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CNI News 18.8

 CNI News - Volume 18.8
 May 27, 1996
 Published by the ISCNI News Center
 Editor: Michael Lindemann
 The stories in this edition of CNI News are:
        Some Experts Voice Concern About UFO Revelations
 ISCNI encourages you to respond to stories in CNI News.
    * Public responses can be posted on the Forum message board in "News
 Center Feedback"
    * Private responses can be emailed to ISCNI, subj: CNI News Editor
 The subject matter of CNI News is inherently controversial, and the views and
 opinions reported in the news are not necessarily those of ISCNI or its
 The next edition of CNI News will appear on Thursday, May 31.
 HOLIDAY DELAY: Due to the Memorial Day Holiday, this edition of the news is
 posted one day late. The CNI News team hopes all our readers enjoyed the
 [The following text is edited from a transcript prepared by Jan de Veen and
 posted to FIDONET on May 25. It is taken from a BBC 2 television program
 called 'Newsnight' that aired the evening of May 24. Jan de Veen notes that
 "Newsnight is a well-respected news feature program covering three issues of
 the day's news [in each program]. This UFO-segment... lasted a total of 8
 minutes and 25 seconds... It's an interview with Nick Pope, sometimes
 referred to as "the Real Fox Mulder," the British MOD's UFO Desk Officer from
 1991-1994. [Pope] will release a book about his experiences in that position
 next month."]
 Newsnight host David Vine: "Now, for the first time, a Ministry of Defence
 insider is about to talk publicly about the secret world of UFO sightings.
 Nick Pope spent four years as the MOD's UFO watcher. His book about his
 experiences, 'Open Skies, Closed Minds,' is published next month, and I'll be
 speaking to Nick Pope in his first television interview in just a moment. But
 first we've asked an actor to read some excerpts from his book."
 Actor reads from Pope's text: "Until 1991 I was generally sceptical about the
 paranormal. I didn't believe in UFO's, and anyway, paranormal experiences
 only happened to weirdos, didn't they?  My conversion was a slow one, but no
 less extraordinary for that.  It is that some UFO sightings are probably
 extra-terrestrial in origin.  It is not that I have gone mad.  Not that I've
 made a blind leap of faith, but the conclusion I have drawn is the only one
 borne out by the evidence...
 Actor continues reading: "What sort of people do submit UFO reports?  Most of
 them, and this is what made their story so convincing to me, came
 tentatively, embarrassed, and sorry for taking up my time."
 Scene switches to an eyewitness, a middle-aged man, sitting on a couch in his
 livingroom. The caption below reads: "James Millen, UFO Witness, Dorset"
 Millen speaks: "My wife and I were camping in Dorset, and in the night I got
 up to go to the toilet. It was 5 to 3 [2:55 am], and I went back to the tent,
 and I noticed some lights in the sky.  I called my wife out to have a look.
 And the next moment we were back in the tent.  And all I can recall is being
 in a white, circular room with some tall and short figures dressed in white.
 I checked my watch again... It was 25 to 6 [5:35 a.m.].  I have no
 explanation what happened that 2 hours, 35 minutes...  We wrote to the
 Ministry of Defence, and Nick Pope replied, asking for further information."
 Actor continues reading from Pope's book: "I became the butt of MOD humour,
 when I was the UFO Desk Officer, but could it be that somewhere within the
 cabinet's bowels' main building there lurked more X-files? If so, then where
 is this material?  Who has it, and why are they keeping in under wraps?  Why
 was it kept from ME, when it could have been a crucial piece of the puzzle?"
 The actor closes Pope's book, and Newsnight host David Vine begins to
 interview Pope.
 Vine: "Nick Pope, what do you believe now that you didn't believe 5 years
 Pope: "Well, I came into the job as a sceptic, but I was convinced by the
 sheer weight of evidence.  The sightings, the radar evidence... all that sort
 of thing... that SOME of these things that we see in the sky and call UFO's
 are extraterrestrial in origin."
 Vine: "Extraterrestrial what? Craft? With people in them?"
 Pope: "Well, craft of some sort, certainly.  That's not to say they ALL
 are... Of course most of them have conventional explanations, but after
 rigourous investigation we find that 5 or 10 percent absolutely defy ANY
 conventional explanation, and these ones, yes... It does look as if they may
 be some sort of craft from elsewhere."
 Vine: "Well, what do you think is going on? What do you think these 'people'
 and these craft are doing?"
 Pope: "That's the difficult question. It's very difficult to say because
 although the evidence is convincing, it's often contradictory. Some people
 say that it bears the hallmarks of some sort of reconnaissance exercise.
 Certainly these sightings have been going on for many, many years... er...
 Lots of reliable witnesses; many military personnel sighting them, but yet no
 open outright contact.  So that does tend to suggest that they are trying to
 keep themselves hidden."
 Vine: "What was it about your own role in the Ministry of Defence that made
 you more certain that this was going on?  Was there anything there that you
 found out that gave rise to your conviction that these craft and these
 extraterrestrial people existed?"
 Pope: "Well, yes... Of course, working in the Ministry of Defence, I had
 access to all sorts of inside data, and when I was conducting my
 investigations I would liaise with Royal Airforce officers... I could impound
 radar tapes, I could go and speak to witnesses... I could speak to the Royal
 Observatory at Greenwich... I could make all sorts of checks to try and get
 to the bottom of sightings.  Checks which really civilian UFO researchers
 were not able to make..."
 Vine: "But... If you believed these... reports that were coming out from the
 people you talked to, why did nobody else come out and say the same thing?
 Why are you the only Defence officer that's come out saying this?"
 Pope: "Well... I think it's all to do with people's personal prejudices.
 You've only got to MENTION the phrase UFO, and a lot of people just switch
 off. They think this is not an issue that they wish to be associated with.
 But certainly over the years the evidence is undeniable. I suspect there are
 more people..."
 Vine: "Well IS it? You see, Mr. Pope... because, I mean..  The Ministry of
 Defence gave us a statement tonight saying, 'As far as we know no one has
 EVER established any defence significance in any UFO sighting'... which of
 course is a particular point the Ministry of Defence WOULD make, but.. 'Nor
 has anyone,' they say, 'provided evidence to make us believe that any alien
 craft has ever penetrated British airspace.'"
 Pope: "Well, I think it's absolutely clear that structured craft of unknown
 origin HAVE and CONTINUE to penetrate the U.K. air defence region. This has
 happened on a number of occasions.  We've had radar evidence... On some
 occasions we've had aircraft scrambled...  And it seems to me that, although
 we necessarily....  we can't absolutely say what these things are...  But
 given that they ARE penetrating our air defenses, we HAVE to say that there's
 a potential threat, until we can say that... er...  there is NO threat
 Vine: "But... But nobody else believes this inside the Ministry except you,
 according to the Ministry..."
 Pope: "Well... that's a difficult one, I..."
 Vine: "Give us an example. Take one example of some event which, with your
 inside knowledge, you can persuade us, really was an unidentified flying
 object... something from outer space..."
 Pope: "In March of 1993 we had a case where numerous RAF personnel and police
 officers reported a craft over Britain. It was seen by the guard patrol at
 RAF Cosford... Then it was seen by the Meteorological Officer at RAF
 Shawbury. It was firing a beam of light down at the countryside... It was
 emitting a low hum.  This was NOT some aircraft light seen from an unusual
 angle.  This was a CRAFT!  It had got through our air defenses. Now that MUST
 be a matter of Defence significance!"
 Vine: "You go much further in your book, of course, than say you believe that
 these craft exist... You say, 'I believe there's a war going on.  A one-sided
 war so secret we aren't even aware it's happening. If any of these incidents
 can be attributed to an alien presence, then that presence is carrying out
 crimes against humanity.'  What do you mean by that?"
 Pope: "Well... Certainly over the years there have been a number of cases of
 pilots who have been called upon to intercept UFO's... One of those was
 killed. That was in America in the late 40's." [This is a reference to the
 famous case of Captain Thomas Mantell, who died in January 1948 while
 pursuing a UFO near Godman AFB in Kentucky. - ed.]
 Vine (running out of time): "And... very briefly... Do you believe there's
 some kind of... I mean you elude in many parts of your book to some cover-up
 going on? Is the Ministry of Defence hiding information?"
 Pope: "Not in Britain...  I think the problem is the opposite.  We know too
 Vine: "Thank you very much indeed, Mr. Pope." [cut away]
 [CNI News comments: It seems likely that Nick Pope feels obliged to maintain
 a certain discretion in how he talks about the British Defence establishment,
 for whom he still works. Behind the words of this interview, there seems to
 be an unspoken accusation. When Mr. Vine asked Pope: "But nobody else
 believes this inside the Ministry except you, according to the Ministry..."
 -- and Pope replied, "Well... that's a difficult one..." -- CNI News believes
 he would have liked to say, "Well, you see, they're all either totally
 ignorant or lying through their teeth." Indeed, Admiral of the Fleet (ret.)
 Lord Hill-Norton, one of the highest-ranking military men in British history,
 has stated with absolute conviction that UFOs do pose a major challenge to
 national defense. Pope is undoubtedly treading a delicate line as the release
 date of his book approaches.]
     Some Experts Voice Concern About UFO Revelations
 [It's often said that the main reason for UFO secrecy is the government's
 fear of public panic if the reality of UFOs and alien visitation were made
 known. But is this claim true? According to author Colman Jones, it probably
 is -- but there are other concerns as well. For example: who will get the
 huge military advantage of being the first to figure out how UFOs work? Some
 experts say that no project in history would be treated with greater secrecy.
 The following article, which appeared in the latest edition of NOW Magazine,
 is copyrighted 1996 by NOW Communications Inc. and is reprinted here with the
 permission of the author. Thanks to Errol Bruce-Knapp for bringing this
 article to our attention. Colman Jones maintains a web site at:]
 by Colman Jones
 On January 1, 2000, Bill Clinton enters a Rose Garden press conference,
 accompanied by other world leaders.
 Staring straight into the news cameras, the U.S. president solemnly declares,
 "I have an important announcement to make: we now have reason to believe that
 this planet has been visited by extraterrestrial beings who are studying our
 race. Their ultimate intentions are unknown."
 What if this unearthly scenario were actually to transpire? How would the
 world's peoples react?
 It's a question that some of the world's best minds have long been
 contemplating, and their conclusions may shed light on why governments have
 not been more forthcoming on the subject of UFOs and aliens -- namely, the
 fear of the public reaction that such a blatant declaration would provoke.
 For example, according to a 1960 report prepared for NASA by the Brookings
 Institution, a Washington think-tank, discovery of life on other worlds could
 cause the earth's civilization to collapse.
 Citing anthropological studies, it noted, "societies sure of their own place
 have disintegrated when confronted by a superior society, and others have
 survived even though changed."
 "Clearly, the better we can come to understanding the factors involved in
 responding to such crisis the better prepared we may be."
 But at a special 1972 symposium on extraterrestrial intelligence held at
 Boston University, Nobel Prize winner George Wald took a more pessimistic
 view. "I can conceive of no nightmare so terrifying as establishing such
 communication with a so-called superior technology in outer space," he
 A 1975 report produced by the Library of Congress for the House Committee on
 Science and Technology also warned against automatically assuming that open
 contact with other life forms, if discovered, would benefit humanity. "Since
 we have no knowledge of their nature, we may be aiding in our own doom," it
 said, and went on to speculate about a foreign civilization's possible
 negative views on a lower technological society, seeing it as a threat.
 "It's a huge unknown," agrees Michael Michaud, a former U.S. State Department
 career diplomat for 32 years, serving at U.S. embassies all over the world,
 specializing in environment, science and technology. He has written
 extensively on the implications of extraterrestrial contact. In an article
 published in the journal of the American Institute of Aeronautics and
 Astronautics, Michaud noted that discovery of extraterrestrial life by
 military authorities might not necessarily be made available to the public.
 Reached at his home in Geneva, Switzerland, the now retired diplomat cites a
 late 1970s incident, in which he was personally involved, in which a
 nuclear-powered Soviet satellite was discovered by the U.S. to be losing its
 orbit, descending towards the earth with a nuclear reactor on board.
 Michaud recalls: "This was discussed intensively between ourselves and the
 Soviets, and later with certain other governments, long before any public
 release of the information was made. That affair was classified until it was
 announced publicly after the satellite came down, so it's entirely
 conceivable that a government might handle the [discovery of extraterrestrial
 life] the same way, if it were done only through governmental means."
 Michaud has frequently argued that one of the most profound effects would be
 the feeling of common identity that might be generated by contact. Bringing
 his 32 years in diplomacy to bear on this, Michaud says the outside identity
 contrasting with our own might be potentially very useful. "I'm not sure it
 will solve all our squabbles, but it will make them seen a lot less
 important, and there will be larger context in which they will be placed."
 Stanton Friedman, considered by many the grand-daddy of ufologists, says
 there are plenty of reasons for a UFO coverup. Interviewed at his home in
 Fredericton, New Brunswick, the 61-year-old nuclear physicist points out that
 military considerations would override all others, especially as concerns the
 technology underlying alien spacecraft: "You want to figure how the damn
 things work. Say you've got wreckage, you set up your secret project. The
 basic rule for security is that you can't tell your friends without telling
 your enemies."
 For this reason, Friedman says, military authorities would have a vested
 interest in keeping recovery of alien vehicles under wraps. "What if the
 other guy figures out how they work before you do?"
 Obviously, such a revelation would also pull the rug from under many of our
 most cherished institutions, be they religious, economic, or political. As
 Friedman notes, "The biggest implication here is loss of power to people who
 have it. What would happen is that the younger generation would immediately
 push for a new view of ourselves, instead as Canadians, American, Russians,
 Chinese, etc., but as earthlings."
 "That would be splendid, until you realize that there's no government on this
 planet that wants its citizens to owe their primary allegiance to the planet
 instead of that individual government. Nationalism is the only game in town."
 "In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much
 unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal
 threat to make us realize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly
 our differences would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside
 this world."
 President Ronald Reagan, in a speech made to the 42nd General Assembly of the
 United Nations, Sept. 21, 1987
 The Associated Press
 Monday, May 20
 PARIS -- Scientists studying a partial jaw unearthed last year in Africa said
 Monday that analyses have shown it belongs to a previously unknown species of
 human ancestor.
 The announcement, which shakes up several accepted notions about human
 origins, was hailed by other experts as a huge surprise.
 "This is the beginning of a new history. From here, anything can happen,"
 said Michel Brunet, a professor at the University of Poitiers who discovered
 the jaw.
 Dubbed Australopithecus bahrelghazali, the species lived in Chad some 3
 million to 3.5 million years ago. It is the first Australopithecus --
 "southern ape" -- to be found as far west on the African continent.
 Only eight other species of Australopithecus, found in eastern and southern
 Africa, were previously known.
 Its location, age and distinctive characteristics may force students of human
 origins to re-examine much of what they regarded as truth, Brunet told
 The jaw indicates that australopithecines, human predecessors that appeared
 after the evolutionary split away from the ancestors of modern apes, covered
 much greater territory than had been supposed.
 Australopithecines gave rise to the group called Homo, which includes modern
 Before the Chad finding, Australopithecines had been known from sites in
 South Africa and the Rift Valley in the east African nations of Ethiopia,
 Kenya and Tanzania. The Chad site lies 1,550 miles west of the valley.
 The discovery of the new species so far from the valley complicates the task
 of paleontologists trying to trace the roots of humanity, since it had been
 thought certain that eastern Africa was the "cradle" of today's humans.
 "I was very faithful to this idea. Now I'm not so sure," said Yves Coppens,
 chairman of the French Academy of Sciences' Prehistory and Paleoanthropology
 Department. "As far as surprises go, they don't get much bigger than this."
 Brunet, who headed the Franco-Chadian mission that discovered the jaw and
 later identified it as belonging to a new species, said he had a hunch the
 surprises were just beginning.
 "I'm sure that within the next 30 years we will have found other previously
 unknown species," he said.
 Brunet said his team had already begun searching some 20 sites in the same
 The discovery of the new species also means scientists can no longer be sure
 about when and where the evolutionary split between the apes and humans
 "Abel," as Brunet's team named the jawbone's former owner, has a confusing
 set of characteristics that include a combination of the evolved human trait
 of molars with the three-root teeth typical of chimpanzees and other apes,
 Coppens said.
 "It's an extraordinary casserole of the past. It's disturbing. But it's also
 a pleasure to discover yet again the whimsy of nature," he said.
 CNI New has received the following report from TV watcher Chris Hushak,
 forwarded to us by Rebecca Schatte.
 Chris reports: "I saw a commercial on Monday night, May 20, on WBDC Channel
 50, Baltimore, MD.  It featured a high school or college aged guy out fishing
 with his Dad.  He takes some pictures of his Dad on the boat and has them
 developed at a Kodak lab.  He gets his pictures and notices something above
 his Dad's head off in the distance.  He says, 'I didn't see this before.'  He
 next takes the pictures home and puts a disk into his PC.
 "He brings the same picture up on the PC monitor and enlarges the area in
 question.  It's a classic disk-shaped UFO.  He then decides to send the file
 via Internet to the National UFO Organisation as evidence for their upcoming
 World UFO Conference.  The message gets intercepted by both Government
 cammo-dudes at an airfield in the desert and green fuzzy aliens in a saucer.
 The next scene is at the desert airfield with an identical saucer in the
 background. The Government folks say, 'Oh-oh, he knows about it.'  The scene
 shifts to the saucer, where the aliens say exactly the same thing.
 "Next, the Government cammo-dudes and suits are shown driving in a Jeep or
 Humvee-type vehicle to the guy's house.  He is monitoring the front door with
 a security camera and sees them coming.  The security camera image is on his
 PC screen.  He starts to go downstairs to meet them.  As they are walking to
 the door, the aliens appear in their saucer hovering above the house.  As the
 cammo-dudes ring the doorbell, a white beam comes down from the saucer and
 whisks them inside and away they go.  The door opens and our hapless friend
 looks puzzled and says, 'Hmmmm, I thought someone was here.'
 "The commercial ends with the Kodak logo and a statement similar to, "Kodak
 Film. For the memories you want to keep" -- along with their web address
 CNI News comments: Wow, was this an ad, or a mini-series? But seriously,
 folks, can such a blatant ad be just advertising? Yes, it probably can. No
 need to dig for some deep, secret meaning. But it's remarkable, nonetheless,
 that major companies like Kodak are resorting more and more often to very
 specific images of UFOs, alien abductions and even government secrecy.
 Whether literally true or not, these images are penetrating deep into the
 national psyche and are no doubt helping to change the public's ideas about
 #     #     #

Next: CNI News 18.9