On September 27, 2010, a group of former Air Force officers held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. (The proceedings were available to the public via video at UFO Mystic, but it appears that it has been taken down; here are some smaller portions).
The seven officers who were present were all stationed at nuclear bases around the country between 1947 and 1969. They related the details of UFO incident at those bases, some of which involved apparent UFO interest in our nuclear weapons, something that should apparently be considered to be an issue of national security. To a man the officers related how the incidents were deliberately covered up or dismissed by official military chain of command personnel.
I’ve watched the entire conference, along with Q&A, and want to share my impressions. First, though, I offer a few observations.
First, for anyone who has done any reading into the UFO problem (at least the serious material), there wasn’t really anything new here in terms of the kinds of incident related. There were new players, but nothing really new. UFO incidents at nuclear bases have been noted for many years. Robert Hastings, who spoke at this event, deserves credit for most of that exposure.
Second, none of the witnesses actually testified to seeing an alien being or what they thought was an alien being. In some ways, though, it wouldn’t have mattered had such been part of their stories. (See below).
Third, I heard no new explanations as to why a (presumed) ET would be interested in our military / nuclear capabilities. The normal “they want to warn us about nuclear power” theory took center stage. More on the coherence of that, in my opinion, below.
Fourth, having attended a National Press Club conference before when I was a speaker at the second (as memory serves) X-Conference, it looked to me like the event was only moderately attended, despite publicity. The room doesn’t actually hold that many people. The Q&A time also gave me the distinct feeling that there were few people in the room who were not already pre-disposed to belief in UFOs as evidence of an alien reality. There may have been a few neutral or skeptical reporters, but not many. That’s a shame, but not a surprise.
First, I consider the testimony of the officers involved to be sober, forthright, and honest. They each gave every impression of genuineness. I don’t doubt any of them or anything that they said.
Second, the pubic testimony of these officers is important given the tireless attempts of the military to obfuscate the UFO issue, ranging from feigned apathy to duplicitous paranoia on the inside. That military officials of a fairly high level would be willing to relate the details of their sighting and the experience of military denial is courageous.
Third, I didn’t really feel that any of the officers was angry at the military for the secrecy and misdirection. Rather, my impression was something akin to “well, the fears about public response were once credible, but they’re sort of outdated now; let’s tell the truth and move on.” I appreciated this about the testimony. I’m very pro-U.S. military. Frankly, there are some things the public does *not* have a right to know. Nothing in the U.S. Constitution forbids state secrecy in the national interest. But it seems many people today seem to sift all of life through a hermeneutic of suspicion, as if they were the center of reality, which owes to them all information deemed of personal interest. Nonsense. On the other hand, I have to agree that the fear of panic is outdated. As I’ve noted on this blog many times, even religious conservatives can be cured of this with a good dose of looking carefully at their Bibles and biblical theology (and for the uninitiated, I’m not Catholic nor am I talking about Catholicism’s opinions of ET life).
What this suggests to me is that perhaps the military needs a good dose of biblical theology on this matter instead of paranoid criticism. They might be persuaded that the time has come to be a bit more forthright. But in this regard, I do see a potential wild card. I think “ET life is real” is palatable to most people, regardless of religion. But I do *not* think the other (in my mind more plausible explanations for UFOs) are nearly as palatable. If either of those are the truth, the military knows it can’t confess without creating even more distrust with the public. (See below).
Despite my belief in their veracity and my admiration for their courage, what the officers said doesn’t amount to much. Why? Because, when it comes to an explanation fo what was seen, nothing transcended pure opinion. That is, there was no science reported or discovered as part of the research into these incidents that could only point to an ET explanation, despite that opinion being quite openly expressed. Let me unpack this problem a bit.
There are a limited number of ways to coherently parse these sorts of incidents (and, in general, if we divorce the “demonic” view from UFOs as craft, these are the three possibilities):
1. These craft, demonstrative of exotic technology and intelligent control, are extraterrestrial.
2. These craft, demonstrative of exotic technology and intelligent control, are attributable to advanced human (Nazi) technological achievement during the 1940s and since that time. This view breaks into two categorizations:
A. The major postwar powers who recovered the scientists behind this Nazi technology are behind UFO sightings since WWII (i.e., The US [also involving Canada] and Russia).
This is basically the view put forth recently by Joseph Farrell in a series of books: Reich Of The Black Sun: Nazi Secret Weapons & The Cold War Allied Legend, The SS Brotherhood of the Bell: Nasa’s Nazis, JFK, And Majic-12, Secrets of the Unified Field: The Philadelphia Experiment, The Nazi Bell, and the Discarded Theory, and Roswell and the Reich: The Nazi Connection.
B. There is a rogue element (initially Nazis themselves) who inherited at least some of the Nazi technology, and who have shepherded the technology along through the heretofore undetected (or unassailed) Nazi financial largess stored away and invested during the WWII years.
Farrell allows for this view, but it is more in line with W.A. Harbinson’s thinking (more so in his fiction than his Projekt Saucer book).
Let me frame the Air Force press conference in light of these possibilities succinctly: there was nothing said by any of these officers in the press conference that could not fit very well into Views 2-A or 2-B. If either of those views was correct, everything these officers said would make sense in light of that. Period. That’s the frustrating reality.
The issue, of course, is that we don’t know if 2-A or 2-B is the truth. Farrell and Harbinson (and others) have, in my mind, made a strong circumstantial case for the man-made view of UFOs. No, there isn’t an unbroken document string for it, but there are very real pieces of evidence for that view on record. The case can be coherently made, which begs a question: which view seems more plausible:
1. That human beings, which we know to exist in abundance, and which will operate in their own self-interest, even to the point of the subjugation of their fellow humankind, have secretly obtained and developed advanced technology, which we know as UFOs.
2. That intelligent beings from another world, for whose existence science can offer us nothing, and whose existence is postulated by an equation derived on the basis of a series of presumptions without actual data, possess advanced technology and have come to earth with that technology, which we know as UFOs.
It seems to me that the second option requires much more faith. It’s in some ways a vote from the heart, not the head. But it can’t be ruled out by the honest mind, either. This is why it’s so silly for UFO-religionists to belittle Christianity or any other religion as though the belief in aliens was more rational or scientific. It’s simply not the case. What’s at issue there is whether which belief is more rational (and both can be rational). So please let’s stop defending a belief in UFOs from the “superiority” of atheism; it makes atheists sound very stupid.
Naturally, actual biological evidence of an intelligent ET would make #2 exponentially more plausible. But we lack that. Leaked memos for that (which themselves don’t exactly tell a unified story) aren’t biological evidence even if they are genuine. They themselves could be part of a psychological warfare purpose. Anyone who thinks psychological warfare stops at a neatly marked level of government is under-exposed to both psychological warfare and government secrecy (you might be interested in The Mirage Men or Project Beta in this regard). Testimonies of seeing dead alien bodies are also deficient as hard evidence. Such biological remains must be put forth and affirmed by peer-review to be genuine (as opposed to manufactured for psychological warfare purposes). And one would not need to create a fake specimen back in the day that would stand up to biological testing — one only needed something that would be glimpsed for a few scant seconds. What’s needed is a body or mostly complete specimen that is subjected to peer examination (or of course a living specimen — but in some ways, a dead one is better for verification).
So where are we in the wake of the Air Force press conference? Pretty much where we were before, if we’re talking about the citizenry and sincere UFO researchers. But if we’re talking about people who are in a position to pull off an Edward Bernays, where you’re moving global thinking toward a disclosure event of your own manufacture for your own [or your client's] purposes, things are chugging along just fine (and the United Nations’ recent announcement of an appointment of an ambassador to ET helps, too).
This is the sort of stuff that will make the sequel to The Facade even more fascinating fun to write.