Its all about UFOs

Well at least it was on the recent radio interview I did with Beyond Reality  Radio.  And while the title might seem a bit “beyond”, the hosts were some of the best I’ve encountered and did a highly professional job of drawing out the contents and insights contained in Unidentified – we even waded into Surprise Attack a bit.  If you are at all interested in the subject of UFOs and my newest book I would encourage  you to take a listen:

UFOs have become deeply embedded within the broader discussion of the paranormal, of psychic phenomena and of even faith and religion. Even on Amazon, in order to get listings under certain subject categories  (such as UFOs) you have to tag your book under the broad category of religion – which we decided to pass on. It just did not seem right for an exploration of national security and military intelligence.

It is certainly challenging to gain visibility with the approach that I take in Unidentified – even though I offer an assessment that “unknowns” are very real, very unconventional and very much focused in certain of their security related intrusions.  I especially appreciated the air time on Beyond Reality Radio because to date less than a handful of talk shows have shown any interest – the good news is that lengthy new interviews with both Brent Holland and Chuck Ochelli will be showing up later this month.

I should also point out that my publisher and I are both suffering the pangs of eBook work with Amazon. It appears that relatively recently they made some changes in compatibility with certain eBook publishing tool sets and the advanced formatting used in the print version of Unidentified did not set well with it.

That means that the publisher literally has to strip all that formatting out of the book file and resubmit it to Amazon.  This caught us by surprise because I had used Amazon’s own cloud viewer to check out the original version available as Kindle and appeared to be fine…sadly that was not true for other readers.

In any event, that work is well  underway and we hope to resubmit it soon, how long it takes for Amazon to cycle back on it is always a question.  The publisher is also finalizing the topical index, which as we anticipated will be relatively huge for a book index, far much more so than the standard name indexes which are more common. It will be provided on my web site as a downloadable file as soon as its available.




Persons of Interest

Much attention has turned to this year’s final release of JFK related documents from the National Archives – and certainly that is warranted.  If nothing else the releases have the potential to clear up the status of certain individuals as to their relationship with the CIA, primarily those individuals who used as domestic and foreign security/intelligence sources (a very common practice) or as sometime assets for various activities, in particular operations against Castro’s Cuba. Indications are that the releases will also resolve a number of crypts for operations and pseudonyms for individuals and allow us to read CIA operational documents more meaningfully.

It’s equally important to note that decades of research have already revealed a large amount of information about individuals who show up in the JFK assassination dialog, material obtained not just from NARA (in the old days by hand), but by FOIA to agencies and sometimes by direct primary research outside government documents entirely. Surprisingly much of that research, originally published in print journals or surfaced in conference presentations, has slipped by the wayside.  I continue to see online discussions about persons of interest which are really quite superficial in terms of the context of information developed years ago.

I won’t blame it all on YouTube – since I’m on YouTube in interviews myself…grin – but even knowing the remarks I make there and answers I give, that’s just not enough. Background and context is vital to deal with anything you find there. So, in regard to that concern I’m posting some background and contextual references that I researched and prepared over the last couple of decades.

Perhaps the most important is a CD containing documents (some of which are available nowhere else, as a Board member of the Mary Ferrell Foundation I have to echo Rex Bradford’s caution that not all known documents are online at MFF or listed in the NARA archives index) relating to several individuals of interest. I provided those to JFK Lancer to put on CD years ago, long before I wrote Some Would Have Talked, they were part of the background research for that work and in some instances there was no room to discuss them in the book nor to put them online as reference documents for the book. More importantly, to the extent I could I provided an analysis of each collection and situational remarks where an individual’s documents extended over a long period of time – extremely important for individuals like John Martino, Richard Case Nagell, Frank Sturgis and Gerry Hemming.

In other instances, I was able to present documents which offered point-counterpoint, such as those relating to the 112th Military Intelligence Group and the work of the ARRB in investigating the widely discussed issue of a security stand down in Dallas.  In that regard, a through reading of their extensive interview with Fletcher Prouty (voluntary on his part) and related internal ARRB staff communications is vital to understand that subject.

That work is available on the CD offered by JFK Lancer titled Research of Larry Hancock; Keys to the Conspiracy.

Other individuals whom I have researched and discussed can be found in my various conference presentations (just looking at that list sort of tires me out).

In the coming months Lancer will also be making available the extensive document collection which I provided to them relating to Fred Crisman and Thomas Beckham, much of it totally original and found in no other archives on line or in paper. That collection covers the appearance of their names in the Garrison investigation.  Lancer has the collection, it’s just a matter of getting it all scanned and available. Those who follow this blog know that we also managed to get a key video interview with Gene Wheaton posted on the internet earlier this year.

About all I can say is that if you find any of these individuals’ persons of interest, I strongly recommend you dig more deeply into the resources listed above. In many instances you will find material and analysis which simply does not show up in the online discussions of them.

Behind the Scenes

We all know there are two levels of communications which occur in association with any national security event which requires a national response, whether by a government agency, a military service or a political administration. One is the public story, which generally calls for calm and offers reassurance – as it should, panic and the emergence of mob mentality seriously magnify the consequences of such incidents. At the time the public story also provides a certain amount of “maneuvering room” for appropriate legal, law enforcement or military actions.

It sometimes amazes me that not only the public but experienced political and media figures routinely talk as if the official announcements should divulge all the known details  of national security incidents when the “first responders” (whether civilian, military or law enforcement) are still in the process of trying to sort out matters and come up with a tactical response. Obviously sharing full details with the public also shares them with those behind the incidents and that is a very bad thing, allowing them to know how well their plans succeeded, whether their identity is now known and what they can best do to escape or avoid retaliation.

Of course the internal, inter-agency, inter-service communications are a wholly different matter.  To be effective those communications should not be constrained and should be as honest about matters as possible.  Unfortunately experience with CIA documents shows us that sort of information sharing certainly has not always occurred within that agency. In the interest of internal security information is compartmentalized, and misinformation is sometimes circulated to frustrate leaks and foreign penetrations. Worse yet the CYA factor can seriously confabulate internal realities – interestingly, with access to a considerable body of KGB documents we can see that Russian intelligence was plagued by both the same issues.

I’ve learned to expect such things when espionage, deniable covert paramilitary operations (such as regime change) and covert political action are in play, but in researching and writing Unidentified it was surprising to me to find the same phenomena within Air Force, Army, AEC and FBI internal communications on UFOs.

Researchers have turned up a host of internal documents which show that initially UFOs were taken quite seriously. However as time passed and as it became increasingly obvious that the official projects were failing to identify them – and that the Air Defense Command had no chance of dealing with them even on the instances were intercepts occurred – the Air Force moved into something of a state of internal denial.

I cover that evolution in detail in the book but even a few select documents can see the extent to which headquarters groups were were forced to fall back on internal explanations involving balloons, radar anomalies (temperature inversions) or even mystery helicopters – even in instances when field intelligence personnel clearly were describing something truly unknown.  For just a taste of that, I refer you to the following document links:

Top Secret Analysis of Flying Object Incidents in the United States – the intelligence “problem”

Hide and Seek  –  Air Space Violation at Oak Ridge Atomic materials production facility:

Failure to Intercept – Objects over Ellsworth Strategic Air Command base

Incoming – The Air Force discounts its own investigation (finding of “no false targets”) of 18 incoming UFOs targeting a major Strategic Air Command base:

Flyovers of SAC Bases in 1975 –  officially reported as “air defense”against unknown “helicopter assault”


Updates and NID 2017

I will return to posting on Unidentified in a bit but I would encourage those currently reading the book to either post questions here or to contact me at larryjoe@westok with questions or simply to chat about the book.  The topical index is still in progress but I expect it to go up on next week. Also, if you are reading it and like it so far its always nice to have positive reviews on Amazon.  If you would take the time for that it would be much appreciated.

The news at the moment is that we are making good progress preparing for the JFK Lancer November in Dallas conference. We have a very solid line up of speakers and this year’s focus will primarily be on the disconnects between what we can now see in the released documents, post JFK Records Act, and what was presented in the Warren Commission Report. It becomes increasingly clear that the WC Report was a “construct”, developed with a specific mission of public reassurance rather than being anything close to an open ended, objective inquiry – and something not even close to an acceptable criminal/murder investigation.

You can find a listing of speakers and a rough schedule at:

If you have questions about the conference I’m happy to take them here or at the above email.  As always our focus is on critical, real history – with presenters who are exceptionally experienced with the subject and at the cutting edge of ongoing research. The speaker list not totally finalized yet, as speaker chair I expect to be adding another four or five participants and we will be fleshing out and adding details on their presentations during August.

The good news is that with the now ongoing releases of JFK records, several of the speakers are already hard at work on them and in particular the ground work done by John Newman, Bill Simpich, Malcolm Blunt and Jeff Morley allows us to read them at a level undreamed of even a few years ago. We can now reconstruct operational CIA activities in a fashion never dreamed of by the first and second generation researchers – so come on down to Dallas and take advantage of that progress.

As for myself, I’m currently working on and hope to present  certain of the ramifications of SA Hosty’s remarks to Secret Service Agent Patterson about Oswald having been recently observed in the company of two subversives – and what this may tell us in conjunction with some recent ground breaking work by others which appears to suggest that the Paine residence had been the object of an ongoing local Central Office telephone tap “before” the assassination – something intentionally obfuscated after the fact during committee testimony.


JFK 101 #5 in the series

We just finished the fifth two hour discussion in this series; focused on the work and final report of the Warren Commission. The link to the program is below.  For those that have not followed any of the earlier programs with Chuck, Carmine and I, these discussions do not involve the presentation of any particular agenda or conspiracy view but are intended as a tutorial for those who would like to understand the entire context of this subject.

I will say that while we spar with each other at times in terms of being balanced and objective, some attitude does show at points and this is not just a recitation of facts. There is also some complaining about how many “myths” still circulate on the subject and how easy it is to get sidetracked onto less than credible leads – all of us are skeptics when it comes to vetting sources.

With that advisory notice, the series has been a lot of fun for me and its a chance to talk about larger issues rather than getting mired down in too many details (we do some of that, but we talk broader concerns as well).  Here’s the link to our most recent discussion (did I say there was some attitude, yep I did, full transparency zone here).



What’s in the book?

Hopefully the previous posts on Unidentified have given those interested a good idea of the general goals and content of the book.  I’m always happy to take more specific questions but before I return to posting on other areas of interest I thought I would provide some further detail on Unidentified content.

To that end the following is an excerpt from the topical index. It provides a listing of the service/agency studies, the security incidents/investigations and the researcher studies/papers discussed in the book.  This should give some idea of the data which went into the actual analysis and indications analysis studies which constitute the meat of the book.  From that perspective other critical source data is found in the NICAP, Sparks and NARCAP incident databases.

Service and Agency Studies/Reports:

A Note on Pyrotechnic Activity over Germany

Enemy Defenses Phenomena

Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe (SHAEF)

Scientific Intelligence Advisory Section

Japanese Air Defense – Balls of Fire

Swedish Ghost Rocket committee

Central Intelligence Group

Analysis of Flying Object Incidents in the U.S

Joint Research and Development Board

Midland/Grebe study

MIT incident/study

Analysis of Flying Saucer Incidents in the United States

Initial Report on Unidentified Flying Objects Project Sign

Flying Object Incidents in the United States

Air Force press memorandum, Project Saucer

Air Force Scientific Advisory Board

Anomalous Luminous Phenomena/Sixth Report

Battelle Memorial Institute

Special Report #14

Central Intelligence Agency

Intelligence Advisory Committee (NSC)

IAC Report


Joint Intelligence Committee (Joint Chiefs)

Scientific Advisory Panel

Robertson Panel

Durant report


Security Incidents/Investigations:

Atomic Energy Commission


Office of Special Investigations



Army the Counter Intelligence Corps


AEC Security

Los Alamos

Oak Ridge


Killeen Base


Sandia Base

Washington National



Fairfield Suisan



Hamilton field

Harmon Field



Savannah River

Hampton Roads

Elmendorf AFB

Great Falls AFB



Northern Tier

Altus AFB

Carswell AFB

Whiteman AFB

Minot AFB

Wurthsmith AFB

Research Papers:   (Authors and sources cited in text and end notes)

A Historical and Physiological Perspective of the Foo Fighters of World War Two

            Guided Missiles and UFOs: A Tangle of Fear – 1937-53

            Report on the UFO Wave of 1947

            The Midland Fireball: Dow Chemical’s Early Involvement with UFO’s

            The White Sands Proof

            The Oak Ridge Sightings

            Technical Approaches to the Problems of UFOs.” /Detection of Radiation  

            Major Fournet’s Motion Study

            Civilian Saucer Investigation

Secret History of the 4602d Air Intelligence Service Squadron

B-52 & Gnd Radar / Radar Visual / Radar Freqs From UFO

RB-47 case, July 17, 1957, Mississippi – Louisiana-Texas-Oklahoma

UFO Over Titan Missile Silo; Oracle, Arizona; August 7, 1962

Minot Tracks Object, B-52 Sees & Tracks UFO

Roads Not Traveled

The press release for Unidentified refers to the “study the government did not do” and that might sound it bit mysterious – it’s supposed to since it is an effort to get attention. In reality we could have taken it further and talked about “studies” plural, since there are actually several types of intelligence related studies that were not done, by the Air Force, by its consulting groups and by the larger national intelligence community. The book explores that issue in considerable detail, highlighting the fact that even though senior Air Force officers were very much aware of specific patterns within the UFO reports of the first years, and actually proposed certain focused technical collections field studies, those studies were never conducted. In the earliest post war years that was simply because resources such as radar systems, radar operators and even interceptors were not available. Later those resources were tied up by both the Korean war and the urgent priority of setting up a continental air defense network to intercept what was assumed to be an imminent, preemptive Soviet attack on the nation.

Few UFO books make mention of those limitations and in the early years certainly the Air Force never made a point of them since it was constantly concerned about exposing the limitation of its air defense capability. Continental air defense was virtually nonexistent when the first flying saucers were reported in 1947 and remained extremely limited until 1951/1952.  At that point in time matters became even more embarrassing – and more concerning from a security standpoint – because the defenses which had been put into place proved largely ineffectual in responding to UFO reports. Even with radar tracking and interceptor scrambles and actual intercepts, the unknown targets could either evade or simply leave the interceptors behind at will.  That was not something the military wanted touted in the media, it was bad enough to have newspaper headlines about UFOs repeatedly being tracked over Washington DC with interceptors responding only after delays of up to two hours.

Following that fiasco the CIA was brought into the picture, internally elevating certain concerns that Air Force intelligence was aware of but had not itself elevated as a true national security concern,

“Sightings of unidentified flying objects at great altitudes and traveling in the vicinity of major U.S. defense installations are of such a nature that they are not attributable to natural phenomena or known types of aerial vehicles.”


Marshall Chadwell, Assistant Director, Office of Scientific Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, December, 1952


You can imagine what sort of issues that sort of assessment raised within the Air Force – beginning with the fact that not only were its then current defensive measures unable to cope with those incidents but that the same might well apply to its proposed computerized, automated air defense network (later named SAGE). Even the specifications for that new capability would leave it far short of coping with the speeds and maneuvers being reported. The same would apply to the new Century series interceptors under development and to a variety of new anti-aircraft missiles.  Those weapons could deal with the anticipated Russian bomber attack, but certainly not the most anomalous unknowns being reported. A broader inquiry  might also have shown that air defense exercise against the nation’s own strategic bombing force, SAC, were demonstrating a consistent failure to intercept and stop low level jet bombing strikes, bringing into question the entire, massive military spending program (far greater than the atomic bomb project of WWII).


What happened following that OSI assessment is indeed a fascinating story, with its own unanswered questions. And there are other study mysteries. For example, the Air Force was well aware of the patterns in UFO reports, patterns which pointed to targeting of specific types of military installations and in particular atomic warfare complex facilities. And in 1952 it contracted for a statistical analysis of UFO reports. Not surprisingly that turned into an extended project, yet when the study was finally released to the public (or when some version of it was released at least), the maps and charts used to show geographic distribution of sightings in no way reflect known concentrations in regard to actual military or strategic targets. That part of the study appears to be useless in terms of the patterns we know both Air Force Intelligence and the CIA were seeing, clearly raising questions of incompetence, mis-communication, mis-management – or obfuscation in the released version of the report.


And in the 1960s we see a total lack of strategic/military focus in the final study contracted by the Air Force, the study which produced a report (known as the Condon Report) whose summary and conclusions ignores much of its own investigative work and the data which it collected. In itself the lack of a military focus in any study paid for by the Air Force seems a bit strange when you think about it. On the other hand if the key objective for Air Force was transition the whole problem to the scientific community – divesting itself from an intelligence (and defense) challenge that had defeated it, perhaps it makes a great deal of sense, at least from a pragmatic point of view.


Unidentified explores what the Air Force did and did not do in the way of UFO studies but beyond that it moves on to the subject of what the national intelligence community should have done, might have done, most definitely didn’t do – and that proves even more interesting than what the Air Force failed to do. There were patterns, far more extensive and subtle ones than those being discussed by Air Force Intelligence and the CIA/OSI in 1952.  And those patterns evolved and became far better defined during the following three decades. But that requires a great deal of context and involves several chapters – which means you really need to read the book.

Mind Games

Once you begin to really appreciate the extent to which unidentified aerial objects were seriously considered as a potential military/security threat, certain things become less mysterious and the  activities of a number of government agencies much more understandable – although far more intrusive than most of us might have imagined at the time. That is just one of the aspects to the national security problem of UFOs which surface throughout the studies in Unidentified. The documents now available leave no room for doubt that both Soviet psychological warfare and technical espionage were very active concerns of the official UFO investigations.


Those who have been interested in the subject of UFOs for any extended time are likely familiar with the earliest discussions of mysterious investigators in civilian clothes, even more mysterious “men in black” and in later years actual military personnel who moved from routine UFO investigations into much more aggressive and even damaging interactions with witnesses. Certain of those activities ultimately appear to have generated many of the outright hoaxes and myths that continue to frustrate serious citizen inquiry into the subject – and yes, in terms of full transparency I’m talking about the constantly expanding volume of Majestic 12 documents and even worse grays, reptilians, underground bases, interstellar treaty agreements, secret scientific teams and human “harvesting”.


If you are interested in UFOs and have never heard any of those topics mentioned – congratulations.   If you have I would strongly suggest that you do a reality check by reading Project Beta by Greg Bishop, and even better Mirage Men by Mark Pilkington. You don’t have to bring aliens into the subject to find some really nasty things going on.


The reality of the covert intelligence activities is deadly serious, albeit less sensational than that of mysterious men in black (those movies were late to the party, the MIB had been discussed for decades before they hit the screen). And those activities are totally understandable in the context first of post WWII America and later of the ongoing Cold War.


As early as 1946, the brand new Central Intelligence Group advised President Harry Truman that it appeared the Soviets were actively involved in the use of rockets and related devices as a form of psychological warfare in Scandinavia.  The assessment was that the Soviets were covertly demonstrating potential weapons based in adapted German ballistic and cruise missile developments as a means to intimidate neutral nations from moving into the American sphere of influence, either military or economic.


From that point on first the Army Air Force, later the newly independent Air Force and ultimately the CIA focused on the likelihood of mysterious aerial devices being related to potential Soviet psychological warfare.  When the “flying saucer” wave of 1947 hit the United States in 1947 the Air Force immediately enlisted the FBI in a search for potential Soviet agents as being a source for flying saucer reports. Over the years both the FBI and military intelligence groups covertly investigated individuals filing UFO reports (especially reports from military or national security installations). That was during an era of anti-communist concern in which loyalty oaths became common in government jobs and even for teachers.

There were concerns that communist agents, Soviet fellow travelers and even saboteurs might be involved in UFO reports. Official studies and assessments consistently discussed the danger represented by waves of false reports – such reports could undermine public confidence in the nation’s military,  create morale problems or in the worst case even divert attention from an actual preemptive Russian strike.


Were there people in civilian clothes and men in dark suits investigating people who made UFO reports, especially reports that involved any type of physical evidence – most definitely. Was there a perceived threat related to UFOs – absolutely.  But it wasn’t extra-terrestrial, it was most definitely earthly, and most likley Russian. Documents now available suggest that the suspicion of Russian involvement was so great that the initial Air Force UFO inquiry definitely expected to quickly identify the objects and connect them to Russian adaptation of German advanced technologies – and were frustrated and shocked when that didn’t happen.


By the time that attitude had become adjusted, the United States itself was on the way to developing its own advanced high speed and stratospheric aerial aircraft and balloon systems, under the highest levels of secrecy. At that point the second phase of the Russian fear kicked in – that of Soviet agents actually using UFO witnesses and most especially UFO interest groups as intelligence sources.  Initially the worry was that Russian agents would use the groups to spread rumors and fears and possibly trigger diversionary waves of sightings. Later, as groups began to actively scout for signs of UFOs, that fear evolved.


In the earliest years UFO groups were specifically called out as an intelligence threat and identified for special monitoring. Later as the groups became more organized and even began to deploy their instruments for their own observations a new concern was that they would observe secret aircraft and secret weapons systems under development. That could lead to disclosure of details pertaining not to alien craft but on classified projects – providing “open source” intelligence for the Soviets.


When evidence was discovered suggesting that Soviet agents were indeed following certain UFO groups, and that members of those groups were unknowingly collecting information on some of the most highly classified national weapons and communications projects, things got nasty. Counter intelligence moved to planting disinformation and sensationalizing discussions among the UFO community. Both types of mind games were carried out against the various individuals, very effectively. The net result certainly muddied the water in terms of foreign intelligence collection but it did so in a manner as to poison the information being circulated within the community for decades.

What’s In and What’s Not

 What is in the book, and what isn’t?  In my last post I talked a good deal about focus and hopefully it’s clear that the book is written from the perspective of the various levels of response to unidentified aerial objects that you find among intelligence groups – beginning at the unit and facility field intelligence level (related to immediate operational threats and security concerns) and moving up the ladder to broader national security concerns at headquarters levels and beyond.  Exactly why repeated and strongly expressed field concerns never penetrated to or produced tasking from the top of the national intelligence community is a major topic of the book.

Personalities, attitudes, career concerns, organization politics and institutional turf battles are all part of that story. There were senior military officers and senior intelligence personnel who were quite convinced that the there was something very anomalous in play and that national security was most definitely involved:

“Sightings of unidentified flying objects at great altitudes and traveling in the vicinity of major U.S. defense installations are of such a nature that they are not attributable to natural phenomena or known types of aerial vehicles.”

Marshall Chadwell, Assistant Director, Office of Scientific Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, December, 1952

Yet systemic problems within the intelligence community were so great that in the end it proved impossible to even acknowledge the problem in terms of anything truly anomalous. As an example of how ludicrous that became, the following report was associated with a security warning defined only in terms of  “unidentified helicopters”:

“Malmstrom, AFB Montana received seven cuts on the height finder radar at altitudes between 9,500 and 15,500 feet…objects could not be intercepted…Four Strategic Air Command sites observed intercepting F-106’s arrive in the area; sighted objects turned their lights off on arrival of interceptors and back on upon their departure.”

National Military Command Center, Unidentified Sightings, November 8, 1975

Systemic failure in response to field security alerts is part of the story in Unidentified – but only part.

Another fundamental aspect of the problem was that the official investigating bodies literally failed to acknowledge and respond to hard physical data that was available to them. We know this today only because of the work of a body of extremely persistent researchers whose work has been almost totally overshadowed by the sensational UFO books of the recent years.

While Roswell has essentially dominated UFO literature for a good two decades, we now have records showing that in at least three instances UFO related materials were recovered and scientifically analyzed. The results from all three sets of tests were quite consistent – and surprising. Agencies including the FBI and senior Air Force and Army officers were well aware of the incidents, yet none of them appear to have drawn any serious attention by the official Air Force inquiries.

We also know that a constant complaint of those same inquiries was that they could not obtain instrumented measurements of UFO observations, especially of long duration observations including heights and speeds. Yet Air Force UFO project files disclose exactly such records, were made during a series of months long intrusions at one of the nation’s most sensitive atomic warfare facilities.

Unidentified highlights and provides detailed citations to a variety of similar, excellent research which had simply not received the attention that it should have, overwhelmed by a flood of books on reptilians, grays, alien treaties, secret space navy’s, classified penal colonies on other planets, hybrid alien/human breeding laboratories, and other similar subjects – and that gives you a clue as to what you will not find in this book. Oh, and no “channeling”, it’s just me here.

A Different UFO Book

I laid out my reasons for doing a UFO book in my last post, in this one I will turn to the “what” of the book.

First however, in the interest of time, if anyone reading this happens to be in Oklahoma, I will be doing a book discussion and signing at the Full Circle bookstore, at 50 Penn Place (across from Penn Square), beginning at 6:30 the evening of Wednesday, July 19.  I’d love to have company and it’s a fantastic venue; one of the nicest independent bookstores in the country.

So, what is different about this book?  The answer to that would be focus. It makes no attempt to cover the entire spectrum of the subject, instead it specifically addresses UFO incidents which were deemed to be of military/security interest and investigated as potential threats.  One of the long standing questions (suspicions) has been to what extent the military and the intelligence community took the subject seriously.  On the surface there are good reasons for the question since a great many public statements and official reports on UFO’s were quite questionable and at times simply not credible to the public…sometimes laughably so.

The good news is that we now have the documents to determine exactly how seriously threat related UFO reports were taken – at the various levels from field intelligence, to the responsible headquarters investigative groups, on to Pentagon level organizations and beyond.  Unidentified deals with that subject at great length, from World War II on-wards into the 1980s.  It also goes into extreme detail examining incidents related to the Atomic warfare complex – beginning as early as 1947.

While individual incidents of that nature have been discussed in UFO literature, Unidentified develops them from an evolutionary perspective, showing how the official government response shifted over time – and the extent to which it became both internally and externally disconnected.

It is only with that sort of extended chronological approach that patterns can be seen to develop, both in terms of the incidents themselves (which themselves evolved from sightings to intrusions and on to  something even more serious) as well as the actual security response. And it is with a study of the patterns, and their analysis, that Unidentified begins to differentiate itself.

Certainly others have raised the issue of a potential nuclear connection related to UFO incidents. What Unidentified does is to move that examination to a much finer level of “granularity” in evaluating the incidents and patterns, differentiating them not only in terms of targets, but in intensity, in timing and in operational attributes. Which is a wordy way of saying it evaluates them in terms of actual military activities and maps out trends in those activities over the study period.

It’s a technique variously referred to in the intelligence community as indications analysis and/or threat analysis – and in the private sector as strategic business analysis.  Patterns and trends are important and so is the concept of mapping the indicators to alternative competing hypotheses. That’s a practice which developed during the Cold War, referred to as ACH, which was developed to search out potential intentions of foreign powers whose motives were unclear and who often were clearly trying to conceal their actual activities and plans.

In Unidentified I use a matrix of four competing scenarios and test each one progressively throughout the entire thirty year study period.  That leads me to some pretty specific observations, not only in regard to intentions but also concerning exactly how and why the subject essentially defeated the national intelligence community.  It’s not a kind assessment but it does highlight some very pragmatic aspects of military and threat intelligence work – as well as offering some reasonably concrete opinions as to the reality of what was being reported.

More about what is in – and not in – the book in following posts.