UN UFO Resolution
International Agreements and Resolution
Although this Briefing Document contains a small sample of UFO cases, the global nature of the phenomenon is shown by its geographical distribution. The cases studied include: Germany (foo fighters), Scandinavia (ghost rockets), several regions of the United States (Alaska, Washington, Washington, D.C., Texas, New Mexico, northern tier near Canadian border), England (Suffolk), Canada (Manitoba), Brazil, Spain (Canary Islands), Iran, France, Belgium and Russia. UFO cases can be easily found for the rest of the world.
While the air forces (and in some cases other military, intelligence, space, and/or scientific agencies) in these countries have dealt with the UFO problem at one time or another, there is little evidence of any long-standing open international cooperation effort. However, some examples of bilateral, regional and global approaches have been found.
I. 1975: Bilateral: USA-USSR
A curious clause about "unidentified objects" exists in an Agreement on Measures to Reduce the Risk of Nuclear War between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics. The Agreement was part of the policy of detente during the Nixon and early Brezhnev administrations. It was signed on September 30, 1971 by Secretary of State, William Rogers, and Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko.
The Agreement has nine articles on issues such as informing each other "against the accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons under its control," notification in advance of missile launches that go beyond the national territory of each country, and other measures of cooperation in order to avert "the risk of outbreak of nuclear war." Article 3 reads:
"The Parties undertake to notify each other immediately in the event of detection by missile warning systems of unidentified objects [emphasis added], or in the event of signs of interference with these systems or with related communications facilities, if such occurrences could create a risk of outbreak of nuclear war between the two countries." 153
The interpretation of Article 3 as including the possibility of UFO incursions seems inescapable. It is indeed reassuring in view of the cases where UFOs hovered over military facilities with nuclear weapons (SAC bases in USA, NATO bases in England, missile bases in Russia). On the other hand, attorney Robert Bletchman has pointed out that "unidentified objects" (UOs) include non-UFO situations as well (such as an accidental overflight by a civilian aircraft or a terrorist attack), but in the final analysis,UOs do include UFOs. What degree of cooperation about UOs/UFOs existed between the USA and USSR (and currently with Russia), is hard to say, but Article 9 stated: "This Agreement shall be of unlimited duration."
II. 1977-78: Global: United Nations
In the mid-1970s, the Prime Minister of the new member state of Grenada, Sir Eric Gairy, began a lobbying initiative to incorporate the UFO problem in the United Nations agenda. Prime Minister Gairy and UN Ambassador Wellington Friday raised the UFO issue at a meeting of the thirty-second General Assembly Special Political Committee on November 28, 1977. Grenada was proposing the "establishment of an agency or a department of the United Nations for undertaking, coordinating and disseminating the results of research into Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) and related phenomena." 154
Grenada made further statements on November 30 and December 6, 1977. As a result of this effort, at the 101st plenary meeting on December 13, 1977, "the General Assembly adopted Decision 32/424," which acknowledged "the draft resolution submitted by Grenada" and further stated that:
"1. The General Assembly requests the Secretary-General to transmit the text of the draft resolution, together with the above-mentioned statements, to Member States and to interested specialized agencies, so that they may communicate their views to the Secretary-General."155
Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim duly forwarded "Decision 32/424" to the Member States by a "note verbale" on March 13, 1978. However, only three governments responded (India, Luxembourg and Seychelles) and only two specialized agencies (International Civil Aviation Organization and UNESCO) replied with a flat "no comments to offer."156 Not deterred, Grenada launched a new offensive during the thirty-third General Assembly.
A group of recognized experts was brought to testify before a Hearing of the Special Political Committee on November 27, 1978. Besides Sir Eric Gairy and Wellington Friday, the Hearing included testimony by Drs. Allen Hynek and Jacques Vallee, and a first-hand witness account by Lt. Col. Lawrence Coyne of the U.S. Army (Reserve) on the famous 1973 UFO-helicopter near collision case in Ohio (see Quotations, section on Military/Intelligence). A letter of endorsement by astronaut Gordon Cooper, who was then Vice-President of Research & Development of Walt Disney Enterprises, was also read into the record (see Quotations, section on Astronauts).
At the 87th plenary meeting of the General Assembly on December 19, 1978, Decision 33/426 was adopted with the same heading to the previous Decision 32-424 cited above, "Establishment of an agency or a department of the United Nations for undertaking, coordinating and disseminating the results of research into unidentified flying objects and related phenomena." The "consensus text" informed in its Point 1 that the General Assembly had "taken note" of the "draft resolutions submitted by Grenada" and that:
"2. The General Assembly invites interested Member States to take appropriate steps to coordinate on a national level scientific research and investigation into extraterrestrial life, including unidentified flying objects, and to inform the Secretary-General of the observations, research and evaluation of such activities.
"3. The General Assembly requests the Secretary-General to transmit the statements of the delegation of Grenada and the relevant documentation to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, so that it may consider them at its session in 1979." 157
"4 Finally stated that the Outer Space Committee would permit Grenada "to present its views" in 1979 and the Committee's deliberation would be included in its report to the thirty-fourth General Assembly. The Grenada initiative was gradually opening the door to UFO cooperative international investigation, but unfortunately the effort came to an abrupt halt when the Gairy government was overthrown by a Marxist revolution led by Maurice Bishop. The new government launched a publicity campaign to discredit Gairy as a believer in voodoo and flying saucers. Decision 33/426 was never implemented, but its mere existence provides a useful framework for any future initiative on the matter.
153. United States Treaties and Other International Agreements, Volume 22, Part 2, 1971, "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Measures to Reduce the Risk of Nuclear War Outbreak."
154. United Nations Office of Public Information, "Special Political Committee Begins Debate on UFO Item," November 28, 1977.
155. United Nations General Assembly, Thirty-third session, Agenda item 126, "Establishment of an Agency or a Department of the United Nations for Undertaking, Co-ordinating and Disseminating the Results of Research into Unidentified Flying Objects and Related Phenomena," Report of the Secretary-General, October 6, 1978.
157. United Nations General Assembly, Thirty-third Session, "Decisions adopted on the reports of the Special Political Committee."
Letter of an Astronaut
The following letter was written from the US astronaut Gordon Cooper in the year 1978 to the ambassador of Grenada, Mr. Griffith. Mr. Cooper wrote about his own thoughts and his experiences with UFOs in the 1950s and that several astronauts have seen such strange objects on the ground and from an airplane. Here now the original text from the letter of Mr. Cooper from November 9 1978.
Dear Ambassador Griffith
I wanted to convey to you my views on our extraterrestrial visitors popularly referred to as "UFO´s", and suggest what might be done to deal properly with them.
I believe that these extraterrestrial vehicles and their crews are visiting this planet from other planets, which obviously are a little bit more technical advanced than we are here on earth. I feel that we need to have a top-level, coordinated program to scientifically collect and analyze data from all over the earth concerning any type of encounter, and to determine how best to interface with this visitors in a friendly fashion. We may first have to show them that we have learned to resolve our problems by peaceful means, rather than warfare, before we are accepted as fully qualified universal team members. This acceptance would have tremendous possibilities of advancing our world in all areas. Certainly then it would seem that the UN has a vested interest in handling this subject properly and expeditiously.
I should point out that I am not an experienced UFO professional researcher. I have not yet had the privilege of flying a UFO, nor of meeting the crew of one. I do feel that I am somewhat qualified to discuss them since I have been into the fringes of the vast areas in which they travel. Also, I did have occasion in 1951 to have two days of observation of many flights of them, of different sizes, flying in fighter formation, generally from east to west over Europe. They were at a higher altitude than we could reach with our jet fighters of that time.
I would also like to point out that most astronauts are very reluctant to even discuss UFO´s due to the great numbers of people who have indescriminately sold fake stories and forged documents abusing their names and reputations without hesitation. Those few astronauts who have continued to have a participation in the UFO field have had to do so very cautiously. There are several of us who do believe in UFO´s and who have had occasion to see a UFO on the ground or from an airplane. There was only one occasion from space which may have been a UFO.
If the UN agrees to pursue this project, and to lend their credibility to it, perhaps many more well qualified people will agree to step forth and provide help and information.
I am looking forward to seeing you soon
L. Gordon Cooper, Col. USAF (Ret), Astronaut