Dubbed the “Sherlock Holmes of UFOlogy” in a book review, Klass’s public persona more closely resembles that of the late Howard Cosell. He may rub many the wrong way but, like Cosell, Klass “tells it like it is,” and welcomes the ensuing heat. Still a workaholic 13 years into his active retirement, Klass typically put in a 40+ hour week throughout his 34-year tenure as senior avionics (aviation electronics) editor of Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine (Av Week), known as the “Bible of the aerospace industry.” He commonly stayed up past midnight working on UFO-related matters, including responding to the 5-10 daily inquiries, some from lands as distant as India and Russia.
Skeptic: Considering your position with Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, are you privy to what sort of top-secret activity really goes on at Area 51?
Klass: I’ve never been there, but I know it’s where we first tested our then-secret U-2, and later our SR-71, spy planes, and more recently our F-117A stealth fighter. Undoubtedly it’s used for ﬂight tests of experimental aircraft of novel designs. And I believe it’s also used for testing new types of decoy ﬂares to protect our aircraft against enemy infrared-guided missiles. That whole area is a part of Nellis Air Force Base, where they periodically conduct simulated combat training exercises to evaluate our latest tactics and electronic countermeasures against simulated enemy anti-aircraft missiles. I think experimental planes might account for a few of the UFO reports generated from there, and the ﬂare decoys probably account for others.
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