The United States Air Force and UFOlogy
For years now, the debate between debunkers and skeptics as opposed to believers has raged on over whether the United States Government, or more specifically the United States Air Force considers the subject of UFOlogy to be serious business. Also what must be considered is what elements or departments of the government would be concerned with this if UFO's proved to be a threat.
The United States Airforce has maintained for over thirty years that the largest percentage of reports are explainable, and most usually are. However, the Air Force also maintains that the rest could be explained if only enough information were present. Is this true, or is it a smoke screen as many researchers maintain? And, what if anything does the Air Force tell its own officer corps that may be presented with this enigma in the course of their duty?
The following document is taken verbatim from the United States Air Forces Academy textbook, " Introductory Space Science, Volume II, Department of Physics, USAF. " This is the volume that was being used by the Air Force Academy, at Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Air Force Academy has since pulled this volume from the curriculum in the very early 70's, because of the controversy it generated, but after reading this, I think you will find that the United States Air Force has considered the subject of UFOlogy to be very "serious business."
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INTRODUCTORY SPACE SCIENCE - VOLUME II DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS - USAF Edited by:
Major Donald G. Carpenter Co-Editor:Lt. Colonel Edward R. Therkelson CHAPTER XIII
UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS
What is an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO)? Well, according to United States Air Force Regulation 80-17 (dated 19 September 1966), a UFO is "Any" aerial Phenomenon or object which is unknown or appears to be out of the ordinary to the observer." This is a very broad definition which applies equally well to one individual seeing his first noctilucent cloud at twilight as it does to another individual seeing his first helicopter. However, at present most people consider the term UFO to mean an object which behaves in a strange or erratic manner while moving through the Earth's atmosphere. That strange phenomenon has evoked strong emotions and great curiosity among a large segment of our world's population. The average person is interested because he loves a mystery, the professional military man is involved because of the possible threat to national security, and some scientist are interested because of the basic curiosity that led them into becoming researchers.
The literature on UFO's is so vast, and the stories so many and varied, that we can only present a sketchy outline of the subject in this chapter. That outline includes description classifications, operational domains (temporal and spatial), some theories as to the nature of the UFO phenomenon, human reactions, attempts to attack the problem scientifically, and some tentative conclusions. If you wish to read further in this area, the references provide an excellent starting point.
One of the greatest problems you encounter when attempting to catalog UFO sightings, is selection of a system for cataloging. No effective system has yet been devised, although a number of different systems have been proposed. The net result is that almost all UFO data are either treated in the form of individual cases, or in the forms of inadequate calcification systems. However, these systems do tend to have some common factors, and a collection of these factors is as follows:
b. Shape (disc, ellipse, football, etc.)
e. Number of UFO's
a. Location (altitude, direction, etc.)
b. Patterns of paths (straight line, climbing, zig-zagging, etc.)
c. Flight Characteristics (wobbling, fluttering, etc.)
d. Periodicity of sightings
e. Time duration
f. Curiosity or inquisitiveness
a. Electro-Magnetic (compass, radio, ignition systems, etc.)
b. Radiation (burns, induced radioactivity, etc.)
c. Ground disturbance (dust stirred up, leaves moved, standing wave peaks of surface of water, etc.)
d. Sound (none, hissing, humming, roaring, thunderclaps, etc.)
e. Vibration (weak, strong, slow, fast)
f. Smell (ozone or other odor)
g. Flame (how much, where, when, color)
h. Smoke or cloud (amount, color, persistence)
i. Debris (type, amount, color, persistence)
j. Inhibition of voluntary movement by observers
k. Sighting of "creatures" or "beings"
a. Burned areas or animals
b. depressed or flattened areas
c. Dead or "missing animals"
d. Mentally disturbed people
e. Missing items
We make no attempt here to present available data in terms of the foregoing descriptors.
33.2 OPERATIONAL DOMAINS - TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL
What we will do here is to present evidence that UFO's are a global phenomenon which may have persisted for many thousands of years. During this discussion, please remember that the more ancient the reports the less sophisticated the observer. Not only were the ancient observers lacking the terminology necessary to describe complex devices (such as present day helicopters) but they were also lacking the concepts necessary to understand the true nature of such things as television, spaceships, rockets, nuclear weapons and radiation effects. To some, the most advanced technological concept was a war chariot with knife blades attached to the wheels. By the same token, the very lack of accurate terminology and descriptions leaves the more ancient reports open to considerable misinterpretation, and it may well be that present evaluations of individual reports are completely wrong. Nevertheless, let us start with an intriguing story in one of the oldest chronicles of India. . . . the Book of Dzyan.
The book is a group of "story-teller" legends which were finally gathered in manuscript form when man learned to write. One of the stories is of a small group of beings who supposedly came to Earth many thousands of years ago in a metal craft which orbited the Earth several times before landing. As told in the Book "These beings lived to themselves and were revered by the humans among whom they had settled. But eventually differences arose among them and they divided their numbers, several of the men and women and some children settled in another city, where they were promptly installed as rulers by the awe-stricken populace.
"Separation did not bring peace to these people and finally their anger reached a point where the ruler of the original city took with him a small number of his warriors and they rose into the air in a huge shining metal vessel. While they were many leagues from the city of their enemies, they launched a great shining lance that rode on a beam of light. It burst apart in the city of their enemies with a great ball of flame that shot up to the heavens, almost to the stars. All those who were in the city were horribly burned and even those who were not in the city - but nearby - were burned also. Those who looked upon the lance and the ball of fire were blinded forever afterward. Those who entered the city on foot became ill and died. Even the dust of the city was poisoned, as were the rivers that flowed through it. Men dared not go near it, and it gradually crumbled into dust and was forgotten by men."
"When the leader saw what he had done to his own people he retired to his palace and refused to see anyone. Then he gathered about him those warriors who remained, and their wives and children, and they entered their vessels and rose one by one into the sky and sailed away. Nor did they return."
Could this foregoing legend really be an account of an extraterrestrial colonization, complete with guided missile, nuclear warhead and radiation effects? It is difficult to assess the validity of that explanation...just as it is difficult to explain why Greek, Roman and Nordic Mythology all discuss wars and contacts among their "Gods." (Even the Bible records conflict between the legions of God and Satan.) Could it be that each group recorded their parochial view of what was actually a global conflict among alien colonists or visitors? Or is it that man has led such a violent existence that he tends to expect conflict and violence among even his gods?
Evidence of perhaps an even earlier possible contact was uncovered by Tschi Pen Lao of the University of Peking. He discovered astonishing carvings in granite on a mountain in Hunan Province and on an island in Lake Tungting. These carvings have been evaluated as 47,000 years old, and they show people with large trunks (breathing apparatus?...or "elephant" heads shown on human bodies? Remember, the Egyptians often represented their gods as animal heads on human bodies.)
Only 8,000 years ago, rocks were sculpted in the Tassili plateau of Sahara, depicting what appeared to be human beings but with strange round heads (helmets? or "sun" heads on human bodies?) And even more recently, in the Bible, Genesis (6:4) tells of angels from the sky mating with women of Earth, who bore them children. Genesis 19:3 tells of Lot meeting two angels in desert and his later feeding them at his house. The Bible also tells a rather unusual story of Ezekiel who witnessed what has been interpreted by some to have been a spacecraft or aircraft landing near the Chebar River in Chaldea (593 B.C.).
Even the Irish have recorded strange visitations. In the Speculum Regali in Konungs Skuggsa (and other accounts of the era about 956 A.D.) are numerous stories of "demonships" in the skies. In one case a rope from one such ship became entangled with part of a church. A man from the ship climbed down the rope to free it, but was seized by the townspeople. The Bishop made the people release the man, who climbed back to the ship, where the crew cut the rope and the ship rose and sailed out of sight. In all of his actions, the climbing man appeared as if he were swimming in water. Stories such as this makes one wonder if the legends of the "little people" of Ireland were based upon imagination alone.
End of part 1
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