A Final Word?
Initially, this chapter was not going to be included in this book. However, I feel that the information it contains is important and the American public have a right to know.
Had it not been for the tragic death of my son, Robert Francis Stone, on August 18, 1995, I would have carried much of this information to the grave. Instead, I will reveal some of it here, and more in a forthcoming book about my life and involvement within the Aerial Phenomena Field.
After my retirement from the United States Army in February, 1990, I was hired as a consultant to a Roswell, NM, security firm. On Friday night, August 18, 1995, I was working as Chief of Security at the Roswell Mall. Shortly after 8:00 RM. we were notified that a motorcycle accident had occurred at the Mall entrance. I was the first officer to respond. Lying dead on the road beside his motorcycle was my son, Robert.
As Roswell Police officer Moore drove me home to inform my wife of our son’s death, I heard an All Points Bulletin going out over the police radio for a small blue pickup truck in connection with the accident involving my son. Almost immediately, rumors began circulating about the accident.
About a week later, the News Manager for the local KBIM-TV News, David Gonzalez, called me and stated that he had heard there was more to my son’s detail than what was being reported. I informed him that I did not wish to discuss my son at that time—thus ending the conversation.
There exist many questions surrounding my son’s death, and many reasons why I believe the police may have covered up various mechanical and medical facts about the incident. The police seem to have been acting on orders from higher up, and the whole cycle of denials and contradictions sounded all too familiar from my lifetime of chasing down evasive government sources. However, I will continue to search for the answers to those painful questions without the harsh glare of the media, until I am satisfied that I have the full truth.
I continue to ask myself each day if my involvement in this field had anything to do with the circumstances of my son’s death. If foul play was involved, the two missions I have uncovered in my research that are revealed in this chapter might well be the reason why I was punished so severely. That said, I will continue to risk whatever repercussions may lie ahead by telling you what the U.S. Air Force does not wish you to know. This information has taken me more than thirty-five years to uncover.
Most, if not all, of the documents appearing in this chapter are being offered to the public for the first time. Many of these documents have not appeared in print in any other publication. And many of the governmental agencies involved were not even aware that I gained possession of the documents.
But, I can assure you, they were all legally obtained.
To this very day the United States Air Force maintains that was the only agency of the federal government that had anything to do with UFOs. Furthermore, the Air Force maintains that its investigations of UFOs were carried out through Project Sign and Project Grudge, and ended with Project Blue Book.
This is a blatant lie and the Air Force knows it. (See doc. 8-1.)
The facts that I have uncovered are that the United States Army started its investigation of UFOs back during the Second World War. The Army’s Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) was charged with the responsibility of finding out what the «foo-fighters» being reported by the Allied aircrews were. After the war, this mission continued.
The CIC was very quietly investigating reports of unusual things being reported in the skies over America before the start of Project Sign (January 22, 1948). With the Kenneth Arnold sighting of June 24, 1947, in Roswell, NM, and the press picking up on it, more and more people started to report sightings of strange objects in our skies. With the outcry from the American public for answers, and in order to protect the secrecy of the real military investigations, Project Sign was established. However, the CIC quietly continued its own secret investigation—whose Findings were not to be released to ordinary citizens.
The United States Air Force became a separate branch of the Armed Services in September 1947, as a result of the passing of the National Security Act by Congress. Those CIC individuals who remained in the Air Force after it separated from the U.S. Army became members of the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI), but were still working counterintelligence for the Air Force. Furthermore, they cooperated with the Army’s CIC.
Further evidence of OSI involvement with UFO Investigations is provided in an FBI document dated October 9, 1950.
This document states:
Bureau liaison determined on the morning of October 9, 1950, from OSI Headquarters that the investigation of these aerial phenomena are being handled by OSI, Wright Field, Ohio. Their investigation of these phenomena fails to indicate that the sightings involved space ships or missiles from any other planet or country.
The reason given for the OSI failure to determine the origin of the phenomena was that the complaints received by them have failed to indicate any definite pattern of activity. (See doc. 8-3.)
But if these objects are interplanetary, would we have any idea as to what type of «pattern of activity» to really look for?
On January 22, 1948, Project Sign was established as a result of Air Force Letter (AFL) 200-5. Project Sign was assigned an A-2 priority at a Secret level, meaning that the project would not be totally inaccessible, as were Top Secret or security-sensitive information. However, we shall see that other directives placed other agencies with the responsibility for any information classified higher than Secret.
Obviously, the Directorate of Air Intelligence was maintaining those files. Furthermore, as we have seen in Chapter One, those cases that could affect national security were not to become part of Project Sign, Project Grudge, or even the Project Blue Book system.
A letter from Headquarters, Air Defense Command, dated February 4, 1948, states:
CIC personnel attached to the numbered air forces of this command may be utilized to prosecute the investigation of subject incidents (UFOs).
Here we have both the Air Defense Command and CIC being involved. (See doc. 8-2.)
The Directorate of Intelligence of the United States Air Force issued «Air Intelligence Requirements Memorandum Number 4,» dated February 19, 1949. (See doc. 8-4.) The purpose of this memorandum was twofold:
To enunciate continuing Air Force requirements for information pertaining to sightings of unconventional aircraft and unidentified flying objects, including the so-called «flying discs.»
To establish procedures for reporting such information.
The investigation of UFOs, according to this document, was to include those reports from overseas commands and Air Attaches, as well as those reported in the United States. This is strange when one considers that, according to the Air Force at that time, the phenomenon was only being reported in the U.S. Also, officially we were not to investigate reports from overseas areas unless they were reported by military personnel.
This, according to AFL 200-5.
On September 8, 1950, the Director of Air Force Intelligence issued a letter entitled «Reporting of Information on Unconventional Aircraft.» (See doc. 8-5.) This letter stated:
The United States Air Force has a continuing requirement for the reporting and technical analysis of observations of unconventional aircraft which might indicate an advance in progress of a foreign power. An unconventional aircraft, within the meaning of this directive, is defined as any aircraft or airborne object which by performance, aerodynamic characteristics, or unusual features, does not conform to any presently known aircraft type.
Please note the definition for unconventional aircraft given in this directive. Is it just coincidence that this is the same definition given for UFOs?
By mid-1953, the Air Defense Command (ADC) had taken over all field investigations of UFOs. The reasons for this are simple. First, if UFOs proved hostile, it would be the Air Defense Command that would have to deal with the situation.
Second, in January 1953 the Air Defense Command activated the unit best suited to carry out investigations of Unidentified Flying Objects: the 4602d Air Intelligence Service Squadron (AISS).
A CIA document, dated December 17, 1953, states:
Of particular interest is the fact that ATIC [Air Technical Intelligence Center] is in the progress of transferring Project Bluebook to Hq., Air Defense Command. According to Lt. Col. Harry Johnston, Chief, Electronic Branch, the reason for the transfer was that ADC had been doing most of the investigative work of the project and «if it turns out that those things (UFOs) are space ships or long range aircraft from another country, ADC is the [Air Force] Command that would have to take action.» (See doc. 8-6.)
On January 3, 1953, Air Defense Command Regulation 24-4 created the 4602d Air Intelligence Service Squadron. This special unit was given a wartime mission of exploiting downed enemy people, papers, and hardware. Outside of participating in simulated training problems, this unit had no peacetime mission. By March 1953, the decision was made to use the 4602d AISS in UFO investigations, and by the end of December 1953, a working agreement existed between the Air Technical Intelligence Center and the 4602d AISS. (See docs. 8-7 and 8-8.)
The members of the 4602d AISS who were to be involved in UFO investigations were given twenty hours of specialized training to better accomplish their assigned task. (See doc. 8-9.)
Since all UFO reports were to be forwarded to ATIC at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, thus giving the impression that everything was going to Project Blue Book, it was extremely important to have in place at ATIC the means by which the truly good cases could be pulled and kept from the Project Blue Book Files. This would enable quick-response recovery teams to be dispatched. This was accomplished by the use of another secret military group organized under the name Operation Blue Fly, which is explained below.
Operation Blue Fly was established for the quick recovery of downed foreign equipment, papers, and personnel. Please keep in mind that this was a peacetime mission. Since there existed a belief that the flying discs might be some new device of the Soviet Union, they were included as an item of interest to Operation Blue Fly, the 4602d AISS being the operation’s arms, legs, ears, and eyes.
Reports of UFOs were to be given to the 4602d AISS Detachment closest to the reported sighting. Then the detachment would determine if the case warranted follow-up investigation. The 4602d AISS was required to file a report to the Air Technical Intelligence Center within three days of receiving a report.
The reports did not go directly to the Project Blue Book office. First, a report was to go through the Operation Blue Fly Project Monitor Officer. A summary of the history of the Air Technical Intelligence Center for the period of July 1, 1954, through December 31, 1954, shows that problems with this quick-reaction program had been worked out and In order to insure constant availability of qualified personnel for «Blue Fly,» four ATIC officers were assigned duty as assistant project monitors. This assignment takes priority over other Operations Section projects when «Blue Fly» is alerted for travel. (See doc. 8-10.)
Those cases that were easily solved would be passed to the Project Blue Book office for proper filing. However, if the case was an unknown or difficult in solving, a different course of action came into play.
If the case was truly a compelling unknown and the media had not become aware of it, it would be analyzed by Technical Intelligence (T-2) and the Electronics Division (T-3) of ATIC, while at the same time keeping it out of the Project Blue Book Files. These were the cases that could have some bearing on national security and «were never meant to be part of the Project Blue Book system.»
In order to aid the 4602d AISS in their investigations of UFOS, ATIC provided them with a document, dated January 14, 1955, entitled «UFOB Guide.» (See doc. 8-11.)
The intent of this document was to aid in the identification of known objects and phenomena, thus ruling out any confusion of experimental airborne materials with truely unidentified flying objects. The 4602d AISS was so impressed with this document, they created their own guide for use by the Ground Observer Corps: «Guide to UFO Identification.» (See doc. 8-12.)
In 1957, the 4602d AISS was renamed the 1006th AISS and placed under Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, Directorate of Air Intelligence. With fewer personnel being assigned to the 1006th AISS than its older counterpart, the 1006th was granted the authority to investigate only those UFO cases appearing to have some intelligence value. (See doc. 8-13.)
Under Headquarters, U.S. Air Force Message #54322, dated December 23,1957, a new Project was created called Project Moon Dust.
The mission of Project Moon Dust was,
«to collect and analyze raw intelligence reports from the field on fallen space debris and objects of unknown origin.»
This Project also gave the Air Force the means to monitor the UFO investigation efforts of other nations. Some examples of how this activity was carried out are given in the history of the 39th Air Division, dated July 1, 1960, through December 31, 1960, and an OSI document dated August 16, 1962. (See docs. 8-14 and 8-15.)
In the early 1970s this project came under the control of the Department of State with monitor-ship responsibilities given to the Defense Intelligence Agency. However, well into the late 1980s the U.S. Air Force maintained its own Project Moon Dust.
Some excellent examples of how the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) carried out its responsibilities under Project Moon Dust are given in
a DIA Message dated July 16, 1965, entitled «Unidentified Flying Objects Sighted in Antarctica»
a DIA Message dated August 26, 1966, entitled «Unidentified Flying Objects Over Taiwan»
a DIA Message dated April 3, 1967, entitled «Reported Sightings of Flying Saucers in Brazil»
a DIA Message dated January 19,1968, entitled «Unidentified Flying Objects» and dealing with a Russian commission to study UFOs
a DIA Message dated August 9,1968, entitled «UFO Newspaper Clippings» and dealing with reported UFO sightings in Argentina
a DIA Message dated August 24,1974, entitled «Spanish’ UFO Sightings»
Please note that the Defense Intelligence Agency considers all its records dealing with Project Moon Dust to still be classified in the interests of national security to this very day. The only records they have released to date are those that had already been released by the Department of State. (See docs. 8-16, 8-17, 848, 8-19, 8-20, and 8-21.)
According to the U.S. Air Force, none of the documents mentioned in this chapter exist. The Air Force states they were destroyed long ago. (See docs. 8-22 and 8-23.) To be sure, when a U.S. Senator asked the U.S. Air Force about these missions, the response was: «These missions never existed.» (See Report to Congress in Appendix below.)
Unfortunately for those seeking to cover up the truth, the documents attached to this chapter were all obtained legally from the U.S. Air Force, Defense Intelligence Agency, the FBI, and the Department of State—to name but a few. These missions, identified in this chapter, continue to this day. However, with the U.S. Air Force having no knowledge of what other government agencies had released to me, it was impossible for them to maintain any consistency in their evasive, untruthful responses to my inquiries.
In a letter from the Air Force dated May 3, 1990, concerning a request from me on Moon Dust and Blue Fly, I was told:
We have two records responsive to your request. However, they are exempt from disclosure because the information contained in them is currently and properly classified.
Upon my appeal of this decision, the Air Force responded under a letter dated July 25, 1990:
The information responsive to your request that is being withheld is currently properly classified pursuant to Executive Order and is exempt from disclosure…. Release of the information could cause identifiable damage to the national security. Thus, a significant and legitimate governmental purpose is served by its withholding, and discretionary release is not appropriate. (See Report to Congress in Appendix below.)
In March 1991, the Department of State surfaced eleven documents pertaining to Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly belonging to the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force responded, concerning these documents, with a letter dated June 5,1991, stating:
We can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to your request regarding «Projects or Operations known as BLUE FLY, MOON DUST, AFCIN SOP, and ICGL#4,» as any other response could reveal operations under section 1.3(a)(1) of Executive Order 12356, «National Security Information».
Once I started asking for congressional assistance, these documents known to exist disappeared. The Air Force could no longer locate them.
On September 29, 1994,1 asked for the assistance of Senator Domenici’s Office in getting the release of the above-mentioned documents. The Air Force responded with a letter dated December 7, 1994, stating:
The projects as such no longer exist, nor do their files. Classified reports that existed, if any, presumably were destroyed.
Considering the Air Force’s responses of May 3, 1990 July 25,1990, and June 5,1991, the above comment can only be considered as a statement made in a further attempt to cover up these missions.
On September 27, 1994,1 requested that the Air Force do a «Mandatory Declassification Review» (MDR) of the Moon Dust and Blue Fly records. Once again, with a letter dated February 23,1995, the Air Force denied the existence of any records. However, this time they sent me several records stating that they
[were] previously provided to the Air Force by individuals seeking information on records relating to Projects MOONDUST and BLUEFLY.
An interesting point to this is that the records they sent me were taken directly from my previous book, UFOs — Let the Evidence Speak for Itself.
Finally, under a letter dated April 4, 1997, the Air Force admitted that Operation Blue Fly was, in fact, involved with the investigation of UFOs by stating:
Its mission had been enlarged to include space objects and UFOs if any were reported available for recovery. No Soviet Bloc planes or personnel were ever downed in the United States, and no UFOs were ever reported downed or recovered in the United States or anywhere else. Operation Blue Fly was terminated because of the lack of activity. (See doc. 8-24.)
Once again, documents were attached to this letter—all taken from my previous book, along with its special reports. It was clear that the U.S. Air Force was one of my biggest fans, having purchased and repeatedly quoted from my book.
The Air Force statement,
«No Soviet Bloc planes or personnel were ever downed in the United States, and no UFOs were ever reported downed or recovered in the United States or anywhere else» is totally false.
On March 20, 1964, a Soviet-built Cuban HOUND Helicopter landed in Key West, Florida. The Air Force’s Operation Blue Fly was assigned the primary responsibility for the intelligence exploitation of that helicopter. This case is taken directly from the official Air Force Intelligence files. (See doc. 8-25.)
On December 9, 1965, an object fell to earth in Acme, Pennsylvania. There exists in the official Project Blue Book file on this case, a hand-written note stating:
A three man team has been dispatched to Acme, Pa. to investigate and pick up an object that started a fire.
This case is known within UFO circles as the Kecksburg Case. The «three man team» was not further identified and the object was never brought to Project Blue Book. This three-man team was, in fact, an Operation Blue Fly Team. (See doc. 8-26.)
The above examples present only two cases. To be sure, there exist many more. The Air Force insists these events never happened—even though they are taken from the Air Force’s own official files. One can only guess how much more is being kept from the American people and their duly elected representatives.
If a nation of angry readers can help me launch a Congressional investigation of Air Force impropriety (we could call it UFOgate), a primary question to pose to the Air Force would be: How do known and classified documents allegedly «disappear?»
I am of the opinion that we are not encountering bureaucratic incompetence, but purposeful deceit, cover up and obstruction.
Like a crooked accountant preparing two sets of books, the United States Air Force maintained two separate UFO investigation programs. Operation Blue Book was the only program publicly known to exist, and is was conceived and prepared solely to mislead the public. The other program was given a higher classification, and its existence was kept secret from not only the general public but even from the congressional leaders of this country, who have a vital need to know.
Operation Blue Book’s purpose was all public relations.
It was a clearinghouse for UFO reports, and provided answers to questions from the general public. The highest classification ever given to Operation Blue Book (known in 1948 as Project Sign) was Secret, with an A-2 Priority. Operation Blue Book was never meant to be involved in the investigation of UFO reports that could have any possible effect on national security. Operation Blue Book was an officially sanctioned deception program to cover up the existence of the more highly classified UFO program that did investigate UFO cases with some bearing on national security.
The more highly classified program was the one with substance, concentrating on evidence of encounters with beings of vastly superior technical capabilities.
The unit assigned to these «hot» UFO cases was a particular Air Intelligence Service Squadron that seemed to enjoy an unfair monopoly on UFO data, especially that which came in from Air Force pilots and NASA astronauts. This book, by the way, does not pretend to cover the NASA side of the UFO story, but one can find several books with compelling testimony from our astronauts
Relevant books coming out during this 50th anniversary of the 1947 Roswell Incident include William J. Birnes and Philip J. Corso‘s The Day After Roswell, Jim Marrs‘ Alien Agenda, and Bill Fawcett‘s Making Contact.
Even though I have described it as a prop, Operation Blue Book itself was terminated on December 17, 1969. This gave the public the impression that the U.S. Government was out of the business of investigating UFOs and no longer had any interest in the subject. However, the more highly classified program continued to investigate those cases considered to have vital technical intelligence data, and continues to do so to this day.
Do I have any flying saucers to show you at the UFO Enigma Museum in Roswell? No, but I’d be pleased to show you a good deal more than the best collection of government documents on the topic that you now hold in your hands. Without a doubt, much debris from and some intact specimens of unidentified aerial objects are being stored and examined at restricted government facilities.
The Air Force, among other agencies, is actively gathering information on these objects from around the world. Even if the intelligence on these objects is relevant to industry, science, and medicine, the data still remain closed to the nation and the world «in the interests of national security.»
The more highly classified UFO investigation program had been able to conceal its activities by hiding behind the Cold War. It used to be claimed that the program was looking for technical intelligence data on new types of Soviet aircraft and, later, on the Soviet space program. Many UFOs of the 1940s and 1950s were thus referred to as possible «unconventional aircraft» of the Soviet Union. Military budgets and secrecy were the fruits of this easy lie. A negligible amount of the material gathered in these investigations has yet to be explained as space junk from the USSR.
It is instructive here, in the conclusion, to review the U.S. Air Force’s three officially held conclusions about UFOs:
(1) UFOs are not a threat to national security
(2) UFOs do not represent technological developments or principles beyond the range of present-day scientific knowledge
(3) there has been no evidence indicating that UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin
My book is a direct counterattack on this fusillade of falsehood.
Documentation released under the Freedom of Information Act by the Air Force and other government agencies clearly indicates that the first two of these conclusions are false by definition alone. While these documents from the Air Force and other agencies do not, by themselves, disprove the third conclusion, the existing evidence strongly suggests the existence of objects of unknown origin. The most logical conclusion is that these UFOs are not of our known world.
The purpose and origin of UFOs is yet to be ascertained, but it is evident that our government continues to stand ready to go anywhere in the world to recover possible objects of «unknown origin.» My overriding concern is that the United States Congress has NEVER BEEN BRIEFED on the existence of a classified UFO investigation program or the existence of an UFO recovery program.
It is my fervent hope that this book convinces even the biggest skeptics that our government has the real UFO problem! Whatever the UFOs really are, it is our democratic system that has been invaded by alien, tyrannical behavior on the part of Air Force intelligence and other government agencies.
I have found the UFO enemy, and it is us. Join me in writing to Congress, in insisting that there are governmental checks and balances missing on this issue.
Whatever this awesome phenomenon is that has changed our lives forever, this career soldier insists that it is far too important to be left in the hands of the military.
Author’s Updated Report on «Operation Blue Fly»
(Original Version Was Sent to the United States Congress in November 1993)
In early 1993, New Mexico Congressman Steven Schiff requested information on UFOs from the Department of Defense and the Air Force and received an unsatisfactory response. He then pounded the paper trail by publicly requesting any information on government documents that might exist concerning the Roswell Incident.
I responded to Congressman Schiff s appeal by sending him many of the documents I had amassed over 20 years of using the Freedom of Information Act to secure UFO information from various government agencies.
Congressman Schiff s Albuquerque office reviewed my files and contacted me, inquiring if I had any additional information. It was this request that encouraged me to prepare this report on the Air Force’s Top Secret «Operation Blue Fly.»
Besides sending this report to Congressman Schiff, I sent it to an additional twenty-seven congressmen and senators, as well as to the General Accounting Office, in November 1993.
The point of the report is to demonstrate to Congress that there were, and still are, active operations within the U.S. Intelligence Community to secretly gather information on «objects of unknown origin» and to recover any debris from such objects.
These operations are still ongoing, despite the denials of the Intelligence Community. I can only urge you to write your senators, congressmen, and members of the media, requesting the truth about what the military and intelligence agencies are doing with relevant information they possess on the subject of Unidentified Flying Objects.
The following is taken directly from an official U.S. Air Force document dated October 20, 1969, recommending the termination of Operation Blue Book:
…reports of unidentified flying objects which could affect national security are made in accordance with JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55-11, and are NOT part of the Blue Book system. The Air Force experience therefore confirms the IMPRESSION of the University of Colorado researchers «that the defense function could be performed within the framework established for intelligence and surveillance operations without the continuance of a special unit such as Operation Blue Book.»
This quote clearly points out several items of interest concerning Operation Blue Book. First, Blue Book was established to receive UFO reports from the public at large and act as a public relations unit. Blue Book was not to be involved with those cases considered to be of vital intelligence interest. For those cases, involving vital intelligence concerns, another entity or reporting channel had already been established outside the Blue Book reporting system.
Second, the Air Force, unknown to the public, had in place another reporting channel for UFO reports which they wished to keep away from the public’s view. (The University of Colorado UFO researchers made just such a recommendation, not being aware of the existence of this other entity outside Operation Blue Book. Later, in this report, I identify this other entity and trace some of its history. However, for now, I would like to reflect upon some other interesting points made in this government document.)
The termination of Operation Blue Book would leave no official federal office to receive reports of UFOs. However, as already stated, reports of UFOs which could affect national security would continue to be handled through the standard Air Force procedures designed for this purpose.
Read the above quote again, which is from the Air Force document in question, very closely. Here it is made very clear that while the termination of Operation Blue Book would give the impression that the U.S. Air Force was out of the UFO business by not having a clearinghouse, so to speak, for submission of UFO reports from the public, it would carry on its investigation of those UFO cases it deemed to have vital intelligence interest, without fear of any questions from the media or public at large.
All the Air Force had to do, should anyone ask questions, was simply to state that the U.S. Air Force ceased its investigation of UFOs on December 17, 1969, as a result of the University of Colorado Study recommendation. Since the existence of this other reporting system was unknown to the media and public it was not required, nor did the Air Force wish, to make its existence known.
To this very day the U.S. Air Force does not want the American public to be made aware of any such UFO program currently in existence within its intelligence branch. Yet, I assure you that such a unit docs, in fact, exist and one of its many duties is the gathering of information on UFO cases that it deems to have vital intelligence interest. This same unit is charged with the responsibility of forwarding the information it gathers on UFOs to other interested agencies.
There have been many explanations, both pro and con, given for this document, known as the «Bolender Memo.» The pros have been that it «proves» the U.S. Air Force had, and still has, a highly classified UFO investigation program. The cons arc that Brigadier General (B.G.) Bolender was pressed for time and had to say something. Not wanting to make «the powers that be» worry, that should a situation arise concerning UFOs and national security, we would be ill equipped to deal with such a contingency, he chose to declare that we already had that base covered—not really knowing what he was talking about.
Actually B.G. Bolender knew quite well what he was talking about. Bolender knew that Operation Blue Book did not investigate the really good UFO cases reported to the U.S Air Force. Bolender knew of that «special unit» located at Fort Bclvoir, Virginia.
Under Air Defense Command Regulation 24-4, dated January 3, 1953, the 4602d Air Intelligence Service Squadron (AISS) was created. On August 26, 1953, this «special unit» was charged with the official investigation of UFOs under Air Force Regulation 200-2. All UFO reports were to go through the 4602d AISS prior to any transmission to Operation Blue Book at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
AFR 200-2, dated August 12, 1954, stated:
The Air Defense Command has a direct interest in the facts pertaining to UFOBs [UFO reports] reported within the ZI [Zone of the Interior] and has, in the 4602d Air Intelligence Service Squadron [AISS] the capability to investigate these reports. The 4602d AISS is composed of specialists trained for field collection and investigation of matters of air intelligence interest which occur within the ZI. This squadron is highly mobile and deployed throughout the ZI.
Here we have an Air Force regulation making it clear that the Air Defense Command had a direct interest in UFOs, as well as the unit best suited to do the investigations: the 4602d AISS. It also indicated that another agency, outside of Operation Blue Book, was involved with UFO investigations.
We are aware that every Air Force Base was required to appoint an Operation Blue Book Officer, mostly as an additional duty, to handle UFO reports that came to the attention of the base. However, these officers were not permitted to report cases directly to Operation Blue Book at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. They first had to bring the cases to the attention of—you guessed it—the 4602d AISS. Nor were they to conduct any investigation beyond a preliminary one, without a direct request to do so from the 4602d AISS.
AFR 200-2 stated:
All Air Force activities are authorized to conduct such preliminary investigation as may be required for reporting purposes; however, investigations should not be carried beyond this point, unless such action is requested by the 4602d AISS.
According to AFR 200-2:
The Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC) will analyze and evaluate: All information and evidence within the ZI after the Air Defense Command has exhausted all efforts to identify the UFOB; and all information and evidence collected in overseas areas.
I have several problems with the above quote from AFR 200-2. First, we now know, thanks to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), that many of the cases that should have been in the Operation Blue Book files were not there. However, they did show up in the Director of Air Intelligence’s files with a clear indication that they had, in fact, gone through the 4602d AISS.
Second, many of the overseas cases, which should have been in the Operation Blue Book files, were also missing. However, many of these have also turned up in the Director of Air Intelligence’s files, once again indicating they, too, had gone through the 4602d AISS.
Third, none of these missing files, which were located in the Office of the Director of Air Intelligence, gave any indication that they had been explained away by the 4602d AISS. Even if they had been explained, there should have been a paper trail of files and documents on these cases in the Operation Blue Book files.
In October 1989, the Office of the Director of Air Intelligence released several files to me. These files should have been in the Blue Book files also, but they were not.
What I found interesting about this batch of files was that all technical information gathered by the aircraft that were involved was forwarded to the National Security Agency (NSA) by the 4602d AISS and not to Operation Blue Book. Of course, most of the aircraft involved in these cases were RB-47’s and the National Security Agency would be the agency best suited to evaluate the electronic data gathered. However, the NSA will not, as of the publication date of this book, release any information on these cases, even though they occurred in the mid-1950s.
Over the years, as a result of Air Force reorganization, the 4602d AISS has been known by many names. In July 1957, the 4602d AISS became the 1006th AISS. In April 1960, it became known as the 1127th USAF Field Activities Group. Later, it would become known by such names as the 7602d Field Activities Group, the U.S. Air Force Special Activities Center, and today it exists as the 696th Air Intelligence Group, located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Also, over the years, this unit maintained three of its peacetime functions.
Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs): to investigate reliably reported UFOs within the United States. From documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, it would, also, appear they collected information on UFOs from overseas and forwarded this information to «interested agencies.»
Project Moon Dust: to recover non-U.S. objects or objects of unknown origin and debris of such objects that had survived re-entry from space to earth. Of course, some very earthly space objects are initially reported as UFOs or objects of unknown origin until closer examination is made.
Operation Blue Fly: to expeditiously retrieve MOONDUST and other items of vital intelligence interest. This included reports of allegedly downed UFOs, both within the United States and abroad.
These three peacetime missions all involve a potential for employment of qualified field intelligence personnel on a quick reaction basis to recover or perform field exploitation of unidentified flying objects, or known Soviet/Bloc aerospace vehicles, weapons systems, and/or residual components of such equipment.
These missions were carried out by three-man intelligence teams.
However, they could draw upon the resources of the closest military installation (s) in the area of operations both overseas and here in the United States.
We can ascertain from newspaper accounts and documents that have been released under FOIA requests that our government did, in fact, recover objects of unknown origin both overseas and in the United States. We can also ascertain that the military was involved in some aspects with these recoveries.
In December 1965, the military recovered an object of unknown origin in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. In August 1967, we recovered an object of unknown origin, described as a satellite, in Sudan. In July 1968, we recovered an object of unknown origin in Nepal. This object was described as being in four pieces with one of the pieces said to be of a nose-cone shape.
What do all these cases have in common?
Our government will not answer any questions concerning these cases. Neither will they identify the origin of the objects nor what these objects were. Surely, at this time in our world’s history, there can be no useful purpose in keeping all of this information classified.
Debunkers will state that if these objects are anything, they are Soviet spacecraft which we recovered and do not want the Soviets to know came into our possession. If this were truly the case, why have the Soviets not filed an official protest with the United Nations for return of their property? The Soviets are just as capable to track down their fallen space objects as we are. They would surely be aware of where their space objects impacted on earth, should they survive re-entry.
In addition, we are a party to various space treaties and UN resolutions dealing with space objects which have returned to earth. Should we recover any object belonging to another country, and not return it, we would be in violation of international law. We should look very closely at any object or objects we might recover for technical intelligence purposes. However, in the end, we are compelled to return them to their launch authority or country of origin. In these cases mentioned above this has still not happened.
In December 1989,1 decided to begin the process of gathering as much information as possible on the unit at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Project Moon Dust, and Operation Blue Fly.
The responses I received from the Air Force proved to be quite interesting in that they considered the release of any information to be so sensitive that in their response to me of June 5, 1991, they wrote:
We can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to your request regarding «Projects or Operations known as BLUE FLY, MOON DUST, AFCIN SOP, and ICGL#4,» as any other response could reveal classified information concerning military plans, weapons, or operations under section 1.3 (a) (1) of Executive Order 12356, «National Security Information.» Therefore, pursuant to Title 5, United States Code (USC), Section 552(b) (1), and Air Force Regulation 12-30, paragraph 10a, your request is denied.
This statement indicated that these programs and regulations were current and still active.
Of course, I appealed this decision. All efforts, on my own, to gather information on the UFO History of the 4602d AISS, Project Moon Dust, and Operation Blue Fly have met with the Air Force ending all their replies with:
Therefore, no further action is required and this matter is considered closed.
Considered closed by whom? I assure you, this matter was not, by any means, considered closed by me.
With the Air Force unwilling to release any information, I asked for the help of the office of Senator Bingaman. At first the Senator’s Office was hesitant to become involved in such a nutty subject such as UFO cover-ups. However, after reviewing my documentation and listening to me explain that I was looking for the truth concerning these mystery missions and the 4602d AISS’s involvement with them, and not necessarily UFOs or spacecraft from other planets, the Senator’s Office made inquiries on my behalf.
In November 1992, the Air Force responded to Senator Bingaman’s first inquiry. The Air Force stated:
There is no agency nor has there ever been, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, which would deal with UFOs or have any information about the incident at Roswell. In addition, there is no Project Moon Dust or Operation Blue Fly. These missions have never existed.
Armed with this response and believing that the Air Force had chosen to lie to a United States Senator in order to cover up the existence of these secret government agencies—Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly—I challenged their reply.
In a letter dated April 14, 1993, the Air Force responded to my challenge to their earlier reply, stating:
Upon further review of the case (which was aided by the several attachments to Mr. Stone’s letter), we wish to amend the statements contained in the previous response to your inquiry.
Also, the Air Force attempted to down play the 4602d AISS’s involvement with UFOs by not naming the unit and by stating:
As the occasion never arose to use these air defense teams, the mission was assigned to Headquarters, United States Air Force, inl957…
Furthermore, the Air Force wanted to suggest, in this letter, that it was the Headquarters of the United States Air Force, in 1957, that was expanded to include the investigations of UFOs through Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly. However, the recorded history clearly shows this not have been the case.
Among the documents I sent to the Air Force to «educate» them were two documents dealing with UFO sightings in the Soviet Union. These documents were dated in the late 1980s.
This is what the Air Force had to say about these two documents:
Since the Air Force discontinued its investigative interest in UFOs in 1969, reports of UFO sightings are now recorded and forwarded only if there is a prior interest in the source of the UFO sighting. For example, Enclosures 3 and 4 of Mr. Stone’s letter pertain to debriefings of two Soviet sources who were being interviewed for possible military information of interest. Their recounts of UFO sightings, even though they had occurred many years earlier, were included in the report for historical interest and were incidental to the main purpose of the report.
I would like to elaborate further on these two documents: Enclosure 3, dated November 25, 1987, and entitled «UFO Siting [Sighting] in Shadrinsk,» deals with UFO sightings which took place in 1974. Enclosure 4, dated December 7, 1989, and entitled «Soviet Aircrew Sightings of Unexplained Phenomena,» deals with UFO sightings which took place in 1984 and later.
These two reports seem to deal directly with UFO sightings in the U.S.S.R. They make no mention of anything controversial or secret, such as missile testing, technical information on a possible new Soviet MIG, or any type of military information (outside of the UFO sightings themselves) that I am aware of. My question is: What was the main purpose of these two reports if, as the Air Force claims, UFOs were allegedly «incidental»?
There exist many reasons for the Air Force to have a continued interest in UFOs. Among these are: to avoid technological surprise; searching out solutions to certain unanswered questions of atmospheric physics and radar propagation through the atmosphere which are involved with UFO reports; and the possible military exploitation of reported UFOs. All of these are of obvious intelligence interest and concern.
It does not require a believer in interplanetary visitors to understand why the Air Force would have an interest in UFOs. The reasons given above explain why much of the information might still be highly classified. However, this does not explain why the Air Force would deny any interest in UFOs, while, at the same time, the Air Force is continuing to collect information from around the world on UFO reports in the 1990s.
The United States Air Force has conducted, and continues to conduct, a highly classified UFO investigations program. Under this program, the Air Force has actively taken part in the recovery of objects of «unknown origin» and has chosen to remain silent about these recoveries. The special unit for these investigations and recoveries is located at Fort Belvoir.
The answers as to what our government really knows about UFOs, and whether they are of interplanetary origin, can only be learned through full disclosure of the records concerning these investigations by this special unit located at Fort Belvoir. This appears to be something the United States Air Force is not yet ready or willing to do.
During the existence of Operation Blue Book, Congress has held several hearings concerning UFOs. However, these hearings were always limited to just the records within the Blue Book files. No member of Congress has ever requested to hear testimony from other agencies or individuals within these other agencies which have knowledge of the existence of the more involved investigations into the subject of UFOs. The reason for this is very simple. Congress was not made aware of any agency, outside of the U.S. Air Force, that had any interest or involvement in UFO phenomena.
The release of classified information or material to Congress by any Department of Defense (DOD) agency is made in accordance with DOD Directive 5400.4. However, Congress must identify the information it is seeking—in writing. In addition, any DOD employee testifying before a congressional committee in executive session, in relation to a classified matter, must obtain the assurance of the committee that individuals present during the testimony have a security clearance commensurate with the highest classification of the information that may be discussed.
This seems to work well for information up to the Top Secret level. However, it gets much more involved for information protected under Special Access Programs, such as SCI or ESI material.
Department of Defense employees are briefed that members of Congress, by virtue of their elected positions, are not investigated or cleared by the DOD. They are further cautioned that while members of Congress might be cleared for information up to the Top Secret level, they may not be cleared for information protected under certain Special Access Programs; information considered as SCI or ESI material; or other information protected by executive directives. This is particularly true of congressional aids. Therefore, one can easily see the hesitation on the part of some who have testified before Congress; they have been less than candid and at times even less than truthful.
Once again the reason for this is simple. While Congress has passed laws to protect so-called whistleblowers, the congressional track record on protecting whistleblowers who have come forward and told what they knew on controversial matters has been poor. Therefore, a person testifying before a congressional committee is much more hesitant to volunteer any helpful information that is not specifically asked for. The rule of thumb is: If not asked, don’t volunteer information.
To get to the truth, Congress should hold a congressional hearing in executive session to hear testimony concerning the classified aspects of the information that has and is being gathered by the various government agencies on reported UFOs, as alluded to by the documentation released under FOIA. A Congressional Committee should also inquire into the classified aspects of the recovery of «objects of unknown origin» under Project Moondust and Operation Blue Fly. This action would be of great benefit if for no other reason than to insure that Congress is made aware of such activities and their intended purpose. While some of the information gathered by this committee could not be made available to the public, as much as is possible should be considered for public disclosure.
In order to insure that a congressional hearing accomplishes its goals and to insure that all documentation is made available to Congress for review, the following guidelines should be required:
1. The best government documents gathered under FOIA by private researchers should be made available to the Congressional Committee.
2. The Congressional Committee should then meet in open session to explain the reasons for the hearing and to promote an open review of the documentation that was already released under FOIA. This should be done to remove any thought by the public of possible cover-up and to assure the public that this is not a search for «little green men» or «flying saucers» hidden away by the military. It should be made clear from the start that the committee is simply looking for the truth behind the alleged cover-up and is attempting to determine if various agencies were, in fact, withholding information from Congress and the American public concerning UFO phenomena, in violation of the law.
3. The Congressional Committee should follow up the open session with a closed executive session to hear testimony from witnesses within the various agencies involved. This, of course, should be done to protect legitimate national security concerns. It must be understood that while some information of interest to intelligence agencies might initially have been reported as UFOs or flying saucers, and documented in some released FOIA documents as such, there may be some legitimate national security concerns having nothing to do with UFO phenomena which justifies keeping those incidents classified.
4. Congress must demand that those government employees testifying before the committee behind closed doors be open and candid in their testimony. This would have to include both active and retired employees. These government employees are well aware of the poor record of Congress in protecting former whistleblowers. Unless there is full assurance that these people will not find themselves losing their jobs and retirement benefits as a result of trumped-up charges in the future, they will not be as open or candid as they should be.
5. Because of the various agencies involved, every effort should be made to insure that the members making up the Congressional Committee have security clearance commensurate with the highest classification of the information that might be discussed. Some of this information will be compartmented and may be considered extremely sensitive. Having a Top Secret clearance will not be enough to permit the revelation of the more interesting and sensitive discoveries.
6. A final written report should be made by Congress after the hearings, with as much public disclosure as possible. Again, the intent of this committee is not the proving or disproving of the existence of UFOs, but, rather, determining if these various government agencies have been completely candid and honest with members of Congress.
7. The intent of the Congressional Committee should simply be to establish the truth as to the alleged cover-up of UFO information by any governmental agency and the legality of any cover-up, should it be established that any such efforts were ongoing.