From: RSchatte@aol.com Date: Mon, 25 Aug 1997 18:11:03 -0400 (EDT) Fwd Date: Mon, 25 Aug 1997 23:21:15 -0400 Subject: MUFON Press Release The Mutual UFO Network 103 Oldtowne Road, Seguin, TX 78155 USA 210-379-9216 Contact: Bob Bletchman 860-675-6379 Larry W. Bryant 703-931-3341 August 11, 1997 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Government's UFO-related Pronouncements Renew Lessons Learned When history judges the quantity and quality of UFO-related information shared by Earth-based governments with their citizenry, how will the news media rate in the process? That question resurfaces from recent pronouncements by U.S. military/intelligence officials that some of their predecessors' UFO-reality denials, put-downs, and obfuscation's derived from a desire to protect secret projects like balloon-borne nuclear-blast detectors and spy-plane missions. The latest such pronouncement -- the spy-plane connection, as discussed in an article by "New York Times" science writer William Broad on August 3rd - amounts to nothing more than just another "'full, final, and complete disclosure' a la the kind that Iraqi officials issue whenever U.N. inspectors get too close to the truth about Saddam's hidden weaponry," explains Robert H. Bletchman. As MUFON director of public relations, Bletchman deals frequently with reporters seeking authoritative information on the UFO problem. "I like to remind them," he says, "of Dr. J. Allen Hynek's definition of 'unidentified flying object' as published in his 1972 book "The UFO Experience:" ". . . the reported perception of an object or light seen in the sky or upon the land the appearance, trajectory, and general dynamic and luminescent behavior of which do not suggest a logical, conventional explanation and which is not only mystifying to the original percipients but remains unidentified after close scrutiny of all available evidence by persons who are technically capable of making a common-sense identification, if one is possible." Ironically, astronomer Hynek had achieved at least 15 minutes of fame in 1966 when, as a consultant to the now-defunct USAF Project Blue Book, he felt compelled to explain a flurry of UFO sightings in Michigan as probably combusting swamp gas. Thenceforth, the American public in general -- and the news media in particular - -have shown less readiness to accept the government's UFO-related pronouncements. That turning point as regards official credibility has a correlate: the U.S. military's reliance on deceptive "body counts" in Southeast Asia to paint a picture of gradual U.S. victory in the Vietnam War. "In both the Michigan UFO case and in the Vietnam snafu, the media learned a valuable lesson: Always cast a critical eye at glib, undocumented, uncorroborated pronouncements by government officials," says Bletchman. "Now, with this C.I.A. claim that 'many' of the reported UFO sightings of the Blue Book era can be attributed to spy-plane activity, the media have another opportunity to relearn that same lesson." In the process, media people might find pay dirt in pursing such leads as -- * The whereabouts of (presumably still-classified) gun camera films of UFOs being chased by jet interceptors; * The alleged revelations contained in Army Lt. Col. (Ret.) Philip J. Corso's memoir "The Day After Roswell;" * The extent of columnist Jack Anderson's knowledge of, and sources for, the government cover-up of the UFO experience; and * Potential new evidence from yet-to-surface whistleblowers of Corso's caliber. Note: In retrospect, even today's officials would find it impractical to sift through the nearly 12,000 Blue Book cases to see which ones fall into the 50 percent supposedly caused by spy planes. Were he alive today, Hynek would dwell not on the intellectual killing field of Blue Book but on those "high strangeness" and "national-security implicated" cases that, according to USAF Brig. Gen C. H. Bolender, were steered past the Blue Book net into a dark repository -- sightings like those revealed by retired astronaut Gordon Cooper and USAF Lt. Col. William Coleman (a former BB official). Cooper's case dates back to 1957 at Edwards AFB, California, involving a disc that landed near a base film crew at the scene. Coleman's encounter occurred in 1955 while he and his flight crew ere airborne, coming within a few hundred yards of a strange craft. "As in the past MUFON directors, technical consultants, and field investigators worldwide stand ready to help the news media help us resolve the UFO problem," concludes Bletchman.
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