Friday, 12 October 2018

Looking to the Stars: D.C.’s Only UFO Investigator

By Isabel Lord

For two weekends in July 1952, D.C.’s skies were falling. Or, so it seemed.
Multiple reports of unexplained radar blips from airports around the District flooded news reports throughout the country. “SAUCERS SWARM IN OVER CAPITOL,” read Iowa’s Cedar Rapids Gazette. “Saucer Outran Jet, Pilot Reveals,” headlined The Washington Post.
Jump forward 14 years, and the Rev. Francis J. Heyden, S.J., head of Georgetown’s astronomy department, explained to the Los Angeles Times his own experience with an unidentified flying object, which he later realized was a weather balloon. UFO witnesses, he told the paper, “are not experiencing hallucinations; they are reasonably sane.” He believed it was possible for there to be more advanced beings out in the universe but suggested that sightings of them on this planet were unlikely.
Today, the Georgetown University Astronomical Society represents the remainder of Heyden’s astronomy department, which was closed in 1972 due to lack of funding. But as far as its opinion on extraterrestrial visits goes, not much has changed. “The Astronomical Society does not believe in UFOs of extraterrestrial origin,” the organization wrote in an email to the Voice.
As far as we know, this is the extent of Georgetown’s—and the District’s—relationship with unidentified flying objects.
Chase Kloetzke is looking to change that.
• • •
Kloetzke is the District’s newest and only active ufologist. Since 1996 she has volunteered for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), an international UFO-report investigating organization with over 5,000 members. She joined the nearly 50-year-old network after working for the Department of Defense, where she trained active duty and civilian anti-terrorist groups. With a degree in private investigation, Kloetzke began at MUFON as a field investigator, studying UFO sightings across the country and quickly rising to lead specialty task forces within the organization. Today, she is their director of investigations, handling cases from all 50 states and 43 countries, and a lobbyist for the UFO fields at large.
Her story began in a state not so far away, during her childhood in Rhode Island, on a day when she was home sick from school and a book titled Chariots of the Gods landed in her lap from the hands of her stepmother. It concerns ancient aliens, or the possibility that ancient cultures were visited and influenced by extraterrestrials.
“That title threw me. I’m thinking, ‘I’m not interested in some church book.’ But eventually, I picked it up and it shocked me,” Kloetzke said. “It really was that rebel spirit of not accepting things you were told and to go ahead and look for yourself.”  
Because of this rebel spirit, she became what she is today: an investigator of the paranormal, strange creatures, conspiracy theories, and ancient aliens, as well as UFOs. “I definitely believe there is an intelligence out there; whether it’s good or not, I don’t know,” she said.
However, she does know that 95 to 99 percent of the time MUFON is investigating man-made objects; that UFO sightings do not occur more frequently by race, country, or economic group; and that D.C. has few remarkable sightings. “It’s difficult for any kind of observation here, because it’s so protected,” she said, as the District is in a flight restriction zone. “Everybody’s looking down. They’re only looking up when they’re talking to somebody.”
The fast pace of technological developments on Earth and secrecy surrounding nations’ space assets mean UFOs are getting harder to identify and explain. In response, she is working to tighten the training of MUFON investigators. “It’s important that people know that we investigate reports, and we take it seriously,” she said.
All of MUFON’s investigators follow the scientific method, collecting testable data and attempting to verify results. Kloetzke said that this is what sets them apart from other reporting websites. “It makes us the historians or archivists, because we’ve been doing this since way back in the day when MUFON was first created. We’ve been collecting these reports, and they’re surgical, and they’re open to the public.”
Her newest task is to bring the conversation on UFOs down from the skies and on to the desks of D.C. lawmakers. For her, that means presenting the latest UFO cases to the Hill.
“I’m excited,” said Kloetzke. “You need to learn how D.C. works: It has its ways in, it has its protocols and the way things are done. Once you learn those, you can probably get the ear of the right person.” However, Kloetzke acknowledged that unless the case was recent and a threat, it would be difficult to get lawmakers’ attention.
Currently, MUFON is collecting data with other similar organizations on one unspecified case, and Kloetzke is awaiting the lab results from an encounter that left trace evidence on a witness’ car.
In the meantime, she is hoping to build a network of D.C.-based investigators and is especially hoping to attract younger members, something MUFON has struggled with over the years.
Kloetzke thinks the challenge is because today’s youth do not consider the concept of aliens “weird.” She believes that a decrease in religious belief, coupled with the popularity of aliens in cartoons, video games, and on the internet, contributed to this change. “I think they hope that there’s more out there,” she said.
Roman Kosarzycki (COL ’19), the treasurer of Georgetown’s Astronomical Society, does think that other life may exist, but is more skeptical about UFO visits. “It is highly possible that life is out there,” he said, “but it is very human, and very Western, of us to think that they would want to explore our planet.”
Georgetown physics professor and author of The Physics of Star Wars, Patrick Johnson, was similarly doubtful about UFO visits to Earth, largely due to logistical challenges.
“I think statistically the universe is big enough that there are probably other living things out there,” Johnson said. “I am highly skeptical that any of them have been to Earth. They are almost certainly very far away, and so it would be very difficult for them to get to us. We see no evidence of advanced alien species on any of the planets in our solar system and so the next closest planet would be 4.5 light years away, and not that that is an insurmountable distance, but that would take a lot.”
Many experiences people credit to extraterrestrials could have simple scientific or medical explanations, he said, such as sleep paralysis, epilepsy, and fluctuating levels of carbon monoxide. “I believe most of the people who say they’ve had this experience. Do I believe the reason they’ve assigned to this experience? Not usually,” he said.  
For Kloetzke, she is seeking the truth, but knows that she may not find all the answers. “I hope that there are still mysteries this big that you and my kids and grandkids can grab that just ignite a passion that lasts a lifetime, that never fades.”

What was it? Shared story of daytime September UFO sighting on Cape Sable Island has people talking

Chris Styles talks about the Sept. 15 unidentified flying object sphere sighting on Cape Sable Island at the Shag Harbour UFO Incident Society Museum on Oct. 6.

By Kathy Johnson

Unidentified flying object was observed on Sept. 15 by several witnesses

SHAG HARBOUR, N.S. – A near capacity crowd was on hand at the Shag Harbour Incident Society UFO Museum on Oct. 6 to hear about, and see video and photographic evidence, of a daytime UFO sighting over Cape Sable Island on Sept. 15.
Noted UFO researcher Chris Styles, who was one of four witnesses to the Sept. 15 unidentified flying object sighting, was on hand to make the “brief presentation of new evidence.”
It just so happened that on Sept. 15, Styles, as well as his good friend Justin Brown, were in the local area. Styles was in the area to meet with local resident and unidentified flying object (UFO) experiencer Heather Doucette. The two had plans to travel to Yarmouth to look at some UFO video evidence someone had filmed off Yarmouth and meet with another person who had witnessed one.
Brown was on Cape Sable Island to do a film with South Side resident Rodney Ross, who had an encounter with a sea monster in 1976. He had plans to meet up with Styles and Doucette later on. As it happened, the person with the video evidence cancelled so Brown decided to stay on Cape Sable Island and shoot some drone footage.
“We get to Yarmouth at 3:04 (p.m.) and the phone rang. It was Justin Brown. He was over-the-top excited,” said Styles. “He said, ‘Chris you have to get to Cape Sable right now because there’s been a UFO hovering over me for 10 minutes.’”
A photo of the video screen showing the unidentified flying object that was seen by at least four people on Cape Sable Island on Sept. 15. Witnesses say the unknown object would appear and disappear and then re-appear

At the time Brown was in Centerville, where Stanley Greenwood’s boat building shop once stood. Styles and Doucette made their way to Cape Sable Island, getting a call while en route from Laurie Wickens, one of the eyewitnesses to the 1967 Shag Harbour UFO sighting, telling them he was on site with Brown, and they were now at the Daniel’s Head beach in South Side.
Styles recalled arriving at the beach, cresting the dune and seeing Brown and Wickens standing in the exact same spot as a UFO experiencer who had shared their story with Styles this summer.

The unknown object, which had been appearing and disappearing, reappeared about a minute after Styles and Doucette arrived.
“The first sighting it was quite distant and was out over the water,” said Styles. “When I first seen it, I thought it could be weather balloon, but something seemed a little odd. At this point it’s basically a white sphere out over the ocean.”

Styles said he noticed there “was a steady light wind at our backs,” later learning the wind was west at 8 mph. “It was obvious what’s out there was coming against the wind toward us,” he said.

Styles said it was hard to guess what size the sphere was because conditions were so clear so there was little to draw a comparison to.

“The sky was blue. There were no clouds. The moon was up, a half moon. Conditions were almost too good,” he said.

Styles said one thing he noticed that was very odd was when it was directly overhead there seemed to be a powder blue pattern within the white sphere. “When you seen it overhead it was oriented the same way to us as when it out over the ocean.”

Styles was able to view the sphere through binoculars before it disappeared for the last time. He said his best estimate is the sphere was 2,000 to 5,000 feet up – “about the size of a cue ball in terms of apparent size” given how high up it was from them at that moment. For Styles and Doucette, the sighting lasted about seven minutes, with the sphere disappearing and reappearing several times. For Brown, the sighting lasted an hour and 20 minutes. Wickens was on site for about 25 minutes.

Styles said when reviewing the video footage shot by Brown, “The whole clip you can clearly see it’s not rising in altitude like a weather balloon,” said Styles, noting a seagull enters the frame at one point, proving its not a blue background with a photoshop mock-up as some have suggested.

Shag Harbour is most well known for a UFO incident that occurred on Oct. 4, 1967 during which a sequence of lights was observed by several witnesses traveling along the horizon from some time before the unidentified flying object plunged into the water, leaving a yellow foam behind and unanswered questions that still linger to this day. This year marks the 51st anniversary of the Shag Harbour UFO Incident, which has been called the best documented UFO case in Canada.

Unusual occurrences, and open minds at Leominster City Hall

LEOMINSTER -- Aliens, Bigfoot, and the paranormal descended on City Hall over the weekend for the sixth year of the Greater New England UFO Conference. 
By Mina Corpuz
Plaster casts of Bigfoot's feet were on display during the Greater New England UFO Conference at Leominster City Hall this weekend.
"It's a place for us around here to gather instead of flying out to California," said Tennie Komar of Shirley.
She was one of hundreds who attended the two-day conference that began Friday and featured a lineup of speakers who covered topics including the science of potentially life-sustaining planets, paranormal filmmaking, and cryptozoology.
Organizer Susan McNeill Spuhler said the conference attracts people from the region and sometimes as far out as Arizona and Canada. Over the years, the number of attendees has grown.
"It's a comfortable environment to talk about their experiences," she said.
Keynote speaker Marc D’Antonio, chief photo and video analyst for the Mutual UFO Network, gives a talk called ’Our History, Our Earth’
Keynote speaker Marc D'Antonio, chief photo and video analyst for the Mutual UFO Network, gives a talk called 'Our History, Our Earth' during the conference. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE/MINA CORPUZ
Spuhler, who grew up in Leominster, said the city is a good location to hold the conference because Leominster and New England are hotbeds for UFO and Bigfoot activity.
On Saturday, keynote speaker Marc D'Antonio, an astronomer and chief photo and video analyst for the Mutual UFO Network, gave a talk about life on other planets.
"It's really a universe full of possibilities," he said during his presentation.
Understanding how the earth developed and what characteristics make life possible on it can be helpful to determine if those conditions exist on other planets, D'Antono said.
At the end of the talk, he unraveled a 117-foot-long toilet paper roll representing earth's history and pointed out major events, including the formation of the continents, when dinosaurs walked the land, and the emergence of man.

History Channel's Project Blue Book is ready to seek the truth about UFOs

By Donnie Lederer
You know that an old cliche that truth is stranger than fiction? The History Channel will attempt to test that theory with its latest series, Project Blue Book. Based on the 1952-1969 investigations into UFOs and unexplained phenomena, the new drama series takes a look at what kind of person is needed to find the truth, and the consequences it has on their lives.

The cast and crew came to New York Comic Con Saturday to talk UFOs, the government, and whether they are now believers. "I think it's highly unlikely that we're alone in the universe," said Aidan Gillen, who plays real-life figure Josef Allen Hynek, an astrophysicist asked to join the program, "The question is whether or not we'll ever communicate with something else."

Hynek partners with Captain Michael Quinn, played by Michael Malarky. Quinn is in charge of the program and is told by his superior (Neal McDonough) that he needs to do what it takes to make Hynek finds the answers they're looking for.

While the show will delve into the search for UFOs, it is also about how this project affects the lives of those involved. Producer David O'Leary wanted to tell the story of how "a clandestine organization can affect home life." Laura Mennell, who plays Hynek's wife Mimi, begins the show as a bit of an introvert, but according to Mennell, "Mimi will go into a journey of self-discovery as Project Blue Book makes its way into their family."

Speaking of family, that was an essential element to the cast as they prepared for the series. Hynek's sons, Joel and Paul, gave a lot of insight to Gillen and Mennell as to what their parents were like during that time. They also provided Gillen with something that covered the majority of his research. "The family photographs helped me do 50% of the work in getting into the character," he said.

At first, Hynek and Quinn do not get along. "They come from different disciplines, different worlds," he added. "Over time, when it's apparent they are looking for the same things, they develop respect for each other."

As for those UFOs and other unexplained phenomena? "That's where we go into the cover-ups — Roswell, things like that," said producer Steve Jablonsky. "There's a lot of things happening up in the sky, but there were mysteries down on the ground as well."

Even though this is a drama series, historical events are its foundation. Which makes us wonder what paranormal secrets from 2018 they'll document 50 years from now.

Project Blue Book premieres on the History Channel on Jan. 8, 2019.

Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of NYCC 2018, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.

The Fermi paradox: Where are all the aliens?

By Pecier Decierdo

The year was 1950, the place was the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Over lunch, several prominent scientists were discussing the recent spate of UFO reports. The discussing that was spurred by a cartoon published in the newspaper that day that humorously mocked the UFO sightings by blaming the recent disappearance of municipal trashcans on marauding aliens.
During the conversation, allegedly apropos of nothing, the prominent scientist Enrico Fermi suddenly exclaimed, “Where is everybody?” For some reason, all of his colleagues understood what he meant right away. Fermi was asking a deep question: Where are the aliens? Why haven’t we seen them yet?
Because of his famous question, Enrico Fermi lent his name to the now famous paradox that is at the heart of the search for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between the high estimates for the chances of intelligent life and the lack of evidence for such life.
The Fermi paradox can be stated in this way. The universe is billions of years old. It contains countless numbers galaxies, each galaxy containing hundreds of billions of stars. Even if only a small fraction of those stars have planets, and even if only a small fraction of those planets are capable of harboring life, there should still be enough opportunity for many forms of intelligent life to arise in the universe. However, despite this abundance of opportunity for life to arise, we still have not seen any evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence.
This apparent contradiction is made more extreme when the progress of technology is taken into consideration. After all, based on our experience here on Earth, once a technological civilization has appeared, its advancement, it seems, starts accelerating at breakneck speed.
Humans have existed for less than 1 percent of the Earth’s history. Majority of that 1 percent was spent in the stone ages. However, ever since the Industrial Revolution, the march of human progress seems to have gotten exponentially faster. The Wright Brothers achieved flight in 1909. Less than 50 years after that, the Soviets sent the first artificial satellite into orbit in 1957. Then in 1969, only 12 years after the first artificial satellite was sent into orbit, humans have set foot on the Moon.
The speed of technological advancement in information technology in the Internet is even more impressive. If, in the few years since the birth of the Internet and the World Wide Web we have gotten to where we are, image where we will be 100 years from now.
The suggestion, therefore, is not only that there has been enough time for at least a few alien civilizations to arise. It seems that there has been more than enough time for civilizations significantly more advanced than ours to develop and leave traces of their activity in the galaxy.

And so Fermi’s paradox haunts us: Where is everybody? Why haven’t we found signs of advanced civilizations scattered everywhere in the galaxy?
Because of the implications of the Fermi paradox on the possible trajectories of life not only on other planets, but also here on Earth, scientists have always been fascinated with this puzzle.
One implication of the Fermi paradox is that technological civilizations don’t last very long. There might be something about civilizations that just spell disaster. Maybe civilizations tend to destroy themselves after some time.
There are many ways civilizations can do this. Just our own civilization presents many examples. There’s the threat of nuclear armageddon, destruction of the global environment, global pandemic, or the creation of a technology that will result in our species’ demise.
Another possibility that scientists entertain is that once a civilization has become dominant, they might feel threatened by the rise of other civilizations and they eliminate these threats as soon as they discover them. Such scientists, such as the late Stephen Hawking, usually suggest that we do not try to contact other civilizations because they might be more technologically advance and view us as threats to be eliminated.
Another option is that technological civilizations are exceedingly rare. Perhaps most of life in the universe is non-intelligent, or perhaps most intelligent beings are not interested in exploring the universe and contacting others.
These are but a few of the speculations that some people have put forward to try to address the Fermi paradox. As science progresses and we discover more about the nature of life and the universe, as we discover more planets and the ways they can be, we’ll come closer to answering one of humanity’s most perennial questions—are we alone in the universe? And if we’re not, where is everybody?


By Latifa Yedroudj

THE US Department for Defence has carried out a series of undercover tests at the highly controversial UFO sighting ground, the Skinwalker ranch in Utah, leaked documents have claimed.

Over 50 years, Skinwalker ranch has come under intense scrutiny for alleged sightings, with residents reporting a spate of

The US Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, a secret £16.5million (US$22 million) investigation to study unidentified flying objects, was first made public on 2017.

Now, documents leaked by the BAASS (Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies) revealed the programme also ran a top secret investigation at the highly controversial Skinwalker ranch.

A BAASS manager told the Daily Star Online: "The investigations by BAASS provided new lines of evidence showing that the UFO phenomenon was a lot more than nuts and bolts machines that interacted with military aircraft.

“The phenomenon also involved a whole panoply of diverse activity that included bizarre creatures, poltergeist activity, invisible entities, orbs of light, animal and human injuries and much more.”

Speaking about the undercover investigation, Jeremy Corbell of Extraordinary Beliefs, told Daily Star Online: "The Pentagon's other and larger investigation delved into mysteries far more profound – far more disturbing – than alleged alien aircrafts.

"Its focus was a living laboratory and paranormal hotspot known as Skinwalker Ranch."

George Knapp, an American investigative journalist, revealed the secret document to the New York Times last year but was disappointed and claimed they left out vital information.

Along with Mr Corbell, he has produced an exclusive documentary - named 'Hunt for the Skinwalker' - recounting a series of his own investigations at Skinwalker ranch.

Mr Knapp told the Daily Star Online: "Skinwalker Ranch is like a paranormal Disneyland. If it’s weird, it happens on and around the ranch. 

"Bizarre events and encounters have plagued the locals in the surrounding Uintah Basin for hundreds if not thousands of years. 

"Sightings include orbs, UFOs, animal mutilations, unknown creatures, poltergeist-type activity, and many other inexplicable incidents. 

"An exhaustive, multidisciplinary scientific study began in 1996, spearheaded by an enigmatic Las Vegas billionaire.

"A team of PhD-level investigators was deployed to collect evidence and spent more than a decade on the ground, interviewing witnesses, searching for explanations, and directly confronting an unknown intelligence."