SEATTLE (AP) - Robert Gribble has never seen a UFO himself, but he believes others who say
SEATTLE (AP) -- Robert Gribble has never seen a UFO himself, but he
believes others who say they have and has investigated thousands of UFO
sightings for about 30 years.
Gribble runs the National UFO Reporting Center from a cramped but
tidy office in his home.
"Even though I've never seen one, there's not the slightest doubt
they're there," said Gribble, a retired firefighter recognized as one
of the country's foremost authorities on unidentified flying objects.
"Either that or we've got a lot of notorious liars from all around
the globe," he said.
He pays $1,200 a year from his own pocket to keep the center open
and fields an average six calls a day from people who think they have
seen unidentified flying objects.
All seek an explanation. Gribble records their comments, asks
questions and takes their telephone numbers in case he gets additional
"If people realize we are not alone -- as we have been taught for
hundreds of years -- man's outlook as to how we treat each other would
change," he said. "Now we think of ourselves as citizens of the U.S.
If we thought of ourselves as citizens of the planet Earth, things
would change for the better."
Gribble's office contains a large map of the United States studded
with 3,500 shiny red pinheads, each representing a so-called close
encounter sighting of a UFO. Some of the sightings date from 1946.
A witness must be within 500 yards of an object to classify as a
Gribble said he wasn't surprised by the recent UFO report of a
veteran Japan Air Lines pilot who said his plane was followed for
nearly 400 miles over Alaska by one gigantic and two smaller aircraft
The Federal Aviation Administration later confirmed that an air
traffic controller spotted the unknown aircraft. But agency spokesmen
say their investigation has been hampered by a radar recording's
failure to show the aircraft's signal.
From the thousands of calls he has investigated over the years,
Gribble says most of the craft are described as disc-shaped, spherical,
oval, triangular or cigar-shaped. People reporting close encounters
say a humming sound emanates from the object.
The government is covering up the existence of UFOs to prevent
panic, said Gribble, who cites as evidence his own research and reports
from declassified government documents
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank