The Disclosure Project, The UFO Cover-Up, and Government Secrecy
"If I become President, I'll make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available to the public, and the scientists. I am convinced that UFOs exist because I have seen one..."
Former President Jimmy Carter during his election campaign in May of 1976
"...In the firm belief that the American public deserves a better explanation than thus far given by the Air Force, I strongly recommend that there be a committee investigation of the UFO phenomena. I think we owe it to the people to establish credibility regarding UFOs and to produce the greatest possible enlightenment on the subject."
Former President Gerald Ford, in a letter he sent as a Congressman to L. Mendel Rivers, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, 28 March 1966
For years, I have been especially interested in the manner in which President Carter's words and opinions regarding his experience with, and intentions by, what are called "UFOs", have been handled by the media. I have heard President Carter on more than one occasion, on outlets like CSPAN, in the course of addressing other world issues, discuss and even lament over his inability to fulfill his 1976 campaign pledge, reported in newspapers like The Daily Telegragh, to access and make public, government files regarding official inquiries and evidence regarding unidentified flying objects, the so-called "UFOs". I have also watched the peculiar manner in which prominent newscasters like Ted Koppel, host of ABC's Nightline have handled the subject when it has been presented to them. And, of course, there are the fascinating and comparatively little-known programs that deal with the subject at length. These programs and documentaries usually air on cable channels like The History Channel and Discovery Channel. Similar but smaller presentations like those which appear on the aforementioned outlets make can be seen on specialty programs like "Unsolved Mysteries" and years ago, on shows like "That's Incredible" or "In Search Of...".
In the decade that I have followed the subject and discussion that accompanies it, I have come to a handful of conclusions - one of which is that the U.S. government and its most senior officials, along with others in the private sector, absolutely, and beyond a shadow of a doubt, have evidence of the existence of UFOs; have maintained audio and video footage and written files of its own inquiry into the controversial subject; have deliberately obfuscated and obstructed the public's view, knowledge and understanding of the issue; and have worked with prominent members of the mainstream media to distract, marginalize, and discredit the legitimate activities and legal efforts of many who have publicly expressed their belief in the existence of UFOs, witnessed, photographed or filmed UFOs; or sought to obtain the government's own files on the subject.
Another conclusion that I have arrived at is that every single person that I have personally discussed the matter with, who dismisses it, has done so without any real contact with information pertaining to how the United States government has handled the controversy. Ridicule, ad hominem and ad populum attacks are the hallmark of such uninformed reactions, that really point to an emotional need in many such individuals for the so-called UFOs to not be real. Many others express their lack of interest in the subject and still, others, remain open-minded, intrigued or willing to engage any reasonable presentation on the subject. To say the least, a variety of reactions occur when the subject is broached, in public or private.
In my opinion, the manner in which the U.S. government has handled the matter is, in many ways, similar to how it handled decade-old rumors and suspicions, last century, that the American government was subversively and illegally working against legitimate law-abiding Black, civil rights, populist and progressive leaders and organizations.
Fortunately, we have much, but not all, of the government files that prove the reality of such an effort. This is due in large part to the release of previously secret government files on the work of the CIA and particularly the FBI's Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO). For many, the release of government files confirmed what many Blacks already knew or suspected was going on. Interestingly, what is now almost a uniformly accepted fact in the Black community, remains unknown and unbelievable for much of the larger White public, which includes individuals who believe that it is not even possible for its government to do what Blacks not only allege but can demonstrate evidence to support, through COINTELPRO files.
A very similar dynamic exists with the government's handling of the subject of UFOs.
And as there were many Blacks and Whites who eventually called for the release of government files regarding the existence of COINTELPRO; there is a like-minded group which has arisen that in a very methodical fashion, is working to open up, to public view, government files on UFOs that are known to exist, and other files that may exist on the subject. Not only has this group diligently worked to obtain the release of these files, they have also briefed prominent members of Congress and members at the highest level of the Executive Branch and intelligence community regarding the subject. In addition, and maybe most importantly, this group has gathered an impressive array of around 500 individuals, who primarily, as scientists, air traffic controllers, aircraft pilots, former government employees, and members of the defense, military and intelligence communities are prepared to testify before Congress regarding their direct experiences with UFOs and more.
The group is called The Disclosure Project, and in May of 2001, they held a major event where the group's Director, Steven M. Greer, M.D., and several of the Disclosure Project's witnesses, including several military generals, government officials with top-secret clearance, and former defense contractors who previously or currently work for companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, explained the purpose of the group and provided written information and video and radar footage indicating the existence of UFOs that exhibit technology and capabilities far superior to that which the general public has witnessed in commercial, military, and aerospace flight. Some of the presentations that day, including those from air traffic controllers from Mexico and a FAA Division chief were especially striking.
The Disclosure Project's press conference, by the admission of the National Press Club, generated the most public and media attention in the history of the prestigious Washington D.C.-based media members-only organization.
That press conference was one of the public events that the Disclosure Project undertook that week. In addition, private briefings and discussions with several members of the United States Congress took place and a day later, there was an exclusive VIP meeting, attended by a small group of scientists, military officials, defense contractors, air traffic controllers, and congressional staffers who were shown even more impressive video footage, government files, first-hand eyewitness accounts, and scientific arguments than were made available during the press conference.
I was one person included in this small group that met at a hotel conference room in Washington D.C. and witnessed what was presented and discussed.
The U.S. government, in my firm opinion is definitely hiding something pertaining to UFOs from the general public. More than just supporting my conviction in the existence of the UFOs, the presentations of the Disclosure Project raised my understanding of the inner-workings and mechanics of what has become known as the military-industrial-complex. The Disclosure Project's work provides a deeper understanding of two quotations, from prominent American political leaders, which the group includes in its literature:
"There exists a shadowy Government with its own Air Force, its own Navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself."
- Senator Daniel K. Inouye
"In the councils of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together."
- President Eisenhower, January 1961
Anyone who is interested in reading an impressive literary work, which provides referenced documentation and a lucid narrative of the U.S. government's handling of the "UFO phenomenon", should obtain a copy of Above Top Secret - The World Wide UFO Cover-Up by Timothy Good.
One of the photocopied documents that the reader will find in the work is a copy of a letter dated March 28, 1975 written by U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, former Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to an individual at U.C.L.A. Experimental College, the text of which reads:
"The subject of UFOs is one that has interested me for some long time. About ten or twelve years ago I made an effort to find out what was in the building at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where the information is stored that has been collected by the Air Force, and I was understandably denied this request, it is still classified above Top Secret. I have, however, heard that there is a plan under way to release some, if not all, of this material in the near future. I'm just as anxious to see this material as you are, and I hope we will not have to wait much longer."
And those individuals who are looking for an excellent primer on the reality of U.S. government secrecy and how and why the government withholds existing information and files, even from lawmakers who have the right to see such material should read Secrecy by former U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
Those who dismiss a UFO cover-up should not only consider how little they really know about the controversy but better yet, how little they know about the issue of government secrecy - regardless to what the subject hidden from public view may be. To that end I end this very brief introduction with a quote from Senator Moynihan - a former chairman of the bipartisan Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy - taken from the first chapter of Secrecy:
Secrecy is a form of regulation. There are many such forms, but a general division can be made between those dealing with domestic affairs and those dealing with foreign affairs. In the first category, it is generally the case that government prescribes what the citizens must do. In the second category, it is generally the case that government prescribes what the citizen may know.
In the United States, secrecy is an institution of the administrative state that developed during the great conflict of the twentieth century. It is distinctive primarily in that it is all but examined. There is a formidable literature of the public mode, virtually none on secrecy. Rather, there is a considerable literature, but it is mostly secret. Indeed, the modes of secrecy remain for the most part - well, secret. On inquiry there are regularities: patterns that fit well enough with what we have learned about other forms of regulation. But there has been so little inquiry that the actors involved seem hardly to know the set roles they play. Most important, they seem to know the damage they can do. This is something more than inconveniencing to the citizen. At times, in the name of national security, secrecy has put that very security in harm's way.
How did secrecy and bureaucracy become so entwined - a vast secrecy system almost wholly hidden from view? What has it cost (no less than what it has achieved)? A clearer picture is emerging.
In light of Senator Moynihan's own words consider what follows, excerpted from Above Top Secret and the role that a mainstream media, influenced by some in government, plays in ensuring secrecy. From a section entitled, "TV Censorship":
On 22 January 1958, CBS Television presented a program devoted to UFO's on its "Armstrong Theater Show," and one of those invited to appear was major Donald Keyhoe, Director of the National Investigations committee Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). Keyhoe had cultivated some excellent sources of information within military circles, and frequently stated on the air - and in his books - that the US government was withholding the facts in order to avoid panic.
Several Air Force spokesmen were also scheduled to appear, but insisted on seeing Keyhoe's script in advance and asked for assurances that no "ad libs" would be permitted. Keyhoe was told that he would be allotted seven minutes on the program, whereas the Air Force had been given twenty-five minutes air time. When Keyhoe's material was returned, all the salient point had been deleted on the grounds that the script was too long, despite the fact that he had carefully timed it. But Keyhoe had retained one statement, which he planned using:
There is an official policy, believed in the best interests of the people, not to confirm existence of UFOs until all the answers are known. Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, former Chief of Project Blue Book, has confirmed the existence of four important documents that should be noted. In 1948, in a "top Secret" estimate, the ATIC [Air Technical Intelligence Center] concluded that UFOs were interplanetary spaceships. In 1952, an Air Force Intelligence analysis of UFO maneuvers brought the same conclusion...interplanetary. In January 1953 a report by a panel of top scientists at the Pentagon reached this conclusion: There is strong circumstantial evidence, but no concrete proof that UFOs are spaceships.
Keyhoe was told that he could not use this statement. The final show was a farce, bearing little relation to the program as originally conceived, with the Air Force spokesman concentrating on some of the sillier stories of contacts with spacemen. By the time Keyhoe appeared with his heavily edited script, little could be done to salvage the situation. But in desperation he suddenly veered from his script on the teleprompter: 'And now I'm going to reveal something that has never been disclosed before...for the last six months we have been working with a congressional committee investigating official secrecy about UFOs..." But by now the producer had cut the audio off the air and the public never heard Keyhoe's concluding statement: "...If all the evidence we have given this committee is made public in open hearings it will absolutely prove that the UFOs are real machines under intelligent control."
NICAP later obtained a statement from the CBS Director of editing, Herbert A. Carlborg, which proves that Major Keyhoe was cut off the air in the interests of security. "This program had been carefully screened for security reasons," he said. "Therefore, it was the responsibility of this network to ensure performance that was in accordance with predetermined security standards. Any indication that there would be a deviation from the script might lead to a statement that neither this network nor the individuals on the program were authorized to release."
In the 1950s NICAP revealed some significant statements they had received from prominent members of Congress, of which the following give a clear indication of how seriously the aspect of official secrecy about the subject was treated.
Senator Leverett B Saltonstall (MA): "We must consider the genuine security necessities...but I think there are many cases in which more information should be made available to the public."
Representative William H. Ayres (OH): "Congressional investigations have been held and are still being held on the problems of unidentified flying objects…Since most of the material presented is classified, the hearings are never printed."
Representative Walter H.Moeller (OH): "[I have] every confidence that the American public would be able to take such information without hysteria. The fear of the unknown is always greater than fear of the known."
Representative Ralph J. Scott (NC): "If this information could be presented in such a way as to appeal to reason, and not to emotion, I think it would be a good thing.
Senator Richard B. Russell, former Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who had a sighting in the Soviet Union in 1955..., was subsequently asked about official secrecy by the aviation columnist Tom Towers. 'I have discussed this with the affected agencies of the government," the senator replied, 'and they are of the opinion that it is unwise to publicize the matter at this time."
Tomorrow: Scripture, Prophecy, The Mother Wheel, and Minister Farrakhan's Vision
Wednesday: Exclusive Interview With Dr. Steven Greer, Director of The Disclosure Project (Part 1)
Thursday: Exclusive Interview With Dr. Steven Greer, Director of The Disclosure Project (Part 2)
Monday, July 22, 2002