An investigative reporter takes on the controversial subject of UFOs

UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government
Officials Go on the Record

Leslie Kean
Harmony Books
ISBN 978–0–307–71684–2
325 pages; Hardcover
$25.99 US $30.99 CAN

Credible witnesses and government investigators have documented thousands of compelling case reports and first-person accounts. We now have accumulated enough data to establish the reality of some kind of consistent physical phenomenon without a doubt. Still the American government lags behind, refusing to acknowledge any of this, leaving American citizens stuck in a perpetual stalemate.—Leslie Kean, UFOs p 210. (emphasis in original)

My own disclosure: I know Leslie Kean. For over a year, we worked in adjacent offices at KPFA, she with a daily investigative news program, I with the Evening News. During this time, she began her investigations into UFOs. I interviewed her once for a syndicated women’s program, but the interview never saw the light of day as Leslie did not feel she had done a good job. I would disagree, but I respected her assessment of her performance. I know her to be an honest person with a meticulous approach to journalism, no matter what the subject. Here is a brief description of her approach to the UFOs.

When probing the question of a possible secret government research program into UFOs, or anything, for that matter, that is highly sensitive, the sources will rarely go on the record, for obvious reasons. Their accounts are also extremely hard to verify, because even if they provide names of others involved, these people will deny any knowledge of such a program. Alarm bells could be set off by an attempt to locate such individuals, so sometimes I have been asked not to do so . . .

I am willing to take such sensitive information seriously when two more credible, qualified sources report the same thing independently of each other—for example, when men from different branches of government who don’t know each other, with years separating their statements, provide essentially the same reports.—UFOs p 233 (emphasis in original).

I have seen a literal unidentified flying object—actually it turned out to be two objects—over my neighborhood in Oakland, California, in the late 80s. To my best recollection, given where I was living at the time, it was 1987 or the first half of 1988. The objects were totally silent and unlike the many private and commercial planes that routinely fly over the neighborhood. They were oval lights, red-orange in color that were slowly dimming and brightening. They were substantially larger than the lights on the wingtips of planes or even the headlights of jets that fly at night but not giant.

They flew close together, one behind the other, so that, at first, I thought they were the lights of one vehicle. I knew I was seeing something unusual when the lights slowing reversed position-the one in front slowly switching places with the one behind it, still maintaining the distance between them. After the lights appeared to fly over the street, they separated. One continued flying north in a straight line. The other flew North-Northwest in a zig-zag fashion, heading toward San Francisco Bay. I had never seen anything like it before or since. Of course, I do not know the source of these objects.

I am in occasional Internet contact with a woman who claims to be a hybrid; she says she has human and extraterrestrial DNA. I have never seen documentation of this. If she or others who claim to be hybrids would come forth with documented medical evidence, it would be what physicist Dr. Michio Kaku calls “a smoking gun.” On the other hand, I leave open the possibility that maybe we have such evidence but don’t recognize it, in the form of the overwhelming majority of our DNA that modern geneticists define as “junk.”

I participate occasionally on a discussion list built around alleged channeled messages from extraterrestrials, mainly as an escape from the bad news of the world. Talk of Ascension, and of a Golden Age that is soon to begin is attractive. But my comments tend to be skeptical of the idea that ETs are monitoring our activities, that official disclosure of their presence is near, and that they will soon be among us with wonderful technologies that will end our dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear energy. In fact, it is something of a joke on the list that “soon” should have a trademark symbol next to it. There was no disclosure during the BP catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, or in the aftermath of the Sendai earthquake and tsunami that created a radioactivity disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that we are still coping with.

So it is with the attitude of an optimistic skeptic that I approached this book. Optimistic that we are not alone in the Universe or even in this galaxy, skeptical that a UFO of extraterrestrial origin is going to land in the Rose Garden any time soon. I watch the mainstream media reports that more “exoplanets” (planets beyond our solar system) have been found or that religious organizations such as the Catholic Church and the Nation of Islam have room in their theologies for extraterrestrial intelligence, and I watch “channeled” predictions of disclosure fall by the wayside.

People looking for proof of extraterrestrial intelligence will not find it in Leslie Keans’ UFO’s. But they will understand that UFOs in the most literal sense do exist. They are simply unidentified, flying and, yes, they are objects; the thrust of Kean’s book is to present evidence that these things, now called UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) in some circles, have been witnessed by credible observers, some of whom drew what they saw. Drawings accompany some of the witness reports in the book. The UFO/UAPs have also been tracked by radar in some cases and occasionally engaged by military aircraft. UFOs have been reported in at least 133 countries and Kean includes reports written for the book by witnesses from diverse places such as Iran, Peru, the UK, and Belgium.

But what is perhaps the most interesting and important part of the book is Kean’s look at how various nations treat the subject of UFOs. While many nations require military and civilian pilots to formally report any encounter with an object that may endanger the craft they are flying, the United States publicly denies the existence of UFOs and pilots risk ostracism to report an encounter to their airlines or the government. This attitude is exasperating to people in the international community that would like to see the United States take a leading role in investigating the phenomena.

Kean shows that while the official US position is that UFOs don’t exist, there is evidence that some group somewhere in the government is studying the issue. But the group that may be doing this is so covert that the president, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the director of the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) and Congress are out of the loop. This raises an issue that makes this book worth reading even for people who do not believe in the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. Does such secrecy—about anything—have a place in an allegedly democratic government? If our leaders in the White House, Congress and even the Pentagon are not formulating policy on UFOs–Kean reports on how President Carter’s efforts to get an investigation started were rebuffed—who are these people who have taken it upon themselves to decide for us that we are not to know about this subject and under what or whose authority do they make that decision?

About 5 percent of UFO sightings cannot be explained and their technology is apparently so advanced that the extraterrestrial hypothesis, though unproven, cannot be discounted. Perhaps this book will raise awareness of the issue to a level where Americans—Kean’s primary target—will demand to know more, about the provenance of UFOs, and about the workings of their own government.

Leslie Kean is co-founder of the Coalition for Freedom of Information. Her web site is

Kellia Ramares is an independent journalist in Oakland, CA. Her web site is She can be reached at

One Response to An investigative reporter takes on the controversial subject of UFOs

  1. Pingback: An investigative reporter takes on the controversial subject of … | Dodge Headlights Blog