Leslie Kean



12/6/05: Leslie Kean tells Jerry about how she has uncovered evidence that the crash could not have been a Russian Space Probe, and how the investigations over the years have revealed that something did happen in the woods that night in rural Pennsylvania.

to read Leslie Kean's latest article on the Kecksburg Crash.
©2005 by Leslie Kean

Post Production Editing by Jane Swartley



Leslie Kean, Research Director of the Coalition for Freedom of Information (CFI), a new, high profile organization based in Washington, DC that hopes to reveal the truth about what our government knows about UFOs. Leslie is a free-lance reporter and talk show host of the Pacifica Foundation public radio station in the San Francisco Bay Area.

During a recent exclusive interview on the Jerry Pippin UFO-Files Show, Leslie provided information about CFI and it's agenda, and tells Jerry about several investigations in which she is currently involved. UFOs have been causing serious safety concerns to commercial aviation. Leslie tells Jerry about government cover-ups of UFO activity with documented examples.

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Examples of Leslie Kean's CFI Communiqués and Investigative Reporting on UFOs

From the Corpus Christi, TX Caller-Times
December 14, 2002

Out of this world
What is the government hiding about the close encounters with UFO's

By Leslie Kean

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?

Investigative 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 guarding nuclear
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 lkean@ix.netcom.com.

Copyright 2002, Caller.com. All Rights Reserved.

The Providence Journal
May 3, 2001

 Pilot encounters with UFOs
New study challenges secrecy and denial

By Leslie Kean

IN 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 safety.

Author 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.

The 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.” 

While 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.

Veteran 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 wing.”

Ground 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 technical advisor.

“Aviation 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.”

In 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.

To 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.”

These 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.

According 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.”

The vast majority of sightings by American pilots are still not reported. The media perpetuates the censorship and ridicule, handicapping the collection of valuable data.

In 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. 

“Aeronautic 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. . .”

In 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.

Brian 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. 

However, 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. 

Retired 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.”

Leslie Kean is a journalist and author based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This 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).


UFO theorists gain support abroad, but repression at home
Study by French officials, routine unexplained sightings, US military safety aspects combine to boost believers

By 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 significant consequences.''

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 team declared.

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 United States.

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 this.''

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, government.''

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 catastrophic consequences.''

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 sightings.

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.''

As 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 effects.

''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 arrogance.''

Leslie 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.

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