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Top Air Force general just gave a gift to Area 51 conspiracy theorists
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transformed into the Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files" on Tuesday when explaining why UFO enthusiasts should avoid storming the mythical Area 51 installation in Nevada.
"All joking aside, we're taking it very seriously," Goldfein told reporters during the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. "Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected. The people deserve to have our nation's secrets protected."
More than 2 million people have indicated on Facebook that they are taking part in the "Storm Area 51" event, which is expected to take place on Sept. 20. Even though the college student who started the social media phenomenon – which was meant as a joke – will no longer participate in the event, it is possible that UFO enthusiasts might still try to trespass on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
As Goldfein and Acting Air Force Secretary Matthew Donovan spoke to reporters during the AFA conference on Tuesday, it was clear that some brave soul would have to broach the topic of whether the Air Force was prepared for the army of conspiracy theorists that might descend on Nevada looking for proof of extraterrestrial intelligence.
Normally, Task & Purpose asks U.S. military officials about aliens, but this time it was fearless Defense News reporter Valerie Insinna who stuck a truth probe right into the Air Force's anus by pressing the service's top leaders about whether they take the "Storm Area 51" movement seriously.
Goldfein said that he has spoken with Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, head of U.S. Northern Command, about protecting the Air Force bases that UFO enthusiasts believe harbor alien secrets. Donovan said he and Congressional staffers have been briefed by the Air Force's operations staff about what they are doing to prepare for the gathering storm.
"They're coordinating throughout the interagency," Donovan said. "They're working with local law enforcement. They have, I think, a very good plan."
"Now, I understand the organizer came up and said, 'Oh, it's cancelled,'" Donovan continued. "But there's still a lot of media attention out in Las Vegas, so they expect that some folks that are going to show up there. We're prepared. We have provided them with additional security personnel as well as additional barricades and that sort of thing, because as the chief sad: We're taking it very seriously."
Undaunted, Insinna asked Goldfein directly if the "secrets" that need to be protected include aliens.
Goldfein did not issue an outright denial. Instead, he referenced an incident years ago when eccentric billionaire Richard Branson flew a UFO-shaped balloon over London along with a short employee wearing an alien costume.
"I'm actually looking for the very small airman I can put in the E.T. uniform," Goldfein said, referring to Steven Spielberg's 1982 film.
UPDATE: This story was updated on Sept. 17 to clarify Gen. Goldfein's last quote.
A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.
It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.
Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.
No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.
Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.
"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.
Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.
In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.
"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.