Colonel Philip J. Corso (Retired)
This is a strange book filled with built-in contradictions which I will try to ferret out.
By coincidence, my active duty tour [U.S. Navy] coincides almost exactly with Col. Corso’s time in Army R&D at the Pentagon. This does not give me any special insight into the veracity of his account except possibly a general feel for the climate within the military during that period.
To begin, let’s assume for the sake of argument, that the Colonel’s story is in fact true; that things happened just as he said they did and the whole affair is a huge cover-up. The military, in their wisdom, classified everything concerning the affair “above TOP SECRET” — a decision for which the Colonel expresses his approval on several occasions. If this is so, it must still be highly classified, because if it had ever been declassified we surely would have heard about it. The Colonel, on the other hand, appears to have changed his mind since this book blabs the whole thing — in writing. He can’t have it both ways.
When I was in the Navy, I was cleared for SECRET, and at one point I was Classified Material Control Officer for the ship I was on which included an interim TOP SECRET clearance. Again, this does not give me any special insight into the Roswell affair, but I do know that if you reveal classified material, even after you have left the service, you can be prosecuted. Was Colonel Corso prosecuted? I didn’t hear anything — if not, why not? Two possible explanations occur to me:
1) The Colonel was not prosecuted, because to do so, the military would have to admit too much. By not prosecuting they are counting on the Colonel being generally considered to be some kind of nut, and they hope the whole thing will just blow over.
2) The Colonel was not prosecuted because the whole thing is a fabrication and no secrets were revealed in the first place.
Another point that bothers me is the descriptions of the aliens themselves. As described, the aliens would fall dead center into the whole science fiction/Hollywood mythology about “little green men.” Well, maybe they weren’t green, but close, they were gray. This is a little hard for me to swallow. The probability that a sentient species from a distant star system, with a whole separate evolution, would in any way resemble us has got to be vanishingly small.
It is said of the ancient Greeks that “they turned their gods into men and their men into gods,” and I am mindful of the fact that Michelangelo, when representing God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted a human being. Science has forced a long series of demotions on us since those days, but are we still falling into that trap? IF there is an intelligent, technologically advanced species out there somewhere, THEN they must look something like us. In spite of what you see on Star Trek, I—don’t—think—so. Okay, this is a problem. Here are two possible explanations:
1) The aliens look somewhat like us because they are us (from the future). Corso himself hints at this on a couple of occasions, but seems to reject it in the end. This will require a complete overhaul of the laws of physics, but . . . maybe so.
2) The whole thing is a fabrication and Corso has simply tapped into the popular myth in order to increase his credibility with the masses.
Another bothersome point involves the intentions of the aliens. The Colonel, being a military type, needs to have enemies so he automatically assumes that the aliens are hostile. The hostile acts he lists are the mutilations of cattle, violating our air space, disrupting our communications and, oh yes, abductions! Well hmm, if the aliens are hostile then they must have weapons, and if they have weapons, then we would have to assume that their weapons are as superior to ours as their spacecraft is to our aircraft. So why isn’t there some instance of a direct attack? It would seem that they should be capable of overwhelming force, but instead we get this other stuff. Here, again, are two possible explanations:
1) There is no direct overwhelming attack because the aliens really aren’t hostile. They are just curious. They are on a scientific mission and we are part of their study.
2) There is no direct overwhelming attack because that is something that everyone would be aware of immediately. Corso can only maintain his little fiction by keeping things on a subtler level that only the cognoscenti, civilian and military, know about.
Have you ever heard of the scientific maxim called Occam’s Razor? It reads [paraphrased]:
“When given a choice between several explanations for a given phenomenon the one which is the simplest and most straight forward is the one most likely to be true.”
Certainly, accepting as true that we are being visited by aliens from another star system (or from the future) whose spacecraft defy the laws of physics as we know them, and whose very existence has been the subject of a massive government cover-up which has been maintained for over sixty years, is very complex. The alternative is that Col. Philip J. Corso (Ret.) was a liar and that’s a fairly simple and straightforward explanation.
Of course, if you are a career officer in Army intelligence you don’t tell lies, you disseminate disinformation. “Disinformation” is a word that Corso uses on numerous occasions in this book. It is one of the standard tools of intelligence organizations and I assume that Corso is practiced in its use.
Much of the latter portion of this book is a rundown of various projects that were being pursued by Army R&D while Corso was at the Foreign Technology Desk in the Pentagon. After reading through a number of these I got the feeling that these were summaries he had written at some much earlier time, which he had pulled out of his archives and modified for inclusion in this book. Often it seemed to me that the only change he made was to insert the words “and the extraterrestrials” everywhere that the original text mentioned the USSR. Sometimes this phrase was left dangling at the end of a sentence or paragraph like an afterthought.
There is one respect in which Corso was very fortunate. He lived to a ripe old age (over eighty). He mentioned a lot of real people by name in his book, but most of them were deceased at the time of publication. One exception was Senator Strom Thurmond who was still in the Senate at a very ripe old age (96). It is my understanding that Senator Thurmond originally wrote a forward to Corso’s work, but later thought better of it and withdrew it.
Above, I mentioned the possibility that Col. Corso was a liar, plain and simple. Perhaps that is a bit harsh. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that his book, The Day After Roswell impresses me as the deluded ramblings of an old man.
Robert L. Mason
A Book Review:
Sight Unseen: Science, UFO Invisibility and Transgenic Beings
by Budd Hopkins and Carol Rainey
“Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand: Come and see my
shining palace built upon the sand.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay
It should be noted right up front that among legal scholars, memories obtained via hypnotic regression are considered so unreliable that they are usually judged inadmissible as evidence in a court of law (1). Even if Budd Hopkins was scrupulously careful (as the text seems to indicate) not to guide his subjects during hypnotic sessions, he was still the person selecting the questions to be asked. In addition, all of his subjects approached him because of his reputation in these matters. They had heard him speak or had read his books or had seen other public presentations he had made. Consequently, they were already generally aware of the various parameters and conclusions he had established in other cases before they were even put into a hypnotic trance. As a result, what we may have here is some kind of self-reinforcing psychological feedback loop.
The Hopkins transcripts are well written and entertaining to read, but he seems to take as given that the presence of extraterrestrials is an established fact. This is far from the case. To summarize:
1. There is no observation that can be made at will.
2. There is no experiment that has been made and replicated.
3. There is no artifact that can withstand the scrutiny of a high powered testing lab.
In short, there is currently no scientific evidence for the presence of extraterrestrials, nothing for which their presence is the only possible explanation. On the other hand, if an artifact was found on the Moon, for example, that was not sent there by us, then that would be a clincher. Just one piece of such evidence would be worth more than all the anecdotal accounts and hypnotic regressions in existence. Although we don’t have any of that type yet this does not prove that they are not here because absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. However, it certainly does nothing to increase the probability of truth for such assertions.
It is valid to postulate that if extraterrestrials are here then their technical abilities are likely to be so advanced when compared to our own that it might not be possible for us to detect them at all. Should that, in fact, be the case then it is best that we remain agnostic.
Although, I admit, I have indulged in them myself on occasion (2), speculations concerning alien motivations are premature. As the sub-title of the book indicates, one of its main themes is a supposed extraterrestrial program of interbreeding with human beings to produce a hybrid species. Personally, I can’t assign much credibility to this without something more substantial in the way of collaborating evidence. Until then it’s just a palace of cards built on foundation of sand.
I would bet most people looking back over their lives, can cite personal aberrations of perception that are, in a word, “strange.” I know I can. These could include vivid dreams, missing time, etc. Take the phenomenon of missing time for example — how many readers can remember an occasion when, on a long monotonous road trip, part of one’s mind is driving the car and another part is reviewing some recent social situation or planning an upcoming event. Some people even induce this mental separation on purpose by slipping a recorded book into the CD player to make the time go faster. On occasion I have snapped out of such reveries to realize that I had missed the exit I intended to take some time back. Given that most human characteristics, both physical and mental, are distributed on a bell curve, or normal distribution, we can expect that there will always be those out on the end of the curve for whom these perceptual aberrations are much more intense than for the rest of us.
Of the two authors, Carol Rainey appears to be the more grounded, and a person with a significant degree of scientific literacy. She struggles mightily to lay a veneer of science over the Hopkins guided, fantastic reconstructions and, to her credit, she often succeeds. Perhaps on a couple of occasions she moves a little too easily between established science, theoretical science and scientific speculation. But, in general, she is conscientious about alerting the reader when making such a change. Most of her comments are astute, lucid and interesting.
What we may be witnessing here is the birth of a new religion and as with most other religions (with the possible exception of Buddhism) we are being asked to believe in something which is simply not in evidence. A “leap of faith” is required.
The book is engaging and worth reading if only to glimpse how such a social phenomenon comes into existence, and for the possible science involved.
The UFO Experience Reconsidered by Robert L Mason
More than anything else this book gives the reader some perspective on the extent of the intelligence community’s involvement with the subject of UFOs. One may well wonder why they would even bother. The usual proposed rational is that they have something to hide concerning the extraterrestrial (ET) hypothesis, a crashed ET space craft, or clandestine contact of some sort with ETs. But this book suggests an entirely different rational and one that seems quite plausible.
A number of different agencies are implicated but the main player, and the one the author deals with to the greatest extent, is the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI). It is suggested that many of the vast inventory of black budget projects under development are by their very nature quite visible if one happens to be in the right place at the right time. Sometimes their visibility is the whole point, as with radar and other kinds of decoys. Not wanting to be in the business of constantly having to explain their development tests, the AFOSI has a need for some kind of disinformation cover. UFOs, and especially the ET hypothesis, fits their need quite nicely.
The author lays out a scenario backed by a significant amount of research, showing how the AFOSI keeps the UFO fervor jacked up by constantly feeding it disinformational tidbits undercover, and then denying the validity of ET hypothesis up front. It’s the best of both worlds for them. Of course, full blown UFO/ET believers will not accept this scenario as sufficient, but others of a more agnostic nature may begin to wonder to what extent the whole UFO/ET phenomenon is simply a false front.
The book is well written, engaging and informative but in the final analysis does it also become a conduit for disinformation? You be the judge. I highly recommend Mirage Men by Mark Pilkington.
Proposes an explanation for why physical evidence of UFOs with an extraterrestrial origin is so hard to find.
The modern era of UFOs is now over sixty years old. If we step back as far as we can and view the entire subject with the best possible perspective, one disconcerting fact is rather apparent. We have no hard physical evidence for an extraterrestrial origin. We have some physical trace evidence, but nothing so extraordinary that no other explanation can be offered. We have a vast amount of anecdotal evidence, and some of it is impressive. Jessie Marcel Jr. M.D. springs to mind. He is, by all accounts, a credible person, and he claims to have handled alien-looking materials that his father brought home from the Roswell crash site (2). Then there is Jim Penniston, an Air Force Sergeant with top-secret clearance, who says he touched what appeared to be an alien UFO in the Rendlesham Forest incident (4). But despite being credible, these reports are still anecdotal in nature.
If the materials that are rumored to have been collected by the military from various crash retrievals actually do exist, and if they were made available for free an open scientific investigation, and if that investigation concluded that there was no possible explanation for them other than they were the product of an extraterrestrial civilization, then we would have hard physical evidence. Just one piece of such evidence would be worth more than all the anecdotal evidence in existence. But that has not happened, and the result is tantamount to the same thing—no hard physical evidence.
So, does that mean we are not being monitored in some manner by an alien civilization? Not necessarily. What it could mean is the monitoring process is beyond our technical comprehension. Given current estimates of 13.7 billion years for the age of the Universe and 4.6 billion years for the age of the solar system it is obvious that there has been plenty of time for other civilizations to precede us and, consequently, be greatly advanced technically when compared to us. Can we make any guesses at all about how such an advanced civilization might operate? We can try.
One trap we may be falling into is thinking of alien spacecraft as highly advanced versions of what we are capable of building; whereas they may be something entirely different altogether. What can we imagine that could, among other things:
• make right angle turns at extremely high velocities;
• appear luminous or lighted in low light and solid in daylight;
• have a radar signature;
• be usually described as completely silent;
• kill the engine of an automobile; and
• leave physical traces such as burns on vegetation, etc.?
In my recent book The UFO Experience Reconsidered: Science and Speculation (3), I argue that a charged particle beam aimed into our atmosphere from somewhere off the planet could, in fact, have all of these characteristics. In addition, if used in conjunction with an advanced capability in the quantum mechanical phenomenon known as “entanglement”, it might enable remote sensing from considerable distances. Exactly how this would work is anybody’s guess. My best guess is illustrated in Figure No.s 1 & 2 below, and is based on a superficial knowledge of particle accelerators.
I have extrapolated on today’s knowledge to a high degree and it may be beyond our current ability to judge the efficacy of such a system or something akin to it, but I can think of “no logical or scientific reason” (1) why it would be impossible. A device like this could generate an apparent object in our atmosphere—a virtual spaceship, if you will. There would be very little substance to a craft of this nature. It would mainly consist of a stream of high-energy particles. Its low mass would allow extreme maneuvers. It could leave physical trace evidence and kill the engine of automobiles by inducing a current opposite to that of normal operation. Interaction with atmospheric gasses could cause a visible plasma display that could also appear on radar. It would be completely silent, and it would leave no hard physical evidence.
(1) Burleson, Donald, R. PhD. MUFON Journal No. 485 p. 10
(2) Marcel, Jesse A. Jr. M.D. et. al. The Rosewll Legacy. Helena, Montana: Big Sky Press
(3) Mason, Robert L. The UFO Experience Reconsidered. Mendocino, CA: Schooner Moon Books, 2008
(4) Stewart, Eric. Rendlesham File. Best UFO Resources: 2002 http://www.hyper.net/ufo/vs/m18-020.html
© Robert L. Mason
November 30, 2008
Word Count 780
Robert L. Mason is a retired professional engineer formerly registered with the State of California.
He is also an artist and author of the recent book The UFO Experience Reconsidered: Science and
Let me admit, right from the start, that this field of study is extraordinarily polluted. the paucity of hard facts has allowed imaginations to run wild, hoaxes to be perpetrated, fraud, and outright lies. in addition, a large number of reports (perhaps the majority) are simply misidentifications or misinterpretations of familiar objects or phenomena. But is there a signal hidden in all this noise?
UFO’s exist, of course, that is, Unidentified Flying Objects exist. If a flying object is observed which cannot be identified then it is a UFO by definition. The key question is whether there is an extraterrestrial intelligence behind any of them, and that is where the confusion starts. Go into any book store and ask where the shelf containing books on this subject is, and you will receive directions to the section on the occult, mysticism, the paranormal, and metaphysics. There, nestled in with Bigfoot and poltergeists you will find the books on the subject at hand. I don’t see how there could be any clearer testimony to the feeling of the general public (not to mention the scientific community) when the subject of UFO’s is broached. even those who bill themselves as UFO investigators or “ufologists” are a pretty erratic lot, tending toward sensationalism, continually quoting or disagreeing with each other. You have to move mountains of detritus to find a few flecks of gold.
Some authors on this subject have been proven to be fraudulent. long before space probes established that the planet Venus has a surface temperature that can melt lead, and is an arid inferno of crushing atmospheric pressure and acidic clouds, George Adamski claimed, in the book Flying Saucers Have Landed , to have had a conversation with a christ-like alien being who informed him he was visiting from Venus.1 All of the above has caused serious, scientific investigators to avoid the subject like the plague. I am not a scientist; I’m an engineer with some exposure to particle accelerators. Being an engineer probably gives me a slightly different slant on things. engineers are usually more concerned with how things can be made to work (technology) as opposed to the basic nature of things (science). the reader may detect that inclination in this book.
Until I read The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry by J. Allen Hynek I was quite skeptical concerning the whole subject. Since reading the book I have moved from negative to neutral, or agnostic and very curious. Dr. Hynek convinced me that some physical phenomena is being observed that deserves serious investigation. But what is it? in this book speculations are offered in three general categories: natural causes, domestic technology, and alien technology. But perhaps more importantly, a new way of looking at the phenomena is proposed that finds itself at home in any of these three possibilities. More space has been given to possible alien technologies because of the far-reaching implications for the human race.
Writing this book has been a personal adventure of the mind which is why it is written in the first person. The tale unfolds roughly in the sequence of the adventure with recollections and research inserted where they seemed to fit best. The initial motivation grew out of ten years worth of conversation with Gordon Chism whose own adventure is included in chapter 2. Gordon is a firm believer in an alien presence, and if I had been in his shoes, I might be too. However, I am a natural born skeptic. I am sure Gordon’s account is accurate, but I had doubts about his interpretation. So I had to ask myself “okay, what did he see?” Chapter 3 is a summary of my first attempt at answering that question, and although it was an interesting exercise, it ended up inconclusive. in succeeding chapters I wander off in other directions, explore other avenues, and learn much in the process. eventually, in chapter 13, I come full circle and return to my starting point armed with new knowledge and what I believe is a unique perspective. In short, what we have here is a puzzle. I have always enjoyed trying to solve puzzles, and in this case the reader is invited along for the adventure.
1  p. 198
2  p. vii
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