Behind the New York Times secret Pentagon story with Ralph Blumenthal

The New York Times is one of the most credible and respected institutions in journalism, so when veteran journalists Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal  broke the story about the Pentagon's secret UFO program, the mainstream paid attention.

 Ralph Blumenthal  is C.C.N.Y. Communications Alumni Hall of Famer.. (Handout/ Twitter)

Ralph Blumenthal  is C.C.N.Y. Communications Alumni Hall of Famer.. (Handout/ Twitter)

The coverage has spread to mainstream outlets in print ( Washington Post), every major cable news outlet like CNN, and everywhere online. Monday's post detailed why this coverage is important and what it means, but it is equally important to understand HOW these stories come to be and how they are vetted.

The New York Times has shown transparency with its "Times Insider" section, which features an in-depth analysis of what goes into the stories and how they go from the desk to print. 

"We have a feature that runs on Page 2 where they like to interact with readers, and it is something fairly recent with the New York Times where they like to give readers a look at stories that are developed as far as reader outreach," said Blumenthal in a brief phone interview with this site.  "It’s a way of helping readers understand how the stories get put together and what goes into the painstaking  reporting at the New York Times."

The piece details how the meetings took place, how they got the involvement of  prominent political figures like Harry Reid and confirming aerospace head Robert Bigelow's participation.  Luis Elizondo, a major player in this story who has pushed Tom DeLonge's To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science initiative temporarily to the backseat in terms of media attention, was carefully examined when Kean and Blumenthal met with the ex-Pentagon official on Halloween in Philadelphia.

"We put in the paper, so we obviously trusted him as a source," Blumenthal said. "We checked on him . ...his evaluations. He was a very solid guy, and he was certainly reliable and trustworthy, otherwise we wouldn’t have used him as a prime source.”

Kean, no stranger to UFO stories, and Blumenthal, who has been interested in the phenomena since the 2000s, are some of the best hands for this story to be in. Blumenthal's 45-year award-winning  career is impressive as they come with stints on the metro, crime and arts and culture beats. 

"It’s something I’ve been interested in it for  a while," Blumenthal said on the subject of UFOs. " I did a piece in Vanity Fair online on 2013 on John Mack.”

Blumenthal has been working on a book on Mack since 2004; which was when Mack was mysteriously ran over and killed by a drunk driver after his decade-long research into the alien abduction phenomena. 

-By MIKE DAMANTE