Washington D.C. July 19, 1952. Tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union are at an all-time high, fueled by the Soviet’s opposition to American involvement in the Korean War. At this critical juncture, an air traffic controller at Washington National Airport picks up seven strange objects on his radar screen. But he quickly determines the aircraft are not Soviet military.

“From the tower, they were also able to see very large bright lights, moving very quickly speeding away at very high speeds, or simply disappearing.”

  – Chris Pittman (UFO Investigator / Historian)

“They didn’t just appear and go they appeared over the capitol building. Over the skies, over the White House. Over the Washington Monument.”

– Bill Birnes, J.D., Ph.D.
(Author / Publisher, UFO Magazine)

Fighter jets are scrambled to intercept the strange objects. But as the jets close in, all seven suddenly disappear.

“Some Air Force officers reported that airmen had tried to shoot down UFOs but had not been able to because the UFOs were able to fly faster than our aircraft.”

  – Chris Pittman (UFO Investigator / Historian)

Days after the breach of capital airspace, Major General John Samford, Director of lntelligence for the United States Air Force, addressed the issue at a Pentagon press conference.

Major General John Samford (video footage): We have received and analyzed between 1,000 and 2,000 reports. There have been a certain percentage that have been made by credible observers of relatively incredible things.

“Washington is capital of the United States. So, the point was to demonstrate at the height of the Cold War, that they were a power greater than us.”

– Bill Birnes, J.D., Ph.D.
(Author / Publisher, UFO Magazine)

“It’s sometimes thought that during periods of political upheaval and turning points and history that these extraterrestrials suddenly show up.”

  – David Childress (Author, Technology of the Gods)

What were these strange lights that penetrated the airspace of the U.S.  capital? Could they have been, as Ancient Astronaut Theorists suggest, alien craft – sent here to monitor this turning point in our history? If so, even as far back as the founding of the United States of America?

“Just prior to the Revolutionary War, what a lot of the scientists would do at that time was meet once a month during the full moon, and they called themselves the Lunar Society. And Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were part of all this. And they would meet to discuss new scientific ideas, life on other planets, and how they could create a United States that was different from other countries.”

David Childress (Author, Technology of the Gods)

On July 4, 1776 – in the midst of the American Revolution – the colonies formally severed their ties to England. The men behind the movement – the Founding Fathers – had risked, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, “their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor” on an ideal and now looked to create, not just a new nation, but a new world. But unlike the monarchies of Europe and Asia, the new American government would eventually be based on the ancient philosophies of Greece and Rome.

“When it took you four days to get from Virginia to New York in the middle of the night, with their kerosene lamps and their candles they read the ancient Greek classics. How did they found United States. on principles of the ancient world.”

– Giorgio A. Tsoukalos
(Publisher, Legendary Times Magazine)

“Having a bunch of men, geniuses on their own right at all levels gathered at one point in time to try to come up with a new experiment for humanity and it is extraordinary. The Romans used to call it Fortuna. Or in other words, when the gods conspire on your behalf.”

– Akram Elias (Past Grand Master,
The Grand Lodge of Washington DC)

After the war, on July 16th, 1790, plans were announced for the construction of a national capital to be built on the banks of the Potomac River. Named after George Washington, the new nation’s first president, it would be designed to resemble classic Greco-Roman architecture. But why? What was the reason behind the Founding Fathers’ near-obsession with the ancient world?

“In the 5th-century, 4th-century BC there was a very active debate in regard with the question of extraterrestrial life. The atomists, being Democritus, Leucippus, Epicurus and Lucretius all believed in the Plurality of Worlds, they all believed in extraterrestrial life.”

– Michael J. Crowe, Ph.D.
(Cavanaugh Prof. Emeritus, Univ. of Notre Dame)

For the Founding Fathers, this idea of the Plurality of Worlds, was well-known as one of the cornerstones of ancient philosophy. One that was finding greater popularity what was known in the 18th-century as the Age of Enlightenment.

“The Enlightenment was a social movement that said we should look at the Universe in a rational way. And that was the hub of the wheel, so to speak. And from that hub, many spokes came out. You had a concern with science, and you had belief in the Plurality of Worlds, which seemed scientifically plausible.”

– Mark Koltko-Rivera, Ph.D.
(Author, Freemasonry: An Introduction)

“The Enlightenment figures, at least half – including scientists, political theorists, philosophers, literary people – talked about extraterrestrials in their writings.  It was very widespread in 18th-century thought.”

– Michael J. Crowe, Ph.D.
(Cavanaugh Prof. Emeritus, Univ. of Notre Dame)

Even one of the most prominent astronomers of the time, William Herschel, believed that intelligent life existed elsewhere in the Universe.

“His claim to fame is he discovered the planet Uranus he also discovered a couple of moons of Jupiter, a couple of moons of Saturn and he build hundreds of telescopes, including the largest one of its age.”

Sara Seager, Ph.D. (Prof. of Planetary Sciences, MIT)

“It’s a 40 inch reflecting telescope, this is an enormous instrument anywhere in the world, at that time. So, he now has the ability to observe all sorts of wonders of the Universe So now the idea of the Plurality of Worlds, gains credence with this particular scientist and observer.”

Derrick Pitts (Chief Astronomer, The Franklin Inst.)

“Regularly in his writings about the planets, he referred to the inhabitants of Jupiter, Saturn or Uranus.”

– Michael J. Crowe, Ph.D.
(Cavanaugh Prof. Emeritus, Univ. of Notre Dame)

Herschel was instrumental in furthering the debate about the possibility of extraterrestrial life. But perhaps most influential of all was Benjamin Franklin.

“Ben Franklin has been called the first American. He was an author and a printer. He was a scientist and an inventor, and also a politician and a statesman. He was a profound thinker and an intellectual. For Benjamin Franklin, a belief in extraterrestrials was part of a scientific view of the world.”

Chris Pittman (UFO Investigator / Historian)

One way Franklin used to disseminate his thoughts on extraterrestrial life was in his own publication, the immensely popular Poor Richard’s Almanac.

“In Poor Richard’s Almanac, well, he suggests that it’s the opinion of scientists that other planets are habitable, that there are beings on there. And he presents this in a sort of a matter of fact way. It’s kind of surprising, I think, probably even to most of the historians the way this seems to be something which he takes for granted, it’s just assumed that way.”

– Steven C. Bullock
(Prof. of American History, Worcester Polytechnic Inst.)

“In 1728, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “I believe that man is not the most perfect being, but one. So, there are many degrees of beings superior to him.” Franklin essentially suggested that extraterrestrial life exists.”

– Giorgio A. Tsoukalos
(Publisher, Legendary Times Magazine)

But the ancient philosophers were not the only influence on the Founding Fathers’ growing openness to the idea of extraterrestrial life. The Native Americans they encountered not only shared the belief that life exists throughout the Universe, but even believed they were the descendants of extraterrestrials.

“Benjamin Franklin was deeply interested in the Star Legends of the Native Americans. He was deeply connected with the legends of the Iroquois Confederacy.”

– William Henry (Author / Investigative Mythologist),
(Author, Freedom’s Gate), (The Judgment Day Device),
(Lost Secrets of the Watchers), (The Secret of Sion),
(Egypt: The Greatest Show on Earth)

“Franklin’s Indian treaties were pamphlets that he published from the 1730s to the 1760s. They frequently recorded explanations of Native culture.”

– Donald A. Grinde, Jr.
(Chair & Prof. of American Studies, SUNY, Buffalo)

One of Franklin’s best-selling pamphlets chronicled the Iroquois creation story of the Sky Woman.

“Before Earth really became what it is today, there were beings that were similar to us living in the sky.  One day, a young woman – Sky Woman, as she is to become – became pregnant. She is to go down to the world below. So, this extraterrestrial that lived in the sky, she comes down, and then the human race begins.”

– Donald A. Grinde, Jr.
(Chair & Prof. of American Studies, SUNY, Buffalo)

Did America’s Founding Fathers really believe in the possibility of life on other planets? And if so, was their belief based not only on scientific and philosophical principles, but on firsthand experiences with extraterrestrials? Ancient Astronaut Theorists believe that such a notion is not only possible, but that the evidence exists in a firsthand account from one of George Washington’s closest aides, and his recollection of a strange, close encounter on a cold winter night at Valley Forge.


Previous: Introduction | Next: Washington’s Vision



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Who were they?… Why did they come?… What did they leave behind?… Where did they go?… Will they return?…

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