Date: 20-Jun-87 20:31 MST Subj: APfl 06/20 1301 UFO Investigations By BILL KACZOR Associat

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Date: 20-Jun-87 20:31 MST From: Executive News Svc. [76374,303] Subj: APfl 06/20 1301 UFO Investigations By BILL KACZOR Associated Press Writer FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A retired Air Force pilot says he suspects, contrary to official denials, an unknown federal agency is investigating reports of unidentified flying objects and other close encounters with extraterrestrial beings. Donald M. Ware, Florida state director of the Mutual UFO Network Inc., a private "ufology" organization, says he doesn't have any direct knowledge but nearly a lifetime of study leads him to believe probes are secretly being conducted by some national intelligence agency. "That idea doesn't bother me. I don't mind being an unequal partner," Ware said in a recent interview. "I support the policy of secrecy." He said secrecy would be necessary because, official statements notwithstanding, he is convinced the subject involves national security in the form of advanced alien technology. Ware said he intends to take that message to the Annual MUFON UFO Symposium June 26-28 at American University in Washington, D.C., where he is to be part of a panel discussion on UFOs and the government. His position is unlikely to be shared by many UFO investigators, Ware admitted. A common complaint of ufologists is the government's professed lack of interest and its failure to cooperate with private UFO studies. "I'm so bold as to suggest there is a possibility of cooperation with some unknown government agency if we show a little more tolerance of their policy of secrecy," Ware said. "As long as we publicly take such an antagonistic attitude, as long as we place the government in an adversarial relationship," Ware said, "we are not going to get much cooperation from them whoever they are." The Air Force closed its Project Blue Book investigation of more than 12,000 UFOs in 1969 after a panel of scientists found no evidence of visitors from outer space. Most sightings were found to be such things as planets, stars, meteors, weather balloons, satellites, false radar echoes, marsh gas, clouds, aircraft or optical illusions, but a few have remained unexplained. The official word ever since has been that the government has nothing to do with UFO investigations and whatever they might be they pose no threat to national security. Ware, 51, joined the service in 1957. He said he was uninvolved in the Air Force's UFO activities during his 26-year military career as a teacher, staff scientist and fighter pilot, including two combat tours in Vietnam. "That's one reason I can speak so freely," he said. "I have no information from the Air Force." His interest began as a teen-ager in 1952 when he saw star-like objects streaking through the sky while walking near his home in the nation's capital. Similar sightings, including radar returns, had been reported a week earlier and Ware said they remain unexplained. He began reading everything about UFOs he could get his hands on, including books in the library at Duke University where he received a mechanical engineering degree. He later earned a master's degree in nuclear engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. Ware kept up his interest in UFOs, building up a personal library on the subject and questioning other pilots. "I had no qualms about saying, `Anybody seen a UFO?' " Ware said. The answer, he said, usually was "yes." However, until March of 1970, military personnel were ordered not to talk about UFOs, Ware said. "I think that in the late '40s and early '50s the U.S. government really wanted the public to tell them what they saw and that those people primarily responsible for investigating UFOs were not listed in the phone book," Ware said. "The U.S. Air Force was chosen as Uncle Sam's public relations agent because they were listed in the phone book." No one thing has convinced him of government involvement, Ware said. "Two years of study after I saw the UFOs in 1952 convinced me that somebody is watching us," he said. "Ten more years of study caused me to think somebody in our government has known that as a fact at least since 1947." Ware said his goals in becoming state director of MUFON, an international scientific organization based in Seguin, Texas, were to improve relations between "ufologists" and the government and to learn all he could about alien technology from abductees and other witnesses of close encounters. Ware said he hasn't seen any more UFOs since 1952 and doesn't expect to. "I haven't been selected," he said. He still scans the skies, but not for UFOs. When he's not investigating UFO reports or giving talks about the subject to civic groups, he is bird watching. He is treasurer of and runs an annual bird count for the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society and does surveys for the Florida Breeding Bird Atlas project. Ware said his two avocations are unrelated. "Lots of people have accused me of getting a lot of satisfaction from identifying feathered objects," he said, grinning. "No, I'm just a nature boy." Copyright 1987 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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