UFOs over Lodi? No way! Well, on second thought, maybe.
For a little bit of history, let's go back a few decades and take a look one of the most famous UFO cases. That was the 1947 Roswell, N.M. incident.
Here's how the story looks based on a newspaper account and government documents:
It began with a headline-grabber in the Roswell Daily Record on July 8, 1947, stating, "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region." The story was released to the press by the 509th Bomber Group public relations officer, Lt. Walter G. Haut.
Brig. Gen. Roger Ramey, upon directives from his superiors, quickly ordered a reversal and an apparent cover-up. The following day, he held a press conference with Major Jesse Marcel and General T.J. DuBose, stating that the debris found was simply a weather balloon.
Many years later, both Haut and Marcel admitted that the cover-up story was bogus.
FBI records also tell a different tale from the official version. A memo that can be found today on the FBI website, dated March 22, 1950, from Special Agent in Charge Guy Hottel to Director J. Edgar Hoover, reported the following: "An investigator from the Air Force stated that three so-called flying saucers have been recovered in New Mexico. They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape, but only 3 feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture."
Shortly after the Roswell incident, another FBI memo, dated July 24, 1947, to Assistant Director D.M. Ladd from Agent E.G. Fitch, revealed the following:
"The Director noted on the referenced memorandum, 'I would do it but before agreeing to it we must insist upon full access to discs recovered. For instance, in the La. case the Army grabbed it and would not let us have it for cursory evaluation.'"
Yet another memo to J. Edgar Hoover and D. M. Ladd from SAC Harry M. Kimball, dated Sept. 19, 1947, states:
"It is my understanding from recent Bureau Instructions that we are to assist the Air Force Intelligence personnel in the investigation of flying disc incidents. However, it will be noted from the attached letter that it is Army interpretation that it was their intent that the Bureau would investigate those so-called 'discs' being found on the ground and apparently not those which are observed only in flight."
These memoranda are only small samplings of thousands of declassified and released government documents from around the world relating to Roswell and other UFO cases. They are available for those who want to do the research. Untold others remain classified, heavily censored or have been "lost" over decades.
For several years, Air Force spokespeople have provided various "logical explanations" to try and account for the Roswell mystery, ranging from weather balloons to dropped crash dummies. However, facts can be hard to suppress once released.
The real question for most is: If the story were true, why would the government want to keep this incredible tale a secret? Speculation includes the following: The government wants to: 1. obtain advanced technology for defensive purposes and prevent it from falling into the hands of adversaries; 2. prevent chaos from a destruction of present scientific, social and religious belief systems; or 3. maintain control of the population by avoiding possible worship and loyalty to an advanced extraterrestrial civilization.
So, were there really UFOs over Lodi? Has there been a government cover-up of the worldwide unidentified flying object phenomena? Are we being visited and observed by aliens?
Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer.