Robert Hastings believes the truth is out there – and what he knows of it, he’s willing to share.
Hastings, an independent researcher and lecturer on Unidentified Flying Objects, will present a lecture, “UFOs: The Hidden History,” at 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom on the Texas State University-San Marcos campus. Admission is free.
He last visited the campus in 1996, and the lecture drew a crowd of more than 200. Since then, he says disclosures under the federal Freedom of Information Act have provided new fuel to the fire that burns in those who have seen things that cannot be rationally explained.
Not surprisingly, Hastings is himself one of those people. And though it’s been almost 40 years since he found himself in the air traffic control tower at a Montana air force base, he still clearly recalls what transpired.
“It was a question of being in the right place at the right time,” said Hastings, who was in 1967 a self-described “Air Force brat” whose father was stationed at Malmstrom AFB near Great Falls, Montana.
As he watched, the tower personnel began tracking five objects “that were not aircraft.” Jets were launched to investigate but as they closed in “the UFOs performed a vertical ascent and left the area at enormous speed – far beyond the capability of any aircraft.”
Over the next 30 years, Hastings was to learn through interviews with dozens of former military personnel and others with first-hand knowledge that the interest of the unknown objects was often drawn to highly classified sites including the Los Alamos National Laboratory, nuclear missile silos and nuclear bomb storage bunkers.
“This incident was not unique,” he said. “In fact those kinds of things have taken place on dozens of occasions and the documents are in the public domain.”
Hastings said the documentation of unexplained events and sightings made available through the FOIA goes back to the famous Roswell incident of 1947. One slide he will show during his lecture is a 1950 memorandum to J. Edgar Hoover, who was then the director of the FBI, reporting that “flying saucers” had crashed in New Mexico and been recovered by the U.S. Air Force. The memo goes on to say that “bodies of human shape but only three feet tall” were found inside the craft.
That memo is one of about 1,200 Hastings said was released to a Navy physicist.
“The documents are legitimate. They seem to suggest something extraordinary happened,” he said – as do interviews Hastings has personally conducted, including one with a retired brigadier general who referred to government custody of a “craft from space.”
“When all is said and done this is still anecdotal evidence,” he said. “But I think one has to ask oneself why persons of the general’s status would make these kinds of statements.
“There are tantalizing fragments of data,” he said, “that the government may have uncovered an alien spacecraft over 50 years ago.”
Despite the persistence of UFO sightings virtually worldwide, Hastings said the “ridicule factor” shies major media outlets away from coverage. “If covered it is treated with tongue in cheek, delivered with a small smirk by the talking head on TV. There are a lot of good observations, truly unexplained objects swept under the rug because of the ridicule factor.”
Hastings said throughout his presentations, he presents solid evidence.
“I’m very precise and very clear when I talk to people. I don’t make claims that are not supported by the evidence.”
ANITA MILLER, San Marcos Daily Record