Monday, December 19, 2011

A UFO Solution: A Look at History

I handed out copies of Out of the Blue to every member of the house. It took me a week. I sent a personalized letter to every member’s chief of staff, and I’ve had some conversations with them, and some of them didn’t know any more than the man on the street but others did. They said “’Look we can’t touch this subject matter unless the general public – our constituents- put enough pressure on us. Only then can we take action in helping assemble the administration.’” Film Producer James Fox

Well, why doesn’t the President do it? I’m just a Senator. I don’t know if I can do that. Have you spoken to John Warner on Armed Services? Senator Dick Bryan  - Senate Intelligence Committee answering Dr. Steven Greer’s challenge to hold congressional hearings as Congressman Gerald Ford had done in the 1960s.

There has been a lot of frustration and pain in UFO land after the White House statement that there is no evidence for ET visitation.

The newest petitions started in hopes of getting the White House to reconsider their original statement appear to be losing ground and they may not even get the required signatures to reach the magic new requirement of 25,000 signatures. (An FOIA has been filed to get the White House to produce the documents explaining why suddenly 25,000 people have to marshal together to get a low level official to reply to a voter concern. Gone are the days when a single constituent could get a reply from their elected official)

Those who have made the effort to file ET/UFO petitions are simply citizens trying to get a response from their elected officials to a legitimate concern. They have gone through a lot of work and have received a political maneuver in return.

The present government position on UFOs is that UFO sightings are not a concern to national security and they do not present credible evidence of ET visitation. Based on this conclusion an outside observer might conclude the UFO disclosure movement is bankrupt and we have no money left to try and buy the answer to the UFO mystery that we seek.

In our moment of sadness we should realize that it has not always been this seemingly hopeless in the 64 years since the modern UFO era began. There have actually been some moments when the dysfunction federal government actually seemed poised to deal with the issue.

It occurred to me looking back at the high points of UFO history that there is a common thread to the successes. Furthermore, it occurred to me that these past successes could lead to a game plan for the future.

First let me list the big and small successes.
  1. 1966 Armed Services Committee hearing – the driving force behind this was former President Gerald Ford. He forced the congressional hearing when he was still a congressman in Michigan. Constituents, including J. Allen Hynek who was in his district, had sent letters and telegrams to him related to a series of UFO sightings that occurred in Michigan in 1966. This continuant pressure led Ford to pressure the House Armed Services Committee to convene the first hearing later in 1966. This in term forced the U.S.A.F create the University of Colorado “Scientific Study of UFOs.” Until the whitewash conclusion was released the UFO community left they had made some headway in getting an honest answer to the UFO mystery.
  2. 1968. House Science and Astronautics Committee – During the Colorado UFO study initiated in part by Ford, Condon made some statements that concerned certain congressmen such as Congressman Louis C. Wyman who was in contact with NICAP. Wyman put forth House Resolution 946 requiring that the Committee on Science and Astronautics “report to the House as soon as practicable…the results of its investigation and study together with such recommendations as it deems advisable.” The hearing was set and witnesses came forward.[1]
  3. 1974 Senator Carl Curtis Contacted the FBI over a series of cattle mutilations in Nebraska and received word from Director Clarence Kelley the FBI would not get involved because it did not appeared that any federal laws have been violated. The FBI stated further that Nebraska State patrol was already investigating along with law officials in the affected counties.
  4. 1975 Senator Floyd Haskell – Requested help and investigation by the FBI for cattle mutilations in Colorado.
  5. 1976 Governor Jimmy Carter - Files a UFO sighting report while Governor of Georgia in 1973. In 1976 while campaigning for President promises UFO disclosure twice. Once President he becomes quiet on the issue.
  6. 1978 Senator Harrison Schmitt After thousands of cattle mutilations and a request from Manuel S. Gomez, a rancher from Dulce, New Mexico who had himself lost a number of cattle, Senator Schmitt became involved. He wrote Chief Martin E. Vigil of the New Mexico state police of the situation. He also wrote to Attorney General Griffin Bell to involve the FBI in investigating what was behind the mutilations Schmitt believed it to be “organized federal criminal activity.” Once involved the FBI were as far as to ask for a “congressional investigation” or “an executive order” to support their continued investigation. Schmitt also called a meeting of law enforcement representatives from the thirteen states in which cattle mutilations had occurred.
  7. 1988 Senator Chris Dodd In October 1988 a documentary called “UFO Cover-up…Live” referred to a government film that had been taken of a landing of aliens at Holloman AFB in May 1971. Following the airing of the documentary, one of Dodd constituents contacted the senator and demanded that the film be made public. Dodd made an official inquiry for the film and it was pulled again at Norton AFB’s Defense Audio Video Archives and reviewed by the security manager Paul Shartle. Shartle reported that the film was “unclassified,” and that he reviewed the film for the Senator’s request. What happened after that no one knows except that the film ended up in the Navy sync – whatever that is.
  8. 1989-1991 Congressman James Bilbray – in May 1989 a civilian scientist named Bob Lazar came forward to claim that he had worked at S-4 just a few miles from the Top Secret Area 51 test site area in Nevada. The claim was investigated by George Knapp, an investigative reporter for KLAS-TV in Las Vegas. As part of his investigation Knapp contacted Congressman Bilbray to help him check the various connection of Lazar to the US Navy, to check with the IRS about a W-2 Lazar had received, and to check Lazar’s background. In 1991 Bilbray entered a letter of recommendation into the court record for Lazar during a pandering charge Lazar was facing.
  9. 1991 Senator Robert Byrd through his National Security Specialist Dick D’Amato – At Byrd’s request D’Amato investigated the UFO cover-up and concluded “UFO information should be released, but that an incredibly powerful black arm of the government has been keeping it secret, and spending enormous sums of money illegally in this operation.” He was unable to flush them out even though he had a Top Secret clearance and subpoena power.
  10. 1991 Senator Unknown - According to john Alexander he had at least one Senator repaired to have some sort of official hearing or investigation into UFOs. According to Alexander, once Steven Greer held his May Disclosure news conference the deal fell apart.
  11. 1993 Congressman Steven Schiff – As a New Mexico congressman Schiff had received a number of questions about the famous report of a crashed flying saucer outside of Roswell, New Mexico in July 1947. Schiff made an inquiry to the Secretary of Defense who forwarded his letter to the National Archives. The archives told him they had no records and so Schiff returned to the Secretary of Defense for the records from Roswell base for the time in question. When the Secretary of Defense stonewalled, Schiff used his power to order an investigation of the Roswell crash by the Government Accounting Office.
  12. 1995 Senator Claiborne Pell- Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee – Although Pell never expressed public support for the UFO issue according to Dr. Steven Greer Pell told him he was not able to get a “straight answer,”  and brought him in to share what he knew about UFOs with his staff.
  13. 1996 Rep. Steven Horn - A big defender of the FOIA Horn meets with Marie Galbraith who headed up the UFO briefing project for Laurance Rockefeller (and possibly Rockefeller himself) in 1996. Horn was on the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, and was Chairman of the Subcommitee on Government Management, Information, and Technology. In the summer of 1996 Horn held hearings on thye overall issue of government secrecy policy and there was a proposal that Horn would use the UFO issue as an example. 
  14. 1997 Senator Dan Burton – the powerful Chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee. Burton took up the UFO cause. Following Steven Greer’s April 1997 briefing for Congress, Burton asked Greer to give him “everything” he had and he was going to get to the bottom of the UFO story. His staff member Matthew Ebert went on record stating “there is a possibility congressional hearings will be held”. It helped that Bill Clinton (who Burton disliked) was in power, so Burton was anxious to go after the administration on the UFO mystery.Unfortunately, Burton took some heat from Hillary Clinton over the UFO issue,[2] and there were some strange phone calls that caused Burton to back off the subject.
  15. 1997 – Senator John McCain – After the sighting of the Phoenix lights by residents of Phoenix and southern Arizona, McCain was pressured by Phoenix councilwoman Frances Barwood. In 2000, during a run for President, McCain made some supporting statements for an investigation of the Phoenix Lights, “I think it is always of interest. I think it is of great interest. That has never been fully explained.”
  16. 2001 Senator Barbara Boxer – Lara Johnstone was a South African political activist who heard a Steven Greer lecture on the Disclosure Project in San Francisco. She decided that she wanted to support the effort. She chose to go on a hunger strike to encourage newly elected George Bush to follow through on his promise, made in public to researcher Charles Huffer, to disclose to the people what the federal government knew about UFOs. She held what turned out to be a 42-day hunger strike right outside the office of Senator Barbara Boxer who tried to help by writing letters and contacting Vice-President Dick Cheney’s office on the UFO issue.
  17. 2004 Governor Bill Richardson – As governor of New Mexico Richardson, like Schiff before him, had received many questions about the 1947 Roswell UFO crash. In 2004 he wrote the forward to a book on the crash called “The Roswell Dig” in which he expressed support for a complete investigation of the crash. In part Richardson stated, “The mystery surrounding this crash has never been adequately explained — not by independent investigators, and not by the U.S. government. …”
  18. 2004 – Dennis Kucinich – During his run for president in 2004 Kucinich was introduced by his chief policy advisor Daniel Sheehan to a USAF Colonel who had been a witness to a major UFO incident as Kucinich chaired the House Aeronautics Committee. Kucinich, according to Sheehan “exhibited openness and candor about this issue.”
  19. 2005 - Congressman Tom Davis planned to have a congressional hearing on (UAP) and UFOs. A preliminary hearing was actually held May 23, 2003 with Davis, congessional staffers and witnesses Edgar Mitchell, Peter Sturrock, Jacques Vallee, and Richard Haines. The actuall hearings were held July 21, 2005 but ended up being about counterterrorism Various government agencies stated the skies were safe and the UAP/UFO topic was never raised.
Many of these senatorial and congressional encounters with the UFO subject were significant attempts to do something about the mystery surrounding the UFO subject. One thing is for sure – each of the listed political involvements (no matter how large of small) produced more than the petition that has just been answered with the negative press release from the White House.

In looking back at the highlights of the listed successes one thing stands out. The positive results towards UFO disclosure efforts centered on local politicians rather than federal politicians such as the President or the heads of federal agencies.

I propose that the reason for this is that Congressmen and Senators enjoy one key advantage that someone like the President doesn’t – political cover. As pointed out in the quote from James Fox about his trip to visit Capitol Hill. Pressure on elected representatives in Washington actually helps them act on the issue and is what they want when dealing with controversial issues.

A local Senator or Congressman is able to hide behind the voter request when requesting serious investigation of the UFO subject. He is, for example, able to say, “I don’t believe in UFOs, but I am acting on behalf of my constituents who want an answer.” It is this political cover that enables them to act so boldly in the UFO minefields. Federal officials such as the President do not have the same cover, are not able to make this argument so easily, and therefore shy away from the UFO issue.

As I wrote in Part 1 of this article the UFO issue is viewed as toxic to a politician who wishes to appear respectable and “down to Earth.” Every politician knows that, as Dennis Kucinich showed clearly in the 2008 run for President,[3] being tied to the UFO issue can result in political death.

Creating a Rodney Dangerfield Moment

In any plan to force disclosure I believe it is important to keep in mind that the politician’s fear of the UFO issue centers on the ridicule factor associated with subject. It is that “I don’t get any respect” fear that has caused politicians to stay clear of any direct association.

I believe in any move to force disclosure the other thing that should be considered is how the powers that control the UFO issue have given the turned the UFO topic into one that only the brave and foolish will touch.

The creation of the ridicule factor around the subject of UFOs began in 1951 when then USAF Blue Book Commander Edward Ruppelt replaced the terms flying saucers and flying discs with the official term UFO. (Wilbert Smith, who ran the official Canadian Program from 1950-1954 almost never used the term UFO. He continued to call them flying saucers.)

 Ruppelt’s public claim was that the term UFO better described the uncertain origin and nature of the objects being reported around the world. Many researchers bought into the idea that Ruppelt had changed the term to help in researching the phenomena – That is – we’re from the Air Force and we are here to help you. Almost overnight the term UFO was universally adopted by researchers who strangely believed little else of what Ruppelt was saying.

What Ruppelt was doing was to create doubt and redirect the discussion of flying saucers and discs from it being extraterrestrial to “it could be anything.” The new term also supported the USAF position that most UFO reports were probably the result of nature phenomena and misinterpretations.

One example of how well this worked for the Air Force is the generally unsupported statement, repeated by many UFO researchers, that 90 – 95% of UFOs are “easily explained as natural phenomena and man-made objects,” leaving only 5 -10% as “genuine UFOs.” These claims are made constantly, despite the Air Force UFO Blue Book study conclusion which stated that unexplained were 20.5% up to a study of Blue Book data by Dr. James McDonald showing 40% were unexplained. Although totally unsupported by any evidence, researchers tend to repeat the 90 – 95% claim as they believe it presents them as “tough evaluators of the evidence” rather than “gullible believers.” Researchers want to be respected as well.

In 1952, the CIA added to this effort to create doubt and ridicule around flying saucer sightings through the conclusions of its Robertson Panel on UFOs. Those conclusions suggested that efforts be made to “take immediate steps to strip the Unidentified Flying Objects of the special status they have been given and the aura of mystery they have unfortunately acquired.”[4] The CIA panel further suggested that the Panel suggested the Air Force should begin a :debunking” effort to reduce “public gullibility” and demystify UFO reports.

The CIA plan to stigmatize the UFO issue worked extremely well. It made UFOs an issue scientists, the media, and politicians would avoid at all costs. The plan was so successful, in fact, that it even backed off even UFO researchers. This is evidenced by the fact that today many researchers not only fear using the term flying saucer, they have even moved to a position where they avoid at any cost the use of the term UFO.

If the fear of “I don’t get any respect” is as great as it appears to be in the UFO community, it becomes a greater problem in the world of politics were public image is everything. If researchers are afraid of being associated with UFOs, the politician becomes completely paralysed by the possibility that he will be labelled as “crazy” or “gullible.” Like scientists who might believe, politicians know that it has to be a quiet closet belief if they want to succeed in their chosen career.

An example that best shows this political paralysis is how both Kucinich and Richardson turned on the UFO community once they began to run for President. Both were believers who chose to run for President. Once on the campaign trail they found that they had lost the political cover they enjoyed as local politicians just trying to get an answer for a constituent. They were now seen as a possible President of the United States who should know better than to believe in such stuff.

A second example that illustrates this political paralysis is that Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton where all know to have been interested, had sightings, or promoted the UFO issue prior to becoming president. All, without exception, did nothing to openly promote the UFO issue once they arrived at the White House.

The use of the local politician to lobby for disclosure is an alternative that should be carefully considered by the disclosure movement. A review of the high points in UFO history shows that pressure on Congressmen and Senators has achieved results. Moreover, history has shown that in some cases it only took one constituent to light a fire under their local representative on the issue, and that that representative achieved substantial results.

Local politicians like United States Presidents have a strong desire to get elected. More importantly, local politicians are aware of the fact that they require local votes to win, and that if they are not responsive to local constituent requests their efforts to be elected or reelected will be greatly diminished. It is the basis of the democratic system and may provide a solution to the disclosure of the sixty-four year UFO mystery.

[2] While a guest on the PBS Diane Rehm show in Washington, Hillary referred to Burton with the following comment – “That’s part of the continuing saga of Whitewater,” said Hillary, “the never-ending fictional conspiracy that honest to goodness reminds me of some people’s obsessions with UFOs and the Hale-Bopp comet.” Burton’s interest in UFOs had just become known in Washington, the Heaven’s Gate suicides related to the Hale-Bopp comet had just taken place and Burton was putting investigative heat on the Clinton’s over the Whitewater Real Estate scandal.
[3] In October 2007 during a Democratic debate Dennis Kucinich was asked about the sighting of a UFO that he had while a visitor at the home of Shirley MacLaine. When Kucinich confirmed that he had seen a UFO he was written up in every article after that night in a very negative light as the UFO guy who really was not qualified to be President.
[4] Report of the Scientific Advisory Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects convened by the Office of Scientific Intelligence, CIA January 14-18, 1953.

Monday, December 12, 2011

White House ET Petition Letdown Part 2

Don’t fall in love with politicians, they’re all a disappointment. They can’t help it, they just are. Peggy Noonan – key speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan

An Official Statement?

In the days following the White House reply to the ET petition there was some discussion in the UFO community which suggested that the response by Larson was not “some kind of formal government statement on the UFO issue.” A quick look at the facts reveals that nothing could be further from the truth.

Firstly, the White House’s We the People site states clearly that the reply that will be given to each petition that qualifies with 5,000 signatures will be an official response. “If a petition gets enough support,” wrote White House officials running the site, “White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.” Policy experts in the government will review the concern and an “official response” will be issued. That is pretty straight forward. The Phil Larson reply to the petition is an “official” position on UFOs issued by the White House.

Further evidence that the Larson reply is an official White House position comes from the understanding absolutely nothing that happens around the President, and that includes the White House website, is unplanned.

Everything around the President is orchestrated by scores of people who do planning or statement releases connected with the White House. One only has to look to the President’s daily schedule to see that it is organized and controlled down to the minute. Hundreds of people are responsible for moving the president around and determining how he will appear when in public, down to who gets to stand behind the President when he makes a speech, or as in the case of one George W. Bush speech whether or not those people will wear ties or not. Nothing goes unplanned.[1]

Presidential speeches can be rewritten dozens of times after being reviewed by just as many agencies who might be involved in the speech topic. Every single word in a speech is checked for accuracy, tone, and context.

Even presidential mistakes create new histories rather than correct the mistake. The best example of this is when President Johnson first mentioned the USAF SR-71 spy plane. The planes name was actually the RS-71 (Reconnaisance/Strike), but instead of pointing out the error the Air Force changed the name of the plane.

The idea that Phil Larson used the White House website as a personal blog site to put up his own person take on ET issues is a non-starter. The President is responsible and owns every idea and statement that goes on the website, in the same way as he owns every word in every speech that he gives.[2]

The Petition Itself

One point that has been absent in any of the discussions of the White House reply is just how regressive the White House UFO statement is for ufology.

In short, the statement put out by Larson is the worst putdown reply ever put out by any government official on the ET/UFO subject. Previous statements such as the final U.S.A.F. Blue Book study admitted that their study showed 22% of reports categorized as “unknowns” and that the higher the quality of the case, the more likely it was to be classified unknown. The Blue Book conclusions at least left a glimmer of hope for researchers.

The Larson reply leaves no glimmer. It simply concludes that there is no “credible evidence.” In other words there is nothing to study. Forget about the 600+ Roswell witnesses or the thousands of witnesses to the Phoenix lights incident. Forget about the thousands of pilot sightings, high ranking military witnesses, Presidents, or the nuclear plants or missile silos witnesses who have had sightings. Larson puts all of them in the loony file – there is no credible evidence.

So why would the White House chose to put out a statement that effectively negates any possibility that they will ever consider evidence or counter arguments? Why would they choose to box themselves in?

The White House attitude can closely be compared to the recent delusional but self-assured statements made by Syrian President Bashar Assad who told Barbara Walters in a broadcast interview that “I protect my people… there was no command to kill or be brutal,” and that the people who have died in the streets over the last number of months were “supporters of the government, not the vice versa.” Anyone familiar with the UFO evidence would say that the White House, like Assad, is totally divorced from reality.

The reason I think the reason for this bizarre estimation of the situation outlined by Larson’s statement suggests two possibilities;

1) The White House is totally out of the loop on the issue and they actually believe there is no evidence. This is actually quite possible. One only has to talk to people on the streets that are not part of any cover-up. Many of them also believe there is no “credible evidence.”

2) The White House is aware of the Above Top Secret nature of the subject and do not want to get dragged into a no-win discussion that will only encourage the “believers.” They know that the back-engineering development and the documents on the subject[3] are safely hidden away in private industry and that security procedures will keep everything there and out of the eyes of the public. The plan would be deny everything. As the UFO community is divided, and without money or public support, if you ignore them and ride out the storm, the “believers” will eventually go away.

Like a middle-east dictator they believe they will rule unchallenged forever.
Regardless of what the White House knows or doesn’t know there is one thing that is almost certain. Any attempt by the White House to address the UFO subject is viewed internally as tantamount to committing political suicide.

This negative is especially true in sending an ET/UFO petition to Obama a year before he stands for reelection. The White House has done lots of polls and knows that UFOs and ETs are not on them. They also know from the experience of Dennis Kucinich, dealing with the issue in 2008, that the issue is likely to be highly toxic to an already tough reelection situation.[4]

Like every other politician Obama’s main job is to get elected and then reelected. A prime example of this principle in action is President Obama’s latest decision to delay a decision on the new Keystone oil pipeline from the oil sands of Canada to the refineries in Texas.

Regardless of one’s view on the pipeline, the fact is that Obama turned down the chance to create 10,000 new jobs to save one job – his own. The decision to delay the pipeline till after the election came after protestors (seen to be part of Obama’s political base) were arrested in the hundreds outside of the White House gates in 2011 protesting the building of the pipeline. Consequently, instead of killing the pipeline or giving it the go ahead, Obama choice to simply delay the hard choice till after the next election so as not to offend potential voters.

Obama is so determined to get re-elected that he has even chosen to run against his own party by running against the “do nothing congress” which includes the Democrats from his own party. If he is willing to throw his own political party under the bus to get reelected, why would anyone think he would be willing to commit political suicide for the UFO community?

The White House chose to avoid the ET/UFO issue in the first round of petitions, and they will do the same in the second round now gathering signatures. Changing the wording in a new petition to ABA (anything but alien) wording will not change the situation. Do people seriously think that if Obama does not see the word ET or UFO in a petition request that he will change his mind and say, “Nobody will link this request to ETs and UFOs. Let’s take a chance?”

Any political initiative by the UFO community that does not recognize the basic rule that a politician’s main role in life is to get elected is doomed to failure. They are politicians selling themselves to the electorate, not Messiahs or Santa Clauses.

Phil Larson's Role

After reading the Larson reply to the ET/UFO petition the first thing that occurred to me is that Larson is just a pawn in the game, and he probably had to balance many things in writing the petition reply.
  • Do your Job – Larson is only one of a number of spokesman for a White House that decides what the message will be. His actions are directed by many factors he does not control, and positions he must take in order to save his job and professional standing. He knows the first rule of big organizations – do not bite the hands that are feeding you. Larson exemplifies the caption on a cartoon that hung on the wall of Richard Nixon’s special counsel Charles Colson. It said, “When you’ve got ‘em by the balls, their hearts and minds will.” (An FOIA was filed to find out where Larson’s instructions came from and who all was involved in writing the petition response. Like most government FOIAs the OSTP has decided to play stupid and has not even acknowledged receiving the FOIA even though they are over the 20 working days spelled out in law for providing a reply.)
  • Technological funding considerations – People who check Larson’s background will find that in 2006, he participated in the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station. Assuming Larson had any input in the White House position (which he wouldn’t) what are the chances that he would ever admit that there is any viable evidence to study for the presence of ETs on earth? More importantly, if he did admit there might be local evidence to investigate, what would be the chances that the federal budget Gods would then fund another $ 2.5 billion spacecraft to fly to Mars to drill more holes in rocks looking for ET evidence? Answer: Larson will never concede to the possibility of ET evidence on Earth as long as his Mars and outer space associates have billions of dollars of funding to look elsewhere. Put another way – as Bob Woodward’s Deep Throat described the search for truth – Just follow the money. For Larson this means that in a world where NASA budgets and jobs are being cut, getting himself fired for agreeing to an earthly might put him in a position of having to drive a taxi cab to pay the bills.
  • Belief systems – Any UFO researcher who has been in the field for a considerable period of time will have run up against mainstream engineers and scientists who have been eager to give their professional position on the UFO evidence. Whether we are talking about Phil Klass, James Oberg, Donald Menzel, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Carl Sagan, or Bernard Haisch, their conclusions have been characterized by a total lack of investigation, twisting of the evidence, and totally irrational conclusions. I would propose that the scientists and engineers mentioned above are not just an unlucky draw by the UFO community of getting stuck with the worst scientists and engineers of all times. Figures show that most scientists and engineers as a whole would probably support the anti-UFO views expressed by the past loser scientists and engineers that have inflicted themselves on the UFO community                  
Researcher John Alexander, in fact, points out in every lecture he give that the higher up the scientific organizations the less likely the scientists in the group believe in UFOs or any other phenomenology research. According to Alexander, at the highest scientific level, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) those who believe in phenomenology are down to 4%.                                                       

The White House petition reply mirrors the conservative belief structure in the NAS. Any sort of admission that there is any validity to any of the UFO evidence that has been collected over the last 64 years would be equivalent to a high level church official openly expressing the possibility that there was no resurrection of Jesus Christ. Like large religious organizations those who make it to the top echelons of the NAS or the White House, do not advance themselves to the top without knowing what topics are likely to be career-limiting.                            

If Larson were to cross the this line drawn by the world of science Vatican heirachy he would be immediately excommunicated and would be jobless, as those who create the doctrines of accepted beliefs also usually control who gets scientific funding.                                 

In science as in major religions there are creeds of beliefs that are set up by authorities which create the perimeters of acceptable discussion. They represent a set of shared beliefs held by most scientists. In his reply to the UFO petition Larson spells out one of these key sacred UFO related beliefs stating, “the odds of us making contact with any of them (planets that are home to life)—especially any intelligent ones—are extremely small, given the distances involved.” [5] The universe is material, we can’t exceed the speed of light, and therefore interstellar travel is impossible.” It is scientific dogma every UFO researcher has heard dozens of times.

As well as throwing cold water on the idea that ET might be here, Larson reminds any scientist reading his official reply of a line in the sand on research that cannot be crossed – UFOs do not fall in the materialistic world view and must not be studied. The UFO/material universe dilemma is a belief acting as a rule that has worked well in dissuading scientific investigation into UFO reports.

Scientists know that to cross the line would put them in the dark, and most scientists are afraid of the dark. They would rather remain in the light where they can see and where the belief fences keep them safe and accepted by their peers.

Scientists also know that crossing over the line would put them in the position of questioning the dogma and beliefs of science. Scientists are instinctively aware that questioning the status quo believe structure can get you excommunicated from the church of scientism. In a world where government grants to science are being cutback, crossing the line makes you an easy target for those scientific authorities who have made the rules and are now delegating limited research funds.

The penalty for crossing the belief line is firm and not even a Nobel Prize will save you. Those who doubt this only have to talk to Brian Josephson, youngest man to win the Nobel Prize in physics for the “Josephson effect” in 1973. Despite his Nobel Prize Josephson has been ostracized and marginalized at Cambridge University for 30 years for his Mind Matter Unification Project which involves studies in parapsychology . The Cambridge university officials have made it clear that “no student will get university funding if they study with him on consciousness and the paranormal.”

Some might argue that science does not involve belief systems and it only uses the scientific method of “systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.” This however is not true when it comes to UFOs and other phenomenology.

Frustrated ufologists complain constantly that scientists refuse to look at the evidence. When confronted with the subject scientists will simply throw out a memorized line from the scientific catechism such as “there is no credible evidence” or “I don’t believe in that stuff” or “the subject is a waste of time.” Then like church officials who control the teachings of the church, the scientific journals do not publish research on UFOs which self-reinforces the fact that there is no evidence.

These are the beliefs and attitudes that Phil Larson parrots in his authorship of the official White House statement on the ET/UFO issue. It is an unscientific and uninformed message.

Next in Part 3: A Possible Solution
Followed by: OSTP replies to new FOIAs

[1] An excellent article on this control of the President’s image was “The contemporary presidency: the presidency and image management: discipline in pursuit of illusion” written by Jeremy Mayer, in The Presidential Quarterly…-a0121877458
[2] A good example of this presidential ownership can be seen in the story of David Frum who helped write the famous Bush State of the Union speech that contained the “axis of evil” concept. Following the speech, Frum’s wife Danielle expressed her “wifely pride” to friends in an e-mail that her husband had come up with the phrase. According to CNN commentator Robert Novak Bush was so infuriated that he fired Frum. This led to Frum quickly issuing a statement that he had already tendered his resignation before the speech was written, and he quickly left the Bush White House. The rule is the President owns every word – no exceptions.
3) Researcher Dan Smith, in conversations with Dr. Pandolfi, stated that he had been told that there was an effort to make the UFO paper trail disappear. This idea is supported by a 1997 CIA study on UFOs CIA’s Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90:A Die-Hard Issue which supported what Smith had been told “Agency officials purposely kept files on UFOs to a minimum to avoid creating records that might mislead the public if released.”
[4] For further discussion on Kucinich see (
[5] A similar reminder of the rules was put out in a study by the Jasons at the Mitre Corp. requested by Ron Pandolfi looking at the controversial study of High Frequency Gravitation Waves which some have hypothesized as a propulsion sytem for UFOs. In a number of place in the final report scientists were reminded of the line that must not be questioned or crossed, “For the relatively weak fields in the lab, on the Earth, or indeed in the solar system (far from the cutting-edge science of black holes of the Big Bang), the general theory of relativity and its existing experimental basis are complete, accurate and reliable.”

Monday, December 5, 2011

White House ET Petition Letdown - Part 1

“If you are elected and you learned that the government knew aliens had visited earth and the public didn’t know, would you want the public- would you make sure that the public found out?” a TV reporter asked democratic contender for President Barack Obama.

“Well, it depends on what these aliens are like,” replied Obama, “and whether they were Democrats or Republicans.”

THE answer is back to the first two UFO/ET petitions posted at the White House We the People website and signed by 12,000+ and 5000+ people respectively. I think the White House reply to those petitions will turn out to be a key and revealing moment in UFO history.

The petitions may not have been as popular as other issues on the American mind such as the attempt by Detroit Lion football fans to stop the Canadian band Nickelback from playing the half time during the nationally telecast NFL 2011 Thanksgiving Day game between the Lions and the Green Bay Packers.

That petition generated the signatures of 55,616 supporters who wondered why the city of Motown would bring in such a terrible hard rock band for such an important occasion. The petition encouraged the football team to reconsider, and even suggested that the move to employ the band might have been “some sort of ploy to get people to leave their seats during halftime to spend money on alcoholic beverages and concessions.”

Like the UFO petition the appeal was ignored by Lion football team officials, and the band played on. That, unfortunately is usually the fate of the 99%.

Despite the lower numbers – still 12,000+ people did take time to make an appeal on UFO/ET to President Obama through the We the People petition site on the White House website. The petition site was designed according to the White House to “provides a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country.”

The White House played up the importance of the petition site saying, “We created We the People because we want to hear from you.” That was music to the ears of the UFO disclosure movement that felt their concerns were not being heard by the government.

The main ET petition to President Obama requested that the administration, “”formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race.” There were 5,000 signatures required for a reply, and this number was easily surpassed. This high response appeared to inspire the White House to change the rules for future petitions so that 25,000 people would have to sign before the elected government would be forced to answer its electorate.

OSTP as Point Agency

The reply to the petition came from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) – often known as the Office of the Science Advisor to the President.

Although most petition signers would have preferred that Obama himself had answered the petition, the fact that the OSTP put out the official reply is a good second choice because it is still in the Executive Office of the President and the UFO/ET issue is something that is clearly the direct responsibility of the President. It is, after all, the President who heads up all agencies that have had rumored UFO involvement since the USAF Blue Book investigation on UFOs ended in 1969.

a) Intelligence agencies – Many claims have been made that the US intelligence agencies have been actively involved data collection and analysis of UFO data, and are responsible for monitoring UFO related research being done in foreign countries and by researchers in the United States. The intelligence collected by all US intelligence agencies is transferred up to one main customer – the President of the United States.

b) The government itself – Some maintain that the ET cover-up is controlled by government entities. If true whichever department it might be is headed up by the President who is the Chief Executive Officer for the government.

c) Military or military contractors – There have a great deal of evidence that shows that the US military has been involved in intelligence, military responses to UFO intrusions inside US airspace, and recoveries of UFO hardware and bodies. If any of these claims are true those actions would be overseen by the President who is the civilian head of all US military commands.

d) State – As ETs would represent a foreign entity any negotiations or treaties would be the responsibility of the President who is the Head of State.

History shows that the President may realize his constitutional responsibility for the UFO issue as this petition situation is not the first UFO rodeo the OSTP has been at. Other Presidents have used their science advisor’s office to handle UFO issues.

History shows that as early as 1977, OSTP Director Frank Press had handled the UFO issue for newly elected Jimmy Carter. Press, citing “an increasing number of inquiries concerning UFO’s” at the White House, recommended that a panel of inquiry be formed by NASA to see if there had been any new significant findings on UFOs since the US Air Force-sponsored investigation of UFOs. NASA, knowing a dirty bomb when they saw one, carefully drafted a letter back to Press saying they would not be interested in such an idea. The Carter OSTP office also handled some citizen inquiries on UFOs.

Then in 1986 the OSTP under President Reagan again took up the UFO issue when it became involved in an FAA meeting dealing with the sighting and radar tracking of a huge UFO which encountered a JAL 747 as it flew over Alaska. According to Frank Callahan, the FAA official handling the case the CIA and FBI were in the main meeting where he provided a briefing of the UFO incident.

At what appears to be a second meeting Dr. Ron Pandolfi, civilian researcher Bruce Maccabee, and two other men met with Callahan. This second involvement of the CIA in the case is important because Dr. Pandolfi is considered by many in the UFO community to be the ‘policy expert” inside the US government on the subject of UFOs.

At the time of the JAL incident Pandolfi was reportedly running the “weird desk” at the CIA which reportedly deals with UFO and other paranormal phenomena.

More importantly Pandolfi still is recognized in the UFO community as the government expert on UFOs. He is also rumored to be the Presidential advisor on the subject which gained him the name the White House Saucer Guy (WHSG) and Uncle Sam’s Saucer Guy. These are rumors that Pandolfi, for whatever reason, seems to encourage.

In a strange twist to this 1986 OSTP involvement is the fact that Dr. Pandolfi, despite the official position that the CIA was not involved in studying UFOs, recovered data from the UFO case and turned it over to civilian researcher Bruce Maccabee to do a report. Then in 2001, when researcher John Greenewald filed an FOIA for the material, he was told there were 107 pages but that they had just destroyed the files because Greenewald had not followed the instructions he had been given to receive them.

In 1993 the OSTP again took up the UFO issue when they ran interference for President Clinton after philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller made an attempt to talk to President Clinton about the US government declassifying UFO records being held in secret by the government. This led to three years of back and forth correspondence between Rockefeller, Hillary Clinton, and Clinton Science Advisor Dr. Jack Gibbons. (there are over 1,000 pages of documents that describe the interaction) Through Gibbon’s efforts the USAF was forced to reinvestigate the 1947 Roswell UFO crash in 1994, and then again in 1997 when Clinton hinted in a speech that he was not happy with the conclusion they had reached.

Dr. Ronald Pandolfi was also involved in the Clinton OSTP office’s handling of the UFO situation. When Dr. Jack Gibbons first became aware that he was facing the UFO question he called for a UFO briefing to bring him up to speed before Rockefeller arrived. He contacted the CIA who in turn tasked the briefing job to the same Dr. Ronald Pandolfi. Pandolfi reported to friends that he met with Gibbons and told him not to touch the UFO issue. Pandolfi also knew that the official CIA position on UFOs was that the CIA “was not involved in UFOs,” so he gave the job of writing the briefing to a civilian researcher Bruce Maccabee which meant Gibbons would get information and the government could still maintain it knew nothing on the UFO subject.

Even Obama’s OSTP got involved in the UFO issue. This is despite the claim now being made by Larson at OSTP that there is no involvement. In March 2011 John Greenewald received documents from within OSTP related to an article written by researcher Larry Lowe related to an article he had written about the alien implant researcher of researcher Dr. Roger Leir. In one of the e-mails found in the exchange James C. Kohlenberger, OSTP Chief of Staff at the time actually inquires, “”I’m trying to figure out who has point on this issue (UFOs/ETs).”

Now in 2011 the Obama administration the White House have accepted responsibility for the issue, and like Presidents of past administrations have tasked the OSTP with providing answers to the questions.

The difference in the way the Obama administration handled the UFO question is in who they assigned to answer the query and how little they appeared to do to provide a factual answer.

Larson as Policy Expert

The response to the UFO petition was signed by Phil Larson, identified as an assistant researcher inside the OSTP.

This clearly spelled out a different position on how to handle the UFO hot potato issue. Instead of the petition being addressed by “an appropriate policy expert” as promised the petition was despite the fact that the We The People petition officials had promised to “ensure (the petition) is sent to the appropriate policy experts.”

Instead of the petition being sent to “the appropriate policy expert” who appeared to be Pandolfi, the petition was responded to by Phil Larson who is described by the White House as an “assistant researcher” who works on “space policy and communications.”

Something is missing. Why use Larson when Pandolfi spent a period of time at the White House during the Obama first term as a member of the National Office of Intelligence that provides briefing materials to the President and his Executive staff?

The bio listed for Larson looked impressive and official enough until one researcher questioned how Larson got into such a high position at the White House making official statements on behalf of the President with only a Bachelor’s of Science Degree.

The answer to that question came from a closer look at the OSTP website and at the man known as Phil Larson. That closer look at the website showed that “communications” was the key word that described what Larson actually did at OSTP. Not only had he answered the UFO petition he had written many press releases for news stories related to OSTP.

Larson was not an acting scientist, or an expert on UFOs, as had been implied. He was nothing more than a public relations office related to space policy. He was nothing more than a space policy spin man, and it was his job to write a reply to the UFO petition which nicely tells “the UFO people to go away.”

So where did Pandolfi go? According to his close friend Dan Smith in August 2009, Pandolfi had just become “Uncle Sam’s saucer guy” and hinted attribution of the hot tip to Bill LaParl who is another close friend of Pandolfi’s.

Smith added that Pandolfi was no longer just advising the White House on UFOs, he was actually working for the White House stationed across the street from the White House in the Executive Office Building which also houses the OSTP. According to Smith, Kit Green who held the UFO responsibility at the CIA before Pandolfi arrived, had confirmed that Pandolfi told him he was the saucer guy at the White House.

Later research indicated Pandolfi had become connected to the Office of the National Intelligence Office which provides the main briefing material to the President on a range of intelligence issues.

Pressed by Smith on what he was doing for the White House Pandolfi replied “Afgan hamster breeding.” The reply indicated that Pandolfi might be playing with him, and that nothing UFO related was going on, but he knew that was not possible.

Smith knew "nothing UFO" was not possible because he had in 1995 forced a meeting between himself and Chris Straub, former ranking member on the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, to get independent confirmation on the bona-fides of Pandolfi, and that his interaction with Dan Smith was part of his official duties. The results of that meeting, if true, show conclusively that the 2011 ignorance claim by the Phil Larson is a fairy-tale. (There were actually three meetings, and Ron Pandolfi was present for the third.)

At first Straub did not reply to Smith, but after a second contact, Straub stated that he would talk to Smith, but that he required a briefing beforehand. Once the briefing took place Straub led Smith through a series of locked doors into a room. According to Smith, Straub stated that “he couldn’t speak ad hominem about the situation” but in general this does involve “unconventional collections” that the government has the “phenomenology problem firmly under the control” and “you are dealing with some very competent people.”

If Pandolfi is the WHSG, and therefore the “policy expert,” the question arises why he was not consulted in preparation for the answering of the petition? The answer is, that he may have been, and his information and advice has just been off the official expert.

The evidence that show that this is a possibility as this is exactly what happened in 1993 when he was called to brief Dr. Gibbons on UFOs. The official OSTP record shows no record of Pandolfi being tasked with the UFO briefing, nor the fact that he met with Gibbons to advise him not to touch the UFO subject. Further an FOIA I filed with the Clinton Library for all documents related to Pandolfi came up with “no records found.”

Despite the “no records found” Maccabee, who wrote the briefing for Pandolfi, confirms Pandolfi was contacted. Pandolfi’s friends Dan Smith and Bill LaParl confirm Pandolfi was contacted, and Rockefeller associate Dr. Scott Jones released a transcript of a phone conversation with himself and Pandolfi where they discussed exactly what had occurred between Pandolfi and the White House.

Written by Grant Cameron

Parts  2 and 3 to follow shortly.