Dr. Scott Jones who was present with Laurance Rockefller when he provided a UFO briefing to President Clinton's Science advisor Dr. Jack Gibbons looks back at the publication of the USAF Roswell report, and the effort to bring UFO disclosure through an approach to the Clinton White House.
The New York Times online edition today reported in its On This Day section:
On June 24, 1997, the Air Force released a report on the so-called "Roswell Incident," suggestion the alien bodies witnesses reported seeing in 1947 were actually life-sized dummies.
As usual there was the option to see that Front Page and to buy that Front Page.
As many of you know, this 231 page 1997 report carried the title, "Case Closed." The report was t he product of pressure put on the Air Force as the result of meetings that Laurance Rockefeller had with President Clinton's Science Adviser, Jack Gibbons at the White House. (Actually the meetings were held next door to the White House in the old Executive Office Building.) Details of the Rockefeller Initiative are well presented in Grant Cameron's website, and much of the correspondence between Rockefeller and Gibbons, and my correspondence with Gibbons are easily found on the web. Jack and I had worked together for six-years on Capitol Hill when I was on Senator Pell' staff.
The first meeting got off to an awkward start when Gibbons said he knew nothing about the ET subject. That was not an accurate statement, but I did not call him on it. A senior staff member of the Congressional Research Staff had produced several short reports, unclassified but with very limited distribution, on UFOs. I knew that at least one of Jack's senior staff members in the Congressional Office of Technological Assessment, knew about these reports. That persons was at the table in Rockefeller's first meeting with Gibbons.
When Rockefeller made the comment that he was considering taking out a full-page ad in all of the nation's major newspapers that urged the public to write the White House demanding release of all information about UFOs and ETs. Gibbons quickly responded that this would not be necessary, that the White House would work with him, and asked, "What do you want us to do?" There was a short pause and Rockefeller looked at me and asked, "What do we want the White House to do?"
I confess that my reply was naive and based more on hope than political reality. In 1994 the Air Force was pressured by a few in Congress to address Roswell. That resulted in a 23-page report that explained everything in terms of very high altitude balloons used to sample Soviet nuclear test operations.
It was a dreadful report, and the Air Force had to be greatly embarrassed by the way it was shredded. My response to Gibbons for the Air Force to seriously report what happened at Roswell was not made to give the Air Force a chance make amends for the 1994 screw up, but because I thought that the White House could force more that a modicum of truth.
This was a lost opportunity. We went for the pot of gold, without understanding that President Clinton had no access to the keys of that treasure. A much better response would have been to say that within a week we would provide a short statement designed to give political cover for academe to to get involved in researching the UFO/ET subject. In short to remove the ridicule factor that has been so successful in neutralizing the media and academe. We would ask that both the President and the Science Adviser work that idea into at least two speeches in the next six months. A long range strategy was called for, and we failed to do that.
Incidentally, the 231 page report was less that a third of what the Air Force produced. In very limited editions there were two annexes also published. I discovered these in the Army Library in the Pentagon. I am sure that they were pulled after a short time.
Neal Freer and I are working on putting the "political cover" idea for academe into a We the People petition to see if 25,000 or more agree that the subject is interesting and important enough for academe to consider.