Feb 26, 2022 I Nick Redfern

The UFO Enigma: A Mystery That Presents a Strong Image, But That May Really be Weak

I often hear people say that the UFO phenomenon is a strong one and that "they" are here to help us. Well, that might be the case. On the other side of the coin, however, a case can be made that the mystery isn't as quite as friendly as so many might think it is. In fact, the visitors might actually be weak entities that fear us - but who have found intriguing ways to make themselves appear way ahead of us. For example, consider the number of UFO encounters that have occurred over military bases. There are more than a few cases of this particular type. And, that's what I'm going to share with you today. We know for sure that the Summer of 1947, in the United States, was swamped with reports, sightings and encounters - and many of them involving military installations. For example, during that same 1947 wave (in New Mexico), there were a number of significant sightings of UFOs at what used to be called the White Sands Proving Ground (and that, today, is titled the White Sands Missile Range). What if the real truth of these events was something much stranger? Consider this: just because the "visitors" may have had technology way ahead of ours in 1947 (and now, too), it doesn't mean they had a huge armada of craft. Perhaps, it was the exact opposite: that they had a limited number of ships, but carefully managed to make it look like they were all over the place by placing one incident here, one there, and so on.

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(Nick Redfern) Driving by the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico

Perhaps, the various - and famous - cases of UFO sightings in the direct vicinity of military and government facilities over the decades have been nothing but staged events designed to show their power, when, in reality, they might be quite vulnerable when it comes to numbers and power. Let's look at some other examples of UFO "invasion" with military connections. The curious and fantastic UFO events of July 1952, over Washington, D.C., deeply troubled the CIA and the Air Force. And, for very intriguing and alternative reasons that had very little to do with literal alien invasions or visitations. On December 2, 1952 the CIA’s Assistant Director H. Marshall Chadwell noted in a classified report on UFO activity in American airspace: "Sightings of unexplained objects at great altitudes and traveling at high speeds in the vicinity of major U.S. defense installations [italics mine]are of such nature that they are not attributable to natural phenomena or known types of aerial vehicles."

A similar wave hit the U.K. in 1957. On March 26 of that year, there was an amazing encounter. The U.K. Air Ministry documentation (now in the public domain at the National Archives) states in part: “A report was received from Royal Air Force Church Lawford on 26th March, 1957 of a sighting of an unusual nature. The object moved at a speed timed at exceeding 1400mph. This in itself was unusual as the object had accelerated to this speed from a stationary position [italics mine]. No explanation has yet been found for this sighting but a supplementary report, including a copy of the radar plot, was requested and has been received from Church Lawford this afternoon." The craft came perilously close to the base and was described as a Flying Saucer. On the morning of April 4, 1957 – according to now-declassified British Royal Air Force documents housed at the National Archives, Kew, England – radar operators at Balscalloch, Scotland reported to RAF West Freugh, Wigtownshire that they had detected a number of “unidentified objects on the screens of their radars.” And it quickly became apparent this was no Cold War penetration of British airspace by Soviet spy-planes or bombers. As the mystified radar-operators watched their screens, they were amazed to see a large, stationary object hovering at 50,000 feet that then proceeded to ascend vertically to no less than 70,000 feet. The U.K. was also hit with a similar UFO wave in 1967.

Moving on, there is the UFO deluge that occurred in the United States from 1973 to 1974. At the time of the encounters, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)  took a significant interest in them. The most interesting file is titled "Spanish UFO Sightings." It surfaced, in the 1980s, from the archives of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). It’s a collection of data that the DoD secured specifically from Spanish newspapers and that provides a notable and useful look at that large wave of activity. In part, the DoD said: "During the period September 1973 to June 1974 a rash of UFOs appeared over Spain and sightings were reported by various types of people. The following table summarizes these sightings. Date: 11 Sep 73. Location: El Ferrol del Caudillo. Description: Bright, circular, with two hoops, appeared to have feet on bottom part. Emitted a very powerful light. Observer: Various. Remarks: Was immobile during time of observation. Date: 11 Dec 73 (early morning). Location: Malaga. Description: Circular, like a flying saucer, had an intense red light. Observer: Various residents of Salitro and Cuarteles Streets, Malaga. Remarks: Remained quiet for about 15 minutes, then departed suddenly towards Torremolinos." And, one year later - in 1975 - there was a strange wave of mysterious helicopters seen near U.S. bases - a matter that was never fully resolved. Some might say that the Rendlesham Forest incident of December 1980 was such an example, too: a theoretical, careful ruse to make aliens look powerful in the midst of trained military personnel. Extremely notable, too, is the 1989/1990 sightings of "Black Flying Triangles" that got the Belgium military in states of confusion and concern.

In all of these cases we can theorize that whoever was behind them, they deliberately put on spectacular shows for us. They wanted to be seen. They wanted to demonstrate a power they might not actually have had. But, for our wide eyes, and by flying over top secret installations, it did look like they were all-powerful. And, surely, there must have been a high degree of dicey gambling on their part. The alien phenomenon - if that is really what it was/still is - may not be what it appears to be. Our strange visitors might be doing their best to make it look as if we are here, there and everywhere and are armed with technology way ahead of us. And, by successfully manifesting around sensitive sites time and again, our world leaders probably believe the invaders are the stronger ones. But, in reality, we might have the upper hand - if only we knew it.

Nick Redfern
Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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