Amidst only a temporary reprieve from the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, there isn’t much that is agreed upon in Congress today. But in this case, just a few years ago, from opposite sides of the political aisle, these two members controlling the military budget instantly found common ground. A third member in charge of military spending was the late Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Medal of Honor recipient and World War II veteran, who also supported the plan.
Also, at that time, Congress was divided on many fronts. Stevens and Reid routinely debated issues on the Senate floor, often with opposing viewpoints. But this was one issue they immediately agreed upon.
According to Reid, Stevens exclaimed to him, “Sign me up.”, and he recounted a mysterious incident he personally had as a pilot with the Flying Tigers of the then U.S. Army Air Force. Reid said Stevens told him he had an “occasion” during World War II where he had a craft that was next to him that he couldn’t “get rid of,” despite “doing everything he could.” He recognized the need to properly address what has continued to be an unknown threat to national security, and an opportunity to further study the science behind it.
The three senior members went on to establish what Reid refers to as an “extremely important study,” also the topic of a December 2017 New York Times article about the Pentagon program. Based on publicized details about the program, it seems to have lasted a few years, but it did not succeed in establishing any formal paths for government reporting, particularly from active duty military personnel witnessing these unusual phenomena.
MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network, an independent civilian organization focused on the scientific study of UFOs “for the interest of humanity,” picked up where Project Blue Book left off, and was formed in 1969. It has been conducting its own scientific investigations for the past 50 years, in that time compiling and analyzing over 100,000 individual reports from concerned citizens (who are, of course, also constituents of Congressional member’s states and districts). MUFON has over 4,000 active members worldwide and over 600 trained and qualified field investigators. Among its ranks are scientists, engineers, physicists, and many former military personnel, who acknowledge there is the lack of a formal safe reporting path within the services. Because of military members’ training and technological expertise, they often are the very best witnesses to events such as these, yet, ironically, the military does not allow them to address this possibly grave national security threat appropriately.
Reid believes the Federal Government and Congress need to do more to address this issue and said his very next call following the radio interview was to be with a very senior member of the Senate, in order to arrange for him to hear directly from some of these military pilots who feel compelled to tell somebody what they’ve seen. “What we’ve found in the past, is that these pilots are prone not to report it,” due to ridicule and penalty by their superiors, if they do make a formal report. “Many times, they don’t say a word,” Reid explains, or it may even affect their promotion opportunities.
So, how does a military member discern what to report and what not to report? It is no secret that the military consistently tops an annual Gallup poll for the most trusted organizations. In effect, by not allowing open and honest military reporting, we are also forcing the most trustworthy citizens we have to lie about what is actually happening. Many of these unexplained aerial phenomena occur near military installations and operations, which presents even more of a threat to our national security. And considering the technological advancements worldwide, shouldn’t we care to determine whether the unexplained event is extraterrestrial in nature, or represents possibly a danger from an unfriendly country? Either way, these events are also happening in our own controlled airspace.
Former Senate Intelligence Committee Professional Staff Director and past United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, and later for Security and Information Operations, Christopher Mellon poses similar questions in his Washington Post article of March 9, 2018 entitled “The military keeps encountering UFOs. Why doesn’t the Pentagon care?” The article references several declassified Defense department videos and other recent incidents documenting encounters between military assets and unknown craft appearing to have extremely advanced technological capabilities.
Reid goes on to state, “The facts are that they need a place to report this.” New programs or hearings, Reid explained, would be up to the senior member Senate he would be talking with about it, but Reid continues with some background on his original involvement with the topic. When asked where Reid’s interest in UFOs came from, he immediately replied “Just from the facts…”, followed by a confident chuckle, as if he may even have been surprised he was asked the question. “I think it is something that we can’t ignore…I do believe that the information we have indicates we should do a lot more study,” and “We have hundreds and hundreds of people seeing the same thing.”
Reid’s initial interest in the UFO phenomenon, he explains, came from a suggestion that the country needs to take a closer look by his friend and former colleague and astronaut, the late Senator John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, and in his later years, also the oldest astronaut in space. His viewpoints spanned decades of thought on the subject.
Another astronaut who became very outspoken on this issue was the late Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the sixth astronaut to walk on the moon, who claimed in an interview shortly before his death that “UFOs are real.” In addition to being noted as an accomplished Navy test pilot, an astronaut, and instructor in the astronaut program, he had earned a doctorate of science degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT). In terms of qualifications toward being a reputable witness, Mitchell is certainly at the top of the list. He wrote books about the subject and participated in several documentaries, such as The Phoenix Lights, released in 2005.
Again, referring to the 2007 Pentagon program initiated by Reid, Stevens and Inouye, Reid validated its origins and the need to press ahead. “There was no question, yet what has happened since?” he asked; “The program went nowhere”…but “people now are beginning to see the facts, and that is what I’m going to work.”
When asked about Reid’s home state military base of great interest, Area 51, he appeared to uncouple it from his new push for a military reporting path, and he demurred from elaborating on any sensitive details about our own projects there, while acknowledging some of the programs that arose from the notorious base are now commonplace technologies that we see every day.
MUFON, who has studied UFO technological forensic evidence for half a century, fully endorses Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s call for new measures protecting service members who want to report UFO sightings and information. Senator Reid has performed a great service by alerting the nation to the career ending risks often faced by members of the armed forces in these circumstances, and the value of the scientific information they are able to report. Such protections should be implemented for them without delay.
MUFON is ready to assist in helping to educate both Congress and the American public on the subject, as it continues to study scientific evidence from its own investigations. It also looks forward to studying more about the significant incidents and technologies these military members bravely wish to report.
Addressing the UFO “elephant in the room” is one important bipartisan step that Congress can agree upon now, when it is most needed.
Jan C. Harzan
Mutual UFO Network, MUFON