The old-timers who tested America's first rockets toasted each other at a banquet dinner at the Hilton on July 6. Among the guests were Magnus VonBraun, younger brother of the legendary German rocket scientist Werner VonBraun, and Col. John Stapp, a rocket sled pilot who broke the sound barrier. Also present were former astronauts Pete Conrad, John Young and Harrison Schmidt. Conrad today is flight manager of the Delta Clipper (single stage to orbit, or SSTO) rocket program, and a test launch of the Delta Clipper was a highlight of the festivities. But when the lights came down for the keynote speech at the banquet that night, before the gathered dignitaries, military brass and rocket jockies, up to the microphone came none other than Paul J. Davids, executive producer and co-author of the 1994 television film "Roswell." His topic: UFOs.
Paul has given CNI News a personal account of his experience at this extraordinary gathering. Here's how he tells it:
"On July 6th, I was the keynote banquet speaker at the 50 year reunion of the White Sands Missile Range Pioneer Group. The attendees included representatives of the Department of Defense, Army, Air Force, Navy, people connected with Los Alamos, Sandia Labs, Lockheed Martin, NASA, private space program development, etc. I was asked to come to speak to this group about the Roswell Incident, UFOs and ETs. I spoke for a little over one hour and showed many video clips and slides. I stated that my talk was a plea to 'open a door' to a new policy on this subject, a more open policy that would leave the days of the coverup behind -- and I spent some time establishing the nature of the coverup.
"After disarming the audience with the observation that perhaps I should be tarred and feathered as the Hollywood producer who took the story of New Mexico's most famous UFO incident and filmed it in Arizona, I delicately compared the impasse in the way UFOs are regarded to other crises and 'blind spots' toward scientific data, from Galileo, Darwin and Tesla to Velikovsky. Then we jumped into some powerful Roswell testimony, seen on video -- statements of Jesse Marcel ('it was not made on this earth'), Barry Goldwater on how Curtis LeMay thwarted his efforts to get to the bottom of the UFO and crashed spaceship controversy, and widows of Roswell servicemen who repeated deathbed statements of their military husbands about the Roswell crash having been of something otherworldly, with alien bodies. I showed Michael Lindemann's recounting of Victor Marchetti's words in 'The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence' about the reasons for the coverup, plus stunning footage of Area 51 that showed a craft in a 'falling leaf' descent pattern, which has been described for flying saucers since about 1947.
"Banquet attendees were also shown excerpts of Disney's recent documentary that was introduced by CEO Michael Eisner, called 'Alien Encounters [from New Tomorrowland].' That documentary was hard-hitting and basically said, 'They're here, some in authority have known it for a fact for 50 years, and get ready for the floodgates of information to open in the foreseeable future as policy changes are around the corner.' The audience was also shown excerpts of Reagan's and former CIA chief Colby's comments regarding aliens -- and a mystifying Bush-Gorbachev exchange at Helsinki in which Gorbachev let slip about a big secret he and Bush had that he was 'dying to tell' but did not have President Bush's consent to reveal. We're still left to wonder what the secret was and whether it related to all of this.
"I ended the presentation with an unusual choice -- a key scene from the great classic film 'Inherit the Wind' starring Spencer Tracy and Fredric March -- about the famous Scopes trial, concerning the banning of teaching of evolution in the schools in Tennessee. In the scene, Spencer Tracy (playing a role based on Clarence Darrow) declares that the trial is about the right of a man to 'think' -- and that all he cares about is 'Truth,' and 'Truth' may be a lot closer to Darwin than the 6-day creation scenario of Genesis. I drew the analogy starkly -- we're at another watershed moment in history, similar to the impact that the theory of evolution had on society. When the ET/UFO/extraterrestrial artifact information begins to see the light of day, by way of leaks extending to declassification and open acknowledgment, at that moment we enter a new intellectual era. My implication was that it may be soon upon us.
"Reaction to the speech (which was professionally videotaped, and which I hope to make available in the coming two months or so) was interesting. There was an immediate rush of congratulations, of heartfelt thanks, of requests to take my picture standing next to the U.S. flag, etc. The next day it became clear there were some frowning naysayers in the group. There were objections from some skeptics and from those subscribing to the 'But we know none of this is real' school of thought. Regardless, I seemed to make many new friends.
"How did I get to be the keynote banquet speaker? Good question. It seems that one of the organizers from White Sands was married to a lady whose photo appears in a group shot in the book 'UFO Crash at Roswell.' His wife was a neighbor of rancher Mac Brazel [who first reported the controversial debris found on his ranch]. He inquired at the two UFO museums in Roswell as to who they should get to be a speaker on the subject, and both museums recommended me -- and it led to the remarkable 'encounter' I've described. Hopefully the 'walls' came down a little more for all concerned, as the day when we all have more 'hard data' on UFOs draws closer."
Original file name: .CNI - Davids UFO speech
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