N.S. expert says American UFO report could be about something else entirely
Recent examples could be governments experimenting with hypersonics, says Paul Kimball
At the end of June, the U.S. government issued a long-awaited report on UFOs. The unclassified nine-page report, released to Congress and the public, includes 144 observations — mostly from U.S. navy personnel — of what the government officially refers to as "unidentified aerial phenomenon," or UAP, dating back to 2004.
Since the acronym UFO, standing for Unidentified Flying Objects, is generally associated with the possibility of extraterrestrials, the government uses UAP.
The government's report on what these objects are is inconclusive. U.S. intelligence services suggest these objects might be technology belonging to Russia or China, for example.
They have found no evidence the objects are proof of little green people — they just can't rule out the possibility.
Paul Kimball has other ideas about what's going on with this report.
Kimball is a Nova Scotia filmmaker, television producer and historian. His first film from 2002 was a documentary called Stan T. Friedman Is Real. It was about his uncle, the New Brunswick UFO researcher Stanton Friedman.
Friedman was one of the world's foremost investigators and lecturers on the UFO phenomenon, and broke the story of the Roswell, New Mexico, crash back in the 1970s.
"I was always interested in talking to him at family reunions," said Kimball. "He was the cool uncle who was talking about space aliens."
Kimball spent a decade researching UFO phenomena before stepping back from the subject, but he still keeps tabs on what's going on.
"These kinds of things have happened every now and then for about the last 70, 75 years. And they call them 'flaps,' when interest in UFOs break out into the broader public consciousness," Kimball said.
The current flap started with a series of videos that were taken by the United States military and shared with the public a few years ago.
"The U.S. navy has come out and said, 'Yes, these are real videos. Our guys took them and we're not exactly sure what they represent,'" said Kimball. "And that's kind of it. You know, I hate to be the skunk at the garden party, but at the moment that's as far as it goes. Then there's the UFO media machine, as I like to call it, that latches on to that and drums up interest in the subject and says, 'Well, OK, space aliens.' And it's a very long leap to get from these videos to space aliens.
"We have some anomalies. We can't necessarily explain them. No evidence to say that they're space aliens, but no evidence to say that they're not, you know, so leaving the door open."
As far as what else the U.S. government might be up to with the release of this current report, Kimball tells a story his close friend, Karl T. Pflock, told him.
The late Pflock was deputy assistant secretary of defence in the Ronald Reagan administration, a strategic planner, a CIA officer, UFO researcher, and author of Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe.
"Karl actually believed that space aliens had visited Earth," said Kimball. "So we weren't talking about somebody who said there were never any space aliens. But, he said, 'Look, most of these cases can be explained by testing advanced weapon systems. The government is working on technology that is 10 or 15 years in advance of what they'll admit to.'
"You're sort of seeing in many of these cases, like the Belgian triangle flap that occurred in the 1980s, that was probably delta-wing aircraft being tested by the United States military. Well, you would mistake that potentially for a UFO."
Kimball suggests governments have been experimenting with hypersonics, the kind of technology that, theoretically, could be what these navy pilots may be seeing but not actually know anything about. If it represents tech being developed by the United States, these videos are a way to let America's enemies know what's coming soon without being overt about it. But if it's the tech of another superpower, that would be a problem.
"That would be very concerning from a national security point of view, which is, I think, why members of Congress are really interested in it," said Kimball.
For the record, Canada's Department of National Defence doesn't have a dog in this fight. Spokesperson Jessica Lamirande sent a statement to CBC News on the subject of the American report.
"The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) do not typically investigate sightings of unknown or unexplained phenomena outside the context of investigating credible threats, potential threats, or potential distress in the case of search and rescue," the statement said.
"Although we collaborate closely with the U.S. for aerospace control, we are not aware of any Canadian nexus or participation in the U.S. Department of Defence's UFO studies at this time, nor does the CAF have a unit dedicated to investigating UFOs."
Kimball remains an agnostic about extraterrestrial visitors to Earth, but he also thinks the subject is worth serious consideration.
"I'm very open to the idea of the paranormal or the supernatural or things beyond our understanding, however you want to frame it," he said.
"The odds are there are extraterrestrials in our galaxy. So could they be coming here? Yeah. Have I seen anything yet that absolutely convinces me that they have been coming here? No. But I've seen enough to make me think this isn't a subject that you should laugh at."