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UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record

UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record

3.7 68
by Leslie Kean

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An Air Force major is ordered to approach a brilliant UFO in his Phantom jet over Tehran. He repeatedly attempts to engage and fire on unusual objects heading right toward his aircraft, but his missile control is locked and disabled. Witnessed from the ground, this dogfight becomes the subject of a secret report by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.


An Air Force major is ordered to approach a brilliant UFO in his Phantom jet over Tehran. He repeatedly attempts to engage and fire on unusual objects heading right toward his aircraft, but his missile control is locked and disabled. Witnessed from the ground, this dogfight becomes the subject of a secret report by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.
In Belgium, an Air Force colonel investigates a series of widespread sightings of unidentified triangular objects, and he sends F-16s to attempt a closer look. Many hundreds of eyewitnesses, including on-duty police officers, file reports, and a spectacular photograph of an unidentifiable craft is retrieved and analyzed.
Here at home, a retired chief of the FAA’s Accidents and Investigations Division reveals the agency’s response to a thirty-minute encounter between an aircraft and a gigantic UFO over Alaska, which occurred during his watch and is documented on radar.
Now all three of these distinguished men have written breathtaking, firsthand accounts about these extraordinary incidents. They are joined by Air Force generals and a host of high-level sources—including Fife Symington III, former governor of Arizona, and Nick Pope, former head of the British Defence Ministry’s UFO Investigative Unit—who have agreed to write their own detailed, personal stories about UFO encounters and investigations for the first time.
They are coming forward now because of Leslie Kean, an investigative reporter who has spent the last ten years studying the still unexplained UFO phenomenon. Kean reviewed hundreds of government documents, aviation reports, radar data, and case studies with corroborating physical evidence. She carefully examined scientifically analyzed photographs and interviewed dozens of high-level officials and aviation witnesses from around the world. With the support of former White House chief of staff John Podesta, Kean draws on her research to separate fact from fiction and to lift the veil on decades of U.S. government misinformation. Throughout, she presents irrefutable evidence that unknown flying objects—metallic, luminous, and seemingly able to maneuver in ways that defy the laws of physics—actually exist.
No one yet knows what these objects are, even though they affect aviation safety and possibly national security. The phenomenon has been officially acknowledged by numerous foreign governments. For these reasons and many others, Kean concludes that the UFO problem must be more widely recognized and ultimately solved through an unbiased scientific investigation. The material presented throughout this landmark book is sobering, unflinching, and undeniably awe-inspiring, and moves us toward a goal of properly addressing this worldwide mystery.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"At last, a serious and thoughtful book about this controversial subject. Skeptics and true believers will find a treasure trove of insightful and eye opening information. This book is bound to set the gold standard for UFO research."                    
—Michio Kaku, Ph.D. Author of Physics of the Impossible and host of Sci Fi Science on the Science Channel

“I was astonished by the care and precision of Leslie Kean’s research in this terrific book.  Her analysis is carefully reasoned and to the point; her craftsmanship in organization and writing are superb.    Her expose' raises important questions: Why does the US government create public distrust by neglecting this important topic? Why do its agencies avoid investigating cases of interference with flight operations and instead issue absurd cover-up stories?  This book is ultimately an appeal to all scholars for an "extraordinary investigation of an extraordinary phenomenon.” 
—Rudy Schild, Ph.D., Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
“Like me, Leslie Kean is an agnostic on the issue of UFOs.  Her book is a fine piece of journalism - not about beliefs, but about facts.  Kean presents the most accurate, most credible reports on UFO's you will ever find.  She has fought long and hard to discover the facts and let the chips fall where they mayShe may not have the final smoking gun, but I smell the gunpowder.”
—Miles O'Brien, former CNN space/science correspondent
“I find explanations offered by UFO enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists to be implausible, but I also have little patience with "deniers" who ridicule credible reports.  Leslie Kean has found a thoughtful path between extreme views, documenting the UFO mystery with intelligence and insight. She makes a strong case for U.S. participation in official, international UFO investigations and for public dissemination of the results.  The fascinating first-hand accounts make this a thought-provoking book, even for those of us who don’t know much about UFOs.”    
—Neal Lane, Ph.D., Rice University; former Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
“If you don't know much about UFOs, you must read this book. If you think that UFO reports are nonsense, this book will disabuse you of that notion. Leslie Kean's UFOs informs readers at every level of knowledge and belief.  It could, and should, become the "tipping point" that leads to public acceptance of the reality of UFOs and all of its implications.”
—Don Donderi, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, McGill University (Ret.)
“In an area of study where there aren’t many, this is a serious book.  It is credible, clear, and compelling, without any farfetched jumps in logic and assumption.  Its credibility begins on the first page with John Podesta and continues with case studies of extraordinary quality to the very end.  Leslie Kean not only makes the case for, but calls for, a whole new concrete and realistic perspective on UFOs that has more honesty and integrity than any other that I have read.  This is a book for anyone with an open mind.” 
—John L. Petersen, Founder & President of The Arlington Institute
“In these pages we are confronted head-on by the UFO phenomenon as revealed firsthand by highly credible government officials and military aviation experts. Their credibility and integrity cannot be questioned, and their firsthand observations cannot be ignored.  Leslie Kean provides a challenging analysis and she writes with penetrating depth and insight. The revelations in this book constitute a watershed event in lifting the taboo against rational discourse about this controversial subject.”
—Harold E. Puthoff, Ph.D., Director of The Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin
“When I started reading Leslie Kean’s UFOs, I found it very difficult to stop. This is an unprecedented assessment of what may be the greatest challenge ever presented to mankind. In an outstanding piece of investigative journalism, Kean provides a well-written and convincing appeal for change in dealing with a phenomenon that can no longer be ignored.”  
—Jean-Claude Ribes, Ph.D., Paris Observatory (Ret.)
“For anyone who questions why - after more than fifty  years of denial, ridicule, and dismissal - many scientists, academics, political figures, and military personnel still insist that the subject of UFOs should be taken seriously, this book provides the answer.  Leslie Kean offers compelling documentation that physical objects, with flight characteristics not yet achievable by known technology, are being routinely reported in our skies.  They represent a mystery that needs to be solved.” 
—Stuart Appelle, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Science and Mathematics, State University of New York, Brockport

"Leslie Kean’s astonishing book is the finest piece of investigative journalism ever written on this subject.  She has an incomparable ability to ‘give voice’ to a constituency of exceptionally qualified and unbiased first-hand observers. They are not from the fringe, not groupies, and not delusional.  Rather, they are high-level military, intelligence, aerospace, and government officials who speak with authority while providing reports that document actual, physical craft. Kean’s book represents the first important step toward a new U.S. government openness about UFOs.  It brings forward a reality otherwise buried for far too long inside official mystery, and elevates the discourse above that of small-minded public discussions."
—Christopher C. Green, MD, Ph.D., Harper University Hospital, Wayne State University School of Medicine 

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

Majestic Craft with Powerful Beaming Spotlights
We begin this exploration on very solid ground, with a Major General’s firsthand chronicle of one of the most vivid and well- documented UFO cases ever. What you are about to read will demonstrate the dramatic, and very mysterious, physicality of UFOs— in this case, ones that were unusually bold. Although parts may sound like science fiction, they are not. The fact is that silent gliding or hovering objects, usually triangular, were seen by thousands of people and investigated by university scientists and government officials, yet they could never be explained. They left imprints on film, and although virtually impossible to detect on radar, they triggered the launching of Air Force F- 16s in anxious pursuit. The sightings occurred in a more than two- year “wave” over Belgium, beginning in late 1989.
To launch this book’s exploration into the UFO phenomenon, Belgian Major General Wilfried De Brouwer, now retired, has provided an exclusive account that includes some personal responses he has never expressed before. As chief of the Operations Division in the Air Staff, then Colonel De Brouwer played a prominent role, along with officials from other branches of government, in mobilizing various departments to try to identify the strange intruders that kept showing up unannounced over cities and countryside. “Hundreds of people saw a majestic triangular craft with a span of approximately a hundred and twenty feet and powerful beaming spotlights, moving very slowly without making any significant noise but, in several cases, accelerating to very high speeds,” De Brouwer stated publicly a few years ago, describing only the first night of the wave. Numerous police officers were among the initial group of witnesses, reporting from different locations as the multiple flying craft hovered and glided and lit up fields along their routes— the same officers who had joked dismissively when first receiving radio calls about the sightings. And the strange objects kept returning, for some unfathomable reason, to display themselves over the otherwise quiet territory of Belgium.
Colonel De Brouwer was tasked to handle the UFO wave by his country’s defense minister, Guy Coëme. After spending twenty years as a fighter pilot in the Belgian Air Force, De Brouwer had been appointed to the Strategic Planning Branch in NATO in 1983, while a colonel. He then became Wing Commander of the Belgian Air Force Transport Wing and, in 1989, chief of the Operations Division in the Air Staff. Promoted to Major General in 1991, he became Deputy Chief of Staff of the Belgian Air Force, in charge of operations, planning, and human resources. Beginning in 1995, after his retirement from the Air Force, he worked for more than ten years as a consultant for the United Nations to improve the UN Logistics rapid- response capabilities during emergencies. A man of great integrity and responsibility, De Brouwer was determined to do everything he could to find out what was invading Belgian airspace and repeatedly committing infractions of basic aviation rules.
I first came to know General De Brouwer personally when arranging his trip to Washington, D.C., in November 2007 to speak at an international press conference I organized with filmmaker James Fox. We brought together a panel of former high- ranking government, aviation, and military officials from seven countries to speak to the press about UFO incidents and investigations, which was filmed for a new documentary. We also wanted to give these courageous speakers the opportunity to meet their counterparts from other countries and talk privately over a period of days. Many of the contributors to this book met then for the first time.
General De Brouwer is extremely concerned about factual accuracy, conservative in his estimations, and meticulous in his attention to detail. He is a man who does not jump to conclusions, nor is he prone to exaggeration or embellishment. His concern for safeguarding the accurate record of events in Belgium has not let up, despite the passage of time. “Recently, when on the Internet, I discovered an accumulation of misinformation about the Belgian UFO wave,” he wrote me in an e- mail while we worked on editing his extensive text. “This incited me to react; I cannot accept that so- called researchers come forward with assumptions that are based on incorrect information. Testimonies of hundreds of people are neglected and attempts are made to convince outsiders that the observations were nothing more than misperceptions of ordinary craft. Also, the official statements of the Minister of Defense and the Air Force have been neglected or misinterpreted by these ‘researchers.’ ”
In one of our more recent conversations, I asked the general to refl act back on his experience during the Belgian UFO wave twenty years ago—which he says was unique but also frustrating, since they were unable to identify the trespassing craft. What impressed him most was the utmost sincerity of the witnesses he spoke to, many of whom were “highly qualified intellectuals genuinely overwhelmed by what they had seen and convinced that they were not dealing with conventional technology.” Unfortunately, they were often afraid to come forward because of the stigma attached to UFOs. “One person I had known for many years worked within NATO at the time,” De Brouwer said. “He was so astonished that he didn’t dare to mention it to anyone, not even to his wife. He only conveyed his experience to me on condition that I wouldn’t reveal his name.”

Meet the Author

LESLIE KEAN is an investigative journalist who has been published internationally and nationally in the Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Providence Journal, The Nation, International Herald Tribune, Globe and Mail, and Journal of Scientific Exploration, among other publications. She is coauthor of Burma’s Revolution of the Spirit and cofounder of the Coalition for Freedom of Information. She lives in New York.

From the Hardcover edition.

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UFOs 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 68 reviews.
guitaoist3 More than 1 year ago
so i dont get why the typical army personal would perhaps lie about a topic as controversial as this. they are usually the type who would never in a million years admit little green men exist. this book gives all the sides to the ufo phenomena from those professionals and govt officials who witnessed it firsthand. there would be no reason to put your job in jeopardy and lie about this, they are all authentic and true, and this book illustrates how frequently the top officials do witness them.
TylerKokjohn More than 1 year ago
Characterizing the UFO genre is challenging, but readers are advised that Leslie Kean's book may not be what they expect. Much of what has become standard grist for the UFO book mill - lurid abductions, gruesome animal mutilations, crop circles and crystal skulls, etc. - is absent entirely. What she has done is assemble compelling stories conveyed by reliable witnesses and provided information from knowledgeable officials. The encounters occurred after the close of Project Blue Book which ended the U.S. government's publicly acknowledged UFO investigations. Ms. Kean is embarked on a unique course of "advocacy journalism" deliberately targeting a population that may have had little interest in the UFO phenomenon - until, she hopes, they discover her book. The scope of this book may distress some. Those seeking the sensational stuff will come away disappointed and anyone expecting to find some classic cases like the Roswell crash and the Flatwoods Monster will not find them. Remarkably, researchers with trace evidence and copious data such as Ted Philips and Frank Feschino are not even mentioned. Input from scientists was minimal. Readers familiar with the UFO phenomenon may feel they have heard most of this content before. Ms. Kean's case for the reality of UAPs rests substantially on witness testimony. Although she has selected cases with as much corroborating evidence as possible, critics will object and concerns about human error and the fallibility of memories are not easily dismissed. Proponents often tout the fact that we have a legal system in which testimony carries great weight and that the proposition that UFOs are extraterrestrial could be proved in a court of law. That seems like a true assertion. But proving something in court is not necessarily equivalent to establishing truth. For example, the Innocence Project has employed DNA evidence to exonerate a distressingly large number of persons erroneously convicted of serious crimes in our legal system. But Ms. Kean throws her detractors a crafty curve - she doesn't claim to prove anything more than UAPs merit officially sanctioned study. However, it is hard to accept the idea that a government that so diligently derailed UFO studies should now be entrusted to run the program and her idea of a few people in an office looks virtually guaranteed to make no progress. The French program has certainly not solved this problem despite years of effort. Given the present political/economic climate, I will bet not even Dennis Kucinich will sponsor a bill to fund it. This is a well written, non-sensationalistic examination of the UFO phenomenon. Its scope is narrow and its slant unique. Perhaps this tightly focused strategy will succeed in breaking the UFO taboo and enticing a broader section of the reading public to delve into the UFO mystery.
SonnyD More than 1 year ago
I am not sure who is writing the reviews and giving such low ratings on this book since I was unable to put it down. In fact, I would read a chapter and end up reading excerpts to my wife and daughter. The stories are amazing. unless you are an UFO expert and know every detail of every UFO case, and find yourself bored with your own knowledge of the subject, you will find this book fascinating. Some of the stories I was familiar with prior to reading the book; however, reading them in context and with the backstories and biographies of the writers made them more tangible. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the UFO phenomenon.
M_L_Gooch_SPHR More than 1 year ago
I don't believe in the things that `go bump in the night'. As a striving student of Occam's razor, I think long and hard for the scientific or natural explanation. And when all else fails, I fall back to plan B, that is, someone is lying. We are people that tend to do that very often and very well. With that said, several years ago, my wife and I were in central Arkansas and witnessed a UFO near the Arkansas River. We were sitting on top of a mountain with a clear view below. It could be described as the classic Hollywood type, i.e., silver and round with a dome shape. It was hovering a few feet above the tree line. Since that encounter, I still don't believe in things that `go bump in the night' but I do believe there is much more to the UFO story. Sadly, whether it is the TV, books or the internet, most of the so-called UFO investigations are populated with people that are flaky at best and downright nuts at worse. Therefore, I was thrilled to read this book. As I am writing this on February 4, 2012 it is obvious that the information contained in this excellent piece of investigative reporting has made little if any impact on discovering the truth. I certainly don't know enough about anything that may be going on behind the scenes, but I know that some group somewhere is keeping the truth from the world. And a fine job they are doing as well. More works such as this one will keep the pressure on the powers that be to let us in on their secret. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the UFO arena and is seeking intelligent work. Michael L. Gooch, SPHR - Author of Wingtips with Spurs
EagleJU More than 1 year ago
Reading your new Book! Thanks Leslie, not just another Book on UFOs, but a clear and concise presentation on a subject that keeps getting buried by both the scientific community, and government. Really enjoy the statistical information on how these unknown objects seem to correlate with nuclear weapons, and nuclear containment sites. Keep up the good work, we all are waiting for American government to let loose the information it holds. Active participation, and a positive attitude weigh heavily against secrecy, and closed mindedness. One day soon the truth will out. Thanks again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting book that “sort of” documents JAL 1628 and the “triangle” sightings in Belgium, the Hudson Valley, and Phoenix but I cannot for certain say that all of the data is good. Leslie works at the Weird News Desk of the Huffington Post and may possibly be a “believer…” However JAL 1628 definitely is one of the good sightings. Not sure of the verity of COMETA either.
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I liked this book and glad I purchased it. As a person who likes to read about UFO's most of the stories I already read about. However, there were a few that this book discussed that I haven't heard about.
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danno1130 More than 1 year ago
Well written and provides some interesting information about some well know events that was previously undisclosed.
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Loved the stories written about the different events and would have given it 4 stars but the author then basically said his same thoughts overr and over just changiingg the wordiing each time not offering much new. Read it for the events.
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Great commenable read
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