The Thinking 

From the Desk of Our Flying Saucer Correspondent

September 12, 2012


ROGER G. writes:

Awhile back, our estimable blogmistress wrote about her sighting of a green fireball.  I am the official flying saucer (and rugby) expert for the THW and VFR websites, so it might be thought that I would have responded. But I am an old and seasoned flying saucer nut. Therefore I’m not to be provoked by a bolide, or any of the many other natural phenomena which lie behind almost all UFO incidents.

However, other readers have made comments implying that flying saucers don’t exist. (See here and here) That’s a point of view which does motivate me to respond.

I concede that intelligent and well informed people generally are of such opinion. On this matter, they are wrong. Anyone who looks at the evidence objectively must conclude that we are being visited from outside the earth – given what we know of Sol’s other planets, certainly from outside our solar system.

Take Cmdr. Edward P. Stafford, a respected naval historian who has authored several well received books; go to and read the reviews. He was technical advisor on the movie Tora, Tora, Tora. I don’t think you’ll find a naval history enthusiast who has a bad word to say about him. He wrote of his flying saucer experience in the October, 2004 issue of Naval History. You can find a reproduction of the article here.

Astronaut Deke Slayton’s account of his sighting, as an air force P-51 pilot, begins at page 47 in his autobiography.

These are only two out of hundreds, probably 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.

Leslie Kean was a reporter for the Boston Globe. She has also written for Mother Jones, so I would guess she’s a big lefty, but for our purposes that’s neither here nor there. In 1999 a group of French flag officers and senior scientists issued the COMETA report (I know I know I know, France. Please read some history – Austerlitz, Verdun, and whatnot – reflect on your own distinguished combat record, and give it a rest), 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.

She assumed that this would be an earthshaking development. So did I. Considering that you’re just now learning about it, apparently not so much.

But she was moved to look into the matter herself. The result was UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record, a meticulously and exhaustively researched account of some of the best UFO cases. These are already known to us nuts, but the book is not written for us, but for you. 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.”

I’m the first to admit that flying saucers are irrelevant. A friend of mine is a local talk show host who both dismisses flying saucers (even though he comes from Chicago, the site of the O’Hare airport incident) and holds to the standard mainstream conservative (i.e., right-liberal) view on The Religion of Peace. I told him that it doesn’t matter whether he believes in flying saucers, but it’s vital that he believe in Islam.

Nevertheless, for what it’s worth, The Truth Is Out There.

—— Comments —–

Jim P. writes:

I’m actually in the middle of Ms. Kean’s book and she goes to great lengths to separate herself from her kookier predecessors.

Her book begins with a pained and overwrought explanation as to why she developed a interest in the subject and why it deserves a fair hearing. She takes up a lot of the first pages trying to convince you she’s not crazy; I suppose she lives on her reputation so I can’t really blame her.

Her work is first rate and methodical. She starts with the people themselves, who are exceptionally credible and detailed in recounting their experiences. They are established career men in aviation and quite often fighter pilots. There are some very unnerving experiences, one by a French fighter pilot at his own home with his wife witnessing a phenomena across the street during daylight. I found myself astonished not only by what was reported but by whom: a fighter pilot (an admittedly very rare occupation) who was not flying!

The European approach to the subject is more open and less apt to destroy someone’s career.

I’m not conspiracy minded, to me the U.S. government simply has no explanation for some of these incidences and so rather than admit or acknowledge something intelligently guided operating in our air space, they prefer the dismissive approach.

For my part I only deal with what we know, and we don’t know these craft are from outer space. All I can presently acknowledge is the presence of guided craft doing things we can’t presently build ourselves. The world still has lots of mystery in it and I do find myself having to accept this as one of them.

From the further reaches of The Thinking Housewife orbit, thanks for all that you do.

Laura writes:

See more comments here.

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