If Spy Planes Are Behind UFO Sightings, What Could Possibly Explain the Five Vast Objects That Hovered over Britain? AS THE CIA CLAIMS TO COME CLEAN ABOUT THE UFO PHENOMENON, THE MYSTERY STILL REMAINS .

Daily Mail (London), August 5, 1997 | Go to article overview

If Spy Planes Are Behind UFO Sightings, What Could Possibly Explain the Five Vast Objects That Hovered over Britain? AS THE CIA CLAIMS TO COME CLEAN ABOUT THE UFO PHENOMENON, THE MYSTERY STILL REMAINS .


Byline: NICK HOPKINS

TAKEN at face value, it was an attempt by the CIA to clear up a perplexing mystery.

The agency admitted, albeit reluctantly, that more than half the sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects recorded during the Fifties and Sixties could be explained after all.

The darting silver objects seen in the sky and assiduously reported by members of the public were not flying saucers or alien space ships of any kind.

They were U.S. military spy planes flying top-secret reconnaissance missions from bases in Nevada and California to the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

The aircraft, the Lockheed U-2 and the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, flew at very high altitudes - the latter flew at more than 2,000mph at up to 85,000ft. No wonder people squinting into the heavens thought they had seen strange objects.

Duplicity had been necessary, the CIA reasoned, in the interests of `national security'.

The Air Force had made `misleading and deceptive statements in order to allay fears and to protect an extraordinarily sensitive project,' the agency said. So the public had been fobbed off with half-hearted explanations of the sightings - weather balloons which had gone astray and atmospheric phenomena were the favoured white lies.

The optimists in the CIA hoped that this belated admission in documents published on the Internet would be another nail in the coffin of the UFO `believers' who have been a thorn in their side for 50 years. But the realists acknowledged that far from defusing the issue, it has only added to the intrigue.

After so many years of fooling the public, why should anyone believe the CIA now? And why has the CIA suddenly come clean about a subject in which it always maintained it had no involvement.

Even if the report were true, what about the other UFO sightings which the CIA cannot explain? There is a strong body of respected opinion on both sides of the Atlantic which believes the CIA has panicked in the face of an enormous surge of interest in all things extra-terrestrial.

While the number of UFO sightings rises every year, the vacuous explanations and stone-walling have remained the same.

`The old cover-up stories just don't wash any more,' said John E. Pike, head of space policy at the Federation of American Scientists, based in Washington. `The flying saucer community is definitely onto something.'

The UFO `believers' who have dissected the CIA report divide into two camps: the radicals who don't believe a word the agency is saying; and the moderates who accept the CIA is probably telling the truth - but not the whole truth.

Walter Andrus, international director of the Mutual UFO Network, is in the former camp. `The public are not stupid,' he said. `They've been lied to by the government so often over the years that they are not going to believe it.'

There are Britons, though, who are less dismissive of the CIA. They think the agency is boxing clever to try to assuage the thousands of people who believe they have seen a UFO but are still inherently sceptical.

`Obviously there is a problem of admission here,' said Nick Pope, who studied UFO sightings for the Ministry of Defence between 1991 and 1994, and still works there.

`The CIA hardly inspires confidence in what it is saying by admitting that everything it has said in the past was all lies. But even if you do believe that many of these sightings were spy planes, it does not amount to very much.

`The report does not help to explain the numerous low-altitude sightings of UFOs, or the photographs of circular-shaped objects in the sky. Hundreds of them have not been accounted for properly.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

If Spy Planes Are Behind UFO Sightings, What Could Possibly Explain the Five Vast Objects That Hovered over Britain? AS THE CIA CLAIMS TO COME CLEAN ABOUT THE UFO PHENOMENON, THE MYSTERY STILL REMAINS .
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.