A Different Perspective: More Commentary on AARO



The consensus throughout
the UFO community of the latest report from AARO was less than enthusiastic.
Almost universally, it was condemned as inadequate, riddled with errors and a
lack of understanding of the history of the UFO phenomena. While I didn’t
expect this alleged project to consult with any of us who have been around for
a long time, it would have saved them some embarrassment because we know where
the bodies are buried… I mean that figuratively rather than literally.

Barry Greenwood, one of
the best historians studying the UFO phenomenon from the beginning, noted some
of the same problems that I did. He posted a response online that said, in part:

[T]here is an entry [in the table
of contents] for “Project SAUCER (1946/1947 – January 1948” and then just below
that “Project SIGN (January 1948 – February 1949).” Project SIGN is the
previously-understood beginning of UFO investigation but that is relegated to
third place now behind Project SAUCER and whatever happened in 1945. The “whatever
happened in 1945” is not even given a name, though it is described as one of
the “UAP investigatory Programs.” The earliest specific date for a beginning of
a program is 1946, “Project SAUCER” Blue Book head, Captain Edward Ruppelt,
explained in his book “The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (1956) that a
Project SIGN member told him Project SAUCER existed a year before SIGN under
that informal designation. Long-time UFO researchers might note an anomaly here
in that the phenomenon wasn’t even called “flying saucers” until the wave of
1947. How could it be called “Project SAUCER in 1946, even by insiders? The
only widely known public manifestation of a UFO phenomenon in 1946 was the
so-called “Ghost Rocket” wave in Scandinavia in 1946, not evident in the U.S
aside from press coverage of Sweden and not called anything like “saucers.”
There is documentation that the U.S. received information on the Swedish ghost
rockets but no investigative program was launched and no further action was
taken other than to be informed of developments on this.

This is an interesting
question but it points at the overall lack of historical understanding of the
UFO phenomenon. But as I mentioned in my last post, what it did was confirm the
research by Wendy Connors and Michael Hall, who reported that Colonel Howard
McCoy had been ordered to establish an investigation in December 1946 before
Kenneth Arnold’s sighting initiated the press and public interest in what the
world would be called “flying saucers,” about seven months later.

Greenwood also pointed
to another mistake, which actually showed that those creating the AARO report
had not followed the leads to the original source. They used Ruppelt’s book
without attempting to verify all the information in it. Greenwood explained:

Still a few more lines down in the
table of contents, there is an entry for “Project BEAR (Late 1951 – Late 1954).
There was never an official UFO investigation called “Project BEAR.” In fact,
it was a nickname given by Ruppelt to a project which he could not discuss at
the time by Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio. That was called Project STORK/WHITE
STORK and partly resulted in Project Blue Book Special Report 14. The original
purpose of this was to assess Soviet capabilities to conduct technological
warfare and that work crept into the UFO phenomenon. Project STORK/WHITE STORK
has not been classified for years and could have been used by AARO instead of
the inaccurate BEAR. But it can lead researches to pursue the wrong designation
with FOIA requests and get nowhere.

Other researchers have found other
areas in which the AARO report was in error. Robert Powell wrote:

Let’s begin with the many flaws and errors in this report.
Some were trivial but were flaws that any check of a paper should have detected.
There are many broken links in the references cited…

The Kenneth Arnold sighting is one of the most historical
cases in the early days of the phenomenon. The AARO paper listed the date of
the sighting as June 23, 1947. The correct date is June 24. This may seem trivial
but it is considered of the of important dates in UFO/UAP history. Furthermore,
the AARO paper stated that Arnold saw “circular objects.” This is incorrect.
Arnold never said he saw circular objects and he drew objects with a curved front
that tapered into a triangular form in back. Arnold clearly describes the objects
in an audio recording in existence…

The original drawing of Arnold’s “flying saucer.” available in
the Project Blue Book files.

Powell touches on some of the points
made by Greenwood about Project Stork and how the AARO paper gets much of that
history wrong. Powell then points out that one of the Congressional
requirements was that AARO investigate the history of the UFO phenomenon.
Powell then wrote:

The AARO paper ignored key historical parts of UFO history.
The AARO paper does not deal with the government involvement in any of the
major historical UFO/UAP cases. This is an egregious failure. Instead, it only
covers Roswell because it matches up with AARO’s stupor arguing against
captured ET craft. All of the following cases are some of the most interesting
sighting reports that were investigated and should have been discussed in any
historical report: May 11, 1950, McMinnville, Oregon photos; July 2, 1952,
Tremonton, Utah film; Summer of 1952 East Coast events and military orders to
fire on UFO/UAP; July 17, 1957, USAF RB-47 AWAC-type aircraft is trailed by a
UFO for two hours; Nov, 2-3, 1957, Levelland, Texas with 81 pages in Project
Blue Book; Oct. 24, 1968, Minot AFB, ND, B52/ICBM/radar… Oct. 18, 1973,
Mansfield, OH, Coyne helicopter incident…

I will add here that I have examined
several of those cases in-depth. The Levelland, Texas, case had had dozens of
witnesses, car engines stalled and other electric devices effected, and the
report of a landing trace on a ranch just outside of town. Not only were their
civilian witnesses who described the UFO, but members of law enforcement, and
even reports by military officers who followed the local sheriff out to search
for the egg-shaped object. There is good evidence that the car carrying Air
Force officers was stalled by the close approach of the UFO. I did write a book
about this case, cleverly entitled Levelland, that details the evidence
for these points.

Road to Levelland, Texas, obviously. Photo by Kevin randle

I will add that I might by the only Army
trained helicopter that investigated the Coyne helicopter case. I understood
more about what went on in the cockpit because of that training. I discussed
the case at length in 1973: A Time of UFO Sightings, Landings and
This is a book that dealt with the sightings of that year that
exposes the lie that the Air Force stopped investigating UFOs in 1969. Yes, a
couple of plugs for my books, but also a note of where a great deal of additional
information can be found including lists of original source material and
personal interviews.

There were other responses as well,
attacking different aspects of the AARO report. Many of the footnotes lead to
AARO case files, but we don’t learn much about those cases. These footnotes don’t
provide anything that could be considered transparency. We do not have access
to the files so that we might evaluate the quality of the information. We are
left hoping the information is accurate and fair, but hope isn’t part of the
scientific method. We need the data so that we know if there are alternative
explanations or if they should be considered unidentified.

For some reason, those who have been
tasked by the government to investigate UFOs (oops, I mean UAP), are loath to
admit that there are some cases that defy explanation. The failure to find a
terrestrial explanation that fits the facts does not mean that the sighting is
proof of alien visitation. It means that no plausible solution is available at
this time.

To cite but a single case in which the
sighting seems to defy explanation but was later identified, I think of the
Chiles/Whitted sighting of 1948, proves that point. When first reported, it was
listed as unidentified by the Air Force. I believe, in the world today, there
is an explanation. The descriptions by the two pilots of the UFO, Chiles and
Whitted, suggest they saw a bolide as it began to break up. For those who wish
more information about this, can find it here:


In the coming weeks, there will be
more commentary about this latest report. The MSM, who long ago abandoned any
real investigation, will repeat the conclusion of the report without worrying about
its accuracy. That conclusion said:

To date, AARO has not
discovered any empirical evidence that any sighting of a UAP represented
off-world technology or the existence a classified program that had not been
properly reported to Congress. Investigative efforts determined that most
sightings were the result of misidentifications of ordinary objects and
phenomena. Although many UFO reports remain unsolved, AARO assesses that if additional,
quality data were available, most of these cases also could be identified and
resolved as ordinary objects or phenomena

What is said here is the same thing
that those of us who have been around for decades have said. The vast majority
of the UFO sighting reports are of mundane and terrestrial objects. We
eliminate many of them in our investigations. We also know that in the body of “unidentified”
objects, there are many that would be resolved if complete data had been collected.
But we also know that there are sightings in which there are complete data and
no plausible explanation has been offered.

But, as they say, “It only takes one.”
And that one might be Roswell, or Levelland, or the Zamora sighting in 1964 or
the Hickson/Parker abduction in 1973, or the encounter in Rendlesham Forest in
1980. The point is that has been some very intriguing evidence that AARO overlooked
probably on purpose. This is not the end of the controversy.

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