© 1995 By Richard Sarradet



Face it. Short of a private audience with HRH Ashtar, or the alien technical adviser on Close Encounters, discovering the truth about UFOs rests in the hands of our government. The government controls what is essentailly a conversation. We're having that conversation right now, right here.

The ability to control the conversation is no mean feat, but has obviously been and remains successful. This would imply a very strong Command and Control hierarchy, directing the gathering of technical and human intelligence, debriefing, compartmentalizing elements for analysis, assigning security classifications, need to know, and SCI (Special Compartmentalized Information) status. Also feeding into this structure would be black budget updates, and new or revised operational protocols.

In order to keep oversight and control of all of this, the information must collate at various levels on its way 'up' the hierarchy. Repeat this procedure for each project, each branch of service, each with competing budgets and agendas. It is a formidable task, requiring a giant bureaucracy to service it. And then of course, there must be executive and legislative oversight.

At each step up the chain of command and control, someone, or some elite group, must be monitoring the significance and value of the information. They would have the' big picture.' That would ultimately be the most powerful and autonomous position to be in. The rotating doors of politicians would only have the information supplied to them on which to base their decisions and policies.

It is startling to ponder the immense power it takes to hold a truth and construct a myth to obscure it at first, then to exploit it in various ways. When it comes to UFOs, the boys assigned to retrieve exotic hardware may feel quite differently about it than the boys who, say want to land a contract to apply the technology any way the military sees fit. And the military might feel differently about it than the boys who are assigned to inconspicuously monitor and perhaps prepare the public in various creative ways. A dysfunctional petri dish, more toxic perhaps, than tonic these days. For a current example, of the government's apparent confusion, witness the spectacle of Congressman Steven Schiff of New Mexico trying to get answers on the 1947 Roswell incident. The Department of Defense "don't know nuthin' about it" and the Government Accounting Office (who uncovered the dirty details of Iran-Contra) reports back to Schiff that it can't find anything, but there are some missing documents.

It is interesting to note that it was the U.S. Government that first acknowledged the existence of UFOs. On July 7, 1947, Walter Haut, Public Information Officer for Roswell Army Air Base, issued a press release to the effect that the Army had finally recovered a crashed "flying disc." Within 72 hours another press release, issued from Fort Worth, recanted the story, claiming it was nothing more than a weather balloon gone rogue. General Roger Ramey even staged what we would now cynically call a "photo op" for the assembled press: "See, here's the debris--a perfectly ordinary weather balloon, MISidentified by our Major Jesse Marcel, SOMEHOW." For quite awhile, it worked, but the genie would not go completely back in the bottle. Reports of UFOs continued. In fact, stories abounded. The public's imagination was kindled.

So, from this point, one secret, one lie, generates a policy that continues to this day--almost a half-century later. The Manhattan project had already created and codified the genesis for this structure of secrecy. In matters of 'national security' lies are elevated to operational tools. Once the lie is accepted, there is no ground, no ceiling, no limits. That is the natural course of lies. Lies create elaborate conversations (like the one we're having right now) instead of clear, direct communication.

In making movies, writing poetry or drama, we call it "the willful suspension of disbelief" when we mimic reality in order to recreate actual feelings, to "walk in someone else's moccasins." The audience is not deceived however, in fact, we applaud the actor for taking us on the journey. We applaud him for his talent and skill.

There is obviously a lot of talent and skill on the U.S. Government payroll, managing the public's perception and understanding of anything connected to UFOs.

Anyone care to disagree? Please--entertain and enlighten us with a new conversation. Perhaps the always sincere and reasonable Carl Sagan, or NASA's Jim Oberg could bring us down to earth on this. Or perhaps in executing their new "greater openness" policy, one of the highly talented and rigorously skilled spin artists at Langley, or some hot Pentagon talent would care to respond. Why not? A chance to follow orders, exercise skills, get paid, and serve your country. After all, we're all in this together AREN'T WE?

The parent who puts off telling his kid the facts of life is a cliché. Generally speaking, the kid already knows a lot about it. Of course a lot of what he's heard is baloney, (no pun intended) so one better make sure that the kid at least has the basics straight. It's kind of a cat and mouse game when it come to what to tell and when. When will what he doesn't know yet fit in to his understanding? If you first told the kid that the stork dropped off his little sister, you're already standing in a hole, but the kid will get past that. After all, it was for his own good, but somewhere he will file away the fact that he was lied to. He just got his first lesson: Don't trust your parents; they lie sometimes and tell you it's for your own good. Although he may not realize it then, it has subtly shaped his perception. Conversations can do that.

In the real world, is there a Santa Claus? To me, there is--because even at three, when I peeked and saw my dad and uncle Hubert playing with the windup train that Santa Claus would leave me in the morning, it didn't occur to me that there wasn't a Santa Claus. I didn't understand it, and I just didn't make any connections. Later, when I did, I still pretended to believe, maybe because my little sister and brother still did--and I wanted them to. It was fun to believe. My son is almost eight now, and he's struggling with these same issues. I've told him I believe in Santa Claus, because "Santa Claus is the 'spirit of giving for the joy it brings' personified." Hey, it works for us right now.

Whoever is in control of managing our understanding of UFOs is I think in a similar position. I say this not because I'm privy to any "inside information," but because it's the only one I can reconcile with our country's constitutionally-defined powers of government. National Security must provide a legal antidote to each constitutional issue which lies in its path.

However, there is to me some evidence of disagreement on how and when to retire the deaf, dumb, and blind monkey show that passes for official denial. These days, unofficial sources abound. Retired Sergeant Major Robert O. Dean speaks with impunity about the highly classified UFO assessment he saw while assigned to SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) in 1963 and '64. Looking quite the prophet figure these days, he speaks at length about what he read, and forsees an exciting, glamorous new future arriving. A retired Major Jesse Marcel, spoke out in 1977 about what he saw in Roswell in 1947--it was not a weather balloon. Or ask George Knapp about how many "off the record" sources he has that support the Lazar scenario. Pick up any of the late Leonard Stringfield's Status Reports on crash retrieval. Then ask yourself: What does this mean? Are those trusted with management (and you know who you are) losing control of the conversation, or are they getting better at it? Is it a different stage of the parent-child charade? If one saw the inevitable breakdown of strict control of the subject, one could plan ahead to distort, confuse, evaluate, educate, refine, and redirect the conversation in order to keep the game going a bit longer.

Parents learn to be quite creative at times like this.

Just consider how dysfunctional the stories could be if the parents disagree on how best to handle the situation. It is good I think for parents to do their disagreeing in private, and spare the children the more raucous moments. The best course is to find a way to agree--most likely a compromise--and to do it quickly. The children are depending on you. "Ask not what your country can do for you.." Otherwise, the children get a lot of double messages. Most kids take it in stride with resigned cynicism, but some get very upset and act out their distrust and disillusionment. That's the price of the mission, these loose ends--dysfunctional households produce dysfunctional children. I guess that's why there are concrete barriers in front of the White House gates, and grieving in Oklahoma. That's not paranoia, it's just a "big picture" observation. Lies--even well intended--have their price.

Perhaps dysfunctional children could serve an agenda, too.