50 Years After Kenneth Arnold and the Roswell UFO, Where do We Go from Here?
Anniversaries present a time for reflection. Fifty years ago the modern UFO phenomenon burst into public consciousness when, on June 24, 1947, businessman and private pilot Kenneth Arnold, on a search and rescue mission near Mt. Rainier, Wash., observed nine crescent-shaped discs flying faster than any jet and undulating like a "saucer" skipping over water. And no sooner had "flying saucers" caused imaginations to soar, an event rife with staggering worldview implications occurred. On July 3, 1947, on a sheep ranch outside Roswell, N.M., a flying disc fell out of the sky, crashing ignominiously on the desert. The first official statement acknowledged the recovery of this "... flying disc ...," but within hours the Pentagon effectively stifled further journalistic interest, when General Roger Ramey, under orders, provided the cover-up story of a downed weather balloon. Sadly then, this is also the 50th anniversary of a cover-up of a cosmic event having incalculable consequences. And for those who believe the government had no reason to cover up, please refer to the report from the Brookings Institution, April 18, 1961, prepared for NASA on Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs, which suggested if alien "... artifacts" are found on the Moon or Mars or evidence of "... intelligent extraterrestrial life ..., how might such information ... be presented or withheld from the public and for what ends ...."
Some years ago Astronaut Gordon Cooper waxed philosophical on the relationship between UFOs and Genesis, when he argued that maybe the Bible's creation story meant more than one Earth. Recently he violated NASA's ostensible prohibition, by publicly discussing his viewing UFOs while on military duty in West Germany and an official film of one that landed at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Now Dr. Edgar Mitchell, physicist and Apollo astronaut, has also weighed in with his considerable credentials, calling for a serious Congressional UFO investigation. (Underscoring the need for such investigation, a March 1997 Gallup poll found 71% of Americans believe the government is lying about UFOs.) MUFON applauds Dr. Mitchell's courageous call and takes this historic opportunity to lend our enthusiastic endorsement and support for his effort.
Mark Twain said though everyone complains about the weather, nobody does anything about it. Unlike Twain's conundrum, much can be done about the UFO cover-up. MUFON believes 50 years of secrecy is enough. America has the right to know.