Should government reveal its UFO data?

Q&A

March 02, 1993|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,Staff Writer

The concept of life elsewhere in the universe -- visitors from space, UFOs, extraterrestrials, aliens -- tantalizes earthlings. Yet in the United States no top government official has ever said publicly that such activity exists.

"What's out there" consumes many researchers with sound academic and professional credentials. Books and hundreds of papers on the subject have been written, films have been made, and researchers meet occasionally to discuss their opinions.

One such meeting last month in Silver Spring dealt with the question of U.S. government disclosure. Assuming that the government has evidence of UFOs, four specialists gave their answers for and against official government acknowledgment of the reality of unidentified flying objects.

Favoring government disclosure were Bruce Maccabee, a civilian research physicist for the Navy from Sabillasville who has long been a leader in UFO research groups, and Elaine Douglass, director of the Washington chapter of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON).

Tell the public all

Dr. Maccabee: A large portion of human society either knows or suspects that at least some of the things reported as UFOs are in fact alien craft.

The increased interest is beginning to have an impact on society in the form of public speculation, both trivial and serious, about the activities and the intent of the aliens.

What is the true characterization of the aliens?

In the absence of valid information, people speculate wildly. But the government could end the wild speculation by releasing valid information -- even if it released only part of the available information.

Anyone who knows about the reality of identified alien craft [IACs], is likely to agree with President Clinton's favorite song, FTC which says, "I can't stop thinking about tomorrow."

When will the IAC problem bubble up to the surface?

Will the people be ready?

Will the shock stop civilization in its tracks?

Is it better to wait for something to happen that nobody has thought about that drops on us like a load of bricks from above, or is it better to bite the bullet now -- and make some kind of announcement that causes people to start thinking about what's going on so that we'll be prepared?

Ms. Douglass: The very worst outcome would be if the alien disclosed itself and the government had stone-walled to the end.

So I ask our government: Do you want your own plan of disclosure, or the aliens' plan? We get up one morning and turn on the TV and there's an alien face and he says: People on Earth, be calm.

Dr. Maccabee: The UFO problem has been nipping around the heels of our civilization for the last 45 years or so. For most people it has been at the bottom of the list of things to think about, ranking below such all-pressing problems as "Will Di really get a divorce?"

The government should come clean. This could legitimize the subject for study by leading thinkers of the human race. The top quantum mechanics, or the relativistic theorists, or the top world philosophers don't discuss the subject. Why? Well, [the subject's left to] kooks and nuts like those guys at a hotel in Silver Spring on Saturday, Feb. 6.

Keep the lid on

Not all those interested in UFOs favor government disclosure of what's known "officially." Their arguments were made at the Silver Spring conference by Robert Durant, a commercial airline pilot and ex-Navy helicopter pilot from Pennington, N.J., and Michael Levintow, a computer analyst from Washington. Both are UFO researchers.

Mr. Durant: We have collected a great mass of UFO sightings, photographs, movies, videos, radar trackings, physical traces in recent decades. The evidence is overwhelming.

But look at this thing from the eyes of the president of the United States and his national security advisers. If the government releases its files -- and the logical conclusion of those files -- the public will demand to know not just the physics of the matter, but who the aliens are, where they come from and why they are here.

The result would be chaos. The economic life of the country would be paralyzed. There would be only one topic of discussion: The aliens.

Mr. Levintow: In addition to the risk of generating social chaos, or even public panic, a political firestorm would most certainly build for the government to expel the aliens. This would put the U.S. on a collision course with space aliens, who appear to be vastly technologically superior to humans.

Why risk provoking such a confrontation, since nothing whatsoever is gained by politicizing the UFO-extraterrestrial matter, quite possibly the biggest secret of all time?

Mr. Durant: You have had the luxury of slowly, over a period of many years, absorbing the awesome secret that UFOs are real. But you want to hit the public right between the eyes with this psychological bomb? We had the radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds" in 1939 that caused a panic. Is this a precedent we ought to pay attention to or not?

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