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The Robertson Panel: The CIA considers UFOs

Posted by dandare on December 12, 2007

The Robertson Panel: The CIA Considers UFOs

By Fran Black

1918-1939 is sometimes called “the golden age of aviation” because of the much technological advancement made in aircraft. With World War II came better, faster airplanes and more experienced pilots. By the time the war was over, air travel was becoming firmly established across the world. The skies became the highways of the future. People started looking up in curiosity. What they saw in the skies was sometimes mundane, but sometimes astonishing. The UFO age had begun.

The early 1950s saw a surge of civilian UFO reports. So serious had the problem become, that normal intelligence duties in the CIA were being seriously impacted. Authorities were worried that if the Soviet Union or another adversary attempted to invade the US, the lines would be clogged and the government would be unable to act, so serious had UFO hysteria become. Clearly, something had to be done.

The CIA responded by forming a committee to investigate the thousands of UFO reports and choose a course of action. The committee, headed by Howard Percy Robertson came to be known as The Robertson Panel. Robertson was a distinguished physicist, a CIA employee, and a director of the Defense Department Weapons Evaluation Group. He drew upon six friends and colleagues of scientific importance to fill the panel. Some of the more famous scientists on the board were Luis Alvarez, who won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1968; and Samuel A. Goudsmit, who was a head of one division of the Manhattan Project and jointly proposed the theory of the electronic spin. Other members were Frederick C. Durant, missile expert; Thornton Page, astrophysicist; Lloyd Berkner, physicist; and Allen Hynek, astronomer.

From the beginning, the panel was biased against the idea of UFOs. In their first briefing, Robertson explained that their purpose was to “debunk” UFOs. At least one committee member, Thornton Page, was reprimanded for his “excessive levity.” There has also been some criticism that, while the scientists on the panel were leaders in their respective fields, these scientists specialized in outer space. No scientists were consulted who had expertise in atmospheric conditions—which is where UFOs are seen.

The panel met in secret for four consecutive days. During this time they viewed two amateur motion pictures: The 1950 Montana and the 1952 Utah UFO Films, which had already undergone 1,000 man hours of detailed analysis by Navy officers who had concluded that the depicted objects were not any known aircraft, creature, or weather phenomenon. Air Force Captain Edward J. Ruppelt and Major Dewey J. Fournet then addressed the panel, summarizing the extensive work they had been involved with in UFO affairs over the preceding years. Ultimately, the panel spent twelve hours considering reports and investigations that Project Blue Book and other committees had spent years investigating. They speedily found “explanations” for the reports. When there was no answer to be found, they swept the case under the table.

The Robertson Panel wasted no time in formulating their official report. They concluded that 90% of UFO sightings could be readily identified with meteorological, astronomical, or natural phenomenon, and that the remaining 10% could be explained with detailed study. They furthermore stated that such study would be a waste of time. Their final recommendation stated “That the national security agencies take immediate steps to strip the Unidentified Flying Objects of the special status they have been given and the aura of mystery they have unfortunately acquired.”

Based on their recommendations, a public relations committee was assembled to reduce public interest in UFOs. Believers subscribing to such notions were painted as foolish and irrational. This effort drew upon the resources of renowned scientists as well as celebrities and mass media. Even the influential Disney Corporation was involved in the debunking effort. From this point forward UFology has been seen in disrepute among scholarly circles, and UFOs have become a subject of the fringe communities.

Finally, due to the suggestions of the committee, groups studying UFOs were monitored by government agents and spies in order to keep them from influencing mass thinking. As late as 1976 a CIA memo was discovered telling how the agency was still having to report on the activities of UFO groups.

In the years following the Robertson Panel at least two members expressed disappointment with its proceedings. Because of the panel’s conclusions, the attention needed to acquire the data to even decide the nature of the UFO phenomenon has not been given the subject. Thornton Page and J. Allen Hynek both lamented that the subject had not been treated with more seriousness. While Page expressed passing interest, Hynek went on to become a scientifically respected voice in UFology.

There can be no doubt that the Robertson Panel opened the era of government cover-up regarding the UFO phenomenon. And yet, stripped of credibility and respect, there are still those who insist on sharing their experiences. For no matter the cost, there are still those who look up into the sky with curiosity.

About Author

About the Author:
Francesca Black a long time science fiction buff, manages content for UFO Gifts http://www.ufo-gifts.com and Science Fiction Corner http://www.science-fiction-corner.com

Source: ArticleTrader.com


Posted in "Flying Saucer", CIA, extraterrestials, flying Disk, history, ufo, ufo's | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

UFO Update

Posted by dandare on November 4, 2007

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 Who would have guessed that the subject of UFOs would crop up in Democratic candidates debate (Drexel University), in the lightning round, but yes it did…..

I thought  that Kucinich,  in the circumstances did reasonably well, as this was a quick fire round, and the details could not be gone into, also there was an attempt to discredit him…oh he saw a ufo, therefore he must be deranged, and mocked. Ok, there was a bit of that in the question, but i feel that it was good mainly, because it brought the subject to the masses. He did say though, that it was a UFO (unidentified)!

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 Other interesting links to this (and i had to filter through quite a few) can be seen below:

Full transcript of the debate, can be found here 

Millions of Americans with Kucinich on UFO belief

The truth is out there

Not just Kucinich, but Presidents, have sighted UFOs

Breaking the taboo– finally

Presidential debate brings UFO issue to the surface

Kucinich had a UFO encounter , according to friend Shirley MacLaine

Top Eight Presidential Encounters of the third kind” (although it is generally believed that Carter saw venus?) 

Presidential UFOs – Ronald Reagan to back Kucinich

The other side of the truth

Jimmy Carter distances himself fromKucinich on UFOs

And lastly, from FOX news (john Gibson as mature as ever) “Dennis Kucinich’s UFO comments prove he is nuts” 

There are others, but this update might be in danger of just having links to this and nothing else.

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Although an interesting offshoot from this is  “Clinton denies delaying release of husband’s documents“. So what, i hear you cry…. Well as the link above suggests, there are more than 300 FOIA requests outstanding…. and guess what….the first request is on UFOs!

Not just this, but also covered by the American Chronicle (posted 2nd november,2007) “Alleged briefing to President Reagan on UFOs posted online“.

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Do you want to know about the string theory and how the universe works in 2 minutes….well the Times online (posted 28th october,2007) has it here .

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According to pendletoday.co.uk in the article “Ufo sightings – latest ”  (posted 1st november,2007), flying saucers exist.

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At the newstribune.com “UFO reports land at missile site” (posted 29th october,2007); which is about the new home of the National UFO Reporting Centre.

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In the Asian Times Online (posted 31st october,2007) there is “Close encounters of the Turkish kind” although there is much sceptism about this?

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In the OttawaHerald (posted 31st october,2007) “What are UFOs” is an article on theories about ufos.

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In the worthingherald.co.uk “Story behind Shoreham’s UFO” (posted 30th october,2007), was that the UFO was the result of a silver wedding party….with thai glow lanterns…… the original link can be seen here .

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Whilst trawling the internet, i came across this  by the travellady.com “Roswell Road Trip” , which includes the UFO museum.

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In the daily mail (posted 2nd november,2007) “21st century travel: An airship offering passengers gourmet food, spa treatments and a disco“.

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A strange object was seen over Bedford, England….. see here (posted 3rd november,2007) It was witnessed in may 2006.

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A map of ufo hotspots can be seen here (ok, not in the news, but might be of interest).

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Plan 9 from outer space” (not sure when first posted, but recent) it mentions “In January 1979, The New York Times reported that despite repeated, feverish denials, the CIA had indeed investigated the UFO phenomenon: “CIA Papers Detail UFO Surveillance” screamed the headline”

 and “……..the CIA documents show that despite decades of repeated public denials, behind the scenes there raged a series of inter-agency feuds that involved the highest levels of the US government” (extracts from the article). Also a similar article entitled “USAF evidence eludes CIA” (posted 2nd november,2007). 

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UFO Update

Posted by dandare on September 21, 2007

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In “Bowdons Ufo Mystery” (originally article dated 9th september,2007;updated 18th september by www.messengernewspapers.co.uk

A motorist and passenger in Bowdon spotted a mysterious “round metallic” object in the sky. The orb was sighted above the A56 near Altrincham on August 28 at about 7pm….[.]“.(extracted from source above).

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In cadillacnews.com, “UFOs in Cadillac: Real or sc-fi?” (i think posted 18th september),

“I can’t say they’re being piloted by little green men, but they’re UFOs,” said Dunford of Cadillac. “I saw what I saw — they’re unidentified, they’re flying and they’re objects.” (extract from cadillacnews.com).  How true?

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In the Irish times, (posted 20th september,2007), “Irish UFOs blast into the light after 37 years in twilight zone“. 

 “A dossier on unidentified flying objects (UFOs), kept by the Irish Defence Forces for 37 years, has finally emerged”. (extract from source- the irish times).

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In “george bush and the aliens” ,  in the video, there is a reflection just behind bush’s shoulder in the window…….

Could this apparent “alien” actually be a reflected image of a
silver coloured portable CD player/boom box which has stylish
black wraparound speakers that look like eyes
?” (extract from source; www.presidentialufo.com ). 

In this article there is alot of discussion about this with quite a few links to videos and information.

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The original video is seen at http://www.reuters.com/news/video/videoStory?videoId=65343 . I myself, although this is just off the top of my head, can say it could be absolutely anything…could even be from the suits they are wearing themselves? mmm…maybe, but i cannot take this seriously…but fun to look at the debate and analysis.

 Whilst on the political front “There’s the Red Vote, the Blue Vote . . . and the Little Green Vote“….about last weekend’s X-conference 2007.

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The CIA (60 years old) was founded on the 18th september, 1947, (see speech here ); There is an interesting article about them here  (from Temple University Library) with some interesting links (from the library-however, unable to access them online).

 Whilst browsing the CIA website, saw some more ufo references…. go to the CIA site https://www.cia.gov/index.html  and in the search page (top right of website) put in ufos or ufo, and when it comes up with the catalogue of entries, have a look at number 2 (dated sept 2007) entitled “CIA’s Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90 — Central Intelligence Agency“. There are other articles too (about 25).

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Staying on the spy front “Inside the National Security Agency: Are Psychic Spies Watching You?”(American Chronicle -posted 20th september,2007).. Whats this got to do with aliens/ufos and greys…click the link to have a look? Related to this is http://starpod.org/ .

In usnews.com, (posted 20th september,2007), an short article is on “10 Things You Didn’t Know About the U-2“.

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