Arthur Bray, a retired Navy pilot, has been researching the UFO phenomenon since the early l950s. In 1967 he wrote and published his first book Science, 'The Public And The UFO - A Philosophical Study', and has just completed his second book 'The UFO Connection', which is awaiting publication. He resides in Ottawa and teaches an evening course on Ufology at Algonquin College.
DAVID: Arthur, could you tell us exactly how you became involved in the whole UFO picture?
ARTHUR: Yes, my interest started back in 1947 or 1948 when UFOs first came to public attention. I was a navy pilot at the time and I became interested, just out of curiosity, because I was flying around the sky. These things were apparently flying around the sky also and I was curious as to what else was up there that I didn't know about. Now that was how I got started, and I was very skeptical that they might be from outer space and this sort of thing. I was quite skeptical originally but as time went on and I studied the subject more, my interest increased. I became more involved, and one thing led to another, and it eventually grew into an avocation really, and I've been at it ever since.
DAVID: While you were flying around up there did you ever see anything that you couldn't explain which convinced you that there was something to the phenomenon that had been reported?
ARTHUR: No, not while I was flying. I have seen some UFOs or what I consider to be UFOs, but not while I was flying. They've all been sighted from the ground.
DAVID: Could you elaborate on exactly what you saw in some of the more significant cases?
ARTHUR: Yes, one particularly interesting case was in Halifax, and it was witnessed by all of my family. We were having dinner one night, it was summertime, broad day-light, about six o'clock, and we noticed out of the window that there was this brilliant, very large white object suspended over the hills of Halifax. I should explain that we were living in Dartmouth, across the harbour, and we were on the highest point of land in the area. So we had an excellent view across Halifax Harbour and the whole city of Halifax. And here was this thing that looked just like a street light, a brilliant white light, hanging in the sky motionless, So we rushed outside to get a better look at it. We stood there for about a minute, and then I rushed back in to get my movie camera, and just as I came out to take a picture, it shot off out over the ocean, travelled at thousands of miles an hour. I'm convinced of that because it disappeared in about a second and a half, it went that fast, right out over the sea and disappeared. That was a particularly interesting case.
And there was another daylight sighting that I had myself. A disc-shaped silver object was flying straight across the sky but weaving as it went. I watched it move about, I guess, 120 degrees of arc across the sky. I just happened to be out in my yard sunbathing at the time and I was lying out there looking up at the sky, and this thing came right across. It was definitely disc-shaped, not very high; I couldn't tell you the height, but it was very clear.
There have been two or three more sightings.
We had a very interesting sighting right out here one night, here on our front lawn during the late 1960's. My first impression was that it was a satellite because it looked like one, and it was moving in a straight line, as satellites do of course. But then it suddenly made a ninety degree change in direction. It was coming from the north, made a right angle turn to the west and made another ninety degree change of direction back to the north. Then it reversed itself. It didn't turn, just reversed itself, and continued on in a southerly direction, and then the light blinked off. There were no clouds in the sky so it didn't go behind the clouds. The sky was clear. You could see the moon and stars, everything. And then about twenty degrees south of where it disappeared it blinked on again and continued on in a southerly direction until it faded from sight.
Another sighting I had was out the side door one night. It was a very large, pulsating red blob of light, very low. It just appeared behind the rooftop of the house across the street, veered behind another roof, disappeared momentarily, re-appeared, then disappeared behind the trees up on the hill. It was absolutely soundless, and travelling very fast, about the speed of a jet. I would estimate it couldn't have been any more than 200 feet high because of the way it came behind the rooftops and the trees. Very interesting. Very puzzling.
DAVID: In the latter incident did you ever try to get any information or evidence from the airport as to whether they picked it up on radar?
ARTHUR: No, I did not.
DAVID: Okay. Throughout your navy career, I imagine it was fairly well known among the people that you were working with, that you were interested in UFOs. What sort of attitudes did you run into, first of all among your fellow officers, and secondly among your seniors or your commanding officers?
ARTHUR: Well certainly for many years I was subject to a considerable amount of ridicule, but as time went on this lessened, and other people became more and more interested as more people began to realize that there really was something to the whole UFO business. Certainly I found that the number of skeptics and scoffers decreased tremendously as the years went by. But the first few years I was interested, everywhere I turned I met with ridicule. No matter who I talked to. So I got well used to being laughed at. As for my commanding officers, I would say there weren't really any problems posed there; in fact, I got co-operation from the military when I published my first book.
DAVID: Really? In what way?
ARTHUR: Well, for one thing I was given assistance in wording some of the things I said about the United States Air Force. If I could show that what I wrote had been previously stated by someone else I was encouraged to quote the source. I was definitely given encouragement in this respect.
DAVID: Were you given acces to any actual documented radar evidence, for instance, a record of any UFO incidents in which the Canadian Armed Forces had been involved?
ARTHUR: No, and as a matter of fact I was very careful not to obtain any military information because had I done so, I would not have been allowed to publish my book, since I had to get clearance from the military because I was serving in the navy at the time. I had to include a disclaimer in the book stating that no information had been obtained from Department of National Defence sources. So I had to be very careful.
DAVID: When you left the Armed Forces were you required to sign or swear to any sort of document that you would not reveal sources of information that you had accessed while you were in the Armed Forces, regarding UFOs.
ARTHUR: Well, the answer is 'no' to that one.
DAVID: Okay, but as Dr. Hynek has said the answer would be 'no' even if it were 'yes'.
ARTHUR: Yes. But with respect to obtaining data from the military for my book, I made a special point to not seek information from the Department of National Defence because I knew that my whole activity in this area would be in jeopardy if I did. I, of course, was subject to military security while in the Forces and so I had to make this effort; otherwise I would not have been able to publish my book.
DAVID: Did you hear then or have you heard since of stories, or whatever you want to call them, from people involved in the Armed Forces with whom you may have been associated, who had experiences either in sighting UFOs or being involved with documented evidence from other people who had seen UFOs or recorded them?
ARTHUR: Oh yes, I've come across many military people who have seen UFOs, and talked to them, in fact. Even while I was still in the service. But talking and listening to people describe their experiences is quite different from having access to written documentation, as you will appreciate; and certainly since I left the service I have talked to many military personnel who have had UFO experiences.
DAVID: We're always hearing via newspapers and other UFO sources that Canadian planes are, not continually, but every once in a while being scrambled to 'chase' a UFO or something that is an alleged UFO which has been detected on radar screens. Would you have any first-hand information about any of these types of activities.
ARTHUR: No, I have no first-hand information on this. The only information I have is what I have read in the literature, whether it be newspaper reports or whether it be the files of National Research Council and the various UFO publications and so forth. But I have no first-hand information on this.
DAVID: In 1950, the Canadian government was inspired to examine the UFO phenomenon in a fair amount of detail under the direction of a Department of Transport engineer named Wilbert Smith. Do you have any knowledge of this operation, whether it was a success or failure?
ARTHUR: Well, all I would care to say on this subject at the present time is that I have done considerable research into the work done by Wilbert Smith and this will be made available publicly in a new book which I have written which I hope to have published sometime soon.
DAVID: Project Magnet was the official name of this particular study; also there was a study called Project Second Story. Was there a relationship between Project Magnet and Project Second Storey and, if so, could you elaborate on that relationship?
ARTHUR: Well, even though Magnet and Second Storey were two distinct projects there was a relationship between them in that Wilbert Smith was involved in both. But Project Second Storey was a committee of military and civilian people, scientists, which was set up really to determine what action the government should take with respect to UFO sightings and the story of that will also appear in my book.
DAVID: To your knowledge, was there any relationship between this Canadian study and what the United States was doing at the same time: in other words, was it a co-operative-type of venture?
ARTHUR: Not really. I found that there was very little co-operation between Canada and the United States. There was some, but very little, at that time.
DAVID: Has that changed, to you knowledge, recently?
ARTHUR: No, the situation hasn't changed to my knowledge. I can't really be sure of that, but to my knowledge it hasn't changed.
DAVID: The reason I ask is that one of the reports which has recently been released due to the Freedom of Information Act in the United States concerns a sighting over both American and Canadian air space where apparently a UFO was observed near the northern border of the States and it was picked up on Canadian radar. This was around the Sudbury area I believe and, apparently a UFO was observed near the northern border of the States and it was picked up on Canadian radar. This was around the Sudbury area I believe, and, apparently, U.S. planes were scrambled to chase it. That is why I asked if there was any co-operation between the two countries.
ARTHUR: Yes, there is co-operation in this respect, certainly. I was overlooking that particular point. NORAD of course is a joint Canadian/U.S. air defence organisation, so there is really for all practical purposes, no national border. So that if an unknown object is tracked on radar, fighters will be scrambled either in Canada or the United States or both, on instructions from NORAD.
DAVID: We hear many explanations from various scientists regarding sightings, one being the fact that radar is capable of picking up I suppose what the layers would call 'mirages', and that it is sometimes pretty difficult, I understand, for an experienced operator tell the difference between a mirage and a solid body on the scope. Now is some cases where radar tracks what apparently is a solid body going at fantastic speeds and making right angle turns, the official report is that this was a mirage, or something that really did not exist but was picked up by radar anyway, perhaps a meteorological phenomenon. When you were in the armed forces, did you run into this type of thing, and did you actually see returns on radar that turned out to be non-physical objects?
ARTHUR: No, I have no personal experience with cases of that nature.
DAVID: That's interesting. We get the idea that it is a fairly common type of thing, at least from officialdom when they try to explain these things. Okay, to change the subject a little, do you have any personal opinion as to what is behind the UFO phenomenon?
ARTHUR: You're looking for theories now, are you? Well, I think there are several possible explanations. A couple come to mind immediately. Certainly, the extraterrestrial hypothesis is one possibility which may explain some UFOs. I also have come to the conclusion after many years of looking into this that some UFOs may very well originate in a parallel universe. I think the evidence is growing all the time to support that particular theory, and I deal with this aspect in my new book. I think that those are the two most likely explanations in my personal opinion. I realise that there are many other explanations as well put forth~by various people, but those happen to be the two that I think are likely to account for most UFOs.
DAVID: What is it about the extraterrestrial hypothesis that leads you to believe that it many not necessarily explain UFOs?
ARTHUR: Well, I don't think it explains all UFOs. I think some UFOs can be accounted for as probably physical craft from elsewhere, but certainly there are many sightings which cannot be explained in that way due to the various circumstances surrounding many cases such as disappearance, materialisation and dematerialisation. I think these are more likely to be explained by a departure into a parallel universe. I think this is what has happened in some cases, and I think the evidence is very strong for this. Certainly there have been many cases going back for as long as I have been studying the subject, which involved materialisation and dematerialisation of UFOs, and I think we have to look somewhere other than the nuts and bolts theory to account for this, and certainly there are many aspects of parapsychology which would indicate that there is a parallel universe.
DAVID: What particular aspects of parapsychology would lead you to believe this>
ARTHUR: Well, I deal with this at great length in my new book. I'd rather leave it at that for the moment, but I would like to say, simply, that a great deal of work has been done by many scientists, in many different countries, over a good many years, which indicates to me that there is another existence beyond our physical existence with which we are familiar and which is undetectable by orthodox scientific methods.
DAVID: It sounds as though, by a parallel universe you really are talking about an additional dimension to our reality. This brings up another point. There are rumours, and at this point they are only rumours, about an experiment that was conducted in the States shortly after the Second World War, which was technically known as the Philadelphia Experiment, where apparently a ship in the Philadelphia shipyards was teleported to another location, briefly, and then apparently returned. Now, this was supposedly, from my sources anyway, a technical experiment that the United States was involved with and apparently a book has just come out on the market which details this. Have you heard of this, and if so, is this the type of concept to which you are referring?
ARTHUR: Yes, I certainly have heard of it. I am quite familiar with the story, whether it is true or not, I don't know. But I have no reason to doubt it, quite frankly. It wouldn't surprise me if it were true. I have not seen the book yet, but I have heard it was coming out very shortly. This is the kind of thing which supports the possible existence of another reality, another dimension, a parallel universe or whatever you want to call it.
DAVID: Okay, so really it isn't a parallel universe per se, one that exists or co-exists along with us, it is really another dimension to our concept of reality with which we are not familiar yet, and haven't really examined. To me a parallel universe implies another life or another whole series of existences occurring alongside ours, whereas the Philadelphia Experiment, if in fact there is anything to it, implies that there is, let's say, an added dimension to our reality. Now, be that as it may, we've also run into, in studying the UFO phenomenon, people who claim to have had contact with other intelligences.
The common feeling among most of the public regarding these contacts is that these other intelligent entities are beings from other planets. I take it then that you are just as prone to believe that we are possibly dealing with entities from this additional dimension rather than from, let's say, a few hundred or thousand light years across our own galaxy.
ARTHUR: Yes, I think we're essentially saying the same thing, except that I think perhaps we put slightly different interpretations on the terminology, with respect to parallel universe and so forth. Certainly with respect to a parallel universe I mean another universe which co-exists with ours and which interpenetrates ours, undetectable by normal scientific means and that this may be where some UFOs do originate. That is what I mean by a parallel universe. Now there could very well be a relationship between the Philadelphia Experiment and this, I don't know for sure because I don't know enough about the Philadelphia Experiment. I haven't got enough facts on the case. It will be interesting to see this new book, to see what new facts are brought out as to what really was the purpose behind it and what did in fact happen.
DAVID: Getting back to your involvement with the armed forces, Leonard Stringfield recently came up with a revelation that seemed to echo and expand what a Professor Carr had said a few years beforehand, that he has had a lot of sources, some second-hand some first-hand, concerning crashed UFOs in the States being recovered and, in some cases, aliens even being recovered and apparently, these things are reportedly hidden at various Air Force bases in the States. Do you have any comment on this?
ARTHUR: Yes, this is excellent work that Stringfield is doing, and I realise the difficulties he must be having in this particular kind of research. I personally suspect that there may very well be something to this, as far out as it may seem. I know there are many arguments against the possibility of these crashes, especially so many. How ever, I think it is quite significant that in all cases the people insist on complete anonymity and this is important because to me it rules out hoaxes A person who is just seeking publicity identifies himself because publicity is of no value if he is not identified. It does nobody any good. I really feel that these may be factual cases that are being reported to Stringfield by people who are still under an oath of secrecy in the United States. They don't dare identify themselves because of the trouble they would get into if they do. So they are willing to speak out provided they are guaranteed anonymity, and I certainly hope that Stringfield continues on with this research because it has interesting possibilities.
DAVID: As you mentioned, some the claims seem really outlandish to the general public, and if we go back a few years we run into another chap called Adamski who also made some really outlandish claims. Now it has been speculated by some researchers that Adamski was planted merely for the purpose of coming out with such claims and that because of this the general public wouldn't give any credence to any UFO reports. Suspicions have now been aroused that the same type of thing is being done with Stringfield. Do you think there is any possibility that Stringfield's sources have likewise been planted for this purpose?
ARTHUR: The possibility is always there, of course, but I have a gut feeling that this is not the case. Partly, I feel this way because of many of the things I have come across over a period of thirty years; many things which are very difficult to put your finger on. People I have talked to, things I have read. When you weigh all of the evidence together rather than single reports I think there is a distinct possibility that this is really happening, that it is not just a question of people being planted to discredit the whole thing.
DAVID: Of course, the other thing that comes to mind is that if people are being planted to discredit the whole thing, why are then being planted? It would seem that if they wanted to discredit the whole UFO picture they are going about it in a very backward way, as if they are trying to cover something else which may be even more significant, more astounding than the UFO phenomenon itself, and really the only thing that come to my mind would be the fact that the United States or some other power has been working on developing some craft of its own that will behave in the way that many UFOs are reported to behave, defying the laws of gravity for instance, and the UFO picture itself would be a perfect cover-up for this. Do you understand what I mean?
ARTHUR: Yes I do. It is a good question. What would be the reason behind such attempts? I don't know that I can answer this in any adequate way, Dave. Again the possibility exists that this is happening. It may well be an attempt by the U.S. government to discredit people because they are covering up something bigger. I just don't know, frankly. I realise that one shouldn't base one's thinking on any gut feeling, this is very unscientific, but again I put together many little incidents that have occurred over a great many years, many types of evidence which I can't really elaborate on now, but it is the sort of thing that leads one to adopt certain views over a long period of time. Frankly, I personally don't think it is a cover-up of this type on the part of the government. There is a cover-up as far as UFO evidence is concerned, I am convinced of this, but I do not think that the stories of crashed saucers and so forth is an attempt to discredit people.
DAVID: Of course, another thing that would tend to support that is the fact that UFOs are seen and reported all over the world, and it's well-known that the Russians are also in the thick of UFO investigation themselves, and that they're involved in their own sightings, and as far as we can determine, their own cover-up of information. You've been involved in UFO investigation and research for thirty years. Over that period have you detected any trend toward acceptance of the fact that UFOs exist?
ARTHUR: On the part of whom, Dave?
DAVID: Perhaps on the part of the public I suppose
ARTHUR: Certainly as far as the public is concerned there is no doubt in my mind that an increasing proportion of them are now quite prepared to accept that we may be being visited by aliens from somewhere else, this somewhere else not necessarily having to be a physical somewhere else, but some where else. This trend has continued over the years, and certainly Gallup polls can confirm this. The majority of people now are believers in the reality of UFOs and the theory that they may very well be spacecraft. I think the French study is particularly interesting. It has gone further than most studies in other countries and this indicates a particular interest on the part of the French government, and I hope that the complete study will be released very soon, publicly.
DAVID: Do you think this merely just the French Government's attitude? About ten years ago the Condon committee drew their conclusions which I think most people who are familiar with UFOs and UFO research realise was just a whitewash, and that seemed to be the general attitude of most governments across the world at that time. The reason I asked about a tendency over the last few years is that I don't think the French government study itself had anything more significant to work with in the way of evidence and yet its study has proved positive, in fact their conclusions are that UFOs do exist and do represent a "flying machine... whose modes of sustenance and propulsion are beyond our knowledge." Now there is no reason why the Condon Committee could not have come up with that conclusion if they had wanted because they had practically the same type of evidence to work with. Do you suspect some sort of trend or even some sort of planned trend on the part of world governments in this direction?
ARTHUR: Yes, I think I do detect this. I think France is to be commended in this respect for the attitude they have adopted. I also suspect that the American government is changing its attitude very slowly, but very subtly. For example, there is a new TV movie to be released very shortly. I can't recall the name of it but it is a documentary which is being produced with the full co-operation of the United States government. I understand that it is pro UFO, a very positive film, and if it was in fact produced with the full co-operation of the U.S. government as I am told it was, then this represents a significant step on the part of the American government. It would indicate that they may be engaged upon a campaign to educate the public, rather than coming out with a sudden announcement that UFOs are real. I feel that they want to educate the public on a gradual basis. This is what it indicates to me.
DAVID: In other words, it is a psychological 'warming-up' of the American public, which is ironic in a way because I think that this has been in progress in a very subtle way during the last ten to fifteen years, anyway. If what you suggest is true it now appears that the government is prepared to put their official stamp of approval on it.
ARTHUR: Well, I consider my personal involvement to be mainly as an educational one. I think my main thrust over the years has been trying to educate the public concerning the facts of UFOs. This was the purpose of my first book, to bring the facts to the attention of the public. I accepted an invitation to present a course at Algonquin 'College on this basis because I felt that this was an opportunity to educate the public concerning the facts, and I have always taken this approach with respect to all the media as well. I think that one of the biggest difficulties that ufologists face is the lack of knowledge on the part of the general public, and I think that once the general public is more knowledgeable on the subject research will become much easier. It will be much easier to obtain sighting reports which are now so difficult to obtain because people are afraid of ridicule. Also they don't know where to report in many cases. Governments are covering up but I think if enough people know the facts about UFOs, then more pressure can be put on the governments to release their information So again, my thrust has mainly been an educational one, and I think for the foreseeable future it will continue in that way.
DAVID: So, unwittingly or not, you seem to be playing a part in the psychological conversion of the public to an acceptable attitude toward the UFO. And this, if we stand back and look at it from a distance, would tend to support some of the claims that Jacques Vallee has been proposing over the last few years, that in some way, which is not clear right now, there is some sort of control factor which has its hand in the UFO picture. It's well known that UFOs are not a modern phenomenon, they've been around for centuries, and perhaps thousands of years if we dig deep into ancient records. This in itself would tend disclaim the theory that we're being explored as one planet would explore another another planet from a technological viewpoint, and that in fact we seem to be a pawn in the hands of a control factor which may be inter-dimensional. This is what Vallee suggests. Does this seem a viable speculation to you?
ARTHUR: Yes it does. I think there is a lot to be said for Vallee's theory with respect to control. Vallee is a very astute scientist. What he says makes a lot of sense to me. I don't know that I can elaborate on that any more Dave, but I think he is one of the foremost researchers today.
DAVID: It's been a pleasure talking with you Art. Thanks very much, and good luck with your new book.