Here is my opening response to portions of "IN SEARCH OF GORDON COOPER'S UFOs" by James Oberg (originally submitted by Dean Kanipe). It is definitely "for distribution" as will be the next seven or so documented essays I will be supplying in rebuttal to Mr. Oberg's essay. For those who feel my research is solid and worthy of viewing in a more permanent setting, this author also gives his permission for the free posting of these rebuttals on any WWW home page, as long as my name is included as the creator of the posts along with my E-mail address. Mr.Oberg's essay and my full rebuttal will be archived on the web at: http://myweb.li.net/rjcohen/ (jc 3/28/02: Now permanently at CohenUFO.org) When I first wrote this I thought to myself, "If Cooper still stands by his statement regarding a claimed landing at Edwards AFB, mentioned by Mr. Oberg in 'In Search of Gordon Cooper's UFOs' (beginning ¶ 42), this lends yet further support to three cases I have analyzed and come to the conclusion are verified and definitely related to one another. The claimed Edwards AFB case occurred in the same year." I was unaware of this case until I read Mr. Oberg's essay. Actually, in retrospect I came to realize, the reverse is also undeniably true;
"my research concerning several 1957 cases lends strong support to what Cooper has stated regarding the alleged landing at Edwards AFB."
Although you will have to wait approximately 6 essays to get to it, those with patience will be amply rewarded. I've got quite a few important, solid facts to present along the way. (jc 9/20/2008: No longer true. You don't have to wait. I added the above link so that readers can see the results of an investigation regarding that specific Edwards AFB case. When you've read it, come back and read the rest of this. It has been a good number of years and many people have forgotten what happened along the way.)
PREFACE: One of UFO skeptics greatest criticisms concerning UFOLOGY concerns the fact that, as they see it, a large number of UFO cases are anecdotal in nature and that, as they claim, there is no hard, reproducible documented evidence to back up the stories told by the various claimants. This claim is totally false. On the surface, this would appear to be true as there are a great number of cases which do fall into this category. Because of this fact, one must have a great familiarity with the idiom and its history to discover that this elusive evidence does indeed exist. Some skeptics, being so certain of the impossibility of the existence of solid evidence, view it wearing blinders, never digging deep enough to find what they are almost certain does not exist in the first place or, lacking the hints provided by a thorough knowledge of UFO history, simply look in all the wrong places. In-depth familiarity with the history of the topic and where some of this evidence might be hiding is paramount to discovering its ultimate reality. One important question an intelligent person should ask is "Have there been any well-respected scientists who have studied the topic in depth and, subsequent to their analyses, come to the conclusion that UFOs exist as apparent craft and exhibit traits beyond the cutting edge of our technology? (N.B. UFO = unidentified flying objects displaying unusual characteristics and technology which seem to preclude them from being created on this planet.) A second, obvious question should be, "Exactly what did they find?" The answer to the first is unequivocally, "yes." As to the second, I will present documented information concerning two of these scientists, what their research uncovered and how it changed every open-minded person's thinking regarding the study of UFOs. One of the scientists, given negative mention by Mr. Oberg, is none other than Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who was the Air Force's main astronomical consultant to Project Blue Book for twenty years.
Within that time period, all official documentation in existence informs us he was closer to the official first hand Air Force evidence regarding UFOs than any other civilian scientist on record. It was his job was to expose UFOs as misinterpretations of normal astronomical phenomena, etc., (For those not familiar, Blue Book was the Air Force's alleged main study on UFOs. Why I used the word "alleged" will become apparent the further we proceed.) Amazingly enough, it was the Air Forces' own scientific consultant who actually proved to us that the Air Force has not been completely honest with us concerning the reality of UFOs. Solid evidence as to how and why Hynek gradually arrived at this conclusion will also be displayed for the reader. After presenting this recorded, verifiable information, I will present three well documented cases from 1957. I selected these cases because Mr. Oberg specifically discussed a claim that Gordon Cooper made concerning an alleged landing at Edwards Air Force base in 1957. I believe these cases, when examined in relationship to each other, demonstrate a strong probability that the case against Cooper is not as "cut and dried" as Mr. Oberg has indicated. One of the aforementioned cases, Kirtland AFB (11/1957),
was analyzed in depth by the Air Force, the Condon Committee, and
finally by Dr. James McDonald, then senior physicist and professor
of meteorology at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, University
of Arizona. This information will not only achieve the goal I have just mentioned but, in the process, will also give lie to some of the comments made regarding not only Hynek's & McDonald's motivation but also, the overall quality of research performed by Dr. James McDonald, Dr. Hynek and, at the minimum, some UFO researchers. Anyone willing to check the sources I provide can decide for
themselves whose research is more complete, accurate and valid.
The three cases I have mentioned contain factual. concrete evidence that proves beyond a shadow of doubt that some UFOs can definitely be referred to as "craft", as they contain crucial evidence identifying some UFOs as craft of an unknown type. All of the above will be fully supported and displayed in a series of seven (or so) articles which I will post one at a time, to give people a chance to both absorb them, check the accuracy of the material displayed therein and find flaws, where they may exist. However, some brief comments concerning several points from Mr. Oberg's essay are in order before proceeding any further. ----------
Mr. Oberg's essay was received "on-line" with the page numbers apparently indicated at the bottom of each page but not saying "end p. 1, etc.". I have ignored page numbers and have instead numbered his paragraphs sequentially from beginning to end, hopefully to reduce problems researchers might have in locating those discussed items. The following were observed as extremely short paragraphs: #'s 12, 22, 39 and 71. (between 2-4 lines each) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ J.C. Note: If you become bored with parts 1a/b, feel free to skip to part 2 for a tidbit of documented evidence. Unfortunately, what follows is somewhat tedious but absolutely necessary considering the charges Mr. Oberg has made. Hopefully, you'll read it all. Those with intestinal fortitude, please continue. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Many of the things Mr. Oberg said in his essay appeared to be accurate however, I found it filled with unsupported innuendo. I disagree with several of the conclusions reached and I'm not so certain of the veracity of others as some are anecdotal in nature with not enough supporting documentation to confirm some of the things he says. (Links are to Mr. Oberg's original essay.)
As an example: ----------
a. It was stated in paragraph four:
"The United Nations maintained a stoic, even embarrassed silence,"
JC: It was not shown from where this information was derived. Was Mr. Oberg present to observe this? In any of the accounts I had read concerning the aforementioned UN meeting in question, it was never mentioned that people were embarrassed in the least. I have not found Mr. Oberg's name mentioned in the minutes of the meeting. I did, however, find the following names who were among those who testified: Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Lt. Col. Larry Coyne, ex-astronaut Gordon Cooper, Dr. Jacques Vallee & Stanton T. Friedman. 1 b. In a further analysis of those same ¶ 4 comments: It was stated:
"...nonetheless. Part of Cooper's problem might have been that he was visiting under the auspices of the then dictator of Grenada, the madcap 'Sir' Eric Gairy. Gairy's excesses and crackpottery, added to his alleged corruption and brutality at home, later led to the New Jewel coup d'Útat led by Maurice Bishop, and indirectly to the US intervention five years later."
J.C. Although much of what was said in the preceding paragraph may well have been true (and which parts we cannot be sure, as specific documentation was not offered to support same), it has not been adequately demonstrated that Cooper had a "problem" at the time. Also, I am not certain why this material was included in the preceding dialogue except perhaps to impugn Cooper's character by implying that he was somehow in "cahoots" with a "crackpot," corrupt dictator; or that people reporting UFOs must, by association, be crackpots too. The fact of the matter is that the United Nations had previously agreed to have a conference concerning the subject of UFOs. They certainly weren't forced to have this discussion. It is a rather large body of nations. If the topic was totally absurd, they wouldn't have agreed to wasting their time on it in the first place. It most likely was petitioned and had support. As part of the explanatory memorandum Grenada had made in its position paper, the following statement was to be found:
"As had been shown by the studies recently commissioned by some countries, many states were deeply concerned with regard to the UFO phenomenon and recognized the urgent need to bring up to date research in the field and to examine the potential repercussions of that phenomenon on security, technological progress and the well-being of individual nations." 2
jc addendum 3/25/02: Click here for: Hynek's speech to the UN The truth of the matter is that various countries throughout the world, including our own, had been having reoccurring, documented UFO sightings for quite some time prior to and leading up to this particular historic meeting. I am sure people out there reading this from various countries can supply some of the newspaper articles which would confirm this previous statement. As Mr. Oberg aptly pointed out, Cooper wasn't the first pilot to claim this. A small but solid portion of the evidence in this regard was presented to the United States congress fourteen years prior, in 1964, in the form of an 188 page document titled "The UFO Evidence," edited by Richard Hall, former Assistant Director and Acting Director of NICAP (National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena). Richard Hall The UFO Evidence was a 200,000 word documentary report which contained a compilation of approximately 746 documented sightings by Air Force, Army, Navy & Marine personnel, pilots and aviation experts, other military personnel, observations by professional scientists and engineers, including astronomers and aeronautical engineers. In reality, the main reason the UN did not follow-up further on the proceedings had mostly to do with economics and ongoing world politics. It was not that the prestigious body of nations did not believe some of the documented reports that had been presented but rather, it did not have the monetary resources to do much about such an elusive phenomena even though it had been generally reported around the world. Since the sightings were "sightings" only and not, at that time, adequately documented in the civilian sector as a specific threat or danger to the population, more urgent immediate "earthly" problems simply took precedence over those which displayed themselves in such an erratic (albeit "persistent") fashion. It was a lot easier to ignore them than to deal with them. Our own congress back in 1964 had a similar reaction; congressmen were impressed but did not react as a whole for the same reasons. 3 Our Air Force, Department of Defense and NASA took the position, and continued to claim, there was nothing to the situation and that most sightings had been explained. 4 Therefore, more pressing domestic and world problems precluded this at that time, but.... the UFOs refused to go away.
1 Summary of the UN meeting was published in: "The International UFO Reporter" . vol 3 . No. 10/11 . Oct/Nov 1978 2 Ibid 3 The following are some quotes from congressmen which were on file at NICAP and included in "The UFO Evidence." Some were received after evidence was sent to members of congress in June 1960. They illustrate the "atmosphere" of that era regarding UFOs and document the comments I have made in this regard:Congressman Joseph E. Karth (D. Minn.) - 8/24/60
Congressman Edgar W. Hiestand (R. Calif.) - 9/19/60"As a member of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, I, of course, have had contact with high Air Force officers and have had opportunity to hear their comments on and off the record on the subject of unidentified flying objects. Despite being confronted with seemingly unimpeachable evidence that such phenomena exist, these officers give little credence to the many reports on the matter. When pressed on specific details the experts refuse to answer on grounds that they are involved in the nation's security and cannot be discussed publicly . . .I will continue to seek a definite answer to this most important question."
Senator Kenneth B. Keating (R. N.Y.) - 6/5/63"I am wondering if we ought now reexamine our policy with regard to Unidentified Flying Objects. Won't you kindly suggest to your associates that the matter be considered? I am apprehensive that right now, in the middle of a campaign, some concrete and well-documented incident may occur, and a sensational revelation could really hurt. After all, although the UFOs are unknown devices, there seems to be enough evidence available to convince that they are real rather than imaginary. Therefore what harm could complete frankness do?. . . "
Senator William Proxmire (D. Wis.) - 1/31/63"I want to assure you that as a high officer in the military myself, I am not overawed or overimpressed by some of the conclusions reached by Air Force officers. As you know, I have no hesitancy in taking issue with other government agencies as to the dangers facing our country. . .I am sorry that there seems to be nothing which I can add to the UFO situation at the present time."
4. Congressman Thomas Ludlow Ashley (D. Ohio) - 7/14/58"The NICAP report (outline) is a fine document which does much to substantiate the allegation made. You probably noted my remarks that 'The very fact that so many inexplicable incidents have occurred is reason enough for a thorough investigation.' I am going to contact the Department of Defense on this matter."
Senator Jacob K. Javits (R. N.Y.) - 10/25/62"I have made a number of inquiries of the Air Force relative to its activities in connection with these unidentified flying objects, but have invariably received comment that evidence to date is too inconclusive to sustain any theory but that these objects, are 'hoaxes, hallucinations, or normal meteorological manifestations.' I share your concern over the secrecy that continues to shroud our intelligence activities on this subject, and I am in complete agreement with you that our greatest national need at this time is the dissemination of accurate information upon which responsible public opinion can be formulated. . . "
"I appreciate your views regarding the aerial phenomena. As you know, the Department of Defense and NASA have repeatedly denied the existence of such objects."
Respectfully submitted, Jerry Cohen