Attendees of the Jesse A. Marcel Library meeting on July 2 may have to wait longer for the UFO disclosure they had been hoping for.
The meeting took place on World UFO Day—held on the anniversary of an infamous purported UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947—and it took place in a Clancy building named for the Air Force intelligence officer who investigated the crash. The meeting was held by retired anesthesiologist Dr. Richard O’Connor.
O’Connor started the library, often called JAML, in 2012 to honor his friend and colleague Dr. Jesse A. Marcel Jr., who died in 2013, and his father, Maj. Jesse A. Marcel, who had both worked to proliferate the senior Marcel’s account of the Roswell story.
Maj. Marcel spoke with UFOlogist Stanton Friedman in 1978 and contradicted the official U.S. military story that the crash at Roswell was a downed weather balloon. His son, Dr. Marcel, was an ear, nose and throat specialist at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena and had, as a child, seen the debris his father had returned home with after the Roswell crash.
The focus of the meeting, which attracted approximately 30 people, was the “Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on June 25. The unclassified report, which had been long anticipated as a possible revelation about the U.S. government’s knowledge and experience with UFOs, clocked in at a mere nine pages and gave meeting attendees little or nothing to celebrate.
“What are your thoughts on the report?” O’Connor asked the crowd.
“I thought, well we didn’t expect anything less as far as disclosure,” one woman responded.
A man in the back of the room also spoke up: “The report basically said, ‘we don’t know who they are,’ and I felt like, wow, you’re killing me.”
The government—which uses the term “unidentified aerial phenomena” or UAP instead of UFO—stated in the report that “the limited amount of high-quality reporting on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) hampers our ability to draw firm conclusions about the nature or intent of UAP.”
Others in attendance agreed that the report, which focused on incidents documented primarily by the U.S. Navy starting in 2004, revealed very little and felt like a further continuation of government secrecy.
“This is nine pages of 70-plus years of interaction with this phenomenon, and the American people get seven pages that tell us nothing more than ... in 1947,” O’Connor said referencing early memos about UFOs. “It seems they are trying to convince us we are getting a lot more information now. Sorry, but we really aren’t.”
What the report did concede is that “most of the UAP reported probably do represent physical objects,” because they were observed using multiple sensors.
Furthermore, the report states that “some appeared to remain stationary in winds aloft, move against the wind, maneuver abruptly, or move at considerable speed, without discernible means of propulsion,” and that it was unlikely the objects “are part of a foreign collection program or indicative of a major technological advancement by a potential adversary.” For the objects that exhibited unexplainable flight patterns, the report says only that there must be more analysis.
So what are they?
The report gave five potential categories for UAP sightings: airborne clutter including birds, balloons, recreational drones and plastic bags; natural atmospheric phenomena such as ice crystals or thermal fluctuations; classified U.S. military programs; technology developed by “China, Russia, another nation, or a non-governmental entity;” and the most intriguing category: “other.”
“Other” was defined as phenomena that were unidentifiable due to limited data, collection technology or scientific knowledge.
Of 144 incidents studied, only one was identified as “a deflating balloon.” Everything else fell into the “other” bin.
Attendees also objected to the report’s description of UAPs as things that are “a hazard to safety of flight and could pose a broader danger.”
Following the report’s release, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said that the “report is an important first step in cataloging these incidents, but it is just a first step. The Defense Department and intelligence community have a lot of work to do before we can actually understand whether these aerial threats present a serious national security concern.”
O’Connor doesn’t believe that to be that case.
“In the first two paragraphs of the report, they use the word ‘threat’ four times,” O’Connor pointed out. “As we are watching all of this unfold, it does seem that there is a concerted effort to convince the American people that this is a threat.”
In a previous interview with The Boulder Monitor, O’Connor pointed to several reported instances of UFO activity corresponding with nuclear weapons being deactivated. One such instance occured at Malmstrom Air Force Base in 1967. He addresses these ideas in his newly released book, “UFOs, Nuclear Weapons, and a New Age of Reason.”
“Why are they doing this? What are they trying to say? For me, that has been one of the most compelling reasons for me to try and get these answers ... we just have to get in contact with these beings,” he said.
O’Connor encouraged attendees to stay updated and said that perhaps future meetings would take place with less frequency than past weekly meetings. He suggested monthly meetings between May and October, and said that anyone interested should reach out to him at email@example.com.