John Cats: Good morning, America! This is the Cats Roundtable. John Catsimatidis here. Big headlines lately in the front page of the New York Times was “UFOs.” Why? Why all of a sudden? It was never a legitimate issue and all of a sudden, front page New York Times.
John Cats: With us today is Nick Pope. Nick was with the UK Ministry of Defense from 1985 to 2006, and from 1991 to ’94, he had a position in the UK Department of Defense investigating UFOs.
John Cats: Good morning, Mr. Pope. How are you this morning?
Nick Pope: Fine, thank you. Good morning to you.
John Cats: Now, why do you think that all of a sudden it’s the front page of the leading papers in America? I mean, is the Department of Defense worried about something and they’re leaking it so they’re not known as not telling anybody?
Nick Pope: Well I think both the Department of Defense and the Navy, particularly the US Navy are being quite upfront about it in a sense. The US Navy has said, for example, “We are issuing guidance to pilots who see unidentified flying objects because there has been a recent upsurge in incursions into restricted military airspace and indeed some near collisions with these objects, whatever they might be. So it’s events-lead. Things are happening in our skies and the DOD and the individual branches of the military are responding to that.
John Cats: One of my best friends years ago, about 10 or 15 years ago was in charge of home North-Atlantic for the Navy and I had told him what I had been told by a former President and he turned colors a little bit and he said, “I’ve seen them,” but I remembered he motioned towards his hand, “I’ve never seen skin,” knowing in other words, he’s never seen beings, but the US Navy, who’s in charge at home North-Atlantic, they tracked them. They were tracking them. How often is that happening? And I’m sure the British are on top of it too.
Nick Pope: Yes, I think it’s happening much more often than people realize, but I think the issue is that a few years ago, these sorts of things were often ignored and it was easier to service chiefs to say, “Well, maybe there’s a problem with the radar system.” Well they can’t do that anymore. What’s happening is that there have been an increased number of cases where not only has the radar tracked these objects performing extraordinary speeds and maneuvers, by the way, but then the pilots have been vectored to intercept them and they’ve had visual sightings. So when you’ve got the visual sightings and the radar evidence together, at that point, you can’t really ignore it.
Nick Pope: Just in case people are wondering, and this is the debate, people say, “Well, couldn’t it just be next generation aircraft, missiles and drones? Whether it’s another part of the US military or whether it’s the Russians, the Chinese, isn’t this just about FAR-term aviation threats? Well the US Navy in their most recent statement put this beyond debate where they said quite clearly, they used the phrase “unidentified aerial phenomena.” That is the military and intelligence community’s absolute and standard term for what the public and the media call UFOs.
John Cats: Now, in addition, the other rumor that is talked about in the states here is the fact that when Julian Assange got captured, he threatened the United States that if he’s mistreated that he’s going to let out certain information about these UFOs that are super top-secret. Do you think that Julian Assange and Wikileaks and being afraid that something’s going to come out that the Department of Defense is trying to beat him to it?
Nick Pope: I’ve heard that story that Assange has some sort of ultimate get out of jail free card and that it’s UFO related, and yes, your theory does make some sense. In a way, if somebody’s been blackmailed, if they themselves then decide to put out the information then the person doesn’t have that hold over you and I’ve certainly heard it suggested that what’s going on now and over the last few months is a sort of campaign to gradually drip-feed this information out. I’ve heard those theories, but I have no inside information about it so I can’t evaluate the claims, but the claims are out there. I guess that would be an interesting twist.
John Cats: The other thing is if you check, and if our listeners check the fact that back in 1952 on the front page of the Washington Post, there was UFOs circling the capital, circling the White House and it was on the front page of the Washington Post. Have you heard that story?
Nick Pope: Yes, absolutely. It’s fairly well known in UFO community circles, but people forget their history. It’s interesting, people say recently that this subject has come out of the fringe and into the mainstream, and that’s true, but yeah, as you say, this has been mainstream front page news before. So the UFO phenomenon isn’t new. What is new, I think, is just the sheer intensity of it in our modern-day 24/7, multimedia society. These stories are now everywhere, and that’s happening with an intensity we didn’t see back in the 50’s.
John Cats: Now the other rumor is that President Eisenhower back in the 50’s made peace for whoever they are. Have you heard that story?
Nick Pope: Yes. I’ve heard the story. Again, it’s one of those things that in the intelligence community I guess we just say, “Interesting if true.” I’d certainly need, seen no authenticated documents that would bear that out. I think it’s one of these conspiracy theories that yes, the government knows all about this and there are secret treaties and they’re keeping everything highly classified. But there’s another possibility here, and looking at these recent media stories, it kind of makes me think this is where we’re at.
Nick Pope: The other possibility is that there is a recognition that there is something going on here. It’s not just hoaxes and mis-identifications and radar glitches. There is something in our skies, but since this is even more scary, what if the government doesn’t know all about this and cover it up, but what if the government and the military don’t really have a clue what’s going on? There’s something in our skies but we don’t know what it is, and that I think is the current situation.
John Cats: Well the fact that they stopped circling Washington D.C. and the fact is that the other thing, the front page of the Los Angeles Times in the early 1950’s about all those UFOs circling Los Angeles and there was a big fire fight out there, and it hasn’t happened since, maybe there has been an understanding.
Nick Pope: Well, in a sense, I guess I hope so. I mean it would certainly be better if that’s the situation we’re in and there is at some level within government active communication, then I certainly hope that it’s a case of talking to each other and diplomacy and treaties as opposed to shooting at each other. Because look, there’s no way that we would ever win a war against visiting extra-terrestrials. Clearly the level of technology implied by viable interstellar travel is orders of magnitude above and beyond anything we’ve got. So we could never hope to win a fight with these people, so we better not get in one in the first place.
John Cats: I understand that. You were with the UK Ministry of Defense. Was there any good rumors as far as your fellow people that were working on this project?
Nick Pope: Oh absolutely. We had literally hundreds of files, and the British government is just in the final stage now of what’s been an 11 year program to declassify and release lots of documents about this, in fact, around 60,000 documents on UFOs have been declassified and released by the British government in the past few years. Many of those were classified at the time, “secret UK eyes only.”
Nick Pope: We’ve had some tremendous cases in our files over the years and our project, our program, looking at this, went back formally to 1953, but before that we had strange sightings even during the second world war. So, the UK government has always been a big part of this story.
John Cats: The other thing, you know our Department of Defense here in the Unites States has always tried to leak information to movie producers, and tried to direct them in a certain direction. Back in the late 60’s, they started doing the Star Trek series. Now, if you look at the Star Trek series of the 1990’s, early, they were using iPads and iPhones. They’re holding them in their hands. That didn’t come out until the late or middle 2000’s, or 2005, 2008. What do you think?
Nick Pope: Well, I suppose there’s an old saying that today’s science was yesterday’s science fiction, but yes. Certainly there are rumors that Gene Roddenberry had government connections, that he knew a few things about all this, and absolutely, there’s no getting away from the fact that when you look at, in the Star Trek franchise, things like the handheld communicators, well those are our cell phones. If you look at the medical tricorder, those are some of the sorts of scanning equipment that we have now. Is that just people making a few lucky or well-educated guesses or is it more meaningful? I don’t know the answer to that, but I love science fiction and maybe there are some clues there.
John Cats: The rumor about Gene Roddenberry is he had access to the commission that Eisenhower set up. I’ve done a lot of research, I couldn’t find it. Have you heard anything like that?
Nick Pope: Yes, and there’s also that Gene Roddenberry was connected to a group of entities called The Nine. Again, whether this has any bearing on what’s currently happening, whether this has it’s roots in fact or whether it’s just intriguing speculation, I think is an open question. But with what’s going on in the media at the moment, and just with the events – this is an events-led phenomenon, it does seem that we are building up to something I guess, and this subject really is now… A couple of years ago, it was probably something that was talked about more on the conspiracy blogs and on specialist UFO websites. Now as you say, it’s in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico. It’s everywhere.
John Cats: The other thing is during the 1950’s, 1960’s, they were going around these entities, these so-called space ships or whatever we want to call them, UFOs, and shutting down some of our nuclear sites. Are you aware of that?
Nick Pope: Yes. There are a number of very interesting cases born out with government documents and on the record eyewitness testimony from the former military personnel involved talking about these sorts of incidents. A very well known case took place at Malmstrom Air Force Base in 1967, but there are a number of other cases where apparently, nuclear weapons have been, as you say, shot down by this. There was actually an intriguing case, very disturbing, in the Ukraine from 1982 where the opposite happened. After a UFO encounter, or rather, during one, the missiles actually went into their pre-launch sequence. Fortunately, they were shutdown and obviously didn’t launch, but again, many people in the UFO community believe that somebody’s trying to send us a message. “We have the power to shutdown your nasty little toys,” maybe.
John Cats: Yes. Nick Pope, we’re out of time, but I enjoyed our discussion and we hope to talk again real soon. And let’s keep each other informed.
Nick Pope: Thank you very much. Great talking to you.
John Cats: This is the Cats Roundtable. We’ll be right back.
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