Let me set the scene. In December 1969 the United States government officially pulled out of UFO investigation, by shutting down Project Blue Book. For the Air Force, who had run the investigation, it was the end to the worse public relations issue they had to deal with.
Every time the newspaper wrote a UFO story, an Air Force spokesman had been forced to go in front of the media microphones and make up some bizarre new natural phenomena to explain the reported UFO. IT was something that the Air Force dreaded.
Lt. Colonel Hector Quintanilla Jr., a former Chief of Project Blue Book, for example wrote a manuscript on his days investigating UFOs for the Air Force. He called it "UFOs: An Air Force Dilemma." He had wanted to call it "UFOs: A $20,000,000 Fiasco."
The Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC) had concerned itself with real technical problems dealing with real technical problems dealing with our national security. Their engineers and scientists are top shelf and a very proud group. Little did they know that a pseudo scientific project was about to be dropped in their laps...on a long term basis it turned out to be a monumental headache for all its Commanders...at times it was just pure hell…ATIC Commanders would cringe on hearing the term "Flying Saucers."
When the project was shut down, this PR nightmare was over. Never again would the Air Forced be forced to explain UFOs by putting an officer in front of media microphones to explain the latest reported sighting. If they wanted to investigate UFOs, they could now do so in absolute secrecy without the unwanted publicity.
In Canada, the government officially shut down the military involvement with UFOs about the same time as in the United States. There has not been a peep from them on the subject since. A UFO researcher looking for UFO answers inside the Canadian government files wouldn't even know where to start.
So it is extremely important to note that the Pentagon OFFICIALLY contacted producers Robert Emenegger and Allan Sandler in 1973 to do a documentary on UFOs. I consider the Emenegger story to be perhaps the most important case in Ufology.
This approach by the Pentagon was extremely important because they didn't have to do it. It is extremely important because by doing so they risked ending up in front of media microphones again explaining their interest and involvement into UFOs.
Why after getting out of the UFO nightmare in 1969, did the government jump back in with both feet in 1973?
The 1973 event began when Emenegger was working as the creative director for Grey Advertising in Los Angeles. He and his partner Allen Sandler were invited to Norton Air Force Base to discuss a series of documentaries film on advanced research projects. As the negotiations continued it became apparent that the two military officials wanted one to be a documentary on UFOs.
"We went to Norton Air Force Base to discuss other things, among them 3-D moving holography, laser and cancer all of the R&D advance research - ARPA kind of projects, and the UFO thing was brought up to us, which I just couldn't believe, but said "Oh, we'll just go along with it." And one conversation led to another, a contact with the Pentagon. Everyone couldn't have been more open about what we were doing. Anyone along the line could have questioned, and said - and I expected them to say, "Like - what the hell are you guys talking about."
On the 1988 UFO documentary "UFO Cover-up Live" Emenegger said that Paul Shartle, Security Manager and Chief of Requirements for the Audio-Visual Program the base was the first to describe a film of a filmed encounter between aliens and base officials at Holloman Air Force base.
"While discussing several of the subjects, UFOs came up. Paul here told us about a film of an alien craft at Holloman Air Force Base three years earlier."
Shartle described what was on the film during his appearance on the documentary,
Shartle: I saw footage of three disc shaped crafts. One of the crafts landed and two went away.
Question: Why did it land?
Shartle: It appeared to be in trouble because it oscillated all the way down to the ground. However, it did land on three pods. A sliding door opened. A ramp was extended and out came three aliens.
Question: What did they look like?
Shartle: Well, they were human size, had an odd gray complexion and a pronounced nose. They wore tight fitting jump suits, thin headdresses that appeared to be communications devices, and in their hand they held a translator, I was told. A Holloman base commander and other Air Force officials went out to greet them.
Emenegger and Sandler were offered the film of the alien base encounter for the documentary that they had been asked to make for the Pentagon. Negotiations ensued and involved meetings right in the Pentagon where Emenegger and Sandler did not even have to sign in. Emenegger described the situation in a 1994 Texas presentation for the Electric Viewpoint.
We headed for the Pentagon and we walked into the building - I remember the two of us, and for some reason we were herded by two plain clothes men into a little narrow room with fluorescent lights over it and I just remember, and some man sitting behind a desk and he pointed at us and he said "We're very concerned about you bringing up the subject of UFOs. He said it causes when people like you put these things on the air it causes the phone lines - it ties up our phone lines. It is not part of our duty, our national defense", and on and on. I was under these fluorescent lights watching these three plain clothes men. I thought I was going to die there for a minute.
But again my partner had enough sense to say "Heh! We were invited by Mr. Hatch by Colonel Coleman, and they said "Okay, well just a warning." So we went of to meet Colonel Coleman. Now he's the one that looks like Hemmingway with the beard walking through the E-ring at the Pentagon. The first thing he says to us was, "You know if you come across information or technology which is against the interest of our national defense- you can be fined and imprisoned." So it was like warning #2.
Then we went into his inner office, and a strange thing happened. He said, "Come on boys. Sit down. Let me tell you something."
Everyone in these Pentagon production meetings had a chance to protest the idea but no one did. Emenegger explained,
Well, they all had a chance. As a matter of fact, you know, one of our agreements was to go over the script at the Pentagon, and if there was any question about anything that they had the right to ask about it. Strangely enough, no one even questioned the whole thing about the landing at Holloman Air Force Base - like, "Well OK."
It all unfolded. One would call another. For instance Coleman said, "Hold on" as we were sitting in his office. He would put a call into (General) George (Weinbrenner) and say. "Do you want to talk to these guys?" A day later I think we went down into the bunker, and there confronted George. We couldn't have - I think I was pretty straightforward. My first question was, "What about the landing at Holloman Air Force Base." He kind of said, "Well, I'll tell you."
The two men were told of a film that had been shot at Holloman Air Force Base we here an alien ship had landed. An alien got out of the crafts and met with officials at the base. The group then moved down the tarmac to a base building.
Emenegger was promised 3200 feet of film from this film that could be placed in his documentary to help make the people aware of that fact that UFOs did exist and there had been official contact between the government and the extraterrestrials.
Emenegger and Sandler were offered other UFO film for the documentary. One example was a Top Secret film involving a missile launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base that was tracked by UFOs.
We were given a film - Top Secret- it was still Top Secret on it - Quintanilla's name was on it, of a launching at Vandenberg of which three cameras followed the one missile take-off. Behind it you saw two little white - looked like transparent moons sort of just trailing and following it their way but from every camera - no matter what position - so it wasn't a reflection. We had Bob Baker who was the guy who did the 1952 Robertson Panel guy. Anyway Bob Baker was very well known at that time. So he came in and analyzed it and said it's a million to one that it's anything but - its not Venus - it's not a reflection - it's this - it's unknown stuff.
The documentary and book went ahead but in a move that would become a pattern for all future glimpses of disclosure, the Holloman film was withdrawn at the last minute. Coleman recalled the film, and a man was forced to drive the film back across the country in his car. Emenegger and Sandler were forced to use recreations to talk about a possible encounter between the government and the aliens.
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