United Nations

Press conference at the UN on the day of the presentation, Nov. 27, 1978.
Press conference at the UN on the day of the presentation, Nov. 27, 1978.

Background: In 1977, I noticed that Eric Gairy, prime minister of the island nation Grenada, had begun a crusade to get the United Nations to pay attention to his pleas for an international committee to share and study UFOs. But nobody was taking him seriously, so I stepped in to help.

Through his ambassadors, I gave a copy of my 1975 documentary album, “UFOs: The Credibility Factor,” to Gairy and met him at the U.N. to make him an offer he couldn’t refuse. I would produce a big UFO presentation at the UN, with military and scientific speakers who would be taken seriously by member nations, if Grenada would sponsor my proposal.

Over a handshake, Gairy agreed and I spent all of 1978 gathering and preparing speakers and audio/visual materials for the event scheduled in November of that year.

The following visuals help to tell the story of what most serious students of the UFO phenomenon consider was a milestone event in the whole subject. It was certainly one of the earliest attempts at official international disclosure of UFOs.

A letter from Grenada to me, offering to sponsor my presentation
A letter from Grenada to me, offering to sponsor my presentation
A letter from Dr. J. Allen Hynek congratulating me on my UN proposal and his desire to be part of it
A letter from Dr. J. Allen Hynek congratulating me on my UN proposal and his desire to be part of it
Clockwise from left: astronaut Gordon Cooper, astronomer Jacques Vallee, astronomer/astrophysicist Claude Poher, astronomer J. Allen Hynek, Grenada Prime Minister Sir Eric Gairy, UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, Morton Gleisner of the Special Political Committee, Lee Speigel, researcher Len Stringfield, and University of Colorado psychologist David Saunders
Clockwise from left: astronaut Gordon Cooper, astronomer Jacques Vallee, astronomer/astrophysicist Claude Poher, astronomer J. Allen Hynek, Grenada Prime Minister Sir Eric Gairy, UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, Morton Gleisner of the Special Political Committee, Lee Speigel, researcher Len Stringfield, and University of Colorado psychologist David Saunders
A famous letter written by astronaut Gordon Cooper talking about his own UFO encounters, his beliefs, why astronauts won’t talk about UFOs and what he thinks the UN should do about it all. This letter, published worldwide in countless books and magazines since 1978, exists because I asked him to write it and to send it to me so that I could make thousands of copies of it for distribution to the UN nations and to the media.
A famous letter written by astronaut Gordon Cooper talking about his own UFO encounters, his beliefs, why astronauts won’t talk about UFOs and what he thinks the UN should do about it all. This letter, published worldwide in countless books and magazines since 1978, exists because I asked him to write it and to send it to me so that I could make thousands of copies of it for distribution to the UN nations and to the media.
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In order for me to actually do my work at the UN, early prep meetings, having access to UN buildings, etc., I had to be designated as a delegate to Grenada, the sponsoring country. This was my delegate card.

On Oct. 12, 1978, a month prior to our actual UN event, Grenada Prime Minister Sir Eric Gairy spoke to the UN General Assembly, giving a preview of what our presentation was going to be about and naming all the participants, including me.

This is a previously classified State Dept. document written by the American UN ambassador to the State Dept., indicating that they were closely watching the activities of Grenada, its prime minister and the group of experts who would take the world stage in November 1978 to talk about UFOs.
This is a previously classified State Dept. document written by the American UN ambassador to the State Dept., indicating that they were closely watching the activities of Grenada, its prime minister and the group of experts who would take the world stage in November 1978 to talk about UFOs.
Here the document continues with item #3. The inset at the bottom shows where I’m named as the organizer of this whole thing.
Here the document continues with item #3. The inset at the bottom shows where I’m named as the organizer of this whole thing.
This is the cover page of the morning session for the proceedings of our presentation and the first of its several pages.
This is the cover page of the morning session for the proceedings of our presentation and the first of its several pages.
UN presentations, November 27, 1978. Left: Astronomer J. Allen Hynek; Center: Astronomer/computer scientist Jacques Vallee; Right: U.S. Army Reserve Capt. Lawrence Coyne, describing the harrowing encounter he and his helicopter crew had with a UFO over Ohio in 1973. It’s considered one of the best such reports in history.

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