References for Chapter One

Capture In The Sky

i] The basis of this fictional chapter rests on the story I was told of an actual 1959 military incident in Alaska reported by retired Brigadier General Lucius F. Foster who managed the construction of one of the many defensive radar bases positioned along the entire northern border of the U.S. during the 1950s which formed the Distant Early Warning radar system known as the DEW Line. The purpose of the Dew Line was the early detection of Russian bombers or intercontinental nuclear misslies launched from what was then known as the Soviet Union towards the United States over the North Pole.

The sky-watching DEW Line of 63 radar units spanned the entire 3000 miles across the northern perimeter of Alaska and Canada. It was the trigger mechanism for launching a counterattack that was a featured plot in fictional scenarios during that era such as the Stanley Kubrick classic movie Dr. Strangelove or the novel Fail Safe, both of which mirrored the widespread military paranoia concerning the threats of nuclear attack that dominated the Cold War years. The system was considered infallible–until UFOs began testing both the system’s reliability and the nerves of the upper ranks of officials in command of this electronic line of first alert.

The very real example of this incident as disclosed by General Foster that opens this novel occurred at the just finished Alaskan DEW base moments after it became operational. It was switched on for testing and the radar screens immeadiately registered the fast approach of a “suspicious target” located in the Arctic skies just north of the Air Force base late one night. The craft refused to respond to repeated calls for identification on the internationally accepted standard military band frequency.

There were always two pilots and jets on stand by alert at the Air Force base and they were immediately scrambled to intercept the incoming object in their F-106 Starfighter jets. They raced through the skies to a point where the craft was visible to them and reported confronting a massive, brightly glowing flying disc which reacted by making surprizingly nimble moves around the racing Starfighter jets–vectoring–that is making quick, straight line movements from one position to another spot, again and again, activity that was watched in amazement on the radar screens back at the Air Force base.

According to General Foster, the pilots were indicating that they were being rapidly checked out from various vantage points. Radio transmissions from the pilots continued to describe an unfolding emergency that was escalating and they asked for permission to use their weapons as defensive actions. But, before that was granted, ultimately, onscreen base radar showed that each F-106 merged with the object, apparently captured by the enormous disc during flight.

Responding immediately, General Foster left the radar room, suited up for jet flight and went out to scramble his own F-106 to begin his own high speed pursuit. Before long, he too closed in on the brightly lit craft which had lingered in the area after taking aboard the first two jets and pilots.

   As he neared it, closing fast, the UFO took off in one swift break, instantaneously bolting away, jumping up to a great speed, a velocity that Foster later estimated must have exceeded 8,000 miles an hour. He broke off the chase and swiftly returned to the base.

In the morning, personnel performed an air and ground search of the Alaskan wilderness where the conflict took place, yet the investigation yielded no evidence of the jets or pilots. Foster considered himself a fortunate survivor of an event that left everyone involved shaken for some time afterwards.

Today, we now know that scrambling jets so pilots can get a visual of these strange objects is nothing new. In fact, sightings by military pilots have been reported thousands of times, with some military pilots claiming to encounter them on a daily basis.

A bizarre end to Foster’s experience the night of the loss I have left for telling at the end of this section of references, a very strange incident he told of that emphasizes the degree of duplicity involved in many of these events as overseen by sources in the Pentagon with an eerie, supernatural ability to cover them up even as they have just happened, as if they have ‘eyes’ everywhere.

Mr. Foster is an outstanding member of a group of the most reliable and trustworthy witnesses to such phenomena: retired military combat pilots and astronauts.

His pursuit of high adventure in aviation began very early in his life. He made a number of significant contributions in his service years that deserve special recognition—and his treatment by certain officers in the Pentagon explains why, after so many decades of silence under oath of secrecy, he entrusted me with this deeply buried military secret.

   As a youngster, he would ride a bike out from his home in Beverly Hills to where The Little Rascals was being filmed to appear as an extra. By the time he was 16, he was an unusually tall, sturdy youngster who appeared to be much older than his true age. After finishing high school with honors, he was awarded a scholarship by Princeton University, yet after one interview, he decided the Ivy League wasn’t for him and he ended up taking residence in New York City’s Greenwich Village during the later 1930s.

Early in life, the idea of becoming a pilot enchanted him and, as the opposition was building against Hitler’s threat to Europe, he decided to exploit his mature appearance and disposition by joining the Royal Canadian Air Force by lying about his age. He earned his wings at seventeen. He was shipped to England where he learned to fly Spitfighter combat planes. After demonstrating superior skills during the Battle Of Britain, he began training Canadian pilots.

   His remarkable service with the Canada came to the attention of the U.S. State Department in Washington who sent out agents to England who threatened him with a loss of his U.S. citizenship. He offered them his passport. After strongly objecting, he made a counteroffer which the agents capitulated to. He went on to became the youngest, if not also the first battle tested pilot in the U.S. Army Air Force to begin fighting Hitler’s aviators.

Immediately recognized as one of the best lead fighter pilots, he began training the newly arriving American fighter pilots as WWII erupted.

Foster earned a remarkable record of kills during the war and was steadily promoted up to a commanding officer. He was shot down and captured, only to walk out of the concentration camp disguised as a member of the food delivery service. At the end of the European conflict, he was one of the officers assigned to open up the Nazi concentration camps in Poland. Later, after serving in Japan to help administer the reconstruction effort there, he took up duty at the Pentagon with a rank of Brigadier General in the newly formed U.S. Air Force. His post-war relief and intelligence duties which included a number of behind the scenes training missions in the Far East and Isreal and a later diplomatic assignment in Paris, France and Indochina, including Vietnam.

By the early 1960s, he worked alongside the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he was asked to approve plans for escalating the training mission in Vietnam up into a full conflict with North Vietnam. In a decisive meeting chaired by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, he was the only ranking officer to argue against plans that were setting the stage for the Vietnam War. Foster warned that such a war would have grave consequences for America.

“We’re going in,” McNamara insisted.

General Foster objected strenuously, but McNamara and the others wouldn’t hear him out. So, Foster took off his officer’s suit, took off the medals he’d won and quit the Air Force in a protest that he considered a rejection of the ideology of the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower had warned about only a few years before.

  Foster returned to Beverly Hills and assumed a new career designing and building homes in Los Angeles, one of which in the Hollywood Hills won an award from the American Institute Of Architects. During that time, ranking officers whom he remained friends with in the Air Force arranged for Foster to come back to duty to perform special diplomatic service, although, due to rules established for placing former officers who were resuming work, he had to assume the rank of major, never again to regain his status as a general. While he got married and set up home in Los Angeles with his wife Brandy, he would be away on international humanitarian assignments, some of them involving acting as an advisor to the United Nations. He fathered two boys and two girls, a family that included actress Jodie Foster.

Jodie Foster braves her way on a mystical journey in the film Contact

   In 1996, I was introduced to Mr. Foster in the Los Angeles home of an actor friend who had helped me write a screenplay based on the hunt for a WWII Japanese submarine that was carrying a load of gold when its captain intentionally sank it in a lagoon. Warner Brothers had agreed to fund the film starring Richard Harris as the older Irish veteran who knew where the submarine was hidden. Foster took a liking to the storyline as someone who also had enjoyed writing himself and had known Harris when he lived in Los Angeles.

Our friendship developed along common interests in aviation, literature and in home building, or renovating, and lasted until he departed in 2014.

   Further verification of disappearances involving fighter jets and pilots as linked to UFO activity are reported later in these references. I saved the very startling close to General Foster’s experience in the Alaskan event for the very end of these references. It appears as reference 11].

ii] To clarify once more, this first chapter of the novel combines Foster’s report with two other actual incidents to form a dramatized version. Now, we’ll take up the second element of reality that affected the storyline in an event where my documentary film team experienced the sighting of two UFOs in the San Francisco area and filmed them in October of 1975. I incorporated the physical design of the spacecraft we filmed in the fictional first chapter of the novel.

   Here’s what happened:

   Our film team was midway through a year long tour of the U.S. to gather footage for a one-hour public television documentary on the subject of developing alternative sources of energy, principally to highlight America’s solar-powered prospects at that time.

   Outside San Francisco, with film equipment ready to shoot, three of us stood waiting near a sailboat rigged with a wind generator manufactured by Tom Conlon of San Francisco. The site was located directly next to Alameda Naval Air Station. Our camera [and our attention] was aimed towards the wind turbine on the sailbost positioned to the east, directly across the narrow bay separating us from Oakland, California. It was around noon.

   Fortunately for us, the man we were to interview was late arriving for the shoot. We paced by a fence, waiting. All at once Tom excitedly called our attention to two large, bright, luminous pale yellow lights that he’d caught sight of, moving in a casual silence low in the eastern sky over the hills of Oakland, about a mile and a half off.

   Racing to start the camera, the footage recorded zooms in to a close-up that clearly detailed their shape. Each craft featured an oval, half an egg-shaped upper body that sat on shallow “saucer” shaped bottom rim that appeared to be around 50 or so feet across. The sides of each of them flowed steeply up to create an arched dome at least 150 or more feet high.

   To the naked eye, their size was the most impressive aspect of the experience. Enormous, they were at least as tall as a ten-story building and more than half as wide. The surface of the object appeared to be emanating a bright aura that had, as noted earlier, a yellow—orangish hue. The short length of film we had in the camera ran continuously. Before  the film spooled out, we ran across to a pile of dirt to get a better view and turned around.

They were gone.

   From a payphone, we started to call San Francisco’s television station news departments. We were turned down by the local CBS and ABC stations, yet NBC affiliate KRON snapped up the chance to pick up the story exclusively—if they could first determine that it was genuine.

   UFO film footage shot by professionals and then declared to be genuine was a rarity at that time that would be very welcomed as long-overdue in the public domain.

   Assured of our credentials, KRON had the color film taken out of the camaera at their lab and processed there to eliminate any suspicion of foul play. The developed film was rushed back to the television newsroom to have a first showing in a room far too small for the large number of local and national NBC news reporters wanting a first look. The staff of NBC Nightly News asked us aqll kinds of questions to consider the potential national or worldwide impact of the story.  

   When the footage rolled, some of those gathered sounded their astonishment, reactions I found surprizing to hear from seasoned television journalists. The crowd remained fixed in amazement as the film displayed the two curiosities swooping up and down over the trees of Oakland in a location later figured to have been above the reservoir situated further back.

   An agreement with the KRON news producer was hurriedly secured with me for local and, also if the network news representatives wanted to feature coverage of the event, the deal would allow for a national broadcast of the film. We were interviewed and the film was transferred to large format broadcast videotape so that editing work could then feature slow motion and freeze framed showings of the footage at 5 and 10 o’clock.

   With that night’s news programs, the filmed event became the first time that a major UFO sighting was the featured story broadcast on a national television network.

   In the swirl of the public response that followed, calls swarmed into KRON that night and over the following days, with a curiously high number of those individuals phoning in to testify to their own recent witnessing of two similar objects. If true, and the objects sighted were the same vehicles as those filmed, then it was strongly suspected that the two unidentifieds were going about putting on quite a show in and nearby San Francisco with a frequency that indicated a deliberate intent to be seen often during the days, even weeks, just prior to our filmed incident.

   Furthermore, facts gathered by the NBC journalists assigned to the story and discussed with us indicated that some strange visitors to the San Francisco skies had been making frequent low altitude appearances and had been seen often by reliable witnesses.

   As the NBC reporters eliminated oddball callers, they soon came up with a list containing about a dozen credible sources. But NBC officials, while obviously and urgently interested in the ongoing local controversy, didn’t want to send their own reporters out to interview the witnesses that they picked as reliable. So, the executive producers made a plea to us: “Why don’t you take our cameras and go out and interview a few of these witnesses?”

We left the meeting without making a deal, asking ourselves why weren’t they doing these interviews themselves with their in house producers and technicians? We wondered if it was because of internal policies at NBC News concerning the UFO phenomena.

   We would be given a camera, film and sound equipment needed to follow up for NBC, in effect quietly posing as ourselves. We would pose as independent film producers working on a PBS themed documentary who were sidetracked from making our film on solar energy as the result of our curious encounter. We shared with the witnesses the emotions we experienced during our own UFO experience, a condition that would allow us to much more easily establish common ground with the witnesses who’d called in.

   One interview was to be helf with a mother who’d checked out as quite reputable in Petaluma, California, a suburd not that distant north of San Francisco. She’d called in to offer KRON interview time with her ninth grade daughter, a girl who’d come home from high school upset after she and other children had seen two brightly-lit objects, matching the same description as ours, flying slowly in formation over their schoolyard about three hundred feet up during a recess. This incident had taken place two days before our film was televised.

   Another source the KRON producers mentioned for an interview was a schoolteacher in Davis, California, a town south of San Francisco, who’d called in to report an even closer encounter. Two huge objects, again of the same description, had followed her home. As she sat in the car, frightened silly in the driveway, too scared to get out, the huge domed craft came down so low, she was able to glimpse the occupants. This evening event was also alleged to have happened prior to the airing of our film clips. This woman’s account has been further detailed in at least one non-fiction book among the many written on the subject of closer ‘contact’ experiences in years since.

    A day later, we had another preliminary meeting to discuss our involvement with the news producers at KRON. We were told that NBC News was developing an extensive archive of film and videotaped documentary material on the extraterrestrial enigma. Interests were wide-ranging—close encounters with UFOs, super beings, the government silence—any solid indication of current day alien presense on Earth. All these materials were being collected by NBC for the purpose of eventually producing a nationally-televised special, a documentary-based news program on the subject.

   In our talks, the local NBC executives posed the point that, since we were capable of taking on a national issue like the nation’s need to become energy independent, we could tackle investigate these eyewitness experiences on the side. They agreed there might be links to the Oakland event we’d documented. Covering the San Francisco UFO phenomena would require proper pre-production (time spent fact-checking, developing lines of questioning and then a shooting plan) before any effective production could proceed.

   We brought up the potential that interviews with the witnesses who had contacted NBC could stray into an area of discussion that would include the big question of why extraterrestrials might be interacting with humanity.

   The substantial public reaction in San Francisco to what we’d filmed alone demonstrated what an extraordinary impact that even a short-term local ‘wave’ of UFO events can have. Posing answers to the enigma, we all agreed, was very much in the public interest—but such a program would require a broad documentary research team to back up a production that fully explored the subject. The time required for us to produce even a small segment of such a documentary with care would be considerable.  

   That evening, through film contacts that we’d made, we met up with a film editor attached to the production of Apocalypse Now, who was on hiatus from work on the Francis Ford Coppola epic at Coppola’s San Francisco-based Zoetrope Studios. On their Moviola editing system, he helped us make a tedious frame-by-frame analysis of the UFO film. We speculated on the possiblity that a large sized crew was housed aboard a spaceship of such tremendous size.

   Did military divisions of the U.S. government begin to interact and begin formal relations with at least one key group of an unknown species in the 1950s?

Roswell Saucer Crash Scene Recreated For The X-Files [Credit: 21st Century Fox]

iii] Later on the day of the Oakland UFO filming, our story was passed along to The San Francisco Herald-Examiner reporter Dick Alexander.

   Mr. Alexander phoned both the radar room at San Francisco International Airport and air controllers at the area’s Air Force base to inquire about whether there might have been any other identified, known aircraft recorded as flying very low over Oakland right before or after noon, specifically, over the Oakland water reservoir   According to the spokesman at the SF FAA facilities, nothing of any kind appeared on their radar screens over Oakland just before or after 12:00 noon. The spokesman was repeatedly questioned on the subject.

   Government sources, including the FAA, keep radar data under wraps. In the 1990s, the Citizens Against UFO Secrecy used the Freedom of Information Act in an unsucessful try to gain the release of radar documentation for hundreds of UFO trackings kept by the North American Defense Command. In more recent years, several similar lawsuits have been brought to federal court seeking the release of any knowledge on the subject of UFOs that military or intelligence units of the American government, particularily NASA, have been shielded from public disclosure.

   In the article about our San Francisco UFO advanture in the Herald-Examiner, my description of the two objects’ fluid movements up and down over the hills included the description that the viewing was like “watching two dancers performing ballet.” 

    In a thoughtful gesture, Mr. Alexander arranged a meeting a few days after the incident with Herald-Examiner publisher William Hearst Jr. We were aware that we were meeting with the son of the man respected, or reviled, as the original news media mogul, an icon in the heady world of newspapers and the unacknowledged model for the character in Orson Welle’s masterpiece Citizen Kane.

   Nonetheless, when we met him, it was impressive to hear Mr. Hearst talk so candidly about his longtime personal interest in UFOs. Imagine our surprise when he got around to asking for our help with the effort to break the U.S. government’s secrecy on the matter.

   Hearst invited us to stay on in San Francisco long enough to help with the writing of a feature story on our experience for their Sunday paper, an article that would include frames of our 16mm color film, and delve into the questions raised in our meeting.

   Our main intention for visiting San Francisco, we stated, was to film an interview for a science program, an issues-oriented documentary, a perspective in the field of film making now known as ‘advocate journalism’. Today, the internet is a major outlet for documentaries that are deeply concerned about issues affecting the future of humanity, unlike those days, where there were far fewer mainstream figures in television providing adequete coverage of issues that had a potentially great bearing on the future.

   As such, Mr. Hearst’s aggressive viewpoint on government secrecy was welcomed by all of us as unexpectedly rare from someone holding considerable vested interests.

   Few outside investigators would likely find themselves in a position of asking a man of Hearst’s stature for help in prying open the right doors in Washington where the public would gain access to information vital to understanding the ET crisis. Hearst seemed genuinely inclined to provide support.

   One reason for Hearst’s interest became clear to me after I read a Hearst reporter tell of the secret meeting in the 1960s Hearst attended as a reporter at what is now Edwards Air Force Base in which President Eisenhower met with extraterrestrial entities who silently landed in their space craft. The incident sent several of Eisenhower’s attaches into shock. This meeting, and several others that Eisenhower attended, were profiled later on in a 202o book researched by Paul Smith Exploring The Close Encounters of President Eisenhower.

   So Hearst was aware of these incidents, but did not bring them up to us. He did shared his concern for the American tradition of free access to information gathered in government pursuits. The constitutional right to the truth is vital to the formation of sound opinion in matters affecting our common future. These truths may harshly impact the traditions of groups within society, but the public’s right to know exceeds the desire of a priviledged few to maintain a climate of nondisclosure for the sake of maintaining an unwarranted secrecy that solely benefits only them, in this case, the military-industrial establishment.

  It is also important to note that this incident was reported when mainstrean media still exercized a degree of freedom to talk openly about subjects which became severely restricted after six individuals and their news corporations gained their monopoly on over 90 per cent of the media at the beginning of the 21st Century.

   On our own at this point, we contemplated the offers from NBC and Hearst for several days. We had great reservations about the time that the added, poorly paid  obligations would take away from continuing with our own limited budget filming.

   After giving it a lot of thought, we sensed something covert lurked behind the deal presented by the NBC producers.

   Less than three weeks after capturing the objects on film, we decided it was time to get back to work on our own project and left San Francisco. Later on, I called all of the contacts we’d made in San Francisco thanked them. One of them commented that “…after the starship visitors had made the news on television, they’d accomplished their mission and left.”

   Were the objects “ours”, the product of American military developments or “theirs”, of off-world origin?  If they were from elsewhere, perhaps they headed home, too, on their own highway.

   Back in Chicago, we were invited to a live special television special being produced by Chicago’s PBS station related to the opening of the science-fiction movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The featured guest on the show was prominent Northwestern University astronomer J. Allen Hynek who was a consultant for the final script by creator and director Steven Spielberg. The scene pictured below takes place as an enormous spaceship touches down.

   In the 1950s, Allen Hynek was a newly appointed scientific consultant to the U.S. Air Force and, in time, Hynek came to conclude that witnesses to UFO incidents were indeed experiencing life-changing events. The move was considered radical by more than a few of his colleagues. After 20 years of service in the cause of debunking UFOs for the Air Force, Hynek made a very bold public announcement―Hynek underwent a significant scientific change of heart. His defection from the Pentagon allowed him to become a prominent supporter of extraterrestrial phenomena as a legitimate field of research. He predicted it would bring a big breakthrough in the sciences. However, the Department of Defense has disclosed very little since then.

   Dr. Hynek went on to found the Center For UFO Studies in Chicago.

   After the Close Encounters program, I gave him a copy of our San Francisco UFO footage for study and to add to their film archives. The film clip remains one of the few recordings of UFOs in or near a major American city which has been broadcast on a commercial news television in the U.S.

   A good example of the siezing of documentatary evidence taken during military exercizes is the short 16mm film recorded by Gordon Cooper, one of the nation’s first astronauts. Cooper testified that he coincidentally filmed the visit of a very small UFO at a landing gear test site in the desert. Before Cooper’s running camera, the soundless, minature flying device settled gently down from out of the sky and came to rest on its own tripod legs in the camera’s field of view near the landing gear being tested. After reporting that he had filmed the whole thing to his superiors, the 16mm film was promptly taken from him by a stranger who identified himself as having the high authority required to take it.   

   In recent decades, the prolifereation of video camcorders and digital cameras that have unintentionally recorded the activities of unconventional craft while aimed into the skies has yielded an enormous number of legitimate raw footage, creating further digital documentation for study.

   Amateurs around the world capture instances of UFO activity by the dozens every month and often send it to websites that analyze the footage and release it for public viewing, often with critical statements, one way or other.  

   Unlike U.S. television stations, such evidence has been openly broadcast on television in many nations. Mexican television puts them on the news uncensored. UFOs have shown up on live television in Mexico during air shows where thousands of people were watching. Without the fear of scorn, many Mexicans freely report personal sightings. The U.S. may stand alone as one of the few countries where a UFO sighting is considered abnormal. Residents of most civilized nations now accept the UFO phenomena as a modern reality.

iv] Similar concerns over unknown flying objects were raised by pilots during WWII. After the close of the war, U.S. pilot investigators took time to review hundreds of reports filed by Allied airmen that told of military flights trailed closely by unexplained balls of light, ‘fireballs’, bright objects and ‘ghost rockets’.

Official AAF Photo depicts 3 ‘Foo Fighters’, which Allied Officials named ‘pilotless probes’ at WWII ‘s end

   After the war, it was discovered that military aviators flying missions for all nations involved in WWII on both sides told of being vexed by run-ins with strange aerial visitors, disclosures, which sometimes brought ridicule from other pilots. Lone flyers and flight crews claimed that they could pull off wild manuevers to lose the pursuers: steep dives, hard rolls, spins, wild stunt flying tricks—but anxious pilots were never able to shake them off. When the small craft finally flew off, startled aviators in every nation’s air force resorted to blaming the annoyances on secret technological developments by their enemies, incidents which interestingly never caused any damage. Allied pilots named them ‘Foo-fighters’ after the rantings of a ’30s comic-strip character. “According to the aviators there was one common denominator in all these sightings. The strange and aloof phenomena showed an apparent affinity to watch over and protect the allied planes.”

   American airmen also adopted the name ‘Gremlins’ to describe other entities known to tag even closer along with their battle formations on flights over the skies of Europe.

   Among post-war U.S. airline pilots, many of whom flew combat in WWII, humorous references to wartime ‘Gremlin’ activities remained very popular, so much so that, in one of the better episodes of The Twilight Zone titled Nightmare At 20,000 Feet.

   Rod Serling cast actor William Shatner as a former WWII combat pilot passenger aboard a commercial flight in the U.S. who looks out of the window to see a pesky, menacing creature dancing wildly on the wing as it holds a long rod in its hand, threatening to damage an engine of the passenger plane.

Twilight Zone with William Shatner

Some WWII pilots insisted such beings harrassed them and they became known as “Gremlins”. The mystery has never been solved.  

   The Army Air Force investigating unit who were identified at the start of this reference quite publicly admitted their honest opinion: the objects appeared to be intelligently-controlled vehicles that had buzzed military aircraft from all nations. However, even though the airborne activity was non-threatening, even quite playful, and no damage was ever done, and the phenomena was dismissed in their final report as non-threatening.

   Incidentally, American fighter pilots continued complained of UFOs that shadowed them closely throughout aerial conflicts during both the Korean and Vietnam wars.

v] Both F-16s in our fictional conflict show symptoms of being attacked with electronic warfare technology now referred to as ‘remotely activated electronic manipulation’. This is a matter of patented and developed electronic technologies that can hack and shut down the components of a targeted electronic system. Aircraft avionic systems like the Pegasus system used aboard many Boeing aircraft can be remotely controlled to manuver the plane and, if the aircraft is latched onto an airport installed instrument landing system, the Pegasus system can even land it. Patented plans are on record for development of remotely activated weapons.     

   As for the loss of controls in the fictional F-16s, in 1976,there was a real incident in Iran where military defense pilots experienced a total loss of flight controls aboard an Iranian F-4 which, at the time it happened, were chasing a UFO near Tehran, Iran. The Washington Post headlined this Associated Press story about the pilot of one of the two jets which reported that “his plane’s electrical system stopped working when the object was approached, but resumed working when the F-4s veered away. The unidentified object was said to have been as big as a jetliner.” That same news account also reported the case of a Cuban MIG fighter destroyed over Cuba chasing a UFO in 1975.

Maurice Chatelain

vi] As a prominent figure in the communications engineering of the Apollo Moon missions, he recalled his involvement in the first controversial look at what actually went on behind the heroic propaganda efforts that NASA isssued over the years the project took place. His 1977 book Our Ancestors Came From Outer Space: A NASA Scientist Confirms Mankind’s Extraterrestrail Origins was an immediate sell out. I contacted him at that time and we had a meeting at his contemporary seaside Virginia Beach, Virginia home.

He welcomed me with a warm, good-spirited manner and, over a period of two days of meetings, Mr. Chatelain provided me with keen insights to the hidden history of the lunar adventure not featured in the book for obvious reasons. He was still bound to certain elements of his non-disclosure agreement with the U.S. military which was the actual economic and political engine behind Apollo. He became the real life model for the fictional character Alain Leval who is introduced a little later one in the story, in Part One.

In Our Ancestors…, Mr. Chatelain candidly discloses that all of NASA’s manned missions, from the earliest two-man Gemini launches through the entire span of the Apollo missions, were followed by UFOs. Many astronauts later revealed that they informed NASA of each incident as they occurred and even took a series of pictures of a god number of these visitations.

   On page 18 of the book, he pointed out that:

    ‘It was also said that during their flights our astronauts frequently felt as if some external force were trying to take over their mind. They experienced strange sensations and visions. What seems almost certain is that some of the astronauts did have psychological problems and changes of personality after their missions in space. Some turned deeply religious, some seemed to develop mental trouble—facts that, of course, could be ascribed to pure coincidence without particular significance.”

   Chatelain brought up the case of how Gordon Cooper, ‘unquestionably one of our most skilled space pilots’, was transformed during his many years of experience with NASA:

   “It is also curious that this man, who was not only an astronaut but also a scientist, has now become a firm believer in extraterrestrial life and civilizations and is convinced space visitors to Earth have been around for a long time, from the most distant past to this very day….one may wonder whether Cooper didn’t acquire his sudden interest in extraterrestrial civilizations by seeing for himself things that he did not have the right to tell us about.”

How is it that the astronauts could detect the sentience of those who were operating the UFOs that trailed their capsules as they made their historic flights? Without knowing for sure, we can only suspect that the other pilots possess an inate ability to project an awareness of their presence at a distance. If that’s how, is it possible that this same phenomena that the fictional lead pilot in this novel, Thom Cafferty, experiences taking control of the F-16 in the situation that the two pilots are enduring.

vii] Reference: The Bermuda Triangle, Charles Berlitz, Penguin Books, New York, 1967.

   The widely-read Bermuda Triangle non-fiction book traced the long history of strange disappearences in a vast, roughly triangular swatch of sea off of Florida’s east coast in which Berlitz also recounted the still unsolved disappearance of five U.S. Navy TBM Avenger torpedo bombers and a crew of fourteen aviators on December 5th, 1945.

   In an incident roughly similar to the loss of the jets and pilots in Alaska reported by General Foster, there is the long-standing mystery of Flight 19, which went missing while flying on a routine training mission. On a clear sunny day, two experienced pilots in charge of the five carefully checked TBM Avenger prop planes and their 12 student aviators became disoriented several hours out over the Atlantic Ocean on a route that was plotted from Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station on a 320 mile course, first east, then north over Grand Bahama Island and then back to base. Flight leader Lt. Charles Taylor radioed back to their base in Ft. Lauderdale that: ‘…this is an emergency…We seem to be off course…We cannot see land…” He claimed that both compasses are out and “…we seem to be lost.” For the next two hours, fragmented messages indicated that they were at a loss to determine their position. “We don’t know which way is west. Everything is wrong…strange…Even the ocean doesn’t look as it should.”

   Most investigators agree that the squadron drifted around, relying on a pilot’s intuitive sense of dead reckoning, guiding them on a wandering course to nowhere, instead of back towards Florida. Five frustrating hours later, the aircraft ran low on fuel and Taylor informed the base that land was still nowhere in sight. The planes, each carrying an inflatable life raft, with every man wearing a life jacket, informed Ft. Lauderdale that they were preparing to ditch at sea.

   Despite a massive five-day search of 250,000 square miles of sea, one of the largest ever mounted in maritime history—in which a large Martin Mariner rescue aircraft was also lost in similar mysterious circumstances—both Flight 19 and the search and rescue plane with all crewmembers disappeared. No crash debris, no traces of evidence of any kind were found. A 400-page naval inquiry never answered how or why it happened.

   In often retold lore that developed quickly in the aftermath of the very strange loss of the mission, exaggerations arose and the makings of a legend overshadowed facts. These distortions played into published versions of the story—thus, it was sweetened with dramatic fiction. A celebrated participant in the media industry who was most familiar with the commerce of writing news stories once explained that the practice of muddling the truth often enough is the rule. “When a fact becomes legend,” he remarked, “print the legend.”

   In just one instance, facts regarding the radio messages reported to have been made by the senior pilots of Flight 19 were added by imaginative reporters of the day and were never substantiated in the actual Naval inquiry. Yet this false dialouge has persisted in the re-telling of the story when it has been written about in later years.

   One such report made a claim about the lead pilot Taylor’s final message to Ft. Lauderdale. The report that he said “Don’t come after me.” This statement never surfaced in the official report and, though never spoken, the passage has become part of the fabric of the great fable that surrounds Flight 19. This line of fiction, nonetheless, works so well as drama, I adopted it as the basis for Major Cafferty’s parting reply to officer-in-charge Lipton in the Minot AFB control tower: “Don’t come after us.”

   The total disappearence of Flight 19 and its rescue plane both fit a fatal pattern of other historic losses of ships and aircraft lost in transit through the southeastern Atlantic. Sad stories all, the core causes of this enigma remain hidden, even though a few clues do exist. These leads are based both on scientific theory and legitimate speculation about the forces that might exist behind these vanishings.

This scene from Close Encounters imagines that Flight 19 returned, which wasn’t what happened

   One area of current thinking, however, lies largely outside the boundaries of proveable science. This argument is based on the large body of nautical evidence that supports the prospect that another, highly advanced race of beings inhabit areas many fathoms down below this swath of sea—as well as many other undersea zones elsewhere.

   Could it be that, on periodic whims, for purposes unknown, a submarine civilization has acted to change the destiny of a good number of travellers who were making innocent passage over their waters?

   Since these types of vanishings continue randomly with each passing decade, investigations into this phenomena present questions. Most important: Where are these captive vessels and passengers being taken?

Do they continue their lives elsewhere? Let’s look at the remarkable possiblity that a well-established civilization exists in certain areas under our vastly unexplored seas.

viii] Among the very first scientific treatment of this question came from maritime researcher Ivan Sanderson in his 1970 book Invisible Residents. [World Publishing Company, New York and Cleveland]

    Ivan Sanderson was among the very first modern day proponent of the idea of an undersea civilization based on his studies of the great mysteries involving accounts of unidentifiable disc shaped flying vessels of all sizes which credible witnesses had sighted while at sea.

   Throughout marine history, these craft had been seen flying into or out of Earth’s oceans and inland waters. For centuries, people have watched the incredible acrobatics that many of them have performed while putting on a variety of other feats or moving at terrific speeds underwater.

   A zoologist by education, Sanderson’s interest in these odd maritime matters came as an offshoot of expertise he gained working as a maritime specialist during WWII where he tracked the movements of ships claimed to have been lost. Sanderson called upon Earth’s environmental scientists to take a closer look at the ample evidence supporting the premise that unknown intelligences have been very much as active in underwater life as they have been in the skies throughout civilized times—and even moreso in recent history. 

   He pointed out that 50% of all UFO reports involve activity into, out of or nearby bodies of water.

   More on Ivan Sanderson’s work in reference sections for Chapter 6.

viii] It turns out that there are many other examples of yet unexplained military pilot and jet siezures by UFOs that corroborate General Foster’s story.

The incident reported here occurred over Puerto Rico, an area of high UFO activity, is reported in the first chapter of Tim Good’s Alien Contact, Top-Secret UFO Files Revealed. [Revised edition 1993] William Morrow, New York:

   “It was enormous, blinking with many colored lights…It made a turn back and then came lower, appearing much larger. It was then that we noticed two jet fighters [F-14 Tomcats] right behind it…one tried to intercept it and passed right in front of it, at which point the UFO veered to the left and made a turn back, reducing its speed. The pilots tried to intercept it three times, and that’s when the UFO slowed down and almost stopped in mid-air…The second jet remained on the right side of the UFO and the other one positioned itself on the left rear side. Then—I don’t know exactly what happened—if the jet entered the UFO by the rear, by the upper side, or what…The jet in the back just disappeared on top or inside of the UFO…it didn’t come out of the rear, the upper side or the other sides.”

This 1988 photograph was taken by an individual one morning in a remote area of Puerto Rico just after he had been returned from an abduction. The F-14 on the left maintained watch. The abductee waged a long battle with authorities to keep possession of the photo.

    In an interview with Art Bell on a 2003 Coast-to-Coast radio program, Mr. John Lear stated that “since 1938, some 300 to 400 similar interceptions of U.S. pilots and their jets have taken place during UFO chases”. More significant observations that came from Mr. Lear since then will come up in later references. John Lear passed away in 2021.                               

   In 2003, the figure for the number of jets captured were determined to be high, but there were still a substantial number of incidents over  the years.

The Lear Jet

   John Lear is the son of the inventor of the Lear Jet, Bill Lear. He is a former airline pilot with 10,000 hours flight time in commercial aviation, with a well-respected record otherwise for piloting various military and civilian aircraft designs. Over the years, Mr. Lear also began investigating evidence of extraterrestrial involvement in human affairs, including never-publically revealed UFO interactions with military aircraft.

In another case, in June 2016, NORAD admitted that there had been over 75 UFO chase incidents yearly [at least that’s what they admit to] in which US jet pilots chased and locked weapons systems onto UFOs. North American Aerospace Defense Command [NORAD] tracks an average of 1,800 UFOs anually and sends out jets to perform an average of about 75 interceptions each year, according to the Canadian Access To Information Act (AIA) documents released to Canadian Disclosure advocate Victor Viggiani. A July, 2016 posting published by MUFON [The Mutual UFO Network] pointed out that “No one at NORAD is saying these were UFOs, but instead that they refer to unidentified objects as “Tracks of Interest (TOI)” or Unknown Tracks.”

Interestingly, these chases have ofter been observed from the ground by civilian witnesses who report that visual sightings of UFO activity in their locality are accompanied by military jets, which invariably trigger the quick departure of the ‘unconventional craft’.

The respected UFO research of Dr. Jacques Valle in France began in the 1960s and had enough international impact to boost him into becoming the model for the French UFO scientist featured in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

When working at Stanford
Vallee in 2018
Dr. Vallee portrayed by Francois Traufaut [on left] in Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977

Dr. Valle co-developed the first computerized mapping of Mars for NASA and is most noted for his work at Stanford Research Institute [SRI], where he helped create ARPANET, a technology that became the foundation for the modern day Internet. In July, 2016, Valle spoke at a TEDx conference held in Brussels about military interception of UFOs. He supports the hypothesis that some UFOs are indeed intelligently controlled, remotely or not, by beings in command of superior communications technology. One of his many published papers discussed the potential power output of UFOs. Sources:

Dr. Vallee Sources:


Both of these papers offer a comphrehensive look at the oddities military pilots encounter when they are ordered to intercept one of these UFOs. Another related article can still be found at Here’s What Happens When A UFO Is Tracked On Military Radar.

U.S. Navy Gunsight Video Image: Is this one of theirs–or ours during a wargames exercize?

The image framed above comes from the 2021 Pentagon admission and official release of the ‘gun target Tic-Tac’ video’ that a U.S. Navy pilot recorded of a UFO encounter. This ‘official admission’ that UFOs exist according to the Department of Defense has not at all impressed UFO disclosure advocates, especially when we consider all of the other striking evidence already presented by the Pentagon from its own sources in NORAD and other aviation agencies as noted in this reference section.

All of the prior admissions you have read about continue to be completely ignored by the Pentagon which seeks to retain an iron grip on the story because they have been working behind the scenes with ETs whose long term intentions for humanity are basically quite sinister.

My opinion remains that there will never be any substantial admission by any U.S. military agency for reasons I will get into later on related to the fact that the Pentagon has been working directly with one or more extraterrestrial species since a number of cooperative treaties have been signed with them some time ago, mostly in exchange for being given exotic weaponry, but also to be allowed to entrap humans in a variety of sinister schemes. Much more on this as the storyline and references progress.

It’s astonishing how many credible people are trying to create awareness about a phenomena that, if it were to become entirely transparent to the world, it would most likely transform all aspects of humanity, leaving nothing untouched.

x] The entire homage to the lost F-16 pilots recited from memory by the fictional character Major Moore near the end of this chapter actually reads:

“To leave behind Earth and air and gravity is an ancient dream of humanity. We find the best among us, send them forth into unmapped darkness, and pray they will return.”

   My thanks to the Cape Canaveral Florida chapter of MENSA for providing this unattributed passage. It is featured as the quote seen the cover of the March, 2003 issue of Sea Coast Area MENSA, (SCAM), the newsletter published by members of the high IQ society chapter located in the region around what was known as the Kennedy Space Center during the Apollo years but which has reverted to its original name Cape Canaveral, Florida. This MENSA group’s newsletter issue was dedicated to the crew aboard space shuttle Challenger flight STS 107 who perished. Astronauts McCool, Husband, Brown, Clark, Chawla, Anderson and Ramon.

The poignant tribute in Moore’s stream of thoughts was edited by the author, shortened for use as dialouge.

   I was left to wonder about why these Mensans would use the acronym SCAM for their branch of Mensa. Most of the members are aerospace specialists who support NASA’s most prominent ventures into space—and are among the brightest and best engineers and scientists in America. Why would they adopt the dubious acronym SCAM as the title of their MENSA chapter? SCAM wasn’t fit for an agency that holds such global prestige.

   SCAM had to indicate some kind of double meaning for them. Is it more that an inside joke, or meant as a codeword to the public regarding hidden agendas at NASA? They adopted their tongue in cheek acronym during the Apollo mission for a good reason, not only as an inside joke.

   As the background story to this book continues in the references that follow, readers will see that there may indeed be good reasons why the MENSA chapter name drops a huge hint about the true nature of the Apollo era operations.  

xi] As told to the author:

When General Foster landed his jet at the Alaskan Air Force base right after the loss of the pilots and their jets, he was met at the end of the runway by a jeep whose driver, an officer, motioned at him to stop. He killed the engine and opened the hatch so that he could speak to the man who appeared to be a commander himself. Since Foster was king of the roost, here was an officer he’d never seen before. Foster was caught up in surprise as the man identified himself as being from the Pentagon, from a division with highest authority.

The officer, who did not give Foster his name, harshly warned him not to ever speak about the incdent or the loss of the pilots ever again. He loudly made the same point several times, adding to it that he would be killed if he did. He then drove off, leaving Foster totally perplexed.

Foster was tasked with getting Non-Disclosure Agreements with everyone on the base and, along the way, questioning each man about whether they saw another commanding officer at that time on the base. No one claimed to have seen the man. The jeep he drove was never found and none of the jeeps in the motor pool were missing.

   No one replied to General Foster’s report to the Pentagon about the incident. The fate of the Air Force pilots who disappeared over Alaska remains publicly unknown to this day. Moreover, perhaps it’ll never be known what the U.S. Air Force told to the families of each lost pilot as an official explanation of his disappearence.

   Retired General Foster broke his silence to me concerning this sad event in a casual conversation we were having in Los Angeles during the fall of 1999. By then, I’d worked with him for about four years and heard many stories, but nothing like this.

For reasons of his own chosing, he disclosed details on the incident to me and granted permission to me in 2013 to use the story as the basis for this chapter’s fictional F-16 incident.

He expressed his reasons for allowing me to do so, saying: “Doors are opening.”

After giving his annoucement a moment’s thought, I aked: “How wide?”

In an interesting turn of events, Foster called the Air Force to inquire about the status of his signing the Official Secrets Act in the 1950s due to the highly sensitive intelligence work he’d done at the Pentagon. They told him that a major fire that broke out in an undergound document storage facility in the North American Air Defense Command [NORAD] had destroyed the paperwork of thousands of military personnel.

   Other confidential files that had piled up in the record area of the U.S. Air Force by the end of the 1960s included over 13,000 UFO reports turned in by its own pilots and many other reports written up by civilians. All awaited an official review that never came.

One of the world’s best researchers on the topic of UFOs is Richard Dolan, an honored historian and author whose military contact incidents are found in his book UFOs For The 21st Century Mind.

He has stated:

“If one thing is glaringly obvious, it is that the UFO phenomena is global and has included many military encounters.”

   There is plenty of evidence that there has been American government contact with representative members of many advanced civilizations. Moreover, many other nations are co-operating with the U.S. to the point of participating in what has come to be called America’s “Secret Space Program”.

   After the WWII, “black budget projects’ were covertly inagurated by hard-line military-industrial contractors in Washington. The fix was in. Since then, an elite regime in Washington has, with rare exceptions, kept the resulting scientific and cultural rewards mostly to themselves. These factions kept watch for any hint of public intrusion into their internal affairs.   

In further references, we will present a covet tapestry of incidents which deeply examine the clandestine world that has been created during the post WWII years. In the decades that followed, in the U.S. trillions of dollars of taxpayer money has been cleverly stolen to support the building of a very private regime in their ambitions to create an interplanetary space program that maintains an enormous degree of control over humanity.

Author: Rob Wold

I'm a former accomplished motion picture and television professional, accomplished as a documentary filmmaker, 35mm feature length director of photography who is credited as a writer, producer and director as well. I'm currently writing a science fiction based on facts novel about a cover-up at NASA.

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