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The mysterious tale of William T Coleman - ex Project Blue Book 'spokesman' and UFO experiencer

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posted on Aug, 7 2019 @ 10:41 PM
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[NOTE: I haven't posted lately due to an unexpected tragic bereavement, but I thought it might be therapeutic to dig into this strange old case and create a thread to distract my mind for a short while, rather than joining the hustle and bustle of the usual UFO stuff doing the rounds.]





William T. Coleman (middle) will soon be seen as a major witness in James Fox's new UFO documentary film, 'The Phenomenon' - for which the great and inimitable ATSer Karl12 has created a current thread: www.abovetopsecret.com...

But who the devil is he?

Well, he was not only a co-producer for NBC's dated but cheesily enjoyable 'Project UFO' (1978-79) across two seasons, but also the original Project Blue Book's 'Public Information Officer', as well as a retired Air Force bomber pilot. PBB's Dr Allen J Hynek softened his stance towards the existence of anomalous UFOs in the mid-70s, but Coleman went one step further in June 1978 during the Merv Griffin Show (who incidentally interviewed Hynek in July 1966) by admitting his own personal and rather spectacular UFO sighting in July 1955 as a bomber pilot. No clips of this interview exist, but the fact he was plugging 'Project UFO' at the time may cause some to immediately raise a Spock eyebrow.

Researcher Brad Sparks interviewed Coleman on 11th July 2002, when it appears he was working on a 370-page draft manuscript for a ufology book. For a proposed chapter entitled “However”, Coleman described how he was flying into South Alabama between 2.00-2.30pm when, for 10-11 minutes, he and four crew members of a B-25 witnessed a silver-grey saucer-shaped craft. It was 60 feet in diameter, 10 to 11 feet thick at the centre, and eventually about 200 metres from the bomber. So low was he flying that Coleman actually saw the object's shadow on the ground as he pursued it across farm territory, the UFO kicking up dust due to two vortexes it had released - which were left behind after it disappeared, just as Coleman reached a maximum speed of 300 knots.


But that was not all. 45 minutes later, while landing at Greenville, Mississippi, Coleman saw the UFO again at high altitude, again at a 2 o'clock perspective, flying across the sky. He deliberately avoided reporting it whilst airborne but, upon landing, each crew member independently wrote their own account, sealed in envelopes. They all proved to be remarkably similar, and Coleman sent a report to Project Blue Book – the irony being that when he later became PBB's Public Information Officer, he discovered the report was missing, and believed that the CIA had gotten their grubby paws on it. Or had they?

When Brad Sparks asked him to locate his Flight Log in order to ascertain an exact date for the sighting, the task proved fruitless, thus leaving us with only “July 1955” - suspicious or simple misfortune?

Ten years on from first admitting the sighting, Coleman took part in the infamous and unwieldy (complete with excruciating studio background muzak) 'UFO Cover-Up?... Live' show on 15th October 1988.



According to Coleman, the UFO was...


... 25000 feet above us, heading in the same direction. Since we were overtaking it, I changed course and eventually got within an eighth of a mile of it, literally right on top of the thing... It was wingless, a disc some 70 feet in diameter, 15-feet thick at the centre – your average run-of-the-mill flying saucer. It performed an astonishing maneuver: one second it was there, the next it was gone.


The diameter and thickness seem to have miraculously stretched, but what's 10 feet between friends and UFO fans? In addition, it “displayed a level of technology far beyond anything I had seen – then and now.” Asked if it was a potential threat to national security, Coleman seemed to fumble his answer but cautiously ran with:


The apparent capability of these objects could possibly represent a threat to our national security.


Sounds familiar thirty years later?


Was Coleman being generous with the truth to support his new TV show in 1978 when he first mentioned this mysterious sighting? What doesn't help matters - aside from zero evidence apart from his own account – is that he was also being touted as a former "head" of Project Blue Book. Some sources claimed he was leading the project from 1961-63 (eg, LA Times, 1978), others 1964. But he was certainly NOT in charge, as trumpeted by NBC and numerous TV guides at the time of 'Project UFO'. Moreover, Hector Quintanilla was PBB's head from 1963-69, preceded by Robert Friend from 1958-63, leaving no wriggle-room at all for poor 'ole Bill.

In Las Vegas 2012, Coleman joined old sweats John Alexander, Charles Halt, Nick Pope and Bob Friend on a panel for a “Secrets Revealed” discussion. Which also sounds like an eccentric old UFO rockers' reunion with some wild stories to relate (including Halt who in recent years had upgraded his UFO at Rendlesham to “ET” status, despite the protests of fellow witnesses).




Event organiser and executive director of the National Atomic Testing Museum, Allan Palmer, revealed that our man Bill had a “blockbuster” up his sleeve. As Coleman stated:


I'm 89. I won't be around much longer.


I'm betting that sounds familiar, too.

A highly disturbing incident from Coleman's past is notable - the fact that he volunteered for eyewitness duty at the Nevada test site during a nuclear bomb series called Operation Teapot. When a blast of 50 kilotons (three Hiroshimas) was detonated, Coleman and others found themselves “trapped” in a trench for four hours by the sheer heat and fallout around them. Three years later, poor Coleman was suffering from leukemia and given four months to live. However, a family physician prescribed a mysterious foul-tasting “red liquid” that apparently cured him...


I have no idea what happened. But suddenly, the leukemia went away. I've got to blame it on the Lord... All those other guys are dead.


Indeed, according to Coleman, he is the only surviving witness of that blast. A shocking story, but as far as our interests go, did he really witness that 1955 UFO sighting, or was it simply concocted in 1978 to plug his new TV show? Was the false bigging-up as a former “head” of PBB enough to invite immediate scepticism? And what DID he have up his sleeve in 2012? I didn't bother to find out – maybe out of gentle politeness since he seems to be travelling down the old and worn Jesse Marcel-style road of inevitable embellishment. Perhaps bumping into Mr Penniston on the way.

Is he telling the truth as he remembers it? Or is James Fox backing a dud?




SOURCES:

www.nicap.org...
www.nicap.org...
ufoupdateslist.com...
www.theufochronicles.com...


edit on 7-8-2019 by ConfusedBrit because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 7 2019 @ 11:02 PM
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a reply to: ConfusedBrit

Interesting write-up, thanks for bringing my attention to William T. Coleman.

The video you linked had an anonymous person with their voice changed giving inside details about PBB named "Condor". I actually think that could have been Carl Sagan. He fits their description pretty closely and the language he used in that interview is almost identical to what Sagan said in his book "Demon Haunted World" on the PBB section. If you haven't read that book it's worth a glance, he uses nearly the exact same language as Condor and explains that the Project's purpose was to explain away UFOs and that they were even instructed to contrive absurd explanations for the truly unexplained ones as well. (Like hovering lights were explained away as 'a squadron of B-52s' though B-52s don't hover stationary).



posted on Aug, 8 2019 @ 12:44 AM
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Nice write up and presentation — several more iterations and you’ll be approaching MM’s threads


I listened to Fox on Jimmy Church...Fox seems to be a documentarian piggybacking off has early works and doesn’t come across as much of a Ufologist (that’s not a high bar but still). I’ll check his film out and hope this thread can work as resource to square ‘fact’ from fiction.

good stuff, CB



posted on Aug, 8 2019 @ 07:22 AM
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I was just studying William Coleman's story from another angle. He appeared on the Canadian TV program The Great Debate on March 16, 1975. as described in this Faded Discs listing:



20: Major Donald E. Keyhoe and Col. William Coleman, USAF, debated the reality of UFOs in Canada on the Great Debate in the early 1970s. 41:30

The Great Debate: Major Donald E. Keyhoe and Col. William Coleman, USAF


This was before the Project Blue Book TV show, and here Coleman backs the AF position. He admits that there are UFOs, but insists there is no evidence that they are extraterrestrial. Keyhoe mentions Coleman's own saucer sighting, and later Coleman describes it, but refuses to suggest it was anything but unidentified.

During the moderator's introduction for Coleman, he says that the Col. has written science fiction and has a novel in the works. Does anyone have more information on Coleman's fiction writings?



posted on Aug, 8 2019 @ 09:51 AM
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originally posted by: ConfusedBrit

A highly disturbing incident from Coleman's past is notable - the fact that he volunteered for eyewitness duty at the Nevada test site during a nuclear bomb series called Operation Teapot. When a blast of 50 kilotons (three Hiroshimas) was detonated, Coleman and others found themselves “trapped” in a trench for four hours by the sheer heat and fallout around them. Three years later, poor Coleman was suffering from leukemia and given four months to live. However, a family physician prescribed a mysterious foul-tasting “red liquid” that apparently cured him...


I have no idea what happened. But suddenly, the leukemia went away. I've got to blame it on the Lord... All those other guys are dead.


Indeed, according to Coleman, he is the only surviving witness of that blast. A shocking story, but as far as our interests go, did he really witness that 1955 UFO sighting, or was it simply concocted in 1978 to plug his new TV show? Was the false bigging-up as a former “head” of PBB enough to invite immediate scepticism? And what DID he have up his sleeve in 2012? I didn't bother to find out – maybe out of gentle politeness since he seems to be travelling down the old and worn Jesse Marcel-style road of inevitable embellishment. Perhaps bumping into Mr Penniston on the way.

Is he telling the truth as he remembers it? Or is James Fox backing a dud?

An interesting bit of ufological trivia, CB. Bummed to hear about your bereavement...I think that goodbyes are the saddest thing we experience in life. Wishing you some peace in the midst.

So is Coleman the real deal or a fantasist is the question? Do you happen to know if his being a volunteer at the atomic blast site is confirmed? If that much is true then Coleman deserves a more in-depth look on whatever else. If it's an old "war story" that's not true, or can't be confirmed, then we might have a workable answer the other way.

And while I'm not making any assertion about it, I do find it interesting that "human-use experimentation" once again comes up on the peripheral of the UFO subject.


edit on 8-8-2019 by The GUT because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2019 @ 10:01 AM
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a reply to: ConfusedBrit

Great write up mate, thanks for linking the thread and some very fair points raised - have a lot of respect for Brad Sparks and will find time to delve into this one.

Fox states in the initial vid that they interviewed him for over five hours so hopefully he'll expand a bit on the specific details - he also mentions that two of the men accompanying him in the B25 were 'engineers from Boeing and Allerton engines' ..so it would be very nice to confirm that as well.

Can think of a few similar cases from the 1950s where military pilots were reporting flying objects the same shape and colour that Colonel Coleman described and below is a statement from another Pentagon Public Relations Officer in the same decade.. but it's always good to wear those skepticals!



"You must remember that I was privy to the project files. These contained hundreds of official reports of UFO encounters made by military personnel from all branches of the service. They were all classified with a high degree of security classification. Almost all of these made pretty scary reading from the verbatim descriptions of the pilots concerned" 

Albert M. Chop, Air Force UFO Public Information Officer at the Pentagon

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Cheers.



posted on Aug, 8 2019 @ 10:39 AM
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a reply to: ConfusedBrit

Fantastic job CB, and so sorry to hear of your bereavement. In fact, my first few threads on ATS - including radiation effects were written whilst at a relatives bedside. For long periods, they weren't aware of my presence but I wanted to be there for when "it" happened.

You've done a great job here.

I've got a fun fact for you. Inventor and former school / college friend of John Lear, Kurt Brubaker was involved in creating some of the practical effects in Project UFO.

Go back and watch it, and you'll see in a early episode at the end a strange robot with a laser raises up. I think, but don't know that was one of his creations.

Come UFO Coverup: Live! Brubaker was on the production side and Coleman was in the chair.



posted on Aug, 8 2019 @ 10:49 AM
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originally posted by: muzzleflash

The video you linked had an anonymous person with their voice changed giving inside details about PBB named "Condor".


Think it's been established that 'Falcon' was Government UFO disinfo / deception agent Richard Doty.





ATS member Jim Oberg also pops up towards the end of the video referencing Falcon and talks about "how he hopes everyone will buy strawberry ice cream so the UFO guy will go away" - was that scripted Jim?

Also, just a thought but researcher Robert Hastings describes in this vid (around 23:00) how Richard Doty ran OSI UFO disinfo schemes out of Kirtland AFB and received orders to forge UFO documents.

Remembered a post here where it's stated you used to be a 'Security Officer' at Kirtland Air Force Base in charge of 'maintaining safeguards for classified government documents' - did you ever come across any kind of UFO Disinfo Office or hear about attempts to deceive the American public?
edit on 8-8-2019 by karl 12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2019 @ 11:04 AM
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posted on Aug, 8 2019 @ 11:39 AM
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a reply to: ctj83

How interesting.
I find it cool that they drew symbols for all the different tests in Operation Teapot like the Wasps, Moth, Apples, Zucchini, Tesla, Turk, Hornet, Bee, Post, etc.

I wouldn't want to be named on that certificate though...



posted on Aug, 8 2019 @ 01:11 PM
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a reply to: ConfusedBrit

Sorry to hear of your bereavement CB

Great post.


Listening to Coleman talk about the 1955 encounter got me thinking whether an aircraft could perform the kind of maneuvers required to chase the ufo in multiple ways. Let me explain;

First, he says it was 25,000 ft above their position, heading in the same direction. At the size of the craft he describes it would be very difficult to spot at all from that distance, although he doesn't say how they spotted it so it might have been via radar.

Then, they moved to intercept and got to a few hundred feet above it. That seems like quite a radical maneuver for a 1955 bomber to be performing. So i had a quick look (i'm presuming it's a B-25 Mitchell that he was flying, someone who knows a lot more about post war aircraft can correct me if i'm wrong) and that craft had a max altitude of:


Service ceiling: 24,200 ft (7,400 m)


So, could they really have "chased" it in this craft up to that altitude and in a craft with a max speed of:


Maximum speed: 272 mph (438 km/h; 236 kn) at 13,000 ft (4,000 m)


After intercepting and within a few hundred feet it suddenly disappears. But Coleman then says they chased it (How can they do this if it disappeared?). Paraphrased;


caught sight of it again, Skimming over farmers fields, vortexes of red dust as it flew, closed in and it vanished


So now they have dived down to ground level from circa 25k feet? Again, seems a radical maneuver for a 1955 bomber to be performing.

Either his numbers aren't accurate (speeds, altitude) or something else is going on with this sighting....



posted on Aug, 8 2019 @ 01:59 PM
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a reply to: Diaspar

James Fox on Jimmy Church’s Fade to Black radio program suggested that his crew and some hired plots flew the same model plane over the same area, attempting to recreate Coleman’s flight path etc. Guess we’ll have wait on Mr. Fox’s film to decide for ourselves the feasibility of such...



posted on Aug, 8 2019 @ 04:20 PM
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Thought you'd been a bit quiet recently CB.

We have some very heated debates on here at times but real life events like a bereavement often show how trivial all of it is. So I too would like to express my condolences to you and your kin over your loss.

I do like these threads that delve into the not so well trodden paths of ufology. I find it interesting that our man Bill was touted as "as a former "head" of Project Blue Book".

I am trying to recall a more recent claim around a similar project that has been in the media in the past year or two. But the name of the guy even escapes me too at the moment.


Good work.


edit on 8/8/2019 by mirageman because: ...



posted on Aug, 9 2019 @ 04:38 AM
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a reply to: The GUT

It's a slight diversion, but Kurt Brubaker did excellent work on practical effects for sci fi shows like Project UFO if I'm reading his IMDB right.

The model work of the ufos is good, but the compositing work is horrid. Largely because it was shot on video and composited badly onto film.

You know who could have REALLY helped here?

Jaime Shandera - he's connected with a bunch of visual effects patents that would allow seamless blends of ufo models shot on video with film backgrounds. The technology was impressive to say the least.

I've often wondered if the Shanderas worked on the Disney alien / TomorrowLand promo / documentary or just the Earth Day stuff. I think Kurt Brubaker might have worked on practical effects there, but for the ride I assume.

Then we have UFO Coverup Live's wireframe alien - created by the pioneers of Motion Capture - Mr Film. That alien was their first job! Sadly at the time of "UFO Coverup Live" when some in the Aviary really thought that the wireframe was a top secret leak, Jacques Vallee already knew people connected with Mr Film.

Kurt Brubaker and Doty directed the creation of the alien and this graphics, according to the extended interview with Doty in Unacknowledged.

Anyway, I'm rambling - the TLDR is that the team around Project UFO, UFO Coverup Live kept coming back time and again - and as a whole really advanced Motion Picture FX. Coleman connects all of that.



posted on Aug, 10 2019 @ 05:54 AM
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a reply to: ctj83

Don Ledger brings up some interesting points about the 'UFO Cover Up Live' programme featuring Coleman's testimony in the article linked below - apparently 'legitimate witnesses to legitimate UFO cases were left waiting, uncalled in their motel rooms' whilst Falcon and Condor were performing their disinfo antics.


Shandera, Doty  and CIA official Henry Rositzke also get a mention.



On October 14, 1988, a two-hour TV special called UFO Cover-Up Live!was broadcasted simultaneously to both the United States and oddly enough, the USSR. This connection will make more sense at the close of this article. Hosted by actor Mike Farrell of the MASH TV series, the program originated from Washington, D.C. This would become the highly promoted Moore and Shandera introduction of two of the mysterious Aviary, “Falcon” and “Condor.” The two inside shadow figures were presented as U.S. Intelligence agents but were electronically disguised so they were only seen in silhouette and their voices were altered. Among some of the unbelievable claims the two “agents” made were that America was hosting alien visitors who liked strawberry ice cream and ancient Tibetan music. In reality, the two inside sources were none other than Doty and Robert Collins continuing their disinformation campaign. It attracted a huge audience but unfortunately, legitimate witnesses to legitimate UFO cases were left waiting, uncalled in their motel rooms, while Moore and Shandera exploited their own brand of disinformation. An opportunity that has left a bad taste in the mouth of ufology for all these years.

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Also thought there was some pertinent info contained in these articles.

Cheers.



posted on Aug, 12 2019 @ 07:06 AM
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a reply to: karl 12

Thanks. I'll say this, if ANY company in late 80s could have created a CGI alien, and done a live interview it would have been Mr Film, the company that created the alien wireframe for Coverup Live. They were pioneers of motion capture and this was their first job.




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