Comments on “The Great Soviet UFO Coverup” - by James Oberg.
Although the first time this document was published was in 1982 by MUFON, later reproduced by Richard Hall, nevertheless, I personally got in contact with it recently.
I have found it so revealing that I did not hesitate to get in contact with Mr. Oberg and request his permission to translate it into Spanish, permission that was gently conceded.
Therefore, for the first time, the Spanish speaking UFO investigators and students will be able to have access to this very important work of Mr Oberg.
Quite frankly, I think that first of all, this is a clear example of what a UFO study is and how much it is useful to know the truth.
Secondly, Mr. Oberg represents the rational attitude, the scientific approach that one has to have to deal with the Unusual Aerial Phenomena.
This paper of Mr. Oberg shows many important things that succinctly I will refer to
1) As I have sustained in “OVNIs: La Agenda Secreta” and more recently in my latest book “In Search for Real UFOs” what was initially done by the military intelligence in the USA, in the ‘40s and ‘50s, was taken by other countries later (e.g. France, 1954, USSR, 1967 and after, and currently China). Namely, that the idea of UFOs as extra-terrestrial spaceships has been used to cover-up tests, experiments and operations of aircrafts, balloons, missiles, rockets, and military satellite launches.
2) By revealing certain data and manipulate other, the real facts that gave place to UFO reports by the general public, pilots and even astronomers (!) are enough distorted or hidden so that from official sources and much more from private investigators and organizations, the whole UFO subject is plagued with useless data that nevertheless appears as part of catalogues and statistics that really mean nothing, and which value is zero.
3) This is the true confusion in which for decades the UFO subject have been immersed, with the kind approval of authorities that let the show go on, the eager participation of UFO enthusiasts, and the giving of lectures, writing of books, and producing pseudo-documentaries, all to sustain fantastic stories that when well studied crumble by themselves.
4) In the particular case here studied by James Oberg, it is shown the complicity of the Soviet authorities to let the people think they are seeing alien spaceships, as a way to hide prohibited experiments with military satellites capable to put in orbit H bombs. How they let the Gindilis Report to go on, how they allow Felix Zigel to report fantastic stories in the magazine “Soviet Life” as well as how they became alarmed when they realized that certain published data –although under the UFO umbrella—could lead to suspect that they could really deal with space launches and experiments. Something like the alarm sounded by the Robertson Panel in the USA.
5) The other thing to emphasize and underline is –as Oberg points it very well-- the naïveté with which the renowned Dr. J. Allen Hynek as well as the prestigious Dr. Richard Haines (then at NASA, and later as chief of NARCAP) took all the Soviet cases and the Gindilis Report, as well as it was done by USMC Major (Ret.) Donald Keyhoe, Dr. James McDonald, and William Moore.
6) When here in the West we put our trust on some of these men and accept as truth what they present as “true-UFO” cases, better we should be aware that they generally do not operate under strict scientific bases, although some of them are scientists. On the contrary, what they do is to easily use data without submit it to a rigorous analysis –as Oberg did— they reproduce it and waste a lot of praise to the data, as well as to argument with very persuasive words as to convince us of the quality of the data itself, and the reality of something “out of this world”.
7) Some of the polar launches made from Plesetsk sent rockets over Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. In one occasion the burning of one stage of a rocket was seeing by people from Uruguay, and also by a pilot of Aerolineas Argentina who was flying at that moment and took the expansion of gases as a giant approaching UFO. The case was commercially exploited in Argentina by some self-proclaimed “ufologist”, and repeated by others without any interest or initiative to analyze the data. In Uruguay, CIOVI was able to solve that report UFO report as belonging to a Soviet launch.
8) As has already being said, it is statistically demonstrated and was the criterion of Dr. J. Allen Hynek in his experience investigating UFO reports in the USA, pilots are NOT the best witnesses, and many times are the worst. The case of the launch of the Cosmos-194 satellite on December 3, 1967, and the “UFO” report of the pilot of an IL-18 (Ilyushin-18) is an eloquent example of how bad a pilot could be as witness. But it is also interesting to verify how the case was presented by Keyhoe and by Moore to make people believe in the extraordinary coming from outer space.
9) All in all, this magnificent study done by James Oberg points to the issues that are at the very core of the UFOlogy as it has been developed for decades. It is time to turn the page and start a new UFOlogy that honestly applies the scientific method and criteria, and that instead of collecting witnesses’ claims, confronts directly the phenomenon with appropriate instruments to detect, track, record, register, and measure the phenomenon. A UFOlogy that does not gather and accommodate data in order to sustain a particular viewpoint or hypothesis, but that just simply looks for the truth, whatever it could be.
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