Wilhelm Reich and UFOs


Part II: Examining the Evidence and Allegations

By Peter Robbins


“What do they want for Proof?”-There is no proof. There are no authorities whatsoever. No president, no academy, court of law, congress or senate on this earth has the knowledge or power to decide what will be the knowledge of tomorrow. There is no use in trying to prove something that is unknown to someone who is ignorant of the unknown, or fearful of its threatening power. Only the good, old rules of learning will eventually bring about understanding of what has invaded our earthly existence (2:xxii).

In the introduction to Contact With Space, Dr. Wilhelm Reich asks what constitutes proof that some UFOs are the product of intelligences from somewhere other than Earth. Short of an actual sighting or contact experience, what constitutes proof for you? If we find a subject disturbing enough, we are capable of prejudging anything offered into evidence and discounting its value – no matter how many eyewitnesses affirm its reality, no matter how many photographs are taken, or how many relevant tests have been preformed. Rocks falling from the sky were a frightening thought in the 1790s, and why not? It is a frightening thought.

A similar controversy now surrounds the issue of UFOs and the plausibility of present-day extraterrestrial visits. If anything, they’ve become emblematic of “the unknown” in out time and in this culture. This while many continue to laugh off even the possibility of their existence. Should a popular state of denial here surprise us? Not really. From 1947 – the outset of our modern age of UFO sightings – most people have been well-conditioned by the media and the government to accept the entire matter as something less than scientific and not of serious concern. Where are we to look for “acceptable” evidence relating to the soundness of Reich’s observations, deductions and conclusions? Legal actions initiated under the Freedom of Information Act, and, when it is still allowed, the natural governmental process of reviewing and downgrading the classifications of dated, sensitive materials, have, over the years, resulted in the release of thousands of pages of UFO-related documents. Generated by many branches and offices of our military, intelligence, and governmental communities, these papers include information from foreign sources as well. The agencies involved have a standing policy of not commenting on documents released, but they will confirm authenticity. It is mainly in this verification that I have been able to build to build a case for Wilhelm Reich’s UFO findings.

Literally every type of UFO-related phenomena Reich observed and recorded in military and intelligence documents of the period or earlier. Many of his conclusions about UFOs were shared or seriously considered, on paper, by highly placed individuals in military, intelligence, and government, including Air Force personnel, members of Air Force intelligence, the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Rand Corporation, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, several NASA astronauts and two Secretary Generals of the United Nations.

Evidence indicates that some UFOs are indeed highly advanced craft of some type, of undetermined origin, and that there is a direct relationship between their observed functioning and Reich’s discoveries of the dynamics of energy functioning.

Addressing Dr. Reich’s scientific methodology, a first question is: Was he guilty of, in the words of author Jerome Greenfield, “haste and insufficient regard for scientific method in arrival of his conclusions concerning UFOs.” (3:140). Faced with a genuine scientific challenge for which there were no specimens to examine, few specialized laboratory tools to validate, and subject to overt hostility from the rest of the scientific community, he proceeded in the most responsible manner he was able: by observing, reading, photographing, working with the cloudbuster, and continually reconfirming his findings against those of his similarly involved colleagues. Most important, without tools, he continued to utilize his finest scientific instruments as well as humanly possible: his fine mind and keen senses. There has never been a question about Reich’s ability to make deep and sustained contact with uncomfortable and difficult material1.

(Footnote 1) Reich’s own Rules to Follow in Basic Research bear witness to his scrupulous methodology. They are available from the Wilhelm Reich Museum Store at Orgonon, Rangeley, Maine, or from this author.

Due to some of the unique problems and limitations inherent in responsible scientific UFO research at this time, Reich’s choice was to proceed in this matter aware of the limitations in this new field of inquiry, or not to proceed at all; Reich proceeded. The rate at which his observations, experiences, and findings translated into reported or published results was not done in “haste”; it simply took as long as required given the circumstances. Reich loved the truth; in pursuing more knowledge about UFOs, he risked his reputation. In fact, he did reach disturbing and unpopular conclusions. He employed the only procedures and methodologies left open to him, applying thirty five years of using proper scientific method to guide him in arriving at these findings.

Credibility of Keyhoe

Reich’s first source of written information on UFOs with USMC Major (ret.) Donald Keyhoe’s book, Flying Saucers Are Real, with which he was much impressed. He also read Keyhoe’s next book, Flying Saucers from Outer Space, published in 1953, and continued to hold the author and his work in high regard. Was Reich justified in taking Keyhoe’s writings seriously?

In January 1953, Albert Chop of the Department of Defense Office of Public Information wrote to Keyhoe’s publisher, Henry Holt & Co.:

We in the Air Force recognize Major Keyhoe as a responsible, accurate reporter. His long association and cooperation with the Air Force, in our study of unidentified flying objects, qualifies him as a leading civilian authority on this investigation. The Air Force and its investigating agency, “Project Bluebook,” are aware of Major Keyhoe’s conclusion that the “Flying Saucers” are from another planet. The Air Force has never denied that this possibility exists … if the apparently controlled maneuvers reported by many competent observers are correct, then the only remaining explanation is the interplanetary answer. (Doc. 1)

Following his retirement as the first Director of the CIA (1947-50), Admiral Roscoe Hillenkotter, at Keyhole’s invitation, joined the board of directors of Keyhole’s research organization, the National Investigating Committee of Aerial Phenomena (NICAD), the largest, most respected, and influential UFO organization existing at that time. Hillenkotter himself became quite outspoken on the subject of UFOs after leaving the agency. He is on record as saying, “The unknown objects are operating under intelligent control. It is imperative that we learn where the UFOs come from and what their purpose is” (5:22).  Keyhole’s pioneering work was and is worthy of respect.

“Star-like” References

Quoting from Contact With Space: “some of the blinking lights hanging in the sky were not planets or fixed stars but space machines (2:xxii). Here and at other points, Reich refers to UFOs as sometimes being star-like in appearance. Are there similar references on the official record? Many. From a January 13, 1981 Department of Air Force report written by RAF Bentwaters (Suffolk UK) Deputy Base Commander Charles I Halt. It describes part of the December 1980 Bentwaters-Woodbridge UFO incident:

Later in the night a red sun-like light was seen through the trees. It moved about and pulsed. At one point it appeared to throw off glowing particles and then broke into five separate white objects and then disappeared. Immediately thereafter, three star-like objects were noticed in the sky, two objects to the north and one to the south. (Doc. 2)

Next is an excerpt from a September 20, 1976 priority cablegram from the U.S. Defense Attache’ Officer at the American Embassy in Teheran to the Secretaries of State and Defense, the CIA and the White House, among others:

Received four telephone calls from citizens living in the Shemiran area of Tehran saying they had seen strange objects in the sky. Some reported a bird-like object while others reported a helicopter with a light on. There were no helicopters airborne at the time. After he told the citizens it was only stars and had talked to Mehrabod [Airport] tower, he decided to look for himself. He noticed an object in the sky similar to a star, bigger and brighter. (Doc. 3)

Star-like references (and signs of intelligent control) from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. From the NORAD [North American Radar Air Defense Command] Director’s log for November 8, 1975:

Personnel picked up objects 10-13,000 feet [traveling at] 18 knots [at] 12,000 [feet] … Lost radar contact, fighters broke off at 0825, looking in area J331 … From SAC CP [Strategic Air Command Post] : L-sites had objects and fighters; fighters did not get down to object …when fighters arrived in the area, the lights went out; when fighters departed, the lights came back on.-From SAC CP (Sabotage Alert Team): L-5 reported objects increased in speed-high velocity, raised in altitude and now cannot tell objects from stars.                           

UFO Activity and Clouds

On different occasions, Reich observed what he felt was a direct relationship between UFO activity and clouds (2:136-172). He postulated that if UFOs were orgone-fueled machines, DOR would be their exhaust. Is such a relationship existed, it would have a functional basis. The presence of DOR would destroy clouds (2: 168-172). The following excerpts pertain to DOR activity and the absence of a vapor trail.

1. Air Material Command’s Opinion Concerning “Flying Discs” to Commanding Gen. Twining (later to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff), date September 23, 1947 - under “command description of the objects: “Absence of trail, except in a few instances when the object apparently was operating under high performance conditions.” (Doc. 6).

2. An Air Force document dated 28, 1952: “Under certain power conditions, the craft seem to have the ability to cut a clear path through clouds - width of path estimated on-half mile. Only one incident indicated this phenomenon.” (Doc. 7).

3. Excerpt under “Commonly Reported Features”: “The absence of an exhaust trail except in a few instances when it was reported to have a bluish color like a diesel exhaust, which persisted for approximately one hour.” Other reports indicated a brownish smoke trail (Doc. 9).

4. FBI Memorandum: From Special Agent in Charge, San Antonio, Texas. To J. Edgar Hoover, Director. Subject: “Protection of Vital Installations,” dated January 31, 1949 - reference to UFO sighted over Alabama by Eastern Airlines pilot, co-pilot and passages in July 1948: “It appeared out of a thunderhead ahead of the Eastern Airlines plane and immediately disappeared into another cloud narrowly missing a collision with the Eastern Airlines Plane.” (Doc 10).

5. Relative to cloud destruction, Reich observed in Arizona, “Twelve Air Force planes overflew the site and their jet trails quickly dissolved.” (2). Project Sign, the Air Force’s first comprehensive  report on UFOs,  February 1949, classified “SECRET,” observed that “UFOs were not known to produce any physical effects, other than the one case in which a cloud was evaporated along the trajectory [of the UFO], it is not certain that the laws of mechanics, for instance, would be sufficient [to explain this].” (Doc. 9-21)

6. A Department of Army Intelligence Report from Kabul, Afghanistan, dated December 3, 1959. Four days earlier “A bright object was observed in Mazar-I-Sharif (northwest Afghanistan) moving with high speed from North-East towards South-West. The object disappeared in three minutes in the clouds.” (Doc. 10)

7. A photograph taken in Denmark, Sunday morning November 17, 1974, by a Mr. Lauersen with his 35mm camera while walking his dog. He looked up to see a hovering disc-shaped object, flat metallic in appearance, generating a cloud around itself, and then disappearing in a white vaporous cloud. (Figure 1) Site: Viborg on the Jutland Pennisulla. Film: Kodacolor negative (100 ASA). Weather” clear. Temperature: 5 degrees Centigrade. Time: 9:00 AM. Distance from camera: approximately 250-300 m. Elevation from horizon: 30 degrees. Diameter estimate: 30 m. Investigated by Hans Peteren, head of the Danish UFO research organization, IGAPE. Analyzed by Col. (Ret.) Colman S. VonKeviczky, MMSE.

8. From a November 1977 Russian academic paper: “Over Pulkovo the UFO delineated on the sky a giant 8 [eight] and left behind a contrail.” (Doc 4)

To be continued...