From Donald Keyhoe (L) to Stephen Greer (R), UFOlogy has held the deep seated belief that the US government is withholding secrets about UFOs.
The UFO disclosure myth
©Tim Printy 2008
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones. - Bertrand Russell
For over fifty years, UFOlogy has been pursuing the idea that the US government was keeping secret the fact that it has known aliens have been visiting the Earth since 1947. UFOlogists believe the evidence for this is overwhelming and they have repeatedly attempted to pressure the US government to reveal that they are covering up this earth shattering news.
Keyhoe and the ultimate secret
When people describe all the various individuals that have existed in the UFO community for the past sixty-plus years, they always start with Donald Keyhoe. Donald Keyhoe became part of the modern UFOlogy because he was a writer that wrote for various pulp magazines in the 1930s and 40s. Shortly after the UFO events began in 1947, he was approached by True magazine editor Ken Purdy, who sent him a telegram that indicated there was more to the UFO story than what the government was saying publicly:
HAVE BEEN INVESTIGATING FLYING SAUCER MYSTERY. FIRST TIP HINTED GIGANTIC HOAX TO COVER UP OFFICIAL SECRET. BELIEVE IT MAY HAVE BEEN PLANTED TO HIDE REAL ANSWER. LOOKS LIKE TERRIFIC STORY. CAN YOU TAKE OVER WASHINGTON END? (Peebles 43)
Keyhoe immersed himself in the subject and eventually concluded that what Purdy had stated was correct. There was a cover-up and the source of the UFOs was something so extraordinary that the government had to hide it from the general public to prevent a general panic. In Keyhoe's mind, this could only mean that the earth had been visited by aliens from other worlds.
In January 1950, True magazine printed Keyhoe's first work on the subject "The flying saucers are real". In this article, Keyhoe stated that the earth had been visited for almost two centuries and that, with the appearance of the UFOs in 1947, the rate was increasing to the point they were going to make, or had made, contact. Keyhoe also suggested that if contact had been made, it was only a matter of time before the government would tell the world of this momentous event. When he released his book with the same title as the article, he wrote that disclosure almost happened but the USAF/government decided to back off at the last minute because his original article caused a reaction that the USAF confused as hysteria. Keyhoe then stated that eventually the government would reveal the truth once it felt the population could handle the news. This promise that the government would eventually reveal that aliens were visiting the earth in spaceships to the general public would become one of the cornerstones of UFOlogical philosophy that exists to this day.
NICAP: A lot of smoke but no fire
In the early 1950's, the USAF had become overburdened by investigating every UFO report that was being published in the press or reported to their headquarters. Project Bluebook had become the focus of many UFOlogical complaints because the effort was to find the causes for UFO sightings, which they did to the best of their abilities. In some cases, the answers given were not very satisfactory and in others they were correct. It really did not matter because most UFO proponents had begun to doubt any explanation given by the USAF. To them, the only possible answer was that these UFO reports were observations of alien spaceships. Project Bluebook's apparent ineptitude or involvement in the cover-up would become the focus of Donald Keyhoe's quest.
By the late-1950s, Keyhoe had written several books on the subject of the UFO cover-up. One of them was "The Flying Saucer conspiracy", where Keyhoe took the USAF to task and openly accused them of censoring/altering UFO reports. He also speculated that there was a secret group working behind the government that was preventing disclosure of the truth. To help expose that truth, he established a UFO organization called the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). NICAP attempted to get Congress to take action on the matter and Keyhoe pursued leads to get open hearings on the subject. Unfortunately, each time NICAP got close to this goal, something would happen that prevented it. For the most part it was the USAF that was the culprit by demonstrating to congressmen and senators that their efforts were in good faith and there was no cover-up. To top it off, Keyhoe was his own worst enemy. He appeared to want a hostile confrontation with the USAF in the halls of Congress. Those overseeing such a hearing would have nothing to do with that kind of spectacle and Keyhoe's chances for open hearings failed to materialize in the manner he desired.
Despite these difficulties, NICAP continued its efforts. They released a book concerning the UFO evidence, which outlined their case in order to convince politicians and government officials that their theory was correct. They suggested the USAF was hiding things because of one of two reasons:
1) That the Air Force has obtained significant proof of UFO reality, and is withholding its evidence until the public an be psychologically prepared under a program guided by some higher agency.
2) That the withholding of information is not because of any special knowledge on the subject, but results more or less unconsciously from red tape, lack of continuity to the UFO project, difference of opinion within the Air Force, etc. (Hall 105)
The first option was the conspiracy theory being developed by Keyhoe and his close associates. The second option was probably added by some members of NICAP, who did not share Keyhoe's conspiracy theory. They appeared to be in a minority and it was the conspiracy mantra that was seized upon by most UFOlogists in and out of NICAP.
Despite UFOlogy's conspiracy angle, Keyhoe was optimistic that the truth was going to be revealed soon. He openly stated the following in early 1965,
Congressional hearings are almost bound to be held eventually--probably within the next year. The basic finding of those hearings--that we are indeed under surveillance of some kind by visitors from the universe--will undoubtedly startle and frighten many people throughout the world. (Peebles 185)
Keyhoe was right that hearings would happen soon but it had little to do with his efforts or disclosure that UFOs were alien spaceships visiting earth .
Congress reacts but not to NICAP
In 1966, a series of UFO events in Michigan prompted Dr. Hynek, then working as an advisor to the USAF, to propose the "swamp gas" explanation to the press for a series of sightings there. Because of the public reaction from the explanation and negative publicity, Congress again took up the UFO question with the USAF. The USAF tried to explain their case and that they had not discovered anything significant in the UFO data. The head of project Bluebook at the time, Major Hector Quintanilla, wrote the hearings were going fairly well until Dr. Hynek was asked if he had anything to add. According to Quintanilla, Hynek had been asked prior to this, if he would make any statement during the hearing and Hynek told General Corbin of the legislative and liaison branch of the Pentagon that he would not. However, in the middle of the hearing, Hynek pulled out a written document and began to make a statement about UFOs to the committee. Hynek had lied to the General so he could openly address congress without any interference from the USAF. Hynek apparently had become interested in the idea of a government funded scientific study of UFOs in the future and this was a move to establish himself as the likely head of such an organization. His effort to lobby for this position would eventually fail and his stunt in front of Congress would not endear him to Major Quintanilla. The result of these hearings, and several other events, would be to relieve the USAF of its responsibility and to assign a group of scientists to study the problem. This became known as the Colorado project, commonly referred to as the Condon study.
The Colorado project was an effort to study UFOs in a scientific setting by a University outside of the influence of the USAF and with no pre-conceived notions on the subject. Dr. Edward Condon headed the study. Right from the start, it became a political nightmare. Dr. James McDonald and Hynek became concerned about the study when Dr. Condon revealed he was extremely skeptical of the subject in some of his speeches. Eventually, a memo would be leaked to the press that would cast the study in a negative light. The efforts of NICAP and others to help the study evaporated as it became clear that things were not going the UFO proponents way.
While the Condon study was taking place, Congress did get its chance to hear the UFO proponent side of the story. Shortly after the leaked memo, Congressman J. Edward Roush held a symposium/hearing on the subject of UFOs. According to Quintanilla:
The symposium was held in the Rayburn Building on July 29, 1968. Congressman Roush was the chairman and the list of speakers read like a who’s who of extraterrestrial hypothesis proponents. I’ve never seen such a stacked deck in all of my life and the statements and papers presented by these learned gentlemen of science proved the point. Not one of them presented anything significant, or a plan which was worthwhile in pursuing. These high-brow doctors with all their university rhetoric fell flat on their asses and all their high sounding verbiage barely cause a ripple. The newspaper copy which was given to the symposium was practically nil, however, the exposure of these learned gentlemen before such a distinguished congressional group must have been very self-satisfying. I ask, however, who paid for this worthless symposium where the absence of Air Force personnel was so noticeable? (Quintanilla 63-64)
This symposium offered nothing in the way of conclusions or "disclosure" of anything. As Quintanilla wrote, it was all about getting publicity and face time with Congress. Some (Hynek and McDonald) were still trying to get leverage to possibly head a future government organization that might follow the Colorado project. Dr. Condon would end that line of thinking in one swift stroke.
Condon steals the purse
In his conclusions of the study, Condon would basically write that nothing of scientific value has been learned about UFOs and nothing will probably ever be learned. He then recommended that any government funding of UFO investigations should be stopped and, if scientists wanted to study UFOs, they should propose their own studies to acquire funding via the normal methods. It was all the USAF and Congress wanted to hear. Dr. Hynek lost his government paycheck, Keyhoe lost any chance for government hearings on the matter, and there would be no further government funding for a project led by UFO proponents like McDonald or Hynek. This is one of the reasons that UFO proponents have vilified Condon and the Colorado project. To them it was the end of an era where UFOs were taken seriously by Congress. Now, nobody would be interested in UFOs outside the little saucer clubs that now populated the landscape.
With the Condon study cutting the purse strings, the USAF quickly got out of the UFO business and went on it's way doing what it did best. All of the Bluebook records would eventually be released and they quickly demonstrated that Bluebook was not involved in any cover-up. At worst, they could be considered inept at taking on an almost impossible task. The Bluebook records would reveal that there was an effort to try and investigate all reports they received when they could. However, as the years passed, they began to lack the manpower and finances to actually look into every case. Their desire to investigate just faded as it became obvious that most of them involved misperceptions of ordinary events.
Meanwhile, NICAP and other UFO groups were suddenly left without anybody to blame. They took potshots at the Condon study and Dr. Hynek wrote a book denigrating the study as unscientific but that was it. Without the USAF to blame, all the UFO groups could do was attempt to get private funding for their "hobby". Since the USAF was no longer"standing in the way", the field was wide open for these groups to make some headway in scientifically studying UFOs. Instead of attempting to capitalize on this opportunity, some of the clubs simply faded away into obscurity. Others grew and filled the void left behind but they did nothing as well. Many went into the "stamp collecting" mode of UFO investigations. They collected UFO reports that they felt defied reasonable explanation. This did not resolve anything but it did make it appear the UFO groups were doing something scientific.
As memory of the Condon study faded, some UFO groups felt that Congress still might see things their way. Once again, they felt that "disclosure" was just around the corner. With the election of President Carter, it was assumed things would be different because the President promised an open administration. Even more, he had reported a UFO sighting years before and was considered sympathetic towards the UFO community. In the spring of 1977, US News and World report would write:
Before the year is out, the Government--perhaps the President--is expected to make what are described as 'unsettling disclosures' about UFO's--unidentified flying objects. Such revelations, based on information from the CIA, would be a reversal of official policy that in the past has downgraded UFO incidents. (Sheaffer UFO 165)
Despite this initial optimism, nothing extraordinary was revealed. Carter tried to get NASA involved but NASA knew better. They saw what happened to the USAF and wanted no part of studying UFOs. Carter did remove some secrecy about the subject but, despite his efforts to be open, the burden of being president required some secrecy and there were continued claims of cover-up even during the Carter years.
Like a broken record, Keyhoe was still talking about the aliens and disclosure in the late 1970s. He told the National Enquirer in early 1979 that "the recent rash of UFO sightings could mean the aliens are ready to identify themselves to us this year" (Sheaffer UFO 164). Again, this promise of disclosure by the aliens or the government went unfulfilled. Not to be outdone, Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) director Walt Andrus would proclaim in 1983 that a book written by Larry Fawcett and Barry Greenwood would blow the lid off the cover up and would "force the Pentagon and our government intelligence agencies to reveal why they have conducted a 'Cosmic Watergate' or cover up with respect to their involvement in UFOs" (Sheaffer UFO 164). As expected by skeptics, these revelations never transpired but the 'Cosmic Watergate' angle would be taken up by a one of UFOlogy's best promoters, Stanton Friedman.
Creating a Cosmic Watergate
Stanton Friedman had been around UFOlogy since the 1960s and likes to present himself as a scientist, who studies UFOs. He does have a masters degree in Nuclear physics but never earned his Phd. Despite his claims, Friedman has never really practiced science when it comes to UFOs. I am unaware of any articles he has written in scientific journals about detailed scientific studies of UFOs. One might find his appeal that "UFOs are real" in some magazines, or possibly journals, but nothing that could be presented as a detailed study of the phenomena. Most of what Friedman has written can be found in books or magazines in the paranormal section of the local library or bookstore.
Friedman dropped out of the nuclear field when the funding ran out and learned that he could earn money writing and talking about UFOs. He was a very big hit and people loved to hear him talk. In fact, Friedman comments in one of his books, "As I gave more lectures, I found that I enjoyed speaking and that people believed me, NO MATTER WHAT I SAID (My emphasis)" (Friedman 9). Apparently, Friedman realized that he could say anything, within reason, and the UFO faithful would accept it. As a result, he began to promote the idea that the governments of the world were hiding one of the greatest secrets of all time and the US government was in control of it all.
In the late 1970's, Friedman had discovered Jesse Marcel Sr. He had told Friedman that he helped recover a crashed flying saucer back in 1947, when he was stationed at Roswell, New Mexico. This was the birth of the Roswell legend and Stanton Friedman was there on the ground floor. It did not take long for Friedman to make the connection that this was a grand conspiracy and cover-up by the US government. Despite having no documentation to support the claim, Friedman began to write about the crash and appear in movies on the subject. All it would take is for some form of documentation to appear that supported his theory of a "Cosmic Watergate".
By the late-1980's, Friedman became involved with a piece of evidence he felt proved his case. That evidence was the infamous MJ-12 documents, which had been mailed to an associate of Friedman under suspicious circumstances. Friedman endorsed the documents as authentic until proven otherwise and has hitched his name to the documents in several books. His support for the documentation's authenticity in the UFO community is considered luke warm at best as soon as inconsistencies appeared in them. Some UFOlogists have gone so far as to declare the documents forgeries. Over the years more of these documents became available and each seemed more unrealistic than the previous document. Even in 2008, over 20 years after the MJ-12 papers were "released", Friedman and others declare them authentic documents despite some good evidence that demonstrates that many, if not all, are fakes.
Because of his association with Roswell and MJ-12, Friedman was one of the principle investigators who was publicly proclaiming that there was a crashed saucer cover-up and the Congress should investigate the matter. UFOlogy once again, sounded the rallying cry of "disclosure".
Resurrecting the whipping boy
The Roswell story is one that was ready made for conspiracy minded UFOlogists. What was originally considered a misidentification of a radar target and weather balloon in 1947 grew into a vast conspiracy by the US government to hide the evidence of a crashed alien spaceship and it's crew in the late 1980s. At the center of this conspiracy was UFOlogy's favorite target, the United States Air Force. The USAF was not interested in pursuing this or any other UFO case simply because they knew better than to get involved in the business again. No matter what they did, they would come out the loser, so they did nothing. Meanwhile, people of all walks of life that lived near or in Roswell, New Mexico started telling all sorts of exotic tales. Eventually, it would reach Congress, where Congressman Stephen Schiff, of New Mexico, attempted to get an investigation started by calling on the General Accounting Office (GAO). Because of this, the USAF would now be required to look into their records and reveal what they knew.
Conspiracy theory rebutted
The GAO's investigation revealed very little in the way of "smoking guns" associated with Roswell. Some UFO groups would find that some missing Roswell messages would be important in indicating a conspiracy but this was later revealed to be normal and the records were probably just lost/destroyed in the normal course of maintaining them. It was the USAF looking at their records, which would strike a big blow to the crashed saucer conspiracy theorists. About the same time the USAF was investigating the case, UFOlogists Karl Pflock and Robert Todd had stumbled across a top secret project called MOGUL that had been using some of the radar targets seen in the photographs taken at the time. The USAF would go through its records and reveal that the most likely source of the debris was from a balloon project operating in New Mexico at the time that was connected to project MOGUL. Additionally, the USAF would declare the MJ-12 documents forgeries, which did not endear them to Stanton Friedman. What was envisioned by UFOlogists as a chance for disclosure turned into a debunking of one of UFOlogy's prize cases. However, because it was debunked by the USAF, UFOlogists still won the publicity campaign by declaring the USAF's report just a continuation of the UFO cover-up. UFO groups got part of what they wanted, free publicity for their cause and an ability to continue the accusation of a cover-up by nefarious individuals in the government.
Stanton Friedman and one of the NSA documents
Promoting the UFO cover-up
While Roswell was the focus of many UFOlogists, others tried to find more "smoking guns" for a cover-up by executing Freedom of Information act requests to the various agencies who may have a connection to the alleged conspiracy or any UFO case. This produced some interesting results but no smoking gun. Since no smoking gun could be found, UFOlogists decided to create one by misrepresenting security concerns associated with some of these documents.
In 1979, UFOlogists attempted to obtain, via Freedom of Information Act request, any documents that the National Security Agency (NSA) had on UFOs. There was a big court case. where a judge did not allow the documents to be released. However, an affidavit filed by the NSA giving the reasons why they should be kept secret was released. Most of the released document was blacked out. UFOlogists, Stanton Friedman among them, jumped up and down declaring there was a "Cosmic Watergate" and here was the evidence. Friedman would take it one step further posing in front of television cameras holding up the documents and declaring the government is keeping UFO information away from the public. However, Friedman only tells everyone part of the story as Phil Klass notes:
Friedman knowingly withholds from his audiences the fact that the heavily censored version of NSA's 21-page court document disclosed that the bulk of the documents being withheld were "communications intelligence (COMINT) reports." Friedman also withholds from his audience the further NSA explanation that these Comint reports "are based on [covertly] intercepted communications of foreign governments." In the affidavit, signed by a top NSA official, Eugene F. Yates, he said: "I certify that disclosure of past and present foreign intelligence communications activities of NSA revealed in the records the plaintiff [CAUS] seeks would endanger highly valuable sources of foreign intelligence." FRIEDMAN NEVER MENTIONS THIS AS A POSSIBLE EXPLANATION OR JUSTIFICATION FOR NSA'S ACTIONS. (Klass Friedman)
It became apparent that Friedman was not really interested in the whole truth coming out because he was busy using the documents to promote his idea of a "cosmic watergate".
After the cold war was pretty much ended, Phil Klass was able to convince the NSA to release all of it's documents concerning UFOs. The released documents, even though some sections were still obscured by white/black out, exposed why there was concern for secrecy surrounding these documents in the 1980's. The NSA had been able to monitor Soviet communications and the documents described Soviet radar operators trying to track unidentified targets just as Klass explained. Some behaved like balloons but none revealed any alien spaceships. The documents could revealed the capabilities of the NSA, which is why they were classified in the first place. According to Patrick Huyghe, Klass had "shown that the believers' "smoking gun" lacked fire of any kind. It barely even packed a squirt" (Huyghe). This did not stop Friedman. He continued to wave the blacked out documents around when he got in front of a camera or lectured at UFO conventions even though the documents have very little, if anything, to do with a "cosmic watergate".
There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of documents released via of FOIA concerning UFOs over the past forty-plus years and not one verifiable document (there have been hoaxed ones) has been able to demonstrate that the US government knows anything more about UFOs than it has already stated. UFOlogists continue to proclaim that this document indicates something or that document demonstrates there was an effort to hid the truth about UFOs. Usually, there is a reasonable explanation but UFOlogists are often too close-minded to accept any answer that does not involve a cover-up. The stories surrounding a conspiracy will sell books and fill UFO convention halls but little else has been accomplished. It would not take long for, somebody new to step forward and demand, yet again, that the US government reveal what it knows about UFOs.
Stephen Greer: Experiencer? Contactee? Fantasist? Prevaricator? Snake oil salesman?
Around 1990, a organization surfaced that called itself the Center for the study of extraterrestrial intelligence (CSETI). It was led by a physician by the name of Dr. Stephen Greer. He organized the group in an effort to not only study UFOs but to contact them as well. To do this, he employed a form of remote viewing/telepathic contact he referred to as Coherent Thought Sequencing (CTS). This involved the group of individuals to think about the UFOs and urge them to come to the group. When the UFOs arrived, it was hoped that they could be contacted by shining a very bright handheld spotlight and flashing them messages. If all went well, the UFO may even take them on a journey into space.
In the mid to late 1990s, the CSETI group began to publish stories about their encounters with alien spaceships and many of them were rather "exotic" in nature. Was Dr. Greer telling accurate stories about what he and his team experienced? Were they able to see and contact huge alien spaceships in Mexico? Many people believed Greer, while others felt Greer was not on an even keel. It would not be long before somebody outside of UFOlogy would write about CSETI and Greer.
Alex Heard published a rather interesting article about CSETI for "Outside" magazine in September 1994. Dr. Greer told him that he had been contacted by somebody from the government and was questioned extensively in a hotel room for some time. Not to be intimidated, Greer would then state that he was not going to allow anybody to stop CSETI from contacting the aliens. It had become apparent that Dr. Greer is presenting a new age version of "contacteeism" mixed in with the cover-up theme found throughout UFOlogy. Instead of stating he had made contact with the aliens, Greer states the aliens are not yet ready to contact earthlings. It is a carrot that Greer tries to dangle in front of his CSETI training groups. By stating, "maybe this time we will make contact", uninformed individuals will be primed to see UFOs even though others might see airplanes or satellites. Greer's ultimate goal is to have a boarding party ride one of these spaceships. So, he goes all over the world attempting to make contact by flashing high powered lights at UFOs and helping people understand the process for a small price. Greer reports that he has had some communication with these UFOs but others disagree:
According to some, that's what happened in March 1992 in Gulf Breeze, Florida, a coastal town that has long been a setting for nighttime sightings. One evening a 39-person CSETI workshop group descended on the beach, ran the CSETI drill under Greer's leadership, and took videos of what look like nothing more than distant lights passing over the water. The way Greer told it in a subsequent self published report, the group scored "a confirmed, close range, multi-witness... interactive encounter" with four UFOs that responded in kind when he signaled "with a 500,000 candle power light in intelligent sequences."
"The sad part," grumbles Bruce Morrison, a local skywatcher whom Greer lists as a witness to this historic contact, "is that we were standing right next to him and we have everything on videotape and voice tape. Regarding his claims, let's just say he has a very, very bad habit of greatly embellishing what he sees." (Heard 4-5)
Greer does not appear to be affected by how people interpret what he reports and he continues to hold his little sessions of flashing lights into the sky. These training groups are a big part of the CSETI program because they produce necessary funds for "research". Unfortunately, a lot of CSETI employees find Greer's use of these funds, as well as his management style, less than satisfactory:
Lately, several ex-CSETIans and former employees, put off by what one calls Greer's "bullying" style, have defected and started talking. The portrait they paint is of an egotistical fraternity president, the type of guy who believes mawkishly in the values he represents but doesn't much care about his pledges except as dues payers.
To be sure, some CSETIans are fully satisfied with the product—for example, Dorothy Ives, a member of the CSETI executive council, who says that her and her husband's initial assessment hasn't changed. "The first time Burl met Steve," she says, "he looked at me and said, 'This man is eminently sane.'" But lapsed members tell stories of behind-the-scenes tantrums (Greer reportedly got pretty hot after the Minnesota workshop, which lost several hundred dollars), expensive globe-trotting to spread the word, and rampant chintziness. Greer likes to moan about the financial sacrifices he's making to carry on CSETI's work--in a letter to Janice Williams, an Asheville woman who managed the CSETI office until last March, Greer claimed that "my income at present is LESS than [my family's] expenses for living"-- but the fact is that he isn't poor. Along with drawing a doctor's paycheck, Greer has several hefty real estate holdings, which he's in the process of liquidating. He and his family live in a 22-room Tudor-style home in one of Asheville's most exclusive subdivisions, Biltmore Forest; it's on the market for $698,000 (recently marked down from $725,000), and he's selling another home for $398,000. He also draws rent from the Asheville office structure that houses CSETI's international headquarters. (Heard 7)
Greer's style of running his organization seems more like a cult than anything else. In 1998, Greer described how the government was having special forces attack and kill aliens in Colorado using Sarin gas. Apparently, Greer was telepathically contacted by the aliens as they were attacked and Greer felt a need to alert the world of this debacle. The story was quickly removed from the CSETI website by some of the staff because of the negative light this article would shed. Claiming to contact aliens with strobe lights is one thing but stating that US soldiers are attacking an alien base is another. One of Greer's associates, Steve Moreno, would write a request that the interview be "frozen" and not released any further. Of course, this did not happen but enough of the story was buried to prevent grave damage to Greer's reputation and his contacts in the media/Congress. Was there a gas attack or was it something that just popped into Greer's head?
Maybe Dr. Greer has an overactive imagination or maybe he is a good confidence man. In either case, it seems that he is not an individual that should be trusted or taken seriously. For some reason, people have ignored his eccentricities and still consider him something of a savior to UFOlogy because he now planned on exposing the UFO cover-up. The cry of "disclosure is imminent" was blinding some in UFOlogy from seeing Dr. Greer for who he is.
Taking over the reigns of disclosure
Starting in the mid-1990s, Dr. Greer had discovered a new dream for his contact with the alien brothers in the sky. In addition to his high priced "training sessions", the good doctor decided he was going to blow the lid off of "cosmic watergate" by obtaining full disclosure by the government about what it knows about UFOs. In order to do this, he setup a series of press conferences and "dog and pony" shows for the media demonstrating the overwhelming evidence he thinks he has concerning government cover-ups and alien visitation.
One of the first of these demonstrations occurred on April 10, 1997. Skeptic, Phil Klass explained that he was not allowed to observe the demonstration:
But CSETI officials refused to admit SUN's editor to hear seven witnesses describe their (alleged) UFO encounters while in military service--tales that Greer claims they are eager to tell if Congress holds an open hearing. (MUFON press briefings are open to all media, including SUN.) CSETI spokesmen said that attendance at the press briefing was "only by invitation," and we had not been invited--despite the fact that we had made a modest financial contribution to CSETI last year in response to its fund-raising drive. Furthermore, they would not even allow us to stand in the hall, 20 feet away from the briefing room, and called the hotel security chief to force us to go upstairs to the main hotel lobby. (Klass CSETI)
Apparently, Phil Klass was banned because he posed a possible threat of asking hard questions to the "disclosure witnesses" that might cast a negative light on their stories. As with many UFO events of this kind, it is more about presenting a specific point of view without any interruptions or unpleasant questions being asked that might show the stories are not as accurate as claimed.
The Greer "dog and pony" show mushroomed at this point into something called the disclosure project. There are many videos one can find on YOUTUBE and other locations showing sincere looking retired military personnel telling their stories about strange UFOs they encountered and the government conspiracy that covers them up. There are claims of hundreds of witnesses but how good is the witness list? It is extensive but it appears to be very tainted. Greer padded his list with a lot of witnesses who have been discredited in the past as being tall story tellers. For instance, some of the individuals on the list include:
Glenn Dennis - Roswell mortician, whose tale about alien autopsies was exposed as a hoax in the mid-1990s.
SGT Clifford Stone - Who is well known among UFOlogists as a tall tale teller.
Col. Philip Corso - Author of "The day after Roswell", which many UFOlogists considered a bunch of nonsense. It has been exposed as being inaccurate and, apparently, a collection of exaggerations by Corso to inflate his personal achievements over the years. Corso and Walter Mitty had a lot in common.
Larry Warren - Claims to be involved in the Rendlesham UFO incident. Many investigators of this case dismiss Warren's claims as absurd. There is no evidence that Warren was even present on the evenings in question. This did not stop Warren from writing his version of events and selling a book on the incident.
SGT Robert Dean - Another person who claims to have seen a top secret manual that some officer allowed him to read to keep himself awake one night. The manual was all about the recovery a crashed spaceship and it's alien crew. Much of his story has been exposed as unlikely by Klass and Randle.
Major George Filer - Talks about an incident at McGuire AFB in New Jersey where he saw/heard about an alien killed by a security patrolmen. This has been exposed as a probable hoax by the National Institute of Discovery Science (NIDS), a UFO proponent organization.
Not only does the list contain some people who have shown to be fabricating or exaggerating their UFO stories, there are also others on the list who have had UFO events that have potential explanations.
Neil Daniels: Airline Pilot - Had his plane diverted in flight by a light to the west of his airplane. The light was in the direction of the planet Venus, which was setting at the time. The plane changed direction about the same time the navigator switched to a new directional beacon for the autopilot.
Professor Robert Jacobs: Lt. US Air Force - Claim to fame is the "Big Sur" UFO, which was explained some time ago by Kingston George.
Commander Graham Bethune - This is the "Gander, Newfoundland UFO" that was described by Phil Klass in UFOs: Explained. Klass points out that it was probably the setting moon that was seen as it broke through a low cloud layer and then set.
Then there is the type of witnesses whose claims are so wild, they are very difficult to believe:
Lance Corporal John Weygandt USMC - Was sent to a UFO crash site in Peru to retrieve alien bodies and debris.
Sgt. Karl Wolf: US Air Force - Describes alien structures on the far side of the moon seen by the Lunar Orbiter prior to men landing on the moon. These images were not presented to the public for viewing.
Sgt. Leonard Pretko: US Air Force - Saw UFOs in Hawaii and knew somebody who stated that MacArthur saw the Roswell crashed spaceship and alien bodies.
MSGT Dan Morris - Numerous stories about him serving in the National Reconnaissance Organization (NRO) after his tour of duty. There he was involved in all sorts of UFO cover-ups, intimidations, and assassinations by certain organizations to keep the UFO cover-up secret.
The funny thing about these eyewitnesses is that they were enlisted men. One would think that enlisted men would be the last ones exposed to such incredible secrets. Of course, not one of the stories can be verified.
To top it all off, Greer included some "scientists" who also made some extraordinary claims. Some of the men listed aren't even real names. We are treated to people with names like "A.H." and "Dr. B", who apparently can not reveal who they are. Considering the wealth of revelations from others, there should be no concern for their personal safety. After all, the best safety for them at this point is to go public. There are also several "zero pont energy" advocates, who describe their efforts to get something from nothing (or practically nothing). Most scientists will tell you that is not possible but Dr. Greer believes anything that supports his claim there is a cover-up of some sort. Of course, none of them can produce a "zero point energy" device or even show their theories actually work.
Most interesting about Greer's list is how he presents people who do not even want to be involved in his disclosure projecet. Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell has always been an advocate for studying paranormal events and initially backed Greer. However, as he became acquainted with Greer and his abilities, he distanced himself:
I cooperated with Steve Greer some years ago, but he began to overreach his data continuously, necessitating a withdrawal by myself, and, I believe, several others. I have requested to be removed from any Web site, announcements, etc., but see that has not taken place...[neither] I, nor any crew I was on (I was on three Apollo crews), received any briefing before or after flights on UFO events, saw anything in space suggesting UFOs or structures on the Moon, etc. (Sheaffer Give)
Greer seems perfectly willing to ignore Mitchell's request. I am sure Greer feels that Mitchell is just being influenced by the "cosmic watergate".
Is there anything worthwhile in the disclosure project? I will admit there are several cases in the list that are worthy of investigation or mentioning. Perhaps knowing more about those cases might shed light on them but I doubt that there is any information anywhere that can resolve them in any way shape or form. You either believe the witnesses saw something exotic or you assume they must have mistaken something for an exotic craft. However, these UFO events that deserve some interest are overshadowed by the ridiculous stories that are nothing more than padding for the witness list. If Dr. Greer were truly interested in the truth he would have vetted this list of all the "kooks" and unreliable people long ago. The problem is that Greer is not as interested in the truth as he claims. He is more interested in using these people for his own personal agenda.
Dr. Greer's "disclosure project" is nothing more than a publicity stunt that produces nothing worthwhile other than obtaining funds from gullible donors. It would not surprise me that it will eventually be revealed that Dr. Greer benefits financially or personally from this endeavor just as he benefits from his efforts with CSETI. For those that believe Dr. Greer and the project, feel free to give your money away to this man. Personally, I think that such money could be spent better elsewhere. There are a lot of good charities in the world that do good work helping their fellow man. Contributing to them would accomplish far more in this world than anything that Dr. Greer is doing with the disclosure project.
Popping the disclosure balloon
The "promise" of UFO disclosure is a myth being presented by people who prey on those that want to believe that the government is evil. Unfortunately, UFOlogists have never figured out that if there were a conspiracy that can be kept secret for over sixty years, what makes them think that any effort is going to reveal the truth? Would such a group that is so powerful that it can hide its existence from Congressmen. Presidents and the media be really bothered by a pulp fiction writer, a washed up nuclear physicist, a glory seeking emergency room doctor, or any other persona associated with UFOlogy?
It is important to note that UFOlogy is not about real scientific investigation of UFOs. It is about personalities who have found a niche in society that allows them to satisfy their egos and appear important to those who want to believe these stories. By promoting the myth that the US government is concealing aliens or information about UFOs, they can continue to write books, appear on "Larry King", and ask for money from credulous individuals who want to believe them. With that kind of sensationalism being sold, there is no reason for many UFOlogists to really want "disclosure". This is why "disclosure", in the sense that many in UFOlogy describe, will never happen and why it is nothing more than a myth.
Friedman, Stanton. Top Secret: MAJIC. New York: Marlowe & Company, 1997
Hall, Richard ed. The UFO Evidence. 1964. New York: National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena/Barnes & Nobles Inc. 1997.
Heard, Alex. "Alien brothers, Come on down!" Outside Magazine. September 1994 1-9. Available WWW at: http://www.mufon-ces.org/docs/outsidemagazine.pdf
Huyghe, Patrick. "Klass counts coup". Space.com website. 13 January 2000. Available WWW at: http://www.space.com/sciencefiction/phenomena/klass_nsa_000113.html
"Friedman Withholds Significant Information" Skeptic's UFO Newsletter, January 1997 4.
-. "CSETI Bars SUN's Editor From Its Washington Press Briefing" Skeptic's UFO Newsletter, May 1997 6-7.
Peebles, Curtis. Watch the Skies: A Chonicle of the Flying Saucer Myth. New York: Berkley, 1994.
Quintanilla, Hector. "UFO's: An Air Force Dilemma." Unpublished Manuscript. National Institute for Discovery Science, 1974
Sheaffer, Robert. "Give me disclosure, or give me death!" Skeptical Inquirer March 2002
-. UFO Sightings: The evidence. Amherst: Prometheus, 1998
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