First Public UFO Demonstration Held in Washington, D.C.
by Elaine Douglas
Originally printed in MUFON UFO Journal No. 289 May 1992
(Washington, D.C.) A handful of enthusiasts staged the first public UFO demonstration in U.S. history in front of the White House March 28. "Yo, yo, UFOs! The people have the right to know!" was the chant shouted by the demonstrators. They walked in a circle and carried signs bearing slogans such as "End UFO secrecy!"
Reactions from passers-by on the heavily trafficked White House sidewalk varied from friendly to indifferent. The most overt reaction came from a group of Japanese tourists who commandeered several placards and posed for pictures with unknown slogans hastily written in Japanese. Three Americans also briefly joined the demonstration before walking on.
As for the demonstrators, they were elated. "I was thrilled to participate in such a historic event," one demonstrator said.
The Saturday afternoon demonstration culminated a week of educational, lobbying and organizing activity by the eventís sponsors, Mike Jamieson of California and Ed Komarek of Georgia. Billing their efforts as "Operation Right to Know," Jamieson and Komarek had arrived at the nationís capital with a truckload of UFO literature and a thirty-foot banner bearing the words "End the UFO Cover-up."
Despite inclement weather, the two spent several days on the grassy ellipse behind the White House manning a UFO educational display with attracted the interest of numerous tourists, secret service guards, and even President George Bush.
Jamieson says he is sure President Bush saw the banner on Tuesday, March 24. "I first saw Millie, the Presidentís dog," Jamieson says. "I didnít pay much attention to the man in the orange windbreaker. Later, when I saw him walking near the White House fountain I realized it was Bush. Then I saw him look over his shoulder at our banner. Besides that, you could see the banner from the White House living quarters," Jamieson said.
White House secret service men talked with Jamieson and Komarek several times, Jamieson says, and took literature from them. "One of the secret service men had a close encounter in the Hudson valley, and he shared that with me. He saw something that was slow, quiet, with an incredible array of magical lights on it," Jamieson said.
Asked why he came to Washington and staged the demonstration, Komarek said, "It had to be done. I did this for everybody. The people who know whatís going on have to make a stand for the people who donít. The cover-up is political." Komarek continued, "Itís not a scientific problem. It needs a political solution." Komarek, 44, is a land investor and a MUFON state section director in Georgia.
Jamison voiced similar sentiments. "The demonstration Saturday broke the ice," he said. "We need demonstrations. The news that we have off-world visitors is a political issue and talking about UFOs in public should no longer be embarrassing." Jamieson, 41, is a MUFON state section director in California. He worked as a psychiatric technician at NAPA State Hospital in California.
A New Jersey group that promised to participate failed to show up. Apart from Jamieson and Komarek, all demonstrators March 28 were MUFON members from the Washington, D.C. area, including Regimenti, Elaine Douglass, Larry Bryant, Carol Newmeyer-Spiegel, Marc Spiegel, Laurel House and one other. A total of nine demonstrators took part in the event.
During the week Komarek and Jamieson distributed UFO literature to about 100 Congressional offices. Both said that they were particularly impressed by the absence of ridicule and the genuine interest shown by the Senate staffs, as well as by the tourists and the White House secret service. "I thought we would get some heckling, but we didnít," Komarek said.
"People stopped for a long sober look at our educational exhibit," Jamison said, "and there was no nervous giggling."
"I know in my heart of hearts that the government has a lot of information that would help the situation," said carol Spiegel, one of the demonstrators. "People do have a right to know and we are tired of the government covering up important issues. Someone has to stand up."
"I had fun," said Mike Regimenti, another of the demonstrators, "and I was pleasantly surprised by the passers-by who asked pointed questions and even wanted to carry placards. A good time was had by all," Mike added.
It felt right. I believe it was right. As a result, Mike Jamieson, Ed Komarek and myself have decided to forge ahead with "Operation Right to Know." Our objective is to foster public demonstrations on the issue of UFOs.
Our immediate objective is to foster local demonstrations in various parts of the country. We would like to work with anyone in Gulf Breeze, in Las Vegas, or any other part of the country who would like to organize a "Right to Know" demonstration.
We invite all persons who are interested in public demonstrations on UFOs to get in touch with us immediately. Write Mike Jamieson, 554 Randolph St., Apt. 2, Napa, CA 94559
Operation Right to Know demonstrators, L to R: Elaine Douglass, Marc Spiegel, Carol Newmeyer-Spiegel, (unnamed demonstrator) Larry Bryant, Laurel House and Mike Jamieson.