FAA Release of Radar Data Signals a new 'Openness Policy' on UFOs
Significant support for the testimony of multiple witnesses of a UFO seen near Stephenville Texas on January 8, 2008 came in the form of radar data recently released by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). Responding to a series of Freedom of Information requests by the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), the FAA supplied 2.8 million radar returns from five sites covering the area where the UFO was sighted. A report by MUFON titled, "Special Research Report, Stephenville, Texas," provided a detailed analysis of raw data released by the FAA. The authors of the MUFON Stephenville Report, Glen Schulze and Robert Powell, stated: "data was obtained that indicates unidentified aircraft without transponder beacons which were not military jets, were found in the same compass direction and time frame as cited by the witnesses (Stephenville Report, p. 5)."
The radar returns supported witness testimonies that the object was at times stationary and also able to accelerate at tremendous speeds. Schulze and Powell claimed that some of the radar data confirmed that the object reached speeds up to 2100 mph. This was done without creating a sonic boom. They note:
Much more important than the possible sudden acceleration shown by the object is its trajectory heading. This object was traveling to the southeast on a direct course towards the Crawford Ranch, also known as President Bush's western White House. The last time the object was seen on radar at 8:00pm, it was continuing on a direct path to Crawford Ranch and was only 10 miles away (Stephenville Report, p. 7).
Schulze and Powell also revealed the extent of military activity in the area using log books and radar returns from Carswell Air Force Base, and were able to distinguish these from the sighted UFO. The radar returns confirmed witness testimonies of significant military aerial activity in relation to the UFO despite initial denials by military authorities. Schulze and Powell further examined the data in terms of witness testimonies of the UFO being chased by jets at a very low altitude. They concluded:
The Selden witnesses also indicated that the unknown object returned and was being chased by jets at very low altitude. These chase jets do not show up on radar. If their altitude was below 2000 feet, as described by the witnesses, then they would have been too low to be detected by the nearest FAA radar (Stephenville Report, p. 7).
In what appears to be a notable national security lapse, they continue:
During this entire episode of over an hour, there is no indication that any of the military jets reacted to this unknown aircraft, that was without a required transponder, and that was headed directly to the Western White House.
Two questions arise here. First, why would military authorities allow a UFO to get so close to the Crawford Ranch? Second, why would the FAA allow radar data to be released that confirm an apparent national security breach at the "Western White House" involving a UFO? Answers to these questions may be found by first examining past FAA policy on releasing UFO information, and the role of senior national security officials in dictating this policy to senior FAA officials.
Earlier FAA policy concerning UFOs appear to have two elements. One was to deny witness or pilot sightings of UFOs regardless of the credibility and/or number of witnesses. The second was to remove any radar evidence that could confirm witness testimonies of UFOs. These elements of what appears to be a long standing policy of the FAA regarding UFOs is exemplified in two well documented cases.
The first concerns the 2006 multiple witness sighting of a UFO over O'Hare International Airport. In a comprehensive report of the O'Hare incident titled: "Report of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon and its Safety Implications at O'Hare International Airport on November 7, 2006," by Dr Richard Haines, he notes:
According to the FAA nothing was detected by radar at this location or time of day or seen by air traffic controllers from the main tower. An examination of primary radar data supplied by the FAA confirmed the first claim. Nevertheless, an FAA inbound ground controller remarked about the "UFO" (UAP) long before the object had departed. (O'Hare Report, p. 5).
Furthermore, Haines reported on the result of FOIA requests for tower logs and communications that: "clearly showed (1) three separate telephone inquiries from the United ramp tower (and management) concerning the UAP [UFO] and (2) a written notation of one of these calls in the FAA's tower's Daily Record of Facility Operations" (O'Hare Report, p. 19). More incriminating was a series of interviews with United Airline employees by a journalist for the Chicago Tribune, Jon Hilkevitch, wherein it was alleged that they were "told to not talk about what they saw to anyone." Was the management of United Airlines muzzling its employees because of FAA pressure, and was the FAA muzzling its own employees? Regardless of the answers to these questions, the FAA's policy seemed to be one of dismissing testimonies of a UFO at O'Hare international airport regardless of witness reliability and quantity.
The second documented case involves a former section chief for the FAA, John Callahan, who revealed what occurred to radar and other evidence of a UFO witnessed in the vicinity of a Japanese Airline 747 flying over Alaska in 1986. After the event, Callahan requested all the data to be transferred first to Atlantic City for initial analysis by him and his team, and then to Washington D.C. for a personal viewing by the FAA Administrator, Vice Admiral Donald Engen. He subsequently describes what happened after Admiral Engen saw the data:
Well a few minutes later the Admiral calls down and says, I have set up a briefing tomorrow morning at 9:00 am in the round room. Bring all the stuff you have Bring everybody up there and give them whatever they want They [a group of national security officials] brought in three people from the FBI, three people from the CIA, and three people from Reagan's Scientific Study team - I don't know who the rest of people were but they were all excited. When they got done, they actually swore all these other guys in there that this never took place. We never had this meeting. And this was never recorded. [http://preview.tinyurl.com/6g7nxu ]
Callahan went on to disclose in his public testimony how the data was confiscated by the national security team from the Reagan administration who were concerned about public reaction to the reality of UFOs. Callahan further described how he was able to hold on to a duplicate set of data in his office which he revealed at a May 2001 National Press Club Conference. Callahan believed that the FAA was complicit in a cover up of what the radar evidence clearly showed was a UFO that backed pilot and passenger testimonies of a UFO following a Japanese 747.
For those people that say that if these UFOs existed, they would some day be on radar and that there'd be professionals who would see it, then I can tell them that back in 1986 there were enough professional people that saw it. It was brought down to headquarters, FAA headquarters, Washington D.C. The Administrator saw the tape of it. The people that we were debriefing, they've all seen. Reagan's Scientific Study team, three of those professors, doctors, they've seen it. As far as I was concerned they were the ones that verified my own thoughts about it. They were very, very excited about the data. They had said that this was the only time a UFO was ever recorded on radar for any length of time where it is 30 some minutes. And they have all this data to look at http://preview.tinyurl.com/6g7nxu
The two well documented case studies from the 2006 O'Hare incident and the 1987 Japanese 747 Alaska incident reveal that the FAA has been complicit in the dismissal of credible witness testimonies of UFOs, and more significantly of deliberately withdrawing corroborating data. Senior national security officials in various Presidential administrations have played key roles in dictating this policy to the FAA and its administrators.
Consequently, I now return to the earlier two questions concerning the FAA's release of radar returns from the Stephenville incident, and why it authorized this release in the case of a UFO that was tracked heading towards President Bush's Crawford Ranch. The release of the radar returns suggests a significant policy change by senior national security officials within the Bush administration has occurred. Rather than debunking UFO testimonies and withholding corroborating data, the FAA is now releasing key data that helps confirm these testimonies. A new policy of openness appears to be underway. The testimony of former FAA chief Callahan wherein he revealed the role of national security officials in secretly directing FAA policy when it comes to UFO sightings, suggests they have approved the new openness policy. This may account for why major television programs such Larry King Live have been running an unprecedented series of programs on UFOs since the Stephenville sighting. Importantly, the new openness policy may be related to a set of secret meetings at the United Nations from February 12-14 wherein a new policy of openness on UFOs was approved by member nations.
Furthermore, the release of radar evidence pointing to a possible national security breach concerning the Western White House, suggests that the UFO was something other than a classified military project. If the Stephenville UFO was a classified military project, secrecy could easily have been imposed, and the FAA prevented from releasing its radar data for obvious national security reasons. Also, if the UFO belonged to a foreign nation, it would be highly unlikely that the military jets tracking the UFO would not have engaged with the UFO as it approached the Crawford Ranch, as Schulze and Powell implied in their report.
A more plausible explanation for the FAA's release of the radar data is that senior national security officials are signaling that the Stephenville UFO sighting was not part of any classified program, nor does it belong to any other national government. The FAA and more senior officials are directing the general public to contemplate a genuine enigma over the UFOs' origin. Consequently, it appears that the goal of the shift in FAA policy on UFOs is that a program to acclimate the American public to the reality of UFOs, and the possibility that they have something other than earthly origin is well underway. It can therefore be predicted that in the months ahead, more persuasive empirical data by the FAA and other government agencies will be allowed to emerge into the public arena increasingly pointing to the reality of UFOs and the possibility of an extraterrestrial origin.
E. Salla, Ph.D
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