2017's Top UFO Stories/ Area 51 Revealed

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Date Host George Knapp
Guests Alejandro Rojas, Thornton Barnes

2017 has been another exciting year for UFO activity and news. In the first half, Alejandro Rojas, UFO expert and researcher, joined George Knapp to discuss UFO activity from the last 12 months, as well as the recent startling announcement about the Pentagon's program to study UFOs, which ran from 2007 to 2012. This past year has been a chance to connect some of the dots in the UFO mystery, said Rojas, whose organization Open Minds, named Tom DeLonge as the "UFO researcher of the year." An associate of DeLonge's at his new To the Stars Academy, Christopher Mellon, called in during the first hour. Mellon had been an insider on classified projects and was instrumental in the just-published New York Times coverage of the Pentagon's UFO program.

One of the fascinating revelations about the Pentagon's program is that they collected metals and other materials recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena. The study of these materials has the potential to advance technologies or develop new ones, Rojas commented. In looking back at 2017, he cited some of the more notable stories: the Chilean UFO footage (which turned out to be an ordinary plane), the UK government's release of UFO files, the actor Kurt Russell's admission that he saw the Phoenix Lights while he was piloting a plane, and an update on the mysterious WOW signal.


In 1955, the CIA established a clandestine base of operations in the Nevada desert called Area 51 with a mission to protect the US from a growing communist threat. Special projects there were shrouded in mystery, and before flying saucers were rumored, the world’s most famous spy plane, the U-2, was fueling rumors and legends for decades. In the latter half, author and Area 51 veteran TD Barnes shared some of his first-hand stories, as well as formerly classified info about the secret technology at the base. He played an important part in taking apart and putting back together the first Soviet MiG plane ever acquired by the US.

During this Cold War era, the U-2 program was more highly classified than the atomic bomb, he noted. There was intense security for employees such as himself-- he often did not know what co-workers were working on, and was not allowed to tell his wife the specific nature of his work until 2009. Barnes worked on the A-12, the military's first stealth plane, and revealed that a variety of concept planes were flight tested out of Area 51 like the unusually shaped Aurora, though these vehicles typically did not become operational. As to current activity at the base, he suggested that craft now were mostly unmanned and subsonic.



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