The Project Had Officially Begun

General Trudeau marched down the hall to his boss at the Pentagon to begin the process of funding the new items we’d identified in our Foreign Technology budget, and I went home that evening and tried on my official White House three piece suit. President Eisenhower once told me that he always trusted a man who wore a vest, and I never forgot it. Although there were times when the President asked me to wear my uniform for special meetings when I had to look military, I usually wore suits every day to work.


But after my years at the Red Canyon missile base and in combat uniform in Germany, I lost the knack of wearing civilian clothes. Nevertheless, here I was again, after all those years, wearing a suit just like any other nine-to-five commuting Joe as I headed toward Fort Belvoir, perhaps the army’s most important base in the entire Washington Military District.

Fort Belvoir was one of those military posts where the mundane activity of training and weapons testing was an effective cover for what came to be known as the secret life of Fort Belvoir. It sat comfortably within thirty minutes of the Pentagon, and it was where some of the army’s most top secret research into UFO technology was also taking place. Belvoir housed the Army Engineering School and, for former artillery and missile officers like myself, maintained a vital information database about ballistics testing and the development of new weapons. But on the secret side of the ledger, Fort Belvoir was home to the Signal School where officers for the National Security Council who had top secret crypto clearance were trained.


Even years after I retired from active duty, stories lingered about the records of UFOs that were stored at Fort Belvoir, including photos and even motion pictures of military retrievals of downed extraterrestrial craft. What very few people knew was that an elite secret air force unit operated out of Fort Belvoir - ostensibly an army base - that was responsible for retrievals of downed UFOs. That was how Fort Belvoir became a repository of classified UFO footage. Those secrets remained at Fort Belvoir over the years and were closely guarded while the installation remained shrouded in mystery. For those who suspect what information was kept at the base, Fort Belvoir remains a central part of the legends surrounding the official military cover up of UFOs.

Me, I was on my way there to talk about the night vision project to see what German World War II files they were keeping on the infrared viewfinders the Nazis were trying to deploy for their night fighting troops. These were cumbersome, unwieldy devices that left infantry hampered and weighed down. They were never effective in the war but held out the enormous promise of opening up the night as a battlefield where an army could maneuver around its blind and helpless enemy. That was the promise that tantalized both the Soviets and American forces as we closed in on Germany’s most secret weapons facilities during the final months of the war.

Our forces secured all of the German records on mountable weapons night viewers and headpieces, but it wasn’t until we looked inside the crashed Roswell vehicle and saw a hazy daylight through the view ports that we realized just what the potential of night viewing could be. We understood in those few moments after the vehicle was brought back to Wright Field and General Twining made his initial report that we were the blind and helpless enemy through the eyes of the EBEs. These creatures controlled our night skies, observing us with an ease that we didn’t enjoy until we had deployed our own night-viewing goggles years later and leveled the playing field against them and the Soviet client forces arrayed against us.

My very proper looking deep blue Oldsmobile might not have been a secret weapon in America’s arsenal, but it was carrying a description of one of the tiny components of what would be one of our most effective Cold War weapons. Guerrilla armies used the night itself on their familiar home territory as a tactical weapon that allowed them to move right past enemy positions without being spotted. They could secure a battlefield advantage as if they were invisible. But equip a patrol with night viewers, mount night viewers on tanks and observation vehicles, hover over a battlefield at night in helicopter gunships equipped for night vision, and suddenly the night becomes day and the invisible enemy appears in your gunsights like prey for the hunter.

To the EBEs, we were that prey, and we knew they were monitoring our defenses, surveilling the aircraft we scrambled to chase them, and hovering above the experimental satellites we launched. We could see them with our radar, I had seen them on our scopes with my own eyes, and we knew their presence wasn’t benign. But they had an advantage over us that we couldn’t overcome unless we acquired the technological ability to put up enough of a defense to make their cost too high to engage in any large scale warfare.


Not only was it an advantage that forced us to scrape whatever technology we could off the edge of our encounters with them; it was one of the many factors that forced us into a silence about the alien presence. If there was no public enemy, there would be no pressure from the public to do anything about it. So we simply denied all extraterrestrial activity because no aliens meant no military responsibility to counter their threat. But all the while we were still planning, measuring their hostile intentions, and pushing through weapons development that might reduce their advantage.

It would have been next to impossible to stage a military build up that would help us fight extraterrestrial enemies had we not had a lot of help from our old adversaries, the Soviets and the Chinese. The Soviets made no bones about their intentions to dominate the world through Communist revolutionary coups and set about immediately to challenge us even before World War II ended. By 1948, the Iron Curtain had dropped over Eastern Europe and the Soviets were trying to back us into a position of appeasement. In 1949, Mao Tse-tung drove Chiang Kai-shek out of mainland China to the island of Taiwan, and the United States had another major Communist adversary trying to impose its will upon its Asian neighbors. We first tasted their blood in Korea and would soon almost choke on it in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia.

Those were hard times, made even harder because the U.S. military also knew that not just the free world but the whole world was under a military threat from a power far greater than the combined forces of the Soviet Union and the Republic of China. We didn’t know what the EBEs wanted at first, but we knew that between the cattle mutilations, surveillance of our secret weapons installations, reports of strange abductions of human beings, and their consistent buzzing of our unmanned and manned space launches, the EBEs weren’t just friendly visitors looking for a polite way to say “Hello, we mean you no harm. “ They meant us harm, and we knew it. The problem was we couldn’t do anything about it at first, and anything we did try to do had to be done in complete secrecy or it would set off a worldwide panic, we believed.

This was where the Cold War turned out to be a tremendous opportunity for us, because it allowed us to upgrade our military, preparedness in public to fight the Communists while secretly creating an arsenal and strategy to defend ourselves against the extraterrestrials. In short, the Cold War, while real enough and dangerous enough, was also a cover for us to develop a planetary tracking and defense system that looked into space as well as into the Soviets’ backyard. And the Soviets were doing the exact same thing we were, looking up at the same time they were looking down.

In an only tacitly acknowledged cooperative endeavor, the Soviets and the Americans, while each one was explicitly using the Cold War to gain an advantage over the other, both sought to develop a military capability to defend ourselves against extraterrestrials. There were very subtle indications of this policy in the types of weapons both countries developed as well as in our behavior toward one another every time one side came close to pushing the button. I can tell you definitively because I was there when we avoided nuclear war because both military commands were able to pull back when they stared over the cliff into the flaming volcano of war that threatened to engulf all of us at least four times between 1945 and 1975 - the Berlin airlift, the Chinese invasion of Korea, the Cuban missile crisis, and the Yom Kippur War - and probably many more.

By the time President Nixon returned from China, having agreed to turn over Vietnam to the Communists, he had effectively turned the Soviets’ flank in the Cold War. For the next decade, the Soviets felt caught between the Chinese, with whom they’d fought border wars in the past, and the United States. When President Ronald Reagan demonstrated to Mikhail Gorbachev that the United States was capable of deploying an effective antimissile missile defense and sought Soviet cooperation in turning it against the extraterrestrials, all pretext of the Cold War ended and the great Soviet monolith in Eastern Europe began to crumble.

But the Cold War worked its magic for both superpowers by allowing them to prepare defenses against the extraterrestrials without ever having to disclose to the public what they were really doing. When you examine it, the record itself should have showed that another agenda was present throughout the Cold War. After all, why did each side really have ten or more times the number of warheads needed to completely destroy the other side’s nuclear missile arsenal as well as their major population centers?


The real story behind the vast missile arsenals, the huge fleets of bombers, and the ICBM submarine platforms that both sides deployed was the threat to the aliens that if they occupied a portion of our planet, we had the fire power to obliterate them. If they attacked either the United States or the Soviet Union so as to render one of the arsenals inoperable, we had enough missiles to spare to make them pay so heavy a price for starting a war, it wasn’t even worth trying. That was part of our secret agenda behind the huge military buildups of the 1950s and1960s: sacrifice a portion of the planet so that the rest of us could live.


It enabled the United States and USSR to intimidate one another, but it also worked for the heads of the military intelligence agencies as a way to intimidate any extraterrestrial cultures. Nobody wrote any memos about this because weapons deployment during the Cold War was the cover for the secret agenda against the extraterrestrials.

Sure, there was a gamesmanship going on during those forty years from 1948 through 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down. Each side tried to get the other to spend more money than they really had to so as to weaken the economy. Our CIA consistently gave us false estimates because they were feeding us KGB information while, I know, we tried to do the same thing to the Soviets. And if the Soviets could have won the Cold War as bloodlessly as possible, they would have done so. But in the end, as the futility of mutual destruction made World War III unfightable, our real attention became more focused on the common enemy: the extraterrestrials who refused to go away.

There were subtle and not so subtle hints during the entire Cold War that a hidden agenda was in play. Most people just didn’t know where to look. For those who did, and there were and are plenty of them, the answers were in plain view.


Although there was heavy censorship and the threat of ruined careers, plenty of military and civilian sources reported flying saucer sightings. Stories of abductions - while most were either fantasies, nightmares, or memory screens for other events in the so called abductee’s childhood - continued to abound. Some were true, and this caused great consternation among members of the UFO working group. If the government couldn’t protect private citizens from abductions by extraterrestrials, then would that not signify a breakdown in governmental authority? That was a worry, but it didn’t come to pass.

Similarly, if too many flying saucers were seen by too many people at the same time, wouldn’t it become obvious that the military forces of the superpowers couldn’t protect their populations? For a time it was true, but the public never realized it. Soon we were able to upgrade our ability to defend our airspace so that we could amass large numbers of interceptors against the EBEs’ limited resources and pose a real threat to them.


They backed off and probed our defenses only when it seemed safe. Thus, the race among the superpowers to spend billions of dollars to build the fastest and best interceptors had a true double purpose. We needed all these planes because they gave the super powers a flexible response alternative to simply obliterating themselves with guided missiles, but at the same time both superpowers were developing the air defense technology to defend the planet against the extraterrestrials.

Everybody wants the best and fastest plane, of course, so that we can out fly and out shoot the enemy we know about. But we were also defending our skies against an enemy we didn’t admit to having. The second agenda was always there and the Cold War provided the budgetary impetus the military needed : We were building aircraft to protect against flying saucers. And in a very real measure, we succeeded.

Both the United States and USSR were sensitive to another area where the extraterrestrials were aggressing upon our military personnel : our respective space exploration programs. From the very beginning of our endeavors to put satellites in orbit, the extraterrestrials have been surveilling and then actively interfering with our launch vehicles and in some cases the manned and unmanned payloads themselves by buzzing them, jamming radio transmissions, causing electrical problems with the spacecrafts’ systems, or causing mechanical malfunctions.


American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts have separately reported sightings of UFOs so routinely that it’s become commonplace. The audio/video transmission downlink between space capsules and NASA, however, is a secure scrambled signal so that commentary about UFOs shadowing the spacecraft can’t be picked up by private listeners. Even then, the astronauts are specifically instructed not to report UFO sightings until they are debriefed once they’ve landed.

Astronaut Gordon Cooper, for example, reported that when he was a fighter pilot over Germany in the 1950s, he scrambled with other Sabre Jet fighter pilots to intercept a formation of UFOs flying over his base, but when his fighter group got too close, the formation of UFOs flew away. Cooper also described film that he saw at Edwards Air Force base in California in 1957 of a UFO landing. He said that he sent the film to Washington and followed up on it with the officers at Project Blue Book, but they never responded to his queries.

Similarly, X-15 pilot Joe Walker revealed that his 1961 mission in setting a new world air speed record was also to hunt for UFOs during his high altitude flights. He also said that he filmed UFOs during an X-15 flight a year later in 1962. Other reports persisted about Mercury 7 astronauts being shadowed by UFOs and about Neil Armstrong’s having seen an alien base on the moon during the Apollo 11 flyover and landing. NASA has, of course, not admitted to any of this, and, very correctly, it’s been treated as a matter of high national security.

An extraterrestrial presence on the moon, whether it was true or not in the 1950s, was an issue of such military importance that it was about to become a subject for National Security Council debate before Admiral Hillenkoetter and Generals Twining and Vandenberg pulled it back under their working group’s security classification. The issue never formally reached the National Security Council, although Army R&D under the new command of General Trudeau in 1958 quickly developed preliminary plans for Horizon, a moon base construction project designed to provide the United States with a military observation presence on the lunar surface.


Started in the late 1950s and set for completion between 1965 and1967, Horizon was supposed to establish defensive fortifications on the moon against a Soviet attempt to use it as a military base, an early warning surveillance system against a Soviet missile attack, and, most importantly, a surveillance and defense against UFOs. It was, to be blunt, a plan to establish a skirmish line in space to protect the earth against a surprise attack. But Horizon was side tracked when the National Space and Aeronautics Act gave control over space exploration to the civilian NASA, effectively eliminating the military branches from pursuing their own projects until much later in the1970s.

Fears of an attack to probe our planet’s ability to defend itself were running rampant at National Security and through the military chiefs of staff during the middle 1950s. After he retired from the army, even Gen. Douglas MacArthur got into the fray, urging the military to prepare itself for what he felt would be the next major war. He told the New York Times in 1955 that,

“The nations of the world will have to unite for the next war will be an interplanetary war. The nations of the Earth must someday make a common front against attack by people from other planets. “

The public took little notice of that comment, but it was, in fact, a disclosure of the strategic thinking of the military back in the 1950s and explains part of the paranoia the government was displaying about all information relating to the flying saucers and unidentified aircraft. Part of the military response to what they perceived as threats from extraterrestrials was, first, to analyze the specific ways that alien spacecraft “passively” disrupt our defenses and world wide communications through electrical and magnetic field interference and develop circuitry hardened against it. Second, General Trudeau and his counterparts in the other branches of the military at the Pentagon charged with strategic planning looked at the aggressive behaviors of the EBEs.


They didn’t just shadow or surveil our spacecraft in orbit; they buzzed us and tried to create such havoc with our communications systems that NASA more than once had to rethink astronaut safety in the Mercury and Gemini programs. Years later, there was even some speculation among Army Intelligence analysts who had been out of the NASA strategy loop that the Apollo moon landing program was ultimately abandoned because there was no way to protect the astronauts from possible alien threats.

The alien spacecraft were also aggressively buzzing our frontline defenses in Eastern Europe, either looking for blind spots or weaknesses, or - which is what I believed because I was there and saw it with my own eyes - probing our radar to see how quickly we responded. We’d see blips shoot across our screens that we couldn’t identify and suddenly they’d disappear. Then they’d reappear, only this time even closer to our airfields or missile launchers. Once we determined that we weren’t being probed by Soviet or East German aircraft, we sometimes decided not to respond to the threats. Many times they’d just go away.


But other times they would play cat and mouse, edging ever closer until we had to respond. That’s what they were looking for, how quickly we could respond and pick them upon our targeting radars or catch up to them with our interceptors. Whenever we’d get just about there for an aerial sighting, they’d take off out of the atmosphere at speeds over 7,500 miles an hour. If we tried to follow, they’d play us along until our fliers had to return.

Our only successes in defending against them, back in the late1950s and early 1960s, occurred when we were able to get a firm tracking radar lock. Then when we locked our targeting radars on, the signals that missiles were supposed to follow to the target, it somehow interfered with their navigational ability and the vehicle’s flight became erratic. If we were especially fortunate and able to boost the signal before they broke away, we could actually bring them down.


Sometimes we actually got lucky enough to score a hit with a missile before the UFO could take any evasive action, which an army air defense battalion did with an antiaircraft missile near Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany in May 1974. The spacecraft managed to crash land in a valley. The craft was retrieved and flown back to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The Roswell crash was different. There was much speculation that it was a combination of the desert lightning storm and our persistent tracking radars at Alamogordo and the 509th that helped bring down the alien vehicle over the New Mexico desert in 1947.

Then there were the suspected cattle mutilations and reported abductions, perhaps the most direct form of intervention in our culture short of a direct attack upon our installations. While debates broke out among the debunkers - who said these were a combination of hoaxes, attacks by every day predators on cattle, psychological flashback memories of episodes of childhood abuse in the cases of reported abductees, and out and out fabrications of the media - field investigators found they could not explain away some of the cattle mutilations, especially where laser surgery seemed to be used, and psychologists found alarming similarities in the descriptions of abductees who had no knowledge of one another’s stories.


The military intelligence community regarded these stories of mutilations and abductions very seriously. They worked up descriptions of at least three separate scenarios in which,

(1) the EBEs were simply conducting scientific experiments on earthly life forms and collecting whatever specimens they could without causing too much disruption and alerting us

(2) the EBEs were actively collecting specimens and conducting experiments so as to determine whether this was a hospitable environment for them to inhabit, and any disruption they caused was of no concern to them
(3) all of the experimentation and specimen collection were the prelude to some kind of infiltration or invasion of our planet. We did not know their motives, but could only assume the worst and, therefore, needed to defend ourselves however we could

While never disclosing it publicly, military intelligence analysts supported the view that Earth was already under some form of probing attack by one or more alien cultures who were testing both our ability and resolve to defend ourselves. Without ever directly addressing whether contacts between the aliens and Earth governments had already taken place - because the notes and minutes of the Hillenkoetter working group were never released to the Chiefs of Staff or to their intelligence officers - the heads of the armed services decided collectively that it was better to plan for war rather than be surprised.

At the same time, the civilian leaders of the nation’s space program at NASA decided that military intelligence was overreacting to the shadowing and buzzing of our spacecraft. NASA, which had been holding as highly confidential any reports of extraterrestrial activity surrounding our space vehicles, nevertheless decided to adopt an internal official “wait and watch” attitude because they believed that it would have been impossible to launch an explicitly military defensive space program and still achieve the civilian scientific aims at the same time.


So NASA agreed to go covert. As a cover, NASA, in1961, agreed to cooperate with military planners to work a “second tier” space program within and covered up by the civilian scientific missions. They agreed to open up a confidential “back channel” communications link to military intelligence regarding any hostile activities conducted by the EBEs against our spacecraft even if these included only shadowing or surveillance. I was aware of this through my contacts in the military intelligence community.


What NASA didn’t tell military intelligence, of course, was that they already had an even more classified back channel to the Hillenkoetter working group and were keeping them updated on every single alien spacecraft appearance the astronauts reported, especially during the early series of Apollo flights when the EBE craft began buzzing the lunar modules on successive missions after they thrusted out of earth orbit.


Even though military intelligence was kept out of the operational loop between NASA and the working group, I and a few others still had contacts in the civilian intelligence community that kept us informed. And the army and air force managed to find at least 122 photos taken by astronauts on the moon that showed some evidence of an alien presence. It was a startling find and was one of many reasons that the Reagan administration pushed so hard for the Space Defense Initiative in 1981.

In 1960, upon the confidential approval of the working group and at the request of the National Security Agency, which was concerned about the vulnerability of its U2 flights, NASA agreed to allow some of its missions to become covers for military surveillance satellites. These satellites, although approved for surveillance of Soviet ICBM activity, were also supposed to spot alien activity in remote portions of the earth. Maybe, in the 1960s, we didn’t have the technology we have now to intercept their ships, but by using new satellite surveillance techniques we believed we’d be able to pick up the signatures of an alien presence on the face of our planet. If we made it too difficult for them to set up shop with bases on Earth, military intelligence planners speculated, maybe they would simply go away. This was another example of how Cold War strategy was utilized for the dual purpose of trying to surveil extraterrestrial activity under the cover of surveilling Soviet activity.

However, throughout the 1960s, critical projects were started at the Foreign Technology desk to protect vital command and control systems, including the hardening of communications and defense computer circuitry by burying components sensitive to electromagnetic pulses, the same kind of energy generated after a nuclear explosion as well as by the EBE spacecraft. In fact, so important was our research into the effects of the electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, that ever since the late 1950s the Department of Defense has been simulating EMP to determine how to protect the circuitry in its planes, tanks, missiles, and ships from being disabled by it.


EMP generators were established at a number of facilities around the country, including the Harry Diamond Laboratories in Philadelphia, Maryland, for the army and the EMP Empress I and II simulators for the navy in the middle of Chesapeake Bay and another one at China lake in California. The air force set up EMP simulators at Kirkland Air Force Base in New Mexico and the army additional facilities at White Sands, New Mexico, and at the Redstone arsenal in Alabama. We also initiated the crash development of night vision equipment to enable our troops to see at night the same way the EBEs did, finally enabling us to get a footing, if not an equal footing, with the aliens so that we could force them to some kind of stale mate. It was only then that we began to realize what their intentions were and the startling secrets about their existence on this planet.

It was night vision that was on my mind today as I was zipped through the sentry post at the main gate and very quickly buzzed into the development laboratories wing at Fort Belvoir by an army specialist 4 who seemed surprised that I wasn’t in uniform.

“Colonel Corso, Dr. Paul Fredericks, technology development consultant to the night vision section at Fort Belvoir, said as he extended his hand and walked me over to what must have been his prized tobacco colored leather chair. It was way oversized for his small office and was obviously his favorite seat. I was duly appreciative of the honor and courtesy he was according me. “General Trudeau told me you were bringing us some remarkable information about one of the projects we have in development here. “
“I hope it’s helpful to you, Dr. Fredericks, “ I began. “I’m not a physicist, but I think we have something that might speed up the research time line and show some new possibilities. “
“Anything that could help, Colonel, “ he said as I opened up my briefcase and began to spread out what I had. “Anything at all. “

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