UFO'S AND CENSORSHIP - THE ROC interview with Pat Packard, Ohio Director of the MUTUAL UFO NETWORK (MUFON)
By: Todd Wiese
One of the worst forms of censorship, in my opinion, is the circulation of lies. And when it comes to the research of UFO's, lies is all that our government has been circulating for the past 50 years. When our government or anyone else perpetrates lies, they are in fact censoring the truth.
This was just one of many things that I learned when I attended a recent MUTUAL UFO NETWORK (M.U.F.O.N.) meeting in Milford, Ohio. About 40-50 people crowded in a small room at the back of the Milford library to hear such guest speakers as: Pat Packard, S/W Ohio MUFON Director, Jerry Black, UFO Researcher, and Leonard Stringfield, UFO Researcher, Crash Retrieval Expert.
The evening began with Pat Packard introducing the speakers and providing some background on what MUFON was all about. MUFON is a grass roots organization that investigates UFO related phenomenon. They also produce a monthly journal and an interesting investigator's handbook.
Jerry Black was the next speaker. Jerry is a well know investigator who worked on the Travis Walton case. Travis Walton was the individual who's abduction experience was made into the smash hit movie FIRE IN THE SKY. It seems that Hollywood likes to stretch the truth as well as our government. Jerry had a lot of reservations about the movie and it's truthfulness. "The movie did not portray anything that actually happened," said Black. He worked on the case with Mike Rogers, the head of the woodcutting crew: Sy Gilson, Allen Dallas and Travis Walton. Jerry played a part in the most recent lie detector test of each. Under hypnosis, Travis could only remember 20 minutes of his abduction which lasted for 5 days. "The 20 minutes he does remember has nothing in relationship with what you saw in the movie. Instead of bringing people to us, it's going to keep people away from us," Jerry said referring to the portrayal of the UFO investigators in the film. Travis did fail the first lie detector test he was given. It's Jerry's opinion, however, that not only was Travis rushed into taking the test, but the person giving the test had a big problem with UFO's and purposely aggravated Travis to the point of hostility, thus flubbing the results. He later passed another test given by another polygrapher. All the other woodsmen have passed their polygraph test.
Jerry went on to explain the differences between the movie and what Travis had remembered. Jerry said that Travis remembered being on an examination table while the "aliens" prodded him with instruments. Travis woke up and jumped off the table grabbing some sort of instrument and swung it at the beings. He then runs into another room where he sees a man more human in appearance. This other human is wearing a helmet. Travis is led into another room where he's confronted by two more human like beings, one appearing to be a woman. They grab Travis and lay him down on another table. He is sedated with a type of gasmask apparatus. "And that's it. That's the true story of what happened to Travis Walton," says Jerry. Needless to say, Jerry Black and Travis Walton are upset at the outcome of the film. Unfortunately, all involved are under contract and cannot "badmouth" the movie.
Now, whether you believe any of this happened or not is not the point. The real tragedy of this film is how the producers overdramatized it to the point of no longer being based on a true story, but based on a few greedy writer's imaginations. I call this censorship! The scene with the half eaten human beings in the honeycomb like chambers...didn't happen. Travis coming back beaten black and blue...didn't happen. There was no telepathy. He HAD clothes on when returned, etc. If it were up to me this movie would have been titled "LIAR IN THE SKY."
The MUFON meeting ended with a few questions and answers, most concerning Travis Walton. A few days later I got back in touch with Pat Packard. He wasn't easy to get a hold of. The MUFON "report line" is constantly busy. I had the pleasure of asking Pat a few questions about MUFON and UFO's in general. Here's what Mr. Packard had to say:
(Note: When I first called Pat, I kind of caught him off guard. It turned out that HE started asking me questions about ROC first. They were pertinent questions so, I thought I'd print them here.)
Pat Packard: When you guys are talking about censorship of records and so forth, for instance 2 Live Crew, you guys are totally against that, I take it?
PP: I feel people should be able to say what they want and let the the market decide. Some of the things they say, certainly I don't agree with. It's America so we got to put up with it. A lot of people have been censored by their own companies because of the outcry of the people in the market place. As long as the government isn't doing it, you're one leg up.
ROC: That's unfortunate. Do you care if I ask a couple questions?
PP: No, fine.
ROC: How long has MUFON been around?
PP: Well actually it's been around since the sixties. It used to be called NICAP. The name was changed to mutual UFO Network in the late '60s as a matter of fact, talk about censorship. The problem with NICAP was that some of the people who had risen to the top of the organization were former CIA people. One of them was a former CIA psychological warfare kind of guy. So, that called into question, when some of the documents were exposed from the Robertson Panel and others. The Robertson Panel...I don't know if you're familiar with that.
ROC: Can't say I am.
PP: In 1953 the Robertson Panel met under the agents of the CIA and under that particular protocol they decided that UFO's should be debunked at every turn and that it would be a good idea to infiltrate UFO groups, not so much because UFO's were real at that time, at least that isn't what they publicly stated, but because they felt the Russians could cause a UFO flap and tie up all the phone lines (in 1953 phone switching systems could not handle mass amount of calls). Under that they could come in and people could be infiltrating the groups and causing the "flap" of some type and manipulating people to do things and cause basic disruption and confusion. So, at the end of NICAP's tenure there was always the question of: "Are these guys really double agents? Are they really turncoats for the UFO movement?" and "What's goin' on?!"
ROC: So, that's when they decided to change (the name)?
PP: Well, it came out of that era. That was one of the problems with the MICAP organization, one of the criticisms.
ROC: So you're the director of the S/W Ohio area. How long have you had that title?
PP: I've only had that title about 21 months. Prior to that we sort of had a "do nothing" administration for a long time. Not saying they weren't interested but, they never had meetings or anything. What we're doing now is organizing. We actually had the first meetings you attend, in quite a while. Although I talk to these guys all the time. We're sort of creating a unity here of people who were independents and people who were in MUFON. We're creating some investigative guidelines. Part of my job is to see people be trained and then assign them to cases. I've taken it a few steps further. I'm trying to develop people. I've found doctors. I found people to consult with. We need to find out who can do what and who has the equipment. That's the phase we're in right now.
ROC: How many cases would you say you have a month?
PP: I would say, if you count today, the last two months we're probably going in the neighborhood of 20 or 25 cases. We're in the midst of what I call a, "minor flap." Some of these 25, are older cases. I've got scads of those. I don't even count two thirds of 'em if I have not talked to the people. We have recent cases like Warren County. There's cases in Blanchester, Goshen, Eastgate area that have all come to our attention in the last couple or three months. One up by Waynesville. They keep pouring in, you know. (laughs)
ROC: Are there a lot of hoaxes? How many turn out to be legitimate?
PP: Statistically, the best answer to that: 1.7% of all the cases that were turned in to Project Blue Book were hoaxes. Almost all of those involved photographs. Photographs are worth money. Most of the reports you get from people are just honest mistakes or unidentified phenomena. We have quite a few of those right now. I am not saying that they are extraterrestrial in origin at all. I'm just trying to say that we have them (the sightings) out here. We don't have a good explanation for them. It could be that we're just not organized well enough with enough experts yet.
ROC: To find out what it really is, that's whole purpose is anyway.
PP: We look at it from two perspectives. First, to help people cope with it. Whether it's an abduction or a sighting. A lot of have called and they're upset. It ruins their foundations and destroys a lot of things they've been told when they're convinced that they've seen something like this. Other people are worried they think that something is going to crash into their house or whatever. So, we try to go out and find a prosaic explanation first of all. Many times that's not possible. There have been a couple of studies that prove that there is a phenomena. Much of it involves light phenomena. One's called "Project Identification." Another's called "Project Heffendale," a Scandinavian project. There's also a study from G-PAn, which is from France.
ROC: Well, you'd think there would be more coverage of all of this.
PP: No, you don't get much coverage. There's been a lot of "flaps" we don't get coverage of. For instance, there was one in Mexico that was viewed on Sightings. We got zero coverage. One of the objects that was viewed certainly, during the eclipse was definitely the planet Jupiter. And when the sun eclipsed, the planet Jupiter, which is never more than about 20 degrees from the sun, became highly visible. There were other reports after and preceding this particular eclipse. I don't have any information on these but, we got no publicity other than Sightings on that. Belgium had several thousand sightings in the late '80s. The head of the Belgian Air Force and the Armed Services came on TV (this has played in this country on Unsolved Mysteries) and said, "We have UFO's." They had several thousand credible reports that were unidentified. The U.S. Government said they were not secret U.S. planes. The countryside was terrorized. The Belgian Air Force sent up jets to track one object on radar. The object was also tracked from two ground radar units. Every time the jets locked on with their weapons systems, the object sped away. It played this cat and mouse game with them. It went from 500 feet to 10,000 feet in a matter of one-to-three seconds (something that's impossible for a human being to withstand that G-force). They said that this is definitely unexplainable. Zimbabwe and others, their Air Forces have said there's definitely a phenomena. We don't know what it is. The French G-PAN is a group that's designed to study re-entry of satellites and UFO reports. They had skeptical scientists in that. They had a landing trace case in 1980 or so, and after they examined it, they felt that it showed the reality of the phenomena. The guy said more or less, "I was a skeptic until now."
ROC: That's amazing. All the stuff that's going on and no one really seems to be talking about it except really recently.
PP: Well, you know, these things have an avid flow to them. In the '60s and '50s it was big news. But, when people continually got ridiculed and when the Air Force came out with Project Blue Book, they organized something called the Conden Committee. (They) said, there is absolutely nothing to it." The people who were involved in it, like J. Allen Hynek was a total skeptic. In any case, when it was all over, he turned out to be a believer. So did many other of the officers that were involved. Now some didn't, but you have to look at how they processed the reports. There were months that they would have 700 reports coming into this office. It consisted of a Secretary, one officer and a part time scientist that drove down once a month to explain (the sightings). So, what they'd have was all these sightings listed on a card. They'd give it to Hynek, and their instructions were to "explain these as fast as you can so we don't have panic in the public."
ROC: Why do you think governments like ours and others would want to keep this all quiet?
PP: Well, there's quite a number of reasons. Let's go to the Freedom of Information Act which is more up your ally anyway.
ROC: Yeah, does that help at all?
PP: It did in the standpoint that there were many things the government said never happened. That UFO's never invaded a lot of our nuclear bases and air bases. When the Freedom of Information came around of course they were saying, "These guys are nuts. They're just wackos. We don't have anything." and they'd tell the press that. Well, in order to settle, they tried to settle out of court. I think this was CIA. They said, "Here, this is all we found, 400 documents. Let's just not go any further with it." What happened was: they sued (and) found there were 40,000 documents just with the CIA. This is the highest estimate I've seen. That's according to a new book that just came out called THE UFO ENCYCLOPEDIA, by a guy named Spencer. That didn't include the FBI, who said the same thing, also had a file. NASA, who also had files. Now many of these sightings and these intrusions we've heard about, from the airmen and what not, they said (the sightings) didn't happen. Once we filed Freedom of Information we found out the incident DID happen. We got a report back saying, "Malstum Air Force Base -Intrusion of unknown flying object," and every other word would be blacked out on the whole report.
ROC: So, they still keep a lot of stuff quiet even with the Freedom of Information Act.
PP: Right. According to people who have been in it a long time, certainly something is going on. Many of these types of hoaxes we see are well funded and put together by professionals as disinformation campaigns. So, we don't know why the government would be so interested in that, why they'd try to put out disinformation, why they tried to infiltrate the UFO groups and other things. To infiltrate the groups is one thing, but, to put out disinformation is something else.
ROC: Just spreading complete lies?
PP: Absolutely! Of course it goes on constantly and they are always playing this game with UFO people, trying to discredit them. A lot of them fall into the trap eventually.
ROC: Why would you think our government would want to do that?
PP: First of all: why would you want to admit, under Freedom of Information, that someone invaded your air base and you couldn't do anything about it? Now, if you're admitting that, what would happen to all these people that are claiming abductions, all the farmers that are claiming cattle mutilations (which is a fascinating topic). I mean, what? Would you get on TV and say, "Gee, I want to tell everyone that we know that flying UFO's are real and they're abducting people, killing the cattle and invading our air bases. But, there's no danger. Everyone stay calm."?
ROC: Well, what's worse, though? Is it worse to lie about it now or to find out that our government has lied about it when this whole thing breaks loose. Because it's going to eventually.
PP: The thing about it is: there's other reasons too. If it would come out that these things are, in fact, real. What would happen to the social structure? What would happen to the religious beliefs? What would happen in these cases? There's also proof that the RAM Corp, who sits in a think tank, has considered the very possibilities: what if UFO's are real? What would be the results? They would be catastrophic to the world. to the economics, to everything. So, there's many reasons why you'd want to keep it secret. Not to mention the panic it would cause. You'd have nuts out there every night shooting at air planes. Or if they heard someone was abducted? It'd be a mess, in my opinion. It really would.
ROC: A lot of chaos?
PP: Chaos! You got it. So, there's plenty of reasons to keep it secret. No reason to admit they've lied, that they've ridiculed people. How are they going to explain ridiculing all these people, running people out of their jobs and all the other things they've done through the years? To hide a secret about UFO's? Now, I'm not saying they're real. I can't say that they're 100% real. All I ask anyone to do is to look at the real evidence. Don't read the "pop" books, look at the studies. Realize that there are some problems and unresolved things. There's a physical reality to many of them. For instance, the cattle mutilations. I'll just touch on it for a second. In 1965, the first mutilations were found. They're bloodless. Let me give you an example: there's a cow in a field. Suddenly there will be UFO sighting in the area and strange light sightings. Say the animal is in snow or in a sand bank or it's in a desert where it's all dust. Suddenly, this animal's tracks will stop, no sign of a struggle. Nothing! They'll find the carcass 50-100 yards away. No predator tracks, no human tracks, nothing! They examine this body. At that time it's done with a high laser. The jaw bone's cut away. The eye is gone. The anus is cored out. The teeth are gone. All the blood's gone out of the body. Some of the internal organs are missing. Predators generally won't touch it. Now, I've got newsclippings and reports, sheriff's comments. They all say the same thing. There's no forensic evidence. They never found a human hair on it, nor a predator hair. Nothing! Now, there are cases of animals dying in fields, of course, and predators eating them. The government will point those out. But I can put you in touch with 30 or 40 law men that will tell you that there's no explanation. Secondly, we didn't have lasers in 1965. Today for you to do this type operation, you'd have to have a double size freezer, a generator, a laser unit the size of a desk, 5 men to operate it, several hours to set it up and it would probably take several hours to do that kind of operation. These bodies have been found as short as three hours later. We could not make one cut in that time period. In relation to these UFO's that have been seen, we have witnesses who've witnessed this thing happening. I don't know. All I'm saying is, somebody needs to look into it. I can show you stories where the FBI that it's not a consistent phenomena from state to state. But, It is! It's consistent, and it has been for 30 years. Yet , they won't get involved.
ROC: How long have you been researching?
PP: As an active researcher in an organization, about 2-1/2 years. It's been a serious interest for about 4 or 5 years, an interest for 25 years.
ROC: Has there been a particular incident that inspired you to research UFO's?
PP: I saw something around '68 or '69. My father worked at North American Aviation in Columbus. He worked with test pilots and whatnot. He called me and told me to go outside and look at this thing in the sky. He didn't know what it was. It was scrambling the jet. I went out and I couldn't tell what it was. It was a big brown cigar shaped blob in the sky. I never leaped to any convictions about it, I still don't know what it was. I would never tell anything other than it was a big brown cigar shaped thing in the sky. I really can't say, it's always made me wonder. I guess I came at it from the other side of it for a long time. I used to read a lot of things by a guy named Phil Class, and other people like that who were skeptics all the way. As I began to look into things they said, I found that they weren't dealing with the messages. They were attacking the messenger. After a while you begin to see there's a tremendous structural weakness to their arguments. Are we just turning our back because we are afraid of ridicule? That we're afraid to find out the truth? Because we have jobs, families, grants, reputations? If you turn on the news, you always hear a snide comment at the end. If you're in the boat I'm in, 9 out of 10 people you talk will give you a report. About half of these won't even give me their names. There will be one person out of twenty that says, "You can use my name."
ROC: What steps would you recommend to a person who may have seen a UFO?
PP: First of all, if I had a camera, I would take as many photos, getting as much [foreground and background] in as I could. You'd be surprised how many people don't want to go get their camera because they're afraid it'll be gone that fast and they'll miss it. It only happens once in a lifetime. Secondly, I'd be very observant and write down everything I saw even if I had a camera. I'd detail it as much as I could, get the names and addresses of any witnesses that were with me. I'd call someone like me, in MUFON at 513-829-4324. Give us a call and we'll try and help find out what it is and go from there. We have people that specialize in a lot of different areas. We're trying to get more to help identify it (the UFO's). Many times it will have a normal explanation. Out of 1000 photographs, which has a tremendous rate of hoaxes, about 400 to 450 are proved to be hoaxes. About 400 are proved to be nighttime lights. About 42 are daylight disc that have been validated as authentic. Now, we may get technology in the future that proves that that's wrong. I don't think a photograph is conclusive proof at all.
ROC: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to become a researcher?
PP: They should call MUFON and join the group. Come to our meetings. We have a training manual that you have to read. We have some ethics and practices. We'll train you to be an investigator.
ROC: Sounds good. Do you have any advice or thoughts to the skeptics who might be reading?
PP: Let me just say this....People that were scientists (this was a survey that was done) that looked at all the information, almost universally decided that it was something they should investigate. The people who had NOT looked at all the information (same group) almost universally decided it was bunk. So, don't be victimized. Make up your own mind. Read and talk to the right people if you really get into it you'll find that there's some unanswerable questions. Quit listening to what people say on TV and go dig up the information for yourself. You'll see that there's something to it.
ROC: Go to more than just one source.
PP: Yeah. Go to good sources and studies that have been done. Don't read the pulp books. Y'know, read the real studies.
ROC: Don't just trust PEOPLE magazine?
PP: These people on the nightly news, don't listen to them. They're no smarter. They're style over substance. If you ever talk to them, you'll find that out. So, go find out for yourself. That's my advice. Make an educated guess. This is a mystery that we have not been able to explain because of people that are skeptical and haven't done their homework. That's the bottom line. When they don't do their homework, they'll go off half-cocked and think they know the answer cause they heard it from Phil Class, and that's bullshit.
ROC: We found the same thing dealing with those people who want to shut down all the records stores and whatnot. Same type of attitude.
PP: Right! They're not very educated. There's a certain prejudice that's built in about this stuff. And that's fine, just don't go around acting like you know all the answers if you haven't done enough reading.
TO CONTACT CINCINNATI R.O.C.: Todd Wiese, 513-874-6748.
TO CONTACT THE MUTUAL UFO NETWORK (MUFON), WRITE: MUFON, 103 Old Town Rd., Seguin, TX 78155.