Originally posted by owlwoman
Thank you for the fantarstic thread! I didn't see a link to his collection at the University of Arizona Special Collections, so here it is. Next time I am nearby, will definitely make the trip to visit this. Has anyone here been to see it ?
James E. McDonald collection
From 1968 through 1970, inexplicable occurrences vexed McDonald. On airline trips his luggage was frequently "lost" and returned later, rifled through. A briefcase containing sensitive reports by military UFO witnesses was stolen off an airliner under mysterious, unexplained circumstances. McDonald was followed around Tucson by curious unmarked cars, and other signs of silent surveillance puzzled him. His persistence and perseverance brought him through these trials, but he began to privately suspect, with good reason, that government agents might be monitoring him. He confided his concerns only to a few close friends.
In September 1969, one of McDonald's daughters was raped and nearly murdered on the Harvard campus. The details of the attack were unexplained, and McDonald's repeated attempts to clarify them led to intense frustration..
A few weeks before these hearings, McDonald had told two close colleagues in the UFO field that he was very close to learning the answer to UFOs, and was holding discussions at "the highest level" of government. He explained that he was not free to discuss the details, but would soon be able to reveal what he knew.
McDonald's handwritten UFO journals contain notations up to March 17, 1971. Project Blue Book had been disbanded, and the best of its radar-visual UFO files had been declassified. McDonald had promptly traveled to Maxwell AFB in Alabama to study and copy them. He was amazed at the of information they contained: empirical evidence, the precious seeds of proof, which seemed to have been ignored by the government for 24 years.
It's the middle portion of our 3-part "miniseries" with esteemed Ufologist Ann Druffel. Over the course of the next two episodes, we'll go in-depth on Ann's book Firestorm: Dr. James E. McDonald's Fight for UFO Science, covering the remarkable life and amazing contributions to Ufology by renowned atmospheric physicist James McDonald.
The concluding installment of our special BoA:Audio "miniseries" with esteemed Ufologist Ann Druffel, wrapping up our in-depth discussion on Firestorm: Dr. James E. McDonald's Fight for UFO Science. In this week's episode, we'll be covering James McDonald's goals for a national UFO monitoring system, the unspoken pressure on McDonald to provide a UFO "breakthrough," the Condon Report, in-depth, including the "Low memo" and how McDonald was responsible for that document getting widely released, the reaction of Ufology to the Condon Report and if Ann thinks the UFO field was permanently damaged by the series of events that befell it in the late '60s / early '70's.
We'll also examine the folding of NICAP, and the events that led up to McDonald's death, beginning with his clandestine meeting with "top government officials," the SST Congressional hearings which saw McDonald publicly ridiculed by a Congressman, family issues that plagued McDonald towards the end of his life, and his subsequent suicide and Ann's thoughts on what may have been behind it and the result of McDonald's mysterious death on other scientists who may have been interested in UFOs. Plus, much more in this comprehensive interview.
Mystery surrounds some aspects of McDonald's research. "About a month before he was due to testify in March, top-level government officials reportedly got in touch with McDonald." (p.491.)
In February 1971, McDonald was in conversation with Dr Robert M Wood (a physicist who worked for McDonnell-Douglas.) Although Druffel reports that Wood doesn't recall the exact words used by McDonald, he recalls McDonald saying something along the lines "I think I've got the answer;" "I found out what's behind it;" "I just can't tell you right now;" "You won't believe it! I've got to pin it down a little bit more, and then I'll come out." (p.492.)
In 1973, Wood said "I think he found the trail to the classified work...and some documentation that made it pretty clear that there was a cover up going on, that this was the most classified program in the country." (p.492.)
Unfortunately, the UFO research community was not to find out just what McDonald had meant, as he died, by his own hand, on 13 Jun 1971.
Occasionally you come across a UAP report which you would like to know much more about, but whatever you do, or whomever you communicate with, you are never able to find out anything more about the event.
I came across such a tantilising sighting, when I saw a listing of Australian tape recorded interviews, by James E McDonald. These tapes were recorded by McDonald when he was here in Australia in 1967. One line on the listing referred to a "Military tank sighting 24 April 1966."
In all my years collecting and analysing Australian UAP reports, I can honestly say that I have never come across, what is presumably a sighting by the crew of a tank! Plus the date was only some 18 days after the famous Westall incident, which is said, by some people, to have involved members of the Australian Army.
Originally posted by karl 12
Doc Mcdonald accuses CIA of ordering USAF to debunk UFO reports:
The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington
Google News Archive
Originally posted by mbkennel
That actually makes sense because many of the UFO reports were of CORONA, U-2 and A-12 and other aerial reconaissance projects run by CIA.
1997--The CIA and Spy Planes
In a report published at about the same time as the Air Force's "crash dummy" revelation, the Central Intelligence Agency tried to write off thousands of UFO reports as mistaken observations of secret spy planes. It ended up writing fiction.
The first demonstrably incorrect statement was that there had been a major increase in UFO reports immediately following the first test flight of the prototype U-2 spy plane in August 1955. A simple count of cases in the files of Project Blue Book (which the CIA admits it used) shows that there had actually been a major decrease.
Then the CIA claimed that half of almost 9,000 UFO sightings made between mid-1955 and late1969 had been mistaken observations of U-2 and later SR-71 spy planes. Since those airplanes cruise too high to be seen from the ground (at more than 70,000 feet), this could not be the case. Moreover, one of the hallmarks of UFO descriptions in that period was their spectacular maneuvers, including right-angle turns at high speed. Both the U-2 and the SR-71 are among the least maneuverable airplanes used by the U.S. military.
Thirdly, the CIA claimed it had conspired with the staff of the Air Force's Project Blue Book to conceal the alleged sightings of spy planes by having them falsely labeled as obscure types of atmospheric phenomena. Had this been the case, several thousand UFO reports for 1955 - 1969 in the permanent files of Project Blue Book would be blamed on ice crystals, temperature inversions, and so on. But the actual total is barely three dozen.
Why the CIA would invent such an easily disproved story is unknown
In 1997, Haines claimed that the CIA used UFO reports as cover for spy planes such as the U-2, and that the Air Force knowingly went along with this deception. Always ready to accept CIA material, the `New York Times' ingested the story - hook, line, and sinker. And thus another bogus claim became historical fact.
There are many problems with the claim. First, the CIA is never a credible source about its own history. After all, it is in business to deceive. Second, spy plane flights were too few in number to account for many UFO reports and they were carried out in areas far from public view. Third, the black U-2 and A-12 "Oxcart" flew at very high altitudes and were difficult to detect both visually and (in the case of the A-12) on radar. Fourth, UFO reports of the era bear little if any resemblance to the flight characteristics of high-altitude spy planes.
But most fatally, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert Friend, head of the Air Force's Project Blue Book from 1958 to 1963, later said there is absolutely no truth to the CIA's claims. Not only was Haines wrong about an agreement between the CIA and Air Force but Friend said he never received a single UFO report that he thought could be attributed to a spy plane.