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Military Brass Go Public With Explosive New Information

 Military brass go public
 with explosive new
 While for most people the subject of UFOs and aliens arouses no more
 than mild amusement, if not outright derision, the recent recruitment of
 high-profile former doubters to the believers=92 side is shaking up a
 new round of dissonance.
 In recent weeks, some of these converts have joined a long list of
 credible UFO enthusiasts who have been featured in a flurry of
 television and radio programs in the U.S. and England, programs that are
 no longer treating the extraterrestrial issue as a comedic interlude.
 These newcomers to the cause wonder how long we will continue to stand
 idly by and let deliberately evasive governments shield the world=92s
 peoples from what may be the most important and potentially dangerous
 news ever to surface that we are not alone in the universe.
 The most significant military UFO recruit is Nick Pope, the British
 government=92s appointed investigator of UFO sightings who headed
 Britain=92s secretariat air staff 2A division between 1991 and 94.
 Unlike his predecessors, who merely rubber-stamped sighting reports,
 Pope contacted witnesses and civilian UFO researchers, checking aircraft
 movements, airship flightpaths and weather-balloon launches and ordering
 radar tapes to be impounded and sent to him for analysis.
 After rigorous investigation,=94 Pope says,=93I uncovered conventional
 explanations for around 90 per cent of sightings. But 10 per cent simply
 could not be explained, and it was my belief that some of these were
 extraterrestrial in origin.
 There were too many cases where we were obviously not just talking about
 lights or shapes, but we clearly had evidence that there were structured
 craft, where the technology went way beyond even the cutting edge of our
 Not pleased
 Pope is still working as a major for the UK ministry of defence,
 although his higher-ups have been none too pleased with his work and
 have attempted to discourage publication of his book, Open Skies, Closed
 Minds, due for publication in June by Simon and Shuster.
 "(What lay behind the resistance) was the closed-minded attitude,=94 he
 says.=93It was people=92s embarrassment that perhaps I was going to talk
 about cases where we had visual sightings and radiation readings and
 where we could show that, unfortunately, the end response of the
 department was to do nothing."
 Another high-ranking addition to the UFO cause is Edgar Mitchell, the
 65-year-old Apollo 14 astronaut and the sixth man to walk on the moon.
 In 1971, he and Alan Shepard spent 33 hours roving the desolate lunar
 hills. It was here that Mitchell first courted an avant-garde
 reputation, conducting mental telepathy experiments by transmitting
 symbolic images to an acquaintance in Chicago.
 Shortly thereafter, he left the astronaut corps and founded the
 Institute for Noetic Sciences in an effort to integrate various
 scientific disciplines into the study of human consciousness. (Noetics
 comes from the Greek work for mind.)
 Mitchell's upcoming book, The Way Of The Explorer, addresses his latest
 research, including his conclusions about extraterrestrial intelligence.
 Speaking from his home in Florida, he says,=93The evidence has
 accumulated to the point that it can no longer be ignored. There is a
 body of solid, powerful, credible evidence=97 surrounded by a whole lot
 of disinfo rmation, misinformation and silliness.=94
 Solid evidence
 Mitchell has tried to gather up as much first-hand data as possible. "I
 have personally gone out of my way to interview government people I can
 have some respect for, who have given firsthand accounts of
 (extraterrestrial) contact of different sorts. I can't reveal these
 people, because they are under security restriction."
 Their accounts have convinced the former astronaut to join the growing
 campaign to press for lifting the gag orders on talking about UFOs. He
 is also pushing, along with 20,000 others, for an executive order to
 declassify any U.S. government-held information on the stirring 1947
 affair at Roswell, New Mexico, where the U.S. air force allegedly
 retrieved the remains of a crashed spaceship complete with alien
 occupants' a tale that continues to fascinate millions.
 Mitchell is only one of several astronauts to go public with what they
 know about UFOs. Another is major Gordon Cooper, one of the original
 seven astronauts who helped pioneer space exploration efforts. But
 unlike most of his colleagues, Cooper has said for decades that he
 believes at least some UFOs are alien spacecraft, testifying to that
 effect in front of the UN in 1978.
 Cooper, who today runs an aerospace management company in Van Nuys,
 California, had already been a firm believer before he flew into space.
 Ten years earlier, in the early 50s, he was assigned to a jet fighter
 group in Germany. While stationed there, he remembers sighting an entire
 formation of circular metallic objects as he piloted his F-86 Sabrejet.
 "We saw these objects coming over at quite a good altitude, flying in
 fighter formations,=94 he says. We tried to get up to them, but we
 couldn't get anywhere near as high as they were. They continued for
 about two days, coming over in great numbers."
 With so many reports of strange happenings, UFO types trained in
 military culture are astounded at governments' apparent indifference to
 the possible strategic implications of all these unexplained phenomena.
 That's the concern of retired British admiral of the fleet Lord
 Hill-Norton, former chief of the defence staff and chair of the NATO
 military committee during the mid-70s.
 The government says that the matter is investigated,=94 he says from his
 home near London. They admit readily 300 or 400 reports a year, which
 they investigate. The ministry's official line is this is not of any
 defence interest. This is silly talk, of course.
 The security aspect of such sightings has been exhaustively explored by
 British writer Timothy Good, whose definitive 1987 book Above Top Secret
 soared up the best-seller lists. His latest entry, Beyond Top Secret:
 The Worldwide UFO Security Threat, with a foreword by Hill-Norton and
 published just last week, is a fully revised edition, citing over 100
 new sightings reported by military and civilian pilots around the world.
 The new book's focus is on the potential defence risks posed by UFOs.
 Good notes, "They interfere with aircraft communications systems and
 military weapons systems and jam radars. There have been quite a number
 of aircraft which have gone missing during close encounters with UFOs,
 in countries as far apart as the U.S. and Iran."
 These devices have been seen over nuclear missile bases and atomic
 energy commission installations in the U.S. since the 1940s. They have
 been known to paralyze launching systems of guided missiles. Here in
 Britain, at the famous Woodbridge case in 1980 (where U.S. military
 officers reported a bright triangular-shaped object landing in a field),
 at least one of the witnesses has confirmed that beams of light were
 shone down at a nuclear weapons storage area. Surely this poses a
 security threat.
 Lobbying friends
 The latest figure to enter the fray is the 85-year-old environmental
 activist and venture capitalist Laurance Rockefeller, son of John D.
 Rockefeller Jr. and brother of Nelson. For the last few years,
 Rockefeller has been lobbying his friends in political circles for any
 information they may have on extraterrestrial life. More recently, he
 agreed to fund a research report presenting the strongest proof of alien
 The 169-page document, entitled Unidentified Flying Objects Briefing
 Document: The Best Available Evidence, has the support of the three
 major American UFO organizations and has been sent to U.S. president
 Bill Clinton, Congress and other world leaders.
 The report, a copy of which has been obtained by NOW, includes case
 histories of UFO sightings.
 "It is this large quantity of evidence of the existence of something
 completely baffling," the document says, "which motivates many of us to
 urge the governments of the world to release all they know about UFOs so
 that the people of the world, and especially scientists, can begin to
 come to grips with a mystery that has far too long been subjected to
 secrecy and ridicule."
 With all this ferment, it's somewhat sobering to note that the Canadian
 government is utterly uninterested.
 In Winnipeg, at the Canadian forces' aerospace control and surveillance
 centre, staff officer captain Jim McLean tells me that our air force
 gathers reports of UFO sightings, but little else. "In essence, what
 this office does is accumulate all the files and reports, and keep them
 on file=97 we don't assess or investigate them."
 McLean says the government used to look into unusual sightings, but "it
 took up too much time for things that used to prove to be natural
 events, i.e. meteor showers. It took up many, many man-hours. We hold
 them on file, and can copy everything and send it off to anybody who's
 =A9 1996 NOW Communications Inc. NOW and NOW Magazine and the NOW design
     are protected through trademark registration.
 What would happen IF...?
 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 thinktank, 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 testified.
 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.=20
 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 under from 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 ther primary allegiance to
 the planet instead of that individual government. Nationalism is the
 only game in town."

Next: Inside the Military UFO Underground