We all know the drill, there’s a burst of PR, a promise of untold secrets revealed, and a fee to get in the door. In the world of UFOlogy it’s become a standard trope of the Disclosure Movement to pull together a team of experts for a conference that offers the hope for some final revelation, a closing solution, to that nagging question of what the hell are all these people seeing in the skies. Howard Tullman, President & CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, recently spoke at the Chicago Council on Science and Technology and, unknowingly, offered some very pertinent advice to would be anomaly hunters: “Games are a marketer’s dream.”
When we enter the Fortean fields of the unknown, it’s best to be wary of what engages our attention, because what engages our attention also trains behavior. Labyrinths have one path in, and one path out, and those who design them know the markers that lead the way. No better place to experience this than the strange lands explored by Ufology, where parapolitical narratives and endless promises of disclosure lead investigators on a never end trail of tall tales and hints of truth. What we need to remember, however, is that in some cases what’s offered is really worth buying if you know how to use it.
The most recent example of the disclosure bait and switch comes from none other than the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada. They are currently hosting a series of talks related to their Area 51 exhibit, and have, despite disappointing those hoping for a quick fix, been offering up some fairly substantial material. Back in April, 2012 they presented the public with a very intriguing bit of debris from a crash site in the Soviet Union:
“According to the exhibit’s description, scientific tests on the UFO materials revealed bizarre behavior: “Three Soviet academic centers and 11 research institutes analyzed the objects from this UFO crash. The distance between atoms is different from ordinary iron. Radar cannot be reflected from the material. Elements in the material may disappear and new ones appear after heating. One piece disappeared completely in front of four witnesses. The core of the material is composed of a substance with anti-gravitational properties.”
This isn’t an Adventures Unlimited publication talking like that, this is a placard from an exhibit at a national museum, and yes that does say ‘anti-gravitational properties.’
Although Lord Marin Rees, U.K. Astronomer Royal, was recenty quoted in a Huffington Post article on his new book, “From Here To Infinity: A Vision For The Future Of Science,” stating that in terms of the ETH (Extra-Terrestrial Hypothesis,) “No serious astronomer gives any credence to any of these stories.” One should be very careful to watch the language of these dismissals, as they usually point to a careful wording that comes as no accident. Lord Rees is talking very specifically about manned vehicles from outer space, something that even veteran investigator Jacques Vallee dismisses in terms of the likely source for the UFO phenomenon.
The most recent event held in lieu of the Area 51 exhibit was a panel experts presenting under the title: “Military UFOs: Secrets Revealed.” It would seem doubtful that Lord Rees would be so bold as to declare the former military officers on the panel “kooks,” for reporting what they experienced as qualified witnesses.
Similar in tone to Leslie Keane’s recent work, UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record, presentations that the recent talk at the National Atomic Testing Museum were given by witnesses such as Former Air Force Col. Charles Halt , retired Air Force Col. Bill Coleman, who, from 1961 to 1963, was the chief spokesman for Project Blue Book, Col. Bob Friend, a former director of Project Blue Book, Nick Pope, a former UFO investigator for the UK Ministry of Defense, and retired Col. John Alexander, whose work with the Stargate program, and later with the Advanced Theoretical Physics Group, a private scientific body composed of SRI alumi and leading scientists, puts him at the center of the contemporary investigation of this phenomena. While commentators have complained that the panel presented no smoking gun evidence, what they fail to fully impart is that two of the presenters were officials in charge of Project Blue Book, the very same Air Force project team that put the kibash on the idea that UFO’s were anything more than mass hysteria and mistaken identity.
So all those years of assurance resting on Project Blue Book’s results are cast into doubt as here we have former officers in charge of the project admiting that, while not a cover-up, the conclusions reached were done so out of expediency to fit a comfortable party line. We also have a National Museum displaying a “UFO” artifact that sounds like something from H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “The Colour Out of Space“.
“We share a couple of very important things: We’ve all been dedicated to serving our country and been very serious about it,” said museum CEO and executive director Allan Palmer, who had a distinguished career as a decorated jet fighter pilot for both the Air Force and Navy.
“These are not flaky people, who’ve all held very responsible positions with high-level security clearances. They’re not the kind of people who tend to imagine things or go off on a wild tangent on something. They’re very professional, very business-like,” Palmer told The Huffington Post.”
We’re at an important juncture where older officials are beginning to come forward to make amends for their part in dissuading serious scientific inquiry into these anomalous areas. They are coming forward with sober evidence, and realistic reports, devoid of the conspiratorial fear-mongering that has plagued the field for decades. As these professionals continue to come forward, the game is changing from the media marketing of the UFO scene, to an actual dialogue on possibilities and rational inquiry into these areas of anomaly. Piece by piece, we can dismantle the facade of kitsch, ego tripping and crap journalism that has amassed over the years, and use the tools of the digital age to aid in exploring the mysteries that surround us.