REUTERS: Former pilots and officials call for new U.S. UFO probe
- Former pilots and officials call for new U.S. UFO probe Mon 12 Nov 2007,
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich
may have been ridiculed for saying he had seen a UFO, but for some former
military pilots and other observers, unidentified flying objects are no
An international panel of two dozen former pilots and government officials
called on the U.S. government on Monday to reopen its generation-old UFO
investigation as a matter of safety and security given continuing reports
about flying discs, glowing spheres and other strange sightings.
"Especially after the attacks of 9/11, it is no longer satisfactory to
ignore radar returns ... which cannot be associated with performances of
existing aircraft and helicopters," they said in a statement released at a
The panellists from seven countries, including former senior military
officers, said they had each seen a UFO or conducted an official
investigation into UFO phenomena.
The subject of UFOs grabbed the spotlight in the U.S. presidential race last
month when Kucinich, a member of Congress from Ohio, said during a televised
debate with other Democratic candidates that he had seen one.
Former presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter are both reported to have
claimed UFO sightings.
Most turn out to be misidentified aircraft, satellites or meteors. A
panellist who once worked for Britain's Ministry of Defense said 5 percent
of incidents cannot be explained.
But the sightings are often dismissed by authorities without proper
investigations, UFO activists say.
"It's a question of who you going to believe: your lying eyes or the
government?" remarked John Callahan, a former Federal Aviation
Administration investigator, who said the CIA in 1987 tried to hush up the
sighting of a huge lighted ball four times the size of a jumbo jet in
The panel, organized by a group dedicated to winning credibility for the
study of UFOs, urged Washington to resume UFO investigations through the U.S.
Air Force or NASA.
"It would certainly, I think, take a lot of angst out of this issue," said
former Arizona Gov. Fife Symington, who said he was among hundreds who saw a
delta-shaped craft with enormous lights silently traverse the sky near
Phoenix in 1997.
The Air Force investigated 12,618 UFO reports from 1947 to 1969 in what was
known as Project Blue Book. Investigators concluded that the incidents posed
no threat and there was no evidence of space aliens or a super technology in
"Since the termination of Project Blue Book, nothing has occurred that would
support a resumption of UFO investigations," the Air Force said on its Web
(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Joanne Kenen, David Alexander, Stuart
(c) Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.
Alfred Lambremont Webre, JD, MEd
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