Note From Stogie:
I received the following email from Roger Glass, thoroughly rebutting what I didn't say or mean in my article about Flying Saucers. I specifically exposed certain known fakers of UFO phenomena, discussed their possible motivations, and described some credible tales of alien abductions. I did not and do not deny the possibility of extraterrestrial visitations to earth.
However, Roger ignored my specific points of discussion and inappropriately launched into a blanket defense of all UFO phonomena. I do not and did not deny the reality of UFO sightings, and did not deal with that in my article at all. Unidentified Flying Objects exist and are continually being sighted and reported, but how many of them (if any) are alien spaceships? That has not been determined or proved. (What part of "unidentified" does Roger not understand?) It is safe to say that most UFOs are weather balloons, planets, stars, kites, planes, helicopters, blimps, birds, weather inversions, swamp gas, northern lights, meteors or optical illusions. All of Roger's links point to people who saw strange lights or objects in the sky. Big deal.
I am publishing his thoughts here for anyone who wants to follow Roger's links.
From Roger Glass:
You and your correspondents go round and round on the same old popular culture fluff and chestnuts. Why don't you address the serious evidence?
Cmdr. Edward P. Stafford wrote of his flying saucer incident in the October, 2004 issue of Naval History (not exactly a flying saucer magazine), published by the U.S. Naval Institute (hardly a flying saucer organization). You can find a reproduction of the article here.
The flying saucer account of Cmdr. Stafford is unambiguous - either he was lying, or his air crewmen were lying, or they saw flying saucers. So what sort of man was Cmdr. Stafford?
He served as technical advisor on the Pearl Harbor movie Tora, Tora, Tora. In the wikipedia article on WWII aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, he is cited multiple times in the footnotes, because his bookThe Big E (see what Amazon reviewers have said about it here) is the definitive reference text on this ship. You can go also to Amazon.com and see what readers have written about his other works. One of them (Little Ship, Big War) can even be read for free at openlibrary.org.
Would a man of this caliber concoct a flying saucer tale? Over his long and honorable career, there is no record of any conduct that would cast doubt on the excellent reputation he earned. And except for the one incident, he had nothing to do with UFOs.
As another example, there's Deke Slayton's account of his sighting, as an air force P-51 pilot, beginning at page 49 in his autobiography; there's also a youtube clip of him recalling the experience. He tells his story without embellishment. Major Slayton himself was noncommittal as to his encounter. And rightfully so, given what he thought he saw. Nevertheless, the narrative, taken as a whole, undeniably leans heavily toward the "exotic flying craft of unknown origin" explanation.
And yet additionally, there's the O'Hare Airport sighting.
The Stafford, Slayton, and O'Hare incidents are noted first, because all the necessary information is immediately accessible online, and the Stafford account is particularly compelling.
But these are only three out of thousands of incidents experienced by military and commercial pilots, crews, and radar operators, as reported in mainstream publications big and small. The witnesses recount exotic flying craft performing evolutions beyond the capabilities of known vehicles - instantaneous acceleration from standstill to thousands of mph, 90 degree turns at extreme speed, etc. Many of these encounters involve both close and extended pilot and crew sightings, in combination with radar confirmation.
Of course there's radar malfunction and visual misidentification. But to this extent? At what point do such prosaic explanations stop being reasonable?
Actually, every ten or twenty years or so, some meticulous compiler (Leslie Kean, Richard Hall, Allen Hynek) publishes a new collection of such encounters. And in fact Hynek's book, as can be seen by clicking the above link, is also available for free at openlibrary.org.
And particularly as to Leslie Kean, she was a reporter for the Boston Globe. In 1999 a group of French flag officers and senior scientists issued the COMETA Report, a UFO study concluding that some of them are extraterrestrial vehicles. Among the contributors were 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 – not to mention a three-star admiral, the national chief of police, and weapons engineers. Considering the credentials of such participants, Ms. Kean thought that the publication of this report would be an earthshaking development. Apparently, not so much.
But she was moved to look into the matter herself. The result was the book already linked above - UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record, an exhaustively researched account of some of the best UFO cases. Elsewhere Ms. Kean writes about one of the incidents from her book:
"As an example, Brig. Gen. Jose Periera of Brazil, commander of air force operations until 2005, reports on an 'array of UFOs' observed over his country in 1986. Two pilots chased one of the objects for 30 minutes. Numerous other pilots saw the objects. Radar recorded them. Six jets were scrambled from two Brazilian air force bases to pursue them. Some of the pilots made visual contact corresponding to radar registrations. Both military and commercial pilots were involved. Onboard as well as ground radar systems confirmed the presence of the objects.
“'We have the correlation of independent readings from different sources,' Periera writes. 'These data have nothing to do with human eyes. When, along with the radar, a pilot‘s pair of eyes sees that same thing, and then another pilot‘s, and so on, the incident has real credibility and stands on a solid foundation.'”
Any reasonable and objective person who considers the evidence for flying saucers must conclude that they are real.
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