in the U.S.) and Dagousset were either working together or were one and the same man. There is no way of knowing if the tube Pardo sent to author Lleget was, in fact, one of the tubes that actually turned up at the landing site. The printed pamphlet may have just been a ploy to make the Pardo tube seem authentic. Obviously whoever printed the pamphlet al ready knew what the tubes looked like and had one in his possession. So why offer a reward for the recovery of the others?
Finally, such an elaborate and expensive hoax makes no sense at all. Why go through all that trouble to excite and baffle a handful of Spanish ufologists? The overflight and landing of the object had too many witnesses to easily discredit it. But, as in other incidents, it was possible to create an aftermath of confusion which would generate doubts in official minds. At the same time, the symbol clearly seen on the object could be used to reinforce a new game with the ufologists. Since 1965, various ufologists in Spain have been receiving letters and phone calls from persons claiming to be spacemen …visitors from the planet Ummo The letter s bear a stamp or seal identical to the symbol seen on the Madrid object. They contain warnings about the CIA (an American agent identified as ”Mr. W. Rumsey” is supposed to be working in Spain, trying to track down the Ummoans). Spanish investigators have been in an uproar over this Ummo affair for years. It is even the subject of a book, UMMO, Otro Planeta Habitado by Fernando Sesma.
These ”spacemen” hoaxes are a worldwide phenomenon. The author has received many strange letters and phone calls of this sort here in· the U.S., sometimes related to material that was then in his typewriter and not shared with anyone! Other investigators in scattered parts of the world have experienced the same things. The implication is two-fold ufologists are being watched…kept under surveillance by some mysterious group, and large numbers of ”spacemen” are already living among us and freely using our mails and telephones. Because these ”hoaxes” are so widespread, and often so complicated and expensive, it is unlikely they are the product of a few juvenile practical jokers. Rather it seems to be a very well-organized and w ell-financed effort. When you cut through all the nonsense, the only apparent purpose seems to be to create and sustain belief in ”spacemen” and, incidentally, to keep the ufologists wallowing in paranoid confusion. Any American ufologists have fallen for these games and convinced themselves that the U.S. Air Force or the CIA is behind it all. And a number of amateur investigators have even suffered nervous breakdowns and committed suicide.
The belief that alien parahumans are living among us is not confined to ufology circles. Numerous religious and occult groups have claimed for hundreds of years that angels and devils who look and act exactly like us have been in our midst since the dawn of man. Shades of the Exorcist! Various UFO contactees claim the ”spacemen ” have told them that anywhere from 1O to 1O million interplanetary visitors are now residing in our cities. The late Dr. James McDonald, a meteorologist from the University of Arizona who became embroiled in the UFO controversy, privately discussed, in his last years, the possibility that alien beings were not only present on this planet but were systematically taking over top posts in the government and military.
The late zoologist, Ivan T. Sanderson, one of the best-known observers of the UFO scene, offered an even more interesting hypothesis. In his book invisible Residents he suggested that maybe an elder race developed in the world’s oceans while our ancestors were still climbing trees. This race has remained apart from us but they account for the innumerable sightings of unidentified submarines, ships, and flying saucers (that have been seen entering or leaving bodies of water). Since biologists and evolutionists are convinced that life began in the oceans, Sanderson speculated that it would be logical for an advanced race to have its beginnings there. These ”aqua-people” remained at the bottom of the ocean and developed a whole super civilization there, regarding us as contemptuously and disinterestedly as we do ants.
These theories remain intellectual exercises since no real evidence has been uncovered to support them. They are in the same category as the devil theories of the earlier religious groups.
Still, we have the many perplexing reports on mystery men of the pre-CIA era, and the staggering problems presented if· we accept the popular extra-terrestrial (interplanetary) explanation for UFOs. How, for- example, would people from another planet come by those nickel tubes of polyvinyl fluoride in the first place?
If, on the other hand, some UFO enthusiasts have been right in accusing the CIA and Air Force of all these· puzzling hoaxes, what is their motive for spending so much time and money on such profit less enterprises? How could they justify such expenditures to Congress? And why is it that after 25 years of this not a single employee or former employee has blown the whistle on the whole project? The government has a hard time keeping any thing secret these days.
We can probably exclude the government as the culprit. They have been victimized by the phenomenon, just like all the rest of us. Year after year the same foolish charade is played out in countries all over the world a UFO is seen by reliable witnesses. It releases or dumps materials which are eagerly collected by local UFO enthusiasts. They, in turn, give the material to a reputable testing laboratory…often at considerable cost to themselves. The report comes back. The material is nothing but aluminium or tin. Disgustedly, the UFO enthusiasts file away the report and go on with their search for ”real evidence ”
In January 1971, a blinding light appeared at treetop level over Kuusamo, Saapunki in north-eastern Finland. Snow at the spot where the object had hovered was found to have melted and refrozen into strange dark green crystals. An engineer, Ahti J. Karivieri, collected samples of the ice. An expensive chemical analysis revealed nothing aside from the presence of a small amount of aluminium…unusual in snow.
Prof. Hulvio B. Alexio of Belo Horizonte, Brazil has systematically analysed the substances left at several UFO landing sites. His findings were equally dis appointing to the ”hardware boys.”
A crumbling black powder with an acrid, unpleasant smell was found on a foot ball field at Baleia, Brazil, where a UFO allegedly landed on Sept. 14, 1967. The Central Institute of Geo Sciences of the Federal University of Minas Gerais performed an analysis which included radiation tests. They found the powder consisted of iron aluminium, magnesium, and silica. Similar material found at a landing site near Villa Constitucion contained magnesium, iron, carbon, aluminium, nickel and copper. At Campo Grande, Brazol, Otaviano A. Souza Bueno said he saw luminous object land on a stream bank, and three beings climb out and dig up samples of soil. This was back in 1948. A sample of the same soil was taken and analyzed by the institute of Technological Research at Sao Paulo. Their findings: silica 61 percent, aluminium 19 percent, magnesium 11 percent. Thousands of miles away, on Oct. 27, 1954, a formation of glowing objects appeared over a crowded football stadium in Florence, Italy. A shower of shining flakes fell on the crowd from the sky when these were analysed by the Chemical Institute of the University of Milan they were found to be composed of magnesium, iron, silicon, and calcium. Silicon is one of the most common sub stances. Silica is ordinary sand. Heat it and then cool it and you have glass. Silicon can be made into all kinds of plastic objects. An almost endless variety of silicon objects and substances have been found at UFO landing sites during the past 25 years. It most often appears as a purplish liquid which resembles ordinary fuel oil. Indeed, it is sometimes mistaken for oil. When a fertilizer salesman named Reinhold Schmidt reported seeing a UFO land near Kearney, “Feb., in 1957, investigating police officers found a puddle of this truid at the site and accused Schmidt of putting it there himself. Another outstanding case took place on Aug. 19, 1965, on a farm outside Cherry Creek, N. Y. Harold Butcher, 16, was milking cows at 8:20 p.m. when the portable radio in the barn was suddenly drowned out by static and the tractor running the milking machine abruptly stopped. Outside, a Holstein bull chained to a steel bar by a ring through its nose began to bellow. Young Butcher ran to the window and looked · out. He saw a large egg-shaped object trailing a reddish vapor and emitting a steady beep-beep sound as it touched down in a nearby field. A few moments later it flew away, Butcher said, leaving behind a strange smell and several globs of a shimmering purplish liquid. The Kawecki Chemical Company later performed a chemical analysis and found the liquid was composed of silicon, aluminium, and iron.
Another popular UFO dropping is a distinctive silver sand. It has been found in England (1965′), and in Iowa (1972). It was also discovered at the site of the famous Socorro, N.M., landing in April 1964, and, of course, Air Force investigators dismissed it as common silica. Perhaps the most widespread of all UFO substances is the combination of aluminium and Silicon which the people of West Virginia have labelled ”space grass.” This comes in the form of tiny strands which resemble finely shredded Christmas tinsel. (Incidentally, Christmas tinsel was made of lead, until a 1972 health law outlawed it.) When radar first came into use in WW II, bomber pilots learned to befuddle it by dumping boxes of tinfoil out of their gun ports as they flew over enemy territory. In time, this ”chaff ” became very sophisticated. It was cut to lengths equalling the wavelength of the enemy radar. Today it is fired out of tubes mounted on a plane’s wings. The common practice is to fire the short chaff (less than six inches long) in combination with “Rope” (as…long as 20 feet). Both materials are made of aluminium and are specially treated so the pieces won’t stick together. They are used occasionally on Air Force training missions over the U.S., and are released at high altitude in the vicinity of radar stations. The pieces naturally scatter over a very wide area, as they are meant to do.
Space grass, on the other hand, often drops to Earth in a big lump. ”Rope” is never found near it. In f act, there is not a single incident in which ”Rope” has been recovered by civilians. Furthermore, while space grass closely resembles AF chaff, it is chemically different. The chief ingredients of space grass are, of course, aluminum and silicon. Unlike chaff, it has a tendency to stick together, and when freshly dropped space grass is handled it causes a rash which itches.
Back in 1967, the author asked the Pentagon to furnish samples of chaff for some comparative studies. At first, the request was refused because chaff was supposedly classified. But later a box of unused chaff, fresh from the manufacturer, was forwarded together with an AF map showing all the locations in North America where it is dispersed on training exercises. Interestingly, none of these lo cations was anywhere near the places where space grass has appeared.
Analyses performed in 1967 produced another puzzle. While space grass was perfectly ordinary in compos it ion, the Aluminum Association had no idea who made the stuff . . . or for what purpose. Basically it is very close to the aluminum foil sold in sheets in supermarkets, but it is much thinner and, like chaff, is cut to precise lengths.
Time and again witnesses have seen space grass coming from saucer-shaped objects. It has also been found piled up in field where UFOs have been seen hovering. In 1966 -67, quantities of this material were found repeatedly in West Virginia in the wake of UFO sightings. Other outstanding cases include Sagetown, N.Y (1956); Chosi City, Japan (1956), where hundreds of people saw a circular flying object discharge the stuff over the city; Merion, Pa (1957); Puerto Garibaldi, Argentina (1965).
Even odder is the fact that space grass sometimes turns up on porches and under trees where it could not possibly have fallen from the sky! It has also been found neatly scattered over under ground telephone lines and draped over power lines.
The controversial. Air Force-sponsored UFO study conducted in the 1960s by Colorado University under the direction of Dr. Edward U. Condon made a superficial study of the ”physical evidence” so lovingly collected by UFO enthusiasts, in eluding space grass. Instead of obtaining and studying a recent sample, they examined a 1957 sample found at Manhattan Beach, Calif. It had turned up on a witness’s property 24 hours after a sighting. It was nothing but AF chaff. But how come it appeared where it did, and so soon after a UFO sighting? Who dropped it…or planted it? Where did he obtain it? The Condon committee never ad dressed itself to such questions. Their conclusion was, ”It is certain, however, that this sample of ‘space grass ‘. . . had a quite earthly origin, and was not deposited by vehicles of extra-terrestrial origin.”
The most celebrated sample of alleged UFO material – a few silvers of pure magnesium – tore the Condon committee apart. Some anonymous person sent the particles of magnesium to a Brazilian columnist, Ibrahim Sued of Rio de Janeiro, together with a letter describing how he had seen a flying disk explode in mid-air. The particles were supposed to be the remnants. Sued turned the pieces over the late Dr. Olavo T. Fontes, then one of the the world’s leading UFO authorities. The samples were analysed by Brazil’s Mineral Production Laboratory. They were found to be unusually pure magnesium. Dr. Fontes sent some of the fragments on to Mr. and Mrs. James Lorenzen who operate the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization in Tucson, Ariz. Further tests verified the original findings. So A PRO announced in 1957 that this 100 percent pure magnesium could not come from any known manufacturer. Therefore, they hinted, it must have been the product of some superior technology.
Ten years later these fragments were turned over to Dr: Condon. After running his own tests, Condon concluded, ‘‘since only a few grams of the magnesium are known to exist, and these could easily have been produced prior to 1957 by common earthly technology, the composite ion and metallographic characteristics of these samples themselves reveal no information about their origin. The mere existence of these samples cannot serve to support an argument that they are fragments from material of extra terrestrial origin.”
One of the scientists on Dr. Condon’s committee, Dr. David R. Saunders, later questioned this in his book UFOs? Yes!
Saunders felt that the very high purity of the metal was unique. ”I can only say,” Saunders wrote, ”that if the Brazilian fishermen did not really collect fragments from a space ship, then someone did perpetrate one of the most sophisticated scientific hoaxes in history.”’
There the matter rests. Logically, the samples prove only one thing: that some anonymous person in Brazil in 1957 somehow had access to a small piece of unusually pure magnesium. Instead of sending it to the government or to a Brazilian scientist with a known interest in UFOs, this person chose to mail it to a gossip columnist who had never even written about UFOs.
There are Antonio Pardos everywhere. Among other famous alleged UFO artefacts is a huge slab of metal found in Canada in the 1950s, probably a chunk of a dismantled bridge and a number of small metal spheres which have been found all over the world. More of these spheres were found in New Zealand in the summer of 1972. Some are constructed of rare metals, but most are made of plain old aluminium. Dr. Condon came up with an explanation for these, too. He says they are dropped from airplanes to ”calibrate radar.” Since even a hollow metal sphere will drop at a speed of about 90 miles to 120 miles per hour, and since radar sets take several seconds to make ne complete 360-degree ”sweep” we can question the usefulness of such objects. Besides, there are laws against dropping such objects over populated areas. An aluminium sphere falling at 90 miles an hour could easily kill someone. And why do they keep falling in areas where there are no· radar stations?
Certain facts are now inescapable. There is conclusive proof that three earthly substances, aluminium, magnesium, and silicon, play some enigmatic but important role in the UFO phenomenon. Either the objects are actually made from these materials or their source has some way of obtaining them from earthly- manufacturers. One could argue, of course, that the same metals and chemicals found on Earth might be found or another planet supporting life. But aluminium is manufactured by an electrical pro cess from materials which are quite rare on this planet. Gryolite, a vital ore used in the process, is found only in Greenland.
It may be that UFOs simply collect these things from dumps in some part of the world and then fiendishly drop them in another part…amusing themselves and confounding us. The most important aspect of all this may be the mysterious men who plague UFO research, harass investigators, and pull off these elaborate and sometimes costly hoaxes.
Although UFOs have been around for a very long time, comparatively few people take a really deep interest in them. It has been quite easy to manipulate those few into believing almost anything. Whoever or whatever is behind the phenomenon seems to want the UFO enthusiasts to believe in visitors from Ummo and Venus. They engineer all kinds of events and false evidence to reinforce that belief. So long as a handful of star-struck amateur ugologists keep wishfully peering through telescopes looking for evidence of a superior technology on some- far-off planet, the earthbound UFOs and their occupants are safe.
The extra-terrestrial belief has another value. It is utterly ridiculous and unacceptable to science, and to a large part of the public. So when UFO enthusiasts appear on radio and television advocating their belief in spacemen they succeed only in making fools of themselves and heap more ridicule on a subject already discredited by the Air Force, Dr. Condon and a large segment of the press: They make it easier to laugh off the whole thing and ignore the empirical evidence. The UFO phenomenon has created the perfect cover by exploiting and misleading the believers.
Millions of people on every continent have now seen these fantastic flying spheres, discoid, and cigar-shaped things, yet the psychological warfare tactics employed by the phenomenon have been so effective that only a few hardy scientists and a scattering of housewives and teenagers pay any attention. If flying saucers really are invaders from outer space we have already lost.
On the other hand, if something else is involved-the UFO problem doesn’t be long in the hands of the Air Force but falls into the shady province of the National Security Agency. The CIA id merely a branch of our intelligence establishment. And the NSA is a monolithic organization with an annual budget nearly three times that of the space program during its peak years. Unlike NASA, the NSA produces no visible hardware or results. Congress has virtually no control over its activities or spending.
There were MIB incidents in 1947 before the CIA or NSA were really functioning. The original Central Intelligence Group, forerunner of the CIA, was staffed with naval intelligence personnel. But Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg of the Air Force was one of the first directors of the CIG. Later, when he was Air Force Chief of Staff, it was Vandenberg who ordered Air Force Intelligence to reverse their position. The Air Technical Intelligence Command (ATIC) had sumitted a “Top Secret Estimate of the Situation” to Vandenberg outlining their reasons for believing UFOs were from outer space. After Vandenberg threw the estimate back at them, they came up with the Project Grudge Report which explained flying saucers away as meteors and mistakes.
The National security Agency is headed by mathematicians, physicist, and radar experts. Yet the officially stated function of NSA is to create codes, and break enemy is being spent on something more than code machines.
Did General Vandenberg know something the men at ATIC did not even suspect? Are we waging a secret worldwide war with the characters who have created the planet Ummo and all the other eccentric beliefs of ufology?
While Dr. Condon’s findings can be seriously questions on several levels, and have been questioned by men like Dr. James McDonald and Dr. J. Allen Hynek, his conclusion seems impossible to discredit. There is no evidence to support the notion of extra-terrestrial visitations. There is, however, a mountain of evidence indicating that the force behind the UFO phenomenon is solidly based on this planet. And it has been conning us for years to keep us from discovering that fact.
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