There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry. There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... Our political life is also predicated on openness. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress. – J. Robert Oppenheimer
It’s probably the worst kept secret in modern history, that buried in many top secret government files lies strange encounters with UFOs, and even aliens, over the past 60-plus years. Some of those files, like the ones kept by the US government on the Roswell incident, are yet to be released. The Roswell files and others like them could be the ones to finally establish (publicly anyway) whether we have been visited by aliens. This, however, isn’t news to a lot of people. In 2007 Fox News reported in Dead Airman's Affidavit: Roswell Aliens Were Real :
Military authorities issued a press release, which began: "The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence officer of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc." The headlines screamed: "Flying Disc captured by Air Force". Yet, just 24 hours later, the military changed its story and claimed the object it had first thought was a "flying disc" was a weather balloon that had crashed on a nearby ranch.
The key witness was U.S. Army Maj. Jesse Marcel, the intelligence officer who had gone to the ranch to recover the wreckage.
He described the metal as being wafer-thin but incredibly tough.
It was as light as balsa wood, but couldn't be cut or burned.
These and similar accounts of the incident have largely been dismissed by all except the most dedicated believers.
Astonishing new twist
But last week came an astonishing new twist to the Roswell mystery.
Lt. Walter Haut was the public-relations officer at the base in 1947 and was the man who issued the original and subsequent press releases after the crash on the orders of the base commander, Col. William Blanchard.
Haut died in December 2005, but left a sworn affidavit to be opened only after his death.
Last week, the text was released. It asserts that the weather-balloon claim was a cover story and that the real object had been recovered by the military and stored in a hangar.
He described seeing not just the craft, but alien bodies.
Another report in May 2008 showed the still delicate nature of the UFO phenomenon Britain Opens Up Secret UFO Files :
LONDON — The men were air traffic controllers. Experienced, calm professionals. Nobody was drinking.
What they saw has never been explained. And they were so worried about losing their jobs that they demanded their names be kept off the official reports.
No one, they knew, would believe their claim that an unidentified flying object landed at the airfield they were overseeing in the east of England, touched down briefly, then took off again at tremendous speed.
But that's what they reported happening at four in the afternoon on April 19, 1984, at an unspecified small airport near the eastern coast of England.
Their "Report of Unusual Aerial Phenomenon" is one of more than 1,000 pages of formerly secret UFO documents released Wednesday by Britain's National Archives.
"Everyone became aware that the object was unidentified," the report on the incident said. "SATCO [codename for a controller with 14 years' experience] reports that the object came in 'at speed,' made a touch and go on runway 27, then departed at 'terrific speed' in a 'near vertical' climb."
The incident is one of the more credible in the newly public files because it was reported by air traffic controllers, said David Clarke, a UFO expert who has worked with the National Archives on the document release.
But we get a glimpse of the stigma that still surrounds UFO sightings and reports, and why people are hesitant to report them:
He said other incidents were at times reported by aircraft crews whose members also asked to remain anonymous because they did not want to jeopardize their careers by seeming to believe in UFOs.
Dismissals of UFO sightings are in tune with the current media and government political correctness, and at the end of the article we see how this is done:
The vast majority of the reports come from members of the public who see strange things in the sky and jump to the conclusion that a UFO is involved even though there is likely a logical scientific explanation for what they are observing, experts say.
"Mostly it's well-intentioned witnesses who are misidentifying things," said Nick Pope, another UFO expert who helped the Ministry of Defense investigate the phenomenon. "The most common things are aircraft lights, bright stars and planets, satellites, meteors, airships and things like that."
Some of the reports are fairly easy to explain — and quite possibly influenced by a pint or two of beer.
This was the case when a number of people leaving a Tunbridge Wells pub at 9:30 at night reported seeing a strange craft "with red and green" lights.
Asked by police where it seemed to be traveling, the pub crawlers said it appeared to be heading for London's Gatwick Airport.
It didn't take a scientist to figure out it was a commercial plane making a routine approach.
Like the air traffic controllers, however, I had an experience in 2001 which is not so easily explained, which I reported in a blog post in February this year:
My UFO Encounter, and Other Crazy Speculations
Fortunately the only thing at stake for me is a possibly the further denigration of an already slightly crazy reputation for being a couple of fries short of a Happy Meal. I don’t mind sticking my neck out at all, and it may or may not be a bad thing that the older I get the less I care about what others think. I like to call a spade a spade, or, in this case, a UFO a UFO, not “commercial aircraft lights”, when I know better. Whether these craft are piloted by humans, aliens, or automatically isn’t the important point. The point is that they are strange, unconventional (for example making no sound), and many reports say they are capable of speeds not attainable by any conventional aircraft on earth today – that we are aware of, and we are talking in the range of 12,000 mph (19,312 kph) to 16,000 mph (25,749 kph) in some estimated cases.
Some world governments finally open formerly classified UFO files:
One of the latest from the British archives, published August 5 in The Australian Winston Churchill may have ordered UFO cover-up, National Archives files show
The allegation came from a member of the public whose grandfather had acted as one of Churchill's bodyguards during the latter stages of the war. The correspondent, whose name has been blacked out from the released files, wrote in August 1999 to ask about an incident over the British coast in the 1940s, when airmen saw a metallic object draw alongside their aircraft and hover near by.
[b]The man said: "My grandfather witnessed the discussion of the event by both Mr Churchill and Mr (Dwight) Eisenhower in the United States, and the great concern that it caused in both countries.
"During the discussion with Mr Churchill, a consultant dismissed any possibility that the object had been a missile, since a missile could not suddenly match its speed with a slower aircraft and then accelerate again.
``Another person at the meeting raised the possibility of an unidentified flying object, at which point Mr Churchill declared that the incident should be immediately classified for at least 50 years and its status reviewed by a future prime minister."
The correspondent urged the MoD not to "dismiss my attempts to pursue this matter as trivial or motivated by 'crackpot' thinking".
The MoD followed his wishes, but was only able to find records relating to Churchill's general interest in UFOs. In 1952 the leader ordered his staff to investigate a flurry of UFO sightings. "What does all this stuff about flying saucers amount to?" he wrote in a memo. "What can it mean? What is the truth?"
A minute in the MoD file observes: "I propose [to] respond robustly, advising that we are unaware of any closed defence records on this subject dating from the time of WWII and referring him to the [Public Record Office - now the National Archives] and Cabinet Office."
The released file is one of more than 3500 cases that came to the attention of the MoD in the period between 1995 and 2003.
None of them was considered evidence of a threat to British airspace, and the UFO unit was closed last year after it became deluged with requests that were made under the Freedom of Information Act.
UK National Archives
Canada releases UFO X-Files to the World
Canadian Defence Research Board:
Source of the Canadian files:Library and Archives Canada
Denmark: The Truth is now out there
France: France: Government Opens U.F.O. Files
Brazil: Is the truth out there? Brazil releases UFO files
Yes, the question of whether we are alone in the universe cannot be answered with any certainty for some people unless an alien spacecraft lands on the White House lawn, but perhaps the newly released documents can help point researchers on the right track.
BRAZILIAN MILITARY RECOGNIZE UFO RESEARCH AND RELEASE CLASSIFIED INFORMATION
Brazil and UFOs: Making Sure the Truth Is Out There
Brazilian Ufology Supports Mexican Military Regarding The Episode Of March 2004
Spain: Military UFO Records Released: The Spanish Experience*
Russia: Russian Navy UFO records say aliens love oceans
Peru: Peru's Official UFO Office
Mexico: Mexico's Roswell
MEXICO'S DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE RELEASES UFO INFORMATION
Sweden: UFO Sweden releases 18,000 Swedish UFO reports to the public domain
Uruguay: Uruguay Declassified Files -
ET Hypothesis Stands
New Zealand: New Zealand releases UFO files
Finland: Secret UFO video filmed by Finnish officials was published
Ireland: Ulster's X-files: dossier of UFO sightings released
Japan: Japan's Top Government Spokesman: UFOs 'Definitely' Exist
Australia: The Australian UFO Research Network UFO Disclosure Project
China: Michael Cohen: China Discloses UFO Reality: Aliens Sending UFO Probes Here
India: India to announce UFO's are REAL
United Nations: U.N. to Establish Protocols for When We Make Contact With Aliens
Despite partial disclosure, Europe's UFO files remain mostly under wraps
EU call to open secret UFO files
A EUROPEAN Union MP is calling for member governments to open their secret files on UFOs, saying people need to know about close encounters of the third kind.(Emphasis added)
Mario Borghezio, an Italian member of the European Parliament, overnight said that the EU needs its own X Files archive where anyone can see information on UFOs - including data gathered by the military.
Mr Borghezio said all European governments should go public and stop what he called a "systematic cover-up".… Opening the files is not unprecedented: Last year, Britain published 4000 pages online on 800 alleged encounters with aliens during the 1980s and 1990s.
Astronaut UFO reports
Quotes from US and USSR Astronauts
"I would also like to point out that most astronauts are very reluctant to even discuss UFOs due to the great numbers of people who have indiscriminately sold fake stories and forged documents abusing their names and reputations without hesitation. Those few astronauts who have continued to have participation in the UFO field have had to do so very cautiously. There are several of us who do believe in UFOs and who have had occasion to see a UFO on the ground, or from an airplane. There was only one occasion from space which may have been a UFO….(Emphasis added)
On several occasions, he described his own sighting in Germany in 1951:
"Several days in a row we sighted groups of metallic, saucer-shaped vehicles at great altitudes over the base, and we tried to get close to them, but they were able to change direction faster than our fighters. I do believe UFOs exist and that the truly unexplained ones are from some other technologically advanced civilization. From my association with aircraft and spacecraft, I think I have a pretty good idea of what everyone on this planet has and their performance capabilities, and I'm sure some of the UFOs at least are not from anywhere on Earth."
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin (second man to walk on the moon) Recounts Apollo 11 UFO Encounter
Edgar Mitchell (sixth man to walk on the moon) UFO interview on Kerrang Radio 23 july 2008 (“We have been visited”):
The extraordinary claim by a former US Air Force airman that NASA is aware of an alien moon base
Major-General Pavel Popovich, pioneer Cosmonaut, "Hero of the Soviet Union," and the President of All-Union Ufology Association of the Commonwealth of Independent States:
"Today it can be stated with a high degree of confidence that observed manifestations of UFOs are no longer confined to the modern picture of the world, or the simple refutation of the orthodox natural science paradigm. The historical evidence of the phenomenon, the singularity of its newly gained kinematic, energetic, and psychophysical features allows us to hypothesize that ever since mankind has been co-existing with this extraordinary substance, it has manifested a high level of intelligence and technology. The UFO sightings have become the constant component of human activity and require a serious global study. In order to realize the position of man on earth and in the universe, ufology, the scientific study of the UFO phenomenon, should take place in the midst of other sciences dealing with man and the world...
"The influence the UFO has on people, as well as the effects it produces, should become the items of special research. The UFO's interaction with the environment, the behavior that it motivates, and its genesis, also present interesting areas for concentrated study. Today, many specialists have come to the opinion that [UFO] phenomenon research should be taken up along with understanding and comprehension of other unexplained phenomena... The development of new approaches for the identification and study of energy and information processes will allow for an enthusiastic move toward the comprehension of the phenomenon. The results of these studies should aid the survival of the people on earth...
"It's necessary to carry out the popular ufological enlightenment, since the probability for a meeting of a person with a UFO exists, and this person should be ready for this event. Precautionary measures are especially important. It's necessary to tell the truth, which has been distorted previously by the politically engaged sciences and most recently by ufological dilettantes. The main purpose of the primary local groups, that of controlling the ufological situation, mustn't be forgotten. The ufologists should know all the UFO's landing places and contacts in their regions. They should have relations with the local authorities, and in particular, with the police, the civil defense bodies, as well as information, scientific, and medical organizations." (Popovich, P., "Ufology in the Commonwealth of Independent States: Organization Problems," in the MUFON 1992 International UFO Symposium Proceedings.
The Roswell Incident
In my opinion this is one of the best pieces of literature assessing the UFO/Alien phenomenon, by Australian UFO researcher Warren Aston:
Finding the hard answers to Earth's greatest mystery within a scientific paradigm
Religion and Aliens/UFOs
According to a report on Catholic.net:
Extraterrestrials: Do they exist?
The head of the Vatican Observatory thinks there’s a good chance they do, and that their existence would be in keeping with the faith.
In a May 14 interview with the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano May 14, headlined “The Extraterrestrial Is My Brother,” astronomer Jesuit Father José Gabriel Funes said that according to his “scientific judgment,” the existence of extraterrestrials is a “possibility.”
“Astronomers contend that the universe is made up of a hundred billion galaxies, each of which is composed of hundreds of billions of stars,” he said. “Many of these, or almost all of them, could have planets. [So] how can you exclude that life has developed somewhere else?”…….
Father Funes, who took over as head of the observatory in 2006, denied that the existence of other intelligent life-forms would contradict Christian belief.
“As there exist many creatures on earth, so there could be other beings, also intelligent, created by God,” he said. “This doesn’t contradict our faith because we cannot put limits on the creative freedom of God. To say it as St. Francis [of Assisi], if we consider some earthly creatures as ‘brother’ and ‘sister,’ why couldn’t we also talk of an ‘extraterrestrial brother’? He would also belong to creation.”
The Argentine Jesuit explained that scientists studying the question of extraterrestrial life have made much progress in recent years, and will soon be able to identify if other planets have the conditions necessary for life. He added that, in theory, forms of life could also exist in parts of the universe without oxygen and hydrogen.
When asked how aliens could be redeemed, Father Funes referred to the Gospel parable of the lost sheep. Aliens, he speculated, could already be redeemed because they could have remained in full friendship with God, while the human race “could be precisely the lost sheep, the sinners that need the shepherd.”……
If intelligent life did exist, had fallen and could not be redeemed by God, either through Christ or in another way, this could pose a challenge to the Christian faith, Lewis acknowledged.
But, he said, “I think a Christian is sitting pretty if his faith never encounters more formidable difficulties than these conjectural phantoms.”….
Brother Guy believes there have been no theological statements on the subject by the Vatican apart from one allegedly made in the 1950s that he has so far been unable to track down.
Nonetheless, contrary to many reports in the secular press, Father Funes’ comments to L’Osservatore Romano do not represent an official Vatican statement but remain merely his personal views.
However, the fact they were published in the Vatican newspaper signifies support of the wider Church for the acceptability of his position regarding the possible existence of intelligent aliens.
“Essentially, it is evidence that the Vatican hierarchy agrees that there’s no problem,” Brother Guy said May 14.
Two of Today’s Most Prominent Scientists on Aliens
Stephen Hawking on Aliens, and the possible alien threat
Richard Dawkins On Aliens, God, And The Complexity Of Life
Dawkins Explains Himself
My concluding comments:
Be prepared for some major revelations in the near future as more and more formerly secret UFO files are disclosed. We don’t know the full story yet, and maybe not even quarter of it. One UFO expert has described the government cover-ups as a “cosmic watergate”, and British author Timothy Good was perhaps the first to blow the lid on this with his book Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-up (1987). One thing most UFO researchers face is ridicule – lots of it – but Good and others like him must now be feeling justified with the on-going disclosures. Still, there will be skeptics, doubters, and perhaps an on-going debunking campaign in some quarters. Project Blue Book was such a campaign.
The origin of these UFOs/aliens is unknown (except perhaps to some privileged insiders), but it seems unlikely that they would travel enormous light year distances, even assuming they have the technology, just for a brief sightseeing stopover or to dissect a few animals and experiment with humans, then dash back to wherever they came from. It is my view that they have had a very long association with us, going back even before recorded history. In some way it is also possible that they may have planted the seeds of life on earth, and then allowed evolution to take its course, or maybe even intervened occasionally. As Michael Shermer pointed out:
As scientist extraordinaire (most profoundly as inventor of the communications satellite) and author of an empire of science fiction books and films (most notably 2001: A Space Odyssey), Arthur C. Clarke is one of the most far-seeing visionaries of our time. Thus, his pithy quotations tug harder on our collective psyches for their inferred insights into humanity and our place in the cosmos. And none do so more than his famous three laws:
Clarke's First Law: "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
Clarke's Second Law: "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."
Clarke's Third Law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." ……
Science and technology have changed our world more in the past century than it changed in the previous hundred centuries. It took 10,000 years to get from the cart to the airplane, but only 66 years to get from powered flight to a lunar landing. Moore's Law of computer power doubling every eighteen months continues unabated and is now down to about a year. Ray Kurzweil, in The Age of Spiritual Machines, calculates that there have been thirty-two doublings since World War II, and that the Singularity point may be upon us as early as 2030. The Singularity (as in the center of a black hole where matter is so dense that its gravity is infinite) is the point at which total computational power will rise to levels that are so far beyond anything that we can imagine that they will appear near infinite and thus, relatively speaking, be indistinguishable from omniscience (note the suffix!).
When this happens the world will change more in a decade than it did in the previous thousand decades. Extrapolate that out a hundred thousand years, or a million years (an eye blink on an evolutionary time scale and thus a realistic estimate of how far advanced ETI will be, unless we happen to be the first space-faring species, which is unlikely), and we get a gut-wrenching, mind-warping feel for just how godlike these creatures would seem.
Stephen Hawking’s view of the alien threat is a bit scary, and perhaps there are plundering “alien nomads” out there, but I tend to agree with Edgar Mitchell that they are probably not hostile (most anyway), otherwise “we could have been gone by now”. There could be two motives for their apparent interest in shutting down nuclear and missile sites, especially ICBMs (inter-continental ballistic missiles) – to protect themselves from humans acquiring too much firepower, or just to save us from our own potential destruction, or both. Whoever they are, they have much more power and technology than we do, powers perhaps beyond our imagination. We can only hope, and I think that hope is fairly justified, as Professor Hawking expressed, that “they will come in peace”. Considering earth’s very violent history, and ultimately the use of nuclear weapons in 1945 to kill thousands of other human beings, perhaps they have decided it’s time to make their presence known, or maybe even stop a future holocaust. Perhaps we are building a modern Babel, and "the gods" have decided it's time to intervene.