During a criminal investigation, it is common to interview witnesses and suspects or persons of interest. When an interviewee gives conflicting testimony, this is a sure sign that they know something and are trying to conceal it from investigators. At this point, the interview becomes more intense, more direct questions are asked, and tactics are employed that have a high rate of success in routing out the truth. Sometimes that truth is that this interviewee is in fact the perpetrator of the crime or knows who is. Other times the truth is that information damaging to the interviewee but crucial to the case is unearthed.
There are many examples like the Stephenville, Texas sighting flap of late 2007 and early 2008 where officials of the U.S. Government gives contradictory stories in response to inquiries from investigators and the public in general. Starting in late 2007, unexplained and extraordinary aerial phenomena were observed by residents of the sleepy county seat of Erath County, Texas. Witnesses included private citizens, law enforcement officers, and private pilots.
According to a special report by the Mutual UFO Network1, the phenomena grew in scope on January 8, 2008, when a large object was sighted by numerous residents, as well as painted by Federal Aviation Administration radar. This radar data was obtained by MUFON investigators and examined by MUFON specialists. Residents also reported military aircraft aggressively pursuing the phenomenon.
In the course of the investigation, inquiries were sent to the U.S. Air Force as to whether flight or training operations were occurring in the area. Initially, Major Karl Lewis, USAF, spokesperson for the Air Force, denied military activity in the area on the date and time in question.
As the radar data was analyzed, investigators found not only returns consistent with the phenomenon reported, but military aircraft and what appeared to be an AWACS aircraft in the area. Adding to the mystery was the close proximity of this phenomenon to the ranch of United States President George W. Bush.
When pressed, Maj. Lewis then reported that an error was made, releasing another statement that ten F-16 Fighting Falcons attached to the 457th Fighter Squadron, assigned to the 301st Fighter Wing based at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas, were on a training mission at this time. Since September 11, 2001, the 301st has been tasked with Operation Noble Eagle’s homeland defense missions, per the 301st’s web site2. No answer was forthcoming as to why so many military aircraft piloted by specially trained personnel would be conducting training exercises over the populated areas of Stephenville and nearby Dublin, Texas, or why an unknown aircraft without an operative transponder would be encroaching on the no-fly zone around the American President’s ranch. Flight training activities usually consist of operations by a flight of two aircraft, a primary aircraft and a wingman. Why, then, are so many aircraft operating in the same area at the same time for “training” purposes?
The question begs to be asked why so many military aircraft could be in the area and the Air Force not have knowledge or get confused about it, or be able to find flight orders, mission briefings/debriefings, or flight releases. According to the Air Combat Command Public Affairs Office at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, an individual F-16A/B costs 14.6 million dollars in 1998, and an F-16C/D runs 18.8 million dollars in 19983. This does not even take into account the amount of money it costs to train a fighter pilot and keep them proficient, and fuel and maintain the aircraft. How does the Air Force forget about ten planes and pilots?
Of course, this question is rhetorical. Taken from a law enforcement interview aspect we know the military in general is hiding quite a bit and lying to the public. With such blatant circumstantial evidence, the threat of conviction looms for this person of interest, which at this point is known as a suspect. If this suspect had murdered someone, the pressure from the American public would be incredible. If justice were stalled, people would take to the streets. Why, then, is the same not happening in an instance such as this?
There are many examples such as this where quantitative circumstantial evidence abounds and no answer is forthcoming. Does the American public not need to know? Do they collectively not want to know?
It is normal and understandable for a person to avoid confirmation of knowledge that would unnerve them or cause them to question that which makes them feel safe or comfortable. One wonders, though, if this is not what drives some mainstream scientists and media personalities to ignore reports of sightings or anomalous activities, to paint such incidents in a glib, humorous light, or deny matters of high strangeness purely as a defensive measure. Is Ufology then being made to suffer due to such psychological responses?
I believe this is what makes Ufology special. It does unnerve. It does unsettle. But there are those who believe it is beneficial, possibly to our survival, to understand the phenomena.References: