Do you believe
the government is telling the truth about UFOs? Each of the government's
UFO studies–projects Blue Book, Grudge and Sign–claimed
to have made a clean breast of things.
Yet, according to JAHCUS's Clark, 80% of Americans "believe
the government is hiding evidenceof UFOs."
David M. Jacobs, a historian
at Temple University, says the government's own paper trail suggests there
may be a good reason to distrust the official version.
He points out that between 1953 and 1969,
the entire period the Air Force was responsible
for investigating UFOs, its officers operated under standing
orders from the Joint Chiefs of Staff that made
it a crime under the Espionage Act to share UFO reports
with unauthorized personnel.
"This action effectively
stops the flow of information to the public," says Jacobs. "Only
if Blue Book could
positively identify a sighting as a hoax or misidentification
would the Air Force release information to the
The rules, Project
Blue Book advisor Hynek once remarked, made it impossible to evaluate
report as anything other than a natural object,
weather or atmospheric phenomenon, a hoax or a hallucination.
Hynek claimed that
the Air Force was also under economic pressure to reduce the paperwork
that UFO reports
generated. To help keep the work flow manageable,
said Hynek, Blue Book made arbitrary rules. For example,
sightings reported by anyone under 18 were automatically
disregarded. Toward the end of the project, enlisted
men were allowed to summarily dismiss cases by claiming
they were filed by crackpots.
Now, many of
the sightings that Blue Book and earlier UFO investigations refused to
examine are about to come out.
In 1980 a group called Citizens Against Unidentified
Flying Objects Secrecy filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of
Information Act that asked the National Security
Agency (NSA) to open its files on 239 sightings.
In documents filed under a top-secret security classification,
NSA responded that revealing its knowledge
of UFO activity would damage national security.
But now, under
revised declassification rules, many of these documents are being released
by virtue of their age.
Included among them are the Joint Chiefs of Staff
communications about the Iran sighting. Historians and
ufologists may soon have the final pieces of the
great UFO puzzle.
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