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Of Astronauts and Aliens

June 14, 2004


By Richard M. Dolan


Yet another astronaut-alien story was reported a few weeks ago, only to disappear like water into the Sahara sand. This was an article by Clark B. McClelland, former Spacecraft Operator of the NASA Space Shuttle Fleet. McClelland discussed a conversation he had with Lt. Col. Ellison Onizuka, mission specialist on the Space Shuttle Challenger, just a few days before that shuttle exploded on January 28, 1986. [1]


According to McClelland, Onizuka asked if his surname had any connection to McClellan AFB, in Sacramento, California. McClelland answered no. Onizuka related that “about eight or nine years prior to his astronaut training,” he and other USAF aerospace flight engineers and pilots while on military training duty at McClellan AFB, were directed to report to a viewing room. To their shock, they were shown a movie apparently depicting dead aliens. These were small bodies with large heads and large eyes, lying on slabs.

Lt. Col. Ellison Onizuka died aboard the Challenger in 1986. He may have been shown a movie of dead aliens.

The officers were caught completely off guard, and were given no opportunity to discuss what they saw. Onizuka wondered if “perhaps it was a test of our psyche to determine our overall reaction.”


Onizuka began active duty with the Air Force in 1970 and was selected as an astronaut for NASA in 1978. He served at McClellan AFB during the early 1970s, thus the incident he referred to would have occurred at that time.


When considering how truthful this story is, it is helpful to know that during the late 1970s, UFO researcher (and U.S. Army Air Corps veteran) Leonard Stringfield collected about twenty first-hand accounts concerning either military retrievals of crashed alien vehicles or storage of alien bodies at secured installations. In addition, Stringfield collected about thirty more stories through direct intermediaries, bringing the grand total to about fifty.


About five of these accounts were of scenarios similar to the one described by Onizuka. That is, of servicemen being shown a film of dead aliens or apparent alien technology. One of these concerned a radar specialist who, as a young man in 1953 at Fort Monmouth New Jersey, was shown a film of a UFO that had apparently crashed in a desert, a brief view of the interior of the craft, and dead alien bodies inside a tent.


The movie was full of scratches, with poor coloring and texture. When the lights came on in the theater, the officer in charge told the viewers to “think about the movie” and not to tell anyone. Two weeks later, an intelligence officer on the base told the radar specialist to “forget the movie you saw; it was a hoax.” Years later this man met an old Army acquaintance, also a radar specialist. To his surprise, he learned that he, too, had seen the same film at another base under similar conditions. [2]


Stringfield was a serious and cautious researcher. He understood that confirming these stories was difficult, if not impossible. Still, he checked and cross-checked as much as he could. His sources were quite disparate, and he seems to have received these stories because his military confidants trusted him. By the time he died in 1994, he had still not proven their absolute truth. He did, however, bequeath to the world a great deal of very suggestive testimony.


Leonard Stringfield researched stories of alien crash retrievals

If the U.S. military has been showing such films to bewildered personnel over the years, then why? If one doesn’t believe in UFOs, and doesn’t believe in retrievals of crashed alien technology, why would the military be doing this? These movies seemed real to those who saw them. What training value would there be in convincing these personnel that aliens were real – and that we had captured a few of them?


If such films are authentic, however, there could well be value in showing them. Say that your job is to “manage” this information. You know that certain individuals in the military are more likely than others to encounter the reality of UFOs or non-human beings in the course of their career. Showing such a movie could be one method by which to screen potential candidates for special ET-related assignments. How do they deal with the information? Do they handle it professionally, or do they crack?


Such a viewing would also be useful as a way to determine methods of security. Thus, how reliable are your people? If they talk, under what conditions do they do so, and what content is revealed? Could the movies be artfully made fakes, but based on real events, so as to allow for deniability in the event of an uncontrolled leak?


Scenarios worth considering. Of course, pulling answers out of the U.S. military on this subject would be no less than descending into the underworld and returning, alive, with the prize of truth and light.




[1] See


[2] Leonard Stringfield published “The Crash Retrieval Syndrom” privately in 1980, as well as several follow-up monographs on the same subject later that decade. In addition, see “Retrievals of the Third Kind,” Parts 1 and 2, in the MUFON UFO Journal, July and August issues of 1978.

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