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the latest news about UFO sightings and UFO news Today:       Printer friendly version      
FAA Release of Radar Data
Signals a new
‘Openness Policy’ on UFOs
by Michael E. Salla, Ph.D


Earlier FAA policy concerning UFOs appear to have two elements. One was to deny witness or pilot sightings of UFOs regardless of the credibility and/or number of witnesses. The second was to remove any radar evidence that could confirm witness testimonies of UFOs. These elements of what appears to be a long standing policy of the FAA regarding UFOs is exemplified in two well documented cases.

The first concerns the 2006 multiple witness sighting of a UFO over O’Hare International Airport. In a comprehensive report of the O’Hare incident titled: “Report of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon and its Safety Implications at O’Hare International Airport on November 7, 2006,” (http://www.narcap.org/reports/010/TR10_Case_18a.pdf ) by Dr Richard Haines, he notes:

According to the FAA nothing was detected by radar at this location or time of day or seen by air traffic controllers from the main tower. An examination of primary radar data supplied by the FAA confirmed the first claim. Nevertheless, an FAA inbound ground controller remarked about the “UFO” (UAP) … long before the object had departed. (O’Hare Report, p. 5).

Furthermore, Haines reported on the result of FOIA requests for tower logs and communications that: “clearly showed (1) three separate telephone inquiries from the United ramp tower (and management) concerning the UAP [UFO] and (2) a written notation of one of these calls in the FAA’s tower’s Daily Record of Facility Operations (O’Hare Report, p. 19). More incriminating was a series of interviews with United Airline employees by a journalist for the Chicago Tribune, Jon Hilkevitch, wherein it was alleged that they were “told to not talk about what they saw to anyone” (http://tinyurl.com/y7tv88). Was the management of United Airlines muzzling its employees because of FAA pressure, and was the FAA muzzling its own employees? Regardless of the answers to these questions, the FAA’s policy seemed to be one of dismissing testimonies of a UFO at O’Hare international airport regardless of witness reliability and quantity.

The second documented case involves a former section chief for the FAA, John Callahan, who revealed what occurred to radar and other evidence of a UFO witnessed in the vicinity of a Japanese Airline 747 flying over Alaska in 1986. After the event, Callahan requested all the data to be transferred first to Atlantic City for initial analysis by him and his team, and then to Washington D.C. for a personal viewing by the FAA Administrator, Vice Admiral Donald Engen. He subsequently describes what happened after Admiral Engen saw the data:

Well a few minutes later the Admiral calls down and says, I have set up a briefing tomorrow morning at 9:00 am in the round room. Bring all the stuff you have Bring everybody up there and give them whatever they want… They [a group of national security officials] brought in three people from the FBI, three people from the CIA, and three people from Reagan’s Scientific Study team – I don’t know who the rest of people were but they were all excited. When they got done, they actually swore all these other guys in there that this never took place. We never had this meeting. And this was never recorded. http://preview.tinyurl.com/6g7nxu

Callahan went on to disclose in his public testimony how the data was confiscated by the national security team from the Reagan administration who were concerned about public reaction to the reality of UFOs. Callahan further described how he was able to hold on to a duplicate set of data in his office which he revealed at a May 2001 National Press Club Conference. Callahan believed that the FAA was complicit in a cover up of what the radar evidence clearly showed was a UFO that backed pilot and passenger testimonies of a UFO following a Japanese 747.

For those people that say that if these UFOs existed, they would some day be on radar and that there’d be professionals who would see it, then I can tell them that back in 1986 there were enough professional people that saw it. It was brought down to headquarters, FAA headquarters, Washington D.C. The Administrator saw the tape of it. The people that we were debriefing, they’ve all seen. Reagan’s Scientific Study team, three of those professors, doctors, they’ve seen it. As far as I was concerned they were the ones that verified my own thoughts about it. They were very, very excited about the data. They had said that this was the only time a UFO was ever recorded on radar for any length of time where it is 30 some minutes. And they have all this data to look at…http://preview.tinyurl.com/6g7nxu

The two well documented case studies from the 2006 O’Hare incident and the 1987 Japanese 747 Alaska incident reveal that the FAA has been complicit in the dismissal of credible witness testimonies of UFOs, and more significantly of deliberately withdrawing corroborating data. Senior national security officials in various Presidential administrations have played key roles in dictating this policy to the FAA and its administrators.

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More articles by Michael E. Salla:
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