A Sci/Tech feature in The Sentinel last week (“Looking for a sign,” Saturday, Oct. 6) revealed that a recent House Bill had proposed to give NASA $10 million for projects to search for alien life. I would suggest that millions could be saved by looking more closely at what is already happening here on the surface of the Earth.

The U.S. government has repeatedly avoided a direct announcement that we now have over half a century of credible reports about UFOs in the air and on the ground. Only last December, The Washington Post reported that Louis Elizondo had resigned from his office as director of a government UFO study, presumably over frustration that his program had not been taken seriously; he then joined a civilian organization supporting UFO research.

Two of NASA’s well-known astronauts, Edgar Mitchel and Gordon Cooper, have publicly stated their belief in the reality of UFO visitations. Here in New Hampshire, we have experienced authenticated UFO sightings, including the “Incident at Exeter,” (September 1965), a close saucer sighting in Keene by patrolman Jack Zeller (October 1984), and even the abduction report of Barney and Betty Hill (September 1961, detailed in two books).

It is noteworthy that the U.S. Air Force responded to an outpouring of UFO reports by setting up programs to evaluate claims. Unfortunately, the report issued at the 1969 conclusion of well-known Project Blue Book, “officially” discounted the evidence of extraterrestrial vehicles.

However, it is significant that initially skeptical astronomer, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, scientific adviser to Blue Book, complained about problems that rendered Blue Book “totally inadequate,” and then dramatically revised his reputation as a UFO debunker to become founding director of the Center for UFO Studies (cufos.org) in 1973.

Subsequent to the dismissive Condon Report of 1968, civilian UFO organizations NICAP and MUFON, already having had their fill of the government’s discount of a 1947 UFO crash in Roswell, N.M., as a “weather balloon,” cried “whitewash!” How much longer should the public remain satisfied with the “official” government position?

That our skies have been visited by extraterrestrial beings is easily among the most momentous news items of the last 100 years. At this point, why isn’t NASA attempting to establish direct communication with the operators of UFOs?

ALLEN T. ANSEVIN

25 Mayflower Drive

Keene