Are we alone? UFOs the topic
- Are we alone? UFOs the topic
By Dan Nailen
The Salt Lake Tribune
In 1952, Navy officer Delbert Newhouse was driving
cross-country with his family, a trip that took them
through northern Utah the morning of July 2.
Around 11 a.m., Newhouse's wife reportedly noticed
odd figures in the sky a few miles outside Tremonton.
Grabbing his movie camera, Newhouse ended up with
some striking images of the unidentified flying objects -
images that persuaded the U.S. Air Force, Navy and
the Central Intelligence Agency to investigate.
The government eventually concluded the "Tremonton
tapes" simply showed some seagulls in flight.
Of course, what would you expect the government to say?
The Tremonton episode is one story in a long line of
alleged extraterrestrial activity in Utah. It's one reason
independent UFO researcher and lecturer Robert Hastings
will make his fourth trip to the state Wednesday for a
lecture at the University of Utah.
Of the Tremonton tapes, Hastings said: "If one looks,
using modern, computer-based visual-enhancement
technologies, those seagulls essentially were saucer-
shaped. They were round, oval-shaped or disc-shaped,
so clearly they weren't seagulls.
"That's one example of countless ones where the PR
guys at the Pentagon have tried to explain away UFOs."
UFOs, extraterrestrials and all manner of unexplained
phenomena are always the subject of uneasy debate
between believers and nonbelievers, government
agents and private citizens. And UFOs are fodder for
pop-culture fantasies, whether through sci-fi flicks of the
1950s or "The X-Files," a TV show in the '90s that
rekindled talk that "The Truth Is Out There."
The 56-year-old Hastings has dedicated much of his
life to formulating counterarguments to official dismissals
of all things UFO-related, digging through once-classified
documents, filing Freedom of Information Act requests,
and interviewing people with firsthand knowledge of
UFO sightings and the government's efforts to ignore
them. He's delivered his findings in lectures at more
than 500 colleges and universities.
Most of his study involves the preponderance of
UFO activity near America's nuclear weapons, and he
has studied intently cases in Wyoming, New Mexico
"There are FBI, CIA and Air Force documents going
back to as early as December 1948 confirming that
what the documents themselves refer to as 'flying discs'
or 'flying saucers' have demonstrated an ongoing interest
in our nuclear weapons sites," Hastings said, noting
that since 2001, the release of sensitive, UFO-related
documents by the government has slowed to a trickle.
Much of his lecture Wednesday, "UFOs: The Hidden
History," will involve the history and potential risks of
alien life forms' interest in U.S. nuclear weapons.
Stephen Nielson, the 23-year-old speakers board
chairman for the Associated Students of the University
of Utah, booked Hastings' lecture at the U. Nielson
said he believes in extraterrestrial life, but "I don't
necessarily know if they've been to Earth."
"UFOs, everybody has some fascination with them,
" Nielson said. " 'The X-Files' made them extremely
popular during the '90s, so the generation that's now
in college kind of has that mentality."
Regards Diane Harrison
The Australian UFO Research Network
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