The military deleted a passage about unidentified flying objects from a 2008 Air Force personnel manual just days after The Huffington Post asked Pentagon officials about the purpose of the UFO section.
Before the recent revisions, the document — Air Force Instruction 10-206 — advised pilots, radar operators and other Air Force personnel on what to do when they encountered any unknown airborne objects. Now in the 2011 version, the reference to UFOs — which simply means “unidentified flying objects,” not necessarily spaceships with little green men — has been eliminated.
What makes this so intriguing is that the U.S. government officially stopped investigating UFOs in 1969 with the termination of the Air Force’s Project Blue Book.
The 22-year study, led by high-level military officials and academic experts, ruled that UFOs weren’t extraterrestrial visitors, nor were they technologically advanced aircraft, nor were they a threat to national security.
With that, the military essentially shut the book on flying saucer research, concluding that “nothing has occurred that would support a resumption of UFO investigation by the Air Force.”
“The reason why the military is claiming they don’t investigate UFOs is because they don’t want to respond to people like you,” former Air Force Captain Robert Salas told The Huffington Post.
“They don’t want to respond to reporters or to the public as to what the heck is going on, and it’s been going on for so long. They just don’t want to have to answer that question.”
Yet more than 40 years after the close of Project Blue Book, there were still written orders on what Air Force personnel should do in the event they spotted a flying vehicle that couldn’t be identified.
As recently as early September, Air Force members who came across anything they didn’t recognize were told to note “altitude, direction of travel, speed, description of flight path and maneuvers, what first called attention to the object, how long was the object visible and how did the object disappear?”
Eyes in the sky and on the ground were commanded to treat a UFO as they would if they had seen a missile, hostile aircraft or unidentified submarine.
All details were required to be included in a report to NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), which protects the airspace over the U.S. and Canada.
On Sept. 2, The Huffington Post made inquiries to the Air Force about the UFO directives. A spokesman said he’d arrange an interview with an appropriate officer. But before the interview was set up, the 111-page instruction manual was revised on Sept. 6, and the UFO instructions were deleted, as were other portions of the document, now shortened to 40 pages.