in the News section of U.S. News and World Report (October 19, 2012):
UFO Sightings Pose Danger to Aviation
Flying saucers and other unidentified flying objects can distract pilots and cause accidents
|the illustration from the U.S. News article|
Following this bit of remarkable stupidity, the rest of the article is basically a completely uncritical review of Leslie Kean's book UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go On the Record. She presents supposedly "unexplained" UFO cases involving either a pilot, a general, or a bureaucrat. But as I showed in my review of this book, her cases are only "unexplained" if one ignores all explanations. Philip J. Klass and others have published thousands of words explaining most if not all of Kean's supposed "unexplained" cases. She pretends that other interpretations don't exist, and thus ensnares too-trusting reporters into her UFO net. Good reporters, recognizing that controversial stories have two sides, would interview a knowledgeable expert with a different view, and present both sides. He might have even uncovered the ridiculous story of Leslie Kean and the Fly, and asked her to explain that. Unfortunately, good reporting is quite rare. The piece is rounded off with more UFO advocacy by Richard Haines and John Alexander, with just the briefest objection presented by Seth Shostak.
Morella had previously written "Mysteries of Space" for a special issue of U.S. News (April, 2012). A cover teaser promised to explain "Why UFOs are dangerous," but the text didn't deliver on that promise.
This is not the first time that U.S. News and World Report has embarrassed itself by publishing UFO stories that turned out to be simply foolish.
“Before the year is out, the Government perhaps the President—is expected to make what are described as 'unsettling disclosures' about UFOs” - U.S. News & World Report, April 18, 1977.There were no "unsettling disclosures," and still have not been, thirty-five years later. Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter famously promised to release all of that UFO files, if elected. This set up something like a Millennial frenzy among UFO believers, expecting the official announcement of alien visitations to come at any time. After Carter was elected, he probably found out that the Blue Book files had already been declassified and released; Phil Klass and I had already been reading them in the National Archives before Carter took office.
Then there is this doozy:
“FLYING SAUCERS—THE REAL STORY: U.S. BUILT FIRST ONE IN 1942. Jet-propelled disks can outfly other planes ... By choosing which [jet] nozzles to turn on or off and the angle of tilt, the pilot could make the saucer rise or descend vertically, hover, or fly straight ahead, or make sharp turns… a big advance in the science of flying... No official announcements are being made yet, but about the only big secret left is "who makes them." Evidence points to Navy experiments... ” - News “scoop” in U.S. News & World Report, April 7, 1950.
It would seem that about every thirty-five years, U.S. News is determined to publish something monumentally stupid about UFOs, something that is a profound and lasting embarrassment to any professional journalist. Like clockwork, they've done it again.