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.


About Larry Hancock

Larry Hancock is a leading historian-researcher in the JFK assassination. Co-author with Connie Kritzberg of November Patriots and author of the 2003 research analysis publication titled also Someone Would Have Talked. In addition, Hancock has published several document collections addressing the 112th Army Intelligence Group, John Martino, and Richard Case Nagell. In 2000, Hancock received the prestigious Mary Ferrell New Frontier Award for the contribution of new evidence in the Kennedy assassination case. In 2001, he was also awarded the Mary Ferrell Legacy Award for his contributions of documents released under the JFK Act.

2 responses »

  1. Bill Banks says:

    Am curious as to definition of threat.

    • Given that the focus of the book is military and national security I use the term very much in the classic military sense “A military threat, sometimes expressed as danger of military action, a military challenge, or a military risk”. Given the time frame of some thirty years the nature of the threat (as identified by the military) ranged from the potential threat of foreign weapons systems and advanced technologies – both during period of combat (WWII, Korea) to actions associated with potential preemptive military action (reconnaissance, attack route mapping and flight familiarization, ferreting of defenses etc) to that of psychological warfare.

      When you get down to individual cases, certain very specific threats were expressed including targeting for long range missile strikes, intrusions mapping targets for radioactive dusting of strategic facilities, sabotage and in later years very specific intrusions targeting SAC weapons storage facilities and ICBM sites.

      Here are a couple of examples of the term being used in military communications:

      In view of the fact that this sighting suggests a possibility of a different type of threat to the Continental United States, request this Headquarters, ATTN: ADODI, be advised of your final analysis regarding this sighting.”

      Strategic Air Command, UFO incident investigation, Northern Montana / 1959

      “This sighting was a positive observation, under ideal circumstances, of a definite object of an unconventional nature – possibly of foreign origin, which could be a threat to national security.

      Strategic Air Command, UFO incident investigation, Carswell AFB, Texas / 1965

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