by Stuart Miller

UFO REVIEW - March 2005 Number 9

from UFOReview Website

Ever since it stuck its head above the parapet of the Ufological citadel, Exopolitics has been regularly hammered. When you understand the essence of it, itís not hard to see why. Exopoliticians work from the premise that there is already sufficient solid evidence to confirm the existence of UFOs and the alien presence on Earth and that the nuts and bolts people should give up trying to prove the minutiae of cases and instead look at other means of progressing with the Truth.

And for them, that means whistleblower testimony - the evidence of those who have worked on projects for the American government involving aliens and their craft and what they have to say about it.

That sounds all well and good until you get to the issue about proof. Because all most whistleblowers have to offer are their words, what they say they saw and did.

Which is fair enough. But further, when you go on to check out their credentials to see whether theyíre telling the truth or not, some of their backgrounds donít seem to match up with what they claim.

This, as far as the nuts and bolts folk are concerned, tips Exopolitics over the edge into fantasy land. In fact some allege itís much worse than that and that it brings Ufology into disrepute. Strong stuff.

Michael Salla

Dr. Salla is an articulate and highly intelligent individual who currently leads the charge on behalf of the Exopolitics cause. My own instincts say that Exopolitics might have something going for it but that perhaps it needs tightening up in some areas. I was curious to find out more. I contacted Dr. Salla for an interview which he was kind enough to grant me and we spoke on February 16th 2005. He was in his home in Hawaii.

SM: Stuart Miller          MS: Michael Salla

SM: Iíve not looked at Exopolitics before but itís been gradually chipping away at me. To be perfectly honest, thereís been so much negativity about it, itís been easier to turn away from it than to take a serious look. But youíve almost forced me to take it seriously and to consider it. Do you see Exopolitics as the way forward now?
MS: Definitely. I think a lot of people really are looking for understanding what is going on in terms of the secret policy-making thatís been going on. I think thereís a lot of evidence that people have accepted that there is a presence that hasnít been divulged to the general public and people are interested and are asking, ďWhat does that mean politically?Ē and they are looking for anyone who can give some kind of analysis of what is happening and I think thatís why the Exopolitics concept is beginning to take off.

SM: You said a moment ago that people are looking to see whatís happening politically. Arenít they just not looking for confirmation that something really exists?
MS: Well, I think thatís part of it. I think that when people look at all the evidence that exists, they come away feeling thereís a lot of evidence there but thereís still the debate about whether itís conclusive or not. But I think intuitively people feel thereís a lot happening and that points to some governmental cover up or something that the government is not fully disclosing and thatís a political process and so people become interested in whatís happening in the political arena.

SM: So you would define it as looking towards government to get some sort of confirmation or revelation that somethingís going on as opposed to finding hard evidence of something physical happening.
MS: I think people have more or less accepted that there is sufficient hard evidence out there for something happening in terms of a UFO presence and an extraterrestrial association with that. And so theyíre looking for not so much governmental acknowledgement of that but more an idea of what it is that the government have set up secretly to deal with this. I think people understand itís unlikely the government are going to come out soon with some acknowledgement of this. But I think people are asking about what is the secret process thatís been set up from the very beginning when this whole arena was acknowledged to be something legitimate.

SM: Why do you think that Exopolitics concerns or infuriates or irritates the nuts and bolts Ufologists so much?

Stephen Bassett

MS: I think they are really looking for hard evidence and wanting to be able to use whatever information theyíve gained to then go to the next step and give cautious statements about whatís needed to be done next.
So when they look at this concept of Exopolitics which is based on the idea that there is sufficient evidence substantiating an undisclosed extraterrestrial presence, they think that itís really moving into the area of conjecture and speculation. We may say, ďWell, we really need to build on the hard evidenceĒ and of course those that are defending the Exopolitics concept are saying, ďThe hard evidence is there. You just havenít taken it to the next step of looking at the political process that surrounds all things pertaining to UFOs and an undisclosed extraterrestrial presence.

SM: Do you think itís possible for somebody to have a foot in both camps?
MS: I think thatís what people like Stephen Bassett and Steven Greer are doing. They do have a foot in both camps. Myself, I have much more of a political background. I do have that international politics training and so Iím looking really at the evidence Iíve found that there is a secret infrastructure set up to deal with this whole UFO arena. Thatís really what I look at and so Iím not looking at the nuts and bolts aspect as does the traditional UFO researcher and Iím really in the exopolitics arena.

SM: What evidence have you found?

General Vandenberg

MS: A lot of it comes from multiple sources. Some of the key documents that emerged from the beginning of UFO research, such as the way in which the original Project Sign report was dealt with by the US air force when the Chief of Staff General Vandenberg got a report from the Project Sign team that was conclusive in terms of the UFO phenomenon and an Extraterrestrial hypothesis and he turned round in 1948 and sent that back down saying, ďI donít want a conclusive result, I want an inconclusive resultĒ. And I looked at that particular process and realized that a political process was already set up whereby there was no chance that the air force would accept a conclusive result to any investigation by its own technical experts into the UFO phenomenon. That to me suggested a political system had been set up whereby this was going to be kept out of the public arena.

And then you look at things like the Project Blue Book process where they got junior air force officers like Captain Ruppelt to deal with a phenomenon which had enormous policy implications not only for the US but for the whole planet, but dealt with by these junior officers who had very few resources. Ruppelt himself described how he couldnít even get a staff car to investigate the 1952 UFO sightings. So that to me suggests to me that there was already a cover up going on.

Then you have people such as Major Donald Keyhoe describing the official process that was covering up this information so I recognize that there was a political process in place here and that it was worth investigating that.

SM: What reasons have you discovered or that you assume for the cover up?
MS: I think that the main reasons pertain to the impact on the general public in terms of the culture and religion. I think thereís also the impact on the economic arena in terms of such industries as the energy sector which could become redundant virtually overnight. I think thereís also the national security implications in terms of the extraterrestrial races having an increased ability to communicate with the general public in ways that national security agencies might find a threat to continued stability.

SM: Do you feel that those reasons are justified or do you feel that the world in general, with all those components youíve just gone through, could actually deal or cope with the revelation?
MS: I think itís a really complex question. Certainly the government could do much more in terms of preparing the general public but I think that there is a real question over the preparedness of the general public to really handle the full scope of what is happening in terms of extraterrestrial races who, by all accounts, have been performing activities on the planet that are very worrying to the government.

I think these activities range from very positive encounters that many individuals have reported in terms of contactee reports, to very disturbing accounts of abductions and genetic experiments that abductees have been describing. So I think if this information was to be released without any kind of filtering process, I think there would be a lot of concern on the part of many who would be quite frightened by exactly what is happening. I think the government really has tried to deal with this in a very secret way but unfortunately they have not allowed enough information to get out to prepare the public for the truth and over time, this has taken on a characteristic of inertia where very little information is released by governments such as the US and the UK.

SM: Given what youíve just said, how do you see your position? If you think that the public arenít prepared and youíre trying to force this information out, letís assume hypothetically that fairly soon youíre successful, arguably you could be accused of bringing on the downfall of humanity.

Steven Greer Ė fellow traveller on the Exopolitical road

MS: Well, I think what happens when someone like me comes forward and releases a lot of information thatís based on the testimony of a lot of very credible people such as the whistleblowers who have appeared in Steven Greerís Disclosure Project, those are the sort of people I like to focus on because I think theyíre the most credible and theyíre the ones that a lot of the general public are going to listen to, that when the public do read the kind of reports and papers that I put out, that theyíre introduced to the concepts.

Now of course, because there is still a lot of controversy, a lot of debate over Exopolitics, a lot of people have a degree of speculation or denial that they can indulge in where they can look at this and say, ďItís very interestingĒ and they can work with it and sit on it for a while without it being thrust in their faces and I think thatís part of the preparation process because psychologically, I think thereís a vast difference between what happens when a researcher such as myself starts talking about governments having arrangements or agreements with extraterrestrials where extraterrestrials abduct citizens to where the government acknowledges that this has in fact happened.

SM: I was actually going to ask you, you mention about preparing the public and the filtering process, how do you envisage that? How do you interpret that? What would you like to see the government start doing? A slow steady trickle of a release of information?
MS: Definitely. I think something that would help tremendously would be to acknowledge the existence of, for example life on Mars. I think something along those lines would assist greatly in helping people open up to the truth about extraterrestrial existence. A graduated disclosure project like that whereby the public are slowly introduced to the idea of advanced extraterrestrial and then advanced civilizations on planets. And then eventually there would be some acknowledgement that this has been happening on Earth as well.

SM: But the moment you acknowledge that thereís even macro biological life on Mars, which is likely to be the very first step, surely that already begins to affect everything on Earth. Because itís first and foremost an acknowledgement that Life exists off this planet however tiny, however powerful a microscope you might need to look at it, Life of some sort exists off planet earth. And itís not a massive leap in the human imagination to assume from there that intelligent Life exists elsewhere. So already youíve got that impact on religion right from the start.
MS: Well thatís correct, yes. I think that once you do have that acknowledgement of even macro biological life on a planet like Mars, that opens the speculation as to advanced Life all over the galaxy.

SM: There is this conflict really whereby we can acknowledge the likely impact of the revelation of the announcement of intelligent life, we can foresee the possible consequences here on this planet, and yet we still want to know, we still want to find out, we still want to be told. There is that sort of juxtaposition, that conflict there. Whereas you and I and a great many other people can deal with it and process it, at the same time thereís going to be a great many people, probably the majority who will struggle with it.
MS: I agree. I think this is really the challenge - that people mistakenly assume itís all about the government not disclosing the truth but I think itís also largely due to the general public not being ready for the truth. I think that thereís a lot of information thatís been circulated freely for many, many years about UFOs and extraterrestrial sightings and so forth and the public havenít picked this up and I donít think itís been entirely a result of government manipulation. I think the public has really shown that itís too much for it to handle and I think there really does need to be a graduated disclosure project to deal with that. I think it does reveal some kind of collective psychology at play where advanced life on other worlds really is going to be a tough sell for a lot of people to incorporate into their lives.

SM: But could I put to you in response to what you just said the fact that a frequent series of polls over the years, particularly in America that show that the majority of people certainly seem to believe and accept that there is intelligent Life elsewhere.
MS: Thatís right. I know that the polls are very encouraging and show more and more people opening up to that. And maybe thatís the result of the general media and films like ďStar WarsĒ and television series like ďTakenĒ and that this has really helped to open up the public to this possibility.

SM: Do you think thereís a difference between somebody answering a pollster by saying, ďYes, I believe there is intelligent Life elsewhereĒ and the actual reality of it being presented to them. Do you think there is a difference?
MS: I think thereís probably a difference in the level of commitment. A person might say in response to a poll question that yes, they believe there is Life out there and they believe that the government is covering up information about that. But if you ask them if they would like to read a book discussing this, they might answer, well, they donít have time or they have too many commitments. So I think thereís a disjuncture there between what their belief system is and what theyíre actually prepared to commit themselves to.

SM: You mentioned a few moments ago the witnesses from Steven Greerís Disclosure Project and you said you regarded them as very credible. Arguably, the biggest criticism from nuts and bolts Ufologists directed towards you is that the witnesses seem to be lacking credibility.
MS: Well this is the big issue here. Thereís a question of what is an appropriate screening process for whistleblowers for example that come forward and reveal their information. Steven Greer put together a filtering process and that was very strongly criticized by the traditional nuts and bolts ufologist for not being critical enough because they were asking, ďWhere is the evidence substantiating the statements of these whistleblowers?Ē

I think the point that Steven Greer was making was because this is part of an official cover up, a lot of these witnesses arenít going to have hard evidence supporting their testimonies because this was classified information and hard evidence is not easy to access and if you do have possession of hard evidence, you may be in fact breaking the law and there still are very severe penalties in place for those who do divulge classified information.

SM: So really what youíre asking of other people then is simply belief. Please believe these people; we canít prove what theyíre saying.
MS: Well I think you would look at it in terms of you have a number of people here who are talking about a very similar phenomenon in terms of them being involved in classified projects or having had access to various documents or having witnessed radar sightings or that kind of evidence. When you put them together collectively, what you have is evidence of a pattern and so if you look at these witnesses collectively, you can say, ďThis is very credible evidence hereĒ because here you have a number of very senior people who had very responsible positions in charge of nuclear weapons or secret aircraft. These people, who had very important responsibilities, all disclosing these stories about UFOs, cover ups by government agencies and sightings of extraterrestrial biological entities.
So you have a pattern and I think all of that together constitutes some very important evidence that people can consider.

SM: I think I remember you talking at some point in relation to these witnesses about official/unofficial tampering of their credentials. In other words, as if the government had made some attempt to cut away the legs from under these people by removing their records. As far as you are concerned, you feel that goes on?
MS: Oh definitely. I think a number of whistleblowers have spoken about it. Iíve interviewed a few people who have spoken about similar things themselves. I think a good example is someone like Bob Lazaar who described how he himself divulged information relating to his work on a flying saucer that had been recovered and was being reverse engineered and that was not built on Earth and how all his records had disappeared and he subsequently had a lot of difficulty proving that in fact he did work at Los Alamos and at S4 and that he did have credentials as a nuclear physicist because all his records that substantiated his degrees had been withdrawn. There were a few others who described a very similar phenomenon with themselves.

SM: Have you had any encouragement, however slight, or barely perceptible from any official authority in relation to the work that youíve done, thatís hardened or confirmed your opinion?
MS: I havenít had anything that I can cite as evidence one way or the other of government official support or effort to censor my work. I did have a very negative reaction from the university I had an academic affiliation with when I had an interview published by The Washington Post that the university were very disturbed by. They felt that somehow I was bringing them into some kind of disrepute and so they started a process where bye my affiliation was eventually not renewed and the programme that I had been setting up was summarily terminated. Who was responsible for that? It may have been entirely a university decision or there may have been an external agency at work to make it more difficult for me to have any kind of credibility with the general public.

SM: Indeed I do remember this Dr. Salla. It was fairly recently, was it not? Last year some point?
MS: Yes, thatís right.

SM: What reasons were given to you? You said before that the university was disturbed but they must have elaborated on that.
MS: When I did The Washington Post interview, I spoke to the associate director for the Centre for Global Peace where I had my affiliation and she said that the publication of the interview would not be very good for my association with the university.

SM: Their ploy was that a respected member of staff, talking about this sort of thing, would bring the university into disrepute?
MS: Not only that but I was doing a programme into which they felt I was wanting to introduce some of this extraterrestrial or Exopolitical methodology, which wasnít the case and without consulting me, they terminated the programme.

SM: How personal a blow was this?
MS: Well it was very significant because it meant I had to leave the US because the university was my sponsor and come in under another visa, another arrangement. And of course now it means in terms of working with the university I have this black mark against my name because my last university and I parted ways in a very unpleasant manner.

SM: Do you feel bitter? Angry?
MS: I feel angry at the lack of support I got from within the university. I felt there were people there who could have at least allowed me to continue doing this research despite the public interest that was there. This research was still legitimate because I was doing it in a way that I felt was in conformity with the academic training that Iíd received. I felt that people werenít willing to support this in any way. It was like a red flag and they just wanted to get away from it.

SM: You have, over the course of your career within ufology sustained an incredible avalanche of criticism. It really is quite amazing actually just how much has been directed towards you at virtually every level. How do you cope with that because you seem to maintain a decorum? You donít appear to lose it if you know what I mean.
MS: I understand that there are a lot of people with a long term vested interest in ufology. People who have been working in the field for 30 years or more and who believe that theyíve seen it all. Theyíve investigated many of the outstanding cases and that they have this tremendous experience. And so when a relative newcomer such as myself comes along, and doesnít adopt the same methodology that they do, they can be very critical and dismissive. I understand that and itís like the old guard holding on to their methodology and not being prepared to consider alternatives. So I understand that I need to be circumspect in how I deal with these people because they are very well respected in the UFO community and have tremendous experience and so I need to be considerate of that while at the same time promoting the methodology that I feel is more appropriate.

SM: Have you had any contact with channelling and if so, what are your views on that method?
MS: Itís one of those sources of evidence that I describe in my very first study paper on Exopolitics where I list seven sources of evidence and channelling was the seventh, and I classified it as the weakest source of evidence because thereís very little to substantiate what different channellers have to say. I think itís very interesting, I think thereís reason why we shouldnít dismiss it out of hand but at the same time we need to be very wary of adopting what channelled information has to say. But I think thereís definitely something there that deserves investigating and it shouldnít be dismissed out of hand.

SM: What ranks at the top of that list? Is it witness testimony?
MS: Yes. I basically put the witness testimony up there. Then I put the sightings phenomenon together with contact and abductee statements. Then I include other sources like remote viewing, independent archaeology, documentary sources and then channelling.

SM: What do you think is actually going on? Do you have a sense of where these aliens may be from; do you have any idea of how many different races might be out there? Do you feel they might actually be here and walking around?
MS: Definitely, yes. I believe that the government has been aware of a number of different extraterrestrial races that have been visiting, based on a number of whistle blower testimonies. For example, Robert Dean described a NATO document that he saw in 1964 when he was working in the intelligence briefing team for the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers in Europe that he saw a document detailing at least 4 extraterrestrial races that the military were aware of, that were flying their ships, and he also described their physical characteristics. This was a 1964 NATO document and there have been other whistleblowers who have come forward to describe as many as 57 different extraterrestrial races. Others describe 60 or more so it seems that what we have here are many different ET races that some whistleblowers have been privy to in terms of documents that they have come across or information that they have received while working within the intelligence community or the military. I do believe there is a knowledge about the different ET races that are visiting and that the government agencies that are responsible for dealing with this whole area are keeping this from the general public for reasons we talked about earlier.

SM: Do you feel that the government has any control over this?
MS: I think thatís part of the problem. They probably believe they have very little ability to control the ET races that are visiting, that they are not sure exactly what the extraterrestrials that are here are doing and what they are up to and their long term motivation. So I think thereís a lot of uncertainty there with the government and that helps account for why they have been so slow to release a lot of information.

SM: What do you see as the way forward for exopolitics?
MS: I think the way forward is to have better ways of analyzing the whistleblower testimonies that are emerging. Steven Greer started the ball rolling in assembling those large numbers of whistleblowers that came forward and gave testimony and what really needs to be done is to come up with more systematic criteria for analyzing the whistleblower testimonies describing the UFOs and extraterrestrials when there isnít sufficient hard evidence to substantiate that. Thatís where I think there really needs to be a lot of hard work done in Exopolitics because thatís where weíre going to get a lot of the information. The same thing needs to be done with contactees and or abductees. Dr. John Mack had started to do something similar. So we really need to develop pretty rigorous social science criteria to investigate and analyze the testimony of these people. This is critical since we can use this whistleblower/witness testimony to develop a coherent picture of the secret government infrastructure created to deal with UFOs/EBEs, and the extraterrestrials themselves in terms of their motivations and activities here on Earth.

SM: That seems to be an acknowledgement on your side that witness testimony could really be a bit stronger or needs to be able to stand up to more rigorous scrutiny.
MS: I think we need to be more rigorous in terms of how we substantiate it. It doesnít need to be done purely on the basis of hard evidence which is what the nuts and bolts people do. But I think we could do a much better job in terms of cross referencing what different whistleblowers have said and sort out what inconsistencies might apparently be there.

We also need to look at the way national security agencies interfere with the evidence, and seek to discredit whistleblowers and witnesses in ways that lead to them being dismissed by nuts and bolts researchers. This unfortunately introduces a conspiracy element that nuts and bolts researchers want to steer clear off, but itís nevertheless necessary to do since that is what the evidence points to as taking place.

In short, we wonít understand whatís really going on until we better understand how the different government agencies interfere with the evidence and the credibility of witnesses.

SM: Dr. Salla, thank you