Thomas Kuhn, the influential scholar who introduced the concept of paradigm change, wrote that the work of scientists is usually predicated on the assumption that they know what the world is like.
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In the end, however, they’re often shown to have been seriously mistaken, though many are never quite able to accept this fact.
The same could be said of historians. The so-called “newspapers of record” faithfully report events as government sources dictate, while turning a blind eye to anyone who fundamentally challenges the official line.
Historians, in turn, base their narratives on these biased accounts, often buttressing their work with selectively released government documents, many carefully contrived for calculated impact.
Historians, like scientists, are too often unable to imagine or accept that they have missed something of enormous significance.
A few, such as Howard Zinn, know that there’s much more to the human story than the officially promulgated version. This is especially true in our national-security state, dominated as it is by institutions with a huge financial stake in carefully managing public perceptions via their extensive array of media contacts.
World War I first put the U.S. on the path toward its current national-security mindset with all the attendant propaganda machinery. The war was a hard sell at first, so journalists were hired to overcome public opposition. But it was during World War II when American society really began shedding its traditional values in pursuit of systemic self-deception.
The War Powers Act forged a lasting alliance between the U.S. military and the news media. In the interests of victory and global dominance, U.S. journalists happily abandoned their traditional ideal of speaking truth to power and went to work for the government censoring the news and drafting official lies.
It was also during World War II that science showed itself capable of delivering a stunning new power that could reduce an entire city to ashes in a single blinding flash.
In the wake of this shocking development, a thick veil of draconian secrecy legislation was drafted to ensure that further disturbing scientific findings would never see publication in the open literature. Science quickly split into two branches: public and private.
Thus, the psychological foundations were laid for a schizoid society that would grow increasingly unable to discern the full extent of its own self-deceptions. Black-budget programs mushroomed and multiplied until it was impossible to know just where our tax dollars were disappearing.
Despite harsh penalties for discussing certain banned truths, not everyone in the sprawling national-security bureaucracy always follows the rules. Some simply grow weary of living with their weighty secrets. Others become disillusioned with the paranoid national-security mindset.
Long-secret documents periodically come to light, either by legislative intent or accident. Others surface through the efforts of independent researchers too bull-headed to swallow the official story and curious about the many pieces that never seem to fit. In the past, the national media organizations with their close ties to official Washington could be counted on to contain any major revelations and faithfully shore up consensus reality.
The Internet has changed all the old rules.
The consensus version of American history, if it mentions them at all, assigns “flying saucers” to the status of a curious national psychosis – a fleeting, post-War psycho-social reaction of no lasting importance, fit only to be scoffed at and quickly forgotten. Those who embrace this view do so out of an ignorance carefully manufactured and sustained by the Pentagon and the CIA over many decades.
In his recent book, Strange Company: Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II, author Keith Chester peels back the still-thick layers of wartime censorship to reveal some astonishing discoveries.
Although newspapers and magazines of the period occasionally made brief reference to mysterious “foo fighters” that combat pilots reported sighting, the full extent of these observations was withheld from the American public.
The truth, as Chester makes clear through his painstaking research, is that these strange phenomena were far more common during the war than the public was allowed to know. Evidently, our global efforts at mutual slaughter were being systematically observed by someone far more technologically advanced.
They may not have liked what they saw.
At the center of Allied efforts to understand these puzzling phenomena was a little-known American physicist turned wartime scientific-intelligence officer, Dr. H.P. Robertson.
Aside from being an accomplished physicist and colleague of such luminaries as Albert Einstein and J. Robert Oppenheimer, Robertson was the main liaison between British and American scientific intelligence. He thus became close friends with the British scientist Dr. Reginald Victor (R.V.) Jones whose technical expertise was focused on devising clever ways to hoodwink Nazi intelligence. (Jones wrote about these exploits after the war in books such as The Wizard War.)
He continued to maintain a professional interest in the techniques of deception and often consulted with the U.S. intelligence community.
Dr. Robertson’s interest in anomalous aerial phenomena may have begun prior to the war. Early 20th century writer Charles Fort had penned a series of popular books summarizing reports of unusual things seen in, or falling from, the sky.
Fort discerned the dim outlines of a larger realm of activity of which humanity was just a small and uncomprehending part.
“I think we are property,” he once reflected.
Scientists had occasionally seen and reported odd flying objects during the 19th and early 20th centuries and sometimes published their observations in the scientific literature including, even, Scientific American.
Scholars and scientific-intelligence experts of the calibre of Robertson and Jones were quite probably aware of this, or at least became so during their war-time efforts to understand what pilots were reporting.
The American public knew little about such things until after the war. With the consequent expiration of the War Powers Act and the gradual re-emergence of a relatively free press, Americans began to learn about phenomena Robertson and Jones had already been pondering for some years.
The number of such news reports astonished the American public and alarmed the U.S. military-intelligence community. According to journalism professor Herbert Strentz, who wrote his doctoral dissertation on UFO-related press coverage, hundreds of thousands, and perhaps a million or more articles about flying saucers appeared in U.S. newspapers between 1947 and 1966.
A full account of this ignored but pivotal aspect of American history is being written by historian Richard Dolan, author of what will likely become a three-part series.
UFOs and the National Security State, Volume One, published in 2000, covers the years from 1941 to 1973. The book has received wide acclaim and has been selling briskly.
Volume Two, which covers the period 1973 to 1991 is due out this spring and is a widely anticipated event.
Many of the more impressive flying-saucer reports originated with commercial airline pilots, many of whom had combat flying experience and were regarded as highly credible observers.
1952, the year America tested its first hydrogen bomb, was a landmark year for flying-saucer sightings. Objects were even seen and photographed over Washington, D.C., sparking a national sensation and provoking a major effort by the Pentagon to explain the sightings away.
As Richard Dolan explains, however, the government was far from complacent about the saucer phenomenon, as early intelligence documents reveal. Edward J. Ruppelt, Head of the Air Force’s Project Blue Book, related some of the reasons for military concern in his 1956 book, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects.
The flying saucers were displaying concentrated interest in militarily significant installations, especially those related to nuclear weapons.
“UFOs were seen more frequently around areas vital to the defence of the United States,” Ruppelt confessed.
“The Los Alamos-Albuquerque area, Oak Ridge, and White Sands Proving Ground rated high. Port areas, Strategic Air Command bases, and industrial areas ranked next.”
By 1954, military authorities admitted that pilots were reporting between five and ten flying-saucer sightings per night – this at a time when air traffic was a mere trickle of what it has become.
Serious talk of an invasion from outer space was in the air.
By December, President Dwight Eisenhower found it necessary to reassure the American public that, “flying saucers were not invading the earth from outer space.”
The dismissal was published on the front page of the December 16th New York Times.
Behind the scenes, the CIA was preparing to use its extensive resources to reduce the number of flying saucer stories appearing the nation’s newspapers. Following a review of several high-profile stories, a panel chaired by Dr. Robertson recommended that flying saucers be discredited via a covert, mass-media program of “training and debunking.”
Many of the same institutions that had produced wartime propaganda were to be employed. Meanwhile, UFO-research groups were to be monitored because of their potential impact on public opinion.
In my book, The Missing Times, I reported on new evidence that CBS TV was among the CIA’s “media assets” that participated in this covert UFO-debunking program.
In 1966, CBS broadcast UFOs: Friend, Foe or Fantasy, narrated by Walter Cronkite, as part of its “CBS Reports” documentary series.
Cronkite assured his viewers, using false and misleading information, that all UFO reports were due to mistaken perceptions. In short, there was nothing for the public to worry about, he said. A hand-written letter by Robertson Panel member Dr. Thornton Page, discovered in the Smithsonian’s archives by Prof. Michael Swords confirms the CIA’s long-suspected role in the program.
In a 1966 letter, Page related to a CIA associate that he, “helped organize the CBS TV show around the Robertson Panel’s conclusions.”
Was this the only such case?
How likely is it that the Robertson Panel waited 13 years before calling upon one of its media assets to debunk UFOs, only did this once, and somehow managed to get caught red-handed the first and only time? It is far more likely that the CBS program was just one of many such covert propaganda initiatives carried out over the years since the Robertson Panel made its recommendations.
Why would CBS agree to disinform the American public about flying saucers on behalf of the CIA? Part of the answer is that something of tremendous national-security importance was happening in 1966 that the U.S. military did not want widely known.
Flying saucers were visiting the Minuteman missile fields surrounding Great Falls, Montana, home of Malmstrom Air Force Base, as well as other such military installations. In some cases, they hovered right outside launch control facilities while evidently shutting down entire wings of independent, nuclear-tipped missiles. (This activity was reported by Montana newspapers but was ignored by the national news agencies.)
A similar series of contacts occurred in the mid-1970s, once again with extensive regional news coverage.
These events may sound like science fiction but they most certainly are not. Minuteman launch officers (who, it should be emphasized, underwent extensive psychological screening before being put in charge of nuclear weapons) have begun breaking their decades-long silence about these events. Upwards of a hundred first-hand witnesses to such activity have now talked and more are coming forth all the time.
Examples include Air Force Academy graduate Robert Salas, whose launch complex was visited in 1967 by a glowing disk-shaped craft that terrorized topside guards before systematically shutting down his wing of Minuteman missiles. The event was not unique. Even Soviet missile installations were visited.
It is now becoming clear that such “nuclear close encounters” have taken place many times since the U.S. first exploded a nuclear bomb at New Mexico’s Trinity test site in July of 1945. This fact is undoubtedly one of the Cold War era’s biggest secrets.
Author and researcher Robert Hastings has just published an exhaustive summary of such events as related by former military personnel.
His landmark book, UFOs and Nukes, is the product of over three decades of careful research. The extent of UFO activity over nuclear weapons sites is stunning. Helpless guard personnel sometimes set up lawn chairs so they could watch the glowing unidentified intruders as they silently maneuvered over the missile fields.
The book goes a long way toward explaining why UFOs have been such a hot public-relations potato for the U.S. government over the decades. Hastings makes it very clear that someone, from somewhere else, does not like what we humans have been doing with our nuclear toys, and has tried repeatedly to warn us away from such dangerous activities.
If this seems hard to accept by those who consider themselves well informed, it is because very few Americans appreciate how cozy American news organizations have become with the U.S. intelligence bureaucracy. Censorship and propaganda are highly sophisticated and well-funded activities that consume a huge fraction of the CIA’s budget.
The sensitive link between flying saucers and nuclear weapons was very carefully hidden using an array of sophisticated psychological techniques. There is evidence that deception expert Dr. R.V. Jones played a key role in planning such tricks.
As I explain in The Missing Times, there is also evidence that major American news organizations played a central role in the flying saucer deception and are not at all anxious to have this role exposed. Hence, they continue to maintain their silence and ignore the many military UFO witnesses now coming forth.
In the Internet Age, however, this gate-keeping role is becoming increasingly ineffective, as indicated by many public-opinion polls.
Now that these astonishing Cold War secrets are out, one of the most important questions we need to ask is,
Whose interests were really being served by this massive deception campaign?
Were flying saucers a threat to humanity or just to the military-industrial establishment and its costly nuclear arsenal?
Was the Pentagon looking out for our interests or just its own?
Whatever the case, a paradigm of cosmic dimensions has begun to shift and our world will never be the same.
In the face of great institutional resistance, the truth has now emerged for the public to review and contemplate. Few areas of American life will remain unaffected by this.
American history for the past 60-some years will need to be drastically re-written. Academics will be forced to reconsider some of their most cherished assumptions about humanity, its origins, and its role in the larger universe. The credibility of many established corporate and government institutions will be utterly destroyed.
This future is coming, ready or not.
By Terry Hansen, an independent journalist and author of “The Missing Times: News media complicity in the UFO cover-up.”