Former head of Air Force UFO program says UFOs exist, should be studied

Back when the U.S. had a really cool space program with shuttle missions that did more than premiere songs on Mars, the Air Force also had a program to study possible UFOs. The program was called Project Blue Book. It lasted from 1958 to 1969, when it was shut down after concluding that that UFOs did not present a security risk to the U.S. and that they did not possess “abilities ‘beyond the range of present-day scientific knowledge,'” according to HuffPo. (Notice they didn’t conclude that UFOs didn’t exist.)

Military personnel privy to government intel saying they believe UFOs are real isn’t exactly a new thing. Last year retired Col. John Alexander came forward after studying the military’s UFO records and said he believes they do exist and that not only had the government not covered it up, it had acknowledged as much. Alexander cited a 1950 statement by President Truman: “I can assure you the flying saucers, given that they exist, are not constructed by any power on Earth.” Alexander said “stacks of generals, including Soviet generals,” had come forward to say UFOs exist.

But this past weekend held another hallmark for the mainstream acceptance of UFOs: Col. Robert Friend, director of the Blue Book Project, the U.S. government’s only official UFO program in history, came forward and said he believes UFOs do exist.

“Yes, there were some people who had those opinions. I, for one, also believe that the probability of there being life elsewhere in this big cosmos is just absolutely out of this world—I think the probability is there,” Friend said.

Speaking to Huffington Post at a lecture last weekend called “Military UFOs: Secrets Revealed,” Friend didn’t go as far as his former spokesman at the Blue Book Project. Col. William Coleman said he personally had an encounter “with a ‘classic flying saucer’ over Alabama in 1955 while piloting a B-25 bomber. The 75-foot-diameter, circular disc got so close to the ground that it left a trail of dust behind it before vanishing in the sky,” according to Coleman.

Friend himself wouldn’t say outright that there was tangible evidence UFOs had visited earth specifically. And he said he remained skeptical because of the technological challenges we ourselves face in getting to other planets: “I can’t conceive of any of the ways in which we could overcome some of these things: How much food would you have to take with you on a trip for 22 years through space? How much fuel would you need?”

But Friend said he thought the government should continue studying UFOs scientifically: “It would be much better if the government or some other agency was to take on these things and to pursue the scientific aspects of it,” he said.

Oh yeah. They’re out there.