Contact: thomastulien at gmail dot com
Following particular interests in the 1990s, I began a study of the history of the UFO phenomenon that eventually led to establishing the Sign Oral History Project. In May 2000, we interviewed Minot AFB, B-52 co-pilot Capt. Bradford Runyon, which resulted in years of research and various collaborations in order to present the 24 October 1968, Minot AFB case study online. The study provides a unique opportunity for students of UFO history to critically examine a remarkable UFO event in some detail and learn in the process.
A four-year intelligence study by Britain’s Ministry of Defense, entitled, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) in the UK Air Defence Region (2000), aka the “Condign Report,” acknowledges that the existence of UFOs “is indisputable.” The study also notes the phenomenon occurs on a daily, world-wide basis, and UFOs are credited with distinguishing attributes, such as “the ability to hover, land, take-off, accelerate to exceptional velocities and vanish, they can reportedly alter their direction in flight suddenly and clearly can exhibit aerodynamic characteristics well beyond those of any known aircraft or missile—either manned or unmanned.” The report concludes that UFOs can be explained as mis-reporting of man-made vehicles, natural phenomenon, or relatively rare and not completely understood natural phenomena. In particular, “the events are almost certainly attributable to physical, electrical and magnetic phenomena in the atmosphere.” Some may be triggered by meteor re-entry forming electrically-charged buoyant plasmas, however, “the conditions and method of formation… and the scientific rationale for sustaining them for significant periods is incomplete or not fully understood.”
For over 65 years, the UFO phenomenon has eluded any justifiable explication as to its actual cause. The official inquiries have resolutely focused on making UFOs known without actually trying to find out what they are, just as the USAF reassures that UFOs are not a national security threat. Professors Wendt and Duvall expound that in our current state, "the UFO can be known only by not asking what it is." This ignorance of UFOs transforms to active denial of their object status, and "to that extent one may speak of a UFO taboo, a prohibition in the authoritative public sphere on taking UFOs seriously, or thou shalt not try very hard to find out what UFOs are.”