- In the world of UFO research, whistle-blowers come and
go. Often they appear on the scene suddenly, as if out of nowhere, spouting
grand claims and grander resumes. Almost as often, such people turn out
to be complete frauds and hucksters. But not always. The late Lt. Col.
Philip Corso, for example, was exactly who he said he was -- a highly decorated
Cold Warrior with close ties to the Eisenhower administration and a demonstrated
penchant for championing unpopular positions both inside and outside the
military. When Corso said he knew for certain that an alien spacecraft
had crashed in New Mexico in 1947, it became necessary to examine his claims
seriously -- not because he could prove them true (he could not) but because
he was a credible witness.
- The Corso example points up a vexing truism about whistle-blowers
as well as other UFO claimants. More often than not, the value of the claim
must be judged mainly by the inherent credibility of the witness, because
no irrefutable evidence is offered. But witness credibility does count
-- in a court of law, it can be the difference between an acquittal and
a death sentence.
- Now comes another whistle-blower, one Clark C. McClelland,
who says that for more than three decades he worked at NASA's launch facilities
at Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During that
time, he says, he saw plenty of evidence that NASA officials and employees
were exposed to unexplainable and sometimes quite alarming UFO events.
If McClelland is telling the truth, he could become one of the most significant
UFO witnesses in recent memory.
- The July 1 issue of CNI News carried a story told by
Clark McClelland regarding a conversation he claims to have had with famed
rocketeer Wernher von Braun. McClelland says that von Braun, like Corso,
confirmed that a spacecraft of unknown origin crashed near Roswell, New
Mexico in 1947. When we ran that story on July 1, we were obliged to note
that "our initial efforts to confirm [McClelland's] NASA background
have been inconclusive." Needless to say, if McClelland's background
did not check out, his UFO claims would be worthless.
- As in the case of Col. Corso, we still can't guarantee
that McClelland's UFO stories are true -- that would require a talent for
mind-reading that we do not possess. But CNI News can now offer assurance
that McClelland's NASA background checks out. He is, in our opinion, a
- Walter Kollosch is retired now but still lives near the
Cape where he worked for years as a NASA subcontractor with the Martin
Company. Back in the early 1960s, Clark McClelland worked for Martin as
well. Clark was a draftsman then, and he worked with Kollosch on the Gemini
program. Later Clark moved to the Boeing Company, but he stayed at the
Cape, Kollosch recalls.
- Kollosch remembers that Clark McClelland was outgoing
and well-liked. "Everybody knew him. He even got to know the Mercury
astronauts when we were working on Pershing [missile program]. When he
was with Boeing, ... he was in with the Apollo astronauts... I don't know
of anyone who didn't like him," Kollosch told CNI News.
- McClelland says that one reason he has decided to come
forward with his UFO information is that he has been somehow black-balled
by NASA and has been unable to get work in the aerospace industry since
- "Clark has had some bad luck as far as his employment
goes. Clark is very talented. For him to be out of work for so long strikes
me as being very suspicious," Kollosch said. But he did not volunteer
more detail on McClelland's recent work problems.
- Kollosch also knew that McClelland was very serious about
UFOs back in the 1960s. They talked about it from time to time, but Kollosch
said he wouldn't have wanted to bring it up with others at the launch facility.
- There was a lot of secrecy in the space program in those
days. The manned space program was, in effect, an integral part of the
Cold War. Workers knew they had to toe the line. "In the early '60s,
the secrecy aspect was horrendous... Some guys lost their marriage because
of it," Kollosch said.
- It may have been a problem with a security clearance,
in fact, that eventually caused McClelland's falling out with NASA.
- By 1990, he worked directly for the space agency in the
shuttle program. He was then training to become a Spacecraft Operator (ScO),
meaning he would have hands-on responsibility for space shuttle maintenance
and ground operations. His trainer was shuttle ScO senior specialist Dennis
- "I'm not at liberty to say a lot" about McClelland's
dismissal, Bestwick told CNI News. "His work was fine, but something
in his security check didn't quite check out. Nothing illegal, but something
about the dates didn't match. You need a secret clearance," he said.
It could have been as simple as a clerical error in McClelland's records,
Bestwick conceded. But whatever it was, McClelland lost his clearance and
was subsequently dismissed from the shuttle program.
- Bestwick seemed sorry to see McClelland go. "Clark
was well liked. He had an outgoing personality. He's a little bit eccentric,
but he's knowledgeable about a lot of things. He was willing to learn anything
we threw at him," Bestwick said.
- Asked if he'd heard any stories of UFO contact during
his time at NASA, Bestwick said, "That has been rumored for a long
time, but I can't clarify that. The astronauts don't say anything... They're
- "Myself, I'm not saying I do or don't believe in
it, but having some science background... there's got to be other creatures
out there. And we can't be the smartest creatures in the universe,"
- But for McClelland, there was no doubt that UFO events
were occurring around the launch facility. Starting in the early 1960s,
he kept records and filed reports as head of the Cape Canaveral (later
Cape Kennedy) Subcommittee of NICAP, the National Investigations Committee
on Aerial Phenomena, then the nation's best known and most influential
civilian UFO research organization.
- One person who was privy to McClelland's UFO reports
from the Cape was Richard Hall, then acting director of NICAP. More recently,
Hall was Chairman of the Fund for UFO Research and is also the author of
several respected books on UFOs. Hall is known for his dim view of many
self-styled UFO researchers, but he gives Clark McClelland a big thumbs-up.
- "I've known this guy for a lot of years and I've
dealt with him extensively," Hall told CNI News. "And I've never
had the slightest clue of anything other than an honest, conscientious,
forthright person. So I endorse him strongly. He should be given the fairest
audience and listened to carefully. I think he's going to check out. He's
not a fantasizer, not an embellisher. He's laid back and conservative and
careful, and I respect that highly."
- Halls says that McClelland sent a number of impressive
case reports to NICAP founder Major Donald Keyhoe and himself. Some of
those cases remain secret even today. "I'm still keeping secrets that
will probably go to the grave with me -- things that people have told me
privately -- because that's the way I feel about it, unless they give me
the green light," Hall explained. But he gave one example of a case
that McClelland sent in.
- It occurred in 1961. "A rocket was launched and
radar was tracking it. And a UFO came in and the radar locked on to the
UFO. You can put this out under my name now, if you wish," Hall said.
"His [McClelland's] subcommittee sent to us a report by Pan American
airways, which was then the operating subcontractor at the Cape. And they
had a quarter-inch thick technical report on this UFO tracking, radar lock-on....
In order to protect them [Pan Am and the witnesses], we were very vague
about it." Hall says he made a brief reference to this case in his
book, "The UFO Evidence." But the full report has never been
- Clark McClelland says he has now decided to publish what
he knows about NASA's history of encounters with UFOs. Samples of McClelland's
information can be found at his new website, http://www.stargate-chronicles.com/trinity.html.
- At the request of CNI News, McClelland offered the following
exclusive report of one significant UFO encounter:
- FOUR GUESTS WITH GEMINI
- By Clark C. McClelland c. 1999 All Rights Reserved
- On April 9, 1964, the Gemini-Titan I was launched from
complex 19 at the Cape Canaveral USAF Missile Test Range in Florida. It
was unmanned yet drew a lot of attention by "other intelligence's".
Who or what were they? Your guess is as good as any.
- I was a young Designer working for the Titan II Launch
Operations Team in Hangar "U". I was assigned to work with a
bright engineer called Chuck. We had a problem happening with the first
stage of the Titan and called it "POGO". Several previous test
flights were flown and the effect showed up at lift off. It acted like
a POGO stick (up and down motion) as the vehicle rose into the sky. NASA
and the USAF determined the effect to be dangerous for any of the astronauts
chosen to fly in the Gemini capsule. The booster would not meet Man Rated
restrictions by NASA and the USAF.
- Chuck and I were to attach measurements to the booster
and determine how or what could be done to stop the POGO effect. Several
modifications had been made and this flight would prove if we were approaching
the correction of the difficulty. The capsule had a "canned man"
-- which is sometimes called a "black box" -- inside the astronaut
compartment to help solve the problem by collecting data.
- The rocket lifted off and began to return data which
indicated that the modifications Chuck and I had designed had reduced the
POGO effect significantly. Everyone was delighted to receive the preliminary
- As the Gemini Capsule entered orbit, the RCA world tracking
team began to realize that "our" capsule was not alone as viewed
through their incoming telemetry, visual theodolite and other high powered
optical data. Our capsule had four "visitors". The RCA team was
ordered to run a recheck of the situation to be certain ghost images were
not the cause. The Titan II stages were also excluded as causing the images.
- NASA, the USAF and Martin-Marietta [then Martin Company?
- ed.] who built the Titan II were all puzzled and just about scratching
their heads in unison. After much huddling and discussion the intelligent
determination was that we had other physical objects up there with our
Gemini capsule. Total silence filled the launch control area. A few whispers
were heard but nothing else.
- Then a brash young member of the team said the words
that caused faces to turn to horror. I said, "What about UFOs?"
It was as if I had taken the Lord's name in vain. The silence deepened
as almost everyone present was staring at me. I felt like a child caught
with his/her hand in the cookie jar. Cold stares came at me from the NASA
Brass and USAF Officers. Actually, the only obvious answer was what I had
so blatantly stated -- they were UFOs! I slipped back into my assignments
and remained a very interested and quiet observer.
- Several hours after the objects departed their single
orbit rendezvous with the Gemini capsule, a strange shadowy group of personnel
arrived on scene. They were not faces of those who had worked at Cape Canaveral
for any length of time. Cape workers like myself knew a stranger when one
showed up in our work area. Who they were, no one seemed to know -- or
if they did know, did not identify them. I made an attempt to I.D. them
and ran into a brick wall of silence. One thing was for certain, this group
was at the Cape for no other reason than the Gemini Titan mission and its
- A week or so later, I was talking to an old friend called
Vince. He was a Pan American Security guard at the Cape and got around
to all launch complex areas. Vince told me that he transported several
men to the Cape Canaveral Skid Strip (aircraft runway) at the time all
the Gemini activity had taken place. He heard a younger man call another
older person Colonel. Vince had a good pair of eyes when he wore his glasses
and told me they had top secret security clearance badges he had only seen
once before. The badges appeared to have letters and a number on them.
He observed them from across the car roof as they entered his security
cruiser and did not observe the badges close up. They wore no uniforms
yet acted as if they were military. They spoke of returning to Washington,
DC. Vince also noted that they wore matching lapel pins that may have been
similar to those worn by secret service officers during the several visits
by President Kennedy and Eisenhower in past years.
- To make a long story short, NASA, USAF, Pentagon, White
House, NSA etc., all determined that it had to be eventually explained
as normal activity. The hungry dogs of the mass media who ate broken glass
and razor blades to sharpen their questions were awaiting the NASA news
conference eagerly willing to slash away. The official NASA determination
was that the objects were the torn particles or remains of the Titan upper
stage that apparently entered orbit with the Gemini capsule.
- I was at the news conference and I nearly began to laugh.
How could a broken stage overtake the capsule and stop slightly ahead of
the capsule to accompany it an entire orbit around the earth? But I held
my laugh to save my job. A NASA Public Information Officer held his breath
hoping my mouth would stay shut. It did, and I remained in my job to record
other astounding events that will be in my book.
- [NOTE: See "Interfering with Atlas -- UFO Disables
ICBM" at McClelland's website for another incident that also happened
- CNI News is a twice-monthly electronic news journal addressing
UFO phenomena, claims of human-alien contact, space exploration and related
issues, including the cultural and political impacts of contact with other
intelligent life. CNI News is edited by Michael Lindemann and distributed
by the 2020 Group.
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