The UFO Disclosure press conference at the presitgious National Press Club was organized and run very well. Only accredited journalists were present, and each official or witness spoke to their personal experience concerning a craft whose origin could not be explained by anomalous weather, local military activity, flares, or commercial flight. Incidents ranged from a 1986 sighting over Anchorage by Japan Air Lines pilots and crew who saw a object with flashing lights that was six times the size of their 747, to a large disc seen by commercial pilots last spring at Chicago O’Hare that suddenly lifted up into the air above the airport. Panelists included former Belgian Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff Wilfried De Brower, Dr. Jean-Claude Ribes, who served 35 years for the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France. two Peruvian Air Force commanders, and French astrophysicist Dr. Claude Poher. Former Governor Fife Symington of Arizona spoke last. A former military pilot himself, the governor recalled the Phoenix Lights incident, in which he saw a delta-shaped craft of large size silently moving towards the mountains. Symington says that no Air Force or military explanations surfaced, and that a couple of half-hearted theories didn’t satisfy him. He said they couldn’t have been flares, as flares don’t move in formation. As for a base shrugging it off as some A-10’s, the governor noted that A-10’s are quite noisy, while the V-shaped object seen by hundreds of thousands from Maricopa County to southern Arizona was silent.
Symington recounted his press conference the day after the Lights were seen, explaining that the nature of the phone calls and citizen anxiety directed at his office was such that, to relieve the tension, he asked his chief of staff to dress up like an alien at the briefing. The aide refused. The governor insisted, and the chief said he would resign before doing such a thing. Symington told him his resignation would then be refused, and the staffer complied, but has never forgiven him. The mood lightener, the governor said, offended many of his constituents.
During the Q & A session, several journalists asked a version of the question, why is there a UFO coverup, or what do the militaries or aviation associations of various governments around the world, represented in the room and otherwise, fear concerning the public being told there have been unexplained vehicles flying over the airspace of many countries? Whether from France, England, or Peru, the response was the same- few high ranking government officials are willing to publicly admit there are civilizations, and thus craft, over whom we are powerless. Officials specualted about the fear being disempowered would engender, and said, “The (U.S.) government doesn’t want to scare people…”. One reporter disagreed, citing color alerts and terror warnings, stating, “…They want to scare us about everything else…”
The former investigative chief of the FAA, John Callahan, shared how he was told by the CIA and FAA to act as if the Anchorage incident never occurred. If asked about it, officials were told to say, “It’s under investigation.” A French airline official added that pilots are supposed to be serious, and discussion of unexplained phenomena professionally compromises people.
There were about 70 journalists and attendees at the press event, so the Ballroom was full, including maybe eight television or film-style cameras on tripods. It was made clear that far more journalists were invited but could not attend due to logistical or scheduling demands. Witnesses also made it clear, partly in response to separate questions concerning whether the African continent, Canada, or Mexico had notable sightings, that the phenomena being discussed was worlwide.
Each panelist was available for individual questioning or taping after the Q & A. Governor Symington proved very approachable and forthcoming in this regard, as did everyone. In an elevator afterwards, documentary filmmaker (“Out of the Blue”) and UFO investigator James Fox, his co-organizer and investigative journalist Leslie Kean, Symington and a couple journalists rode together. Fox remarked that it took three months to arrange the attendance of the official from the Iranian Air Force. One reporter opined that among media, the subject of ships of unearthly origin was off limits. “That’s changing.” insisted Fox. He, Kean, and Symington then had lunch here:
Fox and Kean will be in D.C. Tuesday.
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