Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Idle

FBI Relents, Confirms Previously-Denied UFO Investigation (muckrock.com) 85

Long-time Slashdot reader v3rgEz writes: A Freedom of Information Act request for FBI files on a figure at the center of dozens of 20th century conspiracy theories reveals a rare glimpse into the Bureau's real-life "X-Files" -- which the agency had long maintained don't exist. And while there's no evidence yet of Mulder or Scully, the files do include a story of flying saucers and secret assassins stranger than anything on the show.
Specifically the documents detail the FBI's 1947 investigation into "flying discs" reported by early conspiracy theorist Fred Lee Crisman, describing "the Maury Island Incident" (picked up by U.S newspapers) which helped popularize the legend of UFO witnesses being detained by "men in black". Ironically, Crisman was later linked to one of the CIA's anti-Castro groups, connecting him another popular topic for conspiracy theorists: the assassination of President Kennedy.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

FBI Relents, Confirms Previously-Denied UFO Investigation

Comments Filter:
  • by zifn4b ( 1040588 ) on Saturday December 10, 2016 @03:49PM (#53460359)
    Perhaps they didn't admit to the investigation because it's embarrassing how much time and energy was put into investigating a hoax?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 10, 2016 @04:14PM (#53460421)

      Even if they were "Hoax(s)" that doesn't mean investigating them wasn't worth doing.

      Look at the crop circles fad that happened in the 90s, etc. That ended up proving several new geometric proofs (in relationship between circles and triangles IIRC)

      Investigating Hoax(s) are worth the time of the FBI, if nothing else than to produce a back-catalog of hoaxes and how they were preformed.... BUT... the key to this is transparency and oversight... something the FBI has NEVER wanted (Ignoring the events over the past 6mos that are a prime example)

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Look at the crop circles fad that happened in the 90s, etc. That ended up proving several new geometric proofs (in relationship between circles and triangles IIRC)

        What the shit?

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        >Look at the crop circles fad that happened in the 90s, etc. That ended up proving several new geometric proofs (in relationship between circles and triangles IIRC)

        That is 100% complete bullshit. I am so confident in this I won't even say "I'm 99% sure that's not correct, please provide sources."
        There is nothing fundamentally new or interesting that mathematicians learned from crop circles.

        • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Saturday December 10, 2016 @05:27PM (#53460675) Homepage
          I recalled something on this too, so I did a little Googling. Turns out that a former Chair of the Astronomy Dept. at Boston University called Gerald S. Hawkins did indeed propose some theories [sciencenews.org] based on designs found in crop circles. There's more than a little kookiness in the search results because a lot of the nature of the topic, not helped by some echos of Gödel Escher Bach [wikipedia.org] with some musical connections in his findings, but there does appear to be some genuine math behind it - although it's questionable whether the perpetrators of the crop circles were just using trial and error or actually doing the math first. Basically, it all comes down to relationships between nested regular polygons that touch at each vertex or mid-point of an edge, e.g. a circle that touches all four corners of a square and so on. Euclid documented many of these, but Hawkins supposedly found a bunch of new variations that he (or anyone else) failed to find any evidence of past proofs for; it's hardly up there with Pythagoras' theorem, but they are genuine geometric theorems.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            Theorems don't have to be profoundly useful or game-changing in any way, they just have to be unique and mathematically correct.

            • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Saturday December 10, 2016 @06:28PM (#53460883) Homepage
              No, that was my point - I thought I'd emphasised that in the last line. It might - quite literally - have come out of a field of study riddled with hoaxes and kooks, but it does appear that Hawkins discovered a set of previously unknown Euclidean-style geometric relationships in his meticulous study of the various designs the perpetrators used.
              • by CODiNE ( 27417 )

                Sounds like some local cryptographers having fun.

                • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
                  Amongst other groups, I think that more than likely. Most crop circles in the UK tend to occur in a belt across the South of England that includes GCHQ, several stone circles including Stonehenge, several universities including Oxford and Warwick, then London, and is well served by arterial roads to facilitate fairly rapid access to suitable fields. Factor in that the crops ripen in autumn, just after the new intake of student happens each year, and there are some pretty obvious potential sources of perpe
              • by dbIII ( 701233 )

                Euclidean-style geometric relationships

                Obviously a hoax then.
                If I know my Lovecraft those aliens will be doing non-euclidean stuff.

      • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

        Even if they were "Hoax(s)" that doesn't mean investigating them wasn't worth doing.

        I'm pretty sure my tax dollars could be put to better use...

      • Look at the crop circles fad that happened in the 90s, etc. That ended up proving several new geometric proofs (in relationship between circles and triangles IIRC)

        Do tell. With links, preferably.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      This was during Cold War, so of course they investigated UFOs. Both sides even tried to train 'paranormal media' to find out if they could be used for spying. Guess what, the results were not convincing.
      • by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Saturday December 10, 2016 @04:49PM (#53460539)

        Hell, even if the FBI laughed their butts off at the idea of an extra-terrestrial craft crashing on Earth they would STILL go check that it wasn't a Soviet nuke!

        • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Saturday December 10, 2016 @07:34PM (#53461043) Journal

          Heck, the FBI was involved in the one big conspiracy-coverup we know was true from the 20th century - and the UFO investigations were key to it.

          When game-changing new airplane designs from stealth technology to the SR-71 were being invented, during the height of the cold war, it was all about secrecy - but what do you do about eye-witnesses to these odd-looking planes, including people like pilots that it's hard to write off as kooks? You investigate each reported sighting as a "UFO sighting", and then loudly deny that you're investigating UFO sightings.

          The plan seems to have worked pretty well - eye witness reports and even some photographs of experimental aircraft were dismissed as fakes by the public - and as far as we know, by the Russians. The more interesting the reports - triangular aircraft with no tails, aircraft moving faster and higher than anything known - the more easily it was dismissed as "UFO nuts". Brilliant plan, really, and the only modern conspiracy I know of that actually kept a secret long enough to matter.

          • triangular aircraft with no tails, aircraft moving faster and higher than anything known - Have seen them a-plenty, but have never once thought BEMs
          • UFO = Unidentified Flying Object, which the steaths and SR-71 would qualify as if the people didn't know what they were (were working on the program). No conspiracy theory, or denial needed.

        • I hope they monitored all the UFO sightings, checked which ones could be explained by the USA's and allies own secret craft, and the know Soviet tests, then used the information to get some idea where else the Soviets were testing their experimental aircraft and to get some idea of the capabilities of the ones they really wanted to keep secret ...

           

  • Time to put on your tin foil hats boys and girls!

  • Considering there's more FBI UFO material floating around from FOIA requests than that for COINTELPRO, I have a hard time believing that all this stuff amounts to nothing.

    However, what that "something" actually is... could be anything from "Greys being real" to "old vacuum cleaner bags spew dust".

    Smart people know something is up. People who do not know the limits of their own intellect build folklore as fact.

    • I can't quite figure out what you're saying. Is the "something" that is "up" some kind of covered-up evidence of the supernatural and/or UFOs or other science fiction? Or is the "something" that is "up" some kind of government conspiracy to mislead people into ???I'm not sure what??? believing in UFOs via weirdly timed stories?

      I genuinely don't understand what you are trying to say.

      • Re:Reality.... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Saturday December 10, 2016 @07:02PM (#53460985)

        The best conspiracy theories have some truth in them.

        Take Roswell, for example. A mysterious craft crash-lands in a small town. Locals find it, and many people witness the wreck. It's made of strange materials, so light they almost float on air, and elaborate machines like nothing ever seen with parts far beyond any technology they were familiar with. Before news spreads far, men from the government turn up with big guns - they load the wreck into a truck and take it away, never to be seen again. The witnesses are told never to speak of what they saw, threats of jail are made should they do so, and the local media are ordered to report it only as a crashed weather balloon.

        All that is true. You can see where the conspiracy theory started: There really was a genuine conspiracy and cover-up. The only thing popular culture got wrong was the reason behind the conspiracy: It wasn't an alien craft, but a high-altitude military balloon used for long-distance detection of Soviet nuclear tests. Super-advanced (for the 40s) military technology, but not alien.

        Area 51 is another good case. Secret base, top-secret-classified to the point the government barely even acknowledges it exists, lots of heavily armed men guarding it (mostly again UFO-hunters trying to sneak in), good fodder for a conspiracy theory because there is a genuine conspiracy. It even has stories of strange and alien-seeming craft seen in the area, including a few flying saucers - and stories of the military trying to silence the witnesses with threats of imprisonment. But again, the conspiracy isn't really aliens: Area 51 is an experimental aircraft testing and development site.

        There's also a separate and rather too-plausible conspiracy theory that Area 51 has been seriously violating environmental law by burning all sorts of toxic substances in open-air fires rather then go through proper disposal methods, and in doing so caused damage to the health of contractors at the base, then hiding behind top-secret classification in order to block any attempts at investigation or legal action against the government. The lawsuit was abandoned due to lack of evidence, because all records of the alleged incident are classified and so could not be used in court.

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          There really were aliens at sites like that and government of the time preferred it if the public did not know of them:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip

          In the 1940s and 1950s the public were not especially fond of ex-Nazis who had worked slaves to death.
    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      Okay, there are aliens. Now what?

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      Considering the FBI still believes in and uses "lie detectors" invented by the guy who wrote "Wonder Woman" ( I am not shitting you, look it up) I wouldn't read too much into the FBI taking this stuff seriously.

      Smart people know something is up

      That's how they want you to think of them, especially around budget time. Being scammed by a comic book writer for decades points to them being something other than that.

  • In the 1960's my father, a well-known and respected physicist, led a government sponsored group of scientists to investigate these reports and sightings. They had top-secret access to all of this information. After a year they concluded that it was all bogus, and all of it had perfectly plebeian explanations.
    • In the 1960's my father, a well-known and respected physicist, led a government sponsored group of scientists to investigate these reports and sightings. They had top-secret access to all of this information. After a year they concluded that it was all bogus, and all of it had perfectly plebeian explanations.

      Project Blue Book [wikipedia.org] ran from 1951-1970. You don't even have the time period right.

  • Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    "Ironically, Crisman was later linked to one of the CIA's anti-Castro groups, connecting him another popular topic for conspiracy theorists: the assassination of President Kennedy."

    Okay, I'll bite. How is this ironic in any way, shape, or form?

  • Oh boy oh boy, what an embarrassment! But you know what this could be the government secret strategy to drive UFO-nuts insane.

C for yourself.

Working...