Thursday, 24 July 2014

Getting Straight Answers From The Royal Australian 

Air Force

             “Air Force does not monitor unidentified aircraft outside of its controlled airspace...”

              - Group Captain Barbara Courtney, Director of Coordination, Royal Australian Air Force

             Indeed. This, and other misleading statements, formed the body of a 14th August, 2013 reply letter from the one Group Captain Barbara Courtney, Director of Coordination, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to my very specific inquiries sent to the Office of the Chief of Air Force on 6th August, 2013, as we shall see.

             Obtaining correct terms, terminology and references for any topic dealt with in officialdom is vital when forming requests for documented materials under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Already aware that there are a myriad of official terms, terminology and references used for UFO’s within other agencies the world over, I wanted to confirm what Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD), especially the RAAF, currently uses in different settings (be they air defence radar environments, pilot-controller radio communications, air safety incident databases, etc) before drafting a series of detailed and unambiguous FOI requests for documents held by our DoD. In a detailed letter to the Chief of Air, I outlined some current terms and references which are explicitly known to be officially used around the world for serious UFO events. For instance, air-and-space environment monitoring systems within United States Air Force Space Command’s (AFSPACOM) 50th Space Wing use the term “Uncorrelated Target” for any unknown or unusual bogey which may present itself above North America. In France, pilot’s – both military and civilian – use a phrase which translates as “Unregistered Traffic” or “Unknown Traffic”. Other examples abound. Thus, with this information laid out for the Chief of Air in my very reasonable letter to his Office, along with a series of even more reasonable questions, I believed that I was going to be furnished with direct and honest answers. Below is the actual reply letter I received:

            I received this extraordinary correspondence in my letterbox on the 15th of August, 2013 from the above mentioned Director of Coordination, RAAF, on behalf of the Chief of Air. Note the first paragraph stated:

           “Air Force does not monitor unidentified aircraft outside of it’s controlled airspace nor does it monitor unidentified aircraft when airspace is deactivated. However, if an aircraft enters active controlled airspace without a clearance it is termed a ‘Violation of Controlled Airspace’. An Air Safety Occurrence Report is raised on each violation and forwarded to the Directorate of Defence Aviation and Air Force Safety of filing.”

Thus, my detailed enquires are dismissed in three sentences.

           Firstly, not once in my enquiry letter did I specifically ask about airspace. What I did ask about is all terms, terminology and references for UFO events – be they unknown or unidentified aircraft, aircraft operating illegally, re-entry of space debris bodies, or anything else stranger still; and in all settings – pilot voice transmissions, training manuals for defence aviators, etc. However, one has to go with the reply that was given to me, and the terminology they offered is ‘Violation of Controlled Airspace’. Are we to assume then that an Australian Army helicopter pilot would state to controllers: “What traffic do we have up here with us… I have a violation of controlled airspace flying with me on my port side!”  The notion that a pilot would use a phrase such as ‘violation of controlled airspace’ to describe another aircraft is, of course, ludicrous. I have since found out, through dealings with three current members of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) that a few terms would be used by personal, which include, predictably, ‘unknown’ and ‘unidentified aircraft’. Furthermore, I have since found out that the RAAF’s 41 Wing, one of four Wings that make up the Surveillance and Response Group, use the terms ‘Contact of Interest’ and ‘Critical Contact of Interest’. I have also seen the term ‘Uncooperative Target Infringement’ in an internal DoD email. So much for the Director of Coordination’s efforts to detail this information to me.

              Secondly, and of somewhat more importance, was the statement “Air Force does not monitor unidentified aircraft outside of it’s controlled airspace…”. This seems completely unrealistic. The RAAF would be in a sorry state indeed if it didn’t monitor any unknown aircraft in uncontrolled airspace. The No. 1 Radar Surveillance Unit (1RSU), within 41 Wing, operates the Jinadalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) which has cost taxpayers a rather large sum of money if it is not used for the precise purpose it was developed for: peering down on massive swathes of land and sea, the vast majority of which is considered uncontrolled airspace. Obviously this is not the case, and I will be discussing JORN in future posts. More specifically, in regards to an actual example of the RAAF monitoring uncontrolled airspace for unidentified aircraft, take a following section of an RAAF Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) which raised an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) around Sydney in 2007 for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit:

C1252/07 REVIEW C1241/07
ADIZ ESTABLISHMENT FROM 0708292300 TO 0709101400

So, here we see an example of the RAAF monitoring uncontrolled airspace, and it does not take a genius to realise that they would have been doing so to, amongst other things maybe, monitor unknown aircraft or suspiciously behaving aircraft during this time.

              Thirdly, the reply letter sent to me also states “An Air Safety Occurrence Report is raised…” for airspace violations and is “forwarded to the Directorate of Defence Aviation and Air Force Safety of filing.”. This is essentially correct, it seems, as I have confirmed the issue with two sources for which I am grateful. However, the term “Air Safety Occurrence Report” may be, in fact, actually known as an “Aviation Safety Occurrence Report”. The terms “air” and “aviation” are, of course, interchangeable, so, while me highlighting this matter here may seem pedantic, when one is attempting to gain information for future FOI Requests, every single detail counts. Requesting a document that does not technically exist is obviously not in the best interests of anyone.

           The above examples of clear misrepresentation of facts by the RAAF is not evidence of a cover-up of any UFO activity which may be occurring in Australia’s airspace. It is, however, an example of fob-off and lethargy in dealing with a serious researcher who is asking very reasonable questions to the very people he pays to employ. Of course, there are the bewildering number of documented examples where outright lies have been dealt out by such agencies regarding the UFO matter; and not involving just civilian researchers. There has been around the globe, as many of you will know, a succession of Prime Ministers, Defence Ministers, Presidents, Chief’s of Air Staff, Commander-in-Chief’s of Unified or Joint Commands, Secretary’s of Defence or Intelligence, etc who have been deliberately misled and lied to by the few that know more about the UFO matter than they care to let on – and that’s putting it mildly. I will be, in future, documenting some such examples which have come directly from government archives. Knowing that such leaders and military top brass  have been given the run-around does not bode well for anyone else attempting to obtain some honest answers. After all, if the great Winston Churchill was misled by the British Air Ministry during his Prime Ministership, as can be found in a ten page file at the Public Records Office in Kew, England, what chance does a civilian researcher have?

Friday, 4 July 2014

Introduction to New Blog “UFOs – Documenting The Evidence”

         "I think it’s time to open the books on questions that have remained in the dark; on the question of government investigations of UFOs. It’s time to find out what the truth really is that’s out there. We ought to do it because it’s right; we ought to do it because the American people quite frankly can handle the truth; and we ought to do it because it’s the law."                               

-     John Podesta, former White House Chief-of-Staff to President  Bill Clinton

            My name is Paul Dean. I am a Melbourne based researcher who has spent 22 years studying masses of verifiable and ever-stronger evidence that unidentified and unexplainable events have occurred, and continue to occur, in our atmosphere. This evidence essentially entails the reality of what we term Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO’s) or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP).  Such evidence includes reviewable radar imagery, formally classified military, intelligence and civil agency documents (now numbering in the hundreds of thousands of pages) and recorded testimony from extremely reliable and credible persons associated with the UFO matter at an official level. I am not interested in outrageous, unverifiable and unsubstantiated claims made by people. I have little time for the more “fringe” elements of the field. Nor do I have time for what veteran researcher Bill Chalker accurately calls “UFO theatre”: the entertainment spectre of the UFO subject, most of which is utter nonsense and does great damage to serious research. I purely look at the compelling and reviewable evidence which is increasingly on the table.

In this blog I will be presenting, on at least a weekly basis, wholly new information regarding certain aspects of the UFO phenomenon, and, especially, the evidence that so supports it. I will be discussing, if not actually presenting in uploaded image form, documents I have obtained from Australia’s various authorities under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Archives Act. I will be presenting information gleaned from interviews with persons directly or indirectly related to the UFO matter. Some of the information I will be detailing in the near future on this blog may be somewhat surprising, and certainly unknown to others in the field.

In my mid-teens and early-twenties, I leaned towards common thoughts regarding the UFO issue: Most, maybe all UFO events can be explained by myriad natural phenomena: misidentified aircraft; astronomical bodies; hoaxes; hallucinations and the like. Only when I started reviewing declassified government documents and listening to persons directly involved with the issue did I begin to run out of explanations. I now find the evidence so consistent and overwhelming that no reasonably intelligent person can deny that something amiss is happening in our skies. The gigantic numbers of released files directly dealing with the UFO matter plainly demonstrate that a not-so-insignificant number of government agencies have closely watched the matter, studied it and reached startling conclusions – conclusions most certainly kept well out of the public sphere.

"I think it’s time to open the books on questions that have remained in the dark; on the question of government investigations of UFOs. It’s time to find out what the truth really is that’s out there. We ought to do it because it’s right; we ought to do it because the American people quite frankly can handle the truth; and we ought to do it because it’s the law."

With these explosive words, John Podesta, the former White House Chief-of-Staff (and most trusted aide) to former President Bill Clinton, surprised audiences at Washington DC’s National Press Club during a filmed press conference organised by the Coalition for Freedom of Information in 2002. They were yet another official, current and high-level confirmation that our governments work actively in this field to hide information from the public.

Another potent statement that springs to mind appeared in the Forward of Timothy Good’s ground-breaking 590 page book Above Top Secret: The World Wide UFO Cover-Up. Admiral Peter Hill-Norton, recently retired Chief of Defence Staff of the United Kingdom and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, could not be clearer:

"The evidence that there are objects which have been seen in our atmosphere, and even on terra firma, that cannot be accounted for either as manmade objects or as any physical force or effect known to our scientists, seems to me to be overwhelming. A very large number of sightings have been vouched for by persons whose credentials seem to me unimpeachable. It is striking that so many have been trained observers, such as police officers and airline or military pilots. Their observations have in many instances been supported either by technical means such as radar or, even more convincingly, by interference with electrical apparatus of one sort or another."

If only there were a handful of statements ‘doing the rounds’ like these, one may find more palatable explanations for them. But there are not just a few of these recorded, verifiable pieces of spoken or written testimony by such high-placed people: There are hundreds.

When asked why I am so interested in the UFO matter probably my most central answer is that I have the sort of mind that wants things satisfactorily explained, and the one aspect of this whole matter which is starkly clear to me is that UFO’s, and the official response from government agencies, have not been explained to my satisfaction. It is as simple as that. When I say that I have studied this matter for 22 years, I actually mean it. I have had to learn about everything from military chains-of-command to air defence capabilities; from angular velocity to aviation safety regulations; from military document classification to atmospheric physics. I have had correspondence and engagement with Australia’s Minister for Defence; the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) Directorate of Coordination; Emergency Management Australia (EMA), within the Attorney General’s Department; The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Strategic Command; The Department of Defence’s Freedom of Information Directorate; Victoria Police; the Civilian Aviation Safety Authority (CASA); Airservices Australia (AsA); the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau; the National Archives of Australia (NAA); the Freedom of Information Office of the United States Navy (USN); the Navy History and Heritage Command of the USN; America’s North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD); the United States Air Force’s (USAF) Air Force Space Command; the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom; and a raft of other government offices, bureaus, cells, agencies and units throughout the Australia and the world.

I wish to firstly thank long time researcher Keith Basterfield for working with me so closely over the past two years. Our cooperation and specific endeavours have become intertwined to the point that our work is one-in-the-same. I also want to thank my wife Olivia for encouraging me to keep digging. I can also add research Bill Chalker to my list of acknowledgments for his knowledge and support. In Australian governance I am indebted to a number of persons who have assisted me. In no special order I wish to thank: Group Captain Barbara Courtney, Director of Coordination, Royal Australian Air Force; Group Captain Catherine Wallis, Director of Coordination, Royal Australian Air Force; Captain Simon Bateman, Director of Navy Communications and Coordination, Royal Australian Navy; Melissa Davidson, Assistant Director, Freedom of Information, Department of Defence; Daniel O'Malley, Communications Officer, Australian Transport Safety Bureau; John Taylor, Principal Lawyer, Australian Transport Safety Bureau; Steve Neal, Section Head, Government, Industry and Community Relations Section, Civil Aviation Safety Authority; Rod Dudfield, Director Freedom of Information, Department of Defence; and Dan Gleeson, Director of Communication Emergency Management Australia. I also wish to thank the members of Victorian UFO Action, an organisation which I am a member of, playing the role of researcher and historian. Finally, I must express my warmest gratitude to those in current defence and intelligence roles who have helped but, sensibly, cannot be named.

           From overseas, I have been greatly aided by: Air Commodore Kevin McEvoy, Air Component Commander, Joint Forces, New Zealand Defence Force; Piet Viviers, Manager, Flight Operations, Civil Aviation Authority, South Africa; Dyanne Bain, Program Information Officer, Civil Aviation Secretariat, Transport Canada; Andrew Badham, Air Traffic Management Safety Specialist, Aerodromes and Air Traffic Standards Division, Civil Aviation Authority, UK; and Chris Knapp, Aircraft Control Instructor, Royal New Zealand Navy.