Wednesday, January 5, 2022

The Wider UFO Picture

     Sometimes it can be difficult to stay aware of the forest as we closely examine the trees. Details matter, of course they do, but what is the "takeaway" from some of our deep dives into UFO World?

The late Frank Wisner, who ran the
Office of Policy Coordination before
becoming Deputy Director of Plans
In Wayward Sons, I take extensive looks at some of the organizations involved in mid 20th century UFO shenanigans. They included NICAP, the FBI, the CIA, and some specific aspects of the Agency are explored, such as the Office of Policy Coordination and the Directorate of Plans. The actions of specific individuals are also examined, as compared to just suggesting the ever present "they" were up to something, because details matter. Indeed they do.

That stated, a more overarching plotline might be considered as well. The intelligence community, along with a media consisting of "journalists" who are uninterested in accuracy for a variety of reasons, acted in ways that cultivated unsubstantiated UFO-related beliefs. That is the case regardless of what legitimately interesting and unexplained phenomena might lie at the heart of an extremely small percentage of UFO cases.

UFO researchers, and the orgs they founded and represented, subsequently parroted and embellished the unsubstantiated tales of interplanetary visitors. While there are many different reasons for the credulous actions of UFO investigators, the fact will remain the cumulative effect was a poorly informed public. 

In spite of all the sensationalism, hundreds of conferences, thousands of books, and countless hours of podcasts and online presentations, there is very little established as fact about UFOs. As one contact once put it, "Everything we know about UFOs would fit on a postcard." Unfortunately, many poorly informed people think they know a whole, whole lot.

Researchers such as Greg Bishop, Mark Pilkington, and Adam Gorightly, to their credit, extensively explored the story of Paul Bennewitz. The saga orbited around the actions of such figures as Richard Doty, William Moore, Leonard Stringfield, and Myrna Hansen.

Greg Bishop's Project Beta:
The Story of Paul Bennewitz,
National Security, and the
Creation of a Modern UFO Myth
As the referenced researchers demonstrated, there is virtually nothing in the saga that can be accepted as true. The entire account of aliens kidnapping people, abusing cattle, and inhabiting an underground base in Dulce grew out of regressive hypnosis sessions and fabricated stories released upon an eagerly receptive UFO community. In their individual works, Bishop, Pilkington, and Gorightly tracked this down because details matter. 

What they also teach us, in addition to the details, is the saga contributed to the public becoming grossly misinformed about supposed UFO phenomena. Extremely important point: Many of the talking points first introduced during the Bennewitz Affair continue to be widely accepted today as truthful, as well as embellished upon, as if they were steps in a legitimate unfolding research process. Many people who subscribe to the beliefs simply could not tell you where the Dulce base legend, for instance, actually came from; they just unquestioningly accept "everybody" knows it.

James Carrion took deep dives into the UFO events of 1946-1947. His resulting research included extensive examination of official government documents, establishing such circumstances as the press being misinformed of R&D on a supposedly airborne weapon comparable to the atomic bomb. The referenced operation, Project Seal, was actually related to underwater explosives and had been discontinued before military officers promoted it as the latest and greatest flying weapon.

Similarly, Carrion documented how an intelligence analyst reported his assessment the "Ghost Rockets" story was a deception. The analyst, a Robert A. Winston, explained why he suspected the Swedes were aware of the origin of any such rockets. Winston further explained his reasons for concluding Swedish officers weren't worried about the rockets. Incidentally, Winston became a CIA officer and his story overlapped into my research of the 1960's scene surrounding NICAP as well.

Details matter, and we should indeed follow such lines of research as far as possible. A panoramic view of such circumstances, however, further reveals meddling in things UFO. 

I contend that the wider story from one instance and well-researched saga to the next is that the circumstances exist at all. We have clear and documented evidence the UFO topic has been manipulated since the outset of the modern phenomenon, 1940's to present. That's the case completely independent of the motives and intentions of the players, and it subsequently impacts the public, their beliefs, and their abilities to think critically. While it matters who the involved parties were and what they did, a relevant point that should not be overlooked is the very basis for much of the popular beliefs is grounded in demonstrably unreliable information. 

It's been that way from the outset. We would be wise to act accordingly.  


  1. Excellent usual.
    Sadly your preaching to the choir here :)
    If only the other 95% of people "interested" in the UFO subject read your books or the works of the authors you mentioned.
    The grifters and clowns know what the majority of punters want.. "crashed saucers" and "disclosure is imminent"...

  2. Thanks for your comments, guys! The interest is always appreciated.

  3. I fully agree with your statement "that the very basis for much of the popular beliefs is grounded in demonstrably unreliable information." I'd add that the television industry is careening along with series like "Ancient Aliens" adding to the public's confusion. At the very least, a series like this should be demonstrating in word and deed that they're following the principles of the scientific method and logical reasoning when these cases are discussed. But almost every dialog between the show's hosts illustrate how far off the beam they are. These shows traffic in the big "what if" without giving us concrete facts and information about the UFO phenomenon. Most questions and ideas are simply speculative.

    1. Co-signed. Always good to see you drop by and speak up, Carol. Thank you for your interest and comments.

  4. Carrion has done wonderful research, but his views on Ghost Rockets are conjectural and speculative. For a judicious treatment of the subject, see "UFOs and Government" by Michael Swords, Robert Powell, et al, Chapter 2 Ghost Rockets (with extensive footnotes)

    1. The cited incidents and research are detailed in James Carrion's ANACHRONISM, available for free download in searchable pdf form at the link below. Chapter 10 details, with links and citations, how Project Seal was misrepresented to the press in spite of the fact it was at that time a discontinued operation.

      Here is a direct link to the second instance I cited per Carrion, a 1946 report composed by Robert A. Winston:

      Nothing speculative about either instance.

    2. I am familiar with Carrion's work, and do not hold that either of your citations are speculative, rather that Carrion's theory of strategic deception in the case of the Ghost Rockets mystery is conjectural. I stand by my comments.

  5. I feel like the current political gears and narratives on this issue are locked up due to the difficult problem of the "science" vs "religion" questions concerning the phenomenon. The NICAP era of the 50s/60s reminds me so much of Popular Mechanics Magazine, basement tinkerers and Do-It-Yourself Engineers, hungry for UFOs to be made from metal and doodads they can discover and create with homespun-STEM science. The films of that era also reflect the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis, that UFOs are like mechanical buses and cars from outer space. That era and mindset has increasingly shared bandwidth with more inter-dimensional theories and thoughts , but the inter dimensional research can sometimes be very challenging for people who operate within a traditionally religious conceptual framework. Imagine the drama and infighting at the highest levels of decision making as humans from different backgrounds try to hash all this out for public consumption. On that note, I still need to read Wayward Sons!

  6. All this talk conveniently ignores the many excellent quality UFO incidents that have accumulated, that are clearly of structured vehicles of some kind. The large body of these cases establish beyond much reasonable doubt that at least some UFOs are somebody else’s hardware.

    As one example of many, let's look at the Nash-Fortenberry UFO sighting:

    Location: Over Chesapeake Bay, VA
    July 1952

    This was an unidentified flying object sighting that occurred on July 14, 1952, when two experienced commercial pilots (William B. Nash and William H. Fortenberry) saw eight UFOs flying in a tight echelon formation over Chesapeake Bay in the state of Virginia. Though the encounter lasted only twelve to fifteen seconds, Nash and Fortenberry were able to offer a detailed moment-by-moment chronology of events, and a relatively accurate measurement of the objects’ motion and size when compared to well-known attractions. Both pilots were World War II U.S. Navy veterans, and had been trained in identification of enemy aircraft — Nash was a Naval Air Transport veteran who specialized in anti-submarine patrols, while Fortenberry worked with the Navy’s air experimental wing.

    Nash stated that the sighting consisted of “six bright objects streaking towards us at tremendous speed…They had the fiery aspect of hot coals, but of a much greater glow…Their shape was clearly outlined and evidently circular!” He would go on to state that this color was the same on each craft, which themselves glowed around “twenty times” brighter than the city lights below them.

    A little more of the extensive detailed sighting by two expert observers, from :

    The closer the objects got to the airliner the clearer the two men could see they were in a purposeful “narrow echelon formation”. The leader, according to Nash, was the “lowest” in the formation, with “each following craft slightly higher”. Then, the leader appeared to attempt to slow suddenly. Nash would continue:

    “We received this impression because the second and third wavered slightly and seemed almost to overrun the leader, so that for a brief moment during the remainder of their approach the positions of these three varied. It looked very much as if an element of “human” or “intelligence” error had been introduced in so far as the following two did not react soon enough when the leader began to slow down and so almost overran him!”

    As the two men continued to observe the row of glowing circular objects, they suddenly and with lightning speed changed their direction. They would “flip” on their edges with the glowing surface facing the pilots’ right. As they did so, the bottoms of the craft were “not clearly visible”.

    This would lead the pilots to believe that the bottoms of the craft were, in fact, unlighted. The same appeared true for the edge of the objects. Nash would describe their overall appearance as being “much like coins”.

    The encounter was corroborated by several groups of independent ground witnesses. The case has been recorded in the United States Air Force Blue book project as “unknown”. Major Dewey Fournet, who was involved with the Project Blue Book project years later, indicated that the incident was “one of the most detailed and reliable cases” of the times.

    1. David Lunt opened his 11-paragraph comment asserting, "All this talk conveniently ignores the many excellent quality UFO incidents..."

      I made my points of long term and demonstrable unreliable information, stating, "This is the case regardless of what legitimately interesting and unexplained phenomena might lie at the heart of an extremely small percentage of UFO cases."

      Ya musta missed that part. Maybe your attention to detail could use some attention to detail.