New York Times Still Soft on UFOs, Lets Blumenthal and Kean Deliver Pro-UFO Propaganda in Feature on the "Truth" About History's "Project Blue Book"
Since the New York Times turned over prime real estate in the nation’s most prestigious paper to UFO believer Leslie Kean and credulous former Times reporter Richard Blumenthal to reveal the existence of the Pentagon’s UFO investigation program, the paper of record has taken a noticeably soft stance on UFOs and ancient astronauts. The paper has delivered a series of articles casting ancient astronaut theorists and ufologists in a positive light, and this week they did it again, giving Kean and Blumenthal space to spin opinionated pro-UFO propaganda in the guise of telling the “true” story behind the History Channel’s Project Blue Book TV series, based on the 1960s-era U.S. Air Force investigation of flying saucers and centered on its lead investigator, J. Allen Hynek.
Just a week prior, the Times took money from the History Channel for a wraparound advertisement for Project Blue Book that appeared draped over editions of the Sunday New York Times. It promoted the series with fake newspaper articles about UFOs.
Blumenthal and Kean have longstanding connections to the UFO community that that Times has steadfastly refused to disclose to its readers. Kean, for example, is the author of a UFO book, was also the head of an advocacy group lobbying the government for UFO disclosure, and authored puff pieces about how Tom DeLonge’s UFO-and-media company, To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science, is “world-changing.” (It has produced nothing of note in its 15 months of existence.) The Times presents her as an objective journalist.
In the pair’s latest article, they present a potted history of the real Project Blue Book and its predecessors, but they lard it with the kind of opinionated, pro-UFO views that are starkly out of place, even in the Arts section of the Times, where opinion is to be expected in reviews. The article is framed as a first-person critical review, but is presented as objective historical fact.
Blumenthal and Kean commit sins of commission and omission in attempting to depict the UFO phenomenon as frightening, dangerous, and indicative of unearthly powers invading our planet.
The authors begin by describing UFOs as an objective threat to national security, calling them “an apparently technological phenomenon that was beyond human control and was not Russian, yet represented an unfathomable potential threat.” Not to be overly pedantic, but the reams of government files on UFOs amply demonstrate that they were fathomable, with documents laying out potential responses to nearly every possible explanation for flying saucers. The authors exaggerate here to give UFOs more weight than the record shows they received.
The article carefully and systematically presents nearly every scrap of documentation in government files where some official or another speculated that flying saucers came from another planet, but the article systematically omits nearly all of the massive trove of documents that conclude that this speculation is incorrect. In favoring the minority view so heavily, the authors paint a false picture. While it is true that some Air Force officials, overly credulous of eyewitness reports, speculated on origins outside of the Earth, it is also true that the FBI believed in 1947 that UFOs were largely imaginary and that the extraterrestrial hypothesis had been invented by editor Raymond Palmer to promote the “Shaver Mystery” stories in Astounding Stories: “Raymond Palmer, [Kenneth] Arnold’s employer, was from the start ‘exploiting’ the appearance of the flying discs,” an FBI memo reported, “possibly to enhance the appeal of Shaver’s stories. It is possible, therefore, that the entire flying disc theory was conceived by Palmer and Shaver” (redactions restored). This answer satisfied J. Edgar Hoover, and the Air Force actually shut down the FBI’s debunking of “flying discs,” taking over the investigation and systematically working to keep the UFO story alive in the 1950s and 1960s, a period when documents show that American and Soviet operatives used UFO stories as cover for Cold War military testing and espionage. In sum, the authors deceptively omit alternative explanations to promote a single hypothesis: that UFOs are spacecraft from another world.
The trouble is that the people they are interested in didn’t actually believe that.
Blumenthal and Kean discuss J. Allen Hynek, the scientific mind behind Project Blue Book and a believer in UFOs, but in describing flying saucers as interplanetary spacecraft, they omitted a key piece of data essential for understanding Hynek’s role in the UFO world: Hynek did not believe UFOs were spacecraft from another world—at least not most of them. As he told Jacques Vallée, he had come to believe that flying saucers were actually poltergeists from another dimension. Blumenthal and Kean emphasize their “research” into the Pentagon’s 2007-2012 UFO investigation program, run in conjunctions with contractor Robert Bigelow and subcontractor Hal Puthoff, a longtime friend of Vallée with whom he jointly developed the interdimensional poltergeist hypothesis in the 1970s, and they similarly omit that Puthoff helped direct that program toward investigating UFOs as poltergeists from other dimensions, a belief that he had inculcated in Bigelow’s team. (Team members have openly discussed this in the media.) This information is extremely relevant to evaluating the “true” history of UFOs when the government operatives in charge literally thought they were chasing ghosts.
To see the relevance, consider this paragraph from our authors:
When Blue Book closed in late 1969, the Air Force flatly lied to the American people, issuing a fact sheet claiming that no U.F.O. had ever been a threat to national security; that U.F.O.s did not represent “technological developments or principles beyond the range of present day scientific knowledge”; and that there was no evidence that they were “extraterrestrial vehicles.”
And how do they know it was a lie? The only way to prove that this is a lie is to believe that UFOs are spacecraft rom another world, and that isn’t within the range of available evidence. Nor did Hynek or Puthoff agree with those claims—since both though UFOs to be interdimensional ghosts. So even if you accept the crazy-quilt beliefs of those men who infected the government with extreme UFO beliefs, your conclusion cannot be that of Kean and Blumenthal, since the cuckoo-bananas belief shared by those investigators revolved around poltergeists, not starships.
Our authors conclude that the U.S. government is still hiding the truth about UFOs:
Scientists may know more about the behavior and characteristics of U.F.O.s, and are closer to understanding the physics of how the technology operates, according to A.A.T.I.P. documents and interviews. But the government still makes every attempt to keep investigations and conclusions secret, while denying any involvement to American citizens.
Parsimoniously, one might argue that both things are true: The government investigates reports of UFOs, but because they are neither spaceships nor space ghosts, they are not actually suppressing the “truth” about space aliens or poltergeists, no matter how many officials believe otherwise. After all, a not insignificant percentage of high-ranking military officials are Evangelical Christians who believe in the Rapture is coming. Their belief, however, doesn’t make it true, even if some government officials think it.
1/17/2019 09:37:32 am
"After all, a not insignificant percentage of high-ranking military officials are Evangelical Christians who believe in the Rapture is coming."
American Cool "Disco" Dan
1/17/2019 12:13:39 pm
Likely from the gay/Occupy Wall Street/Antifa press. Which doesn't mean it isn't true. An Air Force Academy Commandant, Brig. Gen. Johnny A. Weida, was a known and problematic proselytizer.
1/17/2019 08:23:43 pm
Before such novelties as health and dental, raping was an included necessity in the benefits package. Historically speaking, that is.
1/17/2019 08:01:34 pm
American Cool "Disco" Dan
1/17/2019 10:34:33 pm
With no source cited, the percentage can be ignore. This report suggests the actual percentage of evangelicals is significantly lower.
1/17/2019 11:34:26 pm
Or one could ignore the chatter from the kiddie table and just google up the DoD survey data in about the same amount of time it would take to type in an Internet address with about 40 different letters, numbers, and other symbols in it if they are interested in one of multiple ESTIMATES from various sources about religiosity in the military.
American cool "Disco" Dan
1/17/2019 11:42:52 pm
An Anonymous Nerd
1/17/2019 11:22:52 pm
Well let's see here....I have a vague memory of material similar to that which Mr. Colavito seems also to remember. And a similar lack of a percentage.
1/17/2019 11:45:00 pm
It's worth noting that military chaplains are commissioned officers with some reaching the rank of colonel or higher if they stick around long enough.
American Cool "Disco" Dan
1/18/2019 01:38:03 am
No, it's not worth noting. It's a staff track, not a command track. Musicians enter the Marine Corps Band as sergeants. So effing what?
1/18/2019 03:27:47 am
Funny but I don't see any reference to command authority or lack thereof in Jason's discussion above. I was responding to his very broad assertion about high ranking military ranking officials. Chaplains (as well as medical corps personnel for that matter) with high rank are quite obviously high ranking whether they have command authority or not. Unless Jason wishes to revise his assertion to focus on only those officers with command authority then what I posted is most certainly worth noting. Actually if my comments cause him to revise his assertion then they would still be worth noting. Win-win for me in that regard. Lose-lose for you.
American cool "disco" dan
1/18/2019 03:45:42 am
And people call Lieutenant Colonels "Colonels" and Rear Admirals Lower Half "Admirals" so what's your point?
1/18/2019 04:23:40 am
And yet the proper and correct term for an E-6 is stll staff sergeant. You've been watching too much Gomer Pyle.
American cool "Disco" dan
1/18/2019 11:54:17 am
I apologise for relying on my memory and not looking it up. Clearly you are the superior jock sniffer. If I made you feel "less than" I am truly sorry.
American cool "disco" dan
1/17/2019 10:13:38 am
My panties remain surprisingly untwisted over this matter. A newspaper took paid advertising? Stop the presses!!
1/17/2019 11:26:17 am
Exactly. This website used to be a credible source of skepticism when it stuck to Ancient Aliens. It seems to of lost all credibility as nothing but a bunch of uncritical whining these days. As you mentioned, being a threat does not require believing UFOs are spaceships from another world. From the military's perspective, anything they don't understand or know what is , is a threat. Its the very nature of not knowing (ie unidentified) that makes it a de-facto threat in the military's view. One does need even need to venture a guess as to what they are, where they are from, or anything, Its exactly because they are unexplained incidents that makes them a threat. Its sad to see this blog turn from proper skepticism to false or pseudo-skepticism and debunkery with no rational or critical thought behind its grossly inaccurate assertions. Please go back and stick to what you know about , the kind of trash on Ancient Aliens. And leave ufology (ancient aliens isnt ufology, its more a fringe splinter group like the secret space program nutjobs) to the professionals who have actually researched this field and know what they are talking about Mr. Colavito. Unless you dont want anyone to take what you say seriously anymore.
1/17/2019 11:29:31 am
Darn. Should of said 'One does NOT need to even venture...'
1/17/2019 11:30:17 am
Fun fact. In one of his early TV roles, Lin-Manuel Miranda played Anthony Warren on an episode of House.
1/17/2019 12:04:13 pm
The problem is that we haven't defined "UFO." Using the conventional definition--UNIDENTIFIED flying object--then the authors have not proven their assertion because they have not demonstrated that any specific object that was deemed a national security threat remained unidentified. If it was identified later, as the Air Force maintained (whether you believe them or not), then it wasn't a UFO. If you want to define UFOs differently, then you have to explain why identified objects should be labeled as UFOs.
American Cool "Disco" Dan
1/17/2019 12:25:26 pm
Nope, sorry. The authors said:
1/18/2019 04:26:39 pm
Again, you should stick to a field you actually have a clue about. Or perhaps even just some classes on logic and critical thinking would help. It's hard to believe someone as educated as you is so utterly dense. UFO has a definition, and you said it. It doesnt have anything to do with aliens. And by definition, an identified object IS NOT a UFO. I mean, duh. That is completely clear to even a fifth grader. Are you seriously suggesting the military has never come up with an unknown? That they have identified every single incident they looked into? That is patently false and they dont claim they identified everything. They have always stated there has been a small portion of cases after thorough investigation yielded no explanation or identification. Blue Book alone had 701 unknowns. And they are true unknowns, not just cases lacking enough information to make a proper identification. Those were classified seperately. So no, the air force does not maintain they identified everything. Go read Special report 14 or at least a summary. I mean wow, been sad to see you fall to little more then a whining troll. Stick to ancient history, you were great at that.
1/17/2019 12:16:41 pm
Leslie Kean has since written a book about life after death
1/18/2019 04:28:38 pm
Ya that's a shame. Wish she wouldnt of done that. I'm just going ignore that mistake personally. Doesnt take away from her other work in ufology.
1/19/2019 04:49:26 pm
You either believe in UFO's or you don't. Just because this site gleefully looks down it's nose at those of us who do believe doesn't make it right. I can say if you don't believe something is going on in the atmosphere then you are naive to say the least. We are but a speck in the universe. When we die, no one will immortalize us for our self grandeur.
1/20/2019 10:29:43 am
We all believe in UFO's. Nothing out of the ordinary with unidentified flying objects. They are simply awaiting definition. Without definition, some speculate that they are alien crafts of some sort. That's where the disbelief comes in. But giving definition to things you don't understand is all too common. See the bogeyman, for instance.
American cool "disco" dan
1/20/2019 01:35:39 pm
Believing there's stuff in the Bible that isn't in the Bible is pretty common too.
1/20/2019 02:48:49 pm
Perhaps he meant dimensions of Hell.
1/21/2019 01:52:25 pm
Joe has it right - there are things flying around in our atmosphere that are simply unidentified - at least for now. Jason is also correct that the DOD and CI have used, and likely continue to use the UFO controversy to cover whatever shenanigans they get up to.
1/21/2019 04:38:16 pm
Hah, thanks. I try and keep an eye out for things like that (I could only find one instance, my brief comment about Kean, but I'll take your word for it). I usually do, and go back and reread my post to correct errors. Unfortunately i see no way to edit comments on here. Sometimes the autocorrect changes things i never meant to type. Sometimes I'm typing on my phone (like now, and for all the comments I've made) and things get messed up easier. Sometimes I'm just exhausted and not thinking clearly. But thanks, I'll try and keep an eye out for mistakes like that.
1/21/2019 04:52:39 pm
Oh, nope your right. The first time was in the comment I posted correcting a mistake in my original comment. So now I feel super foolish. Making a mistake correcting a mistake. Oh well sorry.
Donald Menzel Jr.
1/21/2019 06:42:15 pm
Ha...ha...ha this blog is turning into the weird guy on the dorm floor ranting about his world view.
An Anonymous Nerd
1/23/2019 07:37:31 pm
I wonder if the New York Times and Appalachian Magazine have the same owners behind the scenes. They appear to have the same writers for this sort of stuff.
2/25/2019 03:28:43 am
WOW. I was hoping to see a lot of feedback on PROJECT BLUE BOOK but it fell so quickly all around the last paragraph of this article? Anyway, this is the first time I have ever encountered poltergeists in relation to UFOs. That is extremely interesting. Although I take a semi stand on them being fallen angels. But my interest lies in the fact that I have watched training exercises in the sky over my area for years. Drone testing was done here and before this - The newly, at the time, unveiled helicopter. When I first saw it I thought it was a UFO because of the way it moved in the sky. But even now something new is over the river. At first we called them Christmas trees when we saw the lights because they spin and have red blue green and white lights. Recently one very large ship of some sort has been coming closer and lower. One night it was so low I could see the windows around the ship. The lights are brilliant LED type lights. It is saucer in shape and has a brilliant light from below. What was strange to me was that there was some type of ship off to the right of it and the light shining from this saucer type ship lit up the other ship which had an indistinguishable shape. It looked copper colored and no light was on it. Four days ago there were many of them. There was the very large one with a smaller one, both had bright lights. The other eight ships stayed small and not as bright.
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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