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UFO phenomenon in the Press:

Occasionally, a press reporter has the opportunity to write about his personal UFO experience or opinion in a newspaper. It generally requires some courage to publicly sign such articles.

This is an article from the small local newspaper The Daily Tribune, in Wisconsin rapids, USA. The interesting and well written article does not need much further comments, except maybe that its author is probably a little optimistic as to the impact of the COMETA report in France: as far as the media were concerned, it had received zero attention on TV, and only the publisher of the report, the French VSD magazine has been involved. A mocking article was published in a satirical weekly paper the "canard enchainÚ" which explained that the report is from a "bunch of military retired senile crackpots" looking for more cash for the army by pretending that we are under attack by the tiresome "little green men" and that was about all. Actually, French ufologists are convinced that the COMETA report has received much more attention outside France, and particularly in the US.

For those unfamiliar with UFO current events, I have added several footnotes at the end of these pages.

The Daily Tribune,

Wisconsin Rapids, WI 544950-8090

UFO reports raise questions, eyebrows

There continues to be a stigma attached to topic

When you read the title to this article what was the very first thing that popped into your mind? Oh no! Not another nut-case who thinks we are being visited by little green men from Mars! Perhaps you were thinking, its about time we see something in print about this issue. Maybe you were just thinking about an unexplained event that you witnessed and never told anyone, in fear of being ridiculed or labeled as one of those. In any of these scenarios, you are not alone. The testimony and witness to this phenomenon goes back thousands of years and UFO Internet sites are the second-most visited sights on the World Wide Web.

Since 1990, in the United States alone, there have been more than 200,000 people reporting on something that they could not explain. Many of these people fall within a profession that lends credibility to such reports, such as, pilots, police officers, air traffic controllers, military personnel, doctors, lawyers and professors (1). Yet, if any of these people were to discuss this topic openly, they might be met with a raised eyebrow or a half-grin turned into a smirk.

Back in the 1960s, the national media did a terrific job of portraying those who had witnessed such events. These people were not from the professional arena but just common ordinary folks. They would splash their testimony all over the screen and then follow it up with scientific proof that it was swamp gas or a weather balloon and thus, the smirking began.

This was repeated again in the early 1990s when Europe had discovered amazing pictographs appearing mysteriously in wheat fields. These became known as crop circles and both the European and U.S. national media began a campaign. They found two guys near Wiltshire, England, by the name of Dough and Dave (2). They convinced most of the world that these two blokes would don masks, take wooden planks and string into a wheat field late at night and create their masterpieces. Even today, 13 years later, those media broadcasts still are ingrained into the minds of many Americans.

Why is it that in America there is such a stereotypical stigma attached to just the mere mention of those three little letters, UFO? In other countries, Europe, South America and even Mexico, they have had extensive investigations into this phenomenon and have opened their findings to the public and the media (3). The media in those countries have been quick to investigate any claims of sightings or other evidence about this mysterious unknown. However, the media in America has done everything in its power to shy away from this issue, and when it does report, it usually finds some way to demean or ridicule those involved. Perhaps there is an unspoken fear that it would upset the natural balance of things if it were true. Or perhaps there are those that feel the truth about such matters is better left unsaid.

On July 16, 1999, an important document was published in France entitled, UFOs and Defense: What must we be prepared for? (4) The study was carried out over several years by an independent group of former auditors at the Institute of Advanced Studies for National Defense and by qualified experts from various fields. Before its public release, it was sent to French President Jacques Chirac and to Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. It detailed more than 3,000 reports and their investigations. Its primary concern was to determine if there was a national security risk. It covered more than 90 pages with analysis and conclusions.

This report shocked many nations and brought the information to the forefront of the UFO community. Yet, there was not even a mention on your national or local news.

On May 9, Dr. Steven Greer, director of the Disclosure Project (5), invited every news agency to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In front of banks of TV cameras and reporters, a group of 21 former government workers, many of them military and security officials, stepped forward to say they had witnessed evidence of aliens and unidentified flying objects and called for congressional hearings about such sightings. These testimonies establish once and for all that we are not alone, Greer said. The entire event lasted more than 2 1/2 hours with each person giving their testimony.

The following day, ABC news had an article on its Web site and the Washington Post covered the event in its newspaper as well. It remained absent from all mainstream national television coverage, despite the fact that they were there.

Why am I even writing about this topic? Well, for me, my wife and my 15-year-old daughter it all started on June 7, 1999. We were out viewing a beautiful star-filled sky when we saw 15 objects, maneuvering very strangely. They were at high altitudes and were not planes or satellites. Forty-five minutes later we saw a craft much closer. It could be seen easily with binoculars, and it was not like anything any of us had seen before. So, we reported it to the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle, Washington. The next day they called us and told us that another couple, who lived in Plover, 10 miles away, filed a police report and they too had seen what we had seen. The only difference was they stayed out later and this craft flew directly over them at about 500 feet.

This event did not change or alter our lives. It did not threaten our spiritual belief nor did it disrupt our daily routine. I cannot draw definite conclusions about extra-terrestrial life forms or visitors from far away galaxies. All I can do is state that, on that evening, we saw something that we can not explain. What it did do was start me on an investigative journey to learn as much as I could about these sightings and the stigma that is attached to them.

What I have found is there still is a lot of smirking going on when this topic comes to the surface. In the earliest stages of all this, I was excited to share this information with anyone and I found out that raised eyebrows and grins are par for the course. Wisconsin has had nearly 250 reports filed with national reporting center since 1999, so I guess I am not alone.

If you have ever had an experience that you could not explain and would like to share it with someone, please e-mail or write to me. I assure you, I will not be smirking. In the meantime, I will continue my investigations into this very mysterious phenomenon.

Thanks to all who responded to "Daddy, What's Fluoride", it was well-received.

As always, I leave myself open for any comments and can be reached easily. I would encourage you to communicate your thoughts and respond to this or any of my articles. You can e-mail me at, visit the Web site ( or if you prefer the more traditional method of contact, you can write to me: Greg Swank, 6342 2nd Ave., Rudolph, WI. 54475

Greg Swank is a digital media manager and has an interest in research and writing. He is married with four children.

* n n The views expressed in TruthTrek are the opinions of the author and should not be interpreted as opinions of the Daily Tribune.


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This page was last updated on June 20, 2001.