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Still No Answers on Intelligent Life, UFOs

Image: Still No Answers on Intelligent Life, UFOs
Photo showing Devils Tower in northeastern Wyoming. As in the movie, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," UFO enthusiasts, in July of this year, were headed to the strange geological formation in the Equality State. (Susan Montoya Bryan/AP)

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Tuesday, 26 December 2017 11:00 AM Current | Bio | Archive

During the early 1990s, soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, I was among the first Americans to visit Russian space organizations and facilities. On one of those numerous trips, I was invited to a private dinner at the home of a senior professor of the Moscow Aviation Institute, a leading university for training aerospace engineers and cosmonauts. An event of that evening produced a surprise which remains entirely baffling to this day.

Displayed on my host’s wall, was a framed picture of the Buran spacecraft, a virtual Russian copy of our U.S. Space Shuttle, photographed at their Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan. The image also showed what clearly appeared to be another spacecraft — one that was entirely unfamiliar — hovering higher above the same launch pad. Likely due to altitude, the image of the second vehicle was quite small in comparison with Buron.

Before mentally attributing any significant importance to that matter, I casually quipped that it looked like a "flying saucer" was observing launch preparations. Without replying, professor Vladimir Malozemov produced an enlarged image which exclusively centered upon that object. Its cylindrical, perfectly symmetrical form left no doubt that it was, indeed, very purposefully crafted.

Although passing decades have robbed my memory of a better description — and Dr. Malozemov is no longer living — I fully expect that other copies of that photograph still exist. I also recall that he told me of many other similarly unexplained Russian sightings having been reported. He had no reason to impress me with a fictional account — nor was there any indication to suggest that he was any less bewildered regarding the subject than I was.

I am prompted to recall this strange occurrence now because of news that that the Pentagon has recently admitted spending more than $22 million between 2007 and 2012 for a little-known project to investigate UFOs called "The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program" (AATIP).

The program was quietly inserted within the Defense Department’s $600 billion budget by then-Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a long-time proponent of the possibility of intelligent life both within and far beyond the Democratic Party, even Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. He was supported in this enterprise by former and now-deceased senators Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, and Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, both World War II veterans.

Harry Reid was urged to initiate AATIP by his long-time friend (and mine), Robert Bigelow, a billionaire founder of Bigelow Aerospace (BAA) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

BAA is developing expandable ("inflatable") modules for space tourism, with the goal of establishing a "hotel" in lunar orbit by the mid-to-late 2020s. The company has already launched three test prototypes into Earth orbit, including a habitable Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) which is attached to the International Space Station.

Robert Bigelow is passionately committed to unveiling mysteries surrounding "paranormal" events. Working with the U.S. Government’s AATIP program, he has modified some BAA buildings to accommodate storage of materials reportedly recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena.

In 1995, Mr. Bigelow established a National Institute for Discovery Sciences (NIDS), to study various fringe science and paranormal topics, most notably ufology. The following year he set up NIDS research operations on a ranch he purchased in northwestern Utah where strange events and sitings, including animal mutilations and lights in the ground and sky, had occurred.

Several years ago, Robert told me that a surveillance monitoring video camera mounted on a high pole, had been mysteriously removed within view of a continuously active camera on a second pole which failed to detect the event. He thought this was very strange — and it seemed so to me as well.

Although reportedly now cancelled, the ATTIP program, working in conjunction with Mr. Bigelow, has produced documents that describe sitings of aircraft that appear to move at very high velocities with no visible signs of propulsion, or which hover with no apparent means of lift. It has also collected and studied video encounters between unknown objects and American aircraft.

One video released in August, shows a whitish oval object, about the size of a commercial aircraft, being chased by two Navy F/A-18F fighter jets from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz off the San Diego coast in 2004. The voice track affirms that the pilots are excitedly confused regarding its identity.

ATTIP was preceded in similar investigations by other now-cancelled government programs. Project Sign which began in 1947 in response to a wave of "flying saucer" reports, was replaced by Project Grudge, which ended its work in 1951 after investigating more than 250 cases. Project Blue Book, the longest and most well-known, was disbanded in 1969.

So finally, what have we really learned? Are there some super-secret technologies out there that either our government or others are hiding from us? Are far more intelligent aliens with warp drive cosmoscraft cruisers finding us interesting enough to warrant worm hole trips? Frankly, I don’t have a clue.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax" (2012). Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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What have we really learned? Are there some super-secret technologies out there that either our government or others are hiding from us? Are far more intelligent aliens with warp drive cosmoscraft cruisers?
attip, bigelow, navy, nids
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2017-00-26
Tuesday, 26 December 2017 11:00 AM
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