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(originally published March 2011)


A US intelligence agency that denied its very existence for decades has likely already determined the true nature of the UFO phenomenon, and has kept its discoveries from the public for over a half-century.


This agency has the ability to “see” anything anywhere at any time as it is happening – even outside of our atmosphere. They have detected airspace intrusions of all kinds – including most assuredly, those of Unidentified Flying Objects. The degree of precision with which they operate is so astounding – and the scope of their global coverage is so vast – that there is only one conclusion that can be drawn about this ultra-secret agency: If extraterrestrial craft have entered the Earth’s realm, they are aware of them and they have filmed them.


These images – and their accompanying technical analysis – have never been released to the public. The stunning reasons why this is so are now revealed – including those found in a USAF letter about UFOs from the 1970s. The letter (directed to this author) denied the existence of the agency in question and warned me away by threatening prosecution by federal authorities.


Now many years later, this author has again picked up the trail to expose the deep UFO secrets of the most secret organization in the world – the National Reconnaissance Office.



Though it has been active for over 50 years, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) was officially acknowledged only about 15 years ago. Before this acknowledgement, its employees could be imprisoned or even put to death under the Espionage Act if they were to reveal its name or even its mere existence. Since 1961 the NRO has quietly employed tens of thousands of people and it has spent hundreds of billions of dollars.


Officially part of the US Department of Defense, its stated mission is to design, build, operate and maintain global spy satellites and to control and to collect the information and images that are gathered from them. It tracks and monitors all traffic entering and leaving the Earth’s atmosphere. The agency secretly constructs and launches these ultra-advanced satellites in cooperation with NASA. The NRO also maintains a planetary-wide network of ground stations which process and analyze signals, photos and filmed images.

NRO offices
Rare aerial view of NRO Headquarters
in Chantilly, VA

The NRO, headquartered in Chantilly, VA, has a waiver for “open competition” requirements. This means that the agency does not need to comply with the US government contracting laws that apply to all other federal departments and agencies. Contractors and vendors do not compete for business with the NRO. The NRO uses who they want. It is not obligated to advertise its requirements or to make Requests for Proposals.


Only recently was it compelled by a lawsuit to make its budget available to the public – but only the “unclassified” portions of the agency’s budget. This means that the financial expenditures for nearly all of the activities and departments of the NRO will never be known. The Washington Post in September 1995 reported that the NRO appears to have a multi-billion dollar budget and that billions per year were being hoarded by the agency as “unspent funds” of which the Pentagon and the Congress were never made aware. The Directors of the NRO are named by the US Secretary of Defense, without confirmation by Congress. And the agency is worrisomely independent. Though it is chartered to collaborate with other select agencies and departments, the NRO often refuses to share gathered intelligence or technological breakthroughs with the larger US defense and intelligence communities. Simply put, the NRO does not play by anyone’s rules but its own.


It is believed that the prime contractors to the NRO are Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Orbital Sciences Corporation. Engineers at these companies working on NRO projects of any kind must attain Top Secret/SCI (Sensitive Compartmented Information) security clearance, a process often taking years. They are made to take polygraphs routinely and without notice. Many NRO employees work under Draconian conditions. This often includes working in underground windowless offices, being scanned regularly (including full-body and retinal scanning), and surrendering all cell phones, personal technology and writing instruments. Often, NRO employees require escort when moving through offices. They work alongside individuals whose actual names are sometimes unknown to them and with whom they are never to discuss anything personal or work-related. For decades (until the US Government acknowledged its existence in late 1992) the people employed by the NRO were unable to say precisely for whom they worked or what they did, not even to their wives or children. IRS records would only reflect their employment as being with the “Department of Defense.” NRO employees became “indentured” forever to the intelligence/defense communities. They were unable to mention their employment by the NRO or their experience attained there. Because of this, they could only work for similar agencies such as the NSA or CIA or their associated contractors.


Future satellite

The satellite technology that is designed and maintained by the NRO is so technologically extraordinary that it is believed that the agency can “see” any selected human, ground or airborne “target” that it wishes to observe. With practically pinpoint accuracy (and with astonishing clarity and resolution) it can image anything that is visible on the planet or that is coming to or leaving the Earth, as it occurs. It is able to detect signals of all kinds that are generated anywhere on Earth or in its orbit. Wholly unacknowledged – but accepted by industry insiders – is that some of the NRO’s satellites are also equipped with experimental “beam” weaponry with offense and defense applications.

The full capabilities of such super-satellites are not acknowledged by the US government. Even NRO satellite numbers and names are generally classified. The NRO occasionally will announce when a new

satellite goes into orbit – though it is not obligated to do so, and no substantial details are ever given about such launches. It is known through defense industry insiders that the capabilities and technical sophistication of these satellites far exceeds those of commercial satellites. It is said that NRO technology provides constant real-time data, surveillance and reconnaissance about everything around the world all of the time. Resulting reconnaissance photos and films are said to be of remarkably high quality and imaged in extraordinarily fine detail. New information indicates that this technology may even be able to detect ‘signatures’, and image objects and people through walls and enclosures.


Through its many decades of being our “secret eyes in space”, it is inconceivable that the NRO has not had several incidents of detection of “uncorrelated observations.” In fact, this is one of the NRO’s very missions: to detect, image and identify unidentifieds in the air and atmosphere!


The agency is unquestionably the one arm of government that is the most uniquely positioned to possess close-up images of UFOs in airspace or in orbit – or that perhaps have even landed.

Objects that are unidentified have surely been encountered buzzing our skies – or upon entering or leaving the atmosphere – on innumerable occasions. And they may have even spotted landings. More than that – given the advanced optics systems onboard these satellites – these UFOs must have been filmed by NRO and later analyzed by ground station photographic experts. The NRO has acknowledged recently that its first orbiting satellite (called Corona) alone collected more than 800,000 images. With dozens of such satellites rumored now in orbit, the sheer volume of images captured by the NRO must be in the multiple millions.




On December 27, 1974 (as a young pre-teen admittedly obsessed with UFOs), I sent a registered letter to the then-President of the United States, Gerald Ford. I had several questions that I wished answered relative to UFOs and any associated military and intelligence studies, and the precise nature of an agency I had learned of, called the "NRO" or the "National Reconnaissance Office".  In the 1970s, the NRO was not officially or publicly acknowledged.

My request of President Ford for UFO information was routed to the US Air Force. However, my letter was received (and presumably read) by White House staffers first, as the registered return receipt was signed by the White House, and they would have needed to read it to know to whom to route it. My mention of the NRO was prominently placed at the beginning of the letter, and it is likely that White House staffers read the name of the agency in my communication. On January 6, 1975 a reply came from Colonel James J. Shepard of the USAF. He begins the letter, “On behalf of President Ford, I am acknowledging your recent letter to him and placing the matter in the hands of appropriate officials for their careful consideration. You will receive a further reply as soon as possible.”

Sorrentino reply/threat

On January 23, 1975, a “further reply” was received (see at right). This time, the letter’s author was Colonel M.L. Sorrentino of the USAF. He states in part, “On behalf of President Ford, this is in further reply to your December 27 letter regarding the investigation of UFOs.” He continues (after having indicated that such UFO study terminated with Project Blue Book) that:


“Moreover, officials are unaware of any federally-sponsored studies regarding UFO phenomena, and have no knowledge of the existence of a ‘National Reconnaissance Office.’”


Sorrentino then continues by citing JANAP 146, an official Joint Army, Navy Air Publication (JANAP) providing procedures for reporting unexplained aerial activity by military personnel. Sorrentino then warns me:

(click to enlarge)

“Due to the strictly military nature of these matters, both JANAP-146, as well as the reports which it prescribes, must remain with official channels. Therefore, Chapter 37, Title 18 of the United States Code, stipulates that any person who makes an unauthorized transmission or disclosure of such a report is liable to prosecution.“

Given that I had mentioned the name of an unacknowledged Intelligence Agency (the NRO) in a letter to the President of the United States, and that I had inquired about its possible detection and filming of UFOs by its satellites, Sorrentino’s admonishment to me was clear. It can be taken that they were concerned that I may at some point say something publicly about the NRO or about its military/intel UFO reports. It could have been taken as a threat. I can tell you that as a young boy at the time, it was indeed.

I have never mentioned this episode to anyone ever, until now. And until now, I have never told this: After I wrote to the President mentioning the NRO and UFOs, I believe that our family’s home phone was tapped and that I was followed for a period of months by unknown persons.

There can be little doubt that the US Air Force deliberately lied to me and deceived me about their knowledge of the NRO. This is because today, on the NRO’s own website, it acknowledges that over its history it has worked closely with the military (including the USAF) in providing valuable intelligence. And of course both the USAF and the NRO are part of the Department of Defense. The distinct implication is that if government officials were lying to me by denying the very existence of a federal agency of which they were actually well aware, they were also likely openly lying with the claim that no official UFO studies were ever conducted after Project Blue Book.

Gerald K. Haines, CIA Chief Historian
Long-time US intelligence asset
Dr. Gerald Haines

One of the only known instances that anyone associated with the NRO has ever publicly spoken about the subject of UFOs was in 1997. Gerald K. Haines was employed by the NRO when he released an article that was published in the journal Studies in Intelligence, entitled A Die-Hard Issue: CIA's Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90.


Prior, however, Haines had been associated with the Central Intelligence Agency, and his treatise relates to the CIA’s activities surrounding UFOs, not the NRO’s dealings with the phenomenon. It remains unclear why a present-day NRO employee would be authoring and releasing another intelligence agency’s UFO information. It is also unclear whether the NRO authorized this release and whether it agreed with the conclusions that were reached by its employee Haines.

In his whitewash report, he determined that although the CIA was concerned about UFOs until the early 1950s, it has since “paid only limited and peripheral attention to the phenomena.” Second, he

maintained that “more than half” of alleged UFO sightings in the US through the 1960s were actually of classified aircraft such as the U-2 and SR-71. Haines’ statements are disingenuous. And they not coincidentally coincide with the USAF’s debunking Roswell Report. If what Haines said is correct, he is himself revealing a state secret that he should not be. He is “blowing the cover” of a “technique” that lets people believe that they are seeing UFOs, when in fact they are seeing experimental US aircraft.


And Haines is deliberately lying with claims about the U-2 and SR-71 being the cause for nearly all UFO sightings. Such experimental craft are extremely restricted in just where they can fly. Such vehicles are rarely if ever flown along commercial flight paths – or flown low over dense civilian populations. The reason for this is obvious: it would compromise classified technology. And Haines fails to mention that the US Government was examining the UFO phenomenon (i.e. ghost rockets and foo-fighters) as early as 1944 – well before the advent of such jets.


Due to his rich background in US Intelligence, Dr. Haines was not asked by journalists why he – as an NRO employee by then – was speaking out about the CIA and UFOs. But what is curious is why did these journalists (Haines’ report was widely carried in the press) not ask him about his then-current agency (the NRO) and their involvement with the phenomena? If the CIA studies UFOs, didn’t the NRO? Why did they not inquire of him whether his agency’s super-satellites had ever detected signals from UFOS or if they had ever photographed or filmed UFOs? In one move, Haines had minimized the CIA’s interest in UFOs and at the same time had deflected any interest or inquiry about the NRO’s own UFO involvement.



Strictly speaking, the NRO is not exempt from FOIA (the Freedom of Information Act). The reality however is that the agency routinely denies FOIA requests of all kinds by indicating that to honor such requests would reveal confidential or sensitive “sources and methods” that would place national security at risk. An organization that does not acknowledge its budget, contractors, or mission details (and that did not even admit its very existence for decades) is an organization that has surely developed strategies to counter FOIA requests that it deems “troublesome.” Adding further difficulty to FOIA requests filed with the NRO is that one needs to have appropriate and adequate “identifiers” to make such a request. Without details such as reference numbers, launch names or dates of occurrences, it is very hard to pinpoint specific documents and images to request for public release.


It is also very difficult to gain information on prior FOIA requests to the NRO on UFOs. It is evident that very few researchers have ever attempted such requests, in part due to the fact that they are not even aware of the agency’s existence! The “Black Vault” (an online repository of FOIA-related and other government documents on UFOs and other phenomena) has no records of such FOIA requests to the NRO. Researcher Timothy Good complained in one of his books that he “drew a blank” when it came to the NRO and UFOs – no information was obtainable. This author has conducted an in-depth review of FOIA Case Logs online (and on the NRO website) to see if anyone has ever requested UFO-related information from the NRO. It appears that only twice has this been done. The first request was made on May 7, 1998 and another was on April 27, 2001. The responses from the NRO to these requestors is unknown. No information appears to have ever been forthcoming in subsequent years about any results from these requests that may have provided answers to questions about the NRO’s involvement with the UFO phenomenon.


This author is implementing a three-pronged approach to coax information on the NRO and UFOs:


I have teamed with preeminent, long-time UFO researcher Larry Bryant on this matter. Mr. Bryant is widely acknowledged to be the UFO community’s expert on constructing and submitting FOIA requests. We are currently working on the appropriate terminology – and with the specificity required – to make an effective FOIA request.


Additionally, Mr. Bryant will be running “whistleblower solicitation ads” to induce former NRO employees or contractors to confidentially come forward with any relevant information on the agency’s dealings with UFOs.


Finally, this author has made the recent acquaintance of a former agency employee now retired and living nearby in Florida in ill health. This intelligence officer has tacitly indicated that clear, detailed and revealing images of Unidentified Flying Objects have indeed been obtained by the super-satellites of the NRO – and that many of them are not made by man.


More information is hoped to be forthcoming soon about this most covert and cryptic intelligence agency – and its no doubt astounding UFO secrets.

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