Alternate Perceptions Magazine, Septmeber 2019
What Does NASA Really Know?
by: Rick Hilberg
With the many "tabloid" style television shows on cable featuring UFO and paranormal topics these days, I'm sure that all of you have heard the various rumors that NASA has somehow had its fingers in the UFO pie, despite vehement denials to the contrary, and that it has concrete evidence - not to mention actual hardware - of the reality of UFOs. Some have said that a secret UFO project was started there many years ago, since the government felt that the Air Force was getting nowhere and that NASA's many qualified scientists might be able to make some sense out of the problem. Many have even speculated that the frequent sightings of UFOs by our astronauts might have spurred on this secret project even more.
All of this aside, why am I about to relate to you some more "wild speculation" that I received some years ago when I ran a local Cleveland UFO hotline for a local group? Maybe I'm just as guilty or gullible as the rest, but sometimes you begin to wonder whether a "rumor" might contain more fact than you had thought possible.
Anyway, early in 1981 I received a call on the hotline from a man I'll call Jerry. Jerry had seen our listing in the local telephone book (remember them?) and wanted to talk to someone about things that had been bothering him for quite some time. It seems as if he had been receiving impressions that someone or something connected with the UFOs might be trying to make mental contact with him. This feeling led Jerry, a man in his late twenties or early thirties at the time, to purchase a van and begin to fill it with various electronic instruments in an effort to go to places where UFOs were being seen and make contact with them.
Well, after hearing this I was ready to politely end the phone conversation, thinking that he was either someone trying to pull my leg, or else a little on the strange side. I changed my mind, however, when I learned that Jerry was an engineer at the then NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland! (I was subsequently able to verify this from a contact that I had at Lewis at the time.)
The equipment for his van, he explained to me, he was able to purchase from NASA as surplus for literally pennies on the dollar. Jerry also said that while there were several others with an interest in UFOs at Lewis, he was interested in making contact with an organized UFO group that might supply him with some volunteers for his UFO contact project.
I told him about our local Northern Ohio UFO Group and also mentioned to him some of what I knew relating to other such attempts at making contact with the UFOs. I briefly ran through the John Otto story from the 1950s, and that what was being done in Ohio by a group that had its start in the 1960s with an elaborate UFO "contact station" in a rural area, and what Project Starlight International in Texas was doing at the time of his call.
It was at about this point in our conversation that I asked him what the official NASA position was regarding UFOs. He seemed to hesitate for a moment, and then said: "NASA has been looking into the UFO thing for a long time. There's a lot going on that even some of the people with access to some of the really secret stuff can't get the whole story on. But I do know one thing, and that's NASA has at least one UFO in its possession, and has been able to find out a lot about them."
I then asked Jerry if he was really sure about all of this and related to him about the many similar stories that had come up at the time, and how they always seemed to lead to dead ends when investigators tried to substantiate them.
"No, I'm sure about this," he said. "I've talked with too many people who've had something to do with this business for it all to be some sort of crap. There's even talk going around that NASA is selectively leaking word on UFOs out to the public, and that sometime in the near future some kind of announcement on UFOs will be made. I've heard this same thing from more and more people around here lately."
As you can imagine, this really had me going, and I asked Jerry if there was any sort of documentation to all this that he might produce to lend credence to his claims, but he told me that all of the leaks on the NASA UFO project were verbal in nature, and that no documents had ever filtered down on the subject. I was disappointed but offered to help him in any way possible with his own UFO contact project and invited him to attend one of our meetings and talk to some of our members about his work in an effort to recruit some volunteers.
Anyway, that was the last that I ever heard from Jerry. I wondered if maybe I had somehow scared him off, or maybe that he realized that he may have said too much to me and feared that he might be fired from his dream job. I'm still wondering after all these many years.