Carlos Ferguson (Argentina)
“Too many sane people are seeing things. The government is probably conducting some revolutionary experiments» (Dr. Harry Steckel, US Veterans Administration psychiatrist in 1947)
«The Pentagon could not imagine that oval, fast, erratic, mobile objects in the sky were anything other than mental illusions» (Dr. Jacques Vallée)
For years (more precisely since 1952), the Pentagon had been maintaining a position of certain incompetence, and confusion in the face of the UFO presence.
The experience of World War II had already been lived, when Germany had developed some devices that surprised the Allies. It is known that had such elements been available a few months earlier, the course of the war would have been very different.
For this reason, in the early 50s it was a real concern, knowing that there were objects with unusual engineering and maneuverability and speed, in the middle of the Cold War. And the additional factor was the pressure exerted by the Press at that time.
Nuclear fear was rampant, and many of these observations could implicate enemy weapons.
As the great analyst and Ufological pioneer Aime Michel rightly points out:
«I believed then, like everyone else, that these were recovered German machines, that the Russians were testing.» (QUOTE 1)
An anecdote that allows us to see what the situation was like at that time is reported by Major Donal Keyhoe, in his book «Flying Saucers are real», and it is about a dialogue between him and a former Air Force Intelligence officer (USAF). ), nicknamed «Steele» (assumed name used by Keyhoe):
Steele = Mr. Keyhoe… I was in the European theater during the war. Do you have any idea what they are?»
Keyhoe = «No, I just started checking. But I’d love to know what you have.»
Steele = «I may be so wrong, but I’ve always wondered about the ‘foo fighters’ our pilots saw over Europe near the end of the war.» They were kind of circular contraptions, they actually chased our planes several times. We thought they were something the Nazis had made up, and I still do.»
Keyhoe = «So who’s casting them now?»
Steele = «Well, obviously it’s…Russia or us. If it’s the Soviet Union, well, that’s what worries me. I don’t think it should be treated as a joke, the way some people in the Pentagon take it.» (end of quote)
This brief example clearly shows the state of the military and security organizations in the US at that time. On the one hand, the fear of some enemy weapon, and on the other; disbelief and jokes on a sensitive topic.
And as an additional element, the experimentation of new weapons and prototypes that later gave rise to the astronautical career, which had already begun.
In such a situation, it is logical that dissident positions exist even within the US Armed Forces themselves, as indeed occurred with the Navy and the USAF.
And that’s how 1952 came….
THE WATERFALL OF CASES OF 1952
In the aforementioned context, there was a true avalanche of cases.
When we know today that the famous Pentagon Conference was held on July 29, 1952 by General Samford, the concern was extreme.
Only the uninformed on duty who gather historical data «at will» seem to be unaware of what happened at that time. To do this, you have to take the trouble to review files and information.
That year (in pilot case reports and radar pickups alone), there were 158 reports (as far as I know in my copious file). This implies almost a complaint every two days!.
The implicated bases were almost 40 (some with 2 or 3 cases): Fairchild, Mitchel, Sandia, Shreveport, Barksdale, Moriarty, Davis-Monthan, George, Naval Air El Centro, Kirtland, Yellow Earth, Walker, Kelly, Kirksville, Holloman , Patrick, Andrews, MacDill, Hamilton, Elmendorf, Langley, Selfridge, McChord, McGuire, Keesler, Lake Charles, Congaree, Chickasaw, Brookley, Warner-Robbins, Shaw, Otis, Ladd, Pope, Larson, among others.
This in several states and with situations of near air collision events and extreme tension.
The remembered Dr. James MacDonald pointed out about that year:
«The wave of 1952 was possibly surpassed in intensity by that of cases registered in 1954 in France. In 1952, so much news of UFOs reached North American air bases that the CIA considered that they posed a national security problem: it was considered an unacceptable risk, in the event of an enemy attack against the United States, to obstruct the airways. of information by large number of reports on the evidently peaceful UFOs.” (QUOTE 2)
To this we must add that there were no less than 52 radar captures in US territory…!!
I have these data in my file (there must be more), although the personal statistical relationship is extensive and exhaustive. Thus I was able to review all available sources of Pilot cases and radar detections in the US in that 1952. The number of resulting UFO pilot encounters was 158 episodes. Of them, there were 52 in the month of July! (In the end it was the conference at the Pentagon). This is represented in the following two graphs.
The most outstanding cases of that hellish year for the USAF could be these 10:
April 17, 1952: (ALASKA / ATLANTIC): There was an alert from the National Air Defense against radar captures, interpreting a possible Soviet attack due to cases of UFOs in the area.
May 9, 1952: George Air Force Base, California: Two F-86 pilots report a UFO and give chase. The unknown object made several 180 degree turns to port and starboard until it was away. It was also observed from the ground by controllers.
May 23 to August 16, 1952: Washington International Airport: Radars repeatedly detected the presence of strange echoes (19 in total), although only 3 had visual confirmation. Repeated alert departures were made in military planes from different places, to find the intruders, which was unsuccessful. The UFOs showed smart behavior and evaded all ground air attacks. These cases generated a deep crisis in the North American commanders, and gave rise to the creation of Project Blue Book.
June 21, 1952: Tennessee: UFO flies over the Oak Ridge Laboratory, in a secret and prohibited area for the flight of aircraft. It was picked up on radar and an F-47 was sent in pursuit. The UFO made several attacks on the F-47, until it disappeared.
July 1, 1952: Fort Monmouth, New Jersey: Two silver objects were tracked at 50,000 feet. They were going slow but then they had a terrible increase in speed, all captured visually and by radar. The head of Project Blue Book, Edward Ruppelt, said of the case: «It looked as if they had gone south-west through Boston, across Long Island, hovering for a few minutes over the secret army laboratories at Fort Monmouth, and ending up moving away towards Washington.»
July 12, 1952: Williams Bay, Wisconsin: Air intelligence information report describes radar tracks from three different radars with unidentified objects.
July 14, 1952: C / Norlfolk, Virginia: The classic case of the DC-4 of «Pan American» that flew to the Miami Airport. Pilots William Nash and William Fonteberry saw 6 bright disc-like objects hurtling towards the plane at high speed. They carried out several maneuvers (they made a sudden turn in open defiance of the law of inertia). Impressive speeds were calculated for them.
July 19/20, 1952: Washington: Another classic event: UFOs over the White House and the Capitol, captured by radar, and which generated fear of a possible Russian attack. Objects that were more than 5 hours performing unusual maneuvers.
July 25, 1952: Osceola, Wisconsin: Numerous unidentified objects were detected on radar by the 674th Squadron. The speeds varied in the scope of the radar between 26,000 to 37,000 kilometers per hour.
December 4, 1952: Laredo: Impressive case for the journeyman pilot in an F-51 Mustang who was intercepting a discoidal UFO. That pounced on the plane. When the collision seemed inevitable, the object made another maneuver, although it grazed the right wing. The pilot was scared and descended in a spiral with the plane, to escape from there. When descending he suffered a nervous trauma and was hospitalized.
As noted in this synthesis, one must place oneself in the political-military context at that time, to realize the very critical situation of those days.
I was also interested in one aspect in particular: the speeds detected by pilots and radars on the ground and in the air in that 1952 North American. I was able to extract 36 episodes (graph below), where we see the range of speeds, which gives us an average of almost 3,700 kmph. The speeds can be minimal (70 km ph), to the most surprising (37,000 km ph).
With the above, it is clear the impact of what happened in 1952 was for the US Air Force and the CIA, who were expecting the worst in the Cold War.
And this was not happening just because it could be interpreted that the UFOs could be Russian. It is evident that there were cases that could not be explained so easily. This brought with it another problem: an enemy power could generate false information and flood cases, causing – what they called – “collective panic or hysteria”.
For this reason, an agreement had to be reached to calm the waters. And there the ROBERTSON PANEL appeared.
After the barrage of cases in 1952 and already with the «ROBERTSON PANEL» of 1953, the USAF sent the question into the orbit of «Science». The cases continued to be added to the «Blue Book», but it was key to being able to achieve a scientific word.
This is how the 4 days of analysis of some scientists on the subject occurred (four days for such a complex subject!, or to face this «annoying»).
The initial meeting was on January 14, 1953 under the direction of physicist Howard Robertson, and was seconded by physicist Luis Álvarez (later Nobel Prize winner), Frederick Durant (CIA official), physicist Samuel Goudsmit, astrophysicist Thornton Page, the physicist Lloyd Brekner and the astronomer Joseph Allen Hynek, who years later would turn the issue around and convert. All of them were skeptical about the UFO issue.
And they had to do an analysis of the Blue Book reports, and of thousands of cases, even though only 23 were chosen.
The official report of the Robertson Panel concluded that 90 percent of UFO sightings could be easily identified with meteorological, astronomical, or natural phenomena, and that the remaining 10 percent of UFO reports could, in all probability, be similarly explained with a detailed study.
The well-known explanations with planets, stars, meteorites, auroras, mirages, atmospheric temperature inversions and lenticular clouds were cited; or conventional phenomena such as airplanes, balloons, etc.
It was also suggested, to the USAF, that «public credulity» should be reduced and UFO reports demystified. A campaign was started with professionals such as psychiatrists, astronomers and others, to significantly reduce public interest in the issue. It was also recommended that the media be used to discredit, including influential media giants like the Walt Disney Corporation.
In a final paragraph of these 4 days of UFO review, it was said:
«That national security agencies take immediate steps to strip unidentified flying objects of the special status they have been accorded and the aura of mystery they have unfortunately acquired.»
It was also recommended that the government monitor civilian groups that study or investigate UFOs «because of their great potential influence on mass thinking and the possible use of such groups for subversive purposes.»
The conclusions and recommendations of the Robertson Panel had a major influence on official US policy regarding UFOs for many decades and represent a true scientific embarrassment, to examine such a complex issue in just 4 days, with obvious bias.
The 10% of the cases that remained as UFOs (according to the Panel), represent a percentage worthy of investigation, which was hidden under the rug for years.
But the Panel’s extreme concern was also how to differentiate an anomalous presence on radar from something Russian. For this reason, it was decided as key, that the cases should be treated individually and not explained as a whole.
He put it this way in a memo that said:
“…the study does not attempt to resolve the most fundamental aspect of the problem, which is to determine definitively the nature of the various phenomena that are causing these sightings, or to discover the means by which these causes and their visual and electronic effects can be identified. immediately. Our consulting panel stated that these solutions would likely lie on the fringes or just beyond the borders of our current phenomena.» (end of quote)
The memorandum continued with recommendations to different agencies, after analyzing some cases. (QUOTE 2)
This is how the years went by, until in 1965, and the US Air Force had to «load the UFO ballast», but given the growing number of complaints, the USAF Scientific Advisory Council met to recommend the creation of a new Project to address the cases that continued to occur. And then Condon appeared…
THE CONDON FIASCO (1966 – 1969)… or SCIENCE NEVER INVESTIGATED UFOs
«I knew that the Condon Committee was a joke… and that the science was elsewhere,» says Dr. Jacques Vallée (the world’s leading researcher and analyst).
Once again correct, Vallée also tells us that this was not the product of a secret military policy on the UFO issue, nor the work of a sinister «Silent Group», but more likely, the product of the confusion that was evident at all levels of the bureaucracy.
And Vallée explains:
“The military was reacting to the sightings in direct proportion to their impact on the press, which they were trying to minimize; and these reactions were clumsy.”
And he added that surely the Air Force was fed up and wanted to get rid of the problem.
For this reason, the creation of the Condon Project came to be a kind of «scientific» definition of the subject.
After 3 years of some other isolated investigation, the 1,500 pages of the Report only served to consider the matter «closed», with a negative conclusion, as we already know.
Even after this fiasco (which some deniers brandish as «the best scientific study on UFOs»), Condon himself burned all the files within a few hours, considering that all this was useless.
This was the lowest point for the reports and Ufology in general, as this story was sold as “the word of Science”.
Everything seemed to stay there and we would continue like this for years.
La Prensa, Hollywood and the investigators went ahead with the issue, for a simple reason: the denunciations never decreased throughout the world.
We had to wait almost 5 decades for the spokesmen of the Pentagon to refer to the UFO issue again. And then the Pandemic arrived and….
THE PENTAGON REOPENS THE QUESTION…
In the last 3 years, the Pentagon has confirmed the UFO reality defining the phenomenon as «UNKNOWN TECHNOLOGICAL CAPABILITY».
Different spokesmen were in charge of disseminating «the tip of the iceberg» of official cases, where US Navy pilots had had close encounters with objects in flight or even entering the water.
The apparent concern in some statements was made abundantly clear when some of the witnesses claimed that it was a matter of time before they had an in-flight altercation with one of those UFOs.
The Pentagon has turned around after 70 years, whether the usual disenchanted like it or not. And that turnaround has not culminated…
THE DISCONFORMS OF ALWAYS…
This is how the definition goes, which could be in addition to: «There is no whistle that suits you.»
This is how many of the popularizers and occasional opinion makers that exist in the UFO environment seem.
The vast majority of them are not researchers, or perhaps we find some “ex-researcher” who now prefers to debate on the sofa or stir coffee spoons, asking for “early retirement”.
We are not going to deny that there were reports «explained» under different tricks by the USAF and various organizations. But today I am convinced of what Jacques Vallée himself has argued: that this is part of the bewilderment and confusion of the competent bodies.
Be that as it may, the nonconformists (the majority with political discourse involved) have been boasting for years about the concealment of the great power of the north.
Already before the diffusion of the spokesmen of the Pentagon, the geopolitical interpreters of Ufology, stuffed us with repetitive phrases:
“They will never tell the truth” / “The Pentagon will never admit that there are Unidentified Persons”, etc.
Suddenly everything changes. Some cases are disseminated and it is confirmed that UFOs are a reality, since there are facts that cannot be explained so easily.
What attitude do nonconformists take?…
Some of his most common phrases that we can hear from the Pentagon announcement are these:
«If they’re talking now, it’s for a reason» / «I’m sure they’re not going to tell the whole truth» / «This smells like something strange» / «Why now and not before?» / “They will be covering other things”, etc.
We are not naive not to admit that there are State secrets, and that we only know the tip of the iceberg on the subject (the same was confessed by the Republican Chief of Intelligence himself).
At this point, some disseminators end up becoming the very thing that some ethicists or disseminators of the unusual have been accused of: conspiracy.
According to them, everything seems to be part of a Machiavellian capitalist conspiracy, in charge of silencing, hiding, censoring, restricting, etc… but they forget one detail in this particular case: the Navy cases were denounced by the Navy. same, when they could have silenced everything
In short: if they didn’t say anything before, why didn’t they say it? And now that they say it, why do they say it?
While they promote this (winning their dialectical «battle» of «Sierra Maestra against evil»), it is curious to note that none of them refers to why Beijing and Moscow never say anything about this issue (Could it be that UFOs only walk around America and don’t sympathize with Communism?).
Many of the ufologists, former ufologists, and popularizers on duty in our country, spend their time talking about the FBI, CIA, NORAD, PENTAGON, US GOVERNMENT, AIR FORCE, NASA, etc… when by chance in our homes we have a true exercise of ineffectiveness in an official center.
They say nothing about it, in complicit silence. It seems to be easier to discuss what happens in the halls of the Pentagon in Virginia or the Wright Patterson base in Ohio, than what happens in the official center of the Condor building in Buenos Aires.
And even less, when in their own Latin American countries (with the exception of the exemplary Uruguay), there are «commissions» on paper, which do not have any activity with the inclusion of some UFO cases as Aerospace phenomena (except to oust them).
What makes them put all their argument on one side, mentioning everything that happens beyond the Rio Grande and ignore the one in the house itself?…
Let us be wary of those who rant against «Uncle Sam» and remain silent or passive with the «dirty laundry» at home.
ANALYZING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT
The declaimers on duty seem not to notice the course we have outlined, leading to the current situation, where once again the Pentagon has entered the scene.
But the difference with the past, is that this time, several cases are confirmed and special preponderance is given to those that remain UNIDENTIFIED.
Hence, some spokesperson for the military organization labeled it as «UNKNOWN TECHNOLOGICAL CAPACITY».
This was a mortal blow to the deniers on duty, since it confirms that witnesses in more than 70 years have described unusual phenomena, even to the discredit of many responsible entities.
It is striking that those who for years expected a strategic change in the most important military authorities in America, now only complain when they begin to transmit information (even if it is in drops).
One-way information worldwide is a fact, and whether we accept it or not, it is what happens.
But the importance of the Pentagon’s diffusion impacts not only because of the body that issues it, but also because of the details that are cited in some cases, and I believe that this is what we must rescue, after 70 years of lethargy.
Surely the theoreticians and eternal nonconformists will continue indefinitely with their anti-stars and stripes discourse, forgetting what happens in their own home. And the latter is not very useful in a simple opinion on a Facebook.
The few researchers that remain in Argentina must continue on the path undertaken, even with the elements that we can, in favor of a rational study of the subject, because the cases continue and are to be addressed by those who are prepared and encouraged.
That is alien to all the theoretical speculations we can make, some of which remain unresolved and get us nowhere.
It is true that the harsh economies limit us (especially in Argentina, where the best moment never comes and never will).
Everything could be greatly improved by having an Official Commission to address the issue, to add UFO participants. The last possibility was from 2011 to 2016, when Ufology had been integrated into the study within Aerospace phenomena, as one more link. Since then, everything has passed into the orbit of an office that goes far beyond the world and without the courage to face this issue as the times demand.
Fortunately we have the best Official Commission of America very close to Argentina and it is the one of Uruguay, which together with the French GEIPAN, is the most outstanding thing we have worldwide. Uruguay has been carrying out a methodical and careful task in UFO treatment since 1979.
Contact with these entities is key, and we have it with the closest one, bringing regional projects closer.
The complaints continue to be made in different places, and they are waiting for something more than a journalistic note. The non-investigation, the disclosure of unverified data, the non-statistical study, continue to lead ufology to an informative obscurantism, riddled with sensationalism.
The reality is present in the cases, the witnesses, the theoretical work, the statistics, the more than 60 variables that we have to analyze. Times have put us at this historic crossroads.
It’s time to add new generations who really want to dig and dig, instead of having geopolitical commentators and interpreters.
QUOTE 1 = Interview with Aimé Michel by Jean-Claude Bourret, in The New Wave of Flying Saucers, France-Empire, 1974, pp. 280-293
QUOTE 2 = Frank Edwards, “Flying Saucers Here and Now”, p.187, Plaza and Janés, 1967.
QUOTE 3 = ROBERTSON PANEL ANALYSIS: Day 1 = Images seen from two UFO footage = The Nick Mariana case and the 1952 Utah film, obtained by naval photographer Delbert Newhouse. // Day 2 = Some topics were discussed and a seagull film was broadcast, which Thornton Page had requested, as the panel felt that the Tremonton, Utah film (from the previous day) likely featured birds. // Day 3 = Air Force Maj. Dewey J. Fournet spoke to the panel, supporting the extraterrestrial hypothesis to explain the most puzzling cases. The Panel discussed these assessments. // Day 4 = A draft of the report was produced and discussed. In the afternoon the final meeting was held.