Kansas City, Mo. A man asserts that the U.S. government isn't telling what it knows about UFOs.
The government not only takes UFOs seriously, but considers their existence a national security matter, a UFO researcher said Tuesday night.
"There is a wealth of evidence ... of a policy of secrecy by the military and U.S. intelligence community," said Robert Hastings, a computer chip builder from Albuquerque, N.M., who has spent more than 25 years researching UFOs and an apparent government cover-up regarding their existence.
Hastings, speaking to about 500 people at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, showed slides of government documents outlining detailed reports of UFO sightings and official, high-level acknowledgement of their existence and assumption that they are from space.
In what he said was one of the more disturbing aspects of the UFO phenomena, several documents include accounts by military officials of UFO sightings near nuclear missile sites and other sensitive installations.
"If this is true, I believe it is probably one of the reasons the government has kept the public in the dark," he said.
Such sightings in 1975 even caused operators at one of the missile sites in Montana to alert the National Combat Operations Center in Colorado Springs, according to one of the documents.
He showed another document dated in 1950 by a high-level Air Force official saying the government did not want to start a "national panic" by telling the public of the probability of UFOs.
Hastings said he began investigating UFOs after witnessing radar operators track five unknown objects at a Montana Air Force base in 1967.
He said the CIA has played a major role in UFO investigations and still has at least 10,000 documents on the matter that remain classified.
But Hastings said he was optimistic more information will be released.
"It is simply a question of time, whether it will be tomorrow or 20 years from now when all of this will be front page news," he said.