UFO lawsuit to get hearing

The Arizona Republic, Feb. 4, 2000
By Diana Balazs

The UFO, triangular and big as a football field, flies so low that the Department of Defense surely must know about it, Scottsdale lawyer Peter Gersten suspects.

Gersten will have his day in court Monday when a federal judge in Phoenix is to hear motions in a lawsuit he filed seeking any public documents about the suspected UFO, which was reported over the Valley three years ago and in Illinois just last month.

Gersten, 57, executive director of Citizens Against UFO Secrecy, filed the suit Jan. 22, 1999, under the Freedom of Information Act. District Court Judge Stephen M. McNamee will hear oral arguments at 10 a.m. on a Defense Department request to dismiss the suit. Richard Patrick, an assistant U.S. attorney, said the Department of Defense conducted a reasonable search for information requested by Gersten's group and could not find any records.

Usually, Gersten said, the government denies release of public records on UFOs by saying the information is classified or a matter of national security.

"It's just a unique object and it's been seen flying so low over populated areas," he said. "You would think the Department of Defense would have information."

Gersten said he has 33 affidavits from eyewitnesses, including nationally syndicated radio talk show host Art Bell, who claims to have seen the silent, low-flying craft. UFOs and government conspiracies are regular fare on Bell's popular nighttime show.

The affidavits include several from Arizonans who say they saw mysterious lights over the Valley on March 13, 1997, as well as a massive triangular-shaped flying object.

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