How Should “Disclosure” Be Handled?
In light of the recent X-Conference, I was reminded of some ideas about so-called UFO “disclosure” by the U.S. Government, and how to achieve it.
Activists like Stephen Bassett believe that overt pressure on government officials though the use of star witnesses and diligent research will force the issue enough to make UFOs a priority agenda item in the halls of the legislature. Small blips on the media radar are counted as victories for the cause. The idea (I believe) is that a string of such revelations will coalesce into some sort of grassroots movement amongst people who have never had an interest in UFOs and/ or will force lawmakers to call for a release of official information. Unfortunately, some personalities in this movement also piggyback their belief in extraterrestrials on the Disclosure agenda, which does little to engender serious public debate.
Perhaps a good example of this in our history was the Vietnam War. It has been persuasively argued that a generation who took to the streets in protest of that episode was the reason for the U.S. withdrawal in 1973. This fails to take into account the increasing problems for the U.S. presence in the region, and other factors which made it a losing proposition, such as the ineffectiveness of the air war and the surprising resolve and inventiveness of the North Vietnamese.
If we consider the original efforts of Major Donald Keyhoe to force government openness on the UFO subject from the mid-1950s to the 1960s, and the almost complete failure of this tactic over the last 50 years, it seems unlikely that any UFO information will be forthcoming from officialdom in the near future. It’s not something that is a big problem for those who are keeping any secrets about UFOs and possible “aliens.” There are no extenuating circumstances to force their hand.
Nick and I have both argued our belief that the U.S. Government is hiding its ignorance of UFOs more than any so-called “truth” about the origin and purpose of any non-human presence. If this is the case, perhaps “disclosure” is almost impossible, since the power structure is not about to admit to anything that it doesn’t know enough about and can’t control.
Rumors of crashed vehicles and releases of questionable documents relating to aliens does little to convince the news media, academia, or most of the public, and it shouldn’t. Many current and former government officials and public office holders are interested in UFOs, and have tried to crack the shell of secrecy surrounding the subject, with no reported success. The relevant records might be out of the reach of officialdom because they may have been moved into the private sector, out of reach of popular redress and FOIA requests.
Perhaps the best way to go about an open release of official UFO files would be to treat it as a political game rather than a protest movement. A quorum of insiders must decide to play the game in the labyrinth of security, closed records, and officials who have made secrecy and paranoia a career choice. For all we know, this may have happened or is happening now. This scenario is of course mostly (or completely) out of the control of the public and those who call for “disclosure.”
Does this mean that those who study UFOs and call for an official examination of the phenomenon should give up? Of course not. The best private research on the UFO enigma (maybe even amongst Disclosure advocates!) may influence these “insiders.” Intelligent people in these ranks will look at the most convincing data. Media presentations on the best evidence (to borrow a phrase from Paul Kimball) may also be an important factor in convincing someone with access to personnel and information to start asking questions and requesting records. The ultimate step is to have this information released in a format that convinces the gatekeepers of science and information that it is genuine, which may be quite difficult.
Ultimately, we may be looking at a puzzle that has so many missing pieces that the human race has no real way to solve it at this point in history. The timetable on Disclosure may be up to the phenomenon itself. The problem is convincing someone with the proper clearances to find out what is known, and what is not. “Discolsure” may be an official admission that there is a mystery (not necessarily occasional visitations from ETs), and that it deserves serious attention from serious minds.
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