The events of the early to mid 1970s were some of the most critical days in Ufology. There is almost no doubt that the government was planning some sort of disclosure about UFOs. This is particularly important in that there was no pressure to release after the shutdown of Project Blue Book in late 1969.
If they wanted, those who controlled the secret could have sat back and never had to address the subject again. Instead through various people they started to leak the idea that a disclosure was imminent. Consider the following statements
The most dramatic evidence that some sort of disclosure effort was being planned can be seen from the following incredible story.
1972 Film Disclosure Offer
Along with the release of this dramatic UFO document, in 1972-73 Colonel William Coleman, former USAF Project Blue Book spokesman, and former ATIC Commander Colonel George Weinbrenner, made an offer of "800 feet of film . . .as well as several thousand feet of additional material" of dramatic UFO material to documentary film producers Robert Emenegger and Allan Sandler at the Pentagon. They would be allowed to use the UFO footage in a special film project they had been asked to join.
Holloman AFB where U.S. officials have claimed more than once aliens landed and met with officials on the ground.
The promised film was reportedly dramatic footage of an encounter between the occupants of a landed UFO and officials at Holloman Air Force Base. It impressed Emenegger who described what he saw in 1988, "What I saw and heard was enough to convince me that the phenomenon of UFOs is real very real." Paul Shartle, who had controlled the film at Norton described what he saw on the film as,
The project was described to the two producers as a documentary on a secret government project. When the two men discovered that the topic of the secret project would be UFOs, they were surprised because "they had assumed that the matter had been resolved with the closure of Project Blue Book in 1969."
Col. Weinbrenner, as well as former Project Blue Book spokesman Col. Bill Coleman, his bosses in the Defense Public Affairs Department, and other defense department officials, made the offer to the two men at the Pentagon in late 1972. They were told that the government was now ready to release all the facts about the alien presence on earth. They were shown evidence that they could use for their tell-all documentary. This evidence included:
qPhotographs and films of UFOs.
q800 feet of film showing a landed encounter between three aliens and Holloman Air Base officials during a landing that had reportedly occurred there in May 1971. Several thousand feet of additional material was also offered.
qA memo describing an encounter between six CIA officers (including Arthur Lundahl, the director of the most highly classified photo lab for the intelligence community) and an alien by the name of AFFA. The trance channeled communication led to a visible fly-by of the building where they were in Washington.
qEmenegger and Sandler were given a tour of the NPIC office where the 1959 communication had taken place with the alien.
qPhotos of UFOs taken by astronauts, which NASA had formally denied the existence of.
The offer by Colonel Bill Coleman to suddenly make public dramatic evidefnce proving extraterrestrial visitations, and to free up classified information related to the UFO mystery was quite an about face from what he had formally written to NICAP member Kurt Zeissig. The 1962 statement related to AFM 190-4, Chapter 4, Section B.2.g, as it applied to Air Force personnel statements on UFOs and other military subjects. Coleman wrote Zeissig,
In 1988, Coleman clarified and expounded on his 1962 statement in a letter to Florida Today columnist Billy Cox. It made his 1972 and 1985 approaches to Emenegger with film footage a strange move indeed. Coleman wrote Cox,
As plans for the government inspired documentary unfolded, Emenegger and Sandler were invited to Norton Air Force Base in May 1973, where they met with the Head of The Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), and Paul Shartle former head of security and chief of requirements for the audiovisual program at Norton.
Here they were again assured that they would be provided the Holloman landing film to produce their documentary. Shartle would state in a 1988 interview that he had actually seen the Holloman landing footage. The documentary had been sponsored by the Department of Defense to do a public relations turnaround needed because if the Vietnam War. At least that is the story Emenegger and Sandler were told by Bill Coleman. A number of different subjects were proposed for the documentaries, but no other subject, other than UFOs, were brought up.
As the documentary neared completion, the two producers waited for the promised dramatic alien landing footage. Colonel Bill Coleman who had first made the offer to provide it in 1972, however, withdrew it. According to what Emenegger told researcher Tim Good, Coleman had declared, "The timing was politically inappropriate, due to the Watergate scandal."
Once he was informed he would not be getting the film he had been promised, Emenegger traveled to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to see one of the men who had been at the Pentagon, Col. George Weinbrenner. He demanded that the Colonel tell him what was going on.
According to Emenegger the Colonel stood up and walked up to a chalkboard complaining in a loud voice, "That damn MIG 25! Were so public about what we have all kinds of things we dont know about. We need to know more about the MIG-25."
Moving to his bookshelf, he continued his rant about the MIG-25, while pulling J. Allen Hyneks book The UFO Experience off the shelf. He showed Emenegger Hyneks signature and dedication to Weinbrenner on the inside cover while he talked.
To Emenegger it was clear that Weinbrenner "was confirming the reality of the film while making sure that no one overhearing the conversation would realize what he was doing."
It also illustrated the fact that the Holloman landing must have been a piece of information held by a group that would go to any ends to keep it secret. Weinbrenner was clearly afraid to be caught talking about the film. It was a film "they" wanted everyone to know about, but "they" wanted no insider to confirm.
It was also a film that involved many players below the surface such as the John MacArthur Foundation who put up the funds for the Sandler documentary, but who asked not to be listed in the credits. This appeared to be a clear case of someone supplying the money, and using the foundation as a front in order to protect their identity.
This classification fear is further backed up by a story reportedly told by one of the key figures in the Holloman UFO film story, Colonel Robert Coleman. The reported story, told on the inside, is that Coleman told Emenegger that in order to tell him the true story of the Holloman landing, he would have to take him out into the middle of the ocean on a boat. Then Emenegger said that Coleman had said Jokingly, at that point, he would have to kill him.
The Emenegger/Sandler documentary, "UFOS, Past, Present, and Future" released by Sandler Films in 1974, was forced to use standard animation, background film taken at Holloman, and "elaborate drawing of the so-called aliens." At least that is what the producers thought when they first ran the film.
Later, the words of the films narrator Rod Serling took on new meaning when Shartle and Emenegger appeared in a 1988 interview on a nation wide TV special called "UFO Cover-up . . . Live" to state that 12 seconds of the film used in the documentary had been actual film of the 1971 UFO landing.
During the narration of the film Serling had declared, "Let us look at an incident that might happen in the future, or perhaps could have happened already." Now those words took on new meaning.
It slipped through the security net, according to Shartle, and the public never realized that they had actually viewed a flying saucer landing at a highly secure USAF Base.
This 1972 Holloman case of a reported film of an interaction between "us" and "them" being offered and then withdrawn is what Jacques Vallee described as "a dangling carrot case." Evidence would be provided to convince those who were to carry the message to the public, but no evidence would be provided to the messengers, which they would need to convince everyone else. Vallee should know. He was involved in an almost identical case with J. Allen Hynek in 1985.
Despite the drawbacks of the initial offer made by the government to Emenegger and Sandler, the incident is important because the government didnt have to do it.
Further, it began a pattern of further releases by whoever controlled the UFO secrets that would continue on for the next 30 years. This pattern appeared to be a process for dropping the most bizarre, dramatic, concrete, and most paradigm shattering pieces of the UFO mystery into the UFO community, while at the same time destroying the cases pedigree and other marks that would provide proof.
Robert Emenegger in the book he wrote in 1974 written in conjunction with the UFO documentary, seemed to realize the significance of the Holloman story in the overall history of UFOs. Emenegger wrote,
It was not the first time that the Pentagon had offered dramatic UFO video evidence, nor would it be the last.