Part One: The Critics Challenge: An Excursion into UFOrensics
[As later published in New York City's Village Voice for Oct. 3, 1977, the following telegram received no reply. Hence, its sender decided to dispatch the accompanying follow-up mailgram, which did receive the standard Air Force "kiss off" reply on Aug. 16. As if to protest too much, Col. Seminare made a point of addressing one item with a custom-made disclaimer: "Further, the United States military has no record of any military aircraft ever engaging in combat with a so-called UFO."]
My name is Larry McCann, and I'm the producer of a new television show in New York called "UFO Update." My audience would like to know more about your campaign promise to divulge everything you know about UFOs and your own personal sightings, and we are anxiously awaiting your reply.
I've yet to receive any reply to my telegram sent to you regarding your campaign pledge of full disclosure in the area of UFO's and their military connection. I have a vast audience on my television program, "UFO Update," shown in New York over WTVG/TV (Channel 68), and they have the right to know if our military forces have ever engaged in combat with a UFO. Air Force General Benjamin Chiclaw has revealed in the new book published by Doubleday, "Situation Red," that the Air Force has lost many men and aircraft pursuing UFO's. I would appreciate a speedy reply to this telegram since the volume of mail from my viewers regarding this matter has been overwhelming and they would like to have an answer.
Excuse me right here for second-guessing your reply, but I think you might say that people who sight these objects should report them to NICAP or some similar organization; but many people aren't into reading about UFO's or the organizations that report and follow their movements. When they see something unusual in the sky near their property the first place they call is their local police department, where they usually get (kindly) laughed at and brushed off on the Air Force, who has readymade answers for all UFO sightings; they are either conventional aircraft, a flock of birds reflecting some light, swamp gas (HA' HA'), or the planet Venus. For most people who don't know what they are dealing with, any one of the above answers from an Air Force officer is good enough for them. I think, and I'm sure many other Americans feel this way also, if there is any substantial evidence that any of the sightings can be attributed to objects either intra- or interplanetary, the Air Force should reveal it to us. It is man's nature to be curious about that which goes on about him. It is also man's nature to fear the unknown. In a way, the Air Force is just like the parents who tell their children that storks bring babies, to protect their innocent little minds; but deep down inside they know they can only tell them this for so long, and eventually they are going to have to tell the youngsters the truth. It is high time for the Government agencies concerned to cease suppressing any hard evidence relating to such phenomena and discontinue its policy of attempting to discredit the testimony of reliable witnesses.
Your predecessor, ex-President Gerald R. Ford, while he has a congressman, openly protested the swamp-gas answers the Air Force was giving the public, and stated that the American people are entitled to better explanations. Many people don't know that Capital newsman [AF-deleted] after a lengthy investigation, asserted that the Air Force was withholding facts from the public while at the same time it was publishing incorrect explanations.
I'm quite aware that things have changed somewhat with the special documentary programs that have been on television lately: "UFO's -- Do you Believe?" and one more I can't recall the title of. These attempts are merely breaking the ice somewhat, but they are still not the official word that people want to hear from the Air Force.
To recall one last incident, our own astronauts have sighted objects, even though they know a lot more than they are able to tell the police. I believe they saw a lot more than craters on the moon, too. A few more prominent people who have seen or believe in the existence of these objects are people like U.S. Senator [Barry Goldwater], who stated: "I can't believe that in this never-ending universe our planet is the only one with intelligent life. I'm not convinced, after having been around 65 years, that human beings are the smartest creatures in the universe." Being a top-notch pilot with 44 years' experience, he rejects claims that UFO's are imaginary or natural phenomena. "I've doubted stories from many witnesses, but when qualified pilots and other experts tell me they've seen strange, unexplained flying objects, I have to put faith in their reports."
Mr. President, I know you are an honest man, and you don't want the people of our country to continue to be treated like little children who have to be protected by being ridiculed and made to feel guilty when they try to know the truth. I really think we are old enough to handle it in a responsible manner.
Thank You and Good Luck, Mr. President.
UFO Politics at the White House is currently out of print. But, you still might be able to find a used copy somewhere...