by Lee Speigel
October 19, 2011
The military deleted a passage about
unidentified flying objects from a 2008 Air Force personnel manual
just days after The Huffington Post asked Pentagon officials about
the purpose of the UFO section.
This UFO was
photographed by a government employee
over the Holloman Air
Development Center in New Mexico in 1964.
have claimed the photo is proof
that the U.S.
government has been in contact with aliens.
Before the recent revisions, the
document - Air Force Instruction 10-206 - advised pilots, radar
operators and other Air Force personnel on what to do when they
encountered any unknown airborne objects.
Now in the 2011 version,
the reference to UFOs - which simply means "unidentified flying
objects," not necessarily spaceships with little green men - has
What makes this so intriguing is that the U.S. government officially
stopped investigating UFOs in 1969 with the termination of the Air
Project Blue Book.
HERE'S THE 2008 VERSION OF AFI 10-206 THAT REFERENCED UFOS ON P. 37:
Air Force AFI 2008
Credit: John Greenewald,
Click above image for
PDF full report
The 22-year study, led by high-level
military officials and academic experts, ruled that UFOs weren't
extraterrestrial visitors, nor were they technologically advanced
aircraft, nor were they a threat to national security.
With that, the military essentially shut the book on flying saucer
research, concluding that,
"nothing has occurred that would
support a resumption of UFO investigation by the Air Force."
"The reason why the military is claiming they don't investigate
UFOs is because they don't want to respond to people like you,"
former Air Force Captain Robert Salas told The Huffington Post.
"They don't want to respond to reporters or to the public as to
what the heck is going on, and it's been going on for so long.
They just don't want to have to answer that question."
Yet more than 40 years after the close
of Project Blue Book, there were still written orders on what Air
Force personnel should do in the event they spotted a flying vehicle
that couldn't be identified.
As recently as early September, Air Force members who came across
anything they didn't recognize were told to note,
direction of travel, speed, description of flight path and
maneuvers, what first called attention to the object, how long was
the object visible and how did the object disappear?"
Eyes in the sky and on the ground were commanded to treat a UFO as
they would if they had seen a missile, hostile aircraft or
All details were required to be included in a report to
American Aerospace Defense Command), which protects the airspace
over the U.S. and Canada.
On Sept. 2, The Huffington Post made inquiries to the Air Force
about the UFO directives. A spokesman said he'd arrange an interview
with an appropriate officer. But before the interview was set up,
the 111-page instruction manual was revised on Sept. 6, and the UFO
instructions were deleted, as were other portions of the document,
now shortened to 40 pages.
HERE'S THE UPDATED 2011 AFI 10-206 MANUAL WITH UFOs DELETED:
Air Force 10-206 2011
Credit: U.S. Air Force
Click above image for
PDF full report
For several weeks, military officials
failed to respond to HuffPost inquiries about the rewritten manual,
which included changes to areas unrelated to UFOs.
Finally, on Oct. 5, after several follow-up calls, an Air Force
major emailed a response, informing HuffPost that UFO reporting is
not a duty of the armed forces branch.
He denied any cover-up, and instead said
it was a coincidence that the document was updated after this news
organization asked for an explanation.
"UFO reporting is a NORAD
requirement, but not a requirement for Air Force operational
reports," Air Force Maj. Chad Steffey told The Huffington Post
in the e-mail.
"All Air Force Instructions are reviewed/revised on a regular
basis (about every two to three years). For this revision, we
merely deleted a procedure that did not apply to this AFI."
"For any other questions about requirements for UFO reporting,
I'll have to refer you to NORAD," Steffey wrote.
Unlike the Air Force, officials at NORAD
acknowledge that looking into UFOs is part of their job description.
Of course, most UFOs are eventually explained as something far less
extraordinary than little green -
or grey - men.
"When I talk about UFOs, it is
literally an unidentified flying object, not an
extraterrestrial," said John Cornelio, chief of media relations
at NORAD headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
is a blip on the radar, and we don't know what it is. And we're
responsible for identifying what that object is. We know it's an
aircraft of some sort, but we don't know who it is, and so have
to go up and identify it."
But here's the big question: Did the Air
Force really stop investigating UFOs in 1969 as they have repeatedly
claimed throughout the ensuing decades?
"Absolutely not! They have continued
to look into UFO cases," said Salas, co-author of "Faded Giant."
"In fact, there are NORAD records from 1975 of UFO sightings -
and this was not any general aviation aircraft - objects seen
over missile sites and other bases.
"They scrambled jets to intercept these UFOs, which clearly
operated at speeds that the jets couldn't keep up with, and they
were sighted by a lot of people," Salas told HuffPost.
THIS DOCUMENT DETAILS A 1975 NORAD INCIDENT WHERE JETS COULDN'T
Black Vault NORAD
Credit: John Greenewald,
Salas is just one of many former
military officers who have come forward in recent years to disclose
their involvement with a variety of UFO incidents that occurred over
several U.S. nuclear weapons sites, sightings that had been kept
secret for decades.
"As a matter of fact, there was that
incident in Wyoming last year where 50 ICBM missiles went down
and the base commanders instructed the troops not to talk to
anybody about this UFO that was seen over the base," said Salas.
It was a scenario too familiar to Salas,
who in 1967 was monitoring a launch control center at Malmstrom Air
Force Base in Montana. When UFOs appeared over the base, Salas
"all of a sudden, we started getting
bells and whistles going off. As we looked at the display board
in front of us, sure enough, the missiles began going into an
unlaunchable, or no-go, mode. They couldn't be launched."
In the aftermath of that event, Salas
was debriefed by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, or
"After we told them our recollection
of the incident, the AFOSI captain wanted us to sign papers,
saying we'd never talk about this and swear we wouldn't even
talk to our wives or any of the airmen on the base - nobody!"
HuffPost News first received the 2008
Air Force procedure document from John Greenewald, creator of
Black Vault, the largest private online archive - at 600,000
downloadable pages - of declassified documents on UFOs, government
secrets, conspiracies, biological nuclear weapons and terrorist
The Black Vault and
UFO Secrecy - John Greenewald, Jr.
"When I first obtained AFI 10-206 in
2006, UFOs were in it, and were the same procedures as outlined
in a previous Army-Navy-Air Force publication called JANAP-146,
that was a joint U.S.-Canadian manual for reporting UFOs, that
came after 1969," Greenewald, author of "Beyond UFO Secrecy,"
"They've had many opportunities to take [the UFO reference] off
of this publication and now look at what happens," said
"All of a sudden, when a major news outlet like
Huffington Post starts asking questions about why UFOs are still
on the books - to have that media outlet not get a fast
response, number one; and number two, the military completely
re-writes the regulation, changes it and UFOs are nowhere to be
found - that's a fascinating coincidence."
Using the Freedom of Information Act,
Greenewald's 15-year crusade to pry government documents loose has
yielded UFO reports from many government agencies, like the CIA,
Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense and the National
Security Agency, documents that detail UFO accounts beyond 1969 and
into more recent times.
"You can find UFO documents that
stretch all the way into 2008 on the shelves of quite a few
agencies," Greenewald pointed out. "The CIA and
Security Agency collected quite a bit of material after 1969.
The UFO topic is of great importance that never went away."
At NORAD, Cornelio explains that they
can't investigate every single UFO report that comes along.
"We have our specific role that
we're responsible for, and that is to monitor threats to our
nation," he said.
"But at the end of the day, it's not our job
to identify every unidentified object that's out there. I'm
aware of the process by which the command center handles these
things, and I don't believe it's something that's releasable."
Salas doesn't completely agree with
Cornelio about the overall urgency that some UFO reports pose.
"Are you telling me they don't care
about UFOs in general, whether they're from another planet or
not? They do care; they care about anything in our air space,"
"They can't just say, 'No, we don't
investigate UFOs.' They can't make a blanket statement like that
because that's their duty, their responsibility, to investigate
"To me, they're talking out of both sides of their mouth."