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

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

by Leslie Kean


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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Impeccably researched, this riveting journalistic investigation separates fact from fiction, and documents the existence of—and government reactions to—actual UFOs. 

“A treasure trove of insightful and eye-opening information.”—Michio Kaku, PH.D., bestselling author of Physics of the Future

Leslie Kean, a veteran investigative reporter who has spent the past ten years studying the still-unexplained UFO phenomenon, reviewed hundreds of government documents, aviation reports, radar data, and case studies with corroborating physical evidence. She interviewed dozens of high-level officials and aviation witnesses from around the world. Among them, five 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—have written their own breathtaking, firsthand accounts about UFO encounters and investigations exclusively for this book.

With the support of former White House chief of staff John Podesta, Kean lifts the veil on decades of U.S. government misinformation about this mysterious phenomenon and presents irrefutable evidence that unknown flying objects—metallic, luminous, and seemingly able to maneuver in ways that defy the laws of physics—actually exist. 

With a Foreword by John Podesta

“The most important book on the phenomenon in a generation.”Journal of Scientific Exploration

“Written 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

“Kean presents the most accurate, most credible reports on UFOs you will ever find. She may not have the final smoking gun, but I smell the gunpowder.”—Miles O’Brien, science correspondent for PBS’s NewsHour

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307717085
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/02/2011
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 21,805
Product dimensions: 4.96(w) x 8.04(h) x 0.80(d)

About 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.

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.”

Table of Contents

Foreword John Podesta xi

Introduction 1

Part 1 Objects of Unknown Origin 15

1 Majestic Craft with Powerful Beaming Spotlights 17

2 The UAP Wave over Belgium Major General Wilfried De Brouwer 24

3 Pilots: A Unique Window into the Unknown 41

4 Circled by a UFO Captain Júlio Miguel Guerra 47

5 Unidentified Aerial Phenomena and Aviation Safety Richard F. Haines 52

6 Incursion at O'Hare Airport, 2006 65

7 Gigantic UFOs over the English Channel, 2007 Captain Ray Bowyer 73

8 UFOs as Air Force Targets 82

9 Dogfight over Tehran General Parviz Jafari 86

10 Close Combat with a UFO Comandante Oscar Santa María Huertas 93

Part 2 In the Line of Duty 99

11 The Roots of UFO Debunking in America 101

12 Taking the Phenomenon Seriously 115

13 The Birth of COMETA Major General Denis Letty 122

14 France and the UFO Question Jean-Jacques Velasco 128

15 UFOs and the National Security Problem 141

16 "A Powerful Desire to Do Nothing" 153

17 The Real X-Files Nick Pope 162

18 The Extraordinary Incident at Rendlesham Forest Sergeant James Penniston Colonel Charles I. Halt 179

19 Chile: Aeronautical Cases and the Official Response General Ricardo Bermúdez Sanhueza Captain Rodrigo Bravo Garrido 189

20 UFOs in Brazil Brigadier General José Carlos Pereira 198

Part 3 A Call to Action 207

21 Fighting Back: A New UFO Agency in America 209

22 The FAA Investigates a UFO Event "That Never Happened" John j. Callahan 222

23 Government Cover-up: Policy or Myth? 230

24 Governor Fife Symington and Movement Toward Change 247

25 Setting the Record Straight Governor File Symington III 262

26 Engaging the U.S. Government 265

27 Militant Agnosticism and the UFO Taboo Alexander Wendt Raymond Duvall 269

28 Facing an Extreme Challenge 282

Acknowledgments 293

About the Contributors 297

About the Author 303

Notes 305

Index 327

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