Grant Cameron, one of the foremost UFO scholars in the world, directs the online project known as “The President’s UFO Website” (www.presidentialUFO.com
). The website has UFO-related studies and materials dated from every presidential administration starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Cameron’s article titled “President Carter, Daniel Sheehan, and Donald Menzel: The Congressional Research Service UFO Studies for President Jimmy Carter” describes the role played by Sheehan in examining the classified sections of the U.S. Air Force’s 1969 study of UFOs known as Project Blue Book, which was never released for public distribution. (To retrieve the full article, Google “The Marcia Smith Story — The President’s UFO Study.”)
Sheehan, with whom I have met and discussed his UFO work, is a Harvard Ph.D. and law graduate who served as general counsel to the U.S. Jesuit National Headquarters — National Office of Social Ministry in Washington, D.C. In 1976, he also served as a consultant to Marcia Smith, an analyst in science and technology with the Congressional Research Service. At the beginning of the Carter administration, Smith was asked by the U.S. House Science and Technology Committee to undertake two major investigations:
- To determine whether extraterrestrial intelligence existed in our galaxy.
- To determine what the relationship of UFO phenomena might be to extraterrestrial intelligence.
Sheehan’s primary role was to review the classified sections of Project Blue Book and provide his findings to Smith for inclusion in her report to the congressional committee. The secret Blue Book materials were kept in a vaulted room in the basement of the Library of Congress’s Madison Building in Washington, and Smith had received permission from Air Force officials to grant Sheehan access to the vault.
Sheehan was allowed entrance into the vault by two security officers and one plainclothes official. When he entered the vault, he found a large assortment of UFO materials, including a 35 mm film projector and numerous films of far distant shots of strange vehicles.
After examining several boxes of films, he discovered one canister that included very clear photographs of what appeared to be a crashed UFO sitting on the ground. “It had hit into this field and had dug up, kind of plowed this kind of trough through this field,” Sheehan said. “It was wedged into the side of the mud-like embankment kind of up at an angle. There were Air Force personnel. As I cranked the little handle and looked at additional photos, these Air Force people were taking pictures.
“In the photograph, they were taking photographs of this vehicle. One of the photos actually had the Air Force personnel with this big long tape measuring this thing. You could see that they had these parkas on, with little fur around their hoods. You could see that they had little name tags on their jacket. They were clearly U.S. Air Force personnel.”
After viewing the various classified materials, Sheehan shared his information with Smith. She, in turn, drafted two reports for the House Science and Technology Committee, one on the collected extraterrestrial intelligence information and the other on unidentified flying objects.
Sheehan said the first report concluded “there are from two to six highly intelligent, highly technologically developed civilizations in our own galaxy over and above our own.
“In the second report, they had drawings of different shapes of UFOs that have been sighted,” Sheehan said. “They didn’t cite any particular case, but they said that they believe there was a significant number of instances where the official U.S. Air Force investigations were unable to discount the possibility that one or more of these vehicles was actually from one of these extraterrestrial civilizations. They put this together and sent it over to the president. I ended up seeing a copy of it.”
To date, the United States has failed to fully acknowledge and disclose the classified findings of Project Blue Book.
In fact, a May 2010 Air Force statement said: “There was no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as unidentified represented technological development or principles beyond the range of modern scientific knowledge.” That statement is contrary to the testimony of dozens of former U.S. military officers and government officials. And while the testimony of Sheehan does not prove the extraterrestrial visitation hypothesis, it indicates the Air Force failed to share the whole truth with the public when, over the years, it frequently said it “had nothing to hide.”
Cameron’s website contains several other very interesting UFO cover-up episodes, including one in the Clinton administration. It is a treasure trove for UFO historians and other analysts.
Bill Wickersham is an MU adjunct professor of peace studies and a member of Veterans for Peace.