Smell the Gunpowder

Book Review

UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record
by Leslie Kean

Read in January, 2013

There are thousands and thousands of UFO books out there. They range from such folderol as ‘A Dweller on Two Planets’, ‘Secret Nazi UFO Bases Revealed’, or the timeless classic ‘GREETINGS EARTHLINGS My name is Appleton and I come from the Planet Reginta‘ to serious studies of the phenomenon (or phenomena) written by credentialed military officers, main stream scientists, professional historians and investigative journalists. Ms. Kean’s book needs to be added to that latter list, and in my view it should be placed a long way up the pile, amongst the select few books on the subject that must be read by anyone, be they believer, skeptic or debunker who expects to be taken seriously in a real discussion on the subject.

Ms. Kean, an investigative journalist by trade, was first introduced to the subject of UFOs, or UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon – not such a pejorative term) when in about 1999, a reporter colleague in Paris sent her a copy of the just released COMETA Report. This remarkable 90 page white paper, authored by a group of distinguished retired French generals, scientists and space experts, including the former head of the French equivalent of NASA, was a result of three years study analyzing records of military and pilot encounters with UFOs. No jokes about ‘distinguished… French‘ being a tautology please.

Amongst the conclusions which startled Ms. Kean when she read the COMETA Report, was that when all factors on ‘good’ reports were considered, although about 95 percent were explainable there was a residue of about 5 percent of ‘good’ sightings which could not be explained by known natural phenomena or earthly sources, such as secret military tests. They concluded that this 5 percent seemed to be ‘...completely unknown flying machines with exceptional performance that are guided by a natural or artificial intelligence‘.

This was the start of Ms Kean’s personal journey and I heartily approve of the route she has taken and the travelogue she has written for those of us without her perseverance nor investigative skills. Along the road, Ms. Kean has been joined, as the title implies, by serving and retired high ranking military officers, military and commercial pilots, space scientists and government officials from many countries whom she has persuaded and assisted to end decades of silence and go ‘on the record’ about their own UFO experiences.

Her witnesses include, amongst others:

– the Airforce General responsible for scrambling F 16 fighters to (unsuccessfully) chase the silent black triangles seen by thousands of witnesses, photographed (including the one at the top of this page) and tracked on radar over Belgium in 1989 and 1990;

– the former United States Federal Aviation Administration Division Chief for Accident Investigations who followed up the 1986 Japan Air incident when a UFO ‘larger than an aircraft carrier‘ circled a 747 over Alaska and was tracked on aircraft and ground radar;

– the Iranian Airforce Major (who retired as a General) who attempted to fire missiles on a giant brightly lit UFO over Tehran in 1976. His F-4 Phantom jet’s airborne radar picked it up but when he tried to lock his missiles on to it his controls froze and he lost all of his instruments;

– the American missile launch officer who while on duty in 1967 in an underground command bunker at Malmstrom Airforce Base in Montana, watched ten Minuteman nuclear missiles shut down and go off-line within minutes of his top-side ground security calling to report a UFO hovering over the launch complex; and

– the American Deputy Commander of a nuclear armed Airbase in Suffolk who in 1980 investigated a UFO landing at his base involving physical and radiation traces along with multiple military and law enforcement witnesses.

Ms. Kean’s whistle-blowers include serving and former military and government officials from France, Belgium, the UK, Chile, Peru, Iran, Portugal, former US military, aviation officials and NASA scientists and the former two-term Republican Governor of Arizona. The forward of the book was written by President Bill Clinton’s Chief of White House Staff who also served on the National Security Council. These are not people with tinfoil pyramids on their heads.

I recall being thrilled by the COMETA Report when it came out and I had high hopes it would blow the lid off what I believe to be the greatest news story of our known human history. I was disappointed, not for the first time, when this didn’t happen.

Ms. Kean’s contributors include two prominent social/political scientists who explain the American and Western media ‘taboo‘ against acknowledging UFOS quite clearly and that is one of the most interesting parts of the book, together with her discussion and analysis of the postulated American cover-up.

Ms. Kean goes to great lengths to stick to the facts and the book is comprehensively referenced and indexed. She repeatedly makes the point that even though COMETA and other serious investigators have concluded that the extraterrestrial hypothesis is the most likely explanation, it is by no means proven. All we really know for sure is that something unknown is flying around in our skies, all over the world, buzzing our aircraft, airports, cities (and nuclear weapons depots) and we not only can’t stop them, we really have no idea what they are or whether they might be dangerous to us.

Her basic question is: isn’t it time we stopped pretending there’s nothing there and try to figure it out?

Seems like a reasonable proposition to me.

To all of you earnest, well-meaning (and ignorant) self-styled ‘skeptics‘ who like to maintain the position that ‘there is no reliable physical, photographic or other evidence to demonstrate the reality of the UFO phenomenon‘, you are flat out wrong and clearly have looked no further than the pages of James Randi’s debunk-rag ‘The Skeptical Enquirer‘ and the ends of your own nose.

Ms. Kean’s book, easily read in a day, would be a good start to get you to uncross your eyes and look up. As one of the reviewers (the science correspondent for PBS’s NewsHour) who is quoted on the cover puts it “She may not have the final smoking gun, but I smell the gunpowder“.


About Ian Dubin AKA Lord Dubin of Kellett Island

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4 Responses to Smell the Gunpowder

  1. Lorenzo!! says:

    If they are there then for sure they are not dangerous to us in the sense we can do anything about our fate. Danger is something you can do something to avoid. If these being are out there (put me in the ignorant and disbelieving camp!) then they have the power / ability / technology to play with us as puppets so we aren’t in danger. We are just at their mercy. Of course, it could be that there is nothing out there in our skies but I do agree it’s unlikely that in this enormous cosmos that we live in we are the only beings here. That does seem arrogant and unlikely. But not impossible.

    • iandubin says:

      Just noticed the e-mail address – didn’t realise it was you mate when I replied below. Duhh. Have a glance at the two documentaries listed below and keep after those shark fin bastards.

  2. iandubin says:


    There are plenty of dangers that our beyond our control. For example, humanity has no ability to do anything to prevent the Yellowstone super volcano erupting when it decides to do so.

    It seems likely that whatever or whoever UFOs represent, they are probably not a present danger to us (ie humanity). If they had hostile intentions, the argument goes, they would already have expressed them and conquered us or destroyed us.

    On the other hand… maybe they have a different time scale and we are witnessing a slow motion invasion?

    If you are in the ignorant/disbelieving camp that is your choice. If you want to alleviate that situation, a good start would be to read this book or some of the others I have listed elsewhere, or watch the documentaries I have mentioned in other posts. like this one for example

  3. Pingback: Book Review – After Disclosure | Veritas Extrinsecus Est

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