UFO Crash Retrievals too Good to be True?

Last week, The New York Times published an explosive story about the Pentagon’s no-longer secret UFO investigations. The revelation of the ongoing secret program to study UFOs is a major story all on its own. But the authors of the article, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean, took it a few steps further by suggesting that the US government is in possession of debris and materials retrieved from crashed alien vehicles.

That’s not a new idea in UFO circles. It’s pretty much an article of faith among UFO folks that the government is in possession of crashed alien spacecraft. This narrative began in 1947 when the Army Air Force made the announcement that they had obtained a crashed flying saucer, only to later announce that the debris was actually the remains of a weather balloon. They later amended the story again, changing it to the remains of a secret spy balloon. Ever since then, the idea that the government is secretly studying the retrieved debris of a crashed flying saucer has been a standard plot line featured in hundreds of Sci-fi movies. It’s been further fueled by people claiming to have worked on studying the artifacts or even working in secret government R&D to reverse engineer exotic alien technology. But is it really true? Skeptics are not convinced, and those making the controversial claims can never seem to offer evidence.

The mainstream credibility of the New York Times garners new respectability for a subject that used to be taboo and relegated to the tabloids. Blumenthal and Kean have done a great job bringing the UFO story out of the shadows and into the spotlight. The UFO community owes them an enormous debt of gratitude. In a recent interview about the article on The Unity Project, Blumenthal and Kean discuss the process of getting the article into the Times and the sensational nature of the claim.

Blumenthal and Kean have walked a tightrope to maintain journalist credibility while covering an incredible subject. But the new article makes some tabloid-level claims when it suggests that the government has, in its possession “materials retrieved for study” from objects of unknown origin that have crashed on earth.

The New York Times cites three sources to establish the claim that the government is in possession of physical evidence for UFOS: former Senator Harry Reid, former intelligence officer Louis Elizondo, and former Pentagon consultant to the Pentagon’s UFO program, Eric W. Davis. If all three of these credible guys say its true, it must be true, right?

Well, not so fast. The Times article points out that none of them can offer any evidence for the extraordinary claim, and that’s sort of a big problem.

It’s no surprise at all to learn that the government has in its possession materials alleged to derive from a UFO. That’s happened frequently since the first flying saucers flew into national consciousness in 1947. During the UFO wave of 1947, people recovered a variety of materials which they assumed to be dropped by the flying discs. Government investigators were shown radar flak dropped by planes, tinfoil, paper, and slag from smelting operations, and most controversial of all, the so-called weather balloon debris of Roswell. All of these were turned over to authorities within the very first weeks of the UFO phenomena. Seventy-three years later, the government could probably fill a warehouse with materials alleged to be spacecraft parts. Close to home, when a UFO landed in Joe Simonton’s yard, the Wisconsin native claimed that the occupants gave him three space pancakes. Allen Hynek’s CUFOS laboratory analysis determined that the pancakes were made from flour, sugar, water, and grease.

A Space Pancake

Just a few months ago, people in Colorado investigating the mysterious drone swarms (UFOs) found “space potatoes” in the fields. Were the mysterious packages of goo left behind by UFOs? They turned out to be packets of gel left behind in fields by irrigation machines. All that is to say that there is nothing unusual or incredible about the government studying materials which people suggest to have been associated with UFOs.

space potatoes
Space Potatoes

On closer examination, the three witnesses cited in the Times don’t seem so persuasive. Elizondo says he is convinced that such materials have been studied, but he does not tell us the results of the studies. Harry Reid claims that he was misrepresented in the Times piece, and he followed up with a statement on Twitter:

 I have no knowledge—and I have never suggested—the federal government or any entity has unidentified flying objects or debris from other worlds. I have consistently said we must stick to science, not fairy tales about little green men.

Harry Reid Tweet

Reid wants to stick to science. Well what about the scientist in the batch, astrophysicist Eric Davis? He says he gave classified briefings to the Senate Armed Services Committee last October and to a Defense Department agency last March “about retrievals from ‘off-world vehicles not made on this earth.’” Davis also stated that examination of the materials, in some cases, had so far failed to determine their source and led him to conclude, “We couldn’t make it ourselves.” But there’s a huge difference between an indeterminate analysis of a material and the conclusion that it comes from an extraterrestrial source. And Eric Davis isn’t the most objective voice on the subject. He’s sort of a mad-scientist character, associated with fringe-science, who has published theoretical papers for the government on anti-gravity, wormholes, warp-drive, and other subjects which sound familiar to Star Trek fans.

Eric W. Davis

I don’t mean to throw cold water on the excitement or to sound like a skeptical debunker. I hope I’m wrong. I hope that the government really does have some solid evidence of something extraterrestrial. And if they do, I hope they’s disclose it.

But I’m afraid that the alleged crash retrieval story sounds to good to be true—much like the titles of Dr. Davis’ theoretical research papers. If so, it has the potential to damage the credibility of the UFO subject in the media, scare off credible mainstream media like the New York Times from further publishing on the subject, and give skeptics license to dismiss the whole thing as just so much hot-air (balloon).  Kean and Blumenthal would have been on safer ground sticking with the disclosure of the ongoing Pentagon UFO program now under the Office of Naval Intelligence.

We’ll keep covering the story and keep you up to date.

[UPDATE: 7.29.2020 The Scoop on UFO Crash Retrievals]

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