by Michael Salla, Ph.D.
May 19, 2010
from Examiner Website
The study of UFOs is commonly assumed to have began on June 23, 1947 with a sighting in Washington State by a respected local pilot Kenneth Arnold.
After an interview describing what he saw, the crescent shaped objects were quickly dubbed by the media ‘flying saucers.’
Subsequent books by Major Donald Keyhoe (ret. USMC) and other popular authors of the time increasingly came to the conclusion that flying saucers were extraterrestrial in origin. The term ‘flying saucer’ more and more became associated with the extraterrestrial hypothesis.
If one spoke of flying
saucers, it was accepted that one was talking about technologies
that had an other-worldly origin, and this had important public
policy implications. Keyhoe eventually realized that the highest
echelon of the military leadership in the U.S. were very anxious to
cover up the extraterrestrial explanation, and ignore the
conclusions of investigations conducted by even their own
Keyhoe rightly understood that the flying saucer phenomenon had become deeply political and imbedded within the national security system with respective advocates and opponents of releasing all the evidence to the public. The scientific question about flying saucers had already been conclusively answered – they were not of terrestrial origin, at least not of any terrestrial science known at the time.
The most plausible explanation was the
flying saucers were extraterrestrial in origin, and the USAF was
trying to steer the public from this obvious conclusion. Keyhoe’s
analyses of the politics surrounding flying saucers as
extraterrestrial vehicles, forms the original source for what today
is better described as exopolitics - the study of extraterrestrial
life and its public policy implications.
The best minds of the USAF, secretly supported by the CIA and select U.S. government agencies, tried to come up with satisfactory answers to Keyhoe’s probing questions and voluminous evidence he had gathered. Some of the evidence in fact was classified data that the Air Force itself had given Keyhoe access to during a time of greater openness, but now wanted to deny in what was clearly a change of policy.
The final solution adopted by the USAF in response to Keyhoe and others was to obfuscate.
The key to this new policy was to introduce a term that would help steer the public away from discussion of the extraterrestrial hypothesis. In 1952, the USAF through its Project Blue Book, introduced the term Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) claiming it to be a more objective term that did not have the same extraterrestrial connotation as flying saucer.
The USAF left a big question mark over the origin of UFOs.
The flying saucer term eventually disappeared from media and public accounts of what was being witnessed in the skies and the world’s oceans.
Thus the UFO term has become associated with many mundane explanations that account for many public sightings. Up to 95% of UFO sightings are routinely dismissed as having mundane explanations which is consistent with the final report of Project Blue Book in 1970 that only 6 % of UFO reports are genuinely unexplained.
Proponents of the scientific
study of UFOs typically respond by saying 5% or so of thousands of
UFO sightings still constitutes a lot of cases that might have an
This explanation supports a claim by CIA historian, Gerald K. Haines, that the CIA actually encouraged UFO reports as a cover for the secret spy aircraft being built for it at Area 51. If up to 95% of UFO reports have a conventional explanation, and among the remaining 5% many in fact are highly classified aircraft, what does that mean for the extraterrestrial hypothesis?
One is looking for the proverbial
needle in the haystack as more historical data comes out about
classified military aviation projects being misidentified as UFOs.
It increasingly appears that the scientific study of UFOs is a dead
end if one wants to learn the truth about whether or not
extraterrestrials are visiting the earth.
Exopolitics has two main tracks of study. These are:
Professor Stephen Hawking, along with astrobiology conferences held in Rome (November 2009) and London (January 2010) have recently given a major boost to the first exopolitics track.
It is now
“perfectly rational,” according to Hawking, for scientists to
discuss the policy implications for extraterrestrial life.
No matter where one stands on this wide ranging
debate, it’s important to understand that major scientists are
giving serious thought to it; and that this is clearly an exopolitics debate, and not a debate over UFOs. Indeed, the same
scientists who are encouraging an exopolitics debate ignore the UFO
According to these whistleblowers and/or witnesses, this is a well known among responsible government, military and corporate authorities.
Thus the term UFO merely serves to obfuscate what these
many whistleblowers/witnesses claim they have direct knowledge of,
i.e., advanced extraterrestrial vehicles (ETVs) visiting our planet.
It is therefore important that exopolitics as a new field is not undermined by those wishing to subsume it with the scientific study of UFOs.
Such a study is a dead end given the way in which the UFO term lumps together anomalous phenomena that have conventional explanations (up to 95% of sightings cases), highly classified military aircraft (remaining 5%), and objects that may be genuinely extraterrestrial in origin (again, part of the remaining 5%).
Instead, something similar to the
original ‘flying saucer’ term is necessary in order to be explicit
that what is being discussed or investigated is a possible
extraterrestrial vehicle (ETV) belonging to one or more visiting
civilizations with profound (exo)political implications for our