[This story is based partly on a press release sent to CNI News by Stephen Bassett of Paradigm Research Group (paradigmRG@aol.com), and partly on two stories in the Arizona Republic newspaper, dated January 13 and 14, 1998, written by Chris Fiscus. CNI News thanks Ufojoe1, Tom King and Stephen Bassett for their assistance.]
Former Phoenix, Arizona City Councilwoman Frances Emma Barwood held a press conference at noon on January 13 in downtown Phoenix to formally announce her plan to seek the office of Secretary of State of Arizona.
In her announcement, Barwood made political history by also declaring her intention to make a campaign issue of the evidence that UFOs are traversing U.S. airspace and the Federal government has failed to respond appropriately to public concern.
Although Jimmy Carter, when running for President in 1976, declared his interest in UFOs, Barwood is arguably the first viable candidate for high office, state or national, who has formally made UFOs a campaign issue.
"Barwood is a Republican, but the state's GOP establishment is likely to treat her as if she just arrived from Neptune," quipped the Arizona Republic, the state's leading newspaper. Barwood is now "an international poster girl for the UFO crowd," the paper said.
"I've been called worse," Barwood said. "It doesn't scare me."
Barwood reportedly appeared with a group of UFO researchers from across the country to announce her bid for secretary of state. Her campaign manager is Stephen Bassett, a Washington, D.C.-based "UFO lobbyist" and political strategist.
Bassett predicted that Barwood will become an international figure because of her campaign pledge to bring allegations of an official UFO cover-up into the open.
"This campaign is going to truly be the road less traveled. In fact, this campaign is going to be the road never traveled," Bassett said.
Barwood's attention to the UFO issue began with the widespread sightings of aerial objects and lights above Phoenix on March 13, 1997. The failure of Arizona-based federal military facilities to adequately respond to citizen queries led her to raise the matter in City Council session. While the events of March 13 were already receiving national attention, the mere action of calling for a proper investigation resulted in a firestorm of personal attacks, and she was forced to drop her efforts toward a public inquiry.
"This made me realize we have a problem with the government's lack of openness," Barwood said recently. "What was the most astonishing thing to me was finding out all the times in the past people did ask, and all they got was ridicule," she said.
As secretary of state, she added, she would be in the position to ask for investigations into incidents like those of March 13, 1997.
"This is a public safety issue of state and national significance which should not, in good conscience, be ignored by a responsible candidate for high office," Barwood said in a prepared statement.
UFOs aren't Barwood's only concern, of course. The 54 year old candidate outlined other issues that included weeding out non-citizens from voter registration rolls and allowing law-abiding citizens to "carry any weapon, in any way, in any place, at any time." In general, her platform is focussed on individual and state's rights issues.
Original file name: CNI - Barwood run on UFOs.final
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