Unsealed: Alien Files (2012–…): Season 4, Episode 6 - Seeing Is Believing - full transcript

For decades, governments around the world have investigated UFO sightings, often times under an umbrella of secrecy. How are these top-secret studies conducted? Who is called upon to analyze the evidence?

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[narrator] For decades,
governments around the world

have investigated UFO sightings.

But just how are these
top secret studies conducted?

Who is called upon
to analyze the evidence?

And why do many of these governments
deny that they study UFOs?

If a senior officer says,
"Don't talk about UFOs. That's an order."

And all sorts of adverse consequences

will--will befall anyone
who disobeys that.

[narrator] Join us as we reveal

how governments officially investigate
unidentified flying objects

and uncover why they keep it a secret.

A global effort has begun.

Secret files hidden from the public
for decades

detailing every UFO account
are now available to the public.

We are about to uncover the truth
behind these classified documents.

Find out what the government
doesn't want you to know.

Unsealed: Alien Files,

exposing the biggest secret
on planet Earth.

Despite constant denials,

governments around the world
do study UFOs.

I joined the British government's
Ministry of Defense in 1985,

and I left in 2006.

My job was to research
and investigate UFOs.

I had mixed feelings
when I joined the UFO project.

On the one hand,
I was fairly skeptical about this.

When I looked at some of the extraordinary
radar visual cases,

I soon began to realize

that my initial skepticism
had been misplaced.

[narrator] The United States government,
among others,

has formed many UFO investigative units
dating back to the 1940s.

After an unprecedented wave
of UFO sightings in 1947,

which includes
the infamous Roswell Incident,

the US created investigative bodies.

Project Sign, Project Grudge,

and ran Project Blue Book
until it was canceled in 1969.

In July of 1947,

headlines were printed
that showed that a flying saucer,

alien in nature,
complete with bodies and all,

crashed on a ranch in Roswell, New Mexico.

[narrator] The United States Air Force
became convinced

the nation was being invaded
by an unknown advanced technology.

And in the fall of 1948,
one of the military's own

had an encounter
that was too convincing to ignore.

Unsealed case file:
the Gorman Dogfight.

Fargo, North Dakota. October 1st, 1948.

Veteran World War II pilot,
Lieutenant George Gorman

is flying his
Air National Guard P-51 Mustang

over Fargo on a clear night.

He encounters an object.

It's 68 inches in diameter,
he describes it.

It's well lit.
It's a--It's a lit ball of light.

And it's flying around the town,
just like he is.

[narrator] Several other personnel
at the base

also witness the ball of light,

and describe it
as bright with tight edges.

Gorman obtains permission
to investigate the unidentified object.

[Murillo] He decides to engage it,
and it starts playing with him

He--He has a few head-on passes with it.

Uh, he tries to chase it around.

It does things that he can't keep up with,

and then eventually,
it just takes off, and he--it--it's gone.

He estimated that this object was flying
at least 500 miles per hour,

which was incredibly fast for the time.

They were doing what they could describe
as dogfight type maneuvers in the sky,

uh, chasing each other.

[narrator] Within hours of the incident,
officers arrive from Project Sign,

the US government's official
UFO investigative body at the time.

During his interview,

Gorman describes the ball of light
as bright with clear edges,

not completely round, but slightly flat.

Then he stuns investigators by stating
that the unidentified object's movements

were so specific and responsive,

that there was,
"Thought behind the UFO's maneuvers."

His report was considered
very highly credible.

He was a credible officer.

So, what was this thing?

Nobody really knew.

Uh, what he knew was,
he couldn't keep up with it,

and it did things
that he had never encountered before.

[narrator] After a full investigation
and national media coverage,

Project Sign concludes
that Gorman chased a weather balloon.

The incident with Gorman
was not a lone case.

There are quite a few examples
in our UFO history

that show that pilots do have
encounters with UFOs.

After investigation,

most cases did turn out
to have conventional explanations,

and I was able to explain them

in terms of people misidentifying
aircraft lights, weather balloons,

satellites, meteors, airships,
all manner of objects and phenomena.

Um, perhaps in as many as 80% of cases,

I was able to find a--a clear explanation.

[narrator] The question is,

what exactly did Gorman encounter
in the skies above North Dakota?

Despite Project Sign's
official 1948 findings,

experts in the UFO community

considered the Gorman dogfight
to be unresolved.

Many experts now look
at the documents and say,

"Well, they really weren't doing
their job as true investigators."

They were Collecting these reports,

analyzing them, and pretty much
dismissing them one at a time.

Weather balloon here, swamp gas there,
the planet Venus over here,

and they were just completely
dismissing anything that came in.

[narrator] Many times,
official government UFO investigations

are stamped "top secret,"

and history shows
that they can also be influenced

by political agendas
and controversial analyses.

But what about the UFO sightings
that have compelling evidence,

credible witnesses, and corroborated data?

Nick Pope's work
for Britain's UFO department

gave him inside knowledge
of the rarest type of UFO encounter.

In 5% of cases or--or thereabouts,

they were categorized as genuine unknowns.

Now, of course,
unknown does not necessarily mean

as--as the pop culture
understanding is, extraterrestrials,

but neither could we
or did we rule out that possibility.

Unknown means unknown.
Nothing more, nothing Less.

[narrator] Unsealed case file:
the Belgium Wave.

Eupen, Belgium. November 29th, 1989.

A host of triangular UFOs
appear in the night sky.

There were black triangular UFOs
over Belgium.

People were seeing them everywhere.

Many of them
described the black triangle craft

that, uh, are reported today,

where you have a black triangle craft,
multiple lights on the bottom.

Thirty different sets of witnesses

and three separate groups
of police officers

allegedly see black triangular UFOs
in the skies above Belgium.

Officials question the witnesses
for any information

that would lead to a rational explanation.

But over the next few months,
the initial sighting becomes a wave,

with over 1,000 sightings reported

from November of 1989
through the spring of 1990.

The Belgian Air Force response to that

was to actually
scramble jets and chase these things.

We always had specialists
who could look at things in detail for us,

whether it was
looking at photos or videos.

And, of course, the other big part
of UFO investigations is radar.

They had F-16s, high-technology jet.

It chased these things.

Uh, they gave chase.

They had visual contact.
They had radar contact confirmation.

And this went on for some time.

[narrator] The evidence is overwhelming.

Something is appearing in the skies.

The Belgian government
is forced to investigate.

But how?

I would always make sure
that in our investigations,

we included the experts,
be they civilians or military,

who could tell us, firstly,
was anything tracked on radar,

and secondly, if something was,
what can you tell us about it?

What I would then try to do

is correlate that
with something that I knew about

or could find out about
in terms of aerial activity,

astronomical phenomena, et cetera.

So, for example,
I would look at flight paths.

I would look at military exercises.

[narrator] On March 30th, 1990,

more than four months
after the initial sightings,

a NATO base near Glons,
southeast of Brussels,

registers an unknown object on radar.

Two F-16s are scrambled to intercept
and identify an aerial unknown.

One of the jets is able to achieve
a radar lock for a few seconds

and reports
that the object is diamond shaped.

Radar is not an exact science.

Um, some returns are better,
uh, than--than others.

So, again, that would be a big part,

an important part
of all government UFO investigation,

not just the British government's
UFO project,

but in Project Blue Book,
all around the world.

[narrator] Many skeptics ask

if the Belgium triangles
were so widespread,

where is the photographic proof?

Many eyewitnesses took photographs,

but images are blurred and obscured,

prompting one expert to consider

the triangles were employing
a sophisticated form of infrared jamming.

But perhaps this single image
of a black triangle

captured from video footage
taken during the Belgium wave

was enough to justify the government's
unprecedented investigation.

The Belgian government
was actually very responsible.

They treated these things
as if they were real.

They asked the public and ufologists

to help them in investigation
of what these things were.

[narrator] The Belgium UFO wave

is an important
and rare example of civilians,

scientific experts, government officials,

and independent UFO investigators
collaborating and analyzing evidence.

But also, I guess,
showed a little bit of faith

that they knew what they were doing,

that they were gonna
bring the truth to the forefront

and try and unravel this UFO mystery.

[narrator] Despite thousands of sightings,
radar records,

video and photographic evidence,

nearly 30 years later,
the mystery is still unexplained.

When you see black triangles
or you hear about a wave,

you can't help but think,
"Is this potentially a testing ground?"

Were they US?

Were they-- were they a foreign technology

that-- that could represent
a national threat to them?

Or were they something from elsewhere?

[narrator] In the past seven decades,
governments around the world

have investigated
thousands of UFO sightings and encounters.

Often times under an umbrella of secrecy.

But despite officially denying
the existence of UFOs,

to this day, many in the public
are not convinced.

Each year, when I was working
on the UFO project,

I probably received
two or three hundred sighting reports,

and each of these
had to be properly investigated.

[narrator] Unsealed case file:
the O'Hare airport flying disc.

Chicago, Illinois. November 7th, 2006.

Something unusual appears
over one of the nation's busiest airports.

November 2006, 4:15 in the afternoon,
an object appears over O'Hare airport.

Aircraft operations are shut down
for a while, for this object.

This thing's sitting over the airport.

People are seeing it.
People are videoing it

and this thing just sits there.

[narrator] But what is it?

Many eyewitnesses that day
describe the object

as a rotating gray disc
shaped like a Frisbee.

It's a round, for want of a better term,

flying saucer-type,
uh, spacecraft or craft,

and people are looking at it,

and, uh, then all of a sudden,

the thing just goes up vertically
and punches a hole through the clouds.

[narrator] The incident is witnessed
by ground crew,

pilots, passengers, and airline personnel.

Uh, it did shut down
air operations for a while,

but other than that, we didn't have time
to scramble jets on it.

We didn't really react to it well.
We--we were in shock.

[narrator] But many are reluctant
to go on record and report what they saw.

You have to, uh, almost befriend them,

or, you know, certainly,
um, empathize with them.

Be receptive.

Put them at ease if they're concerned
that we wouldn't take them seriously,

concerned that we might think
they were wasting their time.

UFO. That's what I think it was. Yeah.

I mean this--this happened.

It's undeniable
and the Chicago Tribune, to their credit,

I believe, put this on the front page.

So, the mainstream media
knew that there was a story here.

[narrator] The O'Hare UFO
receives wide US network media coverage,

but the Federal Aviation Administration,

the government agency that oversees
national safety in our skies,

refuses to investigate.

I think because of the,
uh, ridicule factor,

both the airline and, indeed,
the, uh, Federal Aviation Administration

uh, kind of locked down this whole thing
and said, "Oh, it didn't happen."

Dozens of people saw it.

You know, you can't say that
this thing didn't happen. It happened.

[narrator] Authorities conclude

that due to the low cloud ceiling
that day,

conditions were perfect
for an atmospheric anomaly.

A skeptical explanation about
a weather phenomenon was put forward.

[narrator] Whatever was witnessed
hovering above O'Hare

is still, to this day, unexplained.

If you've got something flying
in--in such a controlled air space,

well, that's something
that should be taken seriously,

whether you're a believer or a skeptic.

[narrator] From studying UFOs
for years in the UK,

Nick Pope knows that investigations
are often abandoned due to lack of data.

In maybe 15% of cases,
there was insufficient information,

uh, too little data to--
to really come to a definitive conclusion.

[narrator] Is this the reason the FAA
will not investigate UFO Sightings?

Why wouldn't they care if a UFO is there?

It doesn't mean that it's alien,
but it means that it's a threat.

So, it really kind of begs the question,
are they covering up their interest?

[narrator] Despite overwhelming evidence
to the contrary,

many governments claim
that they do not investigate UFOs.

But those who have witnessed
unexplained phenomena in the sky

and many in the media,
choose to believe otherwise.

In 2011,

The Huffington Post asked The Pentagon
about a specific passage

in the United States Air Force
personnel manual.

Air Force manual 10-206

included a section
on how united states Air Force pilots

were to report UFO sightings.

All United States Air Force pilots

were instructed
and ordered to report any UFO,

any unidentified flying object
that they saw.

This was spelled out
in black and white, for years.

[narrator] Just a few days
after the inquiry

the passage was deleted.

Within 24 hours of this major media outlet

inquiring to The Pentagon
about this manual,

it was completely rewritten,
it was changed,

and the entire chapter on UFOs
was completely gone.

There are a couple of reasons

why the military
are very tight-lipped about UFOs.

Firstly, the military
are inherently a secretive organization.

The default position is always

"Say nothing, uh,
unless you absolutely have to."

They were gonna put the spotlight
and show beyond a reasonable doubt

unidentified flying objects
were still on the books

to be reported
as Air Force pilots see them.

The second point is that,
as an hierarchical organization,

It's actually very easy
to clamp down on this

because if a senior officer says,
"Don't talk about UFOs. That's an order,"

and all sorts of adverse consequences

uh, will--will befall
anyone who disobeys that.

That's why over the years,

the military has been very able
to keep a lot of this secret.

[narrator] Pentagon officials claim
it was a coincidence

that the passage was deleted
at the time of the inquiry.

[Greenewald] Why is there this big charade

that they're not interested
in anything related to UFOs?

And in black and white,
under the Freedom of Information Act,

you can completely prove the opposite.

[narrator] We may never know
exactly what kinds of UFO phenomena

governments around the globe
have investigated.

[Pope] This is not an area

I can discuss in any great detail,
of course, because I'm still bound

by the British government's
Official Secrets Act.

What I can say is that
through intelligence means,

those of us in government

have a--a pretty good idea
of the sorts of things that are out there.

[narrator] The question is...

what exactly is out there?

This is Unsealed: Alien Files,

exposing the biggest secret
on planet Earth.