Magazine article Insight on the News

If the Truth Is out There, the Feds Aren't Telling

Magazine article Insight on the News

If the Truth Is out There, the Feds Aren't Telling

Article excerpt

For decades, Americans have been watching the skies for signs of intelligent life -- and they show no signs of eye strain. Now, UFO enthusiasts are petitioning Congress to investigate.

One Sunday evening last summer, a television-news anchorwoman was delivering a report on yet another UFO sighting. The unidentified flying object, according to government sources cited in the report, actually was a reconnaissance plane. The anchor read the report with a straight face, then tossed it aside. "No one is going to believe it," she concluded.

What people do believe may hover somewhere between Contact and Men in Black. Gallup polls show 72 percent of Americans think there is life on other planets; 71 percent think the government knows more about UFOs than it's telling.

UFOs and their alien passengers more than haunt the edges of popular consciousness. They keep popping up in ads, on the Internet, in movies and on television, including most recently Danger in Our Skies, a program about UFOs aired on a cable-TV network. Those who want more on UFOs can attend three forthcoming conferences scheduled in the nation's capital.

"The Air Force can be presented face-to-face with very provocative testimony and just throw it out the window," says Bill Weitzel, a retired college professor. "The lack of attention by the military is due to an ingrained belief there's nothing to look at. The government views the UFO phenomenon as a vocal group of people with extreme beliefs. But there are serious scientists out there doing good research."

U.S. Air Force spokeswoman Gloria Cales says the Air Force investigated UFOs from 1947 to 1969 during what was known as Project Bluebook. "We ended the investigation because there was nothing to support it," she says. "None of these UFOs were a threat to national security, none of them represented any technological developments beyond the range of modern knowledge and none of the unidentifiable objects were identified as an extraterrestrial vehicle."

But Cales had no explanation for what appeared in the Arizona sky a year ago on March 13, when thousands of people reported seeing a huge V-shaped object approximately a mile long floating over the cities of Wickenburg, Glendale, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe. Lines to local police, media and nearby Luke Air Force Base were jammed by callers. Three months later, a Phoenix city-council member named Frances Barwood called for an investigation of the mysterious object.

Researchers at the Center for the Study of Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, or CSETI, say sightings are reaching a critical mass. …

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