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No Tin Foil Hats Redux

Many UFO researchers, authors and knowledgeable enthusiasts have been basking in vindication and a measure of schadenfreude after front page stories in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and revealed that the Defense Department recently ran a secret, multi-year "black budget" program to investigate UFO's. The revelation exploded the long held belief, and numerous assertions by military Public Information Officers, that the government stopped investigating the UFO phenomenon after 1969 when it terminated Project Blue Book. From 1952 to 1969 Air Force personnel assigned to Blue Book investigated - or pretended to investigate - thousands of reported UFO sightings, mainly from civilians and law enforcement officers. The investigation concluded that the majority of sightings had prosaic explanations, while 700 were deemed unknowns. But many critics at the time, and since, condemned the program as a public relations ploy and debunking campaign meant to dissuade the public from further enthusiasm for the phenomenon.

In the following decades, numerous UFO and national security researchers, plus various retired military officers, asserted there was enough leaked memoranda and confidential anecdotal evidence to substantiate the contention that military and intelligence agencies simply moved their UFO investigations into a top-secret, compartmented SAP (Special Access Program) - so secret not even White House officials in successive administrations were briefed on the program.

The recent bombshell stories are significant because they issued from elite news media and were then reported straightforwardly by the major television networks, as well as NPR,, Esquire, Vanity Fair, and Popular Mechanics. There has not been serious coverage of the subject by US mainstream media in nearly fifty years. Now that some of them have ventured off the reservation it will be interesting to see if follow-up reporting continues or if the story sinks down the memory hole.

The program caught the interest of NYT editors due in part to the political prominence of its sponsors and the intelligence agency credentials of its director. Former Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), the late Daniel Inouye (D-HI), and the late Ted Stevens (R-AK) were instrumental in securing secret funding for the program. All three reportedly had an interest in the UFO phenomenon. Mr. Reid became more interested, he told the Times, when the late Senator John Glenn (R-OH) suggested to him there ought to be a serious government study of UFO's that should include interviewing military pilots. The fact that Mr. Glenn was a Marine pilot and NASA astronaut indicates he likely knew something regarding the anomalous objects buzzing around in our skies. And the fact that he prodded Mr. Reid to sponsor an investigation is revealing. How many more pilots and astronauts are keeping their experiences with UFO's close to their vests?

The secret program was run from the Pentagon by Luis Elizondo, a senior career intelligence officer who has worked with the National Counterintelligence Executive, the CIA, the US Army, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. During the program's peak years, he managed more than forty scientists and technicians. They poured over troves of data from the military, reviewed classified films, interviewed witnesses, analyzed mysterious alloys allegedly recovered from UFO landing sights or ejected in flight, and wrote voluminous reports that remain classified.

In a pre-publication interview with a co-author of the Times article, and later in an online public forum, Mr. Elizondo stated bluntly that the UFO phenomena they studied "are indeed real" and "did not originate from any country." Let that sink in.

Given this man's background, given his access to Defense Department intelligence resources, would anyone argue with what he knows and has revealed?

Sure they would. It was amusing to see the network's go-to 'skepti-bunkers' sputter their way through semi-coherent rebuttals on news programs. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the celebrity science expounder, was so discomforted during a CNN segment he nearly blew a gasket. And on another news program Seth Shostak, senior astronomer for SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) blathered something like "...if they're here, they're just flying around...agitating people...otherwise not doing anything!" But Mr. Shostak and his radio-telescope coterie, funded by generous grants from multi-millionaires and public donations, have their turf to protect. He spends a good deal of time on the talk show circuit arguing that when we eventually discover ET it will be via radio signals transmitted long ago in a galaxy far, far away. Of that belief, the late counter-culture philosopher Terrence McKenna said: "To search expectantly for radio signals from an extraterrestrial civilization... is about as culture bound a presumption as to search the galaxy for a good Italian restaurant."

In a subsequent interview with a reporter for KLAS-TV (Las Vegas) Mr. Reid acknowledged that among the incidents investigated by the secret program were UFO incursions at US Air Force nuclear missile bases.

Thus we arrive at the sanctum sanctorum of government UFO secrecy: there is much corroborating evidence the US military (along with militaries of other nuclear armed nations) is powerless to deal with UFO's that penetrate nuclear weapons facilities and sometimes tamper with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM's) using an unknown, tremendously advanced technology.

Researcher, author and lecturer Robert Hastings ( has spent forty years investigating and documenting UFO incursions at nuclear weapons sites of all types, both in the US and abroad. He has interviewed more than 150 military veterans - including ICBM Launch Control Officers, Targeting Officers, Security Officers, Air Force pilots, and radar operators - who were present when the incidents occurred. He has also acquired numerous declassified government documents confirming many of the incidents. First published in 2007, his book UFOs & Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, has just been re-issued in a revised and updated edition.

For those who prefer a cinematic education, Mr. Hastings also produced a recently released documentary titled: UFOs and Nukes: The Secret Link Revealed. It is available for streaming at Amazon Prime and Vimeo on Demand. 

Blending on-camera testimonies from veteran Air Force officers, archival military film footage, highlighted sections of declassified documents, and captivating computer animated recreations based on eyewitness descriptions, the fifty-minute film depicts some of the more astounding incidents that have occurred since the dawn of the atomic age in the 1940's. One involved a large, glowing, oval-shaped object that hovered over ICBM silos at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, when ten missiles shut down simultaneously. Another no doubt stunned and horrified command level military brass. In 1967 a classic saucer-shaped, dome-topped craft flew circles around an ICBM traveling several thousand miles an hour on a test flight in the Pacific Test Range off the coast of Monterey, CA. It fired several beams of energy into the separated dummy warhead, knocking it out of the sky, then sped away. The entire incident was filmed from the shore by an Air Force team operating a special high-speed, powerful movie camera. Both the officer in charge of the team and his Commanding Officer watched the film afterward and years later confirmed publicly that what they saw was real and unmistakable.

Mr. Hastings himself appears in the documentary and says he believes these UFO activities "are a deliberate effort on the part of the visitors to send a message that we are playing with fire." 

Of all the UFO researchers present and past, I think Mr. Hastings' work delivers the most irrefutable evidence of an intelligent, purposeful, historical pattern of UFO behavior. And it's associated with a specific human technology - nuclear fission, in all its applications. To date, the mainstream media have been silent about this extraordinary information.

A final note: according to the KLAS-TV reporter, Mr. Reid also told him that although the newly revealed program was highly productive and successful it was defunded partly due to fear, fear not only of the stigma attached to the subject, but fear based on religious beliefs among military and intelligence personnel in the chain of command that the UFO phenomenon might be demonic or Satanic.

Wait... what?

Most Americans are aware that for the past few decades an increasing number of fundamentalist, evangelical Christians have been elected to Congress and state legislatures. But they are probably less aware that a similar increase has been occurring in the military officer corps, especially the Air Force. In the early 2000's news stories began circulating that the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, was a hotbed of evangelical Christian proselytizing. Despite lawsuits against the Air Force for failing to prevent religious proselytizing and intimidation, the situation reportedly remains unchanged.

Last June Newsweek reported that the election of Donald Trump has led to a steep rise in fundamentalist evangelizing and religious bigotry throughout the armed forces. A non-profit organization that monitors and seeks to redress the issue - the Military Religious Freedom Foundation - is claiming the matter has reached the level of "a national security threat."

The US Air Force is responsible for maintaining and deploying the bulk of our nation's nuclear arsenal. In my view, we ought to be certain those terrible weapons are not increasingly under the control of religious zealots.

No wonder the 'visitors' are monitoring our nuclear missiles. That, Mr. Shostak, is doing something.

(Frame from UFOs and Nukes...)

* * *

Mark Scaramella notes: I will not defend my fellow Air Force staffers, some of whom did not need to be religious zealots to be very, very dangerous: Richard Secord and Curtis LeMay come immediately and famously to mind. And one does not need UFOs or religious zealotry to be very, very worried about the safety (or lack thereof) of the USA’s nuclear arsenal (which is in several more worrisome hands than just the USAF’s). If you don’t care to believe me, believe author Eric Schlosser who wrote about the history of the nuclear arsenal and many of its near accidents in his outstanding, if technical, recent book: “Command & Control” — a title which is more than a little ironic. As Schlosser concludes: “Right now thousands of missiles are hidden away. Every one of them is an accident waiting to happen, a potential act of mass murder. They are out there waiting, soulless and mechanical, sustained by our denial – and they work."

PS. As best I can tell the woman Trump appointed as Secretary of the Air Force, Ms. Heather Wilson, is not a religious zealot and is much more qualified for the job than her predecessor a beltway hack named Deborah James appointed by Obama, but not a religious nut either. Trump’s Air Force Chief of Staff, General Goldfein, looks ok on paper too: a typical career fighter pilot with the usual technical background.


  1. Alice Chouteau January 12, 2018

    Thanks for writing about this, and for some other resources about this subject.

  2. Alice Chouteau January 12, 2018

    Thanks for writing about this, and for some other resources about a subject buried for too long.

  3. izzy January 12, 2018

    I was all ready with the same quote from Terence McKenna, but you beat me to it.

    Anyone who can still vigorously defend the notion that in a universe containing hundreds of billions of galaxies, each containing billions of inhabitable (from our point of view) planets, we remain unique and all alone, understands neither science nor statistics.

  4. Mike January 14, 2018

    This is going to be fun and revealing in seeing how people adapt to this.

    The other layers of this particular story, involving materials and biological markers, should enhance the coverage. Elizondo also has more film, declassified by the Navy and an office in the under secretary of defense for intelligence. (Source for latter details is Eric Davis, Hal Puthoff associate).

    According to Elizondo, Mattis did not have access to this program. (Source, interview with Ali Veshi, MSNBC, dec26).
    Which he deeply regrets as they are friends! Mattis saved Elizondo’s life in Afghanistan (Source George Knapp, Las Vegas journalust)

  5. Mike January 14, 2018

    While some ufo folks were excited, many were downright hostile. The ufo field, most of it affected by the adoption of Bennewitz Era disinformation, look upon this as a continuation of their imagined cover-up of things like MJ12, treaties with aliens, and stuff like a huge secret space program that enables us to travel the stars and have extensive bases on mars, etc.

    I am doing a briefing doc for the press on the ufo field
    Not yet finished

  6. Mike January 14, 2018

    Regarding ufos and nuclear facilities:
    Elizondo stated to a British paper recently that one of the biggest hot spots for ufo reports from military persons were nuclear missile sites. No overt threats were discerned by AATIP at the Pentagon.

    Robert Hastings, mentioned in article, and other sources indicate “they” apparently can control these missles. There are also reports from the official Russian study, ending in 1991.

    The insiders that view the presence as demonic may be the main impetus for the disinformation operations in the 80s (see Bennewitz Affair, John Lear, etc)

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