UFO Investigations

By BILL KACZOR Associated Press Writer 
   FORT  WALTON BEACH,  Fla.   (AP)  -- A  retired  Air  Force pilot  says  he
suspects,  contrary  to  official  denials,   an  unknown  federal  agency  is
investigating  reports  of   unidentified  flying  objects  and   other  close
encounters with extraterrestrial beings.
   Donald M.  Ware, Florida  state director of the Mutual UFO  Network Inc., a
private "ufology" organization, says he doesn't  have any direct knowledge but
nearly a  lifetime of  study leads him  to believe  probes are  secretly being
conducted by some national intelligence agency.
   "That idea doesn't bother me.  I don't mind being an unequal partner," Ware
said in a recent interview.  "I support the policy of secrecy."
   He  said   secrecy  would   be  necessary   because,  official   statements
notwithstanding, he is convinced the subject involves national security in the
form of advanced alien technology.
   Ware said he intends to take that message to the Annual MUFON UFO Symposium
June 26-28 at American University in Washington,  D.C., where he is to be part
of a panel discussion on UFOs and the government.
   His  position is  unlikely to  be shared  by many  UFO investigators,  Ware
admitted.  A common complaint of ufologists is the government's professed lack
of interest and its failure to cooperate with private UFO studies.
   "I'm so bold as to suggest there  is a possibility of cooperation with some
unknown government agency if  we show a little more tolerance  of their policy
of secrecy," Ware said.
   "As long as we  publicly take such an antagonistic attitude,  as long as we
place the government  in an adversarial relationship," Ware said,  "we are not
going to get much cooperation from them whoever they are."
   The  Air Force  closed its  Project Blue  Book investigation  of more  than
12,000 UFOs in 1969 after a panel  of scientists found no evidence of visitors
from outer  space.  Most sightings  were found to  be such things  as planets,
stars, meteors, weather  balloons, satellites, false radar  echoes, marsh gas,
clouds, aircraft or optical illusions, but a few have remained unexplained.
   The official word ever since has been that the government has nothing to do
with UFO  investigations and  whatever they might  be they  pose no  threat to
national security.
   Ware, 51, joined the service in 1957.  He said he was uninvolved in the Air
Force's UFO activities during his 26-year  military career as a teacher, staff
scientist and fighter pilot, including two combat tours in Vietnam.
   "That's one reason I can speak so freely," he said.  "I have no information
from the Air Force."
   His interest  began as a  teen-ager in 1952  when he saw  star-like objects
streaking through the sky while walking near his home in the nation's capital.
Similar sightings, including  radar returns, had been reported  a week earlier
and Ware said they remain unexplained.
   He began reading everything about UFOs he could get his hands on, including
books  in the  library  at  Duke University  where  he  received a  mechanical
engineering degree.  He later earned a  master's degree in nuclear engineering
from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
   Ware kept up  his interest in UFOs,  building up a personal  library on the
subject and questioning other pilots.
   "I had  no qualms  about saying, `Anybody  seen a UFO?'  " Ware  said.  The
answer, he said, usually was "yes."
   However, until March  of 1970, military personnel were ordered  not to talk
about UFOs, Ware said.
   "I think that in  the late '40s and early '50s  the U.S.  government really
wanted the public to  tell them what they saw and  that those people primarily
responsible for  investigating UFOs were not  listed in the phone  book," Ware
said.  "The U.S.  Air  Force was chosen as Uncle Sam's  public relations agent
because they were listed in the phone book."
   No one thing has convinced him  of government involvement, Ware said.  "Two
years of  study after I  saw the UFOs  in 1952  convinced me that  somebody is
watching us," he said.   "Ten more years of study caused  me to think somebody
in our government has known that as a fact at least since 1947."
   Ware said his  goals in becoming state director of  MUFON, an international
scientific  organization based  in Seguin,  Texas, were  to improve  relations
between "ufologists" and the government and to  learn all he could about alien
technology from abductees and other witnesses of close encounters.
   Ware said he  hasn't seen any more  UFOs since 1952 and  doesn't expect to.
"I haven't  been selected," he  said.  He still scans  the skies, but  not for
UFOs.   When he's  not investigating  UFO reports  or giving  talks about  the
subject to civic groups, he is bird watching.   He is treasurer of and runs an
annual bird count for the Choctawhatchee  Audubon Society and does surveys for
the Florida Breeding Bird Atlas project.
   Ware said his  two avocations are unrelated.  "Lots of  people have accused
me of  getting a lot of  satisfaction from identifying feathered  objects," he
said, grinning.  "No, I'm just a nature boy."

Copyright 1987 by the Associated Press.  All rights reserved.