Lt. Colonel (USAF Ret.) Wendelle C. Stevens passes at 87
Research pioneer, Wendelle Stevens passed today – September 7, 2010 at 4:44 pm in Tucson, Arizona of respiratory failure.
Lt. Colonel (USAF Ret.) Wendelle C. Stevens was one of the world’s best known UFO researchers. Born in 1923 in Round Prairie, Minn., he enlisted in 1941 in the US Army and was transferred to the Air Corps in1942. He served in the Pacific Theater during World War II and subsequently in a classified project in Alaska to photograph and map the Arctic land and sea area, where the data collecting equipment onboard B-29s detected UFOs. Stevens also served as US Air Attaché in South America. He retired from the USAF in 1963 and worked for Hamilton Aircraft until 1972.
Wendelle Stevens was actively involved in ufology for 54 years, first as Director of Investigations for the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) in Tucson, Ariz., where he retired. He amassed one of the largest collections of UFO photos and investigated a number of contact cases, published in more than 22 books. His most famous one was the Billy Meier case in Switzerland.
In Dec. 1997 he received an award for lifetime achievement at the First World UFO Forum in Brazilia, capital of Brazil. He was a founder and Director of the International UFO Congress and recently transferred his extensive photo collection, library and archives to Open Minds Production.
Maurizio Baiata: Colonel Stevens, let’s focus on the period when professor Hynek first entered the UFO scene.
Wendelle Stevens: It happened with Project Grudge, a project that did not last too long. Immediately after its creation Hynek was appointed as astronomy consultant for the project and was given a Confidential clearance. Therefore he could not have access to any Secret reports. Hynek was chosen by his astronomy professor at Harvard, Donald Menzel, who was a member of the MJ-12 group. Menzel recommended Hynek because he was a brilliant man who would follow the rules and was the right one to administer the information from upstairs to downstairs providing feasible explanations to the public. This was Hynek’s task. Although Hynek always tried to get his hands on the secret reports, he was unable since he lacked the clearance.
Capt. Wendelle Stevens at ATIC Flight Test, 1947 (W. Stevens Archive).
Then Project Grudge was closed and Project Blue Book replaced it. Although Blue Book still had a Confidential clearance, Hynek was granted permission to go beyond Secret reports, despite the fact these reports were of lower significance compared to Top Secret, Majic and Eyes Only classified reports.
MB: There were no reports related to the UFO crashes, then?
WS: No. All the UFO crash cases were classified above Secret. At a certain point Hynek objected that they could not give any feasible explanation to the public without being aware of the full Secret reports. That was when he left the office and became a consultant for the Air Force. Still, Hynek could not have access to the most important reports, it was a frustrating situation. Hynek wanted to get out of this control system, wanted freedom to investigate and to disclose. It was then that he suffered a brain tumor and died.
MB: Colonel, are you implying that you suspect something about it?
WS: For sure, and for many other suspicious deaths. Death by the same cause. Brain tumor. Which can be induced.
MB: New Mexico congressman Steven Schiff is suffering from a brain tumor. (Schiff died on March 25, 1998)
Col. Stevens drivin’ his car out of Tucson, in 2009. (photo: Maurizio Baiata)
WS: Yes, it’s a dangerous game. I asked Colonel Corso if he feels his life is in danger. In his book The Day After Roswell, Corso mentions his friendship with Robert I. Sarbacher [physicist and consultant with the U.S. Department of Defense Research and Development Board (RDB).] Corso is a unique witness, we have nobody else like him. Others are too scared to talk publicly, they can only speak in paraphrases. For instance, Sarbacher said “Oh, these things are going back 25 years ago, today they have no importance at all.” Whitley Strieber called me asking for Sarbacher’s phone number in Melbourne, Florida. You know what happened? He called on a Monday and they scheduled an interview for the next Friday, on the subject of UFO crashes and retrievals. On Thursday night Strieber was ready to leave. He phoned again to confirm the appointment and the wife’s scientist told him that her husband had died the previous night of a heart attack. Here’s how things go. You know how they do this? They use a powdery substance that can be placed on the steering wheel of your car, or on the door knob or the button flush, and by contact it enters the bloodstream. The substance can be triggered remotely using a very simple device, and virtually freezes the blood, causing the stroke. See, Sarbacher, had no heart problem and died just the day before the interview with Strieber.
MB: Can you refer to other suspicious cases known to you?
WS. Now, there’s another classic case of this type. Donald Keyhoe was head of NICAP. Frank Edwards was a broadcasting journalist in Washington that had already written in his book, that he was determined to pull off a sensational story about UFOs, along with Major Donald Keyhoe, bring it to the attention of Congress and propose the establishment of a committee to analyze the situation. So they turned to Indiana Congressman J. Edward Roush, who was interested in the phenomenon and who chaired some sessions of the committee [The congressional hearing initiated under the auspices of the House Science and Astronautics Committee on July 29, 1968]. The three agreed to hold a press meeting. The plan was that Keyhoe would produce the evidence and the next morning Edwards would have sent a press release, while the congressman would call the press in its meeting room and suddenly he raised the volume of the radio so all the journalists could not miss the news. Then he would have said that it was a problem that the parliament should deal with. It was all planned, Keyhoe gave all the information to Edwards. But while Frank was preparing the press release he was struck down by a heart attack. Since Edwards could no longer make the announcement, Roush and Keyhoe knowing the contents of the release tried to repeat it three days later.
The entire Col. Stevens archives are property of Open Minds Production. (ph: Maurizio Baiata)
They decided to entrust it to another journalist. Because of those unmistakable signs, Keyhoe resolved to retire. Too dangerous, and anyway, now he was alone, he had lost his friends. Other researchers began to fear the worst and to come forward publicly. They gave up. I had two of my colleagues with whom I worked on UFO crashes. We had a piece of metal retrieved from a UFO incident in the Baja peninsula and another fragment from New Mexico. A retired Army lieutenant colonel had managed to get hold of a fragment. He called me from San Diego saying he was ready to drive over with his car and meet me that same night in Tucson. Three hours later his wife called me and she told me that I would never see her husband. He was found dead in his car, just outside San Diego, with a gunshot to the head exploded by a left-handed person. He was right-handed and he never had a gun in his life. His briefcase was missing, and the car was clean.
MB: And who represents the most important case, ever?
WS: Of course, I have to talk about James McDonald, who I knew very well. He was among the recipients of five detailed reports that we prepared, with solid evidence, which were not included in Project Blue Book. He believed that all the reports and evidence will go over at the Blue Book, we proved him otherwise. He then realized that the cases which he had thoroughly re-investigated were real. Therefore he asked the Blue Book why they did not analyze them. They answered that they knew nothing. So he turned to various Generals, one of which confirmed to be aware of those reports and that they came from the Foreign Technology Division [the same of Corso].
McDonald replied that he had just addressed the question to the FTD and they knew nothing. The general asked him “Who said that?” and McDonald replied “the Blue Book,” and the General, “But they know nothing, they are only a public relations office, you must speak with a [certain] Colonel.” McDonald tried that way but it was useless, so he went to the Pentagon, holding a couple of names mentioned by the general.
At that time the President, I believe was Johnson, used to invite for breakfast in his office, next to the Oval Room, a couple of congressmen and senators, along with his closest staff collaborators. According to the schedule, first the counselors made an introductory statement, followed by the others and they all summarized the day’s briefing. At that point the guests of the representatives and the senators could intervene, saying what they thought was more appropriate. McDonald was the guest of an Arizona Congressman who introduced him. McDonald stood up and said to have in hand those five very substantial UFO reports that we provided to him, and that did not appear in the Blue Book, or elsewhere. Nobody replied. With a strange expression on their faces, all remained silent and, one after the other, left the office. The Presidential Breakfast was over. McDonald did not get anything.
MB: How did McDonald react to that situation?
WS: Within two weeks he realized that they knew nothing, but also that they did not want to do anything. It was politically unhealthy. He went home happy to have touched a nerve. He was an activist, a guy who took his students to visit the missile sites in Tulsa. But what about his suicide? The first McDonald suicide was in his car in the parking lot of the university. With a gun shoved in his mouth and the bullet penetrated up to the brain, without damaging the lobes, but severing the right optic nerve and blocking its peripheral visual function. He could only see blurred points ahead with his left eye. He was blind to 90 percent, and in critical condition. He was rushed to the hospital and they tried to remove the bullet from the skull and stabilize him. He was in the intensive care ward in a hospital bed being watched 24 hours a day. He had no clothes or shoes. In the middle of the night at two in the morning, McDonald disappears from his bed. He evaporated. He was found in the desert, alone, this time with his skull pierced by a gunshot to his temple. Now, how can we explain that a nearly blind man, with no clothes, gets out of his bed, reaches the only entrance, constantly guarded, and leaves the hospital without arousing any suspicion. How can you do that? According to the version given by the press, McDonald would have left the hospital, reached his home, took a second gun he had hidden in a box in a closet in the bedroom while his wife was asleep, without waking her up. Then, we don’t know if he was escorted by somebody, and how he would go to the desert, where he killed himself. Nobody saw anything. They found him lying there. No car, no other vehicle near the body. None. Why are we still talking about a suicide? There was no investigation, no suspect, the insurance refund was immediately provided. Here, we have another problem.
Col. Stevens and William Herrmann’s book “Contact From Reticulum” privately published in 1981 by Wendelle Stevens.
The insurance was to investigate the circumstances of death and instead very quickly they arranged everything. No autopsy. He was buried the next day and the most horrible thing is that so far nobody has investigated anything, no action by the authorities, no police, no public official. The case was closed as a suicide. The day following his death, while the morticians where preparing the body for burial, some government agents went to his residence and explained to his wife that James was working on classified projects, and wanted to take his documents. They confiscated almost everything they found inside a cabinet and then returned about a third of the papers, after taking what they wanted.
Now, I have an advice for the UFO researchers. It is important that you are well known to the public, if you want to get results. It is clear that when a famous researcher discloses something very sensitive, the power tends to confirm his statements. They cannot do otherwise and they try to avoid it. Their strategy is to discredit, as they did with me, with allegations concerning sexual crimes, hideous crimes, to whom people react with repulsion. They can create anything to make you look bad. They are great experts in this. They fabricate the evidence.
Maurizio Baiata, November 1997 (Updated, June 2015)