Classic Mysteries—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, May 2017
NASA and UFOs: Fact or Fiction?
by: Rick Hilberg
However, we must not let ourselves fall prey to the current wild speculations that seem to be running rampant in UFO circles today. It seems like every time I pick up a new UFO book or magazine I see some new crashed saucer yarn, or some other such thing. I suppose too that the film “Hangar 18”, a campy action-adventure tale of a NASA investigation into a crashed saucer currently making the rounds, may be encouraging more of the same.
So why am I about to relate to you some more “wild speculation?” 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, several weeks ago I received a call at the Report Center from a man I'll call Jerry. Jerry had seen our listing in the phone book, and wanted to talk to someone about things that had been bothering him for a long time. It seems as if he has been receiving impressions that someone or something connected with the UFOs might be trying to make mental contact with him. This has led Jerry, a man in his late twenties or early thirties, to purchase a van and begin to fill it with various electronic instruments in an effort to go to places where UFOs are 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 pulling my leg, or else a little on the strange side. I changed my mind, however, when I learned that Jerry was an engineer at NASA's Lewis Research Center!
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 UAPA, and also mentioned to him some of what I knew relating to other such attempts at making contact with UFOs. I briefly ran through the John Otto story from the 1950s, the work done in Ohio by a group known as NSAPRO back in the 1960s, and what Project Starlight International in Texas was doing at the present time.
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 asked Jerry if he was really sure about this, and related to him about the many similar stories that have come up recently, and how they always seem to lead to dead ends when investigators try 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.”
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 the members about his work in an effort to recruit volunteers.
I wonder if Jerry's story will turn out to be merely a wild rumor, something akin to chasing after a will-o-the-wisp?
Source: 42 Years: A UFO Editor's Retrospective, 2004.