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This article was published in the UK newspaper The Sunday Express on Sunday June 16, 2001, pages 20-21. It was the reaction by journalist Hamish Mackenzie to the press conference organized by Steven Greer's Project Disclosure, whose press conference where about 20 important witness of highly interesting credential publicly told their UFO experience, or their knowledge of US official cover-up of the UFO problem was barely commented in the written press despite enormous public interest.

Focus by Hamish Mackenzie.

After 50 Years The Cover-Up Conspiracy Goes On...

On a raised platform beneath the galleried ceiling of the prestigious National Press Club in Washington, DC, a group of men and women, all experts in their chosen field, waited patiently as the large hall filled with more than 150 journalists from newspapers and TV stations all around the world.

For almost two hours, one by one, more than 20 "eye-witnesses" - nuclear missile silo commanders and employees of large corporations - described their experiences to the assembled press. Some spoke of inexplicable encounters with unidentified lights and objects in the air, others of the crashes of strange craft of "unaccountable, un-elected and illegal projects". Yet others even claimed to be involved with the "back-engineering of advanced technology".

Many expressed frustration at their failure to be taken seriously. All referred to a world-wide conspiracy to keep the truth from governments and public alike. As each individual spoke there was hushed attention, as each sat down applause filled the room. At one point a cameraman for a US TV station was heard to say: "Bloody hell, this is amazing - bloody hell." and yet, since that day in May 2001, the silence has been deafening.

Last year, the Sunday Express was the first newspaper to publish an article on the Disclosure Project (1), a US-Based UFO group whose stated aim is to press the US Congress for an open hearing. The group's founder, Dr Steven Greer, claims he is continuing to gather "deep-insider witnesses" who, if released from their security oaths, would tell Congress what they know about an alleged cover-up of the existence of UFOs and extra-terrestrials as well as the possession of their advanced life-changing technology.

But one year on, the Project seems nowhere nearer achieving its goal, despite positive feedback from US Senators and overwhelming interest from the public via their website. Dr Greer is now concentrating on a grassroots effort to spread the word via a global network of representatives.

"This is the best chance we have had in 50 years to find out what is really going on," say David Williams, on of the Disclosure Projects UK representatives. Now an IT director in the finance industry, he is a former crypto-analyst in the Royal Signals, once based in Whitehall.

"While I was there I had Top Secret clearance, and the continuous flow of UFO reports that crossed my desk intrigued me." he says. "They came from everywhere, and I forwarded them on to various MoD and Government departments."

"I don't know what happened to them after they left me. I have been trying to find out ever since, and after the 2001 press conference I decided to get involved with the Disclosure Project. It only needs the wider public to realise that one of the witnesses, someone like John Callahan is telling the truth for the whole thing to be blown wide open."

John Callahan, a former senior investigator with the Accidents and Investigations Branch of the US Federal Aviation Authority, is a bluff and imposing presence. His story, like the man, is hard to dismiss. At the press conference, he recalled how, on November 18, 1986, the pilots of Japan Airlines Flight 1628 (1), flying over Alaska, reported they were seeing "a huge ball with lights running around it... four times as big as a 747". The sighting was significant because the object was simultaneously being recorded on ground-based radar at Anchorage Air Traffic Control. The flight crew and ground radar operators watched as the UFO performed aerobatics and flew at speeds beyond the capability of any known aircraft. At one point the captain expressed concern at the effects the object appeared to be having on his instruments.

After more than half an hour, the "strange craft" disappeared and the 747 landed safely.

The following day Mr Callahan attended a hurriedly convened meeting at the request of Admiral Engen, then Administrator of the Federal Aviation Authority. This meeting was attend by all of those directly involved and claimed Mr, Callahan, three anonymous CIA men. He says these men confiscated all the audio, radar recordings printouts and documents associated with the previous day's events and "told us this had never happened and we had never had this meeting." They never asked anyone if we had copies, so I never told them I did."

There was a flurry of clicking cameras as Mr Callahan held up numerous documents and invited the audience to inspect them later. But many who were at the press conference were bemused at the subsequent lack of publicity for the event.

"Perhaps the media were taken aback by the seriousness of what they heard and just did not know how to handle it." David Williams remarks. "It is surprising no one has even tried to discredit the witnesses. Why have the big US corporations [Lockheed Martin, Northrop, Boeing and others] named as part of the cover-up, not objected and sued?" Only last month the US newspaper Florida Today contributed to the continuing speculation on how an event "with testimony designed to be so compelling the [national] media couldn't possibly freeze it out" had been left in the cold.

"We were disappointed by not surprised by the limited coverage." says Dr Greer, an accident and emergency doctor who now devotes all his time to the Project. "So we took our message direct to the people - local radio, TV and well-attended public meetings." Since the press conference, it has emerged that Dr Greer is not alone in seeking to persuade the US Government to support disclosure.

Charles Huffer, a US-based UFO researcher, met the then campaigning Governor George Bush in 2000. Live on CNN, Huffer secured a promise from Bush that when in office he would 'get right on to" the UFO issue and tell the people what was really going on. Once in power this campaign promise has been ignored and last year one of Huffer's supporters went on hunger strike in protest.

This year US business development consultant Stephen Bassett plans to run as an independent in the 8th Congressional District of Maryland on the UFO disclosure ticket. The election, in November, is expected to be hotly contested. Bassett's objective is to win sufficient votes to have a say in bringing the issue before Congress.

But interest among the general public has also been considerable. The Projects press conference was broadcast and watched live over the Internet by almost a quarter of a million people. "it was the largest Webcast in history." says Dr Greer.

Since then a further million have downloaded a recording of the even from the Disclosure Project website, which has received more than six million hits since May last year. Dr Greer reports that more than 100 new witnesses have come forward, several from the UK.

"This is not surprising." says Denis Plunkett, head of the British Flying Saucer Bureau, still an active organisation though wrongly reported last year to have closed down (3)."For 50 years I have been receiving reports from military personnel and police officers. Most did not want any publicity, they were just trying to understand what they had seen."

When asked if the Sunday Express could interview a UK witness, Dr Greer said: "We do not want to reveal any of our new witnesses now. There will be another press conference later in the year, which we are planning to broadcast on cable and satellite TV."

One concern for many observers has been that the Project may not be as rigorous as it needs to be when screening witnesses. And there does appear to have been some dissension within the ranks. Some witnesses feel that the more exotic stories, such as contact with aliens, should have been excluded.

"There is enough out there - unusual aerial craft that need explanation." said a source who did not want to be named. And at least one prominent witness has requested that his name be withdrawn from the Project as he feels some of the conclusions being drawn from the testimonies are "a step too far". Edgar Mitchell, the Apollo 11 astronaut, and one of the few men have set foot on the moon, is no longer a Disclosure Project witness, though he continues to support its aids. "I still believe that governments should open their files on the UFO subject, but we don't seem to be much closer to that, though likely it will happen sooner or later." he told the Sunday Express.

"I am not a 'witness' of UFO events either in space or on Earth. I don't have any first-hand experience but I have discussed the subject with some 'old timers' who do have first-hand knowledge."

One of the big tests of the Disclosure Project in the future will be the quality of the new witnesses and its openness to the sort of scrutiny it is claiming should be direct at others. The history of UFO sightings has been tarnished by fabrication - not just by people seeking attention but even by UFO researchers. In the past few months, a prominent group has admitted planting false information to discredit others in an apparent attempt to prove that the whole UFO phenomenon can be dismissed.

"Is it possible we have been scammed by some witnesses? Yes. Do I think it likely? No." says Dr Greer, his hackles rising. "We are not the CIA, we can't afford to run $50,000 background checks on everyone. Our objectives are to disclose the truth to the public and persuade Congress to hold an open hearing."

"Over 20,000 letters have gone out from constituents all over the US to their Congressmen. We have received numerous expressions of serious interest from Senators. Only last week I had a Congressman ring and ask us to give him a private briefing."

"To get a Congressional hearing one of three things will have to happen," Dr Greer continues. "The media will have to call for it, or the public need to be heard asking for it, or there has to be a massive, undeniable UFO event."

What is clear is that a large number of individuals have come forward and made statements whose implications, if true, are profound. If the witnesses are who they say they are - and are found to be lying - then we should be very concerned about the type of individuals who fly our planes, control air traffic, man the missile silos and protect our communities.

If on the other hand, the witnesses are telling the truth then - no matter how extraordinary - this is a serious issue. "If we believe them,' says David Williams, "then we have to accept that we are not alone. Someone is covering up and we should want to know why."

"We may have been deceived by some of our witnesses, but not by all of them." he continues. "There are too many people who have seen something they can't explain. Those trying to keep the secrets rely upon most of us being too busy with our lives to be bothered. But more and more people are getting interested, and one day there will be enough to demand that governments tell us what the know."

- For more information contact David Williams at Disclosureproject@btinternet.com or visit the Project's website at www.disclosureproject.org

Special thanks to Stig Agermose and UFOupdates for having transcripted and forwarded the article.

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