Examples of Leslie Kean's CFI Communiqués
and Investigative Reporting on UFOs
From the Corpus Christi, TX Caller-Times
December 14, 2002
of this world
What is the government hiding about the close encounters with UFO's
As Steven Spielberg's series "Taken" raises interest in government
secrecy about UFOs, The Washington Post reports that Attorney General John
Ashcroft has tightened the lid on the Freedom of Information Act. Ashcroft gave
federal officers a green light to ignore the FOIA if they withhold records, and
he'll even defend them in court.
The American people are already frustrated. Two-thirds of them believe that the
government is withholding information about UFOs and 60 percent of adults want
the information declassified if it is not a national security risk, according to
a September Roper Poll.
So far, declassified records show that some UFOs are not science fiction.
Unexplained objects have been well-documented by trained observers, such as
pilots and military personnel. Some have landed and left ground traces in
England, France and the United States.
"People have been digging through the files and investigating for years
now. The files are quite convincing. The only thing that's lacking is the
official stamp," says Apollo 14 astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell.
As a result, the Sci Fi Channel is publicly calling for the declassification of
government documents on UFO activity. "It is important to separate science
fiction from science fact, a line which is becoming increasingly blurred,"
says Bonnie Hammer, the network's president.
In October, Hammer joined President Clinton's former chief of staff John Podesta
to support a new FOIA initiative by me and the Washington law firm of Lobel,
Novins and Lamont.
"I think it's time to open the books on questions that have remained in the
dark, on the question of government investigations of UFOs," Podesta said
at a Washington news conference. "We ought to do it because it's right. We
ought to do it because the American people can handle the truth, and we ought to
do it because it's the law."
What landed in Kecksburg?
reporter Leslie Kean (right) talks to Stan Gordon, of Greensburg, at the site
where an unidentified flying object is said to have landed near Kecksburg, Mt.
Pleasant Township, in 1965. Kean is helping cable's Sci Fi Channel and the
Coaltion for Freedom of Infoprmation investigate the incident with the help of
Gordon, who said he has devoted 'years and years' to the case.
The FOIA request seeks documentation on the crash of an object of unknown origin
in Kecksburg, Pa., in 1965. The U.S. government denies anything fell from the
sky, despite the signed affidavits of firefighters, radio journalists, dozens of
witnesses at the scene, and newspaper reports to the contrary. [ CLICK
HERE for more information about the Kecksburg UFO crash from Stan Gordon.
These records are more than 25 years old. They should be declassified and we
should be able to see them for ourselves.
In 1969, the U.S. Air Force stated that "no UFO reported, investigated and
evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our
national security" to justify closure of its investigation. The government
still takes this position despite the fact that it routinely refuses to comply
with FOIA requests about UFO cases on the basis of national security. In fact,
some UFO incidents have
obvious national security implications, although this would not appear to
justify the withholding of information about them.
According to North American Aerospace Defense Command logs, U.S. fighter jets
attempted to pursue UFOs in 1975. Defense Department reports state that UFOs
were also pursued after hovering over three supersensitive nuclear missile
launch sites that same year.
And as recently as last July, two F-16s from Andrews Air Force Base were
scrambled after radar detected an unknown aircraft. Military officials said they
do not know what the jets were chasing, because whatever it was disappeared.
Earlier this month, the British Ministry of Defense released files on a famous
multiple-witness case at Bentwaters Air Base in 1980. A memo by U.S. Deputy Base
Commander Lt. Col. Charles Halt, as well as a tape recording at the scene,
detail the landing of a glowing triangular craft that left three circular
depressions and radiation 10 times higher than normal in a nearby forest.
Echoing the U.S. line, the British government also dismisses the phenomenon by
claiming that the event was "of no defense significance." However,
Britain's former Chief of the Defense Staff, Adm. Lord Hill-Norton, says that
whether this represents the hallucination of men with the responsibility for
weapons or "the entry of a vehicle from outer space," it "cannot
fail to be of defense interest."
There is no longer an acceptable justification for the withholding of reports on
UFO incidents decades old, whether they are of defense interest or not. Nor is
it acceptable for the attorney general to refuse to enforce FOIA. The American
people should not have to rely on science fiction for answers.
Leslie Kean is a reporter for Pacifica radio. She is research director of the
Coalition for Freedom of Information, www.freedomofinfo.org.
She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2002, Caller.com. All Rights Reserved.
The Providence Journal
May 3, 2001
Pilot encounters with UFOs
New study challenges secrecy and denial
JANUARY, Agence France Presse reported that a Siberian airport was shut for 1½
hours while a luminescent unidentified flying object hovered above its runway.
Although it’s hard to imagine such an event taking place in the United States,
a compelling October 2000 study by a retired aerospace scientist from NASA-Ames
Research Center shows that similar incidents have occurred in American skies
over the last 50 years. “Aviation Safety in America – A Previously Neglected
Factor” presents more than 100 pilot and crew reports of encounters with
unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) which appear to have compromised aviation
Richard F. Haines, formerly NASA’s Chief of the Space Human Factors Office and
a Raytheon contract scientist, is chief scientist for the National Aviation
Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP), a research organization
founded last year. [ For
further, in depth information about the National Aviation
Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP) and their research activities, CLICK
HERE ]. In stunning detail, pilots and crew describe a range of
geometric forms and lights inconsistent with known aircraft or natural
phenomena. Bizarre objects paced
aircraft at relatively near distances, sometimes disabling cockpit instruments,
interrupting ground communications, or distracting the crew.
data include 56 near misses. Impulsive responses by pilots to an approaching
high-speed object can be hazardous; in a few cases violent evasive
reactions injured passengers and flight attendants.
However, Haines states that there is no threat of a collision caused
directly by UAP “because of the reported high degree of maneuverability shown
by the UAP.”
flying over Lake Michigan in 1981, TWA Capt. Phil Schultz saw a “large, round,
silver metal object” with dark portholes equally spaced around the
circumference that “descended into the atmosphere from above,” according to
his hand-written report. Schultz and his first officer braced themselves for a
mid-air collision; the object suddenly made a high speed turn and departed.
Japan Airlines 747 Captain Kenju Terauchi reported a spectacular prolonged
encounter over Alaska in 1986. “Most
unexpectedly two space ships stopped in front of our face, shooting off
lights," he said. "The inside cockpit shined brightly and I felt warm
in the face." Despite the Federal Aviation Administration’s determination
that he and his crew were stable, competent and professional, he was grounded
for speaking out.
In 1997, a Swissair Boeing 747 over Long Island just missed a
glowing white, cylindrical object speeding towards the plane.
According to a FAA Civil Aviation Security Office memorandum, Pilot
Philip Bobet said that “if the object was any lower, it may have hit the right
systems operators have also been affected by UAP. “The element of surprise
means a decrease in safety because it diverts the attention of air traffic
controllers that should be focused on landing planes. That is a danger,” says
Jim McClenahen, a recently retired FAA air traffic control specialist and NARCAP
Safety in America” does not attempt to explain the origin of these mysterious
objects. But Haines writes that
hundreds of reports, some dating back to the 1940’s, “suggest that they [UAP]
are associated with a very high degree of intelligence, deliberate flight
control, and advanced energy management.”
the 1950’s, pilots and crew reported seeing flying discs, cigar-shaped craft
with portholes, and gyrating lights, all with extraordinary technical
capabilities. Documents show the unexplained objects were considered a national
security concern. By order of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, commercial pilots were required to report sightings and
the unauthorized release of a UFO report could cost them ten years in prison or
a $10,000 fine.
keep this information from the public, officials ridiculed and debunked
legitimate sightings, angering some pilots. According to the Newark Star Ledger
in 1958, more than 50 commercial pilots who had reported sightings, each
with at least 15 years of major airline experience, blasted the policy of
censorship and denial as “bordering on the absolutely ridiculous.”
pilots said they were interrogated by the Air Force, sometimes all night long,
and then “treated like incompetents and told to keep quiet,” according to
one pilot. “The Air Force tells you that the thing that paced your plane for
15 minutes was a mirage or a bolt of lightening,” he told the Star-Ledger.
“Nuts to that. Who needs it?” As a result, many pilots “forget” to
report their sightings at all, one pilot said.
to a 1952 Air Force Status Report on UFOs for the Air Technical Intelligence
Center, pilots were so humiliated that one told investigators, “If a space
ship flew wing-tip to wing-tip formation with me, I would not report it.”
vast majority of sightings by American pilots are still not reported. The media
perpetuates the censorship and ridicule, handicapping the collection of valuable
contrast, other countries are openly investigating the impact of UAP on aviation
safety. A 1999 French study by retired generals from the French Institute of
Higher Studies for National Defense and a government agency with the National
Center for Space Studies examined hundreds of well-documented pilot reports from
around the world. The study could not explain a 1994 Air France viewing of a UAP
that instantaneously disappeared as confirmed by radar and a 1995 Aerolineas
Argentinas Boeing 727 encounter with a luminous object that extinguished airport
lights as the plane attempted to land.
personnel…must be sensitized and prepared to deal with the situation,” the
report states. They must first “accept the possibility of the presence of
extraterrestrial craft in our sky.” Then, “it is necessary to overcome the
fear of ridicule. . .”
1997, the Chilean government formed the Committee for the Study of Anomalous
Aerial Phenomena (CEFAA) following publicly acknowledged observations of
unidentified flying objects at a remote Chilean airport. Both the French group
and Gen. Ricardo Bermudez Sanhuesa, President of the CEFAA, have made overtures
to the U.S. government for cooperation on this issue, with no response. General
Bermudez, and Air Force Gen. Denis Letty, chairman of the French group, said in
recent interviews that the Haines study has international significance and
should be taken seriously.
E. Smith, current head of the Aviation Safety Program at NASA-Ames, agrees.
“There is objective evidence in pilot reports of unexplained events that may
affect the safety of the aircraft, “ he says. “Yet getting people to take an
objective look at this subject is sometimes like pulling teeth.” Indeed, the
Airline Pilots Association (ALPA), our largest pilots union, and the Flight
Safety Foundation, describing itself as “offering an objective view of
aviation safety developments,” ignored NARCAP requests for a response to the
study. In recent phone interviews with this reporter, representatives dismissed
the report out of hand after glancing at the executive summary.
such dismissals may soon loose ground. Next
Wednesday, John Callahan, former Division Chief of the Accidents and
Investigations Branch of the FAA in Washington, DC, will
disclose FAA documentation and subsequent CIA suppression of the Terauchi
encounter over Alaska. Callahan
will be joined by more than 20 other government and military witnesses, and
dozens more on videotape, at a National Press Club briefing to challenge
official secrecy about this subject.
United Airlines Capt. Neil Daniels, whose DC-10 was forced into a left turn due
to magnetic interference of cockpit compasses by a brilliant UAP, is among the
many who want change. “The energies out there are absolutely profound,” he
says. “I think we need to know what they are.”
Kean is a journalist and author based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
story was released on the Knight Ridder wires by the Providence Journal (RI). It
was also published in the San Francisco Examiner, the Huntsville Times
(Alabama), the Duluth News Tribune (MN), the Fort Pierce Tribune (FLA), the
Review Journal (Las Vegas), the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Montreal Gazette, the
California Sun and VSD (France).
theorists gain support abroad, but repression at home
Study by French officials, routine unexplained
sightings, US military safety aspects combine to boost believers
Leslie Kean, 5/21/2000
Last month's release of
the first detailed satellite images of Area 51, the top-secret US Air Force test
site in Nevada, prompted a Web site meltdown as people from across the nation
logged on in search of clues about unidentified flying objects.
''The interest has been really phenomenal,'' said David Mountain, marketing
director for Aerial Images Inc., which posted the high-resolution photographs of
Area 51 on the Internet.
But those hoping to see signs that captured UFOs are stored at the site (as some
aficionados have suggested) were destined to be disappointed. Most of Area 51's
operations occur underground, making photos meaningless.
Anyone looking for fresh information on UFOs would have better luck trying a
new, but less publicized, source: a study by the French military, just
translated into an approved English edition.
High-level officials - including retired generals from the French Institute of
Higher Studies for National Defense, a government-financed strategic planning
agency - recently took a giant step in openly challenging skepticism about UFOs.
In a report based on a three-year study, they concluded that ''numerous
manifestations observed by reliable witnesses could be the work of craft of
extraterrestrial origin'' and that, in fact, the best explanation is ''the
extraterrestrial hypothesis.'' Although not categorically proven, ''strong
presumptions exist in its favor and if it is correct, it is loaded with
The French group reached that conclusion after examining nearly 500
international aeronautical sightings and radar/ visual cases, and previously
undisclosed pilots' reports. They drew on data from official sources, government
authorities, and the air forces of other countries. The findings are contained
in a 90-page report titled ''UFOs and Defense: What Should We Prepare For?''
''The number of sightings, which are completely unexplained despite the
abundance and quality of data from them, is growing throughout the world,'' the
The authors note that about 5 percent of sightings on which there is solid
documentation cannot be easily attributed to earthly sources, such as secret
military exercises. This 5 percent seem ''to be completely unknown flying
machines with exceptional performances that are guided by a natural or
artificial intelligence,'' they say. Science has developed plausible models for
travel from another solar system and for technology that could be used to propel
the vehicles, the report points out.
It assures readers that UFOs have demonstrated no hostile acts, ''although
intimidation maneuvers have been confirmed.''
Given the widespread skepticism about UFOs, many will quickly dismiss the
generals' ''extraterrestrial hypothesis.'' But it is less easy to do so once the
authors' credentials are considered. The study's originators are four-star
General Bernard Norlain, former commander of the French Tactical Air Force and
military counselor to the prime minister; General Denis Letty, an air force
fighter pilot; and Andre Lebeau, former head of the National Center for Space
Studies, the French equivalent of NASA.
They formed a 12-member ''Committee for In-depth Studies,'' abbreviated as
COMETA, which authored the report. Other contributors included a three-star
admiral, the national chief of police, and the head of a government agency
studying the subject, as well as scientists and weapons engineers.
Not only does the group stand by its findings, it is urging international
action. The writers recommend that France establish ''sectorial cooperation
agreements with interested European and foreign countries'' on the matter of
UFOs. They suggest that the European Union undertake diplomatic action with the
United States ''exerting useful pressure to clarify this crucial issue which
must fall within the scope of political and strategic alliances.''
Why might the United States be interested - albeit, privately - in a subject
often met with ridicule, or considered the domain of the irrational?
For one thing, declassified US government documents show that unexplained
objects with extraordinary technical capabilities pose challenges to military
activity around the globe. For example, US fighter jets have attempted to pursue
UFOs, according to North American Aerospace Defense Command logs and Air Force
documents. Iranian and Peruvian air force planes attempted to shoot down
unidentified craft in 1976 and 1980. Belgium F-16s armed with missiles pursued a
UFO in 1990.
Further, the French report says that there have been ''visits above secret
installations and missile bases'' and ''military aircraft shadowed'' in the
Edgar Mitchell, the Apollo 14 astronaut who was the sixth man to walk on the
moon, is one of many supporters of international cooperation on UFOs. Of the
French report, he says, ''It's significant that individuals of some standing in
the government, military, and intelligence community in France came forth with
Mitchell, who holds a doctorate from MIT in aeronautics and astronautics, is
convinced ''at a confidence level above 90 percent, that there is reality to all
of this.'' He says, ''People have been digging through the files and
investigating for years now. The files are quite convincing. The only thing
that's lacking is the official stamp.''
Mitchell joins five-star Admiral Lord Hill-Norton, the former head of the
British Ministry of Defense, in calling for congressional fact-finding hearings
into the UFO question.
Although Congress seems disinclined to pursue the matter, the public's interest
in UFOs is undiminished. A ballot initiative underway in Missouri, certified by
the secretary of state in March, urges Congress to convene hearings. The
initiative states that ''the Federal Government's handling of the UFO issue has
contributed to the public cynicism toward, and general mistrust of,
US Naval Reserve Commander Willard H. Miller has long been communicating this
same concern to high level federal officials. With over 30 years in Navy and
joint interagency operations with the Defense Department, Miller has
participated in a series of previously undisclosed briefings for Pentagon brass
about military policy regarding UFOs.
Like many, Miller says he worries that the military's lack of preparation for
encounters with unexplained craft could provoke dangerous confrontation when,
and if, such an encounter occurs; ''precipitous military decisions,'' he warns,
''may lead to unnecessary confusion, misapplication of forces, or possible
And he says he is not alone in his concerns. ''There are those in high places in
the government who share a growing interest in this subject,'' Miller reports.
If the US military is concerned about UFOs, it is not saying so publicly.
Indeed, the French report chastises the United States for what it calls an
''impressive repressive arsenal'' on the subject, including a policy of
disinformation and military regulations prohibiting public disclosure of UFO
Air Force Regulation 200-2, ''Unidentified Flying Objects Reporting,'' for
example, prohibits the release to the public and the media of any data about
''those objects which are not explainable.'' An even more restrictive procedure
is outlined in the Joint Army Navy Air Force Publication 146, which threatens to
prosecute anyone under its jurisdiction - including pilots, civilian agencies,
merchant marine captains, and even some fishing vessels - for disclosing reports
of sightings relevant to US security.
Although researchers have been able to obtain some information through the
Freedom of Information Act, many UFO documents remain classified.
In earlier decades, issues that remain pertinent today were openly discussed. In
1960, for example, US Representative Leonard G. Wolf of Iowa entered an ''urgent
warning'' from R.E. Hillenkoetter, a former CIA director and Navy vice admiral,
into the Congressional Record that ''certain dangers are linked with
unidentified flying objects.'' Wolf cited General L.M. Chassin, NATO coordinator
of Allied Air Service, warning that ''If we persist in refusing to recognize the
existence of the UFOs, we will end up, one fine day, by mistaking them for the
guided missiles of an enemy - and the worst will be upon us.''
These concerns were taken seriously enough to be incorporated into the 1971
US-Soviet ''Agreement on Measures to Reduce the Outbreak of Nuclear War.''
The French report may open the door for nations to be more forthcoming once
again. Chile, for example, is openly addressing its own concerns about air
safety and UFOs. The now retired chief of the Chilean Air Force has formed a
committee with civil aviation specialists to study recent near-collisions of
UFOs and civilian airliners.
As the international conversation about UFOs unfolds, sightings continue, as
they have for decades. Perhaps the most notable recent USsighting took place in
March 1997. Hundreds of people across Arizona reported seeing huge triangular
objects, hovering silently in the night sky - a sighting that, as the state's US
Senator John McCain noted recently, has ''never been fully explained.''
recently as Jan. 5, four policemen at different locations in St. Claire County,
Illinois, witnessed a huge, brightly lighted, triangular craft flying and
hovering at 1,000 feet. One officer reported witnessing extreme rapid motion by
the craft that cannot be explained in conventional terms. Nearby Scott Air Force
base and the Federal Aviation Administration purport to know nothing.
The Defense Department maintains it can find no information acknowledging the
existence of the triangular objects. In response to a suit by curious Arizonans,
it provided details of its search to US District Court Judge Stephen M. McNamee
of Phoenix. On March 30, McNamee concluded that ''a reasonable search was
conducted'' even though no information was obtained, and he dismissed the case.
There is one government agency in the country that has taken steps to prepare
for a UFO encounter. The Fire Officer's Guide to Disaster Control, second
edition - used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and taught at the
seven universities offering degrees in fire science - warns of ''UFO hazards,''
such as electrical fields that cause blackouts, force fields, and physiological
''Do not stand under a UFO that is hovering at low altitudes,'' the book warns.
''Do not touch or attempt to touch a UFO that has landed.''
The text leaves little room for skepticism. John E. Mack, professor of
psychiatry at Harvard University and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, stopped
being skeptical a long time ago.
''No culture from the beginning of time, no culture from anywhere on the planet,
has ever voided the idea of all other intelligent life other than ourselves,''
he told a UFO conference at the New York Hall of Science two weeks ago. ''That's
Kean is a freelance journalist in the San Francisco Bay area.
This story ran on page E3 of the Boston Globe on 5/21/2000.
© Copyright 2000
Globe Newspaper Company.
Distributed by The New York Times wire service and in the Pentagon’s
international daily The Early Bird; published in the Irish Independent weekend
magazine; VSD in France.