Are UFOs a hazard to national security? (UPDATE: additional info)

Noted Researcher Urges New Scientific Study of UFOs

UFO researcher Robert Hastings recently addressed The Society for Scientific Exploration’s 31st Annual Conference here. His presentation, “Unexplained Aerial Incursions at Nuclear Weapons Sites Demand a Renewed Scientific Interest in the UFO Phenomenon,” examined declassified U.S. government documents confirming ongoing UFO activity at American nukes-related facilities since 1948.

“Among the 130 veterans I have interviewed are nuclear missile launch officers who report UFOs monitoring and even disabling their weapons. To dismiss these accounts as mere fantasies or fabrications is to suggest that those who held the fate of the entire planet in their hands during the Cold War were dangerously demented or otherwise untrustworthy. Surely, this was not the case. Similar incidents have been revealed by Soviet military veterans.”

“While my research material does not qualify as scientific data per se, the information offered by these ex-military sources makes clear the need for a new, unbiased study of UFOs, uncontaminated by existing academic preconceptions and prejudices.


Tip: Google News

Note: this is from a press release. Mr. Hastings is trying to get attention for his ideas – he wants a new study and he wants speaking engagements.

The problem with the study is first, as he admits, his data is NOT scientific. It’s anecdotal and can not be confirmed, I imagine. UFO’s disabling our weapons? A very tall claim. If this were true, then appropriate attention would be paid to it. Some study on the potential danger of UFOs is not going to make a whit of difference at this point. And, studies HAVE been done. They found nothing to go on. Sure, there are the residual cases that will never be solved but that residuum is to be expected, we don’t have and can’t get the appropriate information to answer what may have happened in these incidents. Residuum is NOT justfication for saying that UFOs are a threat to national security.

But, to look at this another way…

It is the military’s job to address national security issues. Substitute “incidents of unknown explanation” or something similar for UFOs because it may not be alien at all but domestic incidents or foreign adversaries. Then, the military ARE doing their job. The premise that they are not and that some study (or petition) focusing on UFOs (as alien technology) will make them is baffling.

Meanwhile, economist Paul Krugman jokingly remarks that preparartion for an alien invasion would be an economic boost.

UPDATE (28-Jun-2012): As you can see below in the comments, Mr. Hastings has commented. Via email, I received a link to this piece from Dr. David Clarke, whom I follow and find reasonable. He writes about a…

widely reported … story that aliens had interfered with US and Soviet nuclear weapons during the Cold War (published uncritically by the Mail, Express and Telegraph in September). If that claim wasn’t remarkable enough, we were then asked to believe both governments had – despite their massive Cold War differences – collectively and successfully concealed the extraterrestrial threat from the public ever since.

Extraordinary, if true. And anyone who suspected this was either April 1st or a poor re-working of the script from Independence Day should think again, because “upstanding, dry former military chiefs who were trusted with our nuclear security” said so (Daily Mail, 27 September).

But cut through the spin and it becomes clear there was and is no senior credible military source. The story originates from a publicity-hungry American UFOlogist, Robert Hastings. Hastings worked as a lab technician before retirement and now devotes himself full-time to pushing the UFO Disclosure agenda via books and lectures. He appears to have no particular expertise other than an obsession with proving a link between UFOs and nuclear weapons.

In September Hastings hired the Washington Press Club as a platform to reveal his “evidence”. It consisted of testimony from a tiny group of ex-military “credible witnesses” who have joined the ET/disclosure bandwagon.

I did not read this piece prior to stating my opinions on the DN story we cited but it corroborates with what I thought. I thank Mr. Hastings for sharing his opinions here but this is not going to be a friendly audience and, as is our comment policy, we focus on critical thought, not speculation with no credible evidence.

Unless the comments remain short and pithy, I will close them altogether. Thanks for your cooperation.

Comments are tightly moderated. Please follow the Comment Policy.
This is not a forum or free-for-all. Only thoughtful additions and pertinent opinions will be approved.

  11 comments for “Are UFOs a hazard to national security? (UPDATE: additional info)

  1. June 25, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    I agree, if anything like these incidents has occurred I doubt the military would need this guy’s input to decide if they want to investigate.

  2. June 25, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Hastings has been doing speaking engagements for a very long time. I saw one of them at Tulane University a few years ago, where had his pre-Powerpoint slide AV setup with dual overlapping projectors. I’d be curious if he has updated or not. I remember being somewhat impressed by Hastings claims, though thinking they were likely some form of weapons test than extraterrestrials. I have since heard some debunking of the specific claims, but as I cannot remember who did it, I cannot point to it nor vouch for its accuracy or effectiveness. I wanna say it may have been Skeptoid, but I’m not certain.

    • June 28, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      Any more specific info? I’ll be glad to chip in a link or something if I can.

      • June 28, 2012 at 4:44 PM

        I guess you didn’t (looking back at your archives). I really can’t remember who it was, or what the substance. I don’t think I’m imagining it, but without any more info …

  3. F 89
    June 25, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Mr. Hastings has been debated with at length on various websites (the one that comes to mind immediately is the bad Astronomy Forum) and an anaylisis of the Malmstrom incident was done in a issue of “Sunlite” (Vol 2-2)

  4. June 28, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Sharon Hill asks: Are UFOs a Hazard to National Security?

    Robert Hastings responds: The persons who were actually there during the UFO incursions at nuclear weapons sites, or assessed them after-the-fact, agreed that these incidents do in fact represent a threat to national security and should be considered Top Secret.

    Two examples:

    UFO sightings at Los Alamos, December 1948 (FBI memorandum)

    UFO sightings at Los Alamos and Sandia Labs, August 1950 (FBI memorandum)

    Other declassified documents regarding UFO activity at nuclear weapons sites may be found in Comments 9-12 at http://www.skeptic.com/doubtful-news/are-ufos-a-hazard-to-national-security/

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Sharon Hill says: The problem with [Hastings’] study is first, as he admits, his data is [sic] NOT scientific. It’s anecdotal and can not be confirmed, I imagine.

    Robert Hastings responds: Sharon has missed the point. If she had not selectively edited out the part of my press release that refers to the work of Dr. James E. McDonald—one of the very few scientists to have actually studied the UFO phenomenon before making public pronouncements about it—her readers would have seen this statement:

    “The late physicist Dr. James E. McDonald, who investigated UFOs in the 1960s, advocated such an examination of the phenomenon decades ago. After authorized visits to the U.S. Air Force’s UFO Project Blue Book to review its sighting reports, he wrote, ‘There are hundreds of good cases in the Air Force files that should have led to top-level scientific scrutiny of the problem years ago, yet these cases have been swept under the rug in a most disturbing way…’”

    In other words, the information that exists in military hands, some of which has now been forced into the public domain via the Freedom of Information Act, should *lead to* a scientific examination of the phenomenon, to attempt to determine its nature and implications, in a definitive manner—not provide final answers in and of itself.

    As I say in my 2008 book, UFOs and Nukes, “After researching the UFO ‘phenomenon’ for [now 39] years, I must conclude that the technology involved is so advanced that a human origin for it can be automatically ruled-out in almost every bona fide sighting case. The radar data alone substantiate the presence of unknown craft in our atmosphere whose capabilities are vastly beyond our own aircraft and which defy known aerodynamic principles. Therefore, the available facts suggest to me that extraterrestrial visitation, by one or more races of beings, is occurring. I further contend that such visitation accounts for all of the nuclear weapons-related incidents presented in this book, as well as the secrecy surrounding those events…While overwhelming empirical evidence is not yet available, at least in the public domain, to confirm an extraterrestrial origin for UFOs, it can at least be said that some as-yet unexplained mystery has been thrown in the faces of those who planned, and still plan, to use these terrifying weapons.”

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Sharon Hill says: UFO’s [sic] disabling our weapons? A very tall claim. If this were true, then appropriate attention would be paid to it.

    Robert Hastings responds: If Sharon had not selectively edited out the link in my press release to the full-length video of my CNN-streamed September 27, 2010 press conference, one would be able to see and hear former U.S. Air Force ICBM launch and targeting officers discussing the facts. They were present for the UFO-related missile shutdowns, or were involved in bringing them back online; Sharon was not. The link is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jUU4Z8QdHI

    Depending on the specific case, these persons were warned to keep quiet about the incident by either their commander or an agent from the Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI or just OSI). In other words, the Air Force paid “appropriate attention” to these events. I guess because the Pentagon chose not to share this very dramatic, national security-related information with Sharon or anyone else, except for those with a “need-to-know” about the Secret and sometimes Top Secret incidents, they never happened. Right?

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Sharon Hill says: Some study on the potential danger of UFOs is not going to make a whit of difference at this point.

    Robert Hastings responds: Sharon has missed the point again. The scientific study that I am urging has more to do with raising human consciousness about the UFO reality and (IMHO) its paradigm-altering repercussions, not the danger these craft pose to our nuclear weapons systems.

    That said, the latest UFO-related ICBM-shutdown incident about which I am aware occurred at F.E. Warren AFB on October 23, 2010, according to my now-retired USAF missile maintenance technician sources.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Sharon Hill says: And, studies HAVE been done. They found nothing to go on.

    Robert Hastings responds: Sharon and millions of others worldwide have been duped by the official announcement about the supposedly definitive Condon Committee report. The real, documented story may be read in the article “Science and UFOs: Part 1—The Condon Committee Con Job” at:

    http://dgvioye.sott.net/articles/show/242934-Science-and-UFOs-Part-1-The-Condon-Committee-Con-Job

    To summarize, the study’s director, Dr. Edward U. Condon, got away with an obviously very successful sleight-of-hand by saying that the investigation did not find any evidence which would warrant further scientific study of, or Air Force interest in, the UFO phenomenon. That’s the story the press ran with, and the one that uninformed skeptics tout as the reason for their disinterest in UFOs.

    However, the lengthy report itself—which very few people have read, even today—reveals that more than 25% of the UFO sighting cases investigated by the scientists involved with the study could not be explained in prosaic terms—actually a much higher figure than the Air Force’s officially-stated figure of 5% Unknowns.

    Moreover, Condon and his administrator, Dr. Robert Low, were caught making negatively-biased and/or suspicious statements behind-the-scenes even before the study was completed. Fortunately, two member scientists in the study leaked those to the media and called the investigation a “whitewash”. Many more scientists, including anti-UFO SETI researcher Frank Drake, roundly criticized the study’s findings, once they read the body of the report, and called for a new, unbiased investigation of UFOs.

    In short, this claim by Sharon—“And, studies HAVE been done. They found nothing to go on”—continues to be repeated by those who have not done their homework.

    • June 28, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      I do not normally allow such long posts in reply. And frankly, I would have rejected this one except to placate Mr. Hastings, even though I told him that such things are against our comment policy. But, I have no reservations about letting him expand on his news item and my reaction to it.

      I stand by my comments. This post was a response to a public press release. I am the public and I responded. Your premise is unconvincing to me. I do not believe a small few hold the key to a HUGE secret and I would not discard the decades of work that has been done by official channels.

      Doubtful News relies on the scientific consensus. Maybe it’s to my detriment and perhaps people in the know will label me naive, but I have better things to do than “homework” on this topic. When some evidence rises to the degree that scientists and officials pay attention and can help me understand, I’ll pay attention.

    • June 28, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      Oh I forgot to add that I blocked a long, ranty, potentially libelous comment from one of Mr. Hastings detractors. I have informed him of this already.

      While I appreciate contribution, please note that our comments section is not a forum or free-for-all.

  5. June 28, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    How did the launch officers determine that they were being “monitored” by something unidentified?

    • June 28, 2012 at 10:31 PM

      Why Brian I’m shocked – there was no evidence of being monitored thus it proved they were being monitored.

      You know how some folks think.

  6. Stevarious
    June 28, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Mr. Hastings:

    Your collected work – at least what you seem to have listed here and on the skeptic.com copy of this article – appears to anyone who does not desperately WANT to believe in UFO’s to be one big argument from ignorance.

    Saw something, don’t know what it was? Aliens.
    Radar blip, don’t know what it was? Aliens.
    Blurry picture of an airborne thing that could be a hubcap or a frisbee? Aliens.
    Power went out at the same time some people claim to have seen something unusual, don’t know what they saw? Aliens.
    Oh, and according to a guy a thing happened to another guy (that you can’t explain). Aliens!

    You don’t seems to understand what the term ‘hard evidence’ actually means. If you don’t know what something is, you don’t know what it is. That’s it. That’s all you know about it.

    Since any alien coming to visit Earth would necessarily have to travel faster than light (thus breaking the laws of physics in ways we can only imagine), a single molecule from a visiting spacecraft would be of incredible value – whether it be a scorched chip off the hull from the heat of atmospheric entry, or residue from expended fuel – and likely confirm it’s own origin with it’s own unique characteristics. THAT would be hard evidence.
    A single cell of alien biology would necessarily be so incredibly different from anything alive on earth that it would likely confirm it’s own origin. THAT would be hard evidence.
    Not only that, but the actions you attribute to these aliens are somewhere between inexplicable and insane. Exactly what would be the point for the aliens to risk discovery and destruction to merely disable a tiny fraction of a percentage of our nuclear arsenal, when no one was planning on using them anyway? Why would they continue to take these risks over the course of decades, doing the same, stupid thing over and over for no reason and no purpose? How could these aliens be smart enough to get here, but stupid enough to act in this manner?
    The idea that aliens exist, frequently visit our planet, and interact with it in insanely stupid ways while leaving nothing of themselves behind isn’t just very difficult to believe – it’s also pure speculation. It’s an idea that’s been made to fit the facts, with exactly the same amount of actual evidence that all these things are the result of a secret government advanced technology program, or demons, or wizards with British accents, or a massive hoax, or hallucinations, or just a bunch of people with Hyperactive Pattern Detection Disorder. (Actually, the latter three are more likely – we already know, for a fact, that people pull hoaxes, and that people have hallucinations and can ‘see’ patterns in random data – whereas we have no good evidence of aliens, demons, wizards, or secret advanced government technology.)

    Nothing you’ve linked seems to me to be anything but ignorance dressed up in ‘well it COULD be aliens’. Which seems to me to be no different from any other science fiction.

    And nobody here is obligated to do ‘homework’ – either you linked your BEST evidence, so nothing else I find out there will be any more convincing than what you have presented, or you did NOT link your best evidence, in which case you aren’t actually interested in convincing anybody and you are wasting our time.

    I realize that it’s somewhere between unlikely and impossible that you will find this argument convincing – after all, you’ve invested quite a bit of your life and your work into the idea that aliens are real and they play weird, inexplicable games with cows and military bases. But you have to understand that people who really, really care whether our beliefs are true, need more than your say so that all these unexplained things are really aliens! Even if it’s true, even if there really are aliens visiting earth (and I do not discount that the possibly, however incredibly remote, does exist), we are not justified in believing it based on the evidence you’ve provided.

    Come back when you have real, hard evidence. I would deeply enjoy being proven wrong on this issue.

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