Could Hillary Clinton’s commitment to opening the (X?) files on Area 51 appeal to enough conspiracy theorists that it swings the presidential election for her? George Johnson speculates for the New York Times:
CONSPIRACY theorists tend to cluster at the right and left of the political spectrum, so perhaps Hillary Clinton will attract at least a few voters from both the Trump and Sanders camps with her recent pledge to release documents about Area 51, the top secret military base in Nevada.
Some of her critics have been dubious, suspecting that her vow, made on forums like Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night talk show, was intended to distract attention from her emails and Goldman Sachs speeches. But among the electorate, the antennas of some U.F.O. seekers must have perked up — polls have found that more than a third of Americans are believers — when they heard a presidential candidate actually talking about Area 51.
Suspecting that deep secrets are hidden there — in the form of captured aliens (dead or alive), crashed extraterrestrial spaceships and futuristic weaponry — U.F.O. die-hards have long pushed the government to come clean about the facility, which was established in 1955 as an annex of the Atomic Energy Commission’s Nevada Test Site. The official story — that Area 51 has been used for secret activities like testing the prototype of the U-2 spy plane and other experimental aircraft — seems to them like a cover-up, a suspicion fed by the government’s refusal to acknowledge the place’s existence until the release of a classified report in 2013.
There was no mention of extraterrestrials, of course. What else are our leaders, who may be aliens themselves, going to say?…
[continues at the New York Times]