UFO conspiracy theory

UFO conspiracy theory

Overview
A UFO conspiracy theory is any one of many often overlapping conspiracy theories
Conspiracy theory
A conspiracy theory explains an event as being the result of an alleged plot by a covert group or organization or, more broadly, the idea that important political, social or economic events are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public.-Usage:The term "conspiracy...

 which argue that evidence
Evidence
Evidence in its broadest sense includes everything that is used to determine or demonstrate the truth of an assertion. Giving or procuring evidence is the process of using those things that are either presumed to be true, or were themselves proven via evidence, to demonstrate an assertion's truth...

 of the reality of unidentified flying object
Unidentified flying object
A term originally coined by the military, an unidentified flying object is an unusual apparent anomaly in the sky that is not readily identifiable to the observer as any known object...

s is being suppressed by various government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

s around the world. Such theories are often intentionally hoax
Hoax
A hoax is a deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, or rumors, urban legends, pseudosciences or April Fools' Day events that are passed along in good faith by believers or as jokes.-Definition:The British...

ed, and are backed by little or no evidence, and absolutely no reliable evidence despite significant research on the subject by non-governmental scientific agencies, and therefore, are considered pseudoscience
Pseudoscience
Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but which does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status...

.

They commonly argue that Earth governments, especially the Government of the United States, are in communication or cooperation with extraterrestrials
Extraterrestrial life in popular culture
In popular cultures, "extraterrestrials" are life forms — especially intelligent life forms— that are of extraterrestrial origin .-Historical ideas:-Pre-modern:...

 despite public claims to the contrary.
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Encyclopedia
A UFO conspiracy theory is any one of many often overlapping conspiracy theories
Conspiracy theory
A conspiracy theory explains an event as being the result of an alleged plot by a covert group or organization or, more broadly, the idea that important political, social or economic events are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public.-Usage:The term "conspiracy...

 which argue that evidence
Evidence
Evidence in its broadest sense includes everything that is used to determine or demonstrate the truth of an assertion. Giving or procuring evidence is the process of using those things that are either presumed to be true, or were themselves proven via evidence, to demonstrate an assertion's truth...

 of the reality of unidentified flying object
Unidentified flying object
A term originally coined by the military, an unidentified flying object is an unusual apparent anomaly in the sky that is not readily identifiable to the observer as any known object...

s is being suppressed by various government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

s around the world. Such theories are often intentionally hoax
Hoax
A hoax is a deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, or rumors, urban legends, pseudosciences or April Fools' Day events that are passed along in good faith by believers or as jokes.-Definition:The British...

ed, and are backed by little or no evidence, and absolutely no reliable evidence despite significant research on the subject by non-governmental scientific agencies, and therefore, are considered pseudoscience
Pseudoscience
Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but which does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status...

.

They commonly argue that Earth governments, especially the Government of the United States, are in communication or cooperation with extraterrestrials
Extraterrestrial life in popular culture
In popular cultures, "extraterrestrials" are life forms — especially intelligent life forms— that are of extraterrestrial origin .-Historical ideas:-Pre-modern:...

 despite public claims to the contrary. Some of these theories claim that the government is explicitly allowing alien abduction.

Origins


Charles Fort
Charles Fort
Charles Hoy Fort was an American writer and researcher into anomalous phenomena. Today, the terms Fortean and Forteana are used to characterize various such phenomena. Fort's books sold well and are still in print today.-Biography:Charles Hoy Fort was born in 1874 in Albany, New York, of Dutch...

's 1919 The Book of the Damned
The Book of the Damned
The Book of the Damned was the first published nonfiction work of the author Charles Fort . Dealing with various types of anomalous phenomena including UFOs, strange falls of both organic and inorganic materials from the sky, odd weather patterns, the possible existence of creatures generally held...

 exposed to a small but influential group of readers to Fort's extensive references to unidentified objects. Fort himself was extremely critical of scientific consensus, and his book contained extensive references to reports he said were "damned" or ignored by scientific dogma. The Fortean Society was founded in 1931 to promote his works and over time its members included H. L. Mencken
H. L. Mencken
Henry Louis "H. L." Mencken was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, acerbic critic of American life and culture, and a scholar of American English. Known as the "Sage of Baltimore", he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the...

, R. Buckminster Fuller and Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 500 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture...

. According to the Durant Report on the CIA's top-secret 1953 Robertson Panel
Robertson Panel
The Robertson Panel was a committee commissioned by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1952 in response to widespread reports of unidentified flying objects, especially in the Washington, D.C. area. The panel was briefed on U.S...

, "The writings of Charles Fort were referenced to show that 'strange things in the sky' had been recorded for hundreds of years."

These "strange things in the sky" captured the world's attention in the summer of 1947. Kenneth Arnold
Kenneth Arnold
Kenneth A. Arnold was an American aviator and businessman. He is best-known for making what is generally considered the first widely reported unidentified flying object sighting in the United States, after claiming to have seen nine unusual objects flying in a chain near Mount Rainier, Washington...

's description of nine shiny metallic-looking objects flying at an estimated 1,200 mph on June 24 was followed by sightings all over the United States and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and later the entire globe. On July 9, 1947 the Roswell
Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell is a city in and the county seat of Chaves County in the southeastern quarter of the state of New Mexico, United States. The population was 48,366 at the 2010 census. It is a center for irrigation farming, dairying, ranching, manufacturing, distribution, and petroleum production. It is also...

 Daily Record ran a headline stating, "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region". The Army Air Force changed their story the next day, saying that instead a balloon had crashed with a radar-reflecting disc suspended from it.

By August 1947, a Gallop Poll indicated that 9 out of 10 Americans had heard of flying saucers. A wide diversity of theories were offered in the press about the origin of the UFOs. Some newspapers interviewed Forteans who offered historical context and were among the first to theorize that the objects could be extraterrestrial in origin. This idea was given a fictional treatment by popular AP writer Hal Boyle on July 9 with his story "Trip on a Flying Saucer." The story and its followup installments ran in newspapers all over the nation and detailed Hal's trip to Mars
Mars
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

 with an 8 foot tall green alien who is on a scavenger hunt to find Orson Welles
Orson Welles
George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

.

Donald Keyhoe
Donald Keyhoe
Donald Edward Keyhoe was an American Marine Corps naval aviator, writer of many aviation articles and stories in a variety of leading publications, and manager of the promotional tours of aviation pioneers, especially of Charles Lindbergh.In the 1950s he became well-known as an UFO researcher,...

 later began investigating flying saucers for True Magazine. Keyhoe was one of the first significant conspiracy theorists, asserting eventually that the saucers were from outer space and were on some sort of scouting mission. Keyhoe derived his theory from his contacts in Air Force and Navy intelligence. Project Sign
Project Sign
Project Sign was an official U.S. government study of unidentified flying objects undertaken by the United States Air Force and active for most of 1948....

, based at Air Technical Intelligence Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Greene and Montgomery counties in the state of Ohio. It includes both Wright and Patterson Fields, which were originally Wilbur Wright Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot. Patterson Field is located approximately...

 and its successors Project Grudge
Project Grudge
Project Grudge was a short-lived project by the U.S. Air Force to investigate unidentified flying objects . Grudge succeeded Project Sign in February, 1949, and was then followed by Project Blue Book. The project formally ended in December 1949, but actually continued on in a very minimal capacity...

 and Project Blue Book
Project Blue Book
Project Blue Book was one of a series of systematic studies of unidentified flying objects conducted by the United States Air Force. Started in 1952, it was the second revival of such a study...

 were officially tasked with investigating the flying saucers. As reported in Edward Ruppelt's book The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, many people within these research groups did in fact support the hypothesis that the flying saucers were from outer space.

Keyhoe later founded NICAP, a civilian investigation group that asserted the US government was lying about UFOs and covering up information that should be shared with the public. NICAP had many influential board members, including Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter
Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter
Roscoe Henry Hillenkoetter , born in St. Louis, Missouri, was the third director of the post-World War II U.S. Central Intelligence Group , the third Director of Central Intelligence , and the first director of the Central Intelligence Agency created by the National Security Act of 1947...

, the first director of the CIA.

Popular culture and opinions


Various conspiratorial UFO ideas have flourished on the internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 and are frequently featured on Art Bell
Art Bell
Arthur W. "Art" Bell, III is an American broadcaster and author, known primarily as one of the founders and the original host of the paranormal-themed radio program Coast to Coast AM. He also created and formerly hosted its companion show, Dreamland...

's program, Coast to Coast AM
Coast to Coast AM
Coast to Coast AM is a North American late-night syndicated radio talk show that deals with a variety of topics, but most frequently ones that relate to either the paranormal or conspiracy theories. It was created by Art Bell and is distributed by Premiere Radio Networks. The program currently...

.

In fiction, television programs (The X-Files
The X-Files
The X-Files is an American science fiction television series and a part of The X-Files franchise, created by screenwriter Chris Carter. The program originally aired from to . The show was a hit for the Fox network, and its characters and slogans became popular culture touchstones in the 1990s...

and Stargate
Stargate
Stargate is a adventure military science fiction franchise, initially conceived by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin. The first film in the franchise was simply titled Stargate. It was originally released on October 28, 1994, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Carolco, and became a hit, grossing nearly...

), films (Men in Black
Men in Black (film)
Men in Black is a 1997 science fiction comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith and Vincent D'Onofrio. The film was based on the Men in Black comic book series by Lowell Cunningham, originally published by Marvel Comics. The film featured the creature effects...

and Independence Day
Independence Day (film)
Independence Day is a 1996 science fiction film about an alien invasion of Earth, focusing on a disparate group of individuals and families as they converge in the Nevada desert and, along with the rest of the human population, participate in a last-chance counterattack on July 4 – the same...

) and any number of novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

s have featured elements of UFO conspiracy theories.

Elements may include the government's sinister operative from Men in Black, the military bases known as Area 51
Area 51
Area 51 is a military base, and a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base. It is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles north-northwest of downtown Las Vegas. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large military airfield...

, RAF Rudloe Manor
RAF Rudloe Manor
RAF Rudloe Manor, formerly RAF Box, was a Royal Air Force station located north-east of Bath, United Kingdom between the towns of Box and Corsham, in Wiltshire...

 or Porton Down
Porton Down
Porton Down is a United Kingdom government and military science park. It is situated slightly northeast of Porton near Salisbury in Wiltshire, England. To the northwest lies the MoD Boscombe Down test range facility which is operated by QinetiQ...

, a supposed crash site in Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell is a city in and the county seat of Chaves County in the southeastern quarter of the state of New Mexico, United States. The population was 48,366 at the 2010 census. It is a center for irrigation farming, dairying, ranching, manufacturing, distribution, and petroleum production. It is also...

, the Rendlesham Forest Incident
Rendlesham Forest Incident
The Rendlesham Forest Incident is the name given to a series of reported sightings of unexplained lights and the alleged landing of a craft or multiple craft of unknown origin in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England, in late December 1980, just outside RAF Woodbridge, used at the time by the U.S....

, a political committee dubbed the "Majestic 12
Majestic 12
Majestic 12 is the alleged code name of a secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials, supposedly formed in 1947 by an executive order of U.S. President Harry S. Truman...

" or successor of the UK Ministry of Defence's Flying Saucer Working Party
Flying Saucer Working Party
Flying Saucer Working Party was the name of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence’s first "official study into UFOs" which has its roots in a study commissioned in 1950 by the MOD’s then Chief Scientific Adviser, the great radar scientist Sir Henry Tizard...

 (FSWP).

Some civilians suggest that they have been abducted and/or body parts have been taken from them. The contention that there is a widespread cover-up of UFO information is not limited to the general public or UFO research community. For example, a 1971 survey of Industrial Research/Development magazine found that 76% felt the government was not revealing all it knew about UFOs, 54% thought UFOs definitely or probably existed, and 32% thought they came from outer space.

Notable persons to have publicly stated that UFO evidence is being suppressed include Senator Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

, Admiral Lord Hill-Norton (former NATO head and chief of the British Defence Staff), Brigadier-General Arthur Exon (former commanding officer of Wright-Patterson AFB), Vice-Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter
Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter
Roscoe Henry Hillenkoetter , born in St. Louis, Missouri, was the third director of the post-World War II U.S. Central Intelligence Group , the third Director of Central Intelligence , and the first director of the Central Intelligence Agency created by the National Security Act of 1947...

 (first CIA director), astronauts Gordon Cooper
Gordon Cooper
Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr. , also known as Gordon Cooper, was an American aeronautical engineer, test pilot and NASA astronaut. Cooper was one of the seven original astronauts in Project Mercury, the first manned space effort by the United States...

 and Edgar Mitchell, former Canadian Defence Minister Paul Hellyer
Paul Hellyer
Paul Theodore Hellyer, PC is a Canadian engineer, politician, writer and commentator who has had a long and varied career. He is the longest serving current member of the Privy Council, just ahead of Prince Philip.-Early life:...

, and the 1999 French COMETA
COMETA
COMETA was a high-level French UFO study organisation from the late 1990s, composed of high-ranking officers and officials, some having held command posts in the armed forces and aerospace industry...

 report by various French generals and aerospace experts.

Chronology


This is a list of events, statements and personalities which are related to UFO conspiracy theories.

1930s


On the night before Halloween
Halloween
Hallowe'en , also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day...

 in 1938, Orson Welles
Orson Welles
George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

 directed the Mercury Theatre
Mercury Theatre
The Mercury Theatre was a theatre company founded in New York City in 1937 by Orson Welles and John Houseman. After a string of live theatrical productions, in 1938 the Mercury Theatre progressed into their best-known period as The Mercury Theatre on the Air, a radio series that included one of the...

 in their live radio adaptation of H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games...

's classic novel, The War of the Worlds. By mimicking a news
News
News is the communication of selected information on current events which is presented by print, broadcast, Internet, or word of mouth to a third party or mass audience.- Etymology :...

 broadcast, the show was quite realistic sounding for its time, and some listeners were fooled into thinking that a Martian
Martian
As an adjective, the term martian is used to describe anything pertaining to the planet Mars.However, a Martian is more usually a hypothetical or fictional native inhabitant of the planet Mars. Historically, life on Mars has often been hypothesized, although there is currently no solid evidence of...

 invasion was underway in the United States. There was widespread confusion, followed by outrage and controversy. Some later studies have argued that the extent of the panic was exaggerated by the contemporary press, but it remains clear that many people were caught up, to one degree or another, in the confusion.

In other countries, reactions were similar. In 1949, part of the script for the War of the Worlds was read out over the radio in Quito, Ecuador without announcement, as if it were a major piece of breaking news. Huge crowds of people emerged onto the streets and sought refuge inside of churches with their families. When the radio station was informed, they broadcasted the fact that there was no invasion. An angry mob formed and burned the station to the ground, resulting in somewhere between six and twenty deaths. There were many other countries that experienced problems when broadcasting The War of the Worlds.

According to U.S. Air Force Captain Edward J. Ruppelt
Edward J. Ruppelt
Edward J. Ruppelt was a United States Air Force officer probably best-known for his involvement in Project Blue Book, a formal governmental study of unidentified flying objects...

, the Air Force's files often mentioned the panicked aftermath of the 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast as a possible reaction of the public to confirmed evidence of UFOs.

The Great Los Angeles Air Raid



"The Great Los Angeles Air Raid" also known as "The Battle of Los Angeles" is the name given by contemporary sources to the imaginary enemy attack and subsequent anti-aircraft artillery barrage which took place from late 24 February to early 25 February 1942 over Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

. Initially, the target of the aerial barrage was thought to be an attacking force from Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

, but Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox
Frank Knox
-External links:...

 speaking at a press conference shortly afterward called the incident a "false alarm." A small number of modern-day UFOlogists have suggested the targets were extraterrestrial
Extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

 spacecraft. When documenting the incident in 1983, the U.S. Office of Air Force History attributed the event to a case of "war nerves" likely triggered by a lost weather balloon
Weather balloon
A weather or sounding balloon is a balloon which carries instruments aloft to send back information on atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity and wind speed by means of a small, expendable measuring device called a radiosonde...

 and exacerbated by stray flares and shell bursts from adjoining batteries.

Ghost rockets


In 1946 and 1947, numerous so-called ghost rockets
Ghost rockets
Ghost Rockets Danish Spøgelsesraketter were mysterious rocket- or missile-shaped unidentified flying objects sighted in 1946, mostly in Sweden and nearby countries....

 appeared over Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

n countries, primarily Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, and then spread into other European countries. One USAF top secret document from 1948 stated that Swedish Air Force
Swedish Air Force
The Swedish Air Force is the air force branch of the Swedish Armed Forces.-History:The Swedish Air Force was created on July 1, 1926 when the aircraft units of the Army and Navy were merged. Because of the escalating international tension during the 1930s the Air Force was reorganized and expanded...

 intelligence informed them that some of their investigators felt that the objects were not only real but could not be explained as having earthly origins. Similarly, 20 years later, Greek physicist Dr. Paul Santorini publicly stated that in 1947 he was put in charge of a Greek military investigation into the ghost rockets sighted over Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. Again, they quickly concluded the objects were real and not of conventional origin. Santorini claimed their investigation was killed by U.S. scientists and high military officials who had already concluded the objects were extraterrestrial in origin and feared public panic because there was no defense.

Roswell Incident



In 1947, the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 issued a press release stating that a "flying disk" had been recovered
Roswell UFO incident
The Roswell UFO Incident was the recovery of an object that crashed in the general vicinity of Roswell, New Mexico, in June or July 1947, allegedly an extra-terrestrial spacecraft and its alien occupants. Since the late 1970s the incident has been the subject of intense controversy and of...

 near Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell is a city in and the county seat of Chaves County in the southeastern quarter of the state of New Mexico, United States. The population was 48,366 at the 2010 census. It is a center for irrigation farming, dairying, ranching, manufacturing, distribution, and petroleum production. It is also...

. This press release was quickly withdrawn, and officials stated that a weather balloon
Weather balloon
A weather or sounding balloon is a balloon which carries instruments aloft to send back information on atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity and wind speed by means of a small, expendable measuring device called a radiosonde...

 had been misidentified. The Roswell case quickly faded even from the attention of most UFOlogists
Ufology
Ufology is a neologism coined to describe the collective efforts of those who study reports and associated evidence of unidentified flying objects . UFOs have been subject to various investigations over the years by governments, independent groups, and scientists...

 until the 1970s. There has been continued speculation that an alien spacecraft did indeed crash near Roswell despite the official denial. For example, retired Brigadier General Arthur E. Exon, former commanding officer of Wright-Patterson AFB, told researchers Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt that a spacecraft had crashed, alien bodies were recovered, and the event was covered up by the U.S. government. Exon further claimed he was aware of a very secretive UFO controlling committee made up primarily of very high-ranking military officers and intelligence people. His nickname for this group was "The Unholy Thirteen" (see also Majestic 12
Majestic 12
Majestic 12 is the alleged code name of a secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials, supposedly formed in 1947 by an executive order of U.S. President Harry S. Truman...

)

Mantell Incident


The 1948 death of Air Force pilot Thomas Mantell (the so-called Mantell Incident
Mantell Incident
The Mantell UFO incident was among the most publicized early UFO reports. The incident resulted in the crash and death of 25-year-old Kentucky Air National Guard pilot, Captain Thomas F. Mantell, on January 7, 1948, while in pursuit of a supposed UFO....

) may have contributed to a distrust of governmental UFO studies. Mantell's airplane crashed and he was killed following the pursuit of an aerial artifact he described as "a metallic object...of tremendous size." (Clark, 352) Project Sign
Project Sign
Project Sign was an official U.S. government study of unidentified flying objects undertaken by the United States Air Force and active for most of 1948....

 personnel investigated the case and determined that Mantell had been chasing the planet Venus
Venus
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. The planet is named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, bright enough to cast shadows...

, a conclusion which met with incredulity. Later this theory was changed to include a Skyhook balloon
Skyhook balloon
Skyhook balloons were balloons developed by Otto C. Winzen and General Mills, Inc., and used by the United States Navy Office of Naval Research in the late 1940s and in the 1950s for atmospheric research, especially for constant-level meteorological observations at very high altitudes...

 instead of Venus, an explanation which continues to be debated to this day.

Project Sign


The U.S. Air Force may have planted the seeds of UFO conspiracy theories with Project Sign
Project Sign
Project Sign was an official U.S. government study of unidentified flying objects undertaken by the United States Air Force and active for most of 1948....

 (established 1947) (which became Project Grudge
Project Grudge
Project Grudge was a short-lived project by the U.S. Air Force to investigate unidentified flying objects . Grudge succeeded Project Sign in February, 1949, and was then followed by Project Blue Book. The project formally ended in December 1949, but actually continued on in a very minimal capacity...

 and Project Blue Book
Project Blue Book
Project Blue Book was one of a series of systematic studies of unidentified flying objects conducted by the United States Air Force. Started in 1952, it was the second revival of such a study...

). Edward J. Ruppelt
Edward J. Ruppelt
Edward J. Ruppelt was a United States Air Force officer probably best-known for his involvement in Project Blue Book, a formal governmental study of unidentified flying objects...

, the first director of Blue Book, characterized the Air Force's public behavior regarding UFOs as "schizophrenic": alternately open and transparent, then secretive and dismissive. Ruppelt also revealed that in mid-1948, Project Sign issued a top secret Estimate of the Situation
Estimate of the Situation
The Estimate of the Situation was a document supposedly written in 1948 by the personnel of United States Air Force's Project Sign -including the project’s director, Captain Robert R. Sneider - which explained their reasons for concluding that the extraterrestrial hypothesis was the best...

 concluding that the flying saucers were not only real but probably extraterrestrial in origin. According to Ruppelt, the Estimate was ordered destroyed by Air Force Chief of Staff Hoyt Vandenberg
Hoyt Vandenberg
Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg was a U.S. Air Force general, its second Chief of Staff, and second Director of Central Intelligence....

.

1950s

  • The UK Ministry of Defence
    Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)
    The Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces....

    ’s UFO Project has its roots in a study commissioned in 1950 by the MOD’s then Chief Scientific Adviser, the great radar scientist Sir Henry Tizard
    Henry Tizard
    Sir Henry Thomas Tizard FRS was an English chemist and inventor and past Rector of Imperial College....

    . As a result of his insistence that UFO sightings should not be dismissed without some form of proper scientific study, the Department set up the Flying Saucer Working Party
    Flying Saucer Working Party
    Flying Saucer Working Party was the name of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence’s first "official study into UFOs" which has its roots in a study commissioned in 1950 by the MOD’s then Chief Scientific Adviser, the great radar scientist Sir Henry Tizard...

     (or FSWP).

  • In August 1950, Montanan baseball manager Nicholas Mariana
    The Mariana UFO Incident
    The Mariana UFO incident occurred in August 1950 in Great Falls, Montana. The event garnered national media attention, as the concept of UFOs and alien invasion was extremely popular amongst Americans at the time...

     films several UFOs with his color 16mm camera. Project Blue Book
    Project Blue Book
    Project Blue Book was one of a series of systematic studies of unidentified flying objects conducted by the United States Air Force. Started in 1952, it was the second revival of such a study...

     is called in and, after inspecting the film, Mariana claimed they returned it to him with critical footage removed, clearly showing the objects as disc-shaped. The incident
    The Mariana UFO Incident
    The Mariana UFO incident occurred in August 1950 in Great Falls, Montana. The event garnered national media attention, as the concept of UFOs and alien invasion was extremely popular amongst Americans at the time...

     sparks nation-wide media attention.

  • Frank Scully
    Frank Scully
    Frank Scully was an author in the 1940s and 1950s and wrote for the show business publication Variety.In October and November 1949, Scully published two columns in Variety, claiming that extraterrestrial beings were recovered from a flying saucer crash, based on what he said was reported to him by...

    's 1950 Behind the Flying Saucers suggested that the U.S. government had recovered a crashed flying saucer and its dead occupants near Aztec, New Mexico
    Aztec, New Mexico
    Aztec is a city in San Juan County, New Mexico, United States. It is part of the Farmington, New Mexico Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 6,378 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of San Juan County...

    , in 1948. It was later revealed that Scully had been the victim of a prank by "two veteran confidence artists".

  • Donald Keyhoe
    Donald Keyhoe
    Donald Edward Keyhoe was an American Marine Corps naval aviator, writer of many aviation articles and stories in a variety of leading publications, and manager of the promotional tours of aviation pioneers, especially of Charles Lindbergh.In the 1950s he became well-known as an UFO researcher,...

     was a retired U.S. Marine who wrote a series of popular books and magazine articles that were very influential in shaping public opinion, arguing that UFOs were indeed real and the U.S. government was suppressing UFO evidence. Keyhoe's first article on the subject came out in True Magazine
    True (magazine)
    True, also known as True, The Man's Magazine, was published by Fawcett Publications from 1937 until 1974. Known as True, A Man's Magazine in the 1930s, it was labeled True, #1 Man's Magazine in the 1960s. Petersen Publishing took over with the January 1975, issue...

    , January 1950, and was a national sensation. His first book, Flying Saucers Are Real also came out in 1950, at about the same time as Frank Scully's book, and was a bestseller. In 1956, Keyhoe helped establish NICAP, a powerful civilian UFO investigating group with many inside sources. Keyhoe became its director and continued his attacks on the Air Force. Other contemporary critics also charged that the United States Air Force
    United States Air Force
    The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

     was perpetrating a cover-up
    Cover-up
    A cover-up is an attempt, whether successful or not, to conceal evidence of wrong-doing, error, incompetence or other embarrassing information...

     with its Project Blue Book
    Project Blue Book
    Project Blue Book was one of a series of systematic studies of unidentified flying objects conducted by the United States Air Force. Started in 1952, it was the second revival of such a study...

    .

  • Canadian radio engineer Wilbert B. Smith, who worked for the Canadian Department of Transport, was interested in flying saucer propulsion technology and wondered if the assertions in the just-published Scully and Keyhoe books were factual. In September 1950, he had the Canadian embassy in Washington D.C. arrange contact with U.S. officials to try to discover the truth of the matter. Smith was briefed by Dr. Robert Sarbacher, a physicist and consultant to the Defense Department's Research and Development Board. Other correspondence, having to do with Keyhoe needing to get clearance to publish another article on Smith's theories of UFO propulsion, indicated that Bush and his group were operating out of the Research and Development Board. Smith then briefed superiors in the Canadian government, leading to the establishment of Project Magnet
    Project Magnet
    Project Magnet was an unidentified flying object study programme established by the Canadian Department of Transport on December 2, 1950, under the direction of Wilbert B. Smith, senior radio engineer for the DOT's Broadcast and Measurements Section...

    , a small Canadian government UFO research effort. Canadian documents and Smith's private papers were uncovered in the late 1970s, and by 1984, other alleged documents emerged claiming the existence of a highly secret UFO oversight committee of scientists and military people called Majestic 12
    Majestic 12
    Majestic 12 is the alleged code name of a secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials, supposedly formed in 1947 by an executive order of U.S. President Harry S. Truman...

    , again naming Vannevar Bush. Sarbacher was also interviewed in the 1980s and corroborated the information in Smith's memos and correspondence. Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, Smith granted public interviews, and among other things stated that he had been lent crashed UFO material for analysis by a highly secret U.S. government group which he wouldn't name.

  • A few weeks after the Robertson Panel, the Air Force issued Regulation 200-2, ordering air base officers to publicly discuss UFO incidents only if they were judged to have been solved, and to classify all the unsolved cases to keep them out of the public eye. In addition, UFO investigative duties started to be taken on by the newly formed 4602nd Air Intelligence Squadron (AISS) of the Air Defense Command. The 4,602nd AISS was tasked with investigating only the most important UFO cases with intelligence or national security implications. These were deliberately siphoned away from Blue Book, leaving Blue Book to deal with the more trivial reports. (Dolan, 210-211)

  • In 1954 an automatic working station for UFO monitoring was installed at Shirley's Bay
    Shirley's Bay
    Shirleys Bay is a bay of the Ottawa River, about ten miles from Ottawa in Ontario, Canada.It is also the name of a Canadian military and civilian telecommunication research campus which is located on the shore of the bay...

     near Ottawa in Canada. After this station detected the first suspicious event, all data gained by this station was classified as secret, although the cameras of the monitoring station could not make any pictures because of fog.(citation?)

  • 1956 saw the publication of Gray Barker
    Gray Barker
    Gray Barker was an American writer best known for his books about UFOs and other paranormal phenomena. His 1956 book They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers introduced the notion of the Men in Black to UFO folklore. Recent evidence indicates that he was skeptical of most UFO claims, and mainly...

    's They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers, the book which publicized the idea of sinister Men in Black
    Men in Black
    Men in Black , in American popular culture and in UFO conspiracy theories, are men dressed in black suits who claim to be government agents who harass or threaten UFO witnesses to keep them quiet about what they have seen. It is sometimes implied that they may be aliens themselves...

     who appear to UFO witnesses and warn them to keep quiet. There has been continued speculation that the men in black are government agents who harass and threaten UFO witnesses.

  • Also in 1956, the group Foundation for Earth-Space Relations, led by film producer Tzadi Sophit, tested their own flying saucer outside the Long Island town of Ridge Landing. It is speculated in Robertson's "The Long Island Saucer" that an FBI cover-up silenced witnesses. (citation?)

  • On January 22, 1958, when Donald Keyhoe
    Donald Keyhoe
    Donald Edward Keyhoe was an American Marine Corps naval aviator, writer of many aviation articles and stories in a variety of leading publications, and manager of the promotional tours of aviation pioneers, especially of Charles Lindbergh.In the 1950s he became well-known as an UFO researcher,...

     appeared on CBS television, his statements on UFOs were precensored by the Air Force. During the show when Keyhoe tried to depart from the censored script to "reveal something that has never been disclosed before", CBS cut the sound, later stating Keyhoe was about to violate "predetermined security standards" and about to say something he wasn't "authorized to release". What Keyhoe was about to reveal were four publicly unknown military studies concluding UFOs were interplanetary (including the 1948 Project Sign
    Project Sign
    Project Sign was an official U.S. government study of unidentified flying objects undertaken by the United States Air Force and active for most of 1948....

     Estimate of the Situation
    Estimate of the Situation
    The Estimate of the Situation was a document supposedly written in 1948 by the personnel of United States Air Force's Project Sign -including the project’s director, Captain Robert R. Sneider - which explained their reasons for concluding that the extraterrestrial hypothesis was the best...

     and a 1952 Project Blue Book engineering analysis of UFO motion presented at the Robertson Panel
    Robertson Panel
    The Robertson Panel was a committee commissioned by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1952 in response to widespread reports of unidentified flying objects, especially in the Washington, D.C. area. The panel was briefed on U.S...

    . [Timothy Good, 286-287; Richard Dolan 293-295]

  • Astronaut
    Astronaut
    An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....

     Gordon Cooper
    Gordon Cooper
    Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr. , also known as Gordon Cooper, was an American aeronautical engineer, test pilot and NASA astronaut. Cooper was one of the seven original astronauts in Project Mercury, the first manned space effort by the United States...

     reported suppression of a flying saucer movie filmed in high clarity by two Edwards AFB range photographers on May 3, 1957. Cooper said he viewed developed negatives of the object, clearly showing a dish-like object with a dome on top and something like holes or ports in the dome. The photographers and another witness, when later interviewed by James McDonald
    James E. McDonald
    James Edward McDonald was an American physicist. He is best known for his research regarding UFOs. McDonald was senior physicist at the Institute for Atmospheric Physics and professor in the Department of Meteorology, University of Arizona, Tucson.McDonald campaigned vigorously in support of...

    , confirmed the story. Cooper said military authorities then picked up the film and neither he nor the photographers ever heard what happened to it. The incident was also reported in a few newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times
    Los Angeles Times
    The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

    . The official explanation was that the photographers had filmed a weather balloon distorted by hot desert air.

1960s

  • Throughout much of the 1960s, atmospheric physicist James E. McDonald
    James E. McDonald
    James Edward McDonald was an American physicist. He is best known for his research regarding UFOs. McDonald was senior physicist at the Institute for Atmospheric Physics and professor in the Department of Meteorology, University of Arizona, Tucson.McDonald campaigned vigorously in support of...

     suggested—via lectures, articles and letters—that the U.S. Government was mishandling evidence which would support the extraterrestrial hypothesis
    Extraterrestrial hypothesis
    The extraterrestrial hypothesis is the hypothesis that some unidentified flying objects are best explained as being extraterrestrial life or non-human aliens from other planets occupying physical spacecraft visiting Earth.-Etymology:...

    .

1970s


Although strictly unrelated to a UFO conspiracy theory, the Watergate
Watergate scandal
The Watergate scandal was a political scandal during the 1970s in the United States resulting from the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement...

 affair brought the curtain down on the era when authorities were generally trusted by the public. A decade after the assassination of John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 a cottage industry of JFK conspiracy theorists seemed to spring up out of the woodwork, fed by the tabloids. UFO conspiracy theories found fertile ground in this paranoid zeitgeist
Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist is "the spirit of the times" or "the spirit of the age."Zeitgeist is the general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual or political climate within a nation or even specific groups, along with the general ambiance, morals, sociocultural direction, and mood associated with an era.The...

.

Clark also notes that many UFO conspiracy theory tales "can be traced to a mock documentary, Alternative 3
Alternative 3
Alternative 3 is a television programme, broadcast once only in the United Kingdom in 1977, and later broadcast in Australia and New Zealand, as a fictional hoax, an heir to Orson Welles' radio production of The War of the Worlds...

, broadcast on British television on June 20, 1977, and subsequently turned into a paperback book." (Clark, 213–4)

Holloman Air Force Base


Clark cites a 1973 encounter as perhaps the earliest suggestion that the U.S. government was involved with ETs. That year, Robert Emenegger and Allan Sandler of Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

, were in contact with officials at Norton Air Force Base
Norton Air Force Base
Norton Air Force Base is a former front-line United States Air Force facility located east of downtown San Bernardino, California in San Bernardino County.-Overview:...

 in order to make a documentary film
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

. Emenegger and Sandler report that Air Force Officials (including Paul Shartle) suggested incorporating UFO information in the documentary, including as its centerpiece genuine footage of a 1971 UFO landing at Holloman Air Force Base
Holloman Air Force Base
Holloman Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located six miles southwest of the central business district of Alamogordo, a city in Otero County, New Mexico, United States. The base was named in honor of Col. George V. Holloman, a pioneer in guided missile research...

 in New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

. Furthermore, says Emenegger, he was given a tour of Holloman AFB and was shown where officials conferred with EBEs. This was supposedly not the first time the U.S. had met these aliens, as Emenegger reported that his U.S. military sources had "been monitoring signals from an alien group with which they were unfamiliar, and did their ET guests know anything about them? The ETs said no." (Clark 1998, 144) No film was ever presented, however, and the documentary was released in 1974 as UFO's: Past, Present and Future (narrated by Rod Serling
Rod Serling
Rodman Edward "Rod" Serling was an American screenwriter, novelist, television producer, and narrator best known for his live television dramas of the 1950s and his science fiction anthology TV series, The Twilight Zone. Serling was active in politics, both on and off the screen and helped form...

). The alleged Holloman UFO landing was discussed in the documentary and was depicted with illustrations.

In 1988, Shartle said that the film in question was genuine, and that he had seen it several times.

Paul Bennewitz


The late 1970s also saw the beginning of an affair centered around Paul Bennewitz
Paul Bennewitz
Paul Bennewitz was an American businessman who played a major role in shaping the development of UFO Conspiracies since the 1980s. After uncovering secret U.S...

 of Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico, United States. It is the county seat of Bernalillo County and is situated in the central part of the state, straddling the Rio Grande. The city population was 545,852 as of the 2010 Census and ranks as the 32nd-largest city in the U.S. As...

.

MJ-12


The so-called Majestic 12
Majestic 12
Majestic 12 is the alleged code name of a secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials, supposedly formed in 1947 by an executive order of U.S. President Harry S. Truman...

 documents surfaced in 1982, suggesting that there was secret, high-level U.S. government interest in UFOs dating to the 1940s.

Linda Moulton Howe


In September 1979 to May 1980, Linda Moulton Howe
Linda Moulton Howe
Linda Moulton Howe, born January 20, 1942, is an American investigative journalist and documentary producer-writer-director-editor who is currently based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.-Early life and education:She was born as Linda Moulton in Boise, Idaho...

, Director of Special Projects at KMGH-TV, Channel 7 (then a CBS affiliate) produced, wrote, directed, edited and reported a documentary film for TV entitled A Strange Harvest about the Colorado and worldwide phenomenon of bloodless, trackless animal deaths called "animal mutilations." The documentary was first broadcast as a two hour special on May 18, 1980, and Howe was awarded a 1981 Regional Emmy. Some time after the broadcast, Linda was contacted by Jean Abounader, Director of the Documentary Division at Home Box Office, about producing an hour for HBO that would go beyond A Strange Harvest.

On March 21, 1983, Howe was in New York City to sign a contract in the HBO offices to produce an hour with the working title, UFO's: The ET Factor. Peter Gersten, New York attorney who had filed Freedom of Information Act inquiries on behalf of Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) for UFO information from the CIA, NSA and other intelligence and military organizations, met with Howe in New York City. Mr. Gersten showed Howe correspondence he had from an AFOSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigations) Agent named Richard C. Doty. Doty's correspondence with attorney Gersten was about an alleged military exchange at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota with a landed UFO and humanoid entity that fired a ray of light at a security guard's gun. The ray allegedly melted the gun and burned the guard's hand. Gersten said that he and CAUS would like to investigate the Ellsworth AFB case and that he would arrange contact for Howe with Richard Doty. A meeting was set for April 9, 1983, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the Kirtland AFB office of AFOSI. Howe thought she was to receive names and phone numbers for eyewitnesses to the Ellsworth AFB event. Instead, Doty showed her a "Briefing Paper for the President of the United States On the Subject of Unidentified Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)." (Clark 1998, 154) Howe says she was not allowed to copy the paper or take notes, and was required to read it in Doty's presence. The document, Howe reported, detailed a series of events: several UFO crashes and recoveries, including one where an alien occupant was alive and remained in the care of the U.S. government at Los Alamos Laboratory "until it died of unknown causes on June 18, 1952."

Howe reported that Doty promised considerable confirmation, including documents, film and photographs. She called Jean Abounader at HBO and the two agreed that an official letter from the U. S. Air Force was necessary to back up the promise of film, photographs and documents for use in Howe's HBO documentary. Abounader asked Howe to meet with the number two executive at HBO, Bridgett Potter, on May 18, 1983, to discuss the government's potential contribution to the HBO TV production. Howe met with Potter, Abounader and others at the New York HBO offices, but no official letter was ever forthcoming. Potter gave Howe until October 1983 to come up with official administration and military confirmation to her at HBO about the details of the briefing paper. Doty stopped communicating with the Howe/Gersten effort in June 1983 and nothing of an official nature was provided. HBO and Howe reached the October deadline and the documentary project ended.

Howe continued to develop her own military and intelligence sources independent from the HBO/Doty/Gersten period of March to June 1983 and produced four books and other documentaries, including An Alien Harvest: Further Evidence Linking Animal Mutilations and Human Abductions to Alien Life Forms (1989); Glimpses of Other Realities, Vol. 1: Facts & Eyewitnesses © 1994; Glimpses of Other Realities, Vol. 2: High Strangeness (1998); Mysterious Lights and Crop Circles (2002); Strange Harvests 1993, an hour documentary film about an upsurge in animal mutilations and human interactions with aerial lights in Alabama and surrounding region from 1993 to 1994.

By 1999, Linda Moulton Howe created Earthfiles.com, a news website Howe reports, writes and edits about science, environment and Real X-Files issues and breaking news. Earthfiles has received several journalism awards for excellence. The Real X-Files section contains interviews, documents, illustrations and photographs related to a non-human presence on Earth and its interactions with civilians and military.

Milton William Cooper


In the 1980s, Milton William Cooper
Milton William Cooper
Milton William Cooper was an American writer, shortwave broadcaster, conspiracy theorist, and political activist.-Biography:...

 achieved a degree of prominence due to his conspiratorial writings.

Bob Lazar


In November 1989, Bob Lazar
Bob Lazar
Robert Scott Lazar or Bob Lazar , has said to have worked from 1988 until 1989 as a physicist at an area called S-4 , allegedly located near Groom Lake, Nevada, at the location also known as Area 51...

 appeared in a special interview with investigative reporter George Knapp on Las Vegas TV station KLAS to discuss his alleged employment at S-4. In his interview with Knapp, Lazar said he first thought the saucers were secret, terrestrial aircraft, whose test flights must have been responsible for many UFO reports. Gradually, on closer examination and from having been shown multiple briefing documents, Lazar came to the conclusion that the discs must have been of extraterrestrial origin. In his filmed testimony, Lazar explains how this impression first hit him after he boarded the craft under study and examined their interior.

For the propulsion of the studied vehicles, Bob Lazar claims that the atomic Element 115 served as a nuclear fuel. Element 115 (provisionally named 'Ununpentium' (Uup)) reportedly provided an energy source which would produce anti-gravity effects under proton bombardment along with the production of antimatter used for energy production. Lazar's website says, as the intense strong nuclear force field of element 115's nucleus would be properly amplified, the resulting effect would be a distortion of the surrounding gravitational field, allowing the vehicle to immediately shorten the distance to a charted destination.

Lazar also claims that he was given introductory briefings describing the historical involvement by extraterrestrial beings with this planet for 10,000 years. The beings originate from the Zeta Reticuli 1 & 2 star system and are therefore referred to as Zeta Reticulians, popularly called 'Greys'.

Lazar says he has degrees from the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1993, the Los Angeles Times looked into his background and found there was no evidence to support his claims.

"UFO Cover-Up?: Live!"


On October 14, 1988, actor Mike Farrell
Mike Farrell
Michael Joseph "Mike" Farrell is an American actor, best known for his role as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on the television series M*A*S*H . He is an activist for politically liberal causes....

 hosted "U.S. UFO Cover-Up: Live!" a two-hour prime-time syndicated television special that was broadcast in North America (and elsewhere). William Moore and Jamie Shandera appeared (among many other guests) and discussed the acquisition of the Majestic 12
Majestic 12
Majestic 12 is the alleged code name of a secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials, supposedly formed in 1947 by an executive order of U.S. President Harry S. Truman...

 documents, and introduced their sources "Falcon" and "Condor", allegedly high-level government intelligence officials. Interviewed in shadow and with masked voices, Falcon and Condor disclosed information about the U.S. government’s involvement in UFOs and alien interaction, UFO crashes and occupant retrievals, and alien biology. This broadcast also included the first known mention of Area 51
Area 51
Area 51 is a military base, and a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base. It is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles north-northwest of downtown Las Vegas. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large military airfield...

 on television. Also known as the "strawberry ice cream show" in reference to the informants' remark that a captured EBE enjoyed strawberry ice cream and Tibetan music.

July 1989 MUFON Convention


The Mutual UFO Network
Mutual UFO Network
The Mutual UFO Network is an American non-profit organization that investigates cases of reported UFO sightings. It is one of the oldest and largest UFO-investigative organizations in the United States....

 held their 1989 annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada and is also the county seat of Clark County, Nevada. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous...

, on July 1, 1989.

Bill Moore (ufologist) was scheduled as the main speaker, and he refused to submit his paper for review prior to the convention, and also announced that he would not answer any follow-up questions as was common practice. Unlike most of the convention's attendees, Moore did not stay at the same hotel that was hosting the convention.

When he spoke, Moore said that he and others had been part of an elaborate, long-term disinformation
Disinformation
Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. For this reason, it is synonymous with and sometimes called black propaganda. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth...

 campaign begun primarily to discredit Paul Bennewitz
Paul Bennewitz
Paul Bennewitz was an American businessman who played a major role in shaping the development of UFO Conspiracies since the 1980s. After uncovering secret U.S...

: "My role in the affair ... was primarily that of a freelancer providing information on Paul's (Bennewitz) current thinking and activities." (Clark, 1998, 163) Air Force Sergeant Richard C. Doty was also involved, said Moore, though Moore thought Doty was "simply a pawn in a much larger game, as was I." (ibid.) One of their goals, Moore said, was to disseminate information and watch as it was passed from person to person in order to study information channels.

Moore said that he "was in a rather unique position" in the disinformation campaign: "judging by the positions of the people I knew to be directly involved in it, [the disinformation] definitely had something to do with national security. There was no way I was going to allow the opportunity to pass me by ... I would play the disinformation game, get my hands dirty just often enough to lead those directing the process into believing I was doing what they wanted me to do, and all the while continuing to burrow my way into the matrix so as to learn as much as possible about who was directing it and why."(ibid., 164)

Once he finished the speech, Moore immediately left the hotel. He left Las Vegas that same night.

Moore's claims sent shock waves through the small, tight-knit UFO community, which remains divided as to the reliability of his assertions.

Rendlesham Forest Incident


Britain's most celebrated UFO incident, and one of the best-documented in the world, occurred outside the US Air Force base at Woodbridge in Suffolk, England, shortly after Christmas 1980. Various lights were seen in neighbouring Rendlesham Forest
Rendlesham Forest Incident
The Rendlesham Forest Incident is the name given to a series of reported sightings of unexplained lights and the alleged landing of a craft or multiple craft of unknown origin in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England, in late December 1980, just outside RAF Woodbridge, used at the time by the U.S....

 by numerous servicemen, who investigated and found an apparent landing site. This site was examined by the deputy base commander, Charles I. Halt, who took readings with a Geiger counter and was also witness to a flashing light in the direction of Orford Ness
Orford Ness
Orford Ness is a cuspate foreland shingle spit on the Suffolk coast in Great Britain, linked to the mainland at Aldeburgh and stretching along the coast to Orford and down to North Wier Point, opposite Shingle Street. It is divided from the mainland by the River Alde, and was formed by longshore...

 as well as star-like objects in the sky. Copies of Halt's letter to the U.K. Ministry of Defense were routinely released by the American base public affairs staff until the base closed.

1990s

  • On November 24, 1992, a UFO crashes in Southaven Park, Shirley, NY. John Ford, a Long Island MUFON researcher, investigates the crash. On June 12, 1996, Ford is arrested and charged with plotting to poison several local politicians by sneaking radium in their toothpaste. On advice of counsel Ford pleads insanity and is committed to the Mid Hudson Psychiatric Center. Critics say the charges are a frame-up.
  • The Branton Files
    Branton Files
    The Branton Files are a series of documents espousing various conspiracy theories. They have circulated on the internet since at least the mid-1990s. They are named after their editor, Bruce Alan Walton. The UFO conspiracy theory is prominently featured, but many other conspiratorial ideas are also...

     have circulated on the internet at least since the mid-1990s. They essentially recirculate the information presented above, with many asides from "Branton", the document's editor.
  • Philip Schneider made a few appearances at UFO conventions in the 1990s, espousing essentially a new version of the theories mentioned above. He claimed to have survived the Dulce Base
    Dulce Base
    Dulce Base is the unofficial name for an alleged secret underground facility under the Archuleta Mesa in Dulce, New Mexico, United States.Paul Bennewitz, employed at a filtration manufacturer with government contracts was the first to raise claims of a secret base in New Mexico.-In Television:The...

     catastrophe and decided to tell his tale.
  • In 1999 the French government published a study, "UFOs and Defense: What Must We Be Prepared For?" Among other topics, the study concludes that the United States government has withheld valuable evidence.

2000s


UFO conspiracy theories show no signs of abating. 2003 saw the publication of Alien Encounters (ISBN 1-57821-205-7), by Chuck Missler
Chuck Missler
Charles "Chuck" Missler is an author, evangelical Christian, Bible teacher, former businessman and US Navy officer. He is the founder of the Koinonia House ministry based in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.-Biography:...

 and Mark Eastman, which primarily re-states the notions presented above (especially Cooper's) and presents them as fact.

MoD secret files


1978 to 1987 eight files on UFO sightings were first released on May 14, 2008, to the National Archives' website by the British Ministry of Defence. 200 files are set to be made public by 2012. The files are correspondence from the public sent to government officials, such as the MoD and Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

. The information can be downloaded. Copies of Lt. Col. Halt's letter regarding the sighting at RAF Woodbridge (see above) to the U.K. Ministry of Defense were routinely released (without addition comment) by the American base public affairs staff throughout the 1980s until the base closed. The MoD released the files due to requests under the Freedom of Information Act. The files included, inter alia, alien craft flying over Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 and Waterloo Bridge
Waterloo Bridge
Waterloo Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge crossing the River Thames in London, England between Blackfriars Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. The name of the bridge is in memory of the British victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815...

 in London.

Allegations of evidence suppression


There have been allegations of suppression of UFO related evidence for many decades. There are also conspiracy theories which claim that physical evidence might have been removed and/or destroyed/suppressed by some governments. Some examples are:
  • On July 7, 1947, William Rhodes photographed an unusual object over Phoenix
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

    , Arizona
    Arizona
    Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

    . The photos appeared in a Phoenix newspaper and a few other papers. An Army Air Force intelligence officer and an FBI agent interviewed Rhodes on August 29 and convinced him to surrender the negatives, which he did the next day. He was informed he wouldn't be getting them back, but later unsuccessfully tried to retrieve them. The photos were analyzed and subsequently appeared in some classified Air Force UFO intelligence reports. (Randle, 34–45, full account)
  • A June 27, 1950, movie of a "flying disk" over Louisville
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

    , Kentucky
    Kentucky
    The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

    , taken by a Louisville Courier-Journal photographer, had the USAF Directors of counterintelligence (AFOSI
    Air Force Office of Special Investigations
    The Air Force Office of Special Investigations , is a Field Operating Agency of the United States Air Force that provides professional investigative services to commanders throughout the Air Force...

    ) and intelligence discussing in memos how to best obtain the movie and interview the photographer without revealing Air Force interest. One memo suggested the FBI be used, then precluded the FBI getting involved. Another memo said "it would be nice if OSI could arrange to secure a copy of the film in some covert manner," but if that wasn't feasible, one of the Air Force scientists might have to negotiate directly with the newspaper. In a recent interview, the photographer confirmed meeting with military intelligence and still having the film in his possession until then, but refused to say what happened to the film after that.
  • In another 1950 movie incident from Montana, Nicholas Mariana filmed some unusual aerial objects and eventually turned the film over to the U.S. Air Force, but insisted that the first part of the film, clearly showing the objects as spinning discs, had been removed when it was returned to him. (Clark, 398)
  • According to some conspiracy theorists, during the military investigation of green fireballs
    Green Fireballs
    Green fireballs are a type of unidentified flying object which have been sighted in the sky since the late 1940s . Early sightings primarily occurred in the southwestern United States, particularly in New Mexico...

     in New Mexico
    New Mexico
    New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

    , UFOs were photographed by a tracking camera over White Sands Proving Grounds on April 27, 1949. They claim that the final report in 1951 on the green fireball investigation claimed there was insufficient data to determine anything. Conspiracy theorists claim that documents later uncovered by Dr. Bruce Maccabee
    Bruce Maccabee
    Bruce Maccabee is an American optical physicist formerly employed by the U.S. Navy, and a leading ufologist.- Biography :MacCabee received a B.S. in physics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass., and then at American University, Washington, DC,...

     indicate that triangulation
    Triangulation
    In trigonometry and geometry, triangulation is the process of determining the location of a point by measuring angles to it from known points at either end of a fixed baseline, rather than measuring distances to the point directly...

     was accomplished. The conspiracy theorists also claim that the data reduction and photographs showed four objects about 30 feet in diameter flying in formation at high speed at an altitude of about 30 miles. According to conspiracy theorists, Maccabee says this result was apparently suppressed from the final report.
  • On January 22, 1958, when NICAP director Donald Keyhoe
    Donald Keyhoe
    Donald Edward Keyhoe was an American Marine Corps naval aviator, writer of many aviation articles and stories in a variety of leading publications, and manager of the promotional tours of aviation pioneers, especially of Charles Lindbergh.In the 1950s he became well-known as an UFO researcher,...

     appeared on CBS television, his statements on UFOs were pre-censored by the Air Force. During the show when Keyhoe tried to depart from the censored script to "reveal something that has never been disclosed before," CBS cut the sound, later stating Keyhoe was about to violate "predetermined security standards" and about to say something he wasn't "authorized to release." Conspiracy theorists claim that what Keyhoe was about to reveal were four publicly unknown military studies concluding UFOs were interplanetary (including the 1948 Project Sign
    Project Sign
    Project Sign was an official U.S. government study of unidentified flying objects undertaken by the United States Air Force and active for most of 1948....

     Estimate of the Situation
    Estimate of the Situation
    The Estimate of the Situation was a document supposedly written in 1948 by the personnel of United States Air Force's Project Sign -including the project’s director, Captain Robert R. Sneider - which explained their reasons for concluding that the extraterrestrial hypothesis was the best...

     and Blue Book's 1952 engineering analysis of UFO motion). (Good, 286–287; Dolan 293–295)
  • A March 1, 1967 memo directed to all USAF divisions, from USAF Lt. General Hewitt Wheless, Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, stated that unverified information indicated that unknown individuals, impersonating USAF officers and other military personnel, had been harassing civilian UFO witnesses, warning them not to talk, and also confiscating film, referring specifically to the Heflin incident. AFOSI was to be notified if any personnel were to become aware of any other incidents. (Document in Fawcett & Greenwood, 236).
  • John Callahan, former Division Chief of the Accidents and Investigations Branch of the FAA, Washington D.C., also a Disclosure Project witness, said that following a 1986 encounter of a Japanese airlines 747 with a giant UFO over Alaska, recorded by air and ground radar, the FAA conducted an investigation. Callahan held a briefing a few days later for President Reagan's Scientific Study Group, the FBI, and CIA. After the briefing, one of the CIA agents told everybody they "were never there and this never happened," adding they were fearful of public panic.

See also


  • Area 51
    Area 51
    Area 51 is a military base, and a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base. It is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles north-northwest of downtown Las Vegas. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large military airfield...

  • Bielefeld Conspiracy
    Bielefeld Conspiracy
    The Bielefeld Conspiracy is a running gag and meme among German Internet users, especially in the German Usenet. It is generally considered a satirical story rather than a hoax or an urban legend.-Synopsis:...

  • Brookings Report
    Brookings Report
    Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs, often referred to as "the Brookings Report", was commissioned by NASA and created by the Brookings Institution in collaboration with NASA's Committee on Long Range Studies in 1960...

  • Crop circle
    Crop circle
    A crop circle is a sizable pattern created by the flattening of a crop such as wheat, barley, rye, maize, or rapeseed. Crop circles are also referred to as crop formations, because they are not always circular in shape. While the exact date crop circles began to appear is unknown, the documented...

  • Extraterrestrial life
    Extraterrestrial life
    Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

  • Extraterrestrial life in popular culture
    Extraterrestrial life in popular culture
    In popular cultures, "extraterrestrials" are life forms — especially intelligent life forms— that are of extraterrestrial origin .-Historical ideas:-Pre-modern:...

  • Flying Saucers
  • Kecksburg UFO incident
    Kecksburg UFO incident
    The Kecksburg UFO incident occurred on December 9, 1965 at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, USA. A large, brilliant fireball was seen by thousands in at least six U.S. states and Ontario, Canada...

  • List of major UFO sightings
  • Magazines of anomalous phenomena
  • Mutual UFO Network
    Mutual UFO Network
    The Mutual UFO Network is an American non-profit organization that investigates cases of reported UFO sightings. It is one of the oldest and largest UFO-investigative organizations in the United States....

  • New World Order (conspiracy)
    New World Order (conspiracy)
    In conspiracy theory, the term New World Order or NWO refers to the emergence of a totalitarian one-world government.The common theme in conspiracy theories about a New World Order is that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an...

  • Robertson Panel
    Robertson Panel
    The Robertson Panel was a committee commissioned by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1952 in response to widespread reports of unidentified flying objects, especially in the Washington, D.C. area. The panel was briefed on U.S...

  • The Disclosure Project
  • Ufology
    Ufology
    Ufology is a neologism coined to describe the collective efforts of those who study reports and associated evidence of unidentified flying objects . UFOs have been subject to various investigations over the years by governments, independent groups, and scientists...

  • Ummo
  • United States gravity control propulsion research (1955 - 1974)
    United States gravity control propulsion research (1955 - 1974)
    American interest in "gravity control propulsion research" intensified during the early 1950s. Literature from that period used the terms anti-gravity, anti-gravitation, baricentric, counterbary, electrogravitics , G-projects, gravitics, gravity control, and gravity propulsion...



External links