Majestic Craft with Powerful Beaming Spotlights
We begin this exploration on very solid ground, with a Major General’s firsthand chronicle of one of the most vivid and well- documented UFO cases ever. What you are about to read will demonstrate the dramatic, and very mysterious, physicality of UFOs— in this case, ones that were unusually bold. Although parts may sound like science fiction, they are not. The fact is that silent gliding or hovering objects, usually triangular, were seen by thousands of people and investigated by university scientists and government officials, yet they could never be explained. They left imprints on film, and although virtually impossible to detect on radar, they triggered the launching of Air Force F- 16s in anxious pursuit. The sightings occurred in a more than two- year “wave” over Belgium, beginning in late 1989.
To launch this book’s exploration into the UFO phenomenon, Belgian Major General Wilfried De Brouwer, now retired, has provided an exclusive account that includes some personal responses he has never expressed before. As chief of the Operations Division in the Air Staff, then Colonel De Brouwer played a prominent role, along with officials from other branches of government, in mobilizing various departments to try to identify the strange intruders that kept showing up unannounced over cities and countryside. “Hundreds of people saw a majestic triangular craft with a span of approximately a hundred and twenty feet and powerful beaming spotlights, moving very slowly without making any significant noise but, in several cases, accelerating to very high speeds,” De Brouwer stated publicly a few years ago, describing only the first night of the wave. Numerous police officers were among the initial group of witnesses, reporting from different locations as the multiple flying craft hovered and glided and lit up fields along their routes— the same officers who had joked dismissively when first receiving radio calls about the sightings. And the strange objects kept returning, for some unfathomable reason, to display themselves over the otherwise quiet territory of Belgium.
Colonel De Brouwer was tasked to handle the UFO wave by his country’s defense minister, Guy Coëme. After spending twenty years as a fighter pilot in the Belgian Air Force, De Brouwer had been appointed to the Strategic Planning Branch in NATO in 1983, while a colonel. He then became Wing Commander of the Belgian Air Force Transport Wing and, in 1989, chief of the Operations Division in the Air Staff. Promoted to Major General in 1991, he became Deputy Chief of Staff of the Belgian Air Force, in charge of operations, planning, and human resources. Beginning in 1995, after his retirement from the Air Force, he worked for more than ten years as a consultant for the United Nations to improve the UN Logistics rapid- response capabilities during emergencies. A man of great integrity and responsibility, De Brouwer was determined to do everything he could to find out what was invading Belgian airspace and repeatedly committing infractions of basic aviation rules.
I first came to know General De Brouwer personally when arranging his trip to Washington, D.C., in November 2007 to speak at an international press conference I organized with filmmaker James Fox. We brought together a panel of former high- ranking government, aviation, and military officials from seven countries to speak to the press about UFO incidents and investigations, which was filmed for a new documentary. We also wanted to give these courageous speakers the opportunity to meet their counterparts from other countries and talk privately over a period of days. Many of the contributors to this book met then for the first time.
General De Brouwer is extremely concerned about factual accuracy, conservative in his estimations, and meticulous in his attention to detail. He is a man who does not jump to conclusions, nor is he prone to exaggeration or embellishment. His concern for safeguarding the accurate record of events in Belgium has not let up, despite the passage of time. “Recently, when on the Internet, I discovered an accumulation of misinformation about the Belgian UFO wave,” he wrote me in an e- mail while we worked on editing his extensive text. “This incited me to react; I cannot accept that so- called researchers come forward with assumptions that are based on incorrect information. Testimonies of hundreds of people are neglected and attempts are made to convince outsiders that the observations were nothing more than misperceptions of ordinary craft. Also, the official statements of the Minister of Defense and the Air Force have been neglected or misinterpreted by these ‘researchers.’ ”
In one of our more recent conversations, I asked the general to refl act back on his experience during the Belgian UFO wave twenty years ago—which he says was unique but also frustrating, since they were unable to identify the trespassing craft. What impressed him most was the utmost sincerity of the witnesses he spoke to, many of whom were “highly qualified intellectuals genuinely overwhelmed by what they had seen and convinced that they were not dealing with conventional technology.” Unfortunately, they were often afraid to come forward because of the stigma attached to UFOs. “One person I had known for many years worked within NATO at the time,” De Brouwer said. “He was so astonished that he didn’t dare to mention it to anyone, not even to his wife. He only conveyed his experience to me on condition that I wouldn’t reveal his name.”
"At last, a serious and thoughtful book about this controversial subject. Skeptics and true believers will find a treasure trove of insightful and eye opening information. This book is bound to set the gold standard for UFO research."
—Michio Kaku, Ph.D. Author of Physics of the Impossible
and host of Sci Fi Science on the Science Channel
“I was astonished by the care and precision of Leslie Kean’s research in this terrific book. Her analysis is carefully reasoned and to the point; her craftsmanship in organization and writing are superb. Her expose' raises important questions: Why does the US government create public distrust by neglecting this important topic? Why do its agencies avoid investigating cases of interference with flight operations and instead issue absurd cover-up stories? This book is ultimately an appeal to all scholars for an "extraordinary investigation of an extraordinary phenomenon.”
—Rudy Schild, Ph.D., Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
“Like me, Leslie Kean is an agnostic on the issue of UFOs. Her book is a fine piece of journalism - not about beliefs, but about facts. Kean presents the most accurate, most credible reports on UFO's you will ever find. She has fought long and hard to discover the facts and let the chips fall where they may.
She may not have the final smoking gun, but I smell the gunpowder.”
—Miles O'Brien, former CNN space/science correspondent
“I find explanations offered by UFO enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists to be implausible, but I also have little patience with "deniers" who ridicule credible reports. Leslie Kean has found a thoughtful path between extreme views, documenting the UFO mystery with intelligence and insight. She makes a strong case for U.S. participation in official, international UFO investigations and for public dissemination of the results. The fascinating first-hand accounts make this a thought-provoking book, even for those of us who don’t know much about UFOs.”
—Neal Lane, Ph.D., Rice University; former Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
“If you don't know much about UFOs, you must read this book. If you think that UFO reports are nonsense, this book will disabuse you of that notion. Leslie Kean's UFOs informs readers at every level of knowledge and belief. It could, and should, become the "tipping point" that leads to public acceptance of the reality of UFOs and all of its implications.”
—Don Donderi, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, McGill University (Ret.)
“In an area of study where there aren’t many, this is a serious book. It is credible, clear, and compelling, without any farfetched jumps in logic and assumption. Its credibility begins on the first page with John Podesta and continues with case studies of extraordinary quality to the very end. Leslie Kean not only makes the case for, but calls for, a whole new concrete and realistic perspective on UFOs that has more honesty and integrity than any other that I have read. This is a book for anyone with an open mind.”
—John L. Petersen, Founder & President of The Arlington Institute
“In these pages we are confronted head-on by the UFO phenomenon as revealed firsthand by highly credible government officials and military aviation experts. Their credibility and integrity cannot be questioned, and their firsthand observations cannot be ignored. Leslie Kean provides a challenging analysis and she writes with penetrating depth and insight. The revelations in this book constitute a watershed event in lifting the taboo against rational discourse about this controversial subject.”
—Harold E. Puthoff, Ph.D., Director of The Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin
“When I started reading Leslie Kean’s UFOs,
I found it very difficult to stop. This is an unprecedented assessment of what may be the greatest challenge ever presented to mankind.
In an outstanding piece of investigative journalism,
Kean provides a well-written and convincing appeal for change in dealing with a phenomenon that can no longer be ignored.”
—Jean-Claude Ribes, Ph.D., Paris Observatory (Ret.)
“For anyone who questions why - after more than fifty years of denial, ridicule, and dismissal - many scientists, academics, political figures, and military personnel still insist that the subject of UFOs should be taken seriously, this book provides the answer. Leslie Kean offers compelling documentation that physical objects, with flight characteristics not yet achievable by known technology, are being routinely reported in our skies. They represent a mystery that needs to be solved.”
—Stuart Appelle, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Science and Mathematics, State University of New York, Brockport
"Leslie Kean’s astonishing book is the finest piece of investigative journalism ever written on this subject. She has an incomparable ability to ‘give voice’ to a constituency of exceptionally qualified and unbiased first-hand observers. They are not from the fringe, not groupies, and not delusional. Rather, they are high-level military, intelligence, aerospace, and government officials who speak with authority while providing reports that document actual, physical craft. Kean’s book represents the first important step toward a new U.S. government openness about UFOs. It brings forward a reality otherwise buried for far too long inside official mystery, and elevates the discourse above that of small-minded public discussions."
—Christopher C. Green, MD, Ph.D., Harper University Hospital, Wayne State University School of Medicine From the Hardcover edition.