Nature of the Alien:
ETs, Demons or a Government Plot?
Part 13
Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics

Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
April 30, 1997

Last Updated :
January 19, 2018

Major Donald Keyhoe's Views On Aliens, Skeptic To Believer, Keyhoe Exposes US Government News Blackout Regarding UFOs, General Nathan Twining's UFO Memo To Pentagon, Not All UFOs Are Astronomical Objects - Dr. Gerhard Kulper, General James Doolittle And UFO Recovery, Admiral Delmer Fahrney On UFOs, Maj. Robert White's UFO Encounter, Capt Thomas Mantell's UFO Skyhook Balloon Story, Real UFOs Or Military Black Projects

In spite of the high level of disbelief expressed by Project Blue Book and other US Government-sanctioned UFO researchers, as we discussed earlier, there have been, and still are, some individuals who have been associated with the U.S. military, or other government bodies, who have been willing to step to the plate, and declare that not only do they believe that it is within reason to accept that intelligent life may exist in other parts of our Universe, but also, that some of the more advanced life forms may have already visited the Earth in the past, or even in our current day.

On November 29, 1957, a news article appeared in the Casper Morning Star. Entitled "Space Travel May Answer Saucers", and written by Douglas Larsen, the article dealt with the issue of how some NICAP officials, including Major Keyhoe, believed that man's plunge into Outer Space would help to answer some of the questions regarding the origin of UFOs. Concerning his personal belief in intelligent life beyond our planet, and UFOs visiting the Earth, Major Keyhoe was quoted as saying:

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"Russia and the U.S. have announced they are definitely planning several space machines. So it's quite possible that the first space ships or satellites may encounter other interplanetary machines, manned or otherwise. Our space devices may even be closely approached by such alien machines."

"If this happens, our space devices could be equipped to attempt automatic communication, by light or signals, or by radio, when near UFOs. Any answer would be automatically relayed to earth, and direct communication could then be established from earth stations by remote control of the communication systems."

"Since the U.S. and the Russians are planning moon bases, it is not impossible that a race from some other planet could already have set up such an operation base on the moon."

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The full weight of the previous quotes can only be understood when one realizes that at one time, Keyhoe had been a sound UFO skeptic. However, the mountains of credible, UFO-related information to which he had access at NICAP, as well as the countless UFO interviews he had conducted, made a believer out of him. In fact, not only did Keyhoe become convinced of the extraterrestrial origin of some UFOs, but he also came to the conclusion that the Central Intelligence Agency was primarily responsible for the UFO cover-up.

During that period of his life, Keyhoe was a regular writer for "TRUE" magazine. In a 1967 article entitled "Down Down Down With Censorship", he explained how he went from being a UFO skeptic, to becoming a UFO believer. In his own words he writes:

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". . . let me tell you a little about myself and the basis on which I ask your credence. I am a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. Before and during World War II I was a flying officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. My whole life has been involved with aircraft, either flying them or writing about them. I mention this to show that I'm in a position to assess the facts when a pilot tells me about something he has seen in the air. I'm familiar with mirages, sundogs and other optical phenomena encountered by pilots, and I know which optical illusions fool you and which don't, and when."

"After the war I became a writer on technical aspects of aviation. One day I was approached by the editor of TRUE. He wanted me to investigate the so-called flying saucers that were just then beginning to get into the news. Frankly, I was skeptical. Flying saucers were just illusions, I thought. I investigated anyway, out of curiosity. And after talking to scores of people who had sighted UFOs - government officials, pilots, scientists - I came away convinced that UFOs are in truth what they seem to be: visitors from somewhere else in the universe. I was so thoroughly convinced, that I became director of an organization called NICAP, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, whose sole purpose is to get to the bottom of the UFO mystery."

"The truth is, there is no longer any reasonable doubt that alien spacecraft are visiting the earth. The statement may sound startling at first, but when you think about it, it actually becomes quite mundane. It is not much more startling than the statement that, if you stand on a street corner, sooner or later somebody will pass by."

"It would be arrogant of us to suppose that we are the only intelligent beings in the galaxy, and just as arrogant to think that we are the first to develop space travel. Civilizations far older than ours may have orbited their first satellites when human-kind was just learning to light fires. Such a civilization would eventually send its astronauts out to explore nearby space, and if they found a planet that harbored intelligent life - a planet such as our own - they would undoubtedly hang around and study it at length."

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In that same article, Major Keyhoe also explained how the US Government resorts to ridicule, intimidation, and if it deems it necessary, a complete news blackout when all else fails. Following are a few portions of said article. You can find the article in its entirety by searching the Web. It is quite an astounding piece of work:

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". . . in the past three years, unknown to the general public, there has been a tremendous new wave of incidents in which unidentified flying objects (UFOs) have been sighted around the world, often near rocket test ranges, satellite orbital pathways and airfields. The U.S. Government has been aware throughout that time that enigmatic alien craft of some kind are watching our outer-space operations. The new wave of UFO appearances fully matches in magnitude the great "flying saucer" scare of the late 1940's and early 1950's, when it wasn't unusual for dozens of UFO sightings to be reported in a single week. UFO activity slowed down somewhat in the late 1950's. But now, suddenly, the UFOs are back - their numbers greater, their origin as obscure, their purpose as unfathomable as ever before."

"You haven't heard or read anything about this great new wave. No. Back in the early 1950's the Air Force, charged with investigating UFOs, adopted the posture of "debunking" flying-saucer stories and ridiculing anybody who claimed to have seen an alien craft. Now the tactic has changed. The tactic is total suppression of news. By a strict Air Force order, entitled AFR 200-2, Air Force personnel are forbidden to talk in public about UFO sightings, and information about UFOs is to be withheld from the press unless the thing seen "has been positively identified as a familiar or known object." The U.S. government can also exert indirect pressure on employees of companies working in missile projects, on airline pilots, and on others subject to some measure of government control. Result: news blackout."

"Why the blackout? I can only guess. Perhaps the government knows something so startling that it fears the public would be panicked. Perhaps the Air Force is afraid that the public, fed too many UFO stories, might come to believe UFOs are unbeatable new Russian war weapons. Maybe the Air Force now regrets a long-ago decision to hide the true nature of UFOs, but fears that to admit the long cover-up would bring on a storm of public anger."

"I don't know what the Air Force's motives are. But I do know - I know beyond any possibility of doubt - that a great new wave of UFOs has arrived to patrol our skies and our space neighborhood. I don't know any more about these inexplicable craft than anybody else. I know only that they are under intelligent control and appear to have been produced by some technology more advanced than our own. They are real. Whether the Air Force admits it or not, they are definitely, patently, inescapably here."

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Allow me to remind you again that the previous remarks aren't the ravings of a madman, or of some questionable UFO fringe lunatic. They were made by a man who held a high position in the U.S. Government, and who was respected by many people. He was an educated, disciplined man, not given to fancy. Surely Keyhoe was capable of distinguishing fact from fantasy; and given his military background, he knew how to differentiate between one aircraft and another. He also knew which were of Earthly origin, and which were not.

Another example is General Nathan F. Twining. Following his WW II service time in the South Pacific and Europe, Twining served as the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, and later as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the mid to late 1950's. On September 23, 1947, at the request of Gen. George Schulgen, who was then the Assistant Chief of Staff for Air Intelligence, Twining is said to have sent a secret memo to Pentagon officials. It's alleged that the memorandum dealt with the UFO waves which had occurred from May to July of that year, including the Kenneth Arnold sightings in June near Mt. Rainier in southern Washington State, as well as the now-famous Roswell crash incident. In that memo, Twining stated in part:

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"This 'flying saucer' situation is not at all imaginary or seeing too much in some natural phenomena. Something is really flying around . . . The phenomenon is something real and not visionary or fictitious."

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One man who apparently agreed with General Twining was Dr. Gerhard Kulper, who in 1947 was the director of the Yerkes Observatory, located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, USA. In a United Press article published on June 6th of that same year, Kulper refuted the idea that all UFOs were natural phenomena. He stated:

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"The description of their flight suggests radio-control . . . If these things are real and not imagined, they must be man made. There is absolutely no correspondence between the descriptions given by any astronomical body, such as a meteor."

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In that same memo, General Twining described how the flying discs were large, metallic objects. He went on to explain that they exhibited high maneuverability, were evasive, that they flew in formation, and that they were capable of extreme rates of climb.

General Twining was not the only American general to have a keen interest in the UFO phenomenon. Another one was General James "Jimmy" Doolittle, who served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II, and was rewarded the Medal of Honor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Doolittle tested a number of American aircraft, and is regarded as a pioneer of the American aviation program. However, what many people may not know, is that he had a direct hand in the investigation of downed UFOs.

As we have already seen, the year 1947 was a very important year insofar as UFOlogy in America is concerned; but strange UFO-related events were happening outside of the US as well. One such event occurred in Spitzbergen, Sweden. In May of 1947, journalist Dorothy Kilgallen reported that scientists and airmen from Great Britain were excavating the wreckage of a mysterious flying ship. According to the story, which appeared in the American news media for only one day before it mysteriously disappeared from public view, the Swedish military acknowledged that the craft was of extraterrestrial origin. Furthermore, seventeen bodies are alleged to have been recovered from the crash site.

So what does General Doolittle have to do with this event? Quite simply, it is said that Doolittle was sent by the U.S. Government to examine the crashed flying disc. Although I don't know the source, on one occasion, General Doolittle is also alleged to have said:

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"Germany may have recovered a flying saucer as early as 1939."

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Another important American military figure who publicly spoke about the UFO phenomenon was United States Navy Rear Admiral Delmer S. Fahrney. In addition to serving as the head of the Navy's guided missile program, Fahrney was also one of the original members of the Board of Directors for NICAP. In an article published in the New York Times on January 16, 1957, Fahrney shared his views concerning the unearthly speed and maneuverability of UFOs. He stated in part:

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". . . no aircraft, neither in the United States, either in the Soviet Union, is currently able to achieve the speed attributed to these objects from the radars and from the observatories. These objects appear to be driven by an intelligence the way in which they fly. According to reports from scientists and technical personnel, these objects fly in formation and finish maneuvers that seem to point out that [they] are not completely driven from an automatic equipment. These objects are in incontestable mode the result of long investigations and highly technological and exceptional knowledge."

"No agency in this country or Russia is able to duplicate at this time the speeds and accelerations which radars and observers indicate these flying objects are able to achieve."

". . . there are objects coming into our atmosphere at very high speeds."

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Another highly credible statement comes from Air Force Major Robert White. On July 17, 1962, as White conducted a test of the X-15, a high-speed research aircraft which deployed from Edwards Air Force Base, he had an amazing encounter with a UFO. At an altitude of fifty-eight miles, he exclaimed over his radio "There ARE things out there! There absolutely is!". Later, when questioned about his experience, White added, "I have no idea what it could be. It was grayish in color and about thirty to forty feet away."

One enigmatic, and highly controversial, incident which has stood out over the last seven decades, occurred on January 7, 1948, and involved Kentucky Air National Guard fighter pilot Captain Thomas F. Mantell. On that particular afternoon, an unusual object was spotted not far from the Godman Army Air Field, located near Fort Knox, Kentucky, USA. The object was observed by literally dozens of people in the surrounding region, both civilian and military alike, as it followed a southerly course. Absolutely no one was able to identify the slow-moving object; not even the base commander, Colonel Guy F. Hix, who later said "It was very white and looked like an umbrella . . . I thought it was a celestial body but I can't account for the fact it didn't move . . . I just don't know what it was".

According to a statement by T Sgt. Quinton Blackwell, who was the Chief Operator in the Godman Control Tower at that time, military and state police had informed him that the UFO was "a large circular object from 250 to 300 ft in diameter". In another signed statement, Captain Gary W. Carter, who was the Operations Operator, described the object as being "round and white (whiter than the clouds that passed in front of it) and could be seen through cirrus clouds". In yet another signed testimony, Lt. Paul I. Orner, who was likewise in the Control Tower, stated that he "saw a small white object in the southwest sky. This object appeared stationary. I was unable to tell if it was an object radiating its own light or giving off reflected light. Through binoculars it partially appeared as a parachute does with bright sun shining on the top of the silk, but there also seemed to be some red light around the lower [part] of it."

At the time that this event occurred, Capt. Thomas F. Mantell was leading four F-51 Mustang fighter jets from Marietta Air Base -- located in Marietta, Georgia -- to Standiford Field at Louisville, Kentucky. They were flying at a standard ferrying altitude. As they approached the Godman Army Air Field, they were contacted by its control tower, and a request was made to investigate the unusual object, and Mantell and his crew obliged.

While three pilots were eventually forced to discontinue the pursuit after about half an hour somewhere between 15,000 and 22,000 feet, Mantell was determined to get a closer look at the strange object; even though he didn't have an oxygen mask on board, which, according to military regulations, he was required to use after passing the 14,000 feet elevation mark.

According to newspaper reports published at that time, and in later years, as well as information later released by the military, Mantell made these comments as he chased after the luminous object. The exact words of his radio communications are debatable, being as, according to the military, no actual record was kept of Mantell's transmissions, and at times, his transmissions were garbled:

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"The object is directly ahead of and above me now and appears to be moving at about half my speed or faster . . . It seems made out of metal and terribly large . . . it makes me think of the reflection of the sun on the transparent canopy of an airplane . . . it is shining and going up above me . . . I'm trying to close in for a better look. It looks metallic and of tremendous size. It's getting up now as fast as I am; that's 350 miles an hour. I'm going up after it. At 20,000 feet if I'm no closer, I'll abandon chase."

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The previous radio transmissions were the last time that the control tower at Godman Army Air Field heard from Mantell. When last seen alive, Captain Mantell was still climbing in his jet, in pursuit of the UFO. Approximately five minutes later, at about 3:15 PM, all radio communications ceased, and visual contact with Capt. Mantell was also lost. Almost two hours later, the wreckage of Mantell's fighter jet was located, scattered over a half mile area, on a farm located near Franklin, Kentucky. Mantell's body was still inside the cockpit. Time of death was placed at 3:18 PM, based on the time showing on his watch.

Without delving into all of the details concerning how the military arrived at it final conclusions regarding the UFO incident at Godman Army Air Field, let me just say, that in typical military fashion, the accident report released by the Army Air Forces appeared to be truthful in some regards, but intentionally deceptive in others. For example, Captain Mantell's death was attributed to his loss of consciousness due to oxygen depletion, or anoxia, at approximately 25,000 feet in altitude. It is believed that his F-51 eventually leveled off at about 30,000 feet, and then began a spiral dive. It began to break up, and exploded, before it hit the ground.

While these details seem quite reasonable, the part of the report which dealt with the UFO, is what we should call into question; particularly because of the way that the military flip-flopped in its response. Let me remind you again that, similar to the Roswell case, and other UFO incidents we have been discussing, many of the witnesses to the Mantell event were trained, professional individuals; in fact, military personnel.

Having stated that, initially, military officials attempted to sell the story to the general public that the object had been the planet Venus. In fact, they tried this approach several times. However, considering that the object had been described as being metallic, 250 to 300 feet in diameter, and increasing its speed to at least 350 miles per hour, it does not seem likely that it was the planet Venus. For the very same reasons, it could not have been a weather balloon. At that time, a typical weather balloon's diameter was fifteen to twenty feet, and trained military personnel would surely know this. Furthermore, weather balloons don't move at 350 miles per hour. That is considerably faster that the most ferocious hurricane force winds. As Major Donald E. Keyhoe stated in his 1950 book, "The Flying Saucers Are Real":

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"The fast flight from Madisonville, the abrupt stop and hour-long hovering at Godman Field, the quick bursts of speed Mantell reported make it impossible. To fly the 90 miles from Madisonville to Fort Knox in thirty minutes, a balloon would require a wind of 180 m.p.h. After traveling at this hurricane speed, it would them have had to come to a dead stop above Godman Field. As the P-51's (sic) approached, it would have had to speed up again to 180, then to more than 360 to keep ahead of Mantell."

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Ultimately, although it was not fully accepted by Ruppelt, Keyhoe and others due to a lack of solid evidence, the Army Air Force settled upon the idea that what Captain Mantell had pursued that afternoon, was a Skyhook research balloon. These balloons were used by the United States Navy Office of Naval Research during the late 1940's to conduct very high altitude experiments, because they were durable, and could exceed altitudes of 100,000 feet. In fact, during 1948, they were conducting research involving cosmic rays, among other things. These balloons, which were launched from the Clinton County Army Air Field in Ohio, were said to be approximately seventy-three feet in diameter; and a little more than one hundred feet in height. This may possibly explain why PFC Stanley Oliver, who was on duty in the Control Tower that afternoon, described the object as being like "an ice cream cone topped with red".

For his part, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who, as you will recall, was also associated with Project Blue Book, dismissed the idea that Captain Mantell had mistaken the planet Venus for a UFO. However, he did support the suggestion that it may have been a Skyhook balloon. He stated:

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"It is possible that Venus was also a cause to this sighting, and was observed by some of the witnesses on the ground. However, the prime culprit is believed to have been the Skyhook balloon released by the Navy. Captain Mantell was attempting to close in on this balloon which was still more than 40,000 feet above him."

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Another piece of the Mantell puzzle comes from Charles Moore. A Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Physics at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, back in the 1940's, Moore was the engineer in charge of the Navy's Project Skyhook. He claims that he assisted in the preparation, launch and tracking of a Skyhook balloon, which lifted off from Camp Ripley in Minnesota on January 6, 1948. Moore is certain that this is the object that Captain Mantell pursued the following day. In discussing the Mantell case, Moore stated:

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"It was a cosmic-ray balloon that carried a cloud chamber designed to test high-energy particles that come in from outside our atmosphere. It was not metallic. It was polyethylene, like a garment-cleaning bag, about one one-thousandth of an inch thick. But if you were at the right angle relative to the sun, it could have appeared metallic. Otto Winnzen (the project chief) essentially tracked the balloon by reports of an unidentified object. He was quite sure that the sighting over Godman field, Ky., was the balloon."

"The Navy was not at all interested in having the idea put out at the time that the flight that caused Captain Mantell's death was a result of one of their experiments, but we strongly believed it was so. My memory is that I was cautioned by local Navy officers involved with the project not to say anything about it. I deeply regret that someone got killed; and I have a deep feeling against cover-ups. I'd like to see my history correct."

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So is this what Mantell chased on January 7, 1948? Possibly so, but not everyone is fully convinced, including Mantell's wife and oldest son, Thomas Mantell III. On one occasion, he stated:

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"The cover-up is the big thing. They were very vague with my mom. She, like me, believed that he was too good a pilot to have gone too high and blacked out from lack of oxygen. He'd flown too many missions without oxygen, and he knew his capabilities. I would really like to know the real cause of the crash. That's what befuddles me more than anything."

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Personally, given the size of the mysterious object, which, according to multiple witnesses, must have been two to three times the size of a Skyhook balloon, plus the actual speed of the object, as clearly stated in Mantell's transmissions, and the fact that the object appeared to stop and start, and make abrupt speed changes, I still have doubts regarding the Skyhook balloon story. However, not being educated in these matters, I will willingly admit that I could be wrong. In the end, I guess we will never know with one hundred per cent certainty what happened that day in January of 1948.

Over the decades it seems that a considerable number of UFOs have appeared on, above, or near American military bases. In light of this fact, we must ask ourselves: Is this because the occupants of these unusual crafts possess a keen interest in monitoring the progress of technology within the various branches of the U.S. military? Or, is this close association between military bases and UFOs clear proof that at least some UFOs are not alien crafts at all, but rather secret Black Projects being developed and tested on those very same bases?

Please go to part fourteen for the continuation of this series.

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