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Unidentified: A Science-Fiction Thriller
Author:Douglas E. Richards

In many of these encounters, radar showed UFOs in visible range of Navy or Air Force pilots, yet these pilots couldn’t see these craft, indicating the UFOs had an invisibility mode as well.

In my view, at least, the weight of the evidence had become crushing. But of course I had come to believe this. If not, I wouldn’t have quit my job to pursue answers full time. And I especially wouldn’t have been risking my life and reputation by appearing on Russell’s podcast.

I went on to quote John Ratcliffe, former Director of National Intelligence, who said: “Frankly, there are a lot more sightings than have been made public.”

I also quoted Harry Reid from many years earlier, when he suggested that numerous other countries were ahead of us when it came to investigating UFOs, and that, “We’ve got some stunningly good pictures of them. We can’t turn our heads and pretend they don’t exist. Because they do exist.”

Mark Russell looked delighted. “This is great stuff, Jason,” he said. “The patents, the scholarly articles, the quotes from US Senators and other high-ranking officials. You’ve really managed to drive home just how real this all is.”

“Thanks, Mark,” I replied. “They say that truth is stranger than fiction. I just never imagined that truth would turn out to be even stranger than science fiction.”


I was pleased by Mark Russell’s positive reaction, but I was quickly running out of runway. I would soon need to take off or crash. Since I already knew I had no plans to take off, the ending was preordained.

I spent another five minutes sharing multiple accounts of UFO incursions at nuclear weapons sites around the world. For some time now, hundreds of US veterans had openly discussed these terrifying encounters that had been occurring since the beginning of the atomic age, and thousands of declassified government documents backed them up.

A well-known example, recounted by multiple Air Force officers, occurred in 1967, when numerous US nuclear missiles mysteriously malfunctioned moments after a disc-shaped craft was observed hovering near their underground launch silos.

Documents stolen from Russia in the 1990s showed that Soviet nukes were also visited by UFOs during the Cold War. In 1982, a number of Russian nuclear missiles were temporarily activated for launch, terrifying the officers in charge, but quickly returned to standby status—seemingly all on their own.

Well, all on their own if you didn’t count the UFOs reportedly hovering over the Russian base at the time.

Just to put a bow on this point, I once again quoted Harry Reid—and showed the actual video clip—when he had said, “I learned that at a number of our missile bases, personnel would come out at night and would see these objects in the air. And the objects would shut off all communications at that missile site. It didn’t happen just once—it happened quite a few times.”

To this point I had presented a mountain of sightings, along with a variety of evidence, and not all of it was circumstantial. Stories and sightings that had been accumulating for almost ninety years now. And yet somehow, they had all been easy for me and others to discount.

Collectively, you’d think all of these items would have a crushing weight, impossible to ignore. Yet for me, at least, this made them even easier to dismiss. Easier to conclude that humanity was simply highly suggestible, with UFOs being nothing more than a modern version of such self-perpetuating species-wide self-delusions as vampires, werewolves, and witches.

Until the Nimitz information was released and the pilots interviewed on 60 minutes. This was finally the straw that broke my skeptical back. I then had no choice but to view this other information in a different light.

Didn’t mean all of it was true. Or any of it. But it did force me to reevaluate things.

I finished my overview by quickly reviewing the unclassified UFO report to Congress delivered by the Director of National Intelligence on June 25, 2021. I put the cover of the report on the screen, showing DNI’s bright blue-and-gold seal and the simple title, Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.

I then showed and read what I considered the most important bullet point from the Executive Summary: “Most of the UAP reported probably do represent physical objects given that a majority were not only observed visually, but registered across multiple sensors, including radar, infrared, electro-optical, and weapon seekers.”

I went on to convey to Russell’s audience that the report was a huge disappointment, as I had expected. The government acknowledged well over a hundred unexplainable encounters and admitted the craft weren’t part of some secret US program.

But then they punted. Their takeaway was basically that they found no evidence that these flying objects were of extraterrestrial origin. But then again, they acknowledged, they couldn’t rule it out, either.

Yeah, no kidding. This was after they had conceded that much of what had been documented—including the crafts’ acceleration, immediate reversals of direction, and ability to submerge—were difficult to explain.

Difficult to explain? Really?

The popularity of reality television was difficult to explain. How the government could get away with spending many billions of dollars it didn’t have each year was difficult to explain. But this was technology that broke every law of physics known to mankind—something I would call impossible to explain.

But maybe that’s just me.

Still, I pointed out to Russell’s audience, even though this official report hadn’t added anything to what was already known, just the fact that it had been undertaken so publicly was a big step in the right direction.