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REUTERS: Former pilots and officials call for new U.S. UFO probe

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    Former pilots and officials call for new U.S. UFO probe Mon 12 Nov 2007, 22:03 GMT [-] Text [+] WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 12, 2007
      Former pilots and officials call for new U.S. UFO probe Mon 12 Nov 2007,
      22:03 GMT
      [-] Text [+]

      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
      laughing matter.

      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
      news conference.

      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
      Alaska.

      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
      operation.

      "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
      site.

      (Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Joanne Kenen, David Alexander, Stuart
      Grudgings)
      (c) Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.

      http://africa.reuters.com/world/news/usnN12484197.html
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