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Enjoy this trip down Memory Lane with Cosmic Ray! (Part-IV)

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Ufology in the Sensational Seventies:  Saucers, Science, Space and Secrecy

By Dr. Raymond A. Keller, author of the international awards-winning Venus Rising book series, available on, while supplies last

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20 April 1976

United States Air Force Fighter Pilots Chasing Down UFOs

Cartoon from Courier Post, Hannibal, Missouri,

Cartoon from Courier Post, Hannibal, Missouri, 9 November 2020.


John M. Cathcart, a correspondent for the National Enquirer (Lantana, Florida), interviewed former United States Air Force personnel and discovered that Air Force fighter pilots have repeatedly been sent up to intercept UFOs, despite denials being made that such objects even exist from the top brass of that military service branch.  In the 20 April 1976 edition of the National Enquirer, Cathcart revealed that former airmen, now relatively free to talk about UFOs, told him that, “UFOs have been sighted and officially reported, tracked on radar by the hundreds and chased by Air Force planes sent after them.”

Ed Simpson, a policeman in Philips, Wisconsin, and a former Air Force radarman interviewed by Cathcart for the aforementioned National Enquirer article, declared, “I am well aware of UFOs.  We used to track them on radar and run up interceptors against them.  When I was stationed in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we had whole groups of UFOs that we tracked on radar and ‘scrambled’[1] jets after them that chased them around the sky.  Over a period of twelve years, I’d say that I tracked at least 50 UFOs.”

Cathcart wanted to know if the Air Force jets ever caught up with any of the UFOs, and Simpson replied, “No.”  The former radarman explained this: “Our planes would go up to around 52,000 feet, their normal limit, and the pilots would report the UFOs were 30,000 to 40,000 feet still higher.”  In other words, the greater maneuverability and speed of the objects kept them out of reach, and any potential danger, from the scrambled Air Force jets.

Simpson’s testimony was confirmed by Francis C. Sullivan, a retired Air Force master sergeant residing in Tucson, Arizona, who told Cathcart that, “I tracked hundreds of UFOs on radar.”  Sullivan spent 28 years in the Air Force, with 18 of them as a radar operator at air bases in Japan and the United States.  He added, “I couldn’t give you the exact number of UFOs I tracked on radar, but it must have been in the hundreds.  A lot of times we would scramble jets after them.”  But the objects would remain elusive during these scrambles, except on one occasion that Sullivan could remember, when a pilot did manage to get close to one outside an Air Force base on the outskirts of Masawa, Japan, back in 1951.   In recalling this incident, Sullivan stated that, “An officer pilot named Brigham was in the air and I was in radio contact with him when he sighted something and went after it.  He radioed, ‘I’ve never seen such a thing!  It’s round.  I don’t know what it is.  When I started closing in on it, it must have….  Anyway, it’s gone, Sully, it’s gone!  Just gone!’  The very next day they shipped him out of there.”

Many years later, in 1968, Sullivan made a telephone call to Peterson Field in Colorado, and he recognized the voice on the other end of the line as that of Brigham.  After he asked the pilot what happened to him after that UFO encounter in Japan, Brigham told him, “I can’t talk about it.  They took me to Washington, D.C., and that is all I can tell you.  I still can’t discuss it and I have been told not to.”

And Kenneth Leland, an elementary school principal in Superior, Wisconsin, who was serving as a lieutenant colonel in the Minnesota Air National Guard, frankly admitted, “My plane was ‘scrambled’ after a UFO was actually detected and seen over a radar site northeast in Duluth, Minnesota.”  As to the situation leading up to his encounter, Leland was flying as a radar observer in a two-man jet based at the Duluth Air Force Base back in 1959 when his plane was scrambled and ordered to intercept the UFO.  Leland noted, “At that time, there were quite a few of UFO sightings.  In this particular case, the UFO we were involved with was definitely on the radar in our plane.  The UFO was actually over a radar station at Finland, Minnesota, northeast of Duluth.  We heard on the radio that some of the fellows at the radar site had gone outside and looked at it, hovering over the site.  But by the time we got there, it was gone.”  He added that, “The people on the ground there said the UFO went about 1,000 feet to 200 miles high and left the area completely in a very brief amount of time.  There was no way we could have chased it, because it was gone before we ever got there.”


June 1976

College Credits for “Meeting Aliens” Class

          In the June 1976 issue of UFO Contact (Vejle, Denmark), United States correspondent Dora Bauer reports that some 100 students in are enrolled in the first college credit course designed to prepare Earthlings for “probable meetings with creatures from outer space” in the near future.  Students at the Palm Beach Junior College in Lake Worth, Florida, are studying a new science known as “exosociology.”  Basically, this course of study examines the, “overwhelming probability of superior intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.”  This course even goes so far as to detail what actions human beings should take upon meeting up with such an advanced entity.

The instructor, Dr. Richard E. Yinger (1941-2014), received his doctorate in sociology from Florida State University and signed on with Palm Beach Junior College in 1974, remaining with that institution until his retirement in 2006, whence he was still teaching the controversial course.  Yinger was an early associate with Dr. J. Allen Hynek of the Center for UFO Studies in Evanston, Illinois.  He first became interested in UFOs and the possibilities of extraterrestrial visitations to Earth back in 1964, and joined the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) of Tucson, Arizona, a private scientific research group, to find out as much as possible concerning this modern-day enigma.  In line with both the policies of APRO and the Center for UFO Studies, Yinger proclaimed, “It is time to remove this important subject from the realm of fantasy and to give it its proper status as a serious subject for scientific research.”


Dr. Richard E. Yinger (1941-2014).

Dr. Richard E. Yinger (1941-2014), Florida sociologist who taught the first college-credited class on extraterrestrial contact. He believed the ETs would come as friends and cautioned students about exhibiting fear. 


Yinger provided his students a “probable portrait” of the extraterrestrial beings: “These outer space creatures are thought to be grey-skinned, with humanoid arms and legs, and stand upright.  They do not have discernable mouths and noses.  They use a form of extrasensory perception instead of a spoken language.”

He further explained that most of the UFOs seen by millions of all countries and all walks of life, are most likely interplanetary spaceships propelled by some type of magnetic drive system.  Also, the sociologists noted that we probably have little to fear from these extraterrestrials, at least since they have so far exhibited no evidence of weaponry or warlike designs against Earthlings.

In regards to an actual encounter with these entities, and what he says about this in his class, Yinger explained, “Our students are taught that they should deal with outer space visitors as they would with any other new and different social phenomenon, with the advantage of knowing that these creatures are peaceful and mean us no harm.  We prepare students to face the situation without panic, and to give the visitors a chance to communicate.  Above all, we caution that nothing be done that should tend to sensationalize the event and create fear among the people on Earth.”

Girl from rooftop ET welcoming party on Independence Day (1996, 20th Century Fox) movie.

Girl from rooftop ET welcoming party on Independence Day (1996, 20th Century Fox) movie. What if Dr. Yinger was wrong?


17 November 1976

Swedish Air Force Pilot Observes UFOs

          A colonel in the Swedish Air Force, while piloting a military aircraft at an altitude of 12,000 feet, encountered a formation of six UFOs flying in a triangular formation in the frigid skies over northern Sweden.   In an interview with a reporter from the Stockholm, Sweden, daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, that appeared in the 18 November 1976 edition, the colonel only commented on his observation with the understanding that his identity would remain anonymous.  “The formation passed about 6,000 feet in front of me,” remarked the colonel, who added that, “The objects looked silvery and illuminated, probably self-illuminated.”

Six UFOs in triangular formation:

Six UFOs in triangular formation: “Strange lights so powerful that people have been blinded by them.”

In the same newspaper for the previous day’s edition, the same reporter mentioned a flurry of UFO reports emanating from the northern climes of both Sweden and neighboring Finland.  For the most part, the UFOs sighted in these cases were reported as “strange lights so large and so powerful that people have been blinded by them.”

In the 18 November 1976 issue of the Svenska Dagbladet, the reporter informed the newspaper’s readers that he had contacted military authorities in Stockholm about the colonel’s encounter as well as the other sightings in the northern tier of Sweden and Finland, but they had no explanations to offer for any of these occurrences.

Major Hans C. Petersen, a retired Danish Air Force officer and editor of UFO Contact, the official publication of the contactee study group, International Get Acquainted Program (IGAP), headquartered in Vejle, Denmark, in writing about this UFO flap in its December 1976 issue, noted that the recent articles in Svenska Dagbladet, “give a rather good general picture of what is going on all over the world.  People report seeing UFOs; and reports are pouring in from pilots and seamen showing that UFOs are also seen in the air and on the seas.  And to all this we can add that the official attitude is still concealment.”

To answer the question as to whether the retired Air Force major saw any chance for this intransigent attitude of the military and political authorities in Sweden and many other countries to change any time soon, Petersen curtly said, “Probably not.”


December 1976

Artwork by Hayden Aube

Artwork by Hayden Aube at

Lessons to Be Learned from Space Friends

          The December 1976 Christmas issue of UFO Contact (Vol. 5, No. 6, Vejle, Denmark), the official publication of the International Get Acquainted Program (IGAP) throughout Scandinavia, published a series of quotes from the late Southern California contactee, George Adamski (1891-1965), concerning important lessons to be learned from our friendly visitors from other planets in the solar system and even beyond.  While there is much we have learned about the development of atomic energy and rocketry, conditions in outer space, and its possible colonization by human beings in years to come, the extraterrestrials observing our world have sadly noticed that we have been sorely lacking in progress insofar as the human social fields are concerned.

Adamski declared, “Our visitors (from other planets) say that they cannot find any two groups working together as one because self or personal interest is predominant.  And the many labels used in presenting them are confusing and dividing the people instead of uniting them.  Even within the groups there is a constant backbiting going on; and a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

One of the problems noted in the UFO community has been the intransigence on the part of leaders in certain groups to give up on their “pet theories” that they have adopted in an effort to explain the phenomenon.  Due to bloated egos and selfish personalities, these stubborn ones have refused to even listen to the messages imparted by the contactees.  “And yet,” noted Adamski, “if we are to achieve the friendly, sharing environment that the space people enjoy, and establish the kind of society that we all hope and dream for, we will have to apply their instructions regardless of how contrary they may be to our way of life.  Just as the scientists have made progress by applying the information given them.”

By this last statement, Adamski later explained that certain scientists in strategic countries around the globe have been contacted by the space people, these being provided with valuable information from the extraterrestrials for the future development of all humankind.  Those scientists who actually acted on this material gained extremely valuable data pertaining to conditions, both general and specific, outside the Earth’s atmosphere.


Trust and Faith

The Polish-born Southern California contactee also elucidated on one of the possible solutions to this dilemma:

“A necessary ingredient for this growth is trust in each other, as they (the space people) have trusted us.  And trust, in turn, depends upon faith and willingness to try.  A few years back, who would have thought that humans would be moving through space as they are today, and sending instruments in capsules to gain knowledge of the outer regions of our atmosphere?  This type of faith has been referred to as ‘blind faith.”  But where would we be without it?  It was this that allowed Marconi, Steinmetz, Einstein and others to work in unknown fields that have changed the world for the betterment of humankind.”

Through the ongoing work of the contactees, the message from our friendly neighbors on other planets in the solar system as to how we can improve conditions overall on Earth have been imparted to peoples of every clime.  That so few are taking heed of these messages being relayed from the contactees has been a sad disappointment for our space brothers and sisters.  We have certainly been given enough information from these exalted beings to transform our world into a veritable paradise.  However, unless we start to implement their beneficial suggestions, no positive results can be expected anytime soon.  “You may say,” noted Adamski, “that it would be difficult to adopt their (cosmic) philosophy of life here on Earth with all of the opposition that there is, but how will we ever know if we never try.”

Of course, the first place to start this process is with each individual.  Having faith in each other certainly promotes trust and helps bind us together as one, in spirit, at least.  The contactee astutely observed that, “This is the only law by which a man or woman can come to know their Creator and His purpose.  Thus, nothing is impossible.”

While it is true that one so enlightened will still witness some unpleasant conditions on our planet during the transitionary period, as others gradually assume a “new evaluation of life,” the situation is bound to improve overall.  Newness will become constant while the old ways of life begin to wane.  “It is faith,” wrote the wise contactee, “that enables the people on other planets to progress as they have; and it permits them to live as one family respecting each other as a manifestation and expression of the Divine Creator.”

Faith is the key to continuous progress.  It does away with all divisions.  Mostly, however, faith removes selfishness through a displacement of the ego.  George Adamski, a professor of the mystic arts long before he ever became a contactee, came to understand that, “Faith is the only law that is eternal, for it reveals new knowledge eternally.  It is the Law of the Unified Cosmos.  The past, present and future are all in it.”

Excellent advice for the inhabitant of any planet, I would say.  Wouldn’t you?

[1] “Scrambling” is an Air Force term indicating a rapid, emergency take off of military aircraft in response to an alert.

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